Which Vacuum is Better for Allergies

Vacuum AllergiesIf you suffer from allergies, choosing the right vacuum for you can be a confusing endeavor. With so much advertising and claims from various manufacturers, it can be difficult to know which type of vacuum is the best choice.

Bagless versus bagged vacuums seems to be the biggest question these days, so it is important to know the pros and cons of each style. Bagless machines often make claims about being the healthy choice for allergy sufferers. Those claims are based upon laboratory testing with a new machine under ideal circumstances. Bagless vacuums rely heavily on filters and seals to maintain their claims of helping keep your air clean. Over time, dust builds up in the filters and coats the inside of the machine. In order to maintain the level of air quality, you will have to devote time to cleaning filters and the machine itself, especially the tank. Take note of the dust that collects inside and outside of the machine. If you notice a coating of dust on the outside of the machine, it is an indicator that the filters and seals are not performing at peak condition. Be sure to follow the manufacturers instructions on maintaining your machine. Often, it is best to simply replace filters even if they claim to be lifetime filters.

Bagged vacuums do not rely as much on filters and seals as their bagless counterparts. Dust collects in a bag which you will have to change. How often you change the bag depends upon how much you vacuum and how much dust collects in your house. Having to buy bags is often seen as a drawback. However bags are not necessarily all that expensive, especially when compared to the cost of filters but remembering to have replacement bags on hand is more often the issue. One definite benefit to having bags is that you will avoid a dust cloud when emptying the machine. Bagless tanks often spread dust into the air when emptied. Additionally, bags come in HEPA filter styles that will definitely improve the quality of air by filtering out small particles. If you suffer from allergies, you will probably notice a difference between paper and HEPA bags.

Bagless and bagged vacuums are not the only type of vacuum on the market. There is a type of vacuum that uses a water tank system as well. These were among the first styles of vacuums to be marketed specifically to allergy sufferers. They use a tank of water to trap dust from vacuuming. This is a very effective way of trapping irritating dust and also avoids the problems of having bags on hand as well as the dust cloud from emptying a bagless tank. The drawback is that you will have to empty the water tank after every use, which can become “muddy” from the mix of dirt and water.

If you have difficulty choosing, find a shop that specializes in vacuum repair and sales.

How to Eat Sustainable Food

Sustainable Food

When you think of living green you get an image of an electric car, solar panels, non-toxic products, etc. But rarely do people think that what’s on their dinner plate can also be sustainable. People are starting to realize that their food can be environmentally sustainable and natural. They are doing this by growing their own food in their gardens and composting their waste to minimize their impact on the environment. There are a number of strategies that can be employed to live greener – especially when it comes to environmental food waste. Here are our tips:

Reusable Bags at the Grocery Store

One of the easiest things you can do today is to stop using disposable plastic bags at the grocery store. Plastic waste is a huge issue as it takes at least 450 years for it to decompose, but could take up to 1000 years! Simply take reusable tote bags to the grocery store and use those instead.

Eat Local, Fresh Produce

Buying fruits and vegetables from the grocery store means that the food has probably traveled thousands of miles to get to you. Transporting all this food places a big carbon load on the environment and can be easily replaced by visiting a local farmers market. By doing this you’re supporting local farmers, minimizing your carbon footprint, and all the while getting fresher, organic produce that is free of harmful cancer causing chemicals.

Reduce Food Waste Now

The amount of food waste that is generated in the United States and around the world is staggering. How much food waste you ask? A whopping 70 billion pounds worth – every year! Reducing food waste should be everyone’s priority as it can save you money, reduce the environmental impact, and can reduce the load on landfills not designed to handle food waste. Reducing food waste should be relatively easy, but does require a little planning ahead and routinely organizing your fridge. Make sure the oldest food is rotated out to the front and make reminders for yourself that you have leftovers that can be eaten the next day. If this is not an option than freezing leftovers is certainly a viable option. Oftentimes we see that food goes bad prematurely due to an improper temperature settings in the fridge. Make sure you follow the correct temperature guidelines to ensure that your food doesn’t go bad too quickly.

Grow Your Own Fruits and Vegetables

Growing your own food seems like an enormous task, but is easily manageable and immensely rewarding to see the fruits of your labor (literally). There really is no down to growing your own fruits and vegetables – you save money, get to eat organic, and don’t contribute to polluting the environment as the food didn’t have to be shipped to you from a farm thousands of miles away. If you’re really feeling ambitious, compost the waste and turn it back into the soil.

Buying Organic Food

Organic foods are becoming more and more popular as the use of pesticides in traditional farming is showing its harmful effects by way of diseases and cancers. Organic farming practices don’t utilize pesticides or synthetic fertilizers ensuring that the food you eat will not harm you. Organic food is undoubtedly the only food you should eat but the issue for many is the cost as it tends to be much more expensive. But can you really put a price on your health? If you can’t afford organic foods then growing your own is the next best thing!

The bottom line is that how how “green” you want to live is totally up to you, but the most important thing is to take that first step – even if it’s as simple as using reusable bags at the grocery store.

How To Get More Patients By Improving Your Practice

Get Dental PatientsThe one area most dental practice marketers leave out — which is extremely vital — is strategy. This is arguably as important, if not more, than understanding all the latest and greatest marketing tactics. If you don’t understand the psychology — meaning the emotional wants and desires — of your patients… how can you ever hope to truly give them a great experience? In other words, you need to understand what your patient’s really want, before you can give that to them.

But does it apply to your practice?

Now, most of you reading this article are probably thinking: “My patients want healthy teeth, or a good-looking smile, etc…” But that’s unfortunately missing the point. You need to look an entire level deeper into the marketing equation. For example, while you recognize that some of your patients want a beautiful smile, do you realize the implications that has? Or the underlying emotional desires that have led them to this desire?

In this case, the underlying emotional need might be respect, or admiration, or beauty. The top-level item is the “healthy smile” but the real desire is to be respected, admired, or thought of as beautiful. Now, the reason this is important for your marketing, is because this same mindset shift applies to your customer service, and the entire way you run the practice.

Optimizing For Patient Happiness

While your competitors are able to learn (nearly) all of the same modern online marketing tactics that you have access to… they can’t compete with a practice that has happy patients. You can write a better headline, and a more compelling advertisement, but you can’t mimic or steal a better company culture… or a more welcoming front-desk, or having a truly-caring doctor as your preferred dentist.

If you’re thinking this doesn’t apply to your practice, or your city, or your specific situation… think again. These ideas have real-world implications, you just can’t measure, test, see, or articulate them on a spreadsheet. When the rest of your competition is thinking about optimizing their practice for return on investment, the best counter-move you can make is optimizing for patient happiness. It doesn’t have instantly visible implications for your bottom-line, but that doesn’t mean it has no effect. In fact, I would argue it has one of the largest effects on the growth of your practice… you just don’t realize it.

Unfortunately, for the same reason that you cannot track these changes, there are no practical or directly actionable strategies that I can give you to accomplish this task. It all starts with being invested in the happiness of your patients, taking the time to really decipher what they desire (more than what they think or say they want) and giving exactly that. So the next time you are looking to improve your practice, and bring in more patients… ask yourself: “What can I do to improve the experience for each and every single one of my patients?”

Is Vaping Healthier than Smoking

Vaping with electronic cigarettes has become increasingly popular as a way to use nicotine. Many claims that vaping is healthier than smoking have been made, but how accurate are the claims? There are several factors to consider when weighing these claims.

Cigarettes are proven to be unhealthy in a variety of ways. Heart disease, cancer and respiratory issues are common among long term tobacco smokers. Cigarettes are known to contain toxic chemicals that increase the risk of developing serious health conditions.

Unfortunately, the research surrounding vaping is limited and often inconclusive. Health care professionals do say that solutions used in vaping do seem to contain fewer toxic chemicals than traditional cigarettes. In this regard, there is perhaps less risk in terms of the sheer amount of toxicity a vaper is exposed to as compared to a cigarette smoker.

Perhaps more encouraging is the notion that a cigarette smoker is inhaling acrid smoke, while a vaper is inhaling vaporized liquid. In this regard, the vaper is avoiding the effects of a burning solid mass. That said, there really is no data about how the chemicals from vapor may or may not build up in the lungs. Additionally, vaping avoids the build up of solid ash particles in the user’s environment, which is something that can aggravate allergy and respiratory health.

As far as a way to reduce nicotine dependence or quit smoking altogether, suggestions are mixed. Many people claim that switching to vaping has helped them eventually quit using nicotine altogether. Despite this, most healthcare professionals do not suggest vaping as a way to quit. Doctors still seem to prefer other methods, including some prescription medications as a safer and more effective way to quit for good.

Another consideration is the vaping device itself. The devices are not regulated and are potentially of questionable quality. Many instances of burns or injury from a malfunctioning vaping device have been reported. If you are considering switching to vaping, take some time to do some research about the devices you are looking at purchasing. Reviews of the device may give you some information as to the physical quality and reliability of the device.

The unfortunate truth is that vaping is too new to know the true extent of the risks involved. We probably will not know the full extent of the risks for many years to come. At best, we can only say that vaping exposes the user to fewer toxic chemicals than traditional cigarettes. That alone may be enough to help the consumer make a choice, but the actual relative safety is still a mystery. The healthiest thing to do is simply quit.

Five Ways to Improve your Heart Health Today

Improve Heart HealthHeart disease is a major problem facing millions of people each day. No matter what condition you are in, there are ways in which you can improve your heart health right now. Educating yourself and taking steps to improve the condition of your heart will greatly improve your chances of mitigating your risk factors.

Know your Family History

If your family has a history of heart disease, it is important to recognize this as soon as possible. Knowing the types and severity of heart disease present in your family members can help you determine your risks early on. Discuss your family history with your doctor and be aware of these risk factors. Some risk factors could be genetic, while others are related to behavior. Try to determine what type of risk factors are present in your relatives. Your doctor can help assess these risks and take measures to help prevent future heart disease and the associated conditions.

Begin an Exercise Program

No matter what type of exercise you choose, regular physical activity will strengthen your heart. Additionally, exercise will improve your overall circulatory and respiratory function. The more you adhere to a regular exercise program the easier it will become. It may be difficult to start, but your body will respond over time. Be sure to check with your doctor about the appropriate level and types of exercise for you. If you experience difficulty exercising, check in with your doctor right away.

Reduce your Stress

Taking steps to reduce your daily stress and anxiety levels will help ensure that your heart is working normally and keep your blood pressure at healthy levels. Appropriate blood pressure eases the burden on your heart and keeps it functioning in the healthiest way. Take time away from your busy schedule to relax. Find hobbies to divert your attention from sources of worry or anxiety. If your anxiety level is consistently high, consider talking to your doctor about medical solutions.

Quit or Reduce Smoking

If you are a smoker, your risk of heart disease is greatly increased. Smoking increases blood pressure, constricts the blood vessels and contributes to build up in your arteries. Quitting smoking now will reduce your blood pressure fairly quickly. Avoiding smoking and exposure to second hand smoke will improve your general health right away and will continue to give you improvement over time.

Know the Signs of Heart Disease

Chest pain is the most commonly reported and perhaps the most dramatic symptom. Other symptoms could involve dizziness, shortness of breath, pain in the left arm and shoulder and a feeling of heavy heart beats in the chest. If you have difficulty with physical activity or constantly feel tired or experience any of the listed symptoms, you should consult with your doctor immediately. Waiting could be a costly mistake.

Men’s Health Issues: Beard Care is a Real Thing

It may sound odd, but health care applies to beards. As beards become an ever more popular aesthetic choice for men, it is important to know the factors that affect your health from beard growth.

The first thing to consider is whether or not you can grow a beard that is worth the effort. Beard growth is determined by a number of genetic factors. Not everyone can grow facial hair in a way that makes it practical or worthwhile. Also beard growth rates vary greatly among individuals. Just because your beard grows slowly, does not mean you won’t be able to eventually grow a full beard. Facial hair density is another factor that plays an important role in your ability to grow a beard. If the individual hairs are spaced too far apart, it may never add up to a good beard no matter how long or fast the hairs grow. These are all determined by an individual’s genetics and there really are not any products that are proven to improve growth rates or density. Only time will tell in this regard. It is suggested that you allow your beard to grow for one and a half to three months to be able to fully assess the results of your  facial hair growth. After that period you should be able to recognize whether or not growing a beard is worth the effort.

As your beard grows in to the fullness you want to achieve, trimming will become an issue. Avoid trimming your beard too early in the stages of growth. You may have to go through a period where your beard looks shaggy or unkempt. Just stick with it and let it go until you achieve the length and density you are looking for. After that point is reached you can then use a trimmer to shape up your beard and give it the look you desire. There are many trimmers available on the market today, so choose one that fits your budget and has good reviews among other beard growers.

Beards greatly benefit from grooming. Simply using a comb several times a day will keep your beard looking its best and also help brush out any crumbs that may be hiding in there from your last meal. Keeping your beard free from bits of food will also help prevent the growth and spread of bacteria that could lead to further issues that affect your skin. Additionally, your beard will appreciate the use of conditioners. There are many specialty stores that provide a variety of conditioners that will aid you in caring for your beard.

Skin care goes hand in hand with beard health. The skin underneath your beard may be more prone to pimples and infection. Keeping your beard and skin clean with regular washing is a good way to prevent painful pimples. Ask your doctor for advice if you find this is a regular issue for you.