Vaccination – Best way to prevent pneumococcal disease

What to know if your doctor recommends it for you

 

AGING WELL MIDWINTER 2018
Most people know there are many infections – caused by viruses – that can be prevented through immunization. Some examples include vaccines to combat seasonal fl u, shingles, polio, measles and many others. But some vaccines prevent diseases caused by bacteria, and one of these is the vaccine that prevents pneumococcal disease. As you’ve probably guessed, the “pneum” in pneumococcal signals an infection of the lungs (pneumonia). But once inside the body, these bacteria can also cause infections of the middle ear or sinuses. And if the infection becomes
invasive, it can result in potentially lifethreatening:

■ Blood poisoning (bacteremia)
■ Infection of the tissues surrounding the brain and spinal cord (bacterial meningitis), and
■ Infection inside the chambers of the heart or heart valves (endocarditis).

65 or older? Your doctor might recommend vaccination. Why?

If we’re in this age group, we’re already at higher risk for pneumococcal disease (as are children under age 5). But we’re at even higher risk for infection if we: 

■ Have a chronic illness such as diabetes, COPD, emphysema, heart disease, alcoholism or liver disease
■ Have a condition that weakens our immune system
■ Smoke cigarettes, or
■ Live in a seniors residence.

You might wonder: Couldn’t antibiotics be used for an infection instead of getting the vaccine?

Unfortunately, we live in times where bacteria – like pneumococcal bacteria – are becoming harder to treat because of “antibiotic resistance.” This means the best and safest strategy is disease prevention.  Please feel free to speak to our pharmacists if you have any questions. We’re always here for you.

 

Printable Version
winter bird

Beat the Cycle of Dry and Itchy Skin This Winter

winter bird
 

AGING WELL – WINTER 2017

Dry skin and itchy skin are known to be two of the most common age-related skin problems. In fact they often go hand in glove but not in a “comfortable” way. Dry skin – often on the lower legs – can become itchy, scaly or cracked and can cause bleeding. And once we start scratching, further skin injury can occur, leaving us at risk for allergic reactions, as well as infection. It’s a cycle that needs to be broken, but how?
First off, it’s good to know what can contribute to dry and itchy skin, including:

  • Not getting enough food sources of Omega-3 fatty acids or enough zinc
  • Insufficient use of moisturizers
  • Certain Medical conditions (such diabetes or thyroid disease)
  • Some medications (such as diuretics, often called water pills)

 

Printable Version
sandy beach

Overseas Travel – Winter’s coming & Canadians will be on the move

sandy beach

AGING WELL – FALL 2017

— The latest data from Stats Canada reveal that overseas travel by Canadians has risen steadily over the past 20 years, and probably safe to say most people are pretty well informed about the “basics” for preventing health problems while vacationing. For instance, whether a travel destination is as near as Mexico or Costa Rica or as far away as Thailand or China, most people know to…

■ Wash their hands regularly and/or use hand sanitizer;
■ Drink bottled water rather than tap, even for brushing one’s teeth;
■ Avoid “raw foods” and food sold by street vendors;
■ Use sunblock to avoid sunburn; and
■ Apply insect repellent to help protect from diseases spread by mosquitos.

But Medical Arts also recommends consulting the pharmacist about:

■ When to order medication needed for a vacation period;
■ Carrying an up-to-date list of medications;
■ The safest way(s) to pack and store essential medications;
■ Over-the-counter medications that could come in handy while travelling;
■ Ensuring protection with the annual flu shot, as well as “other” vaccines including those specifically recommended when travelling to certain countries;
■ How many weeks “before travelling” vaccines should be given.

 

REMEMBER: Our team is always here to help!

 

Printable Version