How to Avoid Dehydration this Summer

How to Avoid Dehydration this Summer

Summer is a time for days out in the sun, grilling barbecue, and relaxing by the pool. However, it is important to remember how to stay safe outside in the heat. Spending time in the sun runs the risk of becoming dehydrated, which can lead to further health issues.

According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control), dehydration is a condition that can cause unclear thinking, result in mood change, cause your body to overheat, constipation, and kidney stones. Some early signs of dehydration include dry mouth, lethargy, and dizziness. Dehydration is more common than you may think, especially in the summer. Follow some of these tips to avoid the risk of dehydration and heatstroke.  

 

1. Drink Water:

The number one way to prevent dehydration is simply to drink water. It is important to drink fluids especially if you are exercising or in a hot climate since your body can lose fluids from sweat. Drink plenty of water as directed by your doctor.

 

2. Don’t Wait:

Remember to stay hydrated throughout the day. Do not just drink water or other fluids when you feel thirsty. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, active people should drink at least 16-20 fluid ounces 1 to 2 hours before an outdoor activity. Then, you should drink an additional 16-20 ounces every 10 to 15 minutes you are outside. Fun tip: carry around a fun, reusable water bottle so you can continually hydrate!

 

3. Eat Foods With High Amounts of Water:

Try to consume fruits and vegetables that contain a high volume of water. As a bonus, fruits and vegetables are often very healthy and part of a balanced diet! There are plenty of delicious seasonal fruits and vegetables you can try during the summer like watermelon and zucchini.  

 

4. Avoid or Limit Certain Types of Drinks:

Some drinks to avoid or limit include coffee, teas, and soft drinks (which contain caffeine). You should also try to limit or avoid alcoholic beverages which can also contribute to dehydration. Fun tip: add fresh lemons, limes, or cucumbers to brighten up your normal pitcher of water.

 

Treating Dehydration

Treating dehydration involves drinking fluids such as water, sports drinks (which can help replace electrolytes), clear broths, or ice pops. In serious cases, a patient may require intravenous fluids, which then necessitates the intervention of a healthcare professional. If you get a fever or chills, you can apply a cold compress to your face or take an ice bath. If your temperature does not improve and/or it reaches above 103 degrees fahrenheit, seek medical help.

DOT Physicals: Everything You Need to Know

truck driver dot physical

DOT Physicals: Everything You Need to Know

truck driver dot physical

If you are a professional truck or bus driver, and your employer requires that you have a Department of Transportation (DOT) physical, you may be left wondering: What is the DOT Physical? 

The DOT physical exam is a necessary test for any individual hoping to get behind the wheel of a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). This examination makes sure that all commercial drivers are up to par in their daily health examinations and are at peak performance. It ensures that you or other CMV drivers are physically able to handle the long hours and stress of operating a commercial vehicle.

Continue reading our guide on DOT Physicals to understand if you require one and what happens during an exam.

 What Does this Exam Consist of? 

A DOT Physical evaluates a driver’s vision, blood pressure, and a complete review of their medical history. This can help ensure that a driver does not have certain health conditions and can safely operate a commercial vehicle. Here are the different parts of a DOT Physical Exam. 

A Vision Test

During a DOT Physical, your doctor will test you for at least 20/40 vision for both eyes. If you wear prescription glasses, please be sure to bring them along. You will also be tested to distinguish various colors with and without your prescribed lenses.

A Hearing Test

Another portion of the test includes a hearing test. With or without hearing aids, a driver must be able to hear a forced whisper” from less than five feet away.

Urinalysis

You will be asked to take a urinalysis test. This test will help determine if you might have a medical condition or any irregularities that require immediate attention.

Blood Pressure/ Pulse Rate

You will also have a blood pressure and pulse test taken. This will help check for any abnormalities and make sure that you are healthy enough to sit for long periods of time.

Physical Examination

There will also be a physical exam that occurs during your DOT Exam. You will be tested for:

  • General appearance (weight, tremors, drug/alcohol problems)
  • Mouth & Throat (breathing and swallowing)
  • Lungs & Chest (breathing)
  • Abdomen & Organs (unusual masses, hernias, weakness)
  • Vascular System (weak pulse, blood flow, varicose veins)
  • Limbs (Loss or damage, weakness)
  • Skeletal (limitation, tenderness)
  • Neurological (balance, reflexes, speech)

You may also require or ask about any needed vaccinations at your exam. These can include:

  • Hepatitis A (Hep A)
  • Hepatitis B (Hep B)
  • Polio/ Tetanus/ Typhoid
  • Influenza (Flu)

The passing of a DOT physical gives drivers the certification to be behind the wheel of their commercial vehicle and this certification lasts between 3 months to 2 years dependent upon the health of the driver along with the possibility of not passing DOT Physical as a result of health conditions holding back the drivers from being at peak performance.

What Do I Need For My DOT Examination

When attending your DOT physical be prepared to supply any documents listing medication which have been administered by doctors in the past month. If in the scenario of a medical disability please supply a medical release form to illustrate doctors approval to work with this condition.

Where Can I Receive A DOT Physical Exam

At DOCS Urgent Care serving Connecticut, we have 15 urgent care locations where you can receive a DOT Physical for only $75. Call your nearest location to set up an appointment. We also accept walk-ins.

Don’t let this small check up hold you back, DOCS Urgent Care is here to make sure you are on the road performing at peak performance.

 

Benefits of Having a Primary Care Provider

primary-care-provider-and-patient

Benefits of Having a Primary Care Provider

primary-care-provider-and-patient

DOCS Urgent Care, we offer more than just urgent care services. We also offer services for all of your primary care needs. Often, the importance of a primary care provider is overlooked. Having a dedicated physician for you or your family helps to establish a relationship with a doctor who understands your medical history as well as any ongoing chronic conditions.

At DOCS Urgent Care, we have dedicated, compassionate primary care physicians at our 15 different locations throughout Connecticut. Here are our top 10 benefits of having regular, annual visits to your primary care provider.

Holistic Health Care
The idea that a balance of body, mind, spirit, and emotions are prerequisite to a healthy life is the philosophy behind holistic health care. This balance will help in preventing unforeseen health issues. 

With the help of a dedicated primary care physician, you’ll be able to receive an assessment on your diet, sleep habits, and sources of stress. A given ailment may be manageable by changing these types of habits and other factors of your lifestyle.

Better Management of Chronic Disease

Those with chronic disease or injury such as diabetes, heart/lung disease and arthritis are particularly in need of a regular check-ups. A primary care provider will monitor these types of issues and recommend the best course of action so that you can stay on top of your health.

Friendly and Knowledgeable Staff

Visiting a new doctor for the first time can be intimidating and awkward, especially if it’s for more personal health issues. Regular visits to your primary care provider will evoke a sense of comfort and familiarity with your doctor. Once you’re familiar with your local office and doctor, you will likely feel less hesitant to make appointments.

Lower Overall Health Costs

Expensive hospital visits can drive up healthcare costs. When applicable, a visit to your primary care physician can cost a fraction of the price for a hospital visit. Having a readily available PCP, means that patients are less likely to seek specialized help or an unnecessary hospital visit. 

Remember: A primary care physician or an urgent care is not a replacement for a hospital. You should only visit your PCP for non-threatening issues. 

Catch Health Issues Early

Regular visits to your primary care provider ensure that your doctor is up-to-date with your overall health. The more familiar a doctor is with your overall health, the more likely they are to identify potential health issues before they occur. When they suspect an issue, they can order tests to catch them early on, leaving you with the upper hand.

Referrals to Other Medical Specialties

A primary care provider can’t treat more serious health issues that require surgery or a specialist. However, they can act as a guide to other medical professionals to ensure that you get the best treatment possible. You won’t have to spend hours online searching for a professional that is covered by your health insurance and is close by. Your primary care provider can do all of that for you.

Decrease in Hospital and ER Visits

Trips to the ER can be stressful and unpleasant. Luckily, not all health issues require a trip to the ER, and may be treated by your local primary care physician. If your ailment is not immediately life threatening, visit your primary care provider to get a professional opinion, and to assess whether or not a trip to the ER is necessary.

Better Patient-Provider Communication

The familiarity you will experience with your primary care provider will make for a better patient-provider communication experience. You won’t feel as awkward as you may when meeting with a new doctor, which allows you to be more upfront about what’s going on with your health.

Access to Allergy, Sleep, and other Services in Office

Common issues such as allergies, lack of/excess sleep and common cold symptoms can be treated right from your primary care provider’s office. There’s no need to search in your local pharmacy for something that may or may not work for you when you can simply get a prescription from a professional. 

Having Numerous Locations Available 

At DOCS Urgent Care, we have 15 locations throughout Connecticut. While you may primarily visit one location, you have the ability to access any of our locations. This can provide you with convenient medical care when you require it.

 Finding The Right Primary Care Provider 

DOCS Urgent Care has the required training and expertise to provide you or your family with primary care services. We strive to form a physician-patient relationship to help offer you continuity of care. To learn more about our services or to schedule an appointment with one of our physicians, contact us today

 

Prevention and Treatment of Sunburns

sunburn-prevention

Prevention and Treatment of Sunburns

Tips on Preventing Sunburn This Spring

Summer time means beach trips, BBQs, and outdoor fun. Unfortunately with these activities bring the danger of sun damage to your skin. Being exposed to too much sunlight can lead to sunburn, premature wrinkles, or even skin cancer. Knowing the most effective ways to protect your skin is vital when preventing sun damage of any kind. Learn how to protect your skin from the harsh sun rays and still have fun!

Clothing

Your clothes are one of the most effective ways to fight against sun damage. When it comes to skin protection, we recommend clothes with fabrics such as polyester, nylon, or acrylic. These fabrics have the ability to protect your skin from UV rays. Wearing thicker clothes creates a barrier against the sun; however, be cautious of overheating. If a heat stroke does occur, an urgent care facility can provide immediate care.

Sunscreen

Sunscreen is another effective way to protect your skin. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend using sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher. It is best to always wear sunscreen, even when it is cloudy outside; did you know that 80% sunrays can still pass through the clouds?

Applying Sunscreen

When applying sunscreen, it is best to apply in a thick and even layer for the most effective protection. Sunscreen should be applied 20 minutes before you are exposed to the sun and every 2 hours after that. If you’re planning on going to the beach or pool, then you should invest in waterproof sunscreen for ensured protection.

According to The Skin Cancer Foundation, 80% of skin cancer occurs on the hands, neck, and head. These are areas that are usually forgotten about. It is important to remember that every area of your body needs to be protected, even your lips, nose, and ears.

Treating Sunburn

In the unfortunate event that you do have sunburn, here’s what you need to do:

Let Your Blisters Heal

Don’t pop your blisters. If your skin is blistering that means that you’re experiencing a second-degree sunburn. These blisters are formed to protect your skin from infection and to help with the healing process.

Take a Cool Shower/Bath

Having cool baths or showers regularly can help ease the pain caused by your sunburn. When drying off, it’s best to do so by gently patting your skin. For extra relief, leave some water on your skin before applying a moisturizer to help with the dryness.

Moisturize

Moisturizers that include soy or aloe vera have soothing properties and can be bought without the need of a prescription.

Cover the Burns

Wearing longer sleeves or hats with tightly woven fabric will protect your sunburned skin from further damage.

Hydrate

Sunburns actually grab at your body’s fluid, bringing it to the skin’s surface. Drinking extra water can help prevent dehydration when you have a sunburn.

Recognizing Bronchitis and Pneumonia

Girl with pneumonia

Recognizing Bronchitis and Pneumonia

Girl with pneumonia

Bronchitis and pneumonia are viruses that typically happen during these cold, winter months. You want to make sure you spot the symptoms right away in order to prevent a more serious illness. There is no harm in seeing the doctor if any slight symptoms occur, even if you are not sure. Bronchitis and pneumonia have similar symptoms that people often confuse. You’ll want to know how to tell the difference between the two in order to know how to prevent getting sick, and how to treat your illness right away.

Different Types of Pneumonia

Pneumonia is an inflammation of the lungs that is most often caused by infection with bacteria, viruses, or other organisms. It is easier for people recovering from the flu to get pneumonia because their immune system is weak and vulnerable for bacteria to grow in their lungs. There are many different types of pneumonia that you should be familiar with as you are trying to prevent getting sick this winter:

Bacterial Pneumonia:

This type of pneumonia is caused by bacteria, usually caused when the body is weak in some way by illness, poor nutrition, old age, or decreased immunity. This happens when the bacteria are able to fight its way into the lungs. The most common type of bacterial pneumonia is Strep, short for Streptococcus. Bacterial pneumonia can affect people of any age, but you are at greater risk if you have a weakened immune system, over-consume alcohol, smoke cigarettes, have just had surgery, or have a disease/infection.

Viral Pneumonia:

This type is typically caused by viruses like the flu, and is the most common, and least harmful type of pneumonia. If you have viral pneumonia, you are more likely to catch bacterial pneumonia. Viral pneumonia is more likely to occur in young children over adults because adults have a stronger immune system.

Mycoplasma Pneumonia:

This type can be milder than other types. Another name for it is walking pneumonia. You could have walking pneumonia and not even know it. It is most common in children. It can be a mixture of both viral and bacterial forms.

Other Pneumonias:

There are other, less common types of pneumonia that may be caused by other infections and fungi. People who develop other types also have a weakened immune system.

Different Types of Bronchitis

Bronchitis is an inflammation of the main air passages to the lungs. People who have bronchitis often cough up mucus. It is important to know the difference between the types of bronchitis to figure out just how serious it is. There are two main types of bronchitis:

Acute Bronchitis:

This type is often caused by the same viruses that cause colds, usually starting as a sore throat, runny nose, or sinus infection, then spreads to your airways. Acute bronchitis can also be called a chest cold. It may often come after a common cold, or other viral infections in the upper respiratory tract. Most symptoms last for up to 2 weeks.

Chronic Bronchitis:

This type is a long-term inflammation of the bronchi. It is common among smokers. People with chronic bronchitis tend to get lung infections more easily. This bronchitis often happens with other lung diseases.

Other Types of Bronchitis:

Although there are several different types of bronchitis, the most common are acute and chronic.

Symptoms of Pneumonia

The symptoms of pneumonia may include:

*Fever

*Chest pain

*Sweating

*Chills

*Coughing (that will produce mucus)

*Shortness of breath

*Weakness and extreme tiredness

Symptoms of Bronchitis

The symptoms of bronchitis may include:

*Coughing (that will produce mucus)

*Chills

*Sore throat

*Fatigue

*Shortness of breath or wheezing

*Slight fever and chills

*Chest congestion and/or pain

Prevention

To prevent pneumonia and bronchitis, follow these tips:

*Avoid cigarette smoke

*Get vaccinated

*Wash your hands

*Wear a surgical mask if needed

*Stay away from people who have any illness or infections

Treatment for Pneumonia

Treatment depends on the type of pneumonia you have.

*Pneumonia can be treated at home, but if you have a more serious case, then hospitalization might be necessary.

*Antibiotics are used for bacterial pneumonia, and can speed recovery for other types in some cases as well.

*There is no good treatment for viral pneumonia; it usually gets better on its own.

*Doctors will tell you to eat well, increase fluid intake, get some rest, get oxygen therapy if needed, take pain medication if prescribed by doctor, fever control, and maybe cough-relief medication.

Treatment for Bronchitis

Symptoms should go away within a couple of weeks; however, it may take longer for some people. There are a number of treatments once you get bronchitis.

*Antibiotics usually aren’t helpful when treating bronchitis. Antibiotics are only needed to treat whooping cough or pneumonia

*Doctors will typically prescribe medications called bronchodilators if you are wheezing.

*Decongestants may help relieve symptoms of bronchitis.

*Your doctor will tell you to drink more fluids to help thin mucus in the lungs, rest, and soothe your airways by increasing humidity in the air with a humidifier.

Visit Bethel Beyond Urgent Care

Although bronchitis and pneumonia both cause similar symptoms, they are significantly different. Only a healthcare professional can determine which treatment is right for you. If you have any questions about our services, please contact us at 203-617-0319, and if you find yourself with an urgent health issue, please visit us at our Bethel location! We are open 7 days a week. No appointment needed, just walk right in!

Cervical Cancer – Why Screening is Important

Woman talking to her doctor

Recognizing Bronchitis and Pneumonia

Woman talking to her doctor

Many people welcome the new year with new health goals. It is an ideal time to reflect and examine your own health. Taking this into consideration, January is the perfect month to host cervical cancer awareness. Each year, about 13,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer. Despite these statistics, cervical cancer is undoubtedly preventable with the right vaccination and proper screening. In this post, we are going to define cervical cancer, and show you the ways you can not only treat this disease, but avoid it as well.

What is Cervical Cancer?

When the cells within your body begin growing at an uncontrollable rate, they become cancerous. These cells can expand to other parts of your body. Cervical cancer begins at the lower part of the uterus, which is called the cervix. The cervix joins the birth canal with the female body. The cervix consists of two different types of cells, glandular cells, and squamous cells.

These two types of cervix cells meet in an area of the body known as the transformation area. This area is where the cancerous cells begin to develop. Normal cervix cells do not just promptly become cancerous. They begin showing pre-cancerous changes, which can potentially turn into full-fledged cancerous cells. However, in most cases they do not turn cancerous at all. Pre-cancerous changes in cells have the tendency to fade away on their own. In certain cases, however, these changes will become cancerous as rapidly as within a year.

What Causes Cervical Cancer?

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is found in 99 percent of cervical cancer cases, making it the leading cause of the disease. While there are 100 different types of HPV viruses, most of them are low risk, making them very unlikely to become cancerous. According to research , by age 50, at least 80 percent of women in the United States had some type of HPV infection.

Most HPV viruses will heal on their own in a very short period of time independent of any medical treatment. While a great number of HPVs are low risk, there are a few HPVs, such as HPV-16 and HPV-18, which lead to normal cells developing abnormal changes. These abnormal changes in cells may overtime lead to cervical cancer.

What Are the Symptoms?

  • >   Abnormal bleeding, including bleeding after intercourse or after menopause.
  • >   Bleeding in between periods.
  • >   Longer or heavier menstrual periods than usual.
  • >   Abnormally frequent urination.
  • >   Pelvic pain during urination.
  • >   Pelvic pain during intercourse.

Screening of Pre-Cancerous Cells

Screening is the most effective way to determine if there are any existing pre-cancerous cells in the cervix. Routine health checkups will often screen for the presence of these cells. In order to determine if there are any abnormal cells, medical personnel will administer two different tests.

An HPV test is used to detect any HPV infections, abnormal cervix cells being a part of it. The pap test collects and checks cell samples of the inner and outer areas of your cervix to determine if there are any that are potentially cancerous. If you believe you have any of the listed symptoms, we encourage speaking with a medical specialist.

Ways to Limit Risk

  • >   Use condoms
  • >   Don’t smoke
  • >   Limit sexual activity
  • >   HPV vaccines
  • >   Wash hands

Treatment

Cervical cancer treatment is tailored to the stage of the disease. Treatment options are referred to patients based on the appropriate needs of each individual. Surgical procedures are used in early stages. Radiation procedures along with chemo are used for further stages. Full blown chemo therapy is used at the most advanced and severe stages of the disease.

Before you decide on any treatment options, it is best to have a full understanding of the procedure, as well as discussing it with family and friends.

The First Visit

First Urgent Care Visit – What to Know

At an Urgent Care facility, fully trained healthcare professionals provide health care for urgent health issues that require care within 24 hours. For those who have never been to an Urgent Care before, we have put together this helpful guide.

What to Bring Before your Visit

Health Insurance Information

Patients who do have health insurance should bring their health insurance card and identification, such as a passport, or a drivers license. If your insurance is accepted and your health insurance provider is notified of your visit, there can be a copay fee. Different forms of payment that you can also bring along with you are credit cards, debit cards, and cash.

Important Patient Forms

When visiting an Urgent Care facility, you need to fill out the required paperwork that is provided to you at the office. You can also download this paperwork and fill it out prior to arriving at the care center.

These forms include the patient intake form, which collects your contact information and health history, as well as a minor consent form if the treatment is for an individual under 18.

Urgent Care or Emergency Room?

Severity of Health Issue

It’s important to understand that when you go to an Urgent Care, it must be a non life-threatening illness or injury, such as: infections, vomiting, simple fractures or sprains, minor burns, fever, etc. For this kind of treatment, an Urgent Care will be the most efficient and cost effective option.

Difference in Wait Time

At Urgent Care, there are health physicians that will be able to work with you in a timely pace compared to an emergency room. Most of the time, the wait at an Urgent Care facility is much shorter.

At an emergency room, the costs can costs hundreds of dollars, but at an Urgent Care, there is an affordable fee with high quality care. If you can’t get to the emergency room, or don’t want to wait in a long line, most Urgent Care clinics offer extended hours, and are open seven days a week.

Follow Up Visits

Urgent Care is meant for initial treatment, but for long term care, your Urgent Care health provider will refer you to your primary physician for follow-up visits.

Following your visit at Urgent Care, it is important to notify your primary health physician of the treatment received upon your visit.

Prescription Medications

Your Urgent Care physician can prescribe you any needed medication during your visit, which you can acquire at a local pharmacy. However, for long term prescriptions, your primary care physician is the proper source for refills.

The Costs of Urgent Care vs. the Emergency Room

The Costs of Urgent Care vs. the Emergency Room

If you have a life-threatening injury, then a trip to the hospital’s emergency room will be your best bet. However, you will run into problems like big bills, long wait times, and insurance not being accepted. This is where Urgent Care might be a more optimal choice.

Urgent Care facilities are more affordable and have primary health care providers at more flexible hours than a hospital might offer. Urgent Care providers will take most patients in without an appointment and often if the patient doesn’t have insurance. Most Urgent Care providers take patients at a first come first serve basis, not by the severity of the case. (Emergency Rooms vs. Urgent Care Centers)

Why Choose Urgent Care?

Urgent Care is the best choice around for treating non-lethal injuries. We offer primary care options, and we are much cheaper compared to a hospital. Also, we accept all forms of insurance. 

Medical Bill Debt

One reason so many Americans are in debt is that they go to hospitals for care when an Urgent Care facility would’ve treated them just as well and for a much lower cost. Most people think the hospital is the only place you should go for emergencies which is not the case.

Downside of Using Urgent Care

One drawback of Urgent Care is that a life-threatening injury might not be treated as well as a hospital would treat it because of minimal access to sophisticated equipment and professionals on staff at the time. You might want to choose an urgent care facility if your illness is not life threatening such as:

  • Fever without rash
  • Ear pain
  • Painful urination
  • Persistant diarrhea
  • Sore throat
  • Vomiting
  • Minor Trauma
  • Flu symptoms

If none of these symptoms apply to you then a hospital might be a better choice.

More Advantages

Another great advantage of Urgent Care facilities over hospitals is that there are more of them which means they are more convenient in the case of an emergency. Going to a hospital might not guarantee you the immediate care a hospital should give. Of course, if you have serious injuries that require a more invasive procedure, the hospital is always a better choice. Many insurance providers offer lower copays for Urgent Care patients as well.

Tips to Help Pay off Bills

If you do need to visit a hospital but don’t know how you’re going to pay the bills, here are some tips on the best ways to do that:

  • Ask for Itemized accounting: Mistakes happen in hospitals from time to time so it’s important to make sure you are not being charged for a procedure that was never done or for medications that were not given.
  • Talk to the billing department: Often times there are different costs for different procedures. You should see if the billing department is overcharging you for a procedure that another hospital might be charging less for.
  • Ask for a payment plan: Most hospitals will allow you to break up your hospital bill into smaller payments monthly so you’re not paying a lump sum.
  • Crowdfunding: Many people ask for other people to help pay their bills on websites such as Giveforward.com, Fundly.com, and Youcaring.com that are specifically meant for medical debt.

Deciding What’s Right for You

Knowing when to choose a hospital over Urgent Care can be a big decision when you don’t have a lot of time to decide. You should know the following guidelines for when an emergency happens, such as:

  • When to go to the ER
  • When to call 911
  • When to choose Urgent Care
  • Be prepared

Please talk to your healthcare provider and/or your doctor in order to find which option is right for you based on your current situation.

Choosing Urgent Care

If you have a medical issue that you would like addressed at a reasonable rate, choose Urgent Care. Our doctors will take care of you, and you can rest assured your bills will not pile up. Stop on by to get treated. 

Natural Solutions for Seasonal Allergies

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.

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 Fiber to Your Diet

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!

Fractures, Sprains and Strains: What Do I Have?

man grasping foot in hunched position at a running track

Fractures, Sprains and Strains: What Do I Have?

man grasping foot in hunched position at a running track

All types of injuries are painful, but the more serious your injury is the more extensive your treatment will be. It all depends on what’s happened inside your body. Have you torn a ligament? Have you fractured your ankle? The signs might not be as obvious as you may have thought. Depending on the severity of your injury, you might want to pay a visit to the Fairfield Urgent Care center to be checked out.

Defining the main differences between fractures, sprains, and strains isn’t an easy task. We’ll guide you through what each type of injury is, the symptoms pertaining to each and what treatment you should seek.

What Causes Breaks, Sprains & Strains?

Every now and then our bodies work overtime. We put pressure on ourselves in ways that we shouldn’t which can cause the occasional strain or sprain or the unfortunate fracture. Here are some common reasons for injuries:

  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Tripping or falling
  • Exercising (running or jogging)
  • Overexerting your body

The most obvious kind of broken bone or fracture is when a bone is protruding from the skin, which is called an open fracture or compound fracture. During your injury if you happen to hear a pop or grinding sound, this is also an indication.

This is not an easy injury to diagnosis just from looking at it. The best way to know if you have fractured a joint is to receive a proper x-ray.

Signs of a Fracture:

  • You may hear or feel a pop, snap or grinding noise during the injury
  • Swelling, bruising, tenderness of the area
  • Pain when pressure is applied. Either by walking, touching, or pressing
  • Deformity: A joint facing the wrong way

What Happens During a Sprain?

A sprain is basically the stretching and tearing of a ligament- bands of tissue that hold your ankle together. Most of us will confuse a sprain with a break because the pain level is comparable. More often than not, a sprain will occur in the ankle.

Symptoms of a Sprain:

  • Pain, Swelling, Bruising,
  • A possible “pop” during the injury
  • Limited range of motion

What Happens During a Strain?

A strain is an injury that occurs in a muscle or tendon (fibrous cords of tissues that connect bone and muscle). Strains come in three grades depending on the damage that has happened. A Grade 1 strain is the stretching of a few muscle fibers, Grade 2 is when more muscle fibers have been damaged or torn and Grade 3 is when the muscle completely ruptures.

Symptoms of a Strain:

  • Pain, swelling, muscle spasm
  • Limited mobility and flexibility in the injured area
  • Limited ability in moving the joint’s full range of motion

How Do I Tell A Sprain from a Strain?

If you experience a sprain or a strain, you will have pain and swelling. Both of these injuries will happen because your body is under physical stress. During this time, muscles and joints are performing movements they normally wouldn’t be.

The big difference between the two is that a sprain will have bruising while a strain will bring on muscle spasms. Both types of injury will also affect your mobility.

Treatment for Sprained or Strained Joints

If it turns out that you have a sprain or a strain, there’s a simple method you can followed called the RICE method, which can also be followed for any type of injury.

Start out by resting. Instead of putting weight (on an ankle) or the affected area, try not to move too much. Next, put some ice on the area to help with any swelling. Do this in 15 minute intervals and at least 3-4 times per day. You will also want to have compression on the area. The best way to do that is to wrap the affected area, but not too tightly. You don’t want to restrict any blood flow from the area causing further damage. Your last step is to elevate. If you raise the injured area above your heart, you can increase blood flow and minimize swelling.

Treatment for a Broken Joint

If you are concerned that you have broken or fractured a bone, you will have to meet with your doctor for an examination. The most common way to determine a fracture is by having an x-ray. This will show if your bone is still intact or if it is actually broken. Your doctor will also be able to tell what kind of fracture you have and how to prepare you for the next steps.

On average, a fracture will need several weeks to several months to heal. In order to properly heal, you must follow your doctor’s advice and keep pressure off of the affected joint. If you have a fractured ankle or leg, you will most likely need physical therapy to follow the removal of a cast.

Need To Be Seen Immediately?

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms for fractures, sprains or strains, you should seek medical attention immediately. Here at DOCS Urgent Care (located in many towns including Fairfield, Bethel, and Norwalk) our walk-in clinic experts can help you with our x-ray imaging services. It’s best advised that you don’t leave any injury untreated. Seek help today to prevent further damage from occurring. Come in for a no-wait consultation or call us beforehand to schedule an appointment: 203-617-0319