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How to treat a sprained ankle

sprained ankle Ouch! A sudden jolt of pain just shot through your lower leg and now it feels like your ankle is being squeezed in a vise-grip. You might have been running down the court, taking a hike on rough terrain, stepped in a divot in your yard or maybe you tripped while walking. No matter how you did it, all ankle sprains will have some (if not all) of the following symptoms:

  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • Difficulty moving the ankle
  • Difficulty walking
  • Bruising
  • Warm to the touch
  • Increased pain to the touch Continue Reading »

National Depression Screening Day

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Oct. 10 is National Depression Screening Day, a day to help call attention to screening opportunities for people with depression and anxiety disorders. Affinity Health System is dedicated to helping raise awareness about depression and other mood disorders and has joined forces with community partners in the Fox Valley to speak out.

According to the World Health Organization, depression affects more than 350 million people worldwide. People with depression may not feel comfortable talking with family, friends or colleagues about how they feel and often hide it from those around them. They may believe they just need to “toughen up” and that depression will go away by itself, but what they really need is to get help or seek treatment. Continue Reading »

How to treat insect bites

Your child’s reaction to a bite or sting will depend on his or her sensitivity to that particular insect’s venom. While most children have only mild reactions, those who are allergic to certain insect venoms can have severe symptoms that require emergency treatment.

In general bites are usually not a serious problem, but in some cases, stings may be. While it is true that most stings (from yellow jackets, wasps and fire ants, for example) may cause pain and localized swelling, severe hypersensitive reactions are possible, although uncommon.

Treatment
Although insect bites can be irritating, they usually begin to disappear by the next day and do not require a doctor’s treatment. To relieve the itchiness that accompanies mosquito, fly, flea and bedbug bites, apply a cool compress and/or calamine lotion freely on any part of your child’s body except the areas around the eyes and genitals. If your child is stung by a wasp or bee, soak a cloth in cold water and press it over the area of the sting to reduce pain and swelling. Call your pediatrician before using any other treatment, including creams or lotions that contain antihistamines or home remedies. If the itching is severe, the doctor may prescribe oral antihistamines. Continue Reading »

Take the Irritation out of Poison Ivy

When I was young, we lived in the country in an old farmhouse with a big, hilly yard. Our yard was perfect for playing in except for one problem: In a section along the road covering about a 7-by-2 foot strip, grew those familiar, almost cute-looking, three- leaved weeds. Yes, it was the formidable poison ivy.

We were told to stay away from the treacherous plants, but of course we didn’t. Surprisingly none of my family ever got a rash from it…ever. We never knew why. Call it dumb luck I guess because my visiting cousins would get it after a few days of playing hide-and-seek in the dark. Yikes! They would always leave our house itching and scratching.

Sometimes people can have or develop an immunity to poison ivy, but don’t count on it! Remember Murphy’s Law? Better to error on the side of caution with this little weed.

What is poison ivy?
Poison ivy often grows in patches, but it can also be scattered. It has three leaves with jagged or smooth edges, some shiny and some not, with colors varying from green to red. It can grow in wooded areas, fields, yards –everywhere its seed gets spread. Familiarize yourself with it so you can watch out for it and avoid contact. Continue Reading »

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