Sunshine On My Shoulder
Studies have shown that five to 10 minutes of sunshine per day can boost vitamin D levels. Vitamin D plays an important role in heart and skeletal health and can ward off osteoporosis.
Three Must-Have Annual Medical Exams: Skin, Dental and Eye
So often we’re preoccupied with the daily business of living that we neglect the basic checkups that keep us healthy. Between the kids, and the job, and the house and the groceries — who has the time? To stress the importance of these exams, The Doctors send comedienne Vikki Kelleher on a marathon doctor’s visit — three different doctors in one day!
Beauty is Skin Deep
Renowned dermatologist Dr. Harold Lancer performs a head-to-toe skin exam on Vikki.
“I check for lumps, bumps, cysts — anything that shouldn’t be there,” Dr. Lancer explains. He gives Vikki a clean bill of health and reminds her to come back next year.
The doctor stresses the importance of yearly skin exams and explains that moles and birthmarks present from birth can transform from harmless to harmful over time; it’s critical to track and chart their changes. He notes that cosmetic skin care is not a substitute for a skin exam. Rather, skin care should be considered a daily habit, just like brushing your teeth or taking a shower.
Dr. Lisa adds, “The skin is an organ, so you have to look at it that way and take care of it.”
Problem Moles are Indicated By:
Muddled skin print
Something to Smile About
Cosmetic dentist Dr. Bill Dorfman says an annual dental exam is comprised of three essential components:
1. Periodontal probing: A test that measures the bone around the teeth.
2. Oral cancer screening: A device called a VELscope shines a green fluorescent light within the mouth to detect unhealthy or abnormal tissue.
3. Digital X-rays: The advantages to using digital x-rays instead of traditional ones are:
*90 percent less radiation
*No harmful chemicals that pollute the environment
*The ability to magnify the images up to 300 times their original size.
In the course of the exam, Dr. Bill discovers that Vikki is developing an abscess, or infection, where she had a root canal several years ago. The dentist underscores how serious these infections can be. “People have actually died from abscessed teeth!” he exclaims.
Vikki admits that she didn’t feel a thing.
“That’s the best time to go: before it hurts,” the dentist assures. “We’ll find the things when they’re small, and then we’ll fix it.”
Don’t Forget to Brush!
The dentist says that the Philips Sonicare is his electric toothbrush of choice, adding that electric toothbrushes are able to remove more plaque than a manual brush and reduces gingivitis. “I use it, I love it, I give it to all my patients!” he enthuses.
Seeing Is Believing
Vikki admits that she hasn’t visited the eye doctor since she had Lasik surgery six years ago. “I just thought -- that's it. You get your eyes fixed and you’re done!” She jokes, “Unless you stop being able to see the cars in front of you, you don’t need the eye doctor.”
Ophthalmologist Dr. Brian Boxer-Wachler says the reason everyone needs to see the eye doctor, regardless of whether they’ve had Lasik surgery or not, is to detect problems that could cause a permanent loss of vision: cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration. “Sometimes you can lose your vision very subtly,” he warns, “So it’s important to have it checked once a year.”
Cataracts occur when the lens in the eye starts to cloud over. The lens is comprised of protein and water, and as people age, the proteins can clump together to create a cloudy formation. “Cataracts are easy to fix when caught early,” Dr. Boxer-Wachler says. “It’s a 10-minute procedure.”
Glaucoma, a disease that damages the optic nerve, can cause blindness. “It can rob you of your peripheral vision,” Dr. Boxler-Wachler explains, “and that can be very serious.”
However, the leading cause of blindness in the
“Prevention is the key when it comes to eye exams,” Dr. Travis concludes, “and dental and skin exams!”
Getting Your Fussy Toddler to Sleep
Dr. Jim explains that Dominick is probably getting tired sooner than Desiree realizes. He suggests changing her son’s sleep patterns by putting him down earlier and creating a fun bedtime routine.
He posits that
When women are pregnant, nearly everything gets bigger! But after having two children in the last 16 months, Valerie from
Healthy Heart Tip
To maintain a healthy heart, doctors recommend that adults consume less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium a day, which is approximately one teaspoon of salt a day! Lowering salt intake can help to lower blood pressure as well.