Monthly Archives: April 2014

Allergy Tips & Awareness

SpringAllergies_ShutterPreventative medicine is at the core of HealthCare Partners’ Total Care Model. Each year, nearly 35 million Americans suffer from springtime allergies, with the most common trigger being pollen. Pollen consists of tiny grains released into the air by grasses, weeds and trees. It can also travel for miles, leaving in its path countless watery eyes, runny noses and scratchy throats.

Consider implementing the following tips to help you deal with springtime allergies:

  • Keeping pollen in check
    Quite often, Mother Nature greets Southern Nevadans with high winds. On those days, we recommend to stay indoors. The best time to go out, for those with allergies, is on calm days or after a rainstorm, which greatly reduces the amount of pollen in the air.
  • The cleaner, the better
    There are several ways to tame pollen within the household such as washing bedding once a week in hot water. Since pollen can accumulate in one’s hair, showering before bed is recommended. When possible, keep windows closed to prevent pollen from entering the house. Wash items that can collect pollen, such as towels and throw rugs, on a regular basis. And, vacuum at least twice a week.
  • When outdoors
    When pollen counts are high, it’s best to stay indoors. But when that’s not possible it’s best to delegate gardening chores or lawn mowing to avoid stirring up dust and pollen. Or, wear a mask when doing so. Remove clothing worn outside and shower to remove pollen from the skin. Monitor local media for each day’s pollen count and avoid outdoor activities in the early morning when pollen counts are highest.
  • The great indoors
    Keeping the air as clean as possible inside the home is key. It’s impossible to keep all allergy triggers from entering the home but they can be reduced. Use the air conditioner, and if possible, use high-efficiency filters and keep them maintained. Using a dehumidifier to help keep the air dry is also recommended.

Allergies affect everyone differently, which is why HealthCare Partners recommends consulting a physician to determine your best course of care. For someone with asthma, spring is often a difficult time to manage asthma symptoms. Grass and pollen from trees and flowers can trigger an asthma flare-up. Click here for a list of asthma triggers & tips:  Spring Focus on Asthma.

 

Osteoporosis Awareness and Fall Prevention

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May is Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention Month and an important time to remind you of the risk factors associated with low bone density.

Osteoporosis is a disease of the skeletal system classified by low bone mass and deterioration of bone tissue. The condition commonly leads to an increased risk of bone fractures in the wrist, hip and spine. Many of these injuries come as a result of falls.

It is extremely important for seniors and caregivers to know about all of the issues that could put your health at risk. At HealthCare Partners, we provide you with comprehensive coordinated care that can help you learn how to stay safe and avoid potential dangers like a bad fall.

Studies indicate nearly one in every three adults over the age of 65 falls each year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 20-30 percent of seniors who fall suffer injuries like cuts, fractured hips or head trauma. These injuries can make it harder for seniors to live independently and continue their day-to-day routines.

One of the most effective ways you can minimize your risk of falling is to maintain a regular exercise schedule. The CDC recommends adults engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on most, if not all, days of the week. Walking, stretching, yoga and pilates are also great options for increasing balance and coordination. Remember, no matter how old you are, everyone can benefit from regular physical activity.

Environmental factors around the home can also impact the likelihood of falls. Make sure bathrooms and hallways have safety features like grab bars. Any area rugs in the home should be secure.  You should also try to avoid shoes with thick soles and opt for non-slip shoes instead.

Closely monitor medications because certain drugs may cause dizziness or sleepiness which increases the risk of falls. HealthCare Partners’ unique Total Care model provides senior patients with a team of doctors, nurses and care coordinators that can oversee all aspects of a patients’ health and ensure proper use of medications.

HealthCare Partners Nevada is committed to helping you lead a healthy, active and fulfilling life. Our patients currently have access to a network of nearly 300 primary care physicians and 1,700 specialists throughout Las Vegas, Pahrump and Mesquite.

Mental Well-Being & Your Health

Mental HealthPeople with depression are at double the risk of developing diabetes. Treatment for depression helps people deal with managing diabetes and makes following their diet and medication plan easier.

There is more to health than preventing disease and sickness. Mental health is important to living a long productive life. Well-being includes positive emotions and moods, the absence of depression and anxiety, positive functioning, and satisfaction with life.

Health promotion is the process of taking control over improving your own health. Overall, health improvement includes physical and mental well-being. Beyond diet and exercise, individuals can increase their focus on social relationships, resiliency, positive emotions, and independence.

Depression often occurs with serious illnesses, such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer. It also occurs with social and economic difficulties, and with major life changes. If left untreated, depression can delay recovery or worsen the outcome of other illnesses.

Depression is a common problem among older adults especially after the death of a loved one or moving from one living situation to another. After a period of adjustment, many people regain their emotional balance. For others, depression is a long term ailment.

Many people are not willing to talk about their feelings of sadness or grief, however, your health care provider offers a safe place to express these feelings. Through open conversation, your doctor can help determine the best treatment and in turn better treat physical ailments.

Remember physical and mental well-being are both important to caring for your whole self. Help your doctor to help you by discussing your feelings openly.

Facts about Urinary Incontinence

UrinaryUrinary incontinence is the inability to control the release of urine from your bladder. This can mean an occasional leakage whenever you sneeze or laugh, or having an urge to urinate that is so strong that you cannot get to the bathroom in time. Incontinence can be an extremely distressing problem, and it can seriously impact the quality of life of those affected.

If you experience incontinence, you are not alone. According to the Urology Care Foundation, more than 15 million American men and women suffer from incontinence, many of whom suffer needlessly because the condition can be managed and treated quite effectively.

There are three types of incontinence: stress, urge and overflow. Stress incontinence may occur during physical activity such as exercising, sneezing or laughing. The activity causes the sphincter muscle, which normally holds urine in the bladder, to weaken and release urine. Urge incontinence occurs when you have a strong need to urinate, which causes you to lose control of your bladder. Finally, overflow incontinence happens when you do not completely empty your bladder when you urinate, causing you to lose urine even after you have gone to the bathroom.

Oftentimes, incontinence is the symptom of an underlying medical problem, such as kidney stones, a urinary tract infection or an enlarged prostrate. Because many sufferers are embarrassed to talk about this problem, larger health issues can go undiagnosed. Therefore it is extremely important to discuss any instance of incontinence with your HealthCare Partners provider.

During your visit your physician will perform a physical examination and ask questions about your daily habits, including what you typically eat and drink, and any medications or supplements that you take. Your doctor will also ask you which type of incontinence you are experiencing and how long you have gone through symptoms.

Although urinary incontinence can seem like an embarrassing matter to discuss with your provider, it is extremely important that you do so. Incontinence can be effectively managed or treated, and the sooner you seek help from your doctor, the earlier you will be able to alleviate the problem. There are a variety of treatments and medications available to manage urinary incontinence, so please remember to talk to your HealthCare Partners physician to discuss your options.