ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Asthmatics Who Quit Smoking May Reverse Lung Damage
Overweight Moms More Likely to Have Asthmatic Kids
Air Quality Better in Northeast, Midwest
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
No Verdict Yet on Grape Seed Extract vs. Breast Cancer
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
The Zen Way to Pain Relief
ANIMAL CARE
Safe Toys for Dogs
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Beware of Dog Bites
BONES & JOINTS
Osteoporosis May Raise Risk for Vertigo
Varicose, Spider Veins May Be Inevitable for Some
Human Ancestors Put Best Foot Forward 1.5M Years Ago
CANCER
Selenium, Omega-3s May Stave Off Colorectal Cancer
Gene Screen May Predict Colon Cancer's Return
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
CAREGIVING
Study Links Pesticides to Birth Defects
Hospital Practices Influence Which Moms Will Breast-Feed
Weekend Admission May Be Riskier for GI Bleeding
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Years of Exposure to Traffic Pollution Raises Blood Pressure
Firefighters Have Narrower-Than-Normal Arteries, Study Finds
Vitamins Do Older Women Little Good
COSMETIC
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
DENTAL, ORAL
Acupuncture May Ease Anxiety Over Dental Work
Gummy Bears Join Cavity Fight
Gum Disease Treatment Doesn't Cut Preterm Birth Risk
DIABETES
Patients' Photos Help Boost Radiologists' Accuracy
Drug May Not Help Diabetes-Related Eye Damage
Coffee, Tea Might Stave Off Diabetes
DIET, NUTRITION
Marinades Help Keep Grilled Meat Safe
Low Vitamin A, C Intake Tied to Asthma Risk
Eat Up, But Eat Healthy This Holiday Season
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Fertilizer Ban Makes a Difference
Freckles, Moles May Indicate Risk for Eye Cancer
Most Mt. Everest Deaths Occur Near Summit During Descent
EYE CARE, VISION
Brain Adapts to Age-Related Eye Disease
Drinking Green Tea May Protect Eyes
Kids Who Spend More Time Outdoors Have Better Vision
FITNESS
Maximize Your Run
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
Research Confirms How Valuable A Healthy Lifestyle Can Be
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
GENERAL HEALTH
Have a Goal in Life? You Might Live Longer
Music Therapy For Prehistoric Man?
Swine Flu Fatality Rate a 'Little Bit' Higher Than That of Seasonal Flu
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
Magnet Therapy May Ease Hard-to-Treat Depression
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
Obese People Seem to Do Better With Heart Disease
A Little Alcohol May Help the Heart: Studies
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Closes Three Schools in NYC
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Pregnant Women Exposed To Certain Pollutants Could Lower Childs IQ
Scorpion Anti-Venom Speeds Children's Recovery
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
MEN'S HEALTH
Strenuous Daily Workout May Keep Cancer at Bay
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Sunlight May Help Protect Men From Kidney Cancer
MENTAL HEALTH
Estrogen May Help Men's Hearts
Breast-Fed Baby May Mean Better Behaved Child
Musicians' Brains Tuned to Emotions in Sound
PAIN
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
Calcium Supplements Cut Blood Lead Levels During Pregnancy
Mom's Extra Pregnancy Pounds May Raise Child's Heart Risks
SENIORS
More Whole Grains May Mean Less Fat
Memory Loss Help from Brain Supplement Prevagen
Exercise Helps Reduce Falls in Young and Old
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Being Active an Hour a Day Puts Brakes on Weight Gain
Exercise Boosts Bone Density in Breast-Feeding Moms
Exercise, Weight Control May Keep Fibromyalgia at Bay
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Hybrid Cars Pose Risk to Blind, Visually Impaired

MONDAY, July 21 (HealthDay News) -- Because they can be nearly silent, hybrid cars pose a serious threat of injury and death to blind and visually impaired people, says the American Council of the Blind, which is pushing the auto industry and government officials to develop ways to reduce this danger.

"Traditionally, people who are blind or visually impaired learn to rely on their hearing and tactile cues to provide them with information about their environment, which they can use to navigate safely across streets and through other vehicular ways, such as parking lots. In so doing, the sound of traffic is their primary focus," Melanie Brunson, council executive director, said in a news release from the council.

"Traffic sounds provide information about such things as the position of vehicles, their direction of travel, their rate of acceleration, and the speed at which they are likely to move. With this information, the pedestrian can make informed decisions about when to cross a street or other vehicular way safely," she said.

Without those sound cues, a blind or visually impaired person is at serious risk.

"Imagine you are a blind person traveling independently with the aid of your cane, something you have done confidently for years," Dr. Ron Millman, chair of the council's public relations committee, said in the news release.

"You are crossing a fairly busy intersection. You listen for sounds of approaching cars. All cars seem stopped. Suddenly, you hear screeching brakes. Too late, you realize a quiet, nearly silent, hybrid car is only a few inches from you. Panic takes over. Every sense of survival says to run, but where? There is not time to escape as you face this horror and possible life-threatening situation."

But this danger isn't limited to blind or visually impaired people, said Dr. Karen Gourgey, a member of the council's environmental access committee.

"Recent studies have shown that even people who are fully sighted use hearing as well as vision to make street crossing decisions, though they may not realize it. And we haven't even mentioned children and older people," Gourgey said in the news release.

The efforts of the council and other advocates for the blind are having an effect. Last week, the U.S. Federal Highway Traffic Safety Administration held its first public meeting on the issue.

More information

The American Council for the Blind offers tips on how to help blind people.



-- Robert Preidt



SOURCE: American Council of the Blind, news release, July 2, 2008

Last Updated: July 21, 2008

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