Aug/12

15

Stomach Virus In Adults

Stomach virus is referred to as acute viral gastroenteritis. It is defined as inflammation of the stomach and intestinal tract.

Symptoms can include all or some of the following: diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, low-grade fever, loss of appetite, and malaise.

The most common culprits are viruses transmitted either person-to-person or spread through contaminated food, water, and environmental surfaces.

Treatment primarily includes fluid replacement through oral rehydration solutions that contain glucose or sucrose and electrolytes. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water, non caffeinated sports drinks such as Gatorade and clear broths. Oral bismuth subsalicylate (i.e. Pepto-Bismol) may be used to relieve abdominal cramping and diarrhea. Avoid certain foods and substances such as dairy products, caffeine, alcohol, nicotine and fatty foods until one feels better.

*Always consult your physician before initiating any over the counter treatment.

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MIGRAINE HEADACHE IN ADULTS

Migraine is defined as periodic attacks of headaches on one or both sides of the head with or without aura.

Symptoms can include all or some of the following: pain in the head that is dull, deep and steady often time becoming throbbing and pulsatile; nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light and noise, runny nose, or teary eyes. Aura are symptoms that occur before the headache such as flashing lights, bright spots, zigzag lines; numbness or tingling in the fingers, lips, tongue or lower face.

Migraines are associated with both genetic and environmental factors. Common triggers include stress, worry, menstrual periods, fatigue, lack of sleep, hunger, certain foods or drinks and certain medications or chemicals.

Acute treatment includes pain relievers such as aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, naproxen or Excedrin©. Anti-nausea medications such as promethazine, metoclopramide or prochlorperazine are used to alleviate nausea and/or vomiting. Triptans (such as Imitrex©, Maxalt©, Axert©, Zomig©) are prescription migraine-specific medications to relieve acute pain. Preventive treatment consists of beta blockers, antidepressants, anti-seizure medications or calcium channel blockers.

*Always consult your physician before initiating any over the counter treatment.

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Sep/10

6

Acute Otitis Media In Adults

ACUTE OTITIS MEDIA IN ADULTS

Acute otitis media in adults is defined as inflammation of the middle ear.

Symptoms can include all or some of the following: ear pain, decreased hearing, drainage of fluid from the ear canal, fever, headache and history of recent upper respiratory infection.

The most common culprit in adults is bacteria, such as Streptococcus. Other culprits include respiratory viruses.

Treatment includes oral antibiotics to treat bacterial infection in adults along with ibuprofen and acetaminophen for fever and/or pain.

*Always consult your physician before initiating any over the counter treatment.

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Aug/10

11

Cluster Headache In Adults

CLUSTER HEADACHE IN ADULTS

DEFINITIION:  Cluster headaches are severe, debilitating headaches that occur repeatedly for weeks to months at a time, followed by periods with no headache.

SYMPTOMS:  Symptoms can include all or some of the following: deep, excruciating, continuous, headache located on one side either in or around the eye or temple; eye redness and tear production on the side of the pain, a stuffy and runny nose, sweating and pale skin. Attacks are usually short in duration (15 minutes to 3 hours) and may occur up to eight times per day.

CAUSES:  Cause of cluster headache is unknown, but may be associated with genetic predisposition. Heavy alcohol intake can trigger onset of a cluster headache.

TREATMENT: Treatment to relieve acute attack includes inhaling 100% oxygen through a face mask for 20 minutes, triptans (migraine-specific medication), octreotide (an injection), lidocaine (liquid applied inside the nose) or ergotamine. Preventive treatment includes  calcium-channel blockers or prednisone.

*Always consult your physician before initiating any over the counter treatment.

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TENSION-TYPE HEADACHE IN ADULTS

 DEFINITIION:  Headache is defined as a pain in the head felt in the forehead, temples, scalp, behind the head or back of the upper neck.

SYMPTOMS:  Symptoms can include all or some of the following: pressure or tightness around both sides of the head or neck (band-like pattern), mild to moderate pain that is steady and does not throb, pain that is not worsened by activity and tenderness in the muscles of the head, neck or shoulders. The onset of the headache is gradual and may increase or decrease in severity over the course of the headache.

CAUSES:   The most common precipitants are stress and mental tension. Muscle contraction, fatigue and missing meals can also trigger tension-type headaches.

TREATMENT: Treatment includes aspirin, acetaminophen or NSAIDs (such as ibuprofen or naproxen) to relieve acute pain. Excedrin©, which contains a combination of aspirin, acetaminophen and caffeine, can also be used. Rest, massage and listening to relaxing music also help to relieve acute pain. Stress reduction and regular exercise decrease incidence of tension-type headaches. If headaches occur more than two to three times per week, then prescription medication may be required.

 *Always consult your physician before initiating any over the counter treatment.

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Jul/10

18

Sore Throat In Adults

SORE THROAT IN ADULTS

DEFINITION: Sore throat is defined as inflammation of the tonsils, pharynx or larynx. It is also referred to as acute pharyngitis.

SYMPTOMS: Symptoms can include all or some of the following: pain in the throat, fever, enlarged lymph glands in the neck and white patches of pus on the side or back of the throat. Some associated symptoms can also be present such as runny or congested nose, irritation or redness of the eyes, cough, hoarseness or soreness in the roof of the mouth.

CAUSES: The most common culprits are viruses and bacteria. Specifically, strep throat is most of caused by the bacterium group A streptococcus.

TREATMENT: Treatment includes ibuprofen and acetaminophen for fever and pain, salt-water gargles, sprays containing topical anesthetics, and lozenges for throat pain or to relieve dryness. Other treatments to help relieve throat pain include sipping warm beverages (honey or lemon tea, chicken soup), cold beverages, or eating cold or frozen desserts (ice cream, popsicles). Treatment with antibiotics is recommended for adults whose rapid test or throat culture is positive for strep throat or other bacteria.

*Always consult your physician before initiating any over the counter treatment.

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 Acute sinusitis in adults is defined as inflammation of the paranasal sinus cavities lasting less than 4 weeks.

Symptoms can include all or some of the following: nasal congestion, nasal blockage, green and/or yellow nasal discharge, facial pain or pressure, ear pressure, ear fullness, ear pain, headache, upper tooth pain, fever, cough and fatigue.

The most common culprits are viruses and bacteria.

Treatment includes ibuprofen and acetaminophen for fever and pain; nasal irrigation with saline, antihistamines-decongestant combinations such as Zyrtec D®, Claritin D® or Allegra D® to name a few.  Nasal inhaled steroids such as Flonase®, Nasonex®, Nasacort AQ®, Veramyst® are helpful for nasal inflammation and clearing obstruction.  Inhaled decongestants such as Afrin® should be used sparingly and for no more than 3 days as rebound congestion usually occurs. Antibiotics are usually indicated for patients who have symptoms lasting greater than 10 days or those who present with fever or facial pain.

*Always consult your physician before initiating any over the counter treatment.

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Apr/10

6

Allergic Rhinitis

Allergic Rhinitis is inflammation of the upper respiratory tract lining including the nose, throat and sinuses.

Symptoms include sneezing, runny nose, stuffy nose, itchy nose, post nasal drip i.e. tickling sensation of throat.

Causes include viruses such as the common cold; allergens such as pollen from trees, grass, weeds; fungus, mold spores, dust mites, animal dander and roaches.

Treatment includes antihistamines, decongestants and nasal irrigation. Common over the counter antihistamines include Claritin®, Zyrtec®, Benadryl®. Use with caution in the elderly and patients with prostate problems. Decongestants contain pseudoephedrine (Sudafed®). Use with caution in patients with high blood pressure or heart problems.  Inhaled antihistamines/steroids include cromolyn sodium which is available over the counter; Flonase®, Nasonex®, Nasocort®, Astelin®, and Patanase® to name a few.  Nasal irrigation includes saline nasal spray and a Neti pot. 

 *Always consult your physician before initiating any over the counter treatment.

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