Solutions for hearing loss around the home

Most of us take for granted that we can talk to someone over the phone and open the door when we hear the door bell chime. But for people with hearing loss, these tasks are not so simple. Fortunately, technology has now made it possible for hard-of-hearing people to “hear” the door bell and other alerts in the home, as well as carry on a conversation over the phone. For instance, telephone amplifiers can be coupled with a person’s hearing aid to improve the person’s ability to hear a caller.

For people who still cannot hear well enough for a conversation, they can use Voice Carry Over, which is used with a telephone relay service. In these cases, the operator translates what the other person is saying by converting their words to text on a screen. When it comes to “hearing” the door bell, people can install systems that pick up the signal and cause lights to flash, fans to spin, or a small device to vibrate. The same goes for sleeping alarms, fire alarms, and more. Talk to your True Dental Discounts hearing specialist about the best options for your home to find out more information.

Ouch! What to do if your child gets a tooth knocked out

Summertime can be one of the most fun and active seasons for your child, but it can also be one of the most dangerous seasons when it comes to dental injuries. It is not uncommon for children to fall off a bike or get injured during a sport and realize they have lost a tooth. If this happens, don’t panic. Teeth can be saved in most cases when an adult can quickly jump into action. First, though, check two things: make sure your child does not have any other serious injuries that may require an ambulance, and determine if the tooth that was knocked out was a baby tooth or an adult tooth.

If the tooth was a baby tooth, don’t worry about finding the tooth or getting it placed back into the mouth. It is still a good idea to see the dentist to make sure no other damage was done, but it is not vital to save the tooth when an adult tooth will soon be erupting anyway. If, however, it was an adult tooth, there are several things you can do to preserve the tooth and increase the chances of it being successfully replanted into the mouth. Just remember that the faster you locate the tooth and get your child to the dentist, the more likely it is that the tooth can be saved. If a tooth is knocked out:

  • Do not let the tooth dry out, and do not soak it in water. If the tooth is dirty, put it in milk immediately.
  • Do not scrape or touch the root surface.
  • After making sure the tooth is clean, put it back into the socket and hold it in place on the way to the dentist. If it cannot be put back into the socket, keep it in a glass of milk to prevent it from drying out.
  • Go straight to your True Care Advantage dentist or a hospital immediately. During treatment, a dentist will give your child a “splint” to keep the tooth in place while it heals.

It is important to remember that knocked-out teeth can often be prevented by reminding your child to wear a mouth guard during recreational and sporting activities. Teeth are surprisingly easy to damage, so it’s always better to be overly cautious and protect your child’s beautiful smile.

Common eye conditions: Blepharitis

Have your eyelids ever been red, itchy, irritated or become crusty? These are all symptoms of blepharitis, a common eye condition caused by bacteria, a skin condition like dandruff, or other factors. Blepharitis is not contagious and generally does not cause permanent damage, but it is important to be aware of its symptoms and keep it under control. According to the American Optometric Association, there are two types of blepharitis – anterior blepharitis, which occurs at the outer area where eyelashes are attached, and posterior blepharitis, which affects the inner edge of the eyelid. Anterior blepharitis is often caused by bacteria or dandruff of the scalp and eyebrows.

Posterior blepharitis can be the result of irregular oil production by eyelid glands and can also be caused by skin conditions like rosacea. Neither version of the condition typically disappears completely, but patients can help keep it away by keeping their eyelids clean and free of crust. Eye doctors often recommend using warm compresses and prescribed antibiotics. Doctors on your True Dental Discounts vision plan may also suggest not using eye makeup or contacts during treatment. By following their recommendations and taking care of your eyes, you can greatly reduce the occurrence of blepharitis and keep your eyes comfortable and healthy.

Are you a good candidate for contacts

The popularity of contact lenses has skyrocketed over the last decade. It is not unusual to be unaware that someone you work with – or even one of your friends – has corrective lenses. But contacts are not for everyone. Many factors go into the decision to wear contacts, so be sure to talk to an eye doctor on your True Dental Discounts plan about your individual situation. In general, the Foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology suggests that people who have the following issues may not be a good candidate for contact lenses:

  • Severe allergies
  • Frequent eye infections
  • A dusty work environment
  • Dry eyes that are resistant to treatment
  • An inability to handle or properly care for the lenses

If you do get contacts, it is important to learn the proper method of cleaning and disinfecting the lenses. Dirty contacts can increase your chance of getting an eye infection, so make sure to thoroughly clean both the lenses and their cases. Also, anytime a lens is removed from the eye, it should be cleaned again before being reinserted. If your eyes become irritated while wearing contacts, talk to your eye doctor and find a way to alter your routine. The fix could be something as simple as changing your wetting drops or, in some cases, it might be best to stick to wearing glasses. Your vision care doctor will let you know which option is healthier for your eyes.

What kinds of tests can I expect at an eye appointment?

Patients who get their eyes checked are generally asked to perform a few different vision tests. These tests allow an eye doctor to examine the functioning of a person’s eyes and determine whether further corrective action needs to be taken. One such test is the visual acuity test. This common test measures the details a person can see at both near and far distances. Usually, a patient is asked to read a series of letters or numbers in varying sizes. Each eye is tested individually so the doctor can note any differences or weaknesses. Another common test is the visual field test, in which patients’ eyes are also tested individually. In this test, the person is instructed to look forward while indicating whether they can perceive lights or objects in their peripheral vision.

The visual field test is helpful because it maps a person’s entire field of vision and can detect conditions like glaucoma. A third common test is known as refraction. This test measures refractive error and can indicate a person’s need for corrective lenses. Refraction is helpful for identifying both farsightedness and nearsightedness. Finally, eye doctors typically conduct a color vision test to measure a person’s ability to distinguish colors. This test can detect variations of color blindness and is usually performed by symbols made up of colored dot patterns. People who have trouble distinguishing certain colors will not be able to perceive the imbedded symbols, thereby indicating possible color blindness.