Jamaica Hospital Helping to Raise Awareness About Stuttering

The National Stuttering Awareness Week is an observance in the United States for those who stutter. It was established in 1988, by a President’s proclamation as the second week in May in response to the advocacy of the members of the National Stuttering Association.

Stuttering, sometimes called stammering or dysfluency, is a disruption in the normal patterns of speech. It can take many forms, such as:

Message on chalkboard

• Repeating a sound or a syllable, especially at the beginning of the word, such as “li- li- like.”
• Prolongation of a sound such as “ssssss”
• Complete stoppage of speech or the omission of a sound.
• Repeated interruption of speech with sounds such as “uh” or “um.”

Stuttering can begin at any age, but it’s most common among children who are learning to form words into sentences. Boys are more likely than girls to stutter.

Approximately one out of every 20 children will develop stuttering that lasts for more than six months, but this does not necessarily mean that stuttering is going to be a lifelong problem. Knowing what to look for and responding appropriately to your child’s stuttering will go a long way toward preventing it from becoming a more long-term or even permanent condition.

Why does stuttering begin? At one time many people thought that stuttering was the result of either physical or emotional trauma. While there are rare instances of stuttering following traumatic events, this is not the typical factor when determining why stuttering begins. Instead, experts point to other factors that contribute to stuttering:

• Family History – According to research, 60% of all stutterers have someone in the family who also stutters.
• Child Development. – Children who have other language and speech problems are more likely to stutter than children who don’t.
• Neurophysiology – Which part of the brain processes language can contribute in identifying why some children stutter
• Family Dynamics – Some children’s stuttering has been attributed to high family expectations and a fast-paced lifestyle.

Talk with your doctor if you are concerned about your child’s stuttering. Your doctor may refer you to a specialist known as a speech-language pathologist (SLP) who can evaluate your child and determine whether or not there is a risk of a long-term problem. In most cases, treatment primarily focuses on training and working with the parents to develop techniques to help the child cope with and get beyond his or her stuttering.

Parents of children who stutter can also help by creating a relaxing atmosphere at home that encourages speech, even if a stutter is present. Some tips include:

• Create opportunities for talking that are relaxed, fun, and enjoyable.
• When conversing with your child, try to create an environment with limiting distractions, such as the presence of television.
• Don’t be critical of your child’s speech or insist on precise or correct speech. Don’t correct his speech, or complete his sentences.
• Don’t put pressure on your child to verbally interact with others when stuttering becomes a problem.
• Listen attentively to what your child is saying, maintaining normal eye contact without displaying signs of impatience or frustration.
• Model a slow, relaxed way of speaking to help your child slow down his own speech.
• Don’t be afraid to talk with your child about stuttering and answer questions. Explain that disruptions in speech are common.

Jamaica Hospital joins the effort to raise awareness about stuttering. Through understanding the factors that lead to stuttering and providing support to those who stutter will help those with this problem.

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 Asthma and Allergy Month

The month of May has been designated as “National Asthma and Allergy Month by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Spring is the beginning of the peak season for asthma and allergy sufferers. Asthma affects over 25 million Americans, 6.3 million of them are under the age of 18. More than 50 million people in the United States have some type of allergy and that number is increasing every year.
If a person knows that they have asthma, it is suggested that they avoid things that can trigger an attack. Triggers are anything that the body is sensitive to that causes the airways to become inflamed.
Common triggers are:
• Pollen
• Changes in weather
• Dust
• Stress
• Exercise
• Chemicals
Symptoms of asthma are shortness of breath, wheezing, chest tightness, and coughing. There is no cure for asthma however there are medications that can help to keep it controlled.
Allergies are a very common chronic illness that lasts a long time or occurs frequently. Allergies occur when the body comes in to contact with a substance that causes the immune system to overreact.
Some of the more common substances people are allergic to are:
• Food
• Insect bites
• Latex
• Mold
• Pets
• Pollen
• Medications
Symptoms of allergies may include watery eyes, sneezing, itchiness, rash, hives and difficulty breathing. Severe cases can lead to anaphylactic shock which is potentially life threatening due to a lowering of the blood pressure and a dilation of the blood vessels, if not treated quickly.
Doctors can perform tests to see how you respond to small amounts of allergens.  There are ways to treat allergies, the best method though is to avoid things that you know will cause a reaction in the first place. There are medications available to control allergic reactions and doctors can give injections that act to train the immune system to not overreact to these substances.
To schedule an appointment at Jamaica Hospital with a physician to discuss controlling asthma and allergies, please call 718-206-7001.

Young girl in autumn park blowing nose. Standing in park in warm clothing.

Young girl in autumn park blowing nose. Standing in park in warm clothing.

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 of a Stroke

stroke signs -512037142 (1)The easiest way to recognize the warning signs of a stroke is to think F.A.S.T.  If someone you know is suddenly exhibiting the following signs, call 9-1-1 for help immediately:

F- Face Drooping: If one side of the person’s face is drooping, ask them if their face feels numb and ask them to smile.   You should be concerned if they are unable to smile or their smile is uneven.

A- Arm weakness:  Does the individual’s arm feel numb or weak? Ask them to raise both arms and watch to see if one arm drifts downward.

S- Speech difficulty: If the person is trying to speak and they are difficult to understand or their speech is slurred, ask them to say a simple sentence, such as “my name is Jane,” repeatedly.

T- Time to call 9-1-1:  You should never wait more than five minutes to call 9-1-1 if someone is displaying these warning signs.

Additional symptoms of a stroke are:

  • Sudden confusion
  • Severe headaches
  • Blurred vision
  • Dizziness
  • Sudden loss of coordination

Stroke is one of the leading causes of death and long-term disability in the United States.  Eighty percent of strokes are preventable and by spotting these warning signs and acting quickly, the severity of a stroke can be reduced drastically.

Jamaica Hospital Medical Center is a state- designated stroke center and during the month of May we are showing our support for stroke awareness and American Stroke Month by educating the communities we serve. To speak with a medical professional about stroke prevention and care please call our ambulatory care unit at 718-206-7001 or visit the National Stroke Association’s website at www.stroke.org.

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.

Food Allergy Action Month

 

Allergenic food isolated on white

May has been designated as Food Allergy Action Month in an effort to educate Americans about food allergies and to support those who suffer from them.

Recent surveys indicate that 15 million Americans now suffer from food allergies. This number indicates that food allergies are much more common than previously believed and the number of people with allergies is steadily growing. It is now estimated that one out of every 13 children has a food allergy.

An allergic reaction occurs when the body’s immune system mistakenly identifies a food component as a hazardous substance and attacks it. The effects of food allergies may appear on the skin, in the respiratory passage, or in the gastrointestinal tract. The symptoms of food allergies may vary from mild to severe, and in extreme cases, they can even be fatal.

Minor reactions include:

  • Skin rash
  • Eczema
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach cramps
  • Nausea

Serious Reactions Include:

  • Obstructive inflammation of the tongue and respiratory tract
  • Panting and wheezing
  • Lack of oxygen, leading to blue lips
  • Unconsciousness
  • Drop in pulse rate

Anaphylaxis is a very serious allergic reaction that can cause death. This type of allergic reaction requires immediate action and medical attention. If you or a loved one has a severe food allergy, you must be prepared for an emergency. Learn the signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis and know what the emergency care plan is. It may include the administration of epinephrine, a life-saving drug.

Over 170 different foods have been reported to cause an allergic reaction, but the food products that cause the most reactions are:

  • Soy
  • Milk
  • Fish / Shellfish
  • Peanuts / Tree Nuts
  • Eggs
  • Wheat

There is currently no cure for food allergies. To prevent an allergic reaction, it is important for the person with the allergy to stay away from foods that cause symptoms. Contact with even the smallest amounts of the allergen can cause serious problems. To avoid an allergic reaction, take the following precautions:

  • Learn to carefully read food labels and ask about ingredients in prepared foods
  • Wash your hands with soap and warm water before and after touching food
  • Use clean, uncontaminated utensils when preparing foods
  • Educate others about food allergies.

Every year in the United States, approximately 30,000 individuals are brought to hospital Emergency Departments and 150 people die due to severe allergic reactions. Jamaica Hospital joins the effort to raise awareness about food allergies and urges everyone to learn more about this growing, yet manageable issue.

For more hospital events, highlights, health and  fitness tips, visit us on 

Facebook.com/JamaicaHospital  or Facebook.com/Flushing Hospital 

and follow us on Twitter @JamaicaHospital or @FHMC_NYC 

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.

Top 5 Women’s Health Issues

7things-womens-health_456pxDo you know which health conditions pose the biggest threat to American women? The good news is that many of the leading threats to women’s health, which can vary based on a woman’s age and background, are preventable. Find out which conditions to be aware of to maximize your health today.

  1. Heart disease is the leading cause of death among women. Luckily, there are many lifestyle changes you can make to ward off heart disease, such as not smoking, following a heart-smart diet, and being physically active.

 

  1. Stroke poses a significant risk to women’s health in the United States. Almost 55,000 women suffer from stroke each year, and about 60 percent of overall stroke deaths occur among women.

 

  1. Two of the most common cancers affecting women are breast and cervical cancers. Early detection is the key to keeping women alive and healthy. The most recent figures show that around half a million women die from cervical cancer and half a million from breast cancer each year.

 

  1. Sexually transmitted diseases are responsible for one third of health issues for women between the ages of 15 and 44 years. Unsafe sex is a major risk factor – particularly among women and girls in developing countries.

 

  1. Depression is the most common mental health problem for women and suicide a leading cause of death for women under 60. Evidence suggests that women are more prone than men to experience anxiety, depression, and somatic complaints – physical symptoms that cannot be explained medically.

 

The first step to staying healthy is educating yourself, and then taking the necessary precautions to reduce your risk. While you can’t eliminate risk factors such as family history, you can control many other risk factors for heart disease, stroke and cancer. Also be sure to consult your doctor about when you should have mammograms and other cancer screenings. The Women’s Health Center at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center has an experienced and friendly staff readily available to assist you. To make an appointment 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.

Know The Facts About Osteoporosis

May is Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention Month and Jamaica Hospital wants to help raise awareness about this condition.

Woman in her 40s undergoing scan at bone densitometer machine

Osteoporosis, meaning “porous bones,” is defined as a condition, in which bones become weak and brittle, making individuals more susceptible to fractures. Bone is living tissue that is constantly being broken down and replaced. Osteoporosis occurs when the creation of new bone tissue doesn’t keep up with the removal of old bone tissue.

Osteoporosis affects men and women, but older women who are past menopause are at highest risk. Medications, healthy diet and weight-bearing exercise can help prevent bone loss or strengthen already weak bones.

Your chances of developing osteoporosis partly depends on how much bone mass you accumulate in your youth, when you are at you peak bone building mass age. During this period in your life, you can build-up a bone mass reserve that can be used later in life when you are more likely to develop osteoporosis.

Signs and symptoms of osteoporosis include:
• Back pain, caused by a fractured or collapsed vertebra
• Loss of height over time
• A stooped posture
• A bone fracture that occurs much more easily than expected

There are a number of factors that can increase the likelihood that you’ll develop osteoporosis – some are controllable, but others are not. Some of the factors are:

• Gender – Women are much more likely to develop osteoporosis than men.
• Age – The older you get, the greater your risk of osteoporosis.
• Race – You’re at the greatest risk of osteoporosis if you’re white or of Asian descent.
• Family history – Having a parent or sibling with osteoporosis puts you at greater risk.
• Body frame size – Men and women who have small body frames tend to have a higher risk because they may have less bone mass to draw from as they age.
• Hormone levels – Osteoporosis is more common in people who have too much or too little of certain hormones in their bodies.
• Dietary factors – Those with a lower calcium intake or have a history of eating disorders are at an increased risk
• Medications – Long term use of oral or injectable steroids can interfere with the bone rebuilding process
• Lifestyle – Excessive alcohol consumption and tobacco use can contribute to the weakening of bones.

A bone density test can be performed to measure the proportion of mineral in your bones. During this painless test, you lie on a padded table as a scanner passes over your body. In most cases, only a few bones are checked — usually in the hip, wrist and spine.

Hormone therapy or medications can be administered to treat osteoporosis, but there are side effects. Please consult your doctor. If you do not have a doctor, Jamaica Hospital has qualified physicians at our Ambulatory Care Center. To make an appointment, 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.

Hand Hygiene Day

washing hands

washing hands

Since 2005, the World Health Organization has been  leading a global effort to improve hand hygiene in order to reduce infections among healthcare workers and the patients that they care for. This initiative is recognized on May 5th every year throughout the world.
Proper hand hygiene is very important in keeping germs from spreading from person to person. Hands should be washed:
• Before, during and after preparing food
• Before eating
• Before and after taking care of a person who is ill
• Before treating a wound
• After using the bathroom
• After sneezing, coughing or wiping a runny nose
• After taking out the garbage
• Before coming in to contact with a baby
• After touching pets
Usually warm water and soap are sufficient to clean your hands. If the cleanliness of the water is questionable, a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol can be used, keeping in mind that it may not remove all chemicals from the skin and doesn’t kill all types of germs.
There is no exact amount of time that hand washing should take but a good rule of thumb is about 20 seconds or about the same amount of time that it takes to sing the Happy Birthday song.

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 Effects Caused By Worrying

stressed couple 91460014Worrying yourself sick is not just a saying; studies prove that being in a constant state of worry can have a harmful effect on your physical health.   Excessive worrying can lead to anxiety and an increase in your levels of stress. This can trigger a number of problems that can make you ill.

High levels of stress produce hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol, both can negatively impact the nervous system, digestive system, the heart and glands; leading to health conditions such as:

  • Stomach ulcers
  • Heart disease
  • Diarrhea
  • Sleep disorders
  • Frequent headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Short term memory loss

There are several lifestyle changes you can make to help decrease how frequently you worry and potentially reduce the risk of developing serious health problems- they include:

  • Exercising
  • Practicing relaxation  techniques such as meditation, yoga or tai chi
  • Drinking caffeine in moderation
  • Maintaining a healthy diet
  • Socializing with people who are supportive

If these tips do not help and you continue to experience stress-related symptoms, please see your doctor immediately.

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.