Wednesday, September 9, 2015


Have you ever experienced the sensation that either you feel like you’re spinning or feel like your surroundings are spinning?  If so, you can say you have experienced vertigo.  Some may refer to vertigo as having “dizzy spells,” when really vertigo is actually a sensation of spinning that slightly differs from being dizzy.  Vertigo could cause you to become nauseous or it could even cause you to fall and sustain an injury; a problem in your inner ear is usually the culprit behind what causes this condition.

Vertigo is often triggered by a change in the position of your head.  If you ask someone with vertigo to describe what they feel they may express to you the following descriptions:

-  Sensation of spinning or that everything around them is spinning.
-  Feeling like they are being tilted.
-  Feeling like they are swaying back and forth.
-  Being off balance.
-  Feeling like they are being pulled to one direction.

Other symptoms can also go hand in hand with vertigo and may include the following:

-  Abnormal or jerking movements of the eyes (nystagmus)
-  Headache
- Sweating
-  Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
-  Experiencing hearing loss
-  Altered level of consciousness
-  Difficulty walking or lack of coordination
-  Weakness in the arms and/or legs

Any of the symptoms listed can last from either a few minutes, to a few hours, or even longer…in addition, the symptoms may come and go without warning.  There are a few common causes of vertigo, please do not be alarmed by the big words…allow us to explain these causes in further detail to you as follows:

BPPV.  Okay, this stands for benign paroxysmal positional vertigo.  Ignore the big words we’ll make it as simple as possible for you to understand.  BPPV happens when tiny calcium particles clump together in the canals of your inner ear.  The inner ear is the place responsible for sending signals to your brain about head and body movements in relation to gravity…basically the inner ear is what helps you keep your balance.  BPPV can occur for no reason and may also be associated with age.

-  Meniere’s Disease.  This is an inner ear disorder that is most likely caused by buildup of fluid and the changes of pressure in the inner ear.  This disease can cause episodes of vertigo to occur plus ringing in the ears and hearing loss.  If you have this condition generally a low salt diet will be recommended for you to follow, because the less salt you eat the less build-up of fluid you will have.
-  Vestibular Neuritis.  This is an inner ear problem that is usually related to a viral infection that causes inflammation in the inner ear around the nerves that are important for the body to maintain its sense of balance.

Diagnosis of vertigo will be comprised of your provider performing a physical exam along with taking into consideration your medical history.  If the cause of vertigo is more extensive, such as from a brain injury…your provider may perform tests such as a CT scan as a more definitive approach to rule out other possibilities.

After diagnosis, treatment of vertigo will solely depend upon what is causing it and you should take comfort in knowing that it may even go away without any treatment.  The body is so amazing because your brain is able to adapt in some ways to the inner ear changes it detects when you experience vertigo, by relying on other mechanisms to maintain your body’s balance.  However, if you were to need treatment it could range anywhere from having to take medication to a surgical procedure.  Ultimately, Total Home Health will work closely alongside your provider to keep your care as on point as possible in order for you to have the best outcomes and provide you with symptomatic relief.

Total Home Health and our professionals would like to take a moment to provide you with home remedies that may help ease some symptoms that your experience with vertigo may cause.  Being able to modify areas of your lifestyle on your own without medical treatment is much less risky, less costly, and could even decrease your risk for other health problems.  Please speak with your provider though beforehand especially if you decide to try herbal supplements to ease your symptoms.  Some home remedy ideas for you are as follows:

-  Take a Vitamin D supplement.
-  Take herbal supplements such as ginger root and ginkgo biloba per the discretion of your provider.
-  Avoid substances that can affect circulation which include caffeine, tobacco, or alcohol.
-  Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.

Bladder Cancer

Ahh there’s that “C” word again….yes cancer.  Cancer is such a terrible condition because the course it takes is so unpredictable with treatment options that may or may not be effective.  Everyone is at risk at some point in their life of acquiring some type of cancer; bladder cancer may possibly be one of them.  It is up to you to be proactive and take all steps possible in order to prevent conditions from happening to you by promoting your health at every chance you get.  Total Home Health will help you with this…don’t worry!  When you enroll with us you become our number one priority and we will always strive for your satisfaction and optimal health. 

How you may be affected by bladder cancer is as simple as it sounds…it is a type of cancer that originates in your bladder.  Bladder cancer most often begins in the cells that line the inside of the bladder.  A cancerous condition develops when cells within your bladder begin to grow abnormally.  Rather than growing and dividing as they should, your cells begin to develop mutations that cause them to grow without limits, never getting destroyed.  The excess amount of abnormal cells bind together and form a tumor since they are not destroyed, which ultimately results in you developing bladder cancer.

Typically you will find that this condition is more likely to affect older adults…however, it can occur at any age.  The good news is that a vast majority of those who are diagnosed when the cancer is at an early stage, so it will actually be highly treatable!  The downside is that because it is cancer and your cells are continually redeveloping…even the early-stage bladder cancer is very likely to recur with time.  Due to the high probability of recurrence, survivors of this condition generally find themselves participating in follow-up diagnostic tests for years after their cancer treatment in order to be proactive and catch bladder cancer before it takes off again!

Total Home Health has a program that will fit right into your daily life and our professionals will be right by your side throughout your entire treatment regimen.  We will take all the time we need in order to listen to you, find answers to your questions and concerns, and provide you with the best care that will ensure the best possible outcomes for your health with your wishes always at the front of our minds. 

The signs and symptoms of bladder cancer may be clearly evident, which is why it is frequently caught in the early stages.  Signs and symptoms may include:

-  Hematuria (blood in your urine) is the number one sign of bladder cancer that should definitely cause you to seek out medical attention.  Your urine may appear bright red or cola-colored…or your urine may appear as if it looks normal, but a microscopic examination of your urine will determine otherwise and detect blood is present.
-  Frequent urination.
-  Painful urination.
-  Back pain.
-  Pain in your pelvic area.

The cause of bladder cancer really is not clear at this point; however there are certain things that development of bladder cancer strongly links to.  Smoking is a bad habit and holds a very strong link to bladder cancer.  Other things that bladder cancer has been linked to include parasitic infections, radiation and chemical exposure.  There are different types of bladder cancer and its progression can be staged as levels I through IV.  The type of bladder cancer you or your loved one may develop depends upon which cell(s) in your bladder have decided to begin mutating to become cancerous.  To diagnose you, the tests and procedures you may have to undergo may include a cystoscopy, biopsy, urine cytology test, or other imagining studies; these tests will all be described in depth to you by your physician if they are recommended to you.  Your provider will work with your medical history and your signs and symptoms to best determine which type of bladder cancer you suffer from.  Once diagnosed, your treatment regimen will be planned accordingly and it could include treatment with medication, surgery, chemotherapy and/or radiation.

At Total Home Health we want you to be familiar with the risks that may increase your chance of developing bladder cancer during your lifetime so that you may work to promote your own health and take it upon yourself to modify your habits to decrease your risk.  Risk factors include the following:

-  Smoking.  This habit increases your risk because the harmful chemicals found in the products you smoke tend to accumulate in your urine.  The harsh chemicals may then begin to damage the lining of your bladder over time.  Smoking is one of the leading causes of bladder cancer that can be prevented.
-  Age.  Bladder cancer can occur at any age, but its risk increases with age.  It is rarely found in individuals younger than 40.
-  Race.  Caucasian individuals have a greater risk of bladder cancer than any other race.
-  Gender.  Men are more likely to develop bladder cancer.
-  Chemicals.  The job of your kidneys is to filter harmful substances from your bloodstream by moving them into your bladder so they can be urinated out.  So, if you are continuously around harmful chemicals they will continue to be filtered into your bladder with hopes of getting rid of them.  However, the excess of harmful chemicals that are constantly in your bladder can be damaging to your bladder cells as they dwell there waiting to be urinated, which increases your risk for cancer.
-  Previous cancer treatment. 
-  Taking a diabetes medication.  As an example, if you or your loved one has been taking the medication pioglitazone (Actos) for over a year, you will have an increased risk of bladder cancer.
-  Chronic bladder inflammation.  Repeated urinary infections or inflammation of the bladder has a way of increasing your risk of a specific type of bladder cancer.
-  Personal or family history.  Bladder cancer has a tendency to recur if you’ve already had it once.  Plus, if one of your immediate relatives has a history of this condition…you will also be at a greater risk.

Total Home Health has a program that you can easily fit into your lifestyle.  We know the toll that cancer can take on your body, mind, and also those you love.  Our professional staff will be right by your side to help you, always.  Being enrolled with us will ensure that the best care is brought directly to you in your home by the most compassionate and knowledgeable individuals that we could find!  Let’s make the most out of your life and kick cancer together…enroll today!


Not being able to breathe has to be by far one of the most terrifying feelings ever!  Asthma is a very common condition that may cause you to experience that feeling at any given time.  Asthma is a condition in which your airways both become narrow and swell at the same time, while also producing extra mucus.  When all three of those things happen at the same time during an asthma attack it makes the simple act of breathing become quite a difficult task…plus it can trigger you to begin coughing and wheezing, making things even worse! 

For some individuals, asthma may only be a minor nuisance and not completely ruin their daily routines.  While for others, it may be a major problem that causes interruptions in how they go about their everyday life…they may have to skip out on certain activities for fear that an asthma attack could occur.  There is no complete cure for asthma at this point in time, but the good thing is that its symptoms can be controlled to allow you to be more at ease and enjoy more of the things you like to do. 

A good fact to become familiar with is that asthma often changes over time due to changes in your body, certain illnesses, and the aging process.  Total Home Health understands this and it is extremely important that you work closely with your health care provider to stay on top of the course of your asthma signs and symptoms.  This will ensure that your treatment will continually be fine tuned in order for you to feel better on a daily basis, and will help prevent a life-threatening asthma attack.  Total Home Health strives to provide you with the best treatment in order to achieve the best results and outcomes for your health…today, tomorrow and always!

Asthma symptoms range from minor to severe and vary from one person to the next.  You or your loved one may have asthma attacks here and there or only at certain times, such as when you are more active for example…or you could have symptoms nearly all the time.  You just never know what to expect with this rather unpredictable condition.  The following are the common signs and symptoms of asthma to be familiar with, which may include:

-  Shortness of breath
-  Chest pain/increased tightness
-  Difficulty sleeping due to shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing
-  Wheezing sound heard when exhaling (may sound like whistling)
-  Coughing or wheezing that is worse when you get a sickness such as the common cold

If your asthma is worsening, you may have signs and symptoms that include:

-  Increased difficulty breathing
-  More frequent signs and symptoms that become more of a nuisance
-  Finding a need to use a quick-relief inhaler more often than usual

It would be great if we could tell you exactly what to expect each and every time your asthma flared-up…but unfortunately we can’t at this point.  There are some situations in which asthma symptoms may have an increased risk of flaring up.  These situations could include:

·         Exercise.  Asthma flare-ups in this situation will be worse when the air is cold and dry.  Plus, during exercise you will most likely become out of breath more easily.
·         Your Occupation.  These flare-ups are caused by your job.  Whether if it’s by dust, chemical irritants, or gases that enter your airways.
·         Allergies.  These flare-ups will be triggered by particular allergens in the environment.  This could include being around pets or flowers.

Other triggers that may cause your asthma signs and symptoms to flare-up may also include situations such as:

·         Being in presence of someone who is smoking.
·         Certain medications (including beta blockers, or those that end in –olol).
·         Stressful situations.
·         Preservatives added to some foods and beverages, including shrimp, dried fruit, processed potatoes, beer and wine.
·         Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
·         Some women may notice their asthma symptoms worsen during their menstrual cycle.

Yes, there are risks too that can result in you or your loved one having an increased chance of developing asthma.  Be aware of the following risk factors which could include:

·         Having an immediate family member that also has asthma (such as a parent or sibling)
·         Being overweight
·         Smoking

Ultimately, Total Home Health has a program that will suit your needs during the course of your asthma condition.  Along with treating you like one of our own, we will work closely with your provider to strictly abide by your treatment regimen.  We will fine tune your treatment and care at the first inclination that your asthma condition is showing changes in order to continually provide you with the best results.  With our professionals you will never be let down and will always receive treatment that has goals of providing better health for you while always keeping your own wishes in mind.  Enroll today and let Total Home Health help you throughout your course of asthma…you will not be disappointed.