Exploring The Importance Of Kid's Eye Exams

Gout: Pain In Your Big Toe And Your Heart?

Do you have gout? If you do, you may be at a higher risk for heart problems. There have been several studies showing the correlation between gout and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, but what does this actually mean? Here is a closer look at gout, cardiovascular disease, and their relationship to each other.

First of all, what is gout?

Gout is a form of arthritis that often happens in the lower legs, feet, and toes. It is characterized by a painful buildup of uric acid in the bloodstream that collects around the joints. Certain diseases, such as diabetes, as well as drinking alcohol or taking certain medications may increase your chances of developing gout as you get older. While gout attacks often only last a few days, they can resurface at any time, especially if they are left untreated. Your doctor can work with you to develop a plan for managing your gout, so that the attacks happen less frequently.

What about cardiovascular disease? 

Cardiovascular or heart disease is simply when the heart does not work the way it should. This is often caused by blood clots that have a hard time getting through your blood vessels or plaque that builds up on the walls of your arteries, causing the heart to have to work harder to pump the blood through the body. Heart attacks, strokes, and arrhythmia are all forms of cardiovascular disease. 

But what does arthritis of the big toe have to do with heart disease? 

In the last several years, researchers have noticed that people with gout are more likely than those without it to develop different types of heart disease. Interestingly, this is especially true if you are male. However, as of yet, no one has actually been able to pinpoint gout as a cause of heart disease. So far, it is only considered to be associated with an increased risk of heart problems, not necessarily the cause.

So, why should you care? 

If you have gout, it may be an indication that you are at risk for certain types of heart disease. It is important to work with your doctor to not only manage the painful arthritis, but also to monitor for any potential heart conditions. Also, as more research is being done on the association between gout and heart disease, it is also important to keep an open mind. Managing your gout better may be the key to lowering your risk of heart disease. You can become part of the solution by participating in a local gout cardiovascular disease study.

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Gum Contouring: What Is It And Why Do You Need It?

Do you have a “gummy” smile? People with gummy smiles have perfectly healthy gums and teeth, but the gum tissue may cover more of the teeth than is preferred. This could be genetic or it could be caused by disease or certain medications. About 14 percent of women and 7 percent of men are considered to have gummy smiles, where the amount of gum that shows below the upper lip in a smile is more than 2-3 millimeters.

Fortunately, there’s a way that your cosmetic dentist can sculpt away small portions of the gum line, called gum contouring. Recently, many cosmetic dentists have begun to use lasers to accomplish this quickly and with minimal damage to the remaining tissue.

What happens during the procedure?

The dentist will determine how much gum to remove, and discuss with you what the final results will look like. Then, he or she will administer a numbing agent to your mouth. Using a traditional scalpel or a laser tool, the dentist will carefully remove the gum area and may also do a bit of tooth removal or sculpting along the root to make everything look good.

The surgery is done inside the dentist’s office and typically doesn’t require any follow-up procedures. It can take several days to recover from the surgery, during which you’ll take over-the-counter pain medications and eat soft foods until your mouth is healed.

How much does gum contouring cost?

The cost of gum contouring depends on the skill level of the dentist you go to and what area of the country you live in. There also may be a higher cost if your dentist needs to do any sculpting of the tooth. Estimate that you’ll be spending anywhere from $50 per tooth for simple gum removal to $350 per tooth for more advanced work that also involves the tooth.

In most cases, gum contouring is a cosmetic procedure and your regular dental insurance will not cover any costs.

Are there cases where gum contouring wouldn’t work?

While most gummy smiles are caused by too much gum tissue, there are some dental health reasons why smiles may not be ideal. These include:

  • Teeth not having erupted far enough.
  • Misaligned bite.
  • Jaw is misaligned or incorrectly formed.
  • Muscle damage or issues with the muscles that control lip movement.

These are considered medical issues rather than cosmetic ones. A cosmetic dentist like Daniel M. Bade, DDS can make a recommendation for treating any of these diagnoses or refer you to a specialist for a more detailed analysis.

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Home Health Care Services Can Do A Lot Of Things For You

Home health care from a place like ComForcare – Mississippi, MS is a way to let you get the health care that you need without having to be hospitalized. Staying in a hospital or going into a residential setting can be very stressful and make it hard for you to heal. People tend to heal better and feel better when they are in their own homes. 

Home Health Care Duties

When a home health care worker comes into your house, there are a variety of things that they can do for you. Most home health care agencies offer services from basic homemaking services all the way to full nursing. 


Homemaking services includes coming into your house and helping with cooking and cleaning. These people will also come in and help with shopping, laundry, and other things that may be difficult for a person who is ill or injured to handle on their own. 

Daily Living

These things are different from homemaking skills. They include getting dressed and getting showered. The people who would come in and help you with these things are generally certified nursing assistants or nurses aides. They ca help get you ready for the day. That can include bathing and dressing you or just supervising your shower and dressing. People who have had issues with balance after a stroke are a fall risk, so having someone supervise their shower is a good idea. That will prevent further injuries. 


Nursing services cover all the medical services that you need. That can include something as simple as making sure that your medications are organized into a box so that they are easier for you to take. Since the nurses will generally be an RN, they will also be able to provide daily IV medications and wound care. Taking care of large ulcers or surgical incisions isn’t something that just anyone can do. For example, pressure ulcers have to be kept open at the surface until the deeper tissues heal. A pressure sore is formed from the inside out. Because of those things, a pressure sore needs to have a specific kind dressing to make sure that they heal correctly. That needs to have a nurse to handle it and to make sure that the wound is healing correctly. 

Home health care gives you a way to get your medical needs met while still maintaining your independence and dignity. It also makes it easier for you to live in your home when you just need help with day-to-day life. 

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Interested In Medicine? Why You Should Consider Entering The Field Of Oncology

If you are thinking about entering the field of medicine, you have some very important considerations to make.  You may decide to become a general practitioner, which means that you could become a family doctor and administer common medical procedures to individuals of all ages.  Conversely, you may decide to pursue a specialty so that you will work with a specific segment of the population to help them manage their ills.  Oncology, which is the study of tumors and cancer, is a medical specialty that will continue to be in significant demand as the years go by.  Use this information to help you determine if oncology is the field for you.

There is Tremendous Diversity

One of the main reasons why oncology is such a desirable medical specialty to enter into is because of the tremendous amount of diversity that is found there.  For example, if you’re the type of individual whose heart melts when you see small children suffering with an illness, you can elect to enter into pediatric oncology.  By doing this, you will work to understand how cancer affects a young person’s body and seek out ways to help treat it.

Conversely, you may feel that it is your calling to help the aging population.  If so, geriatric oncology gives you the chance to work with older people who are dealing with cancer.  These individuals have a different set of needs than their younger counterparts, and will greatly appreciate having a caring medical professional by their side.

Oncology Is On The Cutting Edge

Another great reason why you may want to become an oncologist is because it places you on the cutting edge of all that is new within the field of medicine.  While some branches of medicine rely on the tried-and-true techniques to treat patients, oncology is always pushing the envelope.  New drugs and methodologies are constantly being created in the fight against cancer.  The ideas for these drugs and techniques come from people just like you, who want to help beat cancer once and for all.

As an oncologist, you need to be prepared to try radical, experimental techniques during your line of work.  If you have a clinic, you may be amazed at the new contraptions that arrive at your facility on a regular basis, each aimed at helping you treat your patients as efficiently as possible.

A career in oncology can be highly rewarding.  Use this information to help you decide if oncology is the field for you. Talk to experts like Southwest Oncology Centers for more information.

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Top 5 Cancer Treatment Myths Debunked

Being diagnosed with cancer is a scary, overwhelming moment. You may not know what to do or where to start. You are bombarded with information from family, friends, and especially the internet. How can you make an informed decision about treatment with so much information? How do you separate facts from myths? Here are top five cancer treatment myths debunked:

1. Surgery spreads cancer

This is the most common myth about cancer treatment. Surgery does not cause cancer to spread. This myth started because doctors sometimes discover during surgery that a patient’s cancer is more extensive than they thought. Also, cancer can spread to lymph nodes just before surgery and is not caught until months later. But the procedure alone will not cause cancer to spread to the lymph nodes or other parts of the body.

2. Side effects are worse than the disease

Common side effects of chemotherapy and radiation include nausea, hair loss, and frequent infections. While these effects can be severe, side effects have become much less severe than they were years ago. Also, doctors can prescribe medications to treat the side effects. Side effects of cancer treatment are also highly individual. Some people will have very severe effects, and others may only have slight nausea throughout their treatment.

3. Radiation causes hair loss

Radiation can cause hair loss at the site of therapy, but it will not cause you to lose your hair in untreated areas. This myth originates from the confusion of radiation with chemotherapy. Chemotherapy can make you lose all of your hair. Radiation will only cause hair loss at the site in which your cancer occurs. For example if radiation therapy is applied to your chest, you may lose your chest hair but you will keep the hair on your head, arms, and legs.

4. An organic diet can help

Eating healthy foods can help your body get better nutrition and vitamins. Eating a healthy diet during cancer treatment can help with side effects such as weight loss and fatigue. However, there is no scientific or medical evidence that eating an organic diet prevents or treats cancer. There is also no evidence that an organic diet prevents a cancer relapse or recurrence.

5. Cancer treatment trials are only for terminal patients

There are a number of cancer trials for all patients with different stages of cancer. You don’t have to have terminal cancer to take part in a clinical study. There are even clinical trials for cancer prevention as well as treatment. Some clinical trials also test new medications that treat side effects of existing cancer treatments. Other trials follow patients for years to study cancer remission. There are trials you can take part in no matter what stage your cancer is in or what your treatment currently involves.

These are the top five cancer treatment myths. Now that you know the facts from the myths, you can make more informed decisions about your health. You can also find information by talking to a place like Rahway Regional Cancer Center.

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Genetic Testing: Different Types Of Neurological Disorder Tests

A neurological disorder is one that affects any part of the nervous system, such as the brain, nerves, or spinal cord. Most neurological disorders are actually genetic, which means you go it from a parent or grandparent. If you have been showing symptoms of a possible neurological disorder, your doctor will probably order a series of screening tests and imaging tests. Here are some tests you might have to look for possible neurological disorders.

First Stage of Screening Tests

When you first start showing symptoms for a possible neurological disorder, your doctor will start with the basic screening tests. These can tell your doctor a lot and are easy to perform, so they are often ordered before other types of tests. They might include:

Laboratory tests – Laboratory screening tests will collect fluid or substances from your person, usually either blood or urine. They can shed light on the symptoms you are having and rule out certain diseases or medical conditions. With neurological conditions, they can tell your doctor if you have possible blood vessel damage, a hemorrhage, infection of the spinal cord, or bone marrow disease.

Genetic testing during pregnancy – If you are pregnant, your doctor can give you a few different screening tests that look for possible neurological disease in your unborn child. The first is an amniocentesis, performed near the beginning of the second trimester. It will test amniotic fluid to look for different genetic defects. A uterine ultrasound can typically find growth issues or chromosomal disorders. You can also find out the rest of neurological disorders with a test called a chorionic villus sampling.

Neurological Examination

Your doctor will also proceed with a neurological examination if they suspect a disorder or disease. The examination will look at your basic sensory skills and motor skills, including your mental status, changes in mood or behavior, coordination, balance, vision, hearing, and speech. They use different tools to perform this exam, including an ophthalmoscope, reflex hammer, flashlight, tuning fork, and needles. They can look for Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, meningitis, encephalitis, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

X-rays are an imaging test that is part of a normal neurological work-up. This will look at different parts of your body, chest and skull to find any abnormalities. In addition, the doctor might use a type of x-ray called a fluoroscopy. It will use a small amount of radiation to look at how a certain body part works when it is in motion.

Additional Diagnosing Tests

There may come a point when your doctor needs to perform more diagnostic tests to find out why you are having certain neurological symptoms. These tests include:

Angiography – This looks for blockages in your veins or arteries. A special type of angiography is called a cerebral angiogram, which can look at obstructions in the blood vessels or arteries going to your brain, neck, or head. They can see vascular deformities, brain tumors, and aneurysms.

Biopsy – If your doctor thinks you have a gene that could be passed onto your children, they might perform a biopsy. They do this by taking a small amount of tissue from your body and testing it for a neuromuscular disorder and whether or not you have nerves that could be passed on.

Brain scan – A brain scan is performed if your doctor wants to see if you have a hemorrhage, blood vessel malformation, or tumor of the brain. It can also be used to look at diseases to your tissues or muscles.

To learn more about neurological disorder testing, visit Courtagen Life Sciences

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Three Things To Consider About Tattoo Removal

One of the services that a dermatologist offers is tattoo removal. If you have considered tattoo removal for one or all of your tattoos, then there are a few things you need to know about the process. These are the three main things you need to consider prior to scheduling a tattoo removal or before your first consultation.

Ink Placement

The first misconception and consideration of tattoo removal is the ink placement. You may believe that the ink will be easy to remove, but most tattoo ink is located in the deepest level of skin known as the dermis. Since the depth of the ink is located in the dermis, it means that you may have scarring when you try to have the tattoo removed. This can leave behind a mark where the tattoo once was or, in severe situations, it may leave a large scar where the tissue was unable to heal completely.

Laser Treatments don’t Remove Everything

There is a misconception about laser technology and the removal of tattoos. Some people believe that the laser option removes the entire tattoo with nothing visible left behind. There is also the belief that laser options offer a one-time removal option. The truth is that, though laser treatment is the most commonly recommended method of tattoo removal, it does not remove the tattoo completely and it will take several treatments to have a full effect. This means that even with lasers, you will likely be left with a shadow of the tattoo or some indication that it was there.

Age of Your Tattoo

If your tattoo is fairly new, you may find that it is easier to remove than older ones you have. The reason is because tattoo ink is being developed that is designed to be targeted by laser treatment. This means that the new ink allows the laser to pick up and remove the ink easier if you decide the tattoo was a bad idea and removal is the only option. Older tattoos will not have this type of ink or may only have small areas of the new ink that was applied during a touch-up session.

There are options to remove your tattoo and to help you cover-up anything that may remain after treatment. If you have already had your tattoo removed, but you are unhappy with the results, consider discussing options with your dermatologist like the one at http://desertdermatology.net/. They can offer cover-up options, lotions, prescriptions, and other treatment options to help you with your tattoo-related issues.

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