WEEKLY NEWS TIP SHEET – HEALTH TOPICS FOR THE WEEK OF APRIL 3, 2019

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    Health-care providers and researchers with the University of Louisville are available to discuss any of the following health topics this week. Click on the headline or scroll down for more information:

    • FREE CHAIR MASSAGES FOR PARKINSON’S DISEASE AWARENESS MONTH
    • TIPS FOR KEEPING EYES HEALTHY
    • KENTUCKY HAS HIGHEST CHILD ABUSE RATE IN THE U.S., BUT CAREGIVERS CAN HELP
    • WHERE TO SEEK CARE WHEN YOU’RE SICK OR INJURED

    FREE CHAIR MASSAGES FOR PARKINSON’S DISEASE AWARENESS MONTH

    April is Parkinson’s disease awareness month. To increase the public’s understanding of Parkinson’s disease and encourage those with the diagnosis to take advantage of the resources available, the Bill Collins Parkinson’s Resource Center is offering free chair massages. The massages will be available from noon-12:30 p.m. every Tuesday and Wednesday in April in the Bill Collins Parkinson’s Resource Center, located on the first floor of Frazier Rehab Institute, 220 Abraham Flexner Way, in Louisville.

    At the resource center, UofL Physicians – Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Clinic offers exercise classes for individuals with a diagnosis of a movement disorder, a free lunch and learn series, a DBS support group and more.

    In addition, a Parkinson’s disease caregiver support group meets in the resource center the fourth Friday of each month from 2:30 – 4 p.m. Kelly Bickett, a registered nurse in the clinic with special expertise in the care of individuals with Parkinson’s disease, leads the group. Respite care, supported by a community grant from the Parkinson’s Foundation, is available for Parkinson’s patients to allow caregivers to attend group sessions. Register by calling 502-582-7654.

     

    TIPS FOR HEALTHY EYES

    Vision is one of our most important senses. Joern Soltau, M.D., an ophthalmologist with UofL Physicians – Eye Specialists, offers the following tips to maintain the health of your eyes:

    Wear sunglasses outside. Excessive exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light will speed up the aging process of the eyes through increased oxidation. UV light is responsible for the progression of cataracts and development and progression of macular degeneration, a deterioration of the central part of the retina.

    Kick your tobacco habit. Smoking and vaping also increase the level of oxidants in the body. Any effort to stop smoking is paramount not only for general health, but also for the health of your eyes. Also, eating more green, leafy vegetables is recommend, since they contain a high amount of anti-oxidants.

    Get an eye exam. Eye exams are recommended at the same frequency as general physicals. Twice during the second decade of life, three times during the third decade, and so on, with annual checkups after age 60. During these exams, physicians can look for signs of cataracts and glaucoma.

    Glaucoma (elevated eye pressure) is the second leading cause of blindness, and vision loss from glaucoma is irreversible. It is important to detect glaucoma as early as possible so it can be treated, reducing future vision loss. Glaucoma runs in families and the incidence is increased in African-Americans.

     

    KENTUCKY HAS HIGHEST CHILD ABUSE RATE IN THE U.S., BUT CAREGIVERS CAN HELP

    Kentucky has the highest child abuse rate in the United States, according to federal data released in 2019 that shine a light on the issue and ways caregivers can curb abuse. April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month.

    In 2017, Kentucky reported 22,410 child abuse victims, equating to about 22 out of every 1,000 children, which is more than double the national average, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Children’s Bureau Child Maltreatment 2017 report. The state’s number has increased 27 percent since 2013.

    Nationally, 78 percent of child abuse perpetrators were parents, according to the report.

    “Many factors go into child abuse, but it’s always 100 percent preventable,” said Kelly L. Dauk, M.D., pediatrician with UofL Physicians – Pediatric Hospital Medicine. “There are many resources available for parents, caregivers, babysitters and bystanders to keep children out of these dangerous situations.”

    According to Face It, a movement to end child abuse, there are simple ways parents and caregivers can make a lifesaving difference:

    • Crying is normal. If you feel frustrated with your child, it’s OK to leave the baby in a crib or safe place while you take some deep breaths and calm down.
    • Hitting and yelling don’t work and are shown to be harmful. Scolding, if used frequently, can reinforce negative behavior and cause attention-seeking.
    • Potty training takes patience. Be patient and understanding with your child. Research shows physical punishment and shaming are not effective ways to help your child learn to use the potty. Instead, praise your child when she or he is successful. On average, potty training is an 18-month process.
    • Make sure your child knows the difference between “okay” and “not okay” touches.

    For more information, visit faceitabuse.org.

    In Kentucky, to report suspected child abuse call 1-877-KYSAFE1 (597-2331). The National Child Abuse Hotline, 1-800-4-A-CHILD (422-4453), offers professional crisis counselors who can provide intervention, information and referrals to emergency, social service and support resources. Calls are confidential.

     

    WHERE TO SEEK CARE WHEN YOU’RE SICK OR INJURED

    We’ve all been there. You have a mild sore throat and cough on Friday but by Saturday afternoon the cough has worsened. Or you wake up in the middle of the night with extreme nausea and a high fever. What is the most appropriate place to receive care in the most timely manner?

    Primary Care Providers – One of the best ways to care for your own health is to establish a relationship with a primary care provider (PCP), says Ashley Iles, M.D., a physician with UofL Physicians Centers for Primary Care at Cardinal Station and assistant professor in the UofL Department of Family and Geriatric Medicine. Primary care refers to medical care given by a physician, nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant. This is the first point of contact for patients’ non-emergent symptoms, disease management and health concerns.  

    Providers with UofL Centers for Primary Care at Cardinal Station often can see patients for acute illnesses or minor injuries the same week. Make an appointment by calling 502-588-8700. An on-call doctor is available to answer urgent medical questions after hours.

    Urgent or Immediate Care – An urgent care or immediate care center, however, may be the best option for after hours for worsening acute illness or injuries like mild sprains. These facilities may have an X-ray machine and the ability to perform some lab tests on the spot. For non-emergency care when you can’t get to your primary care provider, these are good alternatives. 

    Emergency Care – Emergency rooms should be reserved for life-threatening conditions or injuries that could result in serious complications if not immediately addressed, says Adam Ross, M.D., medical director of UofL’s Department of Emergency Medicine. National statistics indicate that 5.5 – 8 percent of ER visits are non-urgent, but it is better to be safe than sorry.

    “Always go to the ER when you feel life or limb are at risk: chest pain, shortness of breath, severe headache, weakness, numbness or speech difficulty, severe cuts, excessive bleeding, broken bones or other symptoms with which you are emergently concerned,” Ross said.

    Call 9-1-1 if you are experiencing what seems to be a life-threatening condition.

    Otherwise, patients may be able to call their medical insurance company hotlines to speak with an on-call provider who can give advice on what to do.

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    Betty Coffman
    Betty Coffman is a Health Communications Specialist, working on the Health Sciences Campus with departments in the School of Medicine. A UofL alumna and Louisville native, she served as a writer and editor for local and national publications and as an account services coordinator and copywriter for marketing and design firms prior to joining UofL’s Office of Marketing and Communications.