Eye Health: Is Surgery the Answer?

FAQ About Respite Care

Have you been trying to come up with a way to get a break from taking care of your parent who has Alzheimer’s disease? The solution to the problem might be to seek services from a respite care professional so you can have a little free time for your own personal needs.Here are answers to some of the questions that you might have about respite care services.

How Can Respite Care Be Provided?

There are a few ways in which you can obtain respite care for your parent. For instance, you can opt for taking him or her to an adult day care center. Your parent can attend the center on a daily basis, or only when you need a little free time to yourself. There are also residential facilities that will give your parent the ability to stay overnight, which can come in handy if you have to work an overnight shift for your employer. The most convenient type of respite care is a service in which a professional caretaker can visit your home to provide services.

What Kind of Services Will Be Performed?

There are numerous services that can be provided through a respite care professional. If your parent’s Alzheimer’s has led to him or her not being able to remember how to perform daily tasks such as putting on clothes, assistance will be provided. Cooking, cleaning, and errand running services can also be provided. Your parent will have a professional to help him or her exercise, go out shopping, and participate in leisure activities such as playing games or watching movies.

How Long Does Respite Care Last?

The amount of time that a respite care professional can assist with your parent will depend on what you pay for. You can hire someone for only a few hours on the days needed if you desire to do so. If you want to plan a vacation for some alone time, a respite care professional can stay with your parent during your entire trip.

Will the Caretakers Be Reliable?

You can count on respite care professionals to be reliable when they are needed. Your parent will never be left alone no matter which method of respite care you opt for. The caretakers will have all of the necessary skills and training to give you complete confidence that your parent is being well taken care of. Speak to a respite care provider like Cornerstone Hospice and Palliative Care as soon as you are ready for the assistance.

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5 Tips For Helping A Stroke Survivor

If one of your loved ones recently suffered a stroke, you may be concerned about his recovery. A stroke can take a big toll on the body and increase the risk of suffering a second stroke. Luckily, there are some things you can do to help your family member during the recovery process. Here are five helpful tips for helping a stroke survivor recover:

Decrease the Risk of Falls in the Home

A stroke can throw off your loved one’s balance, making him more likely to fall. That is why you should make his home as fall-proof as possible. Get rid of throw rugs and remove clutter from the floors. You can also consider installing grab bars in the bathtub to help prevent falls.

Encourage Exercise

Exercise might seem unlikely after your family member has suffered a stroke, but it can actually prevent a second stroke. Physical activity can lower blood pressure and decrease stress, which are risk factors for strokes. Encourage your loved one to start off with low-impact exercises, such as walking or swimming.

Look for Signs of Depression

Unfortunately, a stroke can increase the likelihood of depression in your loved one, which can affect his recovery. It is important to be on the lookout for signs of depression, such as irritability, loss of interest in activities and feelings of hopelessness. If you believe your family member is depressed, encourage him to see a therapist soon.

Prepare Healthy Meals

Now that your loved one has suffered a stroke, it is even more important for him to eat a healthy diet. Eating a diet filled with nutritious foods, like fruits, vegetables and lean meats, can reduce the risk of high blood pressure and other stroke risk factors.

Hire a Caregiver

If caring for your loved one is interfering with your work and family life, you should consider hiring a full-time caregiver. This person can come to your family member’s home and help him with his daily tasks, such as taking medicine, grocery shopping and washing the dishes. An experienced caregiver like All Care Hawaii can also provide your loved one with emotional support. 

Recovering from a stroke is not easy. However, if you follow these helpful tips and provide your loved one with endless support, you can make the process that much easier. Be extra sensitive toward your loved one’s feelings and realize that the recovery process can take a lot of time.

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Common Sports Injuries: An Overview Of The ACL Reconstruction Surgery Procedure

The Buffalo Bills thought its second round draft pick this year of Reggie Ragland would fill a void in its linebacking core; instead, Ragland was just put on injured reserve for the season while he heals from ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) reconstruction surgery on his left knee. This type of injury is common among professional and amateur athletes from all types of sports. The pressure of running, turning, shifting, or having someone fall on your lower leg can easily tear the ACL or detach it from the bone. If you or one of your kids tears an ACL in half this summer or fall, here is what you should expect during the surgery to repair the damage.

Cleaning Surgical Area

A nurse, or nurse’s aide, will shave the hair off your leg around the surgical site. An antiseptic solution will be applied to the site to kill any bacteria on your leg. This will help to prevent an infection while the wound heals.

Sedation

Most surgeons will use a general anesthetic to sedate you instead of using a local anesthetic that will only numb the surgical site. This not only prevents you from feeling any pain during the surgery, but it helps to keep your body still while the surgeon operates.

Surgical Incisions

Most surgeries are done using arthroscopic surgical tools. These tools only need a small opening to access the surgical area. However, in some instances, the surgery might require that the surgeon opens up the knee with a large incision to thoroughly expose the damaged area. This will result in a noticeable scar. You and your surgeon will discuss the best option for your case.

Procedure

The surgeon will replace the torn ligament with one from another part of your leg or body, or they will use a ligament that has been cleaned and sterilized from a human cadaver (which is a deceased body). There will be holes drilled through the bones that the ligament connects to together. The ligament will be threaded through the holes in the bones and anchored to the bones using stainless steel screws or staples. 

Healing Time

The knee area will be swollen and painful for at least a few days after the surgery. You can ice it down to reduce the swelling and relieve some of the pain. The surgeon will usually prescribe pain medication the help relieve your discomfort. Physically therapy will be needed once the bone and ligament heal enough to withstand the pressure. The rehabilitation time can take several months to a year depending on how quick you heal.

For more information about this kind of surgery and the recovery process, contact an orthopedics clinic.

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Stressed About Breasts: Why You Could Be Having Trouble Breastfeeding (And What Can Help)

Breastfeeding your new baby can be a time of wonder, relaxation, and bonding. But if you spend more time stressing out because of the pressures of your breastfeeding experience, it can be easy to get pessimistic about the whole endeavor and sink into a constantly anxious state of being. So what are some of the reasons that you could be having a difficult time breastfeeding your infant – and what are the solutions to these problems? If you’re stressed about breastfeeding and looking for help, then here’s what you need to know.

Not Enough Milk

This problem is totally not your fault, but that doesn’t make it any less of a problem. Some women just don’t produce enough milk for their particular baby, particularly if that baby is a hungry one. You might feel like a failure here, but please, don’t let that thought enter your head; baby formula is as widely used as it is in part because many women struggle with producing enough milk for their newborns, and using that formula doesn’t make you any less of a mother than someone lucky enough to produce enough milk for their baby.

To try to increase your milk supply, you can try to nurse more frequently (such as every hour and a half during the day, stretched to every 3 hours at night), pump after feedings, or talk to your doctor about using a galactagogue.

Inverted Nipples

Most women’s nipples stick out (to varying degrees), but if your nipples look more like an indented coin slot, you may have discovered the reason behind your nursing problems. Inverted nipples, like the name suggests, are nipples that poke inwards instead of out. This can cause a problem for the baby, who can find it slightly harder (though by no means impossible) to latch on.

You don’t need to go out and get your nipples worked on by a plastic surgeon, however. Ensuring your baby has a proper latch (in a proper latch, babies latch onto the areola, not the nipple itself) or using a breast pump immediately before you start breastfeeding your baby can help your infant get the nutrition they need, no matter what your nipples look like.

Stress

Your nipples might be just fine, and your milk supply might be enough for your baby – but if you’re consistently stressed about breastfeeding, it can be easy to start having trouble getting your baby to nurse. Babies feed off of your moods, so when you’re stressed and upset every time it’s time for them to eat, your baby can get fussy and stressed as well, and not nurse well as a result.

Try taking a “nursing vacation” if at all possible to counteract this stress. Take 2-3 days and spend them in bed with your baby, doing nothing but feeding them and relaxing. You should make sure that you’re well fed and up on your fluids at this time as well, but taking that time to relax and spend time with your baby can put an end to your stress-caused nursing woes.

For more baby care information, speak with a pediatrician.

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Does Neck Laser Surgery Work?

When you suffer from chronic spinal pain in the neck or back, you are probably too familiar with pain relievers. You may also have undergone physical therapy and other treatments for your spinal issues. In addition, you may have suffered years of pain and frustration due to these problems. After a time, surgery may be your only option. If you need an operation, should laser surgery be a part of the plan?

Process

You may confuse laser surgery with minimally invasive spinal surgery. In fact, minimally invasive surgery relies on small incisions and then the use of an endoscope. The surgeon can see the spine and find areas of damage without severing the muscles, so recovery time is greatly reduced. Laser surgery is often used in conjunction with this procedure, removing damaged tissue without using a scalpel to cut it out. The laser must be inserted into the incision as well, so no surgery is completely incisionless. However, traditional cutting is kept to a minimum.

Procedures

Lasers can be used in a procedure called rhizotomy, which zaps the small nerves in the facet joints. This act helps those with arthritic joints get some relief from back pain. Laser disc compression “cuts” out some disc contents to lessen  the pain of nerve compression in your legs. Also, laser annuloplasty helps treat tears in the disc walls, a procedure that can also lessen your chronic back pain. Again, most surgeons do not limit themselves to just one tool. They prefer to use multiple approaches to give you relief from pain and improve your mobility.

Benefits

Laser surgery is not a cure-all, but when it is used properly and with reasonable expectations, it can improve your spinal issues. Laser-assisted surgery can be done on an outpatient basis and requires only a small incision, usually only about an inch long. You will have little scar tissue and a short recovery period. Many people who undergo this type of surgery are quite satisfied and relieved to escape traditional back operations.

Although you may have heard about the miracle of laser surgery, you need to understand that being zapped by a laser is not going to cure your spine. However, it is a helpful option in a comprehensive pain-relief plan. When you consult with your specialist, be certain to inquire about all the tools they will use in your surgery. The goal for them is to be minimally invasive while they give you a better life. 

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Should You Have Your Tonsils Removed As An Adult?

If you spent your college years pulling all-nighters and eating a less-than-balanced diet while rarely getting so much as a cold, you may be dismayed that you now seem to be susceptible to every sore throat and sinus infection that makes its way around your office — despite taking better care of yourself now than you did in your early twenties. While this increased susceptibility to viruses can often simply be attributed to the aging process, in some cases, it may indicate a problem with your tonsils or adenoids that could require removal. Read on to learn more about some situations in which tonsil removal may be the best option, as well as what you can expect from this procedure. 

When may you need your tonsils removed as an adult?

In most cases, tonsil removal is performed on children or young teens who have had a history of recurring sore throats, sinus infections, or other ear, nose, and throat (ENT) issues caused by bacteria buildup in the tonsils and adenoids. Because tonsils, much like appendixes and pinky toes, no longer serve much of a biological purpose, their removal is a fairly routine process that poses few risks and can improve future health.

Tonsil removal as an adult is a bit more serious, and should therefore be performed only if your tonsils are affecting your quality of life. For some adults, tonsils can essentially double as bacteria sponges, harboring potentially harmful strep and staph bacteria that can inflame the tissues in your mouth and throat whenever your immune system is weakened by lack of sleep, poor diet, or stress. Treating this inflammation can require heavy-duty antibiotics, and often these medications simply cause the infection to retreat back to your tonsils instead of eradicating it completely. Because long-term antibiotic use carries a number of risks, from antibiotic-resistant infection to organ damage, having your tonsils removed may be the best option.

What surgical procedures can pose the least risk of complications? 

When having your tonsils removed, it’s important for your surgery to be as non-invasive as possible. Because it’s likely your tonsils are already contaminated with bacteria, making large incisions in your neck or jaw could increase the risk of post-surgical infection. One popular alternative to traditional tonsil surgery is laser removal, in which the tonsils are detached from the back of your throat with a high-powered laser beam that immediately cauterizes the incision, reducing bleeding and all but eliminating the odds of infection. Although your recovery may still be somewhat lengthier than it would have been if your tonsils were removed during childhood, having a laser tonsillectomy should allow you to quickly move on with a life free from chronic sore throats. Contact a business, such as Eastern Carolina Ear Nose & Throat-Head, for more information.   

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Alternative Treatments And Approaches To Breast Cancer: Options To Discuss With Your Oncologist

If you have recently been diagnosed with breast cancer, or you suspect that due to a genetic predisposition for the disease you will develop it, you may want to look at various treatments and/or preventive measures that could help. Some of these are a little extreme and may be reminiscent of stories of celebrities who have done the same, but the end results are unarguably positive. Other options may require time, paperwork and your oncologist’s backing. Here are some of those alternative approaches to and treatments for breast cancer.

Double Mastectomy

As extreme as a double mastectomy is, you cut your risks of breast cancer significantly when this approach is used to prevent the disease. This approach is often used when a patient has an extremely high risk for the disease because more than one female family member has died of it and you are a direct descendant of all of them. For example, if your mother, grandmother and great grandmother all died of breast cancer by the time they were in their fifties, you may want to consider this approach.

As a treatment, an oncologist may suggest that you get a double mastectomy if you have developed lumps or signs of cancer in both breasts and/or have had the disease two or more times. Rather than attempt to save your breasts and just keep cutting away at the remaining tissue, your doctor removes all remaining breast tissue, leaving only the chest wall and intercostal muscles (the muscle “meat” between each of your ribs). Unless cancer cells show up in your lymph and blood tests, the removal of your breasts removes the possibility of developing breast cancer a third time.

Clinical Research Trials

New drugs for various types of cancer are being developed all the time. News of these clinical trials often arrives in front of oncologists via emails, professional organizations and recruiters who are looking for patients who want to be part of the trials. If you want to know if there are any clinical trials for new medicines available for patients with breast cancer, you should ask your oncologist. He or she might know of a trial that might be something you could try, although you would have to fit all of the requirements of the trials before your doctor would recommend it for you. Most of these trials are for curative medicines, not preventive medicines, in which case you will still want to discuss this possibility with your doctor. Contact a company like Southwest Oncology Centers for more information.

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