The Danger Of Dysphagia

dysphagia danger

  Most of us never consider the physical mechanics involved with eating or drinking. Open, chew, swallow, repeat. It turns out swallowing is a complicated process which demands a perfectly coordinated effort between your brain, nerves and muscle system (If you have superficial siderosis your inner alarm bell should be blasting). The term Dysphagia covers all swallowing problems but includes two groups. The first type involves a physical or structural problem in your body which impairs movement. The second type, which affects those with neurodegeneration, stem from issues with your neural and motor control center. Malfunctioning nerves responsible for the progressive worsening of dysphagia present a genuine danger to your well being. Staying Aware Gary paid a visit to the speech-swallow clinic during our last trip to Little Rock for a Fiberoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing (FEES). He occasionally has episodes of coughing or choking with both liquids and solids,…

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New Technology With Hearing Loss

Hearing Loss Technology

  Searching For Clarity With Hearing Loss Conversation for people with sensorineural hearing loss can feel like a never-ending game of hangman or charades. The clues are there, but the most critical letters (sounds) are missing, so you wind up playing an internal guessing game. We find ourselves replaying a frustrating loop of “guess the word.” Sometimes Gary can make a reasonably close guess if he understands the context of what I’m trying to say. More often it’s five wrong tries, and I’m forced to substitute a different word or entire sentence. In the past, modern hearing aids have done a fantastic job of increasing sound. Those with SNHL loss know louder is not the answer. When Gary’s audiologist told us about a new model of hearing aids with technology designed to help people who have a profound sensorineural hearing loss it was welcome news. The audiologist fitted Gary four…

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Taming Chronic Headache Pain

Managing Chronic Headache Pain

    Gary woke this morning without a headache. The first pain-free moment in 12 very miserable years. Complete pain relief. I just want to read those words over and over. A chronic headache or migraine pain sufferer will understand the long and tearful journey. Imagine the pain of a migraine. Now imagine enduring it for 76 unending days. Light, sound, and movement become the enemy. It lasted for a glorious few hours. A small twinge has returned to the base of the skull area, but Gary says it’s so light now (He describes it as a one on the pain scale) he would be ecstatic even if this is as good as it ever gets.  Living With Daily Pain Gary has lived with pain for years. His daily headache level hovered around a three. Seven days a week. He learned to work and live with a chronic headache for years. His…

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Vitamin D : Feed Your Brain

Vitamin D for brain function

    One detail Gary’s neuropsychologist recently brought up was his low vitamin D level. Everyone knows calcium and vitamin D help maintain healthy bones, but we had no idea the role it plays in cognitive decline. Studies found patients with a vitamin D deficiency experience faster declines in both episodic memory and executive function. Patients are also seen to underperform on one or more cognitive function tests and have a higher diagnosis rate of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or early dementia. A blood test now gives your health professional a simple yet reliable tool to identify at-risk patients. A vitamin D deficiency can be corrected if found early, with a good chance progression from MCI to dementia will be slowed or avoided. Natures Vitamin Store   The dangers of sun exposure and skin cancer have us all aware of the importance of regularly wearing sunscreen. What no one told…

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Time to Rare Up

rarediseaseday.org

Every February individuals, patient organizations, NIH, medical researchers, hospitals and schools, universities and pharmaceutical companies representing over 7000 rare diseases join forces to raise awareness. The movement began in Europe in 2008 thanks to EURORDIS with 65 countries now adding their voices.  The theme for Rare Disease Day 2018  is RESEARCH You may be wondering what you can do as an individual to show your support. RareDiseaseDay.us is offering everyone the opportunity to take part in this year’s social media campaign Handprints Across America®. They ask patients, families, and friends to print out the Handprints Across America flyer and take a photo of yourself, your family, your friends, your colleagues, fellow students, or others, holding it. Share it on Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #HandprintsAcrossAmerica, #RareDiseaseDay, and #YourDisease (#SuperficalSiderosis). Your photo will be included in a group stream dedicated to showing the world the faces of those impacted by rare and chronic illness.

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The Frustration Of Hearing Aid Down

hearing bubble

If hearing aids are your lifeline to the world, you get what a pain it is when one goes down. When both go down at the same time, it’s a tragedy. If this happens to someone you care about, be prepared to step up. Frustration is the polite description of what is coming. Gary had complained his hearing aids didn’t seem to be working as well. We realized his hearing might have just gotten worse but thought since it had been eight months maybe they needed an adjustment. At his appointment, Gary explained some of the problems he had understanding speech, especially in crowded, noisy environments. His audiologist checked the levels and tried to fix a feedback issue one hearing aid was having but decided he should send it in for repairs.   The audiologist suggested taking impressions and switching to custom molded domes.   He finished adjusting the other aid…

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