Facts About Aspirin Therapy

Daily aspirin therapy is sometimes recommended for people who are at risk for heart attacks or diagnosed with certain heart diseases. While this form of therapy is effective, it may not be the right form of treatment for everyone.

Taking occasional doses of aspirin is typically safe; however, daily use can lead to serious side effects.  This is why it is highly advised that you speak with your doctor to determine if this approach is best for you. Serious side effects of aspirin can include:

  • Gastrointestinal bleeding
  • A stroke resulting from a burst blood vessel
  • Allergic reactions

Recommendations for daily aspirin use may vary from person-to-person. Your doctor may recommend this regimen if you have:

  • Coronary artery disease or atherosclerosis
  • Had a heart attack
  • Had a transient ischemic attack or stroke
  • Had bypass surgery or a stent placement procedure

Your doctor may not recommend daily aspirin therapy if you:

  • Have a bleeding or clotting disorder
  • Have bleeding stomach ulcers
  • Have an aspirin intolerance
  • Drink alcohol regularly
  • Are undergoing certain medical or dental procedures

If you are considering daily aspirin therapy, you must consult your physician before you begin.  You should inform your doctor about any health conditions or risks you may have that will increase the chances of complications.  Provide a list of medications that you are taking, as some may contribute to drug interactions and adverse effects.  Based on the current condition of your health, your doctor will advise you as to whether or not daily aspirin therapy is right for you.

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 Facts About Ear Infections

An ear infection is an infection of the middle ear, the air-filled space behind the eardrum. Children are most likely to develop ear infections, but adults can get them too.

Ear infections are commonly associated with colds or the flu because the middle ear is connected to the upper respiratory tract by a tiny channel known as the Eustachian tube. Germs that are growing in the nose or sinus cavities can climb up the Eustachian tube and enter the middle ear to start growing.

The most common symptoms associated with ear infections in children include:

  • Ear pain, especially when lying down
  • Tugging or pulling at an ear
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Crying more than usual
  • Trouble hearing or responding to sounds
  • Loss of balance
  • Fever of 100 F (38 C) or higher
  • Drainage of fluid from the ear

Ear pain, difficulty hearing and drainage of fluid from the ear are the most common symptoms in adults.

While anyone can develop an ear infection, there are multiple factors that can increase your chances of developing one, including:

  • Age – Children between the ages of 6 months and 2 years are more susceptible to ear infections because of the size and shape of their Eustachian tubes and because their immune systems are still developing.
  • Group child care – Children cared for in group settings are more likely to get colds and ear infections than are children who stay home.
  • Bottle feeding – Babies who drink from a bottle, especially while lying down, tend to have more ear infections than do babies who are breast-fed.
  • Seasonal factors. Ear infections are most common during the fall and winter. People with seasonal allergies may have a greater risk of ear infections when pollen counts are high.
  • Poor air quality. Exposure to tobacco smoke or high levels of air pollution can increase the risk of ear infections.

Because ear infections often clear up on their own, treatment may begin with managing pain and monitoring symptoms. When they don’t however, antibiotics can be used to clear the infection. Some people are prone to having multiple ear infections. This can cause hearing problems and other serious complications.

It is important to see your doctor when:

  • The patient is less than six months old
  • Symptoms last more than a day
  • Pain is severe
  • There is a discharge of fluid

Most ear infections don’t cause long-term complications, but if someone develops them repeatedly, they can lead to complications including impaired hearing, speech or development delays and spread of infection to nearby tissue.

The best ways to reduce the risk of developing an ear infection include practicing good hand hygiene and social distancing to avoid contracting the common cold, the flu or other viruses and bacterial infections that can lead to them. Other tips include breast-feeding your baby and avoiding secondhand smoke.

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.

Information About Breast Cancer

All cancers gets their name from the part of the body where the abnormal cells begin to develop. Breast cancer occurs when cells become abnormal and divide without order in the breast tissue of women, and in rare cases, men.

While it is not known what causes breast cancer, certain risk factors have been linked to the disease. A risk factor is anything that increases a person’s chance of getting a particular type of cancer. Some risk factors can be controlled (e.g., smoking) and others (e.g.,age, family history) cannot be changed. Being a woman is the main risk factor for breast cancer however, other factors such as environmental exposure and diet can also play a part.

The most common sign of breast cancer is a new lump in the breast that is painless, hard, and has irregular edges.

Some other signs or symptoms of breast cancer include:

•              swelling of a part of the breast

•              skin irritation or dimpling of the skin on the breast

•              nipple pain or scaliness of the nipple or breast skin

•              a nipple discharge that is other than breast milk

•              a lump in the underarm area

At this time, there is no known way to prevent breast cancer. However, some preventative measures such as reducing controllable risk factors and implementing early detection methods can increase your survival rate in the event of a cancer diagnoses. Reducing your incidence of risk where possible and following guidelines for self-examination and early detection are the best course of preventative action. Early detection improves the likelihood of successful treatment and saves thousands of lives each year. Each month, it is advised that women perform breast self-exams. Early detection screening exams often find cancers before they start to cause symptoms, while they are small and still confined to the breast. Between the ages of 20 and 39, women should have a clinical breast exam every year if they are in a high-risk group or every three years if they are not. From the age of 40, women should have a mammogram screening every year.

If breast cancer is suspected in a patient, a biopsy of the cells from the breast is performed, removing cells so that they can be examined. Cancer treatment includes surgical procedures such as lumpectomy, mastectomy, and non-surgical therapies such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and hormone therapy. If you have been given a cancer diagnosis, don’t be afraid to seek the second opinion of a breast cancer specialist for more information and treatment options.

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.

Learning More About Transverse Myelitis

Transverse myelitis has received a great deal of attention recently as it has been mentioned in connection with the COVID-19 vaccine trials. To help our community better understand this condition, Jamaica Hospital is providing you with the following facts.

Transverse myelitis is a rare neurological condition that occurs when both sides of the same section of the spinal cord becomes inflamed, causing damage to the myelin, the fatty substance that covers the nerves. Loss of myelin often leads to spinal cord scarring that blocks nerve impulses and results in physical problems. Transverse myelitis can affect people of any age, but it is most common in children ages 10 to 19 and in adults ages 30 to 39.

The exact cause of transverse myelitis is unknown, but many believe it can develop as a side effect of a number of other conditions, including:

  • Lyme disease
  • Measles
  • Syphilis
  • Viral or bacterial infections

Other potential causes could be the result of spinal injuries, spinal malformations, or vascular diseases like atherosclerosis, all of which can reduce the amount of oxygen in spinal cord tissue.  Transverse myelitis can also be a warning sign of multiple sclerosis.

Some of the symptoms of transverse myelitis include:

  • Back or neck pain
  • Weakness in arms or legs
  • Abnormal feelings in the legs, such as burning, tingling, or pricking
  • Loss of bladder or bowel control
  • Heightened sensitivity to touch

Symptoms can develop over several hours or days, or over a longer period of one to two weeks.

There is no cure for transverse myelitis. Treatment focuses on relieving the inflammation that causes the symptoms. High doses of steroids, which suppress the activity of the immune system, are the most common treatments. Your doctor may also recommend pain-relieving drugs like ibuprofen or acetaminophen and plenty of bed rest.

Recovery from transverse myelitis usually begins from two to 12 weeks after first experiencing symptoms and can take up to two years. Approximately one-third of those with transverse myelitis have full or near-full recovery. Another third have fair recovery, retaining some of their symptoms. The last third recover poorly and experience significant physical disabilities.

Your doctor will likely review your medical history and perform a complete physical examination to confirm a diagnosis. If you are experiencing any symptoms associated with transverse myelitis and would like to make an appointment with a neurologist at Jamaica Hospital, 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.

Suicide Prevention- Pay Attention to The Signs

Suicide prevention-467918329Over 1 million Americans attempt suicide each year. It is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States.

Most people who committed suicide had treatable mental health disorders that went unnoticed.

Suicide can be prevented if the signs of mental health disorders are recognized and addressed immediately.

Here are a few warning signs of suicide we should not ignore:

  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Self-loathing
  • Changes in sleep patterns; which can either be excessive sleep or a deprivation of sleep
  • Irritability or anger
  • Talking about harming themselves
  • Loss of interest in daily activities or things they were once passionate about
  • Reckless behavior
  • Increasing use of alcohol or drugs
  • A preoccupation with death
  • Getting their affairs in order in preparation for death
  • Verbalizing thoughts such as “ Everyone will be better without me”  or “I  have nothing  to live for”
  • Visiting or calling people to say goodbye

If someone you know exhibits the following behaviors, do not dismiss them as a passing phase. These actions are a cry for help.

It is important to let your loved one know that you have recognized changes in their behavior, they are not alone and you are there to support them through this difficult time.  Speak openly about what they are feeling and ensure them they will not be judged because they feel suicidal.  Seek the help of a mental health professional immediately.  Insist on accompanying this person to their consultation or treatment. Continue to demonstrate your support during treatment by reminding them to take prescribed medications, keeping up with physician appointments and encouraging a positive lifestyle.

If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts or demonstrating suicidal behaviors, get help immediately. Call 911, 1-800-SUICIDE, or 1-800-273-TALK

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 Prevent Dehydration During the Summer Heat

With the summer and warmer weather upon us causing more and more people to begin to participate in outdoor activities. Before you begin, make sure you drink plenty of water in order to avoid dehydration. Here are some tips to help you stay hydrated:

  • The rule that you need to drink eight glasses of water per day is a myth. The Institute of Medicine recommends women should receive 2.2 liters of fluid intake per day and men should get three liters. Keep in mind that fluid intake can come from beverages other than water.
  • While thirst is your body’s way of preventing dehydration, being thirsty doesn’t mean that you are dehydrated. Thirst is our brain’s way of telling us to drink more to avoid dehydration.
  • The color of your urine is a good, real-time indicator of dehydration, but the misconception is that urine should be clear. In truth, urine should be a pale-yellow color.
  • Caffeinated beverages, such as coffee or tea will not dehydrate you if consumed in moderate amounts. Caffeine is considered a mild diuretic, the amount of water in it offsets the amount of fluid it will cause you to lose through increased urination.
  • Drinking isn’t the only way of increasing your water intake. It is estimated that we get up to 20% of our daily water intake from the foods we eat. Fruits and vegetables contain the most, with cucumbers, celery, and watermelon having the highest concentration of water.
  • There is also such a thing as drinking too much water and becoming overhydrated. This can be very dangerous and can lead to a condition called hyponatremia. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, headache, and fatigue. To avoid this problem, do not drink to the point that you are full from water alone.

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 Benefits Of Using A Primary Care Physician

Your primary care physician (or PCP) is typically your first point of contact when you needed non-emergency medical treatment. They are trained to treat most conditions and if they can’t provide care, they can help you find a specialist best suited to help you.

Unfortunately, fewer people today are utilizing the services of a PCP.  Studies have determined that the rate of American adults with a primary care doctor has steadily declined over the last decade. The most recent data suggests that one quarter of Americans currently do not have a primary care physician.

jamaica hospital primary care physician

There are multiple factors that can account for this trend. One reason is our ability to research and self-diagnose illness on the internet. Another factor is the recent proliferation of ‘urgent care centers” where individuals can seek convenient care. While both of these advents do have their benefits, neither should take the place of a primary care physician.

There are many benefits to having a primary care physician, including:

  • Familiarity – Simply put, your PCP knows you best. Through regular appointments, they will get to know you, understand the intricacies of your health, and develop a trust that will foster communication and allow them to provide more personalized care.
  • Comprehensive care– Your PCP is usually your first point of contact for care. They are familiar with your medical history and know what questions to ask to ensure that you receive appropriate care.
  • Prevention and management – Your PCP is not only responsible for treating you when you are sick. By conducting routine screenings, they can monitor for the existence of any potential chronic conditions or diseases and help you manage and treat them once detected.
  • Coordination – While a PCP is trained to manage most physical and mental health conditions, they also understand when specialty care is necessary.  They can provide referrals to experts and serve as a hub to ensure that information is appropriately shared between providers.

It has been found that those who have a PCP receive more preventative screenings and better management of chronic conditions. They also require fewer visits to the Emergency Department, are hospitalized less and generally live longer, healthier lives. 

If you would like to schedule an appointment with a primary care physician at Jamaica Hospital’s Family Medicine Center, please call 718-206-6942.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Tips on How to Prevent Getting Sick on a Plane

Tips to prevent getting sick on a plane

The chances of getting sick on a plane are high (especially during cold and flu season) because you are in close contact with fellow travelers and exposed to surfaces that may not be properly sanitized.  Additionally, air cabins tend to have low humidity levels which dry mucus from our noses and throats – creating an environment for germs and viruses to thrive.

Although these flying conditions are often beyond our control, there are measures that can be taken to lessen our exposure to germs and decrease our chances of getting sick.  Here are a few:

  • Get enough sleep before your flight- This will provide your immune system with a much-needed boost.
  • Stay hydrated- Keeping your body hydrated before and during your flight will prevent mucus from drying out.
  • Keep your hands clean by frequently washing them with soap and water or using a sanitizer- Doing so will limit exposure to germs (The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that handwashing can prevent up to 21% of respiratory infections).
  • Use sanitizing wipes on surfaces you will touch- It is highly recommended that you wipe down tray tables, bathroom flush buttons, overhead air vents, seatbelt buckles and seat pockets. These areas are touched by millions of people and are perfect environments for germs to live.
  • Keep air vents on- HEPA filters used on planes are effective at removing bacteria and airborne viruses.
  • Wear a mask, especially if you are sitting next to someone who is constantly coughing or displaying other symptoms of a respiratory infection.
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth – If you need to do so, make sure your hands are clean. Your eyes, nose and mouth serve as points of entry for germs.

It is important to remember germs and viruses can live for hours on certain surfaces. In fact, the flu virus can live up to 24 hours on any hard surface. Therefore, it is important that you follow the given precautions to protect your health and prevent the spread of germs and viruses.

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.

Laryngitis

laryngitis treatment

Many have experienced the two most common symptoms of laryngitis- hoarseness or voice loss.  

These symptoms occur as a result of an inflammation of the larynx which contains our vocal cords.  When our vocals cords are inflamed they become swollen, distorting the sounds made by the air passing through them.

Additional signs and symptoms of laryngitis can include a dry cough, sore throat, low-grade fever, itchy throat or swollen glands.

Most cases of laryngitis are temporary or acute and are caused by overusing our voices, viral infections such as the cold or bacterial infections such as diphtheria. Symptoms typically last for a few days.

The best treatments for acute laryngitis involve self-care.  It is recommended that you rest your voice, drink plenty of fluids, use humidifiers or menthol inhalers and gargle with warm, salt water. You should avoid whispering, dry or smoky rooms, decongestants, spicy foods, alcoholic beverages and caffeine.

Laryngitis can be also become chronic or long-term.  Symptoms lasts more than three weeks and can be brought on by bulimia, smoking, alcohol abuse, GERD (acid reflux), constant exposure to polluted air or second-hand smoke, excessive coughing, sinus disease, injury to the throat or cancer.

Treatments for chronic laryngitis are aimed at treating underlying issues. For instance, doctors may recommend a change in diet in cases in which chronic laryngitis is caused by GERD. If caused by exposure to polluted air, doctors may recommend wearing protective gear.  Medications such as antihistamines, antibiotics, pain relievers or glucocorticosteroids may also be prescribed based on the cause of symptoms.

If you are experiencing the symptoms of laryngitis for more than three weeks, you should see a doctor. Medical attention must be sought immediately if you are having difficulty breathing, coughing up blood, have increased pain or a fever that will not subside. To schedule an appointment with a doctor at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, please call 718-206-7001

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Fever Facts

Fever symptoms

Winter is the most common time of year for someone to develop a fever. With that in mind, Jamaica Hospital Medical Center wants to provide you with the following fever facts.

A fever is a temporary increase in your body’s normal temperature range, (36–37° Centigrade or 98–100° Fahrenheit).

Symptoms associated with a fever may include:

  • Sweating
  • Chills and shivering
  • Headaches
  • Muscle aches
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dehydration
  • General weakness and lethargy
  • Increased sensitivity to pain

While the reason most often associated with developing a fever is an infection
(viral or bacterial), there are other potential causes, including:

  • Heat exhaustion
  • Dehydration
  • Certain inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis
  • Side effect resulting from certain medications
  • Reaction to certain immunizations
  • Alcohol or drug withdrawal
  • A malignant tumor
  • Sunburn

There are many different types of thermometers that can be used to determine if a fever is present, including an oral (mouth), tympanic (ear) or temporal artery (forehead) type of thermometer. However, when taking an infant’s temperature, it is best to use a rectal thermometer.

It is important to take your temperature when you are at rest as physical activity can raise your temperature.

Taking fever-reducing over-the-counter medications, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen is one of the simplest and most effective ways to bring down a fever. Other things you can do to reduce fever include drinking more fluids and taking a bath in comfortable-temperature water.  Applying cool compresses can also relieve fever symptoms.

Fevers by themselves may not be a cause for alar or a reason to call a doctor. Yet there are some circumstances when you should seek medical advice.

  • Infants – Contact your doctor if your baby is under three months and has a temperature of 100.4 F (38 C) or higher if your baby is between three-six months old and has a temperature of over 102 F (38.9 C) and seems unusually irritable or lethargic.
  • Children – Call your doctor if your child is listless, unresponsive or irritable, vomits repeatedly, has a severe headache or stomachache, or has any other symptoms causing significant discomfort or has a fever lasting longer than three days
  • Adults – contact your doctor if your temperature is 103 F (39.4 C) or higher or if your fever is accompanied by a severe headache, stiff neck, skin rash, sensitivity to light, mental confusion, excessive vomiting, convulsions or seizures, or difficulty breathing.

If you are experiencing symptoms of fever and would like to see 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.