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Thanatophobia: understanding and overcoming death anxiety

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It’s normal to have concerns about aging or to worry about how your loved ones will cope after you’re gone. However, for some people, a fear of death or dying can cause severe anxiety that disrupts their daily life. This is referred to as thanatophobia. Here’s what you should know.

Symptoms
Thanatophobia, also known as death anxiety, is a type of anxiety that generally only manifests itself if the affected person thinks about or is confronted with the subject of death. Depending on the severity of the phobia, it can cause a variety of symptoms such as:

• Increased anxiety about dying or losing a loved one

• Chronic insomnia stemming from a fear of dying in your sleep


• Persistent feelings of guilt, sadness, or anger

• Panic attacks when the subject of death is brought up

Someone with thanatophobia might also avoid places that remind them of death, such as hospitals and cemeteries, and activities they view as potentially fatal such as driving or flying.

Treatments
If thanatophobia prevents someone from living a normal life, there are therapies that can help ease the fear associated with death. Cognitive-behavioral therapy, for example, focuses on changing thought patterns and developing strategies to deal with feelings of anxiety. Practicing relaxation techniques such as meditation and deep breathing can also help.

If death anxiety is interfering with your daily life, don’t hesitate to speak with your doctor or consult a mental health professional.

Funeral and estate planning
If you want to plan for your death and make things easier for your loved ones after you’re gone, look into writing a legal will and pre-planning your funeral.

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Should you buy glasses online?

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Online vendors for prescription glasses offer on-trend frames at enticingly low prices. From your desk, you can select your frames, enter your prescription and payment details and then just wait for the mail to arrive. But before submitting your order, it’s important to consider the risks.

Cost
The low list prices given by online providers typically represents the cost of the frames alone. Your prescription and any add-ons, such as protective coatings and other lens enhancements, will make your total cost significantly higher than the list price would lead you to expect. In addition, if you have insurance, be aware that an online vendor of prescription glasses may not be covered under your plan.

Fit
Most online providers of glasses list each item’s frame measurements, including lens width, bridge width, and temple arm length, in their product descriptions. Some even let you upload your photo to “try on” their glasses. But for a precise fit, you’re on your own. The professionals at a traditional brick-and-mortar eyewear store, however, have the tools and skills to fit your glasses to your face perfectly.

Accuracy
To align your natural line of vision with the curvature of the lens, you’ll need to be fitted for vertical and horizontal alignment. Most online providers advise buyers on how to measure their own pupillary distance for horizontal alignment. However, there’s really no way to determine vertical alignment without an in-person fitting.


Not only do the right eyeglasses help you see, but they can also help prevent or delay further degeneration of your vision. Be sure you invest wisely by visiting your local eyewear store.

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What to do if you’ve been scratched or bitten by an animal

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Dog and cat bites and scratches can transmit serious infections and diseases, including rabies, cat scratch disease, tetanus, osteomyelitis, pasteurellosis, tenosynovitis, septic arthritis, septicemia, and endocarditis. Here’s what you should do if a dog or cat scratches or bites you.

First aid
Immediately wash the affected area with mild soap and run it under water for at least 10 minutes.

Assessment
Call your local health department. You’ll be asked to provide details about the wound, like the size, depth, and location of the lesion, to assess your risk of infection. They may also ask where the event took place and request you to provide information on your medical condition and the animal involved.

Treatment
Depending on your situation, you may be referred to a local hospital or medical clinic to receive care for your wound. This treatment may include preventive antibiotics or a tetanus vaccine.


If your pet is frightened, surprised, hurt, or annoyed, it may lash out. To avoid being bitten or scratched, don’t touch your pet while it’s eating or sleeping, and don’t tease it by running after it, pulling its tail, or poking it with an object.

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Improve your night vision

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Though commonly called night blindness, nyctalopia doesn’t involve completely losing the ability to see. Rather, this condition makes it difficult to see in relatively low light.

Many people have difficulty driving at night or adjusting their eyes when moving from a bright area into a dimly lit room. If you’re struggling to see in the dark, here are some easy steps you can take to improve your night vision.

Increase vitamin A
A diet high in vitamin A can increase your level of rhodopsin, a protein in the light receptor cells of the retina. Opt for orange fruits and vegetables like sweet potatoes, carrots, squash, and cantaloupe. Dark green leafy vegetables, eggs, and fish are also rich sources of vitamin A.

Limit light exposure
You can help manage your difficulty adjusting to the dark by limiting your exposure to extreme light conditions. Wear sunglasses on bright days, and reduce the brightness settings on your electronic devices, especially if you work in a dark room.


Massage your eyes
Take a few minutes every hour to rejuvenate your vision with a brief massage. With eyes closed, gently press your palms against your eyelids. Your vision will turn white and gradually fade to black. After a minute or so, release and open your eyes.

Visit your optometrist
Depending on its cause, nyctalopia may be treatable with corrective lenses, surgery, or medication. An optometrist or ophthalmologist will be able to identify any underlying issues and advise you on the best possible treatment.

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Does your child need orthotics?

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When it comes to children, spotting issues early can help prevent pain and injuries later in life.

Though most kids don’t need orthotics and needlessly using them may impede healthy development, if you detect a problem, it’s important to take action. Early intervention can prevent the development of more serious conditions. Here are some signs that your child might benefit from orthotics.

Gait
If your child points their toes inward or outward, or if they walk only on their toes or heels, underlying foot issues may be the cause. Take note if your child seems to stumble or trip frequently.

Feet
Examine the shape of your child’s feet. If they have no visible arches, they might benefit from orthotic support. Keep an eye out for bunions, ingrown toenails, and toes that seem to bend sideways.


Behavior
Your child may limp or complain of pain in their feet, ankles, or knees. Also, pay attention to subtle signs of pain or fatigue. If they seem to avoid running or frequently ask to be picked up rather than walk on their own, they may have foot discomfort.

Shoes
Check your child’s shoes for signs of unusual wear and tear. In particular, look inside the heel for fraying or chafing. Also, if the toes or heels are excessively scuffed, it may be an indication your child’s gait is out of alignment.

To rule out the possibility of undetected issues, pediatricians recommend your child visit a podiatrist at age 3, when they typically develop their heel-toe walking pattern. Further evaluation is recommended at age 5 when they’re ready to start school and again before they start regular sports activities.

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Try micro-exercises to improve health

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It’s not like you have the time to run to the gym at lunch, change, exercise, shower, and get back to your desk.

Yet, it isn’t healthy to spend an average of 9.3 hours a day sitting at a desk. In fact, according to Nilofer Merchant of the Harvard Business Review, after an hour of sitting, fat-burning enzymes in the body decrease by 90 percent, the body metabolism slows, blood pools in the legs, and pressure builds at the spine.

That’s where micro exercises come in and, according to one study, doing simple, quick moves at the desk can help you stave off illness and build strength.

Conducted in Denmark, the study surveyed 70,000 workers who had had 30-day illnesses during the previous 12 months. Researchers found that nearly 13 percent of these long-term absences could have been prevented using micro exercise.


The study found that 10 to 15 minutes of micro exercises with resistance bands three times a week also led to improved feelings of vitality and even better teamwork.

Although the study used elastic bands, you don’t need the bands to do micro exercises.

Here are some easy ways the keep and increase strength at your desk:

  • Calf raises: With feet flat on the floor, raise your feet to the toes. Do 50 reps. Too easy? Do it standing.
  • Ab tucks: Sit up straight. Pull abs to the spine, hold. Do 25 reps.
  • Glute squeezes: Sit up straight. Squeeze glutes. 25 reps.
  • Lower ab contractions: Sit straight, and lift both legs off the seat. Lower feet just above the floor. Hold. Repeat.
  • Press arms: Sit in a non-rolling chair that has armrests. Using armrests, push yourself up with your hands to try to float above the chair. Try to get your arms straight. Then slowly lower yourself back down.
  • Leg extensions: On a non-rolling chair, point your toes up and extend your legs out straight. Hold for five to 10 seconds to stretch calves and hamstrings. Repeat.
  • One super-micro move: Try tapping alternative toes as you work.
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3 reasons you may need to have a tooth pulled

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In most cases, if you have a problem with one of your teeth, your dentist can repair it. However, sometimes an extraction may be necessary to remedy the situation. Here are three reasons you may need to have a tooth removed.

1. Untreated cavity
If left untreated, cavities can break down and destroy the structure of your teeth. This can make it difficult to repair them, and if left untreated, the cavities may present a health risk. Therefore, extraction is sometimes the only solution.

2. Severe infection
Over time, a severe infection can destroy a tooth and break down the surrounding bone and tissue. If the bone is severely damaged, the tooth may fall out. Damage caused by a disease like periodontitis is irreversible because the affected structures cannot regrow. Once the disease is in its advanced stages, the only solution may be to have your tooth removed.

3. Lack of space
Your mouth may not be able to accommodate your growing teeth. For example, this often happens with wisdom teeth, the molars at the very back of your mouth. If your wisdom teeth don’t have enough room, they can grow in sideways and cause damage, inflammation, and infection.

Front Royal Virginia

There are several other reasons why you may need to have a tooth pulled. Speak with your dentist to learn more.

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Upcoming Events

May
21
Sat
9:00 am Kids’ Fishing Tournament @ Shenandoah River State Park
Kids’ Fishing Tournament @ Shenandoah River State Park
May 21 @ 9:00 am – 2:00 pm
Kids' Fishing Tournament @ Shenandoah River State Park
Held in the picnic area by the river. 2 prize categories: biggest catch and most unique catch Children ages 15 years and younger are eligible to compete Check in with the ranger at Shelter 1[...]
10:00 am Birds of the Woods and Fields @ Sky Meadows State Park
Birds of the Woods and Fields @ Sky Meadows State Park
May 21 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am
Birds of the Woods and Fields @ Sky Meadows State Park
Sensory Explorers’ Trail Join Shenandoah Chapter Master Naturalist Margaret Wester and explore the habitat of birds and the woodland wonders utilized for their survival. Discover the diverse stories of the Eastern Bluebird, Tree Swallow, Wood[...]
11:00 am National Kids to Parks Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
National Kids to Parks Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
May 21 @ 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
National Kids to Parks Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
Children’s Discovery Area This National Kids to Parks Day, join us for fun-filled activities and music at our interactive discovery stations. Kids, pick up a scavenger hunt brochure and hike on the Track Trail or[...]
May
22
Sun
2:00 pm Common Scents: Historic Perfume ... @ Sky Meadows State Park
Common Scents: Historic Perfume ... @ Sky Meadows State Park
May 22 @ 2:00 pm – May 23 @ 4:00 pm
Common Scents: Historic Perfume Making Workshop @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area. Have you ever wondered how to harvest the fragrance of a flower or capture the irresistible aroma of sandalwood? Then this hands-on workshop is for you! Join us and learn how people in[...]
5:00 pm Let’s Come Together @ DoubleTree by Hilton
Let’s Come Together @ DoubleTree by Hilton
May 22 @ 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm
Let's Come Together @ DoubleTree by Hilton
A Night of Prayer and Worship, All are Welcome Prayers led by Pastor John Miller of Abundant Life Church and other Local Pastors DoubleTree by Hilton 111 Hospitality Dr. Front Royal, VA Sunday, May 22[...]
May
25
Wed
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
May 25 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Bingo to support the American Cancer Society mission, organized by Relay For Life of Front Royal. Every Wednesday evening Early Bird Bingo at 6:30 p.m. Regular Bingo from 7-9:30 p.m. Food and refreshments available More[...]
May
28
Sat
8:00 pm Astronomy for Everyone @ Sky Meadows State Park
Astronomy for Everyone @ Sky Meadows State Park
May 28 @ 8:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Astronomy for Everyone @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area: Discover our International Dark-Sky Park! Our evenings begin with a half-hour children’s “Junior Astronomer” program, followed by a discussion about the importance of dark skies and light conservation. Then join NASA Jet Propulsion[...]
May
30
Mon
7:00 pm 2022 Memorial Day Community Band... @ Gazebo
2022 Memorial Day Community Band... @ Gazebo
May 30 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
2022 Memorial Day Community Band Concert @ Gazebo
2022 Memorial Day Concert by Front Royal Community Band Monday, May 30, 2022, 7pm, at the Gazebo on Main St. (sponsored by American Legion Post #53)
Jun
1
Wed
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Jun 1 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Bingo to support the American Cancer Society mission, organized by Relay For Life of Front Royal. Every Wednesday evening Early Bird Bingo at 6:30 p.m. Regular Bingo from 7-9:30 p.m. Food and refreshments available More[...]