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Archive for the ‘Consumer Health’ Category

August is Child Eye Health & Safety Month

Monday, August 1st, 2016

“students-in-class-with-teacher-reading” by Ilmicrofono Oggiono
is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Students in Class with Teacher

Did you know August is Child Eye Health & Safety Month? Coming just in time for back-to-school season, this is the perfect time to schedule an appointment to ensure your child’s vision is in excellent shape. 

Annual vision checks are especially important for children because if vision problems are caught early, there is a much higher chance that the problem can be corrected. The eye is just like any other body part; a child learns how to see, just like a child learns how to walk or talk. If a vision problem goes undiagnosed, then the brain learns to accommodate the problem and eventually there might not be any way to correct it; instead, doctors may only be able treat the problem with glasses or contact lenses.

While eye health is important, don’t forget about eye safety. Friends for Sight estimates that out of the thousands of children who sustain eye injuries every year, 90% of them are preventable. Children and parents just need to be aware of and use protective eyewear when it is necessary.

To learn more, please visit the American Optometric Association or “Child Eye Health and Safety Month – August.”

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Lifestyle Choices and Gender May Affect a Person’s Resilience to Alzheimer’s Genes

Wednesday, July 27th, 2016

“Alzheimers” by Michael Havens is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Alzheimer'sWe all know we should take care of our bodies. Health professionals tell us to eat healthy and to exercise in order to maintain our physical health; and we know we should challenge our minds to maintain our mental health. Leading a healthy life can lower your risk for many illnesses and diseases including heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers. And now, a new study suggests that even if you carry Alzheimer’s genes, if you lead a healthy lifestyle you might be less likely to feel the effects of the disease.

Findings indicate that if you’re a woman you might also have a stronger resilience to the disease even if the genes are present in your DNA. The study found that only 32 percent of women showed signs of memory decline while 47 percent of men did. Research suggested that women can further help maintain their memory by having an active social life, healthy lungs, and moderate exercise.

It’s important to also note that even if you carry Alzheimer’s genes, that is not a guarantee that you will get the disease.

To learn more, please visit “Women May Be More Resilient to Effects of Alzheimer’s Genes,” or alz.org.

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Speaking to Diverse Communities Through HealthReach

Monday, June 13th, 2016

HealthReach LogoThe National Library of Medicine continues to provide access to health information to underserved communities through HealthReach. HealthReach is a national partnership that offers access to patient education materials in multiple languages, as well as helpful information for providers who offer services to individuals for whom English is not their native language. On the patient materials tab, users are able to search by topic, language, format, and authors. Providers are able to search by countries, populations, and authors. Materials for both audiences include audio, videos, and documents.

Resources include:

  • Health education materials in various languages and formats (brochures, fact sheets, videos)
  • Provider tools (including best practices, cultural information, and effective use of interpreters)
  • Special collections on Emergency and Disaster, Women’s Health, and Mental Health

HealthReach provides free access to high quality, culturally relevant health information. Visit https://healthreach.nlm.nih.gov/ for more information.

A portion of this entry was adapted from https://healthreach.nlm.nih.gov/

Adults Do Not Get Enough Sleep: A Good Night’s Sleep Is Critical For Good Health

Monday, February 22nd, 2016

Adapted from: Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Newsroom

More than a third of American adults are not getting enough sleep on a regular basis, according to a new study in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. This is the first study to document estimates of self-reported healthy sleep duration (7 or more hours per day) for all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society recommend that adults aged 18–60 years sleep at least 7 hours each night to promote optimal health and well-being. Sleeping less than seven hours per day is associated with an increased risk of developing chronic conditions such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and frequent mental distress. “As a nation we are not getting enough sleep,” said Wayne Giles, M.D., director of CDC’s Division of Population Health. “Lifestyle changes such as going to bed at the same time each night; rising at the same time each morning; and turning off or removing televisions, computers, mobile devices from the bedroom, can help people get the healthy sleep they need.” Prevalence of healthy sleep duration varies by geography, race/ethnicity, employment, marital status CDC researchers reviewed data from the 2014 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), a state-based, random-digit–dialed telephone survey conducted collaboratively by state health departments and CDC.

Key Findings:

  • Healthy sleep duration was lower among Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders (54 percent), non-Hispanic blacks (54 percent), multiracial non-Hispanics (54 percent) and American Indians/Alaska Natives (60 percent) compared with non-Hispanic whites (67 percent), Hispanics (66 percent), and Asians (63 percent).
  • The prevalence of healthy sleep duration varied among states and ranged from 56 percent in Hawaii to 72 percent in South Dakota.
  • A lower proportion of adults reported getting at least seven hours of sleep per day in states clustered in the southeastern region of the United States and the Appalachian Mountains. Previous studies have shown that these regions also have the highest prevalence of obesity and other chronic conditions.
  • People who reported they were unable to work or were unemployed had lower healthy sleep duration (51 percent and 60 percent, respectively) than did employed respondents (65 percent). The prevalence of healthy sleep duration was highest among people with a college degree or higher (72 percent).
  • The percentage reporting a healthy sleep duration was higher among people who were married (67 percent) compared with those who were never married (62 percent) or divorced, widowed, or separated (56 percent).

Healthy Sleep Tips:

  • Healthcare providers should routinely assess patients’ sleep patterns and discuss sleep-related problems such as snoring and excessive daytime sleepiness.
  • Healthcare providers should also educate patients about the importance of sleep to their health.
  • Individuals should make getting enough sleep a priority and practice good sleep habits.
  • Employers can consider adjusting work schedules to allow their workers time to get enough sleep.
  • Employers can also educate their shift workers about how to improve their sleep.

For more information on CDC’s Sleep and Sleep Disorders Program, please visit www.cdc.gov/sleep.

National Library of Medicine Announces MedPix®, Free Online Medical Image Database

Thursday, February 18th, 2016

Adapted from:  National Library of Medicine’s News and Events dated 2/05/16

The National Library of Medicine is pleased to announce the launch of MedPix®, a free online medical image database originally developed by the Departments of Radiology and Biomedical Informatics at the Uniformed Services University, Bethesda, Maryland, USA. The URL is https://medpix.nlm.nih.gov/.

The foundation for MedPix was a radiology study tool that was originally developed by Dr. J.G. Smirniotopoulos in 1984. In the early 1990s, as radiology was moving from film to digital imaging, there was simultaneously a merger of the diagnostic imaging residency programs of the two premier military hospitals: Walter Reed Army Medical Center and the National Naval Medical Center. In the summer of 1999, a Web-based digital teaching file based on the radiology study tool was built at USUHS to allow the two military training programs to share teaching file cases, a training requirement. Soon, other military hospitals and several civilian institutions joined MedPix. Over the past 16 years, MedPix has amassed an impressive collection of over 53,000 images from over 13,000 cases.

The MedPix collection categorizes and classifies the image and patient data for each of several subsets of image database applications (e.g. radiology, pathology, ophthalmology, etc.). The content material is both high-quality and high-yield and includes both common and rare conditions. Most cases have a proven diagnosis (pathology, clinical follow-up). The teaching file cases are peer-reviewed by an Editorial Panel.

As a public education service, the NLM and MedPix provide the storage service, indexing, and Web server hosting. Individuals as well as institutions may participate. Contributed content may be copyrighted by the original author/contributor. No additional software required—your Internet browser is all you need!

The primary target audience includes resident and practicing physicians, medical students, nurses and graduate nursing students and other post-graduate trainees. The material is organized by disease category, disease location (organ system), and by patient profiles.

At this time, the new MedPix website is up. Existing users can login, but there is no access to CME credits yet, no new registration, no submitting a case and no search.

NOTE: MedPix provides a quick summary of medical information with images. It is not intended to be encyclopedic.

WARNING: This is not a substitute for medical advice, and the reader is responsible for confirming the accuracy of this information before beginning or changing any therapy or treatment.

For more information see:  MedPix Home Page https://medpix.nlm.nih.gov/  – NLM’s Medical Image Database

Since its founding in 1836, the National Library of Medicine https://www.nlm.nih.gov has played a pivotal role in translating biomedical research into practice and is a leader in information innovation. NLM is the world’s largest medical library, and millions of scientists, health professionals and the public around the world use NLM services every day.

 

Five Ways To Protect Your Eyes From AMD

Friday, February 12th, 2016

Adapted from:  Harvard Medical School’s This Week @ Harvard Health

amg-vision-loss-eyes-macular-degneration

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a condition in which the macula, the part of the eye that’s responsible for your sharpest and most detailed vision, begins to thin and break down, causing vision loss. If left untreated, it can lead to blindness.

There is no surefire way to prevent AMD. However, there are things you can do to delay its onset or reduce its severity. Here are 5 of our favorites:

  1. Smoking can speed up AMD damage. If you smoke, quit.
  2. Sunlight is thought to possibly promote AMD. Protect your eyes from the sun by wearing sunglasses and broad-brimmed hats.
  3. Research also suggests that certain nutrients help prevent macular degeneration. Eat a diet rich in fresh fruits and dark-green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, collard greens, and kale. The latter are especially rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, which are key for eye health.
  4. If you have intermediate or advanced dry AMD, or any stage of the “wet” form of AMD, ask your doctor about supplements. For example, people at high risk of developing the advanced stages of the “wet” form of AMD may lower their risk by taking high-dose combinations of antioxidant vitamins and minerals.
  5. It’s unclear whether omega-3 supplements are beneficial for AMD. But eating fish and other foods high in these nutrients may still be worthwhile for preserving optimal vision and overall good health.

For more information on keeping your eyes healthy, see The Aging Eye, a Special Health Report from Harvard Medical School.

 

Study Shows Direct Relation Between Asthma-Flair Ups and School Year Calendar

Wednesday, February 10th, 2016

Adapted from MedlinePlus (Health Day)

A recent study may explain why children with Asthma tend to suffer cold systems after a school long holiday or break. Experts believed that environmental factors, such as air quality was the culprit. Researchers analyzed asthma-related hospitalizations of children across Texas for seven years. The study concluded that the school year calendar was the primary cause. Researchers found that when children are not at school for a long period, they will be less likely exposed to other children with colds and their immunity decreases. When they return to school, there is an increase in their exposure to cold viruses and their immune systems are not ready. For more information, please visit: https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_157134.html

Additional Resources:

Asthma in Children

Common Cold

School Health

NIH News In Health February 2016

Monday, February 1st, 2016

Adapted from: NIH News in Health, February 2016 issue

Check out the February issue of NIH News in Health, the monthly newsletter bringing you practical health news and tips based on the latest NIH research. To search for more trusted health information from NIH, bookmark http://health.nih.gov.

 

Technologies Enhance Tumor Surgery Helping Surgeons Spot and Remove Cancer NIH-funded researchers are developing new technologies to help surgeons figure out exactly where cancerous tumors end and healthy tissue begins. Read more about technologies for cancer surgery.
 
Focusing on Fibromyalgia A Puzzling and Painful Condition Fibromyalgia is a long-term condition marked by pain and fatigue. It can be hard to diagnose, but treatment can help. Read more about fibromyalgia.

Health Capsules:

Infertility Treatments and Children’s Development

Help for Rare and Undiagnosed Conditions

Featured Website: NIH Office of Dietary Supplements 

Please NIH’s website http://www.nih.gov/ for current authoritative health information.

 

Zika Virus: What You Need to Know

Saturday, January 30th, 2016

MedlinePlus posted a warning from the World Health Organization last week entitled “Zika Virus Expected to Spread North Through U.S.: WHO“.

As this is an emerging threat with new updates daily, here are a couple of websites to consult for the latest news:

And the NIH Director’s blog is always good for health news, plus MedlinePlus’ Latest Health News page.

As of January 27 there are also two new Medical Subject Headings available for searching MEDLINE/PubMed: Zika Virus Infection and Zika Virus.

map of zika affected countries

MedlinePlus on Facebook

Wednesday, January 13th, 2016

MedlinePlus, the National Institutes of Health’s website for patients and their families and friends, just launched two Facebook pages. Find us at https://facebook.com/mplus.gov (English) and https://facebook.com/medlineplusenespanol(Spanish). You can help promote the launch by liking our page and using the following posts on Twitter and Facebook.