Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

Age related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of severe vision loss in older adults. It affects approximately 10 million Americans – more than cataracts and glaucoma combined. With an aging U.S. population, that number is only expected to increase.

AMD occurs when the central portion of the retina, known as the macula, which is responsible for focusing central vision, deteriorates.

In its early stages, Macular Degeneration does not affect vision, but as the disease progresses, people may experience wavy or blurred vision or blurred spot in the center of their vision. If the condition continues to worsen, central vision may be completely lost.

Advanced stages of AMD can affect one’s ability to read, drive a car, watch television, or perform many visual tasks. In fact, those living with AMD are considered legally blind.

There are two types of macular degeneration; dry and wet.

  • Dry AMD is an early stage of the disease. Approximately 85% to 90% of AMD cases are the dry type. Dry Macular Degeneration is diagnosed when yellowish spots known as drusen begin to accumulate in and around the macula. It is believed that these spots are deposits or debris from deteriorating tissue. A few small drusen may not cause changes in vision; however, as they grow in size and increase in number, they may lead to a dimming or distortion of vision that people find most noticeable when they read.
  • Approximately 10 percent of the cases of dry AMD progresses to the more advanced and damaging form of the disease known as wet AMD. During this phase, new blood vessels grow beneath the retina and leak blood and fluid. This leakage causes permanent damage to light-sensitive retinal cells, resulting in distorted vision including the appearance of wavy lines, as well as blind spots and loss of central vision. These abnormal blood vessels and their bleeding eventually form a scar, leading to permanent loss of central vision.

As the name implies, the biggest risk factor for AMD is age as the disease is most prevalent in those 55 and older. Another known link to AMD is smoking as it is believed to double the risk of developing the disease. AMD is most common in Caucasians and in females. People with a family history of AMD are also believed to be at a higher risk. Hypertension and obesity are also considered risk factors for Macular Degeneration by some, although there is no conclusive research linking these factors.

There is no cure for AMD, but if detected early, there are medical treatment and lifestyle changes that can delay the progression of the disease. Macular degeneration may not present any symptoms in the early stages and it may be unrecognized until it progresses. For this reason, it is important for older adults to monitor their eye site and visit their eye doctor regularly. Eye care doctors can often detect early signs of Macular Degeneration before symptoms occur. Usually this is accomplished through a retinal exam.

Jamaica Hospital’s Ophthalmology Center can diagnose and treat a wide variety of eye disorders. To make an appointment, 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.

How To Beat Mid-Day Fatigue

If you conducted a survey, most people will tell you that between the hours of 3:00PM and 4:00PM each day, a feeling of fatigue may set in which makes them feel less productive.

This is typically the time of day when they may reach for a less healthy choice of food or beverage to “perk-up.”

Many of their snack options are laden with sugar and fat and have no nutritional value.  There are several healthy foods available that give us both a boost and essential nutrients.

Some healthy foods that have been proven to help raise energy levels are:

Bananas – Bananas contain carbohydrates, potassium and vitamin B6, all proven to boost energy levels in your body.

  • Sweet Potatoes – Sweet potatoes contain fiber and complex carbs, as well as manganese, which can help break down nutrients in order to produce energy.
  • Brown Rice – Brown Rice is less processed than white rice so it retains more fiber, vitamins and minerals. It also has a low glycemic index and could help regulate blood sugar levels to help maintain steady energy levels all day long.
  • Coffee – Coffee is rich in caffeine. Caffeine quickly passes from your bloodstream to your brain.  The result is the production of epinephrine.  Epinephrine is a hormone that stimulates the body and brain allowing you to keep more focused.
  • Eggs – Eggs are rich in protein and leucine. These are both known to stimulate energy.
  • Water – Not drinking enough water could cause dehydration which can cause your body functions to slow down and make you feel sluggish. It is a good habit to drink water throughout your day, even if you are not thirsty.
  • Dark Chocolate – Dark chocolate has a high content of cocoa. Cocoa has antioxidants that have proven health benefits, like increasing your blood flow.  An increased blood flow helps deliver oxygen to the brain and muscles, improving their functions.   Additionally, dark chocolate contains compounds such as caffeine, a known ingredient to enhance mental energy and mood.

If you’d like to speak with a Jamaica Hospital Medical Center licensed nutritionist, call 718-206-7001 to schedule an appointment.

For these and other healthy food and beverages that can give your day a boost, visit healthline.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 Long Can I Wear The Same Mask?

Nowadays, one of the more frequently asked questions is, “How long can I wear the same mask?”

The answer to that question varies depending on the type of mask you are wearing. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the best practices for cleansing the more commonly used masks are as follows:

  • Cloth cotton – Wash you cloth mask whenever it gets dirty or at least daily in warm soapy water or in your washing machine.
  • Non-medical disposable – Single use masks should be thrown away after one wearing.
  • Face shields and goggles – Clean and disinfect reusable face shields according to the manufacturer’s instructions.  If disposable, wear it once and discard it according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

To learn more about these and other types of masks and how to care for them, visit:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/how-to-wash-cloth-face-coverings.html

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.

Integrative Care Therapies That May Benefit Your Health

What is Integrative Health?

At Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, we are devoted to providing Integrative Health in Queens, New York. We created this program to help prevent disease onset, address existing chronic conditions, and promote healing in our patients. Integrative health is the coordinated delivery of evidence-based conventional medical care, complementary medicine and lifestyle modifications for producing optimal health and well-being. It combines the very best of traditional medicine with a variety of alternative treatment options as well as self-care practices to promote healing and overall wellness

What Does Integrative Health Involve?

Integrative health is an approach that places the patient at the center of a treatment plan that takes into the account the physical, emotional and social needs of that individual.

When creating a treatment plan, Integrative healthcare providers apply healthcare strategies that includes the use of alternative medicine that is supported by medical research. This concept is also referred to as evidence-based care.

Treatment plans may include the use of conventional medicine, such as prescriptions, to manage chronic health conditions, as well as alternative therapies, such as yogameditation, acupuncture and massage therapy, as well as self-care strategies to promote healing and wellness. Additionally, patients are encouraged to develop healthy behaviors that they can use on a daily basis to improve their health and prevent the development of certain diseases.

This way of practicing medicine allows our providers to deliver the right care at the right time to the right patient based on their individual needs.

How Can Integrative Health Benefit You?

Integrative health offers many advantages. As a patient you will receive individualized and holistic care that addresses your unique health needs.


An integrative approach to your health can help you to better manage symptoms of conditions that include:

  • Chronic pain
  • Fatigue
  • Joint pain
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Cancer
  • Digestive disorders
  • Sleep disorders
  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Fibromyalgia

To learn more about our integrative health program in Queens New York, please call 718-206-7849.

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.

Why You Should Get An Annual Exam

An annual exam is a good way of tracking your health progress.  Some of the benefits are:

  • Primary prevention
  • To identify risk factors for common chronic diseases
  • To detect disease that has no apparent symptoms (secondary prevention)
  • A way for the doctor to counsel people to promote healthy behavior
  • To update clinical data since your last check-up
  • To enhance the relationship between you and your doctor

If you are interested in scheduling an exam, Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Ambulatory Care Center is centrally located and has convenient hours.  Call 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.

New Year’s Eve Safety Tips 2020

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently issued guidelines for Americans to safely celebrate New Year’s Eve.

The CDC recommends postponing travel and celebrating at home with people you live with. You can always ring in the New Year virtually with friends and family. These are the best and safest ways to protect those living in your household and others.

If you are intending to travel or go out for New Year’s Eve events, the CDC cautions you to:

  • If traveling – Research your chosen destination for cases of COVID- 19. You can utilize the CDC’s COVID Data Tracker to identify the latest number of cases in each area.
  • Always wear a mask in public settings (restaurants, public transportation, when around people who don’t live with you)
  • Wear your mask correctly – Over your nose and mouth, secured under your chin while snugly hugging your cheeks.
  • Get your flu shot
  • Stay at least 6 feet from people who do not live with you.
  • Avoid crowds and poorly ventilated indoor spaces.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing and before eating
  • Stay home if you are sick
  • Isolate yourself from other members of your family and wear a mask if you are sick.

If you are hosting a celebration, the CDC recommends:

  • Talk with guests ahead of time to set expectations for celebrating together.
  • Limit the number of guests.
  • Keep celebrations outdoors, if possible.
  • If indoors, open windows and doors.  Use a window fan to blow air out, which will pull fresh are in through the open windows.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and items between use
  • Have guests bring their own food, drinks, plates, cups and utensils
  • Have extra unused masks available for your guests and encourage everyone to wear them inside and outside.
  • Keep background music volume low so guests don’t need to shout.

You also need to be mindful that, along with the new CDC guidelines, New Year’s Eve revelers are also urged to keep the traditional safety tips such as not drinking excessively or driving while intoxicated.

There is no doubt that 2020 has been an unusual year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.  The virus has all but re-imagined how we celebrate our holidays. With the New Year approaching, we are all awaiting better days to come. Let’s celebrate, but let’s do it safely. 

For more tips and guidelines visit – https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays/new-years-eve.html#:~:text=Stay%20at%20least%206%20feet,as%20masks%20and%20hand%20sanitizer.

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.

Holiday Tips For People With Diabetes

The holiday season is here and it seems like everywhere we go a variety of treats are being served.  It becomes hard to resist temptation and we may eat more than we normally do.

While overeating is not a good idea for anyone, people who have diabetes have to be very mindful of the things they eat and practice healthy habits.

Following these tips can help diabetics to manage their health and still enjoy the holidays:
• Try to keep to a regular schedule of when you eat.
• If you are going to a party, offer to bring a healthy dish with you.
• Cut back on food high in carbohydrates and fat if you are going to be eating sweets
• Don’t skip meals in anticipation of eating one big one, that could lead to overeating.
• Make sure you find time for some exercise to burn up the extra calories
• Eat the things you enjoy, but try to watch the portion sizes
• Get plenty of rest.
• Check your blood sugar regularly.
• Try not to consume a lot of soda or alcoholic beverages.

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.

Bulimia

Bulimia, also known as bulimia nervosa, is classified as an eating and mental health disorder. 

The disease causes a person to binge eat large amounts of food in a relatively short period of time.  This action causes feelings of guilt and remorse and leads to forced purging.

The purging of consumed food can include:

  • Induced vomiting
  • Use of laxatives
  • Periods of starvation
  • Excessive exercise

Although the exact cause of bulimia is unknown, it can be related to many factors including, stress, genetics, peer pressure, dieting, depression or substance abuse.

The onset of Bulimia usually begins in people between the ages of 14 and 22, tell-tale signs are:

  • A preoccupation with body shape and weight
  • Living in fear of gaining weight
  • Recurrent episodes of eating abnormally large amounts of food
  • Body Dysmorphia (a mental health disorder in which you can’t stop thinking about one or more perceived defects or flaws in your appearance)
  • Purging of food after overeating

The disease can be treated with therapy which aims to help the individual adjust the unrealistic way they view their appearance, negative thoughts and strengthens the ability to face and overcome their issues. The support of family and loved ones also play a key role in the treatment of bulimia.

Bulimia is a serious condition and can be life-threatening. If you, or someone you know, is showing the signs of bulimia and would like to speak with a health care professional, please call Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Ambulatory Care Center at 718-206-7001, 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.

National Influenza Vaccine Week

The first week in December is designated as National Influenza Vaccine Week. It is designated in an effort to highlight the importance of getting your annual flu shot. The typical “Flu Season” usually begins in October but peaks between December and February. However, there have been cases of flu diagnosis that occur as late as May.  

Influenza is the unwelcome guest that comes calling on us every year – often with many very unpleasant consequences. Historically, widespread flu epidemics have had devastating effects on large portions of the earth’s population. It wasn’t until the 1930’s that two scientists, Dr. Jonas Salk and Dr. Thomas Francis developed the first vaccine to prevent the flu virus. The vaccine was given to American soldiers during World War II and was found to be useful in preventing the widespread outbreaks that had been common before the vaccines were used. In the years after the war, the vaccine was made available to the general public and has greatly reduced the widespread epidemics that were so common before.

Research has helped to develop better vaccines with fewer side effects and also better suited to combat strains of the influenza virus that keep changing every year. Over the past 60 years millions of people have been given the flu vaccine each year. Many people are hesitant about getting the vaccine at all however, there are much fewer catastrophic epidemics throughout the world, thanks in large part to the work done by Dr Salk and Dr. Francis in the early part of the last century.

Influenza is a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death. Every flu season is different, and influenza infection can affect people differently. It is important that you consult with your doctor before getting the flu vaccine.

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.

Fun Ways To Get Your Children to Wash Their Hands

In a world where proper hand washing techniques have never been more important, it is vital that we teach our children how to properly wash their hands.

As you know, the basics of effective hand washing are:

  • Using warm water to wet your hands.
  • Using soap to lather up your hands.
  • Rubbing your soaped up hands together, for no less than 20 seconds, scrubbing the entire hand and between the fingers all the way up to the wrist.
  • Rinsing your hands and wrist with running water.
  • Drying your hands using a clean towel, preferably disposable towel.

However, this seemingly easy process may become tedious when applied to young children.

Here are some fun ways to implement proper handwashing techniques to make your child more enthusiastic about hand hygiene:

  • Use soaps that have an inviting scent like, fruit or bubble gum.
  • Utilize a reward system. Keep a chart for your child with colorful stickers that indicate how many times they properly washed their hands on a particular day. If they are successful, a small reward at the end of the week can be a great motivator.
  • Choose songs to sing while washing or recite a children’s rhyme that lasts approximately 20 seconds.
  • Bubbles, lots of bubbles.  Choose a soap that foams up so that your child can equate washing their hands with a fun activity and not a chore.
  • Create a routine for your child to wash their hands, especially before and after mealtime.

Studies have shown that proper hand washing is one of the best ways to keep healthy and ward off harmful viruses and bacteria.

Remember, the best way to teach our children is by example. Be sure your child knows and observes how you are washing your hands. 

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.