Family Fun And Fitness: Finding The Best Backyard Playset

By Jereme Thomas

groupkidswbgFinding something that promises to deliver hours of family fun and helps to keep kids fit and active is not always that easy, but a backyard playset can often satisfy all of these requirements.

Children naturally enjoy playing outside and are always keen to have some fun through climbing, sliding and swinging, which are things you can do when you install a backyard playset for them.

Plenty of reasons

If you need a reason to buy a playset for your kids, there are plenty of them, and when you add them all together it makes the idea of investing in one for your backyard seem like a bit of a no-brainer.

Fresh air and exercise

In a digital age, it is great to see the kids enjoy some fresh air and exercise and soon forget about the iPad when they are having so much fun.

Outdoor play equipment offers the opportunity for physical exercise whilst they are playing. Climbing to the top of a slide before enjoying that quick descent helps children to develop their upper and lower body strength and also improves their cardiovascular health with all that running around.

Good for their health

There are definite benefits attached to being outside that go beyond the obvious advantage of keeping kids fit and healthy through the exercise that a playset offers.

Simply being outside and soaking up some sunlight will help boost their vitamin D intake and some studies also show that regular exposure to mud and dirt, which is part of the fun as far as they are concerned, actually boosts their immune system, which is obviously a positive aspect to consider.

Choosing the right equipment

Kid’s playsets offer a wide variety of different options, so you can have a slide, monkey bars and different combinations of ladders and other equipment to allow them to climb safely.

Although a good playset will have been manufactured with safety as an important consideration, you do have to ensure that you choose the right equipment that is appropriate to the age of your child.

Children develop quite quickly and you will certainly want to buy a playset that offers your kid’s the chance to enjoy at least several years of enjoyment, but it is always advisable to remember that equipment that is fun and safe for a 10-year old, will not be suitable for a toddler.

Look for a playset model that allows you to modify the equipment at a later date but if you are unsure, take advice from the supplier as to what combination of equipment is safe and appropriate for your child to use right now.

twokidsunSuitable and safe

If you have children who are under two, the tower railing needs to be as open as possible with slats in place rather than solid walls, so that they can learn to climb more easily.

A tower for a child of this age should ideally not be any more than five feet off the ground, but a six foot tower might be acceptable in order to keep the playset just as exciting as they grow a bit bigger. A two-child back-to-back glider is worth considering, as it children tend to get the hang of these more quickly than a traditional swing, and it encourages them to use their arm muscles which will help them get fitter as well.

A glider is suitable for ages two and up and you should get plenty of use out of it, as older kids also tend to enjoy riding them too.

Equipment options

Older kids will love using a rock-climbing wall and if you get one with colored grips or rocks, they can play games following the color patterns as they climb up and down. Tire swings are quite popular with kids, but they are quite heavy and can easily knock a child over if they get too close while someone else is on it, so it wouldn’t be advisable to get one fitted if you have kids aged under four.

Trapezes are also best avoided for younger children, as the young ones find them difficult to get the hang of and this can present a dislocation hazard. Monkey bars are another item that are more suited to older children, as they need a reasonable amount of upper body strength and can become dangerous if a young child manages to climb to the top, but can’t then get down safely.

A playset in your backyard offers a great chance to enjoy some family fun and improve fitness, just take the time to choose the right combination of equipment so that they can play as safely as possible.

– Jereme Thomas is the owner and founder of Totally Swing Sets, an online swing set store that specializes in quality wooden swing sets and outdoor accessories. His wife, Nikki, assists in running Totally Swing Sets as the Director of Sales and Service.

Videos Provide Helpful Information About Childhood Obesity

This article is courtesy of PRWeb, please share your comments below…..

obesityLearn about childhood obesity causes, trends and prevention from Mercy Health expert. Mercy Health published a video last week about childhood obesity.

Mercy Health (formerly Catholic Health Partners) – a Catholic healthcare ministry serving Ohio and Kentucky – has devoted the sixth of its monthly Mercy Health: Helping You Be Well videos to childhood obesity issues. Experts say one in three youngsters is overweight or obese.

In a concise video on Mercy Health’s YouTube channel, a Mercy Health expert addresses these childhood obesity-related questions:

* Why is childhood obesity worse now than when we were kids?

* How can we get kids to eat better?

* Should I cut out sweets altogether?

* Won’t most kids just outgrow it?

* What can we do as parents to prevent childhood obesity?

An infographic with childhood obesity facts is available at Mercy Health is also sharing helpful information throughout the month on its social media channels.

Mercy Health: Helping You Be Well, which spotlights key health issues and tips for healthy living, debuted in December. The videos feature Mercy Health physician experts who are committed to making lives better – mind, body and spirit.

About Mercy Health

Mercy Health (formerly Catholic Health Partners) is the largest health system in Ohio and one of the largest health systems in the United States, employing more than 32,000 employees in Ohio and Kentucky. With $6 billion in assets, Mercy Health operates about 450 health facilities, including 23 hospitals, eight senior living communities, five hospice programs and seven home health agencies. Truven Health Analytics (formerly Thomson Reuters) consistently rates Mercy Health among the nation’s top health systems for clinical quality and efficiency. In keeping with its mission, Mercy Health providesabout $1 million per day in community benefit services. Mercy Health’s bonds are rated AA- by Standard & Poor’s and Fitch, and A1 by Moody’s. Mercy Health also partners with HealthSpan which provides health maintenance organization and insurance coverage. Mercy Health is a founding member of Health Innovations Ohio, which focuses on providing health services that result in higher quality, better health and greater value. For more information, visit or connect with Mercy Health on Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest and Twitter (@LivingMercyHlth).

Coffee’s Potential Health Benefits

This article is courtesy of PRWeb and the Harvard Heart Letter. Please share your thoughts below…..

cupcoffeeCoffee is a nearly calorie-free beverage brimming with antioxidants. It might ease artery-damaging inflammation and deliver substances that support heart health.

Coffee drinkers around the world savor the bitter brew on a daily basis. But are there any grounds for concern regarding coffee’s effects on the heart? On the contrary: the case for drinking coffee seems to be growing, reports the March 2015 Harvard Heart Letter. Coffee — minus the cream and sugar — is a nearly calorie-free beverage brimming with antioxidants. It also might ease artery-damaging inflammation and deliver a substance that helps the body regulate blood sugar.

“The evidence for the benefits of coffee consumption is even more convincing than it was five years ago, especially when it comes to preventing type 2 diabetes and reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke,” says Dr. Frank Hu, professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health.

Although caffeine is by far the most studied compound in coffee, the beverage is a complex brew that contains hundreds, if not thousands, of bioactive components. Among these are vitamins, minerals, and potent, plant-based anti-inflammatory compounds known as polyphenols. Most likely, it’s the combination of these substances, rather than caffeine itself, that confers coffee’s potential health benefits.

Caffeine, a mild stimulant, triggers a short-term rise in blood pressure and heart rate. While some coffee drinkers welcome the stimulant effect, others complain that caffeine causes daytime jitters and sleepless nights. Now, researchers acknowledge that a moderate amount of caffeine is fine for most people with heart disease as long as they don’t have a heart-rhythm problem.

“People develop tolerance to caffeine within a few days, so the effects cannot be extrapolated to the long term. Over time, caffeine does raise the resting metabolic rate and increase energy expenditure, albeit modestly, so it may actually turn out to be helpful in controlling body weight,” says Dr. Hu.

Read the full-length article, “A wake-up call on coffee”

Also in the March 2015 Harvard Heart Letter:

* A big belly is bad news for the heart

* Education, memory loss, and stroke risk

* Device-guided breathing for blood pressure

The Harvard Heart Letter is available from Harvard Health Publications, the publishing division of Harvard Medical School, for $20 per year. Subscribe at or by calling 877-649-9457 (toll-free).

Start Planning Now for Long-Term Care

This article is courtesy of PRWeb, please share your thoughts below…..

seniorcoupleexercisesmallIt’s important to plan now for long-term care that may be needed later in life. Types of long-term care include private-duty care at home, adult day care centers, assisted living, and nursing homes.

Most people in the United States will need at least three years of long-term nursing or other care after age 65. But less than half of people in their 40s and beyond are saving for it or even talking about it, reports the May 2015 Harvard Health Letter.

By not planning, people risk two problems. One is losing control over the care they’ll receive. “Many people push it off to their families,” says Dr. David Grabowski, a professor of health care policy at Harvard Medical School. “But family members may make decisions that are very different from the ones the individual would make.”

The other problem is that people may not have money to pay for long-term care if they don’t plan for it. That lack of funding often forces loved ones to provide care. Families are actually the biggest providers of long-term care in the country. But when a person’s need for care exceeds what a family can provide, care often falls to an institutional setting. “If the finances aren’t in place to pay for that, the risk is ending up in a low-quality setting,” says Dr. Grabowski.

Several types of long-term care are available. Some allow people to live at home, being cared for by a family member or by certified aides. There’s also adult day care. Options outside the home include assisted living facilities and nursing homes.

Paying for long-term care is limited to a few options, including private pay (full price from one’s own pocket), long-term care insurance, Medicaid, and veterans’ benefits. Obtaining some of these benefits can be complicated and time-consuming.

Read the full-length article: “The dollars and sense of long-term care”

Also in the May 2015 Harvard Health Letter:

* Pill-free ways to lower blood pressure

* Simple tips to sit less and move more

* The latest concerns about diet sodas

The Harvard Health Letter is available from Harvard Health Publications, the publishing division of Harvard Medical School, for $20 per year. Subscribe at or by calling 877-649-9457 (toll-free).

Everlast Climbing™ Brings Youth Rock Climbing Innovations To National PTA Convention & Expo

kidsarmsupDynamic rock climbing products, including educational climbing walls that allow for teaching content areas beyond physical education, will be featured.

From June 25 to June 28, more than 1,000 PTA members, leaders and partners from across the country will meet to network, learn and further work to make a difference for the education, health and welfare of children and youth at the 2015 National PTA Convention & Expo in Charlotte, N.C.

Everlast Climbing has been serving the K-12 school market for over 20 years and has a long history of working with PTAs from across the country. With the average school’s physical education budget only $764 per year, PTAs play a significant role in filling in the gaps and enabling schools to provide physical education opportunities for students. “We have had the privilege of working with a lot of amazing PTAs over the years,” said Lyle Helke, Director of Inside Sales for Everlast Climbing. “PTAs understand the link between activity and learning and are also aware of the underfunding of physical education.” For many schools, innovations like a climbing wall would not be possible without the PTA.

At the 2015 National PTA Convention & Expo, Everlast Climbing will be presenting a variety of climbing walls created specifically for the K-12 school market. These include horizontal climbing walls, also known as Traverse Walls, which focus on students climbing predominantly across the wall instead of vertically. They are available in a variety of surfaces including those that look like real rock or display a mural. There are even climbing walls that can be used for math, reading and other lessons. The Magna® Wall features a magnet-accepting surface. The Discovery Wall is also magnetic and can be written on with chalk on the Blackboard style or with markers on the Dry-Erase version.

“The versatility of many of our climbing walls makes them very appealing to schools because they can be used not only in physical education classes, but in other classes too,” comments Mertyce Mrvos, Coordinator of Programs & Partnerships for Everlast Climbing. “Practicing math facts or spelling words on a climbing wall engages children in learning and provides the added benefits of physical activity.” Everlast Climbing will also be showcasing its Top Rope, or vertical climbing walls, Playground Walls, NatureROCKS® Playground Boulders, Kersplash® Poolside Climbing Wall, educational programming and more.

About Everlast Climbing
Everlast Climbing is committed to improving youth fitness with dynamic and innovative products that engage children and inspire physical activity. The company is headquartered in Mendota Heights, MN, and is a PlayCore company. More information is available about Everlast Climbing at

Higher BMI Associated With Reduced Costs, Better Health For Diabetics

This article is courtesy of PRWeb, please share your thoughts below…..

diabeteswordIt’s a paradox: Diabetics with above-normal weight use health care less and report overall better physical health than their diabetic counterparts with normal weight, according to two new studies from UC Davis Health System. The authors suggest that the extra weight isn’t protecting diabetics as commonly assumed, but that normal-weight people with diabetes are afflicted with a more severe form of the disease.

Prior studies found that diabetics with normal BMIs have a higher mortality risk than those who are overweight or obese.

“The mortality paradox led to the ‘protection explanation’ that seems unlikely to be true because we didn’t see any beneficial effects of excess weight in people who did not have diabetes,” said Anthony Jerant, professor of family and community medicine at UC Davis and lead author of the studies. “The possibility that there is more than one form of type 2 diabetes is supported by basic science studies showing physiological differences in leaner people with diabetes.”

For their research, Jerant and his colleagues evaluated data on about 120,000 patients in the 2000-2011 Medical Expenditures Panel Surveys (MEPS), an annual assessment from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on health status, medical services and health care costs among a representative sample of U.S. civilians.

Characterized by unstable blood sugar levels, diabetes is currently diagnosed as type 1, an unpreventable form typically diagnosed in children or young adults, or type 2, which mostly affects adults and is linked with unhealthy lifestyles. Because the vast majority — about 90 percent — of the nearly 30 million diabetics in the U.S. have type 2, the study results are most applicable to type 2 diabetes.

In a study published online March 20 in the journal Medical Care, the UC Davis team compared health care expenditures, hospitalizations and emergency department visits for those with and without diabetes and in relation to their BMIs (normal, overweight or obese), a standard measure of weight adjusted for height. For all three study criteria, health care utilization was significantly higher in normal weight than in heavier diabetic persons, differences that were not observed in those who did not have diabetes.

In another study published online April 27 in the journal Nutrition & Diabetes, the researchers evaluated results of self-reported physical and mental health status for patients with and without diabetes. Overall, those with diabetes had worse physical and mental health status than non-diabetic persons. Among just those with diabetes, physical health status was better for those who were either overweight or obese as compared to those who had normal weight, and most optimal for those who were overweight.

Jerant believes the new findings provide evidence that it’s time to quit thinking that leaner type 2 diabetics are at lower risk for bad outcomes from the disease than their heavier counterparts.

“Researchers should be looking at genetic and metabolic factors that define type 2 diabetes for those with different weights,” said Jerant. “Teasing out those factors could eventually enable us to develop and test diabetes management plans that address those differences.”

Jerant’s co-authors were Peter Franks and Klea Bertakis, professors of family and community medicine at UC Davis. They received no external funding for their research.

“Body Mass Index and Health Care Utilization in Diabetic and Nondiabetic Individuals” is available at

“Body Mass Index and Health Status in Diabetic and Nondiabetic Individuals” is available at

For more information about UC Davis Health System and its Department of Family and Community Medicine, visit

Labeling “Calories In” And “Calories Out” Plays A Positive Role In Food Choices

This article is courtesy of PRWeb, please share your thoughts in the comments section below…..

kidseatinghealthyA recent study in Pediatrics (January 2015) and another in Appetite (July 2013), support the positive benefits of calorie labeling on smarter food choices in the fast food world. Calorie experts and authors of The Calories In, Calories Out Cookbook are pioneers in bringing calorie information and physical activity labeling to the cookbook world.

Calorie labeling is the new trend, and it looks like it’s here to stay. As calorie awareness increases among the general population — with the use of weight-tracking apps and other devices and menu postings — the public is beginning to expect this information on all foods. The authors of The Calories In, Calories Out Cookbook think it should be in cookbooks too. They are the first to offer both calories in and calories out values in the cookbook arena.

The power of labeling has positive effects on food choices. “There is no question that knowing how many calories are in a dish and how much exercise is needed to burn them off affects the decision to eat that food,” said Catherine Jones, chef and award-winning author and blogger turned health-focused home cook and project director of the Share Your Calories Nonprofit.

New research has found that parents shown menus with calorie labels may order fast food meals totaling fewer calories for their children. Adding labels that reveal the minutes to walk to burn the calories in the food item, or calories plus miles to walk to burn the calories in the food item, may be more likely to influence parents to encourage their children to exercise.

The study that came out on January 26, 2015 in the journal of Pediatrics, surveyed parents and asked them to choose items for their children from a fast food menu. The parents were given menus with either no labels, calories only, calories plus minutes, or calories plus miles needed to walk to burn the calories. Parents were asked to choose what they would order for their child.

Interestingly, parents whose menus displayed calorie and or physical activity information ordered approximately 200 fewer average calories for their children than those parents whose menus displayed no labels. The calorie differences were mostly due to differences in burger and dessert calories.

The results are not surprising to co-authors of the critically acclaimed new cookbook, The Calories In, Calories Out Cookbook, Catherine Jones, and Elaine Trujillo, MS RDN. “Providing calorie and physical activity information can be a helpful tool in making healthy choices. It’s very encouraging to learn that parents exposed to labels made better choices,” said Jones and Trujillo.

In a similar study in adults in July 2013, those shown fast food labels depicting calories and miles to walk to burn those calories ordered on average about 100 fewer calories than when shown calorie information alone (Appetite 2013;62:173).

In light of the fact that about one-third of the average American’s diet is consumed at restaurants, the findings from these studies become even more relevant. The FDA recently ruled that chain restaurants list calorie information on menus and menu boards. List physical activity values to burn calories may be an additional way for consumers to understand calorie information.

foodlabelAlthough in the Pediatrics study, physical activity labeling did not seem to have a greater influence on parent’s decision-making of food choices, calorie labeling of any type led parents to choose lower-calorie items.

The study also found that providing labels with physical activity equivalents, regardless of whether shown in minutes or miles were significantly more influential at prompting parents to encourage their children to exercise.

“This is good news, especially since the majority of our children are not getting enough exercise,” says Trujillo. The US Department of Health and Human Services recommends that children and adolescents aged 6 to 17 years engage in at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day. Unfortunately, only 42% of 6- to 11-year olds and only 8% of 12- to 15-year-olds approach this level of physical activity, these findings are relevant.

CATHERINE JONES a chef is the award-winning author or coauthor of numerous cookbooks including The Calories In, Calories Out Cookbook, Eating for Pregnancy, and Eating for Lower Cholesterol. She is the co-founder of the nonprofit Share Your Calories, an app developer, blogger, and a freelance journalist. ELAINE TRUJILLO, MS, RDN, is a nutritionist who has years of experience promoting nutrition and health and has written numerous scientific journal articles, chapters and textbooks.

The Importance Of Omega-3 And Omega-6 Acids

Thank you to PRWeb for supplying this article written by Dr. Social. What are your thoughts? Please share in the comments section below…..

peanutbutterA healthy diet contains a balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-3 acids help reduce inflammation, and some omega-6 acids tend to promote inflammation. The correct balance of omega-3 to omega-6 fats is essential if you want to be the healthiest you can be.

Both omega-3s and omega-6s are essential fatty acids that your body can’t make, so you have to acquire them through your diet. Omega-3s and -6s compete for some of the same modification machinery. So if you eat an over-abundance of omega-6s, they interfere with your body’s ability to use omega-3s. Too much omega-6 and too little omega-3 are among the causes for many diseases in modern society. Let’s talk about how we can get the right amount of intake.

We need omega-3 fatty acids for numerous normal body functions, such as controlling blood clotting and building cell membranes in the brain. Omega-6 fatty acids are essential nutrients, abundant in the Western diet; common sources include safflower, corn, cottonseed, and soybean oils.

For now, experts on both sides of the issue agree that eating sources of omega-3 fats, mostly fish, is important, but many people aren’t getting the recommended levels of it. The current recommendation calls for two servings of a fatty fish such as salmon a week, as well as mackerel, herring, halibut and sardines. Shrimp, scallops and snapper also contain omega-3s. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, omega-3 fats can help lower your cholesterol levels. Choices for vegetarians include flaxseed oil which contains about 55% omega-3 fats. Canola oil has about 10%. Soybean oil is about 7% omega-3 fats. Walnuts, olives, avocados and leafy green vegetables are also good sources of omega-3s.

“Omega-3 favorably affects a number of risk factors for cardiovascular disease, and at the top of the list is reducing the risk of sudden death from heart attack,” said Penny Kris Etherton, distinguished professor of nutrition at Pennsylvania State University.

Omega-3 concentrations are highest in the brain and nervous system. The fatty acids are necessary for optimal functioning of the neurons, protect cells, decrease cell death and improve nerve transmission. Emerging research indicates omega-3s may boost levels of the brain chemicals serotonin and dopamine, decreasing depression and violence.

“In 5 out of 6 of the clinical trials where people were given either a placebo or omega-3 fatty acids, on average, the symptoms of depression have been reduced by about 50 percent,” said Joseph Hibbeln, a psychiatrist at the National Institutes for Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

“If you eat too much omega-6, as is the case with today’s American diet, this promotes inflammation, blood clotting and constricts blood vessels,” said Artemis Simopoulos, president of the Center for Genetics, Nutrition and Health and the author of “The Omega Diet” (Harper Collins, 1999). “When your cells contain equal amounts of omega-6 and omega-3, as was the case with early humans, this promotes less inflammation, less constrictive blood vessels and prevents clot formation, all important functions in preventing many diseases.”

Research has shown that the imbalance of omega-3 and omega-6 hormones increases the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and dying of a heart attack. It also increases the risk of developing a psychiatric disorder, Alzheimer’s disease, and obesity. Chronic inflammation caused by excessive omega-6 hormones increases the risk of every immune-inflammatory illness ranging from atherosclerosis, arthritis, and asthma to type-2 diabetes and irritable bowel syndrome. Omega imbalance can even result in bone loss, and increase the rate of cancer growth. So, what can we do to make sure the omegas are in check?

For most people it is easier to start by reducing some of their dietary choices. Try to limit these top sources of omega-6 fatty acids:

· Peanut and other nut butters

· Chips and buttered popcorn

· Take-out, and packaged foods

· Fried, battered chicken or fish

· Margarine and vegetable shortening

· Salad dressings … best choices are ones made with olive or canola oil

· Vegetable oils … best choices are olive, macadamia nut, and canola oils

Here are some suggestions on how to boost your omega-3 intake:

· Include as much fresh food as possible

· Eat an abundance of fruits and vegetables

· Read the labels – even if you are buying nuts, read the label look to see if they are processed with vegetable oil (corn, soy, cottonseed, grape seed, sunflower, safflower, etc), which loads them up with omega 6

· Aim for variety

· Eat seafood a couple of times per week

· Use Soya beans and tofu as meat replacements

Like most things in life, balance is everything. Most importantly, don’t completely avoid your necessary omega-6 intake, rather avoid any processed and packaged food for all types of health benefits and indulge in the variety of any fresh veggies, fish, and snacking on walnuts and fruits.


Doctor Discusses Eye and Vision Supplements

This article is courtesy of PRWeb, please share your thoughts below…..

vitaminsTaking the right eye supplements that contain vitamins and other nutrients can be beneficial for maintaining eye health and good vision. Dr. Stewart Shofner of Shofner Vision Center shares tips on choosing the best eye and vision supplements.

Dr. Stewart Shofner of Shofner Vision Center shares tips on choosing the best supplements to improve vision and eye health. Eye supplements are designed to add, not replace, nutrients acquired from a healthy diet. It is important to know that a healthy diet of nutrient-rich foods is critical for maintaining eye health and good vision.

Most Americans don’t eat enough nutrient rich foods like fruits and vegetables, but opt for high-calorie, low-nutrient alternatives that can be harmful to the body, including the eyes. Daily multivitamins and minerals can help supplement the nutritional gaps in a unsatisfactory diet and may decrease the progression of eye diseases. Dr. Shofner shares the following tips on choosing the best vision supplements.

1) Quality. The best eye supplements contain quality ingredients that have high bioavailability for easy absorption. Popular eye multivitamins include: ICaps (Alcon), Ocuvite PreserVision (Bausch + Lomb), Vision 360 (Stop Aging Now), and Eye & Body Complete (Biosyntrix). “We only offer and recommend well-known, quality brands to our patients,” says Dr. Shofner.

2) Freshness. Check for an expiration date to make sure the supplement is fresh and the seal has not been broken or tampered with.

3) Choose Capsules. Capsules are easily absorbed vs. hard tablets and tend to cause less stomach upset.

4) Avoid Fillers. Eye supplements containing dairy products, corn or wheat, could affect those sensitive or are allergic to those ingredients.

5) Follow Correct Dosage. To reduce the risk of toxicity or drug reactions, do not exceed the dosage instructions on the bottle.

6) Save with Multivitamins. Purchasing multivitamins rather than buying each vitamin and nutrient separately can cost less.

Vitamins That Support Vision Health

Most of these vitamins and nutrients listed below may play a key role in reducing inflammation and oxidative changes associated with the development of degenerative diseases, including chronic and age-related eye problems:

* Vitamin A and beta-carotene. Vitamin A is essential for night vision.

* Vitamin B complex (including vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12 folic acid, biotin and choline). B complex vitamins may help reduce chronic inflammation and prevent elevated homocysteine levels in the blood, which have been associated with vascular problems affecting the retina. B vitamins also may play a role in reducing the risk of macular degeneration and in the treatment of uveitis.

* Vitamin C. Some studies have found vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant, is associated with reduced risk of cataracts.

* Vitamin D. Recent studies suggest vitamin D deficiency is prevalent, especially during winter months in cold climates. Research suggests vitamin D may decrease the risk of developing macular degeneration. View a research report on Vitamin D and AMD.

* Vitamin E. Vitamin E has been associated with reduced risk of cataracts.

* Bioflavonoids. Found in many fruits and vegetables, bioflavonoids appear to help the body absorb vitamin C for higher antioxidant efficiency.

* Lutein and Zeaxanthin. These carotenoids and macular pigments may reduce the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts.

* Omega-3 essential fatty acids. These essential nutrients may reduce the risk of dry eyes and may have other eye health benefits as well.

* Phytochemical antioxidants. Plant extracts, such as those from ginkgo biloba and bilberry, contain phytochemicals, which appear to provide protection from oxidative stress in the entire body, including the eyes.

Dr. Shofner suggests patients should consult with their eye doctor and primary care physician before taking supplements, especially for those that are pregnant, nursing or taking blood thinners (anti-coagulants).

About Shofner Vision Center

Dr. Stewart Shofner of Shofner Vision Center located in Nashville, TN, specializes in LASIK and Cataract Vision Correction Surgery and treats ocular diseases. Dr. Shofner has performed over 10,000 cataract surgeries in Nashville/Middle Tennessee area. Dr. Shofner recommends anyone seeking eye and vision supplements or experiencing vision impairment to contact their local ophthalmologist or contact Shofner Vision Center for a “No Fear – No Pressure” comprehensive eye exam.

Rhinophyma: Tips For Dealing With A Large, Red Nose

This article is courtesy of PRWeb, please share your thoughts below…..

newsDermatology Specialist Dr. Joshua Fox Answers Questions and Explains Link to Rosacea.

The bulbous, red nose most often associated with the comedian W.C. Fields has often been thought to be caused by heavy drinking. While alcohol consumption may increase blood flow to the face and cause temporary redness, it is not responsible for rhinophyma, a skin condition characterized by a large, red, bumpy nose that is just as likely to occur in non-drinkers as in drinkers.

“Rhinophyma is a complication of an advanced stage of severe rosacea,” says Dr. Joshua Fox, Founder and medical director of Advanced Dermatology, P.C. “It can rarely interfere with breathing and the changes to appearance can cause severe emotional distress and even social isolation. Fortunately, we have effective treatments for rhinophyma that reduce or eliminate its disfiguring effects.”

What causes rhinophyma?

While rhinophyma is rare, rosacea is a common, chronic, inflammatory skin condition in which blood vessels under the skin expand allowing more blood to flow to the surface and giving the face a red, sun-burned or wind-burned appearance. As the condition progresses, small, pimple-like bumps appear that resemble acne but there are no blackheads or whiteheads that are typical of that teen-age affliction. In the most severe, advanced cases of rosacea, the outer layers of skin on the nose thicken and develop enlarged pores as the lower nose gradually grows into the swollen, bulbous shape typical of rhinophyma.

“We don’t know why some cases of rosacea advance to rhinophyma and others don’t,” says Dr. Fox. “Some think rhinophyma is most commonly seen in middle-aged and older men although rosacea occurs more often in women. People with light hair, skin and eyes and a family history of the disorder are also at higher risk for rosacea.”

In addition, if the rosacea is treated at an earlier stage it may prevent its progression.

What can be done to prevent rhinophyma?

There is no definitive way of preventing the progression of rosacea to rhinohpyma but avoiding triggers that aggravate rosacea by increasing blood flow to the face can delay the worsening of symptoms. Common irritants include excessive exposure to the sun; hot, cold and windy weather extremes; stress; hot and spicy foods; alcohol; and medications that dilate the blood vessels. One new cream is Soolantra 1% Ivermectin cream which may help rosacea.

Tips for treating rhinophyma.

Rhinophyma will not clear up on its own. When it is diagnosed in the early stages, some medications can be effective in alleviating the symptoms. These include oral antibiotics to reduce inflammation, topical creams or ointments to reduce swelling, and acne treatments that prevent the sebaceous glands from producing oil.

In most cases, surgery to remove excess tissue and reshape the nose is the best solution for long-term elimination of rhinophyma’s disfiguring effects. Surgical techniques include reconstructive (or cosmetic) surgery using a scalpel and performed under an anesthetic; laser surgery, which generally causes less bleeding than conventional surgery; electro-surgery, using electric current; cryosurgery, which freezes the tissue to be removed; and dermabrasion, which uses a rotating brush to smooth the tissue and is often used in combination with other procedures. There are many techniques to reshape the nose and remove excessive tissue. But according to Dr. Fox, the best technique is laser surgery as it allows reshaping of the nose with minimal to no bleeding and the lowest risk of scarring.

“Untreated rhinophyma gets progressively worse and can cause permanent disfigurement as well as breathing problems,” says Dr. Fox. “Since treatment is most effective in the early stages, people with rosacea and rhinophyma should be vigilant in avoiding aggravating factors and seeking treatment before symptoms progress to a more serious stage and may be more difficult to manage or eliminate. With the treatments available today, there is no need to live with the physical and emotional effects of rhinophyma. This year we treated several men and one woman with this disfiguring condition. Most did not realize that there was a laser treatment for their condition to allow them to look normal again.”

– Joshua L. Fox, M.D., F.A.A.D., Medical Director at Advanced Dermatology PC. He is board certified and specializes in skin cancer, cosmetic surgery and laser procedures. Advanced Dermatology P.C. and the Center for Laser and Cosmetic Surgery (New York & New Jersey) is one of the leading dermatology centers in the nation with 13 locations in New York and New Jersey, offering highly experienced physicians in the fields of cosmetic and laser dermatology as well as plastic surgery and state-of-the-art medical technologies.