Thursday, September 27, 2012

Healthy Spotlight: Amy Byard

Amy Byard, on a training run
     Amy Byard is a busy woman. She works part-time as a speech-language pathologist for Total Rehab Care, and goes home to a husband and two children. She, like many women, must juggle her work-life and home-life, caring for her patients, her family, and herself. Finding the right balance can be difficult.

     Amy knew it was important to exercise regularly so she joined the local gym and did weight training, the elliptical machine and the treadmill. Exercise was not something she enjoyed but she discovered the exercise she minded the least was running, so she started running more and eventually signed up for a 5K (3.1 miles). The first few 5K's were very challenging and at the end, Amy still didn’t love running.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants to the Rescue

     Henry Ford once said, “Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” In today’s healthcare, collaboration between physicians and midlevel practitioners improves patient care, especially in busy primary care physician offices. Under the umbrella term of midlevel practitioners, nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs) expand physician care at a time when primary care physicians can be in short supply, and help meet the growing medical demands of an aging population.

What is a NP?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Your Feet at Work

     After a shift of walking and standing—whether it be cutting hair, delivering mail, or teaching students—workers have some tired dogs, and maybe some foot problems too. The American Podiatric Medical Association says that 47% of Americans suffer from a foot ailment, but only slightly more than a quarter of them see a podiatrist. If your job requires a lot of standing and walking, here’s the low-down on foot care.

     According to Todd Harrison, DPM, of Podiatry Associates of Hagerstown, foot pain, specifically plantar fasciitis, is common among people whose jobs require them to stand and walk a lot. With plantar fasciitis, the thick band of tissue at the bottom of foot becomes inflamed, causing a stabbing heel pain.

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Trouble with Earbuds

     The Journal of the American Medical Association published a report indicating an increase in adolescent hearing loss. Does listening to loud sounds through earbuds—the tiny electronic speakers that fit into your ears—affect some adolescents’ hearing? Well, the answer is “maybe.” Otolaryngologist Kirby Scott, DO, FACS, FAAOA says that studies are still ongoing concerning the long-term effects of earbuds and hearing loss. “Earbuds and their use are still somewhat new, but everything should be done in moderation,” he warns.

      Dr. Scott explains that any significant noise in the ear canal isn’t good. “With earbuds, you’re putting a lot of energy into the ear canal. The ear canal can sustain loud noise for a short period of time.” Do you remember going to a rock concert and experiencing ringing in your ears for several days afterwards? It’s known as noise trauma, and thankfully, the ringing goes away. But not all damage is reversible.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

What Does Diving Have to Do with Wound Care?

When I started working at Meritus Health and heard about hyperbaric tanks, all I could think of was deep sea diving. Turns out I wasn’t that far off. In fact, Meritus Health’s Wound Center was recently awarded accreditation by none other than the Undersea & Hyperbaric Medical Society (only a handful of Maryland hospitals have this accreditation, by the way). And when you overhear Wound Center staff talking about treating a patient, you’re likely to hear something like, “Mrs. Smith will be diving on Tuesday morning.”

So what’s going on? Does hyperbaric oxygen therapy (commonly called HBO) require a wetsuit?

Monday, September 10, 2012

What’s Your Favorite Sleep Position?

     When I was a kid, I’d do anything to avoid a nap. As an adult, they’re a special treat. There’s nothing like getting into that perfect position under a warm blanket. But what is the “perfect position”?

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Stand Up for Health

     Between the commute to work and a sedentary job, many of us log in more than ten hours of sitting a day. Studies show that sitting still for too long causes changes in our bodies—like less blood flow, which can lead to fat build up in the blood stream and Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT). Not to mention what a lack of motion does for our backs, muscles, and metabolism.

     “All of us need to exercise more. Our lives are busier, our workdays extend from office to home, and compared to our grandparents, we’re too sedentary,” says Cindy Earle, RN and community health education coordinator at Meritus Health. Humans after all, were designed to walk, and in this technology era, we’re doing far less of it. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

On the Lookout for Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease

     Sunburn season and the perils of the pool are just about behind us, but as any parent knows, the antenna can never go completely down. Hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD)—a common viral illness that occurs in the summer and fall—typically affects infants and children younger than five years old. This year, Tania Crussiah, MD, of Williamsport Family Practice, has seen an increase in HFMD cases. Half of the cases she has seen have occurred in the parents or caregivers of young children.