Diseases That Affect The Retina

The retina is found on the inside back wall of the eye. It is a thin layer of tissue that contains millions of light sensitive cells called rods and cones. These cells gather visual information and transmit it to the brain through the optic nerve.

Disorders of the retina can affect vision and lead to vision loss. In certain cases loss of vision can be prevented if retinal diseases are detected and treated early.

Some common types of retinal diseases include:

  • Retinal tears – occur when the gel like substance in the center of the eye shrinks and causes tugging on the retina to the point where it tears. Symptoms include seeing floaters and flashes of light.
  • Retinal detachment – occurs when fluid passes through a tear in the retina and accumulates behind the retina causing it to separate from the back wall of the eye.
  • Diabetic retinopathy – occurs in people who have diabetes. It is the condition where the tiny blood vessels in the back of the eye leak fluid causing the retina to swell. This leads to blurry vision.
  • Macular degeneration – occurs when the center of the retina begins to deteriorate causing a blind spot in the center of the visual field. There are two types of macular degeneration, wet and dry.
  • Retinitis pigmentosa – is an inherited disease and causes loss of night vision and peripheral vision.

Some common symptoms of retinal diseases include:

  • Blurry vision
  • Loss of peripheral vision
  • Loss of night vision
  • Appearance of floaters

If you are experiencing any changes in your vision it is important to see an eye doctor as quickly as possible. Depending on what the diagnosis is, there are treatment options available that may be able to help correct the condition. If you would like to schedule an appointment with an eye doctor at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, 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.

World No Tobacco Day

Since 1987 the World Health Organization has recognized May 31st as a day to bring awareness around the world of the harmful effects of tobacco.

The risks of using tobacco are well documented, however many people around the world are not fully aware of the dangers.  There is a very strong link between tobacco use and heart disease, circulatory problems, and stroke.

Coronary vascular diseases are one of the world’s leading causes of death.  Tobacco use is the second leading cause of these types of diseases, hypertension being the leading cause.

With all of the knowledge we have about the harmful effects of tobacco use, there are still some who have not received the message and as a result, more than 7 million people die each year from the effects of tobacco.

A few of the initiatives that the World Health Organization is trying to implement to inform people about tobacco’s harmful effects are:
• Increase public knowledge of the risks of smoking and secondhand smoke
• Encourage healthcare providers to speak to their patients about the hazards of tobacco
• Encourage governmental  support for educational programs
• Seek ways to promote smoke-free zones in buildings and public spaces
• Increase taxes on tobacco products
• Make it more difficult to purchase tobacco products
• Ban tobacco advertising

If you use tobacco products and would like to quit, speak to your provider. Jamaica Hospital offers a tobacco cessation program to help you. Please call 718-206-8494 to learn more.

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.

Spring Cleaning – Naturally

Springtime means spring cleaning. If you’re looking for an alternative to store bought cleaners, check out these low-cost, non-toxic, environmentally friendly cleaning solutions for a fresh smelling home:

  • Baking Soda – cleans, softens water, and scours. You can also use baking soda to deodorize food storage containers and sprinkle on your carpet to absorb smells before vacuuming.
  • White Vinegar – cuts grease, removes mildew, odors, some stains and wax build-up. Use equal parts white vinegar and water to wash both the interior and exterior of your fridge.
  • Lemons  – effective against most household bacteria. Use lemon peels in your garbage disposal to help deodorize it.

You can also try these combinations:

  • All-Purpose Cleaner: Mix 1/2 cup vinegar and 1/4 cup baking soda into 1/2 gallon (2 liters) water. Store and keep. Use for removal of water deposit stains on shower stall panels, bathroom chrome fixtures, windows, and bathroom mirrors.
  • Mold and Mildew cleaner: Use white vinegar or lemon juice full strength. Apply with a sponge or scrubby.
  • Window Cleaner: Mix 2 teaspoons of white vinegar with 1 liter warm water. Use crumpled newspaper or cotton cloth to clean. Only use the black and white newspapers, not the colored ones. Don’t clean windows if the sun is on them, or if they are warm, or streaks will show on drying.
  • Furniture Polish: For varnished wood, add a few drops of lemon oil into a 1/2 cup warm water. Mix well and spray onto a soft, slightly damp, cotton cloth.  Wipe furniture with the cloth, and finish by wiping once more using a dry soft cotton cloth.

One more tip: Whenever you clean your home, save the floor or carpet for last. Clean window blinds and shelves first and then work downwards.  This allows time for the dust to settle before vacuuming.

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 COVID Antiviral Pill

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Many people have asked if there is a pill they can take to lessen the effects of COVID-19. The answer is yes, but it isn’t for everyone. The pill is manufactured by Pfizer and the brand name is Paxlovid. It has been granted authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for anyone who is 12 years of age and older and weighs at least 88 pounds. The pill is only recommended for people who are at high risk for severe disease. This medication has been shown to have an 89% reduction in the risk of hospitalization in people with severe cases of COVID-19.

If your physician prescribes this medication for you, it should be taken within five days of developing symptoms and having a positive COVID-19 test. It requires you to take three pills twice a day for five days. That is a total of 30 pills.

There are some side effects of taking Paxlovid. They include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Muscle aches
  • Loss of taste

If you test positive for COVID-19, speak to your physician about being a candidate for this medication. Because it does interact with other medications that you may be taking, only a physician can determine your eligibility. To schedule an appointment with a physician at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center you can 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.

World Hand Hygiene Day 2022

May 5th has been designated as World Hand Hygiene Day by the World Health Organization (WHO). The slogan for this year’s campaign is “Unite for safety: clean your hands.” This year’s theme focuses on  recognizing that we can all contribute to healthcare facility’s culture of safety and quality by cleaning our hands.

Practicing good hand hygiene helps with infection prevention and control. This is why the WHO is encouraging people to clean their hands at the right time and with the right products. Furthermore, healthcare workers at all levels and all others who visit healthcare facilities must unite by cleaning their hands, not just on World Hand Hygiene Day, but every day.

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.

Employee Spotlight Shines on Mariah Mahadeo

This month we are proud to shine our employee spotlight on Mariah Mahadeo,  Clinical Coordinator in the TJH Department of Orthopedics.

Mariah has been with Jamaica Hospital Medical Center for three years. She grew up in Valley Stream, Long Island and attended P.S. 161, Lawrence Middle School and graduated from Lawrence High School in 2010. Mariah obtained her Associates Degree in Liberal Arts in 2016 from Nassau Community College and is currently working on her Bachelor of Science degree in Healthcare Management at the University of Phoenix.  Although Mariah grew up in a family that is in the food industry her passion has always been healthcare because she enjoys helping people.

Mariah recently got married. Her family is the most important aspect of her life. They have always supported her endeavors and encouraged her to work hard to attain her goals. Her work and her studies take up most of her time but when she does take a break, she enjoys spending time with family and friends. One of her favorite things to do with them is cooking and trying new recipes. She enjoys going out to eat as well, especially to Mexican, Italian and Asian restaurants. When she is able to get away from New York, her favorite places to vacation have warm weather and nice beaches. She has been to Trinidad which is la second home to her because this is where her family is from. Mariah has also been to Mexico and the Bahamas and one day hopes to go to Indonesia.

Mariah enjoys working at Jamaica Hospital because of the great patient caret hat is provided. She also appreciates that her colleagues make her feel like a valued member of their department.

We are very happy to have Mariah on our team and  look forward to her continuing with us for many more years.

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.

Is it Pink Eye or a Springtime Allergy ?

Allergies of the eye and pink eye are both types of conjunctivitis, which is an inflammation of the outer membrane that covers the eyeball.

Many of the symptoms of pink eye and eye allergies are similar, and this can sometimes make it difficult to tell each condition apart.  However, it is important that we learn about the characteristics that make them distinct- especially now that pink eye is considered a warning sign of a COVID-19 infection.

The symptoms of eye allergies can include:

  • Redness
  • Tearing
  • Gritty feeling in the eye
  • Itchiness
  • Blurred vision
  • Swelling of the eyelid

Symptoms of bacterial or viral pink eye can include:

  • Redness
  • Tearing
  • Gritty feeling in the eye
  • Itchiness
  • A  green or white discharge in one or both eyes, that can result in crusting at night
  • Soreness of the eyes

Although eye allergies and pink eye share common symptoms, the causes of each condition are different. Allergies are typically caused by a reaction to an allergen such as pollen while pink eye can be caused by bacteria or a virus.

An additional distinction between the two conditions is viral or bacterial pink eye is extremely contagious and can be spread by contact with an infected individual or exposure to a contaminated surface. Eye allergies on the other hand are non-infectious.

If you are experiencing symptoms associated with either type of conjunctivitis, it is important that you consult your eye doctor.  Your physician will be able to examine your eyes or order tests to determine the reason for inflammation and provide the appropriate treatment.

To schedule an appointment with an eye doctor at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, 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.

April 7th is World Health Day

In 1948 the World Health Organization (WHO) held the first World Health Assembly to address health issues affecting people around the world. April 7th was chosen as World Health Day to honor the founding of the organization.

Each year in celebration of World Health Day, the World Health Organization chooses a topic that it wishes to draw global attention to, one that is a subject of major importance.

It is estimated by WHO that over 13 million deaths around the world are due to environmental conditions and many of them might have been avoided had these conditions been improved. This is why the World Health Organization has chosen the theme Our Planet, Our Health for 2022. The WHO’s goal is to highlight the actions necessary to keep humans and the planet healthy and to encourage societies to focus on well-being.

The World Health Organization is of the opinion that we as a society must strive to break the cycles that are causing health, financial inequities and ecological mismanagement around the world because they are responsible for many problems we face. However, these issues can be resolved by making human health, ecological sustainability, and financial stability a priority.

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.

Shining Our Employee Spotlight on Sandra Leon Gonzalez

This month, we are proud to shine our Employee Spotlight on Sandra Leon Gonzalez, office manager of the TJH Surgical Suite. She has been with our hospital for 24 years.

Sandra was born in Ecuador and at nine years of age moved to New York. Her family first resided in Hollis, Queens and then when she was  10, moved to Richmond Hill. She attended P.S. 55, J.H.S. 226, Hillcrest High School and Queensborough Community College. As a resident of Richmond Hill, she was always familiar with the Jamaica Hospital name in the community.

Sandra is married to her husband Johnny for 37 years and has two sons, Michael who is 33 years old and Nicholas who is 27. She also has a grandson Jacob who is 6 months old. Sandra has a dog named Jackson who is one-half Labrador and one-half American bulldog.

In her free time, Sandra enjoys spending time with family and friends, attending concerts,  Broadway shows and dancing whenever possible. She also enjoys traveling, especially to Italy where she has been twice, France, Spain and of course her native Ecuador. Her favorite types of food are Spanish and Italian. Sandra likes many different types of music, this includes disco, Motown, jazz, Latin and anything else she can dance to. She is also a soccer, baseball, and golf enthusiast.

Making a difference and treating people with respect are very important to Sandra. This is why working at the TJH Surgical Suite has been a rewarding experience.

She believes in fostering an environment that is mindful of cultural sensitivities and one that allows patients to feel supported in voicing their concerns and opinions. Sandra has seen the Surgical Suite expand tremendously over the years and is very proud of its growth and contributions to the well-being of people in the community. She is grateful to her department’s leadership and staff for making this possible.

We are very happy to have Sandra as part of our team at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center and we look forward to her being with us for many years to come.

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.

World Tuberculosis Day

March 24th has been designated globally as “World Tuberculosis Day”. The event began in 1982 is sponsored by the World Health Organization and the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease and is intended to raise awareness that anyone can contract TB to make health professionals aware of the importance of testing people for the disease.
This date was chosen to celebrate  the discovery by Dr. Robert Koch of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis (the bacteria that causes tuberculosis) in 1882. This important discovery was the beginning of the steps being taken to control and hopefully one day eradicate the disease.

Unfortunately, Tuberculosis (TB) is still one of the leading causes of death around the world. TB is a contagious bacterial disease that affects mainly the lungs but can also affect the kidneys, brain and the spine.  Signs and symptoms may include:

• Coughing up blood
• Fatigue
• Fever
• Chills
• Night sweats
• Loss of appetite
• Pain with breathing

TB is spread by coming into contact with the airborne droplets  of the bacteria from an infected person. People most susceptible are those who have compromised immune systems and  include people undergoing chemotherapy, have diabetes, are very young or very old, and have HIV/AIDS. There are antibiotics that given to fight the disease but depending on the strain and their resistance to treatment, may require months or years of treatment.

A routine physical usually includes a TB skin test. If you would like to schedule a physical exam and a TB test with one of our physicians, 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.