Three Things That May Slow Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Although macular degeneration is a progressive disease with no cure, there are many approaches to treatment that have been shown to slow the disease. Many of these treatments are related to changes in lifestyle. The following are three areas that may help slow this eye disease.

Taking vitamins and minerals

Your diet can be enormously important in slowing this disease. The key is foods with anti-oxidants. These chemicals remove elements that damage cells and work to help prevent deterioration of macular cells. The foods you should concentrate on are green vegetables and carrots. You should also be eating fish in your diet. Fish contains Omega-3 fatty acids that help to maintain strong blood vessels in the eyes. You can also get some of these fatty acids from nuts and seeds. In addition to diet, there are also vitamin supplements that have been formulated for eye health. However, always speak to your primary care physician before taking vitamin supplements. You can talk to Macuhealth for more information. Depending upon your health, it may be better to get your eye nutrients from food.

Protecting your eyes from sunlight

In general, the ultraviolet light from the sun can cause many problems, but for those who have macular degeneration, sunlight can be extra hazardous. Just as UV light can be hazardous to your skin, it can also contribute to the degeneration of macular cells. The obvious way to protect yourself from this is to always use sunglasses when outside. Blue light may also be a problem. Blue light is in the visible light spectrum, and it is believed to be a contributing factor in the degeneration of the macula. You may want to consider sunglasses that are specifically designed for blue light filtering because they may offer extra protection for your eyes.

Controlling your blood pressure

As you age, sometimes blood vessels nears the macula can become weak, and elevated blood pressure can cause them to erupt. If you are overweight, now is the time to shed those extra pounds. This will help keep your blood pressure under control. In addition, make daily exercise a part of your life. This will help keep your weight down and improve circulation throughout your body, but it will be particularly beneficial in bringing nutrients and oxygen to the macular cells.

Often, the best approach to treating age-related macular degeneration is a comprehensive one. Use a full range of treatments for best results. As always, you should consult with both your primary care physician and your ophthalmologist to find what is best for you.

Learn More

Tips For Emotionally Getting Through The Breast Reconstruction Process

If you have had breast cancer or for some other reason have had your breasts removed, you might feel less confident in your appearance and sad about the loss of your breasts. Luckily, there are now ways for you to have the appearance of breasts back by having them surgically reconstructed. This can help restore your confidence. However, having breast reconstruction done is a major life decision that can cost a decent amount of money and healing time. You might not be emotionally equipped to deal with this stressful event. Here are some tips for getting through breast reconstruction on an emotional level so that the process goes smoothly.

1. Stop the Guilt

You might be feeling guilty because you are putting your loved ones, especially your partner and children, through the stress of having you go through another surgery and having to take time off of work to recover. This can reduce the amount of money that your household is bringing in during that time, which could make finances tight. Know that feeling guilt is normal and that it is not entirely warranted. Know that your family loves you and would almost certainly prefer to see you happy, rather than save the money or have an easier month because you didn’t get the surgery. Your partner will want you to be as confident as possible in intimate situations. You yourself will be more productive if you are not constantly feeling bad about the way that your chest looks. Getting breast reconstruction will allow you to focus more on the things that matter to you.

2. Manage Your Expectations

Your ideal set of breasts is probably going to be different than what you actually end up with. Talk to your breast reconstruction surgeon about what is realistic to expect when it comes to what your body is going to look like after the surgery. This will allow you to have realistic expectations with regards to size. Also be sure that you ask your doctor what kind of scarring you are going to have. This is important because it will allow you to mentally prepare yourself for the scarring that might happen and take steps, such as moisturizing your skin and using vitamin E oil, to prevent it.

For more information, talk to a company that specializes in breast reconstruction surgery. They will be able to offer further guidance through the process.

Learn More

3 Ways To Protect Your Family’s Health This Spring

Spring is a great time to work on improving your family’s overall health. Here are three ways you can get active with your family this spring and improve their health.

Start A Garden

One of the ways that you can take care of your family’s health is by starting a garden. The act of gardening – pulling weeds, watering plants, moving around mulch, and other items — can provide you and your family with a good workout. You can burn a fair amount of calories and work out many of your major muscle groups through gardening.

Additionally, gardening can help get your kids interested in eating healthy foods. When your kids are involved in the process of planting their own fruits and vegetables and taking care of them until they are large enough to eat, your children are going to be a lot more interested in trying out and eating their fruits and vegetables.

Gardening can provide your family with a built-in way to exercise together and can help foster your children’s love of fruits and vegetables.

Sign Your Kids Up For Swimming Lessons

Even if your kids are really young, they are never too young to learn how to swim. If your children are really young, sign them up for a parent and child swimming class, and if your children are a bit older, sign them up for small-group swimming classes. Knowing how to swim is a vital and important skill.

One in five individuals who drown are actually children who are under fourteen years of age, so teaching your children to swim is not only a great form of exercise, it is a great way to ensure that your children now how to handle themselves and keep themselves safe around water.

Use Sunscreen Everyday

Finally, as your children start spending more time outside, it is vitally important that you protect your children from the sun. Have your children put on sunscreen in the morning and after they have been outside for a while. Require your children to wear a hat when they go outside to provide shade and protect their face. If you have an infant, try to keep them out of the sun as much as possible as they are more sensitive to the sunlight. Keep them covered up with big hats, umbrellas and their stroller.

Take care of your family this spring by getting them involved in activities that promote exercise and eating healthy, like gardening, and activities that keep them safe and active, like swimming. Finally, make sure that your kids always have sunscreen on when they go outside. For more information, speak with a physician like those at Family Practice Diagnostic Center.

Learn More

Which Should You Choose: Urgent Care Or Emergency Room Services?

Urgent care or emergency room, which one do you need? Whether it’s an injury or an illness, understanding which type of medical service provider is right for you is the first step to getting care. Before waiting hours in the ER or getting told that you need services that the clinic doesn’t offer, check out the reasons to go (or not to go) to each of these options.

Illness Issues

Some illnesses are minor and don’t require complex types of treatments. A sinus infection, head cold, or strep throat are all examples of bugs that an urgent care clinic can easily treat. The doctors of the clinic will evaluate your situation, do an exam, and (if needed) prescribe medications. In some cases, you can even fill your antibiotic prescription at the clinic itself. But, if you have a serious or chronic illness, a high fever, are dehydrated to the point of needing IV fluids, or have any other seemingly severe symptom, the emergency room is the place to go. The ER doctors can provide treatments such as IV antibiotics or admit you to the hospital if needed.

Injuries and Imaging

Most urgent care centers offer imaging services. If you think you have a break, you can get an x-ray and possibly a cast, sling, or splint there. But, if your injury requires further testing, you may need to head out to the ER. Emergency departments can provide MRI’s, CT scans, and tests that are more sophisticated than a regular x-ray. Along with getting the right kind of test, serious injuries that involved deep wounds or bleeding or may require surgery are best served by the ER.

Well-Visits and Physicals

Not every medical visit is for an illness or injury. A work, school or sports physical requires a doctor’s review. Sometimes getting in to see your primary care physician just isn’t an option. If you can’t get an appointment with your regular doctor in the time frame that you’re on, urgent care clinics are the best option. These clinics typically have short wait times, making your entire well-visit a fairly quick process. In comparison, an emergency room visit would take much longer (possibly hours).

Before choosing an on the spot medical treatment provider, review your symptoms. If you’re not experiencing a serious illness or injury, or you need well-patient care, an urgent care clinic may be the way to go. But, if you have any concerns that your medical issue is serious or may require hospitalization, the ER is the choice for you. Keep in mind, only a qualified medical professional can give you healthcare advice or assess the situation. If you have any doubts or concerns, call your doctor, the clinic, or the hospital first. If the situation is in any way an emergency, go to the ER (or call 911) right away. Always take your health seriously. Something like a high fever can quickly spiral out of control. Only a licensed medical pro can make a diagnosis and provide the proper care that you need to get well again. 

Learn More

Things To Know About Varicose Veins

Wearing clothing that allows legs to be exposed can be embarrassing when there are veins bulging beneath the skin. If you have such a condition and want to start stop covering up your legs all of the time, there is something that can be done. You will first need to make an appointment with a physician, as it is likely that you are suffering from varicose veins. He or she will be able to get rid of them. Take a look at this article for some helpful information in regards to varicose veins.

1. The Cause of Varicose Veins

One of the things that can cause varicose veins to develop is venous valves. The valves are important because they make sure that blood is only able to flow in one direction towards the heart and legs. If the valves are unable to function as should, blood ends up flowing in two directions, which puts a lot of pressure on the veins and causes them bulge. Putting too much strain on your legs from being overweight or carrying heavy objects can cause the veins to bulge as well.

2. Treatment That Can Be Done

It is possible that surgery will be needed to get rid of your varicose veins, but it isn’t always necessary. One of the common methods that is used to treat the condition is called sclerotherapy. Basically, the physician will have to inject a special chemical in your varicose veins so they can develop scars and go away without any additional treatment being necessary. A laser can also be used to get rid of varicose veins in most cases.

3. Complications That Can Occur

If you don’t get the varicose veins treated, several complications might develop. For instance, you might start feeling a lot of pain in your feet that doesn’t go away. Your feet can also become swollen to the extent of needed prompt medical attention. In a severe case, you might develop venous leg ulcers.  

4. How Varicose Veins Can Be Prevented

Strenuous activities should be avoided if you want to decrease the risk of varicose veins coming back after they have been treated. For instance, weight lifting is great for building muscles, but it can also lead to varicose veins developing due to the amount of strain that it puts on your legs. Getting into the habit of walking can also prevent varicose veins, as it can strengthen your blood vessel walls.

Learn More