Why Regular Eye Exams Can Help Prevent Serious Heart Events

Share Button

This article is courtesy of PRWeb, please share your thoughts below…..

eyeDr. Stewart Shofner of Shofner Vision Center in Nashville, TN explains why eye exams provide clues to heart and blood vessel health. “During a comprehensive eye exam, Optometrists or Ophthalmologists are able to identify heart related diseases before symptoms appear,” says Dr. Shofner. Heart Awareness Month is an appropriate time to learn more about how a comprehensive eye exam can help prevent serious heart events.

Eyes and Heart Connection

During a thorough eye examination; an eye doctor can view small changes in the blood vessels in the back of the eye, which can also predict a more serious systemic disease including high blood pressure, stroke or heart failure. Using advanced digital retinal imaging, eye doctors can detect and monitor blood flow in the retina.

Affecting almost 65 million people, high blood pressure (hypertension) is known as a “silent” disease as many don’t experience any symptoms. During a comprehensive eye examination, an eye doctor will check for subtle changes in the retina resulting from high blood pressure, also known as hypertensive retinopathy. Changes may include narrowing of the small blood vessels in the retina, arteries pressing down on veins and flame-shaped haemorrhages, among other complications. If these changes are detected, it’s imperative that a patient contacts their primary care physician to receive appropriate and timely treatment.

Vision loss may occur when blood obstructs the retina, the eye is deprived of sufficient oxygen or the macula swells. Once the central retinal vein becomes blocked, significant vision loss may occur. Artery and blood vessel obstruction in the retina can be temporary or permanent and can also cause vision loss when a blockage disrupts blood flow in the eye. More specifically, Transient monocular vision loss (TMVL) is an important warning sign that should not be ignored because this complaint may predict risk for a major cardiovascular event.

Promoting Healthy Vision, Healthy Heart

Most everyone is aware that a healthy diet and lifestyle will improve one’s overall health. Researchers show that the following risk factors link heart health with vision health and they include: smoking, obesity and high cholesterol.

healthyheartExercising and eating a heart healthy diet rich in omega-3s, antioxidants and soluble fiber will help improve both heart and eye health. It’s recommended to consult with a primary care physician before beginning any exercise or diet program. Don’t forget to visit your eye doctor annually or as recommended by your eye care professional.

According to the Department of Health, heart disease is the leading cause of death in Tennessee. Together, heart disease and stroke account for 1 out of 3 deaths in Tennessee each year. “It is imperative to help raise Heart Health Awareness, as well as the importance of regular eye exams,” says Dr. Shofner. Eye exams not only help prevent vision loss but also potentially save lives.

About Dr. Shofner

Recognized by his peers as one of the most outstanding Board Certified Ophthalmologist in the United States, Dr. Stewart Shofner has performed over 30,000 LASIK procedures and 10,000 ocular surgeries and his business continues to grow…mostly from patient referrals. Dr. Shofner has outstanding credentials to deliver the best care and surgical outcomes for patients.

About Shofner Vision Center

Shofner Vision Center provides comprehensive vision care services including LASIK/PRK vision correction, cataract surgery and eye disease diagnosis and treatment. Shofner Vision Center utilizes the most advanced, proven technology to deliver the best solutions safely and reliably. Patients can schedule appointments online or call 615-340-4733.

Three Serious Issues Your Shoulder Pain Could Be Hinting At

Share Button

By Dr. Louis Catalano

grandparentsEveryone has shoulder pain at some point in their life. Most often, it is caused by rotator cuff tendonitis or shoulder bursitis – maladies that cause pain with activities such as raising the arm overhead, reaching into a coat sleeve, or reaching into the backseat of a car. Often times these pains are sporadic, but not severe.

However, here are three serious issues that your pain could be hinting at:

1. Frozen shoulder or adhesive capsulitis.
This disorder can occur with mild trauma or no injury at all. It is more common in diabetics. Patients present with gradually worsening pain and loss of shoulder range of motion. The range of motion that is often lost is external rotation, or the ability to twist one’s shoulder away from the body with the shoulder at the side and the elbow at a 90-degree angle. The patient can also gradually loose the ability to reach overhead or behind one’s back. This problem should not be ignored because early treatment, including physical therapy and a steroid (cortisone) injection, can make recovery more easy and rapid. By avoiding treatment, the shoulder can become more “frozen”, and make a full recovery of range of motion difficult, if not impossible. Also, surgery may be needed if the shoulder becomes “too frozen”.

2. A pinched nerve in the neck.
These patients present with pain in the back of the shoulder, neck or both. They will also complain of numbness and tingling down the arm and into the hand. Constant numbness/tingling is worrisome. Any weakness of the shoulder, elbow, or hand is very concerning as well. The important point is that any symptoms in the arm/elbow/hand, whether numbness or tingling or weakness, must be evaluated immediately. A pinched nerve in the neck can possibly result in permanent numbness/tingling or weakness, so medical attention should be sought promptly.

3. Cancer.
Pain from a cancer lesion around the shoulder will be severe, constant, and tends to be worse at night. The pain will worsen, and never “go away”. Most patients will be ill, with unexplained weight loss or fevers/chills. I have seen a few patients who sustained a shoulder fracture caused by cancer, and this was the first manifestation of the cancer! Some cancer, like multiple myeloma, develops in bone. Other cancers often metastasize to bone and these include lung, prostate, colon, thyroid, and breast cancers. If a patient has a history of one of these cancers, and has severe, unrelenting shoulder pain, that patient should seek immediate medical attention.

Not all shoulder pain could lead to these, but if you have a decreased range of motion, frequent back pain or any of the above listed symptoms, it might be worth giving your doctor a call.

Louis W. Catalano III, M.D. is an assistant clinical professor of orthopedic surgery at Icahn Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, residency director and attending surgeon in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital and attending hand surgeon at the CV Starr Hand Surgery Center at Roosevelt Hospital. Dr. Catalano has had his publications appear in the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, Hand Clinics, Journal of Hand Surgery and other leading surgical publications. He is presently on NY Magazine’s “Best Doctors List” and takes care of many musicians, dancers and athletes in the New York area. Dr. Catalano currently resides in Pelham Manor with his wife and two children.

6 Life – Transforming Lessons That Can Help You Heal From A Serious Condition

Share Button

By Bhava Ram

mansmileThe greatest adversity in your life is also your greatest gift. A 2013 study found that those who reported the highest levels of trauma and adversity also reported the highest levels of growth and self-development. (Here’s the link.) This was definitely true for me.

I wasn’t always a yoga master. In fact, I used to be a poster child for hopelessness.

By my 50th birthday, I had lost my career as an NBC war correspondent to illness and injury. After I broke my back, failed surgery left me crippled and condemned to life in a body brace. I became addicted to painkillers, antidepressants, uppers, and alcohol. I gained 100 pounds, and then was diagnosed with stage IV terminal throat cancer. I felt my life was over.

The turning point for me came when my two-year-old son, Morgan, begged me, “Get up, Daddy.” Those three words became my motivator and my healing mantra.

Here are six lessons I learned from the adversity I had to overcome.

Working harder to get ahead won’t help you reach your potential.
I used to think that working longer and harder in my profession as a journalist was the path to fulfillment. I was recognized with a prestigious journalistic award and had many meaningful experiences, but at the end of the day, I lost my health, my marriage, and nearly lost my future–some due to working so hard, others not. Identify your true potential as a person, not as a professional, and pursue that instead with the same level of zeal.

Having a clear mantra or intention will carry you through difficult times.
If you’re determined to make a major change in your lifestyle, you’ll have to approach the challenge relentlessly, passionately, and with unflagging motivation. The easiest way to do this is to find something that you desperately care about, something that when you think about it impels your forward with even more resolve. In my case, as mentioned, it was living for my son. Whenever I faltered, I repeated his three-word plea to me over and over. A mantra also helps you flick away distracting thoughts and impulses.

We all have the power to take control of our health, and the capacity to self-heal.
Doctors may tell you your situation is hopeless. Or they may tell you the alternative healing path you’ve chosen won’t work. Take charge of your own healing journey, with or without their help. The capacity of human beings to reinvent ourselves is infinite–limited mainly by our fears. You can support your body’s innate ability to self-heal through diet, detoxing, meditation, a spiritual discipline, the loving support of friends and family, movement, mind-body therapies, energy medicine, and excellent teachers. The doctors called my recovery “a miracle”; I call it enabling my body to reach its full potential.

healthywordsIf you want to completely transform your health, make it your number one priority.
I had the good fortune to be able to devote myself to self-healing 12 hours a day. With the help of loved ones, healing became my primary job. Not all people can quit their jobs while healing. But think of it this way. If you get so sick you can’t work, you’ll lose your job anyway. When faced with a life-or-death decision, choose the path that will help you live this rich, wonderful life a little longer. You can do it. Don’t let naysayers, low-value people and activities, or outside pressure discourage you from your mission to heal.

Find a healing discipline and dive into it with your fullest passion and focus.
There’s more than one way to heal one’s body. For me, it was yoga combined with Ayurvedic medicine, diet, and practices. Whatever discipline you choose, become the best student you’ve ever been. Do research, find teachers, take classes, go on retreats, enter a clinic, and engage in the discipline every day. For me, doing yoga 12 hours a day and changing what I put in my body was my “organic chemotherapy”–it altered my body chemistry, my state of mind, and made my body strong.

You can’t make much progress on your health quest until you clean up your act.
People who are very ill or seriously injured often feel that their suffering entitles them to indulgences like a sugary dessert, steak dinner, or cocktails at night. My body was so riddled with alcohol, prescription drugs, and unhealthy food that it took me days in a rehab facility to get these toxins out of my body. It took many more months of cleanses and a complete overhaul of my diet to reverser the effect of the poisons. Once I did, however, my body responded well to yoga and all the other healing modalities I was using.

– Brad Willis, a.k.a. Bhava Ram, is a former NBC News war correspondent who self-healed from a broken back, addition, failed surgery, and stage IV cancer using yoga. The founder of Deep Yoga, based in San Diego, he teaches workshops throughout the US and India. His new book is Warrior Pose: How Yoga (Literally) Saved My Life (BenBella Books). See his recent TEDx talk based on the book, and learn more at deepyoga.com.

Mexico Continues To Battle Serious Diabetes, Obesity Epidemic

Share Button

beachballFrom Your Health Journal…..A very interesting article recently in Voxxi written by Hope Gillette entitled Mexico Continues To Battle Serious Diabetes, Obesity Epidemic. So many article recently report how the United States in the obese empire of the world, how so many American eat too much, exercise too little. Frankly, I know there is some truth to this, but nonetheless, I am getting tired of reading about it. My thoughts, it is not just the US with this problem, but many countries. Over the last couple days, we have discussed how the UK and Canada are experiencing similar concerns. Now, this article points to Mexico as having similar concerns. Obesity is a worldwide epidemic, not just the US. In Mexico, diabetes is the number one killer, the chronic health condition a direct result of the obesity issue the country also struggles with. In fact, approximately two-thirds of the total nation’s population are classified as overweight or obese, with most of the issue stemming from lifestyle and eating habits. Please visit the Voxxi web site (link provided below) to view the complete article. I did enjoy it and found it very informative.”

From the article…..

Diabetes is the number one killer in Mexico, the chronic health condition a direct result of the obesity issue the country also struggles with.

In fact, approximately two-thirds of the total nation’s population are classified as overweight or obese, reports Mexican news syndicate Aljazeera, with most of the issue stemming from lifestyle and eating habits.

The obesity epidemic in Mexico has been ongoing for almost a decade; in 2007, the nation’s health secretary, Jose Angel Cordova Villalobos, estimated the incidence of diabetes would rise by approximately 40 percent by 2012, killing as many as 100,000 Mexicans annually. His numbers were not far off, with diabetes claiming the lives of approximately 70,000 Mexicans a year, according to a 2012 report from McClatchy.

With 64 percent of adult men, 82 percent of adult women, and 34.4 percent of children in Mexico considered overweight or obese, the nation has jumped up to fifth on the world list when it comes to obesity and obesity-related health conditions.

Obesity in Mexico: The price of convenience

When it comes to obesity in Mexico, most fingers point to the surge in sugary beverages and snacks, which have complicated an already sedentary lifestyle for many Mexicans.

People in Mexico spend approximately $14.3 billion annually on soft drinks alone, reports Smart Planet, and food stands, known as puestos, offer an unhealthy – but affordable – mixture of tamales, quesadillas and tacos accompanied by soda or juice. Because quality drinking water is scarce in many regions of Mexico, bottled sodas and juices are a far more common choice for people, even those dining at home.

On average, Mexicans consume 728 eight-ounce sugary drinks from Coca-Cola per person annually, an average of two a day, compared to 403 eight-ounce drinks per person in the United States.

The movement toward convenient foods is also apparent in the Mexican school system, where students are offered unhealthy snacks despite the prevalence of obesity and diabetes among young children.

To read the full article…..Click here