Vital Signs | KERA News

Vital Signs

Vital Signs is a weekly consumer health chat featuring leading North Texas medical figures. Hosted by Sam Baker, topics range from flu to skin cancer to exactly what a New Year’s cocktail does to your body.

Listen every Monday at 8:22 a.m. on  KERA News.

Ways to Connect

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January is National Glaucoma Awareness month. More than two million people are believed to have the eye disease. But in a KERA Health Checkup, glaucoma specialist Dr. Linda Fain Hatton explains why some call it a “silent thief of sight.”

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Sleep apnea is a common disorder with potentially dangerous results if left untreated. Sam Baker talked about this with Dr. David Luterman, Medical Director of the Sleep Center at Baylor Medical Center at Dallas.

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Many of us need more sleep than we know. In our KERA Health Checkup, Sam Baker talked with Dr.  Bradley Jones, an internal medicine physician at Baylor Medical Center at Irving, about problems associated with sleep deprivation and what to do about it.

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Tis the season for good cheer. But, for some, the holidays can bring about the opposite. In our KERA Health Checkup, Sam Baker talked with Dr. Randy Basham, an associate professor of social work at U.T. Arlington, about holiday depression and what can be done about it.

Dr. Basham: For the most part, around the holidays, people are concerned about a lot of things: End of the year, comparing themselves to where they were the year before. If they've had any loss in their life, it's become an anniversary season. There's commercialization.

The Food and Drug Administration requires makers of most prepared foods to list nutritional information on the package. In our KERA Health Checkup, Sam Baker talked to a registered dietician with U.T. Southwestern Medical Center about how to make sense of what's on the label. Lona Sandon begins with Percentages of Daily Value.

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In a recent report, the American Pediatrics Association and other medical groups advised cholesterol screening for all children nine to 11 years old. In our KERA Health Checkup, Sam Baker talked about this with Dr. Jeff Schussler, a cardiologist with Baylor University Medical Center. He says some nine to 11 year old children already are being screened.

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For some it's simply ringing in the ears, but some 40 to 50-million people suffer from chronic or prolonged tinnitus. In a KERA Health Checkup, Sam Baker talked about this with Dr. Kenneth Pugh. The head of audiology at U-T Dallas' Callier Center for Communicative Disorders described what tinnitus is.

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It's such a simple act, but washing our hands can make a big difference on health. In our KERA Health Checkup, Sam Baker talked about this with Dr. Anna Bowen, a medical epidemiologist with the Centers for Disease Control.

Dallas, TX – In today's KERA Checkup we want to remind you of a statewide service that will help you find low-cost health providers. KERA's Shelley Kofler says the first step is picking up your phone.

Dial 2-1-1 anywhere in Texas and you'll be connected with a trained specialist who knows about the low-cost medical services in your community.

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Students in Denton and Ellis counties have recently tested positive for tuberculosis. But TB isn't unusual for North Texas. Dallas County, for instance, had 188 cases of the disease last year. In a KERA Health Checkup, Sam Baker talked with Dr. Garry Woo. He's the Medical Director in charge of Tuberculosis Control for Dallas County Health Services.

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