Learn The Facts About Epilepsy

Epilepsy, also referred to as a “seizure disorder,” is a chronic condition that affects the central nervous system. Those with this neurological disorder experience abnormal brain activity, which results in unpredictable and unprovoked seizures as well as other unusual behaviors, sensations, and sometimes loss of awareness.

Because epilepsy is caused by abnormal activity in the brain, seizures can affect any process the brain coordinates. Seizure signs and symptoms may include:

  • Temporary confusion
  • A staring spell
  • Uncontrollable jerking movements of the arms and legs
  • Loss of consciousness or awareness
  • Psychic symptoms such as fear, anxiety or déjà vu

A person with epilepsy may experience different symptoms than others with the same disorder. In most cases however, a person with epilepsy will tend to have the same type of seizure each time, so the symptoms will be similar from episode to episode.

While epilepsy has no identifiable cause, about half the cases can be traced to a variety of different factors, including:

  • Family history
  • Head trauma
  • Stroke
  • Infectious disease, such as meningitis encephalitis, or AIDS
  • Developmental disorders, including autism

Medications or surgery can control seizures for the majority of people with epilepsy. Some people require lifelong treatment to control seizures, but for others, the seizures eventually go away. Some children with epilepsy may outgrow the condition with age.

To schedule an appointment with a neurologist at Flushing Hospital’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.

Learn The Facts About Psoriatic Arthritis

Psoriasis is a skin disease that causes a red, scaly rash topped with silvery scales, most often located on the elbows, knees, ankles, feet, and hands.  It affects millions of Americans and nearly one third of all people with this condition develop a condition called psoriatic arthritis, (or PsA)

Psoriatic arthritis is an autoimmune condition that causes inflammation in the joints as well as overproduction of skin cells. In addition to the psoriatic rash, the symptoms of psoriatic arthritis are not unlike those of other types of inflammatory arthritis, which include painful and swollen joints that are warm to the touch. Other symptoms of psoriatic arthritis include:

  • Swollen knees, ankles, feet and hands
  • Stiff Joints, which are typically worse in the morning
  • Back, neck, and shoulder pain
  • Inflammation where a muscle connects to a bone, such as the Achilles tendon
  • Tiny ridges or dents called “pitting” in the nails.
  • Physical and mental exhaustion

PsA symptoms can range from mild to severe, with symptoms usually progressively worsening over time. Those with psoriasis as well as psoriatic arthritis may experience alternating periods of “flare-ups” followed by periods of remission.

If left untreated, inflammation associated with PsA can result in serious damage to joints and tissues. Those with PsA are also at a higher risk of developing other conditions such as cardiovascular disease, Crohn’s disease, type 2 diabetes, gout, and certain eye conditions.

Those most at risk of developing PsA are those who have psoriasis or have a family member living with the condition. It can develop at any age, but is most often occurs in adults between the ages of 30 and 50.

There is currently no cure for psoriatic arthritis, but with treatment, the symptoms can be controlled. Medications can often help manage psoriatic arthritis, but when they don’t, surgery might be an option.

Inform your doctor if you have psoriasis and begin to develop joint pain. To make an appointment at Flushing Hospital’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.

What Type Of Flu Vaccine Is Best For Seniors

With flu season upon us, it is recommended that everyone six months and older receive their annual influenza (flu) vaccine.  This is especially true for senior citizens as they are at a greater risk of developing serious complications from the flu. While there is no debate over whether or not seniors should get their flu shot, there is one about what type of vaccine they should receive.

Many providers are now recommending that patients over the age of 65 receive the vaccine Fluzone, a higher dose injectable vaccine formulated specially for seniors.  Like other flu vaccines, Fluzone is comprised of three different strains of the influenza virus that are most likely to cause the flu during the upcoming season.  However, Fluzone contains four times the amount of antigen (the inactivated virus that promotes a protective immune response) as a regular flu vaccine and produces a stronger immune response.

This high-dose vaccine was created specifically for seniors because their immune defenses are weakened due to their age. It is estimated that approximately 75% of seasonal flu-related deaths have occurred in people 65 years and older and between 50% and 70% of seasonal flu-related hospitalizations have occurred among people in this age group.

The results of seniors who have taken high-dose vaccines are promising. Initial studies have indicated that 25% fewer cases of influenza occurred in adults 65 years or older who took the high-dose vaccine compared with those who took the standard-dose vaccine, but other studies also revealed that seniors who received the high-dose vaccine were more likely to develop side effects, such as a fever and soreness at the injection site, during the week after vaccination.

If you are over 65 years old and still haven’t received your flu vaccine this year, speak to your doctor about whether or not a high-dose vaccine is right for you.

If you would like to make an appointment with a 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.

How Your Pet Can Be A Distraction To You While You Drive

There are many known driving distractions that we are warned to avoid while on the road. These include: talking or texting on your mobile device, eating or drinking, attending to personal grooming, or adjusting our vehicle’s radio or navigation system. While it is important to be mindful of each of these potential distractions, there is another type of distraction that doesn’t get as much attention – driving with our pets.

Pets can be a distraction to drivers

Many people take their dogs or cats in the car with them when they run local errands; others bring them along for long road trips. During these excursions, our pets often have free reign of the vehicle, will place their head out the car window, and in some cases, even sit in the driver’s lap. These activities, while adorable, can pose great danger to not only the operator of the vehicle, but also the other passengers, fellow motorists, and even the pets themselves.

A recent study of individuals who frequently travel with their pets in the car revealed some very startling facts about their behaviors. The survey concluded that 64 percent of drivers admitted to engaging in a potentially distracting pet-related activity, and 29 percent admitted to actually being distracted by their pets. Some of the activities noted in the study included petting or playing with their pets, allowing them to stay in their lap, feeding them treats, and taking photos of them.  The same study determined 84 percent allowed their pets to ride in their vehicle while unrestrained.

To avoid these types of distractions while driving, motorists should consider purchasing a safety device for their dog or cat. There are two types of devices to choose from:

  • Pet seat belts – They are easy to use and work in tandem with your normal seat belt. Check to make sure the pet belt is the right size for your animal. One that’s too big or too small is counterproductive and can cause unnecessary injuries.
  • Pet carriers- Look for a sturdy carrier with ample ventilation and plenty of room for your pet to turn around and stretch out. Also, make sure you secure the carrier so that it stays safely in place if you suddenly brake or get into an accident.


Driving with your beloved pet in the car doesn’t need to be dangerous. Take some time to make sure you can safely restrain your pet to maximize safety for you and your lovable friend.

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.

November is Bladder Health Month

The American Urological Association (AUA) has designated November as Bladder Health Month.

flushing hospital, bladder health month

So often we take bladder health for granted until a problem starts to develop, therefore the AUA is committed to increasing the public’s awareness  about bladder health conditions.

Some symptoms of an infected bladder are:

  • Pelvic pain
  • Increased urge to urinate
  • Pain with urination
  • Blood in the urine

The good news is by taking an active role in your bladder health you can avoid infections and reduce the risk of developing several medical problems. Here are some ways you can help improve your bladder’s health and help it to function properly.

  1. Don’t wait long to use the bathroom. Holding in urine can add pressure to the bladder and increase the risk of developing infections.
  2. Do not rush when emptying your bladder. Rushing may result in your bladder not emptying completely- this can lead to bladder infections.
  3. Avoid food or drinks that contain irritants. Certain food or drinks that contain ingredients such as caffeine, artificial sweeteners, acid, spices, excessive amounts of salt and alcohol can worsen bladder problems.
  4. Drink enough water throughout the day. Drinking your daily recommended amount of water can help flush out bacteria in the urinary tract.
  5. Avoid constipation by adding fiber to your diet. Constipation often results in a full rectum which adds pressure to the bladder.
  6. Urinate after having intercourse. Men and women should try to urinate after sexual intercourse. This helps to flush away bacteria that may have entered during sex.

If you are experiencing symptoms of a bladder infection and have questions about maintaining bladder health, please call Flushing Hospital’s Ambulatory Care Center at 718-670-5486 to schedule an appointment with a urologist.

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.

Can A Glycemic Index Help Diabetics Control Their Blood Sugar

If you have diabetes, you probably already know that eating certain carbohydrates can raise your blood sugar levels dramatically and quickly.

That’s because carbohydrates such as refined sugars and breads are easier for your body to convert into glucose, (the sugar your body uses for energy) than more slowly digested carbohydrates like those in vegetables and whole grains.

glycemic index, diabetes, flushing Hospital, blood sugar

If you are diabetic and consume too much of the wrong type of carbohydrates you may have a difficult time controlling your blood sugar. To help diabetics make better choices a guide known as the glycemic index (GI) has been developed. This index assigns numbers to carbohydrate-containing foods based on how much and how quickly they can increase your blood sugar. The glycemic index provides diabetics with a way to distinguish slower-acting “good carbs” from the faster “bad carbs.” Many utilize this tool to refine their carbohydrate intake and to help them maintain steady blood sugar levels.

According to the glycemic index, carbohydrates with a low GI value are more slowly digested, absorbed and metabolized, resulting in a lower and slower rise in blood glucose. GI values are divided into three categories:

  • 55 or less = Low (good)
  • 56- 69 = Medium
  • 70 or higher = High (bad)

Research has indicated that for most diabetics, the best tool for managing blood glucose is carbohydrate counting. Some clinical studies also suggest that a low GI diet can help people with diabetes control blood glucose levels, but there are warnings.

While the glycemic index can be a helpful tool to assist diabetics, most healthcare professionals agree that it shouldn’t be the only guide used to determine what to eat. One of the reasons for this is that the glycemic index only takes the carbohydrate value into account and doesn’t consider other nutritional values. The glycemic index also does not take into consideration the portion size of the carbohydrates being eaten, how they are being prepared, and what other foods are being consumed at the same time.

The glycemic index is also used by individuals who are trying to lose weight as well as those trying to adopt a healthier diet. Regardless of the reason however, doctors maintain that even though it can be helpful, the glycemic index should not be used in isolation as other nutritional factors, such as calories, fat, fiber, vitamins, and other nutrients should be considered.

If you have diabetes and are considering adopting the glycemic index into your diet, it is important to speak to your doctor first. If you would like to schedule an appointment with a diabetes specialist at Flushing Hospital’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.

Understanding The Symptoms Of Guillain-Barre Syndrome

Guillain-Barre syndrome is a rare disorder that develops when the body’s immune system attacks its own nerves.

Flushing Hospital Provides Information About Guillain-Barre Syndrome

The initial symptoms of Guillain-Barre syndrome are weakness that usually begins in the lower extremities and spreads to the upper body and arms. This is accompanied by a tingling or prickling sensation in the extremities. These symptoms can rapidly intensify, eventually paralyzing the entire body.

Other signs and symptoms of Guillain-Barre syndrome may include:

  • Unsteady walking or inability to walk or climb stairs
  • Difficulty with eye or facial movements, including speaking, chewing or swallowing
  • Severe pain that may feel achy or cramp-like and may be worse at night
  • Difficulty with bladder control or bowel function
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Low or high blood pressure
  • Difficulty breathing

The cause of Guillain-Barre syndrome is unknown, but it is often preceded by an infectious illness such as a respiratory infection or the stomach flu.  It can also be triggered by certain viruses, such as influenza, Epstein-Barr, or Zika.  Anyone can get Guillain-Barre syndrome, but it is slightly more common in men and typically affects younger adults.

There is no known cure for Guillain-Barre syndrome, but several treatments can ease symptoms and reduce the duration of the illness. Most people recover from Guillain-Barre syndrome, though some may experience lingering effects from it, such as weakness, numbness or fatigue.

Call your doctor if you have mild tingling in your toes or fingers that doesn’t seem to be spreading or getting worse. If you do not have a doctor and would like to make an appointment at Flushing Hospital’s Ambulatory Care Center, please call 718-670-

wn nerves.

The initial symptoms of Guillain-Barre syndrome are weakness that usually begins in the lower extremities and spreads to the upper body and arms. This is accompanied by a tingling or prickling sensation in the extremities. These symptoms can rapidly intensify, eventually paralyzing the entire body.

Other signs and symptoms of Guillain-Barre syndrome may include:

  • Unsteady walking or inability to walk or climb stairs
  • Difficulty with eye or facial movements, including speaking, chewing or swallowing
  • Severe pain that may feel achy or cramp-like and may be worse at night
  • Difficulty with bladder control or bowel function
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Low or high blood pressure
  • Difficulty breathing

The cause of Guillain-Barre syndrome is unknown, but it is often preceded by an infectious illness such as a respiratory infection or the stomach flu.  It can also be triggered by certain viruses, such as influenza, Epstein-Barr, or Zika.  Anyone can get Guillain-Barre syndrome, but it is slightly more common in men and typically affects younger adults.

There is no known cure for Guillain-Barre syndrome, but several treatments can ease symptoms and reduce the duration of the illness. Most people recover from Guillain-Barre syndrome, though some may experience lingering effects from it, such as weakness, numbness or fatigue.

Call your doctor if you have mild tingling in your toes or fingers that doesn’t seem to be spreading or getting worse. If you do not have a doctor and would like to make an appointment at Flushing Hospital’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.

Do You Have A cough That You Just Can’t Shake? You Might Have A Chronic Cough

Having a cough is not only annoying, but it can also affect your daily routine, disrupt your sleep and even contribute to other issues, such as vomiting and lightheadedness. For most, coughing will only last a few days to a week, but if you have a cough that just won’t go away, you may have what is considered a chronic cough.

Flushing Hospital warns a cough that lasts over 8 weeks is considered chronic and our doctors can help determine the cause

A chronic cough is a medical problem where a person will have a cough that lasts eight weeks or longer (four weeks or longer in children). While it can sometimes be difficult to pinpoint the problem that’s triggering a chronic cough, it is most commonly due to one or a combination of the following:

  • Postnasal drip
  • Tobacco use
  • Asthma
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD
  • Infections such as whopping cough or TB
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Taking blood pressure medications

Fortunately, a chronic cough typically disappears once the underlying problem is treated.

See your doctor if you have a cough that lingers for weeks, especially one that brings up sputum or blood, disturbs your sleep, or affects school or work.

To make an appointment to see a doctor about your chronic cough, please call Flushing Hospital’s Ambulatory Care Center at 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.

Learn More About Scarlet Fever And How To Protect Your Children

Scarlet fever is a bacterial illness that develops in some people who have strep throat. As the name implies, the condition is signified by a bright red rash that covers most of the body.

if untreated scarlet fever can b very dangerous for children, Flushing Hospital

Scarlet fever is most common in children five to 15 years of age. Although it was once considered a serious childhood illness, antibiotic treatments have made scarlet fever much more treatable. Still, if left untreated, scarlet fever can result in serious conditions that can affect the heart, kidneys, lungs and other parts of the body.

Common symptoms of scarlet fever include:

  • Red rash.The rash looks like a sunburn and feels like sandpaper. It typically begins on the face or neck and spreads to the trunk, arms and legs. If pressure is applied to the reddened skin, it will turn pale.
  • Red lines.The folds of skin around the groin, armpits, elbows, knees and neck usually become a deeper red than the surrounding rash.
  • Flushed face.The face may appear flushed with a pale ring around the mouth.
  • Strawberry tongue.The tongue generally looks red and bumpy, and it’s often covered with a white coating early in the disease.

The rash and the redness in the face and tongue usually last about a week. After these signs and symptoms have subsided, the skin affected by the rash often peels. Other signs and symptoms associated with scarlet fever include fever, sore throat, enlarged glands, nausea, vomiting and headache.

Scarlet fever typically spreads from person to person via droplets expelled when an infected person coughs or sneezes. A person will usually develop symptoms between two and four days after being exposed.

There is no vaccine to prevent scarlet fever. The best prevention strategies for scarlet fever is to practice proper hand washing hygiene, avoid sharing utensils or drinking glasses, wipe down all contaminated objects and surfaces and cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze.

Call your doctor immediately if your child develops any symptoms associated with scarlet fever.

To make an appointment at Flushing Hospital’s pediatric clinic, 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.

What is Causing the Ringing in Your Ears?

Many of us will hear it from time to time. Only you can hear it- a ringing in your ear that may come and go.  The medical term for it: tinnitus. According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), about 10% of adults in America have experienced tinnitus lasting at least five minutes in the past year.

Some of the causes you may experience ringing in your ears can be:

  • Trauma to the ear. This can include listening to your music loudly. The recommended listening should be at less than 90 decibels according to the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) guidelines.
  • Wax Build- up. Some people produce more ear wax than others. Instead of using Q-Tips, try softening the ear wax with peroxide or mineral oil and allow the wax to dissolve and drain.Ear Ringing-181524972
  • Excessive use of certain medicines such as aspiring or antibiotics.
  • Too much caffeine, nicotine, or alcohol, have also been known to cause ringing in the ears as well.

Is the ringing persistent? Contact Flushing Hospital’s Ambulatory Care Center and schedule an appointment to see a physician at 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.