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As the season begins to change, being and staying well is still at the top of locals' minds here in Chattanooga. And whether you need some extra help at home or have a chronic health issue, there's a team of professionals at the ready to help you stay at your best.

"A person's sense of hearing connects them to the world around them and helps them stay engaged with the people, places and events in their lives," said Dr. Megan Johnson, audiologist and owner of Johnson Audiology. "Yet many people discount their hearing, ignoring the signs that something is amiss with their inner ear and waiting years to address it. I see it every day in my practice; people who tell me they have been struggling in different listening environments for 10 years or more. It disturbs me that people put off seeking helping because of embarrassment, or fear or misunderstanding, especially now in an era when help for hearing issues is so advanced and accessible."

The frustration a person feels when dealing with hidden hearing loss and tinnitus can lead to social isolation and a decrease in social interactions. Also, because hidden hearing loss is more difficult to diagnose, it may be overlooked, a person's complaints and struggles minimized, and their frustration grows. A university-trained audiologist is the professional most equipped and skilled to recognize when a person might be struggling with hidden hearing loss and to initiate the expanded testing that is necessary for diagnosis.

For more information, contact the team at Johnson Audiology to schedule a consultation or appointment at 423-710-1432 or visit johnsonaudiology.com.

And if you have a loved one that  needs help at home, you might be thinking about hiring a caregiver. What is a caregiver and what are the benefits of having one?  Caregivers are professionals who assist seniors in their everyday lives. Any senior who feels that they're falling behind in their daily tasks or simply want to reduce the number of responsibilities on their to-do list may benefit from a caregiver. If you've never considered hiring one to help you or a loved one, the list of benefits may just change your mind. Explore the ways a caregiver can improve your life or the life of someone you love.

Working with a caregiver adds another dimension to a senior's life. Seniors can often feel that their lives have been reduced to a series of medical appointments. Medical issues are important, but a singular focus on problems associated with the body can make life feel impersonal and limited. A caregiver looks at the fine details of the whole person rather than the big-picture issues of the body. For many seniors, this kind of personal long-term care and attention paid to comfort and happiness provides welcome relief. 

For more information or to set up a one on one consultation, call 5 Star in Chattanooga at 423-893-8181.  For middle Tennessee, call 931-474-7823 or visit www.5starHomeCare.com 

If you're facing kidney disease of any kind, especially during this pandemic, it can be difficult knowing where to turn and what to expect, but Chattanooga Kidney Centers offers a variety of services and strives to help ease patients' minds and meet their needs.

"We are committed to providing excellent care and support to all our patients through the latest patient care technology and continuous quality improvement with a focus on superior customer service in a safe, affirming environment," reads the company's mission statement on their website, and once you step inside of their six locations you can see it's true.

Services provided by all of the Chattanooga Kidney Centers located in Chattanooga, Cleveland, and North Georgia include:

         Staff assisted in center hemodialysis.

         Transient dialysis services.

         Evaluation, teaching, and support for home peritoneal dialysis (KCMR and KCC facilities only).

         Back-Up dialysis for home dialysis patients.

         Ongoing patient education in all aspects of ESRD therapy and treatment options.

To learn more, visit ckcdialysis.com to read on or set up a consultation.

On a rare sunny winter day, you decide to get outside for a neighborhood stroll. Your left shoe is a bit loose and after a while you feel pain on your heel. After your walk, you notice a small blister on your foot. For many people, this would simply be a minor annoyance. But if you have diabetes, and you've lost feeling in your feet, you may not even know a sore is there.  That small blister can quickly turn into a disastrous wound infection or eventually lead to amputation.

"Diabetic foot ulcers are a critical event in a diabetic patient's life since only 60 percent of these patients will survive 5 years. The 5-year survival rate of a diabetic foot ulcer is worse than breast or prostate cancer – but this can be improved with appropriate medical care," says Dr. Charles Joels, vascular surgeon with University Surgical Associates (USA).

Diabetic ulcers are open sores on the foot – usually circular in nature – and occur commonly on the toes or heels although they can be present anywhere on the foot. They can develop because of cuts, blisters and sometimes callus formations that turn into ulcers. According to USA vascular surgeon Dr. Michael Greer, many people don't realize how serious even a small injury to the foot can be for a person with diabetes.

To learn more, visit universitysurgical.com or call 423-267-0466 to schedule a consultation.

When it comes to getting a crown, some patients are understandably hesitant either due to time and recovery or the general procedure itself. However, at Soddy Daisy Smiles, there's an alternative that might just put your mind at ease.

"Crowns are necessary when a tooth is generally broken down and fillings won't solve the problem," Dr. Robert Shearer said. "If a tooth is cracked, a crown holds the tooth together to seal the cracks so the damage doesn't get worse."

Crown fabrication traditionally takes place in a dental laboratory, but with a new machine purchased by Soddy Daisy Smiles, there's now a much more convenient alternative: same-day crowns made in the dental office.

When a tooth has a cavity, crack or fracture that involves half the width of the tooth or more, it needs to be covered with a crown. This is because the remaining tooth around the large filling is so weak that it is prone to fracture.

"A crown can sometimes take two or three appointments, but at our office, we can make most crowns same day, which is easier and more convenient for our patients," Dr. Robert added. "Our office has an in-office machine called Cerec, which allows us to create natural-looking ceramic crowns, often in a single visit. We use a digital camera to take an optical impression of the damaged tooth, design the appropriate restoration using CAD software and mill tooth-colored restorations, which can eliminate the need for a temporary and return visit."

To learn more about Soddy Daisy Smiles Cerec technology, or to schedule a consultation about getting a same-day crown, call the team at 423-332-5275.

Total knee replacement is a big, brutal operation with a long recovery. It is usually effective at eliminating debilitating knee pain from end stage arthritis, but it comes with some risks and a long arduous rehabilitation. Some studies have shown up to a 20 % rate of dissatisfaction after surgery. In one local orthopedic surgeon's opinion, at least half of these surgeries are not needed, instead a much safer technique that spares muscle and ligaments and utilizes a short incision and a small fraction of the amount of metal and plastic. This procedure, minimally invasive partial knee resurfacing using the Repicci technique, has been a special interest of Dr. Marty Redish for nearly 20 years.

"At least half of the patients who undergo total knee replacement today do not need the surgery in my opinion," explained Dr. Martin Redish, local surgeon who is both practicing and advocating for a new, less invasive option. "This is because they have unicompartmental arthritis and could instead get a better result with less risk and recovery with minimally invasive partial knee resurfacing (MIPKR). Roughly 60-70 percent of the knee replacements I do are partial knees; the rest I do total knee replacements."

The procedure itself consists of an outpatient surgery that utilizes a small high speed burr that requires the surgeon to freehand sculpt only the diseased portion of the knee so that small metal and plastic implants, the same material as used in total knee replacement, are implanted to patch the worn surfaces.

To learn more about MIPKR, its benefits, and whether the procedure is right for you, contact Dr. Redish's office at 423-493-5220 or visit his website at partialkneedoc.com.

 

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