Managing Stress

Exams can be a really stressful time on student.

Watch our Support Pharmacist in Haven Pharmacy Scannell’s & Riverview – Bandon, Suzanne Goggin give real, relatable advice for anyone who may be suffering with exam stress.

Suzanne answers all your crucial questions:

  • Do we all get stressed?
  • What are her top tips to combat exam stress?
  • How can you best equip your body to cope with exam stress?

Remember Haven Pharmacy are here to help, our doors are always open for a chat about how you are feeling. Find your local Haven Pharmacy here.

Exam Stress & Meditation

It’s that time of year again – exams are looming, students dread the thoughts of studying and wonder how they are going to cope with it all. No matter how well prepared you are, exams can be extremely stressful making it difficult to concentrate, deplete energy levels and affect your sleeping.

Mindful meditation, even for just a few minutes every day is a very useful tool that you can practice to help you feel calmer, help you to focus and reduce your stress.

Meditation in the form of a simple breathing exercise can be done anytime, anywhere for any length of time that suits you. Here is a quick and easy 4 4 4 technique you can try:

  1. Get comfortable and close your eyes
  2. Empty your lungs and take a slow deep inhale through your nose for 4 seconds
  3. Hold your inhale for 4 seconds and then exhale through your mouth for 4 seconds
  4. Continue this breathing exercise 4 times

You can do this as many times during the day as you like – when you wake up in the morning, when you are stuck in traffic, sitting at your study desk at home or just before you enter the exam hall.

There are thousands of studies that have shown mindfulness meditation can positively impact mental and physical health. Here are just some of the immediate and long term benefits of meditation:

Short Term Benefits:

  • Interrupts the output of stress hormones such as cortisol
  • Decreases anxiety
  • Calms your mind
  • Improves focus
  • Lowers heart rate
  • Can lower blood pressure
  • Increases blood flow to the brain
  • Increases sense of well-being
  • Improves mood

Long Term Benefits:

  • Lowers risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Strengthens immune system
  • Decreases rates of pre-existing cardiovascular disease
  • Improves digestion
  • Improves focus
  • Increases energy
  • Decreases reactivity
  • Increases ability to choose helpful thoughts

Simple breathing exercises like the 4 4 4 technique can transform your health in the coming days and weeks, but remember adequate studying, getting enough sleep and eating a healthy breakfast can go a long way in helping to reduce your stress on the day of the exam. Speak to your local Haven Pharmacy for advice on vitamins & supplements that can also improve your brain, heart and vision function so you are feeling your best to give 100%.

Good luck to everyone this exam season, you’ve got this!

 

Daily SPF Protection

Did you know you should wear SPF everyday?

Sun protection factor (SPF) plays an important preventative role against the long term effects of overexposure to Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun including: sunburn, skin damage, premature ageing of the skin and skin cancer.

There are two types of UV radiation that we need to be concerned about: UVA and UVB

UVA rays penetrate more deeply through the layers of the skin than UVB. It is associated with Skin Ageing (wrinkles, lines, age spots) but also associated with Skin Cancer. UVA can pass through window glass and is present year round, even on cloudy days.
UVB rays are mainly responsible for sunburn, can’t pass through window glass and are strongly associated with two types of Skin Cancer: malignant melanoma and basal cell carcinoma.
SPF is more accurately the sun burn protection factor, as it primarily shows the level of protection against UVB, not the protection against UVA. SPF Ratings are on a scale of 2-50+ based on the level of protection they offer, with ratings between 2 to 14 forming the least protected end of the spectrum and ratings of 50+ offering the strongest forms of UVB protection.

Broad Spectrum SPF refers to sunscreen which offers protection from both UVA and UVB rays. Originally, sunscreens were designed to protect against just UVB rays, which cause sunburn but only account for a small portion of the full UV spectrum. UVB rays were once thought to be the only rays that could cause harm and UVA rays were thought to produce a “healthy” tan. Now we know that UVA rays contribute to premature skin aging and some forms of skin cancer. According to the EU recommendation, the UVA protection for each sunscreen should be at least a third of the labelled SPF. A product that achieves this requirement will be labelled with a UVA logo which is the letters “UVA” printed in a circle.

UVA ratings range from 0-5 stars and indicate the level of protection the sunscreen provides against UVA rays, compared with the level of protection it provides against UVB rays (i.e. the ratio between the level of UVA and UVB protection offered by the product). The higher the number of stars, the greater the level of protection against UVA. Sunscreens with a low SPF can still have a high number of stars, not because they are offering high UVA protection, but because the ratio between UVA and UVB protection is the same as offered in sunscreens with higher SPF.

That’s why it’s important to choose a high SPF as well as a high UVA protection (e.g. a high number of stars).  A good broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF 30 and a UVA rating of 4 – 5 stars is generally considered as a good standard of SPF. So why not introduce an SPF as part of your daily skincare routine – we should all wear a minimum of SPF 30 or 50+ on the face, neck and décolletage everyday.

For more information, call in to your local Haven Pharmacy for expert advice on the best UVA & UVB protection for you and your family. Remember, SPF is not just for the sunny days- but all year round!

Information Source: The Irish Skin Foundation

Tips & Advice for Hay Fever Sufferers

Met Éireann has warned hay fever sufferers that the tree pollen count will be moderate this weekend 21st – 24th May

Not good news for Hay Fever or Asthma suffers, but rest assured you can trust your local Haven Pharmacist to advise you on the right Anti-histamines for your allergy symptoms.

Here are some helpful tips and advice to help you survive the next few days:

Signs and Symptoms

Allergic reactions usually happen quickly within a few minutes of exposure to Pollen. Common symptoms of Hay Fever include:

• Sneezing
• Runny or blocked nose
• Red, itchy, watery eyes
• Fatigue
• Headaches

Treatment for Hay Fever Sufferers

In many cases, the most effective way of managing an allergy is to avoid the allergen that causes the reaction whenever possible. These are a just few examples of how to limit exposure to allergens:

• Keep windows closed in your bedroom at night
• Stay indoors as much as possible on high pollen days
• Don’t keep fresh flowers in the home or office
• Stay away from grassy areas, don’t cut grass or walk on grass
• Put Vaseline around your nostrils to trap pollen
• Wear wrap-around sunglasses to stop pollen getting into your eyes
• Shower, wash your hair and change your clothes if you have been outside for an extended period
• Avoid drying clothes outside, or shake them outdoors before bringing them in to your home
• Keep pets outdoors as much as possible and wash them regularly
• Minimise your contact with pets who have been outdoors and are likely to be carrying pollen
• Vacuum your house regularly and dust surfaces with a damp cloth
• Consider a purifier with a built-in air quality sensor to remove allergens and pollutants from the air

There are a range of very effective over the counter remedies from your Haven pharmacy to help reduce the symptoms of allergies.

Please ask your local Haven Pharmacist if you would like advice on which treatment is best suited to your needs.

Haven Pharmacy, you’re in expert hands

 

How to keep your children’s teeth healthy

People may wonder is there a need to look after a child’s first set of teeth as they can often be deemed as ‘just baby teeth’. But you should start the conversation early with your dentists about your child’s oral care needs as soon as their first tooth makes an appearance.

The most common questions parents ask us is when do their children need to start brushing their teeth and how to get them to do it. In this blog, we want to share with you some useful tips that might give a helping hand in your child’s dental routine.

Most importantly don’t be put off if your child is resistance to brushing their teeth at the start, it’s totally normal it’s a foreign concept to them, they don’t understand why or what you are trying to do but keep persisting with it. Do it at the same every day, morning and night and get a routine going, it’s key because if you skip it once or twice then they might think it’s optional and that’s when the real trouble starts.

When to start brushing teeth? 

0-2 Years

  • Start cleaning a baby’s teeth as soon as their first teeth
  • Use a soft brush and water only
  • Do not use toothpaste
  • Cleaning is very important to avoid tooth decay
  • Routine is very important at the start and NEVER skip brushing morning and night

2-7 Years

  • Only use a small pea-size amount of fluoride toothpaste
  • Brush teeth twice a day – morning & night
  • It takes between 2-3 minutes to brush teeth correctly

Here are some of our favourite ways to get little ones to brush!

  • Copy-cat: Children always look up to their older siblings or parents so if they see you brushing they will want to be just like you.
  • Egg timers: These are a great and simple way to encourage your child to brush their teeth for 2-3minutes
  • Reward Charts: This incentive is a perfect way to motivate your child to brush BOTH morning and night. There are loads to choose from on rewardchart4kids.com
  • Apps: Here are some apps that you may find helpful Brush DJ, Brush Up, Brush Teeth with the Wiggles.

Brought to you by Spotlight Oral Care

Sensitive Teeth?

Tooth sensitivity is a common dental problem that involves discomfort or pain in teeth when encountering certain substances and temperatures. Read on to learn more about managing your sensitive teeth so you can enjoy the foods you love!

What Causes Sensitive Teeth?

Dentine hypersensitivity, or tooth sensitivity is a condition that can develop over time, as a result of common problems such as receding gums and enamel wear. Most sufferers are between 20 and 50 years old. Tooth sensitivity can start to happen when the softer, inner part of the tooth called ‘dentine’ becomes exposed. Dentine lies under the enamel and the gums.

Thousands of microscopic channels run through the dentine towards the centre of the tooth. Once the dentine is exposed, external triggers (such as a cold drink) can stimulate the nerves inside the tooth, resulting in the characteristic short, sharp pain of tooth sensitivity.

Only a dentist can confirm you have dentine hypersensitivity. If you are experiencing any dental problems, always consult your dentist for advice. If you have dentine hypersensitivity, you can help to minimise further exposure of the dentine, care for your sensitive teeth and relieve the painful symptoms by making some simple changes to your daily oral care routine and dietary habits.

Why Do My Teeth Hurt?

If you’ve ever winced after an unwelcome twinge of tooth sensitivity, you’re not the only one. But remember, there can be many different causes of dental pain, other than tooth sensitivity. So if you are feeling any tooth pain or discomfort, especially if it persists, the best thing you can do is visit your dentist and seek professional advice

Common Triggers for Sensitive Teeth

A range of things can trigger a twinge or tooth pain for people with sensitive teeth. Here’s some of the most common triggers for tooth sensitivity:

  • Eating cold food or drinking cold drinks
  • Eating hot food or drinking hot drinks
  • Eating sugary or sour foods
  • Breathing in cold air
  • Brushing teeth

How Should I Treat Sensitive Teeth?

After discovering you have tooth sensitivity, it’s a natural next step to want to know what you can do about it. Talk to your dentist about what has caused you to have this problem, what you can do to relieve it and how to help prevent it from getting worse. They can advise you on the most suitable oral care routine for someone with sensitive teeth, the best toothbrushing technique for you, how often and when. In addition, you can relieve the painful symptoms of tooth sensitivity by changing your regular toothpaste to a daily use toothpaste specially formulated to care for sensitive teeth, such as Sensodyne.

 

 

 

 

 

Best way to brush your teeth

The team at Corsodyl have created a guide to the best way to brush your teeth so here are six simple steps you can take in your daily oral care routine to reduce your risk of seeing blood when you spit

  1. TWICE FOR TWO

Brushing helps remove plaque bacteria and food particles that, if allowed to build up around, on and in between your teeth, can irritate your gums and lead to problems like gingivitis. Brush for two minutes twice a day, ideally using a fluoride toothpaste like Corsodyl Toothpaste.

  1. DON’T MISS ANYWHERE

Make sure you clean every corner of your mouth whenever you brush, including hard to reach areas like in between your teeth. Move methodically around your mouth, covering off the outer and inside surfaces of all your teeth (upper and lower) as well as the chewing surfaces. You can also ask your dentist about the best way to brush your teeth.

  1. BE GENTLE

When it comes to teeth cleaning, harder is not better. In fact, brushing too roughly or too much, or using a worn toothbrush can wear away tooth enamel, so brush carefully. It is also recommended to replace your toothbrush every three months.

  1. KNOW YOUR ANGLES

Use a circular or elliptical motion and point the toothbrush down towards the gum at a 45 degree angle. This helps clean the gum line (the area where the gum meets the tooth). For the inside surfaces of your front teeth, tilt the brush vertically and use the front part to make small, circular strokes.

  1. DON’T FORGET YOUR GUM LINE

Your gum line can be susceptible to the build-up of harmful plaque bacteria. Be especially careful to brush away plaque from this area as well as from in the gaps between your teeth. Along with regular flossing or using interdental brushes, this can help you control plaque build-up.

  1. AND DON’T FORGET YOUR TONGUE EITHER

Good oral hygiene isn’t just about your teeth and gums. Brushing your tongue gently can also help freshen your breath and clean your mouth by removing bacteria.

The Corsodyl Treatment Range is clinically proven to treat and prevent gingivitis. You can use Corsodyl Treatment Products when experiencing persistent or worsening gum problems. Corsodyl 0.2% w/v Mint Mouthwash is our most advanced antimicrobial mouthwash formulation. The active ingredient chlorhexidine digluconate acts rapidly, killing the bacteria that causes plaque in less than 30 seconds of rinsing.

Self Care Tips

Self care is more important now than ever, we need to make sure that we are okay before we can take care of others. Self care promotes a healthy lifestyle as it reduces stress, increases confidence and gives us a more positive outlook on life.

Here are some self care tips to help you bring out the best in yourself:

Eat a Balanced Healthy Diet: 
– Eat more vegetables, salad and fruit – up to seven servings a day
– Limit intake of high fat, sugar and salt in food and drinks
– Size matters: use the Food Pyramid as a guide for serving sizes
– Increase your physical activity levels, small changes can make a big difference

Improve your Physical Wellbeing:
– Children and young people (2-18): all children and young people should be active, at a moderate to vigorous level, for at least 60 minutes every day
– Adults (18-69): at least 30 minutes a day of moderate activity on five days a week or 150 minutes a week
– Children and adults with a disability should aim to be as active as their disability allows, and aim to meet the guideline for their age group if possible
– Visit your GP at least once a year for a full check up and know your numbers in relation to weight, blood pressure and BMI

Look after your Mental Health:
Going for a walk or run can help get rid of pent-up energy and can leave you feeling much calmer.
– Make contact with out with family or friends by email, phone or video-calling.
– Taking some deep breaths and try meditation — deep breathing can help to relax the body.
– Practice mindfullness and do something that makes you feel good – treat yourself!

Maintain a good Sleep Routine:
– Getting some good sleep, as a lack of sleep can affect your general well-being.
– Keeping your usual sleep routine is vital, get up at the usual time and retire to bed when you feel tired.
– Limit the amount of caffeine in the evenings as stimulants will keep you awake and disrupt your pattern.
– While we sleep, our bodies use this time to rest and repair so good sleep hygiene is vital to strengthen your body’s immune response

Other self care tips include:

  • Spend more time with family & friends to build your sense of belonging
  • Declutter your bedroom to create a calm space
  • Take control of your finances & reduce your debt
  • Reduce your time on social media channels
  • Start a new hobby making more time to do the things you enjoy!

Remember, self care is not selfish – it’s necessary and plays an important role in our overall wellness.

If you need more advice, visit your local Haven Pharmacy for a confidential, non-judgemental chat.

Haven,  you’re in expert hands.

Are you getting enough Vitamin D?

Did you know that Vitamin D is vital for the development of healthy bones, teeth and muscles? The best natural resource of Vitamin D is the sun, however in Ireland during the winter months, we are exposed to very little sunlight, especially people working typical 9-5pm office hours.

We can also get our Vitamin D from our diet by eating foods rich in dairy such as milk, butter, cheese and yoghurt. Oily fish such as salmon and mackerel are a good source of Vitamin D as well as egg yolks. Unfortunately we don’t eat enough of these foods to get the recommended amount of Vitamin D our body needs.

TILDA researchers have found there is insufficient daily intake of the vitamin across Ireland:

  • 47% of all adults over 85 are deficient in winter
  • 27% of adults over 70 who are ‘cocooning’ are estimated to be deficient
  • 1 in 8 adults over 50 are deficient all year round
  • Only 4% of men and 15% of women take a Vitamin D supplement.

In recent years, there has been huge renewed interest in vitamin D, with new global research showing that the health benefits of this nutrient stretch beyond bone health. There is increasing evidence for the beneficial effects from dietary vitamin D which has shown benefits for its contribution to;

  • Normal function of the immune system
  • Maintenance of normal bones and teeth
  • Normal absorption and utilisation of calcium and phosphorus
  • Normal muscle function
  • Normal blood calcium levels
  • The process of cell division

Vitamin D has been in the news frequently recently for its links to Covid-19. A trial on the relationship Vitamin D has in preventing colds, flu and chest infections found that Vitamin D had a significant protective effect when it was given daily or weekly to people with lowest vitamin D levels. The study showed that after taking Vitamin D the risk of having a cold or flu was reduced from 60% to 32% in these people. Therefore, maintaining a sufficient vitamin D level is beneficial in prevention of colds and flus and may therefore be of benefit in the COVID-19 pandemic.

Vitabiotics Ultra Vitamin D tablets were developed as a convenient way to supplement the diet with vitamin D. By taking a daily supplement with food, Ultra Vitamin D contributes to the maintenance of normal bones and teeth and is also known for its role in supporting normal function of the immune system, normal cell division and normal muscle function.

 

       

 

Vitabiotics have two Vitamin D strengths available which both come in a three-month supply from just one small daily tablet.. Now available from your local Haven Pharmacy alongside other leading Vitamin D brands.

Stay Fit – Stay Healthy!

Did you start off 2021 with new goals and objectives for the year ahead? Perhaps one of them is to get fit & healthy or lose weight. One of the best ways we can do any of these is to go Walking! It’s one form of exercise that is both free and easy to do. There’s no training involved, it can be a great social activity if you want it to be…. and you can do it anywhere!

We all know walking is good for us but it’s actually more important than we realise. Click on the infographic below to see the 20 benefits of walking:

Being physically active is probably the single most important thing that we can do for maintaining or improving our physical and mental health and wellbeing. Physical activity which includes an active lifestyle and routine exercise, like walking, plus eating sensibly is the best way to stay healthy. Here is a guideline of activity for you and your family:

Children and Young People (2-18)
All children and young people should be active, at a moderate to vigorous level, for at least 60 minutes every day. Include muscle-strengthening, flexibility and bone-strengthening exercises 3 times a week.

Adults (18-64)
At least 30 minutes a day of moderate activity on 5 days a week (or 150 minutes a week). You can count shorter bouts of activity towards the guidelines. These bouts should last for at least 10 minutes.

Older People (65+)
At least 30 minutes a day of moderate intensity activity on 5 days a week, or 150 minutes a week. Focus on aerobic activity, muscle-strengthening and balance.

Walking is the best form of exercise as it can be tailored to most fitness levels and health needs – and it’s absolutely FREE! No gym membership, no sign up fees – all you need is comfortable footwear, appropriate clothing for the weather and you are good to go!

Here are 5 tips to help you get started and stay on track:

– Go for a stroll after dinner each day instead of watching television – make this a habit like brushing your teeth or taking your vitamins
– Give yourself an aim like walk to the shop to get milk or post a letter to a friend – it helps to have a reason to get to your destination
– Change your route and explore different paths every day – that way it won’t seem so monotonous and you will gain more appreciation of your the surroundings on your doorstep
– Leave the car at home and walk to public transport to get to work / shops – this is not only good for your health but you will also save money too!
– Keep track of your progress by using a calendar or a fitness tracker – you will soon see improvements in your timing and want to increase your steps

For more information on how to get started on your new fitness plan, call in to your local Haven Pharmacy for more advice!