Battling Infertility with Hope

Narrow Urethra: Signs, Symptoms, & Treatments

A urethral stricture is a condition in which a man has a narrowing in his urethra. The narrowing can cause some uncomfortable symptoms, but it is something that can be fixed. If you’re worried that you have a urethral stricture, here are some signs, symptoms, and treatment options that you should be aware of.

Risk Factors

Having a urethral stricture at birth is extremely uncommon. A majority of them are developed over time due to scar tissue and inflammation from a disease or injury. Here are some conditions that can increase your risk of developing one:

  • Sexually transmitted diseases and infections
  • Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)
  • Pelvic injury
  • Urethritis
  • Using catheters

Symptoms

Some men might spend years with a urethral stricture and never notice, while others have mild to severe symptoms. Symptoms of a urethral stricture include:

  • Discharge from the penis
  • Bloody semen
  • Painful urination
  • Pelvic pain
  • Swelling of the penis

Diagnostics

A urologist can perform tests to find out if you have a urethral stricture. There are different types of tests that can be done, so you might get one of them or a combination of several. Tests include:

  • Urinalysis
  • Gonorrhea and Chlamydia testing
  • Cystoscopy
  • Urinary flow rate test
  • Urine culture
  • Retrograde urethrogram
  • Post-void residual (PVR) volume

A post-void residual volume test is a test that shows how much urine is leftover in the bladder after urinating. This test is great for finding out if you have a urethral stricture because it can diagnose both the stricture and benign prostatic hyperplasia, which can cause the stricture. The retrograde urethrogram test is done via x-ray. The technician injects a contrast dye into the urethra and takes x-rays of the urethra and bladder to see if there is a narrowing. This test is slightly uncomfortable, but it is quick and effective.

Treatment

A urethral stricture doesn’t need to be treated unless it is causing problems; however, treating it before problems occur may be in your best interest. There are many treatment options available. Your urologist will decide which ones you’re eligible for. These include:

  • Catheterization
  • Dilation
  • Urethroplasty
  • Endoscopic urethrotomy
  • Implanted stent/ permanent catheter

These treatments can include using a catheter at home, receiving a permanent catheter, having the urethra dilated, or even vaporizing extra tissue with a laser. These treatments should only cause a mild discomfort and will allow you to feel better in no time.

A urethral stricture can be extremely uncomfortable when left untreated. If you’re experiencing these symptoms, see urologists as soon as possible so you can receive the tests and treatments needed.

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Sore Back? The Answer Might Lie In Your Hamstrings

Pain in your back can make sleeping, sitting and standing a challenge, which can result in you feeling tired, uncomfortable and irritable throughout the day. It’s smart to seek the care of a back pain expert if you’ve noticed either occasional or chronic back pain. There’s a chance, however, that the problem with your back actually results from tight hamstrings – the large muscles found at the back of your upper legs. Anyone can get tight hamstrings, but this issue is often common among those who are athletic. Before you schedule a visit with your local chiropractor, it can be worthwhile to work on loosening up your hamstrings. Here’s how you can do it.

Standing Stretch

Stretching your hamstrings while in the standing position is arguably the simplest way to loosen up these tight muscles. While there are multiple variations of the standing hamstring stretch, the simplest way to execute this stretch is to stand in an upright position with your legs together and allow your upper body to bend forward with your arms hanging toward the ground. You don’t have to be able to touch your toes, but you should gently reach as close to your toes as you’re able. When you feel gentle pressure in your hamstrings, hold this position for about 30 seconds.  

Tennis Ball Exercise

Although it’s not technically a stretch, you can use a tennis ball to help loosen your tight hamstring muscles. Sit on the floor with your legs out in front of you and place a tennis ball on the floor under either of your hamstrings. Apply a little downward pressure to your leg and move the leg around until the tennis ball is positioned under a sore spot. You can then roll your leg gently to allow the tennis ball to massage the muscle tightness. Repeat the exercise on the other leg to keep your hamstrings in balance.

Towel Stretch

A bathroom towel can play a pivotal role in helping you stretch your hamstrings. Lie on your back, lift one leg in the air and wrap a towel behind the hamstring. Hold the ends of the towel in your hand and pull them gently toward you until you feel a stretch. A more advanced version of this stretch is to place the towel around your foot, but if you’re a beginner, having the towel wrapped around your hamstring is an ideal approach. Repeat the stretch on the other side after you’ve held the first leg for 30 seconds.

For further assistance, contact local professionals, such as those from http://www.wrightpt.com.

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4 Ways To Improve The Safety Of An Elderly Parent Who Lives Alone

If you’re parent lives alone, is elderly, and does not yet want to move into a retirement home, then you should make sure that their home and person is as safe as possible. There are several things you can do that will accomplish this. Below are a few suggestions to help get you started.

Switch Out Old Smoke Alarms For New Ones That Flash Light

Many elderly people have trouble hearing. If they happen to leave their hearing aid out, or if it malfunctions, then they won’t hear the smoke alarm. The solution to this potential problem is to install a secondary smoke alarm that is designed for the deaf. These alarms flash a blinding light to indicate that they are going off. The light is much stronger than the small flash that a noise operated alarm might have.

Handles For Tub and Shower

A slip and fall in the bathroom can be deadly, so you want to make sure that your parent has something to hold on to. It’s best to have a contractor come in and install thick stainless steel handles in the wall of the bathroom, right next to the tub or shower. You should not rely on a towel rack, as these are not designed to hold enough weight.

The stainless steel handles will be drilled right into the studs and secured with heavy-duty bolts. You can bring your parent to a local home improvement store so that they can pick out the design (some are chrome, some are brushed steel and have a duller appearance, and some are powder coated a particular color).

Pill Dispenser With Alarm

If they are taking medication, then this one is essential. The container can be programmed to beep each day at a particular time and remind your parent that they are to take their meds. The best type of container will have individual segments for am and pm, so that they don’t have to try and differentiate morning and evening pills on their own. If you are unable to visit once a week and help set up the pills, you can have a home health care worker assist with this.

PERS (Personal Emergency Response System)

These have come a long way from the “I’ve Fallen and Can’t Get Up” commercials that used to saturate the TV. In fact, they are now even being designed to monitor vitals such as heart rate, blood pressure, and other essentials. Your parent won’t even have to press a button should a serious situation arise which would cause them to become incapacitated, the machine monitors all of that on its own. Also, now that young people are walking around with Fitbits and other electronic monitoring devices, there is less of a stigma associated with these items, which should make it easy to convince them to wear one. Talk to a home health care provider, like Argus Home Health Care, for more help.

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Dealing With Acne: 4 Common Blunders You’re Probably Committing

Acne is a problem that many teenagers and adults suffer with. While there are many home remedies for treating acne, many people go about it the wrong way. Unfortunately, attempting to treat acne with many over-the-counter treatments or homemade remedies doesn’t work—and even if it does, you might be left with unsightly scarring. Luckily, if you take the right precautions you can avoid many of the mistakes that people commonly make when dealing with their acne.

So what should you avoid? Here are four tips:

1. Washing Your Face Too Frequently

Often times, people think that acne is caused by dirty skin. While oily or dirty skin can certainly contribute to acne, it can’t (and shouldn’t) be solved by constantly washing your face. When you over-wash your face, you cause your skin to increase oil production. The added oil on your skin can actually make your acne worse. So stick to washing your face only once or twice per day—nothing more.

2. Using Harsh Products To Exfoliate

If you plan to exfoliate your face, you should be very careful when choosing the product. Any product that contains crushed shells or another crushed product can be very bad for your skin. This is because these products often have tiny sharp edges. These edges can actually cut your skin, which allows bacteria and dirt to enter. As you might have guessed, that can cause your acne to become worse.

3. Popping Zits Wrong

It can be incredibly satisfying to pop a particularly annoying pimple. Unfortunately, without the proper precautions it can cause scarring. Even worse, it can spread bacteria and cause even more acne. In general, you shouldn’t pop zits. However, if you must do it, make sure you do it right.

When popping a pimple, it is important that you clean your face and any tools you plan to use first. If you are going to use a tool, sanitize it first with alcohol. If you are going to use your hands, make sure you wash them first. When using a tool, place it over the pimple firmly and slowly move it over the pimple to extrude the contents inside of it. If you are going to use your hands, make sure you place gauze over the pimple and use two fingers to slowly press the pimple from the sides. Only do this once, as attempting to pop the pimple multiple times will only cause inflammation, which can also lead to scarring.

4. Skipping Medical Attention

An occasional pimple is something most people with deal with. However, if you constantly have acne that is painful or irritating, you should seek medical attention. A quick visit with a dermatologist can dramatically improve your acne as these professionals can offer prescription strength medications or creams.

Dealing with acne can be frustrating, but it doesn’t have to be. With these tips, and a dermatologist, on your side you will have smooth, clear skin in no time. For more information, talk to a local company like Advanced Dermatology Care​.

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Are You Embarrassed Of Your Dental Veneers? Switch To Implants Fast

Did you have veneers put on your teeth to fix your smile but now you dislike the way that they look? Are they oversized, protruding and feel uncomfortable in your mouth? If so, don’t try to fix the problem with another set of veneers, and instead replace the veneers with permanent dental implants.

You’ll have to see a dental surgeon that does the implantation procedure to get a consultation for your smile. Here are a few of the things you should expect when it comes to the process of replacing your veneers with implants.

Veneer and Tooth Extraction

The surgeon will have to remove the veneers and extract the teeth that veneers were bonded to.  Once the tooth is extracted, the permanent implant can be infused into the jaw bone, replacing the root of your natural tooth with metal that holds the synthetic implant in place. Sometimes a bone graft is needed if your bones aren’t dense enough to support the tooth.

Post-Surgery

After the surgery you should expect to have tenderness, swelling, bruising and potentially some other soreness in the face. You should also eat soft foods or stick with a liquid diet, and this could be required up to 14 days, depending on how fast your face and mouth are healing. As your mouth starts to heal, you’ll be able to eat, talk and floss as you did before the surgery, and after you get cleared by your oral surgery.

Living with Implants

The dental implants are going to feel and look like the natural teeth that were in your mouth. You can brush with any type of brush or toothpaste, and you can easily floss in between the teeth. Being able to floss in the gum tissue is an advantage with implants over other replacement options like veneer pieces or bridges, because you can preserve your gum tissue. Your surgeon will check the implants over time to see if they need tightened or maintained in any way. These fake teeth won’t get cavities or need root canals after implantation.

Replacing the veneers with the implants isn’t just going to give you confidence in your smile and make you feel more comfortable, but implants are the healthiest option for tooth replacement when you can’t have your natural teeth in your mouth. Having the implants fused isn’t just choosing an option that can last for a lifetime, but it’s a smart financial investment in your oral health.     

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4 Signs Of Hearing Loss In Toddlers

If you suspect your small child is having trouble hearing, it’s critical to get them treatment right away. The sooner a child is treated for hearing loss, the more likely the treatment will be effective and some or all of their hearing ability will be saved. The trouble is that it can be difficult to determine with any certainty if a child is in fact experiencing hearing loss. Unlike an older child or adult, a toddler is unlikely to understand what’s happening or be able to explain it to you. For this reason, it’s important to be on the lookout for these four signs of hearing loss:

No Longer Responds to Softer Noises

One of the most obvious signs of hearing loss in young children is that they no longer respond to quieter sounds they used to easily respond to. An example of this is if you say your child’s name quietly while standing nearby (and there aren’t any competing noises at the time) and they don’t reply until you say it again in a much louder voice. If this only happens once in awhile it’s typically nothing more than your child being a distracted toddler, but if it begins to happen frequently it may be something to watch out for.

Studies Your Face When You Talk

Sometimes young children experiencing hearing loss will begin to compensate and adapt without necessarily realizing they are doing so. One way they may do this is to study your face intently when you talk, both in an attempt to read your lips and to gather clues from your facial expressions to make up for any words they are unable to hear.

Needs the TV to Be on a High Volume

Sometimes little kids just seem to enjoy having the television or radio on at an annoyingly high volume. But if your child starts to insist on louder and louder volume for media, this can be a sign that they’re no longer able to hear well at a lower volume.

Complains About Frequent Ear or Headaches

Depending on the cause of hearing loss, it can lead to earaches or headaches. Even if this symptom occurs without the other three, it’s a good idea to bring them to the pediatrician right away to determine what is causing this and get them relief from the pain.

These signs are not proof that your toddler is experiencing hearing loss, but taken together they are a cause of concern. If you notice any combination of these behaviors in your child, make an appointment for your child with their pediatrician or a hearing specialist like The Hearing Clinic as soon as possible.

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Achoo, Who? 3 Things That Could Be Causing Your Stuffy Nose

When it’s the height of spring and summer and pollen is whirling around in the air like the cow from The Wizard of Oz, you expect to sneeze and sniff — but what about in the dead of winter, or in a climate where you normally don’t get seasonal allergies? There are a million things you could be allergic to that could be plugging up your nose and increasing your dependence on tissues and nasal spray, but until you identify the source of the stuff, you’ll be left to pile on antihistamine after antihistamine. So if you’re looking for common allergies you might not be aware you even have, then here’s what you need to know.

Mold

Sure, it’s gross when those little fuzzy blue spots grow on your bread, but did you know that mold growing in your house — even if you can’t see it — could be making your nose stuffy? Mold allergies are relatively uncommon, with only about 10% of Americans having a mold allergy. But if you’re one of that 10%, living in moist climates or with messy roommates can make life almost unbearable. To prevent mold-related allergies, make sure to clean up any messes right when they occur, and do a sweep for mold in place it’s likely to grow — shower faucets, under sinks, or behind the toilet.

Feathers

They could be in your pillows, down blankets, mattress — and you could definitely be allergic to them. An allergy to feathers is usually more suspected by people than actually proven, but if you find yourself sneezing around feathers — or getting congestion or rashes when you use feather pillows or blankets. It may be a sign that you should trade out your plush feather bedding for something that doesn’t make your nights a mess of sniffing and sneezing, like memory foam pillows or blankets filled with wool.

Dust Mites

No one likes dust, and it’s easy to sneeze or cough whenever some gets in your nose or throat, but if you have an actual allergy to dust mites (and 20 million Americans do), you’ll either have to dust each and every day with a mask on, or take dust prevention measures. Investing in dust-resistant covers for your bedding, dusting with a damp cloth rather than a feather duster, and washing your clothing and bedding at least once a week in 130 F water are good steps to take in minimizing your dust mite allergy.

Contact a heath care professional for more information

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