HealthFocused

Educational health information to improve your well-being.

A woman sitting in a car with her legs hanging out the window

How High Heels are Affecting More Than Just Your Feet

March 2, 2017

Those stylish 4-inch heels you handpicked to set off your dress at your next social gathering will have a lasting impact long after people have forgotten your stunning outfit. You already know how your feet ache after a long night in high heels, but you may not be aware of the other ways in which you're impacting your health. Why High Heels Cause So Many Problems When you wear high heels you are repositioning your body's posture to mimic what it's like to walk down a steep hill, causing several key changes: Down force is placed on the balls of your feet instead of being evenly distributed... Continue Reading

A sleeping infant posed for a picture

Sensory Development Milestones in a Newborn's First 12 Months

March 1, 2017

Your baby's development during their first year of life is greater than it will be during any other period of their life. If you watch close enough, you can actually see as your newborn's sensory development accelerates during these first 12 months. Life through the Eyes of a Newborn Newborn – When your baby first arrives their color vision is very limited. Their eyes will be drawn to areas of contrast, especially bold designs with big contrasting colors against each other. 2-3 Months – Eye coordination will begin to improve and they may be able to watch an object as you move it around in... Continue Reading

Watercolor illustration of the brain

Learning to Recognize Stroke Warning Signs

February 28, 2017

For someone having a stroke, fast action can make a huge difference. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, getting emergency assistance within an hour can prevent death or long-term disability . Individuals treated with a blood-clot-dissolving drug within three hours of symptoms appearing have a 30 percent better chance of escaping disability. In some cases, strokes may require surgical treatment. The sooner a stroke victim receives help, the better their chances are for recovery. What is a Stroke? A stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain ceases, and... Continue Reading

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

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