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All Posts in Category: Environment

What Is Heatstroke And How to Prevent It

Heat stroke is a serious form of injury from heat and it’s considered a medical emergency. It’s advised to call 911 immediately and if you know first aid, to use it until paramedics are here. It’s that bad.

But there are many ways to treat it and prevent it from happening to you. Here are some things to keep in mind with heatstroke.

What Exactly Is Heatstroke?

Heatstroke or sunstroke is often a result of progression from other heat injuries like heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat syncope. Heatstroke can also hit you even when you show no other signs in the past of heat injury.

Furthermore, heatstroke can cause quite a bit of damage. It can kill or cause damage to brain cells along with damaging other internal organs. You find heat stroke mainly targeting individuals over 50, however, it can show up in young athletes as well.

How Do You Get Heatstroke?

In order to prevent heatstroke, it’s important to know what it is but also how you could catch it as well. With heat stroke, you catch it when you are exposed to high temperatures for extended periods of times.

Essentially heatstroke is caught when your body temperatures rise and your body fails to control your temperature. Medically speaking, heatstroke is when your body temperature is greater than 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 Celsius).

Symptoms of heat stroke are having nausea, throbbing headaches, dizziness, dry skin, muscle weakness, lack of sweat despite warm temperatures, rapid heartbeat, muscle weakness, seizures, fainting, or falling into a coma.

How To Prevent Heatstroke

The symptoms of heatstroke are dangerous which is why when someone is suffering from heatstroke it’s advised to be cautious when treating them. Furthermore, there are many actions that you can do to avoid heatstroke altogether. Here are some things to consider.

First wear light-colored, loose clothing along with a hat. Going for lightweight clothing helps in a variety of ways as when we are getting into the warmer seasons you want to wear something lighter. Furthermore, any darker colored clothing will absorb more heat which means a rise in body temperature.

Apply some sunscreen. Make sure that the sun protection factor is 30 or higher. As much as it’s important to get the suns rays you don’t want to cook yourself.

Drink a lot of fluids. It’s recommended to drink eight glasses of water a day, however, it doesn’t hurt to drink more in particularly warmer days. Furthermore be careful of sports drinks and certain water brands. In some cases, some beverages contain salt which makes you dehydrate faster and actually doesn’t hydrate you at all.

Take extra precautions when working out outside. It’s advised to drink 24 fluid ounces two hours before any kind of exercise outdoors. During exercising, it’s recommended to drink 8 ounces every 20 minutes, even when you aren’t feeling thirsty.

If you are feeling unwell, consider canceling or rescheduling outdoors activities. Temperatures drop down later on in the day and they are also low in the early morning. Consider doing your activities during those times when the sun isn’t high in the sky.

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What You Need to Know about Swimmer’s Ear

Swimmers Ear or otitis externa can be a common infection, especially during the summer where you are spending a lot of time in the water to cool off from the heat. But by being informed now you can learn quickly what it is, what are the causes, symptoms, and how you can treat it and prevent it from getting too serious. We’ve wrapped all that up into this post for you.

Causes & Symptoms

Swimmers ear is something that won’t show up as often as sunburns or dehydration, however, swimmers ear is still dangerous nonetheless. How swimmers ear comes to be is when water is brought into your ear but remains in your eardrums all the way to the outside of your head in the ear area.

Swimmers ear can be caused by inserting fingers, cotton swabs or any other objects in your ears which hamper your ear’s natural defenses. One cause can lead to that defense system being compromised, that being the build-up cerumen. Cerumen is a type of wax clump that builds up around the ear. It’s similar to earwax however it protects your ears from any kind of infections.

Some other causes of infection can be from excessive moisture in the ear, scratches or abrasions in the ear canal, and even sensitivity reactions.

As far as the symptoms go, they are normally mild at the beginning but get worse over time. You see, the water that’s left there is a perfect grounds for harmful bacteria to grow and spread. From there you can have mild to advanced stages of swimmers ears. On a mild scale, you can experience drainage of a clear and odorless fluid and maybe some itchiness around the area. On an advanced scale, you can experience complete blockage of the ear canal (making hearing muffled or even unable to hear.), severe pain, redness and swelling of the outer ear and fever.

Treating & Prevention

Swimmers ear, when spotted quickly, can be prevented when taking precautionary measures. Furthermore, if you can spot it early on, it can be treated with very little damage being done.

Some measures you can do to better prevent swimmers ear is to make sure your ears are dry or kept mostly dry. This can be done through the use of a blow dryer, drying the outside of your ear and also tipping your head to both sides to help your ears drain the water out.

You can also consider creating a solution of eardrops using white vinegar and rubbing alcohol. Apply one teaspoon of it for each ear and let it drain. Do this before and after swimming. Drug stores will also sell eardrops too.

Some other suggestions are to avoid cleaning your ear with cotton swabs, paper clips or hairpins, using cotton balls in your ears when applying hair sprays and dyes. Furthermore, you can generally swim wisely by looking at the area where you’re going to swim and see if there are high bacterial counts on that day.

If you do happen to get swimmers ear, there are some ways to treat it. First, you need to see a doctor who will do a cleaning of the outer ear. As far as medication goes a doctor will most of the time prescribe eardrops that have a combination of some of these ingredients. These ingredients depend on the severity of the ear infection:

Steroids – reduces inflammation.

Antibiotic – fights bacteria.

Acidic solution – restores normal ear’s antibacterial environment.

Antifungal medication – fights the infection that was caused by fungus.

Finally, it’s also a good idea to ask your doctor what is the best method to take these eardrops as well.

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Spring Allergies: What You Need To Watch Out For

Seasonal allergies are triggered by a number of factors, and it is always advisable to take precaution early enough to avoid some of the adverse consequences they tow along. Spring is a season of transition from the long dull winters experienced by Americans to the promise of blue skies and warmer temperatures in weeks to come. Many people in the United States who suffer from seasonal allergies may not have much to celebrate during this period, and that is if they are not lucky enough to become victims of the same.
The allergy comes with some very obvious symptoms, and they range from troubled breathing, sneezing, running nose and itchy eyes around this time of the year.
It is important to understand its causes so that we have a proper vantage point from which to counter the condition. First of all, it is important to know the dust particles and pollen in the air play a big role in bringing about the allergies. The reason is that a concentration of these two in the air makes the body to react and produce histamines, chemicals responsible for attacking these particles. Once the chemical is in the bloodstream, it triggers the allergies aforementioned and thus causing the symptoms to the unlucky victims.
While this might seem a nightmare to many, it is more of a reality, but the good news is it can be contained.
There are several ways that researchers have proven to naturally counter these effects, and they include, but not limited to:

Diet
There is not much to say about this, but there are examples of foods that need to be added to the normal diet to boost your immunity. It is better to prevent than to cure and here is how you do that.
Apples
It is indeed true that they keep the doctor away, but two more in a day will do no harm. The fruit contains anti-inflammatory and anti-histamine properties called quercetin. This chemical lowers the amount of interleukin 6, which is basically the inflammatory cytokine responsible for allergies. With several of these in a day, your immune is boosted and has all it takes to combat the allergy.
Garlic
Apart from its role in spicing your meal, it seems like the bulb goes a long way in boosting your immunity. Research shows that it helps reduce the body’s allergic response and thus protect you from any form of attacks.
Fatty fish
For these diet type, it goes without saying that your body is nourished with every meal. And this is how it contains omega-3 fatty that helps curb body inflammations. At least 2-3 meals with fatty acids in a week will go a long way in fighting the allergy, especially when they start showing up.

Once you’ve added this to your normal meal, there are things you need to get rid of, and they include:
Dairy and Sugar.
Ranging from butter, cheese, eggs and sugary foods, they are a must drop, as they tamper with the immune system greatly. You should, however, try some supplements like Probiotics and essential oils for allergy reliefs. Probiotics help boost your immunity and enhance the body’s defense against foreign substances. And adherence to this removes all the worries you might be having about your health in spring, and you can now look up to summer positively.

Visit First Call Urgent Care today for your urgent care needs!

Visit our urgent care center, or call us at 410-730-3399 for more information.

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4 Simple Home Remedies for Common Cold

ginger-1918107_1920Common cold is a terribly annoying illness. While it is usually not fatal, having to miss work or school for a few days is not fun. Also, spending days with a sore body is miserable. Fortunately, there are easy home remedies that you can use to speed up the recovery process. Take a look at these 4 simple home recipes:

Tulasi & Pepper

1 handful of Tulasi (holy basil) leaves & 10 black peppercorns (milagu). Mix both ingredients, grind them together and consume thrice a day. This preparation relieves cough & cold.

Karpooravalli & Pepper 

7 Karpooravalli (Anisochilus Carnosus) leaves & 10 black peppercorns. Mix both ingredients, grind them together and consume thrice a day. This preparation relieves cough & cold.

Ginger Kashaayam

4 teaspoon ginger Juice + 4 teaspoons honey + 2 teaspoons lemon juice + 3/4 cup water – mix & consume

Honey Ginger 

This recipe is similar to the Ginger recipe above but simpler. Mix 2 teaspoon of ginger with the same amount of honey. This mixture helps reduce mucus and relieve common cold, cough or a sore throat.

Visit First Call Urgent Care today for your urgent care needs!

Visit our urgent care center, or call us at 410-730-3399 for more information.

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How To: Preventing Mosquito Bites

Mosquito Bite relief in Laurel MD

Summer time means vacation time, and the last thing you’d want to worry about it getting bitten by mosquitoes while trying to enjoy a day in the sun.

Mosquito bites can be more than just itchy and annoying, it’s important to know your risks and how to protect yourself.  Besides staying indoors during peak times (night, dusk, and dawn), here are a few other health tips to follow to prevent mosquito bites.

Use insect repellent: Make sure that your insect repellent is Environmental Protection Agency registered and has active ingredients such as DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535.

Cover up: If you’re going to an area that’s infested with mosquitoes, or plan on being outdoors during active times, make sure you’re wearing protective clothing with long sleeves and pants.

Protect yourself while traveling:  If you plan on traveling abroad, be sure to read up on country-specific travel advice and health risks.  You should also pack a travel health kit that includes insect repellent, medicine to prevent malaria if needed, and other over-the-counter medicine such as antihistamine, medicine for fever, and hydro-cortisone cream.

Resist the urge to scratch: Scratching a mosquito bite only adds to the inflammation, so fight the urge, and use remedies such as ice, witch hazel, Epsom salts, or chamomile lotion to relieve the itchy sensation.

 

If you come into contact with a mosquito bite, be sure to visit FirstCall Urgent Care for relief, or contact us at  410-730-3399.

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Spring Allergies: Tips To Survive The Season

Allergy Testing at FirstCall Urgent Care

It’s that time of year where trees are budding, flowers are blossoming, and your thoughts naturally turn to enjoying the outdoors, having picnics, and putting away your winter coat.

However, people with spring allergies want to suffer through this time of year with sniffling, sneezing, and rubbing their eyes.

Allergies develop when your body’s immune system becomes sensitized and overacts to something in the environment.

Seasonal allergies, hay fever, allergic rhinitis; whatever you want to call it, the main culprit is the transition from winter to spring, which produces tremendous amounts of pollen.

Here are a few ways you can enjoy the spring season without suffering through watery eyes and a runny nose.

  • Educate yourself about allergens
  • Take allergy medicine early on to reduce symptoms
  • Consider allergy testing if you’re not sure of your triggers
  • Seek medical attention if your symptoms are bothersome
  • Reduce time spent outdoors during 10am and 4pm when pollen counts are generally higher
  • Tweak your home by keeping windows shut to keep out pollen, taking off shoes at the door, and sanitizing your home daily
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