A Pap smear is a procedure that screens for cervical cancer. Most women should start getting Pap smears at age 21 years and every three years after. It should be a part of your annual physical exam. The test looks for the presence of precancerous or cancerous cells on the cervix, the opening of the uterus or womb. During the procedure, cells from the cervix are scraped away. It is not painful and takes less than 10 minutes to complete. You may bleed a little after the test is completed.
A Medicare Wellness Exam is a preventative screening visit your provider wants you to have once a year. This visit is free and is separate from your annual physical exam (if your plan covers annual physicals). Traditional Medicare does not pay for a physical – it only covers a Wellness Exam. What is a Wellness Exam? The visit is covered once every 12 months (11 full months must have passed since your last visit). It is designed to help prevent disease and disability based on your current health....
Oral herpes is an infection caused by a specific type of the herpes simplex virus. This condition, also called HSV-
The holidays are wonderful, but there is also a great deal of stress at this time of year. Not only are people expected to eat more than they should, drink more than they should and spend more than they can really afford, but they are also expected to be joyous and merry and full of good cheer. For some people, however, the holidays are not something they look forward to.
Can sleep have an impact on your health and wellness? Indeed it can. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, getting enough good-
Happy New Year, friends! For many of us, this is an important time of year as we work on making changes and accomplishing new goals. I hope you are very successful in whatever you choose to work on in 2018. I have some things I want to work on personally. One of my goals may be something you’ll want to consider. One thing I want to do is maximize my investments, especially in terms of my energy. The goal in any investment is to expend the resource in such a way as to have a return that is greater....
Anyone who wishes to lose weight and keep it off has to face the grim truth that this goal will never be achieved without some hard work – exercise – and a change in eating habits. Exercise and nutrition are the key ingredients to long-
All women need to know about breast cancer because it can be very serious and potentially fatal. Breast cancer kills more women in the United States than any other cancer except lung cancer. Experts estimate one in eight women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer during her lifetime. But the good news is that death rates are going down. Patients diagnosed with breast cancer today often do much better than in previous years.
People who have diabetes must be vigilant about their eyes. Diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness among adults between the ages of 20 and 74 years, and 45 percent of patients with diabetes develop diabetic eye disease, which can lead to severe vision loss or even blindness, according to www.DiabetesSightRisk.com. One complication of diabetes that affects the eyes is diabetic retinopathy. In this condition, blood vessels become blocked and prevents areas of.....
For most people, losing weight is a challenge that requires them to make lifestyle changes. They must focus on diet and exercise, reducing caloric intake while increasing physical activity. It is best to follow a low-
An ovarian cyst is a sac filled with fluid or semisolid material that forms on or within an ovary. These cysts are highly common, especially during the childbearing years. According to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, ovarian cysts are less common after menopause; however, postmenopausal women who have an ovarian cyst are at higher risk for developing ovarian cancer. In most cases, cysts are harmless and typically go away on their own.
Creating a baby is no small feat. Many conditions, both in the woman and the man, have to be just right for pregnancy to occur. According to the Mayo Clinic, (www.mayoclinic.org), up to 15 percent of couples are infertile. They have not conceived a child even though they have had frequent, unprotected sexual intercourse for a year or longer. In up to half of these couples, male infertility is a significant factor.
You hear it all the time: “Before beginning any exercise program, see your doctor.”
It’s good advice, especially if you’ve been sedentary and are now determined to get back into shape. It is important to consult a physician about your current state of health so you can be aware of possible limitations or problems that could arise while you’re working out.
Breastfeeding is the best way to give your child a healthy start in life. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says human milk provides the most complete form of nutrition for infants. It is more convenient than bottle feeding because the milk is always available at the right temperature, and there are no supplies to sterilize or formulas to mix. Breast milk substitutes such as formula are harder to digest, especially for premature infants since they have an immature gut.
With summer vacation looming, parents and kids are getting ready for camp. Many camps require attendees to have a pre-
People who have diabetes must be extra vigilant about their eyes. Diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness among adults between the ages of 20 and 74, and 45 percent of patients with diabetes develop diabetic eye disease, which can lead to severe vision loss or even blindness, according to www.DiabetesSightRisk.com. One diabetic complication that affects the eyes is diabetic retinopathy, in which blood vessels become blocked and prevent areas of the retina....
Cold sores, also known as fever blisters, are often a winter inevitability. They are caused by the oral form of the herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-
Have you made a resolution to take better care of yourself this year? Be sure to consider not only your physical health but your mental health as well. According to a new federal report from the Centers for Disease Control, people in the United States have made great progress in some health areas — for example, they get more exercise and fewer teens smoke cigarettes — but they have lagged behind in many others, particularly in the area of mental health.
There is good news about prostate cancer. It is one of the most common cancers men develop (the American Cancer Society says about one man in seven will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime), but it is often treated successfully, especially when detected early, still confined to the prostate.
According to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), lung cancer is the third most common cancer and the leading cause of cancer death in the United States among both men and women. Each year, more people die from lung cancer than colon, breast and prostate cancers combined.
The most important risk factor for lung cancer is smoking.
Before undergoing any surgery, you should ask your doctor how to prepare and what to expect afterward. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (www.plasticsurgery.org) says you need to communicate your goals and expectations to your plastic surgeon. And, of course, you should choose someone who is board certified by a reputable association such as the American Board of Plastic Surgery or the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery and who has a good amount of training and experience….
Hippocrates, the father of modern-
Too often we look for healing in medicine bottles. But perhaps it would be better if we looked elsewhere to the fruits and vegetables sections of our local grocery store.
Probiotics, the focus of the latest health fad, are far from new. The concept behind them was introduced in the early 20th century when Nobel laureate Elie Metchnikoff studied the longevity of Bulgarian peasants and declared it was the result of their consumption of fermented milk products. He believed consuming beneficial microorganisms could improve health. Researchers continued to investigate this idea and the term “probiotics”— which means “for life” ....
Stress fractures are the painful bane of runners and other athletes such as soccer, tennis and basketball players. These tiny cracks in a bone are usually caused by repetitive stress or force, overuse and walking or running on uneven surfaces. Stress fractures are most common in the weight-
Chemotherapy drugs are very strong. They kill fast-
Did your mother ever tell you never to put anything bigger than your elbow in your ear? She was right. When you feel as though your ears are clogged with wax, you may be tempted to dig it out with a cotton swab or (worse) a ballpoint pen cap or keys, but there are other – safer – ways to clean your ears. First, learn a little bit about ear wax. It’s a material the body produces. Properly known as cerumen, ear wax acts like a filter, collecting dirt, bacteria and other debris and protecting your....
Like many people, you have probably resolved to lose weight this year and get back into shape. Diet and exercise go hand in hand. You need to watch your food consumption and get moving in order to lose weight. How can you design an effective diet and exercise program – one that you will stick to and one that will show you satisfying results?
Every year during your annual Medicare Wellness visit at Family Practice Associates, your primary care provider will discuss with you the topic of advance directives – what they are and why you should have one. If you already have one, the wellness visit is an excellent time to review it and make sure it still reflects your wishes about what you want done on your behalf should you ever get seriously ill.
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People who have diabetes must be extra vigilant about their eyes. Diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness among adults between the ages of 20 and 74, and 45 percent of patients with diabetes develop diabetic eye disease, which can lead to severe vision loss or even blindness, according to www.DiabetesSightRisk.com. One diabetic complication that affects the eyes is diabetic retinopathy, in which blood vessels become blocked and prevent areas of the retina from receiving blood and nutrients. This can lead to diabetic macular edema, which occurs when the damaged blood vessels leak fluid into the macula.
To keep tabs on possible diabetic eye disease, patients with diabetes are encouraged to get a dilated eye exam every year. This type of exam can often detect problems a regular vision test cannot. Your eye doctor will put drops in your eyes to dilate and enlarge the pupils, which are the openings at the center of the iris. Enlarging your pupils allows the doctor to see more of the inside of your eyes to check for signs of disease. With a special magnifying lens, the doctor can examine the retina and optic nerve for signs of damage.
Sometimes it is necessary for you to see a retinal specialist, who will perform additional tests. Using fundus photography, the specialist will take color photographs of the retina. With fluorescein angiography, the specialist injects a dye into your arm and takes photos as the dye
passes through your eye. This test helps the specialist detect any closed, damaged or leaking blood vessels. A third special test is an imaging test called optical coherence tomography. It produces a cross section of the retina and is useful for revealing any swelling in the eye tissue.
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disorders (www.niddk.nih.gov) says your eye doctor will conduct other tests to measure the pressure in your eyes; your side or peripheral vision; and how well you see at various distances. You may also need to keep seeing a general ophthalmologist or optometrist if you have other medical conditions that affect your eyes, such as glaucoma, or if you wear eyeglasses or contact lenses.
After your eyes have been dilated, your vision may be blurry for several hours and your eyes may be extra sensitive to light. This is a small inconvenience compared to the alternative of going blind. Even if your vision seems fine, regular eye exams can help you protect your vision, and a dilated eye exam could be the deciding factor in preserving your sight.
Early detection with a dilated eye exam, timely treatment and follow-
Dr. Gerhardstein is a native of Fort Thomas, Ky. He is a graduate of Northern Kentucky University and the University of Kentucky College of Medicine. He joined Family Practice Associates of Lexington in 2003. His specialty is family practice. Dr. Gerhardstein shares Nietzsche’s philosophy: “That which does not kill us only makes us stronger.”