6 steps for a spring health tune-up
Spring is the season of renewal and a good time for a fresh start when it comes to health maintenance and preventive care. Begin by checking off the items on this list of health and safety measures.
1. Infection prevention.
Warmer weather means kneeling in the garden, going barefoot and enjoying other activities that increase the risk of tetanus, an infection caused by bacteria that usually enter the body by way of puncture wounds.
A vaccine easily can prevent the incurable infection; however, “If you haven’t had a tetanus shot in the past 10 years, you’re overdue,” says Dr. Donald Ford, a family medicine physician at The Cleveland Clinic in Ohio.
“In fact, if your last one was more than three years ago you may want to check to see if you need a booster because now the tetanus booster is being combined with a booster to prevent whooping cough, which has had a bit of a comeback lately.”
2. Burn notice.
Sunscreen should be worn year-round and becomes especially important when warmer weather beckons people outdoors.
But “sunscreen” and “sunblock” are misnomers.
“I am always amazed at the comment, ‘It’s not sunny out. Why do I need sunscreen?’ Well, because it’s not sunscreen (per se); it’s UV protection, and UV light exists regardless of whether the sun is shining,” says Dr. Josie L. Tenore, a family physician specializing in aesthetics at FreshSkin in Highland Park, Illinois.
UV protection should be worn every day, applied to any exposed body part including lips and hands, and reapplied every two hours, she adds.
3. Medication reconciliation.
“Many people have been prescribed medications so long ago and continue to take them indefinitely. It is important to regularly access whether or not the initial indication for the prescription still applies,” says Dr. Akram Alashari, a surgeon and critical care physician at the University of Florida in Gainesville.
Folks often don’t disclose the full list of meds they take to all their doctors and pharmacists, but it’s important to do so to avoid serious drug interactions. Likewise, patients should admit to doctors when they aren’t taking meds as prescribed. Doctors develop treatment based on what they’re told and cannot determine what’s best if patients aren’t honest about compliance…..
Read more: http://www.qconline.com/life/steps-for-a-spring-health-tune-up/article_9753c2e8-7175-5994-b41e-2d44c0c8e9a8.html
Source: Dispatch* Argus

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