Infections

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…)

Signs and Symptoms of Strep Throat

Sunday, January 10th, 2021

Do you have a sore throat? A sore throat is often just a symptom of the common cold. However, in some cases, a sore throat could be caused by strep throat. Strep throat is a bacterial infection, and it leads to a fast-onset sore throat alongside other symptoms.

Read on to learn more about the signs and symptoms of strep throat. Keep in mind that strep throat can lead to further complications if left untreated, but the experienced staff at Suncoast Urgent Care can provide the treatment that you need to make a full recovery.  

The Main Symptoms of Strep Throat

Strep throat is usually a mild bacterial infection. However, it can cause painful symptoms including: (more…)

COVID testing , Antigen versus RNA

Wednesday, October 7th, 2020

Tests explained !

There are many tests available at this point. Some are done with blood and some with swabs from the nasopharynx and now some from saliva samples.

The MOST accurate test available is the RT-PCR test, most often performed using a nasopharyngeal swab. These tests are typically sent out to a lab that can perform this very sophisticated test. There is one manufacturer at present that makes this test available to do in the clinic but it is not widely available.

The commonly advertised RAPID test uses an "antigen" test. This machine looks for the presence of proteins from the virus whereas the RT-PCR test looks for the genetic material RNA from the virus. The rapid antigen test is NOT as accurate. In fact there is discussion that a patient with symptoms suggestive of COVID who has a negative antigen test should STILL HAVE a RT-PCR test to confirm that the rapid antigen test is correct.

Most experts agree the best use for the RAPID ANTIGEN test is to screen asymptomatic patients, not to diagnose COVID in someone with symptoms.

Suncoast Urgent Care is currently just performing the RT-PCR test and we have very consistently had 48 hour turnaround times for this test.

If you need a test to travel out of the country, or for return to school in Pasco and Pinellas counties, these all require the RT-PCR test, they will NOT accept an antigen test.

When Does Your Child Need to Be Seen for a Fever?

Saturday, August 15th, 2020

As a new parent, it can be easy to get excited over every little thing that your baby does. And just as you squeal at every coo, it’s easy to get carried away when your baby doesn’t feel well. Not every fever is cause for alarm, and not every cough needs to be addressed by a physician. 

So when should you take your child to the doctor for a fever? It really depends on what else is going on.

If your child has a fever and no other symptoms, it could be several things that could resolve on their own. These include possibilities like: (more…)

When You Should Get Tested for COVID-19

Wednesday, July 15th, 2020

Most people are very concerned about the risk of contracting the coronavirus, and for good reason. Numbers of infected and positive tests increase more and more every day, and these numbers still aren’t representative of the total infection rate due to a lack of testing. 

However, testing is becoming more widely available as more American manufacturers develop, test, and release these COVID-19 tests. Some of the tests for COVID-19 are not well tested and may not be accurate, but it is still a good idea to get tested depending on your symptoms and other factors. (more…)

When You Should Not Assume That It’s Allergies

Friday, May 15th, 2020

Although it is almost summer, springtime allergies are still a problem for many people. Every year, more and more people are affected by seasonal allergies. These allergies can begin anytime during your lifetime, and symptoms are usually very mild in the first couple of seasons. Allergy symptoms include chronic cough, sneezing, runny nose, itchy or watery eyes, and nasal congestion. 

These symptoms can also be a sign of other health conditions. It is important to make an appointment with your primary care doctor or an allergist if you think you may have allergies so that you can be tested and treated for seasonal allergies. But in the meantime, there are a few things to watch for that should send you to urgent care right away instead of waiting for an appointment.

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