Did you know in the last 50 years, vaccines have saved more than one billion lives in the United States alone? Imagine what the world would be like without vaccinations. When the majority of people are vaccinated, it can lead to eliminating preventable illness and eventually put an end to epidemics. August is National Immunization Awareness Month, an annual observance that brings attention to the importance of vaccinations. Below is information on why it is crucial to get vaccinated.
- Avoid hospital visits. Immunizations not only help reduce your hospital visits, but they also help avoid the inconvenience and high costs of getting sick.
- Maintain good health. Immunizations assist in reducing your risk of severe diseases and illnesses.
- Keep others around you healthy. Immunizations can debilitate the possibility of spreading infections and illnesses to others.
Getting vaccinated on a regular basis not only protects you from getting life-threatening diseases but also protects other people who cannot receive vaccinations. Some people may not be eligible to get vaccinated due to illness, age, pregnancy or at risk for an allergic reaction, which makes it even more critical for us to protect those around us who are not able to get an immunization.
There are many different types of vaccinations to get at different ages in our lives. Here is a quick guide from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention on which immunizations you should get at when you reach a certain age. For those over the age of 50, and especially over the age of 65, it is essential to get your shingles vaccine. Pneumococcal and flu shots are also critical shots to get.
According to research, severe illnesses and diseases are becoming rarer due to immunizations. Vaccinations contribute to the elimination of serious diseases. If the amount of people who receive vaccinations decreases each year, it is possible to see a reappearance of diseases and illnesses that could severely devastate the United States population.
If you are still unsure about getting your or your family vaccinated, we strongly encourage you to visit your primary care doctor and discuss the facts you need so that you can make a practical, educated decision.
If you’re looking for more information on immunization awareness or a primary care doctor in the San Antonio, Gonzaba Medical Group can help. Contact us today at (210) 921-3800 or visit our website for more information! Don’t forget your Flu shot! Available through Gonzaba Nusing Services, no appointment needed
A Guide to Glaucoma
Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness for people 60 years and older, but with early diagnosis and treatment, it can be preventable. At Gonzaba Medical Group, we specialize in senior care and believe it is important to bring awareness of conditions such as glaucoma. Here are the different types of glaucoma and procedures to help treat it.
Types of Glaucoma:
- Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma: this is the most common type of glaucoma and can happen gradually. The eye will not drain the fluid properly, resulting in pressure buildup and damage to the optic nerve. It is painless, and at first, causes no changes to vision. People whose optic nerves are sensitive to pressure are usually more at risk of getting this type of glaucoma.
- Angle-Closure Glaucoma: occurs when the eye’s iris, the colored part of your eye, is very close to the drainage angle. The iris can end up blocking the angle, leading to eye pressure. When the drainage angle gets completely blocked, and pressure builds up quickly, this is called an acute attack. When this happens, one must go to a doctor immediately as it can soon cause blindness
Signs of an acute attack include:
- Vision suddenly blurry.
- Severe eye pain.
- Seeing rainbow-colored rings or halos around lights.
The only way to correctly diagnosis glaucoma is to have a thorough eye exam done by a professional ophthalmologist. During the eye exam, the ophthalmologist will:
- Measure your eye pressure.
- Inspect your eye’s drainage angle.
- Take a picture or computer measurement of your optic nerve.
- Measure the thickness of your cornea.
- Examine your optic nerve for any damage.
- Test your peripheral (side) vision.
Although damage from glaucoma is permanent, medicine and surgery can stop further damage from occurring. Your ophthalmologist may use one or more of the following treatments:
Medication: Eyedrop medicine can help control glaucoma by easing eye pressure. Eye drops can be used every day to reduce the pressure and amount of aqueous fluid. Although the medications can help maintain your vision, there are potential side effects when taking them including:
- Stinging or itching sensation.
- Red eyes or red skin around the eyes.
- A change in your pulse, heartbeat, energy level, breathing, eye color, the skin around your eyes, or eyelid appearance.
- Dry mouth.
- Blurred vision.
- Eyelash growth.
Laser Surgery: There are two types of laser surgery that can treat glaucoma:
- Trabeculoplasty: a treatment using a laser to improve the drainage angle. Fluid will flow out correctly, and eye pressure reduces. This surgery is for people who have primary open-angle glaucoma.
- Iridotomy: a treatment using a laser to create a tiny hole in the iris that helps fluid flow to the drainage angle. This surgery is for people who have angle-closure glaucoma.
Operating room surgery: Some glaucoma surgeries take place in an operating room. It will create a new drainage channel for the fluid to leave the eye.
- Trabeculectomy: the surgeon creates a small flap in the sclera, the white part of your eye, and creates a bubble, called a filtration bleb, in the conjunctivae, the thin membrane that covers the inside of your eyelids and white part of your eye. The bleb is hidden under the upper eyelid, and fluid will drain out of the eye through the flap and into the bled. Fluid is then absorbed by tissue around the eye, lowering pressure.
- Glaucoma drainage devices: the surgeon may implant a tiny drainage tube into your eye sending fluid to a collection area beneath the conjunctiva. Fluid is then absorbed by blood vessels.
Your Role: work together with your eye doctor to treat glaucoma correctly. Your doctor will prescribe the treatment, and it is then up to you to follow directions. Expect to visit your eye doctor frequently for check-ups.
At Gonzaba Medical Group in San Antonio, we are right here for you and your medical needs. Eye conditions can be severe and can cause significant impairment to your health. Come to us if you need help and we can refer you to a professional ophthalmologist. To make an appointment with us, please call 210-921-3800 and one of our rep will be happy to assist you.
STRONG65, through Gonzaba Medical Group, is a free senior health care program designed by Dr. Bill Gonzaba that promotes healthy lifestyles and fitness to seniors all over the San Antonio area. Those who sign up for the program can participate in events and activities such as:
- Farmers Markets
- Chair Yoga
The program also provides a VIP (Very Important Partner) cards! The VIP card gives seniors exclusive access to events and giveaways throughout the program. The only requirement is you must be at least 62 years old.
Strong 65 can impact your health by influencing you to stay active and eat healthy. Here are the key messages the program promotes:
- Stay strong through age-appropriate exercise: line dancing and chair yoga, are a few of the activities that will help keep you active and moving.
- Eat healthy: enjoy access to nutrition tips, advice, and recipe collections.
- Take care by making your health a priority: choose the right medical team partner, visit your physician regularly, and take the medication that is prescribed to you.
- Engage with life: live with conviction and purpose. Staying active in your community and engaging with your peers is what defines a thriving senior. Go to the events and continue to take opportunities to socialize.
Senior health care is a priority at Gonzaba Medical Group. The STRONG65 program with Gonzaba can help. To sign up to or learn more about STRONG65, please visit http://strong65.com/.
Self-care is any activity that we do deliberately to take care of your mental, emotional, and physical health. Despite it being a very simple concept in theory, it is often overlooked. Self-care is imperative to maintaining a good mood, handling anxiety, and reducing stress. Therefore, self-care is key to living a balanced life.
Self-care and wellness go hand in hand. Wellness is defined as an active process of becoming aware of and making choices that contribute to a healthy and fulfilled life. It’s more than being free from illness; it’s a process of consistently taking care of yourself. Self-care is an essential part of maintaining good health and a vibrant life.
Did you know that men typically live five years less than women? When it comes to wellness, men don’t go to the doctor as often as women do. Approximately 80% of men are less likely than women to see a doctor for regular checkups. Men are typically seen as strong or impervious to illness and injury. For a variety of reasons, men sometimes build their self-worth on how much they can put on their plate and handle. Some people think that men who take the time to take care of themselves as weak or feminine. It has taken society a long time to recognize the importance of self-care for men. Taking care of yourself is important for everyone—not just women.
Self-care is not a gender-specific necessity.
Everyone needs to practice self-care on a regular basis. Practicing self-care on a regular basis should be done for plenty of reasons, for example:
- It reduces the effects of stress. When you get too stressed, it begins to break down your mind and body. Taking care of yourself ensures that stress won’t take over, so you can perform at your highest potential.
- It prevents feeling “burnt-out”. This is something that happens to everyone when you knowingly take on more than you can handle, thinking it will be fine. You could end up pushing yourself to the point where you can’t take it anymore. Self-care helps prevent getting to this point.
- It can enable you to refocus. If you get stuck on a task at home or work, studies have shown that taking a break to focus on yourself and take a step back will help you perform better.
Men, it’s time to step up and start making small changes to improve your health and overall quality of life. It’s essential for men to teach themselves self-care and to prioritize it. Here are a few ways for men to start practicing self-care and wellness:
- Exercise regularly. This is common sense, but as you get older and busier you tend to put exercising on the backburner. The key is to find the right kind of exercise for you. Exercising is a great way to let off steam or frustration and will help you clear your head. Check out the Gonzaba Event Center website for a schedule of free exercise classes. Don’t have time to come to a class? The Gonzaba YouTube channel has plenty of exercise videos that you can follow along to at home!
- Eat healthy. This is extremely important for busy men. To perform and feel your best, you must feed your body with the correct nutrients to fuel you. Cut down on sugar, salt, and unhealthy fats. Try to eat unprocessed food more often than you eat processed foods. Lastly, incorporate more plant-based foods into your everyday diet.
- Meditate: it has been proven that meditation is excellent for your mental, emotional, and spiritual health. It helps alleviate stress and incorporate more mindfulness into your day. You don’t have to be a spiritual yoga master to do this. Several apps can help you begin meditating, even for just 10 minutes a day. This is also a good way for you to take some time for yourself each day. The Gonzaba Event Center offers a chair yoga class, which provides the same mindful focus as some meditation.
The benefits of self-care and wellness speak for themselves. The more you practice self-care, the more it pays off. This is an extremely effective way for men to improve their health. If you’re looking for help to improve your health, Gonzaba Medical Group in San Antonio is here for you! Contact us today at (210) 921-3800 or visit our website for more information.
Arthritis is a widespread diagnosis with more than 3 million cases reported in the United States every year. There are many different types of arthritis that one can suffer from, all of which are related. Arthritis is characterized by inflammation of the joints which causes pain and stiffness in the body. This prognosis affects millions, and there is still no cure for this disease. Living with arthritis can be painful and exhausting, and symptoms can worsen with age. Here are five ways you can prevent and alleviate pain from arthritis.
Reach a Healthy Weight
Having extra weight on the body can put pressure on the joints and increase the effects and the pain felt from arthritis. In many cases, arthritis that affects those under the age of 65 can be contributed to being overweight, which causes increased strain on the joints in the hips, knees, and feet. Maintaining a healthy weight can not only help decrease the symptoms of arthritis but can also improve your overall heart and lung health as well!
Establishing an exercise routine and sticking to it can help alleviate arthritis pain and prevent it from occurring. The regular motions associated with exercise help maintain mobility in the joints. Stretching, walking, swimming, and other low impact exercises are great ways to increase your flexibility and joint strength.
Be careful though! High impact exercise like football, running, and lifting weights can be even more damaging to the joints- especially if performed incorrectly.
Reaching a healthy weight isn’t the only thing that helps alleviate arthritis pain- the foods you eat can help too! Foods that are high in sulfur, omega-3 fats, fiber, and anti-oxidants all help reduce inflammation in the joints.
Omega-3 can be found in salmon, chia seeds, flax seeds, and walnuts. Foods that are high in sulfur contain methylsulfonylmethane, which is typically found in onions, garlic, asparagus, and cabbage. For antioxidants, try to look for fruits and vegetables that are colorful, like kale and blueberries.
Spices can help as well! Ginger and turmeric are two spices that have anti-inflammatory properties, which helps diminish joint pain.
Hot and Cold Therapy
It might not seem like it, but exposure to extreme temperatures can help relieve arthritis pain. Taking a warm shower or bath helps keep joints and muscles relaxed, lessening stiffness and pain.
Cold can help reduce inflammation and pain as well. Similar to how you put an ice pack on a bruise to minimize swelling, placing an ice pack on your inflamed joint can result in quick relief.
Chiropractic Care & Physical Therapy
Seeing a professional that specializes in physical rehabilitation and chiropractic care can help with arthritis symptoms as well. Those that are suffering from Osteoarthritis or types of arthritis that affect the back can benefit from visiting these specialists.
The doctors and trained staff will work to return movement to the patient and slowly build strength in the joint and muscle. The staff can also assist and provide someone who has arthritis with different stretches and exercises that will help keep their joints healthy.
Gonzaba Medical Group is here for you and we want to answer all of your questions regarding arthritis. We have doctors that specialize in physical therapy and chiropractic care, helping those that are suffering from joint damage and related ailments. If you or a loved one are experiencing pain or other arthritis symptoms or would like to find out more about how the Gonzaba Medical Group can help you, please schedule an appointment or give us a call at 210-921-3800.