Summertime Health & Safety

The calendar might say that it’s still spring, but here in the Houston area, summertime temperatures have already arrived. Now is the perfect time to get out and enjoy some fun in the sun.

But as always, make your health and safety your top priority. Summer may feel like a casual, carefree time, but health risks don’t go away just because the sun is shining and the flip-flops have come out.

So without further ado, here are our top five tips for a safe, healthy, and fun summer.

  1. Wear Sunscreen

We can’t emphasize this enough. Approximately 20% of Americans will develop skin cancer during their lifetime – that’s one in five people! To prevent yourself from becoming one of them, be sure to wear broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. Apply it everywhere that will not be covered by clothing (including your face, ears, hands, and feet). Every two hours, or after you swim or work up a sweat, be sure to reapply your sunscreen.

  1. Stay Hydrated

Hot weather leads to sweating as our bodies try to keep us cool and comfortable. This means that you’ll need more water than you might during winter or fall. Even if you’re not feeling thirsty, keep chugging away at that water.

  1. Use Insect Repellent

Summertime is when the bugs come out in full force. Not only are insect bites painful, itchy, and annoying, but certain insects (like mosquitoes) can spread dangerous diseases. In addition to practicing good mosquito safety, make sure that you are always wearing insect repellent if you’ll be spending time outdoors.

  1. Be Safe Around the Water

Once the temperature heats up, the pools are open and the beaches get crowded. But even while everyone is having fun, never forget that the water can be dangerous. Always use caution when swimming, whether it’s in a pool, a lake, or the ocean. When you’re out on a boat, wear a lifejacket. If children are swimming, make sure an adult is watching at all times. And remember, it’s never too late for swimming lessons.

  1. Wash Your Hands

Colds, the flu, and other diseases don’t go away when the sun comes out. It’s important to practice good hand hygiene all year round. The last thing you want to do is have to explain to your friends that you’re missing the big barbecue because you’re stuck at home with the flu.

Follow these tips, and your chances for an enjoyable and healthy summer are sure to go up. But remember, if something does happen, Immediate Medical Care is always here to help you get your summer back on track. With extended operating hours and short wait times, we’ll have you back to your fun in the sun before you know it. Be sure to stop by whenever you need our help!

The Medical Consequences of Working a Full-Time Desk Job

Human bodies are not built to live a sedentary lifestyle. Our bodies were designed for regular movement. On average, American adults spend 9 to 10 hours every day sitting. Living a sedentary lifestyle can have drastic consequences on our mental and physical health, making us more at risk for conditions such as diabetes and obesity. Here are some consequences and warning signs that you need to get up and move:

Back and Hip Pain

Moving around gives our vertebrae room to breathe, expand, and contract. Movement allows our spine to soak up nutrients that are essential for our health. Sitting for an extended period can cause our vertebrae to be pressed together unevenly, causing collagen to harden around our tendons and ligaments, which in turn causes back pain. The added stress onto the back has a direct relationship with our hips. Our hips are then put under so much pressure that we experience hip pain as well.

The occupational health services at Immediate Medical Care on NASA Parkway can give you a proper back evaluation to determine your back health.

 Strained Neck

Almost instinctively, people tend to crank their neck forward towards the screen and keyboard while sitting at a desk or even looking down towards a cell phone. This consistent movement of the vertebrae can lead to neck issues, including a strained neck. These strains can eventually lead to permanent disproportions.

Carpal Tunnel

Although it has not been proven, carpal tunnel syndrome could be a result of extended sitting and keyboard use. Any repetitive or forceful movement of the hands or wrists can cause carpal tunnel. Whether you are working with small instruments, typing, knitting, sanding, or using something repetitively, you could be at risk.

Deep Vein Thrombosis

Sitting for a long period of time decreases circulation to your legs and feet, causing fluids to pool in the legs. Issues caused by this range from swollen ankles and varicose veins to dangerous blood clots like deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Inactivity also causes your leg bones to become weaker, increasing the chance to develop osteoporosis.

What Can You Do?

  • Experts recommend stretching daily to help prevent a wide range of conditions and to get the blood flowing throughout the body.
  • Get up and walk around the office or outside on your break to get your blood flowing
  • Sitting on a yoga ball or wobbly object to help strengthen the core
  • Asking your supervisor for a standing desk so that you can alternate between sitting and standing throughout the day
  • Paying attention to your posture throughout the day, are you slumping as the day goes on? Is your back straight?

Do I Have a Cold or Hay Fever?

There are very similar symptoms when it comes to having a cold or allergies. However, knowing the difference between the two conditions is essential to choosing the right course of treatment. Seasonal allergies, also known as hay fever, can cause you to have itchy eyes, stuffy or runny nose and other symptoms that easily resemble the symptoms of the common cold. However, here are a few tips on how to tell the difference.

The Common Cold

These two bothersome conditions cause several of the same symptoms. These symptoms include coughing and a stuffed-up nose. However, they certainly have different causes. With the common cold, the symptoms are brought up because your immune system is launching a counter attack on an invading virus. These viruses are contagious and can be picked up from someone else through sneezes, coughs or physical contact of any sort.

These symptoms should only last a maximum of a few weeks, until your body is able to completely fend off the virus.

Hay Fever (Seasonal Allergies)

However, your seasonal allergies have an entirely different cause. Everyday contaminants such as dust, dander and pollen are mistaken for invading germs and your body’s natural reaction is to attack them. During this attack on harmless allergens, your body releases a chemical called a histamine – inducing undesirable symptoms that are similar to the common cold (coughing, sneezing, watery and itchy eyes). This is why doctors will recommend allergy-sufferers to use an anti-histamine medication to counteract the body’s natural response.

Unlike the common cold, allergies are not contagious because there is no virus to spread to others. Allergies tend to be a genetic reaction to everyday airborne allergens.

Trait Cold Allergy
How long do symptoms last? 3-14 days Days to months – as long as your body is exposed to the allergen causing the reaction.
When would I get symptoms? Colds are most common in the winter but if you are exposed to the virus, contraction is possible at any time. Any time of year – although the allergens may be seasonal
Incubation Periods Symptoms will take a few days to show up after being infected. Symptoms will begin immediately after exposure to the triggering allergen.

 

Beating the Flu Blues

So you got your flu shot. You’re always careful about washing your hands. You take good care of your health generally, eating well and getting plenty of exercise and sleep.

And you still got the flu.

It’s not fun, but with the right care, you can get through this bump in the road. Here are a few tips to help make your time under the weather a little more pleasant – and with any luck, a little shorter as well.

Get Plenty of Rest

There’s no magic cure for the flu, but rest is the closest thing we have to it. If you can, take a few days off from school or work. Park yourself on the couch and just relax. Think of this as an opportunity to finish reading that book, binge-watch your favorite show, or simply recover from the holidays.

Don’t Spread the Misery!

Whenever you interact with others, try not to get them sick. Cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough. Use hand sanitizer often, and disinfect all surfaces as frequently as you can. And when all else fails, simply keep your distance from other people.

Drink Plenty of Fluids

Don’t worry – you can drink far more than just water. Most fruit juices and sports drinks are a great way to get more fluids. Pick your favorite flavor and enjoy. The old standby, chicken noodle soup, is also a great way to increase your fluid intake, although other broth-based soups are just as good.

Use Over-the-Counter Remedies

If you have a fever, medicines containing ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and naproxen can help you find relief. An expectorant can make it easier to cough up (and get rid of) that nasty mucus. But use caution when treating children and young adults. Don’t give over-the-counter cough and cold medicine to children under 4, and no one under the age of 19 should take aspirin.

Know When to Come to Us

While the flu usually goes away on its own, sometimes medical intervention is necessary. At Immediate Medical Care, we can provide treatment for troubling cold and flu symptoms. Here are a few signs you should come to us right away:

  • Your symptoms get worse or don’t go away.
  • You have a high fever (more than 102F in adults and older children, more than 100.4F in infants younger than 3 months).
  • You experience wheezing, vomiting, or shortness of breath.
  • You have an earache, or fluid drains from your ear.
  • You experience thick mucus that’s yellow or green in color – along with facial or forehead pain – for more than a week.

The flu may not be fun, but it doesn’t have to put a kink in all of your plans. Let us help you beat the flu so you can get back to living your life. If the flu is bothering you, stop by any Immediate Medical Care location today!

Staying on Top of Your Health

Fall is a transition period between hot summer days and cooler winter nights. This transition period is a very popular time for illnesses. The kids have returned to school and are exposed to all kinds of germs from their classmates. Flu season is coming around, and in general, people tend to be too busy this time of year to stop in for a fast-medical checkup or flu shot. In the hustle and bustle of our crazy lives, it is essential that we all make sure to stop in to for a checkup, flu tests, cancer and HIV screenings, well-woman exams, physicals and immunizations to avoid any potential health risks.

The doctors at Immediate Medical Care in Pasadena, TX are committed to helping our patients receive the medical attention they deserve. We cannot stress the importance of receiving regular medical checkups and well visits to your doctor enough. Chance are, many illnesses can be avoided through immunizations and check-ups to pick up on early signs of illness – and therefore, treat the symptoms sooner.

Regular Medical Checkups

The doctor is not just for when you are feeling ill. At Immediate Medical Care of Pasadena, we also provide fast and convenient medical checkups and physicals for you and your entire family. Staying on top of your health before any possible illnesses strike is the key to living a healthy life and preventing ill visits to the doctor. Stop in today for convenient medical checkups, annual physicals, school physicals and more.

HIV and Cancer Screenings

Regularly checking up on your health is critical to living a long and healthy life. Immediate Medical Care offers patients quick HIV testing and thorough cancer screenings to prevent any future complications. These conditions are better treated early on – make sure you stop in and get your screening today!

Women’s Health Checkups

Getting regular checkups is important to maintaining good reproductive health. We offer well-woman exams as well as pregnancy tests and more to ensure that you are staying on top of your health. Our qualified medical professionals will help you through the process and thoroughly perform exams to ensure good health.

Immunizations and Flu Tests

Getting your flu shot and necessary immunizations is essential to maintaining great health. We offer a variety of immunizations to keep you healthy and prevent serious illnesses. Stop in today for all of your immunization needs.

Waiting in the Emergency Room?

Emergency room wait times have been an issue since the early 2000’s.  Patients, from those suffering from fevers to broken bones, are forced to sit in waiting rooms while the staff handles other patients and tasks.  The small but heavily equipped clinics like Immediate Medical Care are the solution.  We can take care of any non-emergency issue instead of your having to wait for hours at the ER and then paying their huge bills.

Minor sports injuries, fractures, lacerations, burns, are ideal situations for you’re to visit us instead of the ER but we also handle many other types of injuries and illnesses.  In addition, we offer occupational healthcare, wellness care, and family services like routine checkups and school physicals.    IMG_6627.JPG

Don’t pay ER fees for non-emergency room care.  We gladly accept most major insurance carriers, HMOs, and PPOs.  Visit our website and see our numerous locations including our Clear Lake office.