Sam Bauman: A gala night at Carson Tahoe Hospital |

Sam Bauman: A gala night at Carson Tahoe Hospital

Sam Bauman

Last week, Carson Tahoe Hospital marked its 65th anniversary. The afternoon began with appetizers and meeting of old friends and contributors in financial or service. I was lucky to be a guest of a contributing guest and had a fine seat for the presentations as well as for the buffet dinner.

Hospital CEO Ed Epperson started the night with a review of the past 65 years dating back to when the hospital opened in 10 wooden buildings on the southwest side of Carson City with a bankroll of $80,000.

CTH is really a community health provider with outposts and services widespread, Epperson said.

CTH faces special responsibilities with a population of 15 percent 65 or older, with the older group increasing visits to health facilities. This is the highest ratio of seniors of Nevada, he noted.

Income for the hospital is the lowest in the healthcare world, about 2 percent, with medical device makers making 17.7 percent and insurance companies 5-9 percent.

The Affordable Care Act added something like 200 regulations for the hospital to follow. Emergency room visits by uninsured patients have not decreased markedly, one of the objectives of the ACA by offering health care insurance to everyone.

Epperson noted that the many changes of the ACA have not been experienced as yet.

He was followed by a presentation of the fiscal side of the future, not all gloomily but up in the air.

Drooping eyelids?

HealthDay News reports the dreaded drooping eyelids that often come with age are more likely to appear on men, people with fair skin and those who are overweight, a study finds.

The study also suggests that sagging eyelids can run in families, and researchers have found at least one gene that may play a role in causing eyelid sag.

There’s no clear evidence that any of the risk factors directly cause sagging eyelids, and the researchers say these findings don’t offer an easy fix for droopy lids.

“Unfortunately, we cannot treat genes yet. But we can inform patients about risk factors like obesity, smoking and sun exposure, which they are able to modify themselves,” said study author Dr. Leonie Jacobs, a dermatology resident at Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Sagging eyelids occur when gravity causes eyelid skin to sag, sometimes even covering up the eyelashes.

“Due to aging, the connective tissue in the skin will change. The collagen and elastin fibers are reduced in number and functionality. Therefore the skin loses its strength and elasticity,” Jacobs said. “Typically, this process starts from the age of 40 and worsens with increasing age, but in some rare cases it starts in young adulthood.”

In one part of the new study, researchers looked at the eyelids of more than 5,500 white Dutch people. Their average age was 67. Eighteen percent showed moderate or severe eyelid sagging, with higher risk for men, smokers, those with lighter skin color (the kind that rarely tans) and those with extra pounds.

Severe eyelid sagging is linked to problems like blocked vision and headaches from trying to keep your eyes open wide enough to see more clearly..

Dr. Michael Migliori, chief of the division of ophthalmology at Rhode Island Hospital, said the study won’t change any practices for plastic surgeons or dermatologists.

“I don’t think this paper adds much except to suggest that genetic studies might help identify who is likely to get saggy lids, although you can probably do that much more easily by looking at pictures of their parents,” Migliori said.

So, what can you do to prevent sagging eyelids? Maintain a healthy weight, don’t smoke and protect your skin from the sun.

VA Reno update

USA TODAY reported that the VA hospital in Reno was 10th in the nation for length of time to get an initial interview for new patients.

A gain of 18,000 patients in the last six months is blamed, but major efforts are under way to reduce the wait. Still, a fine VA operation.

Sam Bauman writes about senior issues for the Nevada Appeal.