by Nicole Swartz, M.S.P.T., physical therapistFlorida Center for Orthopaedicswww.fl-ortho.com407-292-2156
Balance disorders are extremely common, but they can lead to serious consequences when identifying the causes is avoided. More than one-third of the population age 65 and older will fall each year. Falls are the leading cause of injury deaths and hospital admissions for the elderly.Balance is an individual’s ability to maintain equilibrium and orientation. It is a result of many interactive systems in the body, including musculoskeletal, visual, sensory and vestibular. A balance deficit can be a result of an imbalance in a specific or combination of systems. One may have neurological problems stemming from the brain or spinal cord. Orthopedic issues such as weakness, loss of flexibility, asymmetry and surgery can contribute. Also, chronic diseases, like diabetes, or vestibular involvement, such as inner-ear conditions, are other common causes.Diagnostic studies and evaluations can be performed by specialists like audiologists; ear, nose and throat doctors; optometrists; neurologists; and physical therapists to identify contributing factors and implement appropriate treatment plans. There are many defense strategies, including assistive devices like a walker or cane, proper shoes, elimination of clutter for clear pathways, and proper lighting, that can help reduce the risk for falls. With proper identification and rehabilitation, balance disorders can improve and reduce the risk of serious injury.
by Ximena Aldea, D.M.D.Windermere Center for Dentistrywww.windermeresmiles.com407-909-1097
For many, going to the dentist instills a fear that is hard to overcome. The scary, shiny instruments, bright lights and noise of the drill can make some people sweat just by thinking about them. Many patients put off treatment because of this fear, usually making needed dental work more extensive in the future. In turn, the progression of caries and gum disease can make this fear much worse. A study at The Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden indicated that about 5 percent of the population suffers from dentophobia or odontophobia.One of the most effective coping techniques is distraction. Bringing an iPod with headphones to listen to favorite music, thinking of things that make one happy, praying and optimism are among some things that may help patients get through a dental appointment. In addition, many dentists offer intravenous sedation or oral sedation, which involves taking a pill prior to the appointment. These options may help patients feel more at ease. Of course, prevention is the best tool at hand.It is important for dentists to take time to ensure that patients feel at ease, as well as review things that can be done every day at home to prevent potential dental problems.
by John Nowell, O.D.Southwest Orlando Eye Carewww.southwestorlandoeyecare.com407-271-8931
The first step in achieving healthy eyes is an annual eye exam. With routine eye care, eye doctors are able to diagnose and treat any eye condition in the earliest stages before any damage can be done. Thus, these patients will never be blind-sided with a diagnosis like advanced glaucoma or advanced macular degeneration, because they have yearly eye exams. Also, prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses should be updated regularly. The second step is to eat lots of dark, leafy vegetables, such as broccoli, spinach, kale, turnips and collard greens. These vegetables are full of antioxidants, which help to maintain the health of the eyes, especially the most critical part, called the macula.People also should wear ultraviolet ray-blocking sunglasses when outside, since UV rays can cause cancer of the lids and inside the eye, as well as lead to pterygiums, cataracts and macular degeneration.People should not ever sleep in contact lenses, because this can cause the rate of corneal ulcers and infections to skyrocket.Lastly, they should not smoke. Plenty of studies have shown smokers are more likely to have eye problems like chronic red eyes, dry eyes, cataracts at an early age, and macular degeneration.
by Christopher Walker, M.D., F.A.C.O.G., F.I.C.S.Advanced Urogynecologywww.advancedurogynecology.com407-898-9804
When a woman ages, everyone talks about hormonal fluctuation. What they seldom discuss are other delicate matters, such as heavy menstrual bleeding, urinary leaking and overactive bladder. Although these issues can impact a woman’s quality of life, they can be resolved under the care of dedicated, skilled urogynecologists.Trained gynecologists specializing in female urology see women every day with these issues. These physicians are trained in the art of performing in-office procedures that can, in only a few minutes, reverse the hands of time. From permanently stopping women from having heavy menstrual bleeding to permanently correcting urinary leaking, these physicians are capable of offering options to women who are suffering in silence.One in three women will face the symptoms of urinary leaking or overactive bladder impacting her lifestyle. From sneezing and laughing to jumping up and down or running, women can be free to live their best lives yet.As a woman ages, she should not forget that her pelvic health is just as important as the rest of her body.
by Daciana Phillips, president Phillips Medical Centerwww.phillipsmedicalcenter.com407-370-2772
Many Americans use complementary and alternative medicine in their pursuit of good health and well-being.Natural products include the use of a variety of herbal medicines, vitamins and minerals. Probiotics are live microorganisms, usually bacteria, that are similar to microorganisms normally found in the human digestive tract, and they may have beneficial effects. Probiotics are available as dietary supplements or in foods like yogurt. Kefir milk also is loaded with tryptophan, an amino acid that helps raise serotonin levels in the brain, linked to reducing anxious feelings.Research studies rate probiotics as likely to effectively improve the conditions of vaginal (bacterial and yeast), urinary tract and bladder infections; inflammatory intestinal disorders, including inflammatory bowel disease; microbe-induced traveler’s diarrhea; food allergies; and inflammatory allergic conditions like asthma and eczema. Probiotics also are likely effective in reducing several risk factors for cardiovascular disease, intestinal cancers, the duration of gastroenteritis and rotavirus-induced diarrhea in infants, and the rate of childhood respiratory infections. They also help prevent tooth decay.Herbal medicines reflect some of the first attempts to improve the human condition. From the prehistoric “ice man,” and Middle Ages to modern times, thousands of botanical products have been inventoried for their medicinal effects.
by Christopher Crotty, M.D.Sand Lake Dermatologywww.sandlakedermatology.com407-352-8553
Psoriasis is more than a heartbreak. In fact, the impact of psoriasis on a patient’s quality of life and general health is tremendous.Psoriasis is a chronic, immune-mediated disease characterized by thick, scaly patches. Virtually every part of the skin, including the scalp and nails, can be affected. Psoriasis affects approximately 2 percent of the adult population, and a certain percentage of these patients also develop arthritis.Furthermore, since psoriasis is a chronic, lifelong disease, it is a persistent source of anxiety. Unfortunately, psoriasis affects visible parts of the body. Controlling anxiety and stress-relaxation training can help modify the impact and progression of the disease.Fortunately, there are many treatments available for patients with psoriasis of all types. These range from topical therapy to ultraviolet light, laser therapy and systemic medications. What is new in the past 10 years are immunologic modifying medications. These include Enbrel, Humira, Stelara and others. The excimer laser also can be used for localized patches of psoriasis on the nails, scalp and body.What is most essential, however, is focusing on the total care of patients with psoriasis. People need to realize that they do have control over their lifestyle choices. There is no question that weight loss, exercise and proper diet are important factors in reducing the severity of psoriasis.
by Deepak Raja, M.D.Orlando Eye Institutewww.eyesandlids.com407-704-3937
Most people know someone who has the classic complaints of chronic redness, irritation and burning from dry eyes. For countless others, the symptoms can be more vague and include fluctuating vision, light sensitivity, halos and excessive tearing. In these trickier cases, diagnosis may be delayed. Clues to diagnosing dry eye include analysis of subjective symptoms, taking a careful medical history, examination of the tear film, and measuring tear production. Unfortunately, many people still go undiagnosed, because it is difficult to accurately screen for dry eyes like one would for high cholesterol or high blood pressure.Recent technological advances now allow for the testing of the quality of a patient’s tears. It provides a three-digit number, called the tear osmolarity, that is similar to a measure of cholesterol. The test indicates whether someone has dry eyes and stratifies it into mild, moderate or severe. Because of its ease and speed, the new technology is a wonderful screening tool and affords the ability to track a patient’s progress after treatment has been initiated. The approach has revolutionized the way patients are treated for this common, but potentially debilitating, affliction.
by Stan Loomis, pharmacistOlympia Compounding Pharmacywww.olympiapharmacy.com407-673-2222
The term “anti-aging” is a popular phrase used over and over again in today’s advertisements. But what does it mean?As people grow older, their bodies’ ability to utilize and produce vitamins, minerals and hormones decreases. Because of this, they experience things like memory loss, decreased brain function, muscle loss, fat gain, decreased sexual desire and performance, osteoporosis and more.Anti-aging programs are designed around replacing what the body is losing or is no longer able to produce because of the aging process. These programs often include hormone-replacement therapy, vitamin and mineral supplements, and antioxidants. Many of these therapies are very patient-specific and must be provided by an experienced, sterile compounding pharmacy.Eating right, exercising and participating in a physician-supervised anti-aging program can help slow down the negative affects of time and promote healthy aging.Growing older does not have to mean feeling older. Anti-aging therapies can help people live longer, stronger, healthier lives.
by Maria A. Kashlak, D.M.D.& Anthony F. Oswick, D.M.D.Bay Hill Dental Associateswww.myorlandosmile.com407-345-5620
Now, more than ever, people are busier and experience increased stress. Stress not only wears a person down physically and mentally, it can damage and wear down one’s teeth, because people tend to clench and grind their teeth — a condition known as bruxism.Visual signs include uneven wear of tooth surfaces, progressive shortening of front teeth, craze lines, cracks and fractured teeth. Symptoms include generalized tooth sensitivity, facial pain, dull headaches, and sore or tight jaw muscles.Some people are aware that they clench or grind during their daily activities; however, some are not aware they may do it while they sleep.A dentist can diagnose and treat bruxism using treatments such as an occlusal adjustment on “high spots” on specific teeth for better bite balance. A custom-fitted night guard or bite plate also can be used to prevent the upper teeth from touching the lower teeth. This separation provides a cushioning effect that relieves the pressure and pain of clenching and grinding.Untreated bruxism can lead to the severe damage of both teeth and jaw joints.
by Yolanda Brailey,M.A., L.M.H.C., N.C.C.Life EnhancementCounseling Serviceswww.lifeenhancementcs.com407-620-7855
Efficiency, productivity and achievement are hallmarks of society. Many people feel that if they are not doing or producing something they are being lazy. The word relaxation often has a negative connotation in today’s world.True relaxation is the ability to be still in one’s soul. It is the capability of being fully present and not thinking of anything else other than that moment and the peace one feels therein.Relaxation can take place anywhere, and it is vital to mental health.Taking time to relax brings peacefulness to a person’s thoughts and feelings, as well as fosters a positive mood.Some relaxation techniques include meditation, deep breathing and prayer. Without proper relaxation, a person can feel stressed, burned-out and even depressed. Anyone who wants to learn more about relaxation and mental health should call a counselor today.
by Gerald M. Levine, D.M.D., P.A. 407-294-0067
During a dental examination, it is sometimes difficult to be 100 percent sure if a cavity exists. Staining in the natural grooves of teeth are sometimes mistakenly believed to be carious, when they are actually not. However, upon further exploration, caries is present in an overwhelming majority of cases. Even without radiographic evidence, caries can be present in suspicious-looking lesions. Examinations can identify suspicious lesions and monitor the progression in subsequent checkups. Based on factors such as the frequency of previous caries, oral hygiene, diet, etc., a judgement call can be made regarding treatment.Throughout the past decade, technologies have been developed to aid in the detection of questionable cavities. However, the indiscriminate use of such technologies may result in a high number of false positives. Therefore, the information obtained by these methods requires a high level of interpretation, expertise and clinical judgement.Without judicious clinical judgement, false positives may lead to over treatment, thus a conservative approach could be beneficial. Patients who have had few cavities in the past but are suddenly diagnosed with several, should seek a second opinion.
by Barry L. Rose, M.S.,D.C., F.I.A.M.A.Rose Healthcare Centrewww.rosehealthcareorlando.com407-298-9211
Disc restoration therapy is an advanced procedure that treats the sources of back and neck pain without surgery. It is a seven-step process that combines multiple disciplines in one visit. The latest therapeutic machines, and advances in pain management and alternative medicine are combined.DRT is achieved by immediately reducing inflammation and pain around the spinal nerves, while driving nutrients back into the spinal joints. Together with isolated core exercises and muscular reconstructive mobilization, the spinal joints and discs become dominantly stronger, more flexible, stable and reformed.DRT works because it is nonsurgical and resolves the problem, not just the symptoms. It also is covered by most health insurance, is painless with quick results, eliminates lifelong treatment and ongoing pain management, and restores independence.Its seven-step system approach consists of pain control, spinal decompression, inflammation control, nutrition, isolated toning, isolated joint flexibility and general function.DRT combines spinal decompression with muscle relaxation procedures to gain optimal pain relief. Following decompression, the patient will have electrical muscle stimulation to calm the muscles of the back. Therapeutic ultrasound is also used to introduce muscle-relaxing heat deep into the treatment areas. This is followed by a deep-tissue massage.Many people are candidates for DRT.
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