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Don't pass up a check-up

Don't pass up a check-up

By Dr. Sanjay Gupta
CNN Your Health

(CNN) -- This month will mark my one-year anniversary with CNN. It also marks my first real spring in the South - and the associated allergies. When I lived in Michigan they were never particularly bad, but the pollen counts down here can get up to 6,000 (900 usually makes me sneeze).

If you have the same problems, there is good news. Most allergies can and should be treated. Besides over-the-counter antihistamines, there are also prescription medications which won't make you as sleepy. Try nose sprays as well if your symptoms are particularly bad.

None of those things worked? Well, you're likely a candidate for allergy shots to make you less allergic to pollen or you may even need a short course of steroids.

Now that we've got that covered -- here are some other health headlines making news.

Medical mishaps and follow-up failures

Make no mistake about it, according to a national survey, more than one in five Americans say he or she, or a relative, has experienced a medical blunder or an error with a prescription drug.

Watchdog group The Commonwealth Fund also reports we've all missed many opportunities to improve our health, such as failing to follow up with preventative care and check-ups that would have reduced further pain and suffering, lowered long-term health costs and improved our quality of life.

Falling short: Inadequate health coverage for Type 2 diabetes

According to a study by the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, millions of diabetics aren't getting the care they need because of inadequate health insurance coverage.

This is happening as the number of adults being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes is dramatically on the rise. Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Web site for national estimates and general information on diabetes.

New wrinkle: FDA says Botox may be used to freeze aging

The Food and Drug Administration just approved Botox for cosmetic use. This time, the agency says it's OK to use Botox on frown lines between the eyebrows. It's been approved to treat eye muscle disorders and cervical dystonia for years.

Botox is actually derived from the same toxin that causes botulism, a type of food poisoning. The FDA recommends using it cosmetically no more than once every three months. You can only get Botox with a prescription.

Click here to read more about Botox from CNN.

In focus: Surgery to correct farsightedness approved

The Food and Drug Administration also approved a new procedure called CK for correcting eyesight this week. CK manipulates radio waves to heat and then re-shape the cornea. It only works to correct farsighted vision, which is when someone must strain to see up close.

The surgery takes about three minutes and needs to be repeated every five to seven years.Click here to read more about the surgery.

Thanks for checking The Pulse and remember --- "your health, nothing is more important."




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