How Are You Handling Your Holiday Stress?

During the holiday season, many of us struggle to complete an extensive list of tasks in what often feels like very little time.   We run rampant decorating our homes, attending social gatherings, shopping for loved ones, volunteering, traveling or cooking.  These activities are often added to our already busy schedules, which can make us feel overwhelmed.

Contrary to what we may think, these activities which should make us feel happy can actually increase our stress levels.

Although there are various factors such as unrealistic expectations or financial strain that contribute to holiday stress, finding ways to avoid stressors or minimize their effects is very important. If stress is not managed well, it can have a significantly negative impact on our health.

Here are five tips to help you cope with holiday stress and maintain good mental health:

  1. Set realistic goals– Unrealistic goals often equal added pressure and expectations that cannot be met. If these goals are not met, they can lead to negative feelings such as inadequacy or hopelessness.
  2. Know when to take a moment for yourself (Take a break) – We are often pulled in multiple directions during this time of the year. Know when to take a breather to decompress and clear your mind.
  3. Communicate- The added pressures of the holidays are clearly overwhelming and one of the ways that people sometimes deal with this is to isolate themselves. This is not recommended; instead, reach out to loved ones or a trained mental health professional to communicate how you feel.
  4. Do not neglect healthy habits– Taking good care of your health can help combat holiday stress. Moderating your food intake, fitting in a few minutes of exercise and getting adequate amounts of sleep can be profoundly beneficial for your health.   Additionally, maintaining a healthy daily routine can help take your mind off holiday demands.
  5. Ask for help- We live in a time where multitasking has become the norm but if you begin to feel overwhelmed, ask for help. Soliciting the help of friends or family can alleviate some of the holiday pressure. The holidays can also trigger depression; if you are experiencing symptoms of depression ask for help from loved ones or seek the assistance of a mental health professional.

The holiday season can be overwhelming; however, by applying these helpful tips you can take the steps needed to minimize stress and make this time of year more enjoyable.  If you find that you continue to experience elevated levels of stress or symptoms of depression, it is recommended that you seek the help of mental health professional immediately.

To schedule an appointment with the Mental Health Clinic 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.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is characterized by numbness, tingling and weakness in the hand caused by pressure exerted on a major nerve and tendons in the wrist.

The carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway on the palm side of the wrist through which passes the median nerve and these tendons.  It usually starts, gradually, with numbness in the thumb, index and middle fingers that, at first, may appear to come and go and ten as it progressively worsens, remains constant.  It generally affects women more frequently than men.

Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome include:

  • Tingling or numbness of the thumb, index finger and middle fingers
  • Weakness of the hand with difficulty holding on to objects

Compression of the median nerve can be caused by a few different factors.  Some people have naturally occurring smaller carpal tunnels which can lead to increased likelihood of damage.  Any damage to treat area of the wrist can cause a problem.  A previous wrist fracture or anything that may cause swelling in that area can lead to the problem developing.  In addition, there are certain health related issues such as diabetes, hypothyroidism and arthritis which can be associated with this condition. 

Temporary relief from the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome can be addressed by:

  • Taking quick breaks from repetitive activities of the hand
  • Rotate your wrists and stretch your palms and fingers
  • Avoid sleeping on your hands and wrists
  • Ultrasound therapy which makes the area of the wrist warm and more flexible

Treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome really depends on what the cause is and how severe it has become.  If symptoms appear, never wait too long before seeking treatment options as this can lead to permanent damage.  Some simple remedies include stopping any activity that may be compressing the nerve, putting ice on the wrist for 10-15 minutes once or twice an hour, taking anti-inflammatory medications to reduce swelling, and wearing a night splint to take the pressure off of the nerve.

Some cases can be helped with injections of corticosteroids.  When the condition is really severe, surgical intervention may be required.  If you are experiencing the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome and would like to be treated by an orthopedic physician at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, please call 718-206-6923 to schedule an appointment.

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.

Medications That Can Affect Eyesight

Did you know that some of the medications you may be taking can cause changes in your eyesight?

You may be more at risk of a condition known as Dry Eye, if you are taking medications such as:

  • Diuretics
  • Antihistamines
  • Antidepressants
  • Cholesterol lowering drugs
  • Beta-blockers
  • Birth control pills

Dry eye is a condition where a person doesn’t have enough tears to lubricate and nourish the eye. Since tears are necessary for maintaining the health of the front surface of the eye and for providing clear vision, people with dry eye often have red, itchy, inflamed eyes with blurred vision.

If you medications are causing dry eye, you do not want to stop taking them right away since that can cause a harmful effect.  It is best to discuss your condition with a physician and discuss the best solution. 

Often times, an adjustment in dosage, a change of medication and artificial tears can help alleviate the condition.

If you would like to schedule an appointment at the Jamaica Hospital Department of Ophthalmology, 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.

Health Benefits of Pumpkins and a Recipe Too!

Synonymous with the fall season are apples, squash and, of course, pumpkins.  Did you know that pumpkins are not only tasty, they are quite healthy.

Some health benefits of pumpkins are:

  • They are highly rich in Vitamin A
  • They contain antioxidants and immune boosters that may reduce your risk of chronic illnesses
  • They are high in nutrients and low in calories
  • They contain compounds that promote healthy skin.

Now that you know about some of the health benefits of pumpkin, why not try this tasty gluten free, vegan Creamy Pumpkin Soup recipe.  It’s healthy, easy to prepare and delicious. Just click the link below to get started!

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.

Red Ribbon Week

The last week in October is Red Ribbon Week.  During this week, health care professionals and the National Family Partnership (NFP) raise awareness about drug addiction through the Red Ribbon Campaign.

Did you know that children whose parents talk to them about the dangers of drug abuse are 42% less likely to use drugs?  Seems reasonable, then you read the statistics which show less than a quarter of teens in America report having this conversation with their parents or guardians.

To learn more about the Red Ribbon Campaign or if you’d like to take the Drug Free Pledge, visit http://redribbon.org/downloads/.

If you or your loved one is battling addiction, Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s (JHMC) Addiction Services Department, located at Flushing Hospital Medical Center (FHMC) can help you navigate this difficult time.  If you would like to learn more about what JHMC offers, visit https://www.flushinghospital.org/clinical-services/addiction-services.

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.

Fall Allergies

Ever ask yourself, “Why are my allergies kicking up, it’s not spring or summer?”  The answer may be that if you are a warmer weather allergy sufferer, you will most likely be sensitive to allergens in the fall too.

While the fall season signals the beginning of cooler temperatures, it can be especially difficult for those who are sensitive to mold and ragweed pollen. If you are one of these people, symptoms such as sneezing, itchy eyes, congestion and headaches can reoccur leaving you feeling miserable.

There are several things you can do to find relief. If symptoms are mild, try the following suggestions which may provide temporary relief:

  • Closing windows and doors at night or whenever ragweed counts are high
  • Trying over the counter remedies such as decongestants or antihistamines
  • Rinsing your eyes with a saline solution
  • Trying nasal irrigation
  • Taking steamy showers
  • Wearing a mask while doing yard work
  • Washing clothes and linens frequently
  • Using air purifiers equipped with HEPA filters
  • Keeping indoor air dry by using a dehumidifier
  • Thoroughly washing your face and hair when you get home

If your symptoms are continuous and affect your ability to carry out routine activities, you should speak with an allergist.  Your allergist will be able to help you identify what triggers your seasonal allergies and provide the best course of treatment to offer relief or stop symptoms.

The Division of Allergy and Immunology at Jamaica Hospital focuses on the diagnosis and long-term treatment of allergic and immunologic conditions. To schedule an appointment with an allergist, please call 718-206-7001.

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.

Claustrophobia

claustrophobia, phobia, anxiety, panicattack, panic

Categorized as a “phobia”, claustrophobia is diagnosed when the patient exhibits persistent (usually 6 months or longer) unreasonable or excessive fear due to the presence or anticipation of a specific situation.  That fear will often times cause an anxiety response that may lead to a panic attack.

People with claustrophobia will go to great lengths to avoid what triggers their anxiety, such as:

  • Being in a small room without windows
  • Riding in an airplane, small motor vehicle or subway car
  • Being in a packed elevator
  • Undergoing medical testing such as a MRI or CT scan
  • Attending large gatherings like a concert or party
  • Standing in a closet

While in the throes of an episode, the person with claustrophobia may experience one or more of these symptoms:

  • Sweating and chills
  • Dry mouth
  • Headache and numbness
  • Tightness in the chest, and chest pain
  • Nausea
  • Disorientation and confusion
  • Lightheadedness, fainting, and dizziness
  • High blood pressure and an accelerated heart rate

In severe cases, claustrophobia may cause reactions that can interfere with the person’s everyday life, professional life and relationships.

If you are experiencing the signs and symptoms of claustrophobia and would like to speak with a mental health professional at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, please call 718-206-7160 to schedule an appointment.

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.

Quick and Healthy Chicken Salad Recipe

Want to turn classic chicken salad into a healthy meal?  Try switching out mayo for plain greek yogurt to decrease the saturated fat and calories while maintaining flavor.

For a deliciously healthy alternative combine:

  • Greek yogurt
  • Almonds
  • Celery
  • Grapes
  • Honey
  • Green onion
  • Dill
  • Chunks of chicken

For the entire recipe, visit – https://www.wellplated.com/greek-yogurt-chicken-salad/

Bon apetite!

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.

#WellnessWednesday Tips

When seeking to achieve a wellness lifestyle, try to keep it simple.

Some simple ways you can bring more wellness into your life are:

  • Drink more fluids
  • Remember to eat a healthy breakfast daily
  • Make a list of goals you’d like to meet
  • Keep healthy snacks on hand so that you do not become too hungry
  • Move around during the course of the day. Take a brisk walk or just get up from your desk chair and stretch
  • Get enough sleep.  It is recommended that six to eight hours of sleep is beneficial
  • Make time for yourself (meditation, yoga, exercise, prayer)
  • Organize and de-clutter your life and surroundings

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.

Retinal Detachment

retina, retinaldetachment, eyeexam, ophthalmology

 

According to the Mayo Clinic, retinal detachment is an emergency situation in which a thin layer of tissue (the retina) at the back of the eye pulls away from its underlying support tissue.

The warning signs of retinal detachment are:

  • The appearance of tiny specks that seem to drift through your field of vision commonly referred to as floaters
  • Flashes of light in one or both eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • A gradual reduction in peripheral or side vision
  • A shadow over the visual field

There are three different types of retinal detachment:

Rhegamtogeneous – The most common type of detachment which occures slowly over time.

Tractional – A detachment that occurs when there is scar tissue growing on the retina’s surface

Exudative – Occurs when fluid accumulates beneath the retna without any tears or holes in the retna.

Aging and family history of retinal detachment are the most common risk factors for this condition. Those who already have a retinal detachment in one eye, have severe nearsightedness, have had previous eye surgery, have received a trauma to the eye or have an eye disorder that thins the retina are equally at risk.

Retinal detachment is an emergency so if you are experiencing flashes of light, floaters or a darkening of your field of vision, you will want to contact your eye doctor immediately.  If a detachment isn’t repaired, you may have permanent vision loss.

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of retinal detachment or would like to schecule an eye exam, please call the Jamaica Hospital Ophthalmology Center at 718-206-5900 for an appointment.

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.