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Fear of Needles A Needling Issue Amid Vaccination Campaign

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KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama) – While it is heartening that Malaysia has ramped up its COVID-19 vaccination drive in its endeavour to attain herd immunity soon, people who have an aversion to needles are having a hard time overcoming their fear and getting themselves inoculated.

For those who have a strong fear of needles, getting the vaccination is a big deal and can be anxiety-inducing.

According to Universiti Malaysia Sarawak psychiatrist Dr Amanda Albert, fear of needles is not uncommon, with some experts postulating that avoidance of pain caused when the needle pierces the skin is actually an evolutionary instinct.

“The human race survived by avoiding pain and injury with their fear instinct, creating a human predisposition to this fear of needles.

“However, problems arise when this fear reaches the extreme level of a phobia as this will affect one’s ability to obtain the vaccine or undergo any other medical procedure involving needles,” she told Bernama recently.

The specific phobia about medical procedures involving needles is called trypanophobia which, said Dr Amanda, is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), as a blood-injection-injury type phobia.

In Malaysia, there are no statistics pertaining to the number of people with this phobia but globally it is estimated that up to one in 10 people may suffer from some form of trypanophobia, she said.

“Studies also show that four out of five people with trypanophobia report having a first-degree family member with the same phobia. However, experts believe this may be due to learned behaviour more than actual genetic inheritance,” she added.

SYMPTOMS OF MEDICAL NEEDLE PHOBIA

Dr Amanda said trypanophobia is diagnosed when a person has an immediate and marked fear response to medical needles.

Symptoms include fainting, dizziness, light-headedness, nausea, vomiting, sweating and palpitation.

“This fear can go on for at least six months and cause the person to avoid the trigger with intense fear and anxiety, usually out of proportion to the actual danger posed by the needle.

“It is also out of proportion to the person’s sociocultural context, meaning their fear responses are different from the fear responses of those in their social circles and cultural background,” she explained.

She said in certain cases, persons with this phobia have been known to completely avoid going to a clinic or hospital despite having an illness that requires treatment, or even refusing to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

“They will avoid medical needles at all costs, be it needles for vaccines or blood transfusion or medications that are given through the vein,” she said, adding that those with extreme trypanophobia may not only avoid the COVID-19 vaccine but also resist having their blood sample taken or any medication given via needles should they develop COVID-19.

Unlike anti-vaccination groups that have no trust in science or vaccine safety, individuals with trypanophobia generally do not object to vaccinations – they avoid it purely due to their fear of medical needles.

“People with trypanophobia would probably have no problem with taking vaccines that are given orally, like the polio vaccine,” she said, adding that people with this phobia can seek the help of a professional therapist, such as a clinical psychologist or psychiatrist, to overcome their fear.

DEALING WITH THE FEAR OF NEEDLES

Dr Amanda said those who are avoiding the COVID-19 vaccine due to their fear of needles must teach themselves to relax and do deep breathing exercises “to slow down the bodily responses of fear such as fast heartbeat and fast breathing” as it can help one to feel more at ease.

“(While at the COVID-19 vaccination centre) after you have checked that you are being given the right vaccine dosage, find things that would take your attention away from the procedure at hand. Bring a trusted friend or family member with you, or talk to them on the phone.

“You can also hold an ice pack in your hand as (the sensation of) pain and temperature run along the same nerve pathways to the brain, so this is a form of ‘distraction’ to your nerve pathway. If the room you are in has a piece of art or a cartoon drawing that you appreciate, pay more attention to it than the needle,” she said.

She also said that people with trypanophobia could prepare themselves for the vaccination through exposure therapy, which involves exposing themselves to medical needles step by step.

“Read about it and watch videos, then accompany someone to a vaccination centre,” she added.

Meanwhile, Dr Ammar Rashidi Abdullah, a medical officer at Hospital Kepala Batas in Penang, said individuals who have a phobia about needles should consult a psychiatrist or counsellor to overcome their fear.

The fear of needles can be detrimental to one’s state of health as it discourages a person from getting the COVID-19 vaccine, as well as any medical treatment involving the use of needles, he said.

He also reminded that the COVID-19 vaccines offered by the Ministry of Health are safe and approved by the ministry’s National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Authority Malaysia, as well the World Health Organisation.

Sources: BERNAMA

Health

Food Review: COVID-19 Variant Getting Stronger, Try These 5 Foods To Boost Immune System

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COVID-19 cases continue to rise, taking daily precautions such as washing your hands, social distancing, exercising, and getting enough sleep is key to lowering the risk of infection. COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization. Maintaining a healthy diet to help boost your immune system may also give you an edge.

Individuals with certain pre-existing illnesses like diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and respiratory issues are at a higher risk of having COVID-19 complications, it also aggravates with age as the general immunity reduces as you get older. It is important for your immune system to stay in tip-top shape. Try these 5 foods.

1) Yogurt

Picture: Medical News Today

Yogurt is a great source of probiotics, which are good bacteria that can help promote a healthy gut and immune system. Recent studies have also found probiotics to be effective for fighting the common cold and influenza-like respiratory infections. Sarin recommends choosing plain yogurt rather than anything too flavored or sweetened and topping it with fruit and honey.  Those on a dairy-free diet can still benefit from almond milk and coconut milk yogurt options.

2) Broccoli

Picture: BBC Good Food

Broccoli is also rich in vitamin C. Just half a cup contains 43% of your daily value of vitamin C. Broccoli is packed with phytochemicals and antioxidants that support our immune system. It also contains vitamin E, an antioxidant that can help fight off bacteria and viruses. To get the most out of this powerhouse vegetable, eat it raw or just slightly cooked.

3) Garlic

Picture: NDTV Food

Not only is garlic full of flavor, but it’s packed with health benefits such as lowering blood pressure and reducing the risk of heart disease. Garlic’s immunity-boosting abilities come from its heavy concentration of sulfur-containing compounds, which can help fight off some infections. Garlic has been shown in the past to help ward off the common cold. It is an easy vegetable to work into your diet. You can add to it anything from pasta sauce and salad dressings to soups and stir-fry dishes.

4) Red Bell Peppers

Picture: Food Sources Information

Red bell peppers reign supreme when it comes to fruits and vegetables high in vitamin C. One cup of chopped red bell peppers contains about 211% of your daily value of vitamin C. That is about twice more than an orange has. Vitamin C contributes to immune defense by supporting a variety of cell functions and can lower the risk of respiratory infections. It can also help the growth and repair of tissues in your body. Daily intake of vitamin C is essential for good health because our bodies do not produce it naturally.

5) Mushrooms

Picture: USDA

While sun exposure is the best source of vitamin D, it can also be provided by some foods, including mushrooms. Mushrooms as a vitamin D source found that the ‘sunshine vitamin’ can help enhance the absorption of calcium, which is good for bone health and may also protect against some cancers and respiratory diseases. Mushrooms are great as a side dish or appetizer.

Sources: healthline.

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(Video) So Many Benefits! 4 Ways That We Can Use Olive Oil!

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Olive oil is a liquid fat obtained from olives. The word Olive got mentioned in Quran in different verses. In addition, Prophet Muhammad SAW said “Eat olive oil and massage it over your bodies since it is a holy (Mubarak) tree”. He also stated that olive oil is beneficial to cure 70 diseases. That is why olive oil would bring so many benefits to people.

Olives are the gift from heaven to mankind. Apart from the Date fruit, olives are actually also considered of utmost importance in Islam. For Muslims, the inclusion of the olive and olive oil in religious observance invokes the words of Allah, Muhammad, and even heavenly paradise. These are 4 ways Prophet Muhammad SAW uses olive oil.

@lookmanakimCara Rasulullah ﷺ menggunakan minyak zaitun ##foryoupage ##viral ##islam ##tiktokfoodie ##xyzbca ##fypsounds ##fypviral ##muslim ##muslimah ##Allah ##foodie♬ الصوت الأصلي – maherzainfanforever

The 4 ways are:

1) Prophet Muhammad SAW will dip bread into olive oil.

2) Prophet Muhammad SAW will eat olive and it can also be used as spreading with so many foods. It is recommended to eat 2 spoonfuls of olive oil per day.

3) Prophet Muhammad SAW will massage the olive oil onto the skin for hydration.

4) Prophet Muhammad SAW will use it on the hair to make the hair always healthy.

Sources: TikTok Lookman Akim.

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Health

Over 60 Pct of Malaysia’s Adult Population Fully Vaccinated – JKJAV

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KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 27  — Some 60.2 per cent of the country’s adult population or 14,095,554 people have completed both doses of the COVID-19 vaccination as of yesterday, according to the COVID-19 Vaccine Supply Access Guarantee Special Committee (JKJAV).

An infographic shared on the committee’s official Twitter today showed that 18,948,648 individuals, or 80.9 per cent, have received the first dose, bringing the cumulative total of vaccine administered under the National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK), as of yesterday, to 33,044,202 doses.

In terms of percentage, 58 per cent of the country’s population has received the first dose while 43.2 per cent has completed the two-dose vaccination.

On the daily vaccination rate, a total of 408,295 doses were administered yesterday with 155,669 being the first dose while 252,626 were the second dose.

PICK was launched on Feb 24 to provide vaccinations to curb the COVID-19 pandemic nationwide.

Sources: BERNAMA

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