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HEALTH NOTES: Britons have an average of seven fillings

HEALTH NOTES: Britons have an average of seven fillings and DIY eye checks… on a phone app

The average UK adult has had no fewer than seven fillings, according to new research. 

It’s more than twice the number than the average American, who has just three.

According to figures collated by international dental website, one in four Britons visit the dentist only when they have a problem, compared with one in five US citizens.

However, only six per cent of Britons have none of their own teeth, compared with roughly 30 per cent of Americans.

The average UK adult has had no fewer than seven fillings, according to new research

A ‘digital optician’ used at home can spot common eye conditions that could cause blindness.

Millions of Britons suffer conditions such as diabetes and macular degeneration that affect the macula – part of the retina which sends signals to the brain and, if damaged, leads to blindness.

Patients need monitoring every few weeks at hospital. But now experts at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London are trialling a smartphone app, called Home Vision Monitor, which allows patients to do DIY sight checks. 

The twice-weekly tests involve identifying one shape out of dozens that is slightly different. Picking the wrong one repeatedly could mean vision is declining – and preventive action can be taken. 

‘This will improve patient outcomes,’ says Konstantinos Balaskas, ophthalmic surgeon at Moorfields.

Not washing children’s bedsheets so regularly might be good for their health. 

As unhygienic as it sounds, exposure to micro-organisms in bedding could reduce children’s risk of developing asthma and allergies. 

Scientists at Copenhagen University analysed dust in unwashed sheets from children’s beds and found nearly 1,000 different types of bacteria and fungi. 

They then took swabs from children’s throats to measure bacteria in the airways. 

The results found the wider the variety of bacteria in children’s beds, the more they had in their respiratory tract – in theory, strengthening the immune system. 

‘Leaving sheets on for longer may have an impact on reducing asthma and allergy risks in later years,’ says Professor Soren Sorensen, who led the study. 

One in four home-workers have suffered back pain as a result of being hunched over a laptop at the kitchen table, according to a new poll of 1,000 people. 

Stiff necks and shoulder pain were also among the complaints of employees who’ve stuck to the ‘work from home’ order since March. 

Mental health is also suffering, according to the survey by office suppliers Fellowes Brands. 

More than half are working longer hours at home than they were in the office, and a third feel constantly stressed or isolated.

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