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Urine and Urination

Your kidneys make urine by filtering wastes and extra water from your blood. The waste is called urea. Your blood carries it to the kidneys. From the kidneys, urine travels down two thin tubes called ureters to the bladder. The bladder stores urine until you are ready to urinate. It swells into a round shape when it is full and gets smaller when empty. If your urinary system is healthy, your bladder can hold up to 16 ounces (2 cups) of urine comfortably for 2 to 5 hours.

You may have problems with urination if you have

  • Kidney failure
  • Urinary tract infections
  • An enlarged prostate
  • Bladder control problems like incontinence, overactive bladder, or interstitial cystitis
  • A blockage that prevents you from emptying your bladder

Some conditions may also cause you to have blood or protein in your urine. If you have a urinary problem, see your health care provider. Urinalysis and other urine tests can help to diagnose the problem. Treatment depends on the cause.

NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

Usher Syndrome

Usher syndrome is an inherited disease that causes serious hearing loss and retinitis pigmentosa, an eye disorder that causes your vision to get worse over time. It is the most common condition that affects both hearing and vision.

There are three types of Usher syndrome:

  • People with type I are deaf from birth and have severe balance problems from a young age. Vision problems usually start by age 10 and lead to blindness.
  • People with type II have moderate to severe hearing loss and normal balance. Vision problems start in the early teens and get worse more slowly than in type I.
  • People with type III are born with normal hearing and near-normal balance but develop vision problems and then hearing loss.

There is no cure. Tools such as hearing aids or cochlear implants can help some people. Training such as Braille instruction, low-vision services, or auditory training can also help.

NIH: National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders

Vision Impairment and Blindness

If you have low vision, eyeglasses, contact lenses, medicine, or surgery may not help. Activities like reading, shopping, cooking, writing, and watching TV may be hard to do. The leading causes of low vision and blindness in the United States are age-related eye diseases: macular degeneration, cataract and glaucoma. Other eye disorders, eye injuries, and birth defects can also cause vision loss.

Whatever the cause, lost vision cannot be restored. It can, however, be managed. A loss of vision means that you may have to reorganize your life and learn new ways of doing things. If you have some vision, visual aids such as special glasses and large print books can make life easier. There are also devices to help those with no vision, like text-reading software and braille books.

The sooner vision loss or eye disease is found and treated, the greater your chances of keeping your remaining vision. You should have regular comprehensive eye exams by an eye care professional.

NIH: National Eye Institute