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4 Signs You May Need An Eye Exam

Posted by on Oct 10, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Eye exams are one of the most important procedures for maintaining healthy vision. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to discern which symptoms are minor or temporary visual disturbances and which are potential indicators of a more serious vision problem. Here are four signs that it may be time to see your optometrist for an eye exam. Frequent Headaches Headaches occur due to a wide variety of causes, many of which are not even related to your vision. Considering the times at which headaches most often occur is the best way to determine if they might be related to your vision. If you frequently get headaches while reading, using a computer, or doing other activities that require prolonged focus, it is likely that your headaches are a sign of vision problems. It is important not to disregard headaches that may be related to vision problems, especially if you are considering an eye exam for your child. Headaches are often the first symptom to develop, as vision degradation can be so minor and so gradual to begin with that you do not notice it until the problem has reached a more advanced stage. Difficulty Reading on Paper or Screens Changes in your vision will almost always be accompanied by changes in your reading habits. If you notice that you are holding books or newspapers either further away or closer to your eyes while you read, it could be a sign that you are becoming nearsighted or farsighted. General blurriness and trouble reading at any distance could be a sign of astigmatism. Vision changes while using a computer can be harder to notice. You may find yourself sitting closer or further away from the screen, but in some cases you may get in the habit of changing the font size without noticing it. A good way to test for degrading vision is to visit the same page on a monthly basis, sit at a set distance away from the screen, and see if you can still read the page comfortably. Recent Head Injury or Health Changes Significant head trauma can sometimes cause temporary vision changes such as blurred vision or double vision. Even if your doctor or an emergency responder informed you that these effects were temporary, you should still visit an optometrist for a specialist’s opinion. Some injuries can lead to long-term vision problems that do not immediately surface even after the temporary visual distortions have subsided. Some other changes to your health can bring a risk of vision damage with them. Eye infections are an obvious candidate, and you should always visit an optometrist after an infection that causes redness, swelling, or oozing around the eyes. Motion sickness or dizziness without an obvious cause can also be signs of undiagnosed eye problems. Too Long Since Last Exam Just because you haven’t been experiencing any vision problems doesn’t mean that you can forego eye exams altogether. Eye exams are meant to be a regular procedure for everyone, as they serve both diagnostic and preventative purposes. Having your eyes examined regularly will allow your optometrist to catch some problems early and provide treatment before any symptoms have developed. How frequently you should get an eye exam will vary based on your age. According to the American Optometric Association, asymptomatic adults between the...

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4 Tips For Managing And Treating Bunions

Posted by on Oct 10, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Bunions occur when the great toe deviates toward the second toe. This causes pain and inflammation at the base of the great toe and an increase in bone near the toe joint. There are both non-surgical and surgical methods available to reduce pain or potentially correct the deformity. Start With The Underlying Cause No matter which treatment you use to directly manage bunions, you need to address the underlying cause. Most cases of bunions are attributed to many years of wearing uncomfortable shoes that place significant pressure on the great toe. Although shoes with a narrow toe box do not always cause bunions, everyone’s underlying foot structure is different and some people may experience significant deformities quicker than others. These shoes are usually women’s dress shoes with a pointy toe, but high heels can further contribute to bunion development. High heels create an unnatural distribution of weight on the feet, causing you to walk with more pressure on the balls of your feet and toes. Since shoes with a pointy toe are not designed to mimic the natural contours of the foot, they often squeeze the toes together. A related condition, tailor’s bunion, can cause similar deformities of the fifth toe. The best way to prevent bunions is to avoid any shoes that cause compression or to stop wearing these shoes if problems have begun to occur. Less frequently, bunions can be caused by joint or connective-tissue disorders that contribute to arthritic changes at the base of the great toe or weak soft tissue structures. Unless the underlying disease process can be controlled, there is often little that can be done to prevent worsening of bunions. Consider Retail Products Several types of retail products are designed to provide comfort and support for bunions. One such product is a gel pad or sleeve that is placed over the base of the great toe to add cushion. These products can minimize the amount of friction between the base of your toe and the side of your shoes. Additionally, it may add cushion if you experience pain while walking. Another device you may want to consider is a toe separator. This is used to increase space between your great toe and second toe. Toe separators may be more useful in the early stages of bunion development. As the condition progresses, the deformity is more fixed and it may be more painful to try and force the toe into its original position. Visit A Podiatrist Even in the early stages of bunions, speaking with a podiatrist can be useful to address the specific structure of your foot and how your lifestyle may affect the progression of bunions. For some people, simple lifestyle modifications and retail products may be inadequate for managing their bunions. If you have a demanding job that requires significant amounts of standing and walking, you may need special shoes and/or orthotics that address your unique foot issues. You may need new orthotics and shoes regularly if your deformity progresses rapidly. Weigh The Benefits Of Surgery Surgery is usually reserved for people who have managed their bunions for several years with conservative treatments, but are finding these methods are no longer effective. Since bunions can cause significant pain and limitations, an orthopedic surgeon may need to evaluate your case to determine...

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5 Things You Need To Know About Repetitive Head Injury Syndrome

Posted by on Mar 18, 2016 in Uncategorized |

One concussion is bad enough, but the effects of repetitive head injuries are even worse. If you suffer a second concussion before your first concussion has healed, you may suffer from long-term health effects. This phenomenon is known as repetitive head injury syndrome and it is a big problem for athletes. Here are five things that athletes need to know about repetitive head injury syndrome. What are the signs of repetitive head injury syndrome? There are many different signs of repetitive head injury syndrome. If you have this condition, you may notice that you have trouble paying attention or concentrating, and you may find that you are more forgetful than you used to be. You may even lose the ability to create new memories. People with repetitive head injury syndrome may also have trouble sleeping. You may find that you lose consciousness without warning or notice sudden changes in your mental status. Repetitive head injury syndrome can also cause persistent headaches. If you notice any of these symptoms, stop playing sports immediately and seek medical attention. How common is repetitive head injury syndrome? Repetitive head injury syndrome is a fairly common problem. One study found that one-fifth of college football players had suffered two or more concussions during their athletic careers. A study of amateur soccer players found that 23% of them had suffered between two and five concussions during their careers. These studies suggest that a significant number of athletes are affected by this condition. How serious is this condition? Repetitive head injury syndrome is a major concern because of the effect that it can have on your quality of life. The multiple injuries you’ve suffered to your brain may leave you unable to function normally. This doesn’t just mean that you won’t be able to play sports anymore; your entire life can be affected. For example, your cognitive and memory problems may leave you unable to hold down a job or maintain relationships. How is repetitive head injury syndrome treated? If you suffer from persistent headaches, you may be told to take over-the-counter pain medications. If necessary, prescription painkillers may be prescribed. Once your pain is under control, your doctor may refer you to an occupational therapist for further treatment. Occupational therapists help you learn ways to deal with your condition so that you can continue living your life as normally as possible, despite your injury. For example, your occupational therapist may teach you to use notes or phone alarms to remind yourself to do things. You may learn new strategies for keeping track of your memories, such as keeping a diary. Your occupational therapist may recommend other tips to help you stay safe despite your impairment. For example, if you are prone to losing consciousness and cannot drive safely, your occupational therapist can help you locate alternative transportation methods that are safe for you. You may also be told to use household appliances that are less likely to cause a fire if you forget about them; for example, you may be told to use the microwave instead of the stove. How can athletes prevent this condition? Since repetitive head injury syndrome cannot be treated, just managed, you need to try your best to prevent it. Make sure to wear a helmet while you’re playing sports, and...

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The Effects Of Penile Cancer On Your Sex Life: What You Need To Know

Posted by on Feb 8, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Penile cancer is a rare form of the disease, accounting for less than 1 percent of all cancers in men in the United States. Nonetheless, even though a penile cancer diagnosis is rare, the condition can have a significant impact on your life during and after treatment, especially when it comes to sex. Find out how penile cancer affects your body, and understand more about the effects this may have on your sex life. The importance of early diagnosis Early diagnosis of the condition improves the chances of successful treatment, but some men overlook or ignore symptoms that could indicate they have the disease. For example, unusual warts, blisters, sores and abnormal patches of skin are more likely signs of a less serious condition, but these symptoms are also early indicators of penile cancer. With an early diagnosis, a doctor can often treat the problem without permanent damage to the penis. However, a later diagnosis may mean that you have to undergo surgery to remove part or all of the penis. Clearly, this type of surgery can have a serious long-term effect on your sex life. The impact of different treatment methods According to the severity and position of the cancer, your doctor may recommend different types of treatment. Each method has different implications. A wide local excision is a relatively simple procedure where a surgeon removes the cancer along with a small border of healthy tissue to lower the risk that the problem will come back. In most cases, your penis will have normal function after this surgery, with minor cosmetic differences. A penectomy involves the full or partial removal of the penis, which is only necessary in severe cases. During a partial penectomy, the surgeon will normally only remove the end of the penis, leaving enough of the shaft for you to urinate normally. A total penectomy removes the shaft and the root of the penis. Reconstructive surgery is sometimes possible after a partial or complete penectomy. This type of surgery is complex and time-consuming, and the surgeon who carries out the penectomy will not do the reconstructive work. This procedure is not common, and while most men are able to urinate normally after the work, it may still not become possible to have penetrative sex again. What’s more, the work can take place over several months, with a lengthy recovery period. Sex after radiation therapy Some men prefer not to have surgery to treat penile cancer, due to the impact this work may have on their body. Radiation therapy is an alternative treatment method that can avoid surgery. Some oncologists will also recommend radiation therapy to relieve symptoms or to treat the lymph nodes where there is a high risk of the cancer returning. Radiation therapy can temporarily affect your body. Many men are unable to get or maintain an erection due to the treatment, and the nerves around the penis sometimes temporarily lose function. Radiation therapy can also sometimes thicken tissue in the penis, which may make it harder to get an erection. That aside, most symptoms subside after the treatment, allowing you to have a normal sex life again. The emotional impact Any effect on your sex life can affect your relationship with your partner. Even where treatment is successful, the treatment process is...

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3 Natural Ways To Enhance Your Back Pain Management Program

Posted by on Jan 28, 2016 in Uncategorized |

One of the most common medical problems in the United States is back pain, of which most incidences tend to go away on their own. Not everyone is so lucky, however – if you’re living with back pain that never seems to go away, it’s a good idea to work with a pain management doctor who can help you keep your back pain in check for the most part. There are also a few things you can do at home to naturally enhance your relief and optimize your doctor’s prescribed pain management program overall. Consider implementing one or more of these methods and techniques into your regular routine:   Stretch Every Morning Committing to a morning stretch each day will relieve stress in tendons and ligaments throughout your body. More importantly, daily stretching supports and strengthens the spine and soft tissues surrounding it, which should provide some pain relief and mobilization to take advantage of. All that’s needed for an effective stretch session is some comfortable clothing and enough space on the floor to stretch your arms and legs out from your body. Start with these easy stretches: The Back Flex – Lie flat on your back and flex your head forward while at the same time pulling your knees toward your chest. Raise your head and knees until your feel a comfortable stress and hold the position for a few seconds before releasing. The Standing Swoop – Stand with your feet about shoulder width apart and stretch your arms high above your head until you feel a comfortable stretch. Hold the position for five seconds and then slowly lower your hands toward the floor and between your legs to reach behind you. Once you feel a comfortable stretch, hold the position for a few seconds and then stand back up. Try doing these stretches three to five times each every morning for a week or two, and then add a few more stretches into your routine as your body strengthens and loosens up. Take Time to Meditate Believe it or not, taking the time out of your daily schedule for a little meditation is an effective way to decrease chronic back pain. In fact many pain management clinics prescribe meditation as a treatment option for their clients. Specifically, what’s referred to as mindfulness meditation can actually decrease chronic pain throughout your body by more than 50 percent. This type of meditation is practiced by focusing on a specific body part, such as the spine, and simply observing that area in your mind’s eye. The idea is to be aware of the pain as it arises so you can learn to stop struggling to fight it. To get started you can just sit quietly and get in tune with your body and mind, but it’s a good idea to find a beginner’s class in your community or use an instructional DVD to gain some insight into the practice and so you know you’re on the right track. Get into Yoga Participating in regular yoga practice is an excellent way to maintain a healthy weight and keep your body toned, but best of all it’s sure to decrease that back pain you’ve been walking around with. Yoga melts muscle tension away, which is one of primary causes for back pain in most...

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Is A Hemangioma A Type Of Mole? Advice For Patients

Posted by on Dec 29, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Doctors recommend that you regularly check your skin for new or changed moles, as some of these growths can pose a risk to your health. As such, when parents check their children’s skin, they can sometimes find marks that may resemble a mole, prompting uncertainty and anxiety. Find out if a hemangioma is a type of mole, and learn more about the steps you should take if you find one on your child’s skin. Hemangiomas and moles A hemangioma is a type of birthmark that can appear anywhere on the body. Some people refer to these growths as strawberry marks, owing to their bright red color. Hemangiomas normally develop in the first year of life and will then slowly disappear as a child grows up. Hemagiomas can also develop in adults, particularly in people over the age of 70. Hemangiomas form when extra blood vessels form in a dense group. Doctors aren’t entirely sure what causes this to happen, but some experts believe the condition is hereditary. A hemangioma is not a type of mole. Moles form when you get a cluster of pigment-producing skin cells called melanocytes. These growths are commonly tan or brown in color, although you can get certain types of red mole, including atypical moles and Spitz nevi. Nonetheless, hemangiomas and moles are two different types of skin growth. Diagnosis A doctor or dermatologist will not normally need any type of special test to diagnose a hemangioma. An experienced doctor will normally diagnose this condition by making a basic physical examination of your son or daughter. You can also get hemangiomas on your internal organs, but to detect these growths, your doctor would normally need to carry out a type of imaging test, such as an ultrasound or an MRI scan. When treatment is necessary for skin hemangiomas Hemangiomas normally disappear without treatment from a doctor, although this process can take several years. Doctors are often reluctant to treat hemangiomas because the available treatment methods can sometimes cause side effects and scarring. Nonetheless, if your child has a large, unsightly growth, you may decide that treatment is preferable. If the growth is in an awkward place, a doctor may agree that it is better to remove the hemangiomas, as the vessels can bleed quite heavily following an injury. Treatment options If your doctor agrees that treatment is a good idea, he or she will normally recommend one of two methods. A doctor can inject corticosteroids directly into the growth. Alternatively, your doctor may recommend oral steroids or a topical steroid cream. Nonetheless, these treatment methods are not without risk. Steroids can cause problems with growth, high blood sugar and even cataracts. Laser surgery is an alternative treatment method you can also consider. This type of treatment is generally only effective on early, superficial hemangiomas because the laser cannot normally penetrate deeper than 5 millimeters. What’s more, following laser surgery, some children will still need steroids to stop the lesion growing larger. That aside, laser surgery is quick and easy, so kids can have treatment every 2 to 4 weeks. Cryotherapy was a relatively popular treatment option in the 1960s, when doctors used liquid nitrogen and other chemicals to freeze hemangiomas. Doctors now seldom use this method, as other skin conditions and scars can occur after...

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As A Contact Lens Wearer, How Worried Should You Be About Acanthamoeba Keratitis?

Posted by on Dec 18, 2015 in Uncategorized |

If you’re a contact lens wearer you may heard about and seen images of people whose eyes have become terribly infected and turned opaque, resulting in permanent loss of vision. Caused by an organism known as Acanthamoeba, this condition usually only occurs in contact lens wearers — so if you wear contact lenses, those images probably have you questioning your safety and reaching for your glasses. But how worried should you be of Acanthamoeba keratitis? What are the chances of actually coming down with this condition, and is it preventable? Read on to learn more about what the actual risks are — and why you really don’t have to throw out your contact lenses in fear. What do the numbers say? Though some fear-mongering websites might try to convince you that you’re at a high risk of Acanthamoeba keratitis if you wear contacts, the CDC says otherwise. According to the Centers for Disease Control, in developed countries only between 1 and 33 out of every 1 million contact lens wearers develop this condition. You are far more likely to die from choking (1 in 3,375 odds) or from exposure to excessive natural heat (1 in 6,745 odds) than to develop Acanthamoeba keratitis as a contact lens wearer. In fact, you’re more likely to be executed legally (1 in 127,717 odds) than to develop this infection. Acanthamoeba keratitis does not seem so scary when you keep these odds in mind. What can you do to protect yourself from the condition? If the remarkably low chance of actually developing Acanthamoena keratitis has not calmed your fear of this condition, then taking action to reduce your risks even further should. Luckily, you can significantly reduce your risk just by following good contact hygiene habits, including: Always washing your hands before handling your lenses or touching your eyes. Changing your contact storage solution daily. Switching to a new pair of contacts as often as recommended by your eye doctor. (No, you should not try to make those 2-week lenses last four weeks.) Washing your contact storage case or replacing it regularly. Never rinsing your contacts in saliva or water if they fall out of your eyes. Never swimming or going in a hot tub with your contact lenses in your eyes. Since there have been cases in which patients have contracted Acanthamoeba keratitis from contaminated lenses and solutions, you should also adhere to the following guidelines: Never use a contact or contact solution on which the package seal has been broken before you receive or purchase the items. Watch the news for recalls of the brand of contacts and solution you use. Never leave your contact solution container open and exposed to the air; close it after each use. Just in case, what symptoms should you watch out for? Though the odds are low, some people do develop Acanthamoeba keratitis. On the very small chance you happen to be one of them, it’s wise to know what symptoms to watch out for. If you get to the eye doctor for treatment early, the condition is less likely to progress to the point of permanently impairing your vision. Early symptoms of Acanthamoeba keratitis are similar to that of any other eye infection. Your eye will become red and irritated, you’ll experience sensitivity to light, and you’ll...

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3 Things You Need To Know About Stinging Insect Allergies

Posted by on Dec 11, 2015 in Uncategorized |

There are at least 91,000 species of insects in the United States alone — and those are only the ones we’ve identified. It goes without saying that human beings have to live alongside these creatures, even though some of them can transfer venom through their stingers. The real danger occurs when this venom contacts people who are highly allergic to it. Here are three things you need to know about this potential hazard. 1. Which Insects Pose the Greatest Threat? When you think of stinging insects, images of bees and wasps probably come to mind — and rightly so. But scorpions, hornets, yellow jackets and even fire ants all have stingers they can use to inflict pain. Fortunately, these creatures aren’t always spoiling for a fight. There are variations in behavior and threat level from one species of stinging insect to another. Bumble bees and honeybees, for instance, generally leave people alone unless they feel directly threatened or assaulted. But if you live in the Southwestern U.S., you have special reason to fear honeybees, because this area is populated by hyper-aggressive “killer bees” that attack in swarms at the slightest provocation. 2. What Are the Signs of a Dangerous Reaction? Pain and swelling at the site of the sting are normal reactions to an insect’s venom. If you’re mildly allergic to the venom in question, you may experience hives and fairly large patches of swelling, but only in the part of the body that was stung. A dangerous fire ant, wasp or bee sting allergic reaction may cause anaphylaxis, a narrowing of the the airway caused by internal swelling. Symptoms include the following: Difficulty breathing or swallowing Hoarseness or other difficulty speaking Nausea and vomiting Severe hives and/or swelling Rapid heartbeat Dizziness and/or weakness Fainting spells 3. How Can You Guard Against Trouble? Knowledge is power, so the more you know about your vulnerability to specific stinging insects, the more alert you’ll be against their presence and the faster you’ll act if you get stung. Allergy testing is a simple and effective process for helping you understand your particular sensitivities. The two main types of testing include the following: Skin tests – Many people display an immediate skin reaction to an allergen. Your doctor can test you for several different types of insect venom at once by applying tiny samples of each type on your skin. If redness, swelling or other reactions occur, you’ll know you need to watch out for that particular bug. If the first round of skin testing produces unclear results, an injection just below the skin surface can also be made. Blood tests – If it isn’t clear whether you’re allergic after trying the available skin testing options, your doctor may perform blood-based allergy testing. Evaluation of a blood sample can show whether your body is producing excessive amounts of an antibody known as IgE protein. If you are, additional testing can identify the specific venom that’s triggering this antibody overproduction. Unfortunately, there is no current vaccine or other medication to prevent the effects of a sting. That means the only effective strategy for avoiding stings is to avoid stirring up the wrath of these tiny creatures. But if you know you have a stinging insect allergy, your doctor can equip you with an epinephrine injector. This...

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3 Tips To Help Decrease Your Neck Pain

Posted by on Dec 4, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Your chiropractor can help to restore and improve the use of your joints and muscles and eliminate joint and muscle inflammation and pain. When you experience neck pain, it is always a good idea to go see a professionally trained and certified chiropractor for treatment. But if you can’t get an appointment right away to visit your chiropractor, here are three tips to help decrease your neck pain. Get the Right Pillow Because you spend one-third of your life sleeping, it is a good idea to make sure the pillow you use gives your neck the right support. Especially as one of the most common causes of neck pain is from your neck being bent or twisted in one direction for too long, such as when you are sleeping.  The key is to find a pillow that keeps your head and neck in a neutral position. This means your neck and head should be aligned straight with your spine, not bending too far forward or backward. While you sleep on your back, your pillow should keep your head in alignment. A too-thick pillow can push your neck forward and a pillow that is too thin will allow your neck to bend backward. When you sleep on your side, your pillow needs to fill the space between your mattress and your ear, without bending your neck one way or the other. As you are shopping for a pillow, you might want to try each pillow’s size and firmness out before you buy one. Test each pillow out on a recliner, couch, or display bed in the store to make sure it keeps your neck, head, and spine in the proper neutral position.  Massage Your Neck If you are ever experiencing a painful neck cramp that needs relieving immediately, you can use this massage technique. This technique can help relieve the pain until you can see your chiropractor. You can also use this massage technique on a shoulder cramp as well.  If the pain is on the right side of your neck or shoulder, use your right hand to massage it. If it is on the left side of your neck or shoulder, use your left hand to massage. First, push into the cramp with your fingers and hold it firmly. This will make the cramped muscle hurt a bit, but it should be a tolerable pain. Stop pressing immediately if you feel a sharp pain, and wait to see your chiropractor for treatment. Press into the knot with a tennis ball if your fingers cannot reach it.  As you are pressing into the knot, stretch the neck or shoulder muscle by diagonally turning your head away from the knot. Continue this movement until you begin to feel the pain in your neck or shoulder lessen as your muscle relaxes. Use Ice Therapy Using ice on your neck helps to reduce swelling, decreases the pain signal, and increases circulation of that area. Ice the cramp in your neck with a soft, moldable ice pack. Make sure you cover the ice pack with a layer of fabric to protect your skin from ice burn. For the first five minutes, the area you are icing will feel uncomfortable and as if it is burning, which is normal. After five minutes, the area will become numb as the pain decreases.  Only ice your neck for twenty minutes. Icing your neck for longer than...

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Help Your Child Work Through Issues Through Counseling Services For Children

Posted by on Nov 11, 2015 in Uncategorized |

If your child suddenly starts having problems at school and is acting sad, angry, or hopeless, he or she might need counseling services. A counselor that specializes in helping kids is the best type to choose, and he or she might be able to get to the root of the problem. Here are two things to know about counseling services for children. How Counseling Helps When a counselor works with your child, the goal will be to help the child overcome the issues and struggles he or she is facing. To do this, a counselor must be able to identify the problems and discover why these issues are occurring. Counselors can do this in a variety of ways, and the method used often depends on the child’s age and the issues he or she is struggling with. Here are three methods that might be used with your child: Play therapy – When kids are not old enough to really open up and talk about how they feel, play therapy is often used. Play therapy helps a counselor understand a child’s thought patterns by playing with the child. This is often done by role playing with toys, objects, and games. Psychodynamic psychotherapy – This method of counseling is great for uncovering unresolved conflicts your child might have. It can help unveil issues the child is trying to hide, or issues the child doesn’t realize he or she even has. Behavior therapy – Behavior therapy is great for children that are misbehaving due to issues they might have. It teaches them that making good choices and acting in ways that are right are beneficial. Counseling can help children of all ages, but it can take time. You cannot expect to take your child to a counselor once and have the issue fixed. It may take months of counseling for you to even see a difference in your child’s behavior and mood, but it can help over time. Why Finding The Root Issue Is So Important Because the brain of a child is not developed like an adult’s brain is, a child often has trouble figuring out why he or she feels sad, angry, hopeless, or fearful. Even adults can have problems figuring this out. For a child, it can be hard to go through tough or sad experiences, and these types of experiences can cause the child to act out. For example, after a child goes through the divorce of his or her parents, the child may feel angry and at fault for the situation. Even though the parents did not do this because of the child or to hurt the child, the child is still affected. Unfortunately though, the child will not know how to handle these types of feelings. This is not only because children are not emotionally mature yet, but it is also because these feelings can all be new to a child. When a counselor is able to really understand what a child is thinking, it can help in several ways, including: The counselor can explain it to you. When you, the parent, understand what your child is thinking, it might be easier for you to help him or her get through this situation. The counselor can help the child see the situation from a different perspective....

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How To Fund The Home Modifications Your Disabled Vet Needs

Posted by on Oct 27, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Do you have a family member who was recently injured while serving in the military and will soon be returning home? Are you worried because you know that their injuries are life-changing and will require a lot of home modifications, such as wheelchair ramps and stair glides, and you’re unsure of how to pay for these renovations?  Sadly, your family’s situation is not uncommon. According to the Pew Research Center, one out of every ten veterans alive today has suffered a serious injury while serving in the military. And to accommodate a disabled vet, many families have had to make many, sometimes significant, renovations to their houses. Your home, too, will probably require significant, costly alterations to make it suitable for your returning vet. Fortunately, though, there is financial help available to you. You may just need to be proactive and seek out the aid that your loved one deserves for the sacrifices that they’ve made for this country.  Check with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)   According to, the VA will cover the cost of some durable medical equipment for home use. For example, in 2010, the VA provided a disabled vet in the St. Louis area with a wheelchair lift for his car as well as a stairway lift for his home. To help disabled vets, the VA also offers three grants that can be used for home modifications, including: Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) grants. This grant money is intended for use towards modifications to make a home more wheelchair accessible. Amount: Up to $63,780. Special Home Adaption (SHA) grants. SHA grants are intended to be used by vets with certain service-related disabilities to pay for modifications to their existing homes, or to build a home with suitable modifications or to pay off a mortgage on a modified home that the vet had already purchased. Amount: Up to $12,756. Home Improvement and Structural Alteration (HISA) grants. An HISA grant is intended for use towards modifications that will give the vet better access to their home, especially to its bathroom and other sanitary facilities. Amount: $4,100 for service-connected disabilities. Contact the Media In some cases, agencies, grants or insurance may cover part, but not all, of the expenses associated with the home modifications your disabled vet may need. And there is always a chance that some of your claims could be denied — agencies and insurance carriers can be notoriously fickle about what they approve and don’t approve as medically necessary. If you feel that your loved one is being denied equipment, such as a chair lift for your home or a vehicle adapted for your needs, you may want to consider contacting the local press. A media firestorm can sometimes “shame” an agency or insurance company into paying for equipment that they may not deem necessary but that your family really needs in order to care for your disabled veteran. The media could also bring attention to your financial plight and generate donations, which leads up to the next item. Start a Social Media Fundraising Campaign Sadly, you may find yourself being buried under debt. Deductibles from medical visits and medications can quickly add up, and you might also have to take time off from work to care for your loved one. To cover these costs, you may need to consider a social...

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