I remember so well being 8 or 9 years old, standing in the nurse’s office, reading the big E on the eye chart, and listening for the high tones coming through the headphones. And who can forget their first time having a cavity drilled?
As adults, though, even those considered health-conscious, we don’t pay nearly as much attention to our visual, oral or auditory health. I know it’s not uncommon for me, with my ever-busier life, to go “too long” between teeth cleanings, eye exams and other important acts of self-care. Frequently, we wait until something goes wrong before we give ourselves the attention we deserve. In this issue, we’ll seek to more fully understand how these aspects of our health are connected to whole-body, whole-being wellness, and can help us be more proactive in our approach.
We’ll look at how technological advancement in recent years has transformed both prevention and treatment options for the better. Talking with local dentists, oral surgeons, optometrists and other care providers as we have this month, the message is clear: just because technology is advancing doesn’t mean care needs to become sterile or impersonal. Instead, practitioners are using technology as a tool to aid in patient education and empowerment.
There is also an emphasis on integrating the health of the senses with the larger picture of one’s personal wellness. Holistic dentists have expanded their focus to address root causes of dental issues; they are counseling patients on good nutrition, which can help prevent tooth decay, as well as stress management, which can play into issues like teeth-grinding and TMJ. Today’s optometrists are talking with patients about how much time they spend using phones and other screens, so they prescribe lens designs, options and treatments that can help prevent eye strain and computer vision syndrome.
We know that this integrated, holistic approach to care has a positive impact on long-term, physical, emotional and spiritual health. We’re lucky to have excellent practices right here, in BuxMont, where residents can find the combination of advanced technology and individualized lifestyle counseling to help support positive behavioral change and ensure visits to the doctor are less frequent and less invasive. By treating the whole person from the inside out, we become ever so much more than the sum of our parts.
We thank you for reading and for being a part of this community this and every month.
Together, we are “Making the Awakening” in Bucks and Montgomery counties.
Karen G. Meshkov