5 Things to Know About Glaucoma

by MikeMeehan 1/11/2018 10:20 AM

Glaucoma is an eye disease that can lead to permanent vision loss. According to the American Optometric Association (AOA), it’s one of the leading causes of blindness in the United States. And according to the Glaucoma Research Foundation, of the 60 million people in the world that have glaucoma, an estimated half of those people don’t know they have it. With January as Glaucoma Awareness Month, here are five things to learn about the disease. Use this information as a way to start your research and develop knowledge on how this disease can affect you and your family.  Glaucoma usually has no symptoms The symptoms of glaucoma can vary. What’s frightening is that you could have glaucoma without knowing; it can develop slowly and without pain. There could be no warning signs until you start to notice a loss in your vision. But as much as 40% of your vision can be lost without you noticing. With some forms of the disease, the condition could happen quickly, and there could be symptoms like blurred vision and halos around lights. Glaucoma can be detected with a comprehensive eye exam While it’s scary to think that glaucoma can develop without you realizing, remember this disease can be detected with a comprehensive eye exam from your eye doctor. With early detection, there is treatment available that can control the disease and reduce the risk of vision loss. Regular eye exams are so important for detection of this disease because any vision loss from glaucoma is irreversible. People over the age of 60 are at high risk If you’re over the age of 60, you have a higher risk of developing glaucoma. Other factors can increase your risk, so talk with your eye doctor and discuss these variables. The most common forms of glaucoma affect older people, but the disease can still affect all age groups. If you have a high risk of glaucoma, it’s extremely important to get a comprehensive eye exam with your eye doctor every one to two years. Family history increases your risk According to the AOA, the exact cause of glaucoma is not known. We do know that the condition is “usually associated with an increase in the fluid pressure inside the eye.” We also know that it’s hereditary in some families. Read more about this and other risk factors. There are different types of glaucoma While we often might just use the general term glaucoma when referring to it, there are different forms of the disease. Primary open-angle glaucoma is the most common. You can learn more about the different types of glaucoma and how they’re different on the Glaucoma Research Foundation website. Now, with these five things to know about glaucoma, consider your vision health, talk to your family, and make an eye doctor appointment. 

Start the Year With This Plan for Your Dental Health

by MikeMeehan 1/4/2018 3:21 PM

For the beginning of the year, we thought we’d start with an outlook for your dental health. You can use this plan for the year ahead to keep your smile, and your family’s smiles, healthy. It’s often the custom on January 1 to start a new perspective or set new goals. Consider making your dental health a part of that. Review your benefit plan (or get a plan) A good place to start is reviewing your benefit plan. Familiarize yourself with coverage, limitations and maximums. Notice the services listed under preventive, basic and major. There are many different designs of dental insurance plans, with many different variations, so it’s best to study your plan and call customer service with any questions, or discuss treatment plans with your dentist. If you don’t have dental insurance yet, you can search for plans and pricing on Delta Dental’s Individual and Family Plans website. Find a dentist Maybe you already have a dentist, but maybe you’d like to look for one closer to home, or maybe you need to find an in-network dentist. Whatever the reason, if you need to find a dentist, try our provider search tool. You can find a dentist through our website or you can use our mobile app. You will get the most out of your benefits with an in-network dentist. Delta Dental network dentists agree to accept predetermined fees, which are usually discounted from typical charges. They also agree to no balance billing, which means Delta Dental network dentists agree not to bill patients for the difference between the contracted fees and their typical charges. Make an appointment If you set the time and date, you’ll be more likely to go, right? Now that you have your 2018 calendar in front of you, plan accordingly, and pick days and times that won’t be at risk of a cancellation or postponement. Commit to twice a day for two minutes You’ve reviewed your insurance plan and you’ve got your dentist appointments set, now for the homework. Commit to brushing your teeth twice a day, every day, and for at least two minutes. Brushing for two to three minutes allows enough time for the fluoride in your toothpaste to do its job. Also, two to three minutes is approximately how long it takes to brush every tooth. Take care of any issues, before they get worse If you’ve been delaying a dentist visit, or if you have some concerns or discomfort but have been pushing them aside, you can make this one of your resolutions – go to the dentist. Don’t wait anymore, it could make any issues worse and more costly. Regular dental visits mean your dentist can address concerns early and treat them before they become serious. That’s why most plans cover 100 percent of the cost of preventive services like exams and cleanings. According to a new poll, 20 percent of Americans plan to make improving their oral health a resolution and 15 percent will make going to the dentist one. We hope you’re part of that percentage, or we hope you will add to that number by following this dental health plan for 2018. 

’Tis the Season for Dental and Vision Health Traditions

by MikeMeehan 12/20/2017 10:32 AM

At Delta Dental, we always have your dental and vision health in mind. And that doesn’t stop during the holidays. So we’ve come up with fun and unique ways to incorporate the goal to improve your dental and vision health with new holiday traditions and gift-giving ideas.  Elf on the Shelf can teach good health habits This popular elf can promote good dental health habits with your kids. He or she can encourage healthy snacking by sitting next to the fruit bowl. Or how about if the elf was wrapped up in dental floss and left a note about flossing daily? The elf can even bring gifts of new toothbrushes and toothpaste. Sunglasses and other vision wear make great gifts Sunglasses make a great holiday gift. They should be used in the winter, and it’s a nice reminder of the summer though it may be months away. Other vision wear like swim goggles and computer glasses or blue light blocking eyewear are useful gifts for the kids and entire family. Eyeglass holders come in all sorts of varieties for all personalities, and they’re also a useful gift for your friends. Bring along a pomegranate When you go to your holiday parties or family gatherings, instead of arriving with the usual candy and cookies, start a new tradition of arriving with festive fruit. The pomegranate is a symbol for the season and could be a unique surprise. Contributing healthy choices to the array of holiday foods is a good way to keep your overall health, and your dental and vision health, in mind during a season when those priorities might be pushed aside. Toothbrush in the stocking Need a stocking stuffer? Toothbrushes will fit in the stockings perfectly. There are fun options available for the kids. And a toothbrush in the stocking will be a good reminder to brush since kids are eating lots of sweets during the holiday. There’s room for floss in there, too. Holiday sing-a-long while you brush Already in the holiday spirit? Are you already listening to and singing along to your favorite festive tunes? Great! Now keep doing that while you’re brushing your teeth. Jingle Bells is a great choice to cover the two minutes of brushing you do twice a day. It works as a great reminder for the kids. Donations If you’re getting together donations, think about dental and vision health contributions. Consider donating dental health necessities like toothbrushes, toothpaste, mouthwash and floss to your preferred charity. Also consider the gift of vision this year. You can donate your old eyeglasses, reading glasses, frames, and sunglasses or donate to a charity that provides vision care to communities in need. We love the idea of giving the gift of dental and vision health this season, whether it’s through donations or starting new gift traditions. We wish you happy holidays and bright and healthy smiles in the New Year!

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