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Nasal congestion can be a sign of asthma

Nasal congestion can be a sign of severe asthma. This means that healthcare professionals should be extra vigilant when it comes to nasal complaints. Furthermore, severe asthma appears to be more common than previously thought, reveals a study from the Sahlgrenska Academy’s Krefting Research Centre.

The population study included 30,000 randomly selected participants from the west of Sweden and asked questions about different aspects of health.

“We also found that more pronounced nasal symptoms, such as chronic rhinosinusitis, in other words nasal congestion and a runny nose for a long period of time, can be linked to severe asthma,” said Jan Lotvall, one of the authors of the study.

Lotvall suggests that patients who report nasal complaints, perhaps together with minor symptoms from the lower respiratory tract, such as wheezing, shortness of breath during physical effort, and night-time awakings because of breathing problems — should be investigated for asthma.

Pine bark helps in relieving tinnitus symptoms

Pycnogenol, an antioxidant plant extract derived from the bark of the French maritime pine tree, is effective in relieving tinnitus symptoms by improving blood flow in the inner ear.

Tinnitus is a hearing condition that causes the constant misperception of sound, including hissing, ringing and rushing noises.

“Impaired blood flow to the ear is a common cause for tinnitus,” said Dr Gianni Belcaro, a lead researcher on the study along with his team from Irvine3 Vascular labs, Chieti-Pescara University, Italy. “With few options available for treatment, this study gave us the opportunity to explore a natural solution to tinnitus symptoms and its causes.”
In the study, 82 patients between the ages of 35 and 55 with mild-to-moderate tinnitus in only one ear, while the other remains unaffected, were studied throughout a four-week period.

Tinnitus in all subjects was a result of restricted blood supply to the inner ear, as measured by high resolution ultrasonography imaging of their cochlear blood flow.

Internal body temperature regulates body clock

Fluctuations in internal body temperature regulate the body’s circadian rhythm, the 24-hour cycle that controls metabolism, sleep and other bodily functions, revealed UT Southwestern Medical Centre researchers.

A light-sensitive portion of the brain called the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) remains the body’s ‘master clock’ that coordinates the daily cycle, but it does so indirectly.
The SCN responds to light entering the eye, and so, is sensitive to cycles of day and night. While light may be the trigger, the UT Southwestern researchers determined that the SCN transforms that information into neural signals that set the body's temperature. These cyclic fluctuations in temperature then set the timing of cells, and ultimately tissues and organs, to be active or inactive, the study showed.

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