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Halloween Safety Tips

This holiday weekend we encourage all our patients to have a safe Halloween weekend. While holidays like this mean fun activities, costumes, and yummy treats, it’s also a chance to give out healthy snacks, get physical and focus on safety.

We have put together some tips to help make the festivities fun and safe for trick-or-treaters and party guests.

  • Make sure swords, knives, and other costume accessories are short, soft and flexible.
  • Try to avoid trick-or-treating alone. Walk in groups or with a trusted adult.
  • Put reflective tape on costumes and bags to ensure that drivers see you.
  • Examine all treats for choking hazards and tampering before eating them Limit the amount of treats you wait.
  • Take a flashlight while trick-or-treating to help you see and others see you. Make sure you walk and don’t run from house-to-house.
  • When putting on make-up for a costume always test a small area first. Remove make-up before bedtime to prevent possible skin and eye irritation.
  • Look both ways before crossing the street. Use crosswalks wherever possible.
  • Beware of decorative contact lenses. They could cause serious eye injury.
  • Wear well-fitting masks, costumes, and shoes to avoid blocked vision, trips or falls.
  • Eat only factory-wrapped treats. Avoid eating homemade treats by strangers.
  • Never enter a home unless it’s a trusted adult. Only visit well-lit houses and never accept rides from strangers.
  • Never get too close to lit candles or luminaries and be sure to wear a flame-resistant costume.

 

Fall Allergy Season

It’s that time of the year again. The season of cooler days and nights, red and golden leaves, goldenrod and ragweed. Yep, it’s allergy season.

Pollen allergies in the fall involve the weeds. Plants produce pollens so that they can reproduce. The pollens that are spread by the wind (as opposed to insects or animals in spring) need to be light and buoyant. These are the pollens that cause allergies.

Beautiful Yellow Goldenrod Flowers BloomingRagweed and Goldenrod are the best-known offenders, and they pollinate around the beginning of September. The peak of ragweed season is often around Labor Day. This pollen is tiny and light and can travel up to 200 miles. The usual symptoms of ragweed hay fever involve nasal congestion, sneezing, watery runny nose, eye itching, tearing and redness, throat itchy and post nasal drainage. Asthmatic patients who are allergic to ragweed and goldenrod can also have increased symptoms (a cough, wheezing, shortness of breath and chest tightness). Other weed pollens can cause allergies, including Lambs Quarters, Pigweed and Cocklebur.

Molds are another significant fall allergen. The mold season is somewhat later than the weeds and is usually October and November. Molds grow on the dead vegetation (especially fall leaves) and the wind can carry the spores (the mold equivalent of pollen). These spores cause the same type of allergy symptoms that we see with the pollens. Molds do well with low light and areas of high moisture, conditions that often occur in the fall.

Being indoors more in the fall often triggers allergies and asthma. In the fall, most of us are back to school or work. We are also indoors more and thus exposed to indoor allergens such as pets (especially dogs and cats) and house dust mites. Infections usually increase during this period and are triggers of asthma attacks and sinus and ear infections.

Asthma often worsens in the fall. Typical asthma symptoms include a cough, cheSick Ill Woman In Autumn Park Sneezing In Tissue.st tightness, wheezing and shortness of breath. Patients who have other allergic conditions such as nasal allergies and eczema have a 40% risk of developing asthma. Patients with asthma often have associated allergies. Ragweed, molds, dust mites and molds are often an important cause of asthmatic symptoms. Infections (especially viruses), cold air, irritants such as smoke and climatic changes are other important triggers.

How to Treat Fall Allergies

Treatment of fall allergies (or any allergies) involves three important measures:

  1. Avoidance or elimination
  2. To reduce the elements that are triggering allergic reactions, use allergen encasings on pillows and mattresses; remove and control mold in your home by frequent cleaning and repair of water leaks or dampness; and remove pets or restrict them to certain areas in the house.
  3. There are many over the count remedies available, but we recommend visiting your doctor and discussing your options.

 

 

Sore Throat At-Home Remedies

A sore throat is nothing fun. It’s when you experience pain, itchiness, or irritation. You might even have difficulty swallowing foods and liquids, and the pain may increase when you try to swallow. Throat pain is the primary symptom of a sore throat.

A sore throat may not always warrant a trip to the doctor, but it’s still painful and may interfere with a good night’s sleep. Fortunately, there are some at-home remedies you can use to soothe the pain and irritation. This includes:

  • slippery-elm-barkSlippery Elm – This has been used as an herbal remedy for centuries. When it is mixed with water, it forms a slick gel coating that helps soothes the throat. To use simply pour boiling water over powdered bark, stir, and drink. You might even find some slippery elm lozenges at a health food store.
  • Licorice Root – By drinking licorice root tea, you can naturally get some relief to your sore throat. The anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties of licorice root help reduce swelling and irritation, as well as soothe the mucous membranes in your throat.
  • Honey – Mix it with tea or simply take it straight up. It’s a common household remedy for a sore throat. One study found that honey was even more effective with taming coughs than the common over-the-counter suppressants.
  • Salt Water – Gargling warm salt water is a known treatment for a sore throat and break down secretions. It’s also known to help kill bacteria in the throat.
  • Peppermint – This herb is known for freshening your breath but spraying peppermint oil in your throat is also known to ease the pain. Peppermint contains menthol, which helps thin mucus and calm sore throats and cough. And, according to a 2008 study, peppermint contains anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antiviral properties, which may help encourage healing.
  • Fenugreek – You can eat fenugreek seeds, use the oil topically or drink it in tea. It’s known as a natural throat remedy. Fenugreek has an anti-inflammatory effect and can relieve pain and kill off bacteria.
  • Chamomile Tea – Chamomile is naturally soothing and is one of the oldest herbs to be used medicinally for conditions like a sore throat. It’s also used as an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and an astringent. Some studies have shown that inhaling chamomile steam can relieve cold symptoms and drink it in tea can also offer similar results.1296x728_natural_remedies_for_sore_throats-salt_water
  • Baking Soda Gargle – While salt water is more commonly used, gargling baking soda mixed with salt can kill bacteria and prevent both yeast and fungi growth. The National Cancer Institute recommends gargling and gently swishing a combination of 1 cup warm water, 1/4 teaspoon baking soda, and 1/8 teaspoon of salt. They recommend repeating this every three hours as needed.

Over-the-counter treatments

When natural remedies aren’t cutting it, there are several over-the-counter methods to try. Ibuprofen can be an effective pain reliever followed by a full glass water while sitting or standing up so that it doesn’t stay in the throat or cause irritation.

What causes sore throats?

Typically allergies, dry air, and outdoor pollution as well as conditions like colds, flu, measles, chickenpox, mononucleosis (mono) and the croup, can all cause sore throats. These are all viral infections that will not respond to antibiotics.

Bacterial infections are responsible for only a small percentage of sore throats. If you have a severe sore throat accompanied by a fever, or when swollen tonsils block the throat, that’s when it’s a good time to see a physician.

 

The Truth About Childhood Obesity

September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. Childhood obesity is a serious, growing epidemic, cutting across all categories of race, ethnicity, family income and locale. Obesity rates tripled in the past 30 years, a trend that means, for the first time in our history, American children may face a shorter expected lifespan than their parents. Additionally, we spend $150 billion every year to treat obesity-related conditions, such as diabetes, sleep apnea, heart disease, high blood pressure as well as high cholesterol – childhood health care costs are rapidly increasing that number.

childhood-obesity

Alarmingly, the obesity problem is starting at an even earlier age, with researchers estimating that 21.2 percent of children only ages 2 to 5 already obese or overweight, a percentage that has more than doubled during the past three decades.

Processed foods, sugar, and sedentary lifestyle are some of the key issues facing children today. All of these are major factors in the alarmingly stark facts regarding this epidemic.  We have all the statistics – what practical ways can parents and caregivers help encourage healthy habits at an early age? One way is by try to develop an appreciation of healthy foods. There’s no great secret to healthy eating. To help your children and family develop healthy eating habits:

  • Provide plenty of vegetables, fruits, and whole-grain products.
  • Include low-fat or non-fat milk or dairy products.
  • Choose lean meats, poultry, fish, lentils, and beans for protein.
  • Serve reasonably-sized portions.
  • Encourage your family to drink lots of water.
  • Limit sugar-sweetened beverages.
  • Limit consumption of sugar and saturated fat.
  • Try substituting fruit for snacks and limit ALL PROCESSED FOODS.
  • Encourage exercise and limit television and computer time.
  • Get outdoors with your kids. Make healthy fun

There are no easy answers when it comes to the complex issues surrounding childhood obesity. Talk to your child and talk to his or her doctor. Make an action plan. Make sure your child knows they are loved and accepted for who they are while teaching them the importance of a healthier lifestyle.

For more information on childhood obesity go to http://www.coam-month.org/.

 

National Yoga Awareness Month

In today’s world stress effects on the body are undeniable. Stress affects every major organ as well as our minds and spirits. Finding ways to decompress and manage stress is a must. That is one of the reasons September is designated as National Yoga Awareness Month. Since 2008, Yoga Month has expanded into a nationally recognized awareness campaign and national observance, contributing tools to inspire health and harmony in life through yoga.“Experience is a powerful teacher,” explains Yoga Health Foundation founder Johannes R. Fisslinger, “so we decided to give people across the country the opportunity to try yoga for themselves.”

The numerous benefits of yoga include stress management, increased flexibility, relaxation, stronger muscles and connective tissue, among many others. A regular practice encourages an overall well-being that many yogis from all walks of life can attest to.

These immense health benefits of yoga have been proven countless times, yet the Yoga Health Foundation challenges people to experience yoga for themselves and share its positive physical and mental effects. Through one free week of yoga passes, National Yoga Month provides the tools for beginners to try yoga, and for experienced yogis to expand their practice.

For access to free yoga and events from over 1,800 studios across the country, visit www.yogamonth.org to find a participating studio in your city. Whether just beginning or continuing a journey through yoga, Yoga Month provides the perfect opportunity to discover yoga’s simple, unique health benefits firsthand.

yoga-graphic

National Suicide Prevention Week

National Suicide Prevention WeekCompass Urgent Care is bringing attention to Alabama’s 11th leading cause of death – suicide. It’s Suicide Prevention Week and our state was ranked above the national average in 2013. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States with one suicide occurring on average every 12.3 minutes. Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among 15 to 24-year-olds. The elderly make up 14.5% of the population, but comprise 18% of all suicides. Approximately 1,069,325 American attempt suicide each year. It is estimated that five million living Americans have attempted to kill themselves. Every year in the United States, more than 21,300 men and women kill themselves with a gun; two-thirds more than the number who use a gun to kill another person. An estimated 4.8 million Americans are survivors of suicide of a friend, family member, or loved one.

Signs of Depression

Clinical depression affects the body and the mind, causing changes in thinking, mood, behavior and body Suicidefunctions. If you recognize the following changes in yourself or someone you know, seek help from a physician or mental health professional. Thinking: Depressed individuals often feel inadequate or overwhelmed. Even easy tasks seem impossible. Concentration is difficult and decision-making is burdensome. The world appears bleak, and pessimism colors perceptions of self-worth. Even successes are interpreted as failures. Thoughts of suicide may occur when the depression is severe.

Mood: Depressed individuals feel empty, helpless, hopeless and worthless, and they may report feeling pain and despair. Individuals may cry a great deal, often for little or no reason. Many, especially older men, become agitated and worry about everything. It is common to feel anger or even rage, as well as irritation, frustration and anxiety. Depressed moods are pervasive and persistent and do not lift even when good things happen.

Behavior: Depressed individuals often show such behaviors as restlessness, hand-wringing, pacing, the inability to meet deadlines, withdrawal from friends, staying in bed most of the day, and decreased interest in sex. Many drink alcohol excessively or take sedatives to try to make the depression go away.

Body functions: Depression is a disease that affects the entire body. Individuals report physical pains as headaches, backaches, joint pain, stomach problems, chest pain and gastrointestinal distress.

Getting Help

It is not a sign of weakness to see a doctor when you are depressed. Unfortunately, the very nature of depression drains the desire and energy to talk with family members or seek professional help. Because depressed people often believe they are failures, many feel they are not worthy of help. The most courageous thing you can do is to get help.

Both men and women get depression. There is a widespread myth that depression is a woman’s disease. It is not unmanly or wimpy to admit feeling depressed. Unfortunately, men are reluctant to seek treatment and instead become irritable, angry, drink or use drugs, and withdraw from loved ones.

It is not unusual to resist getting help, but telling someone how bad you feel is the first step to feeling better. A physician is the best person to contact; they need to know your medical history.

To be clinically depressed is to have a medical illness. Treatment is needed. Depressive disorders are diseases of the brain, just as cardiovascular diseases are diseases of the heart and circulatory system. Depressive disorders are not the result of character flaws, bad parenting divine punishment, or personal weakness. They are not anything to be ashamed of. Learning to spot the signs of depression is like learning to spot signs of cancer. It can save your life.

Learning to detect the signs of depression and then getting help are essential steps to good health. For more information about where to get help call 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Healthy School Snacks

Serving healthy snacks for your kids is crucial for good nutrition, supporting lifelong healthy eating habits, and helping prevent costly and potentially disabling diseases such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity.

We found some great ideas for healthy snacks and be sure to check out great recipes on our Compass Pinterest page.

Fruits & Vegetables

According to research, most kids don’t eat the recommended five to thirteen servings of fruits and vegetables each day. That’s why it’s good to make sure they are included in everyday meals. Eating fruits and veggies helps lower the risk of heart disease, cancer, and high blood pressure.

It can be a challenge trying to get kids to eat fresh fruits and vegetables, however, proper planning can make it easier. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the average cost of a serving of fruit or vegetable is 25 cents a serving. It’s a good idea to try different kinds in a variety of ways.

Fruits

The good thing is about fruit is that it’s naturally sweet, so most kids love the taste. Fruit can be served whole, sliced, cut in half, cubed, or in wedges. Canned, frozen, and dried fruits often need little preparation.Fruit

  • Applies
  • Apricots
  • Bananas
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cherries
  • Grapefruit
  • Grapes (red, green or purple)
  • Honeydew Melon
  • Kiwis (cut in half and give each child a spoon to it)
  • Mandarin Oranges
  • Mangoes
  • Nectarines
  • Oranges
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Pineapple
  • Pears
  • Plums Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Tangerines
  • Watermelon

Applesauce (Unsweetened), Fruit Cups and Canned Fruit. These have a long shelf life and are low-cost, easy, and healthy if canned in juice or light syrup. Some examples of unsweetened applesauce include Mott’s Natural Style and Mott’s Healthy Harvest line. Dole and Del Monte offer a variety of single-serve fruit bowls.

Dried Fruit. Try raisins, apricots, apples, cranberries, pineapple, papaya, and others while little or no added sugars.

Frozen Fruit. Try freezing grapes or buy frozen blueberries, strawberries, peaches, mangoes, and melon.

Fruit Leathers. Some brands of fruit snacks are more like candy than fruit, and should be avoided due a high sugar content and lack of fruit. Brands to avoid include Fruit Rollups, Farley’s Fruit Snacks, Sunkist Fruit Gems, Starburst Fruit Chews, Mamba Fruit Chews, Jolly Rancher Fruit Chews, Original Fruit Skittles, and Amazin’ Fruit Gummy Bears.

Fruit Salad. Get kids to help make a fruit salad. Use a variety of colored fruits to add to the appeal.

Popsicles. Most so-called “fruit” popsicles have added sugars and should be reserved for an occasional treat. Look for popsicles made from 100% fruit juice with no added caloric sweeteners, such as Breyers or Dole “No Sugar Added” fruit bars.

Smoothies. Blend fruit with juice, yogurt or milk, and ice. Many store-made smoothies have added sugars and are not healthy choices.

Deliveries. Deliveries of fresh fruit or platters of cut-up fruit are a convenient option offered by some local grocery stores.

Vegetables

 Vegetables can be served raw with dip or salad dressing:

  • Broccoli
  • Carrot sticks or Baby carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery Sticks
  • Cucumber
  • Peppers (green, red or yellow)
  • Cucumber
  • Snap Peas
  • Snow Peas
  • String Beans
  • SaladTomato slices or grape or cherry tomatoes
  • Yellow Summer Squash slices
  • Zucchini slices

Dips. Try low-fat salad dressings, like fat ranch or Thousand Island; store bought light dips, bean dips, guacamole, hummus (which comes in dozens of flavors), salsa, or peanut butter.

Salad. Make a salad or set out veggies like a salad bar and let the kids build their own salads.

Soy. Edamame (pronounced “eh-dah-MAH-may”) are fun to eat and easy to serve. (Heat frozen edamame in the microwave for about 2-3 minutes).

Veggie Pockets. Cut whole wheat pitas in half and let kids add veggies with dressing or hummus.

Ants on a Log. Let kids spread peanut butter on celery and add raisins.

Healthy Grains (Bread, Crackers, Cereals, etc.)

 Most kids eat plenty of grains but too many are in cookies, snack cakes, sugary cereals, Rice Krispy treats, and other refined grains that are high in sugar and fat. It’s best to serve a whole grains, which provided more fiber, vitamins, and minerals than refined grains, Also, it’s best to keep the added sugars to less than 35% by weight and the saturated and trans fat low (i.e., less than 10% of calories, or about one gram or Popcornless per serving.)

Note: Cookies, snack cakes, and chips should be saved for occasional treats, given their poor nutritional value.

Whole Wheat English Muffins, Pita, or Tortillas. Stuff them with veggies or dip them in hummus or bean dip.

Breakfast Cereal. Either dry or with low-fat milk, whole grain cereals like Cheerios, Grape-Nuts, Raisin Bran, Frosted Mini Wheats, and Wheaties make good snacks. Look for cereals with no more than 35% added sugars by weight (or roughly 8 grams of sugar per serving).

Crackers. Whole-grain crackers like Triscuits, which come in different flavors or thin crisps (or similar woven wheat crackers), Kavli Rye crackers, or whole wheat matzos can be served along or with toppings, like low-fat cheese, peanut butter, or low-fat, reduced-sodium luncheon meat.

Rice Crackers. Look for rice cakes made from brown (whole grain) rice. They come in many flavors, and can be served with or without toppings.

Popcorn. Look for low-fat popcorn in a bag or microwave popcorn. Or you can air pop the popcorn and season it, e.g., by spraying it with vegetable oil spray and adding parmesan cheese, garlic powder, or other non-salt spices.

Baked Tortilla Chips. Baked tortilla chips are usually low in fat, and taste great with salsa and/or bean dip. Look for brands with less sodium.

Granola and Cereal Bars. Look for whole grain granola bars that are low in fat and sugars, like Barbara’s Granola Bars (cinnamon raisin, oats and honey, and carob chip flavors), Natural Valley Crunchy Granola Bars (cinnamon, oats in-honey, maple brown sugar, and peanut butter flavors), Nature Valley Chewy Trail Mix Bars (fruit and nut flavor), and Quaker Chewy Granola Bar (peanut butter and chocolate chunk flavor).

Pretzels, Breadsticks, and Flatbreads. These low-fat items can be offered as snacks now and then. However, most of these snacks are not whole grain, and most pretzels are high in salt.

Low-Fat Dairy Foods

 Dairy foods are a great source of calcium, which helps build strong bones. While dairy can be good for you, it can also be the biggest source of artery-clogging saturated fat in kids’ diets. To protect children’s bones and hearts, make sure you serve low-fat or fat-free dairy foods.

Yogurt. Look for brands that are low-fat or fat-free, moderate in sugars (no more than about 30 grams of sugars in a 6-oz. cup), and high in calcium (at least 25% of daily value [DV] for calcium in a 6-oz. cup).

Examples include Danimals Drinkable Low-Fat Yogurt, Go-Gurt by Yoplait, or cups of low-fat or non-fat yogurt from Stonyfield Farm, Dannon, Horizon, and similar store brands. Low-fat or non-fat yogurt also can be served with fresh or frozen fruit or low-fat granola.

 Low-Fat Cheese. Cheese provides calcium, but often its saturated fat price tag is too high. Cheese is the number two source of heart-damaging saturated fat in children’s diets. Even with low-fat and reduced-fat cheese, be sure to serve with other foods like fruit, vegetables, or whole grain crackers. Choose reduced-fat cheeses like Trader Joe’s Armenian Style Braided; Borden or Sargento Light Mozzarella string cheese; Frigo Light Cheese Heads; Kraft Twist-Ums; Polly-O Twisterellas; the Laughing Cow’s Light Original Mini Babybel; or Cabot 50% Light Vermont Cheddar.

 Low-Fat Pudding and Frozen Yogurt. Low-fat or fat-free pudding and frozen yogurt should be served only as occasional treats, because they are high in added sugars.

Other Snack Ideas

Nuts. Since nuts are high in calories, it is best to serve them along with another snack such as fruit. A small handful of nuts is a reasonable serving size. Examples include peanuts, pistachios, almonds, walnuts, cashews, or soy nuts. Look for nuts that are unsalted.

WARNING: A small but growing number of kids have severe peanut and/or tree nut allergies. Before bringing in peanuts, peanut butter, or other nuts as a snack, check to make sure none of the children has an allergy.

Trail Mix. Trail mixes are easy to make and store well in a sealed container. Items to include: low-fat granola, whole grain cereals, peanuts, cashews, almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and dried fruits like raisins, apricots, apples, pineapple, or cranberries.

Luncheon Meat. Choose lower-fat, reduced-sodium brands of turkey, ham, and roast beef and serve with whole wheat bread, pita, tortillas (as a wrap sandwich), or crackers. Cut sandwiches in half to make snack-sized portions.

For other great snack ideas check out our Pinterest page.

Understanding Concussions

What is a Concussion?

A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that changes the way your brain functions. The effects of a concussion are typically temporary but Concussion-Symptomscan include headaches and issues with concentration, memory, balance and coordination.

Concussions are typically caused by a blow to the head, however, they can also occur when the head or upper body are violently shaken. Injuries to the head like this can cause a loss of consciousness, but most concussions do not. Because of this, a lot of people can experience a concussion and not even know it.

Concussions are common, particularly in a contact sport such as football. Every concussion that occurs injures the brain to some extent. A person with this kind of injury needs time to rest and heal properly. Most concussive traumatic brain injuries are mild and most people make a full recovery.

Symptoms of A Concussion

A concussion isn’t always apparent. Signs and symptoms can be subtle and can last for days, weeks or even longer. The common symptoms after a concussive brain injury are headache, loss of memory (amnesia) and confusion. The amnesia, which may or may not follow a loss of consciousness, usually involves the loss of memory of the event that caused the injury. Signs and symptoms of a concussion may include:

  • Headache or a feeling of pressure in the head
  • Confusion or a feeling as if in a fog
  • Temporary loss of consciousness
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness or “seeing stars”
  • Slurred speech
  • Fatigue
  • Delayed response to questions
  • Appearing dazed

There are some cases when symptoms of concussions may be immediate or delayed in onset by hours or days after injury, such as:

  • Sleep disturbances
  • Sensitivity to light and noise
  • Irritability and personality changes
  • Psychological adjustment problems and depression
  • Disorders of taste and smell
  • Concentration and memory complaints

Symptoms in Children

Head trauma is very common in children but concussions can be difficult to recognize in infants and toddlers because of their inability to describe how they feel. Nonverbal clues of a concussion include:

  • Listlessness and tiring easily
  • Appearing dazed
  • Irritability and crankiness
  • Loss of balance and walking unsteadily
  • Excessive crying
  • Changes in eating and sleeping patterns
  • Lack of interest in favorite toys

When It’s Time to See a Doctor

See a doctor within 1 to 2 days if:

  • You or your child experiences a head injury, even if emergency care isn’t required The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that you call your child’s doctor for advice if our child receives anything more than a light bump on the head.
  • If your child doesn’t have signs of a serious head injury, and if your child remains alert, moves normally and responds to you, the injury is probably mild and usually doesn’t need further testing. In this case, if your child wants a nap, it’s OK to let him or her sleep. If worrisome signs develop later, seek emergency care.

Seek emergency care for an adult or child who experiences a head injury and symptoms such as:

  • Repeated vomiting
  • A loss of consciousness lasting longer than 30 seconds
  • A headache that gets worse over time
  • Changes in his or her behavior, such as irritability
  • Changes in physical condition, such as stumbling or clumsiness
  • Confusion or disorientation, such as difficulty recognizing people or places
  • Slurred speech or other changes in speech

Other symptoms include:

  • Vision or eye disturbances, such as pupils that are bigger than normal (dilated pupils) or pupils of unequal sizes
  • Seizures
  • Lasting or recurrent dizziness
  • Obvious difconcussion-e1433170265636ficulty with mental function or physical coordination
  • Symptoms that worsen over time
  • Large head bumps or bruises on areas other than the forehead in children.

Athletes

No athlete should return to play or vigorous activity while experiencing signs and symptoms of a concussion. Experts recommend that an athlete with a suspected concussion.

If you suspect you or your child have a concussion visit Compass Urgent Care for an evaluation. Open daily and no appointment necessary.

Battling Lice

What is Lice?

These six-legged parasites that live on the human head are tough to see. In fact, they are the size of a sesame seed. And nits – eggs that head-lice-symptomsfemales glue onto hairs near the scalp, are even harder to detect.

The good news is lice can’t live more than a few days away from the warmth and food that a human head provides. They can also survive submersion for up to six hours (that’s why swimming and showers don’t kill them). They can jump, hop, or fly. In fact, head-to-head contact is usually required for them to spread, and if they aren’t on head, they get dehydrated and die very quickly.

How to Treat Lice

When lice appear on your child’s head, typically the hardest thing is the guilt and embarrassment that comes with an infestation, and the worry others will believe that they are a dirty family with dirty kids.

If you find lice experts advise treating them with over-the-counter medicated shampoos called pediculicides. The most common are applied to dry hair. Left on about 10 minutes, and then rinsed off. Experts consider these products safe as long as they are used according to instructions.

Check Everyone for Lice

Girl-Being-CombedWeb2Before treating one family member, check others in the household for bugs. Everyone should be treated at the same time, to avoid passing it back and forth. You should inform close friends and classmates to check their own heads (and what to do if they find bugs.) Parents should also wash bedding or clothing used by anyone with lice in the 48 hours before treatment to kill lice they may have somehow come off a person’s hair.

If you’re concerned about things like stuffed toys, extreme cleaning or quarantining of all stuffed animals and toys isn’t needed. I few minutes in the dryer (about 20-minutes) should kill them.

Treat Lice Twice

Some nits are resistant to over-the-counter shampoos. Therefore, parents should treat infested family members a second time, 10-days after the first treatment. That way, if any nits were able to survive the first treatment and hatch, the second treatment will kill them before they’re old enough to lay eggs.

If you continue to find lice after two treatments with over-the-counter shampoos, the next step is to visit us at Compass Urgent Care so that we can prescribe a more potent medicine.

National Relaxtion Day!

Relaxation techniques are a great way to help with stress management. Relaxation isn’t just about peace of mind or enjoying a hobby. Relaxation is a process that decreases the effects of stress on your mind and body. Relaxation techniques can help you cope with everyday stress and with stress related to various health problems.

Whether your stress is spiraling out of control or you’ve already got it tamed, you can benefit from learning relaxation techniques. Learning basic relaxation techniques is easy. Relaxation techniques also are often free or low cost, pose little risk, and can be done just about anywhere.Relaxation-Techniques-for-Stress-Relief-That-Work

When faced with numerous responsibilities and tasks or the demands of an illness, relaxation techniques may take a back seat in your life. But that means you might miss out on the health benefits of relaxation.

Practicing relaxation techniques can reduce stress symptoms by:

  • Slowing your heart rate
  • Lowering blood pressure
  • Slowing your breathing rate
  • Reducing activity of stress hormones
  • Increasing blood flow to major muscles
  • Reducing muscle tension and chronic pain
  • Improving concentration and mood
  • Lowering fatigue
  • Reducing anger and frustration

 

TECHNIQUES TO REDUCE STRESS

  • Breathe Deeply

Take a 5-minute break and focus on your breathing. Sit up straight eyes closed. Slowly inhale through your nose, feeling the breath start in your abdomen and work its way to the top of your head. Reverse the process as you exhale through your mouth.

  • Be Present

Slow down.

Take 5 minutes and focus on only one behavior with awareness. When you spend time in the moment and focus on your senses, you should feel less tense.

  • Reach Out

Your social network is one of your best tools for handling stress. Talk to others — preferably face to face, or at least on the phone. Share what’s going on. You can get a fresh perspective while keeping your connection strong.

  • Tune Into Your Body

Mentally scan your body to get a sense of how stress affects it each day. Lie on your back, or sit with your feet on the floor. Start at your toes and work your way up to your scalp, noticing how your body feels.

  • Laugh Out Loud

A good belly laugh doesn’t just lighten the load mentally. It lowers cortisol, your body’s stress hormone, and boosts brain chemicals called endorphins, which help your mood.

  • Get Moving

You can go for a quick walk around the block, take the stairs up and down a few flights, or do some stretching exercises like head rolls and shoulder shrugs.

Look, doing a few little things can make a big difference. So the next time you are feeling stressed, why not give one of these techniques a try? What do you have to lose? And more importantly, what do you have to gain?

August in National Psoriasis Awareness Month

According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, psoriasis affects 7.5 million people. It’s easy to think of psoriasis as just a “skin condition.” But psoriasis starts underneath the skin. It is a chronic disease of the immune system that can range from mild to severe. Psoriasis is a common skin condition that changes the life cycle of skin cells. Psoriasis causes cells to build up rapidly on the surface of the skin. The extra skin cells form thick, silvery scales and itchy, dry, red patches that are sometimes very painful.

Like most chronic illnesses, psoriasis may be associated with other health conditions such as psoriatic arthritis, Type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

Not everyone with psoriasis experiences the same symptoms, which can vary from person to person based on the understanding_psoriasis_basicsseverity and type of psoriasis. However, common symptoms may include:

  • Raised, red, inflamed lesions
  • Silvery scaly plaques
  • Small, red, individual spots (more common in children and young adults)
  • Dry skin that may crack and bleed
  • Itching, burning, or soreness of the skin
  • Pitted nails or separation from the nail bed

The most common areas for psoriasis to appear include the knees, elbows, and torso. However, psoriasis can appear anywhere on the body, including the face, hands, feet, nails, genitals, and skin folds. Because the skin in each of these body areas is different, they may require different treatments.

If you have pain, stiffness, or swelling in your joints, you could be experiencing symptoms of a related condition called Psoriatic Arthritis.

Facts About Psoriasis

  • Psoriasis is an immune-mediated, inflammatory condition.
  • Psoriasis affects nearly 3 percent of the world’s population.
  • It is not contagious, but can spread from one person to another.
  • It affects both females and males of all ages, genders, and ethnicities.
  • There is no personality type associated with having psoriasis.
  • People who get psoriasis exhibit a broad range of symptoms that vary in severity.
  • Psoriasis may be physically painful. Inflamed lesions can crack open and bleed. Itching may be a constant problem. Or, psoriasis may not be painful or debilitating at all.
  • There are various treatments to manage the symptoms, but no one treatment is effective for everyone.
  • Although there are many treatments for psoriasis, many people still face a poor quality of life because treatments often don’t work, are very expensive or may cause serious side effects.
  • Psoriasis goes through cycles: sometimes better, at other times worse.
  • A form of arthritis, called psoriatic arthritis, affects 30 to 50 percent of the people who have psoriasis.
  • There is no cure for psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis.
  • People may have very strong emotional reactions to having psoriasis, such as embarrassment, anger or sadness.
  • Sometimes people who have psoriasis are ridiculed or avoided by others because of their psoriasis. Educating people about psoriasis can help manage this aspect of the disease.
  • People need support to help them cope with living with psoriasis.
  • It is important that people who have psoriasis learn as much as possible about their condition and understand that it is a medical problem and seek medical counsel.
  • Severe psoriasis has been associated with risks for developing so-called “comorbid” conditions, such as hypertension, the metabolic syndrome and liver disease, to name a few. It is, therefore, important to both monitor and treats psoriasis closely and efficiently.

For more information:

https://www.psoriasis.org/psoriasis-awareness-month/week-1

 

 

Get Your Veggies On

There is no doubt that summer is in full swing on our beautiful coast! Fresh corn, tomatoes, squash, peas, beans, cucumbers, berries, you name it; we got it. Besides tasting delicious, there is nothing better we can do for our bodies than providing healthy nourishment from the inside out. Vitamin B, C, D, and K are just a few of the benefits of taking advantage of the summer growing season. Let’s not forget to mention the minerals that come straight out of our local soil. It does a body good.

So, which vegetables are the most healthy? The best measure, according to the US Department of Agriculture, is the oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC). This measure defines the total antioxidant potential of food. The higher the ORAC units, the greater the antioxidant activity.

The top 10 ORAC fruits are:

  • Prunes
  • Raisins
  • Blueberries
  • Blackberries
  • Strawberries
  • Raspberries
  • Plums
  • Oranges
  • Red grapes
  • Cherries

The top 10 ORAC vegetables are:

  • Garlic
  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Alfalfa sprouts
  • Broccoli florets
  • Beets
  • Red bell peppers
  • Onions
  • Corn

Follow Compass Urgent Care on Pinterest to find some of the best heart healthy recipes for summer’s offerings. We didn’t forget about dessert! Being mindful of how we nourish our bodies will go a long way in keeping you healthy!

Sports Physicals

August is a sign that school will be starting and so will sports. Whether it’s required or voluntary, it’s always a good idea to get a sports physical at the beginning of your sports season.

What Is a Sports Physical?
In the sports medicine field, a sports physical is known as a pre-participation examination (PPE). The Footballpurpose of this exam is to determine whether or not it’s safe for a child, teen or adult to participate in a certain sport. Most schools require a sports physical but even if they don’t; doctors highly recommend getting one.

There are two parts of the sports physical, which include the medical history and the physical examination.

Medical History
This part of the exam includes:

  • serious illnesses among family members
  • illnesses you may have had when you were younger or may have now such as asthma, diabetes or epilepsy
  • previous surgeries or hospitalizations
    a list of allergies
  • past injuries (including concussions, sprains, broken bones or fractures)
  • whether or not you’ve ever passed out, felt dizzy, had chest pain or trouble breathing during exercise
  • any medications that you are taking (including over-the-counter medications, herbal supplements, and prescription medications)

Physical Examination
During the physical part of the exam, the doctor will usually:

  • record your height and weight
  • take blood pressure and pulse (heart rate and rhythm)
  • test your vision
  • check your heart, lungs, abdomen, ear, nose, and throat
  • evaluate your posture, joints, strength, and flexibility

screenTypically, the exam is the same for males and females, however, if a person has gone through puberty, the doctor may ask girls and boys different questions. For example, if a girl is heavily involved in a lot of active sports, the doctor may ask her about her menstrual cycle and diet to make sure she doesn’t have something like female athlete triad (poor nutrition, irregular or absent periods, and weak bones).
A doctor will also ask questions about the use of drugs, alcohol, or dietary supplements, including steroids or other performance enhancers and weight-loss supplements. These can affect a person’s health.

Following the exam, a doctor will either fill out and sign off if everything checks out OK or, in some cases, recommend a follow-up exam, additional tests, or specific treatment for medical problems.

Why Is It Important to Get A Physical Exam?
A sports physical can help uncover health problems and issues that may interfere with your participation in sports. For example, if you have asthma attacks, and you’re playing basketball, a doctor may prescribe a different kind of inhaler or adjust the dosage so that you can breathe easier when you run.
A doctor may also have some great training tips to help you avoid injuries such as certain stretching or strengthening activities, that help prevent injuries. A doctor can also identify risk factors that are linked to particular sports. It’s the kind of advice that will make you a better and stronger athlete.

What Happens If There Is a Problem?
What happens if you don’t get the green light from your doctor and have to see a specialist? Does that mean you won’t ever be able to play a sport? It’s possible that you may require other tests or go for a follow-up exam. It could be as simple as rechecking your blood pressure a week or two after the physical. There’s now way of telling whether or not you can participate in a sport until a referral specialist has seen you.
The ultimate goal of the sports physical is to make sure you’re safe while playing sports, not to stop you from playing, unless your health is in danger.
Compass Urgent Care charges $25 for a sports physical. We’re open daily, and there is no appointment necessary. For questions, give us a call at West Mobile – (251) 633.2273 or Compass Providence – (251) 634.2273.

Outdoor Food Safety

Summer is here and that means time for picnics and barbecues. This season is a great time to head outdoors with friends and family, but warm weather events can also present opportunities for foodborne bacteria to thrive. As summer temperatures heat up, so does the food, causing bacteria to multiply at a rapid pace.

In order to protect yourself, your family and your friends during these warm weather months, safe food handling when eating outdoors is critical. Compass Urgent Care has put together some guidelines we found through the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for transporting, preparing and serving food safely.

Keep Your Food Safe – All the way to the picnic table

Picnic

Picnic

  • Keep cold food cold.Place cold food in a cooler with ice or frozen gel packs. Cold food should be stored at
    40°F or below
     to prevent bacterial growth. Meat, poultry, and seafood may be packed while still frozen so that they stay colder longer.
  • Organize cooler contents.Consider packing beverages in one cooler and perishable food in another. That way, as picnickers open and reopen the beverage cooler to replenish their drinks, the perishable foods won’t be exposed to warm outdoor air temperatures.
  • Keep coolers closed. Once at the picnic site, limit the number of times the cooler is opened as much as you can. This helps to keep the contents cold longer. This might be a good time to explain to kids that only adults will manage the cooler.
  • Don’t cross-contaminate.Be sure to keep raw meat, poultry, and seafood securely wrapped. This keeps their juices from contaminating prepared/cooked foods or foods that will be eaten raw, such as fruits and vegetables.
  • Clean your produce.Rinse fresh fruits and vegetables under running tap water before packing them in the cooler – including those with skins and rinds that are not eaten. Rub firm-skinned fruits and vegetables under running tap water or scrub with a clean vegetable brush while rinsing with running tap water. Dry fruits and vegetables with a clean cloth towel or paper towel. Note: Packaged fruits and vegetables that are labeled “ready-to-eat,” “washed,” or “triple washed” need not be washed.

 Quick Tips for Picnic Site Prep

Food safety begins with proper hand cleaning — including outdoor settings. Before you begin setting out your picnic feast, make sure hands and surfaces are clean.

  • Outdoor Hand Cleaning:If you don’t have access to running water, simply use a water jug, some soap, and paper towels. Or, consider using moist disposable towelettes for cleaning your hands.
  • Utensils and Serving Dishes:Concentrate on keeping all utensils and platters clean when preparing food.

Follow Safe Grilling Tips

Barbecue grill

Barbecue grill

Grilling and picnicking often go hand-in-hand. And just as with cooking indoors, there are important guidelines that should be followed to ensure that your grilled food reaches the table safely.

  • Marinate safely.Marinate foods in the refrigerator – never on the kitchen counter or outdoors. In addition, if you plan to use some of the marinade as a sauce on the cooked food, reserve a portion separately before adding the raw meat, poultry, or seafood. Don’t reuse marinade.
  • Cook immediately after “partial cooking.”If you partially cook food to reduce grilling time, do so immediately before the food goes on the hot grill.
  • Cook food thoroughly.When it’s time to cook the food, have your food thermometer ready. Always use it to be sure your food is cooked thoroughly.
  • Keep “ready” food hot.Grilled food can be kept hot until served by moving it to the side of the grill rack, just away from the coals. This keeps it hot but prevents overcooking.
  • Don’t reuse platters or utensils.Using the same platter or utensils that previously held raw meat, poultry, or seafood allows bacteria from the raw food’s juices to spread to the cooked food. Instead, have a clean platter and utensils ready at grill-side to serve your food.
  • Check for foreign objects in food.If you clean your grill using a bristle brush, check to make sure that no detached bristles have made their way into grilled food.

 

 

Safe Food Temperature Chart
Food Temperature
Steaks and roasts 145°F
Fish 145°F
Pork 145°F
Ground beef 160°F
Egg dishes 160°F
Chicken breasts 165°F
Whole poultry 165°F
Shrimp, lobster, and crabs cook until pearly and opaque
Clams, oysters, and mussels cook until the shells are open

 

The Heat Is On – Keep your skin protected this summer

Summer is here! Who doesn’t want to be outside, sunbathing, swimming, playing catch on the beach or just grilling in the backyard? While summer means fun in the sun, make sure you’re not getting too much of a good thing. Avoid consequences of overexposure to the sun like sunburns, premature aging of the skin, wrinkling, and skin cancer, including melanoma by practicing proper sun protection. The CDC recommends some easy options for sun protection.

Sunscreen

  • Use sunscreen with sun protective factor (SPF) 15 or higher, and both UVA and UVB protection.sunscreen
  • Sunscreen wears off. Put it on again if you stay out in the sun for more than two hours, and after you swim or do things that make you sweat.
  • Check the sunscreen’s expiration date. Sunscreen without an expiration date has a shelf life of no more than three years. Shelf life can be cut shorter if sunscreen is exposed to high temperatures.

Clothing

  • Wear clothing to protect exposed skin. Loose‐fitting long‐sleeved shirts and long pants made from tightly woven fabric offer the best protection from the sun’s UV rays. A wet T‐shirt offers much less UV protection than a dry one. Darker colors may offer more protection than lighter colors
  • If wearing this type of clothing isn’t practical, at least try to wear a T‐shirt or a beach cover‐up. Keep in mind that a typical T‐shirt has an SPF rating lower than 15, so use other types of protection as well.

sun hatHats

  • Wear a hat with a wide brim to shade the face, head, ears, and neck.
  • For the most protection, wear a hat with a brim all the way around that shades your face, ears, and the back of your neck. A tightly woven fabric, such as canvas, works best to protect your skin from UV rays. Avoid straw hats with holes that allow sunlight through. A darker hat may offer more UV protection.
  • If you wear a baseball cap, you should also protect your ears and the back of your neck by wearing clothing that covers those areas, using sunscreen with at least SPF 15, or by staying in the shade.

 

Sunglasses

Sunglasses protect your eyes from UV rays and reduce the risk of cataracts. They also protect the tender skin around your eyes from sun exposure.

  • Wear sunglasses that wrap around and block as close to 100% of both UVA and UVB rays as possible.
  • Sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB rays offer the best protection. Most sunglasses sold in the United States, regardless of cost, meet this standard.

Shade

  • Seek shade, especially during midday hours.beach umbrella
  • You can reduce your risk of skin damage and skin cancer by seeking shade under an umbrella, tree, or other shelter before you need relief from the sun. Your best bet to protect your skin is to use sunscreen or wear protective clothing when you’re outside—even when you’re in the shade. For more information, please visit http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/skin/basic_info/prevention.htm or call 1‐800‐CDC‐INFO.

 

Workplace Deaths Are the Highest in 7 Years

On April of this year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics finalized data on 2014 worker fatalities and the report wasn’t good. The U.S. workplace fatality rate has risen for the first time Two dockers in discussion, in front of a large industrial harborsince 2010, and the total number of on-the-job deaths was the highest since 2008.

According to the 2014 report the number of fatal occupational injuries was 4,821 died on the job. Here’s more detail about the fatalities:

  • 4,454 were men and 367 were women
  • Most were between the ages of 45 and 64
  • Among industries most affected were construction (899 deaths), transportation and warehousing (766), agriculture (584), government (435), professional and business services (425) and manufacturing (349)

Most of them – 1,984 – died in transportation incidents, followed by:

  • Slips, trips and falls: 818
  • Injuries by people or animals: 765 (409 of these were homicides)
  • Contact with objects and equipment: 715
  • Exposure to harmful substances or environments: 390
  • Other events or exposures: 149

JSE InfographicNearly 13,000 American workers are injured each day. These numbers are staggering, and the worst part is that each one is 100% preventable. Taking preventative action can spare workers needless pain and suffering.

Implementing safety measures can change these statistics. Every worker deserves to make it safety home from work – every day. For more than 100 years, the National Safety Council has been a leader in workplace safety. No matter what size your company or industry, employers who show they care about the safety of their employees see improved morale, increased productivity, lower costs and, most importantly, fewer injuries. Safety training builds skills to save lives. Here are some types of training your employees could benefit from:

  • Workplace Training
  • First Aid Training
  • Defensive Driver Training

If you are interested in checking out Safety Training in these areas above, click here.

And if you have a non-life threatening injury and you want to see a doctor faster than an ER visit check out Compass Urgent Care.
 

 

 

National Safety Awareness Month – Water Safety

According to 2016 Injury Facts drowning is the 2nd leading cause of unintentional death among children from one to four years old, accounting for 30% of all preventable deaths in this age group. The elevated drowning risk continues through the early teens, accounting for 14% of all preventable deaths for children aged five to fourteen.

Since we live on the Gulf Coast, swimming and water are a big part of family fun. But the importance of safety around water cannot be overstated. While many are aware of the importance of safety around pools and at the beach, parents also need to supervise their children near bathtubs. Nearly 30 percent of home drowning incidents occur when a child falls into a pool or is left alone in the bathtub.

Protect Your Children

  • Be attentive when your children are near water. Teach children never to go near or into water alone – an adult should always be present. Designate an adult (or two) to be a “water watcher” and actively supervise children who are swimming. Drowning can happen silently, in seconds, and in just an inch of water.
  • Stay nearby. When infants and toddlers are in the water, adults should never be more than an arm’s length away. Gather all items you need before starting a child’s bath. And at pools, even though there may be a lifeguard, it is important to watch over older children as well.
  • Get a good life jacket. Traditional pool floats, like water wings, inner tubes, and pool noodles, aren’t designed to keep kids safe. Use a life jacket approved by the Coast Guard to be safer.
  • Know what to do in an emergency. Make sure that you and anyone who takes care of your children is trained in CPR, so you’ll all be ready if there’s ever need. Find a class in your area.

Learn to Swim

  • Start your baby out early. You can introduce your little oChain-of-Drowning-Survival-Infographic-600x370ne to the water as early as 6 months old.
  • Sign your children up for swimming lessons. Formal lessons can help reduce the risk of drowning, especially for kids ages 1 to 4.
  • Make sure your child knows the basics. Everyone should learn how to float and tread water, and should also know how to figure out how deep the water is.
  • Teach kids the differences between swimming in a pool and swimming in open water. Pools or areas specifically set up for swimming are best for young swimmers. Open water in the ocean, creek or other bodies of water can have uneven surfaces, larger waves and strong currents that can make swimming more difficult.
  • Keep children out of a hot tub or spa until they can stand on the bottom with their heads above the water. They should also not use the hot tub or spa longer than 5 minutes at a time, especially at the maximum temperature of 104 degrees

Follow Pool Rules

  • Teach children to get into the pool feet first unless they know for sure that it is more than 9 feet deep. Only then is it safe to dive, and only when an adult is watching them.
  • Stop horseplay around the pool. Don’t let your kids run or ride bikes near the edge of the pool.
  • Don’t let kids eat, drink or chew gum in the pool. They might end up choking. For more on choking hazards visit makesafehappen.com/choking.
  • Teach children never to use a pool, hot tub or spa that’s missing a drain cover. They should let a parent or lifeguard know if a drain cover is broken, loose or missing, and avoid the water until the cover has been fixed

For Children and Parents

  • Always watch your child while he or she is bathing, swimming or around water.
  • Gather everything needed (towel, bath toys, sunscreen) before the child enters the water; if you must leave the area, take the child Circle-of-Drowning-Prevention-Infographic-600x514with you.
  • Empty all buckets, bathtubs and kiddie pools of water immediately after use and store them upside down and out of your child’s reach.
  • Install a 5-foot-tall fence with self-closing gate latches around your pool or hot tub.
  • Consider installing door alarms to alert adults when a child has unexpectedly opened a door leading to a pool or hot tub.

• Keep a phone and life preserver near the pool or hot tub in case of emergency. Just be sure to keep your focus on your children if the phone rings. The call can wait.

 

 

Alzheimer’s: What You Need to Know

June is national Alzheimer’s awareness month. We put together some basic facts to help educate you on this horrible disease.

  • Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, a general term for memory loss and other intellectual abilities severe enough to interfere with daily life. Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 60 to 80 percent of dementia cases.
  • Alzheimer’s is not a normal part of aging, although the greatest known risk factor is increasing age, and the majority of people with Alzheimer’s are 65 and older
  • Alzheimer’s worsens over time. Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease, where dementia symptoms gradually worsen over many years. In its early stages, memory loss is mild, but with late-stage Alzheimer’s, individuals lose the ability to carry on a conversation and respond to their environment. Alzheimer’s is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States.
  • Alzheimer’s has no current cure, but treatments for symptoms are available, and research continues.

  Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s

  • The most common early symptom of Alzheimer’s is difficulty remembering nequick-facts-2016wly learned information because
    Alzheimer’s changes typically begin in the part of the brain that affects learning. As Alzheimer’s advances through the brain, it leads to increasingly severe symptoms, including disorientation, mood, and behavior changes; deepening confusion about events, time, and
    place; unfounded suspicions about family, friends and professional caregivers; more serious memory loss and behavior changes; and difficulty speaking, swallowing and walking.
  • People with memory loss or other possible signs of Alzheimer’s may find it hard to recognize they have a problem. Signs of dementia may be more evident to family members or friends. Anyone experiencing dementia-like symptoms should see a doctor as soon as possible.

Here is a checklist from (www.alz.org) http://www.alz.org/national/documents/checklist_10signs.pdf

 

Wear Blue for Men’s Health Month

This month, Compass Urgent Care is focusing on Men’s health. And, to show our support, we’re asking that all of our patients join us by wearing blue on Friday, June 17th, before Father’s Day. Whether friend, brother, boyfriend, father, spouse or boss, we want to show the men in our lives that we care about their health by wearing blue.

It’s a fact that men die younger. Wear Blue was created by Men’s Health Network to raise awareness about the Men's Health Monthimportance of male health and to encourage men to live longer and healthier lives.

This means raising men’s awareness of their health by helping them make healthier lifestyle choices, encouraging them to book appointments for regular annual healthcare screenings and getting educated on heart disease and diabetes.

Throughout this month, Compass Urgent Care will be featuring information on how men can get healthier, eat better and start moving. Join us on our mission to reach men and their families, by spreading health awareness messages where they live, work, pray and play. So, get ready to #showusyourblue and share your pictures with us on how you are bringing attention to Men’s Health Month. Send your pictures to contactus@compassurgentcare.com and we’ll share them on our Facebook page.

What You Need to Know About the Zika Virus

Ah, summer. We love you. But with the warmer weather comes a whole new set of worries. With all of the coverage in the news about the Zika virus, summer can be a little scary, especially if you’re pregnant, or know someone who is. So, here are some the facts you need to know about this virus.

What is the Zika Virus?

It can cause the following symptoms:

  • Rash
  • Fever
  • Pink eye (conjunctivitis)
  • Joint pain
  • Pregnant women and their unborn babies are particularly vulnerable to the Zika virus.

Symptoms usually subside in less than a week, are mild, and rarely require hospitalization. However, because the disease affects people differently, only 1 in 5 of those infected will have symptoms.

How Does Zika Spread?

Mosquitoes can carry Zika from person to person. If a pregnant woman is infected, the Zika virus can be transmitted to her baby while she is pregnant. Mosquitoes that spread Zika virus bite both indoors and outdoors, mostly during the daytime.  There are some confirmed cases of Zika virus in the United States.

How Can You Prevent Zika?

The best way to prevent getting infected with Zika virus is to take the following steps to avoid mosquito bites:cdc-prevent-bug-bites-infographic-722

  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants, or clothing made of fabrics treated with permethrin. When possible, choose clothing made with thicker fabric as mosquitos can bite through thin cloth.
  • Use insect repellents. Pregnant women, and women who are breastfeeding, can and should choose insect repellents and use them according to their product labels. You can find a list of EPA-approved repellents, here https://www.epa.gov/insect-repellents/find-insect-repellent-right
  • Stay and sleep in screened or air-conditioned rooms, or use a mosquito bed net (a permethrin-treated bed net is best).
  • For those pregnant women who are afraid of using chemicals, in the form of insect repellents, to ward off summer pests, there are naturally occurring substances such as lemon oil, eucalyptus oil and citronella.

For more information on the Zika virus go to http://www.cdc.gov/zika/

What do I do if I see a scratch on my arm and it swells up and the surrounding area reddens, is it serious?

No, it is not serious. This kind of skin reaction, if associated with itching, is likely to be allergic. If associated with pain or burning sensation, it is likely to be an abrasive scratch. Both these conditions can be managed easily with topical ointments and rarely need any oral medication. In some cases, it may be self limiting. So relax, and consult your family doctor for further advise, if required.