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Amelia Islander

Health & Wellness Special Issue

Oct 02, 2019 01:27PM

Is it time for your annual mammogram?

By Tiffani Perez and Laura Brown
If you’re getting ready for your annual mammogram, you may have heard the term “3D mammogram,” which is different from a traditional 2D mammogram. But what sets them apart?

“3D mammography is quickly becoming the standard of care for breast cancer screening,” says Jenny Kingery, Associate Director of Imaging at Baptist Nassau, which began offering 3D mammography last summer. “This type of imaging makes it easier to see the layers of breast tissue, allowing for better cancer detection.”
Traditional 2D mammograms take one picture across the entire breast, in two directions: top to bottom and side to side. Unclear or suspicious findings from 2D views can increase the need for additional imaging and also lead to more false-positives.

3D mammography is designed to overcome these limitations. 3D imaging technology moves in an arc around the breast to take X-ray pictures from many angles in seconds. A computer quickly assembles the pictures to produce clear, highly focused 3D images. This allows the radiologist to view the entire breast, layer by layer, for a more accurate screening.

To better understand how it works, picture a layer cake. If you look at the top of the unsliced cake, it’s a fairly flat, two-dimensional circle. That’s a 2D mammogram—you can see the cake and the frosting, but fine details, like the flecks of chocolate and sprinkles inside the cake, are hidden from view.

If you slice the cake and look inside, you can see the layers of icing and the mix of flavors. And if you grab another slice, you’ll see additional details. No two slices are quite the same. 3D mammograms take this approach, presenting different views of the breast in each layer.

“The process is basically the same as what you experience with a traditional 2D mammogram, but the results are more accurate,” says Kingery.

Tiffani Perez is Imaging Manager at the Hill Breast Center and Laura Brown is Clinical Programs Manager Women’s Services at Baptist MD Anderson Cancer Center. To make an appointment for a 3D mammogram at Baptist Nassau, call (904) 202-2222. Same-day or next-day appointments are available.

Laser Therapy in Dentistry

By Laurie A. Kitson, DMD
You may start to hear more about the use of lasers in dentistry at your next dental check-up. Lasers have been used in medicine for years by medical specialists like the Ophthalmologist, Dermatologist, and Plastic Surgeon. Lasers are now being used in dentistry to diagnose tooth decay, cure tooth-colored fillings, remove tissue lesions, remove early tooth decay, and initiate healing of bacterial or viral infections.

Although various dental lasers have been used and around for years, a procedure called LANAP, or Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure, is becoming more accepted by both the dental profession and the general public. LANAP is a patented periodontal treatment, cleared by the FDA in 2004. In 2016, the FDA granted this procedure a “true tissue and bone regeneration” procedure.

The procedure is done with a special instrument called the PerioLase MVP laser. This laser operates at a specific wavelength that attacks the bacteria that contribute to gum disease while leaving healthy tissue intact. A tiny fiber about the width of three human hair is inserted between the gum tissue and teeth, where it targets and destroys bacteria deep within the tissue and pockets of the gums, without affecting healthy tissue. After the gum pockets are thoroughly clean, the body can heal the area naturally.

Gum recession and tooth sensitivity, which can be significant following traditional gum surgery, are not an issue with the LANAP procedure. Fear of gum surgery treatment is greatly reduced when patients find out no scalpel or sutures will be used. It has been termed the No Cut, No Sew, No Fear procedure to treat gum disease. Because of the gentle nature of the procedure, no narcotic medications are needed after the procedure, and patients can typically return to work the next day.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate half of the U.S. adult population, or over 60 million Americans, have gum disease. Several research studies have linked gum disease to many other health conditions like heart disease, stroke, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and pre-term birth. Due to these health risks, patients should ask their dental care provider for a gum screening at their check-up visits. For those individuals diagnosed with gum disease, dental laser therapy is now available to provide a conservative non-invasive surgical approach to treat this common chronic disease. 

Dr. Kitson is a dentist with Amelia Dental Group, located at 1947 Citrona Drive in Fernandina Beach. For more information, call (904) 261-7181 or visit

A Holistic Approach to Wellness

By Elizabeth Faile
Aholistic wellness approach is imperative to any wellness program, yet it is a missing aspect in many wellness plans. Wellness is more than working out and eating healthy. It is a progressive process that embodies the eight pillars of wellness. As seniors age, it is increasingly essential to prioritize emotional, intellectual, social, and physical health, as well as healthy nutrition habits, each of which should be a focus of your daily activities. Before starting any new program, be sure to check with your doctor to make sure it’s a balanced part of your wellness plan.

Marni Jennejahn is the Wellness Director at Osprey Village, a premier senior living community owned and operated by Senior Living Communities. She assists its residents in living longer, healthier, and happier lives. “Wellness is essential to our resident’s overall health,” says Jennejahn. “Meeting one-on-one with our residents to learn what their goals are is important when starting their wellness journey. Taking their overall health into consideration, we build a personalized plan to help them achieve their goals.”

Jennejahn recommends stationary exercise equipment, resistence training with weights, and aerobic classes. With a packed wellness calendar, Jennejahn and the Wellness Center offer residents 14 different classes to choose that are at various times to allow for flexibility.

Osprey Village has received three Argentum Best of the Best awards for their innovative wellness programming. Argentum is the leading national trade association within the senior living industry. The first award was for WAVES, an aquatic therapy program for residents who are suffering from dementia. Designed to improve strength, balance, appetite, sleep patterns, stronger bonds with caregiver, and to reduce anxiety and stress.

In 2011, the community was awarded for C.L.I.M.B, where residents work to strengthen their lower bodies and enhance their independence, mobility, and balance. Awarded in 2012, their third Best of the Best Award was for the creation of their Purposed Based Wellness program. These classes are designed with specific chronic diseases that are commonly found in the aging population in mind.
Adopting a holistic approach to wellness provides a more fulfilling sense of well-being, creating a lifestyle that focuses less on specific problem areas by connecting the mind, body, and spirit. Each pillar of wellness should be a focus during your daily activities.

Elizabeth Faile is Social Media Coordinator for Senior Living Communities, LLC. For more information, contact Osprey Village at

What’s That Ringing in My Ears?

By Alex Barnard
Are sounds bothering you that others don’t hear? You are not alone. Nearly 50 million people in the United States experience tinnitus. For many, it’s a ringing or buzzing sound, while others may hear swooshing, clicking, or pulsing. Some people experience tinnitus a few times a day, while others hear it all day long. All of us at Amelia Audiology experience tinnitus, and we have recommendations based on research and personal experiences to grant relief.
For many, tinnitus is a sign of hearing loss. As we age, we start to hear less of certain sounds, like a bird chirping, or people saying “s” or “th” sounds. While a gradual hearing loss is difficult to recognize by yourself, it’s easier to recognize the internal noise of tinnitus.
Ruling out hearing loss is an important step in treating tinnitus. For many, tinnitus becomes worse when we hear outside sounds less, either from age, noise-exposure, or “plugged-up” ears, as this makes us hear inside sounds more. Others report tinnitus after exposure to loud noises. Certain medications can also elicit tinnitus, including cancer drugs, certain antibiotics, and kidney medication. If you experience a sudden onset when taking a new medication, discuss this with your medical doctor. Some individuals are simply born with tinnitus.
Although the exact cause of tinnitus can be unknown, the management of tinnitus is similar in most cases. Many things in our diet can make tinnitus worse. While everyone’s bodies are different, research and personal experience have shown that excess caffeine, alcohol, sodium, sugar, and sugar substitutes can make tinnitus worse. Some people may be affected by a few of these, while others by none. If you notice your tinnitus becoming worse at certain times, we recommend that you make notes of things in your diet. Stress can also make tinnitus worse.

For most people, tinnitus is at its worst when they are in a quiet room or trying to concentrate. The key to managing this is to avoid silence. For some this involves using a fan, white noise machine, or playing soft music in the background. Those with tinnitus and hearing loss often see significant reductions in their tinnitus when using hearing aids. Newer research has shown that those with normal hearing and tinnitus are seeing relief by using hearing aids.

Tinnitus can be a difficult thing to manage by yourself. For more information, please call for a hearing loss/tinnitus evaluation.

Alex Barnard is an audiology doctoral student at Amelia Audiology. For more information, call Amelia Audiology at (904) 491-1515 or visit

Treating Common Vein Problems

By Dr. Gabor Kovacs
Venous disorders are a condition that damage your veins. Veins are the vessels that bring blood back to you heart after the body has used the oxygen in them. Common venous disorders include chronic venous insufficiency, deep vein thrombosis, thrombophlebitis, and varicose and spider veins.

Venous insufficiency happens when veins in the legs fail to bring blood back to your heart effectively, resulting in blood pooling in the legs. Symptoms include swelling in the legs and ankles, itchy and flaky skin, leg cramping and weakness, skin discoloration, formation of varicose veins, and achy and burning legs. Venous insufficiency can result in ulcers and wounds that are slow to heal. Diagnosis is made by physical exam and ultrasound of the legs. Treatment includes leg elevation, wearing support hose, and ablation or closure of the veins by means of a laser or radio frequency.

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) is a condition in which blood clots form in deep veins, most commonly in the legs. Symptoms usually include pain, inflammation, swelling, and pain in the back of the calf.

Phlebitis is an inflammation of the veins that can develop either in the arms or legs. Symptoms include redness, pain, and swelling along the vein. Diagnosis is made by physical exam and ultrasound. Treatment includes antibiotics and anti-inflammatories, as well as warm compress to the affected veins. Sometimes it is necessary to strip or ablate those veins.

Varicose veins are enlarged veins under the skin that develop when the walls of veins are weakened, stretched, and blood pools in the vein. Risk factors include family history of varicose veins, being overweight, pregnancy, and standing for long periods of time. Symptoms include leg pain, leg swelling, itchiness, skin discoloration, and leg wounds. Diagnosis is made by physical exam and ultrasound of the veins. Treatment consists of support hose, avoiding prolonged standing or sitting, and leg elevation. Sometimes it is necessary to do a micro-phlebectomy, which removes the veins through tiny needle sticks in the skin.

Spider veins are thin, reddish veins that usually form on the legs and sometimes on the face. These are more of a cosmetic concern than a health issue. They can be treated by sclerotherapy. Some of the real tiny red veins can be treated by a device called the Vein Gogh, which is the ohmic (electric) treatment of the tiny capillary veins.

If you have any of these venous issues, please call Vein Care Center of Amelia Island at (904) 572-3074 to schedule an appointment with Gabor Kovacs MD, FACS Board Certified General and Vascular Surgeon

Dry Eye is a Common Condition in Older Adults

By Dr. Gerald Koss
Dry eye is a condition in which a person doesn’t have enough quality tears to lubricate and nourish the eye. Tears are necessary for maintaining the health of the front surface of the eye and for providing clear vision. Dry eye is a common and often chronic problem, particularly in older adults.

With each blink of the eyelids, tears spread across the front surface of the eye, known as the cornea. Tears provide lubrication, reduce the risk of eye infection, wash away foreign matter in the eye, and keep the surface of the eyes smooth and clear. Dry eyes can occur when tear production and drainage is not in balance.
People with dry eyes either do not produce enough tears or their tears are of a poor quality: Tear production tends to diminish with age, with various medical conditions, or as a side effect of certain medicines. Environmental conditions can also decrease tear volume due to increased tear evaporation. When the normal amount of tear production decreases or tears evaporate too quickly from the eyes, symptoms of dry eye can develop.

Tears are made up of three layers: oil, water and mucus. Each component protects and nourishes the front surface of the eye. A smooth oil layer helps prevent evaporation of the water layer, while the mucin layer spreads the tears evenly over the surface of the eye. If the tears evaporate too quickly or do not spread evenly over the cornea due to deficiencies with any of the three tear layers, dry eye symptoms can develop.

The most common form of dry eyes occurs when the water layer of tears is inadequate. This condition, called keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS), is also referred to as dry eye syndrome. Some causes of dry eye disease can be genetics, various medical conditions, age, gender, medications, or environmental conditions, which may consist of a dry climate or even staring at a computer screen.

People with dry eyes may experience irritated, gritty, scratchy, or burning eyes; a feeling of something in their eyes; excess watering; and blurred vision. Advanced dry eyes may damage the front surface of the eye and impair vision.
Dry eyes can be diagnosed through a comprehensive eye examination. Treatments for dry eyes aim to restore or maintain the normal amount of tears in the eye to minimize dryness and related discomfort and to maintain eye health. Come in to Amelia Eye Associates to find out why your eyes have been bothering you.

Dr. Gerald Koss is a board certified optometrist with Amelia Eye Associates. For more information, please call Dr. Koss at (904) 321-1333 or visit

Yoga Is for Everyone

By Lisa Waas
Yoga is universal. It is for the flexible and inflexible, thin and thick, young and old, fit and injured. It has found mainstream popularity as a way to improve flexibility and reduce stress, but the practice of yoga introduces many other benefits. Regular practice can improve circulation, coordination, and endurance while toning and strengthening muscles. It also teaches students how to calm the mind and find quiet places and moments, both internally and externally. Yoga is about breaking old habits and making new ones, becoming more aware of the self and the relationships between posture, movement, and health, and between the mind and the body.

Yoga classes are a great way to meet new people and find community in a relaxed and non-judgmental space. Whether you are looking to expand your fitness regimen, heal an injury, find moments of quiet and mindfulness, or make new friends, yoga can help you achieve your goals. Practicing yoga will change the way you see yourself, others, and the world.

The practice of yoga is a form of exercise that utilizes every part of the body. Like other sports, such as running, it helps to build strength and muscle mass and to improve lung capacity. However, it has added benefits, such as improving bone density, digestion, and lymphatic health, among others. There have been multiple studies that show the health benefits of yoga. In 2017, the American College of Physicians suggested that doctors begin prescribing alternative treatments such as yoga instead of medication to manage low back pain.

There are many different styles of yoga, including Iyengar, Yin, Restorative, and Vinyasa. While all styles offer the same physical benefits, they represent differing ways of teaching and practicing. Try a yoga class at Community Yoga + Wellness, where we believe that yoga is for everybody. We focus on the physical first, emphasizing correct alignment and performing adjustments to keep students safe and bring awareness to different parts of the body. When the body is aligned, the mind can be quiet.

Yoga classes are available for everyone, whether you want to be challenged, restored, or healed. Beginners will learn in a safe, methodical, and educational environment. Intermediate students will be challenged to explore new poses and refine previous ones. Advanced students will delve into their practice and explore the most complex poses. We are a dedicated yoga school and the only studio in Nassau County to offer Iyengar classes, which focus on progression and intelligent practice. All you need for class is yourself.

Lisa Waas is the owner of Community Yoga + Wellness. She is the only certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher, and one of two certified Yoga Therapists, in Nassau County.