I had my left eye cataract surgery done yesterday. I had put it off for a year but it did get worse and started to interfere with my night driving and to some degree with my left side peripheral vision. The procedure was not like I had expected so I thought I would tell you about it in case you may have to undergo this procedure sometime in the future. Basically, this kind of surgery was different from what I had before which is a non-surgical rhinoplasty. A non-surgical rhinoplasty is a cosmetic procedure used to refine the shape of your nose. On the other hand cataract surgery is a done to remove cataract from our eyes.

This is strictly outpatient surgery. Since you have to get home though, I suggest having your significant other or a friend drive you to and from the clinic or hospital. I suppose in a pinch you can take a taxi each way but it sure calmed me knowing that someone who cared was with me. In my case it was my Wife.

The clinic in which I had the surgery was done was The Maryland Surgery Center in Silver Spring, Maryland. Their staff was extremely polite and reassuring. They gave me a whole bunch of eye drops and started an IV. Up to this point my Wife was allowed to stay with me. As soon as an Operating Room became available, I said good bye to my wife. They rolled me into it where the Anesthesiologist explained what they would give me before and during surgery. It was a local anesthesia and I would be awake during the entire procedure. He explained I would feel no pain during the operation. That was true.

The Doctor came in next and answered any questions I had. I had very few questions at this time. The surgery itself was not bad at all. I would have thought that I would pull away from anything touching my eyeball but this was not the case. They must use numbing drops and then there is an IV which I think just clams you down. I was never unconscious nor high from the anesthesia. I never saw what they are doing because they cover the other eye and shine a bright light in the one they are operating on.

The procedure uses no stitches at all. The whole operation is done using microscopic devices which breaks up the foggy part of the old lens and sucks it up. The lower part of the old lens remains and a plastic implant is inserted. It must be soft plastic rolled up and put in the same tiny opening as the original lens was removed. It is then moved into place.

Fifteen minutes later the operation was completed. The Nurse put a clear, plastic shield over the eye so you won’t rub it. She taped it firmly into position. It felt like an eyelash was had fallen in my eye. That was annoying but otherwise I felt no post operative pain other than a minor headache which was handled by 2 Tylenol. Today, it felt somewhat better because the Doctor took the shield off. I still have to wear it at night for a week. For the most part you can see pretty well as soon as the operation is over. It is not as good as the vision in my good eye but the Doctor says it takes a week for everything to heal. Then you can see a major improvement 90 to 95% of the time.

This is the most minor operation I have ever had. If you have to go through this procedure do not become anxious about it. You will not be hurt and healing will be swift.

The continuing development in online experience has paved the way for the emergence of “job outsourcing” as a business strategy and a viable option for taking care of individual needs as they come knocking at the door. Online shopping no longer limits itself to physical and digital goods but has broaden its scope to “micro-services” designed to cut operational costs and save valuable time. This trend made it possible for businesses to run without the expensive burden of hiring additional employees to perform tasks that does not even require actual employee presence. It has also enabled ordinary people to find instant solutions to their needs from the comfort of their homes. The best thing is, it does not even involve spending too much of one’s hard-earned cash.

This so-called “outsourcing revolution” has changed the world’s commercial landscape forever. Micro-services sites, such as the highly trusted and most popular, provide platform for the buy and sell of small services which includes writing, graphics, advertising, marketing, research, consulting, and many other useful services that people may find amazing, not to mention others which borders between funny and bizarre. All of which starts at $5 a “gig”; the term which refers to a job or task in recent online parlance.

One good example is the task of making letters for business or personal purposes. Gone were the days of spending too many hours trying to construct the perfect letter such as those that concern job application, claims, resignation, demand, explanation, and other professional correspondence requiring specialized skill for maximum end results. Experienced freelance writers are readily available at one’s command on fiverr. Same is true with other related tasks such as article, speech, and report writing. Nowadays, tasks like conversion dollar euro is getting paid through the outsourcing revolution. This opens an opportunity for people across the globe to work and earn money at the comfort of their homes. It is also said to be a good contributor to our global  economy.

Before, business owners need to hire specialists to design their websites, advertise their products, sort their legal documents, and make their presence known online through social media marketing at very costly price tags. These are marketing and operational necessities that ensure a business’ survival in today’s internet-dependent market and all of which are available at much lesser price. Even legal consulting and other professional advising services are already being offered on a micro level as alternatives to paying large retainers and consultation fees.

On the fun side, the site does not merely lighten your work load and save you money. Oblivious to some, there are other services which could put a smile on one’s face and add colour to life. Gigs such as funny videos of someone singing birthday songs in outrageous costumes and accents or standing in the middle of New York’s Time Square holding a written sign of any message you want. From the professional to the hilarious, everything is there. The greatest thing though is that one is not confined as a mere buyer. Every user, regardless of country or geographical location, is given the chance to showcase their talent and do what they love best while earning part-time income. Though it does not promise instant riches, making it a main source of income is not far from possible. Many of the top-rated sellers earn $100 to $500 dollars a day due to their high customer rating earned through prompt delivery of unique and quality gigs. With hard work, dedication, and sincerity, it may well be a life-changing journey.

Camping can be a lot of fun for the entire family. Unfortunately it can also be a very miserable experience if proper care is not taken to plan properly to ensure a memorable experience. There are many things that can lead to a poor camping experience. Hopefully this article will help you avoid some of the pitfalls and have a wonderful experience.

First you will want to consider the type of camping you would like to experience. This could range from camping in a modern state of the art recreational vehicle or RV to an extended low impact backpacking trip. Generally speaking, when you are first exploring the idea of camping, you will want to experience camping in such a matter that it is easy to quickly return to civilization should the need arise.

Thought should be given to the reason that you are wishing to go camping. Is camping part of the trip, simply a low cost form of lodging while other activities are pursued, or is camping the vacation. Some good places to camp are local state or national parks. National forests may also provide camping facilities, as well as private camp grounds. If a person is planning for the camping, then the selection of the best stargazing tents should be done. The place will be selected near the national parks for the camping. The spending of the vacations will be excellent in the cabin tents. The planning of the trip will be beneficial for the family members. 

Depending on the type of camping you wish to experience, you will need various equipment. This can be very basic equipment for camping at a state park during the summer months for example, or highly specialized and expensive equipment that would be necessary for a low impact winter backpacking trip. Generally speaking, you don’t want to go out and spend a lot of cash on high tech equipment until you are an established camper and specialized equipment is necessary for more extreme adventures. This is for several reasons. First of all, camping is not for everyone, and you don’t want to spend a great deal of your hard earned money on equipment that may not see extended use. Also, although camping equipment that can last for years if it is properly cared for still wears out with use. Why purchase expensive equipment designed for hard core camping adventures when first starting out that will be becoming old and need replaced by the time this specialized equipment becomes necessary.

When planning a camping trip for a family, it is important to evaluate the experience level of the youngest or most inexperienced member that will be going along. Camping is a wonderful experience, but it too big of an adventure is attempted too early in one’s camping career, then a miserable time can be had and that can mean a loss of desire to camp. Start small by planning a trip to a local campground or state park. Look on line for basic equipment lists and purchase a few low cost items. When trying this type of camping, many regular household items can be used as is, or adapted for camping. This includes blankets for sleeping, as well as cooking utensils. One thing that is important to remember about cooking utensils however, normal pots designed for stove top cooking usually have plastic handles that will melt in a fire.

As you become more experienced at camping, don’t be afraid to occasionally try a more extreme adventure to experience new things. Try not to get in over your head however as camping can be very dangerous it you are not prepared.

Some helpful tips for beginning camping trips:

* Never burn garbage in a campfire or cooking fire. Burning garbage can release toxic chemicals that can be dangerous to ingest or inhale.

* Remember, there are animals in nature. Store your food properly as it is not good for animals to become dependant on humans for food.

* Be conscious of the environment and don’t litter. If you pack it in, pack it out and dispose of it properly.

After trying many different foot care products, the Ped Egg that is endorsed by the best Podiatrists in Bergen County, NJ was the most effective one I have come across yet. Attempting to scrub away with the sharp metal teeth, or sandpaper on a stick may take more effort than anticipated making a gross, white, flaky mess if not done over a trash can, and can be time-consuming as well. With the Ped Egg I have found it is not only more efficient but it gets the job done in a quarter of the time, leaving your feet soft and smooth. This foot file that you may have seen advertised on television is in millions of households today, and unlike several television advertisements it actually does what they say. You can purchase the Ped Egg today online or in some stores for usually around ten dollars.

The Ped Egg will work best if you read and follow the directions. Only ever use on clean, dry feet. Wet feet can cause the product to cause harm. Also go gently and try not to overdo it, when your feet feel smooth do not keep using it, you can make your feet a little tender. When you are done the best thing is to wipe your feet off and use a foot cream or lotion on afterward, and possibly even put on heavy cream or lotion then wrap your feet in socks to let it absorb for superb soft feet.

Most everyone I have heard from says only great things about the Ped Egg and how nothing else worked for them, few have complaints, and most didn’t read the directions. You can also read several reviews, most of which are very positive. The only other negative thing I have found other the sensitivity and discomfort of really overdoing it, would be if you do not empty the Ped Egg after each use or you hold it upside-down the skin shavings can fall out on the floor.

You can purchase replacement blades for around $3.00, also buffing pads can be purchased as well. If you are in an area where you have difficulty finding the replacements, the internet maybe your best option. The most affordable places to purchase the Ped Egg would be your local discount drug stores. They sell a foot cream with it for a little extra, it is just as good as any foot cream so whether you already have one or don’t want to purchase that specific one is fine.

No more than ten to fifteen minutes of rubbing this on your hard, calloused, dry feet and they will be smooth and soft. I find the best use is about once a week so that way you are not overdoing it but have constant soft feet. So if you have a foot issue that you need to smooth out this is the most recommended product out today.

Exfoliation is the most overlooked part of skincare regimes. Simultaneously, exfoliation is often the most overdone part of skincare regimes when it is finally discovered. This is why you should check out Ethos Spa. Ethos Spa focusses on providing nonsurgical aesthetic treatments that can help you in taking care of your skin easily.

What is exfoliation, anyway? Exfoliation is simply the removal of dead skin cells hanging out on the surface of the skin. Doesn’t sound like a big deal? Exfoliated skin absorbs moisturizer better, making the skin smoother. Makeup lies more smoothly against smooth skin. Smooth skin is obtained by exfoliation.

Skin will look smoother and less wrinkled when properly exfoliated. (Note that I didn’t say wrinkles will go away, just that they will look smoother.) Exfoliation can also help reduce and prevent blackheads, whiteheads, and acne. Also, sun-damaged skin will look smoother if proper exfoliation occurs along with sun protection.

Types of Exfoliants

The first, and most common type of exfoliant, is called a mechanical exfoliant. Wow, what a boring name. Mechanical.

Mechanical exfoliants are awesome, despite their less-refined appearances. In fact, most people use some type of mechanical exfoliation without even realizing it! If you shave, wax, use a washcloth or one of those bath poof thingies (and for god’s sake, if you do use a bath poof get rid of it – that’s so 1998) you are exfoliating your skin!

Now that you realize that you’re exfoliating by accident, know that it’s probably not enough. Do you see dead skin on parts of your body? (Sometimes this is called looking “ashy”.) Yeah… that’s where you need to focus. And that’s why I am here. Sure, you could just muddle through life without me. But look at where that’s got you so far!

Chemical exfoliants are more convenient than their cruder, more mechanical predecessors. Scrubbing with an exfoliant can get tricky, especially if you want big results in a hurry. Are you focusing too much on one area? Are you totally missing that area next to your ear? Chemical exfoliants are usually in a liquid, lotion, or gel base so it’s easy to tell where they are and where they are not.

Alpha Hydroxy Acid, or AHA, is perhaps the best-known chemical exfoliant you can buy over the counter. AHA is water-soluble, which means it has limited success in penetrating oilier areas of the skin. However, AHA is the chemical exfoliant of choice for those with sun-damaged skin. AHAs are sold over the counter anywhere from 2.5% to 15%, with peels available from professionals as high as 30%.

Beta Hydroxy Acid (or BHA) is a commonly used chemical exfoliant. Sometimes referred to as salicylic acid, this chemical exfoliant is known for being able to penetrate oil. BHA can come in concentrations anywhere from 0.5% to 2%. If you’re looking for a deeper exfoliation, find a licensed aesthetician who can do BHA peels with concentrations as high as 30%. Many people prefer BHAs over AHAs because salicylic acid is very closely related to aspirin (or acetylsalicylic acid to medical professionals). This makes BHAs less irritating than AHAs.

Picking the Right Exfoliant

But what does all of this mean to you? How do you pick the right exfoliant for your skin? There are several factors to consider.

Mechanical exfoliants are arguably cheaper, especially when you consider that you probably have everything you need to achieve your goals in your kitchen. But a mechanical exfoliant won’t perform as well as a chemical exfoliant if you have sun-damaged skin, excessively oily skin, acne or blemishes, or rosacea.

I recommend a home-made mechanical exfoliant once to twice a week for the body, with a daily chemical exfoliant for the face and problem areas. That means, if you have really bad acne on your arms, you’d treat your arms just like you would treat acne on your face. I know, it’s a novel concept.

First, tell me about your skin:

  1. Do you have any oily areas? If so, are any of those areas accompanied by acne, blackheads, or whiteheads? If you said yes to both questions, then try a BHA.
  1. Do you have dry areas of skin? Do you have sun damage? (Premature wrinkles, freckles that you didn’t have years ago… dare I say it… liver or “age” spots?) If so, then I recommend an AHA.
  1. Is your skin what you call “normal” and your friends call “annoyingly perfect”? Do you rarely, if ever, break out? Do you have anything at all resembling a blemish? Yeah, get a mechanical exfoliant. And don’t stand next to me, you’re making me look bad!

Now, this doesn’t mean that, because you said “yes” to question numero uno that you have to slather your entire body with a BHA. I use a BHA for my T-Zone, an AHA for the rest of my face, and a mechanical exfoliant for my body. You can spot-treat! It’s okay — I give you permission.

Mini Exfoliant Guide

You can buy a ready-made mechanical exfoliant, or you can make one of your own. For the body I recommend mixing salt with oil, or sugar with soap, depending on your skin type. If your skin is dry, go for the oil. You can use anything from cheap cooking oil to some really nice, cold-pressed olive oil. (Alternatively, use a nice, simple soap if your skin is oily. If your skin makes enough of its own oil there’s no need to add more!) Just mix the two together and rub into the skin while in the shower. The salt and/or sugar will dissolve, so the only thing you have to worry about is not slipping!

Since the face is usually more delicate than the body, you can try mixing a little bit of baking soda with liquid water. Just gently rub it in, and make sure to rinse completely.

As far as finding a reliable chemical exfoliant, I have a few tried-and-true suggestions.


  • Alpha Hydrox 10% AHA Oil-Free Formula
  • Neostrata Ultra Skin Smoothing Cream AHA
  • Neutrogena Healthy Skin Face Lotion “Night” (8%, the sensitive version is 4%)


  • Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Stress Control 3-in-1 Hydrating Acne Treatment (2% BHA)

How To Use Exfoliants

Start out using your BHA or AHA once a day. If it is too irritating, try once every other day. Still, irritating? You can try a lower concentration, or you might consult a dermatologist. Oh, and remember: it won’t do you any good to try and repair sun-damaged skin if you don’t wear sunscreen every day. Yes, that means you.

The mechanical exfoliants should be used once or twice a week, depending on your skin.

That’s… basically it for this section. It’s pretty easy.

When NOT to Exfoliate

  • You have a really bad sunburn
  • Or a really bad rash
  • Or you have road-rash, rug burn, rope burn, or any other kind of really bad abrasion injury
  • If it seems like every time you exfoliate, your skin hurts a lot
  • You exfoliated yesterday, and you want to get more of the dead skin off, but you noticed that some of the areas you scrubbed for four hours are… oozing something…

Another note of caution: Rosacea, Psoriasis, Seborrheic Dermatitis, Seborrhea, and other skin issues should be accompanied with the advice of a qualified medical professional. Last time I checked, that wasn’t me.


By now it should be readily apparent why so many women over-exfoliate. But like everything else, too much exfoliation can be a very bad thing. Drink too much water and you’ll be in the bathroom all day. Eat too many carrots and your skin will look like a faux tan gone wrong. Exfoliate too much and your skin will be raw and painful. I know, I know. Beauty is painful. But beauty shouldn’t make you look and feel worse!

One of the biggest problems many people face when trying to lose weight is being able to afford healthy food. Without a doubt, it is more affordable to eat unhealthily. That doesn’t mean you should eat unhealthy foods though. In fact, there are some foods out there that are good for you and won’t break the bank. Best of all, you don’t even have to wait for them to be on sale.


Tape measure squeezing scales to form waist

Dried Beans

You can purchase a large bag of dried beans for less than $5. The best part is, not only are dried beans less expensive than canned, but they’re healthier as well. You don’t have to deal with massive amounts of sodium or any of the fat that the company may have added to enhance the flavor. Not to mention that there’s a bean for almost any type of dish you’re preparing. If you love Mexican, grab some dried black beans. If Italian is more your style, grab some white beans for a large pot of soup. Beans are truly a versatile food staple to keep your cabinet. They make great side dishes and can even be made into a meal by themselves.

Brown Rice

A large bag of brown rice costs around $3. When shopping for brown rice, you want to make sure to avoid quick cooking rice as it has been stripped of most of its nutrients to make it easier to cook. If you want to make brown rice easier to cook, you can purchase a basic rice cooker for less than $15. As for using brown rice, the options are endless. Brown rice can be a healthy and affordable way to stretch a meal when mixed with lean meat and vegetables. If can also be tossed with vegetables and a fat free dressing to create a simple salad. You could even mix brown rice and beans with a few spices to create a wonderful meat free meal. Of course, don’t forget what a great bed it makes for other foods. Using brown rice in place of mashed potatoes is a much healthier option.

Whole Wheat Pasta

Whole wheat pasta is a much healthier option than pasta made with refined flour. It’s also came down in price over the years making it almost as affordable as regular pasta. You can usually purchase a large box of whole wheat pasta for less then $4. Like beans and brown rice, whole wheat pasta has many uses. It can be made into a quick salad, added to soups, used in casseroles or simply tossed with a low calorie sauce. Regardless of how you use whole wheat pasta, you’re adding fiber to your diet, which a great thing.

Peanut Butter

While a large jar of peanut butter can cost over $5, you have to remember that it has many servings in that one jar. A serving of peanut butter is 2 tablespoons, which means that one jar of peanut butter can get you through many meals. While you may think that peanut butter is just for sandwiches, it’s actually quite versatile in the kitchen. Peanut butter can be used to make a wonderful Thai sauce for pasta. It’s a great substitute for maple syrup on pancakes. It’s even a great way to get kids to eat their fruits and vegetables.


While many fruits can be expensive, bananas are one of those fruits that remains rather affordable. Bananas can be purchased for well under $1 per pound and have many uses in the kitchen. They can be chopped and added to the top of cereal or pancakes. The can be used in sandwiches along side peanut butter as an interesting lunch or snack option for children. Bananas can even be dipped in healthy dark chocolate and frozen as a healthy alternative to ice cream pops.

The New Jersey Center for CoolSculpting is a division of Ethos Spa in Summit New Jersey and is the perfect place for you to get regular tips for weight loss, which can be useful to pass on to other people who are dealing with weight issues.

What is the most difficult thing to accomplish in this world? Well, there are too many but today we are going to look at just one of them so as to clear the doubts of certain people regarding their choices in life.

There are only two ways to earn money through honest means- business or job and both are considered to be difficult given the present scenario as the job market is at its worst phase while there isn’t enough capital to set up a good business.

Most people choose the first option but they fail to sustain it for a longer period due to cut throat competition in the market from all sides, which does not allow rivals to tread into their territory, much less compete with them.

Prismatic Solution

3D is quite a popular technique that has been doing the rounds for a long time and even today you can see such films in theatres where the desired effect of having the objects fly across the scene and into the viewers’ face continues to draw laughs.

It might be difficult to believe but this was met with immense criticism by naysayers who were of the opinion that it might not work and would only incur losses for the makers if put into action.

However, the software experts did not feel the same way as they were confident that it would become popular and one day become a practice that would be followed all over the world.

Coming back to small business, it is too much of a risk to include the 3D factor into it because it has not been tried out before but given that business involves experimenting from time to time, there is no reason as to why this venture shouldn’t become a success.

It is a prismatic solution given and is called so due to its unique nature where you have the objects digitally enhanced so as to give it an out of the world feel that eventually grows on its viewers.

It became a regular practice in the 1990s when it became a part of film production and the aesthetic prototype involved in the process where printing became an inseparable part of industrial production where 3D technology was rampant and so much so that it did not allow anything in its place to flourish in the same way.

Printing Benefits

It might be that businessman might not have as much knowledge about 3D technique as software experts but that does not mean that they can’t open a small business around it which they can achieve easily through their shrewd business sense.

They are encouraged by the fact that 3D printing has proven to be an invaluable asset for businessmen who have seen their fortune increase manifold due to this technique whether it involves production, tooling, marketing, branding or advertising, etc. you name it and find the 3D stamp on the venture from all sides.

Therefore, let us now look at some important benefits that can be availed through 3D printing so as to make the subject clear for certain people and clear all their doubts regarding the process.

They are as follows:

  • It makes the proof of concept an easy level where you start your work on your pet project by providing campaigning techniques so as to make it a unique venture that is presentable to potential investors
  • 3D printers can be used to make your cosplay venture a success where it will provide you an advantage over other companies by boosting your addictive manufacturing process, thereby increasing the efficiency rate of the performance and completing the project at a quicker pace
  • The most essential thing for a business to sustain for a longer period is the prototyping tool where you can find various business using it to increase their chances of growth
  • 3D printers come with lower costs where you no longer have to rely on the traditional or old school methods of manufacturing
  • The disadvantage of having a small business is that the storage is quite low and it might cost you extra to have one but addictive manufacturing can help you create your own parts and increase the demand

The term weight training often gives an image of huge bulky muscles with extreme vascularity (leanness). More often than not, this is attributed to popular figureheads who were bodybuilders. That is why people who have been given this misconception tend to shy away from weight training and its awesome benefits, especially females.

Weight training myths

Myth #1: Weight training makes a person bulky. It seems that anybody who thinks they weight train will get big and bulky almost immediately. Though a plausible ambition to some, majority seem to think otherwise. The physiques of bodybuilders are the result of years of training and strict nutrition. Thinking that you will become like them overnight is simply… vain.

Females also do not have the hormone production which is responsible for growth of muscles. Testosterone is produced far more in males than females. Which means you females can relax because unless you take steroids, your physiology and biological systems will not allow you to get that big bulky look. The pre workout supplements are available for females for increasing the energy level. The doctors should allow them to take the medicine and perform the desired work. With exercise, there will be sweating, so the pills can be consumed through females for increasing the stamina with a healthy diet. 

Myth #2: Light weight and high reps make you look tone. This is probably one of the most popular beliefs almost all females are guilty of. First of all, the tone look you are looking for is simply a low percentage of body-fat. Training has almost nothing to do with it, rather nutrition has. With good nutrition and training, you will lose fat and your body will feel more toned and shapely.

In fact, training heavy for low reps can actually help you get more toned. You see, being tone is a combination of low body-fat and the tension your muscles have while at rest. By training with heavy weights, you will have more neuro-muscular tension, thus, the better tension your muscles have at rest.

Myth #3: Cardio is the only way to get thin. Do not listen to anyone who tells you that endless cardio will and is the only thing to get you thin. Doing too much cardio is actually counter-productive. It raises cortisol levels and adrenal fatigue. This in turns add stress to you and inhibits your body’s ability to lose fat and add lean muscle.

Myth #4: Starving yourself can make you thinner and look better. This is another popular method used by many who wants quick results. Do not do this at all cost! When you starve yourself and deprive your body of nutrition it needs, it eats away at your lean muscle tissue (this is because fat is easier to maintain than muscle) and though you become smaller, your metabolism decreases exponentially. The end result will be you gaining back all those pounds you lost when you start eating normally again.

Benefits of weight training for females

More lean muscle mass – Muscle takes more calories to maintain than fat, thus, increasing your resting metabolism. Lean muscle tissue is also smaller than fat, which means you will look smaller instead of bigger.

Lose body-fat, look more tone – As you increase your lean muscle tissue, you also lose body-fat and as previously discussed, your muscles will be more toned and you will look shapelier.

Increased health – Weight training helps control your blood pressure, insulin levels, cholesterol and increase heart health as well.

Feel better, look better – The last reason is of course, look better! When you look better, you will gain more self-confidence. Just take a look at actresses like Cameron Diaz and Jessica Alba who workout. Do they look ‘bulky’ and have no confidence in themselves? Hell no!

Weight training is definitely safe and good for females. The rewards and returns in weight training is amazing and endless! Start to reap the benefits and health rewards of weight training. Maybe you can look as good as Jessica Alba and Cameron Diaz with a couple of months of serious training and strict nutrition!

As it gets harder and harder for Americans to get quick non-emergency appointments with their doctors, sales of do-it-yourself medical tests are soaring in addition to marketing in the medical spa industry.

The biggest increase has been in kits purchased via the Internet. Just Google “at-home tests” and watch the search results pop onto your monitor.

What exactly can you get these days? And which ones are really safe?

It depends mainly on the type of test and whether you use it as a screening device to see whether you should visit your doctor or to self-diagnose. Many at-home tests can reveal signs that should send you to the phone or help you track your progress in treating a condition. But sometimes they don’t really tell you exactly what the results mean or the action you should take.

According to the Fall 2007 issue of Remedy magazine, here are the most popular do-it-yourself options:


You perform this test by pricking your finger with one of the lancets in the kit. Then you put a few drops of blood on the device and wait a specified time, normally 10 to 15 minutes. You then check your reading against a chart provided to interpret your cholesterol level.

This kit might be helpful for those with a family history of high cholesterol or heart disease or those who just want to make sure they maintain good numbers. It can also assist individuals in trying to lower their numbers via diet and exercise.

However, most do-it-yourself cholesterol tests provide only your total cholesterol. They don’t differentiate between the harmful type (LDL) and the helpful type (HDL). According to Narinder Duggal, M.D., Pharm.D., clinical professor of pharmacy and therapeutics at the University of Washington in Seattle, knowing your full lipid profile is a more helpful way to measure for the risk of heart disease. He says a reading of total cholesterol at less than 200 could mean you experience “a false sense of security.”

Glucose screening:

You put a drop of your blood onto the test card provided. After three minutes, you compare the color of the test area to the color chart in the kit to determine whether your blood sugar level is normal.

These tests are actually designed to individuals who aren’t diabetics but are trying to ascertain their risk of becoming them. Diabetics use actual glucose monitors up to several times a day to test their glucose levels.

A screening kit is a good test for individuals with a family history of diabetes, according to Fiona Gallahue, M.D., a faculty member at New York Methodist Hospital in New York City. However, she points out if you eat before doing the test, your blood sugar level will register too high. Anyone using the test should fast for a minimum of nine hours first.

In addition, manufacturers state results can be off if you’ve experienced a serious health problem or surgery within the prior 90 days of if you’ve suffered from minor illnesses such as the flu or a gastrointestinal virus within 3 weeks.

Menopause Check:

To do this test, you hold the absorbent end of the wand in your first urine of the day for 5 to 10 seconds, depending on the actual kit you purchase. You then put a protective cap over this part of the wand and wait for 5 to 10 minutes for the results.

This type of kit measures the concentration of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) in the urine. For women nearing menopause, FSH levels usually remain high during the entire month. Levels in younger women fluctuate throughout their monthly hormonal cycles.

Women who are going through mood changes, decreasing libido, fluctuating menstrual cycles, or insomnia would be likely to purchase of this do-it-yourself kit. So would those with body temperature changes and breast tenderness. All are symptoms of perimenopause, the stage leading to menopause.

The drawback to this test is that it only tells you whether your FSH level is elevated, not where you are regarding menopause or perimenopause. One reading might not reveal very much since levels fluctuate during the day. And it won’t tell you whether you need treatment for any of your symptoms. Results can also be suspect if you’ve taken birth control pills within the prior six months.

Colorectal screening:

After a bowel movement, you toss a test pad into the commode and wait according to the instructions in the kit. A change in pad color indicates blood in the stool.

Dr. Duggal indicates this test might be useful “if you are experiencing changes in your bowel patterns or if you have a history of polyps or colon cancer in your family.” A number of health organizations, including the American Cancer Society, recommend annual colorectal screening tests yearly after age 50.

While these tests are effective at revealing substantial amounts of blood, Dr. Gallahue says, they could miss small amounts. If you experiencing bleeding hemorrhoids of are taking supplements containing iron, you could get a false positive. A positive result merely means that you should see a physician for additional testing.

Blood pressure monitors:

You have a choice of a manual model similar to those in many medical offices or a battery-powered unit with a cuff for your wrist or upper arm.

These units are useful for individuals being treated for hypertension as well as those at risk for it. They provide a quick check on whether lifestyle or medication changes are causing positive results.

However, Dr. Duggal says if you’re either unusually thin or very overweight, readings might not be accurate. Some monitors just don’t function well. To get a consistent result, he suggests using it at the same time each day and to check it against your doctor’s unit during your next visit.

Vaginal infection test:

After insertion, you wait for the indicated amount of time and compare the color of the pH swap or the indicator strip on a wand to a color chart to find out if your pH suggests you might have a bacterial infection. If you do, you will need antibiotics. If, however, you have a yeast infection, you might be able to use an over-the-counter (OTC) product to treat it.

These kits are useful for women with vaginal itching, burning, unusual odor, or a change in the amount or color of vaginal discharge when they’re unaware of what’s causing the symptoms.

Don’t use this test if you’re pregnant or in menopause. Your pH varies during either circumstance. Women prone to recurrent year infections should instead visit a medical provider. If you have a fever and chills on top of the symptoms, you need to be treated quickly.

Urinary track infection (UTI):

To use this kit, you dip a test stick in your urine stream for at least 10 seconds. You then put it on a flat surface and wait two minutes for results to show. By comparing the color chart provided with the results, you can determine if the nitrite, leukocyte, and/or protein levels are normal. Different brands of UTI kits measure different elements.

Women who get frequent UTIs and who experience pain or burning while going to the bathroom or who notice an increase in urgency or frequency might be able to confirm an infection. They should then contact their physicians.

According to Dr. Gallahue, individuals who experience recurrent UTIs could have resistant bacterial and might need to visit a medical provider. She adds that “a negative test shouldn’t be seen as definitive.”

If you decide you need any of these kits, you should follow some precautions before using them. Make sure to store them in a cool, dry place to prevent the chemicals in them from degrading. A bathroom is too humid.

Before making your purchase, check the expiration date to make sure the contents aren’t past their prime. Also make sure to follow the instructions exactly. Varying even a little bit from the recommended procedures can mean an inaccurate result.

When we were kids, my brother and I were messing around and he shot an air gun in my ear. I couldn’t hear out of it for a couple of days and then my hearing came back. But, along with my hearing, a high pitched “whine” was also in my ear. Over time, the whine would sometimes be a buzz or roar depending on the day. At night, I remember my mom raising heck with me for listening to the radio when I went to bed. I would turn the radio on low and put it next to my right ear. 

Why? To cover the noise of the whining so I could get to sleep. To this day, I cannot sleep without something making a little noise. What is this culprit that plays heck with my ear? It’s called tinnitus. In Latin, the word tinnitus means “tinkling of the bell”. If you are facing such issues, then these Sonus complete reviews will help you learn more about the medical problem you have and how you can control it. 

This is my tinnitus story. It’s how I have attempted to manage it through the years with alternative methods. Like playing the radio to get to sleep, I have tried to “trick” my mind about my ears. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. But using alternative methods has helped me keep my sanity and hangup on tinnitus when the roar was deafening.

Some causes and triggers of tinnitus.

Like my own experience, some tinnitus is caused by a sudden burst of loud noise or prolonged exposure to loud noises over time.

Tinnitus can be triggered by an infection of the inner ear. Or a brain tumor. Brain tumors are the cause in less than 1% of cases of tinnitus. It is wise to consult a doctor to rule out infection or tumor.

Excessive use of aspirin or any of the ~mycin antibiotics can cause tinnitus. Even aspirin-like herbs like willow bark, wintergreen, and meadowsweet can make the noise louder.

Caffeine, salt without drinking enough water, sugar, and alcohol are just a few things that can cause or worsen your tinnitus.

Ways to hangup on the ringing in your ear.

B vitamins. I take a B-Complex and occasionally I take extra thiamin, niacin, and B12. Most alternative doctors I’ve read say to take a good, high potency B-Complex supplement that supplies 50 milligrams of most of the B vitamins.

I take at least 400 milligrams of magnesium a day. Green vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and beans are great foods that are packed with magnesium. (Caution: Talk to your doctor before using magnesium supplements if you have heart or kidney problems.)

Zinc is found in high concentrations in the eyes and ears. If you are low on zinc, some doctors believe that it causes ear problems like tinnitus. Take no more than 15 milligrams of zinc a day unless under the supervision of a doctor.

I have had great success with messaging my ears. I believe it must increase the blood flow to my inner ear and it seems to hang up on my ringing ears!

I almost always reach for the garlic and for grapeseed whenever I have a problem with my ears. No matter if its tinnitus or an earache from some other reason. And so far, they have both helped more than I can say.

The ringing in your ears from tinnitus is a nerve-racking condition. But I have found some real relief in the above mentioned alternative methods. This is how I hang up on my ringing ears. I hope you can hang up on your tinnitus as well.