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Medical News & Updates

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:

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.
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.
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:


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.


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.


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.


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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Why Spring is The Best Time to Take Your Workout Outdoor

workout outdoorGoodbye snowy winter and welcome, lovely spring. It’s that time of year again, when spring’s warmth melts Maryland’s lingering snow/ice, bare trees bloom beautiful flowers and the great outdoors beckons once again. Now is the time to take your workouts outside and boost your fitness. Spring offers considerable benefits when it comes to an outdoor exercise regimen.

Push It Real Good

The outdoors has a magical way of getting people to put more effort into their workout without even recognizing it. Recent studies have provided evidence that suggests that participating in physical activity in a natural environment, may help an individual achieve a greater intensity of exercise without the perception of effort changing, partly because the outdoor environment increases enjoyment, offers social interaction and increases the frequency of physical activity.

Nature’s Refreshing Appeal

The outdoors screams natural, green, sunlight and open, which is good for both the mind and body. In spring, you can find the beautiful sounds of birds and the ocean, sights of exquisite blooms of flowers and wildlife, and calming spaces to rejuvenate the body and spirit. The Institute of Medicine contends that exposure to plants and flowers nourishes a sense of well-being, by enabling people to feel calmer and more relaxed. Spring is the season of refreshment and revival.

Natural Setting is Better than a Gym

The gym can be a dull, crowded place, and can stifle enthusiasm. Taking your workout outdoors is more enjoyable because it allows you to be more dynamic with your exercise programs and you can avoid gym equipment altogether. One review of studies comparing participation in physical activity in natural environments with physical activity indoors, confirms that participants reported greater enjoyment and positive engagement exercising outdoors.

Jazz up Your Mood

The link between outdoor exercise and mental health is a positive one that continues to be proven. Simply being in nature, you realize its calming effect; add exercise in that environment and you boost that benefit significantly. Doing your workout outdoors helps with short-term recovery from stress or mental fatigue, according to one study, and in effect, improves mood. This amounts to a natural way to lift your mood in a natural environment.

Cheaper than a Gym Membership

Some of the gym memberships out there are just too expensive. Working out outdoors saves you money because you don’t have to worry about a monthly membership fee. A better investment would be to buy a good pair of running or walking shoes or exercise mat.

Exercising in the natural environment has many wonderful benefits that a typical gym may not provide. It pushes you to work harder, leaves you feeling more refreshed, and is capable of jazzing up your mood, cost-effective and far more pleasant than the inside of a gym. Spring is the ideal time to get outdoors and sweat up a storm.


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gastric reflux

How To Prevent Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is a digestive disorder that is caused by the return of the stomach’s contents back up into the esophagus. This usually happens when the lower esophageal sphincter, or the ring of muscle between esophagus and stomach.

There are several ways you can do to prevent the reflux of stomach acid into the esophagus, which can permanently damage the esophageal lining. While taking medication or surgery might be necessary for some people, following these diet and lifestyle habits will help relieve GERD:

Lose weight

One of the leading causes of GERD is being obese. When you are overweighted, your abdomen is pressed by extra stomach fat, pushing gastric fluid up into your esophagus. If you are obese or at risk of obesity, losing a few extra pounds might help you prevent GERD.

Avoid food that causes reflux

These foods below should be avoided when you are at risk for GERD:

  • Fatty foods
  • Spicy foods
  • Acidic foods, like tomatoes and citrus
  • Mint
  • Chocolate

  • Onions

  • Caffeinated drinks
  • Carbonated drinks

Eat smaller meal

Divide your food intake throughout the day. Instead of having two big meals for lunch and dinner, consider having 4 -5 smaller meals per day. This will help relieve pressure on the lower esophageal sphincter.

Don’t lie down after eating

Normally, gravity helps keep acid reflux from developing in your stomach. That’s why you shouldn’t lie down immediately after you eat. If you stretch out for a nap after your meal, chances are you are harming your esophageal sphincter.

 Elevate your bed

Similar to the previous tip, elevating the head of your bed can also help prevent acid reflux building up by utilizing gravity force. Make sure that your whole upper body is elevated and not just your head.

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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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Tips For Healthy Holiday Travel

holiday sicknessKEEPS STRESS AT BAY

Food and nutrition are among things you should keep eyes on during the holiday season.  Help keep stress levels down by maintaining a healthy diet, staying hydrated with water, exercising, and getting enough sleep.


One of the best ways to stop the spread of germs is to practice frequent hand washing. Use soap and wash for at least 20 seconds. You can also refer to our other guide on how not to catch the flu this season here.


If it’s convenient to wash your hands, use hand wipes or sanitizer to minimize germs. Carrying a pack of hand wipes in your backpack or purse doesn’t take up a lot of space, and it can come in handy quite often.


If you or someone you are around is sick, don’t hug or kiss. Cough and sneeze into your elbow to avoid. We know it’s the holiday season, and you just wanna express your love and gratitude, but spreading sickness would not make a great holiday season.

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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You Should Get A Flu Shot Before The Holiday Season

flu shotIt’s almost that time of the year when you can smell the delicious turkey and hear the Christmas jingles in the air. It’s also that time of the year when you’d better watch out for flu season. It’s not fun getting the flu: you will be lying in bed for days, possibly for weeks, coughing with fever, sore throat, and body aches. However, for people with certain medical conditions and in the high-risk group, the flu can cause serious complications and sometimes, deaths. That’s why we take the flu very seriously at First Call Urgent Care.

Due to its seriousness, everybody is expected to take precaution against the flu. For people in the high-risk group, they themselves and their families need to understand the steps to prevent and treat someone with the flu virus. It’s very likely that you know or are in frequent contact with someone in this group, and you should do your parts to minimize the risk of spreading the sickness. It’s simple: Take a flu shot.

The flu season usually peaks during the winter. Getting a flu shot now can certainly minimize the risk of you getting sick. You need a new vaccine every year, and getting one now will do yourself and your family a huge favor before the holidays when people are getting together and sharing food.

If you happen to catch the flu, please stay home and don’t go to work or school. You will do everyone a big favor. It’s your responsibility to keep the germs and virus contained and stop it from spreading further to other.

The best way to avoid getting sick from the flu this season is getting a flu shot. Visit First Call Urgent Care today for your annual flu vaccine!

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

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How To Avoid Catching The Flu This Season

vaccination-2725065_1920Several health experts have been predicting that this flu season will be one of the bad ones. They also heavily advise against being exposed to some certain locations and items to prevent the outbreak of the contagious illness.

Public ATMs

When using an ATM in the public, you should use your knuckles to navigate the buttons instead of your fingers. A lot of people use the machine throughout the day, and if somebody sick transfers germs to the keyboards and card slots, you might be at risk of catching the flu.

Public pens

Similar to the ATMs, pens lying around in public might also be fully covered in germs and bacterias from sick people using them. If you need to write something down, try to keep your own pen with you at all time.


This is a difficult one. It’s not very polite not to shake people hands when you greet your friends or people you are associated with. However, you may want to avoid shaking hands during the flu season to prevent flu virus to spread. If you absolutely have to shake hands, wash and sanitize your hands afterward.

Personal electronic devices

Phones and tablets are also common spots that influenza virus likes to linger. Start wiping them with disinfecting wipes to avoid catching the flu.

Gas Pump

The gas nozzle is also commonly covered with germs from servicing hundreds to thousands of people everyday. Now using a paper towel or tissue, which you almost always have ready on you, could solve the problem of being exposed to the flu virus.

The best way to avoid getting sick from the flu this season is getting a flu shot. Visit First Call Urgent Care today for your annual flu vaccine!

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


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