Case study: Could Facebook trigger asthma?
Can virtual friends give you asthma? The question is put in an unusual case study reported on Friday by the medical journal The Lancet.
Italian doctors describe how a 18-year-old man with a history of asthma suddenly experienced bouts of breathlessness during the summer months, when he was normally free from these symptoms.
The teen's worried mother learned that he was depressed after breaking up with his girlfriend, who had deleted him from her list of "friends" on Facebook while "friending" lots of new young men.
Using a new nickname on Facebook, the young man succeeding in becoming her "friend" once more and in finally gaining access to her picture on her Facebook profile.
Intrigued, the doctors asked the patient to wear an airflow mask, measuring respiratory flow, whenever he accessed Facebook.
Sure enough, his breathing volume dramatically plunged as soon as he logged in, sometimes by more than 20 percent. After getting help from a psychiatrist, the patient determined not to login to Facebook any more -- and the asthma attacks stopped.
The patient had no other physical problems or anything else untoward in his medical history, say the investigators.
They conclude it was the stress of Facebook login that triggered the asthma: the patient literally choked at the prospect of seeing and communicating with his ex.
The case is reported in a letter by five doctors, led by Gennaro D'Amato of the High Speciality Hospital in Naples.
The authors say the case could be a useful tip for doctors who want to explore mystery cases of wheezing and breathlessness among young patients, for whom social networking is fast taking the place of real-life relationships, with all their ups and downs.
"Facebook, and social networks in general, could be a new source of psychological stress, representing a triggering factor for exacerbations in depressed asthmatic individuals," says the letter.
"Considering the high prevalence of asthma, especially among young people, we suggest that this type of trigger be considered in the assessment of asthma exacerbations."
How to clean your computer and avoid Asthma Attacks
Cleaning your computer is like cleaning or changing your car’s air, oil or fuel filter. A clean filter will make the car run efficiently and your engine will last a long time. Your computer’s hardware such as the computer’s fan and vents on the computer case would allow clean air inside to increase air flow. If dirty air, grime, and dust go inside the computer, both your hard drive and some parts around the CPU might be dirty or yet damaged; your computer will end up overheating, and you probably do not know about it. Cleaning your computer can be tedious work, but it can be a lot of fun if you do not have anything else to do around the house. Here are some basic tips that you need to remember while cleaning your computer:
Note: If you have any pets at home, make sure to keep the cats and dogs as far away from the computer as possible while you are working.
-Turn off Your Computer—
Make sure everything on your computer is turned off and let it cool down before you do any maintenance on it. If you were working on a car, you would not want to work on a car with a hot engine, would you? Of course not. Make sure your computer’s tower is turned off as well as your monitor and your computer mouse (if you have a wireless mouse). Wait for at least 5 to 10 minutes for your computer to cool down, and proceed to the next step, which is to unplug the cables.
-Unplug the cables from the back of the computer—
Cables for the printer, mouse, keyboard, monitor, speakers, network router, etc. need to be unplugged in order for you to gain access to the computer tower. Make sure to check, double-check, and triple-check to see that every single cable has been taken out from its port. If your computer is located on the bottom of your computer desk, take your computer out [gently], and place it on a flat surface. I would not recommend putting it on carpet since it is not as stable as a regular desk.
-Obtain all Necessary Tools—
Obtaining all necessary tools to clean your computer is vital. First, you would need a 00 screwdriver (available at various hardware stores or office supplies stores) to unscrew the computer case. A can of compressed air (Dust-Off is a good brand; a pack of 12 costs $35 at Costco) is needed to spray the dust from the CPU fan and the motherboard. Finally, a used dust rag or a microfiber cloth would be used to do some final cleaning for the smaller or hard-to-reach areas.
-What to do with the Can of Compressed Air-
The kids may think of the can of compressed air as a toy. It is NOT! Compressed air contains a lot of chemicals, especially Freon and additives that may be harmful to children if used orally or near the eyes. To start spraying, spray little squirts of the compressed air at the dirty areas of the computer; long squirts will do two things that would aggravate you and make you sick: 1) The dust and dirty air flying around the room might lead to severe illness for people who have asthma problems; 2) The Freon in the compressed air does lessen by a wide margin if used in long, frequent squirts. Oh, and make sure to get those USB ports too.
-Clean Your Monitor and Keyboard Too-
Your computer is not the only thing that might be dirty. Your monitor and keyboard might gather up a lot of dust in the long run, and you might not be able to see a thing from your monitor, no matter if it is a cathode-ray tube (CRT) or a flat LCD screen. The compressed air is considered a multi-tasker and your monitor and printer will also thank you for the job you have done. How would you like to have a clean monitor and keyboard after a couple of months of excess usage?
-Put Everything Back Together-
Now that your computer is cleaned, both inside and out, it is time to put everything back together. If you hear a quiet hum of the CPU, that means that you have done everything the right and efficient way. Congratulations, you have just learned how to clean your computer.