Understanding Conjunctivitis Symptoms and Signs : A Comprehensive Guide
Conjunctivitis, also referred to as pink eye or eye flu, is an eye condition that can make people feel uncomfortable, irritated, and have red eyes. The thin membrane that covers the white area of the eye and the inner surface of the eyelids, the conjunctiva, becomes inflamed, which is how it is identified. To assist you in recognising and comprehending this widespread eye condition, we will break down the conjunctivitis symptoms and indicators in this post. Redness of the Eye The redness of the eyes is one of the main and most obvious signs of conjunctivitis. Because of the pink or red colour of the eye caused by the inflamed blood vessels in the conjunctiva, the condition is frequently referred to as "pink eye." Depending on the underlying cause of conjunctivitis, the degree of redness can range from mild to severe. Itching and Irritation Conjunctivitis frequently causes itching and irritation in the affected eye or eyes. People may feel the urge to touch their eyes to ease the itching, which can range from mild to severe. However, in the event of infectious conjunctivitis, scratching the eyes can exacerbate the illness and possibly transmit the infection. Watery or Discharge from the Eye Conjunctivitis can cause the eyes to tear excessively or discharge. While bacterial conjunctivitis may provide a thicker, yellow or greenish discharge, viral conjunctivitis typically results in a clear and watery discharge. Due to the body's immunological reaction to allergens, allergic conjunctivitis can also result in watery discharge. Swollen Eyelids Conjunctivitis occasionally results in swollen eyelids, making it difficult to fully open or close the eyes. The inflammation that affects the tissues of the eyelids usually causes swelling. Sensitivity to Light (Photophobia) Conjunctivitis can cause photophobia, a condition in which the eyes become sensitive to light. People who have conjunctivitis may experience discomfort and suffering when exposed to bright lights or sunshine. Crust Formation on the Eyelids Particularly after waking up in the morning, bacterial conjunctivitis can cause the development of crusts or "eye boogers" on the eyelids. These crusts develop as a result of dry discharge gathering on the eyelids while you sleep. Foreign Body Sensation Some people with conjunctivitis could feel as though they have grit or a foreign body in their eyes. This sensation may be uncomfortable and increase the desire to massage one's eyes. For early detection and suitable care, it is essential to recognise the symptoms and signs of conjunctivitis. A qualified eye care practitioner must be consulted if you suffer redness, irritation, excessive tearing, or discharge from your eyes in order to make an accurate diagnosis and receive the appropriate treatments. While the majority of conjunctivitis instances are not dangerous and can be treated with self-care or medical procedures, prompt treatment can help reduce discomfort and stop the conjunctivitis from spreading to other people. Keep in mind that having healthy eyes is crucial for sustaining vision and general wellbeing.
The Benefits of At-Home Testosterone Testing for Men's Health
Are you feeling tired, irritable, or experiencing a low sexual drive? These are all symptoms that could be related to low testosterone levels. Testosterone is a hormone. It plays an essential role in men's health and well-being. However, as we age, our testosterone levels can decrease. This can lead to a variety of health issues. The good news is that there is now an easy way to test your testosterone levels from the comfort of your own home. In this blog post, we will explore the benefits of at-home testosterone testing and how it can help improve men's health. Testosterone and men's health Testosterone plays a crucial role in men's health. It affects various body functions. These include muscle mass, bone density, and sexual drive. Testosterone also impacts mood and energy levels. Low testosterone levels are associated with fatigue, irritability, depression, and even an increased risk of heart disease. As men age, their testosterone levels naturally decline. However, lifestyle factors such as stress and poor diet can accelerate this process, resulting in low T levels at an earlier stage of life. Low testosterone levels can have serious consequences for overall health. Men with low T-levels may experience decreased muscle mass. This leads to frailty or osteoporosis later in life. They may also suffer from erectile dysfunction (ED). This causes relationship issues or psychological problems like anxiety or depression. Men need to be aware of the potential risks associated with declining testosterone levels and take steps towards maintaining optimal hormonal balance through regular testing and healthy lifestyle choices. The Benefits of At-Home Testosterone Testing The at-home testosterone test is becoming increasingly popular among men looking to monitor their health and well-being. There are several benefits to using an at-home test kit. These include convenience, privacy, and cost-effectiveness. One major advantage of at-home testing is the ability to avoid the hassle of scheduling appointments or visiting a clinic. With an at-home test kit, you can easily collect your samples and send them off for analysis without ever leaving your house. Privacy is another important benefit of at-home testing. Many men may feel uncomfortable discussing issues related to their sexual health with a healthcare provider in person. At-home testing allows individuals to maintain anonymity while still receiving accurate results. Cost-effectiveness is also a significant advantage of at-home testing. Traditional laboratory tests can be expensive, especially if they require multiple visits or follow-up appointments. By contrast, an at-home test kit provides quick and affordable results from the comfort of your home. There are many benefits to using an at-home testosterone test kit that make it an appealing option for men looking to stay on top of their health and wellness. How to Test Your Testosterone Levels at Home Here's a simple guide on how to test your testosterone levels in the comfort of your own home. Firstly, choose an at-home testosterone test kit. It suits your needs and preferences. Many reputable companies offer these kits online or over the counter in local pharmacies. Make sure to read customer reviews. Consult with a healthcare professional if you are unsure about which kit is best for you. Once you have obtained the kit, carefully read and follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer. Most tests require either a saliva or blood sample. These are collected using a cheek swab or finger prick, respectively. Ensure that all necessary precautions are taken during sample collection to avoid contamination. After collecting your sample, securely package it as instructed and mail it back to the designated laboratory for analysis. The lab will then process your sample and provide accurate results within days or weeks, depending on their processing time. Keep in mind that tracking fluctuations in testosterone levels may require multiple tests over time. Therefore, consider repeating this process every few months for a better understanding of patterns related to diet, exercise regimen, or other lifestyle factors affecting hormone balance. Remember that while at-home testing provides convenience and privacy, discussing results with qualified medical experts is crucial before making any significant changes based on findings from such tests. Treatment for low testosterone levels If you do find that you have low testosterone levels, there are various treatment options available. Your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes such as exercise and diet modifications to help boost your hormone levels naturally. In some cases, medication or hormone replacement therapy may be necessary. Remember that everyone's body is different. What works for one person may not work for another. It's important to work with your healthcare provider to determine the best course of action for managing low testosterone levels based on your individual needs. By utilising at-home testosterone testing and seeking appropriate treatment when needed, men can take proactive steps towards optimising their overall health and well-being. Foods that Boost Testosterone Levels One of the easiest ways to increase testosterone production is by consuming foods that promote it. Foods high in zinc have been shown to help with testosterone production. Additionally, vitamin D-rich foods like salmon and egg yolks can also aid in boosting T levels. Incorporating healthy fats into your diet has also been linked to increased testosterone levels. Foods like avocados, nuts (especially almonds), seeds (like pumpkin or flaxseed), and olive oil are great sources of good fats. Conclusion At-home testosterone testing is an easy and convenient way for men to monitor their hormone levels and take control of their health. By regularly testing your testosterone levels, you can identify any potential issues early on and take action to improve your overall well-being. Whether you are experiencing symptoms related to low testosterone levels or just want to stay on top of your health, an at-home testosterone test is an excellent option that provides accurate results quickly. Taking care of our hormonal balance should be considered as important as any other aspect of maintaining good health. You can book a home visit with Metropolis Labs to get your testosterone test samples collected by professional technicians. By monitoring essential hormones like testosterone, we can keep track of our body's changes over time.
Blood Tests for Children: Accurate Diagnostics Made Easy
Most children are scared at the thought of an injection or the sight of a syringe. It complicates the process of blood tests for children, especially among younger kids below 10 years. Read this blog to learn how parents can help reduce fear among kids during general paediatric lab tests. Five ways parents can Calm Their children during blood tests Most parents find it very difficult to watch their children in pain or discomfort during paediatric blood tests. While the temporary pain from the invasive wound is inevitable, providing emotional support helps make the blood collection process less stressful. Since parents are the primary comfort providers for children, helping your kids prepare for a blood test ensures prompt and easier sample collection. Proven techniques like deep breathing, staring away from the injection or keeping your child occupied helps make a blood test for children less stressful. While the phlebotomist and the physician try their best to comfort your child, follow these parental tips given by the President and Head of Science and Innovation of Metropolis Healthcare, Dr Nilesh Shah. 1. Keep your children preoccupied or distracted If you can shift your child's attention to something else rather than the sharp needle and syringe, it will help ease their discomfort. Find something that can attract their attention or speak and play with them for at least 30 seconds. Such a distraction allows the phlebotomist to perform the blood test for children with minimum stress. You can carry their favourite toy or give them special food such as their favourite snack or drink to make them feel comfortable and make them forget about the painful needle sensation. Also, do not promise your child anything unrealistic in exchange for staying behaved during the blood test. 2. Maintain a calm demeanour The serene face of composure of a parent is a blessing for children when stressed. When a child looks at their mother or father, their calm face comforts them, enabling them to bear the discomfort. Remember, children look to their caregivers and reflect on their emotions. So if the parent is stressed and fearful, the child will also panic about the upcoming procedure. Parents could say a few soothing words or hum their favourite tune to ease their anxiety. They could also promise the child a tasty treat to soothe their mood after the blood test. Remember to give them a warm hug or a peck on their forehead, as it boosts endorphins which help counter discomfort. 3. Explain to the child what to expect during a blood test Most children don't know what to expect during common paediatric lab tests. It makes them feel stressed, worsening the trauma of a needle during blood tests. Explain to the child how the procedure takes place. Parents can also show them a video to clear their doubts about the procedure. It is also important to ensure the child is well-fed and well-rested before the blood test. Choose loose clothes with comfortable fabric that allows ease of extraction of blood from their arm. Parents should abstain from making them wear clothes that require folding during blood tests such as long-sleeved shirts or tight dresses that may cause skin rashes from constant friction. 4. Staying with the child throughout the procedure The best thing to do during a blood test for children is to stay with the child. If it's the first time the child is undergoing a blood test, the mere presence of a parent or a loved one gives the child the courage to bear the pain. The presence of a loved one also helps the child to cope with the unpleasant feeling of needle insertion. Parents should ensure they are present near their children during the blood test. Holding their hands or letting them sit close to their parents brings added comfort and courage. Parents can give the experience of the diagnostic test a happy ending with an encouraging face and inspiring words to boost their child's confidence throughout. Once they are done, parents can ask them about their experience and ask them to discuss if the procedure was as painful as they imagined it would be. 5. Ensure prompt follow-up after the blood test The role of parents doesn't end after the blood test for children. While the child feels relieved that the toughest part is over, parents should look out for potential discomfort in their child for the next 72 hours. Since most children cannot express symptoms or understand the relevance of any sudden body changes, unexplained inflammation or rash, parents need to be on the lookout for any symptoms that require immediate clinical consultation. It is advised that caregivers stay in touch with the phlebotomist and the physician to share their feedback regarding their child's wellness after the blood test. It is also important to ensure that the puncture wound in the child's arm heals well and does not develop further bleeding or infection. Final words Parents have an indispensable role in preparing a child for diagnostic tests. Whether it's a blood test for a 5-year-old or a young kid below 10, the above-mentioned parental tips help ease the child's anxiety towards an injection needle. Remember to choose a trusted diagnostic facility that comprises qualified phlebotomists who are known for their child-friendly ambience. Remember, common paediatric lab tests for children become hassle-free when performed by the same technician. It helps the child become more comfortable with the technicians and be more at ease the next time they need to visit the lab.
Why and When You Should Get Tested for Vitamin D?
Vitamin D: The Sunshine Vitamin Vitamin D helps our body absorb calcium and phosphorus from the diet. That is why it is essential for the development and functioning of bones and teeth. It is available in two forms: vitamin D2 and vitamin D3. Vitamin D2 is mainly found in plant-based food and whereas vitamin D3 is made by your own body when it is exposed to sunlight. It is also found in animal-based foods. Both forms of vitamin D are changed to an active form which is 25 hydroxyvitamin D, also known as 25(OH)D. What is The Importance of Vitamin D Test in India? According to a study published in the Indian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, approximately 70-90% of the healthy Indian population is vitamin D deficient. Low level of vitamin D occurs commonly in India across the different age, sex, gender, urban or rural settings. How Do You Know if Your Vitamin D Levels are Sufficient? If you have low levels of vitamin D, your body might give some signs such as pain in joints and limbs, fatigue, etc. However, it is not uncommon to have vitamin D deficiency and have no signs altogether.A Vitamin D test is the best way to know if you have sufficient levels of vitamin D in your body. This test is done to measure the level of 25 hydroxyvitamin D in your blood to check whether it is low or higher than normal. When Should You Get a Vitamin D Test? You need to undergo vitamin D test if you fall into any one of the following categories: 1. You suffer from bone problems: Studies state that vitamin D is essential for the absorption of calcium, which plays an important role in the maintenance of bone health. Hence if you are suffering from pain in the bones or weak and fragile bones; you should get a vitamin test done. 2. You have a disease that reduces the body’s ability to use vitamin D: These are diseases of the liver, kidney, pancreas, thyroid, digestive system, and others. 3. You are a senior citizen: Elderly people need to get their vitamin D level tested. This is because due to age and staying indoors, their skin fails to make vitamin D when exposed to sunlight as efficiently when young. Aging causes a range of health problems. Want to make aging easier for you? Make sure to get your full body health tested regularly. 4. You are obese: In case of obesity, body fat binds to available vitamin D and prevents it from getting into the blood. Thus obesity might make you vitamin D deficient.Obesity can cause derangement of cholesterol levels. Get tested for high levels of bad cholesterol here. 5. Your exposure to sunlight is limited: Since your body makes vitamin D when exposed to sunlight, you may be at risk of deficiency if you are housebound or have an occupation with limited sun exposure (if working in corporates, hospitals, etc.) 6. You underwent weight-loss surgeries: Weight loss surgeries reduce the size of the stomach. This makes it difficult for the body to absorb a sufficient amount of vitamin D. 7. If you are taking certain medicines: Medicines such as anticholesterol, antifungal, antifungal, and antiviral drugs also affect vitamin D metabolism. 8. Breastfeed babies: Breastmilk is not rich in vitamin D. That is why breastfed babies are advised to take vitamin D supplements. If not, their vitamin D level should be tested to probe vitamin D deficiency. 9. You have dark skin: This is because a large amount of pigment melanin in the skin reduces the skin’s ability to make vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. 10. Your diet lacks a source of vitamin D: Vitamin D is mainly found in animal sources including fish and fish oils, egg yolks, milk, and liver. If you follow a strict vegan diet, you might end up having a low level of vitamin D. 11. You are suffering regularly from one of these: Frequent nausea, vomiting, poor appetite, constipation, weakness can be a sign of excess vitamin D in the body. What Happens in a Vitamin D Test? This test is performed using a blood sample. Following steps are taken: A fresh syringe with a fine needle is used to withdraw blood from a vein in your arm. A healthcare provider will first tie an elastic band around your arm. You may be asked to open and close your hand to make a fist. This makes the veins swell with blood and visible. The area from where the sample will be taken will then be cleaned with an antiseptic solution and a cotton ball. The needle is then inserted into the vein to collect your blood sample. You will feel a tiny prick like an ant bite during the procedure. Blood samples once collected will then be sent to the laboratory. What Do Vitamin D Test Results Mean? This test measures the level of the active form of vitamin D which is 25(OH)D: Lower levels of 25(OH)D can indicate various health problems like bone disorders, insufficient nutrition, or other medical problems. It can be due to less exposure to sunlight, deficiency of vitamin D in the diet, or decreased absorption from the intestine. Higher levels of 25(OH)D than the normal range indicates vitamin D excess which might occur due to overdose of vitamin D. Range: The normal range of vitamin D is measured in nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL) or nmol/L and can vary from lab to lab. Deficiency- <20 Insufficiency- 20-29 Sufficiency- 30-100 Toxicity- >100 How Frequently Do You Need to Take the Vitamin D Test? Normally doctors do not recommend a vitamin D test but if they do, ask about your risks. If you are at a higher risk, it is advisable to get the test. If it is low, you can take advice to boost your vitamin D level with supplements and sun exposure. Bottom line Maintain an adequate level of vitamin D with a proper diet and spend time in the sun. If you choose to take supplements, it is advisable to take it only under medical prescription.
The science behind vitamin B12: Why do you need it?
In today’s time, almost everyone is turning towards a plant-based diet. Although it is healthy, it has a few downfalls if you do not take supplements for certain nutrients missing in a plant-based diet. One of these important nutrients is vitamin B12. Falling short of vitamin B12 can have a serious impact on your health What is vitamin B12? Vitamin B12 is an essential vitamin for the human body. It is a micronutrient which means your body requires it in small amounts. It is naturally found in animal foods. Vitamin B12 is required for red blood cell formation, optimal functioning of brain and nerve cells, and maintenance of a healthy immune system. It is also known as cobalamin and is a water-soluble vitamin. This means it can dissolve in water and travel into the bloodstream. Any excess vitamin B12 is excreted in the urine. Your body can store vitamin B12 for several years in the liver, so a deficiency of this vitamin is usually rare. However, if you are a vegetarian, you might become deficient because plant foods do not contain vitamin B12. To prevent that, you need to take vitamin B12 from supplements. Where can you get vitamin B12 from? Vitamin B12 is naturally found in animal foods. Good dietary sources of vitamin B12 include: Poultry Red meat Eggs Dairy products like milk, cheese, yogurt Fish Fortified breakfast cereals Fortified nutritional yeast Enriched soy milk How much vitamin B12 do you need? According to the National Institute of Health, the Recommended Dietary Allowance for men and women aged 14 years and above is 2.4 micrograms (mcg) daily. For pregnant and lactating women, it is 2.6 mcg and 2.8 mcg daily, respectively. Want to get your vitamin B12 level checked? Check here What happens when you do not take an adequate amount of vitamin B12? This leads to various deficiencies such as: 1. Anemia When you do not take an adequate amount of vitamin B12, it leads to a type of anemia known as megaloblastic anemia. In this condition, the size of the red blood cells increases. As a result of this, the red blood cells are unable to move from bone marrow to the bloodstream. Consequently, you might face fatigue, weakness, pale skin, and shortness of breath. 2. Tingling sensation in hands and legs Vitamin B12 plays a vital role in maintaining the covering of nerve cells, called the myelin sheath. It is the fatty material that surrounds and protects your nerves. When you are vitamin B12 deficient, your nerve cells cannot function properly. This eventually might alter the way you move. It can affect your body balance and make you more likely to fall. 3. Brain fog Your memory can become hazy. You can find it difficult to concentrate. 4. Osteoporosis Osteoporosis is a bone disease in which the bones become weak and may break from a fall. Vitamin B12 plays an important role in maintaining good bone health. Low levels might lead to low bone mineral density. This makes the bones delicate and fragile over time, leading to osteoporosis. Some of the other symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency are confusion, depressive symptoms, and vision loss. Some of the studies had stated that vitamin B12 deficiency could pose a risk of COVID-19 in older patients. However, these studies still remain to be peer-reviewed. Further validation research is required to claim the association of vitamin B12 deficiency and COVID-19. Who can be at a risk of vitamin B12 deficiency? People avoiding animal products People who follow a strict plant-based diet are at risk of becoming deficient in vitamin B12 since it is found naturally in animal products. Elderly people Gastritis is a condition that affects elderly people the most. In this condition, the body becomes unable to absorb vitamin B12 that is naturally present in food. People with certain digestive disorders Certain digestive disorders like inflammatory bowel disease, Celiac, and Crohn's disease reduces the body's potential to absorb vitamin B12. Thus causing deficiency of vitamin B12. People who had undergone gastrointestinal surgery Weight loss surgeries or surgery to remove part of the stomach often interferes in the proper absorption of vitamin B 12 from the diet. Pregnant and lactating women Vitamin B12 can pass from mother to baby via breast milk. Mothers who exclusively breastfeed their baby and follow a plant-based diet might make their baby deficient of vitamin B12. Without enough vitamin B12, the baby might have growth and developmental delays. People with chronic alcoholism In this condition, the body becomes unable to absorb vitamin B12 efficiently from the diet. How to overcome vitamin B12 deficiency? You can take animal-based food and if you are a vegetarian you can take vitamin B12 fortified cereals. You can also take vitamin B12 supplements with doctor’s advice. Are there any side-effects of vitamin B12? Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin. After the body utilises the required amount of vitamin B12, leftover amount will pass through urine. Generally, there are no side-effects seen with excess vitamin B12 intake from food. However, it is always advisable to consult your doctor before starting a high dose of vitamin B12 supplements. When do you need a vitamin B12 test? If you think you might be vitamin B12 deficient, it is advisable to consult your doctor and get a blood test done. Vitamin B12 is like a regular blood test and you can get it done from any trustworthy laboratory. The normal range is 211 - 911 pg/mL irrespective of sex and age. Bottom line Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble and essential vitamin. It is responsible for various health benefits like preventing anemia, supporting the nervous system, improving and maintaining healthy bones. You can get the required amount of vitamin B12 from your diet (animal food). However, if you follow a plant-based diet or have a condition that affects absorption, supplements are a simple way to increase your B12 intake. Take care, stay healthy!
Different Types of COVID-19 Tests and Their Significance
COVID-19 or Coronavirus disease is an infectious disease that causes severe respiratory illness. This new strain of coronavirus affects different people in different ways. Most infected people will develop mild to moderate symptoms and might not need hospitalization. Some of the most common symptoms are: Dry cough Fever Fatigue Headache Body ache Sore throat Loss of smell and taste Nausea Vomiting COVID-19 has caused serious illness in older people and those with underlying chronic health problems like diabetes, asthma, high blood pressure, heart disease, liver or kidney disease, obesity, cancer, etc Never let your health take a backseat. Get yourself regularly tested. COVID-19 Tests: Need of The Hour Testing for COVID-19 can identify you as a positive or negative case of coronavirus disease. It is very important as you can only get the right treatment or self-isolate if you know that you have contracted the coronavirus. Different Types of COVID-19 Tests Available India has stood relatively strong in her fight against COVID-19 with a strategy “Test, Track and Treat”. Different methods of testing have been launched to trace COVID-19 infection rapidly and efficiently. Watch this video to know more about Different types of COVID-19 test in this video: https://youtu.be/SBQklbZ9Rgo Some of the most commonly used tests used are: 1) Molecular (RT-PCR) Tests About the test- The Molecular test, commonly known as the RT-PCR test, is a method of testing that is used to directly detect the presence of the virus in the sample. The test detects the virus’s RNA, which is the genetic material of the virus. The first step in this test is to convert this RNA to DNA using an enzyme known as the reverse transcriptase. The PCR testing then detects this DNA. Hence the name RT-PCR. These are also known as the diagnostic test and nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT). How the sample is taken- A nasal or throat swab sample is taken. Time taken to get results- Results are given the same day or within 2-3 days. Are they accurate- These tests are the most accurate. They have a high sensitivity and specificity. What it shows- These tests help diagnose the active coronavirus infection. If the virus is present in the sample, the test is positive but a negative test doesn’t necessarily mean that you can not be infected, you might have taken the test in the early days. What it cannot show- It fails to show if you ever had COVID-19 in the past. Cost of RT-PCR test- Cost of the antibody test kit is somewhere between Rs 2000- Rs 3000. In case you feel you have symptoms of COVID-19, you can approach your doctor who can further advise you for a test. Not every laboratory in the country can conduct a COVID-19 test as the virus is highly contagious. Only NABL(National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories) accredited laboratories approved by ICMR are equipped to handle the COVID-19 samples. Book your COVID-19 lab test confidently with us. What to Do After an RT-PCR test? If you test positive for the COVID-19 RT-PCR test: The healthcare provider will guide you to follow protective steps if you feel sick. If you test negative for COVID-19 RT-PCR test: It means you did not have COVID-19 at the time of testing or your sample might have been collected too early to detect an infection. If you develop symptoms after 3-4 days, you might need to take another lRT-PCR test to determine if you are infected. 2) COVID-19 Antigen Tests About the test- A COVID-19 antigen refers to any foreign matter or viral proteins in the body that triggers an immune response. This test helps identify the antigens related to the COVID-19 virus. Antigen test, also known as rapid antigen test, is a rapid diagnostic test that gives results faster than molecular tests. But there is a drawback, antigen tests have a higher chance of missing an active infection. How the sample is taken- Usually,anasal or throat swab sample is taken. Time taken to get results- Since it is a rapid test, results are delivered in 1 hour or less. Is another test needed- Rapid tests are usually highly accurate if you test positive however a negative result might need to be confirmed using a molecular test. What it shows- These tests help diagnose active coronavirus in the sample. What it cannot show- The Antigen test might miss an active coronavirus infection in comparison to RT-PCR tests. Cost of COVID-19 Antigen test- Cost of the COVID-19 antigen test kit is somewhere between Rs 400- Rs 500 3) COVID-19 Antibody Tests About the test- COVID-19 Antibody tests, also known as, Serology test, serological test, or Serology blood test, are screening tests for COVID-19 antibodies in your blood. It tells if you were previously infected with the virus that causes COVID-19. The antibody test does not look for the active virus but checks whether your immune system has responded to the infection. How the sample is taken- It is tested by drawing your blood sample. Time taken to get results- Results are delivered either the same day or in 1-3 days. Is another test needed- Sometimes a second COVID-19 antibody test might be needed for more accurate results. What it shows- This test helps to find out if you were infected with the virus causing COVID-19 in the past and now have antibodies against it. What it cannot show- A COVID-19 antibody test may not show if you have an active virus in your body causing COVID-19 infection. Cost of Antibody test- The cost of COVID-19 antibody test kit is somewhere between Rs 500-Rs 600. When to seek medical help for COVID-19? In case you have minor symptoms like mild cough and fever, consult a doctor online and provide details thoroughly and follow home quarantine. There is no obvious need to visit a doctor in person. Self-isolate and monitor your symptoms for the next 14 days. Do not ignore if your fever increases or if you get any serious symptoms such as breathlessness, mental confusion, or blue lips. These signs may warrant to seek medical help immediately. Bottom line The best way to get a COVID-19 test is to contact your nearest healthcare provider who can guide you best on testing. Meanwhile, follow social distancing, wash your hands regularly, and avoid touching your face.
7 Ayurvedic Home Remedies for Cough and Cold
Who does not love to enjoy a cup of piping hot coffee on a beautiful rainy day? Everyone does! But this season also brings a tale of woes: Cold & Cough. Although mild common cold is relatively harmless, it can still be taxing for you to do your daily chores. Apart from the change in season, there are other factors that can cause coughing and cold. Well, cough is a common reflex action and can also occur when a foreign particle enters inside your airways. Seasonal and environmental allergies are among one of the most common causes of cold and cough. Think you could be allergic to some substances? Take an allergy test and know at the comfort of your home. Natural Home Remedies for Cough & Cold - Manage with These Ayurvedic Remedies In addition to medicines and cough syrups, you can use some simple ayurvedic home remedies for cough and cold to help you feel better. According to Ayurveda, imbalance in any of the three doshas i.e., vata, pitta, kapha can cause an ailment. In this case, an excess of Pitta and Kapha in the body causes nasal congestion and cough. To tackle this, here are some natural home remedies for cough and cold: 1. Tulsi In Ayurveda, Tulsi is known as "Mother Medicine of Nature" and "The Queen of Herbs". Tulsi leaves help improve the individual’s ability to fight against common cold as well as cough. How it works Tulsi boosts the production of antibodies thereby preventing the onset of any infections. Tulsi has cough relieving properties. It helps soothe the airways by helping you cough out the sticky mucus. How to take Tulsi leaves Chew 4-5 tulsi leaves the first thing in the morning. You can continue taking Tulsi leaves to boost your immunity. Tulsi kadha Take a few tulsi leaves. Wash it well. Boil water in a pan, add the tulsi leaves. To it, add 1 teaspoon of grated ginger and 5-6 peppercorns. Boil the mixture for at least 10 minutes. Finally, add a pinch of black salt and squeeze ½ lemon to it. Let it stand for 1 minute. Strain and drink it warm. Tulsi Tea Add fresh tulsi leaves to 1½ cups of water. Boil on a medium flame for 10 minutes. Strain the water using a strainer. Add lemon juice and mix well. Drink warm to get relief from cough and cold. 2. Honey With loads of antimicrobial properties, honey is not only heavenly for your taste buds but also helps ease sore throat. It is an effective cough suppressant. How it works Honey provides relief from chest congestion by loosening thick mucus and helping you to cough it out. This helps reduce wet cough. How to take Take a teaspoonful of honey before going to bed at night to reduce the severity of cough. Continue till you do not get relief from cough. Honey in Ginger Juice Take 1 teaspoon honey. Add 1 teaspoon of ginger juice and 1 pinch of black pepper. Take once in the morning and once before going to bed at night to get relief from a sore throat and cough. Honey is a miracle of nature which not only aids in improving digestion but boosting your metabolism also. Keep a check on your overall health with a comprehensive full body check-up. 3. Mulethi Mulethi or Licorice, also known as “Sweet wood”, is an effective Ayurvedic herb for cough. Mulethi powder is useful in managing sore throat, cough and excessive production of mucus in the airway. How it works Mulethi has expectorant property. It thins and loosens the mucus inside the airways. This eases coughing and reduces congestion. How to take Mulethi water Take 1 teaspoon Mulethi powder and add to 1 glass of warm water. Drink this twice a day. Mulethi tea Take 1 small piece of Mulethi root and add it to boiling water. Add grated ginger and let it simmer for around 5 minutes. Add a tea bag and drink this tea twice a day. Mulethi kadha Take 1/4 teaspoon mulethi powder, a pinch of cinnamon powder, black pepper powder and few tulsi leaves. Add to 1 cup of boiling water. Simmer for 5 minutes. Transfer to a cup and add 1 teaspoon honey to it. Drink this kadha twice a day. 4. Pippali Pippali is an effective herb in managing cough and cold. Studies state that it gives relief from headache and congestion associated with common cold. How it works Pippali loosens mucus and helps to cough it out, thus allowing the patient to breathe freely. This is due to its expectorant property. How to take Pippali Churna Take a pinch of pippali churna. Swallow it with 1 teaspoon honey. Repeat 1-2 times a day and continue till cold and cough subsides. 5. Sonth Dry ginger popularly known as sonth or sukku or soonth is one of the main ingredients of herbal cough syrups. Sonth, when taken with honey, acts as a soothing remedy for cough and cold. How it works Sonth contains certain molecules that have anti-inflammatory properties. This helps reduce sore throat. How to take Sonth with honey Take 1/4 teaspoon sonth and add to 1 teaspoon honey. Mix well and take it twice a day for at least 3 days. Sonth Goli Take 2-3 tbsp of desi ghee in a pan. Keep the flame low. Add 2-3 teaspoon jaggery powder and let it melt. To this add 2-3 tbsp sonth powder. Mix well. Allow it to cool. Shape into bite-sized balls. You can take 1 goli twice a day. 6. Cinnamon This woody aromatic spice is loaded with many health benefits and one of them is relief from cold and cough. It not only gives relief from common cold but is also great for a sore throat. How it works Cinnamon is known to have antiviral property. This helps fight against the virus causing common cold. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that help give relief from a sore throat. How to take Cinnamon tea Make your regular cup of black tea. Add a pinch of cinnamon powder to it. Drink it 2-3 times a day. Cinnamon with honey Take 1 teaspoon honey and add 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder. Mix and take it twice a day for at least 3 days. 7. Giloy Giloy, also known as Amrita or Guduchi in Hindi, has heart-shaped leaves that resemble betel leaves. It helps manage cold and cough caused due to allergic reactions to pollution, smoke or pollen. It also helps to manage cold and tonsillitis. It is also the most effective herb to boost immunity. How it works Giloy has good anti-inflammatory property. This helps reduce frequent cough as well as a sore throat. How to take Giloy juice Take two teaspoons of Giloy juice with warm water on an empty stomach in the morning. Giloy tablet Alternatively you can also take 1 Giloy tablet with warm water in the morning. You can buy Giloy juice or tablet from any Ayurvedic store or buy online. Quick Tips to Keep Distance from Cold and Cough Wash your hands properly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds to prevent the spread of cold viruses. Avoid touching your face, eyes, nose. Sanitize your hands with alcohol-based hand gels after touching contaminated surfaces at work-place like door-knobs, mouse, chair handles, etc. Keep a distance of 6 feet from people who are suffering from cold and cough. Wear a mask whenever you step outside the house or whenever you come in contact with people you don’t live with. Increase your water intake and have hot tea and liquids. Do steam inhalation by adding 1-2 drops of eucalyptus oil in a bowl of hot water. Repeat 2-3 times a day to get relief from a stuffy nose. Strengthen your immune system by taking a balanced diet rich in vitamin C food. Lastly, indulge in some form of exercise or yoga to keep yourself active. So which ayurvedic home remedy have you tried to get relief from cough and cold?