Friday, June 24, 2016
More and more Americans are putting preventative healthcare and routine check-ups on the back burner due to the rising cost of healthcare and busy schedules. Regular check-ups and tests can help to find problems before they start. They also can help find problems early on providing you with more treatment options and better odds of recovery. By staying on top of your health and following through with health checks and preventive care, you are taking control of your well-being.
Determining how often you should visit your doctor for checks can be determined by many factors. Your age, family history, lifestyle choices (nutrition/exercise habits, smoking, etc), and other important factors impact how often you should visit your doctor. For example, if your family history includes a particular disease or cancer, you should make your doctor aware so they can determine how often they would like to see you. Being transparent with your medical team as well as sharing the information they ask for helps to make sure that areas that may be particularly dangerous for you are being checked.
There are even a number of health checks you can even complete at home. While you should never skip regular check-ups or doctor’s recommendations, ask what you can do at home to help be on top of your health. Being in tune with your body and health will help you be to realize when something may not be quite right.
If your doctor recommends a treatment, supplement, or prescription, be sure to follow through with their recommendations. Following your doctor’s orders is always important even when it may just be for preventative measures. Also be sure to follow-up with your medical professional as they direct. Remember that your health and well-being starts with you!
Monday, June 13, 2016
Along with summer and fun comes increased sun exposure. UV rays can be incredibly harmful to the skin and taking proper precautions to protect it should be taken every time you plan on being outside for an extended period of time. Sun protection can be broken down into three basic categories.
Clothing: There are many pieces of clothing available today on the market that offer coolness while still covering the body and blocking UV rays. Be aware that you may pay a bit more for clothing made to specifically block rays but it is a worthwhile investment. Change out your sun protection based clothing as often as the manufacturer recommends. Investing a few more dollars into a good pair of sunglasses can also go a long way. Be aware that you cannot determine a pair’s UV effectiveness by just looking. The lenses’ color has no effect on how much UV light is blocked. Do research and read labels to ensure that you are choosing a pair that blocks 99%-100% of UV rays. If a pair is not labeled or doesn’t state that it blocks any rays, move on to a pair that does. Hats are also a great way to offer some protection to your body.
Shelter: If you are able, plan outdoor activities in an area that has enough shade for everyone to take advantage of throughout the day. Try having cookouts in an area with a pavilion or with plenty of trees. If you plan to be on the beach, get a beach umbrella and make sure everyone can use it even if just on a rotating schedule. Getting out of the sun can help with skin protection and offer a cooler temperature to relax in. The sun’s rays tend to be the strongest between 10am and 4pm so be especially cautious during these times.
Sunscreen: Sunscreen is perhaps the best way to protect your skin when there is no other option but to be in the direct sun. Choosing the best sunscreen for your family should definitely have some thought put into it. Will you be in the water? Water can easily wash off normal sunscreens so be prepared with a waterproof version and be sure to reapply as often as the directions state. Will you be around insects? If you know that you will need to use anti-bug sprays, be prepared to step up your SPF protection. Insect repellents reduce sunscreen’s SPF by a whopping 33%. Try your best to ensure you have the correct sunscreen available for your planned day.
If you or your family unfortunately receives sunburn, be very concerned over its healing. If it is extreme enough that it comes along with blistering and/or bleeding, seek out medical attention immediately. Sun burn should be treated with the same care and concern of any other burns. Aloe Vera is great to help soothe the skin and offers healing properties. A cool, damp towel can also offer relief. Also drink plenty of extra water to help rehydrate your body and skin. If a basic sunburn doesn’t seem to be healing at all after a few days, then it is time to seek out medical attention.
Friday, June 3, 2016
Choosing a pharmacy can be an important decision for many reasons. Not only can a good choice provide you with convenience, it can also help you save money. All pharmacies are required to meet standards set by both federal and state laws. These laws help to offer the public safety and peace of mind when dealing with their prescriptions. Since your safety is being handled via stringent rules and screenings, you can focus on the many other factors that can help you find the best pharmacy for you and your family.
Location: One of the key things to look at when choosing a pharmacy is location. Start by mapping pharmacies that are on a route that you travel regularly. Take time to determine how bad traffic is at the time of day you would most likely be visiting the pharmacy. Working out a convenient location now may save you a lot of hassle in the future.
Schedule: Is the pharmacy open during hours that work for your schedule? If they are not, do they offer delivery to you? Depending on rules and regulations, some medications may require you showing your ID in order to take possession of them. Due to this, having someone else pick them up on your behalf may not be an option. Call the pharmacy to see what options they offer as far as after-hours pickup or delivery.
Staff: Feel free to ask how many licensed pharmacists work there as well as how many pharmacist technicians. You will most likely need to speak with someone when you are starting a new prescription. If a pharmacy is understaffed, you may have to wait a long time to speak with someone or they may not have time to answer all of your questions. Also evaluate the friendliness of the staff upon your first interaction. Do they take time to answer your questions and assist you to your satisfaction?
Pricing: Like most things you buy, prices on medications can also vary from location to location. It is important to check pricing for prescriptions you know you need ahead of time. You may be surprised at just how much prices can vary across several pharmacies. Determine which location has the best pricing and meets your other criteria. Remember to also check if the pharmacy you are evaluating takes your insurance and/or your FreeRxPlus savings card to ensure you are receiving the best price possible.
Once you have found a pharmacy that suits your needs, try to stay with them to fill all of you and your family’s prescriptions. Having a pharmacist that is familiar with you and all your medications can be invaluable. If you are ever forced to change to another pharmacy, ask for a copy of your record so that you may provide it to your new location.