Wellness Resources

5 Weeks to Better Wellness with Community Health Classes

Wellness ClassesLooking for a way to kick start a healthier lifestyle in the new year? Starting in January 2015, Emory Johns Creek Hospital will launch a five-week course of health and wellness classes taught by community and hospital healthcare providers. The classes focus on providing general education on nutrition and health issues to help participants progress toward developing personalized health plans. Classes meet every other Wednesday from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. The first class meets Jan. 7, 2015 in Physicians Plaza Suite 109, located at 6335 Hospital Parkway in Johns Creek. The cost for all five sessions is $75. Class topics are:

  • Jan. 7:  Introduction and Initial Health Screening. Taught by Andrew Pugliese, MD, a Disease Prevention Physician at Emory Johns Creek Hospital, will set the foundation with information on how a healthy, active lifestyle can influence personal risk factors for disease. Licensed lab technicians help participants complete a personalized physical health assessment.
  • Jan. 21:  Healthy Eating Habits and Their Effect on Chronic Disease Management. Julie Parish, an Emory Johns Creek registered and licensed dietitian, will provide disease specific diet education relevant to participant’s personal risk factors and demonstrate how to use a food diary to track progress.
  • Feb. 4: Healthy Kitchens, Healthy Lives. Emory Johns Creek Food Services Director, Amy Davis, will talk about organic and sustainable cooking tips and how to stock your kitchen to achieve dietary success. The class will also participate in a cooking demo and prep their own healthy dinner for four to take home.
  • Feb. 18: Preventative Benefits of Exercise. Kay Halbert, Outpatient Rehabilitation Services Supervisor at Emory Johns Creek, discusses setting goals and general requirements for physical activity. Class participants can register to win a Fitbit to help track fitness and nutrition goals along with a pair of shoes from fleet feet and a gym membership with LA fitness.
  • March 4: Wrap-up with General Well-being. Emory Johns Creek Hospital’s Sleep Lab Coordinator and Registered Respiratory Therapist Joyce Neidert and Licensed Pharmacist Roland Tam. Discuss stress management with the Director of Marketing for Massage Envy Barb Hornsby. Class members can experience a free chair massage, take home a one hour session, and enter to win a custom pillow.

For more information or to register online, visit emoryjohnscreek.com/events-classes or call 678-474-8200.

6 Flu Myths Busted – Should I Still Get My Flu Shot This Year?

Flu MythPrevention is the best medicine, and it’s particularly true for the flu. While an annual flu vaccination is still one of the best defenses against this highly contagious respiratory illness, myths and misinformation keep many people from getting vaccinated. Here’s our list of responses to the top six flu vaccine myths, but we also urge you to speak to your doctor or healthcare professional about flu vaccination and prevention.

  1. The CDC just announced this year’s flu shot won’t be that effective, so why bother? According to the Centers for Disease Control’s Dec. 4 announcement, the flu vaccine’s ability to protect against a certain strain of seasonal flu viruses, called influenza A H3N2, may be reduced this year because of changes in the viruses since this year’s vaccine was produced. There are three things to keep in mind, however. According to the CDC, a similar situation occurred during the 2007-2008 flu season and the vaccine still proved to be 37 to 42 percent effective against H3N2 viruses. This year’s vaccination can still reduce the severity of symptoms if people do become infected. And while H3N2 viruses have been the mostly commonly reported so far this season, other types of flu viruses may become more prevalent.
  2. The flu shot will give you the flu. Not true. Flu vaccines contain inactive or weakened flu viruses that cannot cause infection. Since the flu vaccine takes about two weeks to kick in, it’s likely that some people who get the flu shot and then start experiencing flu-like symptoms were already coming down with a cold or flu. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) cites studies in which subjects were given either a flu shot or a salt-water injection. In both groups, the number of subjects who reported flu-like symptoms after the either shot were roughly the same.
  3. It’s better to get the flu and let my body fight the infection. In reality, the influenza virus is a very serious infectious disease. According to the website flu.gov, approximately 5 to 20% of the U.S. population gets the flu, and more than 200,000 people are hospitalized each year for flu-related complications, such as bacterial pneumonia, dehydration or the worsening of chronic pre-existing conditions, such as asthma. During the past 30 years, flu-related deaths have ranged from 3,000 to 49,000 per year. Older people, young children, pregnant women are at higher risk for developing severe flu complications.
  4. It’s too late to get the flu shot. Nope. In fact, National Influenza Vaccination Week runs Dec. 7 though 13, even though flu season generally begins in the fall, starting in October, and can last through May. Keep in mind that flu season typically peaks in January and February, and the vaccines are effective as long as the flu viruses are in circulation.
  5. Women who are pregnant shouldn’t get the flu shot. In actuality, the flu shot is the best protection against seasonal flu for pregnant women. Since pregnancy changes women’s immune systems, they are more susceptible to catching the flu virus, and the flu shot can protect your baby before and after the birth. While the flu shot is recommended, the nasal spray is not. As always during pregnancy, seek your doctor’s advice.
  6. The flu shot doesn’t work. I had one and still got sick. While this situation can happen, it’s possible that people who get the flu even after getting vaccinated may have caught a strain of the flu not included in that year’s vaccination or the virus changed, or may have gotten infected before the antibodies were created. Another reason is the word flu has been used to describe a variety of illnesses that aren’t caused by the influenza virus. Rhinoviruses, which are the culprit behind the common cold, can cause similar symptoms, and we tend to use the words cold and the flu interchangeably.

Related Resources

When Should You Go to the ER?
Transplant Patients: Protect Yourself Against the Flu
Did You Know that Getting the Flu Shot Can Also Lower Your Risk of a Heart Attack?

Healthy Thanksgiving Day Recipes – Don’t Choose Between Health and Flavor!

heatlhy thanksgiving dinnerThanksgiving. This highly-anticipated day marks the beginning of the holiday season—the time of year when we usually fall off the wagon and overindulge on fattening food and drink. With so many delicious recipes out there that seem to appear in endless quantities at our dinner tables, it’s understandable that we may indulge here and there. Just remember—everything good comes in moderation. Don’t be afraid to treat yourself every now and then, but make an attempt to maintain healthy meals at least 80% of the time. In the spirit of giving and moderation, here are a few recipes to help you cut unnecessary calories from your Thanksgiving menu without cutting the flavor or fun!

Healthy Turkey Recipes

Your turkey doesn’t need a full tub of butter to be moist, nor does it require brining days in advance for flavor. Try out this recipe instead: Cornbread-Crusted Turkey.

This recipe calls for healthier ingredients such as low-sodium chicken broth and skinless turkey fillets to cut down fat and excess salt. It also includes carrots and sage for an extra boost of flavor.

Healthy Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Side-dishes can be your biggest enemy if you’re not careful. Traditional side dishes can be filled with sugar, butter and cream, but if you’re willing to branch out, here are a couple of suggestions for lighter, healthier options:

Sweet Potato Casserole
Just putting a slightly healthier spin on a classic. This still contains butter and sugar, so watch your serving size and enjoy!

Mashed Cauliflower (instead of mashed potatoes)
Here, we’re simply substituting a high-fiber vegetable like cauliflower for the potatoes. This shaves off calories and carbs while adding more nutrients. Cauliflower is a nutrient powerhouse, loaded with more calcium, fiber, vitamin C, folate, and vitamin K than a comparable amount of white potatoes.

Lemon-Garlic Roasted Potatoes
Leave the unhealthy add-ons to baked potatoes at the door. Stick with lemon and garlic for seasoning with this delicious recipe that totals about 69 calories per serving.

Mock Sour Cream
If you do decide you want to add the sour cream to your mashed potatoes and other sides, here’s a tip for making a healthier version (only 11 calories per TBSP)!

Greek Yogurt Subsitutes
Both low- and non-fat versions of Greek and traditional plain yogurts can play a part in a healthy diet by improving bone health and reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes in adults. One of Greek yogurt’s primary benefits is it delivers higher protein and less sugar than the regular variety. Six ounces of Greek yogurt can deliver as much protein as three ounces of lean meat. As a result, Greek yogurt promotes the sense of fullness with fewer calories than many other protein sources. Check out these ways you can incorporate Greek yogurt into your favorite recipes this holiday!

Healthy Thanksgiving Dessert Recipes

Thanksgiving desserts are often people’s favorite part of the holidays, and rightfully so. Homemade Thanksgiving pies are the ultimate comfort food. What’s not so comforting, however, is the amount of bad fat in most desserts. Here are a couple of healthy takes on some favorite desserts:

Diabetic Friendly Crustless Pumpkin Pie
If you’re living with diabetes, you know that finding a good diabetic-friendly dessert recipe can be a challenge. Try this one out and let us know what you think in the comments below.

New York Style Cheesecake
The ingredient choices here help this to be a better option than a traditional recipe. However, remember, this is still a dessert with calories and fat. Even though it is a better decision than traditional fare, be sure to watch your portions and keep this to an occasional treat.

Chat with Us!

Healthy Holiday Eating ChatJoin Dr. Gina Lundberg, Clinical Director of the Emory Women’s Heart Center, on December 9 at noon for a live web chat on Heart Healthy Holiday Eating. Dr. Lundberg will give advice on how to enjoy the season while maintaining a healthy heart, ingredients to avoid if you’re worried about weight gain and more. You can still enjoy tasty and satisfying holiday fare without blowing a button, or even worse, negatively affecting your heart health. Join us for all the tips!

Pin with Us!

You can find all these recipes and more on Emory Healthcare’s Pinterest page! All recipes are Emory MD-approved and delicious! We also want you to share YOUR recipes with US! Just message or tweet us @emoryhealthcare and we’ll add you to our Healthy Recipes community board!

Emory in Your Community – Free Wellness Screenings

nurses screening patientsIn order to improve the health of our communities, Emory Healthcare in partnership with the North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church (UMC) recently launched a community wellness screening program in early October. Emory nurses provide wellness screenings for congregation members and the local community at selected United Methodist churches in the metro-Atlanta area. As an added bonus, on the Wednesday, November 19th wellness screening at Smyrna First, Emory nurses will also be providing free flu shots for congregation and local community members. Make a commitment to get your flu shot to ward off the flu this year.

Wellness screenings include:

  • Blood Pressure
  • Height/ Weight/ Body Mass Index
  • Cholesterol
  • Blood Glucose
  • Nutrition Consultation
  • General Health Education & Smoking Cessation Information

These screenings are FREE and open to the public for adults ranging from 16 years of age and up. You may attend any of the locations / dates listed below. And let your friends and other family members know about this exciting new endeavor.

Reservations are strongly recommended, however walk-ins are welcome. To register, please call Emory HealthConnection™ at 404-778-7777 or visit online at emoryhealthcare.org/events (search wellness screening). Below are the available screenings for the remainder of 2014.

Smyrna First UMC: 1315 Concord Road SE, Smyrna GA 30080

  • Wednesday, November 19th from 5 – 7 PM (FREE FLU SHOTS)

Oak Grove UMC: 1722 Oak Grove Road, Decatur GA 30033

  • Sunday, November 9th from 8 AM – Noon
  • Wednesday, November 12th from 5 – 7 PM

Stroke Risk & Prevention in Women

Ladies Night OutCurrent estimates suggest that 6.8 million Americans are living after having had a stroke, approximately 3.8 million of whom are women. Stroke is also the third leading cause of death among women and the leading cause of adult disability in the United States. Although much of the difference in stroke prevalence and burden is because women, on average, live longer than men, some of it is related to factors unique to or more common in women.

The American Heart Association (AHA) and American Stroke Association (ASA) recently assembled a panel of experts that published the first gender-specific AHA/ASA guidelines for stroke prevention in women. Stroke is a brain injury caused by a cessation of blood flow in the brain. This interruption can be caused by either a blocked blood vessel or a ruptured blood vessel. Because the brain is not receiving the oxygen and nutrients that it normally obtains from blood flow, the brain starts to die.

“How our society adapts to the anticipated increase in stroke prevalence in women is vitally important. Now more than ever, it is critical to identify women at higher risk for stroke and initiate the appropriate prevention strategies,” Cheryl Bushnell, MD, MHS, FACC, chair of the guideline writing group, and colleagues wrote in a statement.

It is important to emphasize stroke in women across the lifespan and to raise awareness about the unique risks of women compared with men. “These include pregnancy complications, such as preeclampsia, hormonal contraception and hormone therapy for menopausal symptoms. We also emphasize that there are risk factors that are more common in women than in men, such as migraines with aura, hypertension and atrial fibrillation.”

Stroke Prevention

There is no better way to treat stroke than to prevent it. Up to 80% of strokes may be preventable, with proper attention to lifestyle and medical risk factors.

Uncontrollable stroke risk factors include being over age 55, being African-American, having diabetes and having a family history of stroke. People falling into any of these categories tend to have a higher risk for stroke.

Some controllable risk factors for stroke are medical disorders that may be treated with medication or surgery. These conditions include high blood pressure, heart disease, high cholesterol, a personal history of stroke, and atrial fibrillation – an irregular heartbeat which allows blood to pool in the heart and can lead to blood clots. Lifestyle choices that can increase a person’s risk for stroke are smoking, drinking too much alcohol and being overweight.

If you have any of these risk factors for stroke, it is important that you work with a health care provider to learn about medical and lifestyle changes you can make to prevent having a stroke. It’s important to remember that even people with multiple risk factors can do a lot to prevent stroke. Though it won’t guarantee avoiding a stroke, your habits can make a substantial impact on reducing your risk. Some lifestyle changes that your doctor may recommend include:

  • Quitting smoking
  • Maintaining an ideal weight
  • Exercising regularly
  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Limiting alcohol
  • Managing stress
  • Reducing cholesterol

Ladies Night Out

Dr. Lundberg will be speaking about Women’s Stroke Awareness at the Emory Johns Creek Hospital annual Ladies’ Night Out women’s health and wellness event on October 23, 2014 at 6:50 p.m. The event is free and open to women of all ages.

To learn more about the event, please visit: http://www.emoryjohnscreek.com/events-classes/ladies-night-out.html

About Gina Lundberg

Gina Lundberg, MDGina Price Lundberg, MD, FACC, Emory Women’s Heart Center Clinical Director, is a Preventive Cardiologist with Emory Clinic in East Cobb. Dr. Lundberg is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Emory University School of Medicine. She is a National American Heart Association (AHA) spokesperson and has been a Board Member for Atlanta chapter from 2001 till 2007. Dr. Lundberg was the Honoree for American Heart Association’s North Fulton/ Gwinnett County Heart Ball for 2006. In 2009 she was awarded the Women with Heart Award at the Go Red Luncheon for outstanding dedication to the program. She is also a Circle of Red founding member and Cor Vitae member for AHA.

She has been interviewed on the subject of Heart Disease in Women in various media channels including CNN and in USA Today. Governor Sonny Perdue appointed Dr. Lundberg to the Advisory Board for the Department of Women’s Health for the State of Georgia in 2007 till 2011. In 2005, Atlanta Woman Magazine awarded Dr. Lundberg the Top 10 Innovator Award for Medicine. In 2008 Atlanta Woman Magazine named her one of the Top 25 Professional Women to Watch and the only woman in the field of medicine.

Related Links

Emory Women’s Heart Center
Quiz – Are you at Risk for Heart Disease
Did you Know that Stroke is the Third Leading Cause of Death in Women? Learn how to Protect Yourself!
Become aware of the risks, signs and symptoms of stroke

4 Ways to Substitute Greek Yogurt to Make Healthier Snacks and Meals

Greek YogurtGreek yogurt has skyrocketed in popularity during the past several years as consumers have started recognizing the health benefits of this once obscure dairy product.

The difference between the Greek yogurt and regular yogurt is in the straining process. The Greek variety is strained more extensively, which removes more of the liquid whey, lactose and sugars. This also produces Greek yogurt’s thicker consistency.

Both low- and non-fat versions of Greek and traditional plain yogurts can play a part in a healthy diet by improving bone health and reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes in adults. Yogurt, Greek or otherwise, is a good source of calcium, potassium, Vitamin D and protein. Both regular and Greek yogurts also contain active cultures (probiotics), which promote better digestive health.

One of Greek yogurt’s primary benefits is it delivers higher protein and less sugar than the regular variety. Six ounces of Greek yogurt can deliver as much protein as three ounces of lean meat. As a result, Greek yogurt promotes the sense of fullness with fewer calories than many other protein sources. On the downside, Greek yogurt can be higher in cholesterol and lower in calcium than regular yogurt. Full-fat versions of Greek yogurt can be higher in saturated fats.

Aside from all the great benefits of Greek yogurt, you may be getting bored with breakfast parfaits, don’t really like yogurt to begin with or have never been able to acquire a taste for Greek yogurt’s more intense flavor.

With just a few creative reconfigurations, you can introduce the healthy benefits of Greek yogurt into your favorite snack foods, recipes or toppings, while getting the benefits of active cultures (to promote digestive health), higher protein and lower fat. Remember to choose a low-fat or no-fat Greek yogurt.

  • Sour cream. For the simplest of swaps, top your tacos or baked potatoes with a dollop of Greek yogurt. Compare the numbers: one ounce of low-fat sour cream (which is half a tablespoon) contains 51 calories, 4 grams of fat, 2 grams of carbohydrates and 2 grams of protein. On the other hand, the same amount of Greek yogurt contains 22 calories, 0.6 grams of fat, a little more than 1 gram of carbohydrates and 2.9 grams of protein.

   You can also thin out Greek yogurt with a bit of 2% milk and add your favorite Ranch dressing or French onion seasoning to make a healthier version of your favorite dip (make      it even healthier by substituting raw veggies for the potato chips).

  •  Mayonnaise. Mayonnaise is a creamy dressing made mostly from eggs and oil, which are both fats. Using Greek yogurt replaces fat with protein in recipes like tuna, macaroni, chicken, or potato salads. It works well in deviled egg recipes and in creamy salad dressings, like Caesar and Ranch.
  • Heavy cream or milk. Use Greek yogurt in your mashed potatoes, soups or sauces. Chef’s tip: To prevent curdling, remove the dish from the heat source before adding Greek yogurt to the recipe. Yogurt as a milk substitute is one of the reasons yogurt parfaits have become popular.
  •  Use in baked goods. Reduce the fat content in store-bought mixes for cakes, muffins, pancakes by replacing eggs and oil with Greek yogurt and water. You can also substitute Greek yogurt for cream cheese when making cake frosting.

Finally, make sure you check the nutrition label. The ingredient list should be fairly short, with milk and active cultures at the top of the list. Some brands contain more sugars and less protein than others. Fat content can also vary. As with any dairy product, opt for the low-fat or no-fat version for maximum health benefits.

Book Your November Cardiovascular Screening Before the Fall’s End!

Emory Healthcare Mobile ScreeningsEmory Healthcare, along with our mobile health screening partner, HealthFair, continues to offer cardiovascular screenings around the metro Atlanta area in the month of November. This collaboration provides metro Atlanta communities greater access to important screening services and to the Emory Healthcare Network of physicians and providers. Below is listing of screening dates and locations coming to your neighborhood.

Cardiovascular screenings offered by HealthFair meet the established screening guidelines by the American College of Cardiology. Each patient, along with the medical staff, can tailor their screening packages to their specific needs. Details about the screenings can be found at emoryhealthcare.org/screening.

November 2014 Cardiovascular Screening Schedule

  • November 1, Kroger, 4045 Marietta Highway, Canton
  • November 3, CVS, 2305 Highway 34 East, Newnan
  • November 4, Rite Aid, 1550 Kennesaw Due West Road NW, Kennesaw
  • November 4, CVS, 3285 New MacLand Road, Powder Springs
  • November 4, Kroger, 8876 Dallas Acworth Highway, Dallas
  • November 5, Wade Walker Park Family YMCA, 5605 Rockbridge Road, Stone Mountain
  • November 6, Rite Aid, 2113 S Cobb Drive, Smyrna
  • November 6, The Fresh Market, 100 N Peachtree Parkway, Peachtree City
  • November 7, Kroger, 4357 Lawrenceville Highway, Tucker
  • November 7, Walmart Supercenter, 600 Carrollton Villa Rica Highway, Villa Rica
  • November 8, Publix, 13015 Brown Bridge Road, Covington
  • November 10, CVS, 2305 Highway 34 East, Newnan
  • November 10, CVS, 202 Grayson Highway, Lawrenceville
  • November 11, Kroger, 1355 S. Park Street, Carrollton
  • November 11, Kroger, 2205 Lavista Road NE, Atlanta
  • November 12, Kroger, 3000 Old Alabama Road, Alpharetta
  • November 12, Kroger, 12050 Georgia 92, Woodstock
  • November 13, Walgreens, 10 East May Street, Winder
  • November 13, The Fresh Market, 5515 Chamblee Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody
  • November 14, Just Fitness 4U Marietta, 3101 Roswell Road, Marietta
  • November 14, CVS, 13 North Tennessee Street, Cartersville
  • November 15, CVS, 1140 N Hairston Road, Stone Mountain
  • November 15, Kroger, 6001 Cumming Highway, Buford
  • November 17, Best Buy, 1709 Scenic Highway S, Snellville
  • November 17, Pacifica Senior Living Roswell, 11725 Pointe Place, Roswell
  • November 18, CVS, 5764 Peachtree Industrial Boulevard, Atlanta
  • November 18, Target, 5950 State Bridge Road, Duluth
  • November 19, Walgreens, 4075 Cherokee Street NW, Kennesaw
  • November 19, Super Target, 1850 Jonesboro Road, McDonough
  • November 20, CVS, 6330 Roswell Road, Atlanta
  • November 21, CVS, 2586 Lawrenceville Highway, Decatur
  • November 22, Walgreens, 2365 Buford Drive, Lawrenceville
  • November 24, Kroger, 720 Commerce Drive, Decatur
  • November 25, Kroger, 4920 Roswell Road, Atlanta
  • November 26, Kroger, 1690 Powder Springs Road SE, Marietta

For more information on screening options and/or to schedule your screening appointment, visit www.emoryhealthcare.org/screening.

Emory Johns Creek Hospital Ladies Night Out 2014: Celebrate the Art of Wellness

Ladies Night OutEmory Johns Creek Hospital, in conjunction the Junior League of Gwinnett and North Fulton Counties, is hosting its annual Ladies Night Out this year on October 23, 2014 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in Physicians Plaza. This event is free for women of all ages. RSVP by calling: 678-474-8200.

This year, the Johns Creek Art Center will exhibit paintings, jewelry, pottery and other works by local artists in conjunction with free health screenings and opportunities to chat with Emory Johns Creek healthcare providers in a casual setting.

Free screenings will include glucose, cholesterol, bone density, blood pressure and Body Mass Index. In addition, this year’s featured discussion will be on Women’s Stroke Symptoms, presented by Gina Lundberg, MD, Clinical Director of Emory Women’s Heart Center and Associate Professor at Emory University School of Medicine. Dr. Lundberg spoke on women’s heart attack symptoms and risk factors at the hospital’s Go Red Event in February and at the St Ives We ♥ Wine event in October 2013. She has been interviewed on the subject of Heart Disease in Women in various media channels, including CNN and USA Today.

Bev Miller, Director of Community Relations at Emory Johns Creek Hospital says she’s excited about this year’s event. “We’re very fortunate to have the Junior League and the Johns Creek Art Center working with us, and we’re looking forward to having Dr. Lundberg return. We got rave reviews from guest who attended our Go Red Event this year, so we’re looking forward to a great Ladies Night Out.”

Light refreshments and desserts will be served during the event. For more updates and more information, visit emoryjohnscreek.com/events-classes or call 678-474-8017.

October Cardiovascular Screenings – Schedule Yours Today!

Emory Healthcare Mobile ScreeningsEmory Healthcare, along with our mobile health screening partner, HealthFair, continues to offer cardiovascular screenings around the metro Atlanta area in the month of October. This collaboration provides metro Atlanta communities greater access to important screening services and to the Emory Healthcare Network of physicians and providers. Below is listing of screening dates and locations coming to your neighborhood.
Cardiovascular screenings offered by HealthFair meet the established screening guidelines by the American College of Cardiology. Each patient, along with the medical staff, can tailor their screening packages to their specific needs. Details about the screenings can be found at emoryhealthcare.org/screening.

October 2014 Cardiovascular Screening Schedule

  •  October 1, Kroger, 4915 Flat Shoals Parkway, Decatur
  •  October 2, Publix, 2325 Cheshire Bridge Road, Atlanta
  •  October 3, Target, 5950 State Bridge Road, Duluth
  •  October 4, CVS, 4595 Highway 92, Acworth
  •  October 4, Kroger, 2205 Lavista Road NE, Atlanta
  •  October 9, Walmart Supercenter, 600 Carrollton Villa Rica Highway, Villa Rica
  •  October 10, CVS, 485 Concord Road, Smyrna
  •  October 10, Parc at Piedmont East Cobb, 999 Hood Road, Marietta
  •  October 11, Super Target, 1850 Jonesboro Road, McDonough
  •  October 13, Pacifica Senior Living Roswell, 11725 Pointe Place, Roswell
  •  October 14, LA Fitness, 3023 Chapel Hill Road, Douglasville
  •  October 15, Cobb Harry’s, 70 Powers Ferry Road SE, Marietta
  •  October 16, CVS, 202 Grayson Highway, Lawrenceville
  •  October 17, Home Depot, 2635 Peachtree Parkway, Suwanee
  •  October 18, Target, 140 Woodstock Square Avenue, Woodstock
  •  October 20, Kroger, 4045 Marietta Highway, Canton
  •  October 21, CVS, 3401 Northside Parkway NW, Atlanta
  •  October 22, Kroger, 4875 Floyd Road SW, Mableton
  •  October 23, Kroger, 2205 Lavista Road NE, Atlanta
  •  October 23, Walgreens, 2035 Candler Road, Decatur
  •  October 24, Walgreens, 7935 Tara Boulevard, Jonesboro
  •  October 25, CVS, 3027 Jim Moore Road, Dacula
  •  October 27, Walgreens, 3725 Cascade Road SW, Atlanta
  •  October 28, Whole Foods Market, 650 Ponce De Leon Avenue NE, Atlanta
  •  October 28, CVS, 3285 New MacLand Road, Powder Springs
  •  October 29, Kroger, 1799 Briarcliff Road NE, Atlanta
  •  October 29, CVS, 80 Fairview Road, Ellenwood
  •  October 30, Parc at Piedmont East Cobb, 999 Hood Road, Marietta
  •  October 31, Kroger, 455 Grayson Highway, Lawrenceville

For more information on screening options and/or to schedule your screening appointment, visit www.emoryhealthcare.org/screening.

Vertigo: What is It and What Causes It?

VertigoLightheaded, woozy, unsteady, dizzy – these are all words used frequently by doctors and patients alike to describe vertigo, a well-known balance disorder that gives you the sense that your surroundings are spinning or moving. According to the NIH, more than four out of 10 Americans will report an episode of dizziness to their doctors. Teasing out the root cause of vertigo can be a difficult task because it can be related to problems with the inner ear, brain, vision, migraines, circulation, or even emotional hardship and anxiety. Fortunately, the majority of causes for balance disorders are not life-threatening. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons your head might be spinning.

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)
The most common cause of vertigo is BPPV. BPPV produces a short, but intense sensation of spinning typically triggered by specific head movements or laying back. The symptoms last seconds. The onset can be spontaneous or it can follow head trauma. Although anyone can develop BPPV, older individuals are more likely to experience it. BPPV is thought to be secondary to dislodgment of inner ear particles known as otoconia (crystals). Once these particles come loose within the inner ear, certain head movements will cause the crystals to abnormally flow within our inner ear structures, thus triggering a perception of movement or spinning. BPPV is typically self-limited. However, some patients will require evaluation by a physician to have repositioning maneuvers in order to aid in the recovery.

Vestibular Neuronitis
Another common cause of vertigo is vestibular neuronitis, or an inflammation of the balance nerve. The dizziness and vertigo induced by this condition can often last days. Patients are typically quite sick and experience nausea and vomiting. Any movement will exacerbate the sense of motion. As a result, patients often are stuck in bed until they receive medication. The inflammation of the balance nerve is often caused by a viral illness, such as a cold or upper respiratory infection. Treatment involves medications to control the dizziness, nausea and vomiting. Most people recover within a few weeks time, but you can still experience imbalance for months. When there is associated hearing loss, the condition is called labyrinthitis. The hearing loss may be permanent.

Meniere’s Disease
Fluctuating hearing loss, ear fullness or pressure, ringing in the ears (tinnitus) and vertigo – all experienced together — is also known as Meniere’s disease. The cause is thought to be elevated inner ear pressures (idiopathic endolymphatic hydrops). The vertigo associated with this disease lasts anywhere from 20 minutes to hours and can leave patients with residual fatigue and a feeling of imbalance for days. Though people of all ages can have Meniere’s disease, it is more common in middle aged adults.

Migraines
Although we may think of migraines as bad headaches, atypical migraines can present with the primary symptom of vertigo. Certain foods and alcohol, sleep deprivation and stress, hormonal changes and visual stimulants can all trigger attacks. The vertigo associated with migraines can last hours to days. Associated light and sound sensitivity is not uncommon. Treatment focuses on avoiding triggers.

Rare Causes of Vertigo

Acoustic Neuroma or Vestibular Schwannoma
One in 100,000 people will develop these rare benign tumors that typically grow out of the nerve fibers of the balance nerves. Patients also often have hearing loss and tinnitus. The treatment depends on the age of the patient, hearing status, size of the lesion and growth characteristics of the tumor. Surgery, radiation and observation are all treatment options. An MRI is the typical diagnostic study.

Miscellaneous Causes of Vertigo

  • Stroke can manifest as vertigo, but typically has other associated neurological deficits.
  • A labyrinthine bleed causes severe vertigo and hearing loss that is irreversible.
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Primary or metastatic brain lesions can also present with vertigo, but typically have other associated neurological deficits as well.

About Dr. Vivas

Esther Vivas, MDEsther Vivas, MD, is a board-certified otolaryngologist and graduated from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, NY. She completed both her internship and residency in Otorhinolaryngology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. She attended the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in Pittsburgh, PA for her fellowship in Neurotology and Skull Base Surgery.