Back Pain Treatment Asthma Control Transplants Save A Life Stop Bleeding Instantly Radiation Technology Vision Loss New Website Glaucoma Treatment Mental Health Recovery

Survey Reveals Myths About Back Pain

(NAPSI)—People are so afraid of being told they will need surgery that they may not seek even the most basic help for their back pain.

That’s a key finding of a recent member survey of an organization dedicated to improving spine care—the North American Spine Society (NASS).

“It is heartbreaking to see that myths and an unnecessary fear of surgery are holding people back from getting even the most conservative help for their back pain,” said Joseph Cheng, MD, MS, associate professor of Neurological Surgery at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and NASS Public Affairs Committee chair.

Most Don’t Need Surgery

According to Cheng, the vast majority (90 percent) of people with back pain will get better without treatment or by using conservative treatments, such as anti-inflammatory medication, exercise, coping skills and physical therapy.

Spine surgery is recommended in only about 1 percent of cases, with very specific diagnoses, after a more conservative course of treatment already has been tried.

Back Pain Myths

Despite these facts, patient concerns about potential surgery came up many times throughout the “9 for Spine” survey results. The survey shows that 66 percent of spine specialists surveyed believe that fear of possible treatments, including surgery, keeps their patients from seeking help for back pain.

Many of their patients believe the myth that once you have spine surgery, you are destined to have multiple spine surgeries. The survey also found that over 12 percent of patients wait more than 90 days from the onset of their back pain to seek help from a spine specialist—far longer than the recommended four to six weeks.

Preventing Back Pain

When asked what advice they would offer their patients to prevent back pain, 76 percent of the specialists surveyed stressed the importance of regular exercise and nearly 50 percent urged patients not to smoke.

Said Dr. Cheng, “Right at the top of the list are common sense things like exercising regularly, not smoking, maintaining a healthy body weight and using proper body posture and mechanics when using electronic gadgets or lifting heavy objects.”

The North American Spine Society’s 6,500 members are dedicated to providing the highest-quality spine care.

To learn more about back pain myths and caring for your back,

Download article content                                                                                         [Top]

Asthma Rates At An All-Time High In The U.S.

Misperceptions Abound About What Defines Asthma Control

(NAPSI)—According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), asthma is a leading chronic illness affecting an estimated 18.7 million adults and 7 million children. Many people who experience persistent asthma fail to recognize the severity of their disease − often until it is too late and they are fighting to breathe. And while mild asthma can be managed on an “as needed” basis with a quick-relief inhaler, people with persistent asthma should talk to their doctor about daily treatment with a therapy that actually helps prevent symptoms and reduce the number of attacks.

The problem is that many people living with asthma fail to realize that if they are using a quick-relief inhaler to treat their symptoms more than twice a week other than for prevention of exercised-induced bronchospasm (EIB), their asthma is not well controlled. In these cases, a quick-relief inhaler isn’t really helping the underlying problem. The National Institutes of Health says that inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) therapies are the first treatment options to consider for long-term control therapy in patients with persistent asthma. ICS therapies are a maintenance versus a quick-relief or “as needed” approach to asthma care. They are intended to be used daily to manage and prevent persistent asthma symptoms.

“Many asthma patients don’t understand that fast-acting inhalers are not for regular, daily use. They should only be used when experiencing asthma symptoms,” said Dr. Gene Colice, Director of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Respiratory Services at Washington Hospital Center. “More importantly, if a patient is using a fast-acting inhaler more than twice a week, their asthma is not controlled and they should talk to a doctor to discuss better options.”

One example of an ICS therapy that can be used daily to manage persistent asthma is QVAR® (beclomethasone dipropionate HFA). QVAR is important because of its small particle size. Asthma attacks are caused by inflammation that can affect both the large and small airways of the respiratory system, from the windpipe to the small passage ways of the lung. Because of its small particle size, QVAR is proven to reach both the large and small airways. QVAR helps to prevent inflammation and improve lung function.

If a patient feels their asthma symptoms are not under control, scheduling an appointment with their doctor is the first step in gaining back control. Much like any other condition, compliance with a treatment protocol is key to managing persistent asthma. If a daily maintenance therapy is in order, patients need to remember to comply with their treatment schedule and realize that feeling better does not mean they should stop taking their medication.

“Asthma is a complicated disease because the symptoms aren’t always present, so patients sometimes feel like their asthma is cured when it really isn’t,” said Dr. Colice. “Maintenance treatments, like ICS therapies need to be taken every day to be effective. Asthma doesn’t need to limit anyone from living their life, as long as they take their medications as prescribed and regularly talk with their doctor about asthma control.”


Approved Uses and Important Safety Information

QVAR® (beclomethasone dipropionate HFA) Inhalation Aerosol is used in the ongoing treatment of asthma as preventative therapy in patients 5 years of age or older.

QVAR® is also used for asthma patients who require systemic corticosteroid administration, where adding QVAR® may reduce or eliminate the need for systemic corticosteroids.

QVAR® does not replace quick-relief inhalers for sudden symptoms.

CAUTION: If you are stopping or switching from an oral corticosteroid to QVAR®, follow your doctor’s instructions to avoid health risks. (See WARNINGS, Prescribing Information).

Inhaled corticosteroids may cause a reduction in growth rate, so children taking QVAR® should have their growth checked regularly. The long-term effect on final adult growth is unknown.

Do not stop taking QVAR® abruptly without talking to your doctor.

In clinical studies, common side effects included headache and sore throat. These are not all of the possible side effects of QVAR. For more information, ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

For complete prescribing information, go to

Download article content                                                                                         [Top]

Three Ways To Help Save A Life

(NAPSI)—Ordinary people can do the extraordinary: Help save a life. Your marrow donation, your financial contribution, your time and energy—any and all of these gifts can result in a cure for someone like Valaria Fenderson.

Just 12 years old, Valaria’s been admitted to the hospital more than most people. The reason: sickle cell anemia. This inherited blood disorder has plagued Valaria since birth, causing frequent bouts of debilitating pain in her legs, back and chest.

Valaria longs for the day when this pain is gone—a day when she can feel normal—and a marrow transplant is the only way this dream can come true.

However, no one in her family is a matching donor. Her doctors have turned to the Be The Match Registry—the world’s largest listing of potential marrow donors—to search for one selfless stranger who could save her life.

A marrow transplant can cure someone with sickle cell anemia or life-threatening blood cancers, but like Valaria, most patients do not have matching donors within their families; that’s why Be The Match’s mission is so vital. The nonprofit organization connects patients with donors and facilitates lifesaving transplants.

Adding more potential donors to the registry is crucial. If you’re between the ages of 18 and 44, you’re especially needed. Research shows that such donors provide the greatest chance for transplant success.

You can join the registry at a registry drive or sign up online Potential donors must meet age and health guidelines and be willing to donate to any patient in need. Each registrant completes a health history form and provides a swab of cheek cells.

Registering isn’t the only way you can help. Financial donations help patients afford medical procedures, fund clinical research to improve transplant outcomes and bring a patient a step closer to a cure.

Volunteering is a third way to help. You could organize a registry drive and recruit donors at your school, church or civic center or consider volunteering at a Be The One Run fundraising run-walk event.

The bottom line: Every registry member, every contributor and every volunteer increases the odds that a critically ill person will have a second chance at life.

Valaria is still looking for that second chance. “She’s in less pain now but she still needs a transplant,” her mother said. “I’m confident that Valaria’s match is out there—just an ordinary person who realizes that he or she can become the cure for someone battling sickle cell anemia and blood cancers.” Are you that person?

To find out how you can help, visit or call (800) MARROW2.

Download article content                                                                                         [Top] 

Proven In Hospitals, New Topical Powder Stops Bleeding Instantly

(NAPSI)—There is good news for people who bleed easily, such as the 52 million Americans on blood thinners or those with thin skin. For them, the smallest cut can bleed for hours or even days before stopping. It’s a nuisance that disrupts their daily life. While medical professionals have the technology to stop bleeding instantly in the hospital, an over-the-counter solution is now available to do the same in the home.

After many successful clinical studies and years of use in leading hospitals, the topical powder, called WoundSeal, created by senior citizens for senior citizens, stops bleeding through the creation of an instant scab. It is the only product that stops bleeding and seals the wound within seconds of its application.

“It’s just amazing how effectively the powder works,” says Louis M. Guzzi, M.D. “I think it is the next generation of wound care, like adhesive bandages were a century ago. Once poured and pressed onto the bleeding wound, the powder combines with blood to form an instant scab, which is waterproof and durable. In most cases, bleeding stops almost instantly, even for my patients on blood thinners.”

The topical powder works for everyone and does not interact with existing medications.

In a popular retirement community in southwest Florida, Jim Simpson, 65, said this medical breakthrough is welcome news.

“As someone who takes blood thinners, I bleed easily at the slightest bump and bandages do not stop the bleeding. It’s been frustrating to constantly change messy bandages to the point that it really disrupted my life. But then we tried this powder and it worked in seconds the first time I tried it. I’ll never be without it again.”

Dr. Guzzi agrees. “I trust it so much that I gave it to my mom and grandmother to use at home when I can’t be there to help.”

WoundSeal, which is guaranteed by the manufacturer to work, is now available at Walgreens and CVS locations nationwide. For more information, medical facts, store locations, clinical studies and testimonials, or call (800) 722-7559.

Download article content                                                                                         [Top]

A Day With The Atom

(NAPSI)—Something too small to see can have a big influence on your life in surprising ways. For example, consider what life would be like if scientists had not harnessed the atomic nucleus to meet human needs. There are many more ways than most people realize that nuclear science and technology play a positive role in their daily lives. Here’s a look at some examples:

When you turn on the light, there’s a one in five chance the electricity came from a nuclear power plant.

If you wear contact lenses, the saline solution you use may have been sterilized with radiation.

The nonstick surfaces on kitchenware are sometimes applied with the help of radiation.

The advanced materials in your car are often made possible by radioisotopes and radiation techniques, and the rubber on the tires may have been made stronger with the help of radiation.

You can sleep safely knowing you have a smoke detector to alert you to potential danger thanks to its built-in radioisotope.

For more information from the American Nuclear Society, go

Download article content                                                                                         [Top]

New Website For Those Experiencing Vision Loss

(NAPSI)—Adults new to vision loss can take heart. There are ways to stay self-reliant and manage the challenges that come with vision problems by getting support and making changes at home.

Independence and quality of life need not lessen; here are some tips to keep living at home both comfortable and safe:

• Keep rooms well lit. This reduces the chances of tripping over unseen obstacles.

• Use task lighting for reading and other close work, as this reduces eyestrain.

• When eating, set the table by placing plates and utensils on a surface of contrasting color; e.g., a light-colored plate on a dark place mat.

• Eliminate clutter. A good idea, generally; additional open space can improve navigability.

• Use a basket or tray to store and keep track of TV remotes, keys and pill bottles. Always return these items to their “home” when not in use.

Online Support

Vision loss in adult years can have a dramatic effect on emotional well-being, daily life and independence. For the more than 25 million Americans with vision problems, help and resources are available on, a free, easy-to-use, informational website from the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) and Reader’s Digest Partners for Sight Foundation.

Visitors to the site will find:

• Information on eye conditions and disorders;

• Breaking news on the latest developments in vision loss treatment via theVisionAware blog;

• Directories of helpful services, products and resources;

• Information on coping with vision loss;

• Different ways to connect with others, including message boards and social media channels such as Twitter and Facebook.

The new VisionAware complements AFB’s family of websites, designed to help people with vision loss achieve their full potential.

The American Foundation for the Blind is a national nonprofit that expands possibilities for people with vision loss. Since 1955, Reader’s Digest Partners for Sight Foundation has been a vital source of support on local, regional and national levels for the blind and visually impaired. For more information,

Download article content                                                                                         [Top]

Understanding High Pressure In The Eye And Open-Angle Glaucoma

(NAPSI)—High pressure in the eye is an important risk factor for developing open-angle glaucoma.

Pressure in the eye can go up when fluid does not drain out of the eye properly. This can happen if the drains in the eye are not working correctly. Too much fluid stays in the eye, which causes pressure in the eye to rise. This high pressure in the eye is also known as ocular hypertension.

Some people with high pressure in the eye may develop open-angle glaucoma, which is the most common type of glaucoma and can damage the optic nerve. The optic nerve is the link between your eye and your brain. When pressure rises in the eye over time, the optic nerve may be damaged.

It’s important to know that open-angle glaucoma can develop in one or both eyes. If you are diagnosed with open-angle glaucoma, your eye doctor may recommend a treatment option to lower pressure in the eye. There are a number of options available to lower pressure in the eye to help manage your condition. The most common treatments are prescription eye drops or surgery. Sometimes, both are needed. Today, most prescription eye drops to lower high pressure in the eye contain preservatives and they come in multiuse bottles. Preservative-free options to lower high pressure in the eye are also available and come in single-use containers. It is important for you to talk to your doctor about your treatment options. Together, you can decide which one is right for you.

Once-daily ZIOPTAN™ (tafluprost ophthalmic solution) 0.0015% was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in February 2012. ZIOPTAN is a prescription, sterile, eye drop solution. ZIOPTAN is used to lower the pressure in the eye (or intraocular pressure) in people with open-angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension when their eye pressure is too high. ZIOPTAN belongs to a group of medicines called prostaglandin analogs (PGAs). ZIOPTAN is not for use in children.

“It is important that patients diagnosed with open-angle glaucoma work with their eye doctors to find a treatment option that will help lower their eye pressure,” said George Spaeth, M.D., Wills Eye Institute, Philadelphia. “I am happy to have another option for patients in my practice.”

ZIOPTAN (tafluprost ophthalmic solution) helps lower the pressure in the eye and control it throughout the day. In clinical studies of up to two years, ZIOPTAN was shown to be effective in lowering high pressure in the eye. ZIOPTAN, used once daily in the evening, lowered high eye pressure by 6−8 mmHg (mmHg = millimeters of mercury, a measurement of fluid pressure in the eye) after being used for three months. It lowered high eye pressure by 5−8 mmHg after being used for six months. At the start of the study, patients’ pressure in the eye was 23−26 mmHg before taking ZIOPTAN. ZIOPTAN is approved to lower elevated IOP. ZIOPTAN is not approved to treat or prevent any other signs of open-angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension, including optic nerve damage and/or vision loss.

Unlike most eye drops that lower high pressure in the eyes, ZIOPTAN is preservative-free. And it comes in sterile, single-use containers.

For more information on ZIOPTAN, talk to your eye doctor and

Important Safety Information About ZIOPTAN

ZIOPTAN may cause serious side effects including:

 changes in the color of your eye (iris). Your iris may become more brown in color while using ZIOPTAN. This color change may not go away when you stop using ZIOPTAN. If ZIOPTAN is used in 1 eye only, the color of that eye may always be a different color from the color of your other eye.

• darkening of the color of the skin around your eye (eyelid). These skin changes usually go away when you stop using ZIOPTAN (tafluprostophthalmic solution).

• increasing the length, thickness, color or number of your eyelashes.These eyelash changes usually go away when you stop using ZIOPTAN.

 hair growth on your eyelids. This hair growth usually goes away when you stop using ZIOPTAN.

Before you use ZIOPTAN, tell your doctor if you have or have had eye problems, including any surgery on your eye or eyes, are using any other eye medicines, or have had any other medical problems.

Before you use ZIOPTAN, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if ZIOPTAN will harm your unborn baby. You should use an effective method of birth control while you use ZIOPTAN. If you become pregnant while using ZIOPTAN, talk to your doctor right away. Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if ZIOPTAN passes into your breast milk. Talk to your doctor about the best way to feed your baby if you use ZIOPTAN.

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Know the medicines you take. Keep a list of them to show your doctor and pharmacist when you get a new medicine.

Tell your doctor if you have any new eye problems while using ZIOPTAN, including an eye injury, an eye infection, a sudden loss of vision, eye surgery, swelling and redness of and around your eye (conjunctivitis), and problems with your eyelids.

The most common side effects of ZIOPTAN include redness, stinging or itching of your eye, cataract formation, dry eye, eye pain, blurred vision, headache, common cold, cough, and urinary tract infection. Tell your doctor if you have any other side effects that bother you. These are not all of the possible side effects of ZIOPTAN. For more information, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Prescribing Information and Patient Information for ZIOPTAN are available at

This information is provided by Merck.

Download article content                                                                                         [Top]

The Journey Of Mental Health Recovery

(NAPSI)—At one point, Josh described his life as a nightmare. He heard voices compelling him to break into his parents’ homes and take his sister’s car, landing him in jail. He says it is difficult to discuss this period of his life without perpetuating the negative stigma related to his diagnosis of schizophrenia, a condition that affects about 2.5 million American adults. Now, 13 years later, with a treatment team and family support, Josh cites accepting his schizophrenia as the turning point in his recovery, allowing him to actively engage in his treatments and better manage his illness.

With a combination of treatment that may include medication and psychotherapy, many living with severe mental illness, such as schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder and bipolar I disorder, are able to participate in daily activities and live meaningful lives.

“My medication and the support I’ve received from my treatment team have helped my symptoms improve over time. I feel I live a normal life,” says Josh. “A good sign that things are going well for me are the friendships I have with others and the support I receive from them.”

According to experts, a recovery plan can help people with severe mental illness meet their goals. Because everyone’s mental health recovery journey is his or her own, recovery plans are tailored toward each person’s unique needs.

Medication, including oral and injectable treatments, is the foundation of the recovery process for most people with schizophrenia. Taking antipsychotic medication regularly and as prescribed can help reduce symptoms.

Long-acting injectable antipsychotic therapies (LATs), which are administered every few weeks to a month depending on the medication, offer patients a choice of how often to take their medication and may help eliminate one less pill a day for their schizophrenia.

“With the right plan and support, I’ve seen individuals live fulfilling lives and contribute to society,” says David T. Susman, Ph.D., clinical psychologist at Eastern State Hospital in Lexington, Ky. “When I help someone build a recovery plan, we discuss personal, work and social goals, and strategies for how that individual, with help from their recovery team, can achieve those goals.”

The journey of recovery starts with hope, empowerment and understanding that people can overcome the barriers and obstacles that confront them. Family, friends and peers can serve as an important support system.

“Families need to understand that schizophrenia is treatable and that there have been many developments in antipsychotic medications over the years,” says Katie Cadigan, documentary filmmaker and a caregiver for her brother who lives with schizophrenia. “The more our family learned about my brother’s disease, the more he welcomed our help in making treatment decisions and invited us to be part of his recovery.”

To learn more about how treatment can help support your recovery plan or that of a loved one, log on to provides resources for individuals living with schizophrenia to help them understand treatment options and choose a medication that is right for them with the help of a healthcare professional. Visit the site to watch patient videos, access a doctor’s visit guide and learn more about different types of long-acting treatment.

About Serious Mental Illness

Approximately 26.2 percent of Americans ages 18 and older—more than one in four adults—are diagnosed with a mental disorder in a given year. Of this percentage, about 6 percent, or one in 17 Americans, live with a serious mental illness.

Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., provided the content for this article.

Download article content                                                                                         [Top]


Bookmark and Share LIST OF SUBJECTS LEAVE A MESSAGE  Follow Me on Pinterest