Friday, May 13, 2011

Allergy Sufferers Hit With Double Dose Of Pollen

EXPLAINS SO MUCH!!! I'm literally dying of allergies right now. and i have been for probably the last month or so. its really driving me insane, itchy eyes, running nose at least now there is an explanation.

MANCHESTER, N.H. -- Spring is in the air, and while that means warmer weather, it also means the itchy eyes and runny noses that come with allergy season.

Doctors in New Hampshire said this is one of the worst allergy seasons in years. Allergy sufferers said they can tell.

"I'll be sneezing and sneezing and sneezing, running and running and running, and then once it all passed, it will stop," said Bernadette Sabatino, of Derry.

The problem this year is that the late spring delayed tree pollen season, which is now happening at the same time as grass pollen season.

"People are being hit with a double whammy of pollen right now, and they are really suffering out there," said Dr. Thomas Johnson, allergy specialist.

Allergists said that when the sneezing starts, the best thing to do is see your doctor. Over-the-counter remedies are available, but it's important to remember they can be dangerous if not taken properly.

"People can actually take a Benadryl, thinking it's innocuous, and have a reaction to it that impairs judgment," Johnson said.

Another way to reduce allergy symptoms comes naturally with the warm weather: Hit the beach.

"The pollen counts are much lower at the beach," Johnson said. "There's nothing generating pollen at the ocean."

Relief isn't too far off. Johnson said the pollen should die down over the next few weeks.

Original Article.

Medicare to Run Dry in 2024

Well well.. isnt this sad, honestly i cant understand how with very little technology and resourced people back in the day didnt have to deal with econmic crsis like we do now. its so sad for me to think what kind of world my children will be living in.

WASHINGTON -- Funding for the Medicare program will dry up in 2024, according to an annual report from the program's trustees. Last year's report projected the entitlement program to be solvent through 2029.

The bleaker projection is a result of a smaller-than-expected influx of payroll taxes in 2010 because of a slower-than-predicted economic recovery, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told reporters during a Friday afternoon press briefing.

And inpatient and hospital-related care was more expensive last year than actuaries originally predicted, Sebelius noted.

Total Medicare costs are currently about 3.6% of the nation's Gross Domestic Product (GDP), but that percentage is expected to balloon up to 5.5% of GDP by 2035, and then increase gradually to about 6.2% of GDP by 2085.

Two separate trust funds provide money for Medicare. The Hospital Insurance Trust Fund pays for inpatient hospital and related care. The Supplementary Medical Insurance (SMI) Trust Fund pays for outpatient physicians and other outpatient services (known as Part B of Medicare) and Part D, which covers prescription drugs.

It's the Hospital Insurance Trust Fund specifically that is projected to be exhausted in 2024. However, "exhaustion" to actuaries means the program will only take in enough funds to pay out three-quarters of benefits, which means hospitals would receive much lower reimbursements for treating Medicare patients.

Part B -- which includes doctor's bills, outpatient expenses, and prescription drug coverage -- will remain steady because it's automatically funded each year, through legislation and insurance premiums, to meet the following year's expected costs. However, those costs will grow, largely because of the increased cost to provide care to an aging population.

SMI costs are currently about 1.9% of GDP, but will grow to 3.4% of GDP in 2035 and reach 4.1% of GDP by 2084, projected the trustees, which include Sebelius, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, Commissioner of Social Security Michael J. Astrue, and two new public trustees.

However, that projection assumes that the short-term sustainable growth rate (SGR) fix passed by Congress in December will indeed expire on Jan. 1, 2012, at which point doctors will be subject to a 29% cut in Medicare reimbursements. Every year since 2003, Congress has prevented steep cuts from happening, and it's expected that will happen again.

The American Medical Association (AMA) said the report shows exactly why the SGR formula needs to be fixed.

"The Medicare trustees report leaves no doubt that the time to repeal the Medicare physician payment formula is now -- to keep from digging a deeper financial hole and to preserve access to care for patients," AMA immediate past president J. James Rohack, MD, said in a statement.

"Across-the-board cuts in Medicare do not get to the root of the cost challenge and can hamper patients' ability to receive care," said Rohack. "Instead of focusing only on cuts, the ultimate goal should be to achieve better value for our healthcare spending."

Although this year's Medicare assessment is less rosy than last year -- when the trustees projected the program would remain solvent until 2029 thanks to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) -- the trustees still said the healthcare reform law is a life raft for Medicare and will make Medicare costs 25% lower than they would have been otherwise.

If the law hadn't passed, the Medicare program would have run out of money in 2016, Sebelius said.

Many of the main provisions that Democrats expect to save money -- including changing how care is paid for and delivered, in part through accountable care organizations -- won't begin to save money for years.

If those reforms don't work, Medicare's cost will be much higher, wrote the two public trustees.

"If the legislation's cost-reduction innovations in the delivery of and payment for health services were not successful, or if healthcare providers could not accommodate the slower growth in Medicare payment rates mandated by the new law, Medicare costs would be significantly higher than shown in the trustees report," wrote Charles Blahous and Robert Reischauer.

Original Article.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Could blowing your nose lead to a stroke?

Who knew! it seems like anything and everything these days can cause strokes or cancer lol.

Drinking coffee, making love, getting angry or even blowing your nose can significantly increase your chances of having a deadly type of stroke, scientists have warned.

Seemingly harmless everyday functions such as going to the lavatory, drinking a can of cola or jumping when you are surprised, all trigger a sudden increase in the blood pressure.

This can lead to a subarachnoid haemorrhage, a type of stroke which is fatal for more than half of victims.

Some 8,000 Britons suffer a subarachnoid haemorrhage every year and it is most common in the middle-aged, particularly women.

The study, by Dutch scientists, identified eight everyday activities and bodily functions which are likely to increase the blood pressure suddenly, and risk this type of stroke.


Women wakes up with a foregin accent after having dental surgery

Good Morning! okay so i will admit this article is a little.. cookoo! i mean who knew this could happen lol i didn't believe it at first but i mean its weird, and the name just makes it sound even more odd. foreign accent syndrome? really how creative. short and sweet article tonight!

An Oregon woman woke up after having oral surgery with a Transylvanian accent. Karen Butler had routine dental work and when she woke up didn’t realize anything unusual had happened until she heard and saw herself speaking on a recording.

Doctors diagnosed the 56-year-old with a rare neurological disease called foreign accent syndrome.

Dr. Ted Lowenkopf, medical director of Providence Stroke Center told Fox News, "What happens with foreign accent syndrome to the best of our understanding is that a very, very small part of the speech area is affected so that the normal intonation of speech gets altered."

Often, the condition is associated with stroke, multiple sclerosis, head injuries, and migraines.

Butler will likely not have her old northwestern accent return.

She is part of a small group who have suffered from this affliction. There have been just 60 recorded cases since 1941.