Feeling breathless? Here’s why.

ABOVE THE MASK

Masks up, eyes wide open

Most of us have grown used to wearing face masks since the beginning of the pandemic.

If you are anything like me, you might even have forgotten what the world was like before this mask-querade (seriously, it is weird seeing bare-faces again).

With the bottom half of our faces covered, we have not had any choice but to learn how to live with only our eyes exposed.

The result? An immense change in our lives — from the way we communicate to economical issues like an impact on cosmetics sales, and even a rise in cosmetic procedures for the eyes.

Achieving #foxeye infamy by … shaving off your eyebrows

The #foxeye TikTok trend took off early last year after the “fox eye” look was popularised by stars like Bella Hadid and Kendall Jenner.

At its most extreme (on TikTok), it involves shaving off part of your eyebrow and applying make-up in a way that gives your eye a more slanted appearance.

It can also be achieved by applying concealer over your eyebrow or tying a really tight ponytail. (Not-so-fun fact: the trend soon got flak for being racially insensitive to Asian culture and features.)

Beyond TikTok, the trend gets more extreme — although uncommon, it goes all the way into thread lifting.

An eye lift could give you permanent fox eyes

The Fox Eyes treatment gives you a brow and upper eyelid lift in about 30 minutes, and it saw a rise in popularity last year.

It is not a new idea — eye lift surgeries have been around for years, but technological advancements have made the procedure less invasive. In addition, the role of social media and our new-found focus on all things ocular definitely played a big part in its recent popularity.

If you are happy with the shape of your eyes and are more concerned about your eyebags, tune in to our webinar on non-surgical eyebag removal on 20th January, at 8 p.m. Sign up here!

SNIPPETS

5 Singaporean stories to catch up on

1️⃣ The importance of cleanliness: Eng’s Heritage at Northpoint City has had its license suspended with 26 people suffering from gastroenteritis after eating there.

2️⃣ Setting down roots: A plant-based food innovation centre will soon be opening in Woodlands.

3️⃣ Calling all bubble tea addicts! Research is being done in order to make bubble tea healthier for us all.

4️⃣ The dogs are alright! The 25 police dogs who were in contact with an infectious para-vet have all tested negative for Covid-19.

5️⃣ Here comes the sun: You will be able to make up for your recent lack of Vitamin D with the dry and warm weather coming in the next week.

And 5 facts to spice up your life:

1️⃣  Will we ever travel again? The Philippines has extended its travel ban to curb the spread of new coronavirus variants.

2️⃣ Ice cream cone-ronavirus? Ice cream in China (made of ingredients from New Zealand and Ukraine) has tested positive for Covid-19.

3️⃣ When birds get sick: A H5N8 strain of the bird flu has been detected in Hong Kong for the first time ever.

4️⃣ British takeover: The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention warns that the UK strain of the coronavirus could become the dominant strain in the US by March.

5️⃣ Too many taken: Covid-19 has now officially caused over 2 million deaths worldwide.

HUNGRY FOR AIR

Take my breath away

We do one thing everyday without putting any thought into it – breathing.

Breathing is easy. Because it comes so naturally to us, life would be much more difficult if we had to be conscious of every single breath we inhaled or exhaled.

This is at least until we find ourselves short of breath — then we have to stop and wonder just when and why breathing became so dang difficult.

When trouble breathing is a cause for concern

Dyspnea, or shortness of breath, can be brought about by a number of reasons — some, more worrying than others.

If you have just hit the gym or gone on a jog, being out of breath is to be expected. And if you had to run for the bus, and are struggling to catch your breath, you are probably just a little out of shape and might wanna get a workout in sometime soon. 

But dyspnea could also be a sign of more serious health issues like anaemia, low blood pressure, and several heart and lung conditions.

Doctor, doctor, I cannot breathe *pant*

If you are struggling with dyspnea too much or too often, that is when you might want to consider seeing a doctor.

Other accompanying symptoms to be on the lookout for include severe heart palpitations, or having blue lips or fingers — these could indicate a medical emergency, in which case you should definitely head over to a hospital to get yourself checked out.

It can be hard to know when dyspnea is a more serious issue than just over-exerting yourself, so it’s important to be aware of your regular breathing patterns so you will be able to notice any changes in them.

Feel like checking up on your heart? Check out our Complete Guide to Seeing A Cardiologist in Singapore!

It’s all up in the air

Besides looking out for our heart and lungs, the quality of air that we inhale matters too! Check out BlueAir’s extensive range of air purifiers here

Quoting BlueAir, “The freedom to breathe is a basic right”. Dang right. 

This story was requested by one of our readers — we heard you! If you are itching to find out more about a particular health and lifestyle topic, drop us a message and let us know. We are waiting!

SHOWER THOUGHTS

Weird & Wonderful

  1. A lot of people had things stuck between their teeth in the past year but no one ever told them.
  2. You’re smelling your nose hairs 24/7.
  3. If people had two arms on the same side, we would wear F-shirts.
  4. A banana is the ultimate survival food, because it comes in its own case, and when you’re done eating it, you have a booby trap.
  5. Toxic relationships happen when your brain decides that it likes the other person more than it likes you.
PICTURE OF THE DAY

Image of Thai students at the Wat Khiong Toey School on Aug. 10, 2020 in Bangkok, Thailand. Photo by Lauren Decicca.

All boxed up at school

It’s 2021, and an entire generation of kids has seen their education interrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic. UNICEF reports that at its peak, the pandemic put about 91% of students in over 194 countries out of school.

In Singapore, we are on our way back to normal in Phase 3, with most school co-curricular activities (CCAs) even resuming their regular meeting schedules. But we did see a staggered start to the new school term this year. 

Unfortunately, some countries around the world are facing bigger problems than we are here. Face masks and safe distancing measures are to be expected worldwide, but we’re also seeing much more extreme situations than that, put in place since the start of the school year around August last year.

Pictured above is a classroom in Wat Khlong Toey School in Bangkok, Thailand, where individual plastic screens have been installed at each student’s desk to prevent the spread of the virus. 

Similar screens (looking almost like clear plastic cages) are being used in play areas for kindergarteners in the school. A spike in Bangkok’s number of cases has prompted a 2-week closure of schools since the start of this year.

In the US, a study conducted in November showed that only an estimated 8% of schools had reopened in urban districts across the country. And right now, some states, like West Virginia, have yet to open schools, while others, like Hawaii, have a partial closure in effect.

The idea of going back to school with everything going on can be scary for both adults and for the kids themselves. But younger children are likely to be safer from the virus, and online learning just isn’t the same. 

We can only hope that the world goes back to some semblance of normal soon, for the good of education everywhere.

Vanessa

Vanessa is a go-getter and knowledge-seeker with way too many hobbies. On weekends, she can be found enjoying a lie-in and pretending she doesn't have anything else she should be doing.