Tips for Preventing the Common Cold this Winter

As the winter months are upon us, it is important to take these actions to help prevent yourself from catching the common cold this season. 

Among the many ways to help prevent getting a cold, the most important is to wash your hands regularly. By washing your hands often, you are destroying bugs that you can pick up from touching surfaces that are touched or used by other people that could have potentially being carrying a bug. Light switches and door handles are the areas in an office or school that are touched the most and you should pay careful attention to hand washing after coming in contact with them and other surfaces. Here is a helpful article explaining how to appropriately wash your hands. 

It is also vital that you keep your house and any household items such as cups, glasses, and towels clean, especially if someone in your house has been ill. 

Unsure if you have the common cold or something more serious? Here are some of the symptoms of the common cold can include:

  • Blocked or runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Headaches
  • Muscle aches 
  • Coughs 
  • Sneezing
  • Raised temperature 
  • Pressure in your ears and face 
  • Loss of taste and smell 

Treating a cold usually includes some at home-remedies or medications from your local pharmacist. Rest and sleep are very important to getting over a cold as well as drinking plenty of water and fluids such as fruit juice. Home-remedies to relieve any discomfort can include gargling with salt water for sore throat relief, hot tea with honey and lemon for congestion relief, and layers of clothing to help stay warm while fighting off a cold. 

Your local pharmacist can help you find cold medicines to help any symptoms of your cold. There are many types of decongestant sprays or tablets as well as lower the temperature you may have by taking painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen. 

There is also evidence that supplements such as vitamin C, echinacea or garlic can help prevent colds or speed up the recovery process. 

If your symptoms do not get better after a few days, it is time to see your primary care physician for further diagnosis and treatments. 

When and Why Should I Visit Urgent Care?

Hundreds of millions of Americans use Emergency Rooms every year, often for simple injuries and illnesses. If these Americans knew about urgent cares then many of these unnecessary visits could have been prevented, clearing up hospitals and saving each patient hundreds to thousands of dollars.

Why Should You Use Urgent Care?

There are two main reasons you should use urgent care over the emergency room when there is not a medical emergency.

Cost

Emergency Room visits are not cheap. According to a 2013 National Institute of Health Study the median cost of a visit is $1,233 but some other estimates put it closer to $2,000.

Urgent care visits are far more affordable. A visit to urgent care ranges from $50 to $200 on average, varying slightly based on insurance and the type of treatment. Outside of life threatening situations urgent care is always the more inexpensive option.

Time

Urgent care visits are also quicker and rarely last much longer than an hour. Often they can even be less than 30 minutes. Since emergency rooms focus on treating critical patients first the average time of a visit is around 2 hours. The wait for an emergency room can be quite long if your need is not immediate.

When Should You Visit The Emergency Room?

Why would you ever visit the emergency room if urgent care is so much faster and more affordable?

While urgent care is indeed the best option in many circumstances, in a dedicated emergency an Emergency Room will still be the superior option as they are fully equipped to handle dire injuries and illnesses.

If you have received injuries that are potentially life threatening or have symptoms that could indicate a potentially life threatening disease, you should always visit the Emergency Room and call 911 if necessary.

Symptoms That May Require An Emergency Room Visit

While it is impossible to account for every situation and illness, here are some symptoms that might require a visit to the ER:

*Intense chest pain

*Severe abdominal pain

*Wheezing, shortness of breath, or any other difficulty breathing

*Paralysis

*Intestinal bleeding

*High fevers or rash, particularly in children

*Vaginal bleeding with pregnancy

*Repeated vomiting

*Poisoning

*Severe injuries to the head or eyes

*Allergic reactions

*Unconsciousness

When Should You Use Urgent Care?

Urgent cares arose as a way for patients to receive treatment outside of the normal hours of their doctor’s office without visiting the emergency room. Therefore, any issue that your primary care doctor could address can probably be dealt with by an urgent care as well. If your issue is not life threatening then urgent care is normally the best and most affordable option.

Symptoms That Can Be Addressed By Urgent Care

Cases where you might want to use urgent care include:

*Fevers (without a rash) and the symptoms of flu or cold

*Ear Pain

*Painful Urination

*Persistent diarrhea

*Sore throat

*Vomiting

*Minor injuries such as a common sprain or shallow cut

What Should You Do?

In the case of life threatening emergencies the emergency room is where you should go. However, urgent care is a quicker, cheaper, and just as effective solution in almost all other circumstances.

At Docs Urgent Care we pride ourselves on our ability to offer the treatment and services that you need at an affordable price. If you want to know more call us at (203) 617-0319.

Natural Solutions For Seasonal Allergies

As spring begins, unfortunately so does allergy season. Testing for what kind of allergies you have and seeking treatment is your best option to manage your allergies all together.

For people with mild allergies these remedies can give you some quick relief. Here are a few tips on how to suppress seasonal allergy symptoms.

Stay Hydrated

Seasonal allergies put a strain on your body’s ability to stay hydrated. If you keep up with the proper amount of water every day, then your body can react better to your allergens and fight them off. By staying hydrated, you’re essentially thinning out the mucus in your nasal passages and helping with sinus drainage. If you cut down on other fluids such as juice, soda, and coffee it will be very beneficial to your health.

 

Stay Hydrated

Seasonal allergies put a strain on your body’s ability to stay hydrated. If you keep up with the proper amount of water every day, then your body can react better to your allergens and fight them off. By staying hydrated, you’re essentially thinning out the mucus in your nasal passages and helping with sinus drainage. If you cut down on other fluids such as juice, soda, and coffee it will be very beneficial to your health.

Get Steamy

Allergies can make it difficult to breathe from all the congestion you’re experiencing. Inhaling steam is a simple trick to help you breathe easier. Taking a hot shower or holding your head over a warm bowl of water will definitely give you some fast relief. Showers also offer an added benefit for springtime allergy sufferers. A quick rinse after spending time outdoors can help remove allergens from your skin and hair.

Probiotics

Probiotics or “good bacteria” can help relieve your allergies by breaking down food for digestion. The purpose of taking a probiotic is to to help you contain a healthy gut. When our bodies take in this healthy bacterium, we’re able to develop a healthy immune system which is vital to the prevention and treatment of allergies.

Add More To Your Fiber

Fiber has many health benefits because it works as an all-natural detox. It helps eliminate toxins from your body. Fiber can help food passing regularly through the digestive system. Also, increasing your daily intake of grains and vegetables improves detoxification and helps to prevent chronic disease later on in life.

Exercise Daily

Allergies often bring out congestion and sinus pressure. When you exercise, you’re naturally smoothing your body by helping to open the blood vessels in your nose and easing your congestion. Honestly, sweating is one of the best ways to exert toxins. Exercise will also help improve sleep quality, stamina, and mood—even when all that sniffling and sneezing has you drained.

Honey

Believe it or not eating honey produced in your local area can help relieve allergies. Taking a tablespoon of local, raw honey every day will help your body build a tolerance to the local pollen that is attacking your sinuses. The main reason honey is so powerful in fighting allergies is because it contains bee pollen, which is known to fight off infections, allergies and boost your immune system.

Get Allergy Tested Today

It’s important to know the safest way to fight your allergies is to get properly tested and figure out a treatment plan that works best for you. DOCS allergy test can provide a service to help you with your allergies such as allergy shots(immunotherapy). This is an effective treatment for a broad range of allergens. Call us today to schedule your appointment. In the meantime, use these quick tricks to give you some relief!