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Posts for category: Health

By St. Mary's Medical Clinic
December 10, 2021
Category: Health
Tags: Asthma  
AsthmaWhether you or your child has just recently been diagnosed with asthma, it’s important that you have a general doctor that can provide you or your little one with routine checkups and care to make sure asthma is being properly managed. Your general doctor is going to be implemental in helping you craft a customized asthma treatment plan to help you control your symptoms. Here’s how asthma is often controlled.

Treating Asthma with Medications

Asthma medications not only make it possible to lead an active life without worrying about your asthma symptoms, but these medications could also potentially save your life. One of the most common types of asthma medications is an inhaled steroid. An inhaled steroid is used to prevent an asthma attack by reducing swelling in the airways, which in turn reduces how much the airways react to specific triggers. These medications are taken daily to control symptoms.

Bronchodilators are also used to help loosen up tight muscles surrounding the airways. These medications are a great way to open up the airways quickly. You may know these medications as “rescue inhalers”. They are fast-acting relief from chest tightness, wheezing, and shortness of breath due to asthma. These medications aren’t used regularly, only as directed by your general doctor.

A nebulizer may be used if you find it too difficult to use an inhaler, which can sometimes be the case with children and older adults. The nebulizer turns liquid asthma medications into a mist, which is directed into the lungs via a mask that you wear over your mouth.

Managing Asthma Symptoms with Lifestyle

While medication is going to be the best way to control airway inflammation and reduce asthma attacks, there are still lifestyle changes you can adopt to improve your asthma symptoms. It’s important to understand your triggers first. For some, pet dander sets off their symptoms while for others, exercise may be the culprit.

It’s important to discuss lifestyle changes that can benefit you but also support living with asthma. This may include getting special bedding, cleaning the house more regularly, using a HEPA air filter in the bedroom, keeping the bedroom a no-pet zone, or participating in less strenuous forms of exercise such as walking or biking. Talk with your doctor to learn more.

Whether your child is showing signs of asthma or you have questions about your current asthma treatment plan and its effectiveness, your general doctor will be able to address these questions and concerns and provide individualized care to help get your asthma under control.
By St. Mary's Medical Clinic
November 15, 2021
Category: Health
Tags: Urgent Care   Emergency Room  
Emergency RoomThis is a common concern that people have. Most people don’t realize what symptoms and problems can be treated at an urgent care, and whether their symptoms warrant going to the ER. It’s been reported that the cost is $47 billion each year for people who went to the ER but didn’t need to. The emergency room is only there for life-threatening and serious medical issues that require immediate attention, while most health issues can be addressed by your nearest urgent care. Here’s how to know where to go for medical attention.

Your Symptoms are Mild

Especially since we’re living in the time of Covid-19, we have to be particularly careful about what symptoms we are dealing with and whether we should go to a hospital or urgent care or simply treat symptoms on our own at home. If you are dealing with minor symptoms such as a mild fever, body aches, chills, or other symptoms of a cold, flu, or possible Covid-19 infection, it’s best to take over-the-counter ibuprofen to ease pain and minor fevers and to rest as much as possible. If symptoms don’t improve within a couple of days, you should call your primary doctor.

You Need More Immediate Care

Maybe you are dealing with vomiting, diarrhea, or other issues that aren’t responding to home care or seem to be getting worse. If your symptoms are more urgent but not life-threatening, then a trip to urgent care may be the best bet. Most urgent care clinics offer longer office hours as well as availability on the weekend, making it easier to seek care from an urgent care facility when issues arise outside your doctor’s regular office hours.

Most urgent cares can even set bones, suture small areas, and treat burns and other injuries. They will also typically have imaging tests and lab capabilities to be able to perform blood work, urinalysis, and other diagnostics tools. Remember that an urgent care will send you to the ER if they suspect that your condition is serious enough.

You Are Dealing with Serious Issues

From a concussion and severe abdominal pain to chest pain or trouble breathing, these are issues that shouldn’t be ignored. These are potentially life-threatening situations and in these cases, it’s important to call 911 or head to your nearest ER. Your ER will be able to provide the most comprehensive and swift care for true medical emergencies. You can also seek ER treatment 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

It’s important that you have a primary doctor that you can turn to for treatment and care; however, we also know that sometimes urgent health issues arise and you need to seek medical attention elsewhere. If you are dealing with a life-threatening or serious health problem, call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.
By St. Mary's Medical Clinic
October 18, 2021
Category: Health
Tags: Flu Season   Flu  
Flu SeasonFlu season is always a time where it is tough to avoid getting sick. However, there are several things that you can do to prepare for the flu season. Here is some information for you to help you prepare for the flu season. 

When Does Flu Season Happen?

As the name implies, the flu season does not run year-round. Of course, you can catch the flu at any point in the year, but this is not the same as the real flu season. In the United States, flu season takes place in the fall as well as in the winter. According to information from the CDC, US flu activity reaches its peak starting in December and running through February. However, this peak of flu activity can extend much later, even as late in the year as May. 

Care For Yourself as Well as Possible

This is a great way to prepare for the flu season. A balanced diet, exercise, and sufficient sleep are just a few things that help you stay healthy in the flu season. Making sure you are hydrated is another part of preparing for the flu season, too. Doing your best to relax every single day and getting the necessary vitamins is also a good way to avoid getting the flu. 

Wash Your Hands Regularly

It is important to wash your hands in order to remain healthy. It does help prevent all sorts of sicknesses, such as the flu. Get your hands wet, lather, scrub vigorously for 20 seconds, then rinse off your hands and dry them. You can make sure you wash your hands for a full 20 seconds in many ways, including humming the "Happy Birthday" song. 

Clean Off Surfaces

Another way to prepare for the flu season is to clean all surfaces. You should clean hard surfaces even more thoroughly since viruses and germs tend to thrive on such surfaces. Any healthcare worker will tell you how important this step is to ensure you stay healthy. You should also utilize products that contain approved disinfectants. You should note that the following are some approved disinfectants:
  • Bleach
  • Alcohol
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
You should clean any frequently touched surfaces even more thoroughly.  

Get a Flu Shot

Getting a flu shot is one crucial way to prepare for the flu season. The flu shot helps protect you and others from the flu. The ideal time to get the flu vaccine is late September or October. It also specifically protects people at high risk of getting sick from the flu, such as the elderly and children.

There are many ways that you can prepare for the flu season. Getting the flu vaccine, cleaning surfaces, and regularly washing your hands are some things you can do to prepare for the flu season. A balanced diet and getting enough sleep also helps you stay healthy, including during the flu season. It is also important to understand that the flu changes every year, so the flu vaccine changes every year as a result. 
By St. Mary's Medical Clinic
September 20, 2021
Category: Health
Tags: Headaches  
HeadachesEveryone deals with a headache at some point, but if you find yourself dealing with them a bit more regularly you may be wondering, “what gives?” There are so many things to know about headaches, from what triggers them to ways to treat them. While seeing a doctor may be worth it if you are dealing with severe or recurring headaches, here are some interesting facts to know the next time you deal with a headache.

There are different kinds of headaches

There are several types of headaches that someone can deal with. Most people deal with tension headaches; however, other common headaches include:
  • Hormonal headaches (these are headaches that women are more likely to get around their period)
  • Cluster headaches
  • Migraines
Headaches may be primary or secondary

What does this mean? This simply means that primary headaches originate in the head while secondary headaches occur as a result of an underlying condition or something else that’s going on in the body.

Common primary triggers include:
  • Stress
  • Heat
  • Alcohol
  • Certain foods
  • Poor sleep
In most cases, headaches are considered primary; however, secondary headaches may be a sign of:
  • An infection
  • A medical condition
  • Concussion or head injury
  • Blood vessel tear or injury
Some people deal with chronic headaches

Dealing with a headache every once in a while isn’t a big deal, but if you are dealing with headaches regularly then they could become chronic. A chronic migraine causes intense pain that lasts more than four hours and can affect either one or both sides of the head. You must have this problem checked out by a qualified medical professional to find out what’s going on.

Your current medication could be to blame

Some people don’t realize that if they take ibuprofen or other over-the-counter pain medications a couple of times a week that their headaches could be rebound headaches. This can also happen once a person stops taking pain medication altogether. It’s important to talk with your general doctor if you are concerned about rebound headaches.

If you feel concerned or worried about your headaches, that’s enough of a reason to speak with a qualified doctor. Sometimes headaches are merely caused by lifestyle or certain habits, but sometimes something more serious may be at the root of the problem, and it’s important to find out so you can treat the underlying cause.
By St. Mary's Medical Clinic
August 10, 2021
Category: Health
Waterborne IllnessesWhen summer weather hits, everyone wants to cool off by jumping into the water. Of course, everything from pools to your local water park could be contaminated with a waterborne illness. Want to know how to protect you and your family from these germs so they don’t spoil your fun this summer?
Visiting a Water Park or Pool

Pools and water parks are particularly popular during the summer but can also easily become contaminated. Even though chlorine will kill germs, it doesn’t kill them right away, which means that even well-maintained pools, hot tubs, and water slides can still carry waterborne illnesses. Here’s what you can do to protect yourself and your family:
  • If any member of your family has diarrhea, do not go swimming
  • Make sure to shower both before and after swimming to remove germs (also wash bathing suits immediately)
  • Do not swallow water
Places that are not properly maintained and disinfected are also more likely to cause waterborne illnesses, so it’s also important that you know what places may put you at risk.
Here’s what you can do,
  • Always ask the pool staff how often the chemical levels are checked
  • If the water has a strong chlorine smell do not go in the water
  • If there is foam around the pool do not go in
  • Avoid water that is cloudy (if you can’t see the bottom of the pool don’t go in)
Swimming in Lakes and Beaches

Instead of hitting the local water park or pool, your family may be heading to their beach or lake house for the summer. While many of the rules of the pool and water park apply to swimming in lakes and oceans (aka: not swallowing water; showering before and after swimming), here are some additional rules to follow to keep your family healthy and safe.
  • Avoid swimming in any body of water after it’s rained because of the risk of contamination
  • If there are blue-green algae in the water don’t go swimming
  • If you see discharge pipes you also should avoid swimming in that area
  • Don’t put your head underwater (particularly in freshwater)
  • Avoid freshwater during hot days, particularly when the water level is low
If you or your child has been swimming and is dealing with symptoms of a waterborne illness, it’s a good idea to turn to your general practitioner for a diagnosis and to properly treat your symptoms. Since waterborne illnesses can increase your risk for dehydration, it’s important that you see your doctor before this happens to protect you and your loved one from further health issues.