Eye Health: Is Surgery the Answer?

Think You May Have Cancer? Some Warning Signs You Should Watch Out For

There are so many different types of cancers that it can be difficult to know what symptoms you need to watch out for. However, there are some general signs of cancer that you may experience in the beginning stages.  Below are some of these signs that you need to watch out for.

Persistent Nausea, Fatigue and Vomiting

If you start feeling tired most of the time and vomiting, you may think you have the flu or a stomach virus. If this is the case, the symptoms will only last a short time. If these symptoms linger longer than they should or you start feeling even worse, you need to visit your doctor, who will likely do some tests, including testing you for different types of cancers.

Losing Weight

If you notice a drop in your weight of more than a few pounds, and you are not even trying to lose weight, this is another sign. For example, this may happen with cancers like in the pancreas and stomach.

Unusual Discharge or Bleeding

Another common sign of cancer is bleeding or discharge from the affected area. For example, if you have discharge and/or bleeding coming from a mole, this is a sign of skin cancer. If you have breast cancer, you may notice a discharge coming out of your nipples, and there may be blood in your urine.

Feel Chronic Pain

Another sign is feeling pain in your body that does not go away. Even though you may think you have a pulled muscle or the pain is due to other reasons, cancer could still be the cause. This is especially true if you are experiencing pain in a certain part of your body all the time. For example, if you have pain in your chest, you may have lung cancer.

Tests and Procedures

There are many different tests and procedures the doctor will give you if they suspect you have cancer. They may take a biopsy, bone scan, MRI of the breast, and colonoscopy. Another type of procedure is using a high intensity focused ultrasound, which is a procedure that applies energy and high heat to kill the damaged or diseased tissue of some types of cancers, such as pancreatic, kidney, and liver.

The above symptoms could be due to a variety of different things other than cancer.  It is worth getting them checked out, however, because finding cancer early can increase your chances of surviving. For more information, contact a company like International HIFU

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Your Baby’s Cold: When To Call The Pediatrician

Although adults may weather a cold without the assistance of a doctor, babies are more susceptible to complications from a cold. If your baby comes down with a cold, there are a few things you should keep an eye out for. Contact your child’s pediatrician immediately if you notice your baby suffering from any of the symptoms mentioned below. 

A Fever Develops 

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) parents of infants age 2 months and under should contact their child’s pediatrician as soon as they notice a fever is present. The FDA goes on to say that fevers higher than 102 degrees Fahrenheit in children older than 2 months also require a call to the doctor. 

Loss of Appetite

Babies are especially at risk of becoming dehydrated when they refuse to eat. Contact the pediatrician’s office and let them know if you spot any of the following dehydration symptoms: fewer than six wet diapers in a day, dry mouth, few to no tears when crying, loose stools, decreased play, and sunken soft spots. 

Persistent Coughing 

Another time when it is important to contact your doctor of pediatrics is when your baby has persistent coughing spells, coughs up blood, or has coughs that are still present after three days. It is possible that the infant is suffering from croup as well. The doctor will be able to prescribe a course of treatment after seeing your little one, which may include anything from a steroid medication to open up the airways to breathing treatments using a nebulizer. 

Discomfort in the Ear

It is not uncommon for an infant to develop an ear infection after having a cold. Watch your baby for signs of ear discomfort, such as tugging on the ear. It is better to have a pediatrician examine your baby’s ears to ensure there is no damage to the ear drum.  

Excessive Fussiness

One sign that your baby may be suffering from something a little more severe than the common cold is excessive fussiness. If your infant won’t let you put him or her down, or is crying regularly without being able to fall asleep, you need to get over to see the pediatrician. 

It is always a good idea to follow your parental instincts as well. If your baby seems off and you’d feel better having him or her looked over, then give a pediatrician, like those at Entira Family Clinics, a call and set up an appointment. 

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Diagnosing and Treating Shingles Early

Some people pay relatively little attention to the first signs of a skin irritation. In the early stages, it is difficult to recognize the potential seriousness of a skin rash. Individuals who are actually developing a case of shingles can reduce the severity of the outbreak by identifying the condition and taking antiviral medication as soon as possible.

Shingles is a reoccurrence of the same virus that causes chickenpox. After a person has a bout of chickenpox, the virus continues to lie dormant. Your immune system normally keeps the dormant virus in check for the remainder of your life. However, in some adults with weakened immune systems, the virus may reappear as an outbreak of shingles.

The first signs of shingles can be easily mistaken for a brush with poison ivy. The early symptoms of both conditions include tingling and itching in a particular skin area. A poison ivy rash is sometimes accompanied by blisters in the irritated area. A shingles outbreak typically causes blisters as it worsens. By the time that skin blisters develop, your general physician is needed to accurately diagnose the condition.

Early visual diagnosis

A key characteristic of shingles is that the outbreak is usually limited to only one side of the body. The particular portion of the nervous system affected by shingles is located either to the left or right of a vertical midline. If a shingles outbreak is located near the midline of the body, the red rash may appear to end precisely at the midline. In contrast, a rash caused by poison ivy might be scattered on both your left and right side.

Antiviral medication

Early intervention is key to minimizing the harmful effect of shingles. There are antiviral drugs that can control the spread of the virus. By intervening in the shingles outbreak as soon as possible, you may also reduce the likelihood of experiencing the possible long-term complications of shingles.

Potential neuralgia pain

Even though most individuals never experience a second outbreak of shingles, a single occurrence may trigger an ongoing skin sensitivity referred to as neuralgia. In some individuals, neuralgia pain may be experienced in the skin area affected by shingles, even after the rash and blisters have completely healed.

A vaccine is available for older adults to reduce the likelihood of experiencing a future case of shingles. For any current skin irritation that appears to resemble an emerging shingles outbreak, you should seek prompt medical attention. Contact a general physician for more information about the prevention or treatment of shingles. To find out more, speak with someone like Mount Laurel Primary Care Physicians.

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What Can You Eat And Drink When Your IBS Symptoms Are Raging?

If you’ve just been diagnosed with IBS, you may be frustrated to learn that all sorts of foods can set off your abdominal pain. However, if you hypercorrect the problem and aren’t eating or drinking enough, you could experience a whole host of new symptoms from nutrient deficiencies. So, you’ll need to know your go-to foods for when your irritable bowel syndrome flares up.

Opt for Non-alcoholic Drinks, Non-caffeinated Drinks, and Lactose-free Drinks

You’ve probably been told to reduce gastrointestinal irritants and stimulants like caffeine, lactose, and alcohol. So, what are some good alternatives? First, it is essential that you start drinking fresh water so that you can flush out toxins in your gastrointestinal tract and balance your intestinal flora. 

If you are a huge coffee drinker, consider switching to herbal or iced tea. If you are a big soda drinker, consider switching to unsweetened cranberry juice mixed with club soda. Cranberry juice has been shown to be good at relieving constipation, since it is a mild laxative. 

If you’ve got to have your milk, you definitely have some good alternatives. You could try rice milk, almond milk, or coconut milk. Take note that this list does not include soy milk, as that contains a lot of FODMAPs, or small carbohydrates that aren’t easily digested by the small intestine. 

Choose Soluble Fiber Over Insoluble Fiber

You’ve probably heard that fiber is great for constipation and digestion. But you’ll want to make sure that you are consuming the right kind of fiber. Insoluble fiber can wreak havoc on your body during IBS flare-ups. Instead, you should try to incorporate soluble fiber into your diet. Soluble fiber absorbs excess water in your gut and makes it easier for you to have bowel movements. Soluble fiber is found in foods like potatoes, oatmeal, pasta, and white rice.

Since insoluble fiber is important as well, you can slowly reintroduce it as your symptoms subside. You may need to talk to your doctor about how to incorporate this kind of fiber into your diet without flare-ups. 

Indulge in the Right Sweets 

While there are definitely restrictions that you have to pay attention to, you shouldn’t feel like you can’t indulge in your cooking. For instance, if you are sick of white bread, try zucchini bread, pumpkin bread, or zucchini bread recipes that cater to IBS patients. If you have a sweet tooth, try rice pudding or chocolate pudding.

Choose the Right Fruits and Veggies

You may be hesitant to try fruits and veggies, since many can exacerbate IBS symptoms. However, there are many options that are low in FODMAPs, such as,

  • tangerines,
  • carrots,
  • grapes,
  • bell peppers,
  • and spinach (and other leafy greens)

Be sure to work with your doctor and/or dietitian to see what foods trigger your symptoms and which recipes can help you feel good during your flare-ups.

For more information, contact Naugatuck Valley Gastroenterology Consultants LLC or a similar organization.

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Problems Seeing To The Side? Causes Of Peripheral Vision Loss

If you have peripheral vision loss, you are not able to see on the sides of your eyes while you are looking ahead. There are many things that can cause this problem. It is important to determine the source of the problem so you can know how to treat it.

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a condition that causes increased pressure in the eyeball, which results in gradual vision loss. Think of it as a basketball. It needs a certain amount of pressure to keep its shape. If you put too much air in the basketball, however, the pressure is increased and the basketball can burst. Your eyes also need to keep a certain internal fluid pressure to keep their globe-like shape. If not, this pressure will damage the optic nerves, and once this happens, the damage cannot be reversed.

In many cases, you will lose your peripheral vision first. Your eye doctor can help correct peripheral vision loss by using a special type of contact lenses or eye glasses. These glasses have a prism that is added to the prescription, which can expand your field of vision. You will not get 100% of your peripheral vision back, but these glasses and contacts can help get you a little back.

The doctor may suggest surgery to decrease eye pressure by installing a tiny eye stent in your eye. If the surgery works, you might be able to stop taking your glaucoma medications.

Branch Retinal Artery Occlusion

Branch Retinal Artery Occlusion (BRAO) is usually painless, but causes abrupt loss of your peripheral vision. In some cases, central vision is also affected. The cause of BRAO comes from a plaque or clot breaking loose from your carotid, which is the main artery in your neck. Most people with this problem are found to have high cholesterol, narrowing of the neck artery, cardiac disease, and high blood pressure. Have your blood pressure checked regularly, along with your blood cholesterol levels. Exercising and eat a low fat diet can also help.

Detached Retina

A detached retina can cause complete vision loss if not treated. This happens when your retina is separated from its supportive tissue. You may first notice symptoms like blurred vision, peripheral vision loss, and eye floaters. You may have these symptoms gradually, because the retina pulls away from the tissue gradually. You will usually feel no pain as your retina is pulling away also.

Unless you see your eye doctor to have the retina reattached quickly, you will have permanent vision loss.

Make sure you take care of your eyes by quitting smoking, eating healthy, and wearing sunglasses. If you are interested in a treatment option like the i stent, check it out with your local eye doctor.

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Three Really Good Reasons For Visiting A Family-Owned Pharmacy Over A National Chain

Although you can access a national chain pharmacy just about anywhere in the country, you will not receive the level of service you get from a family owned pharmacy. These small, locally-owned and operated pharmacies provide so much to a community that is valuable. If you have any doubts about that, here are three really good reasons for visiting a family-owned pharmacy over a national chain.

Your Patronism Supports Small Business Owners

Small business owners cannot compete with national chains because they do not have the reach that the chain pharmacies do. Without your patronism, these small business owners would fail, causing them to close up shop and put people out of work. Your visits to their “mom and pop” pharmacy is the lifeblood of their business, and you keep them in business by coming back.

Your Business Keeps “Main Street, USA” Alive

Most of the Main Streets in the U.S. consist of several locally owned shops that can only thrive if consumers continue to shop “downtown on Main Street.” Independent pharmacies are the backbone of this iconic street, found in nearly every city and contributing immensely to the sales of medicines and other goods. Independent pharmacies are actually responsible for forty percent of all prescription fills, and about ninety percent of the total retail sales when compared to the chains. Without your business and the business of thousands of other consumers, small shops like independent pharmacies would go out of business entirely. That all starts with you, the consumer, choosing to shop and patronize these small businesses over running to the mall for all of your holiday needs.

The Service You Receive Is More Personalized

To most national drug store chains, you are just a face or a number or a prescription label. Most family-owned pharmacies have a smaller list of customers who frequent the store and who the pharmacists, technicians and cashiers all know. They greet you by name, help you discreetly with personal questions and products, and often have a system that sends you reminder calls or texts to have your prescriptions filled. Some smaller drug stores still have pharmacists who personally call every customer and ask if they would like their medications refilled and ready for pick-up later that same day, while others have a pharmaceutical and grocery delivery service that brings everything to your door at the precise time you need it and want it so that you never have to remember to pick it all up after work.

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So, You Have Glaucoma: Answers To Common Questions About Your Newly Diagnosed Condition

Has your eye doctor recently diagnosed you with glaucoma? Amid the shock of finding out you have a chronic eye condition, it can be hard to think of the right questions to ask when you’re first diagnosed. Here’s a look at a few common questions people have when first diagnosed with glaucoma, along with their answers.

What caused your glaucoma to develop?

Many of the risk factors for glaucoma are non-controllable. Some people are just genetically pre-disposed to the condition. African Americans, people over the age of 40, and those with a family history of the disease are more likely to develop it than others, no matter what they do. However, an unhealthy lifestyle that results in sustained high blood pressure can increase the risk of glaucoma. If you’ve had high blood pressure for a long time, there’s a good chance that condition contributed to the development of this condition – but it’s not wise to blame yourself, since there’s no way to be sure.

How much worse will the condition get?

Left untreated, glaucoma will get worse and worse until your vision disappears completely. However, there are treatments that will prevent the disease from progressing or at least slow its progression. Your eye doctor likely prescribed you either eye drops or an oral medication for your glaucoma. Taking or using this medication as directed should keep your vision intact.

Will surgery be required?

Some patients whose glaucoma is allowed to progress to a severe stage before they seek treatment and some who don’t respond well to medication may be candidates for a specialized surgical procedure. In this procedure, a small hole is made to drain fluid from the interior of the eye, lowering the high eye pressure that’s the hallmark feature of glaucoma. This is not a cure, but like medications, it does keep symptoms under control. Your eye doctor will tell you if you’re a candidate for the surgery, which is generally not performed unless other treatment options have proven ineffective.

Are there any lifestyle changes you should make to help manage your glaucoma?

The same lifestyle changes used to manage high blood pressure can help manage the high eye pressure associated with glaucoma, which will help prevent it from becoming worse. These changes include getting more exercise, eating a healthy, low-salt diet, and keeping your stress levels to a minimum.

If you have any other unanswered questions, don’t hesitate to call your eye doctor. He or she should be your go-to source for information as you learn to live with and manage this eye condition.

For more information, visit http://watsonvision.com/ or a similar website.

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