FOR YOUR HEALTH: Helping The Nervous System Heal Itself

When Codi Darnell was injured in a fall, her father-in-law, Dr. Harold Punnett, co-founded a pharmaceutical company to seek a cure for her spinal cord injury.

(NAPSI)—For decades, medical researchers struggled to solve the mystery of how to reverse paralysis caused by serious spinal cord injuries. Finally, hope appears to be at hand.

Making Mice Move

Remarkable video footage shows how paralyzed mice regained some of their ability to walk again after receiving an experimental drug treatment.

The injectable pre-clinical therapy, which is designed to regenerate nerve cells in spinal cord injuries, is being developed by researchers at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.

However, the scientists have yet to make the big leap from animal to human clinical trials, meaning that this drug candidate is quite a few years from potentially being approved by government regulators for commercialization.

Clinical Trial

Another experimental therapy has achieved even more impressive results with most laboratory rodents regaining coordinated movement—even enabling previously paralyzed rats to climb tiny ladders—and it is much further along on the developmental curve.

This novel drug candidate is known as NVG-291 and is the brainchild of a renowned neuroscientist, Dr. Jerry Silver, who has licensed his technology to a Canadian life sciences company, NervGen Pharma Corp.

Five years ago, Codi Darnell, the daughter-in-law of Dr. Harold Punnett, a co-founder of NervGen, fell and became a complete T-11 paraplegic. Dr. Punnett discovered a revolutionary nerve regeneration technology in Dr. Jerry Silver’s work at Case Western Reserve University which resulted in the formation of NervGen.

Dr. Silver’s innovation offers renewed hope for the estimated 300,000 to 500,000 North Americans who dream of one day regaining sensation and motor function in their paralyzed limbs. This is similarly the case for more than a million Americans who have debilitating peripheral nerve injuries.

With no approved pharmaceuticals for spinal cord injury, it is heartening that NVG-291 is undergoing Phase 1 clinical trials, aimed at demonstrating its safety and lack of toxicity in healthy human trial volunteers.

This drug candidate is primed for important studies in patients in 2022. This is when its efficacy will be put to the test for the first time in humans afflicted by a range of debilitating spinal cord injuries and other nerve damage. Dr. Silver says he expects to get impressive results due to the surprising similarity between the central nervous systems of rats and humans.

His advanced-stage research work has taken on a greater urgency as the pharmaceutical industry has yet to bring to market any drugs that are able to repair injured nerves and let patients regain or improve key bodily functions. Unfortunately, current treatments that simply slow down or mitigate the debilitating effects on the human body resulting from the mass death of neurons in the brain or spine do not work in spinal cord injury.

Accordingly, Dr. Silver envisions that NVG-291 has the potential to revolutionize the treatment of spinal cord injuries. This is because it is designed to heal nerve damage by unleashing the body’s natural ability to repair itself. NVG-291 doesn’t just repair nerve cells, it creates new neural pathways via the extraordinary process of neural plasticity.

This work has been independently replicated in a German laboratory by other scientists, who also used rats. Interestingly, they used doses of NVG-291 that were 50 times higher than used by Dr. Silver. The study achieved even better recovery outcomes, while noting no toxicity issues with the rats from experiencing such comparably high doses.

Dr. Silver says, “It is our hope that this technology can improve the lives of the many people living with debilitating nerve damage. And we’re very confident that we’re on the right track.”

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FOR YOUR HEALTH: Ring In The New Year With An ‘Anti’ Resolution List

The JRNY digital fitness platform features hundreds of workouts including strength, cardio, HIIT, yoga, stretching and Pilates. JRNY is integrated with Bowflex cardio equipment such as the Max Total 16 and features workouts perfect for use with the Bowflex SelectTech 552 and 1090 dumbbells.

(NAPSI)—As the world celebrates the new year, many will make an annual list of resolutions and goals, which often include improving overall health and fitness.

As we continue to weather the COVID-19 pandemic, improving overall health is front and center, more so than usual. However, according to the U.S. New Year’s Resolutions 2020 study conducted by YouGov, over half of those who set New Year’s resolutions can’t follow through.
Luckily, exercise physiologist and Bowflex fitness advisor Tom Holland has a new approach to setting and reaching your health and fitness goals this year.
Focus on Anti-Resolutions
Holland recommends turning the typical New Year’s resolutions list on its head by creating “anti-resolutions” to focus on what you’re not going to do. For example, instead of saying “I’m going to work out every day” or “eat only healthy foods,” resolve to not make excuses. This can take the focus off the broader goal and onto in-the-moment actions. The next time you plan to go the gym or cook a healthy meal, and you start to come up with reasons today’s not the day, you can remember your resolution to not make excuses. If you set unrealistic resolutions to transform your entire lifestyle all at once, it’s more difficult to take the necessary steps to get there.
Most people have made excuses for not making a workout or sticking to a routine. This anti-resolution approach changes the focus from overly ambitious goals to a more subtle mindset shift.
To help you continue or take those first steps on your fitness journey, Holland also recommends connected fitness services and apps, such as the JRNY digital fitness platform ( With the JRNY app, you can easily fit exercise into your schedule with a wide range of personalized, trainer-led workouts. JRNY is integrated with Bowflex cardio equipment, including stationary bikes and treadmills, and features off-product workouts such as HIIT, strength, yoga, stretch and Pilates, which can be accessed from a mobile device or tablet via the JRNY app. So many options means no more excuses. No matter your fitness level, goals or lifestyle, JRNY has exercise programs to help you stay motivated and active so you can make exercise a habit in your life.

Determine What Works Best for You

Often people struggle to get started working out because they think they need to go to the gym all the time or sacrifice privacy, comfort and entertainment to see results. Holland notes that it’s important to not let trends, other people’s opinions or even your own preconceived notions get in the way.
It’s easier than ever before to find a workout routine that aligns with your lifestyle. If going to the gym isn’t your speed, you could pick up a versatile fitness product such as a set of Bowflex SelectTech 552 dumbbells ( or download the JRNY mobile app ( for access to hundreds of video workouts that can be done from the comfort of your own home—no expensive gym membership or commute required.
If you find your motivation is dwindling, the Bowflex Max Total 16 ( is a great option that lets you do high-intensity, interval workouts at home while streaming your entertainment subscriptions including Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max, and Disney+.
This new year, try a different approach to health and fitness resolutions by kicking the overly ambitious goals of the past to the side in favor of setting anti-resolutions instead. At the same time, take advantage of what today’s fitness technology has to offer to improve your odds of success and make this your year.

FOR YOUR HEALTH: Get The Facts About Fertility, Pregnancy, And COVID-19 Vaccines

by the We Can Do This COVID-19 Public Education Campaign

(NAPSI)—Questions and misinformation about the effect of COVID-19 vaccines on fertility and pregnancy have left some people uncertain about getting vaccinated if they are pregnant or hoping to get pregnant, but the facts should be reassuring.

“It’s understandable that parents and those who hope to become parents are cautious about COVID-19 vaccines,” said Dr. Daniel Diekema, a hospital epidemiologist at the University of Iowa Healthcare. “However, it should be comforting to know that the vaccines are safe and effective during pregnancy. Growing data and science demonstrate that the benefits of getting vaccinated far outweigh any risks, and we have a long history with vaccines that makes it clear they do not affect future fertility.” Here are key facts about fertility, pregnancy, and the COVID vaccines:

Getting vaccinated protects you during and after pregnancy. COVID-19 can be especially dangerous for people who are pregnant or have recently been pregnant as cases during pregnancy are more likely to be severe. COVID is dangerous for the unborn child too. A recent study found COVID infections are associated with an increased risk of stillbirth. Safety monitoring systems and studies have shown that the COVID vaccines are safe for people who are pregnant, and vaccination reduces the risk of severe illness, hospitalization, and death. Growing data continues to reinforce that the risks from getting COVID-19 at any stage of pregnancy are far worse than potential side effects from vaccines.

Getting vaccinated protects your unborn or nursing child. Data from safety monitoring systems continues to show vaccines are safe for pregnant people and their babies and getting vaccinated is much safer than contracting COVID. If you’re breastfeeding, getting vaccinated could even help protect your baby, as recent reports have shown that some breastfeeding parents have antibodies in their breast milk after they’ve been vaccinated.

COVID vaccines will not interfere with getting pregnant. No evidence exists of COVID vaccines causing problems with fertility. In a recent study, people who had gotten the COVID vaccine had the same pregnancy success rate as people who had not been vaccinated. Vaccines are carefully studied and monitored, and it is clear they are safe for people who are pregnant or who want to become pregnant. If you are trying to become pregnant, you do not need to avoid pregnancy after receiving a COVID vaccine. If you get pregnant after your first shot, you should get the second shot and a booster on schedule for the most protection possible.

Knowing the facts about COVID vaccines can provide confidence and comfort. Anyone with concerns should ask questions of a trusted health professional, such as a family physician, pharmacist, or nurse. The benefits of vaccination far outweigh potential risks. Vaccines are the best way of getting this pandemic under control.

For more information and to find a vaccine, visit

FOR YOUR HEALTH: Wisdom Teeth Removal: Why, When And How

Here’s something to smile about: Tips for the 85 percent of young adults who don’t have room for third molars.

(NAPSI)—This year, more than five million Americans, mostly between the ages of 17 and 25, will have their wisdom teeth removed to prevent or address teeth crowding or pain. Dentists recommend that most people (85%) have their wisdom teeth taken out to prevent health issues—such as impactions, infections, or decay—because modern mouths are smaller than our ancestors’ and typically don’t have room for this third set of molars.

That’s the why. But when is best for this preventive surgery? Wisdom teeth (so-called because of how late in life they form, once a person has a bit more wisdom), are easiest to remove when the roots are not yet fully formed, so many dentists recommend removing them in late adolescence. Waiting until they come in fully can make extraction and recovery more difficult.

According to Nadia Fugate, DMD, a licensed dentist who serves as a Delta Dental of Washington dental consultant, “Many people’s mouths just aren’t big enough for all 32 teeth, making crowding issues worse. This leads to potential damage to the adjacent teeth, difficulty keeping teeth clean and leading to decay or infections of the gums around these teeth. Wisdom teeth can also cause jaw, muscle, and headache pain. Because every person’s mouth is different, you should ask your dentist if your or your child’s wisdom teeth need to be removed.”

Wisdom teeth recovery tips for patients and caregivers 

While removing wisdom teeth requires outpatient surgery and anesthesia, the extraction process itself is usually short and pain-free. The more difficult part for wisdom teeth extraction patients is the recovery portion, which typically lasts between three and seven days.

The first two days are the most painful and is when blood clots form to protect the wound from infection and prevent excess bleeding. During this period, patients should keep the area clean, brush gently near the extraction site and avoid chewing.

Pain relief medication, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, can be taken as needed. Dentists recommend icing the cheeks on the first day and keeping the head elevated. A gentle rinse with antiseptic mouthwash is okay after the first 24 hours. Additional gauze can be applied to the surgery site if there is a lot of bleeding. In some cases, sutures will need to be removed by the dentist, about a week after surgery.

As far as food is concerned, for the first two days, consuming yogurt, pudding, smoothies and liquids is fine but don’t use a straw; it can loosen blood clots. After then, patients can eat soft foods such as scrambled eggs, Jell-O or mashed potatoes. Most importantly, avoid hard or sticky foods for at least a week, as well as foods with seeds which can easily get stuck in the extraction site.

Complications are rare and, typically, the only thing you may need is to have sutures removed, approximately one week after the surgery. Watch for signs of fever, difficulty swallowing or breathing, persistent numbness or pus oozing from the socket and alert your caregiver if any of those symptoms arise. Swelling should reduce after two days; let your dentist know if it doesn’t.

One of the more serious complications of wisdom tooth removal is a condition known as “dry socket,” in which the protective blood clot is disturbed and the bone is exposed to air, food, and bacteria. This can be very painful, as well as a cause of infection. Avoiding the use of straws, smoking, spitting or getting strenuous exercise for the first two weeks after surgery can help prevent this condition.

Learn More

For more facts about wisdom teeth, visit

FOR YOUR HEALTH: Four Ways To Have A Festive And Safe Holiday Season

(NAPSI)—Entering the second holiday season of the COVID-19 pandemic, Idahoans are eager to reconnect with family and friends and return to treasured holiday traditions. Some simple steps can keep family and friends healthy through their fall and winter celebrations.

“Every family has unique traditions, and they are eager to enjoy time with loved ones this year, especially if they skipped or changed their holiday plans due to COVID-19 in 2020,” said Dr. ­Catherine Oliphant, co-chair of pharmacy practice and administrative sciences and professor at Idaho State University College of Pharmacy. “With a little care and planning, it is possible to enjoy these special holiday traditions while making sure everyone stays healthy.”

As generations gather to celebrate, the No. 1 way to avoid spreading COVID-19, including to grandparents, young children and others who may be vulnerable, is to make sure everyone who is eligible gets vaccinated against COVID-19. Children ages 5-11 are the most recent group eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. Learn more at

People can take these additional steps to ensure they safely enjoy family, friends and special connections they may have missed recently, even as people from different households and different parts of the country gather.

Assess travel plans. Consider delaying travel until you’re fully vaccinated. Remember, masks that cover your nose and mouth are required for everyone on planes, buses, trains and other public transportation. If you’re unvaccinated, plan to get tested one to three days before your trip within the United States and three to five days after you return. Plan to self-quarantine for seven days, even if the test is negative. If you travel by car, be aware that you and your travel companions could be exposed to the virus on stops for gas, food and bathroom breaks. Remember to wear a mask, wash your hands frequently and maintain social distancing at these locations. If traveling internationally, especially to places where vaccination rates are low and COVID-19 is spreading, visit the CDC’s website for recommendations on international travel.

Get tested. If you’ve been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, or if you’re not feeling well before the holidays, especially if you have COVID-19 symptoms, get tested. Tests are widely available at pharmacies and doctors’ offices. Getting tested can provide security, knowing that you won’t infect your friends and relatives and everyone can enjoy a stress-free holiday. If in doubt, consider staying home and joining festivities virtually. This will allow you to enjoy the fun while staying safe.

Pay attention to ventilation. When celebrating with your families, try to avoid crowded, poorly ventilated spaces. Consider moving celebrations outdoors, especially if you are planning a large get-together. Have a cookout or roast marshmallows. If you attend family festivities indoors where some guests may not be vaccinated, wear a well-fitting mask over your nose and mouth, remembering that you should never put a mask on a child under the age of 2. The CDC also recommends mask wearing in public indoor settings regardless of vaccination status.

Consider your health status. If you or someone in your household has a health condition or someone is taking medications that weaken the immune system, you should take extra precautions, even if you are fully vaccinated. The CDC recommends that those with weakened immune systems follow similar guidelines for unvaccinated people, like such as mask-wearing and social distancing.

The winter holidays are a time to reconnect and celebrate with people we care about. There are many ways to make this year’s festivities a time to remember. Following these safety measures can allow Idahoans to gather together and practice traditions that make the holidays so special. Safe practices are key and the most effective way to ensure a joyful holiday is to get vaccinated.

For more information and to find a vaccine, visit

FOR YOUR HEALTH: Holiday Fitness Survival Guide: Make A Plan To Improve Your Core Body Fitness

During this season of family, friends and food—lots of food—now can be a great time to consider changing up your home fitness regimen and workout plans.

(NAPSI)—During this season of family, friends and food—lots of food—now can be a great time to consider changing up your home fitness regimen and workout plans. One consideration is to incorporate exercises and workouts that strengthen and tone your core muscles. The good news is that a strong core can offer numerous health benefits whether you lead an active or a leisurely lifestyle.

Core Issues

GOLO, the pioneering wellness solutions company and creator of the AeroTrainer® exercise platform, cites several reasons to consider exercises that target your core muscles:

#1—It’s Not Just for Professional Athletes: While professional and amateur athletes alike benefit from core muscle workouts, regular core exercise regimens can help just about anyone interested in good health and improved strength and stamina. From baby boomers concerned about flexibility to millennials and Gen-Xers who simply can’t make it to the gym, exercising your core muscles can play a critical role in your overall health and fitness.

#2—Low Impact: Low-impact exercises such as planks can deliver a plethora of health benefits, including tightening and strengthening your abs, improving upper body strength, building stronger back muscles and helping your heart by boosting blood flow.

#3—Back Pain: Stretching and strengthening your back while building core strength creates balance between your lower back and abdominal muscles. Regular exercise can help prevent and lessen common back pain by targeting the spine and its supporting muscles.

#4—Sculpting and Toning: Regular exercise can aid in weight loss due to increased activity and it can help you achieve a more sculpted, toned physique. Exercises such as bridges, squats and kicks targeting your glutes, hamstrings, calves and inner thighs can help take your legs to the next level for an improved look and added strength.

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FOR YOUR HEALTH: Three Ways To Keep Your Child Safe From COVID-19

(NAPSI)—Children and teens are catching and spreading COVID-19 at an increasingly high rate. Even if your child or teen has not yet contracted COVID-19, they are at risk, especially with the low number of vaccinated residents in North Dakota.

“In the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, older people were most likely to get the virus. Now it is affecting everyone, and children and teens are also at risk of contracting the virus and experiencing long-lasting impacts,” said Dr. Avish Nagpal, Medical Director for Infection Prevention at Sanford Health and Clinical Associate Professor at the University of North Dakota. “We need to do everything we can to keep all our kids safe, and the best way to do that is to get more people vaccinated.”

Parents and other adults in a child or teen’s life can take steps to protect young people and themselves.

Get Your Child Vaccinated When Eligible

The best way to protect your children from COVID-19 and all the potential complications is to get them vaccinated as soon as they are eligible. The COVID-19 vaccine is free, widely available, and highly effective in preventing hospitalization and death from COVID-19. Like most vaccines, some minor side effects may occur, such as a sore arm or slight fatigue, but the symptoms and long-term impact of contracting COVID-19 are much more serious. Ultimately, it is much safer for children and teens to get a COVID-19 vaccine than getting the disease itself.

Practice Prevention

If your children are not eligible to be vaccinated, you can still keep them safe from COVID-19 by practicing recommended prevention methods such as physical distancing when possible and continuing to wear a mask, especially in crowds or while indoors. Even people who have been vaccinated should wear a mask in crowds and public indoor places. Most children can safely and effectively wear face masks, so it’s important to remind them that it keeps them safe and to set an example by wearing a mask, too.

Encourage Adults In Your Child’s Life To Get Vaccinated

Ensuring that those who spend time around your child are vaccinated helps keep an unvaccinated child from getting sick or spreading COVID-19 to other vulnerable people. Talk to the adults in your child’s life—grandparents, friends’ parents, and teachers—about getting vaccinated to protect themselves and your child.

Children and teens are just as susceptible to COVID-19 as adults, and they can spread the virus to others who are at even greater risk. A growing number of children and teens have been hospitalized with COVID-19. Getting all eligible children and teens vaccinated and following simple prevention measures will protect them, their families, and friends, and get everyone one step closer to getting this pandemic under control.

Learn More

For more information and to find a vaccine, visit

FOR YOUR HEALTH: A Change Of Heart On COVID-19 Vaccination

Getting the COVID-19 vaccine can greatly reduce your risk of death from that disease.

(NAPSI)—Stephanie Bramlett of Winder, Georgia, is one of many in the Southeast region who has experienced the effects of COVID-19 firsthand. Earlier this year, when the entrepreneur and mother of three was told she could get vaccinated, she was hesitant. She eats well, exercises regularly and never gets sick with the flu, so she assumed she’d be fine even if she was exposed to the virus. “I didn’t want to be first,” Bramlett said. “It felt too new.”

Then her son attended church camp, and, unknowingly, brought the virus home. Bramlett woke up one morning with a throbbing headache, 103-degree fever and fatigue. She also discovered she had lost her sense of smell and taste, telltale symptoms of the coronavirus. Eleven days later, she couldn’t get out of bed. Her head was hurting so badly that her husband took her to the hospital where they checked her for a brain bleed.

“I was terrified because I had never had head pain like this before,” said Bramlett. She was diagnosed with inflammation of her brain vessels and myocarditis, a heart condition that made her heart feel like she was constantly running on a treadmill. Her body swelled as her kidney functions failed. Her recovery ultimately took 72 days.

“It was really, really scary and I don’t wish that on anybody,” Bramlett says of the experience.

While Bramlett was ill, she asked her doctor if she could get vaccinated, but her medical team advised that she had to wait until she was feeling better. The moment she was cleared, Bramlett went right to the drug store for her vaccine.

“The hardest part was that people were dying all around me the entire time I was sick—healthy people, young people,” Bramlett reflects. “I just felt so stupid. Here’s this vaccine available and I just assumed that it wouldn’t happen to me.”

In fact, COVID-19 remains a serious threat across the U.S. as we head into the pandemic’s second winter. The Delta variant, which now makes up virtually all cases in the country, spreads more easily than the common cold and has led to a dramatic increase in hospitalizations nationwide. This rise in serious cases and deaths was most pronounced in the Southern U.S., where vaccination rates are lower.

What The CDC Says

According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, people who have not yet been vaccinated are 29 times more likely to be hospitalized and 11 times more likely to die from COVID-19 complications, compared to those who have already received their vaccine.

Other CDC data reveals people ages 18 to 49 are the largest demographic hospitalized for COVID-19 as of September 25. Studies also show that even for individuals who have a mild case of COVID-19 and avoid hospitalization, they remain at risk of post-COVID symptoms, often called long COVID, that may last for weeks, months or longer. Symptoms of long COVID appear to affect as many as one in three people infected with the virus.

Bramlett now shares her experience with her friends and family to encourage them to consider being vaccinated. She urges everyone to talk to their doctor and learn about how they can keep themselves healthy and safe, so they can be present for their own children and families. To those still hesitant, Stephanie Bramlett says: “I understand. I understand that people are scared. I respect whatever decision you make or how you feel about the COVID-19 vaccine, but I would encourage people to do what they have to do to find the truth and do what you need to do to keep yourself healthy and safe.”

Learn More

COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective, widely available and free to everyone in the U.S. age twelve and older. Additionally, the FDA has formally approved Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine in the U.S. for those sixteen and older.

If you have questions about the COVID-19 vaccines, talk to a doctor or pharmacist, and visit for the latest information.

FOR YOUR HEALTH: Talk To Your Kids About The Dangers Of Flavored Tobacco

It’s possible to create a better, tobacco-free future in California. You can start by talking to your kids about the dangers of flavored tobacco.

(NAPSI)—After a year and a half of remote learning and social distancing, kids are back to socializing after school and between classes. A return to school also means kids are once again exposed to the dangers of vaping and flavored tobacco products, which could worsen with a return to in-person learning.

The Problem

The tobacco industry knows flavored tobacco is highly addictive—and that’s why it targets kids. Among high school kids in California, 96% of teens who vape use flavored products. By giving vapes and smokeless tobacco products such kid-friendly flavors as Blue Razz, Pegasus Milk, and Menthol Freeze, the tobacco industry falsely markets them as less harmful than cigarettes.

Flavors might mask the harsh taste of tobacco but they don’t hide the toxic chemicals that can damage lungs and the nicotine that is poisonous to developing brains.

Nicotine addiction is especially dangerous for kids. It rewires the brain to crave more of it, creating nicotine withdrawal symptoms including headaches, mood swings and the inability to concentrate. Nicotine even changes the way connections form in the brain and can also interfere with attention and learning.

Big Tobacco understands these harms, yet it still uses flavored products to target youth to turn them into lifetime addicts. Many vape brands now use a highly concentrated form of nicotine called nicotine salts that’s engineered for vaping. These ‘salts’ let higher concentrations be inhaled more easily, and absorbed more quickly, than regular nicotine—addicting kids even faster.

The tobacco industry also experiments with new ways to push nicotine onto youth. In rural communities, it markets smokeless tobacco called chew, and snus—a new product that’s a smokeless tobacco pouch. More than 80% of youth ages 12 to 17 who have ever used snus indicated that the first type of the product they used was flavored.

The industry markets these products, particularly to young men, by showcasing images of rugged cowboys, hunters, and race-car drivers—presenting tobacco use as a rite of passage. This specific targeting may explain why students at rural and town schools have more than double the rates of smokeless tobacco use as those in city or suburban schools.

The Good News

The rate of teens in California who want to quit vaping doubled from 2018 to 2020, and the majority of California teens believe their close friends view vape use negatively. Education about the harms of flavored tobacco products is working, but with kids going back to in-person learning, it is crucial to continue making progress.

Learn More

Kids need support to quit the addictive and deadly products pushed on them by the tobacco industry. Parents and families who want further facts about the dangers of flavored tobacco use or to find quit resources, can visit Californians looking to quit can text “I Can Quit” to 66819 or visit to join the free quit program.

FOR YOUR HEALTH: Untreated Vision Loss Can Speed Cognitive Decline

Getting a thorough eye exam can solve some surprising health matters for many people.

(NAPSI)—There’s a reason you shouldn’t skip your routine eye exam—and many people don’t even know about it. A growing body of research shows that vision loss can affect how well your brain works. The most recent study found that people who scored poorly on vision tests were more likely to suffer from deficits in memory, language and the ability to identify and locate objects in space. To protect your brain, get an eye exam to make sure correctable vision problems are detected and treated. The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends all adults receive a comprehensive eye exam by age 40, and every year or two after age 65.

Why Check Your Eyes

Here are three more reasons to get your eyes examined:

  1. The leading causes of blindness— including glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration—can begin without any noticeable symptoms,. The best way to protect your vision is to see an ophthalmologist, a physician who specializes in medical and surgical eye care.
  2. Seeing an ophthalmologist can improve your overall health. Blood vessels and nerves in your eyes are reflective of the rest of your body. Ophthalmologists are sometimes the first to diagnose systemic diseases, such as diabetes, multiple sclerosis or vitamin deficiencies. For example, when David Hibler, Sr. went to get his eyes checked, his ophthalmologist detected signs of a blood clot just by looking into his eyes. Seeing an ophthalmologist helped save Hibler’s life, as it led him to get appropriate medical attention to avoid a potential stroke.
  3. Some adults shouldn’t wait until they are 40 to have a complete eye exam. See an ophthalmologist now if you have an eye disease or risk factors such as:
    • diabetes
    • high blood pressure
    • family history of eye disease.

EyeCare America Can Help

If the cost of an eye exam is a concern, the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s EyeCare America program may be able to help. This national public service program provides eye care through volunteer ophthalmologists for eligible seniors 65 and older and those at increased risk for eye disease.

Learn More

For further information regarding EyeCare America and to see if you or someone you care for can qualify, visit