PAP SMEAR: TEST LOOKS FOR PRESENCE OF PRECANCEROUS CELLS

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.

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WHAT IS A MEDICARE WELLNESS EXAM?

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....

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ORAL HERPES

Oral herpes is an infection caused by a specific type of the herpes simplex virus. This condition, also called HSV-1 or sometimes cold sores or fever blisters, creates painful sores on your lips, gums and tongue, as well as the roof of your mouth and sometimes the inside of your cheeks. It may even affect your nose and chin. Symptoms of oral herpes include swelling in the lymph nodes, fever, tiredness and aching muscles. While the initial infection with oral herpes occurs most often in children ages 1-2 years, ….

….FULL ARTICLE

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KEEPING YOUR EARS CLEAN - SAFETY A PRIORITY

the wax from inside your ears. You might inadvertently push the wax further into your ear canal, complicating the problem. You should only use cotton swabs to clean the outside of your ears (the earlobes). A warm, damp washcloth is even better for cleaning them. If you use a sharp object such as a bobby pin or toothpick to clean out the wax, you run the risk of puncturing the eardrum and perhaps permanently damaging your hearing. You could also cause an infection in your ear, symptoms of which may include pain, fluid discharge or drainage, fever or impaired hearing. An ear infection definitely needs to be taken care of by your primary care physician.


Another less-than-ideal way to clean out your ears is with an ear candle. These require you to put a cone-shaped candle in your ear and then light it. The obvious hazard is getting burned by the fire or the wax, which could also drip into your ear.


You can get over-the-counter eardrops to soften the wax in your ears. They may contain mineral or baby oil, glycerin, saline or hydrogen peroxide. If you use these kits, be sure to carefully follow the directions about how many drops to use

 and how long to keep them in. Ear wax softener can make ear wax removal easier.


The best and safest way to remove wax buildup from your ears is to see your doctor. He or she will use special instruments such as a cerumen spoon, forceps or irrigation system to clean your ears.

DR ASHLEY ROLLINS

Dr. Ashley Rollins is originally from Lexington, Ky. She graduated magna cum laude from Transylvania University in Lexington with a bachelor’s degree in biology in 2009. She earned her medical degree from the University of Kentucky College of Medicine in 2014 and completed her residency in internal medicine at the UK Hospital in 2018. Dr. Rollins is a specialist in internal medicine and pediatrics. She can see patients of all ages, from newborns to the elderly, for any issue but has an interest in pediatrics, women’s health and preventative medicine.

more articles by Dr AShley Rollins

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 inner ear by trapping these harmful substances before they go deep inside your ear. Without ear wax, your ears would constantly feel itchy and dry. Ear wax generally works its way out of your ears by itself when you perform natural jaw motions such as chewing, talking or yawning. Sometimes, however, the wax can build up in your ears and even affect your hearing. This buildup is called impaction and it can be harmful.


People who wear hearing aids or ear plugs are most susceptible to impaction. Symptoms of impaction include aching or ringing in your ear(s), difficulty hearing out of the affected ear or dizziness. You might also feel a fullness in your ear(s). Ear wax buildup can be very irritating and you might decide to resort to using home remedies to clean out your ears.


The worst thing you can do is use a cotton swab to try to remove