Dementia

Dementia

Health & Wellness

27-01-2017

Did you know that dementia is not a single condition or disease and the symptoms of dementia can be caused by over 100 different disorders that affect the brain?

1500_DementiaAccording to Alzheimer’s Australia, dementia describes a collection of symptoms that are caused by disorders affecting the brain. It is not one specific disease. Dementia affects thinking, behaviour and the ability to perform everyday tasks. Brain function is affected enough to interfere with the person’s normal social or working life.

The most common causes of dementia include Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia and dementia with Lewy bodies. Dementia may also be associated with other conditions including Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, alcohol abuse, AIDS and Down’s syndrome. Dementia affects different people in different ways depending on the type of dementia they have and the area of the brain that is damaged. Read More >

Kidney Health

Kidney Health

Health & Wellness

13-01-2017

Did you know it is possible for a person to lose up to 90% of their kidney function before experiencing any symptoms of kidney disease?

1489_BBQ_for_kidney_healthChronic kidney disease (CKD) is a growing public health problem. Approximately 1 in 10 Australians aged 18 and over have evidence of CKD. In CKD, the kidneys slowly stop working over a period of months or years. The kidneys have many important functions in the body, including filtering the blood and adding excess water to other wastes to produce urine. The kidneys also produce and regulate several hormones that are important for heart, blood and bone health. People with CKD are at increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and death, as well as anaemia and bone disease. Read More >

Red and Dry Eyes

Red and Dry Eyes

Health & Wellness

27-12-2016

It’s often said that eyes are the windows to a person’s soul but they are also our window onto the world. Except if you’re one of the many Australians who lose part or all of their vision every 65 minutes. Maintaining good eye health should be a priority for all.

1464_Red_and_dry_eyesOne of the most common eye problems are red and dry eyes. Redness and dryness are symptoms of many eye conditions. Some of these conditions are not serious, but others are serious and may affect eyesight. Read More >

Heartburn

Heartburn

Health & Wellness

09-12-2016

Most of us at some time in our lives will experience heartburn – after a big meal, undertaking strenuous activity too soon after eating, or drinking too much alcohol or coffee.

Heartburn (gastro-oesophageal reflux or indigestion) is really very common.

Heartburn is caused by the contents of the stomach coming back up into the oesophagus where it can cause a burning sensation in the chest or throat.

Persistent reflux that occurs more than twice a week is considered to be gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD), and it can eventually lead to more serious health problems. People of all ages can have GORD.

Occasional heartburn on the other hand can be caused by eating too much, from anxiety, and advanced pregnancy – to name but a few of the causes.

Certain medicines may precipitate heartburn, and obesity or smoking may also lead to symptoms. Treatment of heartburn can include lifestyle changes as well as the use of medicines. Read More >

Thunderstorm Asthma

Thunderstorm Asthma

Health & Wellness

06-12-2016

Thunderstorms have been linked to epidemics of asthma, especially during the grass flowering season. An asthma attack can be life threatening. Anyone experiencing wheezing, chest tightness and difficulty breathing should call 000. People experiencing asthma like symptoms for the first time should visit their GP for advice and if appropriate develop an asthma management plan. More information and advice from the Chief Health Officer can be found on Asthma – emergency first aid page. This information is provided by the Better Health Channel

Shingles

Shingles

Health & Wellness

30-11-2016

Shingles is a viral infection caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox (varicella-zoster virus). Shingles can only develop in a person who has already had chickenpox (varicella). After an episode of chickenpox, the virus does not completely clear, and some particles lie dormant in nerve roots near the spinal cord. They cause no harm, or signs and symptoms, but can re-activate later to cause shingles (herpes zoster).

1535_ShinglesThe majority of the Australian population is at risk of developing shingles, as over 97% of Australian adults over 30 years of age are exposed to the chickenpox virus. Approximately 150,000 new cases of shingles occur every year in the general population in Australia. It is estimated that by the age of 85 years, about half of people will develop shingles. Read More >

International Day of People With a Disability

International Day of People With a Disability

Health & Wellness

23-11-2016

disability-logoDisability covers many areas and often the term is misunderstood. ‘Disability’ is an umbrella term covering impairments, activity limitations and participation restrictions. A person may also be seen to be ‘with disability’ if he or she has had impairment in the past, or based on a personal or group standard or norm. One in five, or more than 4 million, Australians have some form of disability. One in three Australians either have a disability or are close to someone who has a disability.

Disabilities range from relatively minor to severe. The likelihood of living with disability increases with age – 31% of 55-64 year olds are living with disability, while 88% of people aged 90 and over have a disability. One in six Australians are affected by hearing loss, while Vision Australia (a leading national provider of blindness and low vision services in Australia) estimates there are currently 357,000 people in Australia who are blind or have low vision. Read More >

Living long and well

Living long and well

Health & Wellness

17-11-2016

Most of us don’t want to just live long. We want to live long well.

It turns out the secret of healthy longevity is not really a secret at all. When you look at communities that experience exceptionally healthy, long lives, they share 4 things in common:

  1. Daily moderate physical activity.The good news here is that you don’t have to be a marathon runner or elite athlete. In fact, the people that live long well don’t go to spin class or train for the Iron Man Triathlon. They are simply naturally physically active because that’s what their life demands. They are farmers and fishermen. They live in communities where you have to walk up and down a couple of hills to go see your neighbour.

The lesson? Add movement to your day whenever you can. And if your job is sedentary, make sure you do go to spin class or yoga or just a long walk – every day. Read More >

Sense in the Sun

Sense in the Sun

Health & Wellness

14-11-2016

Approximately two-thirds of Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer by the age of 70. In Australia in 2016, it is estimated that 13,283 new cases of melanoma skin cancer will be diagnosed. As summer approaches, these statistics should serve as a wake-up call to all Australians about the importance of sun protection.

The incidence of skin cancer has risen in Australia. In 1982, the number of new cases of melanoma skin cancer diagnosed was 3,526, and this has increased to 12,036 new cases of melanoma skin cancer diagnosed in 2012. Read More >

Antibiotic use in colds and flu

Antibiotic use in colds and flu

Health & Wellness

07-11-2016

Colds and flu are caused by viruses. Viruses are a type of tiny organism that can cause illness. When you have a cold, you may sneeze and have a blocked or runny nose, a sore throat and a cough. Colds rarely cause serious harm, but they can still make you feel unwell. Colds usually get better in 7–10 days, but the cough can last up to three weeks. Influenza, commonly known as ‘the flu’, is different to a cold although both are caused by viruses. Flu symptoms usually start suddenly with a high fever and you may feel unwell and need to rest. You may have a dry cough, shivering, sweating and severe muscle aches. Read More >