bookmark_borderProven And Effective Eye Care Tips

Tips to Save Your Vision

More than 20 million Americans suffer from severe vision loss. While not all eye diseases can be prevented, there are simple steps that everyone can take to help their eyes remain healthy now and reduce their chances of vision loss in the future.

Here are tips from the Academy to safeguard your vision:

Wear sunglasses

UV blocking sunglasses delay the development of cataracts, since direct sunlight hastens their formation. Sunglasses prevent retinal damage; they also protect the delicate eyelid skin to prevent both wrinkles and skin cancer around the eye, and both cancerous and non-cancerous growths on the eye. Check for 100 percent UV protection: Make sure your sunglasses block 100 percent of UV-A rays and UV-B rays.

Don’t smoke

Tobacco smoking is directly linked to many adverse health effects, including age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Studies show that current smokers and ex-smokers are more likely to develop AMD than people who have never smoked. Smokers are also at increased risk for developing cataracts.

Eat right

Vitamin deficiency can impair retinal function. The belief that eating carrots improves vision has some truth, but a variety of vegetables, especially leafy green ones, should be an important part of your diet. Researchers have found people on diets with higher levels of vitamins C and E, zinc, lutein, zeaxanthin, omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA are less likely to develop early and advanced AMD.

Have a comprehensive dilated eye exam

You might think your vision is fine or that your eyes are healthy, but visiting your eye care professional for a comprehensive dilated eye exam is the only way to really be sure. When it comes to common vision problems, some people don’t realize they could see better with glasses or contact lenses. In addition, many common eye diseases such as glaucoma, diabetic eye disease and age-related macular degeneration often have no warning signs. A dilated eye exam is the only way to detect these diseases in their early stages. During a comprehensive dilated eye exam, your eye care professional places drops in your eyes to dilate or widen the pupil to allow more light to enter the eye, the same way an open door lets more light into a dark room. This enables your eye care professional to get a good look at the back of the eyes and examine them for any signs of damage or disease. Your eye care professional is the only one who can determine if your eyes are healthy and if your vision is at its best.

Know your family’s eye health history

Talk to your family members about their eye health history. It’s important to know if anyone has been diagnosed with a disease or condition, since many are hereditary. This will help to determine if you are at higher risk of developing an eye disease or condition.

Eye Tests and Exams

Everyone needs to have their eyesight tested to check for vision and eye problems. Children usually have vision screening in school or at their health care provider’s office during a checkup. Adults may also get vision screenings during their checkups. But many adults need more than a vision screening. They need a comprehensive dilated eye exam.

Getting comprehensive dilated eye exams is especially important because some eye diseases may not have warning signs. The exams are the only way to detect these diseases in their early stages, when they are easier to treat.

The exam includes several tests:

  • A visual field test to measure your side (peripheral) vision. A loss of peripheral vision may be a sign of glaucoma.
  • A visual acuity test, where you read an eye chart about 20 feet away, to check on how well you see at various distances
  • Tonometry, which measures your eye’s interior pressure. It helps to detect glaucoma.
  • Dilation, which involves getting eye drops that dilate (widen) your pupils. This allows more light to enter the eye. Your eye care provider examines your eyes using a special magnifying lens. This provides a clear view of important tissues at the back of your eye, including the retina, macula, and optic nerve.

Myopia – a widespread problem

Take a look at your child’s class photo. How many of the kids are wearing glasses? We’ll bet it’s up to half the class. That’s because Singapore has one of the world’s highest rates of myopia. When you cultivate good eye care habits in your child, you could help delay the onset and progression of myopia.​

Here are some simple eye care tips for your child.

Reduce time spent on near work

  • Reduce the time your children are allowed to spend playing games on hand-held electronic devices, handphone games and other computer-related activities such as blogging and internet chats.
  • When indoors, monitor the time your child spends on continuous reading, writing and other near work. Encourage your child to take a break after 30-40 minutes of near work such as reading or writing. Your child should look at distant objects for 3 to 5 minutes. They could look out of the window into the distance or at nearby greenery, or go outdoors for a while.

Increase time spent on outdoor activities every day

  • There is a growing body of evidence that outdoor activities may delay the onset or progression of myopia in your child. So get your child to spend time playing ball games, walking in the park or go on family picnics at the beach, etc.
  • Outdoor activities should not include reading or playing hand-held games outdoors. Instead, encourage your child to engage in fun activities that involve body movements to increase physical fitness. Better yet, join in the fun!

Encourage other healthy eye care habits

  • Ensure there is adequate lighting in the room.
  • When reading, make sure they hold the book about 30 cm away from their eyes.
  • Choose books with a large print.
  • Refrain from reading in bed and in moving vehicles.
  • Make sure when using the computer, the monitor screen is about 50 cm away from their eyes.
  • Place the computer screen at a distance from the eyes.
  • Adjust its screen to reduce glare from the reflection of other light sources.
  • Sit at a distance from the TV that is appropriate to its size. The bigger the TV, the further away your child should sit.
  • Sit upright in a comfortable chair.

Take your child for eye check-ups yearly

Even if your child has been screened for myopia in school, it’s a good idea to take them for a check-up if they are squinting, having headaches or blurred vision.

Ensure a healthy lifestyle

  • Encourage them to eat a balanced diet.
  • Try to make sure your child has at least eight hours of sleep each night to rest the eyes.
  • Instead of just playing computer games, get them to participate in outdoor games as well.

Factors That Can Impact Your Vision in Winter

Before we get to the eye care tips for winter specifically, let’s first get introduced with the factors that can impact your vision through winter.

Outdoor Dry Air

With outdoor temperature dropping significantly in winter, the air also cools down, unable to hold as much of humidity as held otherwise through the rest of the year. During winter, cold winds blowing outside can turn out to be quite dehydrating for our skin as well as eyes, both of which need adequate moisture to remain healthy. For our eyes, exposure to cold dry air means losing essential moisture content rapidly (due to quickened process of evaporation) through the eye surface (which is comprised of 99% water), getting irritation due to excessive dehydration.

UV Radiation

Excessive UV exposure via direct sunlight is already known to increase the risk of cataracts as well as skin cancer. That’s why experts recommend resorting to sunscreens and sunglasses during prolonged outdoor activities. The bad news is that you can get excessive UV exposure due to reflection from snowy surfaces (though not getting the sunburns necessarily!) and it is equally bad for your skin and eye health.

Warm Indoor Air

Cold dry air is not the only nuisance for your eyes in winter, warm dry air indoors can also be equally (if not even more) dehydrating and damaging for your skin as well as eyes. In fact, the re-circulated indoor air is also laden even more with other dehydrating elements like ambient skin flora and bacteria.

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Tips for Choosing the Right Pain Treatment Program

Coping with pain can be a difficult challenge, especially when it begins to interfere with your ability to lead a normal life. Chronic pain from an illness, injury or surgery can become both physically and psychologically debilitating, leading to a breakdown in your interpersonal relationships and your ability to perform your job and other day-to-day tasks. If youíre suffering the consequences of intense chronic pain, a pain management treatment program can put you back on track to living the life you once had.

Pain treatment programs provide various forms of treatment to help you minimize and manage your pain. These treatments include medications, therapies, mind-body techniques, counseling and physical health regimens. For those who don’t want to use prescription painkillers for fear of developing an addiction, these programs often offer holistic care and all-natural treatments. They also teach coping strategies that are equally powerful alternatives to medicate-based treatment.

What type of pain do they treat? Different types of pain are caused by different conditions, and each condition requires specific expertise. Not every pain treatment program will be equipped to properly handle your specific needs. Ask about the program’s expertise regarding your type of pain and the condition that caused it.

Do they offer comprehensive treatment? A multidisciplinary approach is the most effective way to combat chronic pain. Make sure the program provides a combination of pain treatments that include the following: group therapy, counseling, physical therapy, occupational therapy, biofeedback training, TENS units, family counseling, aftercare, etc.

Is the program inpatient or outpatient? Each person’s individual needs will determine if inpatient or outpatient care is needed. If you need to undergo detoxification from prescription painkillers, inpatient care is recommended. Otherwise, the choice between inpatient and outpatient care will be up to you and your doctorís recommendation.

How To Choose the Right Pain Specialist

With almost one in five American adults experiencing chronic pain, it is hardly surprising that there is so much demand for pain specialists.  That is, at least in part, why there are an increasing number of health care professionals who have assumed the title of “pain specialist.” Many of these pain specialists may have some medical training in the field of pain management, but this training isn’t always sufficient to qualify them as a pain medicine specialist.

The Field of Pain Medicine

The specialty of pain medicine arose relatively recently, but, of course, it has origins that go back to the creation of medicine. Pain medicine as a medical specialty started in the 1960s, followed in the 1970s with an international professional association. In 1991, the American Board of Anesthesiology created a certificate of added qualification in pain management; that same year, the American Board of Pain Medicine was established. 

Primary Care Versus Specialty Medicine

When considering the kind of medical professional to treat your chronic pain, the first choice should be between a primary care doctor or a pain specialist. In most cases, you have probably been obtaining care for your pain from your primary care physician since the onset of your pain symptoms, but you may find that a pain specialist is a better option if

Pain becomes chronic—the definition of chronic pain is any pain condition like arthritis, back pain or neuropathy that lasts longer than three months. If you reach the three-month mark without any pain relief, you should request a referral to a pain specialist.

No underlying cause—if your primary care physician can’t find a health condition that is causing the pain, you may need the advanced diagnostic skills of a pain specialist. It may be that there is a condition that your primary care physician is missing, or that the pain itself is the primary condition; in either case, you are probably more likely to find relief with a specialist.

Tips When Choosing A Pain Management Specialist

Pain in the body can be devastating. The different types of pain are caused by several reasons and, therefore, different management approaches are needed. Pain experts have enough experience to deal with all pains related to muscles and poor alignment of bones. Prizm offers the best pain management specialists in Canton, MI and you can visit their website to see more of what they offer

The expertise

Pain specialists use non-intrusive therapies to treat various pains. They perform a thorough check to the patient and come up with the best way to deal with such pains. Therefore, a high level of expertise is needed before any practitioner can start working. This includes studying the human anatomy, causes of various pains and how to solve them through different safe and natural ways. These skills help them to be accurate when dealing with pain patients who are delicate and emotionally affected. Any mistake can cause severe damage to the situation at hand.

Ability to handle different people with care

Endless pain can happen to anyone at all ages. However, the elderly people experience pains more often due to many complications which come with old age. Therefore, the pain specialist needs to have patience and excellent customer care qualities to handle the aged. Emotional support is part of healing the physical pain, and this is what the old needs. Other people also need same care when handling them since physical pain may bring an inability to move or perform tasks.

Consider facilities

With today’s technological advancement, pain relief centers have embraced state of the art equipment and medication to allow them to handle pain more accurately. Better and advanced scanners can help identify the exact cause of pain and thus treating it will be faster and with better results. Apart from equipment better medications facilitate faster healing and fewer side effects. Therefore, one must ensure that the centers they choose for pain must be well equipped

Consider location

Pain relief therapies to do not take overnight to work. Some need many sessions of treatments to have a painless body. If possible, it is better to have such a facility as near as possible. Movement, especially long journeys makes the pain worse. Therefore, consider the locality of the center you choose.

CHOOSING A PAIN MANAGEMENT TEAM

A pain management team is a group of individuals, both health professionals and others with community and education expertise, who will assist in maximizing your quality of life. This help can take the form of physical therapy, prescription of medications, cognitive therapy, education about pain and its management and support to live better with pain. The health team will likely comprise: pain medicine specialists and GPs, physiotherapists, psychologists, nurses, etc and others in your support team could be: pain support group facilitators, Pain Link guides, APMA pain management educators and each will have a different role to play in your care.

Choosing who will best fill each role can be difficult and if you are not comfortable with the way a doctor or therapist communicates with you or treats you, try to discuss this with them, and if you remain unhappy try someone else. Remember that each member of the team should be someone whom you trust and feel comfortable with, and should believe that you are in pain, considers your concerns seriously, and encourages open discussion of your problem.

General practitioner –

Your GP is usually your main health care provider and he/she will be your first point of contact. Your GP will communicate with other members of your health care team and, where appropriate, will refer you to a specialist clinician or surgeon depending on the cause of your pain.

Specialist clinicians –

Specialist clinicians involved in the management of chronic pain include Pain Specialists, Neurologists, Rheumatologists and Psychiatrists

Specialist surgeons – Specialist surgeons involved in the management of chronic pain include Neurosurgeons and Orthopaedic surgeons,

Pain and pain management

Pain is a very common condition. The occurrence of pain rises as people get older, and women are more likely to experience pain than men.

Pain may be anything from a dull ache to a sharp stab and can range from mild to extreme. You may feel pain in one part of your body or it may be widespread. Studies suggest that a person’s emotional wellbeing can impact the experience of pain. Understanding the cause and learning effective ways to cope with your pain can improve your quality of life.

How pain affects the body

Pain is a complex protective mechanism. It is an essential part of evolution that protects the body from danger and harm.  The body has pain receptors that are attached to two main types of nerves that detect danger. One nerve type relays messages quickly, causing a sharp, sudden pain. The other relays messages slowly, causing a dull, throbbing pain.

Some areas of the body have more pain receptors than others. For example, the skin has lots of receptors so it is easy to tell the exact location and type of pain. There are far fewer receptors in the gut, so it is harder to pinpoint the precise location of a stomach ache.

Managing pain without medicines

Many non-medicine treatments are available to help you manage your pain. A combination of treatments and therapies is often more effective than just one

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When You Can’t Afford Veterinary Care

Many Americans are juggling one too many bills already. When a pet becomes ill or is injured, some pet owners are forced to cut corners or hold off on care. We always hate to see a pet parent be forced to make that difficult decision.

The good news is that there are creative and effective ways to save money and reduce costs while providing stellar care for your fur friend. When that is not enough, here is a list of ways a cash-strapped pet owner might raise funds for larger veterinary costs.

  1. Choose pet insurance. This doesn’t help if the surgery or treatment is already in motion, but insurance plans for pets can cover the cost of emergencies or other major medical treatments. It is important to really research each company in advance, though, as not all providers are appropriate for you and your pet’s medical needs.
  2. Get a Credit Line. CareCredit is an online credit provider that finances health and beauty  expenses including veterinary medical expenses and pet emergencies. Scratchpay also offers payment plans for pet care and has higher approvals.
  3. Ask for payment options. Some veterinarians, especially independent or small hospitals who you have a long standing relationship with, will consider payments, depending on the procedure. In most cases, it’s hard for clinics to accommodate this, but it never hurts to ask. Many clinics do have annual wellness plans, which are affordable and allow you to pay monthly for basic care needs, like vaccinations and checkups.
  4. Consider crowdfunding. With the popularity of social media and sites like Go Fund Me, many people are electing to raise funds to help with veterinary bills, upcoming surgeries, and other necessary procedures. Many friends and family are quick to come to the aid of a loved one, and some will be willing to help your pet. A newer crowdfunding site launched exclusively for helping pet-parents afford their vet bills and avoid economic euthanasia. CoFund My Pet funds can ONLY be spent at veterinary clinics anywhere in the U.S., preventing fraud! Donors can feel more confident to help because of the limitations on how the money can be used.
  5. Host a group yard sale. Community yard sales are good avenues to get rid of clutter and raise funds. Ask neighbors for clothing, furniture, and other items to sell with proceeds going to your pet’s veterinary needs.

Some suggested questions to ask…

Your veterinarian should be one of your most valued resources to aid you in caring for your pet. A strong relationship with them is important. If you are new to your area or have never owned a pet before, it is vital to find a veterinarian that you feel comfortable with, making you more likely to ask important questions regarding your pet’s care. We suggest calling several veterinarian offices and comparing them.

  • How many doctors are currently at your practice?
  • Can I request to see a specific one or would I be scheduled with the first available?
  • What are your open hours?
  • Are visits by appointment only or do you accept walk-ins?
  • What are your emergency policies?
  • Do your vets see their own emergencies or will I be directed to an emergency clinic?
  • What services does your practice offer?
  • Do your doctors perform surgeries or would I be referred to another veterinarian?
  • Do you have x-ray equipment or the ability to do blood work on-site?
  • Do you have an on-site pharmacy or will I have to go elsewhere for prescriptions?
  • Will your doctors be willing to refer me to a specialist if needed?
  • What do you charge for an office visit?
  • Vaccines(suggested dog vaccines include rabies, distemper/parvovirus and kennel cough; for cats- rabies, upper respiratory/distemper and feline leukemia)?
  • Heartworm tests and preventative?
  • What is your payment policy?

But first, questions from the vet…

During a clinical examination of your pet, your vet will no doubt ask you a range of questions depending on the reason for the visit.

For example, if seeking a diagnosis to an issue with your cat, the vet will probably want to know if the animal has experienced vomiting, diarrhoea, changes to their feeding behaviours (including loss of appetite), thirst changes and increased urination. For example, excessive thirst and increased urination may be a sign of diabetes or kidney failure.

After answering the vet’s questions, you will have the opportunity to ask questions of your own. Regardless of your visit, these are useful questions to know the answers to so you can be well armed to give your fur friend the best life possible.

Tips for Making Your Pet’s First Vet Visit a Success

You’ve picked up their favorite toys, stocked up only the best pet food, and have pet-proofed your home. You’re clearly ready to bring your pet home, but what happens after that? Hopefully the answer is scheduling your pet’s first veterinarian visit. While the first visit can seem daunting, we’ve rounded up a few of our favorite tips to make the process as smooth as possible.

Set up a veterinarian visit right away

Even if your pet was checked out by a veterinarian when they were at the shelter — or seems perfectly healthy to you — you’ll still want to make an appointment within the first week or so. Why? Your dog or cat may be due for additional medications to keep them (and you) safe in their new home.

Additionally, no one ever expects an emergency to occur—especially in those first happy moments at home—but establishing a relationship with a local vet early on will give you peace of mind if you find yourself in an emergency situation.

Schedule your visit early

It’s best to schedule your veterinarian visit for the morning, when delays are less likely. And arrive a few minutes early so you can help get your pet settled and fill out any paperwork. If your veterinarian offers patient forms online, fill out any paperwork at home, so your visit goes even more smoothly.

Bring all the proper items with you

There’s a lot you can do to help your pet’s first veterinarian visit run smoothly and get the most out of your time there.

  • Bring your adoption papers from the shelter. This will help your veterinarian get to know your pet’s medical history, and which vaccines they’ve already had, or still need.
  • Bring a list of any medications or supplements your pet is on, how often they take them, as well as the food you’re feeding them. If it’s easier, just bring the medications with you to the office. You can then explain what each one is and why your pet needs it.
  • Prepare your questions ahead of time, even if that means writing them down

Should my pet have tests for hidden diseases? What lab work do you recommend for my pet?

Blood analysis is a vital tool for screening out disease. “Even pets that appear happy and healthy can have hidden medical problems that might grow serious, even life-threatening, if left undetected. Blood tests are essential for identifying diseases at the earliest most treatable stage possible.

“Pets can’t tell us when they’re ill – that’s where lab tests like blood analyses come in.

“Even in young and healthy pets, lab testing gives us a valuable baseline picture of what represents good health for your individual pet. A recommended part of your pet’s annual exam, blood tests can spot health trends sooner, before they become more serious.”

“Standard blood test panels for dogs and cats routinely check for many problems, commonly:

  • Complete Blood Cell Count (CBC) provides important information about the types and number of blood cells in your pet’s blood. A low red blood cell count, for example, indicates anemia, while a high white blood cell count can indicate an infection, chronic inflammation or other disease process.
  • Blood Chemistry Profile is particularly important for evaluating organ function (e.g., liver, kidneys), electrolytes, blood sugar, screening for presence of an endocrine disorder, etc. Any abnormalities will help us decide on further diagnostic tests or treatments.
  • Heartworm Test can detect evidence of heartworm disease. For a more complete picture, we will often combine a blood panel with other tests, such as a urinalysis and fecal examination.”