Eye Exam – The Basics

Eyes are the windows to the soul. Pretty important, right?

Then why is it that an estimated 61 million Americans are at risk for vision loss, and yet only half have visited an eye doctor in the last year?

Eye exams can be easy to forget. Unless you have a problem seeing or need your vision prescription for glasses or contacts, years can go by without getting an exam.

Be empowered to prioritize your eye health. You could see some major benefits of getting an eye exam like:

1. Prevent blindness or decreasing  vision

Despite strides in healthcare and technology, the number of Americans with eye diseases is actually increasing. And the vast majority of cases of blindness are caused by diseases like cataracts, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy. Less than four percent of cases of blindness are due to injuries. Which means you should be less concerned about shooting an eye out and more concerned about getting an eye exam.

2. Check your overall health

Your eye doctor can tell if you’re developing a chronic disease like high cholesterol, high blood pressure or diabetes just from looking at your eyes. By getting an eye exam, you may get the kick in the butt you need to make healthy lifestyle changes or to make an appointment with your Primary Care Physician to discuss your overall health.  

3. Save money

Because an eye doctor could be your first healthcare provider to detect a chronic disease, treatment for the disease can begin earlier, which usually leads to less complications and could slow the progression or even reverse it. And that saves money for you and your health insurance. If everyone received early detection and treatment of chronic diseases, we’re talking a savings in the billions of dollars.

Chart via Allaboutivision.com

Chart via Allaboutivision.com

How Often Should I Get an Eye Exam?

The frequency of eye exams depends on your age, gender and health risks. For the most part, children and people over 40 need to go more frequently. Adults in their 20s and 30s can space exams slightly further, around five to 10 years. Ask your doctor at your next eye exam how frequently you should be seen.

Eye exam frequency by age

Eye exam frequency by age

How to update your Heads Up Health profile:

Navigate to the “Profile” section and scroll to the tile for “Routine Screenings.” Then add the date of your last eye exam.

Add the date of your last eye exam in your Heads Up Health profile.

Add the date of your last eye exam in your Heads Up Health profile.

 

Important: Be sure to also upload a copy of your eye exam into the “File” section. If your doctor detects a chronic condition, you’ll probably need to share that report when you seek treatment. This could also come in handy if your vision prescription is documented and you need to order new glasses or contact lenses.

 

Upload your eye exam report to your Heads Up Health files

Upload your eye exam report to your Heads Up Health files

 

If you’re ready to add your last eye exam date and record to Heads Up Health, head over to our website and get started. Or if you just want the latest from Heads Up Health, follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

 

Questions? Shoot us an email. We’re here to help!

 

Dental Exam – The Basics

Dental Exam – The Basics

Dental decay happens to just about everyone eventually. It’s just a part of getting older, with a whopping 91 percent of adults between ages 20 and 64 experiencing some sort of tooth breakdown, from tooth decay to cavities.

The scary part is that studies have shown up to 27 percent of those people could have untreated tooth decay. Not treating tooth decay — and avoiding dental exams — only leads to more pain and discomfort and an even further decline in mouth health.

So, here are some basics for why you should get dental exams:

  • Prevent or detect mouth diseases  

Cavities and gum disease are preventable to a certain extent. Getting dental exams twice per year is one of the best ways to ensure that your daily oral hygiene habits are healthy. If your dentist notices some signs of cavities or gum disease, he/she can give you recommendations for how to change your habits and improve your mouth health.

  • Check your overall health

Research shows that there’s a link between your mouth health and your overall health. For example, gum problems — bleeding, sensitivity — have been found to be linked to heart disease, bacterial pneumonia or stroke.  

  • Clean your teeth really well beyond what a toothbrush and floss can do

When you brush your teeth at home, you’re removing plaque, which is great! When you get your teeth cleaned during a dental exam, however, they’re removing the tartar from just above and below your gum lines and scrubbing away stains.

How Often Should I Get a Dental Exam?

The frequency of dental exams depends on your mouth health. For the most part, twice per year is the golden rule.

If you have a healthy mouth, then once a year is probably fine. If you use tobacco, currently have gum disease or are pregnant, you may need to go more often than twice per year. And hey, your frequency could change depending on the state of  your health. Ask your dentist what he or she recommends.

Here are some signs that you should see a dentist as soon as possible. If one or more of these apply to you, make a dental exam appointment today.

dental_exam_signs

How to update your Heads Up Health profile:

Navigate to the “Profile” section and scroll to the tile for “Routine Screenings.” Then add the date of your last dental exam.

dental2

Important: Be sure to also upload a copy of your dental exam into the “File” section. If you have a disease that could be related to or impact your mouth health, you’ll want to share your dental records with your primary care physician or specialist.

dental3

If you’re ready to add your last dental exam date and record to Heads Up Health, head over to our website and get started. Or if you just want the latest from Heads Up Health, follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

Questions? Shoot us an email. We’re here to help!

 

Using the Personal Challenge Feature

The personal challenge feature lets you structure a block of time within the Heads Up Health software to track changes in your body over the course of a specific health experiment. Examples of how this feature can be used include:

  • Giving yourself a challenge to quit a certain behavior or habit (e.g. smoking, consuming alcohol, consuming sugar etc.) and observing any changes in your health (improved sleep, lower blood pressure etc.)
  • Tracking changes in your body (e.g. weight, body fat or BMI) while testing a new diet (Paleo, Atkins, Vegan, Ketogenic etc.)
  • Tracking changes over the course of a vacation
  • Tracking the effects of a new medication or supplement
  • Setting up your own custom experiments and using Heads Up Health to track changes

Step 1: Create the challenge

Use the “Add Data” button and select “Personal Challenge.” In the example below, I’ve setup a custom challenge to track changes while I test a ketogenic diet:

Create the challenge

Figure 1: Create the challenge

 

The challenge will show up as a card on the dashboard (figure 2) and will count down the time remaining in the challenge.

Track changes using the Analyzer

Figure 2: Showing the challenge on your dashboard

Step 2: Track changes using the Analyzer

As you enter data over the course of the experiment, you can use the Analyzer to zero in on specific areas of investigation. In figure 3 below, I’ve set the date picker to show the 30 days prior (9/10/2015 – 10/10/2015) to the ketogenic diet experiment and my average fasting blood sugar was 91.5 mg/dL.

Changes in fasting glucose during ketogenic experiment

Figure 3: Changes in fasting glucose during ketogenic experiment

I then set the date picker to show when the ketogenic experiment started (10/10/15) and also show fasting glucose which has now decreased from 91.5 mg/dL to 80.3 mg/dL, just within the first week of the experiment (figure 4). The “Personal Challenge” displays a shaded area on the graph showing the duration of the challenge.

How the ketogenic experiment has impacted other health indicators

Figure 4: How the ketogenic experiment has impacted other health indicators

I can easily look at other health metrics that have changed as well such as weight, body fat, BMI or even blood chemistry (cholesterol levels, glucose, inflammation etc.). Sharing this information with your health care practitioner of choice can be very helpful when working on specific health goals.

The same techniques can be used regardless of the challenge or experiment. It could be as simple as tracking weight gain/loss over the course of a vacation or as advanced as tracking several variables as part of a new lifestyle change.

Currently it requires some manual work, changing date ranges and data sources to extract the information you want out of the Analyzer. However, in the near future we’ll be able to automatically generate a report to tell you exactly what changed over the course of the experiment.

We hope you like this feature. Decide on your own personal challenge and Give it a try. If you have any questions, please e-mail support@succinct-pearl.flywheelsites.com

Encrypted Document Sharing

At Heads Up Health, we’re always finding new ways for you to transform your health. 

Here’s the latest Heads Up Health feature:

Encrypted Document Sharing – At Heads Up Health we want to make it as easy as possible for you to securely share your important health records across your entire care team. Unfortunately sending documents via e-mail is not a secure solution. In fact, many doctors and health professionals will not accept medical documents via e-mail for security reasons.

To help work around this challenge, we’ve just released a new feature that will let you use the simplicity of e-mail while maintaining a secure and encrypted channel for sharing documents.

This is great if you need to securely share your medical files with a new health care provider or across your care team. It’s also useful if you’re managing health records as a caregiver or managing records for a child, partner or parent. In just a few clicks you can securely send a record, either through email or through a link.

Watch this short video to see how it works:

 

 

Here are the step-by-step instructions for how to use the Encrypted Document Sharing feature:

  1. Login to Heads Up Health.
  2. Go to “File” at the top of the page to see all the electronic medical records in your Heads Up Health account.
  3. Hover over the file you want to share and select the “Share” button that appears.
  4. Copy and paste the link in the box and send it to your intended recipient OR

Enter the email address of your intended recipient. Your recipient will receive an e-mail with a secure (encrypted)   link to download this file. The link will expire in 72 hours.

If you have any questions or comments about Heads Up Health, contact us at support@succinct-pearl.flywheelsites.com. We’re here to help!