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Q & A- ADDRESSING MYTHS AND FACTS IN MEDICAL SCIENCE

Myths are popularly-held ideas that are usually false. It is possible you have a few mythical beliefs you are totally unaware of. Outlined below are some myths in medical science and their demystification. You would find them helpful as a vibrant professional.

◾GENERAL HEALTH

Myth: An hour at the gym is enough exercise for the day.

Fact: If you can afford an hour at the gym, fantastic! But it doesn’t cover you for the whole day. Research has shown that sitting for 5 uninterrupted hours is dangerously equivalent to smoking a pack of cigarettes daily.  You should rather aim for an hour of moderate exercise in a day, as well as moving (or walking) for 3-5 minutes every half hour or so.

 

Myth: Eat whenever you are hungry

Fact: Your body does not have to beg or shout for food before you feed it. Data has revealed people with this habit are often predisposed to all kinds of medical conditions. Instead, try to eat at about the same time every day, and nothing in between meals, except for fruits. We already have the Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner schedule built. Adhering to this on most days would lower your risk for diseases, as well as improve your physical and mental performance.

 

Myth: Getting health insurance indirectly means that I’m inviting illnesses into my life, and is unnecessary at a young age.

Fact: It is advisable to sign up for health insurance in order to be prepared for any health problems that might occur. Having health insurance also helps you to get hospital care at a subsidized cost.

 

Myth: Eating disorders only affect females.

Fact: Many are of the opinion that eating disorders can only be found amongst young females. Contrary to this opinion, a study has revealed that about 50% of young men have anorexia (intentional starving), bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorders. These disorders are serious mental health conditions and should be promptly and properly addressed.

 

◾EYE HEALTH

Myth: Wearing someone else’s glasses will make one go blind.

Fact: Although using someone else’s spectacles may cause significant discomfort and eye strain, it does not necessarily cause blindness. It is always advisable you stick to your own pair of glasses, anyway.

 

Myth: There is no harm in asking someone to blow foreign objects from the eyes.

Fact: There are dangers associated with this. There is the risk of eye injury from the foreign body or others or even saliva from the blower’s mouth.  You should rather go for simple first-aid measures, such as washing the face/eyes with clean water.

 

Myth: Staying close to TVs and Computer screens damages vision.

Fact: Well, there is no known significant electromagnetic radiation emitted by modern TV screens that causes harm to vision. However, prolonged exposure may induce strain, and consequently headache. It’s advisable that you install blue screens on your devices.

 

◾MENTAL DISORDERS

Myth: Mental illnesses are usually caused by supernatural powers.

Fact: Mental illnesses are rather a result of brain dysfunction or even hereditary.  There are also psychological causes such as alcohol, drugs and substance abuse, stress, and trauma.

 

Myth: Since mental illnesses are mostly self-inflicted, mentally-ill persons are deserving of their symptoms.

Fact: Instead of more stigmatization, mentally-ill individuals should rather be shown sympathy.

 

Myth: People with mental health issues cannot hold down a job or be useful members of the workforce.

Fact:  The majority of people with mental health issues can be as productive as individuals without mental health disorders. Employability and employment rates, however, decrease with increasing mental illness severity.

 

◾HIV/AIDS

Myth: One can get HIV from mosquitoes.

Fact: There is a worry that bloodsucking insects might spread HIV. The fact is – when insects bite, they do not inject the blood of the person or animal they have last bitten. Hence, insects cannot carry the virus.

 

Myth:  One can tell someone has HIV/AIDS through their physical appearance or stature?

Fact: “E no dey show for face ooo…”

Many times, infected persons appear completely healthy. One, therefore, has to be careful with the carriers as anyone infected with HIV can infect other people, even if no symptoms are present.

 

Myth: I can get HIV by being around people who are HIV-positive.

Fact: HIV is not spread through touch, tears, sweat, or saliva through any of this. It is spread only from infected blood, semen, vaginal fluid, or mother’s milk.

◾CANCER

Myths: Hospital treatment worsens cancers

Fact: This misconception is often found in some regions of the country. Even educated individuals are in tune with the notion. People resort to hospitals only when the cancers are at an advanced stage. This is not right at all. Early discovery and management with the appropriate therapy would reduce the morbidity of the condition.

 

Myth: Cancer is a death sentence and early screenings do not help.

Fact: Cancer is not a death sentence. Early cancer screenings greatly increase the chances for successful detection and treatment.

 

◾VACCINES

Myth: Vaccines are dangerous.

Fact: Vaccines turn out to be less risky than the actual disease. They undergo series of development and testing to ensure safety and efficacy in humans.

 

◾COVID-19

Myth: Nigerians are immune to SARS-CoV-2

Fact: The answer is clearly negative. Although it seems that the number of people with the virus in Nigeria is less pronounced than in other countries, there is no sort of selectiveness to the virus.

 

Myth: One can ‘boost’ the immune system to prevent COVID-19.

Fact: This is claim might just be for marketing purposes. Our immune systems are robust and stay strong through good sleep, exercise, an overall healthy diet, and reducing stress. Vitamins, supplements, and specific foods do not have the capability of targeting the parts of our immune system that fight off viruses.

 

Myth: Sunlight and high temperatures can prevent COVID-19 infection.

Facts: Coronavirus can be transmitted in any kind of climate. No matter what kind of climate, one must adhere to the precautions, i.e. wash your hands often, ensure distancing and wear masks always.

 

There is a fleet of misconceptions regarding health matters. It is however profitable to seek knowledge and be acquainted with veracious information.

 

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Comments (3)

  1. Thank you for this healthy piece of information

  2. Wow! You just added to the little I know. Thanks.

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