Motion Sickness

Motion sickness is a common condition that many of us experience at some point in our lives. It is the feeling of nausea, dizziness or uneasiness that can develop during a bumpy or rocky ride. For some, this sensation may occur while traveling in a car, boat, train, plane or other modes of transportation.

Motion sickness also referred to as seasickness, carsickness or airsickness is caused when the brain receives mixed signals from our balance-sensing system which consists of our eyes, inner ear (semicircular canals) and sensory nerves.    Mixed signals are received by the brain because your eyes cannot see the motion your body is feeling, or conversely, your body cannot feel the motion your eyes are seeing. Motion sickness can start suddenly, typically with a feeling of uneasiness then progressing to other symptoms such as dizziness, a cold sweat, headaches or vomiting.

Children and pregnant women are most susceptible to motion sickness. However, anyone who is traveling can be at risk. Factors that can increase the chances for symptoms to appear include poor ventilation in a vehicle, the type of vehicle, fears or anxieties about traveling or the orientation in which a person is sitting or standing.

Treatment for motion sickness may include medication, home remedies or applying simple changes to your environment. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), recommends the following interventions for treatment or prevention:

  • Being aware of and avoiding situations that tend to trigger symptoms.
  • Optimizing position to reduce motion or motion perception—for example, driving a vehicle instead of riding in it, sitting in the front seat of a car or bus, sitting over the wing of an aircraft, holding the head firmly against the back of the seat, and choosing a window seat on flights and trains.
  • Reducing sensory input—lying prone, shutting eyes, sleeping, or looking at the horizon.
  • Maintaining hydration by drinking water, eating small meals frequently, and limiting alcoholic and caffeinated beverages.
  • Avoiding smoking—even short-term cessation reduces susceptibility to motion sickness.
  • Adding distractions—controlling breathing, listening to music, or using aromatherapy scents such as mint or lavender. Flavored lozenges may also help.
  • Using acupressure or magnets is advocated by some to prevent or treat nausea, although scientific data on efficacy of these interventions for preventing motion sickness are lacking.
  • Gradually exposing oneself to continuous or repeated motion sickness triggers. Most people, in time, notice a reduction in motion sickness symptoms.

Most cases of motion sickness are mild. Symptoms are typically self-treatable or go away when a person is no longer in motion.  However, medical professionals recommend that you see a doctor if you experience motion sickness repeatedly or if symptoms persist after your journey.

To schedule an appointment with a doctor at Jamaica Hospital Medical 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 Traveling With Medication

Preparing for a flight often requires careful planning and packing. When traveling with medication, knowing airport rules ahead of time can help you to pack correctly and minimize setbacks on your trip.

It is important that you follow these tips provided by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to avoid delays in your travel time or confiscation of your medication:

  • Confirm that your prescription is legal at your destination; some medications that are allowed in the United States are prohibited in other countries.
  • Learn state requirements for the labeling of prescription medication. States have individual laws of which travelers must comply.
  • You can bring unlimited amounts of your medication in pill or solid form, as long as it is screened. Medications are typically screened by X-ray; however, if you do want them X-rayed you may ask to have them inspected instead. This request must be made before your medication enters the X-ray tunnel.
  • You are allowed to bring liquid medication in carry-on bags in excess of 3.4 ounces in reasonable quantities.
  • If traveling with liquid medication, you must inform the inspecting officer at the start of the screening checkpoint process. Additional screening will be required and you may be asked to open the container.
  • Supplies associated with medication such as syringes, pumps, IV bags or needles must undergo screening.

Packing appropriately for your trip can make traveling with medication less complicated. It is highly recommended that you check the TSA’s website, www.tsa.gov, for updates as the current rules can change.

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.

To Juice or Not to Juice? That is the Question.

Juicing or juice cleanses are growing in popularity as more people are using this practice as a way to lose weight or improve their health.  Juice bars are becoming a common fixture in shopping malls as the demand for freshly-made and all-natural juices increase.  There are a few advantages that can be achieved by juicing.

Some advantages of juicing include:

  • Juicing may be an easier way for some to obtain the daily fruits and vegetables that are essential in maintaining a healthy diet. Many people find it more convenient and less time consuming to drink fruits and vegetables instead of eating them.
  • Juicing can help in promoting weight loss- if it is done correctly and the body is not deprived of vital nutrients and fibers.

There also disadvantages associated with all-juice diets. The disadvantages that are associated with all-juice diets include:

  • An all-juice diet for a prolonged period of time is not recommended as studies have shown that LDL cholesterol levels may increase. Depriving the body of whole foods that are rich in nutrients could also weaken its ability to fight infections and function properly.
  • Juicing can prove dangerous for individuals with chronic health conditions such as diabetes and kidney disease. High levels of fructose, which is the sugar found in fruits can elevate blood sugar levels.  Excessive juicing can cause high levels of potassium and minerals to build up in the blood- this can become hazardous if one has kidney disease.
  • Juicing may not be the healthiest or most effective way to lose weight as your body may think it is starving and lower its metabolic rate. If your body is being deprived of the daily recommended caloric intake it could begin to burn muscle tissue instead of fat to provide energy, causing the loss of muscle mass.

If you choose to juice, consult your physician, especially if you have chronic health conditions and juice in moderation. Juicing can be beneficial if it is done properly and is supplemented with nutrient-rich whole foods. It is recommended that a glass of juice can be used to substitute one meal for example breakfast or lunch for the day. Most healthcare practitioners caution that juicing should not surpass the duration of a few days.

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.

Surprising Health Benefits of Eating Apples

“An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” is an old Welsh proverb that many of us have heard at some point in our lives. While the saying is not accurate, and leading a healthy lifestyle requires much more than eating this fruit each day; studies have found that apples provide us with several health benefits.

Apples are one of the best foods to include in your diet. They are rich in important components such as quercetin, vitamin C, pectin and more.  Studies have associated these substances with several benefits which include:

  • Improving neurological health– Quercetin contains two compounds that are known to help reduce cellular death caused by the oxidation and inflammation of neurons.
  • Reducing the risk of certain cancers- The American Association for Cancer Research has found that consuming apples rich in flavonoids such as quercetin and rutin can help to reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer. Apple peels contain compounds that promote anti-growth activity in cancer cells that develop in the breast, liver and colon.
  • Lowering cholesterol- Fibers found in apples such as pectin are linked to lowering levels of LDL cholesterol.
  • Boosting immunity- Apples are a good source of immune-boosting nutrients such as vitamin C.
  • Reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes-  A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that flavonoids such as anthocyanins are associated with lowering the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

While eating apples each day may not keep your doctor away, they can be a key factor in helping you to maintain your health.  Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can help to reduce the risk of several diseases and improve overall wellness.

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.

Will You Stay Home or Go Out on New Year’s Eve ?

Everyone knows that New Year’s Eve is the most popular night of the year to party.  It is a night to go out with family and friends to celebrate the end of one year and the beginning of a new one. Some people prefer to spend a quiet night at home though. The reasons are varied but commonly people don’t want to spend the money, don’t like the crowds, and think that the night is much a-do about nothing.

Which do you prefer?

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.

Obesity: Lifestyle or Genetics?

“How does she eat so much and not gain any weight?”

It’s a question that has left many puzzled and quite frustrated. The conversation about weight, however, is a longstanding one. Today, especially, weight gain and weight loss remain relevant discussions, as the United States faces an obesity epidemic.

Though several health initiatives to help fight obesity have been implemented over the past few years, it is important to first understand what factors contribute to obesity. According to a National Institutes of Health funded study conducted by UCLA, not only does behavior and environment affect obesity, but genetic factors can also play a significant role in causing obesity.

How our genes actually influence obesity varies. As explained by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), genes give the body instruction for responding to changes in its environment. Some research has linked genes to metabolism, pointing out that genetics affects how one’s body responds to high-fat diets. Genes can either cause an increased tendency to store fat or a diminished capacity to use dietary fats as fuel. Other research has suggested that genes influence behaviors, such as overeating and being sedentary.

The conversation about obesity can now change since research has shown that body weight is hereditary and that genetic disposition affects weight. In all efforts to fight obesity, living environments where high calorie foods are prevalent and physical activity is limited should be looked at more closely.

We understand that the road to healthier choices isn’t easy to travel, especially alone. Here at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center our outpatient registered Dietitians assist patients to grow their knowledge about nutrition, wellness and healthy eating. To schedule an appointment the outpatient nutrition services department can be reached directly at 718-206-7056.

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.

Be Careful With This Scary Halloween Costume Accessory

With Halloween approaching, many are getting into the spirit by looking for costumes that frighten. Whether choosing  a scary witch, chilling vampire or a creepy zombie costume, there is one spooky accessory that is considered dangerous and should not be used.

Decorative, or costume contact lenses are very popular this time of year because of their ability to change the color or overall appearance of your eyes. Many people use them to create a “frightening look”, but this attempt to terrify can come at a cost to your vision.

It is important to know that contact lenses are medical devices intended to correct your vision and are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). They should not be worn unless prescribed by an eye doctor. Retailers that advertise them as cosmetics or sell them over-the-counter, without a prescription are breaking the law.  The issue with these “fashion” lenses is that they are advertised as one size fits all, but this is not accurate. Before wearing contact lenses, your doctor should measure each eye to properly fit the lenses and evaluate how your eye responds to them. A poor fit can cause serious eye damage, including:

  • Scratches on the cornea (the clear dome of tissue over the iris—the part of the eye that gives you your eye color)
  • Sorneal infection (an ulcer or sore on the cornea)
  • Conjunctivitis (pink eye)
  • Decreased vision
  • Blindness

According to an article published by the FDA, “The problem isn’t with the decorative contacts themselves. It’s the way people use them improperly—without a valid prescription, without the involvement of a qualified eye care professional, or without appropriate follow-up care.” Many of the issues arise due to a lack of care instructions on decorative contact lens packaging.

The FDA warns to never buy these types of contact lenses from street vendors, beauty supply stores, novelty or Halloween stores, or an internet site that does not require a prescription.

If you are determined to get decorative contact lenses to complete your scary look this Halloween, speak to your eye doctor and get a prescription that includes the brand name, lens measurements, and an expiration date. Then go to a seller that requires you have a prescription. Failure to do so, and the biggest scare could be the damage you do to your eyesight.

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.

Put a lid on it! – The Benefits of Wearing a Bike Helmet for Safety

It’s no secret that the main advantage of wearing a helmet while riding your bicycle to increase safety. This is exactly why helmets were devised and it’s the reason that they’re required, by law, in the New York State.
Since you can never predict exactly when, where and how you’ll fall from your bike, it pays to heed the warning of the experts and statistics that prove the benefit of wearing a helmet while riding a bicycle a bit further.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration cites that 70% of bicyclists involved in a fatal crash suffer from head injuries. The NHTSA further cites that helmets are 85 to 88 percent effective in preventing head and brain injuries and refers to helmets as “the single most effective way to reduce head injuries and fatalities from bicycle crashes.”
The Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute goes on to state that non-helmeted riders are 14 times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than helmeted riders. While there’s no guarantee that a helmet will save your life, it’s clear that wearing one is much safer than not wearing one.
If you are going to riding your bicycle, it would be a wise safety measure to purchase a helmet before taking that bike on the road

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.

What’s Bugging You?

Summer usually means picnics and family reunions, but it also means a reunion with insects that can wreak havoc on outdoor activities. Follow these tips to minimize the potential for bug bites and bee stings.

When outdoors – especially in wooded areas – wear long sleeves, pants, and socks to help protect your skin from insect bites. Be aware that insects may be drawn to scented soaps and perfumes. Also, cover food and drain or dump standing water, which attracts most insects.

Mosquito bites can be more than just annoying and itchy, they can also make you really sick. Using insect repellent is the best way to protect yourself and your family, especially when traveling overseas. Repellent is the best way to prevent diseases like Zika that are primarily spread by mosquitoes.

Treating Bites and Bee Stings

If a sting occurs, remove the stinger as soon as possible by scraping the area with your fingernail or something with a flat surface, such as a credit card. For bee and wasp stings and non-poisonous spider bites, wash the area thoroughly with soap and water and apply ice to reduce swelling. Continue to wash two or three times daily until the skin has healed.

Severe Reactions

If you are stung in the mouth, seek medical attention immediately. Severe swelling occurs quickly in oral mucous membranes and can block airways, making breathing difficult or impossible.

If you have a severe reaction to a bug bite, go to the nearest hospital Emergency Room or call 911. Otherwise Jamaica Hospital’s Ambulatory Care Center is available to help, to schedule an appointment, please call 718-206-7001.

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

Facebook.com/JamaicaHospital and follow us on Twitter @JamaicaHospital !

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.

Want to Quit Smoking? We Can Help!

Smoking Cessation

Tobacco is the single greatest cause of multiple diseases and premature deaths in the USA today.  It kills more Americans each year than alcohol, crack, heroin, homicide, suicide, car accidents, fire and AIDS combined. There are an estimated 480,000 deaths in the United States annually that are due to tobacco use. It is the only legal consumer product that is lethal when used exactly as recommended by the manufacturer.

Smoking cigarettes affects many aspects of health. Tobacco smoke contains about 7000 chemicals, including low concentrations of such strong poisons as ammonia, cyanide, arsenic and formaldehyde.  It also contains 69 carcinogens – substances that are known to cause cancers in humans. Direct association has been established between smoking and cancers of the lung, mouth, nose, throat, larynx, esophagus, colon and rectum, stomach, pancreas, cervix, bladder, kidney and blood.
In the United States, Illnesses caused by smoking cost more than 300 billion dollars per year in direct medical care and lost productivity. Smokers pay twice as much for life insurance and will die on average of 13-14 years earlier than non-smokers. It costs tobacco companies approximately 5 cents to produce a pack of cigarettes.

Many lung conditions are either caused or aggravated by cigarette smoke. It irritates bronchial airways and stimulates mucous production leading eventually to decreased elasticity and functional failure. Patients suffering from COPD, Asthma, Chronic Bronchitis or Emphysema have a much higher risk of dying when repeatedly exposed to smoke.
Smokers are also at greater risk for cardiovascular disease. Smoking damages blood vessels making them stiff and narrow, obstructing blood flow which results with elevated blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes, kidney failure or chronic skin changes.

Pregnant women exposed to tobacco smoke have increased risk of complications like miscarriage, premature birth, and brain and lung damage in developing baby. Sudden infant death syndrome is three times more likely if mother smoked during pregnancy.
Secondhand smoke is the smoke exhaled by smokers or given off by a burning cigarette or pipe. Inhaling secondhand smoke is as hazardous as smoking a cigarette. There is no safe level for secondhand smoke exposure established. People can inhale it at work, homes, cars or public spaces and have all the complications mentioned above.

Smoking tobacco is an addiction similar to heroin and cocaine. It can be successfully treated but the majority of cases require three or more attempts. Quitting smoking offers a chance of feeling better and living longer.  Studies have shown that five, common sense steps, provide the best chance for quitting smoking for good:

1. Get ready: set a quit date and throw out all cigarettes and ashtrays from your home.

2. Get support: tell your family, friends and doctor about quitting plans; search the internet for advice.

3.  Learn new behaviors: distract yourself from the urge to smoke; exercise or go for a walk.

4. Get medication: combining medication like nicotine patches or Zyban with behavioral adaptation and family support quadruples your chances of success.

5. Be prepared for relapse and difficult situations- most people try to quit a few times before   succeeding.

If you would like to learn more about quitting smoking, 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.