According to a new study, the disruption to shift the natural body rhythms of the workers may play a part in their increased risk of disease.
Every human body is operating on a 24 hour clock. Known as the circadian rhythm, it system uses factors such as daylight to decide when a individual sleeps and wakes.
It also impacts body functions like metabolism and cognition. Nevertheless, technology and changing working hours will disturb this delicate balance in modern age.
Conflict between the natural body rhythm of a person and their way of living can have a number of detrimental effects including hormonal changes.
These changes can cause metabolic syndrome. This is a condition that increases the risk of stroke, type 2 diabetes and heart disease on an person.
Night shift workers, who make up almost a fifth of the U.S. workforce, are more likely than others to experience those effects. Not only do they have a greater chance of developing sleep disorders, they also have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes than other workers.
Individuals working with frequent or shifting hours can also face an even greater risk of sleep problems and metabolic syndrome.
Researchers previously believed that this increased risk was attributable to the lifestyle habits that tend to go hand in hand with shift work. There is, however, no concrete evidence to support that claim.
Therefore, researchers are starting to dig deeper into the connection between shift patterns and metabolic syndrome.
A new review in the American Osteopathic Association Journal, focusing on the circadian rhythm, did exactly that.
Examining a number of studies and clinical trials from 2018, the review authors used the findings to suggest ways to reduce the circadian impact of shift work, such as sleep and diet optimization.
“It’s true that getting enough sleep, eating right, and exercising is critical to everyone’s health,” says lead author of the study, Kshma Kulkarni, from California’s Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine.
“Nevertheless, the nature of shift work is so disorientating and discordant with those principles, we really need to help people in those jobs strategize ways to get what they need.”
Not only individual workers can help. Employers and health-care professionals are also responsible for making improvements.
Improving general health
Good quality sleep is one of the simplest ways to avoid harmful effects on the health. Shift workers themselves should try to sleep at the same time for 7–8 hours each day, Kulkarni suggests.
Workers should try to sleep in the evening, or as close to the evening as possible, to help the body’s natural cycle. Later they should take naps and these should last between 20 and 120 minutes.
One way employers can aid in this field is by moving away from changing shift patterns. Kulkarni also suggests employers should make sure shifts start before midnight and last no longer than 11 hours.
A further element to tackle is nutrition. Studies has shown that shift workers tend to miss meals and instead settle for sucrose snacks.
It’s vital to eat three meals each day, Kulkarni says. Such meals should include a good amount of protein and vegetables, along with any snacks a person has.
It’s also a helpful step to take to consume more calories earlier in a person’s day. Therefore workers should try to schedule breaks earlier in a shift and provide healthy snack choices.
Shift workers should also aim to take into account exercise levels. Kulkarni suggests working out each day at around the same time, at least 5 hours before bedtime.
Prioritizing aerobic exercise, such as running and dancing, may be better, as this can improve a person’s sleep quality.
The importance of light
Not the only lifestyle choices that can benefit shift workers, these three factors are.
Adequate light exposure can also be of allow. To their advantage, certain light sources can alter the circadian rhythm of a individual.
Night workers will strive to improve their light exposure before and during shifts. Installing high intensity office lighting can also help workers to feel more alert.
Also, avoiding blue light 2–3 hours before going to sleep is significant.
Not forgetting medicine
Interestingly, Kulkarni and colleagues think medical treatment is of value.
Medications that help control the sleep cycle, such as certain benzodiazepines and antidepressants, could benefit people at risk of metabolic syndrome.
Similarly, a physical technique called manipulative osteopathic therapy may reduce the amount of time shift workers spend trying to fall asleep.
“In this line of work, it’s critical that we address the health issues facing people,” explains Kulkarni, especially since “the strength of our economy and the safety of our society depends heavily on night shift workers.”
To prevent metabolic syndrome, health care professionals should search for signs of a disrupted circadian rhythm among workers— especially those in sectors like hospitality and emergency services.
Early detection allows a person to successfully implement lifestyle changes and treatment regimens.
However, further research is needed to evaluate the most effective strategies.
Types, uses, and costs of virtual therapy
Virtual therapy is counselling conducted over the phone, through an app, via video chat, or even through a virtual reality device.
These virtual therapy solutions allow people to receive treatment from the comfort of their own homes, rather than needing to travel to a therapist’s office.
Virtual therapy comes in a variety of forms, each with its own set of benefits and drawbacks. Continue reading to learn more.
Telemedicine includes virtual therapy. It encompasses any treatment obtained through the use of an electronic gadget.
The following are some examples of virtual therapy:
- talking to a practitioner via videoconferencing software
- using an app to access therapy
- phone- and email-based therapies, such as when a physical therapist suggests specific exercises via email
- the use of online devices to assess clients or patients remotely — for instance, when a speech therapist uses online tools to measure progress
Virtual platforms can theoretically be used for any treatment that does not require physical touch or laboratory tests.
The following are the most common types of virtual therapy:
Virtual psychotherapy, also known as telemental health or telepsychology, uses video chat, email, phone, text messaging, or email to treat people with mental health concerns, relationship or sexual health problems, or considerable stress.
A licenced therapist conducts traditional treatment through a new platform in most virtual psychotherapy sessions. A client may express their emotions, seek insight into their relationships, and request assistance in making lifestyle adjustments.
Apps or coaching are used in a contemporary form of virtual psychotherapy to improve mental health. Because a person does not receive care from a licenced practitioner, this practise is not considered traditional therapy. They may instead track their own symptoms over time, receive virtual counselling from a bot, or receive daily mental health suggestions.
Virtual physical therapy
Traditional physical therapy is provided in an online or phone-based context using virtual physical therapy. A physical therapist may talk about recent complaints, suggest exercises, or perform testing.
A therapist may ask a client to complete exercises and then analyse their form and progress using a camera.
Some physical therapy applications supplement therapy by providing extra exercises or allowing clients to track their progress in between sessions. These apps can be used in conjunction with virtual or in-person therapy.
Virtual speech therapy
Virtual speech therapy can be used to treat a variety of speech issues, including stuttering, aphasia from a stroke, and difficulty pronouncing words.
A therapist may examine a person’s speech in a virtual session, suggest strategies for resolving speech difficulties, or assist them in practising new speech patterns. To improve speech, a new type of virtual speech therapy uses bots instead of real people.
Virtual speech therapy apps are also available to help people achieve their speech objectives in between sessions or track their progress over time.
Virtual occupational therapy
Occupational therapy is a type of therapy that assists people in learning new skills. It is frequently used in conjunction with other people of treatment. A person who has speech problems as a result of a stroke, for example, can select speech treatment first, then occupational therapy to help them learn the motor skills needed to use a speech assistive device.
A therapist provides coaching, advice, and feedback on techniques via a virtual platform, such as video chat, in virtual occupational therapy. Virtual reality may also be used in some forms of virtual occupational therapy to simulate real-world circumstances that the individual may encounter.
Advantages and disadvantages
When choosing virtual treatment, a client or healthcare provider should weigh the benefits and drawbacks:
Virtual therapy is still a very young field, and researchers haven’t thoroughly examined every treatment option. However, preliminary study indicates that it might be useful.
In a 2020 trial of virtual physical therapy after knee surgery, researchers discovered that virtual therapy provided equal benefits to in-person treatment. It also resulted in significant cost savings.
Telemental health services, according to the authors of a 2017 systematic review, provide a similar level of care and outcomes to traditional mental health care.
Virtual therapy also has the following advantages:
- Increased access to care: Virtual treatment solutions are available to people with physical limitations, who are geographically isolated, or who do not have time to drive to therapy.
- More privacy: Virtual therapy that is well-managed allows a person to get care in the comfort of their own home, without having to wait in a waiting room or contact with other clients.
- Cost savings: Virtual therapy may be less expensive. The therapist’s overheads may be reduced, especially if they transition to an all online model of therapy.
- Client satisfaction: The majority of research on client satisfaction with virtual therapy suggests that it is at least as good as traditional therapy. Virtual care may be less stressful for certain people, resulting in more satisfaction.
The following are some of the disadvantages of virtual therapy:
- Data concerns: A third party could infringe on a client’s privacy if a therapist uses the inappropriate platform or fails to encrypt treatment sessions. If a customer seeks help via a public network or leaves their computer unlocked, their coworkers or roommates may be able to see their sessions.
- Relationship issues: It may be more difficult to build a trusting relationship with the therapist depending on the method chosen by the client. Email-based treatment, for example, eliminates body language and voice tone clues, thereby producing communication problems.
- Limitations of technology: Therapy can be made more difficult by slow networks, low-quality video, and chat delays.
- Expertise in technology and philosophy: People who aren’t used to using technology may be less at ease with virtual treatment or feel more nervous about it.
Virtual therapy has been shown to cut healthcare expenses in several studies. Because therapists have lower overhead costs, they may be able to charge less. Because telehealth can enhance access, it has the potential to save long-term costs by allowing people to receive the preventative care they require and encounter fewer serious health problems.
Virtual therapy is likely to save money on things like automobile maintenance, gas, childcare, and lost work time.
However, not all virtual therapists provide telehealth sessions at a reduced rate. Medicare patients, for example, typically pay the same fee for online care as they would for in-person treatment.
Virtual care is not covered by all insurers, and there is no universal set of rules requiring them to do so. Anyone seeking virtual treatment should speak with their insurance provider about coverage choices or look into alternate payment methods.
A licenced professional is required to practise telemedicine. Licensing concerns may arise for providers, especially if they practise outside state lines.
Clients should examine licencing regulations and inquire about their therapist’s licence because each state licencing board has its own set of rules.
When a corporation provides support through an app or gives advice from an unlicensed practitioner, they must usually state that they are not providing medical care. A mental health app that provides daily mental health recommendations, for example, cannot claim to provide psychotherapy.
When a person does not want to leave home, or cannot or should not, like in the case of the COVID-19 pandemic, virtual therapy is an excellent choice.
It’s important to check the provider’s qualifications, set specific goals, provide feedback on how well the treatment is going, and transfer providers if the treatment isn’t working.
What is teletherapy? Benefits and uses
Teletherapy is a type of mental health counselling that takes place over the phone or via the internet.
More therapists are implementing this type of virtual mental health care into their practice as videoconferencing software improves.
Both the client and the therapist may find teletherapy to be beneficial. The majority of research indicates that it is just as effective as in-person counselling.
Teletherapy is any type of remote therapy that use technology to aid communication between the therapist and the client. Teletherapy can be used in a variety of ways, including:
- doing therapy sessions over the phone
- having a group chat for group therapy
- using videoconferencing for individual, couples, or group therapy
- receiving therapy via email or instant messenger
- using apps that connect clients to therapists and offer therapy within the app
In comparison to traditional therapy, teletherapy offers a number of advantages.
For therapy clients
Teletherapy appears to be as beneficial as in-person therapy, according to most studies. The following are some of the advantages of pursuing research-backed teletherapy with a qualified therapist:
- Improved access to care: Traditional treatment is not an option for certain people owing to physical limitations, regional limitations, or scheduling conflicts.
- Reduced costs: Clients may be able to save money on treatment by using teletherapy. When clients do not have to travel to obtain treatment or pay for child care, they are more likely to incur fewer therapy-related expenses.
- High levels of satisfaction: Users of high-quality teletherapy report a high level of treatment satisfaction.
- More personal space: Teletherapy people do not have to wait in crowded waiting rooms and can receive treatment in the comfort of their own homes. For some, this is a welcome relief from privacy concerns.
- Improved public health: The COVID-19 health crisis highlights how having access to medical treatment at home can help to halt the spread of disease and safeguard vulnerable people. During epidemics and pandemics, teletherapy allows people to receive mental health care at home without risking the spread of infection.
Teletherapy may suit some therapists’ personal styles and allow them to achieve their practise goals. Among the advantages are:
- Reduced overheads: Keeping a workplace in good shape can be costly. Many of the overheads for therapists who transition to a telehealth-only paradigm can be eliminated. Part-time teletherapy providers may be able to hire office space only a few days a week, decreasing costs.
- The ability to reach more clients: People with impairments, financial concerns, transportation issues, and other impediments to therapy may benefit from telehealth. This increased accessibility allows therapists to assist more people. Therapists might earn more money by expanding their possible client pool.
- A shorter commute: A therapist who specialises in teletherapy may be able to help clients from the comfort of their own home, minimising or eliminating their travel.
Limitations and disadvantages
While teletherapy offers numerous advantages, it also has significant drawbacks.
For therapy clients
Teletherapy is not a treatment option for everyone. The following are some disadvantages:
- Compliance: The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) mandates that healthcare providers, including therapists, respect the privacy of their patients or clients. Clients should only work with therapists who encrypt data because unsecure chat and other apps can expose critical information.
- Therapy environment: Finding the time and space for therapy might be difficult for people with little solitude at home. Treatment in a clinic may be a less stressful option than treatment at home.
- Technical difficulties: Online counselling might feel uncomfortable and impersonal due to slow internet connections, video programme issues, and communication delays. Telehealth may not be a good option for people who lack technological ability or do not trust digital platforms.
- Communication: It can be more difficult to discern body language and other subtle clues while communicating over a digital channel. These types of communication are eliminated with email and phone therapy.
The following are some of the problems that therapists may face when using digital therapy:
- Ethical and legal issues: Therapists must follow the regulations of the state licencing board in both the state where they practise and the state where they treat a client. This compliance can necessitate a high level of legal understanding, and breaking the law can jeopardise a therapist’s licence.
- An increase in client anonymity: It may be more challenging for therapists to support clients who are a danger to themselves or others when they meet with them via a digital platform. Clients may be able to hide their true identity. If a client is in risk of injuring oneself or others, therapists have a responsibility to notify the appropriate authorities, and client anonymity might make this more difficult, thereby jeopardising the therapist’s ethical commitments.
- Client privacy: HIPAA and other privacy requirements must be followed by therapists. Time and technical expertise are required for selecting the correct platform and taking proactive efforts to secure customer data.
- Communication barriers: Establishing a good rapport with clients across digital networks can take longer. Body language and other subtle forms of communication may be difficult for certain therapists to read, making it more difficult to provide high-quality treatment.
Teletherapy is a type of therapy that is similar to traditional therapy. Because in-person treatment does not involve physical contact or laboratory tests, the majority of the therapy experience can be replicated virtually, particularly through video chat. As a result, teletherapy can assist with a variety of diseases and challenges, including depression, anxiety, interpersonal issues, trauma, and chronic stress.
Most disorders for which scientists have attempted teletherapy appear to be treatable, according to new studies. According to a 2010 study, distance-based cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for depression may be just as beneficial as in-person counselling.
People who are considering teletherapy should talk to their doctor about it.
How a teletherapy session works
While teletherapy can be done over the phone or via email, most modern telemental health sessions employ video chat.
The therapeutic process is identical to that of face-to-face counselling. It normally starts with a few first sessions in which the therapist and client get to know each other and talk about treatment goals. The therapist may then go more into the client’s concerns, make behavioural modifications recommendations, and urge the client to reflect on their emotions.
The therapist may request that the client take precautions to maintain confidentiality. These could include the following:
- logging on from a private network
- keeping their computer locked to prevent others from viewing the session
- accessing therapy via an encrypted therapy platform
Clients should also inquire about their therapist’s procedures for maintaining client confidentiality and preventing third parties from viewing sessions or notes.
Who is qualified to get teletherapy?
While anyone can offer support to another person via the internet or over the phone, only qualified professionals can call their services therapy. Depending on the state in which they operate, clinicians can call themselves therapists.
Teletherapy may be provided by a variety of providers, including:
- licensed professional counselors
- licensed marriage and family therapists
- licensed clinical social workers
- licensed psychologists
- licensed psychiatrists
State licencing requirements vary, but in general, a therapist must be licenced in the state where the client is treated. As a result of this rule, a clinician licenced in Tennessee may not be able to treat a client who lives in California. Providers should verify with the client’s home state’s licencing board to determine their ethical and legal obligations.
People who find it difficult to get to therapy in person may benefit from teletherapy. It’s also a great way to prevent illness from spreading, such as during the COVID-19 pandemic or during flu and cold season.
Quality treatment, like other health services, yields better results. A person should collaborate with their therapist to develop a treatment plan that is both effective and beneficial.
Symptoms, causes, and treatment of head cold
A common cold, often known as a head cold, is a viral infection of the nose and throat. Although it is usually a mild sickness, the symptoms can have a substantial influence on daily activities.
The average adult gets two to three colds per year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and children may get more.
This article examines the signs and symptoms of a head cold, as well as a variety of home remedies for alleviating symptoms.
What is it?
Head colds are caused by viruses. They are normally harmless and go gone on their own. They can, however, cause unpleasant symptoms in certain people.
Head colds can be mistaken for other illnesses such as chest colds and sinus infections. There are, nevertheless, some major distinctions.
Sinus infection vs. head cold
When a viral infection causes symptoms mostly in the head, such as a stuffy nose or a headache, it is known as a head cold.
Bacteria can grow in the sinuses, the hollow areas around the nose, producing a sinus infection if fluid builds up there.
Many of the symptoms of sinus infections are similar to those of head colds, such as a runny nose and cough. Infections of the sinuses can also cause facial pain and pressure.
Viruses, including head colds, can cause sinus infections.
Head cold vs. chest cold
When the symptoms of a cold impact the head, including the nose and throat, it is known as a head cold.
When the airways swell and mucus builds up in the lungs, it’s called a chest cold or acute bronchitis. When this happens, a person often has a loose, chesty cough that includes coughing up some mucus. Coughing in this manner aids in the clearing of the airways.
A chest cold normally clears up in three weeks.
Colds in the head and chest are caused by viruses. A head cold can quickly progress to a chest cold.
Colds in the head and chest can have a variety of symptoms:
|Common head cold symptoms||Common chest cold symptoms|
|coughing, runny nose, and sneezing||coughing often with mucus|
|sore throat||sore throat|
|body aches||body aches, including chest soreness|
A person may, however, have a combination of these symptoms.
A head cold can be caused by a variety of viruses, including:
- human metapneumovirus (HMPV)
- human parainfluenza virus (HPIV)
- respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)
Colds in the head are extremely contagious. When a person with a head cold sneezes or coughs, virus-laden droplets can fly through the air and infect others.
It is possible to get a head cold after coming into contact with surfaces or objects that have been touched by someone who has been infected with the virus. The virus can get into a person’s body through their eyes, mouth, or nose.
After being exposed to rhinovirus or another cold-causing virus, symptoms of a head cold occur 1 to 3 days later. These signs and symptoms differ from person to person and include:
Most symptoms can be relieved in as little as one week for some people. However, some people may have symptoms for a longer period of time.
Although anyone can have a head cold, and most people will get several colds throughout their lifetime, there are specific characteristics that enhance the risk of being unwell. These are some of them:
- exposure to other people with head colds, particularly schoolchildren
- having a weakened immune system
- the season, as colds are more common in fall and winter
- being under the age of 5
The majority of people will recover from a head cold without any difficulties. When issues do occur, they include the following:
- Asthma attack: In asthmatics, a cold can induce an asthma attack.
- Acute sinusitis: A persistent head cold can lead to sinusitis, a condition characterised by inflammation and infection of the sinuses.
- Ear infection (otitis media): An ear infection can occur if the virus enters the area beneath the eardrum.
- Other infections: Following a head cold, certain people, particularly youngsters and those with compromised immune systems, might develop secondary infections. Strep throat, pneumonia, and croup are common secondary diseases linked with a head cold that require medical attention.
Antibiotics are useless since a head cold is caused by a viral infection. Rather, treatment tries to control symptoms and alleviate suffering.
The following are some common home cures for a head cold:
- Rest: Resting aids the body’s healing process. Staying at home instead of going to work or school decreases the risk of spreading the illness to others.
- Hydration: Staying hydrated aids in the relief of congestion in the nose and sinuses while also calming the throat. Staying hydrated can be as simple as drinking water or diluted juice. Warm drinks, such as teas, broths, and soups, may be very useful. Caffeine and alcohol should be avoided until a person is fully recovered.
- Saltwater gargle: A person can gargle with a 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 8 ounces of warm water to relieve a sore throat.
- Pain relievers: Over-the-counter (OTC) drugs can help with headaches, sore throats, and fevers. Some of medications, such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen.. When providing medicines to children, always follow the directions on the package.
- Humidifiers or vaporizers: Coughing and congestion are relieved by using these devices, which add moisture to the air. Using a vaporizer or humidifier at night may help you sleep better. To prevent the growth of bacteria and mould, vaporizers and humidifiers should be cleaned on a daily basis.
- Nasal sprays: Saline nasal sprays are safe for both children and adults and can help release mucus in the nose. Adults can take nasal decongestant sprays for up to three days. People should avoid using decongestant sprays for an extended period of time since it can lead to addiction or rebound congestion.
- Supplements: To prevent or treat a head cold, many people use vitamins. Vitamin C, Echinacea, and zinc are among the most popular supplements. However, there is little evidence that taking supplements helps to alleviate symptoms.
Although there is no way to prevent a head cold, the methods outlined below can help lower the risk of catching the virus. They may be especially important for people who are immunocompromised:
- Stay away from infected people. To avoid contracting a head cold, keep a safe distance from someone who has one.
- Hands should be washed frequently. Transmission of the virus is reduced by thoroughly cleansing hands with soap and hot water. Hand sanitizer with alcohol is also effective.
- Items should not be shared. Avoid sharing glasses or utensils with others to avoid spreading cold germs.
- When family members are sick, use disinfectant. When a family member is unwell, disinfect the kitchen counters and bathroom fixtures. It is also important to clean children’s toys on a regular basis.
- Cough or sneeze into tissues. Germs are prevented from spreading via the air by using tissues. After sneezing or coughing, throw away used tissues right away and always wash your hands.
- Make an effort to live a healthy lifestyle. Eating a well-balanced diet, getting regular exercise, lowering stress, and getting enough sleep can all help the immune system fight off illness.
- Instill healthy hygiene habits in your children. Request that youngsters sneeze or cough into a tissue or the crook of their elbow to avoid using their hands to cover their lips. Encourage children to thoroughly wash their hands on a frequent basis.
When to consult your doctor
If a person or a kid experiences any of the following symptoms, they should see a doctor:
- symptoms lasting longer than 10 days
- severe or unusual symptoms
- flu symptoms, including:
- muscle or body aches
If a child younger than 3 months old has a fever or appears sluggish, contact a doctor very away.
Although there is no cure for a head cold, there are a number of home treatments that can help relieve symptoms and suffering. A person can take precautions to avoid contracting a cold by limiting their exposure to viruses that cause colds.
A person suffering from a head cold might expect to recover in 7–10 days. Individuals who have severe or persistent symptoms of a head cold should see a doctor.
A head cold can result from exposure to a variety of viruses, the most common of which being rhinoviruses. A runny nose, headaches, and cough are all signs of a head cold.
Colds in the head aren’t dangerous and normally go away on their own. Rest, staying hydrated, and taking over-the-counter cold drugs can all help to alleviate symptoms.
Colds in the head are highly contagious and can be transferred by coughing or sneezing.