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Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy - Not just for SCUBA divers!You may be wondering why a wound specialist in Wisconsin cares about hyperbaric medicine?  After all, we aren’t near any oceans to treat divers who get “the bends” and carbon monoxide poisoning isn’t all that common – thankfully!  But the truth is, wound care and hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) are nearly inseparable.

If you have a wound that is considered “chronic” and can’t be healed through conventional means, you may be a candidate for HBOT.  Treatment is delivered in a special chamber in which the internal pressure reaches a level about two-and-one-half times greater than normal atmospheric pressure, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.  This pressure change does NOT cause pain (maybe some ear popping as the pressure is slowly increased,)  but it does put more oxygen in to your blood which accelerates healing.  Once you are comfortably positioned in the chamber and the pressure reaches the desired level, all you need to do is lay back and relax.  Many patients sleep, watch a movie or just enjoy the quiet time for the 90 or so minutes the treatment takes. Treatments are repeated 4- 5 days per week for a series of 6-8 weeks.

During each treatment you will breathe 100% pure oxygen, quickly increasing the concentration of oxygen in your blood, where it is delivered  to the wound site for faster healing.  Essentially, HBOT therapy helps heal the wound from the inside out. HBOT can help reduce swelling, fight infection, and build new blood vessels, ultimately producing
healthy tissue.

At the Johnson Creek Wound & Edema Center, HBOT is used in the treatment of:

  • Diabetic foot ulcers
  • Bone infections, such as Osteomyelitis
  • Negative effects of radiation from cancer treatment
  • Compromised skin grafts and flaps
  • Brown recluse spider bites

Medicare and most healthcare plans reimburse for hyperbaric oxygen therapy for ‘currently accepted indications.’ Our staff will assist you with personal insurance issues.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is not offered in many hospital systems because it is such a specialized treatment option. A referral is not required,  but is suggested. We will keep your physician up-to-speed on your progress all along the way.

Learn more at FortHealthCare.com/Wound.

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As Wisconsinites, we know how important it is to take full advantage of gorgeous summer weather. This is a great time to get outside and enjoy lots of physical activity, and here in the Jefferson County area, we are fortunate to have an abundance of ways to get your exercise. Every day I see people out running, swimming, playing tennis, cycling or walking.

exercising in the heatHere’s what you should know about summer exercise: When we work out in the heat, we put extra stress on our bodies. If our cooling systems cannot keep up, we can become very ill, very quickly. So be on the lookout for signs of heat-related illness, which include muscle cramps, nausea or vomiting, weakness, headache, dizziness and confusion. If you experience any of these, get to a cool place and drink plenty of fluids.

Of course, it’s best to prevent problems in the first place. Here are a few tips for keeping cool as you enjoy your exercise:

  • On days that are particularly hot and humid, try to avoid exercising in the heat of the day (unless you’re swimming). Aim to work out either before 10 a.m. or after 3 p.m.
  • If you are walking, running or cycling, try to stick to shaded trails.
  • Always wear a waterproof, high-SPF sunscreen.
  • Drink water before you work out, and bring a water bottle along to help ensure you don’t get dehydrated. If you’re running, take along some cash and run past convenience stores where you can get a cold beverage, if needed.
  • Consider working out where there are other people around, in case an emergency does strike.
  • Wear the lightest, loosest clothing you can find. It might be worth investing in some of the newer workout wear made of high-tech materials designed to keep you cool.
  • Finally, on days that are just too hot and humid, work out indoors. Fort HealthCare offers some great fitness classes for people at all levels. Things like kickboxing, boot camp, Zumba, yoga and low impact aerobics classes are the perfect way to get fit out of the heat.

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allergyAn ear, nose, and throat specialist (ENT) is a physician trained in the medical and surgical treatment of the ears, nose, throat and related structures of the head and neck. ENTs have special expertise in managing diseases, conditions, disorders and infections of the ears, nose and nasal passage, sinuses, voice box, mouth and throat, as well as structures of the neck and face.

ENTs can also provide diagnosis and treatment for respiratory allergies, including grasses, trees, weeds, molds, cats and dogs. Allergies are among the most common health problems, with more than 50 million people afflicted by allergy-related conditions each year. ENTs also provide immunotherapy for allergies.

What is immunotherapy?
Immunotherapy is the only specific treatment for allergy; all other treatments are directed at relieving allergy symptoms rather than working on a more permanent solution as immunotherapy does. There is no true “cure” for allergies, but immunotherapy can have a very beneficial effect on the health of an allergic person.

Immunotherapy is often used in addition to environmental controls and allergy medications to eliminate or reduce symptoms. It is most effective for those allergies caused by substances that are inhaled, such as pollens, mold spores, house dust, and animal dander.

Immunotherapy is an individually-tailored program designed to combat specific allergies. It involves gradually giving increased doses of the allergen (substance you are allergic to). As a result, the immune system is stimulated to react to the allergen, and over time, you become less sensitive to it. This treatment reduces the symptoms experienced when coming into contact with the allergen in the future. This kind of therapy needs to be monitored and performed by physicians specially-trained in allergy treatment.

When to see an ENT allergy specialist
An otolaryngologist (ENT) who specializes in allergy has special training to identify allergy triggers, and help people treat or prevent their problems. Allergy sufferers may become used to frequent symptoms such as sneezing, nasal congestion, headaches or wheezing. Often, allergy symptoms can also make asthma worse.

Allergies can develop at any age, or recur after many years of remission. It is not uncommon for allergies to gradually develop over time. With the help of an ENT, allergy symptoms can usually be prevented or controlled, resulting in a major improvement in quality of life.

A family doctor can recommend the best course of treatment for many allergic conditions or may refer you to see an ENT specialist. If you experience hay fever or other allergy symptoms for several months out of the year, and antihistamines and over-the-counter medications don’t control your allergy symptoms or create unacceptable side effects, then it may be time to visit a Fort HealthCare Ear, Nose & Throat specialist near you. Visit FortHealthCare.com/ENT for more information.

Drs. David Rowe, Michael Anderson and William Hofmann are otolaryngologists (ENTs) with Fort HealthCare Ear, Nose & Throat Specialists. In addition to allergy treatment, they also provide care for:

  • Snoring
  • Lumps in the throat
  • State-of-the-art sinus surgery
  • Balloon sinuplasty surgery
  • Surgical hearing evaluations
  • Conductive hearing loss
  • Ear drum perforation treatments
  • Hearing Loss
  • Techniques for decreased pain post tonsillectomy

Visit FortHealthCare.com/ENT to learn more about our providers and services.

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Fort HealthCare Urology Associates - FREE Prostate ScreeningProstate cancer. Besides skin cancer, it is the top cancer diagnosis for men. While it can be a very aggressive type of cancer, it often doesn’t appear in men they’ve reached at least 50 years of age. It is important that men start receiving regular screenings at age 40 to prevent or stop the progression of prostate cancer later in life.

A Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) is one of the tests that can be performed by a family physician or urologist to help detect any benign or cancerous conditions.

What is PSA testing?

  • PSA is a protein that is made in the cells of the prostate gland that can help detect a disease.
  • The simple test specifically measures the amount of PSA in the blood.
  • A doctor takes a sample of the blood and it is then measured in the lab. (It is normal for men to have a low level of PSA in their blood. Once the level increases, it could be a sign of prostate cancer or other benign conditions, meaning it will not destroy or invade any cells or tissues.)

Recently, there has been a lot of attention regarding PSA testing and whether or not it is an accurate way to detect prostate cancer.  For instance, the PSA test can tell a doctor whether a patient’s PSA level is normal or too high, but it cannot tell if someone has cancer or if their condition is benign. Some people believe that this can cause high levels of anxiety for people diagnosed with higher levels of PSA.  Also, results may be misleading; a person may show a normal level of PSA in the blood when prostate cancer is actually present. Since prostate cancer is a slow growing cancer, it is possible for false-negatives to occur.

Because of all of the factors involved in testing for prostate cancer, it is still important to continue regular prostate screenings, including PSA testing for men over the age of 40. If you are age 40 or older, it is important to talk to your doctor or a urologist about screening.

FREE Prostate Cancer Screening

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month and we are offering FREE prostate cancer screenings on Saturday, September 22. Appointments are available between 7:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. at Fort HealthCare Urology Associates, 520 Handeyside Lane, Suite 2, Fort Atkinson. Free screening includes a PSA test, a digital rectal exam and written information about prostate cancer, valued at $140. Appointments are REQUIRED and can be made by calling Fort HealthCare’s Community Health & Wellness department at (920) 568-5244.

Fort HealthCare Urology Associates offer diagnosis and treatment for men and women with conditions involving the bladder and kidneys, and provides the best possible outcomes for men with prostate or genital issues. Fort HealthCare Urology Associates has offices in Fort Atkinson and Whitewater, and in Johnson Creek as of October 1. Visit FortHealthCare.com/Urology to learn more, or call (920) 563-7744 to make an appointment.

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