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Home care options for patients with English as a second language

Posted by on Jul 25, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Home care options for patients with English as a second language

For many people with limited English, much of the burden of caring for their needs can fall to friends and family who speak their home language. Even for patients who have previously had relatively strong English skills the early stages of cognitive disorders, such as dementia, or Alzheimers, can often cause people to revert back to the language they spoke as a child. Here are some options for home care support for people with English as a second language.  Carers with the same language  You can often find carers who speak the same language as the patient, particularly if the language is a relatively common one. Even if the carer doesn’t have a full, native grasp of the language they may be able to communicate well enough to understand the patient’s needs and have some basic conversations. This can often be enough to give the main carer some respite by allowing the home care service to take on some of the caring duty.  Translation service Home care services can provide translation services. These translators can help to interact with the patients and any medical staff that they regularly interact with, as well as home carers who don’t speak the home language of the patient. Finding translators is usually easiest when the language spoke is relatively common and can be trickier if the patient speaks an unusual language or dialect.  Communication cards If the patient speaks a language or dialect that is hard to find in your area, you can also try options such as communication cards which use a phrase in both English and the other language (and may also have an image expressing the wish). These flash cards can communicate some simple concepts such as “I’m hungry”, “I’m thirsty” and “Please help to the toilet”. This can be invaluable to make sure that the carer can meet all of the needs, and over time the cards can be further added to include other specific requirements such as “Can you put on the radio” or “Please me to the TV to watch my favourite show”. (The community radio and TV stations often have shows in different languages which the patient might like to listen to).  There are a range of options to help patient’s with English as a second language to receive appropriate home care. Having good communication can help ensure the patient’s needs are met and offer other family carers some...

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Why Doesn’t Your Orthodontist Want You to Chew Gum?

Posted by on Jun 23, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Why Doesn’t Your Orthodontist Want You to Chew Gum?

If you’re a regular gum chewer, you may be disappointed to learn that your orthodontist views gum as something you shouldn’t chew while you have your braces on. While you may not see the point of avoiding gum, because it isn’t hard enough to break your braces like other foods you’re told not to eat, it is important to follow your orthodontist’s instructions here. Chewing gum may extend your treatment time and may even damage your teeth. Read this article to learn why you avoid it.  How Chewing Gum Affects Your Braces If you’re wearing traditional braces that use brace posts and wires to straighten your teeth, you need to make sure that the posts stay on your teeth and the wires stay fixed to the posts in the right position. While chewing gum isn’t likely to shift your posts, which are cemented on to your teeth, it may affect your brace wires. Brace wires are thin and flexible; however, they should stay where your orthodontist puts them. The job of these wires is to guide your teeth into their correct positions and to hold them there. If you chew gum, you may put pressure on your brace wires and shift them out of position. If your wires aren’t in the right place, your teeth can’t move into the right place. This may add to your treatment time if your teeth don’t move where they’re supposed to go or move into the wrong positions because your wires got bent or pushed out of shape. How Chewing Gum With Braces Affects Your Teeth While you may be able to chew gum without it getting stuck on your teeth, your braces add another element to the mix. Chewing gum can stick to brace posts and to wires, and cleaning gum off your braces is a lot harder than you think. Gum can get stuck around your posts and behind your wires in places you can’t reach. If you can’t see gum to remove it or can’t reach it to get it off your braces, the gum may have negative effects on your teeth. This is especially a problem if you chew regular gums that contain sugars and acids. Leave these substances on or in between your teeth for any length of time, and the bacteria they attract may increase your risk of tooth decay or dental erosion. While you can try to clean gum off your braces if it does get stuck, you should be very careful not to push your wires out of position when you try to get to hard-to-reach sticky bits. If you do chew gum with braces on and can’t clean it all off, you may need to get your orthodontist to sort the problem out for...

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Getting Help for Your Child’s Feet

Posted by on Jun 3, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Getting Help for Your Child’s Feet

If you have an active child, it can be sad to see them laid up and not able to play sports due to their sore feet. If your child seems to be unable to walk or has started walking in an odd way, it can be well worth getting them checked out by a sports podiatrist to get the underlying cause of your child’s foot pain worked out. Here are some issues that they may experience and how they can be fixed. Flat feet While flat feet don’t tend to suddenly appear, children can aggravate flat feet after a period of heavy exercise or may have more pain after a growth spurt. This pain tends to occur in the arch of the foot and can extend to the balls of the feet and ankle. This pain can be resolved by resting, then using some orthotics in their shoes. A podiatrist can create appropriate orthotics for your child. Toe walking It is very common for children to experiment with toe walking at different stages of their development. It can be an indication of more severe issues including Cerebal Palsy or Muscular Dystrophy, so it’s a good idea to take a child showing consistent toe walking to the podiatrist for more checks. Other less serious causes can include having a chipped heel bone due to impact, or painful heels due to bony growths that can occur during growth spurts. If left untreated this unusual walking style can lead to tightness in the calves and ankles.  A podiatrist can help to review your child’s shoes to give them more cushioning and if required, they can strap the lower legs in a way to guide the foot into a more natural foot position.  Loose ankles and ligaments Some children find that they have looser ankles which can roll easily, especially if they tend to be adventurous and spend a lot of time running and jumping on playground equipment. However repeated ankle sprains and ‘rolls’ can cause the ligaments to get looser and increase the likelihood of a severe outcome such as breaking ankle bones. A podiatrist can help to review why their ligaments are looser than normal, and strap the ankles/lower legs to create more support. They can also advise on which models of sports or school shoes might be better for your child,  with more ankle support.  If your child has just started complaining of foot pain or walking in an unusual way it’s well worth getting a podiatrist to review their...

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How A Well-Baby Clinic Can Benefit New Parents

Posted by on May 20, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How A Well-Baby Clinic Can Benefit New Parents

Well-baby clinics are staffed by paediatric or child health nurses and are run with the intention of providing new parents with information and support in relation to the health and well-being of their baby and parenting in general. The clinics are run in medical centres, and your midwife or GP can tell you if your local medical centre offers a well-baby clinic. These clinics are easy to access, with many adopting a drop-in model and even a telephone advice service. Additionally, the clinic staff can link up with your GP and share information to ensure you and your baby receive prompt treatment. For example, if the child health nurse thinks your baby may have an ear infection, they can arrange for them to be seen quickly by your GP, or they can arrange for your GP to provide a prescription to treat the infection. Here’s an outline of three ways a well-baby clinic can benefit parents: Breastfeeding Advice Breastfeeding isn’t always as easy and natural as those baby books would lead you to believe. The breastfeeding relationship can take time to establish, and the nurses at the well-baby clinic can help you overcome common problems and improve your feeding technique. Here are a few examples of breastfeeding issues the clinic staff can support you with: Treating mastitis and thrush Finding feeding positions that suit your baby Feeding a baby with tongue tie, reflux or cleft lip Ensuring your baby is getting fat-rich hindmilk Safe storage of expressed breastmilk Weight Check Your baby can be weighed if you have any concerns about their growth. You will be able to see where your baby’s weight is on a growth chart that outlines the upper and lower weight limits for a baby of their age. You may want to get your baby’s weight checked if any of the following apply: Your baby has been vomiting or had diarrhoea, which can cause rapid weight loss in babies Your baby is refusing to drink enough milk, which can happen when they are teething, sick or weaning Your baby takes prescription medication, as the minimum therapeutic dose will change as your baby gains weight Weaning Information Parents often worry about ensuring their child remains well-nourished when transitioning them from milk to solid food. The well-baby clinic can give you up-to-date information on weaning and provide suitable recipes for your baby’s first foods. You may want to discuss the following points with the clinic nurse: Food safety and allergies Baby led weaning versus spoon feeding Portion sizes Establishing a mealtime routine Salt and sugar intake The well-baby clinic is there to ensure your child gets off to the best start possible and support you as a new parent, and you won’t be judged for asking questions. Those first few months with your baby can be challenging, so if there’s anything you’re struggling with as you get to grips with your new role, get in touch with your local...

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Causes of Gum Recession and Surgical Treatment Options Available

Posted by on Apr 25, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Causes of Gum Recession and Surgical Treatment Options Available

Gum recession, also referred to as gingival recession, is a condition whereby your gums retract from your teeth’s surface. When it is mild, it is hardly physically noticeable, but you will experience heightened tooth sensitivity when taking hot or cold foods. However, in some individuals, it is drastic and poses a risk to their overall oral health. What causes gum recession? There are a myriad of reasons why one would develop gum recession. One of the most common causes is vigorous brushing of teeth especially when using a hard bristle toothbrush. It can also be caused by genetics, teeth grinding and extreme oral jewelry such as lip rings. If you notice you are developing gum recession, it is best to go to a dental clinic and try to arrest the problem before it develops further. Leaving this condition untreated can lead to the eventual loss of teeth. What are the surgical treatment options for gum recession? If your gums have receded excessively, then your periodontist would have to consider surgical treatment to treat the condition. There are two main ways that this can be done. Gum grafting With gum grafting, the periodontist will extract tissue, typically from your mouth’s palate, to replace the gum that has left your teeth and their roots over-exposed. Your periodontist could also opt to get this graft tissue from a medical tissue bank if you would rather not have it extracted from your own palate. To perform the procedure, the periodontist will start off by injecting the affected area with a local anaesthetic. This is followed by a thorough cleaning of the affected areas before the tissue is grafted onto your remaining gums. Gum grafting does not take too long to heal, but you will be advised to steer clear from any foods that may be hard to chew during the healing period. This is to prevent any undue damage to your tissue graft. Gum regeneration Gum regeneration is a surgical procedure opted for when the gum recession has caused visible damage to your jawbone. With this treatment, the periodontist would first inject local anesthetic before proceeding to open up whatever parts of the gum are remaining and flap them back over your jawbone. The affected area is deep cleaned, and the periodontist will place a protein matrix on the roots of the affected teeth. This protein matrix works to stimulate the growth of new tissue as well as bone mass in your jaw. Once the protein matrix is in place, the flap of gum is stitched back into place to provide support for the protein matrix. This surgical procedure tends to take longer to heal as involves much more than gum...

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Understanding The Link Between Rheumatoid Arthritis And Hearing Loss

Posted by on Apr 8, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Understanding The Link Between Rheumatoid Arthritis And Hearing Loss

Although often associated with joint degradation, rheumatoid arthritis can affect several parts of your body. It’s an inflammatory autoimmune disease, and the condition can cause your body’s immune system to damage your inner ear. Additionally, medication used to treat rheumatoid arthritis can damage your hearing. Here’s an overview of how these two factors can contribute to hearing loss and the associated treatment options: Medication-Induced Hearing Loss  Rheumatoid arthritis is often treated with salicylates and anti-inflammatories, and some of these types of medication are considered ototoxic. This simply means they can damage the part of your cochlea, located in your inner ear, that’s responsible for transporting sounds from your ear to your brain for translation. The effects of these drugs on your hearing can take some time to become apparent, and your rheumatologist can discuss the pros and cons of these medications and alternative treatment options in more detail. Autoimmune-Induced Hearing Loss Patients with rheumatoid arthritis have an overactive immune system that can attack the delicate structure of the inner ear. This causes a condition known as autoimmune inner ear disease, which triggers inflammation and makes it difficult to hear all or certain types of sound clearly. In addition to hearing loss, the inflammation caused by this condition can leave you feeling dizzy and you may also experience ringing in your ears. Treatment Options It’s not currently possible to recover hearing you’ve already lost due to ototoxic medication or an overactive immune system, but there are steps you can take to maximise your current level of hearing and prevent further damage. Your rheumatologist can take a blood sample to check whether your current medication needs to be reviewed. If the prescribed dose is not dampening down your immune system enough, inflammation can occur. Changing your immunosuppressant medication or taking a course of corticosteroids can bring autoimmune-induced hearing loss under control. If a hearing test shows your cochlea is only partially damaged, you’ll be able to use a hearing aid to improve the range of sounds you can hear clearly. For example, the hearing aid can be programmed to convert high-frequency sounds to lower frequencies. Once these sounds are converted, the tiny cells in your cochlea can then process them and transmit them to your brain. A severely damaged cochlea can be bypassed with a cochlear implant. This device is surgically implanted on your temporal bone and sends sound signals directly to your brain from an external microphone. Cochlear implants improve both volume and range of sounds you can hear. If you’d like to discuss the impact of rheumatoid arthritis on your hearing, or if you’ve experienced any deterioration of your hearing, schedule an appointment with an audiologist as soon as...

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Carotid Artery Disease: Everything You Need to Know

Posted by on Mar 21, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Carotid Artery Disease: Everything You Need to Know

Carotid artery disease is extremely serious, often causing strokes that prove to be either life-changing or fatal. Unfortunately, it isn’t a disease that is understood by most of the general population. Here’s a quick overview of the disease, plus its risk factors and symptoms. What are Carotid Arteries? If you place your fingers on each side of your neck, just below the jaw, you should be able to feel blood pulsing through your carotid arteries. It is these two large blood vessels that are responsible for providing oxygenated blood to the front of your brain – to the very centres involved in speech, critical thinking, and motor function. What is Carotid Artery Disease? Carotid artery disease, also referred to as carotid artery stenosis, can be thought of as a type of atherosclerosis. This means that the arteries have become hardened over time thanks to a build-up of plaque. When this occurs, the flow of blood is impeded; clots are more likely to occur, and arteries may become completely blocked. Since the carotid arteries are so important, stenosis is extremely serious. Developing carotid artery disease can put you at increased risk of having a stroke, and that could create irreparable damage to the brain. What are the Risk Factors of Carotid Artery Disease? A family history of coronary artery disease, carotid artery disease, or general atherosclerosis is an important risk factor, but lifestyle changes are often the central cause that leads to the development of this issue. These lifestyle factors include smoking, which helps harden the walls of your arteries, a poor diet, which creates more fatty substances that develop into plaque, and a lack of exercise. You will also find yourself at increased risk if you suffer from obesity or diabetes, or are a senior citizen. What are the Symptoms of Carotid Artery Disease? Despite its severity, carotid artery disease rarely presents noticeable symptoms until a carotid artery has become almost entirely blocked, in which case a patient is likely to experience a stroke. However, you may experience a transient ischemic attack (TIA), often thought of as a ‘mini-stroke’. A TIA is caused by a clot, but it differs from a stroke in that the clot is only temporary; most TIAs will last only around one minute. TIA signs include: Sudden Weakness or Paralysis Slurred Speech Dizziness Double Vision Loss of Coordination Intense Headache Since these symptoms pass extremely quickly, they are often ignored. Unfortunately, they are only early warning signs of an actual stroke, so they need to be taken seriously. For more information, contact a vascular surgeon in your...

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A Comparison Between Dental Implants and Dental Fixed Bridges

Posted by on Feb 26, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on A Comparison Between Dental Implants and Dental Fixed Bridges

If you have recently lost some teeth, you may be wondering what your options are concerning the missing space in your smile. Read on and learn about two common tooth restoration options (dental implants and dental fixed bridges) in case you have recently lost some teeth. Use this information to select the most appropriate restoration method for your needs. Dental Implants A dental implant is a replacement for the root of a natural tooth. The implant is anchored onto the bone of your jaw during a surgical procedure. Once the bone and the implant fuse, a crown that resembles your natural teeth is placed on top of the implant. Dental implants have several advantages. One, they do not have any effect on the nearby teeth. Secondly, they are not prone to decay in the same way as natural dental roots that have been affected by dental diseases such as gingivitis. The implant is also very durable because it is firmly anchored in the jawbone. However, dental implants also have shortcomings. First, the process of installing the implant is time consuming. For example, the implant must be left to fuse with the bone before the crown is placed on it. This wait time varies from one individual to another due to factors like the health of the bone tissue onto which the implant has been anchored. It is also relatively expensive because it involves paying a surgeon to conduct the surgical procedure by which the implant is inserted into the jawbone. Dental implants are ideal for people who want a long lasting dental restoration method. Dental Fixed Bridges This restoration is attached to the nearby teeth so that the prosthesis covers the gap left by the missing tooth. The surrounding teeth serve the same role as bridge anchors driven into the ground on the two sides of a river. The dental fixed bridge has three crowns; two crowns cover the nearby natural teeth, while the third crown takes the place of the missing tooth. Dental bridges are less expensive when compared to implants. Bridges also take less time to be installed. However, bridges require enamel to be scraped from nearby teeth so that space can be created for the bridge. This can predispose you to suffering from root canal diseases. If the surrounding teeth had other dental treatments done (such as crown placement), those treatments have to be redone in order to accommodate the dental fixed bridge. The bridges have a shorter lifespan when compared to implants. Dental fixed bridges are suitable for people who have been found to be unsuitable for other restoration options such as implants due to a variety of factors (such as those whose jawbones are likely to fuse poorly with implants). Talk to your cosmetic dentist before you make a final choice. That specialist will weigh all the risk factors and the benefits of each option in reference to your specific situation before recommending a particular set of options that you can choose...

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Natural Solutions For Sleep Apnoea

Posted by on Feb 16, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Natural Solutions For Sleep Apnoea

Sleep apnoea is a frightening sleep disorder that causes the sufferer to stop breathing for short periods while they sleep.  The condition causes the muscles of the throat to collapse, constricting the airways and consequently depriving the brain of oxygen.  The condition can predispose sufferers to serious complications like stroke, diabetes and heart disease.  People who suffer from sleep apnoea are usually prescribed a CPAP machine, which delivers oxygen via a cumbersome mask throughout the night.  However, there are some natural solutions that can help in the management of sleep apnoea.  Read on to find out more.    Weight loss Most people who suffer from sleep apnoea are overweight.  A study carried out by the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden showed that 20 per cent of research subjects, who lost a significant amount of weight, were completely cured of their sleep apnoea, and others noted a marked reduction in symptoms.  Taking more exercise during a weight-loss programme also helps to tone up the muscles, making throat collapse less likely.  Sleeping position If you sleep on your back, your throat muscles are more likely to close up and your tongue is more likely to fall back into your windpipe.  Simply by changing your sleeping position so that you sleep on your side, you can reduce the potential trigger for sleep apnoea episodes. Using too many pillows in bed can push your chin into your chest, effectively closing up your airways.  Try sleeping with fewer pillows and allowing your neck to lie at a more natural angle to allow you to breathe more easily. Minerals and vitamins Neurologist and sleep specialist, Dr Stasha Gominak, maintains that deficiencies in vitamin ‘D’ and vitamin ‘C’ can cause problems with sleep patterns.  Increasing vitamin ‘D’ consumption in some of her patients found that the symptoms of sleep apnoea were eliminated completely or significantly reduced. Try eating more foods that are rich in vitamin ‘D’, such as fish, cheese, and eggs, and make sure that your diet includes plenty of fresh citrus fruits and vegetables for extra vitamin ‘C’. Herbal remedies There are a number of herbs that can help with sleep problems including sleep apnoea and narcolepsy.   Lavender and California poppy are particularly noted to be very effective. Lavender can be introduced to your bedroom as a scented pillow, oil room diffuser, or sheet spray.  California poppy can be used as a tincture, powder or diffusion.  Both these herbal remedies are readily available through good natural food stores. In conclusion Sleep apnoea is a frightening disorder, and correcting the underlying cause through using a natural sleep apnoea solution as described above could change your life.  However, before you undertake any form of self-treatment, always discuss your condition with a medical professional and continue taking any drugs you have been...

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Channel Your Inner Sports Physiotherapist To Prevent Injuries To The Beginner Runner

Posted by on Jan 25, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Channel Your Inner Sports Physiotherapist To Prevent Injuries To The Beginner Runner

New year, new you. That’s the mantra for thousands of Australians each year when they decide it’s hip to get fit! Running is one of the cheapest exercises you can choose to boost your exercising endeavours. All you need is a new pair of shoes and the motivation to get those legs out the front door. The problem is, your over-enthusiastic attitude could send you straight to the injury bench if you do not follow two rules designed to protect newbie runners.  Follow The 10% Rule While your mind may be willing to tackle a 10 km marathon your first week as a runner, your body is definitely not up to the task. You need to start slowly, and then increase the number of weekly kilometres you run by 10% each week. Start off with a combination of running and walking for the first week. For example, you could run for one minute, walk for two minutes, and then repeat this until you have been moving for 30 minutes. Make a note of how far you travel in that 30 minute period by using a wrist pedometer device, or an app on your smartphone. This way you know how much to increase it by the following week. Allow For Recovery Time Putting your body under too much pressure straight away is going to put a strain on your muscles and joints that could lead to injuries. There are two different ways you need to allow for recovery time during your new running regime: The warm down period after every run is a vital recovery time for your body. You must include 10 minutes of stretch time after each run to allow lactic acid to drain away from your muscles. Stretches should cover your lower back, legs. and hips. If you do not do this, the acid gets trapped when the muscles constrict back into shape, and this leads to a world of pain the next morning. When you first start running, you should only run every other day for the first month. On the alternate days, you can take a leisurely walk, and you should allow for one total rest day each week. This gives your body the chance to slowly get used to this new pressure you are placing on it. Don’t be in too much of a rush when it comes to getting your running up to a speed you want to brag about and make sure you get help from a sports physiotherapist the minute you notice any recurring niggles or aches in your body. A physiotherapist (such as one from Sportswise Physiotherapy) can help you make corrections to your running technique so you can continue your new exercise mantra for the whole year, rather than just only for the first...

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