Ways to maximize your Medicare benefits

By: Eleanor Laise

Medicare is vital to the health of nearly 60 million Americans. Yet many of its benefits are overlooked, underused or misunderstood. Consider the annual “wellness” visit, during which a doctor will assess your health risks, take your blood pressure and other routine measurements, check for cognitive impairment, and offer personalized health advice. It’s free. Yet less than 11... READ MORE

Compression stockings help leg swelling

By: Paul Takahashi, M.D.

Dear Mayo Clinic: My doctor prescribed compression stockings to prevent my legs from swelling during the day. How will that help, and are they all the same? A: Compression stockings aren’t like regular stockings. They’re typically prescribed with certain specifications, and require professional fitting. A number of tips and tricks can help to properly use and care for them so that ... READ MORE

Phone apps to prove people take their pills

By: Carla K. Johnson

Take two tablets and a selfie? Your doctor’s orders may one day include making a smartphone video to prove you took your medicine. Smartphone apps that monitor pill-taking are now available, and researchers are testing how well they work when medication matters. Experts praise the efficiency, but some say the technology raises privacy and data security concerns. Selfie medicine... READ MORE

OTC drugs better than opioids at pain relief

By: Lindsey Tanner

A yearlong study offers rigorous new evidence against using prescription opioids for chronic pain. In patients with stubborn back aches or arthritis of the hip or knee, opioids worked no better than over-the-counter drugs or other non-opioids at reducing problems with walking or sleeping. And they provided slightly less pain relief. Opioids tested included generic Vicodin, oxycodone... READ MORE

Experts answer your health questions

By: Dr. Howard LeWine and Dr. Michael Benninger

Q: I was recently diagnosed with dry eyes. But my eyes seem to be watery all the time. How do you explain this? A: Usually, people with dry eyes have too few tears. But as strange as it may sound, dry eyes can also be watery. Tears are a mixture of oil, mucous and water. Dry eyes will water if there is not enough oil or mucous in the mixture. As we age, our tear production slows. If... READ MORE

Local students envision a winning city

By: Alexis Bentz

If you could design a city that facilitated aging, what would you include? Students at the Edlin School, a private school in Reston, Va., did just that — and recently won a first-place award for their innovations. Students Vinay Ayala, Lucas Ribeiro, Nikhita Kuntipuram and Nikhil Kuntipuram recently competed in the 26th Annual Future City Competition. This contest, open to sixth... READ MORE