Are Social Smokers “Real Smokers?”

Today, May 31, 2017, is World No Tobacco Day. On this day, the World Health Organization (WHO) asks that healthcare providers highlight the negative effects that smoking can have on a person’s health. This year’s theme is “Tobacco – a threat to development.”

Jamaica Hospital Medical Center would like to participate in World No Tobacco Day by addressing the myth that “social smoking” is not hazardous to your health.

Myth: People who are light or occasional smokers have less of a risk for developing diseases.

Truth: People within this group are usually in denial of the frequency of their use of cigarettes and believe that they are not at risk of developing tobacco-related illnesses.

  • Research has found that one third of people who classify themselves as social smokers actually smoke more than six times per day
  • Smoking a lot or a little, increases the risk for developing diseases caused by tobacco
  • The damage of one puff of nicotine is instant. It takes 10 seconds for nicotine to be transported throughout the body and to the brain. It slows down circulation and increases blood pressure and heart rate
  • A study conducted by the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, found that “light” smoking may result in several health complications such as stroke, COPD, peripheral artery disease, lower respiratory tract infections, weakened immune systems Smoking occasionally or socially does not exclude you from developing the health complications associated with tobacco use. Over time smoking will take its toll on your body. The best thing you can do for your health is quit smoking.

If you or someone you know needs help in quitting smoking please contact Jamaica Hospital’s Freedom From Smoking program at 718 206-8494 or visit www.smokefree.gov for more information.

 

 

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.

Safe Driving This Holiday Weekend

A holiday weekend is upon us and that means many people will be hitting the road to visit family and friends, taking shopping trips to the mall, the beach, barbeques, or just celebrating at home. Many people get time off from work and everyone wants to have a good time. By taking a few precautions you can get to your destination safely and have a wonderful time.
Safe driving is a key component of having a happy holiday weekend. To make sure that everything goes well, here are some safety tips to follow:
• Do not speed
• Do not text while driving
• Do not drink and drive
• Plan your route in advance
• Make sure your car is operating properly – check fluids, brakes and lights
• Make sure that you are well rested before getting behind the wheel
• Make sure that everyone in the vehicle is buckled up
Following these safe driving tips will make sure your holiday weekend will be a lot happier.

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 Is OAS?

Peaches, melons, corn, cherries and cucumbers are hands down some of the seasonal fruits and vegetables that we look forward to eating during summer. While these summertime favorites are enjoyable for most, others may experience itchiness of the mouth or other discomforts after consuming them. This reaction may be due to a condition known as oral allergy syndrome (OAS).

According to the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology, OAS is defined as “a form of contact allergy reaction that occurs upon contact of the mouth and throat with raw fruits or vegetables.”   This happens because your body is unable to tell the difference between proteins in these foods and pollen. “The immune system recognizes the pollen and similar proteins in the food and directs an allergic response to it,” states the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.  Therefore if a person is allergic to pollen there is a chance they can develop OAS.

Most cases of OAS are attributed to an allergy to birch pollen. Those who are allergic to birch pollen may experience symptoms when eating fruits or vegetables such as cherries, zucchini, peaches and plums.  Allergies to other types of pollen from grass or ragweed may trigger a reaction when consuming produce such as melons, cucumbers or bananas.

Symptoms of OAS are typically mild and last for only a few minutes; they may include:

  • Itching
  • Tingling
  • Redness
  • Mild swelling of the lips or tongue
  • Irritation of the throat and gums

In most cases these symptoms do not need treatment as they resolve in minutes.  Avoidance of trigger foods is highly recommended; however, if you must have a fruit or vegetable, consider peeling or cooking it to potentially lessen the reaction.  These recommendations may not work for everyone because each person’s tolerance is different.

OAS is diagnosed by an allergy specialist who will conduct an evaluation.  The specialist may recommend skin testing to pollens or other allergens that may be causing your symptoms.  It is also possible that your allergy specialist will ask you to eat certain foods while observing your reaction; this is called a food challenge.

It is important to keep in mind that OAS is a cross reaction to pollen rather than an allergic reaction to the actual fruit itself. The symptoms of a true food allergy can be more severe and can lead to anaphylaxis. The following symptoms should not be ignored and receive medical attention immediately:

  • Vomiting or stomach cramps
  • Shortness of breath
  • Hives
  • Shock
  • Tightness of the throat or trouble swallowing
  • Dizziness

The Division of Allergy and Immunology at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center focuses on the diagnosis and long-term treatment of allergic and immunologic conditions. To speak with an Allergy Specialist at Jamaica Hospital about OAS or food allergies, please call 718-206-6742

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.

Dark Circles Under the Eyes

young woman applied concealer on her eye circles

Having dark circles under your eyes is not uncommon but they can be frustrating for those who have them.  There are many ways adults and children can develop dark circles under their eyes.

Some of the more common factors that contribute to dark circles are lack of sleep or too much sleep, an iron deficiency, stress, allergies or nasal congestion.

Dark circles under the eyes caused by the more common factors can often be resolved by using over the counter remedies.

If you are getting adequate sleep, have a healthy diet, take vitamin supplements and dark circles still persist, you may have a condition called hyperpigmentation.

Hyperpigmentation is caused by an excessive amount of melanin in your system causing dark patches to develop on the skin.  These patches often form under the eyes.

Some additional causes of hyperpigmentation are:

  • Excessive sun exposure
  • Scarring
  • Genetics
  • Aging
  • Acne
  • Burns
  • Skin pigmentation abnormalities (Thin skin under the eye showing veins)

Since hyperpigmentation does not fade on its own and in some cases can be permanent, you may want to seek the advice of a dermatologist.

To schedule an appointment with a dermatologist at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, call 718-206-6742.

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 is AFib?

Atrial fibrillation (AFib for short) is a condition where the heart beats in an irregular or quivering manner. Some people who have AFib describe the condition as feeling as if their heart skips a beat or is banging up against their chest wall, while others claim to experience no symptoms at all. According to the American Heart Association, it is estimated that over 2.7 million Americans live with AFib.

Cardiogram and heart

Under normal conditions, your heart pumps blood from the top chambers, (atria) to the bottom chambers, (ventricles) in a coordinated rhythm. But for those with AFib, the electrical signals that control this system are off-kilter. Instead of working together, the atria are out of sync. The result is a fast, fluttering heartbeat.

If left untreated, AFib can lead to blood clots, stroke, or other heart-related complications, including heart failure.

In addition to feeling as if your heart is fluttering, other signs of AFib include:

  • General fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Shortness of breath and anxiety
  • Weakness
  • Faintness or confusion
  • Fatigue when exercising
  • Sweating
  • Chest pain or pressure

Anyone can have AFib, but it’s more common in people who are 60 or older or those with other heart problems or past heart surgeries. Family history as well as other underlying health conditions, such as hypertension, thyroid disease, diabetes, chronic lung disease, obesity or sleep apnea may also contribute to the onset of AFib. Taking certain medication, smoking, and alcohol consumption can also raise the risk of AFib.

Treating AFib begins with proper diagnosis through a thorough examination which includes providing a comprehensive medical history and participating in a variety of tests, including an EKG, ECG or possibly an electrophysiology study.

If AFib is diagnosed, the goal for you and your doctor is to restore your heart to a normal rhythm and manage your risk factors of developing a stroke or other cardiac issues. This can be achieved through a variety of treatment options, including medications, as well as both surgical and nonsurgical interventions. Together you and your doctor can determine the best course of treatment.

If you are experiencing a fluttering heart, speak to your doctor immediately. If you do not have a doctor, yo make make an appointment at Jamaica Hospital’s Cardiology at 718-206-7100.

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.

May is Hepatitis Awareness Month

May is Hepatitis Awareness Month which serves to make people more familiar with the disease and ways to prevent it. Hepatitis is defined as an inflammation of the liver and can be caused by alcohol abuse, exposure to certain toxins, drug abuse, bacterial or viral infections. Many people aren’t even aware that they have hepatitis. The three main types of viral hepatitis are Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C. Each year approximately 15,000 people die in the United States die from either liver cancer or chronic liver disease caused by hepatitis.

Hepatitis A can be mild or severe and can last weeks to months. It is spread by contact with food, liquids and objects that are infected with fecal matter from a person who is infected. Hepatitis B can be a life long illness. It is transmitted by blood, semen, other bodily fluids and as a baby passes through the birth canal. Hepatitis C is spread through sharing needles and syringes with people who are infected. It also used to be spread through blood transfusions and organ transplants but better screening techniques have virtually eliminated this risk.

Hepatitis awareness is important in making prevention better understood. A vaccine exists for Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B for populations that may be at risk. If you would like to schedule an appointment with a physician at Jamaica Hospital to discuss this illness please call 718-206-6742.

Medical Concept- Stop Hepatitis word written on blackboard with

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.

The ABC’s of Safe Sleep for Infants

Sweet Newborn Baby Girl Asleep in Crib

Jamaica Hospital Medical Center and the New York State Department of Health, Office of Children and Family Services urge new parents to follow the ABC’s of how to keep your baby safe while sleeping.

“A” is for ALONE – make sure that your baby sleeps ALONE

“B” is for BACK – Be sure to place your baby on their BACK

“C” is for CRIB – Always place your baby in a safe CRIB

Although the rate of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) related deaths in infants between 28 days and 4 months old has decreased significantly; the incidence of sleep related deaths due to injury and the infant’s sleep position and environment are on the rise. Studies have shown that at least 80% of these infant deaths could have been prevented.

Some guidelines that new parents should follow are:

  • Purchase a safety-approved crib for your infant and keep it near your bed.
  • Sleeping in the same room as your baby is recommended.
  • Sleeping on the same surface as your baby (sometime referred to as bed-sharing) is NOT RECOMMENDED.
  • Breastfeeding mothers ought to place their baby back into their crib before going to sleep.
  • Do not place pillows, blankets, bumpers or other soft objects into the crib with your baby.
  • Purchase a firm mattress and fitted sheets for your baby’s crib.
  • Do not rely on your baby monitor.
  • Never use a car seat, baby swing, carriage or carrier without fully fastening the straps. Partially fastened straps can become a hazard for the baby.
  • Smoking with your baby present puts them at a higher risk for SIDS.
  • Do not have your baby sleep on a couch or chair. This will pose a risk of blocking airways and may trap the baby in a position that may cause them to suffocate.

For these and additional tips on how to keep your baby safe, visit – http://www.safebabiesny.com/

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 Help Your Child Cope with Stress from School Exams and Standardized Tests

teen test examPreparing for school exams or standardized tests is part of every child’s educational experience.   Stress levels in children can elevate during this time as they become anxious about earning satisfactory scores.

High levels of stress can affect academic performance but it becomes a real concern for young students when it takes a toll on their health.  Kids may develop symptoms of stress such as sleeplessness, mental blocks or irregular eating habits.

There are several things parents can do to help alleviate test stress and anxiety:

  • Teach Calming Techniques such as taking deep breaths and muscle relaxation.
  • Help with test preparation; educate yourself about the subject so that you can provide assistance if this is not possible explore hiring a tutor or suggest a study group.
  • Practice Time Management by giving mock exams with time limits. This will bolster confidence and reduce panic on the day of the test.
  • Provide a Positive Environment by ensuring that their daily activities remain as routine as possible. This means normal bedtimes, meal times or hobbies.

While a certain amount of stress or anxiety may motivate some students to perform better for others it creates the opposite effect.  It is important for parents to observe how their child reacts to stressful situations and help them to cope. If your child displays symptoms of stress for an extended period of time, communicate with them and if the assistance of a mental health professional is needed, the school counselor or family doctor can be a good place to start.

Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Department of Psychiatry offers group therapy, individual therapy, medicine management, and other specialty groups to children, adolescents, and adults. For additional information, 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.

Tics- Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

imsis560-015At some point in our lives, we have all experienced some form of an uncontrollable muscle spasm or twitch. These “tics” as they are commonly referred to are normally harmless and don’t last long. In some cases however, they are the result of a child onset, neurodevelopmental condition known as a tic disorder.

Tics are involuntary, repetitive movements or vocalizations and are distinguished as either motor or vocal/phonic in nature

  • Motor tics are short-lasting, sudden movements that most often take place in the head and neck region. Simple motor tics include, but are not limited to, eye blinking, head bobbing, jaw movements, shoulder shrugging, and neck stretching.
  • Vocal or phonic tics produce a sound. Examples include, but are not limited to sniffing, throat clearing, grunting, hooting, and shouting. Complex vocal tics involve the usage of words or phrases and in rare cases, inappropriate language is used.

Those with tic disorders explain experiencing a tingling sensation that can only be relieved by performing the tic. They might be able to momentarily suppress a tic, but doing so only creates a level of discomfort that can only be relieved by performing the tic.

Approximately 25% of all children experience some type of tic disorder, with boys being far more likely to develop a disorder than girls. Tic disorders usually emerge develop in children between the ages of five and seven. They tend to increase in frequency between the ages of eight to twelve. Most children with tic disorders see their symptoms dissipate or totally resolve themselves during late adolescence.

Tic disorders are distinguished by the types of tics present and by the length of time that the tics have been present.

  • Transient tic disorder – This disorder most commonly appears in youth. It affects between 5% and 25% of school-age children. Transient tic disorder is characterized by the presence of one or more tics for at least one month but less than one year. The majority of tics seen in this disorder are motor tics, though vocal tics may also be present.
  • Chronic motor or vocal tic disorder – While transient tics disappear within a year, chronic tics can last for a year or more. Chronic tic disorder is characterized by the presence of one or more long-lasting tics. They may be either motor or vocal, but not both. Chronic tics occur in less than one in 100 children.
  • Tourette’s syndrome – This syndrome is the most severe tic disorder. It is characterized by the presence of both motor tics and vocal tics. The severity of Tourette’s syndrome often changes over time. There may be periods of reduced tic frequency followed by heightened tic activity. Fortunately, many people with Tourette’s syndrome find that their condition improves as they get older.

Doctors do not know what causes tics to occur, but stress and lack of sleep seem to play a role in the occurrence and severity of tics. Some medications are also thought to contribute to tics, but there is no evidence to confirm this theory.

Treatment for tic disorders depends on the severity of the condition. In many instances, no treatment is needed and the tics will resolve over time. In some instances, a doctor may suggest behavioral therapy, medication, or a combination of the two. Behavioral therapy can help those with tic disorders learn how to manage their tic symptoms and reduce tic frequency. Medications are typically prescribed to reduce tic frequency and enhance a person’s daily life.

If you think your child has a tic disorder, discuss the condition with their pediatrician. If you do not have a pediatrician, Jamaica Hospital’s Ambulatory Care Center has many excellent doctors who can provide care. 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.

National Nurses Week

National Nurses Week is celebrated every year from May 6th to May 12th in commemoration of Florence Nightingale’s birthday. This celebration allows us to recognize the invaluable work our outstanding nurses perform daily to improve the wellbeing of our patients and their families.
This year the theme for National Nurses Week is “the balance of mind, body and spirit.” Jamaica Hospital has a number of activities and events scheduled to mark this occasion. They include an art expo in the main lobby, luncheons for the staff, a day to nurture mind, body and spirit and culminates with an award ceremony at the end of the week.  IMG_1813

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.