Friday, November 9, 2012

Musicians may need extra hearing protection

Everyone knows it can be dangerous to your hearing to go to noisy concerts or blast music in the car, but did you know it can also be harmful to the one playing the music, as well? According to the American Hearing Research Foundation, the most damage comes from high-frequency sounds, such as those produced by violins and violas.

This is especially true for the left ear because it is held close to the instrument during performances. Many violinists face a conundrum because they need to have excellent hearing to adjust the instrument’s pitch levels while playing, yet their hearing is gradually damaged by playing. For non-string instruments like trumpets, experts recommend musicians use mutes to muffle the sound and protect their hearing.

Other musicians, including violinists, have the option of wearing special “vented” ear plugs that help protect the ears without distorting the musician’s perception of the pitch. A doctor on your True Dental Discounts, hearing plan can make specialized recommendations to fit your instrument and situation, so protect your hearing by scheduling an appointment before your next performance.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Are you a good candidate for contacts

The popularity of contact lenses has skyrocketed over the last decade. It is not unusual to be unaware that someone you work with – or even one of your friends – has corrective lenses. But contacts are not for everyone. Many factors go into the decision to wear contacts, so be sure to talk to an eye doctor on your True Dental Discounts, vision plan about your individual situation. In general, the Foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology suggests that people who have the following issues may not be a good candidate for contact lenses:
  • Severe allergies
  • Frequent eye infections 
  • A dusty work environment 
  • Dry eyes that are resistant to treatment 
  • An inability to handle or properly care for the lenses If you do get contacts, it is important to learn the proper method of cleaning and disinfecting the lenses.
Dirty contacts can increase your chance of getting an eye infection, so make sure to thoroughly clean both the lenses and their cases. Also, anytime a lens is removed from the eye, it should be cleaned again before being reinserted. If your eyes become irritated while wearing contacts, talk to your eye doctor and find a way to alter your routine. The fix could be something as simple as changing your wetting drops or, in some cases, it might be best to stick to wearing glasses. Your doctor will let you know which option is healthier for your eyes.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Should you replace your contacts?

You know the feeling: Your eyes begin to itch and feel dry. You notice redness and irritation. All of these signs point toward the fact that it’s probably time to replace your contact lenses. Despite popular belief, it’s not a good idea to stretch the time in between replacing your lenses. If an optometrist tells you to put in new lenses every month, you shouldn’t keep them in for six weeks. Same goes for keeping daily wear lenses in for a week or more. For one thing, contacts can acquire a buildup of bacteria or minerals that may scratch your eye and lead to infection.

The eyes are extremely delicate and must be taken care of with extreme caution; small changes in habit or environment can cause irritation or more permanent damage. So, while it may be tempting to put off replacing your lenses to save a few dollars, it’s not worth the risk to your eyes. Plus, with True Dental Discounts, the money you save with your membership card makes up for any benefits of stretching your lens-wearing time. What could be better than that?

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Could your juice be interfering with your prescriptions?

Believe it or not, the glass of fruit juice you drink each morning could be dramatically lowering the effectiveness of your medications. According to AARP, studies have shown that fruit juices – particularly apple, grapefruit, and orange juice – can interfere with medications and lower their intended effects by preventing drugs from being absorbed properly. In one study, patients who drank juice cut the effectiveness of their Allegra in half.

Key medications that appear to be affected include some drugs used to treat cancer, certain antibiotics and blood-pressure medications, and drugs used to prevent organ rejections after a transplant. But before you cut the juice out of your morning routine, make sure you consult a doctor or pharmacist on your True Dental Discounts, prescription plan. A professional can help you decide if your favorite juice interacts poorly with your medication; if it does, you may be able to switch to an alternate medication or change the time you take your prescription.