Category Archive: Blog

Build Your Immune System For Winter

Posted by on January 16, 2018

immune system

Winter is here, and for many of us, it’s a time of endless colds, coughing, and flu-like misery.

We’ve covered the flu in detail here on our blog, but this week we decided to tackle some easy ways to keep your immune system strong.

1. Stop Pulling All-Nighters

Sleep: you need it.

Continued sleep loss takes a toll on your immune system and leaves you more susceptible to illness.

Studies show that lack of adequate sleep or lack of high-quality sleep can negatively impact your body’s ability to fight illness. In fact, during a good night’s sleep, your body produces proteins called cytokines that you need when you have an illness or infection. If you aren’t sleeping enough, you can’t produce these important proteins.

Shoot for 7-8 hours of sleep per night.

2. Keep Stress Under Control

Stress is detrimental to your immune system. In study after study, stress is linked to infection and illness. Over time, chronic stress suppresses the body’s immune system and has even been linked to several serious illnesses.

It’s easy to talk about the importance of stress control. It’s another thing to actually do it.

Most researchers agree that regular exercise has a variety of stress-relieving properties. Exercise improves cardiovascular performance. It also releases endorphins that help control the stress response.

It’s also important to indulge in your own personal stress-relief. Maybe you enjoy crafting, working on your car or gardening. Whatever your hobby is, it’s important to make time for it.

3. Wash Your Hands Regularly

Winter time sees an uptick in colds and other illnesses because we’re spending more time indoors–where germs are abundant. You might not be able to avoid staying inside more when it’s cold, but you can control how often you wash your hands.

Make sure you’re washing your hands with antibacterial soap regularly throughout the day. This is especially important if you work in a school or office in close proximity to other people.

If you can’t wash your hands with soap and water regularly, invest in an antibacterial hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol.

This will help you cut down on the amount of germs in your vicinity throughout the day.

If you do find yourself suffering from a seasonal illness or infection, it’s important to have a trusted urgent care clinic nearby.

Physicians Urgent Care is proud to be a trusted provider of urgent care services for the Nashville area and beyond.

Find a Physicians Urgent Care location near you or contact us at 615-472-1550 to learn more about our services.

Flu Season 2018: What You Need to Know

Posted by on January 11, 2018

This year’s flu season is gearing up to be one of the worst, according to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and the Tennessee Department of Health.  All of our Middle Tennessee Physicians Urgent Care clinics have seen many positive flu tests in the last few weeks, and we wanted to share some helpful information with you about how this year’s flu season is unique.

Here are 4 things you should know about the 2018 Flu Season:

1. A bad flu season for Australia means we will likely have a bad flu season. 

We have already seen that flu is bad from the number of sick patients coming to our clinics, however officials tell us it may continue to get worse.  Health officials use information from Australia’s flu season, which runs from May to October, to predict trends for the American flu season, which runs from October until May.  Australia had a record high number of confirmed flu cases for their season, and the H3N2 influenza A subtype that was most prevalent was especially nasty with more severe symptoms.   Flu season in the US peaks from December to February, so we are just now hitting the worst of the season.

2. People die every year from the flu, and this year is no different. 

Tennessee has already experienced four flu-related deaths this flu season, including children and a pregnant woman.  Children under 5 and the elderly are most at risk of death from the flu, however it is recommended that everyone who is able get a flu shot.  Remember it takes about two weeks for your body to build up immunity to the virus after vaccination, so if you haven’t gotten a flu shot, get one today!

3.    This year’s flu shot is likely to be less effective than usual, but you should still get one.

We won’t know how effective the shot is until the flu season is over, but Australia’s shot was found to be less effective than usual.  Even though the vaccine is not a guaranteed protection from all flu-like illnesses, it does offer some protection.  Studies have also found that the flu shot will lessen the course and severity of the disease should you get it and could reduce the risk of death in children who get the flu. 

4.    Basic health and hand hygiene really make a difference in preventing the spread of the flu.

Simple things like staying away from sick people, avoiding touching your face, washing your hands, and cleaning commonly touched surfaces like phones, grocery carts and door handles really help to reduce the spread of germs. If you are sick with flu, stay home from work or school to prevent spreading flu to others.  You can purchase masks from any local pharmacy if someone in your home has the flu.

The most common symptoms of this year’s flu are moderate-to-high fever (although not everyone with the flu will run a fever), sore throat, shaking chills, severe muscle or body aches, headache, stuffy and runny nose and profound fatigue. 

If you experience these symptoms head to one of our four Middle Tennessee Physicians Urgent Care locations to get appropriately diagnosed and treated.  Locally owned and operated by ER physicians – we pride ourselves on excellent care, given efficiently!  

West Nashville –  On Charlotte Pike, in front of the Nashville West Shopping Center

Brentwood –  Off Old Hickory Blvd, near Firebirds and the Well Coffee Shop

Berry Farms – Located off the Goose Creek Bypass in the Berry Farms Town Center, just down from Publix.

Franklin – On the corner of Route 96 & Carothers Parkway in front of Williamson County Medical Center.

 

For more flu information, check out the following links:

https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/season/flu-season-2017-2018.htm

https://www.acsh.org/news/2018/01/02/some-bad-flu-news-h3n2-major-player-year-12350

http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp1714916?query=featured_home&

 

Surviving Fall Allergy Season: Are You Prepared?

Posted by on November 13, 2017

fall allergy season

The leaves are changing, the temperatures are dropping, the holidays are right around the corner…and, with the same punctuality of the falling leaves, you’ve started sneezing.

If the fall allergy season has got you down, it’s time to do something about it. The first step to managing your autumn allergies is determining what is triggering your symptoms. From there, you can create a strategy for surviving until winter.

What Are Common Fall Allergy Symptoms?

Fall allergies often show up in the same way as spring and summer attacks. Watering eyes, a stuffy or runny nose and sneezing are just a few signs you are suffering from an allergy attack. If you seem to have an endless cold that is triggered by going outdoors, your symptoms are likely allergy related.

What Causes Fall Allergies

The tree pollen may have calmed down, but that doesn’t mean you can expect to be allergy-free.

On the contrary, these three common fall allergies can create problems for your eyes and throat.

Mold: Outdoor molds tend to thrive after the first frost of the year, living in all manner of places outside. Mold can be found in soil and leaves, but are also airborne.

Ragweed: A full 75 percent of people who suffer from springtime allergies are also sensitive to ragweed. This clever allergen can travel hundreds of miles in the wind.

Dust Mites: Dust mites thrive in the fall because as they come alive in the summer, they set up shop in your heat ducts. The first time you fire up your heater in the fall, they make their way into your home.

How to Avoid Fall Allergy Season Triggers

While allergens are too small to be seen, there are some ways to avoid them. Clean your air ducts inside before turning on the heat and remove all dead and dying leaves from your yard as soon as possible. You may also find it helpful to plant cover crops in your yard that stop ragweed from thriving. Dry your clothes inside instead of hanging them outside on a clothesline and wear a face mask when you’re raking leaves.

Have the fall allergy blues? There’s no reason to suffer! With these helpful tips and some over-the-counter allergy relief, you can enjoy pumpkin pie season with the best of them.

If over-the-counter remedies just aren’t doing the trick, it might be time to visit the doctor.

Physicians Urgent Care can help you battle your fall allergies and get back to enjoying this beautiful season. Visit one of our locations today (no appointment necessary) and get the care you deserve.

You (and your allergies) will be glad you did.

How to Prevent Eye Injuries at Home

Posted by on October 6, 2017

In keeping with Eye Injury Prevention Month, it seems only fitting to take a closer look at several ways to prevent damaging eye injuries at home. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, almost 50 percent of all injuries occur in or near the home. Unfortunately, the most severe injuries can lead to permanent eye damage. This is why it is so important for you to understand the various ways to prevent such injuries from occurring.

Proper Use of Chemicals

Many household cleaners contain chemicals that can be extremely dangerous if they come in contact with your eyes. It is important to read the labels for all types of cleaners prior to using them. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions and never mix chemicals together. Always store cleaners out of children’s reach, such as on a high shelf. This is true even if you do not have children, since children may still visit your home. When required, be sure to keep your safety goggles on while using the chemicals.

Prevent Accidental Falls

Accidental falls and slips are one of the leading causes of eye injuries, especially among seniors. You can help to minimize the risk of these accidents with some minor adjustments. First, be sure to secure or remove all of the rugs and carpets in the home. Secondly, make sure all areas, including stairways, are well-lit and free from clutter. Finally, you should secure padding on any sharp edges around the house, such as on a table or countertop.

Protect Your Eyes

Be sure to wear safety goggles whenever you are working on a project around the home. The American Society for Ocular Trauma, along with the American Academy of Ophthalmology, recommend the use of safety goggles approved by ANSI (American National Standards Institute). In fact, these organizations recommend that every household have at least one pair. When worn, these prevent debris from flying into the eye area and causing severe damage.

Preventative measures can help to reduce the risk of eye injury, but accidents can still occur. If chemicals come in contact with your eyes, it is important to flush the eye out with water as soon as possible. It is best to have any eye injury treated by a medical professional because waiting to seek treatment could cause extensive damage. Contact Physicians Urgent Care today if any type of accident causing injury to the eye occurs or if you would like more information about preventative eye care solutions.

How to Beat the Summer Heat While Living With Respiratory Issues

Posted by on July 13, 2017

How to Beat the Summer Heat While Living With Respiratory Issues - Physicians Urgent Care

Summer can be the best time of the year – it usually means time off work, warm weather and fun vacations! But it can also be a dangerous time if you have to deal with respiratory issues. Problems like asthma, COPD or other breathing ailments can be exacerbated by the summer heat and humidity. Here are some tips for helping you deal with these problems during the summer.

Avoid Heat Exhaustion

The heat can be a danger for anyone, but if you have respiratory problems you need to take extra caution to avoid heat exhaustion. If you start to feel weak, have a headache or feel nauseous, make sure to tell someone. You should try to get to a cool place and let yourself rest without any physical exertion.

Avoid High Altitudes

Higher altitudes mean thinner air, which makes it hard for people with respiratory issues to get the oxygen they need. If you’re planning a summer vacation, try to avoid places with high altitudes. If you do have a mile-high destination in your plans, be sure to take extra precautions to protect yourself from getting short of breath.

Drink Lots of Water

Sip water throughout the day, not just when you feel thirsty. Thirst occurs after you’re already dehydrated and if you have a respiratory issue you need more water than others to stay hydrated. Dehydration can lead to extra mucus in your lungs, which can make breathing even harder.

Clean Your Air Conditioner

Indoor air quality is also a factor during the summer months when your air conditioner is turned on full blast. Make sure you clean the filter on your air conditioner regularly – at least twice a year. This will remove bacteria, mold and dust so that you can improve the quality of inside air and reduce the instance of breathing problems.

Stay on Top of Your Meds

If you take medication for respiratory issues, make sure you are never without it in the summer. It’s more important than ever to take your medications regularly in order to avoid further issues. If you have an inhaler, be sure to keep it on you at all times and make sure to have a spare in case it’s running low.

If you are suffering from respiratory issues, don’t hesitate to call or visit Physician’s Urgent Care. We can help you with any medical problems or emergencies.

How to Stay Safe in and Around Your Home During National Safety Month

Posted by on June 2, 2017

June is National Safety Month, which makes it a great time to review your safety procedures. The following are several important ways to keep you and your family safe this summer.

How to Stay Safe in Your Home

There are a few simple ways to keep your home safe. First and foremost, make sure to always keep all of your doors and windows locked, both when away from your home as well as when you’re in for the night.

Since it’s the summer, you might be taking a trip with your family. While it’s tempting to post photos on social media, you should avoid doing so until you are back home. Posting vacation photos in real time gives someone the opportunity to break into your home with the knowledge that you and your family are hundreds of miles away.

Avoiding Accidents in and Around Your Home

During the summer months, you might have more people in and around your house than usual. From children home for summer vacation to BBQs and other events, keeping your home decluttered can prevent stubbed toes and other, perhaps more serious, injuries.

When you clean hardwood floors, make sure to dry them before anyone walks on them, or at the very least, make sure everyone in the home knows that the area is slippery.

Keeping Your Kids Safe During the Summer Months

During the school year, your children are under the supervision of educators for a significant portion of the day. During the summer, however, this is typically not the case. Finding structured activities for your children to get involved in, for example, summer camp, can keep them under adult supervision.

If they are home, make sure they understand the importance of keeping doors locked. If they are playing outside, emphasize the importance of staying out of busy streets.

If an unfortunate accident or injury does occur, it is important to get medical attention as soon as possible. Physicians Urgent Care provides high-quality care right when you need it. To get urgent medical assistance or to simply learn more about your community urgent care center, contact Physicians Urgent Care.

Sources: http://www.nsc.org/act/events/Pages/national-safety-month.aspx

Spider Bites

Posted by on May 10, 2017

Spider Bites | Physicians Urgent Care

Spiders are beneficial creatures — they help keep the insect population down. While they try to stay out of the way of humans, sometimes you can’t avoid crossing paths. The spider may defend itself by biting you if it feels threatened by your presence. In most cases, a spider bite isn’t anything to worry about, but there are a few dangerous species that require treatment.

Symptoms of a Spider Bite

You may feel pain and see redness and swelling around the bite area. In many cases, it won’t look much different from a typical bug bite. Bites from venomous spiders have an additional set of symptoms. You might have muscle cramps, start running a fever, or have a growing ulcer at the location of the bite. The pain also tends to spread throughout your body, rather than remaining localized.

Spider Bites That Require Treatment in Tennessee

Tennessee is home to many spider species, including the wolf spider and the zipper spider. You don’t have to go through any treatment for these types, as they don’t pose a threat to humans. However, brown recluses, black widows and brown widows are also in this region. These spiders have bites that can cause serious problems, especially if they go unaddressed. In some cases, they can have fatal consequences.

You start by cleaning the bite area and applying antibiotic ointment to it. Elevate the area if possible. Over-the-counter pain medications are appropriate to use for bites. Seek medical treatment if you are experiencing severe pain or suspect that the bite came from one of the three dangerous spiders. Black widow antivenom may be necessary.

When you go to a medical facility, provide as much information as possible about the bite and about the spider if you happened to catch a glimpse of it. Some spiders look similar to their venomous cousins but don’t require treatment when they bite.

A spider bite is a mild annoyance in most cases, but it’s important not to ignore it if you think you might have encountered a black widow, brown widow or brown recluse in Tennessee. The faster you get medical attention, the better chances you have of avoiding serious side effects.

Did you get bitten by a spider and need help? Visit Physicians Urgent Care in Franklin, TN and Brentwood, TN for fast, effective care.


Sources:

https://www.allamericanpestcontrol.com/blog/post/which-tennessee-spiders-are-of-concern-and-which-aren-t

http://tnhealthandwellness.com/three-venomous-spiders-to-watch-out-for-at-your-home/

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/spider-bites/diagnosis-treatment/treatment/txc-20204179

Spring Break Safety Tips for Kids

Posted by on April 7, 2017

Spring Break Safety Tips for Kids

Spring break is a great time to take a vacation, as it’s before all the popular destinations fill up for the summer. Whether you’re going camping, heading to the beach or staying home for a week, use these safety tips to keep your kids safe.

Use Plenty of Sunscreen

The temperatures might be nice, but that doesn’t mean the sun isn’t doing damage already. Look for sunscreen designed for sports and other activities. This formula won’t wash off when the kids get sweaty or jump in the pool. Reapply it every few hours or as instructed on the container.

Keep Cellphones Charged

Make sure that your children have a well-charged phone whenever they go on adventures. If they get into trouble or end up lost, the cellphone is a valuable tool for getting them back safe and sound. Set ground rules, including that your children must answer the phone when you call. You should also make it clear that they can call no matter what type of emergency occurs. Regular check-in times are another way to ensure that your kids are doing okay when they’re out of your immediate vicinity.

Put Together a First Aid Kit

You don’t need to cut a fun day short due to minor accidents. Pack a basic first aid kit in your bag so you can handle the cuts, scrapes and bruises that are a common result of childhood fun. Here are a few things to include:

  • Bandages in a variety of sizes
  • Antibiotic cream
  • Burn spray
  • Aloe vera gel
  • OTC painkillers
  • Gauze pads
  • Surgical scissors
  • Medical tape

Research the Closest Medical Care Facilities in Advance

Sometimes kids get injuries that require capabilities beyond those of your first aid kit. Before you go to your spring break vacation destination, look up the medical facilities closest to the area. You don’t want to be trying to find this information when you’re in the middle of a crisis.

Want professional and fast medical care to help your kids in their time of need? Physicians Urgent Care in Franklin, TN and Brentwood, TN can get your vacation back on track by fixing serious situations and allowing you to avoid the emergency room wait and fees. Learn more about our services.

8 Poison Prevention Tips

Posted by on March 27, 2017

Children under the age of six account for almost half of all instances of poisoning in the United States each year, with infants and toddlers between age one and two at the highest risk. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 90 percent of poisonings occur in the home.

Accidents may not always be preventable, but taking a few precautions can help to safeguard your home and reduce the risk of accidental poisoning. Physicians Urgent Care offers these tips on how you can prevent poison-related accidents in your home:

  1. Have a Plan — The American Association of Poison Control Centers recommends programming the Poison Help number, (800) 222-1222, into your cell phone and keeping it handy so that it is readily available in the event of an emergency.
  2. Carefully Read Food, Medicine and Household Product Labels — Even items packaged and branded as “all natural” can contain ingredients that may be harmful if ingested or trigger a potentially serious or fatal allergic reaction. Taking a little time to read the entire list of ingredients and handling instructions for food, cleaning products, and prescription and over the counter medications can prevent accidental exposure.
  3. Practice Safe Storage — Keep all cleaning, cosmetic, pharmaceutical and electronic products safely stored out of reach and locked if there are children under the age of six in the home.
  4. Install Alarms — Make sure your home is equipped with smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and frequently check the batteries (set a calendar reminder) to ensure the alarms are active.
  5. Practice Appliance Safety — If you have older appliances, like refrigerators, air conditioners and kitchen stoves, have them serviced by a professional to ensure that they meet all current safety standards and regulations.
  6. Ventilate — Open windows and make sure that clean air is circulating in the home when cleaning with products that contain chemicals like ammonia and bleach, and properly dispose of all used paper towels, rags and cleaning applicators by sealing them off and throwing them out immediately so that they are out of your child’s reach.
  7. Properly Dispose of Expired Medications
  8. Know Your Family’s Allergy Status — Consult with your pediatrician and family doctor about potential allergies to food or medication

What to Do in a Poison Emergency

If you suspect your child or a member of your family has been exposed to a poisonous substance, remain calm and call 911 if they have collapsed or stopped breathing. If they are alert, contact the Poison Control Center.

At Physicians Urgent Care we offer emergency treatment to walk-in patients, without traditional emergency room wait times. Contact us in Franklin, TN (615) 472-1550 or Brentwood, TN (615) 457-3864.

First Aid: What to Do If You Have an Allergic Reaction

Posted by on February 28, 2017

Allergic Reaction First Aid Care Brentwood, TN Physicians Urgent Care

 

Allergies are common, as 30 percent of adults and 40 percent of children in the U.S. have allergies. Knowing how to avoid your allergens is important, and recognizing an allergic reaction can save your life. Let’s look at some common allergens, some symptoms and what to do if you have a serious reaction.

Common Allergens

Some common allergens include things like pollen, certain trees or grasses, insect bites, medications, latex and many different foods like seafood, peanuts, and eggs. The key to avoiding your particular allergens is by knowing what they are; allergy tests are available which can nail this down for you.

Common Symptoms

There are as many different symptoms of allergies as there are allergens themselves. For this reason, it is important that you notice when something seems amiss. This is especially important when taking new medications or traveling to a new area.

  • Outdoor allergens like pollens, plants, and grasses are most frequently to blame for watery eyes, clogged and inflamed sinuses, sneezing and breathing issues.
  • Inside allergens like cigarette or cigar smoke, pet dander, mold spores and even dust can cause allergic reactions.
  • Food allergies often result in tingling in your mouth, and your lips, tongue or throat might swell. Hives are common as well. In severe cases, anaphylaxis results.
  • Medication allergies typically manifest themselves as skin inflammation like itchy hives, facial swelling, rashes, wheezing and stomach problems. Some, notably the common blood pressure medication, Lisinopril, result in a constant dry cough. It is important to thoroughly read the list of side effects that your medicines have so you will be ready in the event of an allergic reaction.
  • Insect sting allergies result in large swollen areas around the bite, hives or itching, wheezing, a cough or shortness of breath.

Severe allergic reactions lead to anaphylaxis, which is life-threatening. The symptoms come on quickly; problems like breathing issues, throat tightness, swelling, hives, nausea, vomiting, fainting or dizziness. Some people also get a rapid pulse or their heart will stop beating.

Allergy Care

Luckily, most people who experience allergy problems only have mild to moderate symptoms that are easily managed. However, if you’ve had serious attacks or you are at risk for anaphylaxis, you must keep medication with you to counteract it; medicines like EpiPen, Auvi-Q and Adrenaclick are examples of these.

For those with less severe allergy issues, avoiding your allergens is the best course of action. When you accidentally come into contact with them, antihistamines or decongestants can often help.

If you still have symptoms, or they get worse or persist, stop by your neighborhood Physicians Urgent Care right away. Our physicians are available seven days a week and no appointment is necessary.