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How Property Managers Help You Make More with Less Work

Property management is an important consideration when it comes to making sure that your property maintains its upkeep. Hiring a managing agent in Singapore can do a lot to help you not just with making a profit for your real estate, but also with making sure that your property increases in value over time.

Benefits of Property Management

Like all good things, prime real estate needs prime maintenance in order for it to make a profit. One way to maintain it as an investment real estate is by being a hands-on landlord yourself. However, if you don’t want to do that, this is where having a property manager comes in.

When it comes to buying real estate, a broker can also act as a managing agent or condo manager with property management included in their roster of services. These services include, but aren’t always limited to, the following:

1. Screening potential tenants – Managing agents all have a system of screening potential clients. These help to minimize accusations of discrimination, as well as filter out the best tenants that can not only pay for longer, but also pay on time and are less likely to cause any problems with your property.

A managing agent can also make sure that the property is marketed to as wide a tenant base as possible, which is something that you may find hard to do alone.

2. Rent collection – Aside form screening for tenants, managing agents can also set the initial rent level (which depends mostly on how much certain units of the property need to be priced in order to recover the investment and continue making a profit), they can also collect and adjust the rent in your absence.

Essentially, if you don’t want to manage the property yourself, hiring a property manager can free you up with having to look after the monthly upkeep.

3. Maintenance and repair services – Whether they are personally in charge of estate maintenance or hiring a third-party estate maintenance service, managing agents are more than capable of managing building maintenance in Singapore and making sure your property is in peak condition. Because of this, they often have large networks of reliable people who can do the job.

4. Budget management – A managing agent (or condo manager, depending on the type of property you want to invest in) also helps in detailing budget plans as well as establishing and keeping existing records, such as income, expenses, complaints, maintenance and repair costs, etc.

How Managing Agents Market Your Property

Properties that slowly become undesirable will at some point experience a dip in rent, which will leave you with a less attractive return on your investment real estate over time.

In order to make sure that you can still experience a profitable return on your investment, having a managing agent or condo manager for your investment real estate is essential – aside from their function in making sure the property appeals to potential tenants, they also have to market the property to said tenants.

Managing real estate in Singapore involves understanding the operating expenses and the level of budgeting required in order to keep these expenses manageable. The appropriate rental rates are estimated based on the existing costs needed to maintain the property and the increased percentage of return, among others.

How Managing Agents Price Rent for Your Property

Investment real estate works on a different way than most real estate properties, as they are used mostly as a source of income rather than a primary residence. There are also a lot of factors that your managing agent or condo manager needs to keep in mind when calculating the cost of rent for your properties and marketing it to potential tenants.

Depending on how lucrative the property is as a living space (i.e. the property’s condition, proximity to amenities, transport hubs, markets, etc.), the price can be made high or low.

Examining the “Buy-Low-Sell-High” Strategy

The phrase “buy low, sell high” has become a mantra seemingly ingrained in every real estate investment seminar, and has since been incorporated into every book and infomercial on the subject. However, this isn’t always as easy as it sounds – in fact, the principle is incredibly difficult to execute.

While your property may increase in market appreciation and accrue considerable market equity on paper over time, it’s important to prepare for when you reach an income cap, and the earnings start to decrease from then on. If your investment is located in an area with high appreciation rates, this can have a negative effect on your return rates.

There are existing exit strategies that you can use in order to avoid seeing your investment turn into a costly white elephant, such as reinvesting in new property or selling the existing property outright, though this may take some strategic planning with your managing agent in order to pull this off.

On Competitive Pricing

As a property owner, you may also need to embrace the possibility of competitive pricing. Your managing agent needs to do this in order to make the rent strike the balance between yours and the tenants’ interests is also something that a managing agent or condo manager needs to be able to do.

While the price of rent may seem disheartening to you at first, the profits that they will generate will eventually accumulate over time. Keep in mind that the results are not immediate – pouring your investment in real estate may not guarantee fast results, but the results are definitely guaranteed.


When to Call a Plumbing Service

A lot of homeowners tend to do their plumbing works on their own for many different reasons. Some are motivated by being able to save money while for others, it’s the feeling of fixing your own property and being able to try out their own skills and craftsmanship.

However, not all repair jobs can be done by the average homeowner. There are some jobs that require the experience, expertise, and tools that can only be provided by reliable plumber. But when should you throw in the towel and let the professionals handle the plumbing works? Here are a few things that you should call a plumbing service for.

1. Maintenance

A regular maintenance schedule can help you avoid costly repairs. Pipes need to be regularly maintained to make sure that small fixes do not lead to larger, more expensive breakdowns. A reliable plumber has the knowledge to do a thorough inspection of your plumbing works, from detecting leaky pipes to clearing clogged drains.

During an inspection, a reliable plumbing company in Singapore will clean aerator heads on your faucets and shower heads. They will also clean garbage disposals and water heaters, conduct pressure tests to detect leaks, inspect your filter system, and test for lead.

2. Clogs and slow drains

Of course, clogs are some of the most urgent problems that your pipes can have. While you may try to clear the clog with a plunger, some clogs just won’t budge. This could be because your plunger is too small for the sewage line. Some homeowners go down and dirty by trying to break-up the clog themselves, but this could damage your porcelain, or cause further damage to your pipes.

To make sure that you don’t worsen the problem or have your efforts wasted, call an expert. If you already have a clog that is causing a flood, you will need plumbing services immediately. On the other hand, if a clog ever occurs at night, don’t hesitate to call a 24 hours plumber in Singapore.

Slow drains can be as much of an issue as clogged pipes. Water that drains slowly, such as those that could happen in sinks and tubs, can worsen to become full-blown clogs. It is always a good idea to call a plumber as soon as you notice water draining slower than usual.

3. Leaks and drips

Leaks and drips are a nuisance in many ways. Not only do they raise your water bill, costing you money on wasted water, they can also damage your property and belongings. Not only that, leaks can also be noisy and annoying. Leaky faucets and showers may be easy to fix; you may only need to change the washer or tighten a screw or two. However, if this doesn’t work, it’s time to call a professional plumber to make sure that you don’t waste any more water or damage your property further.

4. Reduced water flow

If instead of too much water it’s not enough water that’s your problem, it may mean that you need to call a plumbing contractor. Weak water pressure can mean that your shower’s aerator is clogged, or coated with residue. While you can remove and clean an aerator yourself, certain models can make DIY fixes overly complicated. If you try to force your way into unclogging an aerator, you may simply worsen the problem, so it is best to call a licensed plumber instead.

5. Inconsistent water pressure

An inconsistent water pressure is a tell-tale sign of bigger issues. Whether it’s just the pressure of a single pipe, or a problem with your entire house, it’s always a good idea to have it checked by a licensed plumber.

While the problem may be something as mundane as a clogged pipe, finding out the cause of the problem by yourself can very costly. Licensed plumbers have the tools and knowledge to figure out where the problem lies without having to manually check every pipe, saving you time and effort.

6. Visible water damage

Signs of water damage that is left untreated can mean great costs for you in the future. These signs can include water stains, mold, and discolored walls. It is a good idea to contact one of the many plumbing services in Singapore like http://www.superplumbers.sg/ the moment you notice any signs, as water can cause costly damage on your property and belongings.

7. Gurgling pipes

If your pipes gurgle whenever they are used, or moments after you have turned off a faucet or flushed the toilet, this means that your pipes are clogged. If they gurgle when they are not used, it may mean that air is being drawn into the drains, due to a blockage.

As the drains continue to be used, a back-up may occur. This may also cause sewage smells to occur in a building. If you hear gurgling sounds within your plumbing system, try to minimize water use and call a plumbing service immediately.

8. Major installations

When you’re installing major appliances or fixtures, you will need the expertise of a plumber. Trying to install an appliance yourself may cause avoidable repairs, and may even lead to a re-installation. Even if you will have to spend some money, a consultation with a plumbing service can save you time, effort and money in the long run.

You will also need the services or a plumber when doing remodels and renovations. When changing the structure of a room, you will often need to move appliances and fixtures around, which means that you may need to move supply lines and drains. If you attempt to do this yourself, you may end up ruining your lines, resulting in even more costs.


What are the Effects of Drinking Alkaline Water?

People have always been drinking water that is alkaline in nature, which happens when water passes over rocks (i.e. springs and other freshwater bodies) and pick up minerals that increase its alkalinity in the pH scale.

However, tap water in Singapore is mostly acidic in nature. It has a pH balance of 4.0 to 5.0, while alkaline water ionized and dispensed through an alkaline water ionizer is just between 8.0 and 9.0. There are many ways that you can test this, ranging from using litmus strips to even rice washings.

Many people today in Singapore drink water that has been ionized, usually via a chemical process known as electrolysis, to increase its alkalinity. This ionization process uses electricity to separate molecules that are either more acidic or more alkaline from the water, and the acidic water is then flushed out. But what exactly does alkaline water do to your body?

What Alkaline Water Does to Your Body

In countries such as Japan and Korea, an alkaline water ioniser machine is considered to be both medical and water treatment devices because of the health benefits of alkaline water.

While you may have heard and/or doubted many benefits of alkaline water, there are a few definite advantages that you need to keep in mind when it comes to drinking water with regulated or increased alkalinity:

• Alkaline water neutralizes acidity in the body, which is beneficial for those who are suffering from acid reflux or from high blood acidity.

• The reduction of acidity in the body, in turn, reduces the need for storing fat and cholesterol (fat and cholesterol are the body’s way of reducing acidity in the body), leading to weight loss.

• Added alkaline minerals in the water filter of an alkaline water ionizer help to restore the pH balance as well as add the much-needed minerals that are otherwise lost through other filters and ionizers.

• Drinking alkaline water helps promote the growth of probiotic bacteria in the gut, which need the alkaline pH balance in order to thrive.

• Ionized, or alkaline water from Singapore has another advantage over regular tap water in the form of antioxidant potential. The antioxidant potential of alkaline water binds to the free radicals which are acidic in nature, which then allows the body to process them as waste.

As much as drinking alkaline water is good for your body, it also has its own long-term effects (though these can also be mitigated). As long as you don’t drink alkaline water during meals that have meat or dairy products, or drink alkaline water when taking your medications (with the exceptions of vitamins), alkaline water should be a perfectly healthy choice.

How is Alkaline Water Made?

Alkaline water starts off as regular water from your tap and has to be converted. Regular tap water goes through an alkaline water ioniser machine, which is connected through your tap water system as an additional faucet or pipeline and takes as little as fifteen minutes to install.

Once the machine from http://www.h2olifesource.com/ in Singapore is connected to your water system, it is then treated through a process called electrolysis. The machine does this by siphoning off the water near the cathode, which contains increased levels of hydroxide, which is alkaline.

After the electrolysis, the ionized water passes through a water filter cartridge. The filter is comprised of a section of activated charcoal, where impurities are filtered out, and another section, where essential minerals that may have been filtered out by the charcoal are re-introduced.

Once the minerals are introduced into the water, the water exits to the machine’s tap, and you can then enjoy drinking your healthy alkaline water.

Choosing the Right Ionizer

One of the advantages of using an alkaline water ioniser machine is that you can adjust the alkalinity of the water depending on your needs. However, shopping for an alkaline water machine is not an easy talk.

In order to know how to choose an alkaline water machine for your home, it’s important to know what makes a good water machine. Alkaline water machines have four key features that allow it to do its job: pH/ORP Range, platers, filters, and lastly, the warranty.

• Filter – The filter is what removes the impurities from the water, which means you will need to find a machine that supports either a single or a dual filter system (though the latter is preferable.)

Choose the single filter system only if your water is already pure or neutral. However, if you find that the water quality is pure, you might need to choose a water machine that supports a dual filter system.

• Plates – Your ionizer works and/or functions more effectively because of the number and types of plates it supports. Three main types of plates exist: flat plates, which are the easiest to clean and are the most durable; and slotted and mesh plates, which are lighter and cost less.

• PH/ORP range – The ORP (Oxygen Reduction Potential) range is what measures the number of electrons in the water, and is the key advantage in using an alkaline water machine over regular tap water. A good water machine should provide both alkaline and acidic water and produce a high negative ORP output.

• Warranty – To avoid scams, you should only buy from a trusted and reputable company, especially when it comes to buying health products. Some of the things you can look for to know if a company is reputable are the factory compliance certification, a good warranty on factory defects and repair, and good customer ratings.


5 Types of Brand Names in Trademarking: A Brief Guide

Protecting your intellectual property through trademarks prompts a cautious assessment of what trademarking entails. Simply put, a trademark is essentially a registered mark which is composed of a unique name, set of words, symbol, device, or a combination of these factors. These marks are primarily used to identify and distinguish a company from the rest – of which includes the specific products and services they offer.

Trademark registration also allows commercial companies to protect their products and stop competitors from using and/or misusing the same products and services. More than just the need to protect your brand, registered trademarks help in instilling brand loyalty among avid customers and in shaping their perceptions regarding the services you offer.

What makes a good trademark?

If you would like to perform a trademark registration in Singapore a trademark firm would likely urge you to come up with a distinct and unique name. It seems like the more exclusive your trademark sounds or appears like, the better it is at protecting your company – but that belief is entirely all up for debate, though.

Business owners often go with generic names initially, only to set their name into something more unique before they officially register trademark. Doing so makes them stand out from the rest of their competitors across the city-state. Hence, coming up with an effective trademark is crucial for any business endeavor.

In general, there are 5 types of brand names when it comes to trademarking:

1. Generic

Generic brand names encompass an entire group/class of products. This category is considerably the weakest; therefore, they cannot be legally trademarked in Singapore. Examples of this type would be words like: ‘Cold Beer’, ‘Smartphone’, or ‘Bread’. Even though they can’t be trademarked, you may still see these brand names on some commercial products.

These names are still effective, though. People tend to quickly associate them with the products and other commodities they need because they are simple and easy to remember. But because they are far too generic, these brand names cannot be used to register TM nor used exclusively by a single company.

2. Descriptive

A little step above the generic category is the descriptive brand names, which are still notably difficult to protect. They’re called descriptive because of the adjective/descriptor present before a generic word. You won’t have a hard time distinguishing generic names from descriptive ones. The presence of any descriptive word effectively kicks them up a notch than mere generic brand names.

Examples of descriptive trademarks include Burger King, Pizza Hut, and Holiday Inn – all of which has earned legal trademark protection. That means, corporate owners of these companies possess the right to prevent other establishments from copying their name or coming up with a brand name which is closely like theirs.

3. Suggestive

Suggestive brand names have greater chances of acquiring legal protection. Names such as Greyhound and Amazon are highly correlated with something else – thus they invoke the power of analogy. The word ‘greyhound’ generally refers to a certain dog breed, but in this case, it is a registered trademark for an intercity bus common carrier (Greyhound Lines, Inc.). Meanwhile, ‘Amazon’ is the name of a race of Greek female warriors, but the word is now trademarked for one of the biggest online shopping sites internationally.

Although they’re notably harder to market compared to other types of brand names, having suggestive marks make it easier for trademark registration company to register your trademark.

4. Fanciful

Perhaps one of the most interesting parts in trademark registration, the use of fanciful and unique names is also considered the easiest to protect. Using this category of brand names requires creativity and wittiness. Since they’re distinct, fun, and easily protected by the law – a lot of business start-ups opt to create or coin fanciful trademarks themselves.

This trend can be observed in the tech world, notably in brands such as Xerox (a global corporation which sells document solutions), Twitter (an online news and social networking service), and Google (a sought-after company specializing in Internet-related services and products).

5. Arbitrary

The last category belongs to arbitrary brand names. These are names which appear to be generic, but they possess certain trademarkable traits because of the obvious way they’re used out of context. For instance, the global oil company Shell was able to trademark the name because the product and services they offer to the public are unrelated to ‘seashells’.

Another example would be “Apple” computers and smartphones. The tech giant gained trademark rights over the name because their business endeavor was not in line with selling produce. Obviously enough, not even a bit.

The process of trademark registration doesn’t just happen overnight. After you sign the documents, you need to give it time before the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore or other related government institutions review your application. Some cases take about 3-6 months of processing time, others even take up to years.

Companies who applied for generic and descriptive brand names were notably the ones who took time in waiting for their trademarks to be legally registered. The board must first ensure there’s no opposition from third parties and there’s no existing business which already uses the same name before they can bestow you the legal rights to protect your brand name.

To protect your brand efficiently, allot generous amount of time in brainstorming about potential trademark names. It is also encouraged to seek the assistance of trademark attorneys before you proceed on applying for your trademark to reduce any chances of errors and fines.


The Different Approaches to Psychotherapy Explained

If you were referred by your general physician to the best psychologist in Singapore, you will most likely undergo a form of psychotherapy during your treatment. The psychology center might also refer you to a psychiatrist if you need medication for your emotional or mental distress while working closely with a psychotherapist who specializes in a psychotherapy that can best address your problems.

What is Psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy is also known as talk therapy, because unlike the primary treatment method used by a psychiatrist, a recommended psychologist or psychotherapist is concerned with the emotional and mental well-being of the person (the psychiatrist deals with the physical symptoms of severe mental and emotional illnesses, although they can also perform counselling or psychotherapy). If you were recommended to a psychology center at a hospital for relationship counselling for example, it means that the doctor things you need to be able to deal with issues in your life in a focused and constructive way.

Now, all mental and emotional distress will need medication unless the symptoms interrupt your daily life, that is why people go through counselling for issues related to relationships, work, and painful experiences. Even those without any mental distress can also seek help when they are going through difficult times in their career, marriage, and a stressful condition. One such example is marriage counselling, which will help couples deal with difficult issues such as divorce.

Generally, psychotherapy is grouped into behavior therapy, psychoanalysis and psychodynamic therapy, cognitive therapy, humanistic-existential therapy, and holistic therapy. During your treatment, you might encounter any of these psychotherapeutic methods at the psychology center.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy. This type of cognitive behavior approach is recommended by a psychologist for patients with suicidal tendencies and borderline personality disorder. The method was developed by Marsha Linehan to help patients manage their thoughts and actions.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. This approach deals with both the person’s beliefs and thoughts and how these factors affect the mood and actions. You will encounter this method during counselling sessions with a psychologist for addictions. The psychologist in Singapore will help the patients bring awareness to a pattern of thinking or any unhealthy action, habits, and behavior. The term cognitive-behavioral emphasizes the connection between how a person sees things, what he/she tells himself/herself, and the feelings and acts that result from those two.

Interpersonal Therapy. This approach may be recommended by the psychology center for patients with depression, especially when the illness is related to unhealthy or dysfunctional relationships at home or at work. This may be used during a relationship counselling and a marriage counselling, due to the stressful nature of the problem. The goal is to help the patients determine how the bouts of depression can cause more problems and how they are supposed to deal with it through improved communication with other people.

Family Systems Therapy. The psychologist in Singapore will also refer to this as marriage counselling or relationship counselling, although other members of the family are also encouraged to attend the talk therapy. The goal is to change or to nurture the good relationship of the family members. Why should a family undergo this type of talk therapy? It comes from the idea that a person’s emotional and mental well-being may be understood in a larger context instead of looking at the individual only.

By being able to understand the dynamics within a certain group (the family), the psychologist might be able to help everyone who is affected. It’s not about exposing “dirty family secrets” to a stranger, but to address how these issues affect other life aspects of the family members. The psychologist might use different techniques (communication training, genogram, and systemic interpretation) and other talk therapies during the treatment.

Psychodynamic Therapy. This talk therapy is used with other psychotherapy methods to help patients with various mental disorders become aware and to understand their own actions. The psychologist will guide the patient in understanding how the non-conscious feeling can affect their behavior.

Hypnotherapy. This might sound like it’s straight from a suspense or horror film, but clinical hypnosis has been shown to be effective in treating emotional and mental disorders. The psychologist places the patient in a trance-like state to make them focus on hypnotic suggestions to break destructive habits or to help them relax. Don’t worry though, because the psychologist isn’t going to turn you into a mindless doll. The effect is less dramatic than that, because the method only uses relaxation and repetition to help the patient.

Expressive Therapy. As the name suggests, this method helps patients through music, art, writing, drama, and other forms of art. The approach can be used for a variety of problems including learning disabilities and mild depression. Expressive therapy stems from the belief that people can heal themselves through creative expression.

Cognitive-Behavioral Hypnotherapy. This approach uses both the cognitive behavior therapy and hypnosis to help patients deal with pain and trauma. The method is usually recommended for patients with anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, habit disorders, and sexual dysfunction. The use of this method is based on the belief of the cognitive mediation’s role in learning, which means that the person’s pattern of thoughts will determine how he/she will respond to stimuli. By using suggestive hypnosis, the psychologist hopes to help the patient mediate the patient’s belief system and consequently change his/her actions and thoughts gradually.

Play Therapy. You will usually find this approach used by a child psychologist, because play can help the child create a connection with the psychotherapist. Research suggests that it is possible to understand a child’s problem by observing how he/she plays. A child psychologist is well-trained in dealing with children, who are usually more expressive of their thoughts and emotions than adults.

Through a proper diagnosis the psychologist can help the child become empathic, expressive, and respectful in their expressions. This is recommended for children who have experienced trauma, abuse, family crisis, and those who have an illness, learning disability, depression, autism spectrum, and behavioral disorders.


Importance of STD Screening

A lot of people believe that STD screening should only be done if you are sexually active or have more than one intimate partners. But not all sexually-transmitted diseases can be acquired through intimate encounters. It’s not uncommon to hear stories of people getting infected from shared needles and blood transfusion. Some newborns are also infected because the parents are not aware that one or both of them are infected. And finally, there is the stigma of STD testing.

STD Screening is for Everyone

A lot of cases of STD infection are not diagnosed because the person is not aware that he/she is infected. Misinformation and ignorance about the diseases contribute to rise of STDs. STD screening, however, should be treated as necessary as getting annual physical exams in adults. STDs can cause life-threatening complications if not treated early. Some, like most cases of human papillomavirus are common and would disappear after a while. But there are infections that could damage other organs such as hepatitis B and C or expose your body to opportunistic illnesses such as having a sexually transmitted disease called human immunodeficiency virus.

Early STD Treatments

What is scary about STDs that you need to check at a STD screening test at Singapore is that a lot of them often don’t show symptoms unless the disease has caused permanent damage. Some show symptoms similar to other conditions. That is why the only sure way to know if you are infected is to get an STD screening. A lot of them a curable too. Chlamydia, syphilis and gonorrhea can all be cured if the person undergoes STD testing early. Untreated chlamydia and gonorrhea can cause pelvic inflammatory disease in women and epididymitis in men. There is also a greater chance of becoming infertile. Herpes simplex virus and HIV are both incurable but early detection can help reduce the symptoms. There are treatments for both herpes and HIV available in Singapore hospitals and clinics today.

Getting Infected

Not all STDs can be prevented by using contraceptives alone such as condoms so you and your partner should both get an STD screening. Sometimes contact with sores on an infected person is all that takes. You don’t even have to have genital to genital contact to get infected. There are only three ways to get infected. STDs can also be transmitted through contact with infected blood and blood products or it can be passed on from mother to a newborn. You will not get infected, however, by simply touching, hugging, kissing, sharing food utensils or talking to an infected person.

Recommended Testing

How often should you be tested for STDs? High-risk individuals or those who are involved with more than one intimate partner should undergo STD testing regularly. Adolescents aged 13 and above should also get tested especially if they are sexually-active. But that’s not all. You need to talk to your doctor about your lifestyle, medical history, and risk factors so he/she can recommend the type of test that you will need and how often you should be tested. You should be screened once a year for the following STDs: chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and HIV. Expectant mothers or women who are planning to have a baby should be tested for hepatitis B, HIV, syphilis, chlamydia and gonorrhea. If you have shared needles or drug injection tools, you should be tested for HIV.

STD Testing at Home

You could buy STD testing kits at pharmacies. Experts advise to ask about the method from your doctor first. That is because there might be factors that could affect the result of the tests such as your medication and the type of test kit you purchased. The doctor will also recommend a second test at the clinic if you have tested positive in your home testing kit. There are test kits for chlamydia, gonorrhea, trichomoniasis and HIV that you can purchase from STD testing clinics, pharmacies and other health care providers in Singapore.

STD Testing at Clinics or Hospitals

You should set an appointment at an STD screening clinic in Singapore. Before an STD test is done, you will be interviewed about your medical history, lifestyle and sexual practices, and previous cases of any sexually transmitted disease. You will have to share information regarding the barrier methods or contraceptives you use, if your partner has a history of STD, if you are experiencing any symptoms, how many intimate partners you’ve had and which body parts were used during the act. The doctor will then do a physical examination to check if you have symptoms. You have to be honest with the doctor when you’re providing all the information. This could help make the diagnosis and treatment much easier.

Treating HIV-Positive Pregnant Woman

Ideally, couples who are planning to have a baby will be advised to undergo HIV testing and STD testing, but some individuals may not be aware that they have contracted HIV through methods other than sexual contact. In such cases, a pregnant woman will be advised to include an HIV screening during her first prenatal visit and another during the third trimester.

The goal of treating a pregnant woman with anonymous HIV testing in Singapore is to reduce the risk of transmission to the infant during pregnancy, childbirth, and nursing stages. The treatment used for adolescents and adults are like those recommended for pregnant women. There is no risk of having birth defects from taking HIV medication, but care must be taken when selecting the best HIV regimen to reduce life-threatening side effects.

Diagnosing STDs

One barrier to STD testing is the expense. The only affordable testing methods used are for HIV and syphilis. That is why you have to talk to the doctor about the symptoms so that he/she can recommend the best method available. The testing is usually done more than once especially if you are undergoing treatment. You should treat the expenses as necessary because it could save you o or your partner’s life. If you’re planning to have a baby, you have to get tested. There is no one STD testing for all types of STD. The tests are done to look specifically for the presence of the virus, bacteria or parasite in the samples. There will also be indications in the samples such as the presence of antibodies that target the specific infection.

STD Treatments

Most STDs can be treated. Chlamydia, syphilis and gonorrhea which are bacterial infections are treated using antibiotics. Trichomoniasis, which is a parasitic infection, can also be treated using antibiotics. Hepatitis B is treated using antiviral medication and immune system modulators. HIV and herpes are treated using antivirals, but they cannot be cured presently.


Cardiac Arrest vs. Heart Attack: What’s the Difference?

The terms cardiac arrest and heart attack have been often interchangeably used by a number of people in Singapore, but these two conditions differ from each other. While a great number of heart attacks do not necessarily lead to a cardiac arrest, having a heart attack is one common cause of a cardiac arrest.

What is a cardiac arrest?
Ask any cardiologist and they’re likely to let you know that a cardiac arrest is more of an ‘electrical’ problem. The condition happens when the heart begins to malfunction and unexpectedly stops beating. Your heart specialist would say the condition is caused by an electrical malfunction in the heart, which is the reason why you have an abnormal heartbeat or Arrhythmia.

Since the normal pumping pattern of the organ is disrupted, it cannot pump enough blood for the lungs, brain, and other organs for their usual functioning.

What happens during a cardiac arrest?
When a cardiac arrest happens, the patient turns unresponsive and may even stop breathing or only gasp. It can also be fatal, thus immediate treatment by a cardiologist from Singapore must be provided to the victim in order to prevent serious complications. Knowing the nearest heart doctor or cardiology center helps in such times of emergency.

What should you do?
You don’t need to be the best cardiologist in Singapore to provide assistance to a victim suffering from cardiac arrest. As a matter of fact, the condition can be reversible if it’s treated immediately within the first few minutes. Don’t forget to call emergency medical services for help (995), and begin to give cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) if you have adequate medical background.

By the time an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) is made available, make sure the patient uses it as soon as possible. Given the chances of a cardiac arrest occurring at the most unlikely places during the most unlikely hours, if two people are available to assist the patient – one should provide CPR while the other must remain calm and stern in calling 995 and finding an available AED nearby.

What is a heart attack?
Contrary to a cardiac arrest’s ‘electrical’ problem, a heart specialist would know that a heart attack is more of a ‘circulation’ problem. The condition occurs when the regular blood flow to the heart is blocked. Having a blocked artery may prevent the blood (which carries oxygen) to reach a particular section of the heart.

Any cardiologist knows how a heart attack can be dangerous. If the blocked artery is not immediately reopened, the specific part of the heart which normally gets nourished by that particular artery begins to perish and cease to fulfill normal function.

What happens during a heart attack?
If you frequently visit your cardiologist for a heart screening, you can ask them about the common symptoms of a heart attack for your knowledge. This would help you deal with the problem during the unfortunate moment it may happen to you or a loved one.

Common symptoms of a heart attack include the following: shortness of breath, intense discomfort in the chest (general upper body), nausea/vomiting, and cold sweats. It is important to note that these symptoms tht you can read from http://www.harleystreet.sg/blog/heart-health-get-screened-by-a-good-cardiologist-in-singapore/ begin to appear in a gradual pace, meaning it may persist for days or even weeks before the occurrence of a heart attack.

Contrary to a cardiac arrest, the heart typically doesn’t cease to beat in the event of a heart attack. However, the longer the person remains untreated and unassessed by a heart doctor, the greater damage the heart attack may inflict on him/her.

Heart attack symptoms may also vary between genders. For instance, women may experience different symptoms compared to men. This may include nausea/vomiting, shortness of breath, and jaw or back pain.

What should you do?
A heart attack may happen to just about anyone regardless of healthy heart results during your regular heart screening procedure. Because of varying age, gender, or lifestyle factors – anyone can be prone to the risk of a mild or acute heart attack at some point in time.

In dealing with a heart attack, you must first call 995 in Singapore for emergency medical assistance. Remember that every second matters. Calling the emergency medical services (EMS) right away can help you get the patient to the emergency room as soon as possible. This is important; considering the longer you prolong treatment to a heart attack victim, the greater danger he/she might face in the future.

Treatment can begin as soon as emergency medical professionals arrive at the scene. They are trained to handle emergency circumstances with ease, and some staff are even well-versed at trying to revive someone whose heart has ceased to beat. Heart attack patients who arrive by the ambulance car are also likely to receive faster treatment at the hospital, increasing the chances of survival.

What’s the link between the two?
Generally, heart attacks do not lead further to a full-blown cardiac arrest. But a heart attack is one common cause in the event of a cardiac arrest. The link between the two conditions is so close that a lot of people mistakenly refer to one condition as the other and vice versa.

There are also other health conditions which may disrupt the natural rhythm of the heart. Oftentimes, these cases lead to a cardiac arrest.

Every second counts in the event of a cardiac arrest or a heart attack. Even if you remain unsure which condition is the patient suffering from, whether it’s a heart attack or a full-blown cardiac arrest, always seek emergency medical help ASAP the moment you notice the symptoms. Keep a watchful eye out for red flags, as they might save your life in the long run.

Note: This list is compiled in no particular order.


Choosing Your Child’s First Bicycle

Unlike adults learning to ride the bicycle for the first time, children will eventually outgrow their bikes even if you make it a point to upgrade the bicycle accessories as the child’s skills improve. So, is there a difference in the type of bicycle an adult beginner needs from a young beginner?

When choosing your child’s first bike at the bicycle shop in Singapore, you need to take note of these factors.

1. Bike Size. The first thing to consider is finding the right bike size for your child’s age and height, not only because he/she will have a hard time handling a large bike, but more importantly, choosing the wrong size could lead to accidents. While trying the bicycle is the surest way to determine if it’s the right size for your child, there is also a formula that you can follow when looking for a new bike at the bicycle shop.

Seat Height. This category is the most accurate way to tell if the child is using the right bike size. Although there are recommendations of bike sizes in bicycle shops for certain ages, the height of the child should be the determining factor. The height of the handlebar versus minimum seat height also differ among brands, that is why it’s better to let the kid try the bike before purchasing.
Bike Pedal. Children will need special pedals for their first bicycle, especially if they are still learning how to balance or are not yet used to using the brakes. The attendant at any bicycle shop in Singapore might recommend models with pedals that match the minimum seat height to make it easier for the child to use his/her feet when stopping the bike.
Standover Height. This refers to the height required by the bicycle rider to stand over the bike. For children, a minimum of 1 to 2 inches of clearance between the inseam and the top tube is required to avoid any injuries.
Tire Size. This refers to the diameter of the bicycle tires, but looking for the right size can be tricky because not all brands recommend the same tire size for children. Depending on your child’s height, you can start with a 12-inch tire or a 14-inch tire. Most brands recommend the 12-inch tire for kids 4 years and younger, while the largest tires at 2 inches are recommended for kids 7 to 10 years. This should only serve as a guide, however.

2. Bike Weight. Although ideally, a child’s bike should weigh less than 40% of his/her body weight, most bikes are essentially heavy. The trick is to find the lightest bicycle at the bicycle shop with a quality and sturdy frame and complete bicycle accessories, such as handbrakes.

3. Bike Width. This refers to the distance between the edges of the inside of the pedals or the Q-factor. When trying out bicycles at the bicycle shop in Singapore, look for models that will allow your child to create efficient pedal stroke without having to splay his/her legs too far apart.

4. Bike Accessories. If your child is still new to the hobby, make sure to purchase bicycle accessories that will help prevent any injuries, such as; coaster brakes, hand brakes, reflectors, training wheels for beginners or specialty handbrakes. You should also include safety bicycle accessories such as a helmet, elbow pads, and knee pads.