Medical Notes 21-03

Medical Notes this week…

Glaucoma is the world’s number one cause of blindness … and is usually treated with daily eye drops. however, those drops are not always successful. Now a study in the journal Advanced Science shows that it may be possible to treat glaucoma with a twice-a-year Hydrogel injection into the eye. Glaucoma is the result of a faulty drain in the eye–allowing pressure to build up, damaging the optic nerve. Researchers say the injected Hydrogel holds open that faulty drain.

The number of times a woman has given birth affects how quickly she ages. A study in the journal Scientific Reports finds that women with fewer than two children, or more than five, age more quickly than those who’ve given birth three or four times. Scientists speculate that cellular damage in women with many kids is the result of the amount of energy expended in pregnancy and lactation. They’re not sure why women who’ve given birth few times would similarly age more quickly. 

You can expect another decline in COVID-19 transmission as we head into spring… and this one has nothing to do with social distancing or the vaccine. A study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that the coronavirus is sensitive to UV exposure. The effect is strong enough to account for about a seven percent fall in new cases between winter and summer, and a seven percent rise in cases between summer and winter. Scientists had not had enough data to prove UV sensitivity before now.

And finally… if you want to make shots hurt less, make the right kind of face. A study in the journal Emotion finds you should either grimace or make what’s called a “genuine” smile that crinkles the eyes. That cuts the perceived pain of a needle injection by about 50 percent compared to people who keep their face neutral.

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