Monthly Archives: July 2009

Lymphedema Treatment

Lymphedema Treatments

Lymphedema is a fluid buildup in your arm or leg that causes swelling, and decreased mobility of the joints that can make it very hard to use your limb. Lymphedema also makes it very likely that the affected limb will become infected. Lymphedema is often caused by the removal of lymph nodes, as is frequently done in cancer surgeries. Radiation treatment for cancer or surgeries to correct broken bones can also cause lymphedema.

It is very important to take care of the affected limb after a surgery to prevent lymphedema, or to mange it correctly to prevent it from getting worse. Some people get lymphedema a few days after surgery, but most commonly, lymphedema develops 1-2 years later. Lymphedema can even develop several decades later, making the treatment to prevent it from developing a commitment for life.

Lymphedema Pump with Compression Garments

Many things to prevent injuries induced from Lymphedema that can lead to serious infections, can be easily done in every day life like wearing gloves for gardening, not walking barefoot outside, wearing sun screen and insect repellant, being careful when you clip your nails, and not clipping your cuticles. Also, when you go to the doctor or hospital, make sure you are not given any injections in the affected arm and that your blood pressure is not measured at the affected arm and that the staff knows about your condition. Avoid heat, as it increases the blood flow to your limbs, which can increase swelling. This also means that you should not go to saunas or soak in hot tubs. Prop up your limb above the level heart as often as you can, and see a physical therapist for exercises and special massages that you can learn to keep the fluid flowing. When you feel that your limb is getting tight or full, see your doctor. Talk to him or her about compression garment and pressure pumps. Compression garments are specially designed stockings or sleeves that keep fluid from building up in the limps.

Lymphedema Compression Pump and Sleeves

Pressure pumps with special leg or arm compression sleeves are medical devices that help with the blood and fluid flow by building pressure around the affected limp from the outside. There are three different categories available for the treatment of lymphedema: some deliver uniform compression around the entire limb. Sequential compression systems inflate from one end to the other (the direction should always be from fingers to shoulder or toes to hip, never the other way around). Gradient sequential compression systems are similar to sequential compression systems in that they fill from fingers to shoulder or toe to hip, but the pressure in each segment is lower the closer the segment is to the shoulder or hip. All these systems (pumps and sleeves) can be purchased at Vitality Medical. On their web site at the Compression Therapy Store are many more resources to answer lots of questions.
Don’t let lymphedema destroy your quality of life. Fight back with lymphedema pumps and lymphedema sleeves from Vitality Medical.

Resources

WebMDLymphedema: Managing Lymphedema

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Living with Sleep Apnea

Living with Sleep ApneaSleep apnea is a condition in which a sleeper stops breathing for more than ten seconds several dozen to a few hundred times a night. This sleep disorder is an increasingly common problem for adults trying to find restful sleep. In obstructive sleep apnea, the most common form of oxygen sleep apnea, the airway is partially to fully blocked during the night leaving the sleeper struggling for air, which will arouse them from a deep sleep and can even fully awake them.If you suffer from sleep apnea, it is may be hard for you to stay asleep through the night. You may wake up still feeling tired and with a sore throat and dry mouth. Your partner may be complaining about your loud snoring. Your partner might also have noticed that you stop breathing during the night, even though you don’t remember or know about these episodes. Sleep apnea leads to daytime sleepiness, which can make you more prone to accidents. Aside from potential accidents and tiredness, long-term sleep apnea can put you at risk of other severe medical conditions like cardiovascular disease, stroke, high blood pressure, arrhythmia, and diabetes1.

The risk factors for sleep apnea include if you overweight or obese, if your throat muscles and tongue relax excessively, if your tonsils and adenoids are larger than normal, or if the bones in your head and neck are disproportionate to the size of the mouth and throat. Talk to your doctor, if you think you might be suffering from sleep apnea. To know for sure, you may have to sleep one night in a special sleep lab, where your breathing and brain activity during your sleep will be monitored.

Are there any sleep apnea remedies? If you have sleep apnea, there are options for you. While enlarged tonsils might need to be removed surgically, there are also ways to deal with sleep apnea that don’t involve surgery. Certain dental devices, similar to the mouth guards that are worn by athletes, can align your jaw to allow more air through the nasal passages and throat. The disadvantage of these devices is that they are uncomfortable to wear and can leave you with a sore jaw in the morning.

A very common sleep apnea remedy is the use of oxygen CPAP or CPAP machines. CPAP stands for continuous positive airway pressure. A CPAP system is basically a very quiet air compressor that blows air into the nasal passages and throat, keeping the airway open through the night. Breathing CPAP machines can be obtained with three different kinds of sleep apnea masks or CPAP masks. The first CPAP mask option is a CPAP full face mask for people who tend to breathe through the mouth, as it covers both nose and mouth. Another CPAP mask option is a less bulky CPAP nasal mask that only covers the nose. Finally, the last CPAP mask option is for people who feel claustrophobic wearing a mask. These types of CPAP masks are called CPAP pillows, which are inserted into the nose holes. Using pillows sleep apnea devices provide a bit more freedom of movement while in bed. Since CPAP nasal pillows can be irritating, they should not be used by people with sensitive nasal passages.

Respironics Total Face Mask with Headgear

Other CPAP options for treating sleep apnea and sleep disorders include BiPAP machines, iDPAP machines, and VPAP machines. A BiPAP machine provides two different pressures. Higher amounts of pressure are applied when the patient is inhaling, while lower pressure is used when they exhale. Both the CPAP and BiPAP machines do well for treating mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea; however, the BiPAP machines are better for severe obstructive sleep apnea.

VPAP machines are also better for severe obstructive sleep apnea. A VPAP machines provides variable pressures matching the high and low pressures cycles so that you do not fall out-of-sync with the sleep apnea machine. With an iDPAP Machine, the breathing machine slowly ramps up to a prescribed pressure, allows patients to comfortably get to sleep and most importantly–stay asleep.

Another important therapy CPAP option is available to help combat the irritation some experience using sleep apnea therapy for extended periods. This option employs a heated humidifier CPAP machine. This oxygen sleep apnea device generates moisture through heat. This process reduces dryness and irritation to lungs and breathing passages due to lack of moisture. These CPAP humidifiers or humidified CPAP systems have provided relief for many sleep apnea patients. Several CPAP machines can be adapted with CPAP humidifier chambers.

Respironics RemStar M Series with Humidifier

CPAP machines and CPAP supplies can be purchased from Vitality Medical at the following link: Vitality Medical CPAP .CPAP medical supplies on this site are at discounted prices and many items at this CPAP store are at wholesale pricing. This online CPAP store provides Discount CPAP Machines, including travel CPAP machines. On this medical supplies web site is also a host of useful information about how to stop sleep apnea problems, sleep apnea cures and information about the different options for CPAP machines.

You do not need to suffer through daytime sleepiness or constant fatigue any longer nor worry about your health. Give your partner rest from your snoring, by talking to your doctor about sleep apnea. Both your health and your partners’ night time peace are worth it.

Resources

WikipediaSleep Apnea

External Hip Protectors Help Prevent Hip Fractures

Fall Protection Devices and Medical Supplies For Your Aging ParentsFall protection is a significant worry for many who are concerned for their aging parents. As people age, their gait becomes a little more unsteady and more susceptible to falling and harm. Falls are very common with the elderly and often result in devastating and debilitating injuries such as hip fractures. Compounding the problem with falls is osteoporosis, a common disease in older women that makes the bones weak and fragile. Hip fractures are particularly troublesome and can be prevented. There are three major steps you should take to assist your parents in reducing their risks to fractures, particularly hip fractures.

The first step is removing obstacles in the hallways and other areas of the home. Obstacles can trip your parent or cause them to loose their balance. This step is the most inexpensive preventative measure.

Installing fall protection systems throughout the home is the second preventive step. Fall protection safety devices like handrails, grab bars, shower chairs, toilet safety frames, floor cushions, cushioned bath mats, bedrails, EZ Assist Poles, and even walkers and rollators can prevent falls and are important preventive measures. Soft Sole Footwear or Soft Sole Socks can reduce slipping falls. Each of these fall protection devices are inexpensive and can reduce the risk of fall injuries to your parents and reduce your exposure to large hospital bills.

Hip Protection BriefsPersonal fall protection systems or personal protective equipment is the third preventive step. There are a number of personal fall protection devices to choose from. Protective pads or hip pads provide good fall protection. Pads protection is very inexpensive and effective for most situations. Most hip fractures are caused by sideways falls, with the impact directly on the side of the hip. External hip protectors or cushioned pads made of special protective and shock-absorbing material rest directly on the hips over the most common impact points. Hip padding has been shown in many scientific studies to be very effective in the prevention of hip fractures in the event of a fall1.

Crotch-Less Brief DesignFoam hip pads come in different styles that can be worn just like regular underwear, or with a crotch-less design that can be worn over regular underwear. The hip protection briefs come in standard and community styles and are available for women or with fly for men. There are also special designs available to care for people with incontinence issues which have protective pads in them that can tolerate higher washing temperatures than the regular pads, while featuring the same impact protection. This style also has a snap front to make it easy to put them on over adult diapers. The protective hip padding in all styles is low profile, so that it can be discreetly worn under the clothing. All of these styles are available from Posey at Vitality Medical. The hip protector briefs are made from Lycra®/Cotton to make them comfortable to wear. The Posey Hipsters brand are one of the best sellers for this category. The pads in these hip protectors are sown into the garment. These hip protection pads are easily washable in a household laundry washer. Hip pads are also replaceable.

These hip protector pads are a suitable, comfortable and economical way to save pain and suffering that can be caused by hip fractures and are conveniently available on the Vitality Medical website. Vitality Medical provides medical supplies and equipment you can order online at discount prices from the leading medical supply companies.

Resources

Oxford Journals, Age & AgeingBed falls and bedrails—what should we do?

Oxford Journals, Age & AgeingFalls, Fractures and Trauma

Oxford Journals, Age & AgeingPrevention of hip fracture with hip protectors
Oxford Journals, Age & AgeingDiabetes, falls and fractures