Dislocate Your Joints Easily? Here’s What You Need To Know About Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome

If you regularly dislocate your joints, you may have Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, which is a group of connective tissue disorders that are caused by the disruption of the integrity of collagen. Ehlers-Danlos is not rare, but it is rarely diagnosed. While there is no cure, there are treatments that can help alleviate your symptoms. Here’s what you need to know. 

Ehlers-Danlos syndrome

Ehlers-Danlos is a group of six or more genetic disorders. If you have it, chances are high that someone else in your family has had it or does have it since it is hereditary. Collagen is the necessary glue of your body. Collagen is a protein that allows your tissues to stretch to a certain limit and then return back to normal. Collagen can be found throughout the body, which is why there are various types of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome in order of prevalence:

  • hypermobile—joints extend further than they should.
  • classical—hypermobility and skin stretches further than it should. 
  • vascular—fragile artery, intestine, and uterine tissues
  • kyphoscoliotic—loose ligaments, low muscle tone, weak sclera (whites of the eyes)
  • arthrochalasia—misaligned vertebrae, hip dislocations, fragile skin
  • dermatosparaxis—severely fragile and sagging skin

It’s important to note that people with this condition can be affected by more than one type. Obviously, the symptoms vary depending on the type(s) you have. The most common type is hypermobility, which is the type that often leads to recurrent dislocated joints. 

Complications

With the various parts of the body that can be compromised, there are a number of complications that can be due to Ehlers-Danlos, including autonomic disorders, cardiovascular problems, chronic pain, compromised immune systems, mast cell problems, and gastrointestinal disorders such as gastroparesis. Autonomic refers to your body’s natural processes that are supposed to happen automatically, such as breathing, body temperature, heart beat, and digestion. When your autonomic functions do not work properly, you may feel fatigued and have difficulty with brain fog. 

Due to all of the various symptoms and complications that can happen, it’s very important that you write down every symptom that you have, even if you don’t feel that they relate in any way to your dislocated joints. Show the list to your primary care physician. This is important because, unless you disclose every possible symptom and complaint, your physician will not know what you are experiencing so he or she can refer you to the appropriate specialists. 

Referrals 

Since Ehlers-Danlos is a genetic disorder, you will get a referral from your primary care physician to a geneticist. During the initial evaluation, you can expect a lengthy and detailed question and answer session regarding all of the symptoms and complaints you have. Your primary care physician will send a detailed history to the geneticist prior to your appointment so he or she can review it. For example, perhaps you had several instances in which you suddenly broke out in hives and the cause was not determined. Instead of those instances being allergic reactions, they may have been symptoms of a mast cell disorder, which is one of the possible complications of Ehlers-Danlos. 

You can also expect referrals to the various specialists who deal with the different types of Ehlers-Danlos. For example, if your Ehlers-Danlos affects your veins and arteries, you will need a referral to a vascular doctor. Another example is if the whites of your eyes are affected, a referral to an ophthalmologist will be needed. As was said before, there is no cure for Ehlers-Danlos. However, there are treatments available. Obviously, treatment depends on the type(s) you are diagnosed with but can include medication, physical therapy, and prolotherapy. Your primary care physician should be kept updated on any new diagnoses and treatment plans. 

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Make Sure To Avoid These Three Common Contact Lens Mistake

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 30 million people in the United States wear contact lenses. If you prefer contacts over glasses, chances are you have a mundane routine you follow every morning and evening. However, what you might not realize is that although you think you are wearing and caring for you contact lenses correctly, you could actually be causing serious damage to your eyes. Here are three common contact lens mistakes that you should never make:

Using Any Old Eye Drops in the Medicine Cabinet

If you’re like many contact wearers, you struggle with dry eye. Even if you’ve switched to daily wear contacts or silicon hydrogels, you might still be dealing with the itching, redness and discomfort that sends you running for eye drops.

However, before you reach for drops that are designed to combat dry eye or get the red out of your eyes, you may actually be doing more harm than good. This is because these types of eye drops are formulated to remain on your eyes for only a few seconds. When you apply these products, your eyes naturally begin to tear up, which flushes out the drops and moistens your eyes.

If you are wearing contacts and use an eye drop that is designed to combat dry eyes, the product will become caught between your lenses and your eyes, which can lead to further irritation and redness.

Instead, use a product that is specifically-formulated for contact wearers. Your optometrist can recommend a product, or provide you with other tips to help combat dry eye, such as drinking more water or switching to a different brand of lenses.

Sleeping in Your Contacts

After a busy day of working, kids and errands, you were just too exhausted to bother taking out your contact lenses – even though you know you should. Forgetting to remove your contact lenses at night isn’t a big deal anyway, right?

Unfortunately, if you begin chronically sleeping with your contacts on, you can develop a number of serious conditions. One of the most common is called corneal neovascularization, which occurs when your eye is deprived of oxygen for long periods of time. This condition is characterized by swollen blood vessels in the eyes. In serious cases, the vessels in your eyes will become so swollen that you won’t even be able to wear contact lenses, at all.

Another more serious condition, corneal ulcers, can also occur, if you habitually wear contacts while sleeping. When you wear contacts for days or weeks at a time, dirt and bacteria will become trapped, which leads to an infection that creates an ulcer on your cornea. If the ulcer erupts, it could lead to severe pain, tearing or even blindness.

As a rule, you should always make sure to remove your contact lenses before you sleep. This will allow you to clean your lenses, and it gives your eyes a chance to breathe.

You Don’t Clean Your Lens Case Properly

Even if you are vigilant about cleaning your cleaning your contact lenses, chances are there is another critical step you’re skipping: cleaning your contact lens case. Cleaning your contact lens case everyday will help prevent a potentially-dangerous film of bacteria from forming on the lens.

To clean the cases, first dump out any old lens solution. Next, wash your hands before rinsing out the case with clean contact solution. Use your clean finger to clean the bottom of the case. Finally, flip the case upside down and let it air dry.

For many, wearing contact lenses is a part of their daily routine. If you’re a contact lens lover, make sure to avoid these common mistakes, and if you have any other concerns, don’t hesitate to contact an optometrist. Visit a site like http://allabouteyes.com.

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