Archive for Medical

Protecting Your Family’s Future with Term Life Insurance

Making sure our family is taken care after we are gone is often a top priority for many people. There are many ways to help secure their financial future with life insurance being one of the best routes. Term life insurance is a popular route for many due to its affordability. If you are currently investigating a policy, here is an overview of this type of insurance.

What is Term Insurance?

With term life insurance, a company will pay out the pre-determined sum of money to your family if you die within the time frame set by the policy, which is determined by you. If you die after this time and there were no arrangements to extend it, there would be no payout. You can choose a policy with a term of one to 30 years.

How Much Does Term Insurance Cost?

Several factors come into play when determining the premium, but compared to whole life insurance—which includes term insurance plus an investment component that is also paid out—people in good health up to age 50 can get very reasonable rates. The older you are when you seek out a policy, the higher the premium will be. Men typically pay 30 percent more since they do not live as long as women. Other factors include the length of the policy, the payout amount, your health and your occupation.

Different Types of Term Insurance

There are different types of term insurance to choose from.  A level policy is the most straight forward—you choose your insurance coverage, pay the premiums monthly or annually and provided you die within the term, your family gets the face amount of the policy. Annual renewable life insurance is just that…you are only insured for one year and then you must renew each year you need coverage, typically without a health check; the price increases each year.  Decreasing term policy was originally designed as a way to cover mortgage payments or other debts that would decrease over time—the premiums stay the same but each year, the payout reduces until it reaches zero. So, the longer into the policy you get, the less that would be paid out when you die.

Closing Thoughts

Life insurance can be complex, with lots of clauses, stipulations and the like. It is important to go with a carrier you trust and who will give you the full picture. Make sure you have a thorough understanding of all the fine print so you do not put your family’s financial future in jeopardy due to some oversight.

Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer who covers a range of financial topics. If you are in the market for life insurance in Canada, you will have more choice at Kanetix.

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September 22, 2012 |  by  |  Medical  |  1 Comment

Tips on Finding the Right Personal Injury Attorney

If you have been injured and are pursuing legal action for compensation, you are going to need a lawyer. Lord knows there are no shortage of them in the United States, so finding one will not be the issue. The issue will be finding the right lawyer for your needs. Here are some tips for finding a personal injury attorney.

Check Referral Services

The internet provides us a wealth of information right at our fingertips. There are lots of great resources for finding an attorney. for instance, has a very comprehensive directory that goes far beyond a name, office location and contact information; their site provides experience,education, fees and their general philosophy of practicing law. They are all in good standing with their respective bar associations and have a valid license to practice law. If you do use a referral service, get details on how they qualify attorneys for a listing…some may have more stringent criteria, while others will include any lawyer in good standing who has the proper liability insurance.

Find an Attorney That Specializes in Your Type of Claim

Personal injury law covers a vast amount of territory and to get the best results, you should find a lawyer with extensive experience dealing with your type of injury. There are lots of nuances to each type of case and you will get the best results by choosing an attorney who reguarly deals with these types of cases. You also want to consider whether their experience lies more with the defendants or the plaintiffs—if the majority of personal injury cases are fighting for the insurance company or other defendants, they may not work your case as successfully.

Be Cautious with Advertisements

Personal injury law is particularly heavy on advertising and while this does not necessarily mean an ad you see on TV, the internet or the phone book should be ignored, you should proceed with caution. Most often, these ads are run by professional referral agencies who spread the inquiries between their member firms. Many of the best firms will not advertise in such a manner as they get a steady stream of clients due to a good reputation and good lawyers. Again, when using referral agencies, be sure to get the specifics on what criteria qualifies a firm to get listed.

Do not Be Afraid to Ask Questions

Do not hesitate to ask your lawyer as many questions as you have; when talking to experienced professionals who know a lot more about the subject matter at hand, we may feel uncomfortable questioning them, but it is important to help you find the best attorney for your needs. Ask about average compensation in previous cases similar to yours, how much of the case will they be handling and how much will be delegated to less experienced attorneys and anything else that is important for you to know.

Only Meet with Lawyers Who Offer Free Initial Consultations

Simply deciding to meet with a lawyer is in no way an obligation to utlize their services. You should only consider lawyers who will offer a free consultation; you may need to meet with a few before finding the one who is right for you.

Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer experienced in writing on a range of topics. If you are in need of legal representation for personal injury in the Chicago area, visit

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September 7, 2012 |  by  |  Medical  |  1 Comment

Overview Of The 5 Most Common Dental Care Issues

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Dental hygienist flossing a patient's teeth du...

Image via Wikipedia

Taking care of your teeth by brushing and flossing daily can help prevent most dental problems. It’s also important to visit your dentist every six months for routine checkups and cleanings. These steps alone can all but ensure your teeth and gums remain clean and healthy.

Yet, millions of people in the U.S. suffer from an assortment of dental care issues. Even worse, many neglect to have them resolved once signs of problems become clear. This is a sure path to dental pain and tooth loss. Below, we’ll provide a list of the most common dental issues along with a few suggestions for getting them resolved.

1 – Tooth Decay And Cavities

Decay begins when bacteria interacts with the sugar and starch content in items we consume. This interaction causes the formation of plaque. Plaque is a thin film of sticky material that adheres to the surface of our teeth, allowing acids to break down the enamel. With time, the acids breach the underlying layer of soft tissue (dentin), and ultimately reach the pulp chamber. At that point, a root canal may become necessary to save the tooth.

Brushing and flossing are critical steps to prevent plaque from forming, or to remove it if it has already formed. Since foods and beverages containing sugar and starch contribute to decay, reducing your intake of both is also important.

2 – Gum Disease

Gum disease is the most common reason teeth are lost. Plaque turns into tartar, and causes inflammation in the gum line. At this stage, it is known as gingivitis. Plaque eventually hardens into tartar, which causes the gums to recede. The condition becomes known as periodontitis.

Tartar cannot be removed from your teeth by brushing and flossing. A dentist must scrape it away with specialized tools. Unfortunately, many people fail to have gum disease addressed, and end up with bone loss, tissue damage, and lost teeth.

3 – Toothaches

There are several potential causes for a toothache. Broadly defined as pain in the jaw or teeth unrelated to trauma, it can be triggered by cavities (dental caries), impaction, TMJ, or gum disease.

Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as Advil, can provide temporary relief. Also, flossing around the affected tooth will help remove small pieces of food and other debris. If the pain continues, call your dentist. Treatment will depend on the cause of your discomfort. For example, a cavity warrants cleaning the tooth, and filling it. Advanced gum disease may require scaling and root planing.

4 – Overly-Sensitive Teeth

Similar to toothaches, this condition can be caused by many factors. If you have a habit of grinding your teeth, some or all of them may become sensitive to heat, cold, or pressure. Brushing too aggressively can also lead to sensitivity. Occasionally, dental procedures (root canals, dental cleanings, etc.) may cause one or more teeth to become sensitive.

Steps you can take at home for relief include using a toothbrush with softer bristles, rinsing your mouth with a fluoridated mouthwash, and limiting your consumption of high-acid foods. But schedule an appointment with your dentist so he or she can determine the root cause of the sensitivity. A more effective therapy option may be available.

5 – Erosion Of The Tooth Structure

Erosion is often related to tooth decay and gum disease since both gradually affect the enamel and dentin of teeth. It refers to the wearing away of the tooth as a result of acid. In its beginning stages, you might experience sensitivity, and notice spots of discoloration on the surface of the tooth. As erosion progresses, the tooth may develop cracks along the edges.

The dental problems we’ve covered thus far are among the most common; they affect millions of people. If you notice symptoms, consult your dentist. He or she can suggest the most appropriate treatment options given the extent of the damage to your teeth.

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April 6, 2011 |  by  |  Medical  |  Comments Off

Best of Heart Disease Articles

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Best of Heart Disease Articles

Medical and Health related topics take up a major source of my article writing and research time. From a personal perspective and conscientious of my own heart health issues I learning and discovering the facts. Here are several Heart Health related articles.

Dealing With Atrial Fibrillation
Atrial fibrillation is the heart condition created when the electrical signals which coordinate the contractions of the twinned-chambers of the heart starts to malfunction. Very often, atrial fibrillation goes unnoticed and does not present any symptoms for the patient or doctor to recognize and diagnose the condition but atrial fibrillation can be extremely serious as well as life-threatening.

The Basics of Atrial Fibrillation
Atrial fibrillation can be a very serious condition which affects how the different chambers, which make up the heart, all work together. Fortunately, the condition may be mild and the patient may not suffer from any symptoms or if they have them, they are so mild that they do not create any day-to-day health issues while for less-mild cases, the condition can be controlled with medication or the use of catheters.

Diagnosing and Treating Mitral Valve Disease
Mitral valve disease is a common heart condition affecting around 10% of the total population with very strong hereditary factors creating a predisposition for many patients (though we do not know how this actually works as yet). Fortunately, medical treatment for this condition is advanced and despite a number of underlying causes for the condition, prognosis for a healthy recovery is good.

Curing Atrial Fibrillation With the Maze Procedure
The heart is a complicated organ as you can imagine, but picturing the heart in action is often difficult. The heart is formed of four chambers, two larger chambers on top of two smaller ones – the upper chambers are known as atria (or atrium singular) and the lower are ventricles.

Introduction to the MAZE Procedure
The MAZE procedure is performed to treat atrial fibrillation which is where the heart’s electrical system, used to control the muscle of the heart, operates out of whack. This abnormality needs to be treated and before surgery is considered, medication can be prescribed to deal with the condition and allow patients to lead a perfectly normal life. Where the condition or the medications are affecting a patient, surgery may be considered as the treatment option and especially where a patient has already suffered from a heart attack or cardiac event.

April 14, 2010 |  by  |  Best Of, Medical  |  Comments Off

Introduction To Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery

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Introduction To Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery

Traditional heart surgery requires a long incision (usually between six and eight inches) down the center of the patient’s chest. The breastbone is usually cut in order to provide the surgeon with enough space to work. Minimally invasive heart surgery (MIHS) requires a much smaller incision. Rather than taking a manual approach, the surgeon inserts small instruments through the incisions in order to perform repairs.

Below, we’ll take a closer look at MIHS in the context of its advantages over a traditional approach. We’ll describe the types of surgeries that can be performed and explain a typical recovery process.

Reasons To Pursue A Minimally Invasive Approach

Because minimally invasive heart surgery requires smaller incisions without the need to cut through the sternum, there are several advantages such an approach offers. There is a lower risk of infection and bleeding since the procedure is less traumatic than traditional surgery. There is also less pain following the operation.

These factors provide a shorter recovery period for the patient. For example, if you were to undergo open heart surgery, you would be required to stay in the hospital for up to ten days before being released. By contrast, MIHS might require you to stay as few as two or three days.

Recovery at home is similarly shortened. Following an open chest operation, an average recovery period is usually eight weeks – and sometimes even longer. A minimally invasive approach might require you to spend as little as two weeks to recover.

Types Of Surgeries

Currently, the most common type of minimally invasive heart surgeries are valve repair and replacements. For example, a regurgitant (i.e. leaking) or stenotic (i.e. restricted) mitral valve can be repaired with a few small incisions rather than cutting through the patient’s breastbone.

Another type of operation that can be performed through small incisions is a coronary artery bypass graft (CABG). A traditional approach requires the use of a cardiopulmonary bypass machine to keep the patient alive while his or her heart is stopped. Such a machine is unnecessary during MIHS.

Maze surgery through catheter ablation, atrial septal defect repair, and extracting cardiac tumors can also be done without the need to arrest the patient’s heart. However, it’s worth noting that not every person is a candidate for MIHS. Your doctor will need to examine your test results and personal circumstances to determine whether this is an appropriate strategy.

Postoperative Recovery

You’ll likely feel slight pain in the site of the incision; medications can reduce the level of discomfort. After spending a few days recuperating in the hospital, you will be released to continue your recovery at home. If your job does not require a high level of activity, you can usually return to work after one or two weeks. If your job involves heavy lifting or similarly demanding activities, expect to return to work after five or six weeks.

A growing number of surgeons are learning the skills required to perform minimally invasive heart surgery. Over the next decade, open chest procedures – while still necessary in certain circumstances – will become far less prevalent.

April 9, 2010 |  by  |  Medical  |  Comments Off