Q&A Home Health

Fire & Ice—Which to use for pain?

Heat and ice are both effective in relieving pain. How can you decide which to use?

If the pain came suddenly—you bump your head or twist your ankle—that pain is acute and may be accompanied by swelling. Apply ice. Cold therapy can reduce pain and inflammation and possibly even prevent swelling.

Chronic pain comes gradually, as when you overwork a muscle. Soak a towel in warm water and apply it to the sore spot, or keep a microwavable heat pack on hand.

What’s the best way to perform CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation)?

No more mouth-to-mouth, says the American Heart Association. Instead, summon 911, then start chest compressions. With both hands, push hard and fast repeatedly on the victim’s chest.

How fast? Hum the disco hit Stayin’ Alive, say researchers, who discovered that the lively number set the perfect pace for CPR, about 100 beats per minute.

Which eyeglasses are best for strolling seniors?

Glasses with bifocal lenses are great for when you’re multi-tasking and needing to adjust your focus between near objects and others far off. But you might want a single-lens set of glasses for walking, especially outdoors. In one study, seniors who switched reduced their falls by 40 percent.

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