Baby Eye Exam
Could your baby be at risk for a potential eye problem without you even realizing it? A new eye exam can help parents spot a problem early on. An electroencephalography (EEG) machine is used to measure brain waves and helps ophthalmologists determine if there is something wrong before a baby can even speak.
Jon and Beth want their 16-month-old daughter Addison tested because Jon suffered from a congenital eye problem that required neck surgery. Because young children have short attention spans, the test uses a combination of pictures and flashing lines to keep the baby’s attention and determine whether his or her eyes are focusing and functioning properly.
“These kids, around 2, this is not the time we call the terrific 2s,” says pediatric ophthalmologist Dr. David Granet, who examined Addison. “This is a hard time to examine someone. Only about one out of every three kids ever gets checked because it’s so hard. So our job was to give new tools to the pediatrician to allow them to check what’s going on with the eyes and the brain.”
The tests show that Addison’s left eye performed much better than her right, which means that she may have a problem in her right eye. “This is a screening test, like a mammography or a hearing test,” Dr. Granet says. “It would be, like, imagine you were 5 years old and read the eye chart, and you had trouble with one eye, you wouldn’t know what was wrong, or even if something really was wrong. Sometimes kids just don’t do their best when they take the test. What this means is that she should have an eye exam.”
Because of the results, Dr. Granet takes a picture of Addison’s eyes with a computerized photo screener, and it shows that Addison’s eyes look normal. He says he will perform a more extensive eye exam on her.
Dr. Granet explains that parents can tell if their child may have an eye problem by looking at pictures of them. “Anybody who has ever taken a photograph has seen the eyes go red. That means the light has gone into the eye, bounced off the back of the eye and come out,” Dr. Granet says. “That travelling through the eye tells us a ton about what’s going on with the eye itself, and we can decide whether there is a problem with the child by looking at it.
“Anybody who’s taken a photograph as a parent has looked and seen that the eyes don’t look the same,” he continues. “If a parent at home sees that, and notices that in every picture that the right eye doesn’t look the same as the left, they need to go to see their pediatrician and find out what’s wrong.”
If your child does have eye problems, possible solutions include using an eye patch or glasses, or, in more extreme cases, having surgery.
Painless Cavity Filling
Do you or your children dread the shots and drilling that come with cavities? A new laser procedure makes getting your cavity filled a quick, pain-free process.
The Waterlase cavity-filling system chips away decay and plaque in the tooth with shots of water and a laser, then the cavity is filled with a liquid composite and sealed with a curing light, resulting in a painless, five-minute procedure that allows the patient to work, eat and drink immediately after.
“No Novocain, no shots, this is a great way of doing dentistry in five minutes, start to finish,” pediatric dentist Dr. Christina Do says. “Gone are the days of pain, shots and fillings where you leave the office with a numb lip and tongue. Now I can get you filled without a shot, without any fear or anxiety. The patient feels no pain, it’s nice and comfortable, and he wants to come back to the dentist because he had the best cavity filling ever!”
Julie is recently married, is not ready to have children and wants to know the latest in birth-control technology.
Dr. Lisa tells Julie about Implanon, a new implantable birth-control product that lasts up to three years. It is a matchstick-sized rod that is placed in the upper part of the non-dominant arm and releases the hormone progestin. The Implanon works by keeping a woman’s ovaries from releasing eggs and thickens the cervical mucus, which blocks sperm and keeps it from joining with an egg. It needs to be implanted by a healthcare professional. “It’s really effective for women who don’t want to remember a pill every day,” Dr. Lisa says. “It has very few side effects.”
Minimize Your Migraine
Migraine headaches can be debilitating. Thirty-three-year-old Laura’s migraines are so bad that she often has to go to the emergency room for help. Acupuncture has been recommended as a remedy, and despite her fear of needles, Laura undergoes a treatment. “The migraines are so bad, and they make me so sick, and they happen so often, that if this is going to help, I’m willing to do it,” she says.
Migraines can cause nausea, discomfort from lights and pain that can keep you from performing everyday activities. “Acupuncture is great,” acupuncturist Dr. Michael Yang says. “We’re talking about increased endorphin response, which we know is the natural painkiller. We also know it’s a question of blood flow, so acupuncture does a great job of increasing the blood flow in the patient, and that is really critical when we’re talking about dealing with this kind of pain.”
Multiple treatments are recommended for patients with chronic pain, such as Laura. If you do get a migraine, relaxing in a dark, quiet room that is free of any strong smells can help reduce the symptoms. If the pain continues, you can seek treatments such as medication or acupuncture. “The great thing about this is you have to be willing as a patient to try new things,” Dr. Travis says. “And acupuncture is, theoretically, a great choice for people who aren’t getting relief from over-the-counter medicines or prescription medicines.”