HealthFocused

Educational health information to improve your well-being.

Friends throwing leaves in the air

4 Healthy Actions You Should Take Before Fall Arrives

August 28, 2018

As summer draws to a close, it's time to look forward to the transition into fall. Crisp days, leaves changing color, pumpkin patches, and hot apple cider makes for the perfect fall day. The change of seasons is also the ideal time to take seasonal precautions for your health. With a little planning, it's easy to make fall a healthy and happy season! Get Your Flu Shot The most recent flu season put most of us on notice about the importance of getting a flu shot. In fact, during the 2017-2018 flu season upwards of 4,000 Americans were dying each week from the flu. The flu can be tricky because... Continue Reading

Kids with floats in the pool.

Safe Swimmers: What is Dry Drowning?

August 23, 2018

Swimming has long been a favorite summer activity. Nothing cures the heat of a sweltering summer day more than a nice dip at your favorite swimming spot. Most of us are aware of the basic safety guidelines for being a safe swimmer and enjoy the relaxation of swimming without incident. However, there's a less well-known danger that threatens swimmers called dry drowning. Let’s look at what causes dry drowning, how to recognize the symptoms, and what steps to take to prevent it. What is Dry Drowning? Dry drowning is a term that describes water entering the airway causing the vocal chords to... Continue Reading

Close-up of a tick on clothing

Beware of These 4 Tick-Borne Diseases

August 21, 2018

It’s hard to believe that such a small creature can wreak such havoc, but tick-borne diseases are on the rise. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), tick-borne diseases have more than doubled in the last thirteen years. From avid outdoors lovers to people outside for their daily activities, everyone is at risk for a tick bite. Read on to learn more about the most common tick-borne diseases and how to prevent tick bites. Lyme Disease Lyme disease is the most common tick-borne disease. In fact, eighty-two percent of people with a tick-borne disease are diagnosed with Lyme disease... Continue Reading

Dr. Verghese sitting at his desk

Getting to know Dr. Verghese

August 10, 2018

Since 2002, Dr. Verghese , a board-certified pulmonologist has helped residents of Central Virginia stay healthy and breathe easy. Since high school, he's known he wanted to combine his interest in science and helping people. Sticking close to his North Carolina roots, he attended Duke University, first as an engineering student and then transitioning into medicine. When it came time to choose a specialty, Dr. Verghese landed on pulmonology – a field that treats diseases in the respiratory system. "I like pulmonology because it encompasses a little bit of everything – people of different ages... Continue Reading

Illustration of a human body, broken into layers to show the skin, skeleton, muscles, and arteries

Medical Mysteries: 4 Strange Things Your Body Does

August 7, 2018

The human body is truly a marvel. A combination of 65% water, 60 elements, 640 to 800 muscles, 206 bones, 12 organ systems, and trillions of cells collaborate to create and sustain you. Advances in medicine and healthcare help us understand the human body like never before. In many ways, the human body remains a vast frontier of discovery though. We are continually striving to understand how each system works in conjunction with one another, reasons certain diseases behave the way they do, and how to advance medical care from treatments to cures. However, even if you're perfectly healthy,... Continue Reading

Blurred view of a hospital waiting room

7 Things Emergency Room Doctors Want You To Know

August 2, 2018

Going to the Emergency Room is never fun. If your condition isn't life threatening you may have to wait, and waiting is hard, especially if you're not comfortable. To make an ER visit more productive and bearable, here are seven things ER doctors want you to know: We're Working as Fast as We Can Unless your emergency is life threatening, the chances are that you're going to have to take a seat in the waiting area. We understand this is hard to do, especially if you're suffering from a case of food poisoning or the latest respiratory woe. However, while you're waiting, you can be sure... Continue Reading

Woman holding pills and a glass of water

Opioid Addiction: The Health Crisis Sweeping America

July 31, 2018

In the next 24-hours, at least ninety-one Americans will die from an opioid overdose. While adults ages 18-25 years old are the biggest users of opioids, addiction to opioids crosses gender, age, race, and socioeconomic divides. Shockingly, the American Society of Addiction Medicine reports that 20.5 million Americans ages 12 and older have a substance abuse disorder – 2 million of which are abusing prescription opioids. The opioid crisis is overwhelming first responders, rehab centers, the legal system, and is a major factor in issues like homelessness throughout the United States. Knowledge... Continue Reading

Senior couple playing chess

What Happens to Your Brain as You Age?

July 26, 2018

The brain is a fascinating organ that goes through more changes in your lifetime than any other part of your body. Within four weeks of conception, your brain starts to form. From birth to age six the brain is busy developing perception, memory, emotions, and your sense of self. The brain continues wiring itself from age 7 to 22. During this stage, essential neural connections form. The prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain that aids in impulse control and decision-making, is fully matured. The brain is considered at its peak from ages 22 to 27. So, what does this mean for those of us over... Continue Reading

Woman applying sunscreen while laying beside the pool

SPF Challenge: How to Choose the Best Sunscreen

July 24, 2018

With hundreds of sunscreen brands crowding the shelves, how do you choose the best one? No worries, we have you covered! Here are the tips you need to choose the best sunscreen to protect your skin. Understanding Sunscreen Labels Remember, it's important to wear sunscreen year-round to protect against skin cancer and aging. However, during spring and summer the sun is stronger and the days are longer. Wearing sunscreen prevents sunburn, skin cancer, and premature aging. When choosing the best sunscreen you'll need to know these key terms: UV: Ultraviolet Rays The sun produces UV rays that are... Continue Reading

Doctor giving a vaccine to a patient in his arm

Must Have Travel Vaccines: Don't Leave Home Without Them

July 19, 2018

You've researched, planned, and packed your bags! You're heading off to experience new places, cultures, and adventures. While a passport and plane ticket will get you there, travel vaccines will keep you healthy while you're there. Getting the right travel vaccines can ensure you stay happy and healthy on your next vacation! Vaccines expose your body to weakened parts of a disease. It may seem counterintuitive, but this process prompts your body to create antibodies to the disease. These antibodies will protect you if you're ever exposed to the full-strength disease. Other countries may have... Continue Reading

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