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HealthFocused

Educational health information to improve your well-being.

Finding help when you lose your health insurance

Finding Help When You Lose Your Health Insurance

February 27, 2017

A Kaiser Family Foundation study conducted in 2015 discovered only three in five American families could cover the deductible of their insurance plans, while less than half can cover mid-range out-of-pocket health costs. Even with health insurance, it can be tough to cover your medical bills. Without health insurance, it can be practically impossible if you have a more serious condition, which is why losing your health insurance can be a shock. There are a number of reasons you may lose your health insurance: Losing your job Getting a divorce Getting married Giving birth to a child Being... Continue Reading

Doctor examining a patient's knee

Orthopedics 101: Osteoarthritis of the Knee

February 24, 2017

There are a number of different injuries and ailments that can lead to knee pain and, for the majority of them, ignoring the pain is not going to make it go away. In fact, if you're suffering from a degenerative disease like osteoarthritis of the knee, your pain will continually get worse the longer you put off treatment. Identifying and treating osteoarthritis early on is key to getting back to your active lifestyle. What is Osteoarthritis of the Knee? Osteoarthritis of the knee is a degenerative disease caused by the natural wear-and-tear of the cushioning between your knee joints as the... Continue Reading

Susan Blanton organizing a display in her store

Looking Forward to New Lease on Life after Bilateral Knee Replacement

February 23, 2017

Susan Blanton had always maintained an active lifestyle; being a small business owner meant that Susan had to be on her feet for hours on end, despite dealing with excruciating pain in her knees due to a severe form of arthritis. Instead of complaining, she'd just take another dose of her anti-inflammatory medication and keep going. Susan kept this pace going for more than ten years, grinning and bearing the pain until her knees hurt so bad she could barely stand. It was clear that the pain in her knees was just too much to bear. Desperate to stay on her feet, Susan tried steroid injections... Continue Reading

Dr. Varma greeting a patient

What You Need to Know about Coronary Artery Disease

February 22, 2017

Coronary Artery Disease (also called CAD) is the most common type of heart disease. Despite advances is diagnosis and treatment, it remains the leading cause of death in the United States for both men and women, according to the National Institutes of Health/US Library of Medicine. CAD occurs when cholesterol or plaque build up on the inner walls of the arteries that supply blood to the heart. This causes the arteries to harden and become narrow, which means less blood flow and oxygen to the heart. This can cause chest pain or a heart attack. "When a cardiac emergency occurs, it literally... Continue Reading

Dr. Pereles speaking with a patient

Getting to Know Dr. Tom Pereles

February 21, 2017

Shortly before our interview is set to begin I receive a call. An urgent, unplanned surgery has just come up and Dr. Pereles has asked if we can push back our meeting 30 minutes. I tell Dr. Pereles, who insists I call him Tom, that won't be a problem. For Tom, this is just another day at Augusta Health. Tom spent his early days as a child growing up in the Maryland suburbs outside of our nation's capital where he attended public schools. He graduated from Winston Churchill High School in Potomac, MD before going off to study at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia where he received... Continue Reading

Echo-ing the Interior of Your Heart

February 20, 2017

For avid fishermen, the ability to 'see' underwater to determine choice fishing spots is key to a successful day of fishing. Some of them use ultrasound to help them find schools of fish. The ultrasound waves are created and beamed through the water, and when they encounter fish—marked by a change in the density of the water—the ultrasound bounces back to the fisherman in the boat. The fisherman's ultrasound equipment can analyze the beam to determine the shape and size of the objects bouncing back. So with the aid of ultrasound, the lucky fisherman has found fish. Rodney Graber, MD, FACC, a... Continue Reading

Types of Heart Defects

Cardiology 101: Understanding the Different Types of Heart Defects

February 17, 2017

A healthy heart has arteries, valves, and chambers that are responsible for carrying blood throughout the body. When these components work as they should, blood is pumped in a circulatory pattern, through the heart, then to the lungs to obtain oxygen, back to the heart, and finally, throughout the body to deliver oxygen. If anything is amiss with the arteries, chambers, and valves, circulation can be impaired. What is a Heart Defect? Heart defects are structural problems that arise due to abnormal formation of the heart or major blood vessels. There are at least 18 different types of... Continue Reading

Keith Cooper enjoys life with his family and horses again

Be Still My Heart: Treating Atrial Fibrillation

February 17, 2017

For most people, a fast-beating heart is a sign of excitement, exercise or anticipation. For approximately five million adults in the United States, however, it is a symptom of Atrial Fibrillation, or AFib. AFib is a serious medical condition. It's a major cause of stroke, congestive heart failure, heart attacks and hospitalizations. "AFib is an abnormal heart rhythm that causes the heart to beat fast and chaotically, and at times even slow down and stop," explains Glenn Brammer, MD, a cardiologist at Augusta Health Cardiology and an expert in cardiac electrophysiology. "Our heart has four... Continue Reading

Office desk with a computer

9 Tips for Staying in Shape with an Office Job

February 9, 2017

Staying fit when you work behind a desk 40+ hours per week can be a real challenge. To make things even worse, our lives are busier than ever and finding time to go to the gym can seem impossible. However, a sedentary lifestyle can wreak havoc on our healthy lifestyles and increase our risk of developing illness, and reduce our overall energy levels. We decided to put together some basic steps you can implement into your busy lives to help you maintain a healthy lifestyle, even at the office. Out with the Bad Consuming less unhealthy food throughout the day can make a dramatic difference in... Continue Reading

Man with heart pain clutching his chest

Heart Attack Warning Signs You Should Not Ignore

February 8, 2017

Heart attacks are the number one cause of death for both men and women in the United States. Every year, approximately 735,000 Americans experience a heart attack or myocardial infarction. Ventricular fibrillation is a leading cause of death of heart attack sufferers, and this typically occurs before victims can make it to an emergency room. For those who can get treatment in time, the prognosis is excellent, as most modern treatments yield a survival rate of more than 90 percent. The remaining percentage of those who do eventually die are those who have suffered significant damage to the... Continue Reading

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