Communicating with your doctor over the Internet

In the past, it could be difficult to get in contact with your doctor or have personal communication. Doctors are busy, and an office visit, let alone a phone call, is rare. Now, thanks to the Internet, patients and doctors are establishing a much more immediate connection. Consider these tips from the Mayo Clinic to increase the success of your online interactions:

  1. Keep your online topics reasonable: In other words, don’t e-mail your doctor if you’re experiencing chest pain or another serious condition. Call 911 and get immediate help.
  2. Keep your messages short: Don’t send your doctor drawn-out histories and stories about your health. Write simply and effectively.
  3. Keep your contact secure: Do not send private health messages from a public computer, such as one at work or at the library. Messages sent from these places may not remain confidential, and your privacy may be compromised.
  4. Make sure you have an established connection: Online visits are most effective when doctors and patients already have an established history with one another. It’s much harder to be diagnosed or receive help when you’ve never had a face-to-face meeting with a doctor or constructed a medical history.

Talk to your doctor and ask if he or she conducts virtual visits online. If so, discuss the ways you can best make use of this technology and get personalized tips. You could be saving time and money in no time!

Communicating with your health care professional can help keep you safe

Many people who get a prescription from their doctor don’t think twice before adding it to their daily routine. They might glance at the dosage, but never give a second thought to what other factors go into a good prescription. Yet, there are many personal habits and health concerns that must be addressed before committing to a particular type of medicine. The National Council on Patient Information and Education suggests that you maintain regular communication with your doctor or pharmacist about the following issues:

  • Any ongoing or past medical conditions, and the overseeing doctor;
  • The names of all medicines you are currently taking, including sleeping aids, laxatives, vitamins, herbal remedies, pain relievers, and both prescription and non-prescription medicines;
  • Any problems you’ve experienced with certain types of medications;
  • Any known allergies to medicines or substances;
  • If you are, or could become, pregnant.

Each of these items represents an important part of your prescription health, and having open communication with your health care professional can help to ensure that you do not take a potentially harmful medication. Many people do not realize that their small day-to-day habits and their “non-medications” such as dietary supplements can impact the effectiveness of any new medication. Be sure to talk about these issues with your doctor, and, as always, show him or her your True care discount card to guarantee you’re getting the best prescriptions for your money.

Insomnia prescription solutions

Have you ever found yourself lying awake, unable to sleep? For some people, this annoyance can turn into full-blown insomnia, which makes it hard to sleep for days or weeks at a time. In certain chronic cases, prescription medication can be a good solution for this disorder. Doctors will often examine a patient’s behaviors and stressors to determine whether the insomnia is best treated with medication, or if there are other contributing factors. If it is determined that a person would benefit from medication, a doctor will mostly likely prescribe a hypnotic/sedative. Hypnotics increase chemical activity in the brain to produce drowsiness and allow a person to maintain a regular sleep schedule.

They do carry a risk of side effects, including irritability, headaches, confusion and depression, but in most cases, the benefit outweighs the potential complications. If you struggle with chronic insomnia, talk to your doctor about possible prescription medications. She will be able to determine which hypnotic is best suited for your particular routine and can monitor any changes in your sleeping patterns. Also, make sure you use your True Dental Discounts, prescription plan to receive discounts on your prescriptions. You could save up to 60 percent on a prescription that treats your insomnia, allowing you to sleep twice as soundly.

Protect your hearing with earmuffs, earplugs

Although it is always best for your hearing to avoid dangerously loud environments, many people are simply not able to escape these situations, particularly in a work setting. In these cases, experts recommend one of two hearing protection options: earmuffs or earplugs. Both of these devices work by lowering the intensity of sound before it reaches a person’s ear drum, but earmuffs are worn outside the ear while earplugs are inserted directly into the outer ear canal. According to the American Hearing Research Foundation, earplugs are only effective when they form a completely air-tight seal in the ear canal. To make sure the canal is sealed, earplugs come in many sizes and shapes.

They can also be custom made by an audiologist on your True Dental Discounts hearing plan if you have difficulty finding properly fitting plugs. In addition, some people wear special headbands with earplugs attached in order to make sure they do not fall out of their ear while working in a loud environment. The foundation does not recommend substituting cotton balls for earplugs because make-shift plugs typically only work about half to one-fourth as well as a properly fitting earplug.
However, people who prefer not to wear earplugs can find a good alternative in earmuffs. Earmuffs form an air-tight seal around the outside of the ear and are worn on a headband. People who choose to wear earmuffs should be careful not to wear them while wearing eyeglasses or long hair, both of which will cause the muffs to seal improperly.

The headband must also be adjusted to a length that allows the muffs to fit snugly around the ear so no loose space exists to let sound in. If all of these conditions are met, the foundation suggests that people who wear earmuffs or earplugs can reduce their nose exposure by 15 to 30 decibels. That’s like the difference between a rock concert and a movie! The two methods can also be combined, and people who wear earmuffs in addition to earplugs can often increase their protection by another 10 to 15 decibels. If you can only choose one, many experts agree that earplugs are more effective at reducing low-frequency noise, while earmuffs are better at reducing high-frequency noise. When in doubt, always ask your True Dental Discounts audiologist. An audiologist can help identify any emerging damage and show you how to preserve your hearing for years to come.

The connection between earaches and nerves

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, earaches are one of the most common conditions in young children, with more than 70 percent experiencing at least one earache before the age of 3. In most cases, doctors treat this condition with antibiotics; however, new research has shown that the cause of many earaches is actually irritation of the small nerves in the spine. As described by Chiropractic America, “When these nerve endings are irritated, an abnormal tension is produced in the small muscles of the neck. This muscle tension can place pressure on the lymphatic drainage ducts resulting in inadequate drainage from inside the ear, thus preventing the body from being able to naturally correct the problem.”

A chiropractor will look for increased tension in the neck and any misalignment of the vertebrae. Often, these issues are caused by the normal wear-and-tear a child experiences during play. Through simple adjustments to the child’s neck muscles and spinal vertebrae, a chiropractor can help lymph drainage return to normal and remove the cause of the earache. This way, by visiting a chiropractor on their True Dental Discounts,  hearing plan instead of filling a prescription, parents can avoid over-medicating their children and wasting money on ineffective antibiotics.