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Deaf adults see better than hearing people

A new research at the University of Sheffield has revealed that deaf adults can react more quickly to visual cues than those who can hear well.

Dr Charlotte Codina, from the university’s Academic Unit of Ophthalmology and Orthoptics found that children born deaf are slower to react to objects in their peripheral vision compared to hearing children. However, deaf adolescents and adults who have been without hearing since birth can react to objects in their peripheral vision more quickly.
The study tested profoundly deaf children (aged five to 15 years) using a self-designed visual field test, and compared this to age-matched hearing controls as well as to deaf and hearing adult data.

“We found that deaf children see less peripherally than hearing children, but, typically, go on to develop better than normal peripheral vision by adulthood. Important vision changes are occurring as deaf children grow-up and one current theory is that they have not yet learnt to focus their attention on stimuli in the periphery until their vision matures at the age of 11 or 12,” said Codina.

“As research in this area continues, it will be interesting to identify factors which can help deaf children to make this visual improvement earlier.”

Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID) Research Programme Manager, Dr Joanna Robinson, said, “This research shows that adults who have been deaf since birth may have advantages over hearing people in terms of their range of vision.”

“For example, deaf people could be more proficient in jobs which depend on the ability to see a wide area of activities and respond quickly to situations, such as sports referees, teachers or CCTV operators.”

Bed rest for pregnant mums may be harmful: Study

A recent study by a nurse has found that prescribed bed rest has a down side for pregnant women.

Judith Maloni, professor at the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing at Case Western Reserve University, said a comprehensive review of more than 70 evidence-based research articles challenges whether bed rest is healthy for mothers — or their babies.
Gaps in research also exist if bed rest harms or benefits the baby, Maloni said.

Bed rest for pregnant women experiencing early contractions or other pregnancy problems, such as high blood pressure, multiple babies, potential blood clotting or bleeding, can be prescribed for a few days or a few months. “Over time, remaining in a resting position can lead to bone loss and muscle atrophy,” Maloni said.

But for expectant mothers confided to bed for nearly 24 hours a day, it can also bring on depression, and possibly post traumatic shock disorder as women are left with nothing to do but worry that every contraction could bring about a pre-term birth.

The author makes her report in the special women’s health issue of ‘Biological Research for Nursing’.

Pregnant mums should not use paracetamol

A team of UK scientists has found an evidence suggesting that the risk of childhood asthma associated with prenatal paracetamol exposure may depend on antioxidant genes in the mother.

Led by Seif Shaheen, professor of respiratory epidemiology at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, the team examined data from the British Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) which has followed 14,000 children since birth — beginning with their mothers’ pregnancies and continuing into the children’s 8th year. Participating mothers reported on their use of paracetamol during pregnancy, as well as their child’s exposure to the drug during infancy.

Shaheen and researchers found evidence suggesting that the risk of childhood asthma associated with prenatal paracetamol exposure depended on which variants of various antioxidant genes were present in the mother.

In contrast, interactions between infant paracetamol use and similar gene variants in the child were not seen.

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