Summertime Allergies

If you are one of the millions of Americans who experience summertime allergies, you may want to control your seasonal symptoms with this allergy sufferer’s survival guide.

Summer allergies occur when your immune system tries to defend your body against substances that are harmless to others causing itchy or watery eyes, sneezing, wheezing, and an itchy, stuffy or runny nose.

About 50 million Americans suffer from year-round allergies to mold, dust, and pets. However, summer allergies are the mostly triggered by trees, pollen, leaves, grasses and ragweed.

There isn’t a cure for allergies, but there are ways you can find relief.  If you symptoms are minor, there are over-the-counter antihistamines or nasal sprays that may help.

The most important thing to remember is that you do not have to suffer unnecessarily.  If over– the-counter remedies aren’t working, then it’s probably a good idea to seek the advice of a doctor.

To schedule an appointment with an Allergist at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Ambulatory Care Center, 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.

Tips for Exercising at Home

When you’re starting a home workout program it can be hard to figure out what exercises you should perform, particularly if you don’t have the budget for pricey equipment or personal training.
Most experts will tell you that a home training program for fitness should target all your major muscle groups are targeted at least once each week. It is recommended that your program includes 30 to 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic exercise no more than three to five times a week.”
Most importantly, stretching should be a part of the workout regime. Stretching helps with both strength and flexibility.
Some proven home exercises that won’t break your piggy bank are:
• Squats. Standing upright, feet wider than shoulders apart. With your arms extended forward or your hands on your hips for balance, squat down. Push your knees outward as you descend until your thighs are parallel with the floor. Continue pushing your knees outward as you stand.
• Partial-body push-ups (with knees on the floor).
• Modified jumping jacks. Instead of moving your arms over your head, do these while you press the palms of your hands together at chest level, holding your elbows out to make a straight line.
• Chair crunches. Sit on a chair with your hands under your behind, arms straight, and fingers facing inward toward one another. Contract your pelvis and lower abs, and, keeping your knees bent at a 90-degree angle, lift your feet off the floor and tuck your knees in toward your chest while bending your upper body slightly toward your knees. Do as many as you can until you reach fatigue.
• Chair dips. Place your hands on the side of the chair and wrap your fingers around the edge. Scoot forward until your bottom is on the edge of the chair and your arms are fully extended. Keep your feet about 3 inches apart with your legs extended, so your knees are at approximately a 150 degree angle with your heels grounded. With your elbows pointed back and tucked in tight alongside your body, do 15 to 20 dips, 3 seconds down and 1 second up. Keep your chest up and your shoulders back.
It is important to speak with your Physician before beginning any exercise program, even if it is an at home program.

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.

National Kidney Month

March is National Kidney Month and the National Kidney Foundation is urging all Americans to give their kidneys a well-deserved checkup.

The kidneys are two, fist-sized organs in your lower back. They maintain overall health by serving following functions:

  • Filtering waste out of 200 liters of blood each day
  • Regulating of the body’s salt, potassium and acid content
  • Removing toxins from the body.
  • Balancing the body’s fluids
  • Releasing hormones that regulate blood pressure
  • Producing an active form of vitamin D that promotes strong, healthy bones
  • Controlling the production of red blood cells

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease and Control, some quick facts on Kidney Disease are:

  • Kidney disease is the 9th leading cause of death in the country.
  • More than 26 million Americans have kidney disease, and most don’t know it.
  • There are over 95,000 people waiting for kidney transplants.
  • Currently, more than 590,000 people have kidney failure in the U.S. today.

Often times, kidney failure can be prevented or delayed through early detection and proper treatment of underlying disease such as diabetes and high blood pressure which can slow additional damage to the kidneys.

If you are 18 years or older with diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease or a family history of kidney disease, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor and ask that you be screened for kidney disease.

If you would like to make an appointment to have your Kidney’s checked, you can call Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Ambulatory Care Center at 718-206-7001 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.

Strep vs. Sore Throat

We all develop a sore throat from time to time. There are many reasons for this. It might be due to a viral infection, an allergic reaction, or hoarseness from overuse.  In some cases, however, a sore throat can be a symptom of strep throat, which is a bacteria that if left untreated can lead to serious complications.

Strep throat is an infection of the throat and tonsils. You can get the infection from someone who is sick with it or is a carrier of it. Like other infections, it spreads from person to person or by touching objects that are contaminated and then touching your own eyes, mouth or nose. Strep throat is most common in children, but anyone can get it.

In addition to a sore throat some other symptoms of strep throat include:

  • A fever of 101 F or higher
  • Red, swollen tonsils
  • White patches in the throat
  • Tiny red spots on the roof of the mouth
  • Appetite loss
  • Headache
  • Stomach pain, nausea, or vomiting
  • Rash

Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and can administer a test to confirm if you have strep. There are two ways to test:

  • A rapid strep test can identify a case in just a few minutes. The doctor will gently hold down your tongue with a depressor. Then, use a cotton swab to take a little bit of mucous from the back of the throat.
  • A throat culture is performed by rubbing the sample from the throat swab onto a special dish. If you have strep throat, the streptococci bacteria will grow in it. It usually takes about two days to get results from a throat culture.

If you have strep, your doctor will prescribe antibiotics to kill the bacteria that caused the infection. Most treatments last for about ten days. The medicine can make your symptoms go away faster and help prevent complications. It is important to take the full the dose of antibiotics. Stopping the medicine too early can leave some bacteria alive, which can make you sick again.

Other things you can take to treat the symptoms of strep throat include:

  • Ibuprofen or acetaminophen to bring down a fever and ease pain.
  • Throat lozenges or piece of hard candy to soothe a sore throat.
  • Liquids such as tea and broth or something cold such as an ice pop.

The best way to prevent getting strep is to practice good hygiene. Don’t share cups, dishes, forks, or other personal items with someone who’s sick and wash your hands or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer many times daily.

If untreated, strep can lead to scarlet fever, inflammation of the kidney, and rheumatic fever; a serious inflammatory condition that can affect the heart, joints, nervous system and skin.

Make an appointment with your doctor if you suspect that you or your child has strep throat. If you do not have a doctor, please call Jamaica Hospital’s Ambulatory Care Center at 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.

Signs and Symptoms of Colic

Colic is diagnosed when a healthy baby cries or fusses frequently for a prolonged period of time and cries for more than 3 hours a day. This behavior usually starts a few weeks after birth and is generally worst between 4 and 6 weeks of age

According to the Mayo Clinic symptoms of colic may include the following:

  • Intense crying that may seem more like screaming or an expression of pain
  • Crying for no apparent reason, unlike crying to express hunger or the need for a diaper change
  • Extreme fussiness even after crying has diminished
  • Predictable timing, with episodes often occurring in the evening
  • Facial discoloring, such as reddening of the face or paler skin around the mouth
  • Bodily tension, such as pulled up or stiffened legs, stiffened arms, clenched fists, arched back, or tense abdomen

Since the cause of colic is unknown, it is difficult to treat. However, there are some foods you can avoid, especially when breastfeeding, to help your baby digest better such as cow’s milk, nuts, wheat, soy, eggs and fish. When formula feeding, your baby may experience colic if they have an allergy to milk or lactose intolerance.

Some home remedies you can use to sooth your baby if they are experiencing symptoms of colic are:

  • Lay your baby on his/her back in a dimly lit quiet room.
  • Swaddle your baby snugly in a blanket.
  • Lay your baby across your lap and gently rub his/her back.
  • Put a warm water bottle on your baby’s stomach.
  • Offer your baby a pacifier to suck on.
  • Soak him/her in a warm bath.

If your baby’s colic persists with out relief, you may want to seek the advice of a doctor. If you’d like to make an appointment with a Pediatrician at Jamaica Hospial’s Ambulatory Care Center, 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.

How To Make Your New Year Resolutions Stick

New Year Resolutions are great to make and even better to keep. Here are some tips on how to make your New Year Resolutions stick.

  1. Be realistic
  2. Plan ahead
  3. Outline your plan
  4. Make a “pros” and “cons” list
  5. Talk about it
  6. Reward yourself
  7. Track your progress
  8. Don’t beat yourself up
  9. Stick to it
  10. Keep trying

Keep in mind that each day is a new day to either continue your journey to your goal or to start again

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.

National Winter Skin Relief Day

January 8, 2020, is designated as National Winter Skin Relief Day.  This observation helps remind us that our skin is susceptible dryness and cracking due to the severe weather winter season can bring.

Winter can be a particularly harsh season for our skin. During this time of year, temperatures are cold and we spend more time indoors where heating systems tend to deplete the water content in the air.  Low humidity in our environment contributes to dry skin.

Dry skin commonly appears as being rough and flaky patches, which can show up anywhere on the body but mostly on the arms and legs. In severe cases, your skin can develop creases and cracks when it is extremely dry.

Drying of the skin typically occurs when the outer layer of the skin, called the stratum corneum, becomes compromised. The stratum corneum which is composed of dead skin cells and natural oils; acts as a protective layer that prevents water from evaporating from the surface. When water evaporates, outer skin cells become flaky and will cause cracks and fissures.

There are steps you can take to retain moisture and prevent dry skin. Here are a few:
• Bathe in warm water, never hot
• Use mild soaps that contain moisturizing creams
• Pat the skin dry with soft towels
• Use a moisturizer several times a day on exposed areas of the body.
• Drink a lot of water
• Apply sunscreen to prevent drying out from the sun’s rays
• Wear gloves
• Avoid wearing wet articles of clothes outdoors.
• Have a humidifier in the home

If you would like to schedule an appointment with a dermatologist at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center to discuss dry skin and how best to treat it, 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.

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.