Leaderboard ad

Monday, February 27, 2017

Polluted Air, Confused Mind: Is There a Link Between Dirty Air and Poor Mental Health in Later Years?

The risks of inhaling polluted air when suffering from health conditions like asthma or lung cancer are well known and documented. But there is a growing band of evidence to suggest that certain conditions that appear later in life such as Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia may possibly be linked to polluted atmospheres too.

Unclean Air May Possibly Inhibit Cognitive Function

The link between bad air and impaired brain function is controversial, but the evidence is starting to stack up with a growing number of studies including one published by ‘Translational Psychiatry’ at the end of January suggesting that living in places with “PM2.5 exposures higher than the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) standard of 12 µg/m3 nearly doubled dementia risk in older women”.

The study is not a short-term flash in the pan, either. It has been carried out over the last eleven years and if the finding holds up across a wider spectrum of the population, it’s believed that air pollution could eventually account for around twenty one percent of all dementia cases worldwide.

If the evidence continues to mount, then it’s believed that the connection between pollution and these conditions may lead to better treatments in the future and further improvements in cutting traffic emissions and lowering other forms of pollution from industry.

What Causes Air Pollution?

Many weather forecasts now offer information on air quality as a matter of course, but as a rule, matter such as pollen, dust, wildfires and detritus from industry can all cause air pollution which can have a detrimental effect on health especially in seniors.

When air pollutants are high, it is often advised that anyone with health concerns involving their lungs stays indoors, and there are steps that can be taken to ensure the air in your home stays clean and as fresh as possible too:

· Clean all carpets, soft furnishings and surfaces regularly with a HVAC to help minimize dirt, dust and pollen debris in the home

· Change all filters on vacuum cleaners regularly, or keep them washed and clean.

· Consider buying an air purifier or investing in a dehumidifier

· If you’re choosing new furniture, make sure any furnishings you pick are free from Volatile Organic Compounds - these are gases that are given out by older furniture and sometimes paints too.

This is a guest blog entry.

Effective Tips for Melanoma Prevention


It can be difficult to handle any type of cancer diagnosis, including skin cancer. Although melanoma is considered one of the most deadly types of skin cancer, there is always hope, even at the very end, that an aggressive cancer like melanoma can be defeated. The good news is that if melanoma is diagnosed early, it is curable. However, left undiagnosed, it can move to other areas of the body. This could lead to a very long and hard fought battle against the disease.

Cancer Treatments More Affordable

Changes in health law and policy have made cancer treatments more affordable for patients. Thus, there are more patients who are being diagnosed and treated earlier now than at any other time in history.

People were at one time afraid they would no longer have healthcare coverage if they lost their job, but professionals with a masters in health law from Hofstra Law have diligently worked within the community and with lawmakers to ensure that affordable health care is available to all who needs it, including cancer patients.

Skin cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in the United States. Estimates published by the American Cancer Society have shown that melanoma diagnosis rates have steadily increased over the past 30 years. The good news is that there are things you can do to help with the fight against cancer and you can reduce your risk of developing skin cancer by following these tips.

Melanoma Prevention

One of the easiest ways to prevent the development of skin cancer is to always wear sunscreen when you are outside. If you are able to reduce your skin’s exposure to UV rays, then you will be in a much better position to reduce sun damage and skin burn. You can apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen to protect you from melanoma.

You should also wear sunglasses when you are outside to protect your eyes from the sun. Wearing a hat will provide shade from the sun for your face. Try to reduce your exposure to both artificial and natural light.

Make regular appointments with your healthcare provider or dermatologist. Make sure you consume a vitamin D from healthy food sources, eat a balanced diet, and avoid unhealthy habits.

The ABC’s of a Potential Skin Cancer Diagnosis

Always be on the lookout for unusual growths and moles that are on your skin. Physicians and dermatologists have classified the diagnosis of melanomas based on the following factors.

•    A- Asymmetry (scan your body for moles that are ragged or asymmetrical
•    B- Border (Does the mole have a defined border?)
•    C- The color (Are multiple colors appear inside of the mole or lesion?)

Also, watch the diameter and the evolution of the mole or lesion. If it is larger than 5 millimeters in diameter and looks different to other lesions or moles on your body, you need to schedule an appointment with a dermatologist as soon as possible.

You can spread the importance of early melanoma detection by becoming more involved in your community. Educate the public and you may save someone’s life.

This is a guest blog entry.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

5 Cosmetic Treatment Trends Expected to Grow in 2017


With the advent of advanced cosmetic surgery procedures, it has become super easy to iron out even the tiniest of imperfections in the human body. From lips and breasts to legs and feet, every part of the body can now be "customized" as per your specific needs. Wondering what cosmetic surgery treatments are trending this year? Read on to learn about the top 5 such treatments that are becoming increasingly popular.

Buttock Augmentation (or Butt Lift)

Celebrities like Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez, and Kim Kardashian have long back set the trend for huge bottoms. According to the data released by ASPS, the trend has grown close to 40 percent since 2014 and more than 250 percent since 2000. Surgeons claim to notice a spike in the number of patients who are seeking buttock augmentation, so the trend seems to be gaining momentum. Among the most popular requests is the Brazilian Butt Lift, which combines the procedures of body contouring and liposuction.

Dermal Fillers

Image source: Cosmos Clinic

Many surgeons are already putting to use a new variety of dermal fillers that are designed for specific parts of a person's face. Lips, midface, laugh lines, and cheeks can now be augmented on demand. A good number of such procedures have already been approved in some countries, and soon will provide the cosmetic doctors a wider palette of treatments they can offer to their patients safely, without the need of a surgery. Injectables are in demand this year, and among them are three approved neuromodulators available in the market – Botox, Xeomin, and Dysport. According to Cosmos Clinic, prices start at $575.

Dimplectomy

Dimples are in great demand. Taking selfies has become an addiction and everyone wants to look sexy, cute, and friendly in their photographs. If you don’t have dimples to make your smile look sweet, you can get a cosmetic procedure done quickly within just an hour. Dimplectomy is a scarless procedure and requires an incision inside the cheek. Who knew it would become so easy to simply "add" dimples to your smile, and become the object of "envy"?

Leg shaping

A Vogue article that claimed that the era of cleavage is over and as women are gradually choosing to show parts of the leg, shoulder, or stomach instead of their breasts. As a result of this trend in 2017, an increasing number of patients will be opting for the cosmetic procedures which will help create the perfect legs. Procedures such as Microlipo are generally targeted to remove unwanted fat and sculpt specific parts of the legs, especially thighs, making the legs appear longer and leaner to the eyes. The treatment lasts just a few hours and is done using a local anaesthetic, so the patient is awake but experiences no pain.

This is a guest blog entry.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Pain Management- What Are Your Treatment Options?

Pain is the body’s response to injury or illness. At times, pain can become chronic and difficult to manage. There are many different types of pain management treatment options available. Each comes with its own set of risks and benefits. Let’s take a look at some of the most common treatment options and how they can help relieve your chronic pain.

Chiropractic Care for Pain Relief

Chiropractic care can help to correct joint dysfunction. When you suffer from an injury, you can develop subluxations in the spine. A functional chiropractor uses gentle manual adjustments to restore joint function, reduce pain, relax muscles, improve nerve pulse transmissions and increase circulation to the injured area.

Functional chiropractic care is more than just spinal manipulations. The functional chiropractor will take a detailed medical history, complete a biomechanical assessment to look for any issues and use a variety of imaging tests to determine the cause of your pain. Once the cause of the pain is determined, the functional chiropractor may recommend a variety of services to help ease your pain, restore joint function and bring the body back into alignment.

• Spinal manipulations – Spinal manipulations are the hallmark of chiropractic care. The chiropractor will use controlled force to help realign the spine and restore joint function.
• Exercises – Strength training, flexibility exercises and aerobic activities
• Nutritional supplementsNutritional supplements  help to ensure the body has the nutrients that it needs to heal from the inside out. These supplements include antioxidants to decrease inflammation, increase cartilage in the joints and improve joint function.
• Herbal remedies – There are a number of herbal remedies that can help relieve pain and decrease inflammation. These remedies can be taken internally or applied topically. Turmeric, capsaicin, comfrey, devil’s claw and white willow bark are some of the most potent herbs used for pain.
• Cold laser therapy – Cold laser therapy uses non-thermal lights that pass through the skin to reach damaged tissue and speed up the healing process by increasing cellular metabolism. Additionally, this can be used to reduce inflammation and relieve nerve irritation that may be causing you pain.
• Ultrasound therapy – Ultrasound therapy uses sound waves to stimulate inflamed and damaged tissues in the body. The sound waves help to break down calcifications on the tendons to help them heal properly. Additionally, ultrasound promotes new cellular growth to repair damage.
• Electrical stimulation – Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) provides pain relief by delivering an electrical current to stimulate the nerves. This causes the nerves to send a signal to the brain to scramble pain perception.

Hot and Cold Therapy for Pain Management

Hot and cold therapy helps to decrease swelling and inflammation and increase flexibility in damaged joints, muscles and tendons. Typically, ice is used for new injuries and acute pain. Heat is for older injuries and helps to loosen up the joints and stimulate new tissue growth.

Physical Therapy to Relieve Pain

Chronic pain often requires a multidisciplinary approach, including physical therapy. Physical therapy educates the patient on pain mechanisms and how exercise and massage can relieve pain, strengthen the muscles, increase flexibility and stabilize joints. Physical therapy can be used to ease chronic pain and may include many of the same disciplines used in chiropractic care, including electrical stimulation, hot and cold therapy, nutritional supplementation and ultrasound therapy.

Mind-Body Techniques and Pain Relief

Living with pain can be extremely stressful. Mind-body techniques help a patient relieve stress, reduce pain and learn to cope with their chronic pain. The most common methods used include guided imagery, hypnosis, biofeedback, meditation and yoga. These mind-body techniques help the pain sufferer to center themselves, learn to deal with their pain and relax the body so that it can heal itself.

Food Intolerance Can Be Causing Your Pain

When you suffer from food intolerance and consume the offending food, it can damage the lining of the intestinal tract and lead to toxins, waste and undigested food particles to enter the bloodstream. When this occurs, inflammation throughout the body can occur, resulting in chronic pain. Healing the gut by following an anti-inflammatory diet and taking probiotics can help to relieve the pain you are experiencing.

Chronic pain is a pain! It is a response to an injury or illness in the body. However, sometimes the pain signals get stuck in the on position after the injury or illness has passed. When this occurs, you need to find a way to heal the body and relieve pain. These methods include chiropractic care, hot or cold therapy, correcting food intolerances, using mind-body techniques and physical therapy. With a multifaceted approach, you can relieve chronic pain and begin enjoying life again.

This is a blog post by Vishal Verma

Monday, February 13, 2017

Oral Myofunctional Disorder And How Enrolling In Speech Language Therapy Can Help

Orofacial myofunctional disorders occur when the tongue, lips, or jaw procure abnormal or exaggerated movement – impairing a person’s ability to speak or even swallow.  A common example of this disorder is ”tongue thrust”, where the tongue rests against or between the teeth during swallowing instead of lifting up into the roof of the mouth.

While many orofacial myofunctional disorders (OMDs) are learned, or develop out of habit – they can cause a lot of stress; diminishing the quality of a person’s interactions with the world as well as impeding on their overall health. These irregular activities of the mouth can contribute to more serious dental problems such as an incorrectly positioned jaw, or teeth.


Though oral quirks such as tongue thrust or thumb sucking are common in infants, they tend to disappear by early childhood. However, 81% of children who suffer from speech-language difficulties do so from an underlying OMD. If the issues remain unaddressed, they can follow a person into adulthood and become that much harder to correct. When an OMD is caused by upper airway constrictions, obstructions, or infections, a doctor may be the first to notice. It may also be caused by low body tone, imbalance in dental growth (often caught by a dentist or oral hygienist), or inadequate development of facial bones or muscles in the head and neck.

While a dentist or doctor may notice the physical repercussions, it’s always better to catch an OMD before it starts causing more serious disruptions. If you suspect that your child may be suffering from an OMD, a Speech-Language Pathologist can help asses what’s causing it, then work with the client to become cognisant of certain tendencies so they can overcome them.

If you are looking for a speech therapist in Toronto, there are a number of solid options. One such choice is Simone Friedman SLS located conveniently in the west end and offering personalized treatment for people suffering from OMDs occurring habitually, due to physical abnormalities, or as a result of a developmental disability.

A trained Speech-Language Pathologist works with clients on their pronunciation, articulation and tongue movements when speaking, as well as to subdue the core issue which may include incorrect mouth posture, speech sound errors or a swallowing disorder. Techniques for therapy may include increasing awareness of the mouth, facial muscles, and postures of the tongue. As well, they will work with the client to improve muscle strength and coordination, speech production, and correct swallowing patterns. If speech malfunctions are the cause of habits such as lip-biting or thumb sucking – a therapist will focus treatment to eliminate these behaviors first.

Regardless of its initial cause, the development of an OMD can interfere with a person’s ability to communicate, their comfort, as well as their health and well being. The earlier a client can seek out treatment, the sooner they can identify the core issues obstructing speech and other functions. Contact a Speech-Language pathologist today to provide your loved one with the attention they need to re-establish their normal.

This is a guest blog entry.

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Living an Independent Life Throughout Retirement

Creating an independent life after retirement is a significant concern of people as they begin planning their future. There are several components to ensuring one can live the life they wish well into their retirement years. Physical safety and home security are one of the first items that should be addressed.

Then the focus should move to staying connected to friends and family in distant locations as well as a plan to remain active within the community.

Home Security

Living in a secure environment becomes something that becomes more complex as one ages. In addition to the real need to protect the home from intruders, there is an added requirement of protecting one’s self from the home. Many homes are designed in such a way as to be perilous for those with decreased mobility, agility, and eyesight.

Creating a more secure home environment can be accomplished with a series of small changes. Changing the handles for doors, cabinetry, and plumbing fixtures to levers increases accessibility throughout the home. Floors should be made slip-resistant through the application of no-slip pads under area rugs or the installation of low-pile carpeting. Bathrooms can be made safer by installing hand rails for shower areas and near toilets.

A popular option for ensuring one’s ability to reach help should an emergency occur are medical alert systems. These types of systems connect a wearable device wirelessly to a central hub that can alert a call center that has a protocol in place for each customer. The customization helps ensure the right people are contacted for each situation.

Staying Connected

Technology has evolved significantly over the past several decades. What once required a room of computer servers can now be accomplished more quickly and with a better user experience on a smart phone. It is expected that in the coming decades, technology will further evolve and become more integrated within our daily lives.

A popular gaming console is already being used to help seniors stay connected with friends and be more physically active. Most consoles have the ability to link players in different locations to engage in activity based games. The breakthroughs in virtual technology could make the experience even more interactive and immersive.

Staying connected to friends and family members spread out across the country is also easier with technology. Video phone calls are now possible on phones and computers with perfect clarity. The face-to-face connection allows all those involved in the conversation the ability to read body language and facial expressions which increases the level of enjoyment and understanding experienced.

Social Interaction

Social connections are extremely important for seniors. Staying connected to friend and family members is critical for happiness levels but having a connection to the community is far more important than many people realize.

As one nears retirement, they should begin examining the communities in which they are considering retiring. Public transit, community events, and access to preferred hobbies are all important aspects of cultivating a thriving social life post retirement. If those social activities that one enjoys are located far from home, they will become increasingly difficult to participate in as one gets older.

Technological advancements have made it easier than ever to remain active and independent well into retirement. A little advanced research and preparation can create a smooth transition between working and retirement and ensure individuals are living a life they love.

This is a blog post by Nancy Evans.

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Why Social Work is a Valuable Career to Get Into

Social workers provide a range of valuable services, which can often improve the quality of life experienced by their clients. By helping others with a range of issues such as adjustment issues, social workers are dedicated professionals whose work enables them to make a real, positive difference in the world.

As a career, social work offers a range of unique challenges, experiences and opportunities to those who pursue it. Here are just some of the main reasons why social work is a highly valuable choice of career.

High Demand


Social work is a profession that is currently in high demand, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which reported that over the next seven years, demand for social workers will be growing at a rate faster than the average. Higher demand for skilled professionals can often result in better wages for online MSW graduates, and with social work jobs expected to grow by 27% by 2022, there’s no better time than the present to start your journey down this exciting and rewarding career path.

Various Opportunities

One of the interesting things about being a social worker is that there is a variety of job titles to choose from. Social workers will often specialize in one or more areas of the profession, for example working with families and young people, working with past offenders, or even working with the elderly. With a masters degree in social work online, you can choose from job categories such as working in Children’s Services with families, children, working and in schools, working as a mental health or substance abuse counselor, or working as a social worker in the healthcare industry.

Rewarding Work

Although social work is a great choice of career that can provide you with a good salary and an assortment of opportunities for the future, the main thing is that it can be a very rewarding and satisfying career. As a social worker, you will be working closely with individuals who are in need of support, for example children going through tough times or elderly people who are finding it difficult to adjust to new circumstances. Being there for these people and offering them your support is what makes social work such a rewarding profession.

Independent Work


If you are an independent worker and enjoy doing things autonomously, such as studying for your MSW online, social work is a great choice of career for you. Most social workers will be allowed a large degree of independence when dealing with their clients and providing services, and clinical social workers are able to run their own practices, enabling them to have full control over their office hours, working environment, clients, and more. Typically, social workers in all positions enjoy a great deal of flexibility at work, so if you need a flexible work schedule and prefer to be trusted to get things done on your own, this career is well suited to you.

Social workers are vital professionals who help people in need to achieve success. These are just some of the reasons why social work is such a valuable choice of career.

This is a guest blog entry.