What To Do If You Get The Flu

One of the most frequently asked questions at this time of year is “What should I do if I get the flu”? Since the flu is a virus and not a bacterial infection, antibiotics aren’t going to help. The best way to treat the flu is to get plenty of bed rest and drink lots of fluids.  Taking an over-the-counter pain reliever may also help to reduce the symptoms.

In some situations a physician may prescribe an anti-viral medication if the virus is caught early enough. Any time medication is prescribed, it should always be taken as directed. People should be aware of any potential side effects, and in some cases, contraindications, especially for those who have certain chronic illnesses such as high blood pressure.

In some cases, home remedies may be effective for treating the symptoms of the flu. These include:

  • Eating chicken soup
  • Drinking herbal tea
  • Using a humidifier
  • Applying a warm compresses on the nose and forehead
  • Taking cough drops and throat lozenges
  • Gargling with salt water
  • Using a neti  pot
  • Practicing nasal irrigation

Under most circumstances, the symptoms of the flu will subside on their own after a few days. If you have concerns, see your physician right away. You may schedule an appointment with a physician at Flushing Hospital Medical Center by calling 718-670-5486.

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

What is a Goiter ?

A goiter is an enlargement of the thyroid gland which is a butterfly shaped gland that is found at the base of the neck. It is responsible for producing hormones that control metabolism that regulate the amount of calcium in the blood.

There are a few reasons a goiter may develop. The main cause of a goiter is a lack of iodine in the diet. That is why certain foods are supplemented with iodine, such as iodized salt which is commonly used. Other causes are Grave’s disease which occurs when the thyroid produces too much of its T3 and T4 hormone or an underproduction of the same hormones, known as Hashimoto’s disease.

An enlarged thyroid gland can also be caused by thyroid cancer, pregnancy, menopause, exposure to radiation, aging, and being female. Eating large amounts  of certain foods such as soybeans, rutabagas, cabbage, peaches, peanuts and spinach can also cause a goiter to form.

A goiter may or may not cause symptoms, but when it does present as:

  • Swelling at the base of the neck
  • Coughing
  • Hoarseness
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Problems breathing
  • Tightness in the throat

Diagnosing a problem with the thyroid gland can be done with an ultrasound, a blood test to check hormone levels, an antibody test, a biopsy and a thyroid scan using radioactive isotopes are injected into the blood to see if they are taken up by the gland.

Depending on its cause, a goiter may be treated with iodine supplements, medication, or may require a surgical procedure.

If you suspect that you may be having an issue with your thyroid, you should see your physician as soon as possible. To schedule an appointment with a physician at Flushing Hospital Medical Center please call 718-670-5486.

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.

Rotator Cuff Injuries

The rotator cuff is located in the shoulder and is made up of a group of muscles and tendons that serve to keep the upper arm bone firmly attached into the shoulder socket.

Injuries to the rotator cuff are typically associated with repetitive movement that requires overhead motion of the shoulder. People who are susceptible to rotator cuff injuries are baseball pitchers, painters, tennis players, construction workers and seniors. There also may be a family history factor that can make a person susceptible to this type of injury.

Rotator cuff injuries can be divided into three categories. Tendonitis is an inflammation of the tendons in the shoulder caused by overuse. Bursitis is an inflammation of the fluid filled sacs that are located between the bone and the tendons. Strains and tears of the rotator cuff are caused by an overstretching of the tendons that attach the muscles to the bone.

Signs and symptoms of a rotator cuff injury include:

  • A dull ache in the shoulder
  • Difficulty sleeping on the affected side
  • Arm weakness
  • Difficulty reaching behind the back
  • A popping sound when moving the shoulder
  • Limited range of shoulder motion

One way to prevent a rotator cuff injury is to do stretching exercises every day to keep the muscles and tendons in good condition.

Diagnosing a rotator cuff injury involves a thorough history and physical exam ,an x-ray to see if there is a bone problem or either an ultrasound or MRI.

Failure to treat a rotator cuff injury could eventually lead to loss of mobility in the shoulder and degeneration of the shoulder joint. Treatment of a rotator cuff injury depends on the severity and nature of the problem. Short term use of an over the counter anti-inflammatory may help the symptoms.  If the problem  is caused by repetitive movement over a period of time, physical therapy which includes either applying heat or ice to the area and strengthening exercises may be one way to help the symptoms. A cortisone injection to the area will help to reduce the inflammation and usually that will help reduce the discomfort too.  However, if  there is a  tear of a tendon, surgery may be required.

If you would like to schedule an appointment with an orthopedist at Flushing Hospital Medical Center, please call 718-670-5486.

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.

Compulsive Disorders

Compulsive disorders are characterized by behaviors that are performed repeatedly and of which there is a lack in the ability to control them.

A person who exhibits signs of compulsive behaviors has often undergone some kind of stressful event, abuse or trauma. Some experts believe there may be a genetic component associated with why people are compulsive.

Some of the more common compulsions that people exhibit are eating, hoarding, symmetry, shopping, gambling, exercising and talking. Compulsions very often have themes that include: • Counting • Orderliness • Demanding reassurances • Following a strict routine • Checking and rechecking • Washing and cleaning

The repetitive behaviors are thought to be performed as a way of relieving stress or anxiety. When these behaviors become extreme, they can rule a person’s life. Trying to ignore the obsessions can increase distress and anxiety.

The treatment for compulsive disorders is based on severity and can include cognitive behavioral therapy, the administration of selective serotonin reuptake therapy, or a combination of both. There are rating scales that will help determine the severity of the disorder, one being the “Brief Obsessive-Compulsive Scale” and the other being “Evidence-Based Brief Obsessive Scale”.

If you would like to discuss your condition with a mental health professional at Flushing Hospital, please call 718-670-5486.

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.

When Is The Best Time To Get The Flu Vaccine ?

Flu season can start in September and run until May. Even before the summer is over, pharmacies start advertising that the flu vaccine is available. While many people believe that the best time to get a flu vaccine is as soon as possible, getting it in October probably is the best option. Some research has shown that the effects of the vaccine start to wear off after six months so we want to make sure we are well protected when the height of the flu season is upon us.

Every year the flu vaccine is different, manufactured with the hope that it will be effective against the prevalent strain expected for that year. It is estimated that it takes approximately two weeks for the vaccine to become fully effective, so being covered early is important. Everyone who is going to be vaccinated wants to be prepared before the peak of the flu season which runs from December to late March. If you would to schedule an appointment for a flu vaccine in the Flushing Hospital Medical Center’s Ambulatory Care Center please call 718-670-5486.

 

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 Depression Screening Day

 

Thursday October 11th has been designated as National Depression Screening Day, an annual event held during Mental Illness Awareness Week. This event was started 28 years ago as an effort to provide people with mental health education materials and resources for support services. National Depression Screening Day was also created with the hope of removing the stigma from mental illness.

This year the focus of the observation is to have people reach out to their friends, family, co-workers and neighbors who might benefit from information on this condition and to avail themselves to the many opportunities to receive a free screening, either in person or online. It is estimated that worldwide there are 350 million people that suffer from depression.

The World Health Organization states that early recognition and treatment of the disease offers the best opportunity for successful outcomes. If depression is left untreated it can lead to suicide.

Depression screenings help to distinguish between short term feelings of sadness and stress due to transient life episodes, and more severe symptoms that can go on for months and years. The tests usually last between two to five minutes and the scores will indicate whether a further evaluation by a mental health professional is needed. It is important for people to know that help is available.

To schedule an appointment with the Mental Health Department of Flushing Hospital Medical Center, please call 718-670-5562.

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.

Astigmatism

The eyeball is supposed to be perfectly round, but when it isn’t, it is called astigmatism. The condition is due to an improper curvature of the cornea, which is the front of the eye, or the lens, which is found inside the eye. When either or both of these structures isn’t correctly shaped, light passing through the eye onto the cornea at the back of the eye, will not produce a sharp image.

Astigmatism is a fairly common disorder. Many people are born with it, but it can also be caused by an injury to the eye, an eye disease, or after eye surgery. A thorough eye exam performed by an eye doctor will be able to diagnose if it is present and how severe it is.

Symptoms of astigmatism include:

  • Eyestrain
  • Headaches
  • Blurry vision
  • Frequent squinting

Astigmatism is treated by prescribing eyeglasses or contact lenses. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary. If you would like to schedule an appointment with an eye doctor at Flushing Hospital, please call 718-670-5486.

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.

Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth, also referred to as the third set of molars, are the last set of teeth to develop. They form in the back of the mouth on the upper and lower jaw. Most people’s wisdom teeth surface when they are teenagers or young adults.

Wisdom teeth can become a problem when they fail to grow in proper alignment with the rest of our teeth.  When these teeth are not growing in correctly, it is referred to as being impacted. A tooth that is impacted may have only broken through the gum partially, or not at all. This can lead to infection, pain, tooth decay, gum disease and crowding of the teeth that are adjacent.

The signs and symptoms of an impacted wisdom tooth include:

  • Tenderness of the jaw
  • Bad breath
  • Bleeding gums
  • Swollen gums
  • Problems opening the mouth

Wisdom teeth that are impacted can’t be prevented. The best way to monitor for a potential problem is to have regular oral check-ups and an x-ray of the mouth every year. Not all wisdom teeth are going to be impacted, but when they are, and if symptoms develop, your dentist may want to remove them to prevent potential infections, disruption of the other teeth, and also to prevent further discomfort.

If you would like to schedule an appointment with a dentist at Flushing Hospital Medical Center, you may call 718-670-5522

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.

September is Healthy Aging Month

Healthy Aging Month is an annual observation created to bring awareness to the fact that there is an increase in the number of people who are 45 and older living in the United States.

There are over 76 million people, once considered to be part of the Baby-Boom generation, in the U.S. today who are over the age of 50. In addition to that, people who belong to the Generation-X started to turn 50 in the year 2015.

This segment of the population needs to be mindful of the importance of their social, mental, physical and financial well-being.

Tips for staying healthy after the age of 50 include:

  • Keeping active
  • If you smoke – quitting now
  • Remaining socially engaged
  • Staying positive
  • Finding things to do that make you smile
  • Getting  regular medical check-ups
  • Eating healthy
  • Exercising  regularly
  • Seeking help for mental health issues

If you would like to schedule an appointment with a physician at Flushing Hospital to discuss your medical concerns, please call 718-670-5486.

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.

September is World Alzheimer’s Month

World Alzheimer’s Month began in 2012 to recognize worldwide efforts to bring attention to this disease. As more and more people are being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease it is increasingly important for the signs and symptoms of the disease to be recognized. Some of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s are:

  • Forgetting familiar locations
  • Not recognizing family members and friends
  • Mood swings
  • Difficulty with routine tasks
  • Forgetting where things were placed
  • Exhibiting poor judgment
  • Changes in personality
  • Asking to have things repeated several times

As the population ages, the number of people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s will increase as well. There is no known definitive cause of Alzheimer’s , but some risk factors include smoking, high blood pressure, ethnicity and genetics. While it is associated with people mainly over the age of 65, it can affect people at an earlier age.

To schedule an appointment with a physician at Flushing Hospital for yourself or a person you know of who has signs of being forgetful, please call 718-670-5486.

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.