Suffering from Headaches in Middletown? Find Out When Should You Go to the Doctor

If you’ve ever experienced a headache in Middletown, you can probably attest to the fact that suffering from one can result in lost time at work, home and even in social settings. Suffering from Headaches in Middletown? Find Out When Should You Go to the DoctorWhile most people with headaches can feel much better by making simple lifestyle changes and learning ways to relax, sometimes, a trip to Urgent Care is necessary to further investigate the root of the problem. The first step in managing headache is to determine what type the headache is causing the pain.

Headache Classification

In 2013, the International Headache Society released its latest classification system for headaches:

  • Primary
  • Secondary
  • Cranial neuralgias, central and primary facial pain and other headaches.

Primary Headaches

Primary headaches account for about 90% of all headaches and are not associated with other diseases, for example migraine headaches, tension headaches and cluster headaches.

Migraine Headaches

What is a migraine? Migraines are a chronic and episodic disorder, characterized by headache attacks. Migraines are very common and affect nearly 12% of people in the US 12 years and older. They are more common in women (17% vs 6% in men). Associated symptoms include:

  • Recurrent headaches lasting 4-72 hours
  • One-sided, pulsating, moderate-to-severe pain
  • Decreased ability to function in everyday situations

Often, associated symptoms such as nausea and sensitivity to light and sound are also present during an attack. Other symptoms include sweating, cold hands, diarrhea, pale skin color and scalp tenderness.

Tension Headaches

Tension headaches are the most common type of headache likely caused by tight muscles in your shoulders, neck, scalp and jaw. Symptoms may be related to stress, depression, anxiety, a head injury or holding your head in an awkward position. They often start at the back of the head and spread forward with dull-like or squeezing pain.

Home remedies for tension headaches include rest and over-the-counter (OTC) medications for pain.

Cluster Headaches

A cluster headache tends to be sharp and very painful that can occur daily, sometimes several times a day for months. The headaches usually last less than an hour and tend to occur around the same time each day. Symptoms are due to swelling in the sinus passage behind the cheeks, nose and eyes and tend to worsen first thing in the morning or when the individual bends forward. They may also occur with a fever, cold or flu or premenstrual syndromes.

Secondary Headaches

Secondary headaches are usually a symptom of an injury or an underlying illness. These headaches may be related to allergies, caffeine withdrawal, hunger or sinus headaches due to increased pressure or infection in the sinuses. Additionally, an associated disease, sometimes life threatening conditions such as brain tumors, strokes, and meningitis or less, can cause secondary headaches.

Cranial Neuralgias, Central and Primary Facial Pain and Other Headaches

Other types of headaches include: cranial neuralgias, central and primary facial pain and other types of neuralgias. Neuralgia means relating to the nerves. Headaches and facial pain can be very complex, with many interrelated causes.

If you or a loved one has suffered a new onset headaches or if headaches are associated with fever, stiff neck, weakness or change in sensation on one side of the body, change in vision, vomiting or change in behavior, seek medical care immediately.

Treating Headaches at Middletown eMedical Urgent Care

If you or a loved one experience constant headaches, it is a good idea to see a doctor. It can be difficult to determine what triggers your headache; we want to help you find relief. Prepare for your visit by keeping a headache diary so you can discuss your specific symptoms. Include information such as: how many days in the month you’ve had a headache, how long they last, what made it stop, if you’ve changed your diet or habits recently, sleep schedule, how the headaches are impacting your daily life and if you are taking any medications.

Talk with your eMedical Urgent Care doctor about what sets off your headaches in Middletown to help find the right treatment for you. Call to learn more about our services in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, (908) 464-6700, and Middletown, New Jersey, (732) 957-0707.

August is National Immunization Awareness Month

August has arrived, which can only mean one thing — it’s time for the kids to start heading back to school! But did you know that August is also National Immunization Awareness Month? Getting immunized against infectious diseases is an important part of going back to school. You’re not only protecting you and your child’s health, but also protecting the health of those in your community.

Ready for School?August is National Immunization Awareness Month

Getting vaccinated according to the recommended immunization schedule is one of the most important things a parent can do to protect their child’s health. Diseases can quickly spread among groups of children who aren’t vaccinated. Whether it’s a baby starting at a new child care facility, a toddler heading to preschool, a student going back to elementary, middle or high school – or even a college freshman – parents should check their child’s vaccination records.

When children are not vaccinated, they are at increased risk for disease and can spread disease to others in their play groups, child care centers, classrooms and communities – including babies who are too young to be fully vaccinated and people with weakened immune systems due to cancer and other health conditions.

But vaccines are not just for kids. All adults, including pregnant women, should get the influenza (flu) vaccine each year to protect against seasonal flu. Even healthy adults can become seriously ill, and can pass certain illnesses on to others.

Recognizing National Immunization Awareness Month

At eMedical Urgent Care, we believe that the best treatment is prevention which is why we’re happy to recognize the importance of National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM) in our communities.

An annual observance held in August, NIAM highlights the importance of vaccination for people of all ages. It is considered one of the top 10 public health accomplishments of the 20th Century, according to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.

NIAM was established to encourage people of all ages to make sure they are up to date on the vaccines recommended for them. Communities have continued to use the month each year to raise awareness about the important role vaccines play in preventing serious, sometimes deadly, diseases.

Quick, Convenient Vaccines at eMedical Urgent Care

Vaccines give parents the safe, proven power to protect their children from serious diseases. Parents can provide the best protection by following the recommended immunization schedule – giving their child the vaccines they need, when they need them.

eMedical is here for all of your back-to-school health needs. We can provide you with any immunizations you or your children may need, as well as school physicals and an annual flu shot. Find out more about our quick, convenient services by calling our location in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey (908) 464-6700, or Middletown, New Jersey (732) 957-0707.

National Immunization Awareness Month

eMedical Urgent Care Offers Walk-in DOT Physicals

DOT physicals, also known as a “medical fitness for duty” exams, are required in order to operate a commercial vehicle. The purpose of this test is to check the individual’s current health, both physical and mental, to determine fitness for work and if they are “fit enough” to drive safely now (and in the foreseeable future).

Requirements for DOT Physicals

According to the Motor Vehicle Commission, below are the basic requirements for passing the DOT physical exam.

  • With or without vision corrections, each eye, as well as both eyes combined, need to have 20/40 vision.
  • Ability to distinguish color is necessary.
  • Should be able to perceive a forced whisper at a distance of at least 5 feet.
  • Blood pressure has to be lower than 160/100. Prescription medication to control blood pressure is permitted.
  • An applicant can have diabetes which is controlled through diet or medication. Diabetes which is controlled through insulin injections is not permitted
  • The maximum level of blood sugar an applicant is allowed to have is 200.
  • Use of schedule 1 drugs is strictly disallowed
  • If you are currently diagnosed with a cardiovascular disease such as collapse, congestive cardiac failure or cardiac insufficiency, then you will have to provide the Medical Examiner with a stress test as well as a note from your physician stating that you are able to drive a commercial motor vehicle without restrictions.

Most Commercial Motor Vehicles (CMV) drivers are required to take a DOT physical exam every 2 years to maintain their DOT medical certificate. Read more about DOT Compliance and Health Screenings on our blog.

DOT Physicals Required to Operate Commercial Vehicles.Preparing for DOT Physicals

To prepare for your appointment, make sure to bring a valid driver’s license, eye glasses or contact lenses, list of medications (and prescribing doctor contact information) and be prepared to give a urine sample. The doctor will review your health history with you and conduct a thorough physical examination.

Some friendly reminders:

  • Get a good night’s sleep so you’re well rested.
  • Take your medications as usual (bring all medications in original bottles to the DOT physical to show the doctor).
  • If you have high blood pressure, lay off the coffee and energy drinks. Caffeine can raise blood pressure which could turn a non-hypertensive driver into a restricted one…or disqualified.
  • Reduce your use of nicotine as much as possible to help lower blood pressure readings.
  • Drink plenty of water (remember that urine test?)
  • Get past the “white coat” syndrome, remember that we’re here to help you. Take a deep breath and just relax.

Employee Medical Care that Works

Looking for walk-in DOT physicals in NJ? At eMedical, we do DOT physicals quickly, accurately and hassle-free. No appointment necessary; walk-ins are always welcome!

We’re here to support your business as a full-service, physician-staffed resource. Your employees will receive the same quality care they’d receive at an emergency room – without the long wait and expense. eMedical Urgent Care offers various workplace health services, such as DOT physicals, for employers, which meet the regulations for all drivers of Commercial Motor Vehicles (CMVs). View our employer brochure for more information or call our location in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey at (908) 464-6700, or Middletown, New Jersey at (732) 957-0707. We welcome you to walk in, get your exam and be on your way.

First Aid and Treatment for Burns

First Aid and Treatment for BurnsBurns are the most common household injury, especially in children. They are classified as either first-degree, second-degree, third-degree or fourth-degree according to the depth of the burn.

Treatment for burns varies by degree. Major burns require a trip to the ER, and minor burns can be treated at your local eMedical Urgent Care center, which is why it’s important to be able to identify their differences.

Burn Classifications

There are 4 different classifications of burns:

  • First-degree burns are considered minor. They can cause red skin but rarely blister. Some first-degree burns are fine if treated at home but some cases require a visit to urgent care (for example, if the burn measures larger than 3 inches or is located on your face or a major joint).
  • Second-degree burns are considered more serious than first-degree burns and cause blistering and thickening of the skin. Most second-degree burns heal within 2 to 3 weeks but can take longer and require a visit to your local urgent care center. The length of recovery is dependent on the severity and size of the burn and blistering.
  • Third-degree burns are considered major and require a trip to the Emergency Room. They can cause a widespread thickening of the skin, as well as a white or black leathery appearance.
  • Fourth-degree burns are the most serious as they extend beyond the skin into tendons and bones.

Common Myths about Treatment for Burns

Myths about how to treat a minor burn are numerous and these incorrect first aid treatments can be dangerous and cause more damage than cure. They include various home remedies like covering a burn with butter, grease or oil. Doing so will only cause the skin to retain heat (which is exactly the opposite of what you want to do). It also can make it difficult for medical staff to clean the affected area.

Other wild misconceptions include things like applying toothpaste, cold meat, vinegar, mustard, whipped cream and even fish sauce!

Suggested Treatment for Burns

When you need to act fast, it’s important to know what to do to treat a minor burn. First, remove the source of heat (including clothes if necessary) and cool the area by immersing the burn in cool, sterile water (not ice) or saline solution. You also may cover the affected area with a cool, wet dressing until the burning stops. In the case of a chemical burn, dilute the chemical agent by irrigating with water continuously.

Seek Immediate Attention for Burns at eMedical Urgent Care

Even simple burns should be treated properly (and immediately) to prevent bacterial infections. If the burn is the size of your palm or larger, seek medical attention immediately. Early treatment of minor burns greatly impacts how well you heal.

eMedical Urgent Care treats first- and second-degree burns and injuries at both of our locations. Learn more about our services and how we can treat you by calling our location in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey (908) 464-6700, or Middletown, New Jersey (732) 957-0707.

How to Recognize and Treat Fingernail Infections

How to Recognize and Treat Fingernail InfectionsThink about it – like your face, your fingers are exposed to the elements every day but chances are you don’t protect or nourish them the way you should. We use our hands, fingers and fingernails every day in almost every activity. This makes them susceptible to injuries and possible fingernail infections, also known as paronychia.

What is paronychia?

Paronychia (pronounced pair-oh-nick-ee-yah) is a common infection of the skin around the fingernails or toenails that can be caused by Candida species. Infections usually occur because of initial damage to the area from things like biting a hangnail or trimming cuticles with unsanitary manicure tools. This injury then provides a portal of entry for infection to occur.

Infections can be caused by bacteria or fungus. Bacterial infections tend to be more painful and swollen, whereas fungal infections usually develop slowly over time. These infections are very common in people with diabetes or weakened immune systems.

Symptoms of Fingernail Infections

Healthy fingernails should have a pinkish color with the occasional flecks of white and a “half-moon” of white appearing at the end of the nail bed. A few bumps and ridges are normal, however, severe variations of the nail’s normal smooth surface could indicate an underlying infection or fungus.

Other symptoms of a paronychia include redness and swelling around the nail that is usually painful. If you’re experiencing joint pain or a tingling sensation in the fingers, that could mean several things: cramps from overuse, flexor tendon injury, ganglion cyst, compression on a nerve in the hand, arthritis, diabetes or other immune disorders.

Risk Factors for Fingernail Infections

Fingernail cuticles are a common site of infection, especially if someone is picking, biting or uses unsanitary manicure tools. Cuticle damage is especially notable in children who bite their fingernails; if redness and swelling are not treated with the proper medical attention, this could result in a limb-threatening infection.

Prevention

Proper nail maintenance is the best prevention. Avoid nail-biting, and trimming or pushing back cuticles too much. Take caution by insisting on sanitized equipment at nail salons and remember to wear gloves when cleaning or being exposed to harsh household chemicals.

Treatment Options

If you notice a swollen or red fingernail or toenail area that has red streaks radiating from the cuticle, this can indicate an infection. Seek medical attention right away.
Antibiotics may be prescribed to eliminate the source of a bacterial infection but taking over the counter anti-inflammatories, such as Ibuprofen, may help reduce any pain associated with the swelling. A warm compress may help to decrease pain naturally.

In severe cases, the infected area may be drained by a physician to help reduce any built up pressure and reduce pain.

Treatment for Fingernail Infections Available at eMedical

If you or a loved one are unable to move the finger unassisted or if red streaks radiate from a swollen area, seek medical treatment right away. eMedical Urgent Care provides high-quality, affordable, fast care at your convenience. Learn more about our services and how we can treat you by calling our location in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey (908) 464-6700, or Middletown, New Jersey (732) 957-0707. We welcome you to walk in, get your exam and be on your way.

Dust Allergy Symptoms and Prevention

Dust Allergy Symptoms and PreventionDid you know that indoor air can contain more dust, lint, smoke and pollen than outdoor air? Dust allergens are all around us, everywhere we go. And because of that, many patients with asthma or allergic rhinitis can suffer greatly from dust allergy symptoms. Thankfully, a good thorough cleaning can make a huge difference and you don’t really have to strip down your house to the bare bones to make it allergy proof. Find some relief by taking these simple measures:

Dust Allergy Symptoms

Although you can’t even see them with the naked eye, dust mites can sure stir up a lot of trouble. About 20 million Americans experience allergic symptoms to these little bugs that are similar to an endless cold or even asthma. Common dust allergy symptoms include:

Sneezing
• Runny or stuffy nose
Red, itchy or teary eyes
• Wheezing, coughing, tightness in the chest and shortness of breath
• Itching

Dust Allergy Prevention: Allergy-Proof Your Home

Allergy treatment begins at home. With these few tips, you can learn what triggers to avoid so you can prevent (or at least, ease) attacks. The best preventive measure is to get away from the cause of the problem. We’re not talking about moving to a new climate, such as the beach to “get away” from allergens… we’re speaking about practicing environmental control (without packing your bags). And it starts with cleaning up your home.

Common Dust Allergy Triggers

A house doesn’t need to be visibly dirty to trigger a dust mite allergy reaction. Some common dust allergy triggers include:

Dust mites – this is the most common cause of house dust allergies. Dust mites live and multiply in warm, humid places and usually found in pillows, mattresses, carpeting and furniture.
Cockroaches and Mold – Small mold or cockroach particles and spores are a common component of house dust and may actually be the true cause of a dust allergy.
Pollen – From trees, grass, flowers and weeks, pollen is a common culprit of allergies.
Animal dander – Animal dander (skin flakes), saliva and urine can cause allergic reactions, especially if combined with dust.

Prevent House Dust Triggers

Dust Allergy Symptoms and Prevention• Dust rooms with a damp cloth weekly. Never use a dry cloth, since it stirs up mite allergens.
• Use a vacuum cleaner with either a double-layered microfilter bag or a HEPA (high-efficiency particle arrestor) filter.
• Wear protective gloves as well a dust mask while dusting to reduce exposure irritants.
• Reduce the number of stuffed animals, wicker baskets, dried flowers and other infamous dust collectors around the home.
• If possible, replace carpets with bare floors (linoleum, tile or wood) and use washable scatter rugs.
• Cover windows with shades made of plastic or another material that you can wipe clean or remove fabric curtains to wash monthly.
• Cover your mattress and pillows in dustproof or allergen-impermeable covers. Dust mites are one of the most common allergens found in homes, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.
• Wash all bedding and blankets at least once a week in hot water (at least 130° to 140°F) to kill dust mites.
• Replace traditional stuffed animals with washable ones.

In addition to the above, keep your home cool (between 68 and 72 degrees F), maintain a low humidity (between 40 and 50%), and make certain there is good ventilation.

When Should I See A Doctor?

If dust allergy symptoms interfere with normal day-to-day activities, or if there is a sudden onset of symptoms, you should see a doctor. This is especially important if a child under your care is experiencing severe or sudden symptoms.

Allergy treatment is available now at eMedical Urgent Care.

Learn more about our services and how we can treat you by calling our location in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey (908) 464-6700, or Middletown, New Jersey (732) 957-0707. We welcome you to walk in, get your exam and be on your way.

Protect Your Family Against Common Insect Bites and Stings

Brace yourself.

As the warmer weather approaches we all love spending more time outside, but if we’re not careful, that can leave us vulnerable to insect bites, creepy crawlies, bee stings and pesky mosquitos. You may be itching already just reading this, but don’t run for the hills just yet (there may be ticks there anyway). Luckily there are a few things you can do to avoid them. Learn more about how to protect your family against common insect bites and stings from our emergency medicine physicians at eMedical Urgent Care

Common Insect Bites and Stings:Common Insect Bites and Stings

  • BEES, WASPS, HORNET STINGS

The scourge of summer, bees, wasps and hornets are more annoying than dangerous, unless of course you’re severely allergic to their stings.

What to Do?

Keep sweet-smelling plants away from any windows, don’t leave fruit out and make sure all bins are covered. If you’re being attacked, run and seek shelter away from the swarm, in a car with the windows rolled up, a house, a building, or any place that is not exposed to the outside.

Hydrocortisone cream should help with swelling, but if someone is stung and they are allergic, get the victim medical help immediately. Even if the victim is not allergic, or is unsure, but receives multiple stings from the swarm, it’s also important to seek medical attention.

  • SPIDERS

It is estimated there are more than 100,000 different types of spiders, yet only a tiny fraction of 1 percent are harmful to humans. At the top of the list are black widows and the brown recluse. Both of these spiders are small, about 3/8 of an inch, and some individuals who have been bitten report little or no initial pain.

What to Do?

The best thing to do is to apply a cold compress or ice pack on the wound site and get medical attention right away. Some spider bites require administration of an anti-venom serum as in some snake bites.

  • MOSQUITOES

The Zika virus, for which there is no vaccine or cure, has not yet started to spread in the continental United States. But that is expected to change as the warmer weather rolls around. While New Jersey is expected to be spared a serious Zika problem, several recent developments now are increasing concern.

What to Do?

The most effective way to protect yourself from mosquito bites is by removing standing water around your home, covering up appropriately when you’re outside and using mosquito repellant with approved Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents.

  • TICKS

May through July are prime “tick-birthing” seasons and a whole new crop of hungry ticks will be on the hunt for their first dinner of the season. Tick bites aren’t painful, but many can cause Lyme disease.

What to Do?

Cover up properly, avoid grassy areas and shrubs where tick populations are higher and use a repellant with DEET. Remember to always check yourself after being outside and learn the steps to remove a tick on our recent blog, “Tick Removal and Prevention.”

Walk-In Urgent Care for Insect Bites at eMedical

Bug bites and stings usually are just annoying, causing temporary discomfort and pain, but no serious or lasting health problems. But sometimes, they can cause infections that require treatment and allergic reactions that can be serious, even fatal. If you or a loved one experience the symptoms of anaphylactic shock, it’s important to call an emergency line for help. If symptoms are minimal, for example, the area of the bite is red, itchy or slightly swollen, we recommend an antihistamine and ice to cool the area.

Learn more about our services and how we can treat you by calling our location in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey (908) 464-6700, or Middletown, New Jersey (732) 957-0707. We welcome you to walk in, get your exam and be on your way.