Oral and Dental Health in Seven Steps

Oral and Dental Health in Seven Steps

Information Resources

By Evelyn Cunico, MA, MS/LIS
Posted August 22, 2018

Oral Health Definition

Oral Health is the health of your mouth, including teeth, gums, throat, and the bones around the mouth. The phrases Oral Health and Dental Health are sometimes used interchangeably.

Tooth Decay Prevalence

In 2011 to 2014, the percent of U.S. children aged 5 to 19 years with untreated dental caries (decay) was nearly 20 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The percent of adults aged 20 to 44 with untreated dental caries was more than 30 percent.

Healthy teeth and a healthy mouth are signs of a person’s overall health. Healthy teeth are a key way to monitor progress toward health promotion goals set by Healthy People 2020, which outlines objectives for improving the health of all Americans.

Oral Health Reports

In May 2000, the Office of the Surgeon General developed a Report titled, Oral Health in America. The Report discussed how lifestyle behaviors, such as, excessive alcohol use, poor dietary choices, and tobacco use affect oral health and general well-being.

Since the Oral Health in America Report 20 years ago, oral health workforce models and care delivery systems have evolved.

On July 27, 2018, the National Institutes of Health published a Notice in The Federal Register, The Daily Journal of the United States Government, to Announce the Commission of a Surgeon General’s Report on Oral Health. The updated report is intended to accomplish the following goals:

  • Underscore the critical nature of poor oral health as a public health issue
  • Provide a comprehensive review of the importance of oral health throughout life
  • Describe important contemporary issues affecting oral health and the promise of science to transform the oral health of the nation
  • Outline a vision for future directions
  • Educate, encourage, and call upon all Americans to take action

Seven Steps to Oral and Dental Health

  • Avoid tobacco. Do not smoke or chew tobacco.
  • Brush your teeth twice a day. Use fluoride toothpaste. Replace your toothbrush every four months. If the bristles are frayed, replace your toothbrush right away.
  • Clean between your teeth every day. Use floss or another type of dental cleaner.
  • Drink water. Water keeps the mouth clean by washing away leftover food. If possible, drink water from the tap. Usually, tap water is fluoridated, so it helps to prevent tooth decay.
  • Eat healthy food. Eggs, fish, meat, milk, and poultry are nutritious foods that help to strengthen teeth. Fruits and vegetables are high in fiber and water, which help to clean teeth. Nuts contain protein and minerals that are important for overall health.
  • Limit alcohol. Alcohol should be limited to no more than one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men and only for persons of legal drinking age, according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020.
  • Make a habit of regular dental visits. If there is pain, contact a dentist or oral health professional as soon as possible.

For more information, see the following Selected Information Resources.

Disclaimer: The information presented in this blog should not replace the medical advice of your doctor. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any disease, illness, or other health condition without first consulting with your medical doctor.

Selected Information Resources

Academy of General Dentistry. Glossary of Dental Terms.
Summary Note: Defines dental terms in plain language.
(Accessed 18 August 2018)

American Dental Association. Mouth Healthy. Four Reasons Water is the Best Beverage for Your Teeth.
Summary Note: Common sense reasons for drinking water as the beverage of first choice.
(Accessed 20 August 2018)

American Dental Association. Mouth Healthy. Good Foods for Dental Health. Slide Show
Summary Note: Five easy-to-read slides help you to select foods for healthy teeth.
(Accessed 18 August 2018)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Infection Control. The Use and Handling of Toothbrushes.
Summary Note: Tips on how toothbrushes should be cared for and how toothbrushes should be handled in group settings.
(Accessed 18 August 2018)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Center for Health Statistics. FastStats. Oral and Dental Health.
Summary Note: Statistical data for U.S. adults and children. Includes related links on National Health Interview Survey, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, and National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.
(Accessed 19 August 2018)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Oral Health in America: Summary of the Surgeon General’s Report. May 2000.
Summary Note: Report lists Major Findings and Framework for Action. General Health depends, in part, on the health of teeth. Lifestyle behaviors, such as, excessive alcohol use, poor dietary choices, and tobacco use affect oral health and general well-being.
(Accessed 19 August 2018)

Mayo Clinic. Healthy Lifestyle. Adult Health. Oral Health.
Summary Note: Facts about how the health of gums, mouth, and teeth can affect your general health.
(Accessed 19 August 2018)

National Institutes of Health. National Archives. The Federal Register. The Daily Journal of the United States Government. A Notice by the National Institutes of Health on July 27, 2018 to Announce the Commission of a Surgeon General’s Report on Oral Health.
Summary Note: The Report will document progress in oral health in the 20 years since the 2000 Surgeon General’s Report on Oral Health.
(Accessed 19 August 2018)

National Institutes of Health. National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.
Summary Note: Primary NIH organization for research on Dental Health.
(Accessed 18 August 2018)

Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Healthy People 2020. Oral Health.
Summary Note: Summarizes major improvements in public oral health over the past 50 years. Discusses challenges, such as,, how to increase social awareness and hot to reduce disparities in community access. Includes section on Understanding Oral Health.
(Accessed 21 August 2018)

Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Take Care of Your Teeth and Gums.
Summary Note: Basic approaches for brushing and flossing. Includes diagrams. Suggests ways to reduce anxiety during dental visits.
(Accessed 18 August 2018)

Office on Women’s Health. Oral Health.
Summary Note: Defines Oral Health. Includes questions and answers related to the unique oral health concerns of women.
(Accessed 21 August 2018)

U.S. Department of Agriculture. Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020. Eighth Edition. Key Recommendations.
Summary Note: The Dietary Guidelines is the cornerstone of Federal nutrition policy and nutrition education activities.
(Accessed 22 August 2018)

U.S. Department of Agriculture. Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020. Eighth Edition. Appendix 9. Alcohol.
Summary Note: Section on Alcohol describes types of beverages that are equivalent to one alcoholic drink.
(Accessed 22 August 2018)

U.S. National Library of Medicine. MedlinePlus. Child Dental Health.
Summary Note: Advice for parents and youth on how to take care of teeth starting in childhood. Links to Federal and other reliable information sources.
(Accessed 18 August 2018)

U.S. National Library of Medicine. MedlinePlus. Dental Health. Also called: Oral Health.
Summary Note: MedlinePlus Topic page on Dental Health. Includes section titled, Start Here. Includes sections for Men, Women, and Seniors. Highlights Patient Handouts from online Medical Encyclopedia.
(Accessed 19 August 2018)

U.S. National Library of Medicine. MedlinePlus. Gum Disease. Also called: Periodontal Disease.
Summary Note: Links to Federal and other reliable information sources on Gum Disease Prevention and Risk Factors. Includes llinks to Patient Handouts.
(Accessed 19 August 2018)

U.S. National Library of Medicine. MedlinePlus. Tooth Decay. Also called: Cavities, Dental Caries.
Summary Note: MedlinePlus Topic page on Tooth Decay. Discusses Treatments and Therapies. Categories include Children and Older Adults. Includes links on How to Find a Dentist.
(Accessed 19 August 2018)

U.S. National Library of Medicine. MedlinePlus. Tooth Disorders.
Summary Note: Links to Federal and other reliable information sources on tooth disorders that cause ongoing pain or that may need surgery. Includes list of Patient Handouts from Medical Encyclopedia.
(Accessed 19 August 2018)

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Camping Health and Safety Tips

Camping Health and Safety Tips

Information Resources

By Evelyn Cunico, MA, MS/LIS
Posted July 27, 2018

Summer camping is one way to enjoy the outdoors. Consider these tips for a healthy and safe camping experience.

Prepare in Advance of Your Camping Trip

  • Several weeks or months before your camping trip, ask your medical doctor which vaccinations are recommended for your age. If needed, make a medical appointment to be vaccinated.
  • Before you leave, tell family and friends your plans.
  • Pack a first-aid kit.
  • Pack batteries, blankets, clothes, a compass or a global positioning system (GPS) and a map, a flashlight, medications, food including healthy snacks, and safe drinking water.
  • Take sunscreen with a sun protection factor of at least 15 (SPF 15). Plan to wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses. For insect repellent, look for a product with 20 percent or more of DEET.
  • Learn about security at your camp location. Know what to do when toilets at the camp site are not available. Check the weather reports.
  • Take the name and phone number of the appropriate contact person at the camp to report issues that may come up.
  • When you return home, check for dehydration, skin rashes, ticks, or other problems. If needed, see a medical doctor as soon as possible.

Plan for Safe Physical Activities

  • To stay active during your camping trip, include biking, hiking, swimming, or walking.
  • Never hike or swim alone.
  • Watch your children closely.
  • Know your physical limits. Take steps to avoid injury during activities.
  • Take protective gear, such as, helmets, life jackets, and sturdy shoes.
  • Avoid poisonous plants, such as, poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac.
  • To find how much physical activity you need, see the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website titled, Physical Activity Basics

For more information, see the following Selected Information Resources.

Disclaimer: The information presented in this blog should not replace the medical advice of your doctor. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any disease, illness, or other health condition without first consulting with your medical doctor.

Selected Information Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Camping Health and Safety Tips and Checklist
Summary Note: Checklist to prepare for family camping trips. Discusses topics such as, prevention of temperature-related illness, vaccination of adults and children, and protection of family pets.
(Accessed 24 July 2018)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Camping, Hiking, Travel.
Summary Note: Focuses on Safe Drinking Water, Safe Recreational Water, Sanitation, and Water-Related Injuries.
(Accessed 24 July 2018)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Physical Activity Basics. How Much Physical Activity Do You Need?
Summary Note: Discusses Physical Activity Guidelines for different ages. Includes links to videos and personal Success Stories of children and adults.
(Accessed 26 July 2018)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Prevention. Insect Repellent Use and Safety.
Summary Note: Discusses how to prevent mosquito bites. Detailed tips for everyone, including babies and children. Includes suggestions on how to use insect repellents. Offers steps to control mosquitoes inside your living space and outdoors.
(Accessed 24 July 2018)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Skin Cancer Awareness.
Summary Note: Lists Fast Facts about Skin Cancer. Includes links to photo gallery of persons using sun protection and how to share on social media.

NIH MedlinePlus the Magazine. Tips for Staying Healthy and Safe this Summer. Summer 2018 Issue: Volume 14 Number 2 page 6-7.
Summary Note: Tips include how to avoid rashes from poison ivy, oak, and sumac
(Accessed 24 July 2018)

University of Maine. Cooperative Extension Publications. Bulletin Number 4336, Best Ways to Wash Fruits and Vegetables
Summary Note: Bulletin developed by The University of Maine Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, and Cooperative Extension. Ways to keep fresh fruits and vegetables safe by washing and refrigerating.
(Accessed 26 July 2018)

 

 

 

 

 

Telehealth

Telehealth

Information Resources

By Evelyn Cunico, MA, MS/LIS
Posted June 28, 2018

What Is Telehealth?

Telehealth is part of the broad field of Health Internet Technology (Health IT). Specifically, Telehealth is the use of communications technologies that provide health care from a distance.

Terms often used interchangeably with Telehealth include, Connected Health, Electronic Health (e-health), Mobile Health (m-health), and Telemedicine.

What Are Benefits of Telehealth Technologies?

  • Mobile Health (m-Health) is a technology that uses your mobile device to talk with or text your provider. You can use health apps to track your blood sugar levels, or diet and exercise results, and then share information with your medical providers.
  • Online Patient Portals allow you to e-mail your medical doctor, request prescription refills, schedule appointments, and see your test results. Medical providers must use computer software that keeps your health records more secure than if you used an e-mail account that is outside of an Online Patient Portal.
  • Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) is a technology that monitors your health from your home. For example, in diabetes management, the real-time transmission of blood glucose and blood pressure readings enables immediate alerts for patients and healthcare providers, according to the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering.

What Are Drawbacks of Telehealth Technologies?

  • Computer-driven decision-making might not be the best, if you have a complex medical history.
  • Essential information from your medical history may not be considered.
  • Telehealth services do not allow for easy doctor-patient decision-making about possible alternative treatments.
  • Virtual patient visits cannot include an in-person evaluation, without which an accurate diagnosis might not be possible.

Does Health Insurance Pay for Telehealth Services?

Not all health insurance companies pay for all telehealth services. Also, services may be limited for persons with Medicare or Medicaid. In addition, states have different standards for services that they will cover. Always check with your insurance company to be sure that Telehealth services will be covered.

More Information

For more information on Telehealth, see the Selected Information Resources that follow this blog post. You may also search online or ask a Reference Librarian at your local Public Library.

Disclaimer: The information presented in this blog should not replace the medical advice of your doctor. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any disease, illness, or other health condition without first consulting with your medical doctor or other healthcare provider.

Selected Information Resources

American Health Information Management Association. What Is a Personal Health Record (PHR)?
Summary Note: Describes how you can compile, organize, and maintain your own Personal Health Record to help manage your health. Explains the difference between a Medical Record and a Personal Health Record.
(Accessed 23 June 2018)

American Telemedicine Association. Telemedicine glossary.
Summary Note: Alphabetical list defines more than 100 items.
(Accessed 23 June 2018)

Center for Connected Health Policy. Telehealth Medicaid and State Policy.
Summary Note: The Center for Connected Health Policy (CCHP) is a program of the Public Health Institute. CCHP was created in 2008 by the California Health Care Foundation. The National Telehealth Policy Resource Center project is made possible by the Office for the Advancement of Telehealth, Health Resources and Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The CCHP annual survey and analysis of state Telehealth laws and reimbursement policies shows that no two states approach Telehealth in the same way.
(Accessed 26 June 2018)

Feltes, Jordan, Michael Push, and Avik Som. Messaging System Helps Caregivers Keep Tabs on Growing Number of Patients with Substance Use Disorder. New England Journal of Medicine Catalyst. April 17, 2018.
Summary Note: Describes a patient outreach automated text and phone call based mobile messaging system that integrates into a community substance abuse recovery program. Explains how the texting program works and specifies time and dollars saved.
(Accessed 23 June 2018)

HealthIT dot gov.
Summary Note: Official website of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC). Information for patients and healthcare providers about how health information technology can provide privacy and security.
(Accessed 23 June 2018)

HealthyPeople dot gov. HealthyPeople 2020. Health Communication and Health Information Technology. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.
Summary Note: Provides science-based ten-year objectives for improving the health of Americans through health communication strategies and health information technology.
(Accessed 23 June 2018)

Mayo Clinic. Healthy Lifestyle. Consumer Health. Telehealth: Technology Meets Healthcare. See How Technology Can Improve Your Health Care.
Summary Note: discusses a variety of Telehealth tools to help you manage your healthcare. Provides examples of how you might use remote services, such as mobile phones, nursing call centers, online patient portals, and Personal Health Records.
(Accessed 23 June 2018)

National Institutes of Health. National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB). Science Education. Telehealth.
Summary Note: Defines types of Telehealth technologies and how they are improving medical care now. Also discusses new devices that NIBIB-funded researchers are developing in the area of Telehealth.
(Accessed 23 June 2018)

National Institutes of Health. U.S. National Library of Medicine. MedlinePlus. Medical Encyclopedia. Telehealth.
Summary Note: Medical Encyclopedia entry on Telehealth includes sections on How to Use Telehealth, Benefit of Telehealth, and Telehealth and Insurance.
(Accessed 23 June 2018)

Sauerwein, Kristina. Text Messaging Tool May Help Fight Opioid Epidemic. News Release. April 17, 2018. Washington State University School of Medicine in St. Louis.
Summary Note: News Release discusses article by Jordan Feltes and other authors cited in this list of Selected Information Resources. Describes how a new automated text messaging service may curb opioid abuse and reduce likelihood of relapse.
(Accessed 23 June 2018)

 

 

 

 

Infectious Disease Prevention: Daily Habits a Strong Defense

Infectious Disease Prevention: Daily Habits a Strong Defense

Information Resources

By Evelyn Cunico, MA, MS/LIS
Posted May 30, 2018

Background

In the United States, where vaccination rates are high, and many contagious diseases have been declared eliminated, you may believe that you or your children do not need to be vaccinated.

However, there is no reliable way to know whether you or your children may come into contact with someone who has not been vaccinated, particularly now that many people travel globally.

Vaccines work by protecting the body before disease strikes. So, the best time to immunize yourself and your children is when you are healthy. Consider talking with your doctor about how to schedule vaccinations as part of your healthy lifestyle habits.

Daily Habits

Your daily habits provide some of the strongest defenses against infectious diseases, according to the National Academy of Sciences. Following are some of the actions you can take to protect yourself.

  • Keep immunizations up to date. See the Immunization Schedules on the website of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • Wash your hands often. Wash with regular soap and water for at least 20 seconds, then rinse with running water, then dry thoroughly. This daily habit is the most important way to prevent spreading disease.
  • Prepare and handle food carefully. See, Check Your Steps, on the Food Safety dot Gov website. Follow the four steps, Clean, Separate, Cook, and Chill, to keep your family safe from food poisoning.
  • Use antibiotics only for infections that are caused by bacteria. Viral infections cannot be treated with antibiotics.
  • Outdoors, avoid insect bites by using insect repellent and wearing long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and a hat.
  • Every day, eat well, get six to eight hours of sleep, exercise for 30 minutes, and avoid tobacco and illegal drug use.

For more information, see the Selected Information Resources that follow this blog post.

Disclaimer: The information presented in this blog should not replace the medical advice of your doctor. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any disease, illness, or other health condition without first consulting with your medical doctor or other healthcare provider.

Selected Information Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About.
Summary Note: Describes CDC roles, such as finding out what makes people sick and spotlighting the most effective ways to prevent chronic and infectious diseases.
(Accessed 28 May 2018)

Centers for Control and Prevention. Children, Ages 4 to 11, Diseases and Conditions.
Summary Note: Learn about diseases and conditions that could affect your child.
(Accessed 30 May 2018)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Immunization Schedules.
Summary Note: Website serves two audiences, For Health Care Professionals and For Parents and Adults. The 2018 Recommended Immunization Schedules are categorized by, For Children Birth to 6 Years, For Persons 7 Years to 18 years, and For Adults 19 Years and Older.
(Accessed 29 May 2018)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Ten Reasons to Get Vaccinated.
Summary Note: CDC has selected ten reasons, among many, to get vaccinated. Website includes a Vaccination Quiz, to find which vaccinations are best for you.
(Accessed 30 May 2018)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Vaccine-Preventable Adult Diseases.
Summary Note: Learn about Serious Diseases that Can Be Prevented by Vaccines.
(Accessed 30 May 2018)

National Academy of Sciences and National Institutes of Health. U.S. National Library of Medicine. National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). What You Need to Know About Infectious Disease. Prevention and Treatment.
Summary Note: Discusses Vaccines and Medicines, such as Antibiotics and Antivirals. Under the section titled, Microbe Awareness, provides a list of Daily Habits that you can practice as strong defenses against infectious diseases.
(Accessed 29 May 2018)

National Institutes of Health. U.S. National Library of Medicine. MedlinePlus. Immunization. Also called, Vaccination.
Summary Note: MedlinePlus topic page defines immunity and why vaccines are important for children and adults. Includes links to more than 40 Federal websites under topics, such as, Ten Reasons to Get Vaccinated, Videos and Tutorials, Find an Expert, and Patient Handouts.
(Accessed 29 May 2018)

National Institutes of Health. U.S. National Library of Medicine. MedlinePlus. Infection Control
Summary Note: Links to resources for healthcare workers and for patients and visitors in hospital and dental settings. Resource link topics are general, such as, Patient Safety, and specific, such as, Top 9 Ways to Reduce the Risk of Pneumonia If You or a Loved One is Hospitalized. Some links are in Spanish.
(Accessed 29 May 2018)

National Institutes of Health. U.S. National Library of Medicine. MedlinePlus. Infectious Diseases. Also called, Communicable Diseases.
Summary Note: Lists ways that you can get an infectious disease. Describes Four Main Types of Germs. Suggests Steps You Can Take to Prevent Infectious Diseases. Under category titled, Children, includes PDF linked resource titled, Talking with Children: Tips for Caregivers, Parents, and Teachers during Infectious Disease Outbreaks.
(Accessed 29 May 2018)

Nemours Foundation. KidsHealth. Frequently Asked Questions about Immunizations.
Summary Note: Easy-to-Read list of more than 15 questions and answers, such as, What do vaccines do? Will the vaccine give someone the disease it is supposed to prevent? Why should I have my child immunized if all the other kids in school are immunized? Answers have been reviewed by a medical doctor.
(Accessed 29 May 2018)

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Food Safety dot Gov. Check Your Steps.
Summary Note: Describes Four Steps to Food Safety: Clean, Separate, Cook, and Chill.
(Accessed 30 May 2018)

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Healthy People 2020 Immunization and Infectious Diseases.
Summary Note: National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) and other Federal departments fund the HealthyPeople 2020 initiative, which gathers statistics and projects trends. The U.S. Health System disease management trend is shifting from a focus on disease treatment to disease prevention.
(Accessed 29 May 2018)

 

 

Be Antibiotics Aware, Says CDC

Be Antibiotics Aware, Says CDC

Information Resources

By Evelyn Cunico, MA, MS/LIS
Posted April 23, 2018

Definition

Antibiotics are medicines that fight bacterial infections.

Antibiotics can be effective against bacterial infections, such as, strep throat and some types of pneumonia, diarrhetic diseases, and ear infections, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

However, antibiotics do not work at all against viruses, such as, viruses that cause colds or flu, cautions the CDC.

Antibiotic Prescribing and Use

At least 80 million antibiotic prescriptions each year are unnecessary, according to the CDC.

Used properly, antibiotics can save lives.

But the overuse and misuse of antibiotics helps to create drug-resistant bacteria.

For example, using antibiotics when they are not necessary can lead to bacteria that change. The bacteria become able to resist the effects of an antibiotic.

When antibiotics are overused, certain bacteria become resistant to even the most powerful antibiotics. This resistance is called, bacterial resistance or antibiotic resistance.

Dangers of Drug-resistant Bacteria

Each year, drug-resistant bacteria infect more than 2 million people nationwide and kill at least 23,000, according to the CDC.

Drug-resistant forms of tuberculosis, gonorrhea, and staph infections, that is, skin infections, are just a few of the dangers.

Be Antibiotics Aware

Be Antibiotics Aware, formerly called, Get Smart about Antibiotics, is a CDC national educational effort to help fight antibiotic resistance and to improve antibiotic prescribing and use.

The CDC educational effort for appropriate Antibiotic Prescribing and Use targets the following areas:

  • Antibiotic Prescribing and Use in Doctors’ Offices and Clinics
  • Antibiotic Prescribing and Use in Hospitals and Long-Term Care
  • Antibiotic Prescribing and Use on the Farm
  • U.S. Antibiotic Awareness Week – 2018 November 12-18

Help to Prevent the Spread of Germs

Here are some tips to prevent the spread of germs and to use antibiotics properly.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water.
  • Do not share personal items, such as, towels or razors.
  • If you are sick, talk openly with your doctor about your symptoms. Say to your doctor, Do I need an antibiotic or another type of treatment?
  • Do not pressure your doctor to prescribe an antibiotic.
  • If antibiotics are needed, use them only as directed. For example, take them for the length of time that your doctor says to take them, not for a shorter or longer length of time.
  • Do not save the antibiotic for another illness, or for another person. The antibiotic may not be the correct antibiotic or would not be a full course of treatment.
  • Talk with your doctor or nurse about how to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Ask your doctor or nurse about a proper diet, exercise, and good hygiene.

For more information, see the Selected Information Resources that follow this blog post.

Disclaimer: The information presented in this blog should not replace the medical advice of your doctor. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any disease, illness, or other health condition without first consulting with your medical doctor or other healthcare provider.

Selected Information Resources

Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics. General Background: When and How to Take Antibiotics.
Summary Note: APUA programs are funded through multi-year contracts and grants, professional societies, and major foundations, along with unrestricted grants from private corporations. Website explains that antibiotics are effective against bacteria, not viruses. References on Antibiotic Resistance include Articles, Books, and the Web.
(Accessed 20 April 2018)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Antibiotic Prescribing and Use. Be Antibiotics Aware.
Summary Note: Describes CDC national educational effort, called, Be Antibiotics Aware: Smart Use, Best Care. Goal is to help fight antibiotic resistance and improve antibiotic prescribing and use. Links to Antibiotic Prescribing and Use in Doctors’ Offices, in Hospitals and Long-Term Care Facilities, and on the Farm.
(Accessed 20 April 2018)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Antibiotic Prescribing and Use in Doctors’ Offices. Common Illnesses.
Summary Note: Learn more about when antibiotics are and are not needed for several common infections.
(Accessed 20 April 2018)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Antibiotic Resistance. What CDC is Doing: AR Solutions Initiative.
Summary Note: Discusses how the CDC is Meeting National Goals to Prevent Drug-resistant Infections. Includes U.S. Congressional appropriation numbers for fiscal years 2016 and 2017.
(Accessed 20 April 2018)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Antibiotic Resistance Questions and Answers.
Summary Note: Answers Questions about Bacteria, Viruses, and Antibiotics. Gives examples of viral infections that should not be treated with antibiotics. Suggests what you can do, to help to prevent Antibiotic Resistance. Includes questions and answers about Antimicrobial Cleaning Agents, Acne Medication, and Probiotics.
(Accessed 20 April 2018)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. How to Feel Better
Summary Note: Offers suggestions for what you or your child can do, to relieve some symptoms and feel better, while a viral illness runs its course. Includes tips to help relieve a sore throat, earache pain, runny nose, sinus pain, or cough.
(Accessed 20 April 2018)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. U.S. Antibiotic Awareness Week.
Summary Note: Describes an annual one-week observance to raise awareness of the threat of antibiotic resistance and the importance of antibiotic prescribing and use.
(Accessed 20 April 2018)

Mayo Clinic. Healthy Lifestyle. Consumer Health. Find Out How Overuse of Antibiotics Has Increased the Number of Medication-Resistant Germs–and What You  Can Do to Help Stop this Health Threat.
Summary Note: Explains how the general public, doctors, and hospitals all play a role in ensuring proper use of medications and minimizing the development of antibiotic resistance. Encourages you to use antibiotics only as prescribed by your doctor. Cautions against pressuring your doctor to give you an antibiotic prescription.
(Accessed 20 April 2018)

Nemours Foundation. KidsHealth. The Danger of Antibiotic Overuse.
Summary Note: Website for parents. Defines the difference between Bacteria and Viruses. Explains that, because of antibiotic overuse, certain bacteria have become resistant, endangering public health. Offers tips on how to take antibiotics safely.
(Accessed 20 April 2018)

U.S. National Library of Medicine. MedlinePlus. Antibiotic Resistance.
Summary Note: MedlinePlus topic page. Defines antibiotics as medicines that fight bacterial infections. Includes Federal Government links under categories, such as, Diagnosis and Tests, Prevention and Risk Factors, Treatments and Therapies, Videos and Tutorials, Statistics and Research, Journal Articles, and Patient Handouts.
(Accessed 20 April 2018)

 

Manage High Blood Pressure for Good Health

Manage High Blood Pressure for Good Health

Information Resources

By Evelyn Cunico, MA, MS/LIS
Posted March 29, 2018

Background

About one in three adults in the U.S. has high blood pressure, but many adults do not realize it, according to the National Institutes of Health.

High blood pressure usually has no warning signs. Yet, left untreated, high blood pressure can lead to heart attack or stroke. High blood pressure also can damage the brain, kidneys, or muscles.

It is important that you talk with your medical doctor or other healthcare provider to find healthy actions that can prevent high blood pressure from damaging your health.

Definitions

Blood pressure is the force of your blood pushing against the walls of your arteries. Your arteries are blood vessels that carry blood from the heart to other places in your body.

Each time that your heart beats, it pumps blood into the arteries. Your blood pressure is highest when your heart beats, pumping the blood. This is called, systolic pressure.

When your heart is at rest, between beats, your blood pressure falls. This is called, diastolic pressure.

Normal blood pressure means that your systolic pressure is less than 120 and your diastolic pressure is less than 80. Usually, the systolic number in your medical record is recorded before or above the diastolic number.

How to Manage High Blood Pressure

  • Do not smoke. Cigarette smoking raises your blood pressure and puts you at higher risk for heart attack and stroke. If you do not smoke, do not start. If you do smoke, talk with your medical doctor, nurse, or other health care provider for help in finding the best way for you to quit.
  • Eat a healthy diet. Talk with your medical doctor about the DASH Diet. DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. The DASH Diet, developed in part by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, is designed to help prevent or treat high blood pressure.
  • Exercise daily. Aim for 30 minutes of daily exercise. Before starting to exercise, talk with your doctor about the possibility of aerobic exercise, such as brisk walking, in which your heart beats harder and you use more oxygen than usual.
  • Limit alcohol. Drinking too much alcohol can raise your blood pressure and also increase calories. Men should have no more than two drinks per day. Women should have no more than one drink per day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • Control weight. Maintaining a healthy weight for your body frame can help manage high blood pressure and reduce your risk for other health conditions, such as heart disease or stroke.
  • Relax. Learning how to relax and manage stress can improve your emotional and physical health and lower high blood pressure. Stress management techniques include exercising, focusing on something peaceful, listening to calming music, and meditating.

For more information, see the Selected Information Resources that follow this blog post.

Disclaimer: The information presented in this blog should not replace the medical advice of your doctor. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any disease, illness, or other health condition without first consulting with your medical doctor or other healthcare provider.

Selected Information Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Preventing High Blood Pressure.
Summary Note: Describes a healthy lifestyle in terms of healthy diet, healthy weight, physical activity, no smoking, and limited alcohol. Includes CDC links to related information.
(Accessed 26 March 2018)

Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. Nutrition and Healthy Eating. DASH Diet: Tips for Shopping and Cooking.
Summary Note: Provides tips to help you get started with the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) Diet. Tips include what to do before you grocery shop and how to select and prepare foods that support the DASH Diet.
(Accessed 26 March 2018)

National Institutes of Health. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Relaxation Techniques for Health.
Summary Note: Discusses specific relaxation practices whose goal is to lower blood pressure, slow breathing, and produce a feeling of increased well-being.
(Accessed 28 March 2018)

National Institutes of Health. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Mind Your Risks.
Summary Note: Describes Mind Your Risks, a public health campaign that educates people with high blood pressure about the importance of controlling blood pressure in mid-life (from the ages of 45 to 65). Explains that high blood pressure is one of the risk factors for dementia and stroke. Includes Additional Resources.
(Accessed 26 March 2018)

National Institutes of Health. U.S. National Library of Medicine. MedlinePlus. Blood Pressure.
Summary Note: Animated slide show with audio description of normal blood pressure. Mentions risks of high blood pressure. Encourages medical evaluation to prevent stroke and damage to important organs, such as the brain and kidneys.
(Accessed 26 March 2018)

National Institutes of Health. U.S. National Library of Medicine. MedlinePlus. High Blood Pressure.
Summary Note: MedlinePlus Topic Page. Includes information on High Blood Pressure organized by categories, such as Children, Teenagers, Women, Seniors, and Patient Handouts.
(Accessed 28 March 2018)

National Institutes of Health. U.S. National Library of Medicine. MedlinePlus. How to Prevent High Blood Pressure.
Summary Note: MedlinePlus Topic Page. Defines different types of high blood pressure. Suggests ways to prevent high blood pressure. Includes links to Clinical Trials, Journal Articles, Patient Handouts, and Videos and Tutorials.
(Accessed 20 March 2018)

National Institutes of Health. U.S. National Library of Medicine. MedlinePlus. Quitting Smoking.
Summary Note: MedlinePlus Topic Page on Smoking Cessation. Includes tips to stop smoking, therapies and treatments, patient handouts, and links to National Cancer Institute and other reliable websites.
(Accessed 28 March 2018)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Childhood Asthma

Childhood Asthma

Information Resources

By Evelyn Cunico, MA, MS/LIS
Posted February 27, 2018

Definition

Asthma is a disease that affects your airways. Your airways are tubes that carry air in and out of your lungs. If you have asthma and you experience an asthma attack, the inside walls of your airways become sore and swollen, and your airways fill with mucus. The swelling and mucus cause the airways to narrow, making breathing difficult.

Population

In the United States, the number of adults aged 18 and over who currently have asthma is nearly 20 million, which translates to more than seven percent of U.S. adults aged 18 and over. The number of U.S. children under the age of 18 who currently have asthma is more than six million, which translates to more than eight percent of U.S. children aged 18 and under, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Causes and Triggers

No one knows for certain why some persons develop asthma. Experts believe that causes may include hereditary genes, overweight, and environmental factors.

A key part of asthma in children is an allergic reaction, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Allergens are also called, triggers. One way that parents can help to control childhood asthma is by avoiding triggers.

The following tips can help to avoid triggers:

  • Get rid of tobacco smoke in the home. This is the single most important thing that a family can do to help a child with asthma, according to the A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia.
  • Keep the house clean by changing the linens often, vacuuming regularly, and keeping food in containers and out of bedrooms, according to KidsHealth at the Nemours Foundation.
  • Keep pets away from the child’s bedroom, according to the National Library of Medicine.

Asthma Action Plan

You and your child’s healthcare providers can work together as a team to create and carry out an Asthma Action Plan, which is a care plan that helps to control asthma.

An Asthma Action Plan will give you the following instructions:

  • How to avoid asthma triggers
  • How to watch for symptoms
  • How to Use a Peak Flow Meter, which measures air flow to and from the lungs
  • How to take asthma medicines for long-term control or for quick relief

Asthma that is not well controlled can lead to lasting lung problems. However, with proper treatment, most children with asthma can live a normal life.

For more information, see the Selected Information Resources that follow this blog post.

Disclaimer: The information presented in this blog should not replace the medical advice of your doctor. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any disease, illness, or other health condition without first consulting with your medical doctor or other healthcare provider.

Selected Information Resources

American Academy of Physicians. Asthma Triggers and What to Do About Them.
Summary Note: Lists asthma triggers, which are certain things that cause asthma attacks or make asthma worse. Includes tips on how to help children reduce exposure to triggers.
(Accessed 10 February 2018)

American Lung Association. Lung Health and Diseases. For Parents of Children with Asthma.
Summary Note: Discusses how children with asthma are diagnosed and treated. Suggests resources, such as school programs and an interactive website, where children with asthma can learn self-management skills.
(Accessed 10 February 2018)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Center for Health Statistics. Asthma.
Summary Note: Data for the U.S. on Morbidity, Physician Office Visits, Emergency Department Visits, and Mortality. Includes link to Summary Health Statistics Tables for U.S. Children: National Health Interview Survey, 2015.
(Accessed 26 February 2018)

National Institutes of Health. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
Summary Note: NHLBI is the primary NIH organization for research on Asthma in Children.
(Accessed 23 February 2018)

National Institutes of Health. U.S. National Library of Medicine. MedlinePlus. Asthma – Children. Medical Encyclopedia.
Summary Note: Medical Encyclopedia is published by A.D.A.M., Inc. Defines Asthma. Compares diagrams of normal and asthmatic airways. Includes diagram of Peak Flow Meter. Discusses Triggers, Symptoms, Tests, Treatment, and Medicine. Includes Patient Instructions.
(Accessed 25 February 2018)

National Institutes of Health. U.S. National Library of Medicine. MedlinePlus. Asthma in Children.
Summary Note: NIH Topic Page for Childhood Asthma. Includes list of websites from the National Institutes of Health and other reliable research and education sources. Resources are arranged by category, such as, Start Here, Diagnosis and Tests, Prevention and risk Factors, Videos and Tutorials. Includes free Patient Handouts.
(Accessed 10 February 2018)

National Institutes of Health. U.S. National Library of Medicine. NIH MedlinePlus Magazine. Don’t Let Asthma Define You. Fall 2017 issue.
Summary Note: Features a young woman, diagnosed with asthma at birth, whose asthma impacted life milestones, such as giving birth, but whose self-confidence and prescribed medications help her to live a life defined by positive thought and action.
(Accessed 10 February 2018)

National Institutes of Health. U.S. National Library of Medicine. NIH MedlinePlus Magazine. Outrunning Asthma: Football Player Rashad Jennings Battled Childhood Asthma with Exercise and Determination Fall 2017 issue.
Summary Note: Features a football player, diagnosed with childhood asthma, who uses exercise and self-determination to compete on and off the football field.
(Accessed 10 February 2018)

Nemours Foundation. KidsHealth dot org. Asthma Basics.
Summary Note: Presents frequently asked questions, with answers that have been reviewed by a medical doctor. Includes a list of tips on how an Asthma Action Plan can be developed with the Pediatrician or other medical doctor.
(Accessed 10 February 2018)