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3 Terrible Illnesses and How to Treat Them

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By Jordan Brandon

There are many illnesses that people characterize as terrible. The individuals who suffer from them would certainly agree with that assessment. Three of these diseases are herpes, glaucoma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder or COPD. These three medical conditions are different when it comes to their causes, symptoms and the treatments available, but they share two features. Each is a common illness that affects millions of people. In addition, each can have a devastating impact on the lives of the people who are affected by them.

Herpes Simplex Virus
Herpes is a prevalent sexually transmitted disease. It is actually a collection of over 70 viruses, of which the most common is HSV-1. Herpes can also be transmitted through contact with open sores. The virus can live inside the body for years with no symptoms. When there is an outbreak, it is in the form of cold sores on or inside the mouth. Genital herpes refers to blisters or ulcers that appear in the genital area. Cold sores can be painful and produce redness and a burning sensation. They are also embarrassing because they are highly visible. Ongoing research offers hope of a herpes cure, but until then treating the symptoms is your best bet.

Herpes symptoms can be treated or prevented from occurring. Medical treatment generally consists of seven to 10 days of antiviral medications, followed by intermittent or ongoing antiviral drugs as required.

Natural methods of controlling cold sores can also be effective. A diet rich in lean poultry, fish, legumes and vegetables boosts the immune system and alleviates symptoms. Red and orange vegetables that are rich in antioxidants and vitamin C are best. Fish are a good source of Omega-3, which also strengthens the immune system. Dietary supplements of zinc, Vitamin C, B complex vitamins and L-lysine may be effective. Essential oils like clove, tea tree and myrrh oil are other natural remedies.

Glaucoma
Glaucoma is an eye condition in which excess fluid accumulates in the eyes and causes the pressure to rise. This can destroy a person's sight because the pressure damages the optic nerves. The most common form is open angle glaucoma. Typically, there are no symptoms until the optic nerve has been so badly damaged that a person develops blind spots in his or her vision. A second type, called angle closure glaucoma, does produce symptoms once it reaches an advanced stage. The individual may see a halo or rainbow effect,. Vision may be blurred and a person may experience eye pain and headaches.

Treatment for glaucoma may be in the form of eye drops, laser therapy or conventional surgery. Eye drops are effective in reducing eye pressure in many cases. If drops are not entirely effective, an ophthalmologist will try laser therapy. One approach is to modify the natural drainage opening in the eye so it works properly. A second method creates a tiny hole in the eye to relieve the pressure. In severe cases, conventional surgery is used. Two approaches are to open up the normal drainage channel or to make a small flap that will open and let excess fluid escape. In a third method, a physical drainage device is implanted in the eye.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder
COPD occurs when the tissues and mucous membranes are damaged. This leads to emphysema and chronic bronchitis. There is no cure, but treatment is possible. People with COPD experience difficulty breathing. This results in severe limitations on physical activities. COPD is one of the leading causes of death in the United States.

Medications are used to treat COPD symptoms. These drugs relieve inflammation and reduce congestion. In advanced cases, a person may require oxygen on a regular basis. The main thrust of COPD treatment is making lifestyle changes to manage the disease. Exercise and breathing therapy help to improve overall health and maximize remaining lung function. Smoking cessation is a top priority. In addition, following a healthy diet and staying hydrated help minimize symptoms

Herpes, glaucoma and COPD are serious medical disorders. They can force a person to abandon social relationships, restrict activity and stop working. However, all three can be treated or managed, so the individual can continue to enjoy life.

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