Causes, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of asthma

A chronic respiratory disorder, asthma causes narrowing and swelling of the airways in the lungs due to the entry of allergens or irritants in the system. Therefore, the body reacts by producing excessive mucus which further leads to the onset of symptoms like coughing, chest tightness or pain, difficulty breathing, and wheezing. The effects of asthma differ from patient to patient. For some, the condition might be mild, whereas for others it could be severe, affecting the quality of life. Currently, doctors categorize asthma signs and symptoms into four categories, i.e., mild intermittent, mild persistent, moderate persistent, and severe persistent.

Researchers aren’t sure what exactly prompts the asthmatic condition, however, they believe that it could be a combination of hereditary and environmental factors. Moreover, the triggers for an asthmatic attack are different for everyone. Here are some of the common ones –

  • Allergens like dust, pollen, spores, or pet dander
  • Exercise or physical exertion
  • Cold air
  • Common cold
  • Pollutants and irritants such as chemicals, gas, or smoke
  • Certain types of medications like aspirin, ibuprofen or beta blockers
  • Chronic stress
  • Preservatives and sulfites added to food products
  • GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease)

The pulmonologist will conduct a physical exam and inquire about your symptoms to rule out the possibility of other respiratory conditions. Along with these tests, he or she will also recommend tests like spirometry and peak flow to determine the amount of air that moves in and out of your lungs. Based on the results, they might also ask you to undergo additional diagnostic tests such as methacholine challenge, imaging tests, sputum eosinophils, allergy testing, nitric oxide test, and provocative testing for diagnosing asthma.

Treatment and prevention
Depending on the type and severity of the asthmatic symptoms a pulmonologist might prescribe a combination of drugs which might comprise –

  • Long-term asthma medications like inhaled corticosteroids, combination inhalers, beta blockers and leukotriene modifiers.
  • Rescue or quick-relief medicines such as short-acting beta agonists, oral or intravenous corticosteroids.

Bronchial thermoplasty can be advised to alleviate severe asthmatic symptoms.

Prevention remedies could include making some healthy lifestyle changes like getting regular exercises, maintaining a healthy weight, and managing GERD symptoms. You can diminish the chances of asthmatic attack by –

  • Cleaning your home at least once a week to prevent mold spores and dust mites
  • Using air conditioning at home
  • Installing a humidifier to prevent dry air
  • Getting your pets frequently groomed
  • Covering your nose and mouth in cold environments



5 different types of asthma

Asthma is a chronic respiratory condition which constricts and swells up the lung airways. This leads to excessive production of mucus and sets off symptoms like chest discomfort, shortness of breath, wheezing and coughing. Over 25 million people in the country which includes both, children and adults, suffer from this condition. However, the intensity of the symptoms varies across patients. Diagnosing asthma at times can get tricky as it emerges because of distinctive triggers. Understanding every type of asthma can help you adopt the right treatment and measures to keep the symptoms in check. Read further to know more about different types of asthma.

  • Allergic asthma
    Commonly, an asthma attack triggers when allergens like spores, mold, pollen, or pet dander enter the system and cause inflammation in the lungs. On occasions, even food allergies related to dairy products, yeast or gluten can cause asthma.
  • Exercise-induced asthma
    This form of asthma occurs due to physical exertion or exercise. Individuals with asthma might experience symptoms after working out. However, numerous people including athletes can develop this condition only while they are exercising.
  • Cough-induced asthma
    This type of asthma is rather problematic to diagnose as it mimics symptoms of other health conditions such as post-nasal drip caused by hay fever, chronic bronchitis or sinus. At times severe coughing can be the only symptom due to which it can go underdiagnosed and undertreated for a long time.
  • Occupational asthma
    Occupational asthma is described as a condition which is prompted by a specific irritant in a person’s place of work. It could either be chemicals, gases, smoke, fumes or dust. In this case, the asthmatic symptoms only arise when the patient is in such environment.
  • Nocturnal asthma
    Nighttime or nocturnal asthma is a common type of this respiratory disorder. Usually, patients with asthma have a higher possibility of experiencing symptoms like coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath during sleep. This is because asthma is strongly influenced by circadian rhythms (sleep-wake cycle).

The medical treatment depends on the type of asthma one is suffering from. Doctors could prescribe the use of drugs such as inhaled, oral or intravenous corticosteroids, long or short-acting beta blockers, leukotriene modifiers, combination inhalers and allergy medications. If the symptoms are severe then bronchial thermoplasty will be used to ease its effects.


Consumer Electronics

Popular antivirus software to buy in 2018

When it comes to buying antivirus software for personal or commercial systems, there are certain product features that make the software worth buying. On-demand malware scan, on-access malware scan, website rating, malicious URL blocking, phishing protection, behavior-based detection, and vulnerability scans are some of the key product features to look out for while buying best antivirus software available in the market.

Here is a list of trending antivirus software of 2018 available for purchase.

Kaspersky Total Security
One of the popular choices for premium antivirus software, Kaspersky Total Security PC Suite offers excellent malware protection with minimum impact on the system performance while carrying out background tasks. Additional features like webcam protection, file encryption, two-way firewall, special protection for ransomware, antitheft protection, and a virtual keyboard make this antivirus is a good investment for around $49.99 for one copy.

Bitdefender Total Security
Bitdefender is a great alternative to Kaspersky’s Premium PC suite that offers a lighter system load and a powerful malware protection engine. It also features everything that is included with Kaspersky Antivirus Software. However, Bitdefender is a slightly high-priced variant with one copy of PC or laptop protection costing approximately $59.

Norton Security Premium
The premium security version boasts a few additional tools along with all the basic functionalities offered by Kaspersky and Bitdefender. Norton Security Premium also has a lighter system load compared to its predecessors with background tasks that do not affect the system performance. Parental controls, backup protection, and 25GB of online storage are some of the additional features offered by Norton Security Premium for the price of around $59.

McAfee Total Protection
McAfee Antivirus Software offers a single license that covers Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS platforms. Additional features include a file shredder, network scanner, a file encryption feature for secure transfer, and True Key password manager. However, McAfee has a higher system load performance and does not support secure browser and anti-theft protection. Moreover, in comparison to other popular options, it is priced for a hefty price of approximately $59.99.

Other choices for antivirus protection include Webroot Secure Anywhere Antivirus, Avast Pro Antivirus, ESET NOD32 Antivirus, F-Secure Antivirus, and Trend Micro Antivirus Security.


Home and Garden

Safety concerns you should consider while buying kids toys

The definition of what can be deemed safe when it comes to buying kids’ toys from the market will entirely depend on the type of the toy, and more importantly, if you are buying it for a boy or a girl. Although toy manufacturing companies adhere to safety norms set by international standards, it is your duty to ensure your child’s safety.

Toys form an important part of your kid’s childhood. Kids’ toys are designed to promote cerebral development and growth through engagement and activity. But nowadays, toy manufacturers are cutting corners to make more profits by using cheap and substitute materials that can be potentially harmful.

Safety concerns to be taken into account while buying kids’ toys

  • Ensure that the toys are made out of non-toxic and lead-free materials as children have a habit of putting toys in their mouth, thereby increasing the chances of ingesting harmful chemicals
  • Always buy from brands that adhere to international safety standards for making kids toys
  • You should buy toys that are age-appropriate, which means you cannot expect a four-year-old child to appreciate a Nintendo Game Boy that has been designed for pre-teen enjoyment
  • If you are buying toys for infants and toddlers, ensure that they are big in size and there is no risk of accidentally swallowing the pieces
  • Avoid buying tiny marbles, coins, and balls that can get lodged in the throat accidentally
  • If you are buying riding toys for kids like walkers, rocking horses, and wagons, ensure that there is a harness or a safety strap to secure your child in a seated or standing position
  • Check if the toys can manage the weight of your child and withstand impact to a certain degree
  • Battery-operated toys must have secure cases that cannot be opened by children

As a parent, it is also your duty to report unsafe toys that can be potentially dangerous and cause an injury. Contact the hotline number available on the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) website to report unsafe toys and details about the manufacturer. The CPSC is a government platform where information about product recalls and the reason behind products being recalled is available for your reference. It is a good reference source to ensure you don’t end up buying kids’ toys that are deemed unsafe by the CPSC.


Consumer Electronics

Things to consider when buying antivirus software

Malware is one of the biggest security and risk concerns when it comes to computing systems. Malicious software can target computers that don’t have antivirus software installed to cripple the system. It is very common for malware developers to target Windows and Android platforms due to its open-ended configuration.

Today, there are certain types of malware that have been developed to cripple even close-ended iOS systems, making it absolutely necessary for you to opt for antivirus software to protect the system and data.

Here are a few things you should look out for when deciding on the type of antivirus software you wish to buy.

Free versus paid systems
Although popular versions of antivirus software are available for free downloads, it is still advisable to buy premium software. The cost may be a significant expense, but it is still a prudent investment for the long run. Premium antivirus software will be ad-free with technical support and security features to protect user data. The software will also ensure there are no information leaks to third-party groups.

Most antivirus software is designed for universal compatibility across Windows and Android platforms. Very few antivirus software has been developed for Apple systems as the system is close-ended and does not allow for modifications to be made to the core interface.

Light systems load
Antivirus software consumes a lot of power and depends on more system memory; this can slow down other tasks. Ensure that you buy the antivirus software after taking into account your system configuration and also the minimum system requirements made mandatory for the antivirus.

High malware detection rate
The antivirus software should be able to detect threats effectively and take immediate action with certain administrator privileges that have been authorized by the system. The software you use must be able to identify new and old types of malware threats and also stop it from getting past the firewall.

User-friendly interface
The user interface of any premium antivirus software must be easy to understand and effortless to use. When you are paying top dollar to protect your systems and data, the last thing you would want to deal with is a complicated user interface. Some premium antivirus software also provide a customizable user interface that can be modified according to your requirements.


Home and Garden

3 things to consider before buying pallet containers

The entire process of logistics and shipment of goods include multiple steps such as getting the right container type, size of the container, selection of pallet, and the methods of shipping of goods. Maximizing the container space is a must and as a shipper, you do not want to go overboard when it comes to buying extra pallet containers. It is always recommended to use the already available pallet containers and get the most out of the investment and not spend extra on buying the containers. But if you are wondering which vital things are to be considered while buying pallet containers for your business, here is a list of things you should keep handy.

Choosing the right size of pallet containers
Knowing the correct size of pallet containers is crucial so that you do not end up buying more. One of the benefits of buying the right container size is the reduced transport costs and well-organized handling of goods. The International Organization of Standardization (ISO) has agreed upon six dimensions of the pallet and the ones approved in North America are 1016x1219mm and 1067x1067mm. Multiple industries use their respective pallet size in the country. For instance, grocery, dairy, and automotive use the pallet sizes of 1016x1219mm, 1016x1016mm, and 1219x1143mm respectively. So, depending on dimensions of pallets, one must choose a pallet container.

Picking the right material
Choosing the right pallet container for your business can get daunting as you may find it tough to decide on which make or material should be picked. While choosing a pallet container, you should know that there are wooden and heavy-duty plastic pallet containers. Wooden ones are either made using soft or hardwood and can be a durable option. Plastic pallet containers are moisture-resistant and weather-resistant, making these a suitable option for numerous businesses.

Know where to find the right pick
The availability of wide-ranging options of websites to choose pallet containers makes it difficult to zero in on one website. It is also recommended to research thoroughly about different types of pallet containers and choose the one that suits the specific needs of your business. Some of the websites where you can purchase pallet containers are eBay, One Way Solutions, Cisco-Eagle, to name a few.



Steps to get your eyeshadow technique right

Eyeshadow can be one of the most fun parts of your eye makeup. More so when you know the right techniques to apply the eyeshadow. It is important to get the techniques right as eyeshadows can actually enhance the look of your eyes.

If you are not a pro at applying eyeshadows, you can start with getting the basics right by following some basics steps.

The first step in getting the eyeshadow application right is by understanding the placement of different shades of the eyeshadow. Start by dividing your eyelid into three parts. Each part will have a different shade of the eyeshadow. The inner corner of the eyelid should get the lightest shade. This will brighten up your eyes. The middle section of your eyelids should get the medium shade and the outer section/corner of your eyelid should get the darkest eyeshadow shade.

While you are applying the eyeshadows, apply the lightest shade first, medium shade second, and darkest shade last. Once you have applied all the shades to the lid, blend them all well. Blending them well is important as otherwise, the eyeshadow will give your eyes an abrupt look.

This is one of the most basic and easiest eyeshadow techniques that can transform the look of your eyes. Which shade gets more intensity ideally depends on your preference. However, you can make the medium shade to cover the most of your eyelid.

If you are not sure which shade to use in a majority on your eyelid, you can refer to eyeshadow makeup tutorials on the Internet to get a preference. You can try a different look using this eyeshadow technique to discover the look you like the best.

When you blend the eyeshadow colors, make sure you use a clear brush with no previous residue of any other eyeshadow. It is important to have a clear brush as it will not give out the wrong shade. You can finish your eye makeup look by adding a stroke of eyeliner. Again, the intensity of the eyeliner should be as per your preference. If you are not sure about the liner, start by applying a thin layer and gradually make it think as per the look you desire.



5 best cat litter boxes worth your money

You know how picky cats are about everything if you own one. It is important to choose the right litter box for your cat so you don’t have to worry about the mess. Your cat’s bathroom habits are not only influenced by the type of cat litter box but also the shape, size, and location of the cat litter box. Here are some of the best cat litter boxes that are worth every penny.

  • The CatGenie Self-Washing and Flushing litter box
    This cat litter box is your savior as with this, you will never have to touch or change litter again. However, it is more expensive compared to other cat litter boxes. This cat litter box is hands-free, easy to dispose of and clean the litter. You simply have to connect the cat litter box to a cold-water line in your bathroom or laundry room.
  • ecoFLEX Litter Loo
    A cat litter box that your guests will never even realize that it’s one is the ecoFLEX Litter Loo. The enclosure is easy to clean and helps keep the litter hidden in the box. Also, you can use the litter box as an additional storage surface for your laundry room or bathroom.
  • Nature’s Miracle Disposable Litter Boxes
    A hassle-free way to keep the cat litter boxes clean and fresh is to use the Nature’s Miracle Disposable Litter Boxes. These litter boxes can be used both as a cat litter box or even a cat litter box liner. These are mainly available in three sizes, small, regular, and jumbo. The best part is that these boxes are completely disposable, which makes them ideal for everyday use as well as traveling.
  • ScoopFree Self-Cleaning Litter Box
    If you need an automated litter box that is not very expensive, then ScoopFree Self-Cleaning Litter Box is one of the best choices. This is a self-cleaning cat litter box that will scoop the waste every day instead of you doing all the work. However, you only have to remove and replace the disposable tray after a few weeks.
  • Modkat Litter Box Kit
    Modkat Litter Box Kit is one of the most stylish and sleek cat litter boxes. The modern designs of this cat litter box are available in five different colors. The dimensions of the cat litter box are only about 16″ x 16″ x 15″, and hence, it barely occupies any floor space.


Home and Garden

Know about the different types of solar panels

There can be more than just one use of solar power systems. Solar power systems are made using solar panels; they are used to generate electricity and heat. It is possible to generate your own electricity and store it to convert it into heat energy by using solar panels. There is no use of fossil fuels in the process of generating electricity through solar power systems. This makes solar energy one of the best renewable sources of electricity. Solar panels can be installed at your home, and to do that, it is important to know the types they are available in.

You can get the solar panels installed on the roof of your house. Solar panels help save a lot of money on your energy bills. The solar panels are divided into three different types based on their requirement for large or small-scale installation and cost. The three types of solar panels are monocrystalline silicon solar panels, polycrystalline silicon solar panels, and thin-film solar panels.

Monocrystalline silicon solar panels
These are also known as single crystal silicon solar panels. They are efficient when it comes to electricity generation and are one of the expensive solar panels. They are made of monocrystalline solar cells which are round in shape and are obtained from a single silicon crystal.

These solar panels are long-lasting; they last for over 25 years. There is approximately 16% electric rate return from monocrystalline silicon panels. There is not much space required for these solar panels. This makes monocrystalline solar panels one of the most efficient types of solar panels.

Polycrystalline silicon solar panels
Multicrystalline silicon solar panels is another name for polycrystalline silicon solar panels. There are made from silicon crystals cells and by pouring hot silicon over them to create a mold so that a panel is formed. Though these solar panels generate less electricity as compared to monocrystalline silicon solar panels, they do require less space for installation.

These solar panels also last for over 25 years. The electricity generated is approximately 13%, and it is less expensive as compared to the monocrystalline silicon solar panels.

Thin-film solar panels
Thin-film solar panels are the most affordable type of solar panels as they are made from steel or glass with a fine layer of non-crystalline or amorphous silicon or copper indium. Since they are cheaper than the previous two types of solar panels, they are comparatively less efficient.

The electricity return rate is approximately 11%. They are easy to use as they are light and flexible. They are, however, not as durable as the other two types of solar panels and only last for a few years.

You can do a thorough research on solar energy and solar panels and get it installed in your home and contribute to a greener tomorrow.



5 essential tips to take care of your cosmetics

Cosmetics have become an integral part of everyone’s life. Cosmetics not only enhance one’s beauty but also make them feel confident about their appearance. There is a wide range of cosmetics to choose from, each claiming that it’s better than the other. Once you like a cosmetic brand and it blends easily with your skin without causing allergies, you know you that you have found a reliable cosmetic brand to stick to. Buying the right cosmetics is an easy task, but taking care of these cosmetics is difficult. Here are some tips to take care of your cosmetics and ensure that they last longer.

  • Every cosmetic item that you will ever purchase will have instructions pertaining to its usage and storage. People mostly disregard these instructions, and the repercussions of this are that the cosmetics don’t last until its destinated date. So, ensure that you store your cosmetics in a cool, dry environment and not where they are exposed to warm, damp air.
  • Irrespective of how much you love your sibling or your best friend, do not share your cosmetics with them unless it is a body lotion or perfume. Sharing of eyeliners, mascara, Kohl, or lipsticks, can be harmful to your skin and eyes. If you share your eyeliner or mascara, you will be trading bacteria back and forth, and if it results in itchy eyes, your cosmetics are not to be blamed. So, keep your cosmetics to yourself.
  • If the foundation is a part of your dressing table ritual, pour it out on a palette and apply it with the brush. Sticking a brush into the bottle can contaminate it, and your foundation won’t last long. Remember, if your foundation isn’t right, the entire makeup will go wrong.
  • Lipsticks are the quintessential gamechanger; if you feel that your face looks dull, you apply a lipstick and you are a completely different person. However, your lipsticks are such cosmetics that need extra care. If it’s hot outside, you need to keep it in the fridge. If it has lost its creamy texture, it’s time to toss it in the dustbin.
  • If your cosmetics smell weird or are past their expiry date, throw them away since expired cosmetics have high levels of bacterial contamination. However, cosmetics can go bad before the expiry date due to improper storage or improper use.