Category: Illnesses

COLD AND FLU PREVENTION

The How to Guide to Cold and Flu Prevention

Winter is the season when people around us are most afflicted with cough, cold and flu. We cannot avoid being surrounded by people, but can certainly take measures to prevent the onset of infections. Here are some tips for cold and flu prevention to stay healthy this winter:

1. Hand wash

Hand wash

Washing your hands is the single most important tip that cannot be emphasized enough. Remember to wash your hands every time you use the washroom. In addition, avoid touching your face as this allows disease-causing germs easy access into your body.

2. Healthy and balanced diet

Healthy and balanced diet

Food that is rich in vitamins and minerals is a good source of immune boosters. Avoid sugary foods as these add more calories and also attract infections. So, make sure you add more vegetables to your lunch and dinner and fruits and dry fruits to your snack. You may also try probiotics, ginger tea, garlic and citrus fruits.

3. Exercise

Exercise

Regular exercise and activity helps boost metabolism and immunity as well. A brisk walk for 45 minutes every day is known to reduce the risk of cold and flu by about a third. What is more, it gets better with time.

4. Good sleep

Good sleep

A good night’s sleep is essential for your body to recuperate and bounce back from the daily grind. Make sure you get your 8 to 10 hours of rest to build immunity and keep those germs at bay. Sleep deficit is known to sap your energy meter and deplete immune resources.

5. Meditation

Meditation

A healthy mind is as important as a healthy body. In fact, they go hand in hand. Put aside just 10 minutes of your day – early in the morning or late in the evening for meditation. Meditation helps calm down your senses and you will be rejuvenated with increased mental strength to tackle the stresses of life.

6. Avoid carriers

Avoid carriers

People who have recovered from a bout of flu are still harboring the virus. So, it is advisable to restrict proximity with the people around you. It also helps to disinfect your kitchen and washrooms regularly.

7. Stay hydrated

Stay hydrated

Water is very important for the immune cells and the mucous membranes to release their secretions. If they are not properly hydrated they do not work as well and so cannot defend our body against viruses. It is recommended that you consume one glass of water per every alcoholic or caffeinated drink.

Symptoms of Severe Dehydration that Signal Immediate Visit to Urgent Care

Do you have any idea about extreme dehydration? Extreme dehydration is a problem with desert travelers. It is the most common problem and is sometimes lead to death also.

Extreme dehydration is a medical condition that needs immediate care or serious condition can lead, even death.

In the cases of severe dehydration, your body losses more fluids than it take in a short span of time, perhaps in a day or two. A largely dehydrated bodies lose its ability to perform its normal functions.

Major causes of severe dehydration: Not drinking enough water is the evident cause of dehydration but is not always the case. Usually, you will suffer from severe vomiting or diarrhea or fevers or exercising severely without taking sufficient water. So really, it’s not so much that no water is taken in but that a lot of fluid is lost rapidly. Another conditions like mild dehydration leads to dizziness, fatigue and weakness. Severe dehydration is life threatening condition.

Risk factors of severe dehydration:

  • Usually small children are at higher risk as they are less weight and have recurrent turnover of water and electrolyte. Also, children are at greater risk of diarrhea.
  • Older adults are also at greater risk of severe dehydration as their ability to consume water decreases with the age. As the age increases, feeling of thirst also decreases. Also, older adults easily forget to take.
  • People with chronic illnesses are also at greater risk of dehydration, such as diabetic people, people with alcoholism, cystic fibrosis and adrenal gland diseases.
  • Also, athletes are at great risk of dehydration, particularly those who participate in humid, hot or high altitudes.

Complications of severe dehydration:

  • Dehydration can cause heart injury due to severe exposure to the sun.
  • Brain swelling can occur as a dehydrated body releases components that pull the water into cells.
  • Hypovolemic shock is another complications associated with dehydration. This occurs when low blood quantity creates rapid decrease in blood pressure. This condition can lead to death within few minutes.
  • Failure of kidneys as the kidneys are unable to remove the wastes and fluids from your body.
  • Severe dehydration can sometimes lead to coma and even death.

So, you should immediately contact the urgent care or emergency care provider.

What Causes Severe Headaches?

Most commonly severe headache is associated with a migraine attack. This is due to the dilation of blood vessels on the brain after releasing a chemical onto the brain surface. Slowly this condition triggers various other parts of your body thus leading various other symptoms like: distorted vision, nausea, vomiting, etc.

Always severe headache doesn’t necessarily mean to be a cause of migraines. Severe headache is just the beginning of an attack that comes in stages with varying associated symptoms and can last up to three days. So, it is essential to get specific treatments.

One of the worst forms of any headache is sudden and severe headache. It can be due to cerebral sinus thrombosis, arterial dissections, and idiopathic intracranial hypertension. These should consult the urgent care doctor to receive proper treatment.

Some of the serious causes of headache include:

Meningitis – An inflammation of the meninges or membrane around the brain. This is a very serious condition if untreated can lead to death of the person.

Temporal arteritis – This condition is due to the inflammation of the arteries in the scalp. This condition is most commonly termed as a head pain than a headache. These patients find the affected blood vessels very tender to touch.

Blood pressure – It is the rare cause of headache. Also blood pressure causes various other symptoms in a person’s body.

Brain tumor – This condition frequently causes headaches.

Stroke – Can frequently cause headache.

Hemorrhage – Bleeding in the space between the brain and the arachnoid layer of the meninges can cause this condition.

If you are suffering from any of these conditions, you should contact your urgent or primary care provider.

Symptoms of Earaches That Need A Visit To Urgent Care

There are various causes result in earaches, but the most common factors include sinus disease, common cold, inflamed tonsils, pharynx infection, impacted teeth and inflamed nasal. Also when the inner ear becomes damaged by insertion of a foreign object can cause earaches.

If you have severe cold or respiratory infection, Eustachian tubes become blocked with mucus from the virus. Dont ignore any of the symptoms. Visit your nearest urgent care center or primary care provider.

Most common symptoms associated with earaches include:

  • Hearing difficulty
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Draining of the ears
  • Ear Drainage
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Fever
  • Vertigo
  • Pulling on the ears
  • Limited desire to eat
  • Irritability
  • Temporary mild hearing loss caused by effluvia

You should consult your urgent care provider if you:

  • Have had previous ear infection
  • Have frequent colds or other infections
  • Have allergies with nasal congestion
  • Have a family history of ear infections
  • Have nasal speech

Ear aches in children can cause a visit to urgent care provider, if they:

Along with the above symptoms, if your child has any of the below mentioned symptoms, consult urgent care provider:

  • If the child attend day care
  • Take a bottle to bed
  • If the child lives around the people who smoke
  • If the child born prematurely
  • If the child born with low birth weight
  • If child uses a pacifier
  • If the child is a boy because boys tend to get more ear infections than girls

Care for earaches:

The doctor uses an otoscope (OH-toe-skope) to see the inner ears for infection. A tympanogram (tim-PAN-uh-gram) is another test that may be done. It involves inserting an ear plug to see how the eardrum moves. The doctor will prescribe an antibiotic. Use the entire prescription, even if the child feels better after the first few days. You’ll need to bring the child back to the doctor after finishing the medicine, usually in 2 to 3 weeks. The ears will be checked to see if the infection is gone. Sometimes more medicine is needed.

Dislocations – A Problem That Needs Immediate Medical Attention!

Dislocations are joint injuries that force the ends of your bones out of position. Major cause for this is a fall or blow. Sometimes it is also due to a contact sport. Dislocations make your joint difficult to move. You can dislocate your knees, ankles, hips, elbows and shoulders. Also, you can dislocate your toe joints and fingers.

If the joints are dislocated, they become bloated, very painful and apparently out of place. Joint dislocation needs immediate medical attention. Treatment for joint dislocation depends on which joint you dislocate and the severity of the injury. This includes manipulation to reposition your bones, a splint or sling.

When you seek proper treatment, most of the dislocations return to normal condition after several weeks of rest and rehabilitation. But, some joints, such as your shoulder, have an increased risk of repeat dislocation.

Symptoms of dislocations that need a visit to urgent care:

Here is a list of most common symptoms of dislocations, but each may experience symptoms differently.

  • Swelling in the injured area
  • Severe pain in the injured area
  • Deformity of the dislocated area
  • Difficulty moving or using the injured area in a normal manner
  • Bruising, warmth, or redness in the injured area

Sometimes the symptoms of dislocations result in various other medical conditions. So, it is essential to visit nearest urgent care center.

Diagnosis of a dislocation by an urgent care provider:

Usually diagnosis involves physical examination of the patient. During this, the care provider asks the medical history and asks how the injury has occurred.

Diagnostic tests can help to evaluate the problem. Performing x-ray may help to create an image for internal bones, organs and tissues. MRI helps to produce a detailed picture of structures and organs within the body.

Treatment for dislocation:

  • Treatment is based on the patient’s age, overall health and medical history
  • Type of injury
  • Extent of the injury
  • Tolerance of the patient to particular medications, therapies and procedures
  • Patient’s expectations for the course of the condition

So, remember that any kind of dislocation needs an immediate medical attention (Urgent Care Provider). There is also a possibility to occur fractures with dislocations.

Diarrhea And Vomiting Symptoms That Need A Visit To Urgent Care Provider!

Most of the people can affect with vomiting and diarrhea in their daily life. These conditions are due to food poisoning, medications, viruses, etc. Whatever might be the reason, it is essential to consult your nearest urgent care or primary care provider.

The symptoms of diarrhea and vomiting are different for adults and children.

Diarrhea and vomiting in adults:

The major causes of diarrhea and vomiting in adults include:

  • Food poisoning
  • Medications
  • Viruses
  • Head injury
  • Nervousness or stress
  • Diabetes
  • Pregnancy
  • Migraine headache

What kind of symptoms due to diarrhea and vomiting need a visit to urgent care?

  • Fever when continues even after taking ibuprofen or acetaminophen
  • Diarrhea and vomiting lasts longer than 24 hours
  • When you have headache, sleepiness and stiff neck for longer time
  • Stomach pain that continues to worsen
  • When vomiting becomes really bad or forceful
  • If get blood in your vomit or poop
  • If you think that diarrhea and vomiting are due to medications

Diarrhea and vomiting in children:

Causes of diarrhea and vomiting in children:

  • Viruses
  • Bacteria
  • Parasites
  • Foods that are hard to digest
  • Undercooked meat or fish

Diarrhea and vomiting can be dangerous in children, especially in younger babies. Because it causes dehydration. Dehydration itself causes various problems, such as weight loss, dry mouth, irritability, sleepiness, little or lack of urine, not eating as well as usual, no tears when crying, thirst, urinating less frequently than usual, etc.

What kind of symptoms of diarrhea and vomiting need a visit to urgent care?

  • If the child is younger than 6 months age
  • If your child has severe signs of dehydration
  • If blood appears in the baby’s stools
  • If baby not urinated in 8 hours
  • If the baby sleeping for more time than usual
  • If baby has stiff neck
  • If the child older than 6 months and has fever above 101.4°F
  • If blood appears in baby’s vomit
  • If the baby swallowed something that could be poisonous
  • If the baby has abdominal pain for greater than 2 hours
  • If the baby has vomiting for longer than 8 hours
  • If the baby vomits with greater force

If you observe any of these symptoms in your child, don’t ignore them. Leaving the symptoms untreated can put your child’s life at risk. Make an appointment to contact any nearest urgent care center.

FAQs About Your Cholesterol Levels!

Knowing the facts about cholesterol can reduce your risk for a heart attack or stroke.

But understanding what cholesterol is and how it affects your health are only the beginning.

In order to keep your cholesterol levels under control:

  • Schedule a screening
  • Be physically active
  • Maintain healthy weight
  • Consume foods that are low in cholesterol and saturated fats and free of trans fats
  • Follow your health care professional’s advice (Cholesterol Control)

Here are FAQs about cholesterol:

What does cholesterol mean?

Cholesterol is a fat like substance that is found in the cells of humans and animals. Cholesterol is also found in blood circulation of human beings.

How do we make the cholesterol?

There are two major sources of cholesterol; one is from dietary intake and the other from your liver. You will get dietary cholesterol from fish, poultry, dairy products and meat.

Liver is one of the types of organ meats, which is high in cholesterol. After having the meal, your intestines absorb the cholesterol and then transferred into the blood. It is then stored inside as a protein coat. This cholesterol-protein coat complex is called as chylomicron.

Liver has a great role in removing the cholesterol from your blood and also manufacture new cholesterol and store into your blood circulation.

After having the meal, liver removes the chylomicrons from your blood and in between the meals, again liver manufactures new cholesterol and secretes into your blood circulation.

What are HDL and LDL cholesterols?

HDL cholesterol or high density lipoprotein is good cholesterol. These cholesterol particles help to prevent atherosclerosis by collecting cholesterol from your arterial walls and the liver disposes them.

LDL cholesterol or low density lipoprotein is bad cholesterol and LDL is linked to high risk of coronary heart disease. LDL particles places cholesterol on your arterial walls thus leading to the formation of thick or hard substance called as cholesterol plaque.

This cholesterol plaque thickens your arterial walls and narrow downs the arteries, which is a process called as atherosclerosis.

Your total cholesterol is the sum of HDL (high density) cholesterol, LDL (low density) cholesterol, IDL (immediate density) cholesterol and VLDL (very low density) cholesterol.

Is high cholesterol can be a health risk?

High cholesterol narrows your arterial walls and the walls become less flexible thus reducing the blood flow. Reduced blood flow clogs the arteries, and then you can have a heart attack or stroke.

When should I start checking my cholesterol levels?

All people over the age of 20 should have regular cholesterol screening for every five years. Studies suggested that you should have your cholesterol checked if:

  • Your total cholesterol level exceeds 200 mg/dl
  • Your HDL is less than 40 mg/dl
  • You are a woman over 50 or man over 45
  • You have other risk factors for heart disease or stroke

How often should I check my cholesterol levels?

Depending on the results and your overall risk, you should start checking your cholesterol levels regularly for every one to five years.

Diagnostic Tests For Chronic Respiratory Diseases!

Chronic respiratory diseases are chronic diseases of the airways and other structures of the lung. Among those, the most common illnesses include: respiratory allergies, asthma, occupational lung diseases, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and pulmonary hypertension.

The most important risk factors for preventable chronic respiratory diseases include:

  • Indoor air pollution
  • Allergens
  • Tobacco smoking
  • Occupational risks
  • Outdoor pollution

Nowadays, hundreds of millions of people are suffering from chronic respiratory diseases. According to the recent studies, presently 210 million people are suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), 300 million people from asthma, and millions of people from allergic rhinitis.

Respiratory system has a great role in our body. Not only it supplies oxygen to various cells of the body, but also it washouts the wastages, supplies air required for speech and filters out infectious agents. So, it is very much essential to protect our respiratory system in all aspects.

In order to investigate your chronic respiratory diseases, you need to undergo one or more of the following tests:

Pulmonary function test: It is a group of tests used to evaluate how well the lungs take in and release air and how well they move gases such as oxygen from the lungs.

Chest X-ray: This test is used to diagnose the conditions that affect your chest, its content and nearby structures. It generates the image of your chest.

Bronchoscopy: This method is used to observe inside of your airways for therapeutic and diagnostic purpose. In this procedure, an instrument is placed in your airways through mouth or nose. With the help of this test, your practitioner can observe the abnormalities of your airways like bleeding, foreign bodies, inflammation or tumors.

Computed tomography scan: CT scan is a medical imaging method employing tomography created by computer processing. This type of digital geometry processing is used to produce a three-dimensional image of the inside of your body from a large series of two-dimensional X-ray images taken around a single axis.

Biopsy: In this procedure cells or tissues are removed from the lung or pleura for examination. This method helps to find out the presence of the disease. The cells are examined under a microscope and also analyzed chemically.

Ultrasound: This method is used to detect fluid such as pleural effusion.

Ventilation – Perfusion scan: It is used to evaluate circulation of blood and air within your lungs. Perfusion part assesses how well the blood circulates within the lungs, whereas ventilation part observes whether the air reaches all parts of the lungs or not.

Culture of microorganisms: This method is used to determine the cause of infectious diseases. For instance, your throat culture is taken by scratching the lining of tissue in the back of your throat and blotting the sample into a media to be able to screen for harmful microorganisms, like streptococcus pyogenes, the causative means of strep throat.

To get tested, visit any of your nearest urgent care doctor . Screening tests help to recognize the disease in advance and allows to get treated earlier.

7 Upper Respiratory Infection FAQs!

Upper respiratory infection (URI) is also known as common cold, one of the most common illnesses that lead to more doctor visits and absences from school and work than any other illness (Treating Respiratory Problems).

Studies calculated that, in the US, every year people will suffer one billion colds. Cold is often due to a virus that inflames the membranes in the lining of the nose and throat, colds can be the result of more than 200 different viruses. Among all the cold viruses, coronaviruses and coronaviruses cause majority of the colds.

When is the cold season?

Children are more prone to get colds during fall and winter, starting in late August or early September until March or April. Higher incidence of common colds during this season is due to most of the cold viruses live in low humidity and makes your nasal passages drier and more susceptible to the infection.

How does cold occur?

There are more than 200 different viruses that can cause cold. Rhinovirus is the most common cold virus. Once the virus enters into your body, it starts a reaction. Your immune system starts to react to the foreign virus and can cause:

  • Swelling of the lining of the nose
  • Cough
  • Sneezing
  • Increased mucus production
  • Red, watery, and sore eyes
  • Runny or stuffed up nose
  • Chills and fever
  • Tired or restless
  • Decreased hunger or thirst
  • Headache, body aches, or sore muscles
  • Sore throat, you may become hoarse (lose your voice) for a few days

Is cold different from the flu?

Yes, these are two different illnesses. Cold is harmless and after some period of time, it goes away on its own. But, occasionally, it can lead to secondary infection like ear infection.

Flu can also be a harmless condition, but if untreated it can become more complicated such as pneumonia and may also death.

Who can be at greater risk?

Every year, children suffer from more colds when compared to adults because they have immature immune systems. An average child may have 6-10 colds every year, whereas an average adult can have 2-4 colds every year.

How cold can be diagnosed?

Depending on the reported symptoms, the condition can be diagnosed. But, symptoms of cold are somewhat similar to other conditions such as allergies, bacterial infection and various other medical conditions.

How the condition can be treated?

It is the fact that there is no cure for common colds. Antibiotics that are used only help to relieve the symptoms but they can not treat the cold. So, treatment is only to help with the symptoms. When you consult your medical professional, there are some specific conditions that can be taken into consideration such as:

  • Extent of the disease
  • Your tolerance level to specific medications, therapies or procedures
  • Your age
  • Predictions for the course of the disease

Also, your doctor suggests you to increase the fluid intake as it can make the lining of the nose moist and prevents dehydration.

Are there any complications of having a cold?

Yes, there some complication that a cold can lead to:

  • Pneumonia
  • Ear infection
  • Throat infection
  • Sinus infection

Is It Necessary To Visit Urgent Care For Respiratory Conditions?

Most adults and children have several respiratory problems every year. Respiratory problems that need urgent care are as negligible as common cold or as serious as pneumonia.

Respiratory diseases can affect any of your upper respiratory system elements such as mouth, nose, throat and sinuses and also the lower bronchial tubes and lungs.

There are various types of respiratory infections such as common cold, tuberculosis, pneumonia, and lung diseases such as bronchitis, asthma, and emphysema and other kind of lung disease that is related to work include asbestoses. All these are due to virus or bacteria.

Upper respiratory system infections:

When your upper respiratory system is affected with any of the infections, the most common symptoms you will experience include: slightly uncomfortable, stuffy nose and congested nose.

Some other symptoms of upper respiratory problems that need urgent care include:

  • Sore throat
  • Facial pain and pressure
  • Fever that strikes suddenly
  • Restlessness, decreased activity level, poor appetite and irritability
  • Severe coughing, particularly when lying down
  • Stuffy or runny nose that may cause nasal blockages and make you to breathe from the mouth
  • Slight headache

Lower respiratory system infections:

Lungs and bronchial tubes come under the lower respiratory system. Lower respiratory problems are less common when compared to upper respiratory problems, but the symptoms are more severe.

  • Severe coughing that persists whole day and night and leads to produce yellow, gray, green or brown mucus from the lungs.
  • Severe chest pain with exertion or pain while taking deep breathe
  • Chills and high fever that comes along with lower respiratory system problems such as pneumonia
  • Difficulty in breathing, you may also notice: grunting, which is noticed while exhalations, shortness of breathe, flaring the nostrils, breathing by using your chest, abdominal and neck muscles, and wheezing.

When to seek urgent care?

  • If the cold or cough that persist for more than 10 days and that is not relieved by over the counter medications
  • If you have difficulty breathing
  • If you have chills, high fever, severe chest pain and cough with bloody mucus

If you neglect seeking treatment for any of these conditions, viruses that cause the illness can lead to severe bacterial infections of your sinuses and throat. Smoking people are vulnerable to get chronic lung diseases like COPD, asthma and various other chronic medical conditions.

Have your doctor investigate your symptoms to enable a proper diagnosis to be done.