Is It The Winter Blues or Something More?

Understandably, the winter season can make you feel glum. It is the coldest time of year and the hours of sunlight are much shorter.  These factors can contribute to a dip in your mood or a lack of energy which you may attribute to the ‘winter blues.’

According to the National Institutes of Health ((NIH),   the winter blues is “fairly common and it’s more mild than serious. It usually clears up on its own in a fairly short amount of time.” However, if feelings such as sadness, loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed and lethargy persist, they may be signs of a more serious condition known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

Seasonal affective disorder is a form of depression that is related to the changes of the seasons. While the exact cause of SAD is unknown, it has been found that factors such as the reduction in sunlight during the winter and reduced levels of serotonin (the brain chemical that affects mood) are contributors.

Some people are more at risk for SAD than others; women, people who live far from the equator, people between the ages of 15 and 55 and those with a family history of seasonal affective disorder have a higher chance of occurrence.

Signs and symptoms of SAD may appear in late fall, early winter and subside during the spring or summer; they can include:

  • Feeling depressed most of the day and nearly every day
  • Sleeping excessively
  • Craving more carbohydrates than usual
  • Gaining weight
  • Having difficulty concentrating
  • Feeling apathetic towards things that were once enjoyable

If these symptoms make it difficult to function normally in your life, it is highly advised that you seek the help of a trained mental health practitioner.

Diagnosing SAD can be difficult due to similarities shared with other forms of depression and mental health conditions. However, to help rule out possible underlying health problems, your doctor will conduct a thorough evaluation which generally includes lab tests, physical examinations and psychological assessments to determine a conclusion.

Treatment for seasonal affective disorder may include a combination of light therapy, medication and counseling.

To schedule an appointment with a mental health professional at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, please call 718-206-5575.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month

Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that mainly affects people who are middle-aged or older, but it can affect anyone at any age. There are more than three million people in the United States and 60 million people worldwide who suffer from glaucoma.
Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness.Typically the disease starts to develop suddenly, often without symptoms,  and once vision is lost, it is permanent. As much as 40 percent of vision can be lost before some people even notice a problem. It usually starts with loss of peripheral vision.Glaucoma is caused by damage to the optic nerve so that the brain isn’t able to receive images from the eyes. There are two types of Glaucoma, Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma where pressure inside the eye increases on its own and damages the optic nerve and Secondary Glaucoma where another disease causes the pressure in the eye to increase and that results in optic nerve damage. Both types will eventually lead to blindness.

Early detection of Glaucoma can help to slow down the progression of the disease. Regular eye exams are very important. To schedule an appointment with an eye doctor at Flushing Hospital, please call 718-206-5900.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

January is Birth Defects Prevention Month

January is National Birth Defects Prevention Month Join us in the nationwide effort to raise awareness of birth defects, their causes, and their impact.

This year, Jamaica Hospital Medical Center is joining the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in their campaign to raise awareness among women and their families on actions they can take to increase their chances of having a healthy baby.

While not all birth defects are preventable, there are specific steps women can take to reduce the likelihood of certain types of birth defects. In addition to managing existing health conditions, adopting healthy lifestyle choices, and eliminating dangerous behaviors before and during pregnancy, one of the most important steps a woman can take to minimize her risk of having a baby born with a birth defect is to receive early and regular prenatal care.

When you receive prenatal care, your doctor will assess your health, take a family history, and discuss any lifestyle issues that may affect your pregnancy. Your doctor can also diagnose underlying health disorders that may impact your health or the development of your unborn child and order tests to detect any potential issues. Your doctor will also advise you against potential hazards that can be harmful to your baby, such as taking certain medications.

Understanding the importance of prenatal care and its role on healthy outcomes, Jamaica Hospital now offers an innovative approach for expectant moms. The hospital’s CenteringPregnancy program invites women with similar due dates to share their experiences in a friendly, group dynamic, facilitated by doctors, nurses and midwives. Through this unique model of care, women have an opportunity to share their experiences, receive support, and empower one another, while learning how to maintain healthy pregnancies.

Jamaica Hospital hopes that by offering a group prenatal care model to our patients, they will be motivated to receive the appropriate level of care for their unborn babies, which will lead to better outcomes.

To learn more about the Centering Pregnancy program at Jamaica Hospital, please call 718-291-3276.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

History of Thermometers

Hundreds of years ago scientists realized  they could measure changes in temperature by using primitive glass devices filled with liquids that expanded when they were warm and contracted when they cooled. Alcohol and mercury were the liquids most commonly used.
Thermoscopes were the earliest types of thermometers and they only showed changes in temperature but didn’t show numerical values. One of the first thermoscopes was developed by Italian inventor, Galeleo Galilei in 1593.It used water as the liquid and glass bulbs inside an open tube. The glass bulbs rose and fell with the changes in temperature. In 1612, another Italian inventor, Santorio Santorio, used a numerical scale on the thermoscope but it was very rudimentary.  In 1654 the first sealed glass tube was developed by Ferdinand II, the Grand Duke of Tuscany. It contained alcohol and had a numerical scale, but wasn’t very accurate.
The more modern thermometer was invented in 1709 by Daniel Fahrenheit. It was an enclosed glass tube that had a numerical scale, called the Fahrenheit scale. The early version of this thermometer contained alcohol and in 1714 Fahrenheit developed a mercury thermometer using the same scale. He assigned the freezing point of water at 32 degrees, the boiling point of water as 212 degrees and the normal body temperature as 98.6 degrees. Later on in that same century, the inventor Anders Celsius developed a numerical scale, called the Celsius or Centigrade scale. This scale was based on a scale of zero to one hundred where the freezing point of water is zero, the boiling point of water is 100 degrees and normal body temperature is 37 degrees. The first real medical thermometer was invented by Sir Thomas Allbut in 1867. It was six inches long and took about five minutes to take a person’s temperature.
For almost a hundred years thermometers were basically unchanged. They contained alcohol or mercury and were considered to be very accurate. More modern thermometers were developed after World War II that used infrared technology and placed in the ear. They utilized tiny electrical circuits and numerical readouts  that could measure temperature more quickly and with more precision than the liquid filled glass tubes. Today modern thermometers use some type of electrical sensors to measure temperature but the same numerical scales developed in the 1700’s by Fahrenheit and Celsius are still being used.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Why Eye Exams Are Important For Your Overall Health- What Will Your Doctor Check For?

Many people decide to see an eye doctor when they have experienced a change in their vision. However, it is advised that whether or not there has been a change in your sight, you should make checking your eyes a priority.

Comprehensive examinations can help doctors to not only detect existing and potential eye problems but can also provide signs of other health complications that may be developing in your body.

Routine exams can identify signs of eye problems that develop silently as well as serious illnesses such as high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol and brain tumors.

How often you receive a complete eye exam depends on several factors including, age, family history, if you wear glasses or contacts and if you are at risk for developing eye disease. Most eye experts agree that you should have your eyes examined every one or two years.

During your visit, your doctor may perform the following tests or procedures to help determine the current status of your health:

  • Visual Acuity Tests- to measure the sharpness of your vision.
  • Cover Test- to check how well your eyes work together.
  • Slit Lamp Exam- to examine the structures of your eye. Several eye diseases and health conditions can be detected during a slit lamp exam such as diabetic retinopathy, corneal ulcers, macular degeneration and cataracts.
  • Glaucoma Test- to measure the pressure of your eyes and identify signs of glaucoma.
  • Pupil Dilation- to obtain a better view when looking inside your eyes. This allows the doctor to perform a thorough examination which is crucial for people who are at risk for developing eye disease.

Getting your eyes checked as recommended is highly important for your vision and overall health.  Your doctor can identify and create a successful care plan for many diseases while in their early stages.

The Division of Ophthalmology at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center offers a full range of comprehensive medical, diagnostic, and surgical services. From annual eye examinations to surgical procedures, our board certified and fellowship trained ophthalmologists are dedicated to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of eye disorders and ophthalmic conditions. To schedule an exam, please call 718-206-5900.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Is Your New Years Resolution to #StressLess ?

For many, each New Year their resolution is to lessen the stress that seems to have become a way of life.

There is a reason we all strive to lessen the stress in our daily lives. When you are stressed the body releases hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline- which causes the fight or flight reaction. This can speed up the normal function of several organs, including the heart.  The fight or flight reaction is appropriate when we face immediate threats but can be damaging if prolonged; as our bodies are only designed to deal with the effects of stress for short intervals.

Extended periods of stress can take its toll on our health in many ways. Long-term stress is known to negatively affect several systems of the body, including:

  • The Nervous System– High levels of cortisol and adrenaline can impair the nervous system, which regulates heart rates, the excretion of waste, breathing rates and the dilation and constriction of blood vessels.
  • The Immune System– Chronic stress can weaken the immune system, which increases the risk of infections, infectious diseases, skin problems such as eczema and can slow down wound healing rates.
  • The Digestive System– Excessive levels of stress can stimulate the muscles of the intestines and cause diarrhea or constipation. It can also lead to indigestion or nausea and increase the risk of ulcers or irritable bowel syndrome.
  • The Endocrine System– Stress hormones can cause the liver to increase blood sugar levels. This is particularly dangerous for diabetics.

Some helpful techniques that can assist you in managing your daily stress are:

  • Meditation – is helpful to the brain’s neural pathways, making you more resilient to stress
  • Breathing Deeply – triggers our parasympathetic nervous system, neutralizes stress and elicits a calming feeling
  • Exercise – all forms of exercise can ease depression and anxiety by helping the brain releasing feel-good chemicals giving your body a chance to practice dealing with stress
  • Eating Healthy – choosing a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, and fiber may reduce the chance that stress can boost the body’s natural defense system

It is important to reduce excessive and prolonged periods of stress. A healthy lifestyle that helps manage stress often requires changing your mindset. But, if you are willing to make the changes that will improve your health, the impact can be far-reaching.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Now That You’ve Quit Smoking –How Do You Resist Temptation?

Congratulations, you have quit smoking.  You have accomplished a major milestone in your journey to achieving good health.  A challenge you may face after your Quit Day is remaining tobacco-free by resisting the temptation to smoke again. Coping with tobacco cravings can be difficult; however, by applying the following tips you can decrease the urge to smoke:

  • Remove yourself from situations that may trigger the urge to smoke
  • Spend free time in environments where smoking is not allowed
  • Reduce alcohol consumption
  • Create or join a support group
  • Think about how harmful tobacco is to your health
  • Think about the health benefits you will gain by remaining smoke-free
  • Try nicotine replacements such as gum, patches or prescription medications
  • Do not have just one cigarette to satisfy a craving- one cigarette will make you want more
  • If you miss the feeling of having a cigarette in your mouth try a toothpick, a stick of gum, celery -anything besides a cigarette
  • Exercise
  • Practice relaxation techniques
  • Give yourself credit for each day you are tobacco free
  • Envision being tobacco-free long-term

Quitting smoking and remaining smoke-free can be difficult and requires a life-long commitment but the benefits to your health are immeasurable.

Jamaica  Hospital Medical Center offers a Freedom from Smoking Tobacco Cessation Program to help you overcome your addiction to tobacco and enjoy the benefits of better health in a fun and interactive environment. Receive personalized attention as well as the support from group members who are experiencing this journey with you. For more information, please call 718-206-8494.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Make Your Smile a Priority in 2018

We have all made New Year’s resolutions at some point in our lives. Many of these

annual vows revolve around improving our health.  Typical resolutions may include losing weight, quitting smoking, or beginning an exercise routine, but what about our oral health? The New Year is also a good time to commit ourselves to better dental care.

Make 2018 the year you look to improve your smile. Some ways to help you meet this goal include:

  • Practice Good Oral Hygiene – Daily brushing and flossing is a simple way to improve your oral health. For successful bacterial plaque removal, it is important to brush at least twice a day and floss at least once per day to remove bacterial plaque and food that has accumulated throughout the day. Daily brushing and flossing help to prevent gingivitis (gum disease), tooth decay and halitosis (bad breath). The daily use of antimicrobial and fluoride mouth rinses also helps to improve your oral health.
  • Watch What You Eat and Drink – An important part of achieving your dental health resolutions is making healthier food and beverage choices, especially for snacks. Frequent consumption of food and beverages containing carbohydrates and acids contributes to tooth decay.
  • Quit Smoking – Quitting cigarette smoking and smokeless tobacco use is important for improving your oral and overall health. There is no better time than the present to make a resolution to stop tobacco use. Consider free online tools, smoking cessation groups, progress-tracking apps and support from friends and family to assist you with tobacco cessation.
  • Use Whitening Products – There are several over-the-counter smile-improving products that you
    can use to whiten your teeth when you brush and floss. In recent years, tooth whitening has acquired enormous popularity because they can enhance the appearance of teeth by removing deep (intrinsic) or surface (extrinsic) stains.
  • Receive Regular Check-Ups – A resolution to make routine visits to the dentist may help prevent oral disease or reveal an existing disease in its early stage. Dental visits should take place every six months to allow your dentist and dental hygienists to monitor the condition of your oral cavity and develop an appropriate treatment plan to meet your wants and needs.

Some however might need to make more than a few lifestyle changes to address their dental needs. For those, a dentist or orthodontist can help. Make this the year you stop putting off having dental work done. An orthodontist can correct an overbite or straighten crooked teeth and a dentist can address your need for crowns, implants or fillings to preserve your tooth structure.

To make an appointment at Jamaica Hospital’s Dental Center, please call 718-206-6980.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Make Improving Your Sleep Your New Year’s Resolution

The holidays are over and it is time to get our bodies back on a regular schedule of eating and sleeping.  Many of us will make a New Year’s resolution to make changes to our schedules and sleep better.  The question is do we actually get enough sleep to be able to stay healthy and function well.
Here are some tips from the National Sleep Foundation to help you get better sleep in 2018:
• Keep a regular sleep time schedule, even on weekends
• Do things that relax you prior to getting in to bed
• Keep the sound and light level in the bedroom at comfortable levels
• Try to avoid caffeine and alcohol before going to bed
• Make sure your mattress and pillows are comfortable
It is recommended that adults get between seven and nine hours of sleep per night. Teenagers require about an hour more than adults.  Young children should get between 10 to 11 hours of sleep every night.
Following these tips will help you become a better rested person, which can improve your overall physical and mental health.
If you are experiencing difficulty sleeping, you might want to consult with your doctor to see if could be do anything differently. Jamaica Hospital has a sleep center for people who are experiencing chronic sleep problems. To get more information about the sleep center, please call 718-206-5916.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Whats your Resolution?

 

 

 

 

 

Statistics show that these are the top five New Year’s Resolutions adopted by people at the beginning of each New Year.

Which one is yours?

  • Lose weight
  • Stress less and enjoy life
  • Spend less and save more
  • Stay fit and healthy
  • Spend more time with family and friends

Whatever you decide set your goal at a level you can meet.  Each week, you will get closer to making this resolution stick!

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.