Archive for February, 2016

Preventing the Common Cold

How Do You Catch a Cold?

Common Cold

Common Cold

The common cold is actually caused by a variety of viruses, not bacteria.

The most common way these viruses spread is by hand-to-hand contact. For example, if someone with a cold blows their nose and then shakes your hand or touches surfaces that you also touch, you’re more than likely going to catch a cold as well.

So, first and foremost, it’s crucial to wash your hands throughout the day to lessen your chances of catching the cold virus.

Getting Enough Rest

Over time, lack of proper sleep has been shown to lower what are called “T-cells.” Produced by the thymus gland, T-cells are a type of white blood cell critical to the immune system.

Eliminating Stress

Another direct effect stress can have on the immune system is through inflammation, which can show itself as redness, itchiness, swelling and pain.

Inflammation occurs when the immune system spots an infection. It is a vital first step in fending off disease. However, when it persists, it not only raises the risk of colds, but many other illnesses.

Try relaxation exercises or meditation

Get Plenty of Exercise

There is evidence that regular, moderate exercise can reduce your risk for respiratory illness by boosting your immune system. In fact, one study found that people who exercised regularly (five or more days a week) cut their risk of having a cold by close to 50%.

And in the event they did catch a cold, their symptoms were much less severe than among those who did not exercise.

Walking is great exercise and you can do it just about anywhere, shoot for a minimum of 10,000 steps a day if you are under 65 and 6,000 for 65 plus individuals.

Vitamin D

In the largest and most nationally representative study of its kind to date involving about thousands of Americans, people with the lowest vitamin D levels reported having significantly more recent colds or cases of the flu. The risk was even greater for those with chronic respiratory disorders like asthma.

It’s better to get your vitamin D naturally, that means staying outdoors for 30 minutes a day when the sun is shining. Be sure to ware sunscreen to avoid getting sun burned.

Quote of the Week – “Just as a candle cannot burn without fire, men cannot live without spiritual life.”

Dan

Where to Find Hearing Aid Bargains

Hearing Aid Bargains


If you have never shopped hearing aids, you will be shocked as to how expensive they can get, If you are in the market to buy one, the question you may be asking is “where to find hearing aid bargains?”

Medicare part A and B along with Medicare supplemental policies do not cover hearing aids, though some Medicare part C plans might.

In addition, most private insurance plans don’t cover as well, though a few do.

Best place to start your search is online; check with EmbraceHearing.com and Audicus.com. Price ranges from as little as $400 plus the cost of an exam from a local audiologist that might run between $50 and $300.

Review prices also with the warehouse chains like Sam’ s Club or Costco.

From an article I read recently, Costco offers the best price 30% to 50 % less than other retailers and the good news is the fact that you don’t even need to be a member.

Costco often provides special hearing aid events to demonstrate the latest technologies.

In addition, you can also without being a member get your prescriptions filled and purchase optical glasses and contacts.

You can fill new prescriptions, refill existing prescriptions, or transfer prescriptions at the Costco Pharmacy. Even better, you don’t even have to leave your home to use Costco Pharmacy services.

Don’t forget to check with Amazon.com as well, they do sell hearing aids and I saw them less than $400 recently. You can get an Amazon app for your PC that will keep track on just about any product and alert you when and if a product prices has dropped.

As I have mentioned numerous times before, never take any one source as being the best value for your dollar, do your homework and do a bit of comparison shopping.

Quote of the Week – “To understand everything is to forgive everything”

Dan

 

Health and Travel

Travel Clinics

Many travelers including myself fail to get the proper health vaccinations before going overseas. The last time I had even to think about preventive health issues was a trip I planned to Egypt back in the late nineties.

Many travelers especially in the United States do not realize how prevalent diseases are outside of the US.

It is recommended a visit to a travel clinic four to six weeks before an international trip or your local health professional such as your family doctor.

Be sure to give your doctor all the information needed to make recommendations. Examples of these factors include:

  • Where you are traveling within a country,
  • The length of your trip,
  • What types of activities you might do,
  • Other personal matters such as your age, medical and vaccine history, and current medical state.

Health Organizations –      Click on the link to your left for further information.

These organizations provide directories of travel clinics in the United States:

•International Society of Travel Medicine (ISTM) (travel medicine specialists)

•American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH) (infectious disease specialists who may or may not practice travel medicine)

If yellow fever vaccine is recommended for or required by your destination, you’ll need to go to an authorized vaccine center. Many yellow fever vaccine centers also provide other pre-travel health care services.

Dan

How Get Rid of Pain Without Pills

Relieve Pain Without Pills


I was reading yesterday about the dangers of taking over-the-counter pain pills especially Acetaminophen which you will find in numerous forms, including pain relievers like Tylenol, and cold, flu, and allergy drugs like Nyquil and Theraflu.

Every single year, more than 30,000 people are hospitalized due to an acetaminophen overdose.

So do be careful when taking any pain pill to avoid over dosing, Read the ingredient labels of all your medicines and make sure that you know what you’re taking.

Three alternatives you should consider:

  1. Meditation – meditating is simple and it only takes 10-12 minutes a day. You can sit in a chair or lie in bed, relaxing your body while you concentrate on taking deep breaths. During meditation, our brain waves convert to a pattern that is as deep, and in some ways deeper than, sleep. And it is more restful and recharging than a nap.
  2. Massage – massage decreases inflammation and modulates the immune system. That means less aches and pain.
  3. Music: If such a thing as a “miracle cure” exists, music comes close. Music can boost immune function, reduce chronic pain, and reduce pain after surgery. Children cannot tolerate medications as well as adults, so reducing the amount of “pain meds” is safer.

I hope you find this information helpful.

Dan