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Doctors remove 27 contact lenses from woman’s eye before cataract surgery 

A routine cataract surgery was abruptly halted when doctors found 17 contact lenses in a British woman’s eye, according to news reports. After finding the first clump, which they described as a “blueish mass,” they found 10 more. 

>> Read more trending news 

The 67-year-old woman from the United Kingdom had not complained of any irritation, just the normal discomfort of dry eye she thought was from old age, Optometry Today reported.

"She was quite shocked," ophthalmologist Rupal Morjaria told Optometry Today.

“It was such a large mass. All the 17 contact lenses were stuck together. We were really surprised that the patient didn’t notice it because it would cause quite a lot of irritation while it was sitting there,” Morjaria added.

Morjaria said the woman, who had been wearing monthly disposable contact lenses for approximately 35 years, according to NPR, felt a lot more comfortable during her two-week follow up after having the 27 contacts removed.

» Woman sues for $1M, claiming flea market contacts left her blind

The doctors said they wanted to publicize her case as a warning to others who wear contacts. Tips and advice are available at the Association of Optometrists.

Read more at Optometry Today.

» Headed to the eye doctor? You have a right to your prescription

Parents warn others of virus that can kill newborns from a kiss

Parents in Iowa are clinging onto hope for their newborn daughter, who contracted a deadly virus just from a simple kiss. 

"It's horrific," Nicole Sifrit told WQAD. "Within two hours she had quit breathing and all of her organs just started to fail.” 

>>Potentially deadly parasite found in 5 Florida counties

The Iowa City couple welcomed their new child, Mariana, on July 1. A week later, they noticed she wasn’t eating and would not wake up when they tried to stimulate her. 

They rushed their daughter to a hospital and learned Mariana had contracted a deadly virus called meningitis HSV-1, which doctors said she most likely got from a kiss. 

>> Read more trending news

The virus is caused by herpes and can come from someone who carries the virus but does not necessarily have an open sore on their body, according to WQAD. 

The parents tested negative for the virus, suggesting it could have come from others who visited Mariana. The Meningitis Research Foundation reports that a lot of people carry the virus without showing symptoms. 

Mariana is currently on life support and could be in the hospital for at least a month, according to WQAD. 

"She has a kidney team, a liver team, a blood team, a neurology team," Mariana’s father told WQAD. "I always thought this stuff happens and it's a shame (but) never thought it would happen to me and was not prepared at all."

Now Mariana’s parents are warning others to keep their newborn babies isolated from visitors and to constantly wash their hands. 

Read more at wqad.com.

Mobile app designed to prevent pregnancy approved in Europe

European couples that want to be dialed in about birth control now can use a cellphone app to prevent pregnancy.

>> Read more trending news

The app has been certified as a method of birth control in the European Union, NPR reported.

The app’s creator, Elina Berglund, is a particle physicist. For 10 years she relied on a hormonal birth control implant, but she wanted to start a family yet still wanted a natural way to avoid pregnancy. None of the existing apps worked for her, so she and her husband used math to create one.

“You were looking at women’s temperatures and data, which was a lot of fun,” Berglund told NPR.

Berglund and her husband launched the app, Natural Cycles, in Sweden in 2014. It relies on a woman’s daily temperature to determine fertility. When the risk of pregnancy is high, a red light flashes. A green light means the chances of getting pregnant are low.

In a clinical study of 4,000 women who used the app, the results were better than traditional fertility awareness methods, NPR reported.

Just seven out of 100 women got pregnant. compared to about 24 out of 100 using the rhythm or calendar method.

Untreatable super-gonorrhea spreading orally, WHO warns

Gonorrhea, one of the most common sexually transmitted infections in the U.S., is getting harder and harder to treat, and unsafe oral sex is making the STI particularly dangerous.

>> Read more trending news 

That’s according to a warning issued Friday by experts at the World Health Organization, whose researchers examined data from patients with gonorrhea in 77 countries showing drug-resistant gonorrhea is getting harder, and sometimes impossible, to treat.

“The bacteria that cause gonorrhea are particularly smart,” WHO medical officer Teodora Wi said in a news release. “Every time we use a new class of antibiotics to treat the infection, the bacteria evolve to resist them.”

An estimated 78 million people are infected with gonorrhea each year by unprotected vaginal, oral and anal sex. It disproportionately affects women.

» RELATED: New study on STDs finds Georgia among ‘most diseased’ states 

Gonorrhea can infect the throat, genitals and rectum, but according to Wi, scientists are particularly concerned about the throat.

Wi told BBC that introducing gonorrhea bacteria into the throat through oral sex can lead to what’s referred to as super-gonorrhea, a drug-resistant strain that is often untreatable.

» RELATED: HIV epidemic afflicting Georgia, the South a ‘public health emergency’ 

This happens because antibiotics taken to treat the infection mix with the super-gonorrhea in the throat and create resistance, Wi said.

The rise in resistant gonorrhea is largely due to decreased condom use, increased urbanization and travel, poor infection detection rates and either inadequate or failed treatment, according to the WHO.

Read the full WHO news release.

Woman breaks for mental health days; boss' reply goes viral

A Michigan woman who suffers from depression emailed her team at work informing them that she would be taking days off to focus on her mental health and well-being, and her boss’ response has gained much attention online. 

>> Read more trending news 

Madalyn Parker, a web developer at Olark Live Chat, took to Twitter to post a screenshot of her email communication with her co-workers and a supervisor.

In an email titled “Where’s Madalyn?” Parker told her team she’d be taking off two days to renew her mental health. 

“Hopefully, I’ll be back next week refreshed and back to 100%,” she wrote. 

Parker was surprised and delighted by one of the responses she received. She asked the sender if she could post a screenshot of the reply, and he told her yes.

“Hey Madalyn, I just wanted to personally thank you for sending emails like this. Every time you do, I use it as a reminder of the importance of using sick days for mental health,” Ben Cogleton, the CEO of Olark wrote. “I can’t believe this is not a standard practice at all organizations.”

He continued: “You are an example to us all and help cut through the stigma so we can all bring our whole selves to work.”  

Parker’s post of the conversation garnered more than 34,000 likes on Twitter and sparked conversations about companies’ obligation to provide mental health days.

“It’s 2017. I cannot believe that it is still controversial to speak about mental health in the workplace when 1 in 6 Americans are medicated for mental health,” Cogleton wrote in a blog post. “We are in a knowledge economy. Our jobs require us to execute at peak mental performance. When an athlete is injured they sit on the bench and recover. Let’s get rid of the idea that somehow the brain is different.”

Heartburn drugs linked to higher risk of early death, study says

People taking common heartburn and indigestion medicines may face a heightened risk of premature death, according to new observational research published Monday in the British Medical Journal Open.

A team of scientists from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri, found that the use of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) — drugs commonly taken to treat both heartburn and stomach acid — led to 25 percent higher risk of early death by any cause when compared to those using H2 blockers, common acid reducers.

>> RELATED: Differences between PPIs and H2 blockers for heartburn 

To come up with the findings, the team examined medical records of 3.5 million middle-aged Americans in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs system and compared those taking PPIs and those taking H2 blockers to treat heartburn.

Researchers did not examine over-the-counter PPIs or particular brands of prescription-strength drugs. Instead, the team focused on prescription PPIs typically used at higher doses and for longer durations, CNN reported.

According to senior author Ziyad Al-Aly, for every 500 patients taking PPIs for one year, there would be one additional death that wouldn’t have occurred if the patient wasn’t using PPIs.

And with millions of people using PPIs on a daily basis to treat heartburn and stomach acid, thousands of additional deaths could result.

>> RELATED: Popular heartburn medications may increase dementia risk, study says

Al-Aly and his team also found that the longer a patient used PPIs, the higher their risk of premature death.

Though the precise biological reason for a possible link between PPIs and risk of premature death is unclear, the gene-changing effect of the drugs may contribute to the potential problem. 

Because the research is based on observational study, the team noted the findings are “far from conclusive,” meaning they do not prove cause and effect.

>> Read more trending news

But the findings “may be used to encourage and promote pharmacovigilance [monitoring the side-effects of licensed drugs],” the authors wrote, urging patients to be judicious in their use of PPIs and limit the duration of use unless there is a clear medical benefit that outweighs any potential risk.

It’s not the first time PPIs have been linked to some dangerous health trends. Previous research has also shown links between the drugs and dementia, cardiovascular disease, hip fractures and more.

Read the full study.

Itchy? Here are 10 ways to soothe poison oak, sumac, ivy

While it’s the right time of year to be playing and working outside, it’s also the time of year when you might run into some nasty plants, such as poison ivy, oak and sumac.

>> Read more trending news

Here are 10 tips on dealing with the itchy results:

1. Immediately wash

All three plants have a chemical in their sap called urushiol. That’s what causes the rash on your skin.

If you think you may have run into any of these plants, quickly wash off the affected area with water and soap before it seeps into your skin.

2. Coffee

If it’s too late and the itchy, rashy places have already started popping up on your skin, there are numerous treatments you can try to help relieve that itch.

One is cold coffee – pour that over the rash to help sooth your skin.

RELATED: Don’t throw away your coffee grounds — you can use them in so many ways

3. Baking soda

Making a paste out of baking soda and water and applying it to the affected area can help. Or, you can take a lukewarm bath and add a cup of baking soda to the bath water.

4. Turmeric

Another paste application involves the spice turmeric. Make a paste out of it and lemon juice or rubbing alcohol. Apply to the affected area for 15 minutes and wipe off. Beware: It will turn your skin yellow.

RELATED: This homemade turmeric face mask can reduce acne scars and zap facial hair

5. Cucumber

While cucumber slices are usually associated with salons, they can also help relieve these itches.

You can apply the slices on directly, or mash them into a paste and apply the cooling effect that way.

6. Oatmeal

It’s not just for breakfast -- oatmeal can also help relieve these itches. Blend two cups uncooked oatmeal into a powder. Then add to a warm bath and soak for 20 minutes.

7. Epsom salts

Another bath-administered relief are Epsom salts. Adding two cups of Epsom salt to a warm bath and then soaking for 20 minutes is both relaxing and itch-relieving.

8. Aloe vera

Aloe vera has many benefits, including improving the condition of your hair, reducing dandruff, and repairing skin cells.

To reduce itchiness, rub the flesh of the plant directly onto the affected area.

9. Watermelon

Watermelons are great sources of vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium and magnesium. The rind, which is often thrown away, is also edible and has healthy properties.

If you don’t eat it, putting the rind on your itchy spots can help cool them down.

RELATED: Add this ingredient to your summer watermelon to make it even more irresistible

10. Vodka

If you come in contact with poison ivy, oak or sumac, pouring vodka over the area can help wash away the urushiol oil that causes the itch. It’s been said that the higher the proof of the alcohol, the better.

Study: Long-term breastfeeding leads to more cavities

A study published Friday claims that children who are breastfed for two years or more are more likely to have dental cavities, CNN reported.

>> Read more trending news

The study, published in the journal Pediatrics, analyzed the breastfeeding behaviors and sugar consumption of 1,129 children in the Brazilian city of Pelotas. At age 5 the children visited a dentist and were examined for decayed or missing teeth, CNN reported. Severe cases were defined as a child with six or more cavities.

According to the study, 23.9 percent of the children had severe cavities and 48 percent had at least one tooth affected by a cavity. Children who were breastfed for more than two years had a 2.4 times higher risk of having severe cavities than those who were breastfed for less than a year, the study said.

The study also found a correlation between socioeconomic traits and frequency of cavities, CNN reported. Low-income families and mothers with limited education had children with more cavities, the study revealed.

Fluoride in water can prevent tooth decay, CNN reported. Pelotas has had a fluoridated water supply since 1962.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding babies for a year. The World Health Organization adds that the length can be extended up to two years.

Study: Average pool contains 20 gallons of urine

In a study released Wednesday, Canadian researchers determined that the average swimming pool contains about 20 gallons of urine, CBS News reported.

>> Read more trending news 

Using a synthetic sweetener called acesulfame-K (ACE), the researchers tested the concentration of ACE over three weeks in two different-sized pools, CBS News reported.

Researchers estimated that a 220,000-gallon pool, which is one-third the size of an Olympic pool, had an estimated volume of 19.81 gallons. A 110-gallon pool contained an estimated 7.92 gallons, the study said. Researchers tested 250 samples from 31 pools and hot tubs, CBS News reported.

The study was published in “Environmental Science & Letters, CBS News reported.

Doctors left camera in woman's body after surgery

A woman has filed suit against Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia, alleging that doctors left a camera in her body during an organ transplant.

>> Read more trending news 

The suit, filed in DeKalb County State Court this week, claims the hospital and doctors were negligent. The hospital didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday.

Lacrystal Lockett, of Stone Mountain, Georgia, went into surgery on Dec. 17, 2014, for a kidney and pancreatic transplant, according to the suit.

Dr. Paul Lu Tso, assisted by doctors Ronald Parsons and Denise J. Lo, performed the procedure with the assistance of a medical camera, the suit says.

“Unbeknownst to Ms. Lockett at the time,” her lawyers claim, “this medical instrument was left inside Ms. Lockett even after she was discharged from Emory University Hospital on December 26, 2014.”

The lost device didn’t turn up in her torso the following June during an exam at the hospital.

She had another surgery to remove it.

“As a result of the defendants’ negligence, plaintiff Lacrystal Lockett suffered undue hardship through additional surgical procedures and has incurred medical expenses as well as significant pain and suffering, future pain and suffering and lost wages,” the suit alleges.

Lockett is asking for a jury to determine how much she’s owed.

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