Posts made in June, 2015


Getting a CT scan, CAT scan, or MRI? You may have health concerns, but it is not likely you have considered the fact that these devices can be hacked, and pose a risk to the security of your personal data. Medical devices are a weak link in the cyber security of hospitals, clinics and other facilities that use these devices, as reported by Computer World.

The information gained by hijackers in hacking hospital systems can a technical “backdoor” through which other hospital data can be accessed – including all of your personal and medical information. You have provided the medical facility with your name, date of birth, social security number, and your medical history. Hijacks of medical devices are a very real threat to the security of personal information, as these system traditionally operate on older, insecure platforms.

You have every reason to be worried about your personal information becoming available to hackers if you are getting any medical tests, including X-rays, or will be undergoing surgery. The devices used in these procedures create a backdoor through which hackers have been found to gain access other hospital data that is secured by a firewall and advanced security software.

It appears that almost monthly, some new huge data breach is reported, the most recent being federal government employees, past and current, as well as large healthcare firms, Target and other large retailers, with hospitals and clinics a current target that has proven vulnerabilities.

Should you be worried? Yes. Has it already occurred? Possibly. Any person who has provided any information to a hospital, clinic, or other medical facility should be proactive and ensure that their accounts are monitored for illegal access, so it can be halted before any damage is done. Once a cyber-attack has occurred, and your personal data used to make purchases, open credit cards or access your bank accounts, it can be extremely difficult to resolve. As consumers, it is advised that all accounts are monitored by a reputable company that will alert you when suspicious activities are occurring.

As never before, our personal information is residing in many locations, including banks, credit card companies, retailers, at our place of employment, health insurance providers, and at the medical facilities where we go to attend to matters of health. Concerned about your personal data being stolen by hackers? This is just one more method by which these criminals can gain access to your personal information.

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Having healthy eyesight is one aspect of our lives that many of us take for granted. We rely so heavily on our eyesight every day that we can easily end up thinking about our vision as a part of our life that doesn’t need any special care. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

Some of us are blessed with perfect vision, and many of us need corrective lenses for 20/20 eyesight, but we can all benefit from some tips on keeping our most precious sense working at its best.

Give Your Eyes a Rest

You wouldn’t stand up all day if you could help it, right? The muscles in your legs would end up tired and sore. So why would you submit your eyes to the same treatment?

Looking at a computer screen all day can put a significant strain on your eyes if you don’t give them a break. Follow the 20-20-20 rule. For every twenty minutes of screen time, take at least twenty seconds to look at an object twenty feet or more away from you.

This breaks up the periods of intense close-up focusing that your eyes are forced to do when you’re staring at a computer screen or even reading.

Shades On

Getting a bad sunburn during the summer is painful and harmful to your skin, but think about what that same sun exposure is potentially doing to your eyes. Too much UV exposure from the sun can contribute to macular degeneration and cataracts as you age, so think about investing in a pair of sunglasses that have both UVA and UVB protection.

Feed Your Eyes

Eating a well-balanced diet is important in maintaining healthy eyesight. Just like the rest of your body, your eyes benefit from a healthy diet that’s rich in fruits and vegetables. Eating well also helps you maintain a healthy weight, and lowers your chances for type 2 diabetes—one of the leading causes of blindness in adults.

Quit Smoking

Just like eating well, smoking has an overall effect on your body, but in the opposite sense. You may not hear about smoking’s impact on vision as much as its other harmful effects, but smoking makes you more at risk for cataracts and macular degeneration.

If you are a smoker, quitting immediately is the best thing to do, and if you’ve never picked up a cigarette, don’t start now!

Safety First

It was only last year that the NHL made visors for hockey players mandatory, and we can’t help but wince at how long that took. Sports and work related eye injuries occur all the time, and never when you’re expecting them.

Stay safe and wear protective eyewear whenever you’re in an environment with a potential risk to your eyesight. After all, what’s more important—winning that pickup game or keeping your 20/20 vision?

Maintaining healthy eyesight isn’t the hardest thing in the world. It just takes a little thought and effort on your part. Your eyes give life to the world around you, so keep them in the best shape possible with just a few daily measures.

 

 

Emily Hunter crafts content on behalf of the LASIK eye surgeons at Eyecare 20/20. In her spare time, she cheers for Spirit of Atlanta, Carolina Crown and Phantom Regiment, creates her own sodas, and crushes tower defense games. Follow her on Twitter at @Emily2Zen

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When people say “nose job,” it almost always connotes the existence of a formerly unflattering nose into one that’s a better fit for the face; a change done for vanity’s sake. This kind of impression, however, is brought about by pop culture exposure to a medical procedure that ranks third among the most requested in the United States.

In fact, there are two kinds of nose jobs that one can undergo: rhinoplasty, the more familiar one, is generally regarded as a cosmetic procedure; septoplasty, its lesser known counterpart, is performed for reconstructive or revision purposes. Used mainly to correct deviated septums, the latter is ideal for those who suffer from breathing problems caused by facial trauma.

How else are they different? How are they similar?

Aside from differing purposes, each procedure affects separate parts of the nasal area. Rhinoplasty focuses on the bridge, the bone that supports the upper part of the nose. The septum, on the other hand, is tissue that divides the right and left sides of the nostrils. It is this cartilage that is realigned during a septoplasty.

During rhinoplasty, the appearance of the nose may be changed in a multitude of ways. The bridge of the nose is trimmed or its position adjusted to allow for a more aesthetically appealing and more proportionate central facial feature. Guided by your chosen, trusted doctor, the size and slope of your nose can be altered to your preference. Irregularities, such as bumps and asymmetries, are addressed too. A surgeon’s end goals, aside from a satisfied and healthy patient of course, are to enhance facial harmony and improve self-confidence.

If rhinoplasty is performed for cosmetic purposes, septoplasty could be said to be an option borne of necessity. Because of the septum’s proximity to the airways, a slight change in position caused by a congenital condition, deformity, or accident can obstruct nasal function. This obstruction can range from easily discounted to downright cumbersome. Symptoms vary from person to person, too. Some report “chronic stuffiness, headaches, and snoring,” while others barely feel the difference caused by a deviation or misalignment.

Regarding concerns on costs, septoplasty is commonly covered by insurance because of its reconstructive nature. Classified as a cosmetic procedure, rhinoplasty would have to be shouldered by the patient him/herself. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, “the average cost of rhinoplasty is $4,545” based on 2013 statistics.

Now that the hard part’s over, it’s time to let your nose heal from the immense stress of surgery. The occurrence of swelling of the eyes, nose, and sometimes even the face is completely normal; as is discomfort in the nasal area during the first few weeks. Most patients describe sensations such as needles pricking or a dull ache on the end of the nose. The frequent application of a cold compress for 20-minute periods is good for temporary relief.

Aside from packing, a drip pad is sometimes worn under the nose at least for the first few days. A patient should avoid strenuous physical activity for the first couple of weeks. Bed rest is best, with the head in an elevated position. In a week or two, most patients find themselves able to resume work. They generally report gaining back the sense of normalcy within a few weeks.

Author:

Dr. Patrick Hsu, MD of Memorial Plastic Surgery is a board certified and highly experienced Plastic Surgeon in Houston who specializes in aesthetic, plastic and reconstructive surgery.

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