(207) 474-5121 | 46 Fairview Avenue, Skowhegan, ME 04976

Eye Safety

  Eye Safety

 You and Your Eyes

Vision or sight is a sense that most people are able to use every day of their life, probably more than any of the other senses. Protect your eyes now, save them for your future.

 As one ages, changes occur that may affect your vision.  Some of the changes include the need for more light; adjustments to the darkness or to glares may be more difficult, or being able to focus on near objects.   Some people experience difficulty in color differentiation. 

What can I do to take care of my eyesight?

 

  • Visit an eye doctor on a regular basis, even if you have no problems with your eyes.  Some eye diseases have no symptoms in the early stages and your eye doctor will examine them.                                              

 

  • Protect your eyes from the sun by wearing sunglasses that fit well and are able to absorb 99-100% of ultraviolet rays, also called UV (both UV-A and UV-B0).  Some eye diseases such as macular degeneration, cataracts, corneal sunburns (photokeratitis) and skin cancer around the eyelids may be prevented by using well fitting sunglasses that are able to absorb the UV rays. 

 

  • Improve the lighting in your house to help you see better and keep your from injuring yourself.

 

  • Protect your eyes from injury by wearing safety eyewear when your eyes are at risk for injury, such as certain hobbies, sports, and work.

 

  • Eat foods that are healthy.  By eating healthy foods one generally stays healthier overall.  Healthy eating may prevent or control other diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

 

  • Stay physically active to reduce your risk of diseases and to improve your overall health.

 

  • Quit smoking ~ smoking increases one’s risk for cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and age-related macular degeneration.

                                     Need help with tobacco cessation?  Call it Quits! 

Call the Maine Tobacco Helpline at 1-800-207-1230 or call the Community Health Educator / Tobacco Specialist at 858-2318 for 1:1 support and education, or contact Somerset Public Health at 474-7473 and ask about their Quit and Win Program.                

Skin Cancer

Skin Cancer

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States (according to the Center for Disease Control).  The three major types of skin cancer are the highly curable basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas and the more serious malignant melanoma

The sun and tanning beds emit dangerous ultraviolet (UV) radiation that is linked to skin cancer.  The environmental factor that you can control is that exposure to any ultraviolet (UV) rays.  Sun exposure adds up day after day whenever you doing anything outdoors.  UV rays can be harmful to your eyes as well as to your skin. 

Who is at risk for skin cancer?

  • Light skin color, hair color, or eye color.
  • Those with a family history or personal history of skin cancer.
  • People who spend long periods of time in the sun.
  • Childhood and adolescent blistering sunburns increase the risk of skin cancer later in life.
  • Someone who uses tanning beds or sunlamps.
  • A person with many moles or spots on the skin, or a few moles of abnormal shape.
What can I do to prevent skin cancer?
  • Sun-screen is highly effective in preventing skin cancer.  Choose one with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher.   SPF describes the length of time a product will protect your skin if you apply the sunscreen correctly.   (Note:  sunscreen is not recommended for children less than six months old, keep them in the shade and protect them with clothing.)  Cancer.org recommends that you use a broad spectrum product that blocks UVB and UVA light.  The American Cancer Society recommends the use of an SPF of at least 15 and to reapply it frequently when in the sun.  Water-resistant sunscreen is important if you are expect to be in the water. 

 

  • Choose clothes to protect as much skin as possible.  Wear a hat and sunglasses.  Choosing a hat that shades your face, neck and ears will give you the best protection.

 

  • Limit your exposure to sun.  Avoid the sun between 10 am and 4 pm when the UV rays are the strongest.

 

  • Apply a lip balm that contains sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher to protect your lips fro sunburn.

 

  • Avoid the use of tanning beds.  Tanning beds release high levels of UV radiation which can increase your risk of skin cancer and premature aging of the skin.  In addition tanning beds can also burn your skin and eyes and damage your immune system.

 

  • Get a baseline skin cancer examination from a primary care physician or dermatologist and then perform careful skin self-examinations once a month.  Make sure to report any changes.

 

  • Wear sunglasses to help protect your eyes.  Be sure your sunglasses have UVA and UVB protections, which should filter at least 80% of the sun’s rays.  UV rays can lead to cataracts.

 The ABCD’s of Melanoma

 A sudden or continuous change in the appearance of a mole is a sign that you should see your doctor.  The ABCD rule can help you remember the signs of melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer.  Melanoma accounts fpr 5% of all skin cancers and 71% of all skin cancer deaths.

A – for Asymmetry

One half is different than the other half.

B – for Border Irregularity

The edges are notched, uneven, or blurred.

C – for Color

The color is uneven.  Shades of brown, tan and black are present.

D – for Border Irregularity

Diameter is greater than 6 millimeters.

Other warning signs:

¨      Appearance of a new bump or nodule

¨      Color spreads into surrounding skin

¨      Redness or swelling beyond the mole

¨      Pain

¨      Tenderness

¨      Itching

¨      Bleeding

¨      Oozing

¨      Scaly appearance

 

 

Heart Health

  Heart Health

Your heart and blood vessels supply every cell in your body with oxygen and nutrients.  Taking care of your heart is important.  You can control risk factors such as high blood pressure, tobacco usage, high blood cholesterol, physical inactivity, obesity, and diabetes.

High blood cholesterol:  One of the major risk factors for heart disease is an unhealthy blood cholesterol level.  Blood cholesterol is a soft, waxy, fat-like substance and is composed of three blood fats:

  • LDL, referred to as “bad cholesterol”.   LDL deposits excess cholesterol on the walls of our arteries, called plaque.  Over time this leads to a narrowing of the arteries.  Should a blood clot lodge in the narrowed artery in your brain, then a stroke is likely.  Should a blood clot lodge in the narrowed artery in your heart, then a heart attack is likely.  An optimal-low risk LDL is < 100.
  • HDL, referred to as “good cholesterol”.  HDL carries excess cholesterol out of the arteries to the liver, where it is removed from the bloodstream, thereby protecting against heart disease.  An optimal-low risk HDL is >50
  • Triglycerides are blood fats, and a percentage (20%) is included in the total cholesterol count.  The goal for total cholesterol count is <200.

 What Dietary Changes Can I Make to Lower My Cholesterol?

Ø  Broil, bake, boil, microwave, or steam instead of frying.  If you do fry, use olive oil or canola oil due to lower amounts of saturated fat.

Ø  Get into the habit of reading labels.  Especially look at the amount of total fat and saturated fat in the foods that you eat.

Ø  Eat fat sparingly.  High fat foods can raise cholesterol.

Ø  Eat smaller portions of high fat foods.

 

Cut back on:                                                     Choose:

Red meat, such as hamburgers or steak

Skinless poultry, fish, beans, or lean meats that are baked or broiled

Regular hard cheese

Low fat or nonfat cheese

Creamy salad dressing

Fat-free or low-fat dressing

Regular potato chips

Low or nonfat baked chips, pretzels, or air popped popcorn

Eggs

Egg whites or egg substitutes such as Egg Beaters

Whole milk or 2% milk

1% or nonfat milk

Ice cream

Low fat frozen yogurt or sherbet

Butter, sauces, salt

Herbs, spices, lemon juice

Regular popcorn

Low fat popcorn

Sour cream or mayonnaise

Plain low fat yogurt, low fat cottage cheese, or low fat or fat-free sour cream and mayonnaise.

Additional risk factors for heart disease you can do something about include high blood pressure, or hypertension, cigarette smoke, being overweight, lack of regular exercise, diabetes, and stress.

Physical Inactivity:  Regular physical activity helps reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke.  You can gain health benefits from doing moderate-intensity physical activity for a total of 30 minutes a day on most days.  One should check with their healthcare provider before starting a vigorous exercise program or if you have been inactive for some time.

High Blood Pressure: It’s called the “silent killer” because it contributes to many heart attacks and strokes and usually has no symptoms.  It makes your heart work harder than normal, which makes both the heart and arteries more prone to injury.  According to the American Heart Association (AHA), high blood pressure are readings of 140/90 mm Hg or greater that stay high over time.    Normal readings are less than 120/80.  The AHA encourages people with high blood pressure to follow their healthcare provider’s instructions and to stay on your medication. 

Tobacco Smoke:  People who smoke have a much higher risk of having a heart attack or stroke.  And, constant exposure to other people’s smoke increases your risk!  When you stop smoking, your risk starts to drop.  Need help with tobacco cessation?  Call it Quits!  Call the Maine Tobacco Helpline at 1-800-207-1230.  Call the Community Health Educator at 858-2318 for 1:1 support and education, or contact Greater Somerset Public Health Collaborative, formally known as Somerset Heart Health, at 474-7473 and ask about the Quit and Win program.

Diabetes is controllable, but having it greatly increases the risk of heart disease and stroke.  Many people with diabetes also have high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol and are overweight.  Diabetes is a disease that affects the way the body uses food.  It is characterized by the inability to produce or properly use insulin, a hormone that helps control blood sugar levels.  More and more Mainers are being diagnosed with diabetes.  Careful management of diabetes makes it possible to lead active and long lives.  The following are ways to start managing diabetes:

 

·      Diet and exercise are important for everyone, and essential for those managing diabetes. 

·      Some people with diabetes need medication to help keep their blood sugar “normal”.    Medication may include insulin injections, diabetic    pills or both. 

·      Managing stress is very important for those with diabetes.  When people are experiencing stress, hormones are released that act to raise one’s blood sugar. 

·      Often the doctor will have you have a type of blood test to see how well you are managing your diabetes.  The test is called A1C.  It measures the average amount of blood sugar over the past three months. 

·      People with diabetes are encouraged to self monitor their blood sugar on a regular basis. 

·      People with diabetes are encouraged to ask about getting an annual flu shot as people with diabetes have an increased risk of serious complications from influenza and pneumonia.

·      Ask your doctor about the RFGH Diabetes Self Management Training program or call our Certified Diabetes Educator at 858-2261 for more information.

Overweight and Obesity: If you have too much fat, especially in the waist, you are at higher risk for high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, high blood fats, diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. 

Upcoming at RFGH

 

  • Weigh to Go is an eight week weight loss program offered by Redington-Fairview General Hospital.  The classes are taught by RFGH dietitians and other health care professionals and focuses on emphasizing permanent weight loss through healthy choices.  Weight loss can reduce blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes risk, risk for heart disease, cancer and more.  Road to Wellness is a program for individuals who want to lose 100 or more.  For more information about these two fall courses, please call 858-2318.  They both start on September 8, 2014! 

 

  • Need help with tobacco cessation?  Call it Quits!  Call the Maine Tobacco Helpline at 1-800-207-1230 or call the Community Health Educator/Tobacco Specialist at 858-2318 for 1:1 support and education, or contact Somerset Public Health, formally known as Somerset Heart Health, at 474-7473 and ask about the Quit and Win program.

                                                         Controlling your risk factors may decrease your risk for a heart attack or stroke!

Listed below are warning signs of a heart attack or stroke. Call for help immediately if you experience any of these, do not wait.

 

Know the warning signs of a stroke and heart attack:

 

STROKE

HEART ATTACK

Sudden weakness or numbness of the face, arm or leg on one side of the body.

 

Sudden dimness or loss of vision, particularly in one eye.

 

Loss of speech, or trouble talking or understanding speech.

 

Sudden, severe headaches with no known cause.

Unexplained dizziness, unsteadiness or sudden falls, especially along with any of the previous symptoms.

 

Chest discomfort in the center of the chest that may feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.

 

Discomfort or pain in one or both arms, the back, the neck, jaw or stomach.

 

Shortness of breath, often coming along with chest discomfort.

 

Other signs like breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness

 

Not all of these warning signs occur with every heart attack or stroke.

Heart attack and stroke are Medical Emergencies.  Call 9-1-1 immediately

 

  • Additional Resources:  National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Health Information Center

            American Stroke Association          1-888-4-STROKE    www.StrokeAssociation.org

            American Heart Association               1-888-MY-HEART    www.americanheart.org

 

 

 


Stroke

  Stroke

Strokes are a leading cause of serious disability and are the 4th leading cause of death (American Stroke Association).  Many people die from strokes and often times survivors of strokes are left with mental and physical disabilities.   Your brain controls how you move think, feel and behave.  A stroke can affect the ability to think clearly and can affect those muscles used in talking, swallowing and chewing.  One or both sides of the mouth can lack feeling, thus increasing the risk of choking.  A person with a stroke may have a changed perception of everyday objects.  A loss of feeling or visual field may result in a loss of awareness, so stroke victims may forget or ignore their weaker side.  Depression is a frequent occurrence with a stroke because the person perceives or thinks they are less than “whole”. 

A stroke happens when a blood vessel that feeds the brain becomes clogged or bursts.  The blood supply to the brain is disrupted and the brain cells cannot get the oxygen and nutrients that they need.  The cells become injured or die because they lack enough oxygen and nutrients and the part of the brain affected is not able to work and neither can the part of the body it controls.  Prevention of strokes and reducing your risk factors for a stroke are important to you and those who care about you. 

There are certain risk factors for stroke that cannot be changed:

·      Age - 55 or older

·      Heredity – have a family history of stroke

·      Race – African Americans have a higher risk of death from a stroke than Caucasians

·      Sex – more men than women have strokes

·      History of having a stroke in the past

·      History of TIAs (transient ischemic attacks), sometimes referred to as warning strokes that produce symptoms that are stroke-like but have no lasting damage. 

·      History of a heart attack places you at a higher risk of having a stroke as well.

There are some other factors that indirectly increase stroke risk, especially when one has other risk factors and may be controllable.  These include:

·      Having an elevated blood cholesterol and lipids and high sodium, high caloric diet contribute to poor diet, increased blood cholesterol levels and obesity.  It is recommended to eat a diet of five or more servings of fruits and vegetables per day may reduce one’s risk of stroke.

·      Physical inactivity and obesity places one at risk for heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke and high cholesterol.  30 minutes of activity on most or all days is a recommendation from the Stroke Association.  Do what you can to make your life more active following your doctor recommendations. 

·      Cigarette smoking places one at an increased risk for stroke because of the nicotine and carbon monoxide in cigarette smoke.  They cause damage to the cardiovascular system.  Stroke risk is increased significantly with the use of oral contraceptives and smoking.

·      Having diabetes, carotid or other artery disease, peripheral artery disease, atrial fibrillation are additional chronic diseases and health issues that place individuals at increased risk for stroke.  It is important to treat and control these health concerns to reduce the risk for stroke.

·      Sickle cell disease is a genetic disorder that affects red blood cells and places one at increased risk for stroke.  This is a genetic disorder that mainly affects and African American and Hispanic children.

The best way to prevent a stroke is to reduce the risk factors for a stroke by stopping smoking, keeping your B/P controlled, eating a low-fat, low-salt diet, taking off extra weight, getting regular exercise, following your doctors recommendations, taking your medicine, and getting regular checkups. 

WARNING SIGNS OF A STROKE

  • Sudden weakness or numbness of the face, arm or leg on one side of the body.
  • Sudden dimness or loss of vision, particularly in one eye.
  • Loss of speech, or trouble talking or understanding speech.
  • Sudden, severe headaches with no known cause.
  • Unexplained dizziness, unsteadiness or sudden falls, especially along with any of the previous symptoms.

WARNING SIGNS OF A HEART ATTACK:

  • Chest discomfort in the center of the chest that may feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.  The pain or discomfort may last a few minutes or go away and come back.
  • Discomfort or pain in one or both arms, the back, the neck, jaw or stomach.
  • Shortness of breath, with or without chest discomfort.
  • Other signs like breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.

Not all of these warning signs occur with every heart attack or stroke.

Heart attack and stroke are Medical Emergencies.  Call 9-1-1 immediately!

Resources:

American Stroke Association          1-888-4-STROKE    www.StrokeAssociation.org

American Heart Association            1-800-AHA-USA1       www.americanheartassociation.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Immunization Awareness

Immunization Awareness

Many serious diseases may be prevented by vaccinations or immunizations. Vaccines work to protect infants, children, and adults from illnesses, disease, and death caused by infectious diseases. Some of these diseases that are preventable by receiving the vaccination include polio, measles, diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), rubella (German measles), mumps, tetanus, and Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib).  According to the Center for Disease Prevention and Control, or CDC, “vaccines are the best defense we have against infectious diseases”. 

The CDC and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) work to make vaccines as safe as possible.  Unfortunately, no vaccine is completely safe or effective.   Mild, short lasting side effects are not uncommon upon receiving vaccinations.  These mild side effects may include general discomfort, a low fever, or soreness where the vaccine was injected.  Very rarely, people experience more serious side effects such as an allergic reaction.  If someone has a reaction to a vaccine, it is important to get him or her to a doctor right away.  Make sure to let your doctor know what happened, the date and time you received the vaccine and when you had the reaction.  All significant reactions are reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS).  The doctor, nurse, or health department will file a form to report the reaction.

It is important for you to understand the benefits and the potential risks of the vaccine before you or your child receives it. There have been concerns raised about the risks of receiving vaccinations and some people should not get certain vaccines. 

Some tips about receiving vaccinations:

·         Talk with your doctor about the benefits and risks for you or your child.

·         Keep the immunization records up to date. 

·         Follow schedules provided to you by your doctor or nurse.

·         When traveling abroad, contact a doctor or public health department as early as possible to check on vaccines you may need.

 

For additional information about vaccines, visit the National Immunization Program at www.cdc.gov/nip.

 

 

 


Welcome to Redington-Fairview

The Mission of Redington-Fairview General Hospital (RFGH) is to develop, provide, and facilitate quality comprehensive, cost-effective health services for the people we serve.

Redington-Fairview General Hospital is an independent community hospital located in Skowhegan, Maine. RFGH has provided quality, comprehensive health services to the residents of Somerset County since 1952. A member of the Maine Hospital Association, RFGH offers inpatient and outpatient services in many specialities, has a network of community-based primary care and pediatric physicians, and provides 24-hour emergency medical services.

Where To Find Us

Redington-Fairview General Hospital
46 Fairview Avenue
P.O. Box 468
Skowhegan  Maine

207-474-5121

Contact Us