Erectile Dysfunction Meds Linked To 85% Higher Serious Eye Damage Risk, Study Says

Can regularly taking erectile dysfunction (ED) medications like Viagra and Cialis make it much harder for you to see? Well, a study just published in JAMA Ophthalmology found that men who regularly took phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors were 85% more likely to have suffered at least one of the following three major eye problems:

Serous retinal detachment (SRD), retinal vascular occlusion (RVO), and ischemic optic neuropathy (ION). Now, if you and your penis were to say, “still worth it,” keep in mind that all three conditions could lead to blindness. And when you are blind you can’t see your penis.

Chances are you don’t commonly use words such as phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitor (PDE5Is) when making some romance. Such words probably rank lower than “amazeballs” and “sasquatch” in terms of sexiness and things to say in bed. However, you may be more familiar with specific PDE5Is such as sildenafil (e.g., Viagra), vardenafil (e.g., Levitra and Staxyn), tadalafil (e.g., Cialis), and avanafil (e.g., Stendra).

For the study, a team from the University of British Columbia (Mahyar Etminan, PharmD, MSc, Mohit Sodhi, MSc, Frederick S. Mikelberg, MD, and David Maberley, MD, MSc) identified 213, 033 men in the PharMetrics Plus database (IQVIA) who had regularly taken PDE5Is from January 1, 2006, through December 31, 2020.linkedin-1

They then compared what happened to these men to what happened to 4,584 men who didn’t regularly take PDE5Is. They had excluded anyone who had had diagnoses of SRD, RVO, or ION in the year prior. The average age of those in both the PDE5I-taking group and the control group was 64.6 years old.

During the study time period, there were 278 cases of SRD, 628 cases of RVO, and 240 cases of ION. Those who had SRD, RVO, or ION were more likely to have had chronic medical conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, coronary artery disease, and sleep apnea. However, even when controlling for such other risk factors, those who had regularly taken such ED medications were still 85% more likely to have suffered one of these three eye conditions.

They were 158% more likely to have had SRD, 44% more likely to have had RVO, and 102% more likely to have had ION. This translated to an additional 3.8 SRD cases, 8.5 RVO cases, and 3.2 ION cases per 10,000 person-years.

While your penis may regularly make decisions for you, your eyes and vision are pretty darn important as well. Typically, you can see things such as hot dogs or Madonna because light from these images passes through the cornea in the front of your eye, gets focused by your lens that sits behind your cornea, and then hits your retina, the layer of photoreceptors lining the back of your eye.

These photoreceptors convert the light into electrical signals, which then travel to your brain via your optic nerve. Your brain subsequently transforms these nerve signals into images so that you can say that that indeed is a plate of hot dogs and not Madonna.

Any kind of retinal detachment can interrupt this pathway. Retinal detachment is not an emotional state for your retina such as when it inexplicably doesn’t cry during the movie Up. Rather, it’s when your retina separates from the blood vessels that provide your retina oxygen and nourishment.Exudative or serous retinal detachment (SRD) is rare type of retinal detachment, which occurs when fluid accumulates under your retina and pushes it away from the blood vessels. This is not only serous, it’s also a serious condition and calls for emergency care.

Disrupting the blood flow to and from your retina or optic nerve can interrupt your visual pathway too. When blood flow to your optic nerve is messed up, ION can result. And RVO is when the veins carrying blood away from your retina get blocked.

It’s not completely surprising that ED medications like sildenafil and tadalafil might affect the blood flow to and from different parts of your eyes and optic nerves. Such medications act by inhibiting the action of phosphodiesterase enzymes that normally degrade cyclic guanosine monophosphatec (GMP) and cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP).

As a result, the levels of cGMP/cAMP increase in the smooth muscle cells that line the walls of your blood vessels, which, in turn, can cause the smooth muscles to relax and the blood vessels to dilate and expand. Expanded blood vessels can send more blood flow to your penis, which can lead your penis doing stand up, so to speak. Mo blood can potentially mean mo erection.

That’s because it is blood that makes you hard and lifts you up, presumably not wires, CGI, or any other special effects. PDE5Is aren’t as penis focused as you may be, though. They can act on blood vessels throughout your body, including those that may affect your vision.

Of course, the results of this study don’t necessarily mean that you should immediately stop taking your ED medications and start Googling Swedish-made penis enlarger pumps or some other method not recommended by your doctor.

As an observational cohort study, this study can only show associations and not cause-and-effect. Moreover, it’s not as if people are losing vision left and right after taking sildenafil. You may not be hearing regular stories of people saying, “OK, babe, I’m ready for you. Babe? Babe, where are you?” The incidence of SRD, RVO, and ION was still quite low.

Nonetheless, this study’s findings do offer an additional warning that you shouldn’t treat ED medications as if they were candy or oysters. This certainly wasn’t the first study to show a link between PDE5I and major eye problems. There have been previous case reports and other epidemiologic studies as well. I covered one of these case reports for Forbes back in 2018, although that was a case of someone potentially taking too much sildenafil.

So, if you happen to have any problems with your penis, don’t just take matters into your own hands, so to speak, and jump to over-the-counter medications such as sildenafil. The words “over-the-counter” and “penis” don’t always go together. Instead, talk to your doctor first, and figure out together what to do about any standing problems. After all, indiscriminately taking ED medications can have some stiff consequences.

I am a writer, journalist, professor, systems modeler, computational and digital health expert, medical doctor, avocado-eater, and entrepreneur, not always in that….

Source: Erectile Dysfunction Meds Linked To 85% Higher Serious Eye Damage Risk, Study Says


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How The Pandemic Has Changed Our Lives in 2020

To say that 2020 was a year unlike any other would be putting it mildly. The COVID-19 pandemic left few parts of daily life unscathed. From forcing legions of children to attend school via Zoom to revising how we work, travel, and shop for food, here’s a look at some of the most notable ways life changed in 2020.

Related: Americans’ Top 10 Biggest Fears About the Coronavirus Pandemic

With urban hubs like New York City making headlines for being COVID-19 hotspots, the suburbs have never been quite so appealing. A variety of studies have found that Americans of all demographics began adopting suburban life during 2020. In particular, the moving resources and information company MyMove conducted a study of change of address data from the U.S. Postal Service and found that more than 15.9 million people moved during coronavirus. The MyMove report notes that “people are leaving big, densely populated areas like Manhattan, Brooklyn and Chicago and spreading out to suburbs or smaller communities across the country.”

Related: Pandemic Phrases That Have Infected Our Vocabulary

COVID-19 also triggered a massive shift in how we work. At the onset of the pandemic, countless Americans created home offices overnight in order to adapt to the new normal. And while it seemed initially that the shift would be temporary, more than a few of America’s most well-known employers have since announced long-term work from home plans and policies. In fact, Flexjobs has said working remotely may very well be the way of the future, pandemic or not, with some companies even deciding to let employees work from home permanently, including Coinbase, Infosys, Lambda School, Nationwide Insurance, and Nielsen.

Related: 18 Big Companies Letting People Work From Home Long-Term

Students of all ages have seen their worlds altered dramatically. Remote learning has become the norm for all ages, from elementary school through college. As 2020 draws to a close, the remote learning continues for many, with many school districts around the country — from San Diego to Chicago and Boston — pushing back any plans to return to in-person education as the pandemic rages. Zoom classes, it seems, are here to stay for a while longer.

Related: 25 Top-Rated Products on Amazon for Working From Home and Remote Learning

School and work aren’t the only parts of life that have moved almost entirely online. More Americans than ever are grocery shopping online, we’re holding virtual happy hours, and even taking part in Zoom doctors’ appointments more routinely. Computers have likely never played a more central role in our lives. An article from MyMove calls it the “telepresence boom” noting that entire families are now performing basic functions from their homes via a computer and an internet connection. And many of those changes are not likely to ease any time soon.

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Ah, the good old days when we attended big concerts without a second thought, as well as weddings, festivals or sporting events. The year 2020 significantly altered this part of life with social distancing and lockdowns being the rule. As an article in Physician Sense notes, all of these things will be back at some point, but even after the pandemic has subsided, large gatherings are likely to be forever altered in some ways.

Related: 12 Things You Likely Won’t See at the Next Wedding You Attend

The pandemic of course, changed our eating habits, a topic worthy of an entire article of its own. But let’s start with the renewed or increased focus on beans. This humble, protein-filled staple has taken on new importance amid COVID-19. The New York Times reported in March a huge boom in bean sales, which makes sense, right? Beans are filling, nutritious, and inexpensive.

Related: Best Beans and Rice Recipes From Around the World

The past year has been stressful, unnerving, boredom-filled, and more. So, it’s no surprise that we’re reaching for comfort food more regularly. A poll released in September found that two out of three people are eating more comfort food. This includes an increase in the consumption of pizza (55 percent), hamburgers (48 percent), ice cream (46 percent), and more.

Related: 20 Comfort Food Recipes That Freeze Well

While we’re seeking out the comfort food, we’re ditching the healthy stuff. Forbes found Google Trends data suggesting that searches for terms like “salads” and “veggies” were lower in 2020 than at the same time in 2019.

Related: Top Google Searches Before & After Covid-19

With restrictions on dining inside restaurants in 2020 thanks to social-distancing guidelines, drive-thru became the next best thing for many people. Restaurants far and wide responded by redesigning their customer experience to include many adding drive-thru lanes or creating spaces for curbside pickup — even if they already had drive-thru lanes. What’s more, a recent article from Forbes says that curbside pickup is here to stay, even after the pandemic ends. The publication reported that Starbucks CFO Pat Grismer says curbside service is part of the chain’s plans for longer-term recovery.

Related: How Drive-In Restaurants Are Catering to Customers Amid the Pandemic

Before COVID-19 altered our world, about 20 percent of Americans shopped for food more than three times each week. A study by consulting firm McKinsey, however, found that number was down to 10 percent by June 2020. Meanwhile, Supermarket News reported that online grocery sales skyrocketed, rising from $1.2 billion in August 2019 to $7.2 billion in June 2020.

Related: Online Grocery Delivery Comparison: Is One of These Services Right for You?

Remember when it seemed almost rude not to greet the individual who delivered food to your home? The days when we would meet him or her at the door and perhaps provide a cash tip. That’s a distant world, isn’t it? Now we practically cower inside our homes fearing human contact, requesting the delivery driver drop our food on the doorstep and be gone. Close contact with strangers became a health hazard in 2020 and we have adapted accordingly. Doordash, Seamless, and many smaller delivery services offer a contact-free option.

Outdoor dining used to be far more prevalent in Europe than the U.S., but with social distancing being the new normal and the fact that the hazards of COVID-19 are reduced in fresh-air environments, restaurants that never before considered al fresco offerings have scurried to set up tents and tables in parking lots, on sidewalks and in roadways. Some 67 miles of streets were closed to vehicular traffic in New York City, with more 2.6 miles dedicated to the city’s Open Restaurants program, which has been made permanent. Some restaurants are also making structural alterations, building patios and decks. As Architectural Digest reported: “Masked waiters, tables spaced six feet apart, plexiglass barriers, and even stuffed animals occupying seats — these are some of the changes you might encounter the next time you dine out.”

Related: Beloved Restaurants and Bars That Closed Permanently This Year

A Statista survey conducted during the earliest days of the pandemic revealed our personal hygiene habits had also begun to change significantly in 2020. Back in April, 79 percent of the Statista survey participants said they wash their hands more regularly. Not surprising under the circumstances. And the reality is that stepped-up hand washing is still a necessity as the pandemic rages on.

Related: How to Disinfect Without Harming Your Stuff (or Yourself)

Headline-grabbing protesters aside, it seems the need for making face masks a part of our lives has begun to sink in as the year draws to a close. A HealthDay/Harris Poll found that “more than nine in 10 U.S. adults (93%) said they sometimes, often or always wear a mask or face covering when they leave their home and are unable to socially distance, including more than seven in 10 (72%) who said they always do so.” And until vaccines become more widely distributed, masks will continue to be an important part of life.

Related: Masks and Accessories to Make Covering Your Face More Comfortable

To say the travel experience changed in 2020 would be an understatement. This is a topic that has received immense coverage. Some of the most immediate impacts to our lives include the lack of travel altogether and the bans on Americans visiting many countries around the world because of the COVID-19 rates in this country. But travel has changed in more subtle ways as well, with some airlines blocking middle seats from being used to keep passengers from sitting too close together, and cruise lines practically ceasing operations, while hotels are redoubling efforts to provide clean, sanitized rooms when you check-in.

Meanwhile, more Americans are taking road trips and rediscovering America again. A survey conducted by Cooper Tires and reported by the New York Post earlier this year found that 43 percent of those surveyed had replaced canceled travel plans with a road trip of some sort.

Related: I Drove Cross-Country During the Pandemic — Here’s What I Learned

Another sign of the times, public transportation has become a highly undesirable way to get from place to place. A Statista survey conducted in April found 38 percent of respondents said they had begun avoiding crowded modes of public transport. It’s a shift that’s not likely to reverse course any time soon.

The gym industry has also taken a beating this year as have the exercise habits of Americans in general, with many hesitant to spend extended periods of time in confined spaces with fellow exercisers who are sweating and breathing heavily.

As Time reported, sweeping and repeated lockdowns have made Americans more sedentary than ever before and the effects are likely long-lasting. One survey reported by Time revealed a 32 percent reduction in physical activity among U.S. adults who had previously been meeting recommended exercise guidelines. Meanwhile, many gyms and personal trainers began offering virtual exercise sessions in 2020 in order to stay afloat, bringing their services to our living rooms for a change. No more rushing to get to your gym in time for an exercise class.

Related: 18 Fitness Challenges to Keep Pace (and Your Distance) During the Pandemic

While carrying cash was largely becoming a thing of the past prior to 2020, the COVID-19 outbreak has hastened this trend. It’s not unusual to walk into a store these days and see a sign that says “Credit cards preferred.” That April Statista survey found that cash is being used far less day-to-day by 36 percent of survey respondents. For those still not clear on the why behind this shift in daily life — a scientific study explains that “paper currency by its very nature is frequently transferred from one person to another and represents an important medium for human contact.” And as we all know so well now — human contact is the big no-no of 2020.

Related: Cash-Based Businesses That Must Change to Survive in the COVID-19 Era

By: Mia Taylor



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Transphobia Is Everywhere in Britain

LONDON — It must look odd to an outsider.

The race to replace Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party, after its traumatic defeat in December’s general election, has largely been conducted in the spirit of bury-the-hatchet pragmatism, to the point of tedium. The three candidates have promised, however sincerely, to maintain the general thrust of the party’s policy platform; divisions have mostly been a matter of tone, style and subtle implication. Rancor and controversy have been restrained among the candidates as well as the 500,000-strong membership. Except in one area: trans rights.

A contentious row began last month, when the Labour Campaign for Trans Rights announced itself with 12 pledges, which ranged from recognizing trans people’s oppression — at risk of hate crime and denied equal access to public services, health care, housing and employment — to supporting the expulsion of members who express transphobic views. Rebecca Long-Bailey, the candidate closest to Mr. Corbyn’s politics, and Lisa Nandy, the one farthest away, supported the campaign. The outcry was immediate: People started the hashtag #expelme on Twitter. Hecklers disrupted leadership hustings. And Tony Blair, a former leader and prime minister, warned of “the cul-de-sac of identity politics.”

To many, the sight of a center-left party failing to support trans rights without equivocation must be baffling — not least to American Democrats, whose party, divided in many ways, is firmly united in its support for trans and nonbinary people. But really, it’s no surprise. Transphobia, constantly amplified by the country’s mainstream media, is a respectable bigotry in Britain, shared by parts of the left as well as the right.

There are two main types of British transphobia. One, employed most frequently but not exclusively by right-wing men, rejects outright the idea that gender might not be determined only by biological traits identifiable at birth. This viewpoint can often be found in publications aligned with the Conservative Party, such as The Spectator, The Times and The Telegraph, all of which are looking for a new “culture war” to pursue now that the long, exhausting battle over Brexit has finally been resolved in favor of Leavers.

The other type, from a so-called radical feminist tradition, argues that trans women’s requests for gender recognition are incompatible with cis women’s rights to single-sex spaces. At its core, such an argument is not at odds with the first type — both rely on the conceit that trans and nonbinary people should not determine their own gender identities — but it is this second strain that is often expressed on the British left, from the communist Morning Star to the liberal New Statesman and The Guardian. Imported from American feminist circles during the 1970s, the argument is largely disowned in the United States. But it remains stubbornly persistent in Britain.

That is has done so owes much to the longevity of a generation of journalists who established themselves when the argument was orthodox. Many still hold influential roles as columnists or editors and have used their positions to keep the argument in the mainstream, while favoring a younger generation of writers who share their antipathy to trans people.

Younger trans and nonbinary people and their feminist allies have tried to shift the discussion onto the challenges we face in a transphobic society — with some success, especially in the early 2010s, when Trans Media Watch submitted a report to the Leveson inquiry into abuses of power by the British press. But that provoked an avalanche of commentary insisting that any discussion be returned to the intractable “debate” about whether trans and nonbinary identities (and especially those of trans women) were valid. Trans “activists” — anyone who questioned the terms of this “debate” — were characterized as an abusive mob and accused of silencing their critics, despite the fact that these critics could be heard advancing the same views in all major newspapers, every day, throughout the decade.

This counteroffensive reached its height in autumn 2018, as the Conservative government held consultations on reforms to the Gender Recognition Act, which had been passed in 2004. In response to demands for the bill to allow self-determination of trans and nonbinary identities, The Guardian — which as the country’s only center-left broadsheet newspaper plays an outsize role in political debate — published an editorial that attempted to find a center ground. But to do so, it took its framing and talking points from organizations implacably opposed to trans rights, as the writer Jules Gleeson noted. Many British trans writers, including me, have since declined to contribute to The Guardian, repeating a pattern played out in the New Statesman several years earlier.

The reforms to the Gender Recognition Act were shelved, topping off a dispiriting few years: The Leveson inquiry changed nothing, and none of the recommendations in a 2016 parliamentary report on transgender equality were brought in. Effectively excluded from mainstream liberal-left discourse and despairing of the possibilities for change under any Conservative government, trans and nonbinary people turned back to Labour as the only political institution potentially able to change both the conversation and legislation. That seemed especially possible after the narrow electoral defeat in 2017 offered hope that the party could soon take power on a platform of social democratic reform — led by someone who offered vocal, unwavering support for trans rights.

But John McDonnell, Mr. Corbyn’s long-term ally, was far more equivocal. And Labour’s 2019 manifesto, mostly more radical than two years earlier, included just a few lines on trans issues and hedged its bets about single-sex spaces and gender recognition. Such division and ambivalence isn’t confined to an older, outgoing generation: Laura Pidcock, regarded as a potential successor to Mr. Corbyn until she lost her seat in December, recently caused consternation by calling for “the space to talk about sex and gender, without fear of being ‘no platformed.’”

The intervention did not go without challenge: Many of Labour’s younger, more left-leaning members rejected the suggestion that trans rights were up for debate. So does much of the left. But the party — and the center-left coalition it contains — is far from united. Keir Starmer, the overwhelming favorite to win the leadership race who has based his campaign around “unity” above all else, tellingly attempted to bridge the divide: He offered rhetorical support for trans and nonbinary people while declining to sign on to the pledges.

But in the face of Britain’s unreformed and unrepentantly hostile media, and the virulent transphobia it endlessly churns out, calls for unity won’t be enough. Mr. Starmer — and the Labour Party — will have to decide whose support is worth keeping, and pick a side.

Juliet Jacques is the author of “Trans: A Memoir.”

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Source: Opinion | Transphobia Is Everywhere in Britain

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This is a clip of Fox Fisher speaking to Ben Brown LIVE on BBC News about why there is an 81% increase in transgender hate crime being reported to the police in the UK. No one should be persecuted based on their gender identity or gender expression. Hostility towards trans people is on the ise in the UK and beyond. It’s not a surprise this is happening. It’s obvious from these numbers that the UK has a serious problem with transphobia that urgently needs addressing. This is partly facilitated through the media, which has been particularly hostile in the UK. Trans people are regularly framed as a danger or a threat to the wider population. Similar to the climate around Section 28, where gay people were seen as a threat This has a knock on effect on public perceptions and increases the chances of people taking violent action against trans people, particularly those who may be at the start of their transition are at risk, who may not or may never have ‘passing privilege’ or are gender non conforming. We should be creating a society where there is room for all of us regardless of our gender identity and expression. Thanks for watching! Check out our other social media accounts! twitter: @thefoxfisher and @uglastefania insta: @thefoxfisher and @uglastefania Also check out My Genderation! insta: @mygenderation twitter: @mygenderation

Good Luck Finding True Love With No Drama – Fulfillment Takes Work


Apparently, in the dating world, there’s now an epidemic of men specifying partners and relationships with “no drama”. “I understand that people want joy, laughter and happiness in their relationships,” wrote Laura Hilgers, in a New York Times essay on the phenomenon.

But the men who use such phrases, she argued, “want something that doesn’t exist: a problem-free partnership with someone who has no life experience. Are they looking for a woman who never gets angry or afraid or sad, who never worries about her family or struggles in her job?”

It’s hard to say, because “drama” is so vague. That makes it a worthy successor to the now rather 70s-sounding “issues”: a label capacious enough to include people with severe personality disorders – whom you might be forgiven for wishing to avoid – but also everyone who has displayed any human emotion other than upbeat good cheer. So, by demanding “no drama”, you get to characterise your fear of difficult emotions as a simple matter of self-care.

Of course you don’t want to date somebody with, you know, issues! (To be clear: if drama means emotional or physical abuse, you should definitely avoid it.) On the other hand, good luck finding a fulfilling relationship if you will only consider people with no issues.

If I have sympathy for these drama-avoidant men, though, I can sum it up in two words: internet dating. Romance, like much else these days, comes with the promise of infinite possibility: if this particular match doesn’t work out, there are countless fantastic alternatives on standby. The promise might not be real; maybe none of those astoundingly attractive women would date you.

But it’s the belief that counts – and in this environment, filtering out the prospect of being exposed to someone else’s emotional struggles makes a certain, rather soulless, kind of sense. Why choose a challenging experience if a fun one seems like an option? Sure, the challenging experience may ultimately prove more meaningful, but it’s still a big ask.

It’s a mild version of that phenomenon where people have a brush with death, through illness or accident, then say it was the most meaningful experience of their lives. Fair enough – but even so, few of us would choose that path if we thought we could skip it instead. The problem here is the collision of a timeless truth – that what we think we want isn’t always what’s best for us – with a modern one: the way the “convenience revolution” makes it so easy to get what we think we want.

Convenience plays funny tricks: “I prefer to brew my coffee,” writes the academic Tim Wu, “but Starbucks Instant is so convenient I hardly ever do what I ‘prefer’.” A decade or two ago, it didn’t matter so much if you couldn’t handle negative emotions in others; if you wanted a relationship at all, you would have to learn to cope.

These days, when it takes willpower just to go and meet a friend instead of staying at home watching Netflix, how much more willpower does it take to voluntarily submit to the risk of difficult feelings? You still should, since it’s the only way to fulfillment. But like many other things worth doing, it’s getting easier and easier not to do it.





Source: Good luck finding true love with no drama – fulfilment takes work | Oliver Burkeman | Life and style | The Guardian

SHARING THE LAST AND FIRST OF THE YEAR – Marilyn Armstrong — Serendipity – Seeking Intelligent Life on Earth

Share Your World 12-31-18 Writing this on the last day of the year to be published on the first of the new one, so it is the last and the first. May everyone’s New Year be full of joy, laughter, health, and hope! For the parents in the crowd: What would be the absolute worst name […]

via SHARING THE LAST AND FIRST OF THE YEAR – Marilyn Armstrong — Serendipity – Seeking Intelligent Life on Earth

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