Monday, January 30, 2012

Information about Dangerous Hearing Situations

You know that extended exposure to loud sounds can cause permanent hearing damage. But do you know how to tell if a situation has escalated to that level? The Better Hearing Institute suggests four signs that should tip you off that your environment is dangerous to your hearing:

1. You have pain in your ears after leaving a noisy area. Any amount of pain is an indicator that the noise level is much too loud. This should be a given, but many people ignore it or brush it off.

2. You cannot hear someone who is three feet away from you. If you have to shout over the noise to talk to someone about an arm’s length away, you’re probably in a dangerous hearing situation... (American Health Advantage)

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Friday, January 27, 2012

Protective eyewear and unexpected injuries

You may not think of your home, workplace or favorite playing field as dangerous areas for your eyes, but it is very common to experience eye injuries in these day-to-day places. In fact, according to the Foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, more than 1 million people experience eye injuries each year. The vast majority of these injuries could have been prevented with protective eyewear, so think twice before you write off eye protection as unnecessary.

Even common places like your house, backyard and car can lead to injuries. When in your house, the foundation suggests working in a well-ventilated area and being extra cautious while using cleaning chemicals. Accidental sprays in the eye can severely damage the surface of your eyes and even cause blindness. In your yard, make sure to wear protective eyewear to prevent getting hit with a stone while mowing or trimming... (read more)

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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Vision after 40 - Tips for seeing better

Even if you never wore glasses as a child or young adult, it’s important to be aware of changes in your vision once you reach age 40. According to the American Optometric Association, there are five common vision changes you may experience in middle age, including:

• Changes in color perception: The lens within your eye, which is normally clear, may start to discolor and make it difficult for you to differentiate between shades of colors.

• Problems with glare: Driving may become more difficult as glare from headlights or the sun becomes more noticeable. This increase in glare is a result of light being scattered on the retina instead of being properly focused... (read more)

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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Is your tooth cracked?Dental Plans can Save Money

Believe it or not, it’s possible to not be aware of a cracked tooth in your mouth. Many cracks are so small that they cannot be seen with the naked eye, or sometimes even an X-ray. To determine which tooth is cracked, dentists often ask patients where they are experiencing sensitivity to temperature as well as sticky, sweet, or sour food. They make also ask where the pain is centralized while chewing.

According to the American Dental Association, cracked teeth hurt because “the pressure of biting causes the crack to open.” Once that pressure is released, the crack quickly closes, and the person feels a sharp sensation of pain. Even further, cracked teeth can cause the pulp inside the tooth to become irritated or even damaged. In advanced cases, a dentist may have to perform a root canal to save the tooth... (read more)

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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Have you heard? Some Hearing Loss Resources

People aren’t the only ones with interesting hearing mechanisms and facts. Check out these random tidbits about animal hearing from the Better Hearing Institute, Teachers Domain, and the University of Washington:

• Snakes do not have ears, but their tongues are sensitive to sound vibrations.
• Owls distinguish sound directions partly by measuring the difference in time it takes the sound to reach each ear. This difference is typically less than 200 millionths of a second!
• Cicadas have hearing organs in their stomachs
• Crickets have hearing organs in their knees; sound waves cause a thin membrane on the cricket’s legs to vibrate
• It is thought that owls can create an image of the world around them based only on sound, much like humans do with their eyes... (read more)

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Monday, January 23, 2012

Balancing: It’s all in your ears

Even the simplest action, like walking, is affected by a person’s sense of balance. This balance comes from a complex combination involving the visual system and kinesthetic senses, along with one other important area: the inner ear.

According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, without those three parts working in concert, a person becomes dizzy and loses their sense of balance. The inner ear plays a critical role in balance, and any disturbances, such as calcium deposits, can affect a person’s balance. Some other causes of dizziness include Meniere’s Disease, certain drugs, and head trauma... (read more)

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Friday, January 20, 2012

Did you know? Facts about Hearing Loss

The Cleveland Hearing & Speech Center has compiled a list of lesser-known facts about people with hearing loss. Learn more about their experiences by reading a few of these facts below:

• Approximately 22 million deaf people live in the United States.
• Overwhelmingly, deaf and hard of hearing people prefer to be called “deaf” or “hard of hearing” – not “hearing impaired.”
• The huddle formation used by football teams originated at Gallaudet College, a liberal arts college for deaf people in Washington, D.C., that started it to prevent other schools from reading their sign language.
• The man who invented shorthand, John Gregg, was deaf... (read more)

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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Turn down the background noise

While hearing aids are an excellent solution to hearing loss, they can sometimes make it difficult for a person to ignore the background noise in busy restaurants and other crowded places. To improve people’s hearing in such circumstances, the Better Hearing Institute developed several strategies that people with hearing loss can employ while out to eat. BHI suggests... (read more)

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

What are taste disorders and their causes?

It’s easy to take your sense of taste for granted: you know grapefruits will be sour, mashed potatoes will be buttery and starchy, and ice cream will be sweet. But what if you could no longer experience those tastes as strongly – or at all? According to the National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders, nearly a quarter of a million people visited a doctor last year for problems with their chemical senses, including taste.

Several types of taste disorders exist, including phantom perception, which causes a person to experience a lingering, unpleasant taste with no apparent cause; hypogeusia, which reduces a person’s ability to experience the basic types of taste – salty, sweet, sour, bitter and umami; and ageusia, which results in no tasting ability whatsoever. It’s important to note that complete loss of taste is not common; it is more likely that the person has a condition resulting in the loss of smell, which is closely related to the sense of taste... (read more)

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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

What happens if I have a taste disorder?

If you’ve talked to a dentist on your True Care Advantage plan and suspect you may have a taste disorder, he may recommend you visit an otolaryngologist (also known as an ear/nose/throat doctor) for further testing and diagnosis. An otolaryngologist can measure the lowest concentration of taste you are able to experience. He or she will also conduct a comprehensive examination of the ears, nose, and throat and review your dental records.

If you do have a taste disorder, there are many possible ways of restoring your senses. For instance, your doctor may recognize that the disorder is caused by a medication you have been taking and prescribe a new one. Or, the disorder may be a result of severe allergies or a respiratory condition that can be cleared up. Until then, however, the National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders gives a few suggestions to improve your eating experience with a reduced tasting capacity... (read more)

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Monday, January 16, 2012

New Prescription Drug rids Children of stubborn Head Lice

If you or your child has ever had lice, you know how difficult it can be to clear up. This is especially true if the lice have become resistant to the products usually recommended to kill them. Studies have shown that in some cases, lice become resistant to the typical pyrethroid treatments, leaving parents at a loss of what to do to remove the parasites.

In these instances, many people are now turning to Stromectol, a pill newly introduced that contains ivermectin, which is used to prevent heartworm in dogs... (read more)

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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

What are some causes for a painful tongue?

People often think about the dentist as a professional that deals with teeth. In reality, however, dentists are concerned with the entire mouth – including your tongue. For this reason, he or she may talk to you about the appearance of your tongue and why your tongue affects your overall health. One of the biggest problems people experience with their tongue is having it be sore and bumpy.

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, there are several causes of a sore tongue, including trauma, canker sores, smoking, and oral cancer. The most obvious cause, trauma, can be a result of biting your tongue or burning it on something that’s too hot... (read more)

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Is there too much sugar in your diet?

We all know that eating a lot of sugar can have negative effects on our physical health. It can cause weight gain, energy swings and a weakened immune system. But what effects does sugar have on your oral health?

According to the American Dental Association, when bacteria/plaque comes into contact with sugar in a person’s mouth, the acid that gets produced can damage teeth for 20 minutes or longer. Over time, this damage results in tooth decay. In addition, foods that are high in sugar are often filled with empty calories and lack other nutrients that are good for your health. These sugary foods can lead to poor nutrition, which the ADA suggests can lead to faster progression of gum disease... (read more)

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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Exactly what kind of eye care professionals are you seeing and what do they do?

If you’ve ever been to an all-encompassing eye care practice, you’ve probably been introduced to several different kinds of eye care practitioners ­– ophthalmologists, optometrists, opticians. But what exactly does each of these do, and how can they help improve your vision... (read more)

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Print a Free Prescription Discount Card

The free prescription drug card program is provided for free to help all Americans cut their name brand and generic prescription drug costs. Simply download your FREE Prescription Drug Discount Card and receive savings of 15% to 60% off generic drugs and 15% to 25% of brand name drugs at more than 58,000 nationwide pharmacies including most large chain stores like Walgreens, CVS, Rite-Aid as well as your local neighborhood pharmacies.

To print out you free prescription discount card visit and follow the three simple steps that are provided at the top of the page.

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Monday, January 9, 2012

When is it time to consider taking your child to the Orthodontist?

Most people recognize that crooked or crowded teeth indicate the need for orthodontic help. But how can you determine if your own child is due for a braces consultation? According to the American Association of Orthodontists, there are many early warning signs that your child may need to be examined by an orthodontist on your True Care plan. In honor of National Orthodontic Health Month in October, the following is a list of signs to look out for... (read more)

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Tips on Preparing for your Eye Exam

Before you walk into your eye doctor’s office, it’s important to make sure you’ve got all the information you need to ensure a successful visit. Along with bringing your True Care membership card with you, you should also come knowing the following information, courtesy of the Mayo Clinic... (read more)

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Friday, January 6, 2012

Tips and tricks for flossing your teeth

If you’ve already developed a consistent and healthy brushing schedule, congratulations! You’re halfway down the road to achieving good oral hygiene. The other key to having a healthy mouth is learning proper flossing techniques.

The British Dental Health Foundation recommends flossing at least once a day, and they give five suggestions to make your next flossing session more successful... (read more)

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Brighten your Smile with Teeth Whitening Treatment

If you’re like most people, you enjoy the small daily pleasures found in drinking a cup of coffee before work or sipping a glass of wine with dinner. But have you considered the effects those and other beverages can have on the color of your teeth? Coffee, wine, sodas, cigarettes and many other products can stain a person’s teeth over time.

In these cases, many people turn to the power of whitening procedures to restore the luster and beauty of their teeth. There are a number of choices when it comes to whitening your teeth, including at-home products, but the most powerful and effective methods can be found right in your dentist’s office... (read more)

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Thursday, January 5, 2012

Does my Infant have Vision Problems?

Although complications with an infant’s eyes are rare, it is important for parents to be aware of the warning signs. According to the American Optometric Association, the following symptoms may indicate a problem with an infant’s vision:
• Excessive tearing, which can indicate a blocked tear duct;
• Red or “crusty” eyelids, which may be a sign of an infection;
• A white pupil, which occurs in some cancers of the eye;
• Constant turning of the eyes, which may indicate trouble with muscle control;
• Extreme light sensitivity, which could mean the infant has increased pressure in the eye.
(read more)

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How is a person tested for Glaucoma?

Although we hear a lot about it, many people do not think about the possibility of having glaucoma. Glaucoma is a degenerative disease of the eye that gradually takes away a person’s vision due to damage to the optic nerve. The earlier this disease is caught, the greater the chance that its progress will be able to be slowed. This is why preventative care is so important.

During a visit to your eye doctor, he or she may perform a glaucoma test to make sure you aren’t suffering from this serious disease. The Glaucoma Research Foundation suggests a person should get tested at ages 35 and 40, and then every two years or so after that. There are two common tests that can be performed... (read more)

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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Consult your Dentist before Teeth Whitening

Tooth whitening has become a common practice in America – many people turn to in-office or at-home whitening products to erase years of food and drink stains. But how do you know which whitening method to use?

According to the American Dental Association, the best way to select a whitener is to speak with your dentist. Dentists, such as one on your True Care Advantage plan, can advise you on the best treatments for your individual situation. Depending on the coloring of your teeth, whiteners may or may not be effective. For instance, although people with yellow-colored teeth often benefit from whitening their teeth, those with grayish or brown teeth may not experience the same success.

Along the same lines, people who have had tooth-colored fillings or bonding on their front teeth will likely not get favorable results from bleach treatments. In those cases, a dentist can help you figure out an alternative treatment, such as veneers... (read more)

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Improve your Vision with Corneal Modification

The cornea plays a big part in a person’s clarity of vision. This clear covering of the eye is in charge of refracting rays of light as they enter the eye; depending on the shape of the cornea, a person may see poorly or clearly.

For instance, a cornea that is shaped improperly may focus light in front of the retina, causing the person to be nearsighted. To help fix this problem, many people are turning to corneal modification procedures.

According to the American Optometric Association, these procedures alter the curvature of the cornea so that incoming light is focused directly on the retina, thereby restoring clear vision. Although many treatments include surgery, people with moderate nearsightedness or low levels of astigmatism can also opt to try a more gradual, less invasive procedure called Orthokeratology... (read more)

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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Should you get your Wisdom Teeth Removed?

Many people wait until they feel pain in their mouth to get their wisdom teeth – also known as third molars – removed. However, according to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, waiting is not always the wisest choice. Even if your mouth doesn’t hurt, extensive damage can be occurring under the surface. People who wait longer often have more complicated procedures because the roots of the teeth grow longer and make removal more difficult.

AAOMS estimates that 85 percent of people will eventually need their wisdom teeth removed and suggests that this is best done in young adulthood. Removing the teeth by the time a patient is a young adult helps ensure optimal healing and reduces the chance for periodontal infections in the surrounding tissues... (read more)

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Should you consider getting Contacts?

Whether you’re tired of losing your glasses or you’re just ready for a new look, contacts can be a great alternative to traditional frames. In fact, contacts offer several advantages that glasses can’t come close to matching. According to the American Optometric Association, one of these benefits is that contact wearers experience a less inhibited field of vision.

Unlike bulky frames, contacts do not block your view, and they move with your eye, which reduces the amount of distortions. Another benefit is that contacts do not fall off or prevent a person from participating in physical activities. They also do not fog up or get streaked by rainfall. Perhaps most importantly, many people feel more confident or attractive without glasses. This may be an especially deciding factor if you have a teenager considering contacts... (read more)

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