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Monday Medical Minute

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Spring is in the air, and now is the perfect time to get your skin spring-ready with our skin special from professional licensed aesthetician, Lashelle Kuhlman.

For a limited time, Lashelle is offering a skin care package that includes microdermabrasion and a gold face mask:

  • Microdermabrasion helps to improve oily or dull skin, enlarged and clogged pores, fine lines, mild acne scars and uneven pigmentation.
  • Casmara® Prestige Gold Mask 2080 contains a unique blend of minerals, seaweed extract and 24 karat gold dust to reveal tightened, moisturized skin on your face and neck.

This luxurious treatment is for you if you want your skin to glow and appear tighter and softer. The treatment is appropriate for most skin types and can help with brown spots, acne, fine lines and wrinkles.

This offer is available for $79* and runs through May 31, 2020. Schedule your treatment today by calling 814.231.7878 or emailing cosmetic@mountnittany.org.

To stay up-to-date on cosmetic specials offered at Mount Nittany Physician Group Reconstructive & Cosmetic Surgery, visit cosmetic.mountnittany.org/spa/cosmetic-specials.

*Patients can add dermaplaning to this special for an additional fee. With the additional service, the special is $99.

Make and keep your appointment. Set a midyear calendar reminder to nudge yourself.

  • Bring notes with details of medical history to your appointment. Your primary care provider should understand everything going on and piece it together.
  • Bring your medication list with you. Be sure to note any supplements you take, too.
  • Be honest – you will make better use of your time with the doctor and be able to address any of your concerns.
  • Schedule your next annual wellness visit at the end of your appointment. This way you are prepared and ready for next year.

For more health-related information, visit mountnittany.org.

Physical activity is one of the best things you can do to improve your health. In fact, improved fitness is the strongest predictor of future health, even more than blood pressure or high cholesterol, diabetes or obesity, and even smoking. Regular activity, no matter your age, can improve your quality of life and make you feel more energetic. In fact, getting active reduces anxiety by 48 percent, decreases the chance of knee arthritis by 47 percent, and hip fractures by 41 percent.

Not ready to run a marathon? The good news is some activity is still better than none. It’s better to be active, even just a little, every day of the week. Plus, the evidence is in—just 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise a day is enough to provide health benefits. No matter your routine, your lifestyle, or your health, there are physical activities that you can do.

It's easy to put exercise and activity at the bottom of your long to-do list, but being active is one of the most important things you can do for yourself. The best way to get started is to find an activity or sport you enjoy that is convenient and affordable. If you have any concerns about increasing your physical activity, be sure to consult your healthcare provider to get appropriate guidance.

If you’re ready to start moving but aren’t sure where to start, considering walking more. Studies show that walking just 10 minutes a day reduces systolic blood pressure by 12 percent, 15 minutes a day of walking prolongs life by three years, and walking 30 minutes a day reduces the combined risk for stroke, diabetes, heart attacks and cancer by 51 percent. Another plus of walking is that it can be one of the most effective ways to reduce waist circumference.

Be sure to consider a variety of different types of activities to help you stay active over your lifetime, including:

  • Active transport: Using physical activity to get from one destination to another, such as walking or bicycling.
  • Incidental activity: Any small form of movement that adds up throughout the day, resulting in increased daily activity. Minor changes to daily choices can have a big impact on your health and wellbeing. Consider taking the stairs, moving while watching television, walking the dog, and engaging in active play with kids.
  • Organized sports: By enrolling in sports such as pickleball, tennis, or disc golf, you can reap the benefits of being more active while making new friends.
  • Planned activity: Set a time to be active such as meeting a friend for a walk, going for a swim, or participating in Centered Outdoors virtual program to connect you to a variety of nature spots throughout central Pennsylvania. Start your virtual Centred Outdoors tour with a spotlight of the H. Karl and F. Joan Spackman Barnett Healing Garden at Mount Nittany Medical Center, focusing on how green spaces support health and wellness. 

Be sure to follow COVID-19 social distancing guidelines while being active. Be sure to maintain a safe distance between yourself and other individuals if you go walking, biking, or hiking. If you decide to go to a nearby park or popular hiking destination, be sure to check for closures or restrictions. Consider the number of other people who might be there and if you'd be able to ensure enough space — at least six feet —between yourself and others. You can check the latest guidance from the Pennsylvania Department of Health at health.pa.gov. If you can't practice safe social distancing in public, you can find ways to get active inside at home or in your yard.

When your lungs are working well, you hardly think of them. They, along with other parts of the respiratory system, help you breathe and automatically move fresh air, especially oxygen, into your body while removing waste gases. Every cell in your body needs oxygen to live, making your lungs an essential part of your body. There are several tips you can follow to help keep your lungs healthy and strong.

First off, don’t smoke. That includes e-cigarettes and vaping. Cigarette smoking is the major cause of lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It can narrow the air passages and cause chronic inflammation, making breathing more difficult. Over time, smoke also destroys lung tissue and may trigger changes that grow into cancer. While the evidence is still emerging around e-cigarettes, they can irritate the lungs and there have been recent reports of serious lung disease in people using them. If you currently smoke, it’s never too late to benefit from quitting. Mount Nittany Health offers smoking cessation classes and counseling services.

Do what you can to avoid exposure to indoor pollutants. Secondhand smoke can hurt your lungs too, so make your home and car smoke-free. Test your home for radon—a colorless, tasteless, and odorless gas that can cause lung cancer. Talk with your healthcare provider if you are concerned that something in your home, school, or work may be making you sick.

No matter your age, body type, or physical abilities, exercise can help keep your lungs healthy. When you are physically active, your heart and lungs work harder to supply your muscles with the additional oxygen they need. Just as a regular exercise routine makes your muscles stronger, it also makes your lungs and heart stronger.

As your physical fitness improves, your body becomes more efficient at getting oxygen into the bloodstream and to your muscles—this is one of the reasons you become less short of breath during exercise over time. Some types of exercise can also strengthen the muscles of your neck and chest, including the diaphragm and muscles between your ribs that help power inhaling and exhaling.

National guidelines recommend that all adults get 30 minutes of moderate activity five days a week. Formal exercise programs are one option, but you can also walk briskly, go for a bike ride, garden, or do housework. Both aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities can be beneficial for your lungs. Aerobic activities like walking, running, or jump rope help your lungs function more efficiently. Muscle-strengthening activities like weight-lifting or Pilates build core strength, improve your posture, and tone your breathing muscles.

Always talk to your doctor before you start or modify an exercise routine. Especially for those with underlying health conditions like lung disease, it’s important to work with your healthcare team to develop a fitness plan that makes sense for you.

Get regular check-ups, even if you feel fine. Regular check-ups can help prevent diseases, especially lung disease, which sometimes goes undetected until it is serious. Your healthcare provider will listen to your breathing and talk with you about your concerns.

If you are at higher risk for lung issues, such as a current or former smoker, have a history of second hand smoke exposure, have a history of asthma, or experience occupational exposure to pollutants, discuss pulmonary function testing with your provider. These are noninvasive tests that show how well your lungs are working and can help your provider diagnose and decide on treatment for certain lung disorders. Additionally, if you are a current or former smoker, consider a low dose CT lung cancer screening (LDCT), which is an established tool to catch cancer early in the course when treatment may work better.

For patients with long-term, serious lung disease, Mount Nittany Health offers a pulmonary rehabilitation program. Using exercise, education, and support, the program is designed to provide structured, monitored physical activity to improve breathing and quality of life for patients.

Hi Dr. Collison,

Should my two-year-old wear a mask when we go out in public?

As a precaution against the spread COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends people wear face cloth coverings when they need to be out in public. However, there are certain exceptions to the recommendation when it comes to children:

  • Children under the age of two should not wear a face cloth covering.
  • Children should not wear a face cloth covering if it poses a choking or strangulation hazard.
  • If your child is considered high-risk or is severely immunocompromised, they are encouraged to wear an N95 mask.
  • Other precautions may be needed for children who have severe cognitive or respiratory issues.

Face cloth coverings should fit securely over the nose and mouth and should be worn if you take your child out in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, such as shopping at essential businesses like grocery stores or at doctor appointments. Children should wash their hands before and after putting coverings on and off and the covering should be washed after each use. Instructions for making your own cloth masks can be found online at cdc.gov and health.pa.gov

If your child is scared to wear a face cloth covering, consider the following tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics:

  • Look in the mirror with the face coverings on and talk about it.
  • Put a cloth face covering on a favorite stuffed animal.
  • Decorate them so they're more personalized and fun.
  • Show your child pictures of other children wearing them.
  • Draw one on their favorite book character.
  • Practice wearing the face covering at home to help your child get used to it.

Mount Nittany Health is committed to the health, safety and wellbeing of its patients, staff and community. We are prepared for potential infectious disease outbreaks, whether its measles, flu or new viruses like coronavirus as part of our commitment to prevent disease and ensure a healthy community for all. We rigorously follow the guidance from the CDC and Pennsylvania Department of Health for screening and testing of patients for COVID-19; ensuring all levels of protection for our patients, staff and community.

As the situation continues to evolve, we have taken steps to prepare and protect our community, including a dedicated COVID-19 wing, limiting visitors in our facilities at Mount Nittany Health, except for special circumstances, screenings, test collection sites, masking requirements, and rescheduling elective and non-essential services. We continue to evaluate and will announce further measures as needed with the focus on our community’s health and wellbeing.

Please visit mountnittany.org/coronavirus for more information.

814.231.7000

To our team, you're more than just a number. We see you. And we're committed to you. Our experienced providers are here and ready to get you the care you need.