Health:

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Sleep Better, Drive Safer Orthodontic Treatments Contact Lenses Technology Help For The Blind Steps To Better Health Bedtime Routine Older Americans

Detect And Manage Glaucoma

Sleep Better, Drive Safer

pic(NAPSI)—Learning more about obstructive sleep apnea could help you get a better night’s sleep—and it might even save your life. Approximately 40 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea—when breathing stops for 10 or more seconds at a time during sleep. Despite the potentially deadly consequences, most sufferers are unaware they have a problem.

Studies show that the health consequences include increased chances of being involved in a serious car accident and contracting disease. People who suffer from sleep apnea have twice the risk of being in a car crash and a three to five times greater likelihood of being in a serious car crash involving personal injury, reveals a study by Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute and the University of British Columbia.

Sufferers also have a higher chance of stroke and heart attack, and the condition is said to be a root condition of diabetes, studies show.

“It’s a deadly pandemic and severely underdiagnosed,” says Dr. Mark Duncan, clinical director of the Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies (LVI). “Who doesn’t want to sleep better?”

Fortunately, the condition is treatable, and proper treatment can result in a 70 percent success rate.

A dental device is available to treat sleep apnea. Neuromuscular dentists from LVI are specially trained to fit this device. Used widely for early stages of sleep apnea, the device is called an orthotic, which is similar in appearance to a sports mouth guard. It moves the lower jaw forward and down slightly into an anatomically correct resting position, which keeps the airway open.

An orthotic offers the following benefits without surgery:

• Significant reduction in apneas for patients with mild-to-moderate apnea, particularly if patients sleep either on their backs or stomachs. The device may also improve airflow for some patients with severe apnea.

• Improvement and reduction in the frequency of snoring and loudness of snoring in most patients.

Orthotics have shown better long-term control of sleep apnea when compared to the standard surgical treatment. There are also fewer possible complications.

Be sure to choose a specially trained dentist who has both the training and computerized equipment to properly measure and find your optimal, at-rest natural jaw position—that’s essential to building an effective orthotic.

To learn more, visit www.leadingdentists.com.

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Answers To Questions That Adults Have About Orthodontic Treatment

pic(NAPSI)—In the ever-evolving practice of orthodontics, two trends stand out above the rest-more adults are seeking treatment, and they have more options than ever before. According to a survey by the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO)-which represents more than 17,000 orthodontists throughout the U.S., Canada and abroad-more than 20 percent of current orthodontic patients are adults. That’s well over 1 million people learning that a healthy, beautiful smile is possible at any age. But while the ease, availability and options for orthodontic treatment have never been greater for adults, it can be overwhelming for them to sort through their choices. The solution? The AAO recommends seeking counsel from an orthodontic specialist to cut through the hearsay and become an informed, proactive patient.

To help those considering treatment, the experts in orthodontic treatment provided the tips below.

Five questions to ask to be an informed patient:

How do I find a qualified orthodontic specialist near me?

• AAO’s website, www.MyLifeMySmile.org, has a helpful module that locates orthodontists by street address, city, state and/or zip/postal code. Visitors can also take advantage of the site’s “Frequently Asked Questions” and “Ask an Orthodontist” sections to get answers from a specialist.

Which treatment option is right for my lifestyle?

• Each case is unique, but many treatments fit an adult lifestyle. Some orthodontists offer lingual braces, which feature brackets bonded behind the teeth; ceramic braces, which blend with the color of the tooth to lessen visibility; or a series of invisible aligner trays (clear aligners) to correct certain problems.

Which treatment plan will give me the fastest and most permanent results?

• Very often, adult patients have already made up their minds as to which treatment options they’d like to pursue. It is important to ask an orthodontist if the selected treatment will achieve the desired results.

How can I afford treatment?

• Orthodontic treatment is more affordable than ever because orthodontists offer a variety of payment plans and options. Insurance may cover adult orthodontic treatment, and 60 percent of all new patients in 2010 had dental insurance that included orthodontic benefits.

I’m always busy—will orthodontic treatment fit into my lifestyle?

• New technology = less frequent visits. On average, orthodontists see patients only once every six weeks and complete treatment in 22 months.

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Advances In Contact Lens Technology Benefit Millions

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(NAPSI)—Here’s eye-opening news: “Studies confirm that nearly half of all patients requiring vision correction have levels of astigmatism that could affect visual performance in at least one eye,” says W. Lee Ball, OD, FAAO, Associate Director of Medical Affairs at Vistakon Division of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc.

Many people with astigmatism—a common vision problem that affects how the eye focuses light—experience fluctuating and/or blurred vision during such everyday activities as driving, reading, texting, working on the computer, exercising, playing sports or watching TV. A visit to your eye care professional will help you determine whether you have astigmatism.

“Research confirms that toric soft contact lenses such as 1-Day Acuvue Moist Brand Contact Lenses for Astigmatism provide significantly better visual acuity compared to spherical lenses for astigmatic patients, and provide comparable improvements in visual acuity to wearing glasses,” Dr. Ball adds.

Along with the health and convenience benefits of wearing a fresh contact lens every day, these lenses feature a proprietary Blink Stabilized Design, which harnesses the natural pressures of a blinking eye to help keep the lens in place and quickly realign the lens if it rotates out of position, for consistent, all-day vision.

Each lens is made using Lacreon Technology, a unique process that permanently embeds in the lens a water-holding ingredient, similar to that in natural tears. This technological advancement locks in moisture that lasts all day, addressing the most frequently reported complaints of contact lens discomfort, dryness and end-of-day comfort.

In addition, it blocks an average of 82 percent of UV-A radiation and 97 percent of UV-B radiation—though don’t forget protective accessories when going outside. Dr. Ball says contact lenses “should always be worn with high-quality UV-blocking sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat” for more complete UV protection. To find out how to receive a free trial pair of lenses, visit www.acuvue.com. (Professional and fitting fees not included.)

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Editor’s Note: Important information for contact lens wearers: ACUVUE® Brand Contact Lenses are available by prescription only for vision correction.

An eye care professional will determine whether contact lenses are right for you. Although rare, serious eye problems can develop while wearing contact lenses. To help avoid these problems, follow the wear and replacement schedule and the lens care instructions provided by your eye doctor. Do not wear contact lenses if you have an eye infection or experience eye discomfort, excessive tearing, vision changes, redness or other eye problems. If one of these conditions occurs, contact your eye doctor immediately. For more information on proper wear, care and safety, talk to your eye care professional and ask for a Patient Instruction Guide, call (800) 843-2020 or visit www.acuvue.com. Acuvue® Brand Contact Lenses with UV blocking help protect against transmission of harmful UV radiation to the cornea and into the eye. WARNING: UV-absorbing contact lenses are NOT substitutes for protective UV-absorbing eyewear such as UV-absorbing goggles or sunglasses because they do not completely cover the eye and surrounding area. You should continue to use UV-absorbing eyewear as directed. NOTE: Long-term exposure to UV radiation is one of the risk factors associated with cataracts. Exposure is based on a number of factors such as environmental conditions (altitude, geography, cloud cover) and personal factors (extent and nature of outdoor activities). UV-blocking contact lenses help provide protection against harmful UV radiation. However, clinical studies have not been done to demonstrate that wearing UV-blocking contact lenses reduces the risk of developing cataracts or other eye disorders. Consult your eye care practitioner for more information.

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Inability To Maintain A Good Night’s Sleep May Be A Sign Of An Under-Recognized Body Clock Condition In The Blind

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(NAPSI)—More than 50 percent of individuals who are totally blind may suffer from an under-recognized disorder that prevents them from maintaining a regular sleep pattern, impacting their health, lifestyle and relationships.

When the body does not perceive light, it may cause a severe disruption of the 24-hour sleep-wake pattern. This condition, known as Non-24-Hour, can push the timing of an individual’s body clock out of sync, gradually shifting the body’s perception of when it is day versus night over the course of weeks or months. Symptoms may include bouts of severe insomnia, sleep deprivation and a desire to nap during the day, all on an irregular and rolling basis.

“Sometimes I fall asleep and stay asleep,” says Dan Roy, a Braille translator for Horizons for the Blind in Des Plaines, Illinois, who is congenitally blind and has experienced recurring bouts of troubled sleep and daytime fatigue since childhood. “Other times I wake up after a few hours and can’t get back to sleep.” At work, Roy adds that he must “… try to fight through my sleepiness” in order to maintain productivity.

What Can I Do if I Have These Symptoms?

At this time, there is no treatment approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for Non-24-Hour in blind individuals with zero light perception. However, extensive research is underway to learn more about possible treatments for the condition. Recently reported results from one trial demonstrated the ability to reset the body clock and align it to a constant 24-hour day in people with Non-24-Hour who are totally blind.

If you are experiencing an irregular sleep pattern, talk first with your primary care physician about your symptoms. Irregular sleep can be an indication of many conditions including Non-24-Hour.

Totally blind individuals experiencing symptoms of Non-24-Hour may also be a candidate to participate in clinical trials led by Vanda Pharmaceuticals. These studies, which are evaluating an investigational treatment, do not require any overnight stay and provide compensation for time and travel expenses. For more information and to complete a survey to better understand the condition and determine eligibility, call (888) 389-7033, e-mail info@non24registry.com or visit www.non24registry.com.


 

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Taking Steps Toward Better Health

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(NAPSI)—While Napoleon may have said an army marches on its stomach, these days, a number of people are walking for their stomachs and those of people they care about in an event called Take Steps for Crohn’s & Colitis. It’s the largest walk program in the nation dedicated to raising funds and awareness for digestive diseases.

The Problem

One in every 200 Americans lives with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. These are two painful, debilitating, unpredictable, lifelong diseases that affect the digestive system. Crohn’s disease may attack anywhere along the digestive tract, while ulcerative colitis inflames only the large intestine.

The Signs

Symptoms may include abdominal pain, persistent diarrhea, rectal bleeding, fever, fatigue and weight loss. If you or someone you care about has such symptoms, see a gastroenterologist. There are no medical cures, but there are treatments. These illnesses can cause severe complications, including colon cancer in patients with long-term disease.

There Is Hope

The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) is the leading nonprofit organization dedicated to finding cures for these conditions and helping those who have them live full, active lives. Among the many resources it offers:

• The Information Resource Center provides help through answer chat, phone, and e-mail and can help callers in 170 different languages. It can be reached at 888-694-8872 or by e-mailing info@ccfa.org.

• Online—The latest news about Crohn’s and colitis, access to educational brochures, webcasts, research updates, and local support groups and events can be found at www.ccfa.org.

• For young people, there’s www.ucandcrohns.org and Camp Oasis summer camps for kids with Crohn’s or colitis. Learn more at www.ccfa.org/kidsteens/about_camp.

• CCFA Partners (www.ccfapartners.org) is an ambitious research study designed to improve the quality of life of patients with Crohn’s or colitis through research and education. This online patient registry is designed to help doctors better understand patient issues, how diet affects patients, and how patients receive treatment.

How You Can Help

There are 150 Take Steps walks happening this spring and fall in communities nationwide. Be part of the cure by registering for a walk in your area at www.cctakesteps.org.

Get Social!

Join our communities at www.facebook.com/ccfafb and www.twitter.com/ccfa.

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A Restful Bedtime Routine

pic(NAPSI)—Here’s news many sleep-deprived parents will be happy to wake up to. In a recent study led by pediatric sleep expert Dr. Jodi Mindell and JOHNSON’S® Baby, researchers found that the use of a three-step nightly routine incorporating the JOHNSON’S BEDTIME line resulted in babies not only falling asleep easier, but also sleeping through the night better.

This three-part process consisting of bath time, a baby massage and quiet time had babies taking 37 percent less time to fall asleep, sleeping 20 percent longer and showing a 50 percent reduction in night awakenings.

Three Steps to Better Rest

Here’s how it works:

1. Bath Time

Gather all necessary bath items, including towels, cleansers and washcloths. Splash some of the bathwater on your wrists to be sure the temperature is less than 120° F. Use one arm to continually support baby’s head, back and neck, while using your other to lather up your little one with JOHNSON’S BEDTIME Bath, developed with NATURALCALM, a unique blend of essences proven to contain relaxing properties and warm, comforting notes.

2. Massage

After drying down baby, lay your baby on a flat surface and warm some JOHNSON’S BEDTIME Lotion in your hands before massaging with gentle, circular touches. Start with the face and work your way down, always maintaining eye contact to help baby remain calm and relaxed.

3. Quality Quiet Time

Next, ease your little one off to sleep with quality quiet time together. Read a story, sing a lullaby or just quietly enjoy each other’s warmth. Choose what works for you and your little one, but to ensure that sleep shortly follows, your quiet time shouldn’t exceed 20 minutes.

A Modern Response

Luckily, the modern mom now has a tool to keep all this at hand. With the recent launch of JOHNSON’S new BEDTIME App for iPhone, parents can track and monitor their baby’s sleep patterns, get their related questions answered by pediatric sleep expert Dr. Jodi Mindell, and access a variety of other sleep tools and features such as playable lullabies and a soothing sound mixer.

For more information, visit www.johnsonsbaby.com/bedtime.

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Preparing For The Future

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(NAPSI)—It’s always best to plan in advance.

Thelma Duggin, a former health industry CEO, knew this to be true in business and in life, but when it came to the life of her mother Elizabeth, advance planning was a pretty tough sell.

Elizabeth was in her late 80s at the time and living alone in her Alabama home. Duggin sensed that her mother could use help doing light chores around the house. Her greatest concern, however, centered on Elizabeth’s overall care as she continued to age.

Fortunately for Duggin, she had access to a program called Solutions for Caregivers, available through her workplace’s employee assistance program, that has nurses assess a family’s situation and needs, develop a care plan and discuss recommendations with the whole family.

Duggin and her siblings, none of whom live in Alabama, arranged for Solutions for Caregivers to develop a care plan for Elizabeth. She was assigned a case manager named Kathy Hawk to work directly with Elizabeth at her home.

The way Duggin saw it, “It’s better to do this before they need it.”

But there was an issue.

“Mom did not want it,” Duggin said.

It turned out this simple step helped the whole family outpace a series of potential problems. When an illness placed Elizabeth in the hospital, she asked to receive care from her former physician. Kathy filled out the paperwork to enable that to happen. Elizabeth’s condition required her to receive care at a skilled nursing facility; Kathy rated different facilities and found one that most closely met Elizabeth’s needs. She took the reins when Elizabeth developed diabetes and, later, a blood clot.

“It comes down to peace of mind for your loved one,” said Duggin. “You feel totally comfortable and confident. Kathy will pick up on things when she talks to our mother that we won’t. It’s been a lifesaver.”

Now 91, Elizabeth remains active and actively involved with her family. This past Thanksgiving, Thelma Duggin, her two sisters and brother took Elizabeth to Jamaica, after getting Kathy’s OK. “Kathy did everything,” Duggin said. “[She located a] cardiologist, gave us a list of what to do, got [Elizabeth’s] glucose readings and blood tests. It’s almost like somebody is doing everything for you and you have the confidence that it will get done right.”

Elizabeth now resides in assisted living. She talks with Kathy weekly and Kathy sends the family a weekly report.

You can learn more at www.WhatIsSolutionsForCaregivers.com or by calling (877) 765-4473.

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Learn The Facts About How To Detect And Manage Glaucoma

pic(NAPSI)—Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness. Millions of Americans are living with the condition, and many more may not know they have it. Over the next several years, the number of people with glaucoma is expected to rise.

Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases. In most cases, it is associated with increased pressure within the eye. Often called a “silent” disease, glaucoma may progress without symptoms until irreversible damage is done.

However, early detection and proper management may help prevent the potentially serious outcomes of glaucoma. But today, the condition continues to be underdiagnosed and often overlooked. Many patients who have been diagnosed with glaucoma do not stay on track with their personal treatment plan.

There are many things you can do to help become a better advocate for your eye health. Leading eye care and aging experts have joined for the TAKE on Glaucoma campaign (Take Action to Know your Eyes), to help educate Americans about understanding and managing glaucoma.

“As a practicing ophthalmologist, I see firsthand from my patients just how important and challenging it can be to make glaucoma a priority,” said James C. Tsai, M.D., chairman, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Yale University and TAKE on Glaucoma spokesperson. “There are many things in life that we must juggle, but taking the time to monitor your eye health and manage glaucoma should not be ignored.”

The TAKE on Glaucoma campaign has useful tips that you can use—whether you have glaucoma, are at risk for the condition or know someone who has it.

Understand the Risk Factors for Glaucoma

Many Americans may be unaware of the risk factors for glaucoma.

The most common risk factors include family history, ethnicity (African American or Hispanic), age (greater than age 40 in African Americans or above age 60 in the general population), nearsightedness (also called myopia) and pressure in the eye. There are other possible risk factors such as low central cornea thickness, diabetes, hypertension, eye trauma and use of steroids.

Schedule Regular Comprehensive Eye Exams

It is important to visit your eye doctor for regular, comprehensive eye exams to evaluate and help maintain your eye health. Depending on your age and risk factors, it is recommended that you have an eye exam every one to two years. Do you know when you last had one?

During your eye exam, it is important that your eye doctor dilates your eyes and also checks the pressure in your eye. These are critical steps to monitor for potential signs of glaucoma symptoms or disease progression.

Create a Disease Management Plan That Works for You

If you are diagnosed with glaucoma, work with your eye doctor to create a disease management plan that best fits your lifestyle and routine. Your eye doctor may recommend prescription eye drops, laser treatment or other types of surgery as part of your plan. While these treatments may help reduce high pressure in your eye, they do not improve sight already lost because of glaucoma. This is why it is important that you act now.

If you believe you’ll have trouble staying on track with your treatment plan or taking your medication correctly, tell your eye doctor. He or she can help address these challenges. Family and close friends can also be good sources of support with reminders or other ways to help you follow your treatment plan.

Learn More

To learn more, visit www.takeonglaucoma.com.

TAKE on Glaucoma is an educational program developed, in partnership, by The Glaucoma Foundation, the Alliance for Aging Research and Merck, and is funded by Merck.

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