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Caution to the wind: There are illnesses caused by long exposure to air conditioning and electric fans, doctors say

Caution to the wind: There are illnesses caused by long exposure to air conditioning and electric fans, doctors say

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  • Long exposure to air conditioning and electric fans may cause sickness, doctors say
  • Unkempt aircons and electric fans may become a breeding ground for bacteria, fungi, and dust mites that may cause infection, allergies, or asthma
  • Doctors advise to always keep these cooling devices clean and to naturally sweat off the heat in order to cool down the body

As the start of summer officially kicks in this month of April, many Filipinos will surely cook up ways to relieve themselves off the heat—and one sure way is to cool down with the use of air conditioning or staying in front of an electric fan.

But one doctor warns of its negative effects that when a person is exposed to it for prolonged moments, especially from the dirt that can be found in said electrical devices.

Speaking in ABS-CBN’s medical television program Salamat Dok, Dr. Ma. Encarnita Limpin said it is better for the public to ensure that clean air comes from the aircon they use. Otherwise, “polluted” air can cause infection and worse, pneumonia.

May high risk na mag-spread ng infection kasi may mga bacteria na nagta-thrive doon sa mga aircon na nagko-cause ng mga atypical pneumonia,” remarked Limpin.

In a Huffington Post contributor article back in 2016, Dr. Eva Selhub explained that when air conditioners are not cleaned thoroughly and filters are not changed, the electrical device becomes a breeding ground for all kinds of bacteria and fungi.

“These systems especially can be home to black mold, as moisture can build up in the coils and ducts from condensation that forms when the cool air passes through. When these microorganisms go air-borne, they can lead to a multitude of breathing problems, including a potentially fatal infectious pneumonia, Legionnaire’s disease, caused by the bacterium Legionella pneumophila,” wrote Selhub.

Dr. Limpin also advised Filipinos to clean their electric fans in order to remove dust and house dust mites that may cause allergies and asthma.

Nandiyan na ‘yong mga alikabok na nalalanghap mo rin na puwedeng magkaroon ng irritation sa daanan ng paghinga mo,” added Limpin.

Long exposure to air conditioning and then going out in the blazing heat is also bad for one’s health.

Talagang makakasama lalo doon sa mga taong may mga hika and ang kanilang trigger ng hika nila ay extremes of temperature,” said the doctor. She also expressed that long exposure to cold can cause severe dryness to a person’s skin.

She pointed out that there is no harm in sweating off the heat according to the doctor, as it helps the body cool down in a hot area.

Iyong init sa labas, doon sa environment na ginagalawan natin, magre-reflect din ‘yan doon sa loob ng ating katawan, ‘yong pagpapawisMag-cool down ‘yong katawan, ‘yong body temperature natin,” explained Limpin.

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Bouts of Hypnic Jerk while sleeping: Is it safe or not?

Bouts of Hypnic Jerk while sleeping: Is it safe or not?

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  • Hypnagogic jerk is the state where an involuntary muscle spasm occurs while a person is drifting off to sleep
  • A doctor clarified that Hypnagogic Jerk, popularly known as Hypnic Jerk, is not dangerous
  • Fear of sleeping due to the feeling of falling can cause insomnia, or trouble conditions in sleeping

Have you experienced the feeling of falling when you are sleeping?

Sometimes we wonder why we do experience the feeling of falling when we are asleep and sometimes it scares us from going back to sleep.

A sleep medicine specialist Dr. Rodolfo Dizon said, on the ABS-CBN program Salamat Dok, that this is the usual experience of sleeping called Hypnic Jerk or Hypnagogic Jerk. It is an involuntary muscle spasm that occurs as a person is drifting off to sleep. The phenomenon is named in reference to the hypnagogic state — the transitional period between wakefulness and sleep.

“Nararamdaman natin kadalasan ‘yong parang nahuhulog tayo o parang may humihila sa paa,” Dizon said.

“Maaaring nagko-contract ‘yong isang part ng muslce, biglaan, o ‘yong pag-urong ng kalamnan.”

According to the doctor the person who could experience Hypnic Jerk are those who lack sleep, are stressed or fatigued, and those having excessive intakes of caffeine. It usually happens on the first 30 minutes of sleeping.

“Yong hypnic jerk kasi nangyayari sa pasimula ng tulog,” Dizon added.

He also clarified that Hypnic Jerk is not dangerous, though there is a possibility that an individual would have fear of sleeping; due to the feeling of falling that can cause insomnia, or trouble conditions in sleeping.

“Maaaring maging isang trigger para magkaroon ng insomnia ‘yong isang tao dahil sa takot niyang matulog,” he said.

But then, there are solutions to avoid or manage the the said state or condition by simply following the advice of an expert.

According to the founder of No Sleepless Nights, Ethan Green, he has recommended some advice that might help a person to manage Hypnic Jerk. First, it is to simply cut down on alcohol and caffeine intake especially in the evening in order to help manage Hypnic Jerk, as well as to reduce heavy exercises.

To help reduce muscle and nerve spasm, make sure that one has enough intake of magnesium and calcium in one’s diet. If one suffers from anxiety or stress, it is recommended that he/she has to do some simple relaxation exercises in bed.

After a busy and tiring day, one should allow rest by giving enough time to sleep, and to really sleep well.

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