WEEKLY NEWS TIP SHEET – HEALTH TOPICS FOR THE WEEK OF JUNE 5, 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:

    • TIME FOR A CHECKUP ON THE SHADES: ARE YOUR SUNGLASSES DOING THE JOB?
    • PARTICIPANTS NEEDED FOR E-CIGARETTE/CIGARETTE/CIGARILLO STUDY
    • HOPE SCARVES GIFT FUNDS MORE CLINICAL TRIALS FOR METASTATIC BREAST CANCER
    • BURN CENTER TELEHEALTH PILOT PROGRAM OFFERS IMPROVED ACCESS

    TIME FOR A CHECKUP ON THE SHADES:  ARE YOUR SUNGLASSES DOING THE JOB?

    While you may be one of many people who enjoy being outdoors in summer, don’t forget to protect your eyes from harmful sun exposure.

    Prolonged exposure to the ultraviolet (UV) light in sunlight can cause eye damage in several ways. It can damage the skin around the eyelids, leading to premature aging and increasing the risk for skin cancer such as melanoma. It also can cause the lens inside the eye to age prematurely and the early onset of cataracts, or opacities that form in the lens. Finally, in the back of the eye, UV light can irreversibly damage the macula, which we use to see color and fine detail, leading to age-related macular degeneration.

    “When shopping for sunglasses, make sure they have a UV filter in the lens, which should be clearly labeled on the lens or the frame of the sunglasses,” said Patrick A. Scott, O.D., Ph.D., an optometrist with UofL Physicians – Eye Specialists. “Sunglasses lacking a UV filter are not recommended as the eyelid tissue, ocular surface, and intraocular structures of the eye are not protected from the damaging effects of UV light.”

    In addition to the essential UV protection, sunglasses may have either polarized or non-polarized lenses. Your choice will depend on your visual needs and ocular health, lifestyle and recreational interests.

    Polarized lenses help to reduce glare from reflected light sources such as snow, ice, water, metal and glass. A lifeguard may prefer polarized lenses to reduce unwanted glare from the water. Non-polarized lenses block the intensity of bright light, but do not reduce shimmer and glare. A golfer may prefer to wear non-polarized lenses so as to not misread any visual cues around the green that might be filtered through a polarized lens.

    In addition to making sure sunglasses have a UV filter, Scott recommends those with a larger frame that will provide adequate coverage for the skin around the eyes.

    PARTICIPANTS NEEDED FOR E-CIGARETTE/CIGARETTE/CIGARILLO STUDY

    The UofL School of Medicine is conducting a study on the perceptions and use of electronic cigarettes, cigarettes and cigarillos in healthy young adults 18-45 years of age. The study is recruiting healthy, unmedicated participants who only use e-cigarettes, cigarettes or cigarillos. The study will be two study visits, the second study visit will take place two years from the first study visit. Both study visits will last approximately 2.5 – 3 hours and include questionnaires on your social history, health, tobacco use patterns, blood and urine collection, and other measures to give us an idea of your heart health. Participant compensation will be as a Swift prepaid Visa card.

    The study, by investigator Rachel Keith Ph.D., A.P.R.N., was reviewed by UofL Institutional Review Boards, IRB NUMBER: 18.1259.

    For Information or to participate, call 502-852-4236 or email atrac@louisville.edu.

    HOPE SCARVES GIFT FUNDS MORE CLINICAL TRIALS FOR METASTATIC BREAST CANCER

    For women undergoing treatment for cancer, a little encouragement can mean the world.

    Lara MacGregor, who lives with metastatic breast cancer, started Hope Scarves in 2012 to provide women undergoing cancer treatment a way to encourage one another by sharing a scarf and a story. In 2015, Hope Scarves established a Metastatic Breast Cancer Research Fund to raise funds to support research and patient care.

    For 2019, Hope Scarves has provided a gift of $25,000 to the University of Louisville James Graham Brown Cancer Center, with an anonymous match of $25,000 for a total gift of $50,000. The funds are designated to bringing more clinical trials for metastatic breast cancer patients to Louisville.

    “Participation in clinical trials benefits not only the patients involved in the trial, but the field of cancer treatment in general,” said Beth Riley, M.D., deputy director for clinical affairs at UofL’s Brown Cancer Center. “Currently, metastatic breast cancer is not curable with standard treatment. By participating in trials, patients in Kentucky not only have early access to novel drugs or drug combinations, but they are helping physicians and scientists learn more about effective treatments and disease characteristics so we can move closer to a cure for this disease.”

    MacGregor, a Louisville resident, has seen clinical trials benefit patients at the UofL Brown Cancer Center, and her own treatment includes a drug tested at the center. She wants Hope Scarves’ funds to invigorate that process.

    “These therapies are the next generation of care and may give patients better outcomes, and we are providing these funds to enable more women to have access to them,” MacGregor said.

    BURN CENTER TELEHEALTH PILOT PROGRAM OFFERS IMPROVED ACCESS

    As the only provider of burn wound care services in Kentucky and a larger 250-mile radius that includes parts of Indiana and Illinois, the University of Louisville Hospital Burn Center has piloted a telehealth program to reduce barriers for patient follow-up care.

    “Travel distance, along with often other serious health conditions, make it difficult for patients to get to a weekly appointment,” said Jodi Wojcik-Marshall, M.S.N., A.P.R.N., manager of the UofL Hospital Department of Advanced Practice Nursing and nurse practitioner in the Burn Center. “We saw a need to reduce the high number of missed appointments by reducing access barriers.”

    In response to the need, a telehealth burn wound care pilot initiative was developed in collaboration with J’Aime Jennings, Ph.D., assistant professor and co-director, Center for Health Organization Transformation at the UofL School of Public Health and Information Sciences.

    Jennings led the effort to translate the outpatient burn center’s in-person standards and protocol into a telehealth format.

    The program uses the technology BlueJeans for providers Wojcik-Marshall and Michelle Broers, P.T., D.P.T., to have a dialogue with patients during telehealth visits. Each patient downloads the free BlueJeans app to their smartphone or device and uses a unique connection number to sign in for each appointment.

    Jennings and her team are in the process of evaluating patient and provider satisfaction surveys. Next steps include determining how the burn center may expand the initiative to benefit more patients.

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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.