Driving helps older adults—persons 65 and older—stay mobile and independent. However, as we age, declines in vision and cognition (ability to reason and remember), and physical changes may affect driving. Certain medical problems such as heart disease, dementia, sleep disorders, and limited hearing and vision place older adults at an increased risk of car crashes. Additionally, medicines, both prescription and over the counter, such as those used for sleep, mood, pain, and/or allergies among others may affect driving safety.
Nearly 10 million American women use oral contraceptives, including about 1.5 million who rely on them for reasons other than birth control. The number of women in the United States with intrauterine devices, many of which release hormones, has grown in recent years, as has the number of women using other types of hormonal contraceptive implants. Many women have believed that newer hormonal contraceptives are much safer than those taken by their mothers or grandmothers, which had higher doses of estrogen.
You’re tired. You could put your head down on a desk right now and fall asleep immediately. You went to bed late last night, had trouble falling asleep and woke up too early. And let’s not kid ourselves. Reality is quite different. Sleep is often one of the first things to go when people feel pressed for time. Many view sleep as a luxury and think that the benefits of limiting the hours they spend asleep outweigh the costs. People often overlook the potential long-term health consequences of insufficient sleep, and the impact that health problems can ultimately have on one’s time and productivity.
November has been designated National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month. It is a time to spread awareness about this disease that affects nearly two million Americans today. An estimated five million Americans are affected by Alzheimer’s disease. This number is expected to increase to 60 million by 2050 in the U.S. alone. What is more distressing isn’t the fact that it is an incurable disease or that there are limited treatment options, but that Alzheimer’s disease has an insidious onset, often not being recognized until it is too late.
About one out of three Americans will develop shingles, which is caused by the same virus that triggers chickenpox. Although anyone who’s had chickenpox is at risk for shingles at any point in their life, about half of all cases involve people 60 or older, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The main symptom is a painful rash that develops on one side of the face or body, with blisters that scab over in about a week. The only way to reduce the risk is to get vaccinated, so the CDC recommends people 60 and older get the shingles vaccine regardless of whether or not they recall having had chickenpox.
In October 1988, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed October as National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. This Month recognizes the loss so many parents experience across the United States snd around the world. It is also meant to inform and provide resources for parents who have lost children due to miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, molar pregnancy, stillbirths, birth defects, SIDS, and other causes. Too many families grieve in silence, sometimes never coming to terms with their loss.
October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month, a chance to spread awareness. During the month of October, we celebrate people with Down syndrome and make people aware of their abilities and accomplishments. It’s not about celebrating disabilities, it’s about celebrating abilities. Better understanding of Down syndrome and early interventions can greatly increase the quality of life for children and adults with this disorder and help them live fulfilling lives.
The month of September has been declared Pain Awareness Month. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, chronic pain is the nation’s primary cause of lost workdays. It affects more people than cancer, heart disease and diabetes combined, with over 100 million Americans suffering from it. Pain is a costly epidemic that causes millions of Americans to suffer and Pain Awareness Month initiatives are intended to get citizens to recognize the effects of pain and the symptoms associated with pain so that individuals can find appropriate relief and regain a strong quality of life.
September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, and we want to raise awareness on how you can protect yourself and your loved ones. Suicide is a major public health concern. Over 40,000 people die by suicide each year in the United States; it is the 10th leading cause of death overall. Suicide is complicated and tragic but it is often preventable. Knowing the warning signs for suicide and how to get help can help save lives.
Gastroparesis is a disorder that occurs when the stomach takes too long to empty food. This disorder, also known as delayed gastric emptying, is a result of weak or abnormal muscles in the stomach. There’s no known cure for gastroparesis, but medical treatment can help you manage your symptoms. The exact cause of gastroparesis isn’t known, but it’s thought to have something to do with disrupted nerve signals in the stomach. It’s believed that the vagus nerve, which controls the movement of food through the digestive tract, becomes damaged and causes food to be digested slowly or not at all.