Blood Type – The Basics

Can you name a famous football player?

What about a Real Housewife?

Now, can you name your blood type?

If you answered “no,” you have a problem. Knowing your blood type can come in handy — to say the least — in a variety of situations.

The Benefits of Knowing Your Blood Type

  1. Emergency preparation:

Not all blood types are compatible when donating or receiving blood. And, blood type is inherited, so that’s why it’s important to determine blood types for the entire family. Knowing which family member you can give or receive blood from during an emergency could mean the difference between life and death. If any family members have a rare blood type, you might even consider banking some of your own blood for emergency situations.

Blood Types

Blood Types

  1. Susceptibility to diseases:

Some blood types are at higher risk for certain diseases. For example, people with the AB blood type have a higher risk of heart disease and people with the O blood type are more prone to retain stress hormones in their system. So knowing your blood type can be a valuable piece of data to help you assess your own risk factors.

  1. Helping others

According to the Red Cross, every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood. Two seconds! Donating blood can help save the lives of others. Hospitals are usually low on type O (the most common) as well as O- (the universal donor). If more people knew their blood type in an emergency, hospitals could make better use of their reserves without always having to resort to O- for emergency transfusions.

Compatible Blood Types

Compatible Blood Types

How to determine your blood type:

  1. Ask your doctor during your next visit:

If they don’t have this information on file already, they can order the appropriate test for you.

  1. Do it yourself:

There are numerous options to order your own blood tests online without having to go through a doctor. Here’s one example from Request a Test.

How to update your Heads Up Health profile:

Navigate to the “Profile” section and update your blood type in the top left tile.

Blood type shown in Heads Up Health profile

Blood type shown in Heads Up Health profile

Important: Be sure to also upload a copy of the report from the lab into the “File” section. In many cases, doctors will want to see the actual lab report so they can be certain about your blood type before taking any action.

Add your lab report to your Heads Up Health files

Add your lab report to your Heads Up Health files

 

Here’s a quick video tutorial that summarizes what we’ve covered here.

 

If you’re ready to add your blood type 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!

 

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!