What You Should Know About the Outbreaks Associated with Using E-cigarette Products

e-cigarette dangersAccording to a recent alert issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “over 450 possible cases of lung illness associated with the use of e-cigarette products have been reported.”  The number of cases is expected to grow while the CDC conducts its investigation.

E-cigarettes are devices used to inhale an aerosol that may contain nicotine, glycerin, propylene glycol or other chemicals.  Research has indicated that e-cigarettes can also contain harmful substances such as lead and diacetyl (A flavoring chemical linked to lung disease).

E-cigarettes are known by different names such as vapes, vaping pens, mods, e- hookahs, tank systems or e-cigs. Patients involved in the CDC’s investigation have reported a history of using these or similar devices, and have experienced the following symptoms associated with severe pulmonary disease:

  • Chest pain, cough or shortness of breath
  • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Weight loss

Several state health departments have also reported deaths linked to the illness.  So far, five deaths have been confirmed.

Although all cases in the investigation have been linked to the use of e-cigarette products, the exact cause of the epidemic is unknown. Until a cause for the vaping- related illness is identified, the CDC is asking consumers to consider not using e-cigarette products.

Consumers should consider the agency’s recommendation as other serious health complications have been recently linked to e-cigarette products.  The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is conducting an investigation involving e-cigarette users experiencing seizures or other neurological symptoms.   The agency is asking those experiencing seizures, tremors or fainting related to vaping to consult their physician and submit a report online.

If you are an e-cigarette user and are experiencing symptoms associated with lung disease or neurological complications, please speak with your doctor.   To schedule an appointment with a doctor at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, 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.

Poison Ivy

Poison Ivy SymptomsMany people enjoy spending time outside during the summer. With more time spent outdoors, there is an increased risk of exposure to plants that can cause allergic reactions.  The most common plants of this kind are poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac; all of which grow in wooded or vegetated areas and contain urushiol.

Urushiol is an oily resin found in the leaves, stems and roots of each plant. When this substance comes in contact with our skin, it can lead to a reaction we know as poison ivy rash. An allergic reaction typically occurs 24 to 48 hours after exposure and symptoms can last up to two or three weeks.  Symptoms can be mild or severe and may include:

  • Redness
  • Blistering
  • Itching
  • Swelling

There are several ways to minimize our exposure and reaction to plants that can cause poison ivy rash.  We can:

  • Learn to identify poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac
  • Steer clear of these plants by avoiding areas in which they grow
  • Wear protective clothing such as long sleeves and pants
  • Immediately wash areas that have been exposed with soap and water
  • Bathe pets that have been exposed

Approximately 60 to 80% of people who are exposed to urushiol will have a reaction.  For mild cases, taking cool showers and applying soothing topical treatments such as calamine lotion is recommended.  In severe cases, doctors may prescribe pills or creams that contain steroids or antihistamines.

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.

Conditions That Can Affect Your Sense of Smell

Ear Nose and Throat Doctor in Jamaica Queens Every year, thousands of people lose their ability to smell.  According to the National Institutes of Health, 12% of adults in the United States have had some loss of their sense of smell.

A loss of smell can significantly affect a person’s quality of life.  Because smell and taste are linked, most people with a smell disorder are unable to properly taste their food.  Most importantly, they may not be able to detect smells that warn of danger such as smoke or gas.

The inability to smell is typically the result of a problem occurring in the nose, brain or nervous system. One’s loss of smell can be partial or reduced (hyposmia) or complete (anosmia).  In both cases, a loss of smell can be temporary or permanent.

Several conditions can lead to hyposmia; they include:

  • Colds
  • Nasal allergies
  • Flu
  • Hay fever
  • Sinus infection
  • Deviated septum
  • Hormonal imbalances

Anosmia can develop as a result of:

  • Head trauma
  • Upper respiratory viral infections
  • Nasal/ sinus diseases
  • Nasal polyps
  • Bone deformities of the nose
  • Alzheimer’s disease

If you have lost or have had a decline in your ability to smell, you should see a doctor immediately.   Your doctor can perform a physical examination, review your medical history and request a series of tests to determine possible causes. Treatment for smell disorders is based on underlying causes and can include medication or surgery.

To schedule an appointment with an Ear, Nose and Throat doctor at Jamaica Hospital, please call 718-206-7110.

 

 

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.

Splinter Hemorrhages

Splinter hemorrhage  doctor Queens New York The appearance of your nails can reveal clues about your health.  Abnormalities in the shape, color or texture of nails or nail beds are sometimes indicative of underlying medical conditions.

One of the abnormalities that can occur is the appearance of small, dark-red or brown blood vessels that resemble splinters under your nails. These visible blood vessels are known as splinter hemorrhages.

Splinter hemorrhages can develop as a result of trauma or injury to the nail.  However, in instances where trauma is not involved, the appearance of blood vessels under the nail could signal the development of serious health issues.

Some medical conditions that can cause splinter hemorrhages to appear include:

  • Endocarditis- An infection of the heart valves and chambers
  • Vasculitis – Damage or swelling of the blood vessels
  • Scleroderma- An  autoimmune disease that causes hardening and tightening of the skin and connective tissues
  • Peptic ulcer disease- A condition in which painful sores or ulcers develop  in the lining of the stomach or parts of  the small intestine
  • Psoriasis – An inflammatory disease characterized by a buildup of excess skin cells that result in scales and red patches on the skin
  • Raynaud’s disease- A rare disorder of the blood vessels that causes them to constrict excessively in response to cold

Splinter hemorrhages can also appear as a result of taking certain medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

If splinter hemorrhages form after receiving trauma or injury to the nails, there is usually no need to see a doctor- unless the hemorrhages do not go away on their own.  (Splinter hemorrhages typically take 3-4 months to disappear).   You should see a doctor immediately if splinter hemorrhages appear without trauma or injury.  Your doctor will order a series of tests to isolate a possible cause.

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

Signs and Symptoms Of A Blood Clot

Signs and Symptoms of a blood clot-vascular doctor in Queens

According to the American Society of Hematology, “Blood clotting is an important process that prevents, excessive bleeding when a blood vessel is injured.” Typically,  once injuries have healed,  our bodies naturally dissolve clots- allowing blood vessels to function normally when transporting blood.

However, there are instances in which blood clots do not form as a result of injury and do not dissolve on their own.  Blood clots may also form as a result of complications caused by obesity, pregnancy, prolonged sitting, smoking, certain medications or diseases.  When clots do not dissolve they can lead to serious health issues such as stroke or heart attack.

Knowing the signs and symptoms of a blood clot can help you to recognize a potential threat to your health and seek treatment in a timely manner. Signs and symptoms include:

  • Swelling
  • Change in color in arms or legs
  • Pain in chest, arms or legs
  • Lower leg cramps
  • A warm spot on the leg
  • Trouble breathing
  • Coughing up blood
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • High blood pressure
  • Blood in urine
  • Fever
  • Light-headedness
  • Headache
  • Speech or vision difficulties

If you are experiencing these symptoms, seek medical attention right away.  This may save your life or reduce the severity of certain complications. Treatment is determined by the location of the blood clot and may include surgery or medication (anticoagulants or thrombolytics).

To schedule a visit 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.

Invisible Braces Pros and Cons

Dentist in Jamaica QueensInvisible braces are a set of clear, plastic aligners that are sometimes used instead of metal braces to straighten teeth. They have become a popular choice for many because they are far less noticeable than conventional metal braces.

Although there are a growing demand and popularity for invisible braces, they may not be the right choice for everyone. There are pros and cons to consider before making a commitment.

Here are a few pros:

  • Invisible braces can be more attractive.  The clear, plastic aligners are virtually invisible and molded to your teeth.  This makes it less obvious that you are wearing braces.
  • Due to the smooth, flexible plastic they are made from, invisible braces tend to be more comfortable. There are no wires or brackets to contend with.
  • Unlike metal braces, invisible braces can be removed to eat, brush your teeth or floss.  This can be a great benefit when practicing proper oral hygiene.
  • Computer software is used to plan your treatment in advance; therefore, less follow up visits are required.

The cons to keep in mind include:

  • Depending on your plan of treatment, Invisible braces can be more expensive than conventional braces.
  • Discipline is required to get the best results. Invisible braces must be worn a minimal 22 hours per day.  It is important that you put them back on shortly after removing them.  Neglecting to wear your aligners for 22 hours each day can prolong treatment.
  • You may feel some pressure or discomfort as your teeth adjust to a new set of aligners.
  • Invisible braces are most effective when treating those with mild or moderate bite issues, not those with more complex orthodontic issues.

Overall, invisible braces are a safe and effective form of treatment.  However, depending on your lifestyle or the complexity of your case, they may not always be the best choice. If you are interested in receiving invisible braces, you should speak with your dentist to determine if you are a good candidate. To speak with a dentist at  Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, please call 718-206-6980.

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.

Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma Mesothelioma is an aggressive form of cancer.  It affects the tissue that lines the body’s internal organs. There are four main types of mesothelioma based on location, they include:

  1. Pleural Mesothelioma (Lungs)
  2. Pericardial Mesothelioma (Heart)
  3. Testicular Mesothelioma (Testes)
  4. Peritoneal Mesothelioma (Abdomen)

Most people who develop the disease are those who have swallowed or inhaled asbestos particles over a period of time (Mesothelioma can take many years to develop after exposure; it may take anywhere between 20 to 60 years to form).  There are other contributing factors that increase the risk of the mesothelioma including living with someone who works with asbestos, having a family history of the disease or receiving radiation therapy to the chest.

Symptoms of mesothelioma may vary depending on the location of which the cancer develops.  They can include:

  • Painful coughing
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fluid buildup around the lungs
  • Abdominal pain and swelling
  • Bowel obstruction
  • Nausea
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Pain in the testes
  • Swelling in the scrotum

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms and are at risk for developing mesothelioma, it is advised that you see your doctor as soon as possible.  Your doctor can order a series of tests that may include a biopsy, imaging or blood tests.  Testing can help your doctor detect mesothelioma and assign a stage.

There is no cure for mesothelioma. Treatment for the disease is dependent on the stage and location of the cancer,  as well as certain aspects of your health.   According to the National Cancer Institute, treatment may include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy or targeted therapy.

To learn more about mesothelioma, please visit the National Cancer Institute’s website at www.cancer.gov.

 

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.

Travel and Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)

Deep Vein ThrombosisMemorial Day weekend includes some of the busiest days for travel. Millions will travel great distances by car, rail or plane to their desired vacation destinations. Despite the mode of transportation, people often spend an extensive amount of time sitting while in transit.  This prolonged period of inactivity can lead to the formation of blood clots or complications such as deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

Deep vein thrombosis, dubbed “Economy Class Syndrome” or “Traveler’s Thrombosis,” occurs when a blood clot forms in the veins of the leg, obstructing the flow of blood to the heart. Clots are more likely to develop when legs are hanging down, causing blood to flow slowly and collect. Anyone flying or driving for four hours or more without mobilization are at risk for developing them.

Symptoms of DVT can be mild and may include swelling of the calf or long-term discomfort. However, symptoms can also be fatal as deep vein thrombosis can develop into a more severe, sometimes fatal condition known as pulmonary embolism.

Pulmonary embolisms form when blood clots travel from the veins in the legs and eventually becomes lodged in the blood vessels going to the lungs.  Symptoms include chest pains, difficulty breathing, feeling lightheaded or fainting, coughing up blood, anxiety or irregular heartbeat. If these symptoms present themselves, medical attention should be sought immediately.

Some people are more prone to developing deep vein thrombosis- related conditions than others.  Those with an increased risk include people who are obese, over the age of 40, have varicose veins, a family history of blood clots, are using contraceptives such as birth control containing estrogen, have had recent surgery, hormone replacement therapy, recent severe illnesses such as pneumonia, recent cancer treatment and have limited mobility due to a leg cast.

There are many steps one can take to reduce risks.   While traveling during a long journey, it is recommended to wear comfortable and loose clothing, take breaks and walk around whenever you can, drink water, purchase flight socks, do not drink excessive amounts of alcohol or take sleeping pills. It also highly advised to take a walk after a long trip to get your circulation going.

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Pancreatitis

The pancreas is a large gland located in the upper abdomen, behind our stomachs.  Our pancreas produces enzymes that aid with digestion as well as the release of hormones that regulate blood sugar. If these enzymes are activated while they are still in the pancreas (before they are released into the small intestine) they can lead to inflammation. This inflammation is known as pancreatitis.

Pancreatitis can be acute (lasting for a short time) or chronic (long-lasting). Acute pancreatitis is a sudden inflammation that can result in symptoms such as:

  • Fever
  • Rapid pulse
  • Vomiting
  • Upper abdominal pain that radiates into the back
  • Tenderness when touching the abdomen
  • Abdominal pain that worsens after eating

Chronic pancreatitis is inflammation that does not improve or heal over time. It can lead to permanent damage and impair an individual’s ability to digest food and make pancreatic hormones.   This damage can lead to symptoms that include:

  • Weight loss
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Oily or fatty stools
  • Pale or clay-colored stools
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes)

There are several factors and conditions believed to increase the risk of pancreatitis.  Risk factors include:

  • Family history of pancreatitis
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Gallstones
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Lupus
  • Smoking
  • Injury to the abdomen

Serious complications such as pancreatic cancer, diabetes or kidney failure can develop as a result of pancreatitis. Therefore, if you are experiencing symptoms associated with the disease it is recommended that you see your doctor right away.  Your doctor can order a series of tests and procedures to check for abnormalities of the pancreas. Treatment of pancreatitis varies with each individual and can include pancreatic enzyme supplements, treatment for alcohol dependence, smoking cessation, dietary changes, pain management or surgery.

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.

Jamaica Hospital Initiative Focuses on Vision Saving Service for Premature Babies

Retinopathy of prematurity Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is a potentially blinding eye disorder that affects premature babies. It results in the abnormal growth of blood vessels in the retina (the layer of cells at the back of the eye that allows us to see).

According to the National Eye Institute, ROP “is one of the most common causes of visual loss in childhood and can lead to lifelong vision impairment and blindness.”  It is estimated that 15,000 children living in the United States are diagnosed with ROP each year. The disorder can occur in babies that are born before 31 weeks of gestation and weigh 2 ¾ pounds or less.

Although some premature infants are at risk for developing ROP, advancements in medicine such as timely laser therapy, intraocular medications, and initiatives such as Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s ROP Continuity of Care program reduces the chances for the disease to cause further complications.  Serious eye problems that can develop as a result of ROP include detachment of the retina, glaucoma, strabismus and blindness.

Jamaica Hospital’s ROP Safety Net program aims to educate the community about the disorder, provide quality care to premature infants, and improve follow-up rates for patients who required ROP screening or treatment during their stay in the NICU. “ROP is an issue that affects our community but many people are unaware of the disorder, we want to change that,” explained the hospital’s ROP Coordinator Maria Estevez.

The hospital’s multi-leveled approach to care has made its ROP Continuity of Care program a success.  At birth, premature babies who are at risk for ROP are screened for the disease by way of a thorough ophthalmological evaluation. If it is found that a baby has active ROP, a specially trained ophthalmologist will determine the best course of action to treat the patient.  Treatment can include a series of examinations, as well as laser therapy or intravitreal injections.   Education and support are offered from birth until the child matures to eighteen years of age. “Our team monitors the health of each patient diagnosed by constantly following up and coordinating their appointments. We send reminders and offer additional tools to help parents stay on top of their child’s healthcare and eye care,” said Estevez.

Since implementing the ROP Safety Net program in 2016, Jamaica Hospital has experienced a significant incline in follow up rates.  Prior to implementation, follow up rates were 58.2%; the hospital currently boasts a rate of 92.2%. “We are pleased with these numbers.  They are a reflection of our efforts to educate parents and encourage them to actively follow up with the necessary care for their children,” shared Dr.  Julia Shulman, Chairperson of Ophthalmology at Jamaica Hospital, and Director of the ROP Service.

ROP is an avoidable cause for blindness. Jamaica Hospital hopes that by initiating programs such as the ROP Continuity of Care, it can decrease the incidence of visual loss or blindness associated with the disorder. The hospital plans to link its community with a system of ROP care where support and comprehensive services are offered on a long-term basis.

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.