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Medical News & Updates

Washing your hands will combat the flu

Ghost, goblins & ghouls aren’t the only things you should be scared of this Halloween! The flu is still at large & you can still get it! Flu season is from mid-September to late December! By this time of the year, we here at First Call Urgent Care would hope that you all have gotten your flu shots by now! However, even if you have you are not out of the woods yet! A flu shot is only part of the process when it comes to ducking the flu this year. It is still possible to get the flu even with the flu shot! So remember the best way to avoid the flu after the shot is to stay sanitary & wash your hands!

How much do you wash your hands?

If you only wash your hands 3-4 times a day you aren’t washing your hands enough. We experience a lot throughout one day you should be washing your hands after an experience in which they might have been exposed to some harmful germs. We understand that not everything your hand’s touch may be harmful & we know that is not reasonable to ask of someone. However, some examples of when you should wash your hands are:

  • After petting a pet
  • After using public transportation
  • After using the bathroom
  • Shaking multiple peoples hands
  • After you play outside

How you should wash your hands

We know that most people know how to wash their hands however it turns out most people don’t give the correct amount of time to effectively wash all the germs away. When we are washing our hands, a scientist has concluded that 30-40seconds are the amount of time we should use to wash away germs. If you are teaching kids how to wash their hands tell them to sing happy birthday! This is an old trick that will teach kids exactly how long it should take to wash their hands without them even realizing.

Be mindful

The best way to fix your hand washing habits is to make a new habit & make it a part of your life. The more natural it feels to wash your hands multiple times a day the more you will get it done. Once good sanitation is a habit that you have done then you can worry less about catching the flu! We hope these tips were helpful  Will help you combat the flu this year!

Contact us if you have any more questions & concerns 410-730-3399

 

 

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Pumpkin Carving Safety

First call Urgent Care wants you all to enjoy Halloween this October! Getting in the spooky spirit is hard work, a lot of decorations need to be placed around the house as tradition. One of the most famous decorations of Halloween is pumpkin carving! Pumpkin carving, unfortunately, is also one of the most dangerous. Use these tips below to make sure you are being safe carving your pumpkin!

Make sure to clean everything

When you are going to start carving your pumpkin you should make sure the area you will be doing the cutting in is cleaned up! While handling a knife or any sharp object, you wouldn’t want to slip or fall over an object left on the floor. The utensils themselves should be clean such as:

  • Knife
  • pumpkin
  • hands

If the knife is not clean it is possible something could be covering the blade not letting it cut into the pumpkin & slip off cutting your hand that is holding it. The pumpkin needs to be cleaned for the same reason. Hands should always be cleaned before handling the pumpkin in case they are slippery or sticky.

Don’t Sharpen the knives

It is a common misconception that knives are to be sharpened before their use. This, however, is extremely dangerous & does not make carving the pumpkin easier at all! Unless you work with pumpkins, you do not know exactly how hard to cut it with a knife. If the knife is too sharp it can cut right through the pumpkin into something else such as furniture, or limbs.

Buy a pumpkin carving kit

The easiest way to avoid problems with carving a pumpkin with tools from home is too buy a pumpkin carving kit! Around this time of the year, pumpkin carving kits are extremely accessible & very cost effective! When you buy a pumpkin carving kit it comes with the correct tool so you don’t have to go out & use your own! A kit will sometimes include some stencils & and pins to help make designs on your pumpkins! We hope these tips will help you stay away from any pumpkin carving related injuries this Halloween!

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Flu season prevention

Flu is in full effect! From Septemeber- December the flu is technically in season. We here at First Call urgent Care want everyone to avoid the flu this season! Below we will discuss some ways you can stay away from the flu & how to stop spreading it if you have been infected.

Get your flu shot

The easiest way to avoid the flu is to get your flu shot. However, a common misconception is that if you got your flu shot last year you do not need to get your flu shot this year. The flu virus is of a different strand every year. This means each flu virus is different than the year before, so your flu shot last year would be of no effect to the flu virus this year.

Practice sanitation methods

The flu shot is not 100% effective so even if you get the shot you still should practice sanitation methods. Some sanitation methods can include:

  • Carrying hand sanitizer with you
  •  Not using community handrails
  • Wash hands before & after meals
  • Do not shake hands
  • A cough into elbow

When using these sanitation tips you are putting another layer of protection on.

Tell your friends & family to get the flu shot

As discussed before the flu shot is 100% effective however you shoulds till tell friends & family. The more people around you with the flu shot the less chance you have of getting the flu. Make sure to spread awareness & come on down to First call Urgent Care today!

 

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Don’t miss out on sleep!

Did you know that 67% of Americans say they do not get the recommended 8 hours of sleep our bodies require every day. Sleep is becoming something that we overlook in today’s society. Our jobs are asking for more hours, our days are becoming shorter & we are not valuing sleep nearly enough as-we should. Read below to see the effects on sleep deprivation & our bodies.

What is sleep deprivation?

Our bodies require a set amount of hours to recover from the day before. The most important parts of our bodies happen in our sleep such as:

  • Growth
  • Heading
  • Recharge
  • Brain functionality

When our bodies don’t get the correct amount of sleep they need we-will start to get sleep deprivation.

Symptoms & Effects

Sleep deprivation occurs when people do not receive the amount of sleep their bodies need to recharge in a day. If you are not getting the correct amount of sleep then you might experience some symptoms, sleep deprivation starts with very mild symptoms & as you keep denying your body of sleep you will experience more severe experiences. Some mild symptoms may be:

  • Yawning
  • Nodding head
  • Mood swings
  • Lack of concentration
  • a headache

Severe symptoms of sleep deprivation could include:

  • Mood swings
  • Confusion
  • Seeing things
  • hearing things that are not there

When in serious sleep deprivation your mind basically starts to be in REM while you are still awake.

How to avoid sleep deprivation

This may seem obvious but going to sleep at an earlier time would allow your body to get the sleep that it needs! This is not always the easiest method however so it is reasonable if you do not feel you can go to sleep any earlier than you already do. Another way to get more sleep for your body is to start taking naps throughout the day. Naps should be between 15-20 mins in length so the body does not hit REM. If the body hits REM this will cause a cranky sensation while waking up & will have the reverse effect.

We hope these tips will help you sleep better at night!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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3 Tips to stay away from Dehydration

We all know what its like to be dehydrated! Unfortunately, our bodies crave liquids every hour or so just to maintain itself. However, dehydration has can be mind or severe! Here are some tips on how to beat dehydration this summer!

1. Get better knowledge of dehydration

Dehydration occurs because our bodies are made up of 65% water. When we dip under this our body needs more to maintain itself. Dehydration can happen very easily so you have to look out for the signs.

2. Know the signs of Dehydration

Mild dehydration signs are simple and can sometimes go undetected.

  • Dry mouth
  • thirst
  • slight headache

If you have severe symptoms of dehydration they might include.

  • Dizziness
  • loss of sight
  • high pulse when sitting or standing
  • blacking out
  • nausea

3. Add water to your diet

If you don’t regularly drink water then you are at risk of dehydration. Incorporating water into your diet could help give you the edge you need on beating dehydration. Drinking water as soon as you wake up helps prep the body for the rest of the day. Specific types of fruits and veggies also have a lot of water in them as well. So if you don’t feel like you can incorporate water into your diet try using foods instead!

If you have a severe dehydration and need to be treated immediately come down to First Call Urgent care now!

 

 

 

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Make sure to stay away from sunburn this summer!

Summertime is the best time of the year to spend some time outside & enjoy the nice weather! Unfortunately, sunburn has become a common norm for us when we go for too long. Sunburn, however, is not something that should be taken lightly. Did you know that the most common cancer is melanoma? Melanoma cancer’s leading cause is sunburn!

What is sunburn?

To understand sunburn we must first think of where it comes from. The sun emits 3 Ultraviolet rays (UV rays) they are

  • UVA
  • UVB
  • UVC

only 2 of these rays make it to the earth’s surface, UVA & UVB. These two ultraviolet rays are actually a form of radiation. As we know our skin cells can only tolerate so much radiation before we burn. When we are exposed to the suns rays for too long we get sunburn which is actually a radiation burn! When someone gets sunburn they are 3 times more likely to develop melanoma cancer.

What are the symptoms of sunburn?

We have all experienced a mild form of sunburn before. The symptoms of a mild sunburn may be

  • redness on skin
  • irritation or pain when touched
  • peeling
  • dehydration

When experiencing these symptoms you can help yourself by moisturizing your skin with lotion. Lotion helps damaged cells, lotion infused with ALO VERA will also help sooth the pain and cool you down. If you do not have access to this, keeping the skin cold will also help with the pain.

Extreme cases of sunburn can include

  • sun blisters
  • puss
  • sun poising
  • high heart rate
  • nausea
  • dehydration
  • blackout
  • extreme pain

If you are experiencing these symptoms you should take yourself to your nearest urgent care because you will not be able to stop these symptoms yourself & you need immediate attention.

How to prevent sunburn

As we all know the best way to prevent sunburn is to use sunblock when you are going to be outside for an extended period of time. However what most people overlook is that if you are

  • swimming
  • running
  • exercising
  • sweating

You need to reapply as soon as you are done. Sunblock wears off the more your body sweats or is in water. Even if you have SPF 50 you could be unprotected as soon as you get out of the pool.  Make sure you stay safe from sunburn for the rest of this summer!

 

 

 

 

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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 Seasonal Allergies Home Remedy

It is a common problem that we encounter at some points in a year where we spend most of our finances trying to obtain medicines to help us control or treat ourselves from a health issue associated with that particular season of the year. It could come in many forms such as itchy eyes, watery eyes, sore throat, persistent cough, chest tightening, running nose, difficulty in breathing and sometimes rashes. Most of these reactions are often noticed during the beginning of spring when our green environment is replenished. These abnormal reactions we get are known as seasonal allergies and I bet you can understand how unpleasant the experience can be. Here, we have compiled a list of four powerful ways to keep yourself and your family free from the awful experience of seasonal allergies all season round. These are some simple home remedies and what we need are natural things we use in our homes on daily basis, no more spending on pharmaceutical products, just follow the simple tips and say goodbye to the irritating seasonal allergies.

Four things to do in order to prevent seasonal allergies:

  • SOME STINGING NETTLES

To get natural antihistamine and its accompanying benefits, this herb is a very great option, you can make tea from its dried leaves and on the same note nettle capsule can also be made available from the herbs, continuing its intake through the allergy period keeps you free unwanted allergies.

  • SOME MORE HONEY

Unmixed honey is very excellent in the fight against allergy at least many people have testified to it. Just understand that too much of everything is bad, so the dosage should just be optimum, a teaspoon three times a day will go a long way to keep you free from allergy throughout the season of allergy.

  • KEEPING A WATER LEVEL

It is very important to note the significance of keeping hydrated during the allergy season. More water in your system always goes a long way to keep the bodily activity smooth and steady, flushing out the effects of allergens and keeping you free from seasonal effects allergens throughout the season of the allergy. Just keep a level of more water and you will never regret the having the season come around.

  • KEEPING CLEAN

The season of allergy is equally a season you may need to take extra care of your body and hygiene. Apart from your intake of natural substances that will help keep you free through the allergy period, there are other cautions you need to keep during this period that will equally give you an edge to keep living your normal life during this period rather than going down on an awful allergy. Among the caution you need to take is having a steady bathe is recommended each night; this ensures that any residual pollen on your hair or skin that can severe the effect of an allergy is washed off during bathing. Another thing is having to change your clothes to a clean one after the day’s work outside.

With these tips a successful season free of allergies is rest assured!

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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