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All Posts in Category: Health Basics

Why is My Bronchitis Getting Worse

Bronchitis is a type of illness that occurs when your bronchial tubes become inflamed and irritated. Your bronchial tubes are responsible for moving air in and out of your lungs, so it’s needless to say they’re very important. Bronchitis causes painful coughing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and other uncomfortable symptoms for those suffering. If you have bronchitis that’s continuing to get worse instead of better, don’t give up hope just yet! 

If you need Bronchitis care, please contact Centennial Medical Group right away for treatment options that are available.

Bronchitis Causes

Bronchitis is most commonly caused by an upper respiratory infection, such as the common cold. The virus causing the cold travels through your body, and in some cases, inflames, and irritates the bronchial tubes. Bronchitis can also be caused by environmental irritants, although this is less common. 

Acute vs Chronic

There are two different types of bronchitis and understanding the difference is very important. 

  • Acute – acute bronchitis is the type that’s caused by a viral or bacterial infection in your body. Acute bronchitis typically lasts 1 to 2 weeks, but a lingering cough may last up to 90 days. 
  • Chronic – chronic bronchitis is most often caused by irritants, such as smoking or being exposed to secondhand smoke. To be diagnosed with chronic bronchitis you have to have bronchitis for at least 3 consecutive months for two consecutive years. 

What’s Making it Worse?

When bronchitis continues to get worse instead of better, it’s frustrating for the patient. There are a few things that could be making your bronchitis worse. If you have acute bronchitis that’s getting worse, you could have an infection that requires antibiotics. Most cases of bronchitis clear up on their own, but not all of them. if you have any underlying health conditions, you’re at a higher risk to have bronchitis that can’t go away on it’s own. For chronic bronchitis sufferers, your symptoms will continue tog et worse if you’re exposed to the irritants that caused the bronchitis in the first place or if you’re suffering from COPD. 

Treating Bronchitis

Bronchitis is treated on a case-by-case basis because everyone is different. If you’re suffering from acute bronchitis, you can stay home to see if symptoms improve. You need to seek immediate medical care if you have trouble catching your breath or the coughing gets so severe it keeps you up at night. 

Get treated for your bronchitis at a nearby urgent care center for convenient, affordable, same-day care! 

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Where in the US is Coronavirus a Potential Risk

COVID-19 is a global pandemic that has shaken people across the world. After originating in Wuhan, China, the virus has rapidly spread around the globe. International travelers carried COVID-19 to their home countries, despite airport screenings and travel restrictions. Now that the virus is in America people are wondering, what states are at risk? 

If you’re looking for more resources please consult the CDC for information about COVID-19 prevention, news updates, and how to stay safe during this time.

Where has COVID-10 Spread?

Coronavirus has been confirmed in 46 states and the Dominican Republic. The first cases were linked directly to international travels, but now person to person cases have begun to pop up. Some COVID-19 cases have even been diagnosed when there is no known contact with another infected individual, which makes this virus truly a widespread threat. The coronavirus is here and in almost every state, so it’s safe to say that everyone is at a potential risk. 

Who’s at the Highest Risk?

Certain people are at a higher risk of contracting Covid-19 and suffering more severe symptoms. The groups at the highest risk include: 

  • Elderly 
  • Immunocompromised people 
  • People suffering from underlying medical conditions – diabetes, cancer, heart disease, lung disease, etc. 

Anybody can catch the coronavirus, even if they aren’t considered high risk. Young, healthy people may carry the virus without knowing and spread it to people in at-risk groups. 

What You Can Do

Since the coronavirus is spreading across the nation, what can you do? At this point the biggest focus is on slowing the spread of the virus so our healthcare system is able to keep up and offer treatment to those who need it. You can help prevent the spread by: 

  • Covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze 
  • Practice social distancing – avoid close contact with others, especially in large groups
  • Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly 
  • Avoid touching your face 
  • If there’s a chance you’ve been exposed to COVID-19, self-quarantine for 14 days
  • Remain calm – creating mass panic leads more people to hoard food, supplies, and medication they may not need. We’re equipped to handle the virus, but only if everyone remains calm. 

If you believe you have coronavirus, do not go to the ER or urgent care. Test kits aren’t readily available and visiting the ER or urgent care just exposes other patients and healthcare workers to the possibility of the virus.

Stay home, call your primary care provider or health department, and avoid contact with people until you’ve been advised otherwise. Seek medical attention if you have difficulty breathing or a high fever that won’t break with over the counter medications. 

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How Did I Get Strep Throat?

Having a sore throat is something that’s painful, annoying, and can even get in the way of your daily routine. There’s a difference between your average sore throat and a sore throat caused by strep throat. If you’re suffering from or have suffered from strep throat, you’re probably wondering how you got it in the first place! 

What is Strep Throat?

Strep throat is a bacterial infection that causes sudden onset throat pain and soreness. Strep throat can make it difficult to swallow and bring visible red or white patches to the back of your throat and tonsils. Many patients also report a fever, body aches, and tender lymph nodes. 

Causes

Strep throat is most common in school age children, but it can be spread to anyone. Strep throat is caused by a highly contagious bacteria that thrives in places that have many people in close proximity. The bacteria can be spread through the air when a sick person coughs or sneezes, from surfaces, or through direct contact from one person to another. 

Prevention

There is no vaccine or surefire way to prevent strep throat, but knowledge is key! The best way to help prevent the spread of strep throat is to remain vigilant, especially during the winter and spring time when it’s more common. Good hand hygiene is very important too since you can catch strep throat simply by touching a surface that an infected person has touched. Wash your hands regularly and avoid touching your nose, mouth, or eyes when you’re out in public spaces. You should wash your hands for as long as it takes to sing the ‘Happy Birthday’ song twice over and dry them with clean paper towels or a blow dryer.

If you don’t have access to wash your hands throughout the day, hand sanitizer is a great tool to use!  Remind those around you to always cough and sneeze into the corner of their arm, not the palms of their hands. People suffering from strep throat should stay home from work or school until cleared by their physician after they begin antibiotics. 

If you believe you’re suffering from strep throat, it’s important to get treatment right away. Visit your local urgent care center for care that’s affordable, close to home, and available on a schedule that works for you! Strep throat requires medical attention to heal. Home remedies might relieve certain symptoms, but the infection won’t be cleared without prescription antibiotics.

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How Does a Patient Get an Ear Infection?

Ear infections are a painful and irritating condition that affects both children and adults. The number of ear infections typically increases during the winter and early spring, along with the common cold, flu, strep throat, and more. It isn’t always possible to avoid an ear infection, but it’s still important to know what causes them and what your treatment options are! 

Causes of an Ear Infection

Ear infections occur when a bacterial or viral infection reaches your middle ear. In most cases, an ear infection happens during or after someone is battling another bacterial or viral illness. As the illness spreads, it can reach the middle ear and then stay there, causing an ear infection. The best way to avoid an ear infection is to avoid illnesses like the common cold and flu, but as we all know, sometimes even the best preventative measures aren’t enough to keep those things at bay! 

Ear Infection Symptoms

The symptoms of an ear infection in children are more severe than the symptoms of an ear infection in adults. Common symptoms in children include: 

  • Pulling on ears
  • Ear pain that gets worse when the child is laying down
  • General fussiness and discomfort
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Drainage from the ear
  • Lack of interest in food that may be caused by nausea 

Adults have much more mild symptoms with an ear infection, although they’re still very uncomfortable. Adults most often report ear drainage, pain in the ear, and a headache. 

Treatment Options

Rather you or your child is suffering from an ear infection, getting treatment promptly is important. Many ear infections require antibiotics and ear drops to help clear the infection. If you notice symptoms of an ear infection for more than a day, you have visible ear drainage, or severe pain, you should visit a doctor right away. The best place to go for same-day treatment of an ear infection is a nearby urgent care center. The experienced urgent care staff will be able to evaluate your symptoms, diagnose you, and provide a treatment plan to clear the infection all in one visit. In addition to urgent care treatment and antibiotics, you can use over the counter pain relievers and plenty of hydration to encourage your body to heal. 

Leaving an ear infection untreated could lead to some potentially serious side effects, so it’s always best to go get a professional opinion if you think there’s even a chance you’re suffering from one! 

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Snow Shoveling Safety Tips

Mountains of snow covering sidewalks and driveways force many people out of their homes each winter. For a lot of those people, they’ve been leading a sedentary lifestyle until the snow can’t be ignored anymore. Then, it’s time to pick up a shovel. Shoveling snow is a strenuous and tiring activity, but did you know it comes with some serious health risks too? 

Snow Shoveling Risks 

Snow shoveling poses multiple risks. First, there’s a risk of injury. Injury can occur while shoveling snow due to falling, improper lifting technique, overexertion, and more. The most common snow shoveling related injuries include muscle strains, back injury, head injury, and bone fractures. In addition to those acute injuries, shoveling snow causes a high number of heart attacks each year. Those suffering from a chronic health condition or with a history of heart disease are at a higher risk for heart attack. 

Safety Tips 

Stay safe while shoveling by following these tips!

  • Don’t shovel immediately after consuming caffeine or nicotine – this increases your risk of heart attack when combined with colder temperatures. 
  • Don’t overexert yourself – stop shoveling when you’re tired
  • Take your time
  • Stretch before shoveling
  • Remember to push snow with the shovel, don’t lift it 
  • Spread rock salt or kitty litter to provide traction while you shovel 
  • Don’t shovel at all if you have a history of heart disease. Your risk is too high – ask for health from a friend or neighbor. 
  • Know the signs of a heart attack – common signs of heart attack include chest pressure or tightness, shortness of breath, pain in the left arm or shoulder, sweating, and more. 

If an injury does occur, visit your local urgent care center right away for treatment. If you suffer a hard fall and are unsure if you’re injured or not, it’s always best to go get checked out! If you believe you may be having a heart attack, call 911 right away. 

How Can Urgent Care Help? 

When you’re suffering from a chronic health condition that could lead to a heart attack, getting regular medical care is important. Visit your local urgent care to address any preventative care needs you may have and to assess your current health status. If you suffer an injury or illness that is non-life-threatening, urgent care can help! Don’t forget to bring a list of all current medications and inform our urgent care staff of your entire medical history so we’re able to treat you in the best way possible. 

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Public Health Tips for Managing Flu Season

Flu season begins each year around October and although it happens every year, many people still aren’t sure what they can do to avoid getting or spreading the flu. The CDC provides some useful tips to the public each flu season as a reminder that the flu can be managed and, in many cases, avoided all together! Check out some of those tips below. 

The Importance of Your Flu Shot

Getting a flu shot during flu season reduces your risk of getting the flu by over 80%. The flu shot has little to no side effects other than injection site redness, it’s covered in full by most major insurance companies, and you can get it with just a quick trip to your local urgent care center or walk in clinic. Experts recommend getting your flu shot at the beginning of flu season, but you can get it late in the season and still enjoy the benefits of a lower risk of getting the flu. 

Keep Clean Hands

The flu is highly contagious which makes hand washing during flu season more important than ever! Wash your hands regularly throughout the day and encourage friends and family members to do the same. Proper hand washing should include these steps: 

  • Wet your hands with warm or cold water
  • Lather soap 
  • Continue to lather your hands, including between the fingers and the back of your hands, for at least 20 seconds. Keep track of the time by humming the “Happy Birthday” song twice. 
  • Dry your hands using paper towels or an air dryer. Wet hands pickup and spread germs more easily than dry hands. 

Prevent the Illness from Spreading

If you do become ill, the CDC recommends minimizing your exposure to other people. That means calling off of work or school until you’re no longer contagious. It might be annoying to put your life on hold but keeping your illness away from others is the best way to prevent it from spreading. You should avoid close contact with anyone during this time of year too. Avoid handshakes and hugs by simply telling people you’re trying to avoid the flu this winter! 

If you’re in need of treatment for the flu, visit your local urgent care center. An urgent care can also administer flu shots to lower your risk of getting the flu. Even though peak flu season has passed, it isn’t too late to get vaccinated!

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How You Can Feel Safe Getting STD Tests

Frequent, regular testing for sexually transmitted diseases and infections is an important part of health maintenance for any sexually active adult. No matter what your sexual history is or how long you’ve been with your current partner(s), ongoing STD testing from a medical professional is the best way to get the knowledge you need to protect yourself.

You Don’t Have to Do It on Your Own

There are many ways you can get tested for STDs, including from the comfort of your own home. There are plenty of testing kits on the market that allow you to send in a sample of your blood or urine to a laboratory, which will then analyze your sample and report your results to you. This may sound like an easy and convenient option, but it requires you to take the sample yourself and wait for what may be weeks while the lab processes and returns your results. Also, the sample may be inconclusive, and you will need to send another one for testing.

Getting tested at a doctor’s office ensures safe, clean, and easy testing. However, you will need to make a doctor’s appointment and ask for an STD test. Many people assume that STD testing is included when you get a physical, a gynecological exam, or any sort of urine or blood work done. This is usually not the case; you need to request STD testing from your doctor, even if you have given a sample of your blood or urine. 

Part of testing includes being asked basic questions about your sexual history, and testing is always judgment-free. There are different ways to test for different STDs, including urine, saliva, or blood samples, or a physical exam. Talk to your doctor about different methods and decide what is best for you. You will not be forced into any exams or providing any samples you’re not comfortable with. 

Why You Should Get Tested

STD rates are on the rise in the US, partially because people aren’t getting tested regularly. Many STDs have mild to no symptoms, so you can have (and spread) an STD without realizing it. STDs are caused by viruses and bacteria, so you need a medical professional to test you. You can’t accurately diagnose yourself with a sexually transmitted infection. Medical testing is safe, clean, and can help you prevent, treat, and manage STDs. 

Easy, Quick, and Affordable Testing

A fast, safe, and simple way to get an STD test, often with same-day results, is to go to your local urgent care. You can just walk in without an appointment and get peace of mind right away. Whether or not you have health insurance, urgent care will work with you for affordable testing options. Don’t wait until you have symptoms or a new sexual partner; check out your local urgent care or primary care center and get tested today!

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How to Create Healthier Family Holiday Traditions!

Family holiday traditions are the best part of this time of year. Traditions bring people together, make you feel nostalgic, and offers a break from the stress of normal day-to-day life. Unfortunately, many holiday traditions that families share aren’t so healthy. We want to help change that this year! Check out these tips and suggestions to make your holiday traditions a little healthier. 

Being Healthy Doesn’t Mean Giving Up Fun

It’s important to note that creating healthy traditions doesn’t mean giving up the family fun. In fact, some healthy traditions are even more fun than the unhealthy alternatives! You’ve just got to go into it with an open mind, ready to have fun. Encourage your family members to do the same. If parents talk about new traditions like they’ll be fun, kids are sure to follow suit!

New Healthy Holiday Traditions to Try

If you’re in need of healthy holiday tradition ideas, give one of these a try!

  • Outdoor winter fun – you may think cold weather forces you to stay inside, but that isn’t the case. Try a fun winter outdoor activity to get everyone up and moving. Snowboarding, snow tubing, ice skating, and even building a snowman are some great things to try. 
  • Try New Recipes – trying a new recipe together is a great way to get everyone together, bonding in one room of the home. Find some healthy recipes to replace your traditional ones and give them a shot. If your kids love making Christmas cookies, they’ll still love it even if the recipe is a little more health conscious! 
  • Caroling – caroling is an old-fashioned holiday tradition that’s making a comeback. It’s a great way to get out of the house and out of your comfort zone all at the same time! If you’re nervous, try to find a local caroling group that you can join in with until you get the hang of it. 
  • Read Christmas stories – instead of just watching Christmas movies, encourage your children to read Christmas stories with you as a family. Take them out to buy a few new books and watch them fall in love with the holiday spirit on the pages! 

How Can Centennial Medical help?

For more tips and advice on creating healthier holiday traditions for the whole family, visit our walk-in clinic! Our staff members are people with families just like you, so they know first hand how hard it can be to make healthy changes. We’re willing to answer any questions you may have and help to get the entire family on board!

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Why do Patients Need Primary Care in the Fall Season?

Primary care is one of the core medical services that patients will need in order to maintain peak overall health during their lifetime. Most patients understand the general needs and advantages of primary care compared to other facilities: comprehensive health assessments, personalized care, trustworthy primary care provider relationships, and health screenings tailored to your needs.

For seasonal care needs however, primary care services as an important crux of wellness and overall health management for a majority of patients. The fall season tends to be the busiest for families and individuals that require a wide range of services. Usually, patients will prepare any medical appointments near the beginning or middle of autumn to ensure they remain healthy for a full calendar year.

But why is primary care so important in the fall for most patients? What should new patients that need primary care understand about seasonal care?

Annual physicals in the fall are very common for most patients

Whenever a patient needs to get a routine physical or annual check-up, they are likely to get their appointment in the fall season. Most patients schedule their personal, school, and/or work time on top of their schedules for medical appointments. The middle of autumn is a busy time for primary care patients since they try and get an accurate year-to-year physical.

If you need to get a physical or primary care appointment, it may take some time to schedule. The fall is a great season to effectively plan for your medical care!

Primary care providers also provide vaccinations and seasonal illness prevention in fall

Seasonal care needs like flu shots and vaccinations are also an important part of primary care services that help avoid sudden illnesses. Many younger patients, such as children over the age of six months, will begin routine vaccinations to stay safe. Since contagious diseases spread in the fall, it helps to get your child’s vaccines ASAP.

Additionally, primary care providers can plan for any patient over six months of age to get their flu shot. A flu shot is the best way to prevent the flu virus each consecutive year.

Primary care screenings in the fall can help make your holidays healthier

The most important part of primary care is to ensure that any emerging or consistent medical conditions don’t worsen. This is because primary care providers can perform screenings for chronic disease risk factors such as blood pressure and cholesterol. Before the big holiday season, it may help to get a few screenings to help manage what you eat and avoid harmful health conditions.

If you’re interested in primary care at Centennial Medical, please contact us today and schedule an appointment!

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What are the main symptoms of the flu?

Flu season is pretty much here as the fall comes into full swing! As more people stay close together indoors during gatherings, work, and school the flu has a greater chance of spreading from person to person.

The best way to protect against the flu virus is with an updated flu vaccine known as a “flu shot.” Patients that do not have a flu shot are likely to experience a lot of irritable and fatiguing flu symptoms.

Diagnosing the flu early can help most patients prevent further diseases, treat the disease faster, and ensure that they are ready to coordinate any symptom treatment that they may need. Make sure that you consider getting a flu shot, since it is by far the most effective way to prevent the latest flu virus.

Fevers are the first sign that patients have the flu

A sudden or unusually high fever is the first sign that you have a flu infection. Before any other common symptom, the fever is the initial symptom of a greater flu virus infection.

Unlike other diseases, the flu usually causes immediate symptoms after just a day or two, sometimes up to three. However, in those first two days a patient is likely to have a fever along with any other common symptoms. Make sure you monitor the severity of any strong headaches or a potential fever for a day or two. Follow up any symptoms by visiting a nearby urgent care provider to coordinate new treatment.

Immediate flu symptoms include sneezing, coughing, congestion, and sore throat among others

When the flu has fully spread throughout your body, then you’ll begin to notice some traditional symptoms of the flu such as sneezing, coughing, congestion, sore throat, and general respiratory irritation.

During this time, breathing becomes harder and your body is fatigued as it fights of the influenza virus. Usually, patients will need extended rest or days off in order for their body to completely fight off the flu virus.

Vulnerable patients may be hospitalized from the flu virus!

Many patients may not fully realize that the flu can especially impact the health and safety of vulnerable individuals, which leads to hospitalizations. Patients that have trouble breathing, asthma, respiratory issues, or auto-immune deficiencies may have more serve symptoms that require intensive hospital care.

To avoid the flu, simply visit a nearby urgent care center to get your flu shot and receive seasonal flu treatment for any potential flu-related illnesses!

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