Health:

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Keeping Family Safe Control Allergies Dead Sea Salts Relief Migraines Solution Jim Belushi Check Gout Tips For Caregivers Free Online Hearing Tests

Protect Your Vision

Tips For Maintaining A Happy, Healthy Home

pic(NAPSI)—According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Americans spend approximately 90 percent of their time indoors, where air pollution levels can be two to five times higher than outdoor levels. Common indoor pollutants, including molds and allergens, volatile organic chemicals, formaldehyde and carbon monoxide, can cause headaches, asthma, allergies and irritation. In order to create a safe, healthy home, consider the following tips:

Install carbon monoxide detectors. Homeowners should install a carbon monoxide detector in or near each bedroom and on every level of the house. Rest easy knowing that you and your family will be better protected with these cost-effective alarms.

Control moisture to prevent mold. Maintain low humidity levels throughout the home and fix any leaks. Clean damp areas often, use exhaust fans in bathrooms and kitchens to remove moisture, and install a dehumidifier to help prevent mold growth.

Take it outside. Creating a healthy home can be as simple as taking it outside. Spending time outdoors gives you a boost of vitamin D and can reduce stress and enhance your overall mood.

Test for radon. Many homeowners are not aware that they have a radon problem until they sell their house. Testing your home for radon is easy and radon detectors are available at most hardware stores. When planning for a healthy home from the construction stage, install a product such as Form-A-Drain that not only helps vent radon gas but helps keep basements dry.

Focus on indoor air quality. Ensure proper ventilation to reduce indoor pollution, leave doors open between rooms and open windows whenever possible. In addition, AirRenew gypsum wallboard, used in interior walls and ceilings, actively helps clean the air by capturing formaldehyde and other aldehydes and converting them into safe, inert compounds.

Select Greenguard-certified products. This certification provides assurance that products meet strict chemical emissions limits. Products such as Sustainable Insulation boost the energy efficiency, help reduce unwanted noise and therefore improve the overall comfort of a home while helping to ensure healthier indoor air.

For more tips on ensuring a healthy home as well as maximizing outdoor living spaces, visit www.certainteed.com.

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Tips On Gaining Control Of Your Allergies

pic(NAPSI)—If you find yourself sneezing and wheezing from allergies or asthma, you have lots of company.

According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), allergies and asthma afflict 60 million Americans-more people than are affected by diabetes, heart disease, cancer and stroke combined. And the most common allergy, allergic rhinitis, affects people outdoors and indoors.

The good news is that many allergy sufferers can improve their symptoms significantly by reducing household dust, dust mites, pollen, pet hair and dander, and other substances in the home that trigger allergic reactions.

Reducing the Triggers

There are three approaches that have proven to be effective:

• Keep the home clean. Using a built-in central vacuum system has been clinically proven to reduce allergy symptoms by up to 61 percent.

Brian Campbell, spokesman for BEAM Central Vacuums, says having the system’s power unit outside the living area ensures that no air is blown into the living area to stir up dust from upholstery and other surfaces.

• Filter the air. A whole-house HEPA air filtration system is designed to remove airborne dust and allergens that surface cleaning can’t capture. For instance, a BEAM HEPA Air Filtration System is said to remove 99.98 percent of particulates from the air.

• Keep the humidity low. Areas of the country with the highest relative humidity are also the areas with the worst allergy problems.

Dust mites thrive in humid conditions. The AAFA recommends homeowners consider using a dehumidifier to keep the relative humidity in the home at 50 percent or lower-a level that will limit dust mite concentrations.

Inform Your Physician

Most importantly, keep your physician informed about what you are doing to control allergy symptoms and follow your doctor’s recommendations.

For more tips and to learn more about improving indoor air quality, visit www.beamvac.com.

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Studies Prove Purified Dead Sea Salts Provide Highly Effective Relief

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(NAPSI)—Can’t breathe? Headaches or stuffy nose? Cold? Flu?

Chances are, it’s allergies. In fact, a growing number of people—50 million in the United States—suffer from allergies, which doctors agree can be debilitating.

According to Dr. Scott Cordray, a board-certified otolaryngologist, head and neck surgeon and founder of LAVI Dead Sea Sinus Solutions, allergies are more than an annoyance. “They can make people feel sick and keep them from going to work or school,” he said. “Allergies can take a dramatic toll and lead to even worse diseases.”

Often confused with cough, cold or flu, allergies are the fifth-leading chronic disease in the U.S. and account for nearly $8 billion in health care spending.

Taking Control

The good news is there’s hope. “There are things you can do to take control,” said Cordray. “Minimize exposure—wear a mask, for example, to protect yourself from pollen and dust. Practice good nasal hygiene by regularly using nasal moisturizers or sinus wash. And finally, treat the symptoms.”

Doctors frequently prescribe nasal steroids or other medicated solutions that offer temporary relief, but these come with unwanted, potentially dangerous side effects. Natural solutions—most made with sodium chloride (table or sea salt)--may provide some relief, but don’t reduce swelling or congestion like medicated alternatives.

A Scientifically Proven,

All-Natural Alternative

Now, two internationally recognized medical journals cite a natural, powerful alternative using Dead Sea salts, which—unlike other salts that are nearly 100 percent sodium—are rich in magnesium and potassium, bringing highly effective relief to those who suffer.

According to clinical studies published in the International Forum of Allergy & Rhinology and The Laryngoscope, Dead Sea salts are superior to other salts in preventing and treating allergy and other chronic sinus symptoms and as effective as topical nasal steroids in reducing swelling and congestion.

Purified Dead Sea salts offer the benefits of medicated solutions without the potential side effects. That makes it helpful for anyone—especially those for whom prescription or medicated products may not be an option, including cancer patients, older Americans or those undergoing postoperative care.

Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, Dead Sea salts have a long history of effectively treating skin diseases such as eczema and psoriasis. This same anti-inflammatory effect is now proving beneficial in treating allergy symptoms and related illnesses.

Learn More

To find information about Dead Sea salts and managing allergies naturally, visit www.NowYouNose.com. For information about LAVI, visit www.LAVImed.com.

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A Surprising Solution For Disruptive Migraines

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(NAPSI)—Worrying about work can cause a headache but frequent headaches can also disrupt work and negatively affect careers. Fortunately, learning more about the causes of debilitating migraines can lead to more effective treatment.

Here are some headache facts:

• In the U.S., one in six women and one in 12 men experience migraine pain. The World Health Organization reports that migraines are a leading cause of absenteeism and decreased work productivity, exacting a higher price to society than other chronic conditions including asthma, depression, diabetes and heart disease.

• Forty-five million Americans are thought to experience regular headaches that adversely affect their lives. The market for painkillers is huge—estimated at $2 billion annually. But the cost of headaches in the U.S. goes deeper—people who suffer badly from headaches have regular time off work and around 157 million working days are lost each year.

• Three-quarters of all migraine sufferers are women. Overall, migraines affect one in every 10 adults in the world, with most migraine attacks experienced by people between the ages of 25 and 55. Ethnic origin is also an important factor—Caucasians are most at risk.

There are some lucky people around who report never having had a headache. The World Headache Alliance estimates that 10 percent of men and 5 percent of women have never experienced a single headache. For some unknown reason, migraines are apparently nonexistent in Japan.

• One surprising fact about migraines is that they may be caused by a misalignment of your teeth, known as a bad bite, or malocclusion. Improper occlusion plays a role in head and neck pain. If you experience frequent headaches, you should consider visiting a neuromuscular dentist.

Neuromuscular dentists have special postgraduate training from the Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies (LVI) and computerized measuring equipment that allows them to determine a person’s anatomically correct bite-the optimal, pain-free position of the jaw. They can then make an orthotic, which resembles an athlete’s mouthguard, and place the jaw in this position. In many cases, patients taking prescription headache medications for years report complete relief and stop taking drugs.

“Less than 5 percent of the dentists in the world are trained in neuromuscular dentistry,” says LVI’s Dr. Mark Duncan.

Learn more and find a neuromuscular dentist near you at www.leadingdentists.com.


 

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Foot, Knee Or Ankle Pain? Don’t Rule Out Gout

pic(NAPSI)—Eight million Americans have gout. It’s the most common form of inflammatory arthritis in men over the age of 40. However, its symptoms can be similar to those of a stubbed toe or ankle sprain, which is why so many people often misinterpret the pain associated with a gout attack for something else. Jim Belushi is one of them.

When the actor and performer’s big toe became too swollen and painful to touch, he credited it to a jogging injury. But after a visit to his doctor, he found out that he actually had gout.

“When gout attacks for the first time, many sufferers mistake the pain for an impact-induced injury or a sprain,” said Herbert S. B. Baraf, M.D., clinical professor of medicine at The George Washington University. “It is important to be able to recognize the signs and symptoms of gout and to seek proper treatment.”

Now, knowing the importance of diagnosis and taking an active part in treatment management, Belushi is taking part in the “Check Out Your Gout” campaign to increase awareness surrounding gout and a more advanced form of the condition known as refractory chronic gout, or RCG.

Symptoms of gout manifest in painful flares that can include sudden inflammation, redness and swelling in the joints. Gout flares are common in the big toe but can happen in any joint of the body.

“When I first developed gout, I didn’t want to do anything about it. I thought I could tough it out, but when the pain became too unbearable for me to perform on stage, I saw a rheumatologist and got my gout under control,” said Belushi.

Gout is caused by a high level of uric acid in the blood. When this level becomes too high for the body to process, uric acid builds up and can crystallize in and around joints, resulting in a gout attack. In advanced cases, collections of uric acid crystals may deform joints and even cause visible lumps to form on hands, feet and joints. “It is important to seek the help of a rheumatologist to manage the underlying cause of gout: a high level of uric acid. Over time, gout attacks may become more frequent and severe, leading to joint destruction, deformity and other health issues,” said Dr. Baraf.

Learn more about gout and RCG and assess your symptoms at www.CheckOutYourGout.com.

 

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Family Doctors Offer Online Health Tips For Caregivers

pic(NAPSI)—If you’re feeling stressed out, tired or unhealthy as a result of your caregiving duties, you are far from alone.

According to a recent survey conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), nearly three out of four caregivers who care for a family member or friend who is disabled, elderly or has physical or mental limitations said caregiving had at least some impact on their health. Nearly six in 10 caregivers said they lose sleep at least sometimes.

“Caring for a loved one is a tremendous responsibility, which can have a big impact on your own health and well-being,” said Glen Stream, M.D., MBI, president of the AAFP. “Caregivers need to know that there are resources available to help them provide the necessary care while also keeping their own well-being in mind.”

The AAFP’s award-winning website, FamilyDoctor.org, offers practical tips for balancing work and caregiving, dealing with life-changing events, keeping older adults safe, improving communication with a relative with dementia, and depression in older adults.

Nearly two-thirds of caregivers surveyed said they were frustrated by having to go to multiple resources for information on a specific health issue. More than half of caregivers felt there was no single online resource for highly credible health information on caregiving.

These findings demonstrate that caregivers need a comprehensive clearinghouse of information. Understanding caregivers’ need for timely and practical information, FamilyDoctor.org has significantly expanded information on the Seniors page. All content is reviewed by family physicians.

“The scientifically accurate information found on FamilyDoctor.org empowers patients to make informed decisions,” Stream said. “And information helps lead to more constructive discussions between patients and their physicians.”

The survey found that nearly two-thirds of caregivers who manage the health of those for whom they provide care sought information from their physician or health care provider. Of those, 96 percent sought information from a primary care physician.

Family physicians care for all ages and are able to not only address the health care issues affecting the elderly, but also offer resources for caregivers to help maintain their quality of life.

“Family physicians provide a patient-centered medical home for their patients. They coordinate care across all settings, including doctors’ offices, nursing homes, hospitals and many other services that make up our complex and confusing health care system,” Stream said.

To learn more about caring for seniors, visit www.familydoctor.org.

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Hearing Well Makes Life More Enjoyable

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(NAPSI)—If you’re planning to spend some time enjoying the great outdoors, you may want to get your hearing checked.

Warm-weather outdoor activities such as picnics and nature walks are a lot more fun when you can fully experience them-which includes being able to hear what family and friends are saying.

According to a recent study by Hear the World, 66.2 percent of people agreed that hearing at full capacity makes it easier for them to enjoy such activities.

That’s why the team behind the study encourages people to take a free online hearing test at www.HearTheWorld.com to ensure their hearing is up to par.

“It’s the season when people are getting out and enjoying warmer nights and longer days,” said audiologist Susan Whichard. “Ensuring that your hearing health is good can make your summer significantly better.”

According to the “Hearing is Living” study, 27.6 percent of people agreed that “Not being able to hear the sounds of nature can be very stressful in daily life.”

Travel and Exercise

Getting a hearing checkup can benefit more than an enjoyment of nature—it can have an impact on a person’s overall enjoyment of two other key warm-weather activities: travel and exercise. According to the study, people who have addressed their hearing loss enjoy their travels more, have greater flexibility in planning their travels and make more positive experiences during their travels, with 71 percent of respondents reporting they have “good experiences” when they travel.

Also, those with a hearing aid engage in sports more often than those not wearing a hearing instrument. Not only are the benefits of exercise abundant, but 64.6 percent of study respondents said that when hearing loss is no longer an issue, it’s easier to socialize.

Quality of Life Improvement

Eighty-three percent said that their general quality of life has improved after addressing their hearing loss; also, 54.9 percent of those who have been checked and addressed their hearing loss agree that having a hearing aid makes it easier to do what they like in their free time.

Among respondents with moderate to severe hearing loss, owners of hearing aids find it easier to relax, are more able to adapt to different situations, feel less bored and have less difficulties concentrating.

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Tips On Making Healthy Vision Last A Lifetime

pic(NAPSI)—Vision changes as people get older, but vision loss is not a normal part of aging.

That’s the word from Paul A. Sieving, M.D., Ph.D., director of the National Eye Institute. He believes that early diagnosis, timely treatment, and appropriate follow-up care can help prevent irreversible vision loss from common eye diseases such as glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration.

Dr. Sieving says that it’s possible to make healthy vision last a lifetime. To help, he offers the following tips:

• Know Your Family History. Some eye diseases are hereditary. Talk with your family members about their eye health history, then talk with your eye care professional to learn what you can do to protect your vision.

• Eat Right to Protect Your Sight. Eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins A and C may help keep your eyes healthy.

• Give It a Rest. Work at a computer all day long? Give your eyes a 20/20/20 break: Every 20 minutes, look about 20 feet in front of you for 20 seconds to reduce eyestrain and fatigue.

• Let the Sun Shine. When shopping for sunglasses, look for ones that block out 99 to 100 percent of UV-A and UV-B radiation.

Early stages of common eye diseases typically have no symptoms and can only be detected through a comprehensive dilated eye exam. Pupil dilation allows a doctor to closely examine the back of the eye for signs of eye disease.

The National Eye Institute (NEI), part of the National Institutes of Health, leads the federal government’s research on the visual system and eye diseases.

NEI supports basic and clinical science programs that result in the development of sight-saving treatments. For example, said Dr. Sieving, recent clinical trials sponsored by the NEI have provided doctors with crucial data regarding prevention and treatment of age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

The Age-Related Eye Disease Study determined that taking high levels of antioxidants and zinc reduces the risk of developing advanced AMD by about 25 percent. The NEI comparison of AMD treatment trials found that the two most commonly used AMD drugs—one that was designed for use in the eye and a much cheaper drug that was developed to treat cancer—are equally effective in treating AMD.

For more information about eye health, visit www.nei.nih.gov/healthyeyes.

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