Infections

Common Winter Illnesses to Watch For

Monday, December 20th, 2021

During the winter months, more time spent indoors coupled with lower temperatures increases the risk of getting sick. Many illnesses are more common in the winter, making it important to protect your immunity with a healthy lifestyle along with frequent hand washing and disinfecting. 

Read on to learn about the most common winter illnesses to watch out for in the coming months.

The Common Cold

The common cold, as the name suggests, is one of the most common winter illnesses. This type of viral infection often causes a cough, sore throat, sneezing, nasal congestion, and postnasal drip. 

Most adults have a couple of colds each year, while children typically have between six and ten . This infection can range in severity, but is usually mild and goes away within a week. Over-the-counter medications, including decongestants and antihistamines, can improve the symptoms of a cold while your body works to fight off the virus. 

Influenza

The flu is a contagious viral infection that peaks in the fall and winter. You can receive an influenza vaccination starting in the fall to prevent getting sick with the flu. Fever, body aches, sore throat, sneezing, coughing, vomiting, and diarrhea are all symptoms of this infection, and it can last between five and seven days. Tamiflu is a prescription medication that can treat the flu if you’ve had the infection for two days or less. 

Bronchitis

Bronchitis is a condition that occurs when the lining of the bronchial tubes becomes inflamed. It can develop as a result of a respiratory infection, like the flu, or inhaled bacteria. However, chronic bronchitis, which lasts for three months or longer for at least two consecutive years, can result from irritants such as cigarette smoke or air pollution. 

The symptoms of bronchitis include a persistent cough, trouble breathing, and chest discomfort. Some people also experience headaches, body aches, chills, sore throat, runny nose, and watery eyes. Cough medicine, an inhaler, and antibiotics are possible treatments for bronchitis, depending on the cause of the illness. 

If you’re struggling to manage symptoms of common winter illnesses, visit Suncoast Urgent Care for a diagnosis and expert medical care today!

When to Seek Care for a Stomach Ache

Saturday, November 20th, 2021

In most cases, stomach pain isn’t something to worry about and will pass with time. But, there are some instances in which stomach pain indicates a more serious issue and requires prompt medical care. As a patient, it’s often difficult to determine when you need to seek care for a stomach ache. Here, we’ll explain the signs that stomach pain is an emergency and the signs that it needs non-emergency medical care.

Signs That Stomach Pain Could Be an Emergency

Some types of stomach pain require emergency medical care. These include pain from appendicitis, stomach ulcers, kidney stones, gallstones, hernia, pancreatitis, inflammatory bowel disease, bowel obstruction, and bowel perforation. The signs and symptoms that you may have a case of severe stomach pain and should seek out emergency care include:

  • The abdomen is very hard to the touch
  • Tenderness in the abdomen
  • Frequent vomiting
  • Bloody diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Pain or pressure in the chest
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Vision changes
  • Vomiting with an inability to pass a bowel movement
  • Vomiting or coughing up blood

You should also seek emergency care for significant stomach pain if: 

  • You’re pregnant
  • Your abdomen is expanding rapidly or bruised
  • The pain began after a procedure in/around the stomach
  • The pain began in the week following abdominal surgery
  • The pain began soon after trauma to the abdomen
  • You’ve had surgery on the digestive tract

Signs That Stomach Pain Requires Non-Emergent Medical Care

While severe stomach pain may require emergency care, other types of stomach pain can be treated with non-immediate care. If you experience the following symptoms with stomach pain and they persist for longer than a day or two, call your doctor: 

  • Blood in urine
  • Burning with urination
  • Diarrhea that persists for longer than five days
  • Fever that exceeds 100 degrees or lasts for longer than three days
  • Loss of appetite
  • Stomach pain that worsens or doesn’t improve in one to two days
  • Blood in stool
  • Bleeding of the rectum
  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding

If you have stomach pain that doesn’t last, isn’t severe, and isn’t paired with symptoms listed above, it will likely go away without medical care. The most common causes of mild stomach pain include constipation, eating foods that are hard to digest, and gas. 

For prompt treatment for a broad range of gastrointestinal concerns, visit Suncoast Urgent Care or contact us to schedule an appointment!

 

Tips on Staying Healthy This Winter

Wednesday, November 10th, 2021

This winter, staying healthy is high on the priority list for many. The common cold, flu, and COVID-19, along with other infections such as strep throat, bronchitis, and pneumonia, can pose a significant health risk this winter. But, the entire team at Suncoast Urgent Care is here to keep you and your family healthy all season long! Here, you’ll find our best tips for staying healthy and preventing illness this winter. Additionally, to receive prompt medical care for many health concerns, don’t hesitate to visit one of our office locations!

Prevent the Spread of Contagious Viruses.

Along with the novel coronavirus, there are many contagious viruses that can make you sick this winter, including influenza and the common cold. To prevent catching and spreading harmful viruses, make sure to wash your hands frequently throughout the day, regularly sanitize common surfaces, and avoid touching your mouth, nose, and eyes.

Get a Flu Shot. 

While much of the recent focus on vaccines have been on the one for COVID-19, it’s also important to get a flu shot this winter. Getting the vaccine for influenza shot can help prevent deaths and hospitalizations from the virus. 

Exercise.

While exercising isn’t always as enticing in the winter when people often want to curl up inside around the fire, it’s an essential part of staying healthy. Exercising not only helps with weight management and disease prevention, but also stimulates the immune system. So, whether you opt for an at-home workout, a walk around your neighborhood, or a session at the gym, make sure to get moving this winter. 

Eat a Healthy Diet.

What you eat has a large impact on the strength of your immune system. So, this winter, aim to eat a balanced diet full of foods that are known to boost immune function! These include citrus fruits, berries, leafy greens, broccoli, bell peppers, garlic, ginger, and probiotic-rich foods like yogurt. 

Visit Suncoast Urgent Care for all of your healthcare needs this winter. Contact us to learn more today!

 

Does My Child Have Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease?

Wednesday, October 20th, 2021

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Hand, foot, and mouth disease is a viral infection that’s common in young children. This illness is mild, but contagious, and can be spread by close contact with people who are infected with it.

There are certain telltale signs of hand, foot, and mouth disease, including sores in the mouth and a skin rash typically found on the hands and feet. Here, we’ll describe these signs in greater detail so that you can recognize them in your child at home. 

Signs of Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease

As mentioned above, hand, foot, and mouth disease often causes mouth sores and skin rash. The mouth sores associated with this virus are often painful, inflamed, and similar to blisters. These sores can appear on the gums, inside of the cheeks, and the tongue. The rash associated with hand, foot, and mouth disease often appear on the palms of the hands, the soles of the feet, and the buttocks in some cases. This rash usually isn’t itchy, but may blister. 

Other symptoms of this disease in children include:

The first symptom of hand, foot, and mouth disease is often a fever. This is commonly followed by a sore throat and potentially a loss of appetite. Within a day or two of the fever developing, the sores in the mouth or throat may appear. A day or two after the sores appear, a rash may form. 

How to Prevent Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease

Hand, foot, and mouth disease can most effectively be prevented with frequent hand washing, disinfecting surfaces and toys, avoiding contact with people who are infected, not sharing cups or utensils, and avoiding touching the face. Adults can also carry hand, foot, and mouth disease, even if they don’t experience symptoms of it. So, it’s important for parents to take preventative measures against this virus so that they don’t pass it to their children. 

Hand, foot, and mouth disease is typically minor and resolves within 7 to 10 days. However, if your child is experiencing severe symptoms, symptoms that haven’t resolved within 10 days, or a fever lasting longer than three days, visit Suncoast Urgent Care for prompt medical attention.  

Is Your Sore Throat a Cold, Strep Throat, or Tonsillitis?

Sunday, October 10th, 2021

A sore throat is a symptom of many common illnesses. So, if you’re experiencing a sore throat, it can be difficult to tell which sickness you’re coming down with. 

Cold viruses, strep throat, and tonsilitis can all cause a sore throat. While these ailments are all easily treated, understanding the differences between them can help you get the care that you need to make a fast recovery. 

Sore Throat from a Cold

A sore throat is often the first sign that you’re coming down with a cold. A sore throat with a cold will generally go away within the first day or two of getting sick. If you have a cold, you’ll also likely have other symptoms including nasal congestion, a runny nose, headache, sneezing, and mild body aches.  (more…)

Could Your Cough Be a Sign of Something More Serious?

Monday, September 20th, 2021

In many instances, a cough is simply caused by a minor issue, like the common cold or seasonal allergies. However, in some instances, a persistent cough could indicate a more serious medical concern. Knowing when to visit a doctor for a cough will help ensure that you receive the prompt medical care that you need. 

What Causes a Chronic Cough?

A cough is considered chronic if it lasts for eight weeks or more. A cough lasting several weeks can be uncomfortable and disruptive to your daily activities. Some of the common causes of a chronic cough include:

  • Asthma
  • Sinus problems
  • Pneumonia 
  • Lung infection
  • Chronic heartburn
  • Medication side effects

In some cases, a chronic cough is caused by more serious conditions, such as COPD, cystic fibrosis, or even lung cancer. However, before jumping to conclusions, visit your doctor for a professional evaluation of your cough. Your doctor will be able to pinpoint its cause and get you the treatment that you need. 

Signs That You Should Visit a Doctor for Your Cough

  • Your cough goes away, then returns. This can indicate rebound symptoms. 
  • Your cough is accompanied by a fever over 103℉. 
  • You’re also experiencing shortness of breath and/or chest pain. 
  • You’re coughing up blood, even if it’s a small amount. 

Cough and COVID-19

A cough is a typical symptom of both the common cold and COVID-19. While a common cold will likely go away on its own within a few days, cases of COVID-19 may require additional care. So, if you’re experiencing a cough, it’s wise to receive a COVID-19 test so that you know for sure. In either case, the knowledgeable team at Suncoast Urgent Care will ensure that you get the medical care that you need!

For comprehensive care for coughs and COVID-19 testing, including rapid tests, visit Suncoast Urgent Care. 

5 Symptoms of a Sinus Infection

Friday, September 10th, 2021

Sinus infections are common but can be quite uncomfortable. Identifying the signs that you have a sinus infection can ensure that you get the care you need and recover quickly. 

What is a Sinus Infection?

A sinus infection occurs when fluid accumulates in the sinuses, causing the lining of the sinuses to become inflamed. The sinuses are the hollow areas in the head that are connected by small channels and produce the mucus that keeps the nose moist. 

When the sinuses are blocked with fluid, germs can develop and cause an infection. There are many potential causes of a sinus infection, including the common cold, allergies, nasal polyps, and a deviated septum. 

Sinus Infection Symptoms:

1. Sinus Pain

Sinus pain is one of the most common symptoms of a sinus infection. Inflammation and swelling of the lining of the sinuses puts pressure on the surrounding nerves, often leading to dull pain. There are many different sinuses in the head, so you may feel pain on the sides of the nose, between the eyes, in the upper jaw, or in the forehead. 

2. Congestion

When the sinuses are inflamed, nasal congestion typically results. Congestion can limit your ability to breathe through your nose, smell, and even taste. You may also have a stuffy-sounding voice. 

3. Nasal Discharge

The infected sinuses drain discharge to the nasal passages with a sinus infection. This can cause a high volume of nasal discharge, and you’ll need to blow your nose frequently. 

4. Headaches

The constant pressure in the sinuses with a sinus infection often leads to headaches. Sinus headaches are generally the most intense in the morning. This is because fluids can accumulate in the sinuses overnight, causing a lot of sinus pressure when you wake up. 

5. Sore Throat

A sinus infection can cause a postnasal drip. As the mucus drips from the sinuses to the throat, the throat may become irritated and inflamed. This irritation may escalate if the infection lasts for many days, leading to a sore throat

If you’re experiencing respiratory problems, such as a sinus infection, visit Suncoast Urgent Care for prompt treatment. 

Swimmer's Ear vs Inner Ear Infection

Friday, August 20th, 2021

Swimmer’s ear and inner ear infections are both common causes of an earache. While both of these conditions cause ear pain, there are distinct differences between the two. To effectively treat ear pain, it’s essential to discover its root cause. So, let’s discuss swimmer’s ear and an inner ear infection, as well as how to differentiate between the two. 

Swimmer’s Ear

Swimmer’s ear is an infection that affects the outer ear canal. Oftentimes, it’s caused by water that stays in the ear, which establishes an ideal environment for bacteria to grow. While it’s often caused by (as you can tell by the name) swimming, the swimmer’s ear can also stem from frequently putting cotton swabs or fingers in the ears. 

With swimmer’s ear, pain occurs near the ear opening. Additionally, the outer ear often appears inflamed and red, with an appearance much like a rash. In moderate to severe cases, swimmer’s ear can also cause decreased hearing out of the infected ear. 

Most cases of swimmer’s ear are treated by a doctor with prescription ear drops. These eardrops typically contain a combination of an antibiotic, antifungal, steroid, and acidic solution. 

Inner Ear Infections

An inner ear infection occurs when the innermost portion of the ear becomes infected. The inner ear contains the cochlea, which receives auditory signals and sends those signals as a message to the brain. The inner ear also consists of semicircular ducts, which inform the brain of the body and head’s positioning, contributing to our ability to balance. 

Since the inner ear contains structures that impact our sense of balance, many people experience symptoms beyond ear pain including dizziness, nausea, trouble with balance, and even vomiting. Trouble hearing out of the infected ear is also a common symptom of an inner ear infection. 

Inner ear infections are most commonly caused by a virus, and much less commonly by bacteria. In contrast, swimmer’s ear is always a bacterial infection. Depending on your symptoms, your doctor may recommend over-the-counter or prescription medications including antiviral, antibiotics, steroids, painkillers, and nausea medications. 

For trusted earache treatment, visit Suncoast Urgent Care today. 

Respiratory Diseases: Causes, Symptoms, & Preventive Measures

Tuesday, June 15th, 2021

Respiratory DiseasesThe respiratory system is essential to your ability to breathe. By enabling your body to absorb oxygen from the air, the respiratory system supports healthy organ function. Unfortunately, there are many diseases that can impact the respiratory system and affect your overall health. Here, we’ll discuss the most common respiratory diseases, as well as how to prevent them. 

Infectious Respiratory Diseases

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What is Respiratory Syncytial Virus?

Saturday, May 15th, 2021

The respiratory syncytial virus is also called RSV. It’s common, with the vast majority of children having been infected by RSV by the age of 2. While RSV usually resolves on its own, a better understanding of the virus can help you manage the infection and identify it in children.

How RSV is Transmitted

RSV can be transmitted when droplets of the virus, released when an infected person coughs or sneezes, gets in the eyes, nose, or mouth of someone else. The virus can also live on surfaces and spread when someone touches a surface with the virus, then touches their face. Once infected with RSV, people are typically contagious for 3 to 8 days.  (more…)

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