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Cerebrovascular Accident (Stroke)

Cerebrovascular Accident (Stroke)

Symptoms
Watch for these signs and symptoms if you think you or someone else may be having a stroke. Note when your signs and symptoms begin, because the length of time they have been present may guide your treatment decisions:
• Trouble with speaking and understanding. You may experience confusion. You may slur your words or have difficulty understanding speech.
• Paralysis or numbness of the face, arm or leg. You may develop sudden numbness, weakness or paralysis in your face, arm or leg, especially on one side of your body. Try to raise both your arms over your head at the same time. If one arm begins to fall, you may be having a stroke. Similarly, one side of your mouth may droop when you try to smile.
• Trouble with seeing in one or both eyes. You may suddenly have blurred or blackened vision in one or both eyes, or you may see double.
• Headache. A sudden, severe headache, which may be accompanied by vomiting, dizziness or altered consciousness, may indicate you’re having a stroke.
• Trouble with walking. You may stumble or experience sudden dizziness, loss of balance or loss of coordination.
When to see a doctor
Seek immediate medical attention if you notice any signs or symptoms of a stroke, even if they seem to fluctuate or disappear.
Think “FAST” and do the following:
• Face. Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
• Arms. Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward? Or is one arm unable to raise up?
• Speech. Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is his or her speech slurred or strange?
• Time. If you observe any of these signs, call 911 immediately.
Call 911 or your local emergency number right away. Don’t wait to see if symptoms go away. Every minute counts. The longer a stroke goes untreated, the greater the potential for brain damage and disability.
If you’re with someone you suspect is having a stroke, watch the person carefully while waiting for emergency assistance.
Causes
A stroke occurs when the blood supply to your brain is interrupted or reduced. This deprives your brain of oxygen and nutrients, which can cause your brain cells to die.
A stroke may be caused by a blocked artery (ischemic stroke) or the leaking or bursting of a blood vessel (hemorrhagic stroke). Some people may experience only a temporary disruption of blood flow to their brain (transient ischemic attack, or TIA).
Ischemic stroke
About 85 percent of strokes are ischemic strokes. Ischemic strokes occur when the arteries to your brain become narrowed or blocked, causing severely reduced blood flow (ischemia). The most common ischemic strokes include:
• Thrombotic stroke. A thrombotic stroke occurs when a blood clot (thrombus) forms in one of the arteries that supply blood to your brain. A clot may be caused by fatty deposits (plaque) that build up in arteries and cause reduced blood flow (atherosclerosis) or other artery conditions.
• Embolic stroke. An embolic stroke occurs when a blood clot or other debris forms away from your brain — commonly in your heart — and is swept through your bloodstream to lodge in narrower brain arteries. This type of blood clot is called an embolus.

Hemorrhagic stroke
Hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel in your brain leaks or ruptures. Brain hemorrhages can result from many conditions that affect your blood vessels, including uncontrolled high blood pressure (hypertension), overtreatment with anticoagulants and weak spots in your blood vessel walls (aneurysms).
A less common cause of hemorrhage is the rupture of an abnormal tangle of thin-walled blood vessels (arteriovenous malformation) present at birth. Types of hemorrhagic stroke include:
• Intracerebral hemorrhage. In an intracerebral hemorrhage, a blood vessel in the brain bursts and spills into the surrounding brain tissue, damaging brain cells. Brain cells beyond the leak are deprived of blood and also damaged.
High blood pressure, trauma, vascular malformations, use of blood-thinning medications and other conditions may cause an intracerebral hemorrhage.
• Subarachnoid hemorrhage. In a subarachnoid hemorrhage, an artery on or near the surface of your brain bursts and spills into the space between the surface of your brain and your skull. This bleeding is often signaled by a sudden, severe headache.
A subarachnoid hemorrhage is commonly caused by the bursting of a small sack-shaped or berry-shaped outpouching on an artery known as an aneurysm. After the hemorrhage, the blood vessels in your brain may widen and narrow erratically (vasospasm), causing brain cell damage by further limiting blood flow.

Ischemic stroke

Transient ischemic attack (TIA)
A transient ischemic attack (TIA) — also known as a ministroke — is a brief period of symptoms similar to those you’d have in a stroke. A temporary decrease in blood supply to part of your brain causes TIAs, which often last less than five minutes.
Like an ischemic stroke, a TIA occurs when a clot or debris blocks blood flow to part of your brain. A TIA doesn’t leave lasting symptoms because the blockage is temporary.
Seek emergency care even if your symptoms seem to clear up. Having a TIA puts you at greater risk of having a full-blown stroke, causing permanent damage later. If you’ve had a TIA, it means there’s likely a partially blocked or narrowed artery leading to your brain or a clot source in the heart.
It’s not possible to tell if you’re having a stroke or a TIA based only on your symptoms. Up to half of people whose symptoms appear to go away actually have had a stroke causing brain damage.
Risk factors
Many factors can increase your risk of a stroke. Some factors can also increase your chances of having a heart attack. Potentially treatable stroke risk factors include:
Lifestyle risk factors
• Being overweight or obese
• Physical inactivity
• Heavy or binge drinking
• Use of illicit drugs such as cocaine and methamphetamines
Medical risk factors
• High blood pressure — the risk of stroke begins to increase at blood pressure readings higher than 120/80 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). Your doctor will help you decide on a target blood pressure based on your age, whether you have diabetes and other factors.
• Cigarette smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke.
• High cholesterol.
• Diabetes.
• Obstructive sleep apnea — a sleep disorder in which the oxygen level intermittently drops during the night.
• Cardiovascular disease, including heart failure, heart defects, heart infection or abnormal heart rhythm.
Other factors associated with a higher risk of stroke include:
• Personal or family history of stroke, heart attack or transient ischemic attack.
• Being age 55 or older.
• Race — African-Americans have a higher risk of stroke than do people of other races.
• Gender — Men have a higher risk of stroke than women. Women are usually older when they have strokes, and they’re more likely to die of strokes than are men. Also, they may have some risk from some birth control pills or hormone therapies that include estrogen, as well as from pregnancy and childbirth.
Complications
A stroke can sometimes cause temporary or permanent disabilities, depending on how long the brain lacks blood flow and which part was affected. Complications may include:
• Paralysis or loss of muscle movement. You may become paralyzed on one side of your body, or lose control of certain muscles, such as those on one side of your face or one arm. Physical therapy may help you return to activities hampered by paralysis, such as walking, eating and dressing.
• Difficulty talking or swallowing. A stroke may cause you to have less control over the way the muscles in your mouth and throat move, making it difficult for you to talk clearly (dysarthria), swallow or eat (dysphagia). You also may have difficulty with language (aphasia), including speaking or understanding speech, reading or writing. Therapy with a speech and language pathologist may help.
• Memory loss or thinking difficulties. Many people who have had strokes experience some memory loss. Others may have difficulty thinking, making judgments, reasoning and understanding concepts.
• Emotional problems. People who have had strokes may have more difficulty controlling their emotions, or they may develop depression.
• Pain. People who have had strokes may have pain, numbness or other strange sensations in parts of their bodies affected by stroke. For example, if a stroke causes you to lose feeling in your left arm, you may develop an uncomfortable tingling sensation in that arm.
People also may be sensitive to temperature changes, especially extreme cold after a stroke. This complication is known as central stroke pain or central pain syndrome. This condition generally develops several weeks after a stroke, and it may improve over time. But because the pain is caused by a problem in your brain, rather than a physical injury, there are few treatments.
• Changes in behavior and self-care ability. People who have had strokes may become more withdrawn and less social or more impulsive. They may need help with grooming and daily chores.
As with any brain injury, the success of treating these complications will vary from person to person.

 

Reference:

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/stroke/symptoms-causes/dxc-20117265

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Potential health complication and remedies during Ramadan

Heartburn (indigestion)
Those who are on regular medication for indigestion, such as antacids (eg Gaviscon), antihistamines (eg Zantac) or proton pump inhibitors (eg Losec, Zoton or Nexium) are advised to continue taking them, at the pre-dawn meal for instance. The control of heartburn or belching can be aided by eating in moderation and avoiding oily, deep-fried or very spicy food. Reducing your caffeine intake and/or stopping smoking can also be of benefit, if relevant. Sleeping with your head raised on a few pillows and long-term weight loss may also help prevent heartburn.

Headache
This is a common problem and has many causes. Headaches during a fast could commonly be due to dehydration or hunger, inadequate rest, or the absence of addictive substances such as caffeine or nicotine. A moderate and balanced diet, especially not missing the pre-dawn meal, consuming adequate quantities of fluid and if necessary taking a dose of painkillers such as paracetamol, may all go a long way towards either preventing or reducing the risk of developing a disabling headache.

Dehydration
Prevention is always better than cure. However, if you do not adequately rehydrate before a fast, your risk of dehydration is increased. This risk is higher in the elderly and in those taking tablets such as diuretics. Depending on the severity of the dehydration, you may experience a general feeling of being unwell, lethargy, muscle cramps, dizziness, disorientation and even collapse or fainting

Constipation
Constipation could be a very irritating problem for someone undertaking a fast. Maintaining good hydration outside the fast, eating healthly, with lots of fruit and vegetables in your diet, increasing the fibre content of your food using bran, and being active all help to keep your bowel motions as regular as would otherwise be expected. If the problem persists, a short course of bulk laxatives may help.

Poor control of diabetes
Those injecting insulin are advised not to fast, as the potential risk to health, both in the short and long term, of not taking insulin is too great. People who have their diabetes under control using tablets should ensure that they visit their GP prior to Ramadan, in order to discuss any possible changes to their drug regime which would facilitate a safe fast. If not, such patients are at risk of poor control of their diabetes during and outside the fasting times. Regular self-monitoring of your blood glucose is strongly advised. Low blood sugar levels (a ‘hypo’) are dangerous, and if untreated may lead to fainting or fits, and hence must be strictly avoided. Feeling dizzy, sweaty and disorientated may all suggest a hypo. If this is suspected, you should immediately have a sugary drink.

– Dr. Rabia Sardar

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Caring For Those Tired Joints

Standing, bending, climbing, walking, sitting, typing, cooking ….. so many of our daily activities require healthy, functional joints. Some joints provide stability, while others help us move about from place to place.

Isn’t the human body complex? There are so many moving parts that need to function in synchronicity to help you live. Sometimes message from our body can be confusing. Pain in one area may actually be because of a problem in another. Don’t let your body fool you. If you get your health game strong and gather the right amount of knowledge you can lead a pain free life.

Aging and stress lead to wear and tear on our body. And if you are dealing with pain day to day, it can wear you down even more, causing fatigue, depression, and disrupting your everyday life.

It may seem counterintuitive, but being busy and active helps relieve the fatigue. Yes, that’s right. As repetitive as it sounds, moderate exercise along with a balanced diet is the key to leading a healthy and pain free life.

Some joint issues are more than just using the joints too much – or not enough. One of the most common joint problems is Arthritis, which means inflammation of a joint or joints.

Some of the common types of Arthritis are:

  • Osteoarthritis: This is the most common form of arthritis. It usually develops slowly and gets worse overtime.
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis: This form is an auto-immune disease, where the immune system attacks healthy cells in the body, causing pain and inflammation. It can affect multiple joints at a time, lead to chronic pain, instability, and deformity in the joints. In addition to joints, it can also affect other organs in the body like lung, liver, etc.
  • SLE: Systemic Lupus Erythematosis is another auto-immune condition which affects multiple systems in the body. Some varying symptoms for lupus are: skin rashes, seizures, oral ulcers, and photosensitivity. Your doctor can differentiate the type of lupus by running some diagnostic tests.
  • Gout: This painful condition is caused by a buildup of uric acid, which forms crystals that cause inflammation in your joints. Gout commonly affects men but women are not immune. Most commonly, Gout is treated by pain relieving meds like NSAIDS prescribed by your doctor.
  • Fibromyalgia: Women are more likely to experience this condition than men. A chronic disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, and tenderness in localized areas.
  • Reaction to your meds: Some drugs prescribed to treat one problem could cause a reaction leading to joint pains and fatigue. Be watchful of any symptoms when you start a new drug routine. These kinds are usually associated with rash, change in bowel movements, etc.

Symptoms can vary, depending on the condition but may include:

  • Pain or aching.
  • Stiffness.
  • Swelling.
  • Redness.
  • Less range of motion.

Eating healthy for pain relief doesn’t mean eating dull and boring food. Load up on foods rich in:

  • Omega-3 fatty acids: Like salmon and nuts to curb inflammation.
  • Vitamin K: Add greens, such as spinach, kale, and cabbage for their pain-soothing properties.
  • Vitamin C: Brighten your diet with juicy oranges, sweet red peppers, tomatoes, and other C-rich foods to minimize cartilage loss that comes with arthritis.
  • Spices: Turmeric and ginger are warming spices and very useful in soothing inflammation.

We at Florida Home Care believe in empowering you with basic skills and information that could lead you onto the path of a healthy lifestyle. A free consultation with one of our professional team member is always a good idea to understand and discuss any symptoms you might be facing in your day to day life.

Florida Home Care- Empowering people for better lives!!!

 

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Autism Awareness

AWARENESS – NOT FEAR. FACING AUTISM

Autism is a word that can be a frightening diagnosis for a parent to hear.  It’s emotionally distressing to know that your child will have this development disorder for the rest of their life. Understanding what autism is can help the family better help the child, and each other, have a loving and productive life.

Autism is more than just one thing. Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) covers a broad range of symptoms associated with this complex brain development. It includes Asperger Syndrome, as well as non specified development disorders. Recognizing the symptoms early and addressing them is important. Symptoms to look for in your child include:

  • Making very little or no eye contact.
  • Not recognizing their name by 12 months old.
  • Greatly delayed speech or language skills.
  • Extended repetitive mannerisms such as flapping their hands, rocking, or spinning in circles.
  • Becoming overly upset at changes in the routine.
  • Repetition of words or phrases that are said to them.
  • Physical look or actions don’t match what’s being said.
  • Extreme sensitivities to light, sound, or textures.

Individually, these symptoms may be a part of growth and development. But combined they can be signs that your child has some form of ASD.

Determining if a child has Autism can be done by the age of two. Diagnosing older children can be done through evaluations. Many times teachers can recognize the first signs through sudden changes in behavior or habits.

Exactly why children develop ASD is still being studied. It typically occurs more in boys than girls. Genetics play a role as well.  It also seems to occur more often in children that have other genetic disorders such as Down Syndrome or tuberous sclerosis.

Living with Autism now is not as bad as in years past. There are many approaches combining different treatments and therapies that can help children grow and learn.  There is no one specific treatment, but a variety of options and combinations of therapies, medications, and training that will help the child and family adapt to the disability.

Occupational Therapy can help develop techniques and methods to take care of daily activities and gain a sense of independence.

Physical Therapy works to develop walking, balance, strength and coordination.

Family Support and Counseling reminds everyone that they are not alone. Knowing you’re part of a community can help to find resources and discover new ideas for improving daily life, and provide much needed emotional support.

Speech Therapy addresses the issue of communication that most suffering from ADS have. It allows the child to better express their needs, so it reduces frustration which can trigger incidents.

A coordinated treatment program can bring all the aspects of evaluation and therapy together. Working with your doctor and other professionals that specialize in care to specific disorders can greatly improve the child’s chance for successful progressive steps.

The earlier the diagnosis, the better chance for proper intervention and development of a treatment program. Autism may be considered a childhood issue, but children grow in to adults. It is something they will be living with throughout their life.  It’s important to give the child a strong foundation in these key areas so they can grow and thrive as adults, something that would not have been possible years ago.

During Autism Awareness Month, it’s important to try to understand the needs of people dealing with ADS.  They should have every opportunity to lead vibrant, independent lives.

Talk to your pediatrician to know more about Autism and educate yourself and make us part of your journey to good health and development.

Florida Home Care – Empower people for a better life

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Who Needs Physical Therapy

Who Needs PHYSICAL THERAPY?

Pain-free movement is crucial to your ability to earn a living, your independence, and your quality of life. Constantly taking medication doesn’t always solve the problem. Sometimes, the answer is movement.

Physical therapists are movement experts who can identify, diagnose, and treat movement problems.

Who can benefit from the help of a Physical Therapist?

*A senior who has difficulty walking or reaching for something due to pain, loss of range of motion, or decreased strength can greatly benefit from physical therapy.

*It’s a runner’s worst fear: you’re running when it suddenly feels as if something jumped up and bit you in the calf. You tore a muscle. Some pains get solved with rest but other types need an expert, such as a physical therapist, to find the true problem and treat it wisely.

*Pregnancy-related incontinence occurs due to weak pelvic floor muscles. PT helps strengthen your pelvic floor muscles by:

  • Teaching you how to exercise your pelvic floor muscles correctly.
  • Advise on your lifestyle, such as diet, exercise, and fluid intake, which will help you manage the problem.
  • Monitor your progress and modify the exercises accordingly.

* Some diseases can create physical barriers or movement issues. Disease specific healing has been greatly improved by Physical Therapists who understand the limitations and the possibilities of these illnesses.

Some of the conditions helped by PT treatments are:

  • Diabetic wounds
  • Sprains
  • Cardiac rehab
  • Post-stroke healing
  • Cancer recovery
  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Cerebral Palsy

Physical Therapy does more than just improve mobility; it helps with reducing the intake of pain medications. When taken on a long-term basis, these over the counter or prescription medicines can damage kidneys and other organs.

Always discuss your condition with your physician. Plan out your goal and treatment options to see if a Physical Therapist can help you achieve a pain-free independent life.

 Florida Home Care- Empowering people for making better life possible

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Colon Cancer

Live Your Best Life… It’s a choice you can make today!!!!

Good day Abu Dhabi!!!

March is many things, International Women’s History Month, Nutrition Month, and it’s also “Colon Cancer Awareness” month. Colon Cancer is a painful killer, and has the highest occurrence in men when compared to women.

As the age old saying goes…..

Prevention is better than cure

 Colon Cancer is one of the most preventable cancers, provided it’s detected early.

 Let us get some insights into Colon Cancer and its prevention.

The COLON, also known as your Large Intestine, is the final section of your digestive system. The food is broken down in the stomach and the nutrients are absorbed in the small intestine and are then passed onto the large intestine. Here the water and minerals are absorbed and waste is formed, which is passed out of the body through the rectum and then anus.

Colon Cancer almost always forms from polyps or growths on the colon lining. On occasion the cancer is from abnormal cells in the colon (these are usually found in people with disease of the  bowel).

With screening, these polyps can be detected before they turn into cancer and can be removed, hence preventing Colon Cancer.

The major risk factors known to cause colon cancer are:

  • Family history of Colon Cancer
  • Age/Gender (most common in older men)
  • Inflammatory Bowel disease
  • High fat diets (Red meats, processed food)
  • Low fibre diets
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Excessive alcohol intake
  • Smoking

Now that we know the risk factors, it also helps to understand the SYMPTOMS that could prompt suspicion (remember, symptoms do not always follow a pattern and vary from person to person).

  • Diarrhea, constipation, or feeling that the bowel does not empty completely
  • Stools that are narrower than usual
  • Frequent gas pains, bloating, fullness, or cramps
  • Weight loss for no known reason
  • Persistent tiredness
  • Vomiting
  • Anemia of unknown origin

You want to protect your loved ones. With a few lifestyle modifications, getting timely screenings and early detection, you can continue to live your very best life ever.

Click here for more info about screening and early detection

Schedule your free consultation today and let our highly skilled professionals guide you on the right path to good health and long, happy life.

Florida Home Care- Empowering people for making better life possible

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Let us have a heart to heart about “HEART DISEASE”

Your heart beats an average of 103,680 times a day. That makes an average of 2,838,240,000 times over your lifetime. It circulates blood throughout the body, to the farthest corners. It pumps constantly. If it should stop or hesitate – that’s when the problems start. A healthy heart is the corner stone for an overall healthy and a happier life.

What can you do every day to achieve a healthier life?

How do you incorporate the necessary little tweaks into your lifestyle?

  1. Exercise: Your Heart is a muscle and exercise helps to tone and strengthen muscles. You can easily incorporate regular exercise into your lifestyle by making only minor changes. Walking is one of the best forms of exercise to do and one of the easiest to incorporate in to your daily routine. It helps regulate blood flow, lowers blood pressure, reduces bad cholesterol (LDL), and increases good cholesterol (HDL). Consult a physician before starting any exercise regimen if you have a pre existing heart condition or a family history or heart or health problems.
  2. Diet: Watch your diet for fatty foods and carb overloads. Add more fresh vegetables, fruits, and healthy proteins like nuts and beans. This will help you achieve a balanced diet. Consult with a nutritionist for a proper understanding of what are heart healthy foods.
  3. NO SMOKING: Smoking reduces lung capacity and your tolerance to properly exercise. Simple everyday tasks can also become daunting for smokers. It increases the risk of stroke or heart attack by damaging the arteries and leading to excessive fatty deposits. It’s never too late to seek help to quit smoking for you or someone you love.
  4. Alcohol: Limiting alcohol use is always a good idea for reducing the risk of developing a heart condition.
  5. STRESS: With today’s fast paced lifestyle, stress is a leading cause of heart disease.Stress→Bad lifestyle choices→heart disease.

    Combat stress with meditation, laughing, clubs, spending time with loved ones and, last but not least, identifying the factors leading to your stress and trying to eliminate them.

  6. Doctor visits: We cannot stress enough about the importance of regular doctor’s visits. Early diagnosis can be lifesaving. Eliminating a disease before, or at the beginning, is the best practice. Finding a cure for an advanced disease is never as easy as taking  early steps to avoid it.

Florida Home Care, a premier home health care organization based in Abu Dhabi, can help you address issues you might have by providing support and care options such as:

  • In home Health checkups
  • Social companion to help you go visit your doctor.
  • Exercise help
  • Stress management

February is the month of the heart. We wish you a very Hearty and Healthy Month and Year!

Florida Home Care – Empower people for a better life

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Avoiding a Pain In The Neck

Avoiding a Pain In The Neck

Back pain is an everyday challenge for many of us today, with age being no barrier. It makes accomplishing the simplest of tasks painful and challenging, diminishing our quality of life. Relieving back pain is not an easy thing. Trying to find the right treatment or medication can take time before you feel relief. Avoiding back pain or injury is preferred. By taking care of your spine as a part of your everyday routine, you can lead a pain free life.

The neck is an amazing structure. It is constructed of bones, nerves, muscles and tendons that support your skull. Through it the messages from your brain are dispersed throughout your body. The spine also carries these signals to your lower extremities, and allows you the ability to be flexible and walk upright.

To avoid developing any issues, follow these suggestions to keep you upright and pain free.

  1. Rest your spine. When you go to bed, make sure you have a suitable mattress that provides proper support. And make sure to get enough overall rest!
  1. Sitting posture. Modern society has a lot of sitting. Maintaining the right posture helps to protect your spine from misalignment or undue pressure. Over time, that means pain. When sitting, keep your back straight and your shoulders back and relaxed. Try to distribute your body weight evenly on your hips and keep your feet on the floor.

  1. Stretching/exercising. Many of us sit at a desk all day. Sitting properly helps, but it’s also important to take breaks. Stand once in a while and gently stretch out your spine. Move your neck to avoid tension and compression.
  1. Maintain a healthy weight. It sounds simple, but keeping a healthy weight helps reduce stress on your spine and can assist with balance.
  1. Work smart. If your work requires lifting, sitting, or adding excessive pressure on your neck and back, make sure you take enough breaks to adjust yourself. Find the right posture for the task at hand. Remember to lift with your legs, not with your back.
  1. Pay attention to any warning signs. Do not ignore any pain or discomfort – especially sudden, sharp pains. Minor issues can be quickly addressed to avoid any persistence with the problem. Consulting a doctor or therapist in an early stage will determine if it’s just a minor issue or a more concerning problem or disease. They can help you find a better resolution. Some diseases or the muscles or spine can be very debilitating in the long term. Early diagnosis is important to the best treatment.

Your neck and spine are the support structure for your whole body. It’s best to be pro-active and prevent injury than have to worry about treatments. Those can be a real pain in the neck.

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GETTING A HANDLE ON HEADACHES

GETTING A HANDLE ON HEADACHES

Everyone gets a headache now and then. Stress at work, eye strain, allergies or sinus issues, dehydration and many other issues can give you that distracting, painful feeling. A headache, or cephalgia, is one of the most common medical complaints. Many headaches are stand alone issues, but there are times when there may be an underlying cause related to a disease or serious medical problem.

Primary headaches are caused by over activity or some dysfunction with the pain-sensitive structures in the head. Interestingly, it’s not your brain. The brain itself doesn’t have pain receptors, but everything around it and supporting it does. Tension, migraine, and cluster headaches are all primary, with the most common being the tension headache. There can also be lifestyle triggers. Reducing these or removing them from your daily routine can reduce your problem. Some triggers include:

  • Certain foods, such as processed meats or chocolate
  • Alcohol, particularly red wine
  • Lack of sleep
  • Consistently poor posture
  • Poor eating habits (too much time between meals or snacks)
  • Stress

A Secondary Headache is more typically a symptom of an illness or disease that activates the pain receptors in the head. The conditions, severity and time vary greatly. For example, brain freeze from eating cold food too quickly is considered a Secondary Headache, but it can pass relatively quickly. Having the flu, sinusitis, a hang-over (dehydration), ear infections, or dental problems can also cause Secondary Headaches. However, there are other medical problems that can cause headaches that need quick attention by a professional.

 

Causes of Secondary Headaches also include:

  • Blood clots
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Concussion
  • Glaucoma
  • Overuse of pain medication (rebound headaches)
  • Panic attacks
  • Stroke
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Intracranial hematoma (blood vessel ruptures with bleeding in or around the brain)
  • Medications to treat other disorders
  • Meningitis (inflammation of the membranes and fluid surrounding your brain and spinal cord)

Headaches can be part of a much more serious condition. When you get a headache, look at the factors. If you just ate some ice cream too quickly, it’s more likely brain freeze and will pass. If you are prone to tension headaches, you can begin to see the patterns and avoid them.

If your headaches change – they get more severe, come in waves, cause blurred vision, are accompanied by a fever, can’t be relieved with usual medication, or become more regular and last longer – it’s important to see your doctor. There may be a more detrimental underlying condition that needs quick medical attention.

 

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Are Home Health Care Services What I Need?

With a population that is getting older and living longer, it’s not surprising that many of us are thinking more about how to care for aging loved ones while we continue to work and live our own lives. Before it becomes an emergency situation, you may want to plan for the time when extra assistance might be needed.

There are two main types of in-home health care services. Skilled Care will provide trained nurses, aides, and therapists to assist with medical requirements. This could include care for someone after a traumatic accident, surgery, or a severe or long term illness. Custodial or Non-Clinical Care provides companionship and assistance with things like shopping, meals, bathing, dressing, etc. Some home health care agencies only provide one service or the other. Other agencies, such as Florida Home Care, provide any of the care services or guidance you would need to make sure the patient, your loved one, is getting the help they need.

How can you tell if home health care services are needed? It’s sometimes a difficult question to answer. After a hospital stay, medical emergency, or trauma the physician or the discharge planner may recommend it and provide some guidance to hire a Skilled Care Provider.

Skilled Care might also be needed if you notice that this person is suddenly becoming more forgetful, is shaky or weaker, or shows other physical or mental difficulties. Talk to their doctors, and to them.

If a person is home bound, or has trouble getting around without assistance (another person, a walker, etc.), they might need a Non-Clinical Care assistant.

A good home care service provider will help you and your loved one find the right path to recovery and better health.  They will have experienced navigators that can address medical and financial/insurance concerns to help you get the proper home health care service.

If you can, because it can be a tricky subject, try to talk to your family about having a contingency plan for caring for your loved one should extra help be needed. Do your research now on home care services for seniors. Remember – you’ll be the elder relative someday. It never hurts to be prepared.

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