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September 28, 2016

October – Home Eye Safety Month

October is Home Eye Safety month. Most folks think of eye safety as something for the workplace but statistically, it is important that we zone in on the home. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), there are about 2.5 million eye injuries per year. Approximately 50% of those occur in or around the home. About 50,000 people lost some degree of eyesight. The AAO states that 90% of those injuries could be been prevented by safety eyewear yet only 35% of those surveyed always wear protective eyewear when doing home repair or projects. Knowing the risks and how to prevent them is the first step in improving those numbers. Eye injuries can occur in or outside the home. The AAO lists the following as the most common causes of injury: Eye Injury Risks in the House Using hazardous products and chemicals such as oven cleaner and bleach for cleaning and other chores (accidents involving common household products cause 125,000 eye injuries each year). Cooking foods can that can splatter hot grease or oil. Opening champagne bottles during a celebration. Drilling or hammering screws or nails into walls or hard surfaces like brick or cement; the screws or nails can become projectiles, or fragments can come off the surface. Using hot objects such as curling irons around the face; inadvertent contact with the user’s eyes can cause serious injury. Loose rugs and railings or other hazards that could cause falls or slips. Injury Risks in the Yard Mowing the lawn. Using a power trimmer or edger. Clipping hedges and bushes. Eye Injury Risks in the Garage or Workshop Using tools (power or hand). Working with solvents or other chemicals. Any task that can produce fragments, dust particles or other eye irritants. Securing equipment or loads with bungee cord Friendsforsight.org reports that the most common place for an eye injury to occur is in the yard or garden. One in four eye injuries happen during home repair. Not all accidents can be prevented but taking a few precautions can lessen your chance of injury. Prevent Blindness and the American Academy of Ophthalmology offer the following tips to protect your eyes: Wear eye protection, this cannot be stressed enough. The AAO and the American Society of Ocular Trauma now recommend that every household have at least one pair of ANSI-approved protective eyewear for use during projects and activities that may present risk of injury. Eye protection, such as safety goggles, protects your eyes against particles and dust, flying debris and chemicals splashes. Also note that regular corrective lenses do not protect your eyes against injury; you can easily find safety goggles that are worn over your glasses. Cushion sharp corners and edges of furnishings and home fixtures if you have children or the elderly in your house. Keep your tools in good condition; damaged tools should be repaired or replaced. Make sure that all spray nozzles are directed away from you. When using hazardous products (e.g., bleach, detergents, cleansers) never mix chemical agents or other caustic substances, always read and follow the manufacturer warnings and guidelines, and always use in well-ventilated areas. To improve safety on stairs and walkways remove tripping hazards, secure rugs, install gates on stairs, and provide sufficient lighting and effective handrails. This is especially important in homes and locations where toddlers and senior citizens reside. Remove debris and inspect yard and garden before beginning yard work, such as mowing or using a weed trimmer. This measure will not only protect you, but it will prevent potential injury to bystanders. Loose stones, branches, and other items can become projectiles when they come in contact with a lawn mower, weed trimmer, or hedge trimmer. Remember to wash your hands after completing a task and before touching your eyes or face. Be sure tools and cleaners are out of the reach of children. When cooking, use shields, as this will prevent hot oils from splashing on your body, face, and especially into your eyes. For more information about home eye safety, visit these websites: American Academy of Ophthalmology – www.aao.org Prevent Blindness - http://www.preventblindness.org Lorraine Wichtowski is a community health educator at Noyes Health in Dansville. If you have questions or suggestions for future articles she can be reached at lwichtowski@noyeshealth.org or 585-335-4327. ... Read More

September 27, 2016

First “Duel in the Pool” Raises $5000 For Ann and Carl Myers Cancer Center

On Saturday, September 24, more than 200 high school swimmers from 14 regional teams met at the Bath-Haverling Complex pool for the first ever "Duel in the Pool." Girls from the Livingston Conference and Finger Lakes League competed as single teams for bragging rights and to raise money for the new Ann and Carl Myers Cancer Center in Dansville. The winner? The Cancer Center, as admission fees, 50/50 raffles and other games raised $5000. At the end of the meet, the girls and their coaches presented the check to UR Medicine / Noyes Health CEO Amy Pollard and Noyes Health Foundation chair Jon Shay. “We are grateful to Livingston Conference and Dansville girls’ swim coach Jim Welch and his counterpart from the Finger Lakes League, Chris Oaks at Pal-Mac, for organizing this event and choosing to give the proceeds to the Cancer Center,” says Pollard. “The girls gave it their all and had fun. It was a great morning of competition and camaraderie.” The Ann and Carl Myers Cancer Center is a collaborative project among Wilmot Cancer Institute, Jones Memorial Hospital (Wellsville), and Noyes Health. When it opens its doors early next year, it will serve as a regional hub for oncology services and includes a medical oncology clinic in Wellsville and Hornell. Established with a $2 million gift from Ann and Carl Myers, the $5.8 million project will feature a 4,500 square foot radiation oncology clinic and a 2,300 square foot medical oncology clinic featuring three exam rooms and seven chemotherapy/infusion chairs. It will also provide patients with access to advanced diagnostic testing, clinical trials, outpatient palliative care, and Wilmot Cancer Institute’s Judy DiMarzo Cancer Survivorship Program. Physicians at the cancer center and medical oncology clinic at Jones will have access to UR Medicine’s region-wide electronic medical record system and regular consultations with multidisciplinary teams focused on cancer. It will allow our patients to focus not on the stress and expense of travelling for treatment, but rather on living their lives and getting well. PHOTO ID: Two hundred swimmers from the Livingston Conference and Finger Lakes League competed in the first cross-conference “Duel in the Pool” at the Bath-Haverling pool on Saturday, September 24. After the meet, the girls and their coaches presented a check for $5000 to UR Medicine / Noyes Health CEO Amy Pollard and Noyes Health Foundation chair Jon Shay. Noyes Health Foundation chair Jon Shay and UR Medicine / Noyes Health CEO Amy Pollard receive a check for $5000 from Dansville High School girls’ swimming coach Jim Welch and his wife Natalie. Two hundred swimmers from across the region competed on Saturday, September 24, for cross-conference bragging rights and to raise money for the new Ann and Carl Myers Cancer Center, under construction on the campus of Noyes Health in Dansville. The $5000 check was presented at the end of the meet. ... Read More

September 22, 2016

Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. Ovarian Cancer is one of the most deadly of women's cancers. The American Cancer Society estimates there are about 22,280 women diagnosed yearly for ovarian cancer. About 14,240 of those women will die from ovarian cancer. Ovarian cancer ranks fifth in cancer deaths among women, accounting for more deaths than any other cancer of the female reproductive system. A woman's risk of getting ovarian cancer during her lifetime is about 1 in 75. Her lifetime chance of dying from ovarian cancer is about 1 in 100. This cancer typically occurs in women in their fifties and sixties with the median age being 63. According to the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition, ovarian cancer is a disease in which depending on the type and stage of the disease, malignant (cancerous) cells are found inside, near, or on the outer layer of the ovaries. An ovary is one of two small, almond-shaped organs located on each side of the uterus that store eggs, or germ cells, and produce the female hormones, estrogen and progesterone. Many women who are diagnosed with ovarian cancer have a genetic history that may include carrying the BRCA mutation gene or have a strong family history of ovarian cancer. Ovarian cancer is more common in women who are overweight, women who have a mother, sister or daughter with the disease, and those who have never had children. Other risk factors may include talcum powder use, a history of breast cancer, and the use of estrogen after menopause. While some studies are inconclusive, others indicate that eating a low-fat diet, being pregnant, breastfeeding, and using birth control pills prior to menopause seem to be protective factors for contracting this cancer. Since the organs involved in this illness are so deep in the abdomen, it can be quite difficult to diagnose. A pelvic exam can sometimes reveal a problem but even the most skilled examiner may not be able to feel a tumor especially at an early stage. Symptoms can be absent or vague, including swelling or bloating of the abdomen, stomach pain or pelvic pressure, having trouble eating or feeling full quickly, or urinary urgency or frequency. Those symptoms are quite common for other diseases as well, which makes ovarian cancer diagnosis even harder. It is, therefore, important for a woman to report any changes in feeling different to her physician. There are no screening tests for ovarian cancer that can be applied to large numbers of women, like there are for breast cancer. It is important to note that the Pap test is effective for early detection of cervical cancer, but isn’t a test for ovarian cancer. If a woman has strong risk factors for ovarian cancer, her health care provider can use a blood test, ultrasound, and CT scans to look for signs of cancer. If a tumor is found, a biopsy is performed to determine if it is cancerous or not. Once a diagnosis is made, treatment begins fairly quickly. Surgery to remove as much of the tumor (or tumors) as possible is performed and depending how widespread the cancer is, the ovaries and uterus might be removed at the same time. A regimen of chemotherapy, sometimes followed by radiation is the next step in treatment. According the American Cancer Society, the 5-year survival rate for all types of ovarian cancer is 45%. Women diagnosed when they are younger than 65 do better than older women. If ovarian cancer is found (and treated) before the cancer has spread outside the ovary (stages IA and IB), the 5-year relative survival rate is 92%. However, only 15% of all ovarian cancers are found at this early stage. The key takeaway from this data is be your own best advocate. If you have a family history of ovarian cancer, go for regular physicals with your primary care physician and never miss your annual gynecological exam. In addition, pay attention to your body. If you have symptoms that persist or worsen, don’t ignore them. To learn more about ovarian cancer risks, diagnosis, and treatment options visit: American Cancer Society at http://www.cancer.org/cancer/ovariancancer or National Ovarian Cancer Coalition at http://www.ovarian.org. Lorraine Wichtowski is a community health educator at Noyes Health in Dansville. If you have questions or suggestions for future articles she can be reached at lwichtowski@noyeshealth.org or 585-335-4327. ... Read More

September 19, 2016

Living Healthy for Life

My mom says Arthur goes with her everywhere. It is with her at night, when she wakes in the morning, and every step and movement during the day. Arthur is not a dog, cat, or even gentlemen friend. Arthur is mom’s code word for arthritis. It is indeed a constant companion although not a welcome one. Over time, it has changed her life and decreased some of her activities. I imagine we all know someone like my mom, living with chronic pain or a chronic condition such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, or even anxiety. Often these conditions compromise the quality of daily life. There is the pain, the limitations, and consequently for some, poor emotional health to deal with on an everyday basis. If you or a loved one fits this description, you may want to consider a Living Healthy workshop. Living Healthy workshops are educational programs designed to help people manage life with chronic pain or disease. They are based on the Stanford Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP). This evidence-based, self-management education program helps participants learn self-management skills needed to help deal with the symptoms of their chronic condition and with the life role changes and emotions experienced when living with a chronic condition. The emphasis of the workshop’s curriculum is to help people: manage common problems such as fatigue; communicate with friends, family, and providers; deal with anger and depression; and design and maintain a healthy eating and exercise plan. In addition, participants learn disease related decision-making and problem solving skills. As a result, these interventions help participants reduce pain, depression, fear, and frustration; improve mobility and exercise; increase energy; and boost confidence in their ability to manage their condition. The most important outcome is that people become more confident and are able to combine more active lives with self-management of their chronic health condition. From 2012 to now, more than 7,300 people have participated in CDSMP Living Healthy workshops across New York. Most of those people live with multiple chronic conditions including: arthritis, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, lung disease, depression and others. Chronic disease self-management programs are being implemented successfully in senior centers, churches, and other community settings across the country. According to Stanford.edu, subjects who took the program, when compared to those who did not, demonstrated significant improvements in exercise, cognitive symptom management, and communication with physicians, self-reported general health, health distress and fatigue, disability, and social/role activities limitations. They also spent fewer days in the hospital, and there was also a trend toward fewer outpatient visits and hospitalizations. In addition, participants applaud benefits of the Living Healthy self-help workshops: “They taught us to focus on what we can do…not on what we can’t do.” “The pain doesn’t go away, but you learn to manage the pain instead of the pain managing you.” “Now I can work better with my doctor to manage my symptoms.” “I know the things to do and this helps my motivation to get it done.” “The progress is due to the positive class support.” Locally, Noyes Health offers Living Healthy classes in the fall and spring. Participants learn from trained volunteer leaders with health conditions themselves. Each person learns how to set his or her own goals and make a step-by-step plan to improve his or her own health and life! The workshops meet for 2 ½ hours once per week for six weeks. The Fall, 2016 workshop, Living Healthy with a Chronic Condition, will be held in Nunda starting October 12th from 10 am – 12:30 pm. Classes are FREE but spaces are limited and registration is required. If you would like more information or would like to register, call (585)335-4358 or email: livinghealthy@noyeshealth.org. This article was written by Christa Barrows, Living Healthy coordinator at Noyes Health and Lorraine Wichtowski. Lorraine Wichtowski is a community health educator at Noyes Health in Dansville. If you have questions or suggestions for future articles she can be reached at lwichtowski@noyeshealth.org or 585-335-4327. ... Read More

September 12, 2016

“Night for Noyes” Event to Benefit New Cancer Center

Noyes Health Foundation and Noyes Health Auxiliary invite you to the first “Night for Noyes” on Saturday, October 15 at Nugget Hill Event Center in Wayland to benefit the Ann and Carl Myers Cancer Center. The festive-not-fancy evening under the stars kicks off at 5:30 p.m. Guests will be treated to appetizers, entrée stations, and a live and silent auction, as well as a DJ taking requests throughout the night. Tickets are $40, and may be purchased at Noyes Memorial Hospital’s front desk, Dogwood Trading Company on Main Street in Dansville and the Not Dot Shop on Main Street in Geneseo. Lead sponsors of the event are The Gunlocke Company and UR Medicine, with co-sponsor Lent Hill Dairy Farm, LLC. The Ann and Carl Myers Cancer Center is a unique collaborative project between Wilmot Cancer Institute, Jones Memorial Hospital, and Noyes Health currently under construction on the campus of Noyes Hospital. When it opens early next year, the Cancer Center will provide patients in the Finger Lakes, Southern Tier, and Western New York more convenient access to comprehensive, state-of-the art cancer care. It will also serve as a hub for oncology services and includes a medical oncology clinic in Wellsville and Hornell. Established with a $2 million gift from Ann and Carl Myers, the $5.8 million project will feature a 4,500 square foot radiation oncology clinic and a 2,300 square foot medical oncology clinic featuring three exam rooms and seven chemotherapy/infusion chairs. It will also provide patients with access to advanced diagnostic testing, clinical trials, outpatient palliative care, and Wilmot Cancer Institute’s Judy DiMarzo Cancer Survivorship Program. Physicians at the cancer center and medical oncology clinic at Jones will have access to UR Medicine’s region-wide electronic medical record system and regular consultations with multidisciplinary teams focused on cancer. Donations of auction items welcome! Sponsorship opportunities are still available. Please contact Mary Sue Dehn, Noyes Health Foundation Director at (585)335-4363 with questions. ... Read More

September 9, 2016

Gardening - The season is coming to an end, but not the benefits!

When I was a little girl growing up in Honeoye, my family befriended a man named Al. He was a kind, gentle man who lived in a group home for veterans. Al’s therapy was his garden. He did not drive so during the summer months, we often picked him up in the morning and drove him to a small plot of land donated by a local farmer. There was a small shed, a rain barrel, and rows upon rows of vegetables. Al would plant, weed, water, and harvest all summer long. His vegetables fed the group home and our house as well. I still remember large crocks full of carrots and potatoes that lasted us well into the winter months. Al did not talk much but spoke volumes when he smiled and handed you a fresh cucumber out of the garden, still warm from the sun. Nothing tasted better. This was way back in the 1960s and 70s. Not too much was known then about all the benefits of gardening but since then, science has confirmed what Al knew intuitively. Gardening is good for the soul and for the body. Researchers use fancy language like gardening is positively correlated with social and interpersonal skills or gardening positively influences attitudes towards healthy nutrition and environmental stewardship. But all that really means is that folks who garden generally connect better with people, like fruits and vegetables more, and love the land! This past summer, a group of children in Lima had the chance to experience gardening first hand. Noyes Health with funding from the Rural Health Grant of New York State created new raised bed gardens and provided healthy nutrition curriculum for the Great Expectations Childcare Center. Petra Page-Mann, owner of the organic seed and plant company Fruition Seeds, spent a morning back in early June, teaching the children about seeds and how to plant. She also sent seed packets home with every child for their families to enjoy. Then the staff of Great Expectations took over. Under the direction of co-owner, Jane Chatterton, the teachers integrated a fruit and vegetable curriculum into their class work. In addition, the children had the opportunity to plant, weed, water, and harvest vegetables, herbs, and even edible flowers. The kiddos also got a lesson in entomology during a Japanese beetle invasion! Overall, the project was a grand success. The children learned the biology of plant growth, worked the soil, and harvested a variety of vegetables. They tasted cherry tomatoes, spinach, lettuce, beans, peppers, ground cherries and more. According to numerous studies over the last three decades, children who grow their own food are more likely to eat fresh fruits and vegetables or express a preference for these foods. In one past childcare garden project, 57% of parents reported that their children now ate veggies that they did not eat before gardening. Because garden programs like the one with Noyes Health and Great Expectations include lessons on nutrition, children are more knowledgeable about healthy eating in general. There is also mounting evidence that active learning in less structured spaces like gardens is more likely to transform children’s food attitudes and habits. All this leads to lifelong benefits. A 2005 study of over 2,000 men and women found that those who picked flowers, fruits and vegetables in childhood were more likely to show an interest in gardening as they aged. Even more important, is the lifelong desire to eat fruits and vegetables which is crucial for healthy digestion, immune function, and weight management. If we can hook children on vegetables at an early age, it may help curb the obesity epidemic. Noyes Health will once again be building a garden for a childcare center in Livingston County in 2017. If you know of a childcare center who would like to participate in this program, please contact Lorraine Wichtowski, Noyes Health community health educator, at 585-335-4327 or lwichtowski@noyeshealth.org. Lorraine Wichtowski is a community health educator at Noyes Health in Dansville. If you have questions or suggestions for future articles she can be reached at lwichtowski@noyeshealth.org or 585-335-4327. ... Read More

September 2, 2016

Suicide Prevention Week

September 5th – 11th is Suicide Prevention Week. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States with one suicide occurring on average every 12.3 minutes. Even more startling is that suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among 15 to 24 year olds. Furthermore, while the elderly make up 14. 5% of the population, they comprise 18% of all suicides. Overall, approximately 1.1 million Americans attempt suicide every year and an estimated 4.8 million Americans are survivors of suicide of a friend, family member, or loved one. Suicide has a huge impact on society. 90% of those who die by suicide have an underlying mental illness. Mental illness is quite prevalent in American society. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), approximately, 1 in 5 adults in the U.S - 43.7 million, or 18.6% - experiences mental illness in a given year. In addition, 1 in 25 adults in the U.S. - 13.6 million, or 4.1% - experiences a serious mental illness in a given year that substantially interferes with or limits their life. 1.1% of American adults live with schizophrenia and 2.6% live with bipolar disorder. The most common disorders, however, are major depression, which affects 6.9% of the population and anxiety disorders which affect 18.1%. Statistics show that mental illness affects men and women, the young and the old, all races and ethnicities, and social economic classes. No group is left untouched. It impacts life and death on a daily basis in the US. Fortunately, most depressive disorders are treatable with psychotherapy, drugs, and other interventions. But if undetected and untreated, clinical depression can destroy quality of life and exacerbate health problems. It can lead to the person suffering, withdrawal from others, family disruption, and sometimes suicide. Because it brings the potential for suicide, depression is a life-threatening illness. The first step to combatting suicide statistics is to talk openly about mental health and seek help. There's no easy test to differentiate typical behaviors from mental illness. According to NAMI, each illness has its own set of symptoms but some common signs of mental illness in adults and adolescents may include the following: Excessive worrying or fear Feeling excessively sad or low Confused thinking or problems concentrating and learning Extreme mood changes, including uncontrollable “highs” or feelings of euphoria Prolonged or strong feelings of irritability or anger Avoiding friends and social activities Difficulties understanding or relating to other people Changes in sleeping habits or feeling tired and low energy Changes in eating habits such as increased hunger or lack of appetite Changes in sex drive Difficulty perceiving reality (delusions or hallucinations, in which a person experiences and senses things that don't exist in objective reality) Inability to perceive changes in one’s own feelings, behavior or personality (”lack of insight”) Abuse of substances like alcohol or drugs Multiple physical ailments without obvious causes (such as headaches, stomach aches, vague and ongoing “aches and pains”) Thinking about suicide Inability to carry out daily activities or handle daily problems and stress An intense fear of weight gain or concern with appearance (mostly in adolescents) Mental health professionals offer this advice. Don’t be afraid to reach out if you or someone you know needs help. Important first steps include: 1) Talk with your doctor; 2) Connect with other individuals and families; and 3) Learn more about mental illness, symptoms, and treatment. For more information, connect with the National Institute of Mental Health at www.nimh.nih.gov or the National Alliance on Mental Illness at www.NAMI.org or the American Association of Suicidology at http://www.suicidology.org. Locally, Noyes Mental Health Services can be reached at (585) 335-4316 and Livingston County Mental Health Services can be reached at (585) 243-7250. If you or someone you know is in danger or suicidal, call 911. Lorraine Wichtowski is a community health educator at Noyes Health in Dansville. If you have questions or suggestions for future articles she can be reached at lwichtowski@noyeshealth.org or 585-335-4327. ... Read More

August 25, 2016

Duel in the Pool

Girls’ varsity swimmers from Dansville High School and Wayland Cohocton High School toured the under-construction Ann and Carl Myers Cancer Center at UR Medicine / Noyes Health on August 23. The girls will compete with more than 200 varsity swimmers from across the region in the first ever “Duel in the Pool” on Saturday, September 24 at the Bath-Haverling Aquatics Complex starting at 10:30 a.m. The unique cross-conference meet, organized by Dansville High School swimming coach Jim Welch and his wife Natalie, will pit Livingston County Conference swimmers as one team against rivals from the Finger Lakes League. The $5 admission fee, as well as proceeds from t-shirt sales, a 50/50 raffle and pool games will benefit the Cancer Center. PHOTO IDs L to R: Jim and Natalie Welch, Emily Polizzi (Dansville), Kadelynn McInnis (Wayland Cohocton), Jesse Gunn (Dansville), MacKenzie Curtin (Wayland-Cohocton), Cheyenne Markowski (Dansville) For more information visit www.noyes-health.org, Noyes Health Facebook Page or contact Mary Sue Dehn, Director of PR/Foundation coswald@noyeshealth.com or 585-335-4323.... Read More

August 25, 2016

Prevent Falls

The number of adults over 65 years of age who die from unintentional falls continues to increase. About 12 million older adults, approximately 1 in 3, fall each year in the U.S. Over half of these falls occur in the home. Every year, 2. 5 million older people are treated in emergency rooms for fall injuries including fractured arms, wrists, legs, and hips. 250,000 older folks are hospitalized for hip fractures alone. In addition, falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries. Falls are the leading cause of injury in older adults but the good news is that many risk factors can be changed or modified to cut the risk for injury. According to the CDC, most falls are caused by a combination of risk factors. Those factors include: Lower body weakness Vitamin D deficiency Difficulties with walking or balance Use of medicines, such as tranquilizers, sedatives, or antidepressants. (Even some over the counter medicines can affect balance and how steady you are on your feet.) Vision problems Foot pain or poor footwear (high heels, floppy slippers, and shoes with slick soles should be avoided) Home hazards such as broken or uneven steps, throw rugs or clutter than can be tripped over, and no handrails in the stairways or bathrooms. Many falls can be prevented. Speaking with a physician, making your home safer, and increasing strength and balance can help reduce the risk for a fall. The Mayo Clinic, CDC, and Harvard Medical School recommend the following: Talk to Your Doctor Ask your healthcare provider to evaluate your risk for falling. Ask your doctor and pharmacist to review all your medications (prescription and over the counter) to see if any might make you sleepy or dizzy. Have your eyes checked by an eye doctor at least once a year and update glasses as necessary. Make Your Home Safer Remove boxes, newspapers, electrical cords, and phone cords from walkways. Move coffee tables, magazine racks, baskets, and plant stands from high traffic areas. Secure loose rugs with double-faced tape, tacks or a slip-resistant backing OR simply remove all loose rugs from the home. Repair loose, wooden floors and carpet. Store clothing, dishes, food and other necessities within easy reach. Install railings on both sides of stair ways and grab bars inside and outside of tubs and showers as well as next to the toilet. Place night lights in bedroom, bathroom, and hallways. Place a lamp within reach of bed for middle of the night needs. Turn on the lights before going up or down stairs. Store flashlights in easy to find places in case of power outages. Increase Your Strength and Balance Note: Consult with your doctor before starting any exercise program. Consider physical therapy for the balance system. Gentle exercises like a pelvic tilt or leg lift can increase strength. Tai Chi, Silver Sneakers, Matter of Balance, and Yoga help with control and the quality of movement. All three types of exercise help with balance, range of motion, leg and core strength, and reflexes. Contact 335-4359 for local programs. Ask a physician if a cane or walker would complement your balance and offer more stability. Locally, the Genesee Valley Health Partnership, the Livingston County Office for the Aging, and the Medical Reserve Corps in cooperation with Noyes Health are sponsoring the 3rd Annual Fall Prevention Workshop on Friday, September 16, 2016 from 9:00 am to 12:30 pm at the Lakeville Training Grounds in Lakeville. This free event will highlight several fall prevention experts and includes refreshments. Attendees will learn strategies and skills to prevent falls in the home and connect with local resources and agencies. Registration is required. To register, please call Noyes Health Community Outreach Services at 335-4359 or email lifeline@noyeshealth.org. Lorraine Wichtowski is a community health educator at Noyes Health in Dansville. If you have questions or suggestions for future articles she can be reached at lwichtowski@noyeshealth.org or 585-335-4327. ... Read More

August 18, 2016

Your Child’s Vision

The world is getting blurry, fuzzy, and out of focus. Literally, we are not seeing as well as we did in the past. According to a May, 2016 article in the American Academy of Ophthalmology Journal, 50% of the world’s population, nearly 5 billion people will be myopic by the year 2050. Currently, 30% of the U.S. population struggles with myopia (nearsightedness). Overall, 40% of Americans need glasses to correct their vision. Children are not exempt from this malady. The American Academy of Opthamology (AAO) reports more than a third of U.S. children ages 12 to 17 are nearsighted, a sharp increase from the 1970s when only 24% in this age group had myopia. Researchers don’t know exactly all the reasons this is occurring but they suspect lifestyle changes are the culprit. Studies indicate that decreased time outdoors and increased near work activities, particularly computer, tablet, and cell phone use are to blame. The American Optometric Association (AOA) reports that 80% of the learning a child does occurs through his or her eyes. Good vision is necessary for reading, writing, music, art, sports, and more. Vision is more than just seeing clearly. The eyes work together with the brain to recognize, comprehend, and retain information. To effectively read and learn for instance, the eyes focus in on words, help us track sentences across and down a page, and work together to judge distances and spaces. In addition, as a child progresses through K-12, the eyes have a greater workload. With each successive grade, there is more reading, more computer work, smaller print, and increased homework and study time. Bottom line, good vision is critical for school work and success. If glasses or contacts are needed, specialists say the earlier, the better. When a vision problem is detected and treated in its early stages, it is more likely the treatment will be successful. Vision can change frequently during the school years so regular eye and vision care is important. Sadly, many children never have their eyes checked. The AAO states almost 40% of children in the U.S. have never undergone a vision screening. The school year starts in just a few short weeks and it is a great time to schedule a comprehensive exam. It is recommended that a child receive an eye examination at least once every two years – more frequently if there are specific problems or risk factors. It is important to note that school and pediatric vision screening may only test for distance visual acuity. Furthermore, children often do not recognize vision problems; they think everyone sees as they do and it is normal. The AOA and the AAO suggest the following signs may indicate your child has a vision problem: Frequent eye rubbing or blinking Short attention span Avoiding reading and other close activities Frequent headaches Covering one eye Tilting the head to one side Holding reading materials close to the face An eye turning in or out Seeing double Losing place when reading Difficulty remembering what he or she read Squinting when looking in the distance Sitting to close to the TV To learn more about children and vision, check out these websites: American Optometric Association - http://www.aoa.org/?sso=y American Academy of Opthamology - http://www.aao.org/ National Eye Institute - https://nei.nih.gov/ To help a child in your life learn more about vision in a fun, creative way, log onto: https://nei.nih.gov/kids Lorraine Wichtowski is a community health educator at Noyes Health in Dansville. If you have questions or suggestions for future articles she can be reached at lwichtowski@noyeshealth.org or 585-335-4327. ... Read More

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