Got a bug problem in your house? You don't have to move away from the problem

StatePoint Media -- As the leaves turn more colorful and tempertures begin to drop. Little critters are going to be looking for somewhere warmer to avoid the fall chill. If you hate the idea of bugs in your home, you’re in fine company -- 1 in 3 Americans have seriously considered burning down their own home after experiencing a bug infestation, according to a new survey.

The study, commissioned by Zevo and conducted by OnePoll, found that 66% of respondents are willing to do “nearly anything” to get rid of bugs at home -- including fumigating their entire home (51%), throwing the nearest thing at it, no matter what that nearest thing is (43%) and even DIYing a flamethrower (35%). Others have changed their diet and lifestyle to avoid sightings at home, with 59% saying they will even refrain from keeping fresh fruit in their homes or buying houseplants out of fear that it will attract flying insects.


Photo:Pexels/Francisco Sanchez

In fact, some people would rather just leave it all behind and start over somewhere new. More than half of respondents (52%) have considered moving because of bug infestations, and of those who considered that option, 69% actually followed through and packed up their things.

When it comes to putting up with bugs, there are a number of home woes people would prefer to live with, including broken appliances (29%), creaky floors (26%), broken windows (26%), not having television connections (25%) and even rodents (24%).

Giving how bugged by insects people are, it’s no wonder that they have come up with some pretty creative and expensive ways to try to deal with the problem, with 48% of survey respondents having turned to DIY “hacks” and the average person spending $177 on creating homemade methods to deal with bugs. Some of the methods mentioned by respondents include using cinnamon, coffee grounds and even maple syrup to get rid of bugs. One person even recalled pouring gasoline on bugs to drown them.

Of course, many of these homemade solutions produce iffy results at best or are downright dangerous. The bug biology and behavior experts at Zevo say that if you want to rid your home of pests, there are much easier and more effective ways to go about it that don’t involve putting your home on the market and relocating. Here’s an effective two-pronged approach you can try for killing bugs and preventing future infestations:

1. Go worry-free. Most traditional insect sprays on the market today use synthetic pyrethroids as their active ingredients, which can have a noxious smell and make a room uninhabitable after spraying. For a solution that’s safe for people and pets when used as directed, check out Zevo Instant Action Sprays, which rely on essential oil to target and shut down biological pathways found in insects. The brand carries four different sprays to target everything from cockroaches and ants to yellowjackets and crickets.

2. Safeguard entry points. Pests enter the home most typically through windows, doors and the garage. Check screen doors and windows for tears, and patch or replace them. You can also plug Zevo Flying Insect Traps into outlets in areas where bugs typically gather in your home, like kitchens, bathrooms, garages and entryways. The traps use a combination of UVC and blue light to attract and trap flying insects, offering continuous defense for up to 45 days or until the trap is full.

To learn more about defending your home against insects, visit zevoinsect.com.

The next time you spot bugs, put down the gasoline can and the flamethrower. Simple, worry-free solutions exist that can help you maintain a bug-free home and your sanity.

Reporter panics at diagnosis, then discovers simple, no-cost solution

Photo: Shane/Unsplash
Sleeping on your back contributes to snoring and blockages, especially as you age and the muscles in the throat become looser. Sleeping on your side could help improve your sleep quality.

by Jay Hancock
Kaiser Health News

I woke up in a strange bedroom with 24 electrodes glued all over my body and a plastic mask attached to a hose covering my face.

The lab technician who watched me all night via video feed told me that I had “wicked sleep apnea” and that it was “central sleep apnea” — a type that originates in the brain and fails to tell the muscles to inhale.

As a journalist — and one terrified by the diagnosis — I set out to do my own research. After a few weeks of sleuthing and interviewing experts, I reached two important conclusions.

First, I had moderate apnea, if that, and it could be treated without the elaborate machines, mouthpieces, or other devices that specialists who had consulted on my care were talking about.

Second, the American health care system has joined with commercial partners to define a medical condition — in this case, sleep apnea — in a way that allows both parties to generate revenue from a multitude of pricey diagnostic studies, equipment sales, and questionable treatments. I was on a conveyor belt.


As a journalist who spent years covering the business of health care, I found there was more motivating my expensive testing cascade than concerns about my health.

It all began with a desire for answers: I had been feeling drowsy during the day, and my wife told me I snored. Both can mean obstructive sleep apnea. With obstructive sleep apnea, the mouth and throat relax when a person is unconscious, sometimes blocking or narrowing the airway. That interrupts breathing, as well as sleep. Without treatment, the resulting disruption in oxygen flow might increase the risk of developing certain cardiovascular diseases.

So I contacted a sleep-treatment center, and doctors gave me an at-home test ($365). Two weeks later, they told me I had “high-moderate” sleep apnea and needed to acquire a continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP, machine, at a cost of about $600.

Though I had hoped to get the equipment and adjust the settings to see what worked best, my doctors said I had to come to the sleep lab for an overnight test ($1,900) to have them “titrate” the optimal CPAP air pressure.

“How do you treat central sleep apnea?” I worriedly asked the technician after that first overnight stay. She said something about an ASV (adaptive servo-ventilation) machine ($4,000). And one pricey lab sleepover wasn’t enough, she said. I needed to come back for another.

(Most procedures and devices mentioned in this article were covered or would have been covered by insurance — in my case, Medicare, plus a supplemental plan. Unnecessary care is a big reason Americans’ insurance costs — premiums, copays, and deductibles — tend to rise year after year.)

As a journalist who spent years covering the business of health care, I found there was more motivating my expensive testing cascade than concerns about my health.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine, or AASM, a nonprofit based near Chicago, decides what is sleep apnea and how to treat it. Working with sleep societies around the world, it publishes the International Classification of Sleep Disorders, relied on by doctors everywhere to diagnose and categorize disease.

But behind that effort lie considerable conflicts of interest. Like so much of U.S. health care, sleep medicine turns out to be a thriving industry. AASM finances its operations in part with payments from CPAP machine manufacturers and other companies that stand to profit from expensive treatments and expansive definitions of apnea and other sleep disorders.

Zoll Itamar, which makes the at-home testing device I used, as well as implantable nerve-stimulation hardware for central sleep apnea, is a $60,000, “platinum” partner in AASM’s Industry Engagement Program. So is Avadel Pharmaceuticals, which is testing a drug to treat narcolepsy, characterized by intense daytime sleepiness.


Almost everybody breathes irregularly sometime at night, especially during REM sleep, characterized by rapid eye movement and dreams.

Other sponsors include the maker of an anti-insomnia drug; another company with a narcolepsy drug; Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, which makes CPAP machines and masks; and Inspire Medical Systems, maker of a heavily advertised surgical implant, costing tens of thousands of dollars, to treat apnea.

Corporate sponsors for Sleep 2022, a convention AASM put on in Charlotte, North Carolina, with other professional societies, included many of those companies, plus Philips Respironics and ResMed, two of the biggest CPAP machine makers.

In a statement, AASM spokesperson Jennifer Gibson said a conflict-of-interest policy and a non-interference pledge from industry funders protect the integrity of the academy’s work. Industry donations account for about $170,000 of AASM’s annual revenue of about $15 million, she said. Other revenue comes from educational materials and membership and accreditation fees.

Here’s what else I found. Almost everybody breathes irregularly sometime at night, especially during REM sleep, characterized by rapid eye movement and dreams. Blood oxygen levels also fluctuate slightly.

But recent European studies have shown that standards under the International Classification of Sleep Disorders would doom huge portions of the general population to a sleep apnea diagnosis — whether or not people had complaints of daytime tiredness or other sleep problems.

A study in the Swiss city of Lausanne showed that 50% of local men and 23% of the women 40 or older were positive for sleep apnea under such criteria.

Such rates of disease are “extraordinarily high,” “astronomical,” and “implausible,” Dr. Dirk Pevernagie, a scientist at Belgium’s Ghent University Hospital, wrote with colleagues two years ago in a comprehensive study in the Journal of Sleep Research.

“Right now, there is no real evidence for the criteria that have been put forward to diagnose obstructive sleep apnea and rate its severity,” he said in an interview.

Likewise, 19% of middle-aged subjects in a 2016 Icelandic study appeared to have moderate to severe “apnea” under one definition in the International Classification of Sleep Disorders even though many reported no drowsiness.

“Most of them were really surprised,” said Erna Sif Arnard√≥ttir, who led the study and is running a large European program to refine detection and treatment of apnea.

Nevertheless, the official AASM journal recommends extremely broad screening for sleep apnea, looking for patients who have what it defines as illness. Everybody 18 and older should be screened every year for apnea if they have diabetes, obesity, untreated high blood pressure, or heart disease — even if they have never complained about sleep problems, the group says.

AASM “continually evaluates the definitions, criteria and recommendations used in the identification of sleep apnea and other sleep disorders,” Gibson said in the statement. Meanwhile, routine screening by primary care doctors “is a simple way” of gauging whether a high-risk patient may have obstructive sleep apnea, the statement said.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, an authoritative body that reviews the effectiveness of preventive care, takes a conservative view, more like that of the European researchers, concluding there is “insufficient” evidence to support widespread screening among patients with no symptoms.

Many insurers refuse to pay for CPAP machines and other treatments prescribed for people at the outer edges of the AASM’s apnea definition. But AASM is pressuring them to come around.

After all my reporting, I concluded that my apnea is real, though moderate. My alarming reading in the overnight lab — diagnosed quickly as central sleep apnea — was a byproduct of the testing machinery itself. That’s a well-described phenomenon that occurs in 5% to 15% of patients.

And when I looked closely at the results of my at-home diagnostic test, I had an epiphany: My overall score was 26 breathing interruptions and blood-oxygen level declines, on average, per hour — enough to put me in the “high-moderate” category for apnea. But when I looked at the data sorted according to sleeping positions, I saw that I scored much better when I slept on my side: only 10 interruptions in an hour.

So I did a little experiment: I bought a $25 pulse oximeter with a smartphone app that records oxygen dips and breathing interruptions. When I slept on my side, there were hardly any.

Now I sleep on my side. I snore less. I wake up refreshed. I’m not daytime drowsy.

None of my specialists mentioned turning on to my side — known in medical parlance as “positional therapy” — though the intervention is recognized as effective by many researchers.

“Positional patients … can sleep in the lateral position and sleep quite well,” said Arie Oksenberg, a sleep researcher formerly at Loewenstein Hospital in Israel.

But it’s not easy to find this in the official AASM treatment guidelines, which instead go right to the money-making options like CPAP machines, surgery, central apnea, and mouth appliances.

Dealing with apnea by shifting slightly in bed gets little more than a couple of paragraphs in AASM’s guideline on “other” treatments and a little box on a long and complex decision chart.

A third or more of patients wear CPAPs only a few hours a night or stop using them. It turns out people don’t like machines in their beds.

“Positional therapy is an effective treatment option for some patients,” said the AASM’s Gibson. But she said there are concerns about whether patients will sleep on their sides long term and whether trying to stay in one position might cause sleep interruptions itself.

It’s true that And it often takes practice. (Some people tape a tennis ball to their pajamas to keep them off their backs.) Even conservative sleep doctors say CPAP machines are the best solution for many patients.

But there is a largely overlooked alternative.

“Are we missing a simple treatment for most adult sleep apnea patients?” was the name of a 2013 paper that Oksenberg and a colleague wrote about positional therapy.

In my case, the answer was “yes.”


Jay Hancock is a former KHN senior correspondent.

KHN (Kaiser Health News) is a national newsroom that produces in-depth journalism about health issues. Together with Policy Analysis and Polling, KHN is one of the three major operating programs at KFF (Kaiser Family Foundation). KFF is an endowed nonprofit organization providing information on health issues to the nation.

Subscribe to KHN's free Morning Briefing.

Considering joint replacement? You might want to wait a little longer

by Tim Ditman
OSF Healthcare

Urbana -- More than seven million people are walking the Earth with a new knee or hip.

And if you’re suffering from debilitating pain, the thought of becoming total joint replacement patient seven million one is probably appealing. But James Murphy, MD, says try not to think about it until your mid-60s.

And Dr. Murphy, an orthopedic surgeon at OSF HealthCare in Urbana, Illinois, should know. He comes from a long line of orthopedic surgeons and has been immersed in the field for decades.

Joint injuries

Generally speaking, a joint is where two bones meet in the body to allow movement.

Dr. Murphy explains that joint injuries can come suddenly, like one during a basketball game, and those are often treated with a brace or surgery. Joint injuries can also develop over many years – the wear-and-tear injuries. Treatments for those include medication, injections or surgery.

Replacement

Every person has unique joint health circumstances, but Dr. Murphy advises you wait until at least age 65 before considering a total joint replacement. He says if you get the surgery at, say, age 40, you may just have to do it again in 15 or 20 years.

Dr. James Murphy
Photo provided
Dr. James Murphy
Orthopedic Surgeon
OSF HealthCare

Until then, try the aforementioned treatments: medication (over-the-counter or prescription), braces or injections by a health care provider. Losing weight helps, too. Dr. Murphy says dropping five pounds equates to taking 25 pounds of pressure off your knees.

Dr. Murphy also says holistic remedies like black cherry juice or turmeric have been proven to help.

“Black cherry juice is something I’ve had patients swear by. They’ve taught me about it,” Dr. Murphy says. “So, I don’t think you need a doctor’s advice for [holistic remedies] like that. But, seeing a doctor in conjunction with all that is a good idea because there might be some things that can be added.”

When it’s time for surgery, here’s what you can expect.

First, your doctor will want to know about anything that may complicate the procedure. This includes a history of urine infections or recent or upcoming dental work (beyond a normal checkup).

“They’re drilling into the tooth, and there could be bacteria from your mouth that can get into your bloodstream. If that makes its way to a total [replaced] joint, it could be devastating,” Dr. Murphy says, because our immune system can’t fight bacteria when it attaches to metal.

“So that can be avoided with a simple antibiotic prescription around the time of the dental work,” he says.

On surgery day itself:

“What a joint replacement entails is making an incision and safely dissecting all the way down to the joint,” Dr. Murphy explains. “Then, shaving away the arthritic joint and replacing it with an implant that’s made of metal and plastic.

“And that becomes your new knee, hip or ankle.”

Recovery

Dr. Murphy says what used to be a five to seven day stay in the hospital is now two to three days thanks to advances in the field.

“It’s better for the patient, for their experience and their outcome, to get out of the hospital quickly,” Dr. Murphy says. “There are different things we do as far as pain control and therapy to get people in and out of the hospital as quick as is safe after surgery.”

Dr. Murphy advises patients to work on range of motion in the first couple weeks post-surgery. That’s at home and with a physical therapist. After week three, most patients start to notice a difference. By two months, they feel like they have a normal life again.

And it’s important to define “normal life,” Dr. Murphy says.

“[New joints] are meant to walk. They’re meant to walk as far as you’re willing to walk,” Dr. Murphy says. “They’re not meant for the cutting aspect of basketball, tennis or those kind of sports.

“Golf is perfectly fine. Swimming is great. Riding a bike is perfect. Rowing is great. It’s just the pounding on the knee that you want to avoid.”

St. Joseph-Ogden tumbles at Central Catholic, slideshow & recap

BLOOMINGTON -- Late in the second quarter of their road football game at Central Catholic, the St. Joseph-Ogden football team had the ball inside the five-yard-line poised to score. The Saints repelled at one-yard dive play and then a fourth-and-goal pass attempt by the Spartans. It was a palatable moment in the game that supercharged both the BCC offense and defense on their way to a 42-20 win over SJO.

Taking possession on the two-yard line, Central Catholic marched down the field 98 yards with ease to take the lead on an 18-yard pass from Central's Colin Hayes to Ryan Hoeferle to break the tie on the scoreboard with 31 seconds left in the half.

Colin Wayland and Aiden McCorkle bring down Central Catholic's ball carrier.

Spartans' Colin Wayland and Aiden McCorkle bring down Central Catholic's ball carrier. The St. Joseph-Ogden defense gave up 455 yards in the team's 42-20 loss on Friday.
Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks

Unable to regain their first quarter swagger and precision when action resumed after halftime, the St. Joseph-Ogden offensive effort against an embolden and confidenet BCC defensive unit yielded just 22 yards in the second half.

Junior Justice Wertz led the Spartans' ground attack with 66 yards. Coy Taylor was held to just 15 yards rushing, and Tyler Burch ran the ball in on 4-yard run for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.

SJO's passing game faired better against BCC. Taylor caught 12 passes for 132 yards, including one for a 25-yard touchdown in the first quarter. Burch, a senior, caught a 19-yarder in the first quarter.

Logan Smith finished the game 13-for-24, passing for 151 yards and had a negative seven yards rushing.

In stark contrast, the Saints, who moved to 4-2 overall, finished contest with 455 total yards against SJO's 170.

The Spartans, now 3-3 overall and 2-3 in IPC, hosts Pontiac this Friday. For a quaranteed playoff berth, SJO has to win this week's game and beat the last two teams on their schedule, which include Rantoul and Paxton-Buckley-Loda.


Game Slideshow

St. Joseph-Ogden at Bloomington Central Catholic
September 30, 2022


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Julio Angrave leads Urbana harriers at Peoria Invite

PEORIA -- Urbana's Julio Angrave ran a 16:10.05, finishing 54th out of a pool of 292 runners at the Peoria Cross Country Invitational on Saturday. As a team, the Tigers finished in 18th place out of the 41 competing teams.


Julio Angrave runs at the IHSA State cross country meet in 2021
Urbana's Julio Angrave runs in the Class 2A Cross Country State Finals on Saturday, November 6, 2021. The senior led the Tigers' harrier squad to the finish line turning in a time of 16:10.05 on the same course last Saturday at the Peoria Cross Country Invitational. PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

This year's 1A/2A race was won by Marion with 136 points. Normal University placed second with 152 points, and Mather High School was third, edging-out Champaign Central for the bronze medal position by 32 points with 172.

Tigers' Hudson Coady, Michael Allison, Cordaro Sims, and Brian Allison contributed toward their final team score of 443.

Coady finished 78th at 16:32.34, Michael Allison crossed over at 16:39.00, and Cordaro Sims was next to finish a second later behind his teammate at 16:40.60. Brian Allison rounded out the top five runners in 133rd place with a time of 17:05.37.

The Urbana boys program also had strong finishes from sophomores Mohammed Amrani and Dereje Jahiel, who clocked times of 17:07.76 and 17:33.98, respectively.

The Tigers will run again on Tuesday on the University of Illinois Cross Country Course at the annual Twin City Meet and then again on Saturday for the Big 12 Conference title back at Detweiller Park.

Tigers run at Peoria Invite, Stori top finisher for the UHS

PEORIA -- The Urbana girls' cross country team finished 23rd in the team standings out of 34 teams at the Peoria Cross Country Invitational on Saturday, October 1.

Senior Maya Stori led the Tigers' squad to the finish line circumventing the course at Detweiller Park in 20 minutes and 6.49 seconds in the Class 1A/2A race. 80th overall, she finished behing Bloomington's Alexandra Noona and ahead of Morton's Cali Fitzgerald.

Later, Stori was followed into the chute by teammate Abby Fairbanks, who stopped the clock at 20:10.80 for best time in the 3-mile distance this season. Prior to Saturday's race, Fairbanks' top finish this season was 21:09.70.

Also scoring points for UHS were Ellie Scully, Noam Kramer, and Kaleigh Bell. Scully finish 158th at 21:50.16, Kramer 180th at 22:34.20, and Kaleigh Bell finished out the top-five runners with a time of 22:37.05, good for 182nd overall.

Lavie Maisha and Brianne Wefel finished the race with times of 22:55.61 and 23:18.61 respectively.

The 1A/2A title was won by Crystal Lake South with 88 points. Dunlap tallied 105 points to take second, and Glenwood finished third in the team standings with 148 points.

The Tigers will run again this Tuesday on the University of Illinois Cross Country Course at the annual Twin City Meet and then again on Saturday for the Big 12 Conference title back at Detweiller Park.


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