What does your doctor carry with them on a daily basis? Read some crucial advice they wish they could share with every patient. What’s something people believe about health that is completely false? Some of Toledo’s best doctors weigh in!
Ada Aesthetics/Dermatology Associates
Ada: 12780 Roachton Rd., Perrysburg. 419-873-6961.
DA: 7640 W. Sylvania Ave. E, Sylvania. 419-872-0777.
Dr. Sarah Stierman, MD
When performing skin cancer screening examinations, I always carry my dermatoscope. I feel naked without it! Dermoscopy is an advanced, noninvasive screening technique that allows me to see the colors and patterns of skin lesions (like moles) that are not visible to the naked eye. It helps me decide which spots are fine to watch and others that may be concerning enough to remove. My dermatoscope is my favorite tool in the clinic and helps me catch skin cancers when they are very early and easy to treat.
The other item I use nearly every day at work, though I can’t carry it with me (it’s too big!!) is my microscope. As a double board-certified dermatologist and dermatopathologist, I diagnose skin conditions and skin cancers under the microscope. I love this part of my job so much. I enjoy being able to see patients in person, then look at their skin samples under the microscope, make a diagnosis and treatment plan, and watch the patient get better. This is a truly gratifying part of my career.
A common dermatology myth that I often have to correct is the safety of sunscreen. Sunscreen is extremely safe and is critical to protect against skin cancer and photoaging. Sunscreen does not cause skin cancer or vitamin D deficiency! Many anti-science special interest groups post misinformation on the internet about sunscreen safety, but their motivation is not to keep patients healthy and cancer free. If you have specific personal concerns about safe sun protection, having an open dialogue with your dermatologist is so important.
Dr. Christy Lorton, MD
I always carry two items in my lab coat pocket. I have specially made magnifying glasses that allow better visualization of details on the patient’s skin. The other is a dermatoscope which is a hand-held imaging device to aid in the early detection of skin cancer. When you get older, your eyes need all of the help you can get!
There is no such thing as a “healthy tan.” Everyone should enjoy outdoor activities but without sitting in the sun for the purpose of tanning! As a dermatologist, we recommend avoiding excess exposure to the direct sunlight by using sunscreen SPF 30 or higher, staying in the shade, wearing protective clothing, hat and sunglasses. We should all become a society of shade seekers!
Associated Eye Care
960 W. Wooster St., Bowling Green. 419-872-3631. toledoeyemd.com
Dr. John M. Elchinger, OD
Dr. Elchinger is an optometrist for Associated Eye Care, Inc. in Bowling Green, OH. He has been practicing for 5 years since graduating from The Ohio State University of Optometry.
Annual Exams. A lot can change in a year even if your vision doesn’t.
Eat Healthy. Green leafy vegetables are good for your eyes, too!
Protect Your Eyes. Don’t forget your sun and/or safety glasses.
Don’t Delay. Never wait to seek treatment when problems arise.
Can you tell us a story about a patient whose condition was worse than it appeared at first glance?
I recently had a patient that came in with blurry vision, which is obviously common in my line of work. However, when I examined her eyes, I noticed that the tiny blood vessels that supply the eyes had become plugged with sickle cells. This was the reason for her vision problems and left untreated, can damage the retina— the portion of the eye that processes visual images.
Frankel & Puhl Dentistry
4359 Keystone Dr., Maumee. 419-893-0221. jonfrankeldentistry.com
Dr. Jon Frankel, DDS
It is a strange juxtaposition that science and technology have made dental care more personal. Hard science has allowed for better communication and fine-tuned dental care.
The doctors at Frankel Dentistry all wear earpieces to keep in constant and close contact with all the team members. Patients benefit in many ways. They can be seen sooner. Questions are answered on the spot. If a patient wants to see me. I am there. (Patients do not need patience at Frankel Dentistry. They do not wait!)
The doctors, dental hygienists, and expanded function auxiliaries all wear loupes with light. We can see a specific area in a lit and magnified view. Small issues are taken care of before big issues arise. Treatment design and completion is more accurate. As an added benefit, the practitioner’s posture is improved, preventing physical stress and injury.
Better ears and eyes are part of the dental experience at Frankel Dentistry.
We see it everyday and cannot share it enough. A healthy mouth promotes a healthy body.
Visit your dentist regularly. It is the best way to stop small issues before they become big problems.
Brush and floss your teeth daily. Mechanically removing the decay and gum disease causing bacterial plaque at least every 24 hours is imperative. You are in charge of your oral health.
Limit the consumption of sweets, including soft drinks, lattes, and energy drinks. It is disheartening, we are seeing an increase in decay due to lifestyle changes. Stick to unsweetened coffee and tea or water. Your smile will thank you!
Great Lakes Audiology, LLC
3780 King Rd, 2C. 419-EAR-CARE (327-2273).
Dr. Clint Keifer, Au.D.
- Reduce Noise Exposure: We live in an ever-increasingly noisy world and our ears will inevitably pay the price if we do not exercise caution. Use hearing protection when using gas-powered equipment (e.g., mowers, chainsaws, leafblowers, etc.), with firearms and fireworks, and with loud and/or long or frequent exposure to music (hint: use filtered “musician’s plugs” to hear with highest fidelity).
- Hearing Wellness Checks: Just like eyes and teeth, your hearing health is best managed with regular checks. In fact, the early stages of hearing decline or damage can be difficult to detect. Scheduling a simple check-up with an audiologist every five years can identify early problems and prevent damage due to noise, medications, or underlying medical conditions.
- Treat Hearing Loss Early: Like many other things in life, addressing issues sooner than later is advantageous. When we do so, we tend to adjust more easily and enjoy the benefits longer while helping to stave off other potential consequences. Untreated hearing loss is linked to depression, anxiety, social withdrawal/rejection, decreased job performance, and even accelerating cognitive decline/dementia. Maintaining our best hearing ability keeps us connected to the world around us, allowing us to fully engage and interact with people, the environment, and events!
Myth: Ear Canals Need Daily Cleaning. Earwax is a protectant—good for deterring bugs, collecting dust/debris, waterproofing, and preventing bacterial and fungal “residents” from moving in. Therefore, over-cleaning of the ear can result in dryness, itchiness, and increased risk for infections (e.g., swimmer’s ear). Cotton-swabbing (“Q-tipping”) risks damaging the delicate tissue of the canal or even perforating the eardrum; however, more commonly, routine use leads to wax impaction. Normal ear canal skin growth moves old wax and debris out of the canal at the blazing speed of 1/10th of a millimeter/day (comparable to fingernail growth) so that it can be washed away easily when bathing. When this mechanism is “jammed” the ensuing pile-up can eventually cause temporary hearing loss, pain/discomfort, ringing of the ear, and even dizziness. Once impaction occurs, audiological/medical treatment is typically needed. And finally…NEVER use “ear candles” (nope, don’t even go there)!
Spring Meadow Chiropractic
6823 Spring Valley Dr., Holland. 419-866-6325. springmeadowschiropractic.com
Dr. Shawn Brohl, DC
As a chiropractor I have my two hands. “Chiro” means hand in Greek and that is what we treat our patients with.
We live in a world that is dependent on electronic devices. This puts a lot of stress on the flexor muscles of the wrists and elbows. This used to be called “Tennis Elbow,” I call it “Electronics Elbow.” Which is easily remedied with an exercise with a rubber band, just put it around all your fingers and thumb and extend outward for a couple of minutes a day.
Toledo Clinic ENT Sinus Center
5800 Park Center Ct. C. 419-724-8368.
Dr. Christopher Perry, DO
Three things people can do to improve their health is drink more water, get more sleep and exercise regularly.
A myth I see all the time is that people believe that they are allergic to dust. A person can not be truly allergic to dust. Dust is simply an irritant, which may cause symptoms similar to an allergic reaction. The misconception is based on a misunderstanding that patients are actually allergic to dust mites, the microscopic creature that feeds on human skin, which can cause IgE antibody mediated immune symptoms ranging from sneezing, runny nose, itchy watery eyes and nasal congestion.
Toledo Clinic Facial Plastics and Dermatology
7301 Secor Rd., Lambertville, MI. 419-479-5795. Toledoclinic.com
Dr. David J. Kouba
Two items that I carry with me are a dermatoscope (a powerful, hand-held microscope that is used to magnify the surface of the skin) and a powerful LED surgical headlamp (a high luminosity light source is essential for allowing magnification of the skin).
First, please be aware of what is growing on your skin. Self exams are critical and patients can find dangerous growths often before we can simply by paying attention.
Second, no burns. If you don’t wear sunscreen, then at least cover with wide brimmed hats and sun-protective (SPF) clothing.
Third, take your nicotinamide. A simple vitamin supplement that can decrease skin pre-cancers is a great way for patients to take control of their own skin health at home!
The biggest myth is that skin cancer is not a ‘real cancer’ i.e. a cancer that can kill you. Skin cancer is real and several common forms of skin cancer are very deadly and precautions should be taken.