ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Keep Asthma, Allergies at Bay for the Holidays
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Climate Change Could Sting Allergy, Asthma Sufferers
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Health Tip: Anticipating Acupuncture
The Zen Way to Pain Relief
Higher Vitamin D Intake Could Cut Cancer Risk
ANIMAL CARE
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Safe Toys for Dogs
BONES & JOINTS
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Varicose, Spider Veins May Be Inevitable for Some
Resistance Training Boosts Mobility in Knee Arthritis Patients
CANCER
Bitter Melon Extract May Slow, Stop Breast Cancer
Antioxidants Pose No Melanoma Threat
Wristbands May Lessen Nausea After Radiation
CAREGIVING
High Rate of Rehospitalizations Costing Billions
Hispanic Children More Likely to Have Hearing Loss
Medication Errors Could Be Cut: Experts
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Exercise Extends Life of Kidney Patients
Laughter Can Boost Heart Health
Migraines in Pregnancy Boost Vascular Risks
COSMETIC
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
DENTAL, ORAL
Acid Drinks Blamed for Increase in Tooth Erosion
Health Tip: At Risk for Gingivitis
Amino Acid May Be Key to Strong Teeth
DIABETES
Doctors Urged to Screen Diabetics for Sleep Apnea
Older Diabetics With Depression Face Higher Death Rate
Arthritis Hits More Than Half of Diabetics
DIET, NUTRITION
Eating Healthy : You Can Live Longer
Just Say No to Nuts During Pregnancy
Many Kids Don't Need the Vitamins They're Taking
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Air Pollution Exposure May Slow Fetal Growth
Showerheads Harbor a Bounty of Germs
Environmental Chemicals May Affect Male Reproduction
EYE CARE, VISION
Eye Problems, Hearing Loss May Be Linked
Diabetic Hispanics Missing Out on Eye Exams
'Blind' Man Navigates Obstacle Course Without Error
FITNESS
Simple Exercise Precautions To Help Keep Baby Boomers Fit
Community Exercise Programs Boost Seniors' Strength
Will the Wii Keep You Fit?
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
GENERAL HEALTH
You Can Get Great Exercise In The Garden
Have a Goal in Life? You Might Live Longer
Soluble Fiber, But Not Bran, Soothes Irritable Bowel
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Magnet Therapy May Ease Hard-to-Treat Depression
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Obese People Seem to Do Better With Heart Disease
Lack of Vitamin D Linked to High Blood Pressure
Risk Factor for Stroke More Common Among Whites
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Viral Infection Might Trigger High Blood Pressure
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Eating Fish, Breast-Feeding Boost Infant Development
Scorpion Anti-Venom Speeds Children's Recovery
MEN'S HEALTH
Physical Activity May Prolong Survival After Colon Cancer
Countdown to Hair Loss
Exercise May Prevent Prostate Cancer: Study Shows
MENTAL HEALTH
Common Social Groups and Race, Seem to Help People Relate
Vitamin C Protects Some Elderly Men From Bone Loss
Most Depressed Teens Don't Get Treatment
PAIN
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
Calcium Supplements Cut Blood Lead Levels During Pregnancy
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
SENIORS
Nighttime Urination Linked to Higher Death Rate Among Elderly
For a Healthier Retirement, Work a Little
Tai Chi May Help Ward Off Knee Pain in Seniors
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Heart Defects in Newborns Linked to Antidepressants
Supplements Might Reduce Breast Cancer Risk
Broccoli May Help Battle Breast Cancer
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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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