Friday, February 24, 2017

Medical Technology Aide To Heart Health

For years I had noticed I had a fast heart rate. Because it presented no obvious problems, I just shrugged it off as just a normal thing for me. One day suddenly without warning, I experienced an event which sent me off to the emergency room. On that visit all that could be determined was my heart rate indeed was fast, my EKG was abnormal but did not pinpoint exactly any definitive pathology, blood test indicated I had not suffered a heart attack, stress test was normal, so I was released after 3 day observation. I was prescribed a medication that would help regulate my heart rate but me being me, declined taking because I just didn't believe you should take a medication without knowing what the underlying cause of the issue was.
Hidden malfunctions of the heart can be so obscure that even for the most skilled Cardiologist they can be difficult to detect. Thankfully, following a procedure to detect electrical malfunctions, my fast heart rate was corrected.
Computer technology is making great strides to assist physicians pinpoint those hard to figure out cases or problems that may go overlooked. Read more about IBM Watson imaging technology slated to help diagnose heart disease.
As we are about to close out Heart Awareness Month, take time to learn about the sign and symptoms of heart attack, listen to your body and work towards living a healthier lifestyle to prevent it.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Oh My Aching Back

Some years ago I was diagnosed with degenerative arthritis of the lumbar spine. To add injury in addition to how the aging process was changing things, I had a couple of injuries to compound the problem. When I was first diagnosed, the standard treatment was heat, rest and anti-inflammatory medications. As we became a world which thrived on instant gratification, some physicians, often under pressure from their patients, began prescribing narcotics for pain relief. This practice has lead to the rising number of people addicted to opiod pharmaceuticals. Time has proven that heat was about the only good 1st line treatment being offered many patients for back pain.
Without doubt, I can attest that relief from low back pain is challenging. One of the best things for lower back pain is to strengthen your core muscles. A good physical therapy program can guide you on the best exercises for core strengthening. Meditation, yoga,Thai chi, massage and acupuncture have proven to be great alternative modalities in achieving pain relief.
Take a little time and explore further "six overlooked remedies for lower back pain relief" and remember...though in the beginning it may be a challenge...for better back health...keep it moving.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Can You Hear What I Hear

When it comes to the loss of hearing there is more to consider than just the inability to converse with others or doing things you enjoy, such as watching television or going to a movie. Recent studies are showing hearing loss not only impacts your social welfare but can have some serious impact on your health. The loss of hearing can be correlated with depression, dementia, and difficulty ambulating, leading to falls. Knowing the loss of hearing has hidden risk factors makes it important to consider when you should begin testing. 
There is a misconception that hearing loss is only prevalent in "older" people or there is no need to have your hearing tested unless it is apparent that your capacity to hear has diminished. Hearing loss is subtle making it very difficult to detect in the earlier stages without being accessed by a board certified Audiologist.
The Association of Independent Hearing Healthcare Professionals recommend hearing test begin as early as age 18, regardless of noticeable hearing loss. Testing should be done every five years until age 45 when testing intervals become every three years until age 60. After age 60 it becomes necessary to increase testing to every two years. If a parent suspects their child has some degree of hearing loss, always speak with your pediatrician for their recommendation.
Unfortunately the cost of hearing aids, which can be anywhere from $1500 to $3000 or more per ear, is usually not covered by medical insurance making this an investment that many people cannot afford. Don't let this fact prevent you from exploring sources for insurance and financial  assistance that may be available to help cover the cost.
Hearing loss has several causes which can range from the correctable as wax build up in the ears to the more serious as the ruptured ear drum. We can do nothing to change father times impact on our hearing but each on of us can make changes to environmental factors that over time lead to noise induced hearing loss. So...the next time you put those headphones on...turn it down a notch.

Monday, February 13, 2017

The Better To See You

When most folks think of health, one area often ignored is their eye health. It is important that we begin to consider eye care as component of good preventative health. A regular examination by a ophthalmologist (not optician) can often detect eye problems before they become sight threatening. February is Macular Degeneration Awareness month. 1.6 million people have macular degeneration which if left undetected and untreated can lead to irreversible blindness. Read more about macular degeneration.