Exploring The Importance Of Kid's Eye Exams

Understanding Vaginal Atrophy

Menopause is a time of change, somewhat of a milestone. However, this period can also be a time of discomfort. This is particularly the case when it comes to irritating symptoms like vaginal atrophy. Vaginal atrophy is the medical term for the drying, thinning or inflammation of the vaginal walls that is the result of reduced estrogen levels. If you’ve been experiencing vaginal discomfort and are of age, menopause could be to blame.

Understanding Vaginal Atrophy

Before a female reaches menopause, the lining of the vagina is both moist and fleshy. As estrogen is produced, this sends a signal to the glands within the region to produce mucus and fluid that helps keep the area well-lubricated.

As menopause approaches, estrogen production starts to decline, which also affects the glands and their ability to lubricate the vagina. A result of this decrease in production is a vaginal lining that starts to thin, dry out and lose elasticity. For some women, this decrease in estrogen production also causes their lining to turn from bright red to pink.

Risk Factors

Vaginal atrophy can lead to significant irritation and discomfort, particularly when it comes to sexual intercourse. However, this condition can also threaten your health in the form of an increased risk for infection. An important compound produced by an estrogen rich environment is glycogen, a deposit that promotes the growth of healthy bacteria. 

The kind of healthy bacteria that helps prevent infection. When you don’t have this compound in your vagina, much of your vagina’s natural defenses are lost, making you more susceptible to a number of vaginal infections.

Hormone Replacement Therapy

One of the most effective treatment options available to deal with menopausal symptoms is hormone replacement therapy (HRT). This treatment method involves the process of reintroducing hormones into your body that are no longer being produced as a result of menopause, including estrogen.

Reintroducing these hormones helps balance the body and alleviate these symptoms. In years past, HRT was only available in the form of a pill. However, the hormones can also be introduced in the form of a patch or vaginal gel. For women who don’t want the hassle of daily application, HRT vaginal rings are also an alternative.

If you are experiencing vaginal atrophy, speak with your medical provider. A provider will be able to formally diagnosis menopause as the source of the problem and start you on a hormone replacement therapy regimen best-suited to meet your needs. Visit http://www.centraliowaobgyn.com for more information.  

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Why Nasal Spray May Be The Answer To Your Allergy Symptoms

If you are one of the many people who have had a bad experience with nasal sprays, you may be reluctant to take up the spray bottle once again. Much has been written about the dangers of nasal spray dependence, and overuse of some of these sprays can actually worsen your symptoms. But if you are an allergy sufferer and have not tried fluticasone nasal sprays, like Dymista, you are missing out on a treatment that could improve your life and enhance your enjoyment of the outdoors. 


Fluticasone nasal spray is a synthetic corticosteroid that helps control the inflammation in your nasal passages that causes you so much trouble, especially during allergy season. Substances such as pollen, pet fur, and even dust mites can inflame these passages, leading to the misery of stuffy noses, sinus pressure, and sneezing fits. When you use this spray properly, it is absorbed into your nasal passages and stops the release of the chemicals that start the avalanche of allergy symptoms. Instead of playing catch up after the allergies have been triggered, fluticasone prevents the chain reaction from occurring. 


Fluticasone nasal sprays do not cause the rebound effect that some other nasal sprays can. You can use some of these medications quite successfully, but, after a period of time, you build up a tolerance, meaning you end up using the sprays more and more often. A bigger problem is that overuse can actually cause the nasal passages to swell. You get a short period of relief followed by severe stuffiness, even when your allergies and/or cold has cleared up. Thankfully, nasal steroids do not cause these issues. 

Side Effects

No medication is without side effects. These steroid sprays have been associated with back pain, headache, cough, and nosebleeds. However, medical professionals have often embraced these sprays as a better alternative to earlier medications. Fluticasone can be prescribed or purchased over-the-counter. As long as you are are conscientious in following the usage directions, you should have few or no problems with the medication.

You may have thought that finding an effective nasal spray that does not cause dependence or rebound symptoms was an impossibility. Fortunately, one is now easily available. Do consult your physician before you begin any course of allergy treatment, of course. For many chronic sufferers, however, fluticasone offers a level of safe symptom prevention that greatly enhances their lives. For them, springtime is no longer a time to huddle indoors. 

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Understanding Your Bulging Hand Veins

When you are going about your daily life, there may come a day when you glance down at your hands and do not recognize them because of the protruding and prominent veins on the tops of your hands. These hand veins can be unsightly and in some cases also quite uncomfortable. However, while they are very noticeable, you may have no idea what has caused them or what you can do about them. Get to know more about bulging hand veins so that you can better deal with the situation.

Common Causes Of Bulging Hand Veins

Under most circumstances, the bulging or protruding hand veins that people experience are nothing to be concerned about. Most often, they develop with age as the skin tissue thins and loses its elasticity and pliability. However, some people develop bulging hand veins long before age really plays a factor in the process. If you are not properly hydrated, your hand veins can appear to protrude from your hands, and excess sun exposure can also contribute to the phenomenon

Bulging hand veins can also occur as the result of high blood pressure or other unknown but benign causes. However, there are also vascular disease causes to this issue. Bulging hand veins can be a sign of blood clots, peripheral vascular disease, infections, or even cancer.  Because it can be so difficult to determine the cause of your hand vein issues, seeking the treatment of a physician is important if it does not clear up after you hydrate.

Treatment Options For Bulging Hand Veins

The treatment that you choose for your bulging hand veins is entirely dependent on the cause of the problem. If your doctor determines that there is no health problem or vascular condition causing your protruding hand veins, then you will only need to seek treatment for aesthetic reasons if you want to.

Sclerotherapy is a minimally invasive treatment that can help with your bulging hand veins for aesthetic purposes. This treatment involves having a special chemical solution injected directly into the protruding vein. The solution irritates the inner lining of the blood vessels which causes those vessels to contract. The blood in the vessels will clot, and the vein will shrink making it less visible on the surface of your hands.

If the cause of your bulging veins is more serious like a blood clot, you may need to have surgery to remove the clot or your doctor can try to treat it with blood thinners. Peripheral vascular disease can also be treated with anti-inflammatory drugs and blood thinners but may also require medications for cholesterol and blood pressure as well as surgical interventions.

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What Is Photoaging & How Can You Be Treated By A Specialist?

Have you been addicted to tanning for numerous years and now your skin makes you look older than you actually are? You are likely experiencing a condition that is called photoaging; however, a specialist might be able to return your skin to a better condition through various treatment methods.

How you are treated for photoaging will depend on a few different factors. The article below will tell you more about photoaging and how a specialist can treat it to give your skin a more youthful appearance.

Why Does Tanning Cause Photoaging? Are There Other Causes as Well?

Photoaging happens when you have been exposed to unsafe amounts of ultraviolet radiation for a long period of time. If you have fair skin and love getting dark tans on a regular basis, it is likely the reason you are experiencing photoaging. Another thing that can have an effect on how fast your skin ages is smoking. So if you are a habitual smoker and tan a lot, you might want to cut back a little.

What Kind of Symptoms Does Photoaging Cause?

A premature development of wrinkles is one of the symptoms of photoaging. You might also notice that your skin feels rough and leathery no matter how much lotion is used on it. Light or dark patches can develop on random areas of your body, giving you an uneven skin tone. A few of the other symptoms include dry skin, liver spots, and broken capillaries. Your skin will continue to get worse if you don’t get treated by a specialist in a timely manner.

What Kind of Treatment Methods Are Available for Photoaging?

You can talk with a professional, like Advanced Dermatology & Skin Cancer Specialists, to see what repair option(s) would work best for your skin type. If wrinkles are your only concern, a specialist can inject your facial muscles with botulinum toxin (type A) to make them immobile. By immobilizing certain facial muscles, it can decrease the appearance of wrinkles and prevent them from developing so fast. For skin discoloration, a specialist can treat it with chemical peel that will remove the top layer of skin so healthier skin will regenerate and give a more youthful appearance. 

Lastly, another method of treatment is called laser skin resurfacing. Just as with a chemical peel, laser skin resurfacing is able to get rid of the damaged top layer of your skin and allow healthy skin to regenerate. Make an appointment with a skin specialist as soon as possible so he or she can treat you for photoaging.

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What Are Some Treatment Options For Spinal Osteoarthritis?

Spinal osteoarthritis is a condition where the cartilage in your spine starts to deteriorate. This can cause bone spurs to occur in the spine, which becomes painful and debilitating. Luckily, there are several treatment options for this condition.


Spinal osteoarthritis is often treated with medications, which both help to reduce inflammation of the spine, as well as reduce pain. Anti-inflammatory drugs and analgesics are available over-the-counter and are often recommended by physicians. They both have few side effects, but it is important that you only take them as directed. Consult your doctor if they are not helping to relieve your pain. There are also some topical medications you can use that help to reduce pain when someone rubs them on your back and neck. Lidocaine patches are also available to offer temporary numbness and pain relief of the problem area.

Physical Therapy

Getting regular exercise is important to relieving your pain and increasing your mobility. Like other types of arthritis, spinal osteoarthritis can cause issues with how easily you can move around. A good way to get exercise is with physical therapy. They will show you a variety of different stretches and exercises that can help treat your condition. Among them are range of motion exercises, which reduce stiffness and make your back more limber, helping to improve your mobility with this condition. Contact a company like Advance Physical Therapy & Sports Rehabilitation to learn more about physical therapy. 


You may also want to get treatment in the form of massage. This might be from a chiropractor or physiotherapist, or a traditional massage therapist. There are many different types of healing massages that help with spinal osteoarthritis, such as therapeutic massage. This type of massage will reduce inflammation and pain, help with muscle spasms, and improve your circulation. The more often you go for your healing massages, the more effective they will be in the long run.


Some patients don’t find relief with other treatment methods and therefore need surgery. A vertebral fusion is often performed on patients with osteoarthritis, which can help close two different joints in the spine. With this condition, the separation of the joints might cause friction, which increases your pain. With this procedure, those joints are fused together, thus reducing the pain and discomfort you experience.

If you suspect that you have spinal osteoarthritis, talk to your doctor for diagnosis and to discuss your treatment options. It is not uncommon to use multiple treatments at one time for well-rounded relief.

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Understanding Thyroid Ultrasounds And Biopsies

If you have been dealing with persistent excessive hair loss, unexplained weight gain and overwhelming fatigue, you should schedule a visit with your primary care doctor or general practitioner. He or she will test your thyroid’s function to see if it is possibly the source of the problem. If you are also experiencing difficulties with swallowing, you may have nodules present on your thyroid. In that case, your doctor may order an ultrasound or a biopsy of your thyroid. Here’s what you should know if this happens to you.

What Exactly is a Thyroid Ultrasound?

Thyroid ultrasounds are used to provide a clear picture of your thyroid for your doctor to evaluate. A gel product is applied to the skin over your thyroid, then a sonographer uses a small wand to send sound waves that bounce back from your thyroid to the wand. These waves are then converted into an image using the attached computer. The ultrasound is a real-time assessment of your thyroid condition, allowing your doctor to assess the presence and size of any nodules that may be there.

Why Would Your Doctor Need a Thyroid Ultrasound?

Many doctors request a thyroid ultrasound if they feel a lump around your thyroid. The ultrasound is used because it’s the easiest way to identify the source of what your doctor can feel but cannot see. In addition, if you are diagnosed with thyroid nodules, the ultrasound is a good way for your doctor to monitor their growth. In some cases, if your nodules are growing, your doctor may need to order a biopsy. This is why it’s important to monitor their size.

What Can You Expect of the Biopsy?

If it turns out that you do need a biopsy, your doctor will order an ultrasound for that as well. The ultrasound is used as a visual tool so that the doctor performing the biopsy can access the nodule easily. The biopsy requires the use of a small needle to draw cell samples from the thyroid or the nodules, so having that visual reference is important to ensure that the samples come from the right place. Since biopsies are the only reliable way to diagnose the presence of cancer, it’s in your best interest to keep up with any ultrasounds and biopsy procedures that your doctor requests.

If your general practitioner or primary care doctor has suggested that you have an ultrasound or biopsy on your thyroid, understanding what’s ahead can make it easier to approach. With the information here and the support of a great care team, you’ll be able to get the treatment you need without the anxiety of an unfamiliar procedure. For more information, reach out to your doctor or Sound Family Health.

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Questions And Answers About Breast Reconstruction

If you have had a mastectomy, you may want to restore the look of your breasts. Mastectomies are often related to an episode of cancer or cancer prevention. However, just because a body-altering mode of treatment is selected, it does not mean the patient automatically prefers to keep her body in that altered state. There are reconstructive surgery options available to help you feel comfortable about the appearance of your body. Here are a few questions and answers about breast reconstruction to help you better understand the procedure:

What is breast reconstruction surgery?

Breast reconstructive surgery is a plastic surgery application that is used to restore the appearance of the breast after a mastectomy been performed or a traumatic injury has occurred. The surgery may use implants to restore the breast volume, or tissue may be transplanted from a different area of the body.

Are there multiple types of breast reconstructive surgery?

There are different types of breast reconstruction. Here are a few of them:

Expanding Implant Reconstruction

After a mastectomy, reconstruction can be performed using a tissue expander. This type of reconstruction is performed in stages. The expander is placed beneath the chest muscle to create an empty pocket in which an implant can be placed.

A One-step Reconstruction

Reconstruction can be performed during a single surgical procedure by inserting an implant underneath the skin of the breast right after a mastectomy has been completed. No expansion process is required.

Flap Reconstruction

A flap reconstruction employs a flap of soft tissue that is harvested from another area of the body, such as the latissimus dorsi, transverse abdominal muscles, or the inner thigh. The harvested tissue is added to the area of the breast that requires reconstruction. If the desired volume of the breast is much larger than the size of the flap, an implant may be used. However, if the reconstruction involves a relatively small breast, the flap volume may be sufficient without any additional implants.

What if the patient desires to alter the size of a remaining breast during her breast reconstructive surgery?

If you only had a mastectomy on one breast, you can choose to alter the size of your remaining breast during reconstructive surgery in order to match a desired implant size for the breast that is being reconstructed. A patient who has small breasts may choose to increase her cup size by choosing a larger implant and then having an additional implant added to her remaining breast.

If you are interested in having breast reconstructive surgery, contact reconstructive surgeons in your area.

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