Prevent a Summertime UTI- Urgent Care Urinary Tract Infection Treatment

Some studies show that severe urinary tract infections (UTI) spike in the summertime, especially among younger women (under age 44). The seasonality of UTIs can be tied to a number of factors, including dehydration, waiting longer than usual to urinate and sitting in a wet bathing suit. At least 50% will experience at least one UTI in their lifetimes; they are among one of the most common reasons women seek out urgent care urinary tract infection treatment – especially in the hot summer months.

Preventing Summer Urinary Tract Infection

Prevent a Summertime UTI- Urgent Care Urinary Tract Infection TreatmentThe main cause of a urinary tract infection is the presence of harmful bacteria in the urinary tract. It can happen when outside bacteria gets pushed into the urethra, or when the bacteria that is already present in the bladder multiplies to unhealthy levels. But thankfully there are a few things you can do to prevent inflammation.

1. Hydrate

When you stay hydrated, you’ll have to use the restroom more often…therefore flushing out your bladder periodically and diluting the urine so bacteria can’t grow. Experts recommend six to eight cups of water a day- more in the summer months when you’re exercising, sweating and exposed to higher temperatures.

Also cut back on caffeine and alcohol, which only irritates the bladder more.

2. Maintain Good Hygiene

When you’ve gotta go, you’ve gotta go. So go when you first feel the urge.

Don’t hold it in, otherwise you’ll risk bacteria growth. Be sure to always urinate soon after intercourse to clear out any bacteria that has been introduced to the body…And when you’re done, always wipe from front to back to prevent pushing bacteria closer to your urethra.

Sufficient hygiene of intimate parts plays an important role in the prevention of urinary tract infections.

3. Dry Off

Summertime is synonymous with sunshine and swimming. Just be sure to dry off. A wet swimsuit is the ideal environment (warm and moist) for bacteria to grow and potentially enter the urethra, leading to the development of a UTI. Remember to rinse with clean water and change into dry clothing as soon as you are done swimming.

Treatment and Symptoms

Symptoms include pain or burning sensations with urination, increased frequency and urgency, pressure and more. See more about treatment and symptoms of acute cystitis on our recent blog, “Bladder & Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) Prevention and Treatment.”

Urgent Care Urinary Tract Infection Treatment Is Available at eMedical

It’s important to seek medical attention if you experience any symptoms of a UTI. If symptoms last more than a day, visit our walk-in clinic for a quick test and diagnosis; our emergency medicine physicians provide urgent medical care to both adults and children with convenient hours designed to fit your busy schedule.

Learn more about our urgent care urinary tract infection treatment and other services by calling our location in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey (908) 464-6700, or Middletown, New Jersey (732) 957-0707.

5 Tips for Summer Lawn Mower Safety

Summer Lawn Mower Safety TipsMowing the lawn can either feel like a chore or a time to relax and connect with nature. Either way, the sight and fragrance of freshly cut grass is pleasant to most, but without the proper precautions, lawn care can be a dangerous activity. Whether you’re gardening, mowing, mulching, planting or weeding, appropriate precautions and adequate protection can go a long way toward safe summer work. These 5 lawnmower safety tips will help you tackle the last of summer’s yard chores.

1. Schedule Your Outdoor Chores

Plan your yard work around the coolest parts of the day to avoid overheating. Sunlight exposure (and exposure to UV rays) is greatest when the sun is at its highest in the sky between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

2. Wear Proper Attire

Although outdoor safety apparel may not be the most fashionable, wearing the appropriate attire when you’re doing yard work can prevent a number of injuries including the prevention of burns, stings, bites and rashes. Long pants and long-sleeved shirts will reduce mosquito and tick bites and minimize contact with potential poisonous plants like poison ivy or poison oak. Go ahead and put on that wide-brimmed hat to protect your skin from the sun’s UV rays and defend against ticks as well. And although it’s not fun to think about, consider tucking your pant legs into your socks to avoid any creepy crawly up-the-leg guests.

3. Stay Hydrated

Hard work and high temperatures can quickly lead to dehydration. Drink before you get thirsty and avoid drinks with caffeine, alcohol and sugar. Untreated dehydration can lead to heat-related illnesses such as heat exhaustion, heat cramps and heat stroke. Take regular breaks in the shade and keep your water bottle handy.

4. Never Reach Under

Here’s a scary stat: Underneath a lawnmower deck, the steel cutting blade spins at more than 2,000 revolutions per minute (upwards of 200 m.p.h.). According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, “The energy transferred by a typical lawn mower blade is equivalent to being shot in the hand with a .357 magnum pistol.” That is certainly enough to mangle a hand or foot. Never run the mower without safety equipment (dead-man switch, blade brake, chute guard, etc.).

5. Prevent Projectiles

Before you turn on the mower, check the lawn for loose objects (rocks or toys) that could turn into projectiles if they become stuck. Be aware of your surroundings while the mower is in motion and keep children and pets a safe distance away to prevent a serious injury. Wear shades or safety glasses to protect against eye injuries and also block UV radiation.

Call on eMedical Urgent Care

Yard chores are a must for every home-owner and with the proper safety tips, it can actually be an enjoyable experience. In the case of an accident, never hesitate to contact EMO Middletown NJ (732) 957-0707 or EMO Berkeley Heights (908) 464-6700 for quick and reliable urgent care assistance!

Tips for Identifying and Preventing Heat Exhaustion and Dehydration

Some say, “By the time you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated.” Staying hydrated is very Heat Exhaustionimportant in the hot New Jersey summer months, especially if your body is trying to fight off an illness, if you’re engaging in physically activity, or if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.

eMedical Urgent Care can help you understand and identify the signs and symptoms of heat illnesses, how to treat them and (most importantly) how to protect yourself and your child against the dangers of becoming dehydrated in the first place. So, grab your water bottle and read on to enjoy a hydrated and happy summer.

Dehydration

Signs of dehydration do in fact include the sensation of thirst and a dry mouth (cotton mouth) as well as dry skin, decreased or yellow urine, headaches and dizziness. Severe dehydration also can cause extreme thirst, fatigue, irritability and confusion. Since your body can lose fluids through sweat, urination, diarrhea or vomiting, it’s best to replenish before activity, at regular intervals during and continue drinking water after exercise.

Dehydration can be expressed as the loss of percentage of body weight. Scientists define dehydration as fluid losses greater than only one percent. Water is lost first from the blood, which is 90% water. (Dehydration can become fatal when 9-12% of your body weight is lost via fluids.) On the average, water makes up 60 to 70% of your body weight. Different cells contain different percentages of water, for example: muscle cells are 70 to 75% water whereas fat cells are only 10 to 15% water. Therefore, a muscular person will have a larger percentage of his or her body weight coming from water.

What is Heat Exhaustion?

Heat exhaustion is a condition that generally includes intense sweating and an increased heart rate due to your body’s response to overheating. It is usually caused from a prolonged exposure to hot temperatures (especially when involved in physical activity and high levels of humidity).

Common symptoms of heat exhaustion include:

  • Intense sweating
  • Tiredness
  • Dizziness / fainting
  • Significant increase in heart rate
  • Muscle Cramps
  • Nausea
  • Sudden headache

Other Heat-Related Illnesses

In addition to heat exhaustion, untreated dehydration can lead to two other heat-related illnesses including heat cramps and heat stroke. Heat cramps are the least aggressive of the three and include painful cramps of the abdominals, arms or legs. Heat stroke requires immediate care and includes severe symptoms such as 104 temperature or higher, nausea, vomiting, seizures, disorientation, lack of sweating, shortness of breath, unconsciousness and could even lead to a coma.

Don’t Let Your Body Fool You, Stay Hydrated!

It’s even easier to dehydrate during the hot summer months when sweat evaporates faster and losing large amounts of fluids might not be as noticeable. According to the old rule of thumb, drink eight glasses of water per day (some experts recommend even more), but you also can quench your thirst by consuming hydrating foods (all of which are at least 90% water by weight) including: cucumber, lettuce, celery, radishes, tomatoes, green peppers, cauliflower, watermelon, spinach, star fruit, strawberries, broccoli, grapefruit, carrots and cantaloupe.

Replenish Fluids and Electrolytes

Remember, anyone may become dehydrated, but young children, older adults and people with chronic illnesses are most at risk. If you or a loved one experience any of the symptoms above, it is important to seek shade, rest and drink plenty of hydrating fluids. Extreme dehydration and heat stroke are medical emergencies that require immediate attention, possibly including a saline IV. Don’t ever hesitate to seek medical attention from the doctors at eMedical Urgent Care in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey (908) 464-6700, or Middletown, New Jersey (732) 957-0707.

Preventing the Common Cold

Although the common cold is not life threatening, it can cause a disruption in your daily routine, sleep and even work productivity…and yes, they even occur during the carefree summer months. Prevention is key.

Preventing Summertime Sickness

According to the CDC, proper handwashing can prevent the spread of microbes (also known as germs) that can cause disease.

Hand Washing Routinereading-sick-child-best-medicine-1 (1)

Always wash your hands before eating, after your children play outside and whenever coming home after being in public. Germs are everywhere and simply by washing your hands, you can prevent the common cold. It’s common knowledge that washing your hands often and well is the best way to prevent disease transmission, but unfortunately too many simply rinse with running water while ignoring the importance of soaping up. Proper hand washing should take at least 20 seconds of thorough soap scrubbing.

According to Global Handwashing, germs than can cause diseases lodge in dirt, grease, and the natural oils on hands. Water alone does not dislodge them, but adding soap helps break down germ-carrying oils, and soap facilitates rubbing and friction which can remove germs form the hands, and can then be rinsed away with water. Hand sanitizer can help for on-the-go cleanliness.

Stay Hydrated

Drink plenty of water! Especially during the summer months, staying hydrated is vital to staying healthy. Make sure your children are drinking at least 6-8 ounces of water a day; and remember to replace lost sweat with extra liquids. A healthy diet and proper hydration keeps your body’s immune system functioning efficiently. Staying hydrated also goes a long way in maintaining long-term health.

Be Aware

When you’re in public there’s no doubt you will come in contact with some foreign bacteria. If you’re in a crowded public area, be sure to take extra care of other people. Colds are contagious so be sure to avoid sneezers and coughers at all costs; wash your hands immediately after being in contact with an individual who may be ill.

Good Night’s Sleep

Make sure your children get a good night’s sleep to help prevent pesky summertime sicknesses. A recent study showed that those who get less than the recommended 7 hours of sleep (10 hours for children) are more likely to become ill. Sleep is important for everyone and critical for your body to recover.

Visit eMedical Urgent Care

If your child is suffering from a summertime cold, you have options. eMedical Urgent Care is staffed with board-certified and pediatric-trained physicians who deliver friendly and compassionate NJ pediatric urgent care to patients of all ages. Most of our physicians are parents too – so we understand firsthand the importance of keeping our tiny humans happy and healthy! If your child has cold symptoms that won’t go away, it could be allergies or something worse than just a cold. Don’t take the risk; visit the eMedical offices in Middletown or Berkeley Heights NJ today.

6 Facts About Poison Ivy That You Didn’t Know

It’s summertime, which means we’re spending more time outdoors. But with the return of fun in the sun and the warm weather, we also must face the summer spoilers – mosquitoes, sun burn and those itchy, rash-inducing plants: Poison Ivy, Poison Oak and Poison Sumac.

posion ivy poison oak poison sumacPoison ivy and poison oak can grow in numerous locations in the continental United States, including open areas, wooded areas and even in your own back yard depending on where you live. Hawaii and Alaska are the only states that do not have this irritating plant. It’s also becoming more prevalent and toxic over the past several years possibly due to climate changes. Researchers are trying to link higher levels of carbon dioxide and warmer temperatures as a cause.

Most Americans have either suffered from the itchy rash following exposure to poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac — or they know someone who has. In fact, approximately 75 percent of the population will have an allergic reaction when exposed to the oil, known as urushiol, found in the roots, stems, berries and leaves of the plant.

Once the urushiol touches your skin, it quickly penetrates and binds, causing a rash known as toxicodendron dermatitis. It usually begins as itchiness and redness, which then develops into a red, blistering rash. It can surface as early as one hour after exposure or take as long as 48 hours. Milder cases of the dermatitis can last five to 12 days, while a more severe case may take several weeks to resolve.

An allergic reaction can occur by direct contact with the plant or when you touch objects that are contaminated with the oil, like your clothes, gardening gloves, shoes or tools. Therefore, it’s important to wash contaminated clothes separately and to wash your tools after use.

6 Facts About Poison Ivy You Didn’t Know

  • Urushiol remains active up to five years — even after the plants have died and withered. Because of this, care must be taken when handling these plants, even in the cold months of the winter. The oil can even be found in smoke produced by burning plants and is extremely harmful to the lungs if inhaled.
  • Pets may not be allergic to urushiol but they can get it into their fur and unsuspecting owners can be exposed to the oil when they pet Fido.
  • Rarely does a rash occur with the first exposure to urushiol. However the second exposure can cause a mild to severe allergic reaction. Unfortunately, you won’t become desensitized to the allergen with repeated exposure.
  • The allergic reaction can’t be spread by scratching the rash and breaking the fluid-filled blisters. However, scratching can cause your skin to become infected.
  • It can’t be spread from person to person; only exposure to urushiol can start the rash.
  • The rash doesn’t spread on the body despite appearances. Instead, the areas that are more sensitive to urushiol or have been in contact with more oil will break out first, while the less-sensitive areas will take longer to develop the rash.

Treating the Rash
Treatment of toxicodendron dermatitis varies due to the severity of the allergic rash. Wash the affected areas as quickly as possible after exposure with isopropyl alcohol, if available, or cool water and a soap that breaks down oil, like a dish detergent. Don’t use hot water because it will allow the oil to penetrate through open skin pores. The oil can be removed in the first 10 to 20 minutes after contact but after an hour it has penetrated into your skin. Products like Tecnu and Zanfel also can prevent an allergic reaction.

If you have a mild case, after washing as described above, if you have a rash, apply a topical steroid cream after showering. Be careful using it on your face, however. You can calm the itch by taking Benadryl or other antihistamines like Zyrtec, Allegra or Claritin. Calamine lotion or oatmeal baths also may offer some relief. NSAIDs, such as Motrin, Advil or Aleve, can help relieve the inflammation of the rash.

Signs You Should Seek Medical Attention
For moderate to serious dermatitis, you should consult with your doctor or seek help from eMedical Urgent Care. When the itching becomes intolerable, it’s time to see a doctor, who may prescribe a two- to three-week course of oral steroids.
Other signs you should seek medical attention include:

  • Severe blistering and swelling especially of your face, throat or the genitals
  • Fever, pus in the blisters, or red, painful swelling of your skin
  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing

How to Prevent Exposure
The best means of prevention is to learn how to identify the toxic plants and avoid them. Rhymes such as “Leaves of three, let them be” can help you identify poison ivy and oak, which can grow as a creeping vine with “hair-like” roots or as a shrub. Poison sumac grows in areas of standing water as a large shrub or small tree with leaf clusters of 7 to 13 leaves with black spots.

When working or hiking in areas that have these poisonous plants, decrease your exposure risk by wearing gloves, long pants, long sleeves and closed shoes. Use care when removing your clothing so you don’t rub the oil from your clothes onto your skin, and wash contaminated clothes separately.

A moment taken for prevention can prevent weeks of irritation.

Jane Sennett, DO, is the medical director for eMedical Urgent Care, formerly known as eMedical Offices (EMO). She joined eMedical Urgent Care in 2014. She is board-certified in emergency medicine. Dr. Sennett earned her medical degree from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey’s School of Osteopathic Medicine and completed her emergency medicine residency at Union Hospital and Newark Beth Israel Medical Center. Dr. Sennett holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Rutgers University. She also is an attending physician at Overlook Medical Center- Union Campus and Robert Wood University Hospital at Rahway.

Flip Flops Could Be Killing Your Feet

Flip flops tend to be synonymous with New Jersey summers at the shore, and most of us have multiple pairs. They exude a freeing sensation for your feet and your soul…that is, until they become a tripping hazard. Recent studies have shown that certain types of flip flops can be detrimental to your feet and can actually cause major health issues in the future. Below we will explore some reasons why you should reconsider how much you’re wearing flip flops and provide some helpful tips to avoid injury. 

1. Blisters (that can lead to infection)

Search for the most comfortable flip flop: This is one of the essential keys to avoiding potential foot issues. Sandals based on design or brand alone can be tough on your feet. If the strap is uncomfortable or the thong is flimsy, it could cause blisters or cuts which could lead to infection if you’re in public places like a pool or the beach. And remember to let your sandals air out when they get wet; wet flip flops cause uncomfortable friction and irritation.

2. Permanent Foot Damage

Due to certain medical conditions such as hammertoe, people should decrease the amount of time wearing flip flops. Hammertoe can occur when your toe knuckles bend inward from wearing flip flops too much. This can destroy posture, interrupt balance control and ultimately leave you with misshapen feet. Therefore, it is highly recommended to switch it up every now and then (read: wear comfortable sneakers) to avoid such issues.

3. Trip Hazards

Whether they are rushing to go hang out with their friends or playing sports…children run. They don’t walk. Flip flops and children can be a dangerous combination. Toe injuries from riding bikes with inadequate footwear is very common; bump toe sandals can provide adequate protection for children to run and ride a bike safely. Bruises and broken toes can also happen from slipping out of the shoe, tripping from someone stepping on the back of the flip flop or even accidentally kicking a solid object like a coffee table or rock.

Alternatives to the Universal Summer Footwear Favorite

Shoes should be safe not hazardous. So choose wisely next time you reach in your closet for a pair of shoes. A recent article in the Wall Street Journal addresses these risks and more: “Despite these dangers, experts encourage children to challenge themselves outside. Reaching that next monkey bar is an important part of a child’s maturation. And the benefits of being outside and getting physical activity far outweigh any risks. The risk of a lack of physical activity, they say, is far greater: obesity.”

So, keep an extra pair of comfortable sneakers or bump toe sandals for you and your children in the trunk of your car for an easy switch if you start experiencing pain. And don’t hesitate to visit us at eMedical Urgent Care; we’re available 7 days a week.

No Appointments Necessary!

Remember, eMedical provides great care when you need it (without the long waits and expense) in two locations: Berkeley Heights, New Jersey (908) 464-6700, and Middletown, New Jersey (732) 957-0707. Feel better knowing we’re here.

Know the Signs and Symptoms of Lyme Disease

In our previous post, “Tick Removal and Prevention” we discussed the importance of tick bite prevention and how to safely remove them if you do get bit. So, what if you did everything you could to protect yourself but still found a tick attached to your skin? Following the removal of the tick, save it for Lyme disease testing, then pay attention to your body’s signs and symptoms in the following days and weeks, and never hesitate to seek out medical attention (remember, at eMedical Urgent Care, all walk-ins are welcome).

What is Lyme Disease?

Lyme disease (caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi) is transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected blacklegged deer tick. It is the most common tick-borne illness in North America and Europe. Lyme disease may also be transmitted in utero; from a mother to her unborn baby.

How Common is Lyme Disease?

Each year, approximately 30,000 cases of Lyme disease are reported to CDC by state health departments and the District of Columbia (although they estimate that 300,000 infections occur each year). According to the CDC, Lyme disease is the most commonly reported vectorborne illness in the United States. Although Lyme disease has been diagnosed in almost every state, most cases reported to the CDC are in the Northeast and upper Midwest—96% of cases come from 13 states (including New Jersey).

Reported Cases of Lyme Disease

(Image from http://www.cdc.gov)

 

I’ve Been Bitten by a Tick. What Should I Do?

After you safely remove the tick, save it for identification (the tick can be tested whether it is alive or dead) and infection status. If the tick is tested positive for infection with Borrelia burgdorferi (the Lyme disease organism), your potential risk for infection is increased but not confirmed. In most cases, to transmit Lyme disease, a deer tick must be attached for 36 to 48 hours so it is important to pay attention to any possible reactions.

What are the Signs of Lyme Disease?

If you were bitten by a tick and observe any of these symptoms, you should seek medical attention immediately.

  • Bull’s-Eye Pattern Rash– About 36 hours after a tick bit, up to 80 percent of infected people develop a rash similar to a bull’s-eye — a solid center with a ring around it.
  • Fever or Chills– Flu-like symptoms are very common and can start at any time from 3 days up to a month after you have been bitten.
  • Aches and Pains– Headache, fatigue and muscular aches are all symptoms that can also develop.
  • Other signs– If left untreated, Lyme disease can cause more serious symptoms including: swelling and joint pain, trouble focusing thoughts, poor memory, weakness or paralysis in your facial muscles.
  • Post Treatment Symptoms– Approximately 10-20% of patients with Lyme disease have symptoms that can last months to years after treatment with antibiotics. This condition is known as post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome (PTLDS). These symptoms can include muscle and joint pains, cognitive difficulties, problems with your nervous system and heart, sleep disturbances, and fatigue.

What Do I Do if I Suspect Lyme Disease?

Although only a minority of tick bites actually lead to Lyme disease, the longer the tick remains attached to your body, the greater your risk of getting the disease. So if you’ve been bitten and experience any of the above signs and symptoms, visit eMedical immediately. Your doctor will take a thorough history, ask you questions about your symptoms and possibly take a blood test to see if you have certain antibodies in your blood identifying the disease.

If tested positive, the main treatment is antibiotics, which usually cure Lyme disease within 3 weeks depending on the extent of the disease. Patients treated with antibiotics in the early stages of the disease usually recover completely.