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It is best advise to have an eye exam at least once a year or as advised by your eye professional. When was your last eye exam? This is a reminder to schedule an appointment with an eye doctor. Routine exams are crucial to keeping your eyes healthy so after you make your appointment, share this reminder with your friends and family too.

Nearly 25 million Americans suffer from asthma, a chronic respiratory disease with no known cure. Since May is Asthma Awareness Month, here are some tips to make living with asthma more manageable for you and your family members.

  • Know what triggers asthma. Common household issues like dust mites, molds, second-hand smoke, and pets are all common triggers for asthma attacks. A doctor can help identify which specifically affect you, so you can take proper steps to try and eliminate that source from your living environment.
  • With your doctor, develop an asthma action plan. It will help you recognize different levels of suffering, what medicines should be taken to help deal with the disease, and how to recognize when an attack requires professional help.

There are lots of free resources available so that you can learn more about asthma, what triggers it, and how you can best control it. Do your research on how you can asthma-proof your home, and schedule a home visit so a professional can assess your home, and identify trigger sources you may have overlooked.

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Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis affects about 200,000 people in the United States.  A drug used to treat patients with mild to moderate lung damage from the disease idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is no better than placebo for preserving lung function, according to a study supported by the National Institutes of Health.

The finding is in the final report of a clinical trial called Prednisone, Azathioprine, and N-Acetylcysteine: A Study That Evaluates Response in Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (PANTHER-IPF). It will be published May 23 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

When renting a beach or lake house for vacation, make sure the property actually exists. Do your homework before paying.  Check out the owner or rental company, consult maps and read the lease carefully. Pay with an online payment service or a credit card so you can dispute the charges if something goes wrong.

If you buy tickets from a major vendor, remember surcharges and additional fees may be tacked onto the listed price. Some venues require the same credit card used to purchase tickets be presented when the tickets are picked up, so if you are buying tickets for someone as a gift, they may have difficulty getting them at will-call.

Unlicensed home repair or landscaping contractors may come to your door to offer services. Always research contractors, pay for services upon completion and not ahead of time, also consider using a signed contract outlining the work to be done and the exact price.

Do not buy gas additives that claim to make fuel last longer. Even though gas prices go up in the summer, the Environmental Protection Agency has not found any product that significantly improves gas mileage, and some could damage a car’s engine or increase exhaust emissions.

If you’re thinking about sending money abroad to a family member or friend, make sure you are sending through a reputable source. How do you figure this out?

The federal government qualifies certain money transmitters, banks, credit unions and possibly other types of financial services companies qualify as “remittance transfer providers.”

Remittance transfer providers are businesses that transfer money electronically for consumers to people and businesses in foreign countries. Under federal law, you have certain protections that these business must comply with.

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If your symptoms are too difficult to manage with medication, your doctor can perform a skin allergy test to get a more accurate diagnosis. Based on the results, the doctor will prescribe the proper course of treatment.

Certain medicines may help alleviate symptoms of allergies or allergic rhinitis. Talk to your doctor about the right allergy medications for you.

Some common allergy medications include:

*   Nasal and oral decongestants
*  Antihistamines in pill, syrup, or drop form
*  Nasal sprays, with or without corticosteroid

Pollen is the main trigger of allergies in the summer. Pollen allergies can cause sneezing, nasal congestion, coughing and itchiness in the nose, eyes and throat.

According to the Food and Drug Administration, about 35 million Americans suffer from pollen allergy, commonly known as hay fever.

Allergy prevention

  • Limit your outdoor activities in the mornings, a time when pollen levels are at their highest.
  • Take a shower and change clothes at home if you were outdoors. This will help clear out any pollen left on your hair, body and clothing.
  • Avoid hanging your clothes to dry outdoors.
  • Keep your home and car windows closed on sunny, windy days. If possible, use air conditioning.
  • Avoid mowing the lawn or sweeping the deck or patio too often.

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If your phone is lost or stolen, your privacy, identity, and bank accounts could also be in jeopardy.  Cell phone carriers and manufacturers have taken steps to protect you, in these situations. The carriers manage stolen phone databases, where they can record your phone’s unique ID number when you report it missing. This makes it impossible for your lost or stolen phone to be reactivated on their network (also called “bricking”).

There are also apps available to help you locate your phone. Take steps to protect your phone’s content and your privacy:

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Roughly 8 percent of adults and more than 9 percent of children in the United States have asthma. May is Asthma Awareness Month, and the National Institutes of Health emphasizes the scientific progress being made in asthma research, from basic science, such as how lung cells work, to clinical trials on current and future treatments for the disease. NIH-led research includes studies of environmental factors, how the body’s own defense system plays a role, and the microbiome — all the microbial organisms that live in and on the human body.

Spam text messages can be annoying, but did you know they are illegal? Some common scams use text message spam to lure you into revealing personal information in exchange for a “free gift” like a gift card or vacation package.

How it works: In order to collect your gift, the message will instruct you to reply to the text with your personal information such as a bank account or your social security number. The spammer may charge your bank account so you can claim your “free gift” that you will probably never receive.

In certain situations, spammers then sell your personal information to outside parties, leaving you vulnerable to identity theft.

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Researchers have developed a new supercooling technique to increase the amount of time human organs could remain viable outside the body. This study was conducted in rats, and if it succeeds in humans, it would enable a world-wide allocation of donor organs, saving more lives.

The cost of long-term care varies by care setting. The average cost of a private room in a nursing home was $229 per day or $83,585 per year in 2010. Less than one-fifth of older people have the personal financial resources to live in a nursing home for more than three years and almost two-thirds cannot afford even one year. Medicare provides coverage in a skilled nursing facility to older and disabled patients for short time periods following hospitalization. Medicaid covers long-term care in certified facilities for qualifying low-income seniors. In 2006, Medicaid paid for 43 percent of long-term care.

Older Americans, prevalence of chronic disease has risen, and many older Americans are unprepared to afford the costs of long-term care in a nursing home, according to a report from the U.S. Census Bureau commissioned by the National Institutes of Health.

Research based on NIA’s Health and Retirement Study suggests that the prevalence of chronic diseases, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, chronic lung disease, and diabetes, increased among older people between 1998 and 2008. For example, in 2008, 41 percent of the older population had three or more chronic conditions, 51 percent had one or two, and only 8 percent had no chronic conditions.

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