Category Archive: Spider Bites

These Are The Most Common Summer Health Problems.

Posted by on May 1, 2018

Summer Health Problems

Summer is right around the bend, bringing summer sports, vacations, cookouts, family holidays–and plenty of seasonal illnesses and health concerns.

Even though winter gets the worst rap for being the “season of illness,” summer also has its fair share of sickness floating around.

Today, we’re looking at a few of the most common summer illnesses so you can prepare for the hot months before they arrive.

Summer Illness #1: Insect/Arachnid Bites and Stings

Tennessee is home to several species of insect and arachnid that show up when the weather gets warm. Many of those insects sting or bite. Others can actually carry diseases.

Ticks are a big threat during the summer months, with their activity peaking from May – July. In Tennessee, there are over 15 species of tick, with the lone star tick, brown dog tick and the American dog tick most common. These arachnids carry several dangerous diseases, including Lyme disease, Erlichiosis, Southern Tick-Associated Rash Illness, and most alarmingly, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. The most common signs of these infections are a fever, body aches or a rash after a tick bite, and you should seek medical attention immediately should you experience them.  

Mosquitoes are one of the most annoying summer insects. They can also carry bacteria and viruses that cause illnesses like West Nile Virus, dengue fever and La Crosse encephalitis. To avoid being bitten by mosquitoes, it’s important to wear light colored clothes and wear mosquito-repellent if you can. You should also avoid going outside during peak mosquito hours (like dawn and dusk when wind is the stillest).

Other insects and arachnids are also more active–and likely to bite or sting–during the summer. Bees, wasps, hornets, yellow jackets, bed bugs, ants and a variety of spiders can be summer nuisances that bite and sting.

Even if you don’t have a bite-related allergy, it’s important to seek medical attention for any bites that are suspicious-looking or feel irritated for extended periods of time.

Summer Illness #2: Heat Exhaustion

Summers in Tennessee are notoriously hot. Average temperatures in July and August hover around 90 degrees Fahrenheit, making it dangerous to be outdoors for long periods of time.

One of the effects of prolonged exposure to a heat index of 90 degrees Fahrenheit or hotter is the risk of heat exhaustion.

Heat exhaustion occurs when a person’s internal temperature reaches around 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

Here are a few of the symptoms:

  • Weak, rapid pulse
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle Cramps
  • Nausea
  • Flushed Skin

Hot weather, coupled with dehydration, can lead to heat exhaustion and, eventually, heatstroke.

While heat exhaustion can be reversed by getting out of the heat, drinking fluids, removing tight or insulating clothing and resting, heatstroke is much more serious.

Heatstroke occurs when your body temperature soars to around 104-106 degrees Fahrenheit, causing confusion, slurred speech, agitation, headache, and rapid breathing and pulse.

Heatstroke requires emergency medical attention.

So how can you avoid heat exhaustion and heat stroke?

First, always wear loose-fitting, light-colored clothing if you’re going to be outside. Try to avoid insulating knits like polyester, nylon or wool. Linen, cotton, jersey and seersucker are breathable, lightweight alternatives that will help keep you cool.

You should also drink extra fluids. If you’re going to be active, try to increase your water intake significantly. If you’re spending time outside, it’s important to consume water every hour.

Summer Illness #3: Food Poisoning

Food-borne illnesses increase during the summer months for two main reasons.

First, bacteria (including food-borne bacteria) thrive in warm, moist temperatures–like the hot, humid summers in Tennessee.

Secondly, we are more likely to cook outside during the summer, where temperature-controlled refrigeration and cleaning tools are less common. Cooking outside also makes it harder for us to wash our hands–a vital part of cutting down on germs. This allows bacteria to proliferate more easily and make its way into our food.  

To cut down on the likelihood of food poisoning, it’s important to wash your hands and clean cooking surfaces often during food prep. Separate meats and fish from other foods, and never mix raw foods or their juices with cooked foods.

Summer Illness #4: Sunburn

Have you ever spent a day outdoors in the middle of July? Did you find that the skin on your shoulders, scalp, and knees was red, sensitive and hot to the touch afterwards? Then you’re probably familiar with the unique misery of a sunburn.

Earth is closest to the sun during summertime, making the sun’s rays hotter and more likely to burn you. This is especially true between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM.

Individuals with pale, freckled skin are more likely to experience serious burns than individuals with darker skin. However, all individuals should be careful to regularly apply SPF, wear hats and sunglasses outdoors and try to minimize sun exposure during the hottest part of the day.

Most sunburns improve on their own after a few days. You should seek medical attention for sunburns that are accompanied by extensive blistering, headaches and fever or intense pain.

Have more questions about common health issues? Check our blog regularly for updates.

Our four Middle Tennessee Physicians Urgent Care locations are open seven days a week to care for you should you experience any summertime illness!

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.

 

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

Is It a Spider Bite? Recognizing the Signs and Symptoms

Posted by on February 25, 2016

Spider Bite Symptoms

Spider bites are not as common as people might think. In fact, they happen relatively rarely.

Unlike other insects like mosquitoes, spiders don’t usually bite unless they feel threatened. Regardless of the rarity of bites, a spider bite is something to take seriously and should be treated immediately. Those who are bitten by spiders typically are unaware that it’s a spider bite, which delays them from receiving immediate treatment.

There are two types of spiders in the Middle Tennessee area that are venomous: Black widow spiders and brown recluse spiders. You should seek treatment immediately if you’ve been bitten by one of these spiders. Bite from black widows and brown recluse spiders can have life-threatening side-effects if not treated as soon as possible. Harmless spider bites will only appear to be red, inflamed and sometimes itchy or painful, but won’t produce other symptoms.

Spider Bite Symptoms

As listed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the following symptoms can result from spider bites:

  • Itching or rash
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Excessive sweating
  • Muscle pain or cramping
  • Reddish or purplish in color or a visible blister
  • Nausea and vomiting

You should seek medical attention as soon as possible if you believe you’ve been bitten by a venomous spider. Your doctor can help diagnose the bite and decide what kind of spider bit you. Spider bites are serious and should be treated as such.

If you or someone you know has any of the symptoms of a spider bite, visit your neighborhood Physicians Urgent Care clinic in Brentwood, Tennessee or Franklin, Tennessee.  The staff and physicians are ready to provide you with the emergency care you need without the emergency room wait.