Trends in Care: Local Clinics
Clinics provide a point of care that is conveniently located in a retail setting, affordable and fast. It is likely that there is a clinic conveniently located near you!
Tech Topics in Healthcare
Recent technology allows users to be more engaged in their personal health by giving them accessible and up-to-date personal health data that is easy to understand.
Smartphone apps like Nike Training Club, RunKeeper, Lose It!, Fitbit, Sworkit and Pact collect and track patterns of behavior and coach the user on good decision making. Personal health trackers like these allow all of us to collaborate with local care providers and actively participate in our health management.
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Manage Your Common Conditions
are drugs that can be purchased without a prescription and have been found to be safe and appropriate for use by consumers when directions on the label are followed.
What are OTC medications?
Inhaling pollen, pet dander, dust or mold spores can cause allergies. The body reacts by releasing chemicals that cause allergy symptoms.
Symptoms can include coughing, sneezing, watery eyes, runny nose, itchy eyes and headaches.
Stay inside when the pollen count is high, usually in the morning. Keep your car and home windows closed. Don’t hang clothes outside to dry. Vacuum and dust your home often. Use a vacuum that has a dust filter and bathe your pets regularly.
Intranasal corticosteroids are recommended as a first-line treatment for moderate/severe or persistent allergic rhinitis. Decongestants and nasal sprays can help with short-term relief of a stuffy nose. Antihistamines can help to ease sneezing, runny nose and itchy and watery eyes. Allergy shots can help with year-round allergies.
Asthma is a disease that affects the lungs. An asthma attack makes it hard for air to move in and out of the lungs. See a healthcare provider if you are having asthma symptoms.
Symptoms can include coughing, chest tightness, wheezing and shortness of breath.
Stay away from tobacco smoke, pet hair or dander, dust, pollen and mold. Cold air, strong emotions and exercise can also trigger asthma.
Medications that control inflammation in the airways can help prevent attacks. Quick-relief inhalers are important to have during an attack for immediate relief. If you have asthma, your healthcare provider will prescribe the right medications for you.
Colds are very common and are most often caused by rhinoviruses, not bacterial infections. Viruses that cause colds can spread from an infected person to others through the air and close personal contact. Symptoms of a cold are easily preventable and manageable and most people recover in about 7-10 days.
Symptoms may include a sore or scratchy throat, cough, runny nose, sneezing, headache and body aches.
Wash your hands with soap and water often and scrub them for 20 seconds. Avoid touching your
eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands. Stay away from people who are sick.
Stay at home while you are sick so you don’t spread the virus to other people. Drink plenty of fluids, and gargle with warm salt water and use cough drops for a scratchy or sore throat. Take an over-the counter (OTC) pain reliever for a headache or fever. Other OTC cold medicines can help relieve your symptoms. Some cold medicines cause drowsiness, so read and follow all label directions carefully. Antibiotics will not help you recover from a cold. They do not work against viruses, and they may make it harder for your body to fight future bacterial infections if you take them unnecessarily.
Heartburn symptoms vary from person to person. Certain behaviors can cause heartburn. It happens when stomach acid backs up into your esophagus, the tube that carries food from your mouth to your stomach.
Symptoms may include a painful, burning sensation in the chest or throat.
Avoid eating too much or eating too fast to prevent symptoms. Try not to eat less than three hours before bed, avoid smoking, reduce stress and sleep with your head raised about 6 inches. Avoid citrus fruits, chocolate, spicy or fatty foods, tomato products, carbonated drinks, alcohol, caffeine, full fat dairy products, peppermint and spearmint.
Antacids provide relief for less frequent heartburn symptoms. Proton Pump Inhibitors block the acids that cause frequent heartburn symptoms (heartburn that occurs two or more days a week).
For more information on frequent heartburn visit smartcareheartburn.com
Lactose intolerance is when your body cannot digest the sugar found in milk or dairy products. Symptoms usually happen 30 minutes to 2 hours after eating or drinking milk products.
Symptoms may include cramping, bloating, diarrhea, gas and nausea.
Avoid having milk, ice cream, cheese, curds or dry milk powder to prevent symptoms. Try yogurt, buttermilk, lactose-free milk and soy or rice milk instead.
There are medications that may help prevent symptoms of lactose intolerance. If you remove milk products from your diet, you may need to take calcium or eat foods that have calcium, such as leafy greens or broccoli.
NAUSEA & VOMITING
NAUSEA & VOMITING
Viral and food-related illnesses cause most nausea and vomiting. Motion sickness may also cause nausea and vomiting.
Take frequent small drinks of clear liquids like water, fruit juice or ginger ale soda to prevent dehydration. Do not drink large quantities all at once. Give a child an electrolyte solution to keep him or her hydrated. Stretching the stomach may make nausea or vomiting worse.
Lie down and use an OTC product for motion sickness. Call your healthcare provider if you cannot retain fluids for 12 hours (8 hours for a child). Talk to a healthcare provider if you see signs of dehydration including increased thirst, infrequent or dark urination, dry mouth, crying without tears or feeling faint.
SPRAINS & STRAINS
SPRAINS & STRAINS
Sprains and strains are common injuries. They both have similar signs and symptoms, but involve different body parts. Schedule a visit with a healthcare provider if you think you have a sprain or strain.
A sprain is a stretching or tearing of ligaments. Ligaments are tough bands of tissue that connect the bones in your joints. The most common place for a sprain is the ankle. A strain is a stretching or tearing of a muscle or tendon. A tendon is a cord of tissue that connects muscles to bones. Strains are common in the lower back and hamstring muscle.
Wear supportive footwear, stretch and exercise regularly to prevent sprains and strains.
Start with the RICE method (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation). This will relieve pain, reduce swelling and speed healing. Oral pain relievers like ibuprofen can be helpful. You can also try keeping the injured area still. Schedule a second visit with a healthcare provider if your condition gets worse.
TICK & INSECT BITES
TICKS & INSECT BITES
Most insect bites and stings are not serious, but they can cause pain and itching. Monitor tick bite sites because infections such as Lyme disease may result from tick bites.
Avoid wooded, bushy or grassy areas when possible. Do not use strongly scented soaps or perfumes. Wear long pants and long sleeves when possible and tuck pant legs into socks or shoes to protect your ankles. Use an insect repellent when needed. Always check for ticks after spending time outdoors.
Try cream, lotion or gel products applied directly to the skin provide itch and pain relief. Oral pain relievers like ibuprofen can also be helpful. Oral antihistamine products can help with itching and swelling. Be sure to read and follow all label directions because these medicines can sometimes cause drowsiness.
How to remove a tick
If you develop a rash or fever within several weeks of removing a tick, see your doctor. Be sure to tell the doctor about your recent tick bite, when the bite occurred, and where you most likely acquired the tick.
Common conditions effect many adults but can usually be managed with over-the-counter (OTC) medications and collaboration with a healthcare provider if necessary.