In healthcare, there are a plethora of issues that vary in diagnosis and treatment and are present in many different cultures and age groups. We reviewed the topics of sleep paralysis and childhood cataracts, and found that there is a correlation between impoverished cultures who struggle with a lack of resources and adequate medical care that affects both of these topics. In countries where there is less development, the technology is not available to educate or treat patients.
Culture shapes the lifestyles of different group of individuals worldwide. From belief systems to available resources, culture often increases the effects of a disorder, making it more debilitating than necessary. In sleep paralysis, the religious beliefs with which one is raised affects the severity of the episodes. These beliefs can contribute to a lack of medical care, which then leads to the culmination of debilitating effects of the disorder. This commonly leads to more severe outcomes than in countries where more medical care and education is available. Patients from more developed countries and who have access to education often experience more mild episodes, as they can be treated and diagnosed, thereby gaining some understanding of the disorder. In underdeveloped areas, however, patients are more likely to have heart conditions and greater stress levels because of the tension of these belief systems, causing them to attach to their experiences due to ignorance of the issue. Culture is also a determining factor for children developing cataracts. Those in developing nations often lack certain vitamins, such as vitamin A, C, and E, B12, biotin, iron, and zinc that are typically found in an average person’s daily diet. Since these underdeveloped countries do not have these vitamins, many eye related issues will arise, leading to a higher number of patients, often children, with the onset of cataract formation. The absence of nutrients is critical for these populations. This absence affects a child’s ability to get an education, work, and so much more.
Another similarity between sleep paralysis and childhood cataracts is the use of technology, both in availability and testing. For example, both conditions involve the use of measurement equipment in order to find treatment. When first diagnosing a cataract, an eye care provider would perform a slit-lamp examination to observe the imparities of the eye. An ultrasound of the eye is done on a cataract patients to discover what type of artificial lens (IOL) would best be suited for that individual. After the invasive cataract surgery is complete, most children with access to the necessary healthcare can live a normal life. Those unfortunate individuals who are not able to get the proper resources, or even get the cataract removed, may continue to have eye issues the rest of their lives. Sleep paralysis requires highly invasive testing through expensive and complex technology as well. This testing usually involves the use of EEG or EKG techniques to measure and record brain activity. These measurements are later analysed and used to determine why the brain is not functioning correctly. Once the root of the problem is found through these techniques, the mental health issues or disorders causing sleep paralysis can be treated much more efficiently in a way that is tailored to the specific patient. In developing countries where access to this technology is nonexistent, these opportunities for better treatment are not available to patients.
Childhood cataracts is a profound issue in developing nations where resources for prevention are scarce. The general public should gain an awareness on the impacts of many factors contributing to childhood cataracts in order to limit the number of children with visual losses. More research, which may open the door to more access to treatment in the developing world, could in turn decrease the number of eye surgeries and blindness worldwide. Along with childhood cataracts, sleep paralysis shares this problem. If cultures where this disorder causes fatalities had more education, the fear and harm it causes would be significantly decreased. Patients with more information on both of these issues find them much more treatable, with less harmful impact on their everyday lives.
Elliot, Cecilie and McCleese, Kaitlyn
"An Essay Comparing and Contrasting Different Medical Issue on Opposite Ends of the Spectrum of Health Care,"
The Omnipedia Review: Vol. 1
, Article 3.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.longwood.edu/omni/vol1/iss1/3