Patient Education


 

Patient Education

 
Abdominal Pain
 

In adults, abdominal pain can range from a mild ache to acute (sudden onset) pain. Many organs might contribute to the symptoms and it can be difficult to diagnose the cause or source of the pain. In children, a “tummy ache” could indicate an emergency condition caused by blockage, infection with viruses or bacteria, food reactions, certain insect bites, poisoning from ingestion or even appendicitis. It could also simply be the result of anxiety or a stressful situation your child is experiencing.

Symptoms

  • Stabbing pain, cramping or a dull ache in the abdomen, occasionally alternating
  • Vague pain in the middle of the belly extending toward the right hip (appendicitis)
  • Nausea might result from the severity of the pain
  • Vomiting in some cases might relieve the pain
  • Extreme discomfort, restlessness
  • A child might look pale, refuse to eat or drink or play
  • Fever does not always indicate a serious problem, but might play a role
  • Groin pain in males or females might come from a blood supply issue in the testicles or ovaries
  • Urinary problems might indicate an infection is present
  • Diarrhea commonly indicates the presence of a virus

Who is at risk?

Anyone can have abdominal discomfort attributed to a number of causes. Age and history typically help your healthcare professional arrive at a diagnosis. It is important to be evaluated by a physician to eliminate any potential life threats and to help you understand from where your discomfort may be coming.

Treatment

Abdominal pain from gas might be relieved by lying face down. Peppermint tea might relieve the symptoms, but the patient should resist eating until the bloating subsides or a good bowel movement takes place. Abdominal pain from a virus should be treated with rest and clear fluids in 1-2 oz doses. Water should be taken at room temperature without ice. Avoid milk, juice carbonated beverages, coffee and sports drinks. Soft drinks might be more palatable than water, but should be served flat and closer to room temperature than cold. Introduce solid foods on the BRAT plan – bananas, rice, apples, toast – using mild grains or white rice until the body is able to hold down solid food and produce a bowel movement. Acute (sudden, short term) and chronic (long term, over time) pain might be caused by appendicitis, ulcers or infections, but the diseases that concern doctors most related to abdominal pain are heart attack, diverticulitis, blood circulation issue, kidney stones and other more serious diseases in the organs surrounding your abdomen. Treatment for this more severe pain may include IV fluids for dehydration, pain medicine, anti-nausea medicine, an enema to clean out the colon, or the administration of antacids to reduced bloating and gas. In addition, your physician may want to have blood and urine analyzed and possibly a CT scan performed to help determine the cause of your pain.

Emergency Warning SignsWhen should I see a doctor?

Call 911 or proceed to the nearest hospital emergency room if you are vomiting anything green or yellow or blood. This could indicate a requirement for immediate treatment. Pain that stops a patient from eating or sleeping or worsens with movement should be seen by a doctor for diagnosis right away. Go to the ER if the pain is so severe the patient can’t move or walk or begins vomiting blood or passing blood mixed with stool from the rectum. In general, anyone that is at the extremes of age should be evaluated by a physician immediately for severe abdominal pain. See your primary care doctor or an Omni-Med physician for less severe abdominal pain or if vomiting and diarrhea persists for more than 24-48 hours.

Treatment for Abdominal Pain is available now at Omni-Med in Florham Park, NJ.

For more information on Abdominal Pain, see the following websites:

eMedicine on Appendicitis

eMedicine on Gastroenteritis

WebMD on Abdominal Pain, Age 12 and Older

Kids Health on Milk Allergies



Abscess
 

An abscess is a pus pocket that forms at the site of tissue that’s been infected, causing pain, swelling, redness and tenderness. Bacteria proliferate at the site of these infections and they often require treatment by a health professional.

Symptoms

  • Inflammation around a wound or recent surgical suture
  • Swelling or pain in the throat or near the tonsils that may even block swallowing, speaking and even breathing
  • An impacted tooth or infected gum might lead to an abscess that will make biting and chewing painful, with radiating pain down the neck
  • Inflammation around a hair follicle or sweat gland, especially in the armpit or genital region, possibly on the buttocks
  • Anal inflammation can occur in circumstances surrounding diabetes, AIDS or HIV infection, Crohn’s disease or in persons with a suppressed immune system
  • Fever will often accompany an infection

Who is at risk?

Anyone might incur an infection, but you need to be especially watchful if you have recently had stitches or an injury that has broken the skin. Nursing mothers may be susceptible to abscess if a milk duct is blocked.

Treatment

In most cases, your doctor will need to inject a local anesthetic over the abscess and cut open the abscess to remove pus and infectious material. If large, this area will usually be packed with strips of gauze to keep the abscess from re-accumulating. Antibiotics might be in order depending on the level of the infection.

Emergency Warning SignsWhen should I see a doctor?

Emergency medical care could be in order if the abscess is accompanied by a fever higher than 101°F or if the abscess measures more than half an inch. If red streaks radiate from a possible infection site, seek medical attention right away. If you have surgery or stitches, ask your doctor for instructions on assessing the signs of infection, how to treat it at home, and when to report an infection to your doctor. When any infection renders the patient incapable of functioning – breathing properly, eating, working – normally, seek medical care right away.

Abscess treatment is available now at Omni-Med in Florham Park, NJ.

For more information on Abscesses, see the following websites:

A Doctor’s Perspective on Stitches, Wounds and Lacerations from eMedicine

Medline Plus (NIH) Abscess page



Allergies
 

Allergies occur when our body’s immune system has a reaction to a substance that is not typically harmful. In a school or camp setting, or any situation involving children, food allergies are a particular concern. In addition, many respiratory problems are caused by allergic reactions – these reactions are most severe in children who suffer from asthma. Furthermore, allergies can be caused by insect bites or pets.

Symptoms

Different types of allergies have different symptoms. Any of the following may be a sign of allergies:

  • Sneezing and irritation of the nose
  • Itching and redness of the eyes
  • Trouble breathing or shortness of breath
  • Abdominal (stomach) pain or bloating
  • Cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Skin irritation including rashes or hives
  • Swelling or itching skin
  • Dizziness

Who is at risk?

 

  • Children with known allergies
  • Children with asthma
  • Children in new environments
  • Anyone with a family history of allergies
  • People with known allergies are generally allergic to more than one substance

Treatment of Allergies

Specific treatments depend on the specific type of allergy. If you are suffering from one or more of the symptoms listed above, your doctor can help you diagnose the cause and prescribe appropriate treatment.

When should I see a doctor?

If symptoms interfere with normal day-to-day activities, or if there is a sudden onset of symptoms, you should see a doctor. This is especially important if a child under your care is experiencing severe or sudden symptoms.

Allergy treatment is available now at Omni-Med in Florham Park, NJ.



Altitude Sickness
 

The higher in elevation one travels, the less oxygen is contained in the air you breathe. This may cause a myriad of medical conditions ranging from a mild headache to death. Those who conquer the ascent slowly see fewer symptoms than those who climb too fast. Altitude sickness includes a spectrum of conditions from Acute Mountain Sickness (feels like a hangover), to the life threatening conditions caused by swelling of the brain and lungs.

Symptoms

  • Headache
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Lethargy, dizziness, sleeplessness

Who is at risk?

Anyone over 2,500 meters should stay well hydrated and watch for symptoms. Whether skiing, mountain climbing or flying to higher altitudes, take preventive measures.

Treatment

It’s smarter to prevent mountain sickness than to take your chances and treat it later. Once symptoms have set in, reduce altitude (which results in more oxygen in the air) and drink water. Acetaminophen may reduce the headache, but it won’t cure the symptoms. When more severe symptoms appear, it becomes necessary to involve a physician who can prescribe something for nausea, headache and sleep. In severe cases that progress to High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE) or High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE), the physician can administer oxygen by mask or through treatment in a hyperbaric chamber and prescribe medication to treat swelling in the brain and lungs. These are life-threatening emergencies.

Emergency Warning Signs: When should I see a doctor?

Seek emergency medical help if the patient develops a severe headache or difficulty breathing. These are signs of life-threatening edema (swelling) of the brain and or the lungs.

Treatment for Altitude Sickness is available now at Omni-Med in Florham Park, NJ.



Animal and Human Bites
 

Animals typically strike at the face, arms, hands and legs. If you are a runner, you may even sustain a bite to the buttocks! Young children should always be supervised when close to animals and unsupervised animals should always be on a leash, but inevitably accidents occur.

Symptoms

  • Puncture wounds (more likely from cat or dog bites)
  • Cuts and scrapes (usually from exotic pets, rats, mice or birds)
  • Crushing of the bones (from livestock or animals with powerful jaws)

Who is at risk?

School-aged children are the most common victims of animal bites. Children are curious and more likely to disturb an animal who is eating or otherwise distracted. Excited or older animals are less patient with these interruptions and more likely to lash out. Serious crushing injuries are more likely with someone who handles livestock on a regular basis, but children should always be supervised in barnyards and petting zoos. Young children are often the recipients of human bites as well, usually from playmates or siblings! There is also the “fight bite” which happens a clenched fist strikes another person in the mouth. The fight bite is a particular bite injury which has a high rate of infection and needs immediate attention.

Treatment

Your physician will want to examine a deep bite for any possible risk of infection or damage to internal organs or tissue. Bites from children are typically not as deep as adult bites, but both are susceptible to infection and will need to be cleaned and treated as you would for an infectious risk. Animal bites will need to be evaluated for infection, for rabies potential and on occasion, for a foreign body left in the bitten limb. Cat teeth will sometimes break off inside the skin and will need to be removed. Of course, we will also want to ensure that your tetanus vaccination status is up to date. The recommendation is every 5 years with a dirty wound such as an animal or human bite.

Emergency Warning SignsWhen should I see a doctor?

Naturally, if a bite results in complete or partial amputation of a body part, call 911 immediately. Get immediate medical attention if you note any signs of shock in the patient: dizziness, passing out, acting confused, unavoidable sleepiness, labored breathing, unresponsiveness or a low heart rate. Have the person lie down as you wait; if the person needs to vomit, roll him to one side. Keep pressure on any bleeding until emergency personnel arrive. In general, if severe bleeding doesn’t stop after 15 minutes of continuous pressure, seek emergency medical assistance. If a bite occurs near the eye, seek emergency medical assistance.

Bite treatment is available now at Omni-Med in Florham Park, NJ.



Arthritis
 

Arthritis is an inflammation of the joints – usually it causes pain and even limits movement of the joint. There are several types of arthritis, and the most common type is called osteoarthritis – also known as degenerative joint disease.

Osteoarthritis occurs from wear and tear put on joints over the years, thus it is most common in older adults. Over time, the cartilage that separates the bones wears away and bones may start to rub against one another, causing the pain, joint swelling and stiffness that accompany osteoarthritis.

Athletes and overweight people are also at risk of suffering from arthritis. Athletes, since they use the same repeated movements with their joints, and heavy individuals can experience accelerated arthritis in knees, hips and spine from the extra weight.

There is no cure for osteoarthritis; however, there are steps you or your loved one may take to protect you from further damage, eliminate injury and control pain.

Below are some tips, which may help ease pain from osteoarthritis.

  • Losing weight
  • Regularly exercising
  • Using canes, or special shoes and other devices to protect further tear of joints.
  • Avoid lifting heavy items, or overusing joints
  • Use heat or cold to reduce pain and stiffening of joints.

For further pain relief you can buy arthritis medicine, without prescription in your local pharmacy. Aspirin, ibuprofen or other pain relievers can help reduce pain and inflammation of the joints. However, in your next visit with your physician it is important to mention if consistent pain persists. Your doctor may discuss other helpful treatments such as massage therapy, prescription medication and special devices people with arthritis are encouraged to use.

Arthritis treatment is available now at Omni-Med in Florham Park, NJ.



Asthma
 

Asthma is a chronic medical condition that affects the respiratory system. This condition causes the walls of your airways to be very sensitive. An asthma attack can be triggered by a variety of things, including allergic reactions, the common cold, smoke, hot or cold air, exercise, or stress.

Symptoms

  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Chest tightness
  • Shortness of breath

Who is at risk? Asthma can affect anyone. It usually, but not always, begins in childhood. Certain things increase risk, such as:

  • Family history of the condition
  • Extreme weather (hot or cold)
  • Poor air quality (as is often found in urban environments)
  • A stressful environment

Treatment of Asthma

Medications are available to control asthma over the long-term, as well as to provide quick-relief in the case of an attack. As this is a chronic (long-term) condition, once diagnosed you should maintain a relationship with a heath care provider. In addition to using appropriate medication, it is important to learn about the things that trigger you in order to prevent attacks.

When should I see a doctor?

If you think you or your child is suffering from asthma, see a doctor. Once diagnosed, you should continue to visit your doctor on a regular bases. Furthermore, if symptoms worsen or if you experience a particularly bad attack, you should see a doctor as soon as possible.

Asthma treatment and care is available now at Omni-Med in Florham Park, NJ.



Audiometry (Hearing Test)
 

A hearing test is designed to measure the ability of sound to reach your brain. Sound waves travel through air into your ear canal or through bone behind your ears to an area of the inner ear where they are converted to nerve impulses that are “heard” by your brain.

Test Procedure

  • Sounds of various frequencies are transmitted to headphones
  • The person being evaluated presses a button each time a tone is heard
  • The pattern of tone recognition depicts hearing deficits by plotting the results on a graph called an audiogram

What is being assessed with the test?

A hearing test can determine whether hearing loss is due to poor air conduction or poor bone conduction of the sound waves or whether your nervous system is not working to convert the sound waves appropriately. It can also be used to measure progression of hearing loss over time or improvement of hearing loss with a specific treatment.

What if my test is abnormal?

Your physician will use the information gathered from the testing to guide medical treatment or a hearing protection plan.

Hearing Testing is available now at Omni-Med in Florham Park, NJ.



Back Pain
 

80% of people will experience back pain at some point in their lives, making it one of the most common medical problems. Back pain covers an extensive range, from constant dull throbs to sharp sudden pain, and can cause pain in your legs. Back pain is considered acute if its occurrence is sudden and it goes away within a few days or a few weeks. Back pain is considered chronic if it lasts for more than a few months.

Symptoms

  • Significant back pain lasting more than 3 weeks
  • Pain in the lower back extending down your leg
  • Leg pain increasing if you lift your knee to your chest or try to bend over
  • Numbness and/or weakness in your legs during walking or other activity
  • Pain that becomes worse during rest or wakes you up at night
  • Back pain following a recent fall or injury
  • Persistent bowel or bladder problems

Who is at risk?

Although 8 out of 10 people will experience back pain at some point in their lives, certain factors will affect a person’s risk level. People over 40 are more likely to experience back pain, as it becomes more common with age. Factors such as fitness level, diet, and heredity may also affect stress levels on the back or spinal discs.

Treatment

Over the counter medications such as ibuprofen taken for a few days will typically relieve symptoms of back pain.

Sleeping with a pillow between or under the knees may help comfort symptoms of back pain.

Although no specific back exercise is proven to be effective in helping instances of back pain, regular exercise may help those with chronic back pain manage their pain.

When should I see a doctor?

  • If you have experienced recent trauma such as a fall or car accident, seek medical attention immediately.
  • If your lower back pain is worse at rest; it may be indicative of infectious or malignant causes of pain.
  • If you have recently experienced an infection.
  • If you have a history of prolonged steroid use

Treatment for Back Pain is available now at Omni-Med in Florham Park, NJ.



Bartholin’s Abscess
 

This is a lump (filled with pus) that forms along the Bartholin gland, at either side of the vaginal opening. They form when glandular ducts are blocked and fill with fluid (Bartholin’s cyst); they are painless unless they become infected from bacteria (Bartholin’s abscess). This process may take place very slowly or in a matter of days, but when infection occurs, it becomes painfully hot and swollen and should be addressed promptly.

Symptoms

  • Tender lump on either side of the lower vulva
  • Fever
  • Pain in intercourse or when sitting
  • Redness of the skin surrounding the lump

Who is at risk?

It occurs in females; more commonly over the age of 40.

Treatment

Most of these cysts will go away on their own with good self care, like a series of warm baths or compresses to reduce the swelling. If an abscess forms, a physician may want to drain the area, send the results to a lab and conduct a pelvic exam to rule out further complications or causes. The incised abscess is typically packed with gauze or held open with a Word catheter to keep it from reforming before it heals. Antibiotics are sometimes in order to clear the infection.

Emergency Warning Signs: When should I see a doctor?

Women under 40 may attempt warm compresses and baths in the short term. If swelling and pain does not recede after three days of conservative care, consult a physician. Women over 40 should consult a physician right away to rule out more serious problems.

Treatment for Bartholin’s Abscess is available now at Omni-Med in Florham Park, NJ.



Blood Pressure Screening
 

High blood pressure (hypertension) is one of the most common chronic medical conditions in adults. Over time, it may cause damage to the heart and blood vessels. The risk of heart attack, stroke, kidney failure and eye damage is higher in people with untreated hypertension. Since high blood pressure may be present without symptoms, blood pressure screening at regular intervals is important.

What is a Normal Blood Pressure?

A normal blood pressure is less than 140 systolic (the top number) and 90 diastolic (the bottom number). The systolic pressure is measured when the heart is pumping and the diastolic pressure is measured when the heart is at rest.

What if my Blood Pressure Screening is Abnormal?

Your physician will probably ask you to keep a blood pressure log for several weeks or months. In addition, a healthy diet and regular exercise will be the initial focus on lowering your pressure. If that fails and your log reveals a chronically elevated blood pressure, you may need to be started on medication. Good control of your pressure is essential to a normal life especially as you age.

Blood Pressure Screenings are available now at Omni-Med in Florham Park, NJ.



Bronchitis
 

Acute bronchitis refers to the inflammation and swelling of the bronchial tubes which carry air to the lungs. This inflammatory process results in production of mucus that makes you cough. It shows up quickly, usually brought on by a virus, and lasts up to three weeks. Chronic bronchitis keeps coming back cumulatively lasting up to three months of the year for two years in a row.

Symptoms

  • Cough producing phlegm, often accompanied by a sore throat
  • Wheezing and chest congestion
  • Fever with the above symptoms, chills, body aches

Who is at risk?

Smokers suffer frequently from bronchitis, as will anyone with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Acute bronchitis often shows up in someone with an upper respiratory tract infection resulting from a cold or flu. It may also result from a bacterial infection or inhalation of smoke or irritating chemicals.

Treatment

With rest, plenty of clear fluids and humidity (humidifier, steam shower, etc.), acute bronchitis should go away after several days to a week. Smokers take much longer to recover. Your doctor might take a chest x-ray to rule out pneumonia, but bronchitis is largely a clinical diagnosis based on your history and the symptoms you are experiencing. Once bronchitis is diagnosed, most doctors will recommend lots of fluid and sometimes an over the counter expectorant to rid the lungs of phlegm. If you are wheezing, you may receive an inhaled medication called Albuterol or Xopenex which can help open inflamed bronchial tubes. “Cough” drops don’t really make a cough go away, but might soothe that sore throat and annoying tickle. Antibiotics are not useful in the treatment of bronchitis.

Emergency Warning Signs: When should I see a doctor?

If you have a crushing chest pain, wheezing and breathing difficulty, blood or yellow/green sputum in your mucus, or any of these along with a fever over 101°F, you should be evaluated by a physician. If you have been treated for bronchitis and your symptoms do not improve in 14 days, call your doctor again. Proceed to a hospital emergency department right away for severe difficulty breathing.

Treatment for Bronchitis is available now at Omni-Med in Florham Park, NJ.



Burns
 

Burns are injuries to tissue caused by heat, electricity, chemicals, or radiation. Thermal and chemical burns usually occur due to exposure to heat or chemicals to the skin. Thus, skin usually sustains the brunt of the damage, however, severe burns can even penetrate to body structures such as fat, muscle, or bone. Burns are classified as either mild, moderate, or severe.

Symptoms

  • Red and blistered skin
  • Wet appearance of the area due to fluid loss
  • Intense pain in afflicted area
  • Blistering
  • Blanching (whitening) to area when touched

Who is at risk?

  • Anyone whose body has been exposed to extreme heat or chemicals
  • People who have been exposed to the sun for prolonged periods

Treatment for Burns

The most immediate treatment for burns, both thermal and chemical, is to stop the injury from progressing. Clothing covered with chemicals or hot substances should be removed immediately, and the injured skin should be placed in cold water, not ice. If done immediately, immersion in cold water can reduce the depth and total area of a burn. After these initial measures, the goals of treatment are pain relief and proper healing of the affected area. For minor burns, over the counter pain relievers and topical ointments will provide adequate protection.

For deeper, blistered burns, you should first make sure to leave the blister alone, if it is intact. You should use petroleum jelly and a light gauze wrap to protect it. When the blister bursts, remove the collapsed skin with sterile tweezers and gentle washing. Continue to use gauze to protect the blister and change the dressing once or twice daily to prevent it from becoming soggy and breaking down the skin.
Anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen will control pain and swelling of the injury.

When should I see a doctor?

  • If the area of your blistering burns is the size of your palm or larger, seek medical attention immediately.
  • If there are any signs of infection including fever, redness and swelling of the wound
  • If there is foul smelling drainage seeping from the burn
  • If there is evidence of shock, including difficulty breathing, dilated pupils, inability to stay warm, etc.

Treatment for Burns is available now at Omni-Med in Florham Park, NJ.



Bursitis
 

A bursa is a sac filled with lubricating fluid between tissues. It decreases friction between muscles, tendons, bones and skin. Bursitis is an inflammation of the bursa from repetitive impact or sudden movement.

Symptoms

  • Inflammation on a joint noted by a swollen bursa sac
  • Pain that is sudden or gradual and building in intensity
  • Swelling may appear very spongy in nature especially on the elbow

Who is at risk?

As tendons age, they tear more easily so bursitis is more common in adults over 40. High risk activities include gardening, carpentry, snow shoveling, scrubbing, and sports such as tennis that involves aggressive, repetitive movement. The most common areas of bursa inflammation are the elbow, shoulder, hip, knee, ankle and heel. On an individual basis, it will strike in the area used, or abused, the most.

Treatment

Treatment starts with isolation and rest. Ice helps at the onset of the injury. A physician might prescribe over the counter anti-inflammatory medication. If the symptoms persist, see a physician for further direction. In many cases it will be important for your physician to determine if the source is traumatic or infective. This requires extraction of fluid from the bursa for lab analysis. This can be somewhat painful but removal of excess fluid usually results in some relief.

Emergency Warning Signs: When should I see a doctor?

Emergency help might be necessary if the inflammation worsens or is accompanied by a high fever or redness of the area in question.

Treatment for Bursitis is available now at Omni-Med in Florham Park, NJ.



Chest Pain
 

Chest pain can be frightening, and should always be taken very seriously. If you are experiencing severe pain or a crushing, squeezing pressure in your chest, especially if this pain moves into your neck, left shoulder or arm, you should seek emergency medical care immediately. Do not drive yourself.

Even a passing pain in the chest could be a warning sign for heart attack or one of many other life threatening conditions. It might also indicate a non-threatening condition, like a passing inflammation or acid reflux but you need to let a medical professional determine the severity and nature of your discomfort.

Symptoms

  • Crushing or squeezing weight on the chest that lasts more than a few minutes
  • Sweating
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Pain that spreads from the chest to the back, neck, arms or belly
  • Dizziness
  • Irregular heart beat
  • Severe fatigue
  • Angina that does not go away using your doctor’s prescribed home treatment plan

Who is at risk?

Anyone at any age might experience chest pains for a variety of reasons. The duration and frequency of the pain are key indicators of the need for treatment. In persons over 40 or those who possess risk factors for heart disease (male sex, obesity, smoking history, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes) chest pains are a classic heart attack warning and should be regarded with extreme caution.

In persons under 40, chest pain might be caused by an upper respiratory infection, shingles, heartburn or a broken rib. More serious problems that cause chest pain may include a collapsed lung (sharp, stabbing pain with shortness of breath), a blood clot in the lung (deep chest pain and shortness of breath) or even a more chronic condition such as lung cancer. Pinched nerves in the spine might also cause a sudden onset of chest pain.

Treatment

If you are experiencing acute pain, seek emergency medical care right away. While waiting for an ambulance or in transit to a hospital you may want to take two to four chewable baby aspirin or a single adult aspirin which are proven to help decrease clot formation in the coronary arteries. Home treatment for angina (mild, recurring chest pain), aside from doctor prescribed nitroglycerin tablets, includes rest, balanced eating, maintaining a healthy weight, limiting alcohol and tobacco consumption, stress management and an exercise regimen as guided by your physician.

Chest pain caused by acid reflux might be comforted with antacids. It is worth noting that up to 50% of all persons with heart attacks presenting to the emergency department also experience acid reflux. This is why it’s important to let a physician help you decide if your condition is life threatening or not.

Emergency Warning SignsWhen should I see a doctor?

If you experience any of the symptoms listed above you should be seen immediately in the nearest hospital emergency room. These symptoms may be the signal that a life threatening condition exists especially if your discomfort worsens with exercise, stress or eating a large meal and goes away with rest. These may be signs of an acute coronary syndrome. Prompt evaluation and treatment are critical to recovery since most heart muscle damage takes place in the first six hours after onset of symptoms. Remember, never drive yourself.

If a person you are with complains of chest pain and becomes unconscious, administer CPR and call 911 immediately.

If you are experiencing very mild symptoms or symptoms that may be attributed to a cold, flu, chronic medical condition or injury, schedule a visit with your primary care physician or stop at the nearest Omni-Med location for evaluation. Our experienced acute care staff can help you determine the source of your condition.

Evaluation and treatment for Chest Pain is available now at Omni-Med in Florham Park, NJ.



Constipation
 

Constipation refers to a decrease in the frequency of bowel movements, which happens with varying frequency for every individual. If you go longer than three days without one, this is a red flag, as the stool hardens and becomes more difficult to pass. Contrary to popular myth, wastes stored in the body at length are not necessarily dangerous, although it can be a symptom of a more serious disorder like colon cancer. Most cases are inconvenient and uncomfortable, but not life threatening.

Symptoms

  • Two or fewer bowel movements in a week.
  • Straining during bowel movements.
  • Hard stools and/or incomplete evacuation.
  • Pain and vomiting if constipation persists.

Who is at risk?

Women and elderly persons are most commonly affected by constipation. It also has a tendency to occur in persons who are sedentary, stressed, dehydrated, traveling frequently, suffering from hypothyroidism, or lacking fiber in their diet.

Treatment

The best prevention is a balanced, well hydrated diet. If you find yourself already in the dilemma of constipation, drink extra water and eat more fruits and vegetables to aid the process of moving your bowels. Exercise will likely be prescribed too. A doctor might direct you to over the counter laxatives or fiber supplements.

Emergency Warning Signs: When should I see a doctor?

Severe symptoms lasting more than three weeks should be evaluation by a physician. A lack of movement in children can be caused by fecal impaction, which could be serious if not treated by a doctor.

Treatment for Constipation is available now at Omni-Med in Florham Park, NJ.



Corneal Abrasions
 

Sometimes the result of high-risk sports, corneal abrasions also result from chemicals, dirt, rust or other contaminants in the eye. Often among children an eye is scratched accidentally during play, and home treatment after consultation with a physician is usually all that’s needed.

Symptoms

  • Burning or irritation in the eye or as the eyelid opens and closes
  • Pain that persists more than 12 hours after an accidental blow to the eye
  • Feeling of sand or grit in the eye
  • Blurred vision or light sensitivity

Who is at risk?

Anyone can experience a corneal abrasion.  

Treatment

Your physician will commonly prescribe an antibiotic eye drop to ensure that the abrasion does not become infected. Doctors are not recommending eye patches generally as controlled studies have failed to prove they contribute to healing. Rest is the best healer for an injured eye (that means eliminate television and reading) as most minor abrasions will heal on their own within 4-5 days.
At home, keep the area clean and dry with a sterile bandage. A cold pack might help reduce swelling, followed by a warm compress to relieve pain. Resist using chemical cooling packs or raw meat around the eye. For pain, use acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or aspirin (if over 20).

Emergency Warning SignsWhen should I see a doctor?

Note: with any vision loss, the eye might require treatment within 90 minutes to save vision; use precautions. If an object is embedded in the eye, do not remove. Proceed to an emergency room or OnPoint Urgent Care facility immediately. If there is no visible object in the eye and pain persists after 12 hours, contact your doctor or an OnPoint physician. Special test are required that can help diagnose the cause of your discomfort. Never take chances where your eyesight is concerned.

Treatment for Corneal Abrasions is available now at Omni-Med in Florham Park, NJ.  



Cough
 

Coughing, although annoying, is a reflex that is vital to keeping your throat and airways clear. It helps your body to protect and heal itself from infections. Coughs are classified as either acute or chronic. Acute coughs have a sudden onset and last no longer than two or three weeks. Chronic coughs last longer than two to three weeks. Causes of chronic coughs range from asthma and allergies to smoking and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).

Symptoms

When you have a cough, it is a symptom of other conditions or diseases. It can indicate a full range of diseases and conditions, depending on whether your cough produces mucus or septum, the color of what you are coughing up, shortness of breath or wheezing, duration your cough has lasted, and a myriad of other factors. Most commonly, the cough is a symptom of the common cold or allergies, but it can sometimes be indicative of more serious problems such as bronchitis or pneumonia.

Who is at risk?

  • Those experiencing the cold or flu
  • Those with allergies
  • Those with pulmonary (lung) diseases
  • People who smoke
  • Anyone with throat disorders
  • Those with GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease)

Treatment of Condition

The easiest treatment for a cough is to drink water or take a steamy shower. Using vaporizers or humidifiers may also ease your symptoms. Over-the-counter antihistamines and cough medicine may help if you have the cold or flu. You should carefully read labels and consult a physician when giving cough medicine to small children.

When should I see a doctor?

  • If you suffer from a pulmonary disease such as COPD or asthma
  • If you are coughing up blood or sebum
  • If your cough lasts longer than 2 or 3 weeks
  • If you are at risk for infection or suspect an infection

Treatment for Cough and related conditions is available now at Omni-Med in Florham Park, NJ.



Croup
 

Croup is a contagious infection, caused by and often resulting from the same type of viruses as the common cold. The infection results in inflammation of the bronchial tubes and an increase in mucus.

Symptoms

  • Sharp cough that sounds like a barking seal
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Retractions (skin over the rib cage being sucked in between ribs because of difficulty taking a breath)
  • Temperature of 102°F or higher
  • Dry mouth, decreased urination or other signs of dehydration

Who is at risk?

Most common in young children in the fall and winter, croup usually goes away on its own, but a small percentage of children require clinic or hospital treatment to ease breathing.

Treatment           

At home, try to keep the child calm and still, reducing activity. Use of a humidifier will make breathing easier, as well as 10 minutes of cool, night air (dress warmly, though). Eliminate any smoking in the house and keep the patient well hydrated with water or ice. If the patient doesn’t respond to home treatment a doctor might want to monitor your pulse to make sure enough oxygen is reaching the blood and possible prescribe a medication to reduce airway swelling. Over the counter medicines and antibiotics are not effective in treating croup.

Emergency Warning SignsWhen should I see a doctor?

See a doctor immediately if breathing difficulty persists for more than a few minutes. Call 911 if your child’s breathing is severely labored, if the child is not responding or interacting with you in a normal way, or if their color is gray or blue. These are ominous signs. You should NEVER put a child with severe respiratory difficulties in your own vehicle for the trip to the ED.

Treatment for Croup is available now at Omni-Med in Florham Park, NJ.



Cuts/Lacerations
 

A cut refers to a wound with separation of connective tissue, usually caused by a sharp object. A laceration implies a jagged wound usually caused by blunt trauma; however, cuts and lacerations are essentially the same condition.

Symptoms

A cut is one of the easiest medical conditions to diagnose; as it describes an open wound in the skin. These are some of the most common injuries. The most obvious symptoms of a cut or laceration are bleeding, an obvious break or gap in the skin, and pain surrounding the injury.

Who is at risk?

Anyone is at risk for a cut or laceration.

Treatment for Cuts/Lacerations:

  • Apply pressure with a clean cloth to stop the bleeding
  • Clean the wound with water
  • To prevent infection, use an antibiotic ointment
  • Bandage the wound to keep it clean and prevent it from re-opening
  • Watch for swelling and redness and other signs of infection
  • In some cases, you may want to get a tetanus booster 

When should I see a doctor?

  • You should consult your physician as to whether or not a tetanus booster will be necessary.
  • If you cannot stop the bleeding from the wound, seek medical attention.
  • If the wound edges are separated and gaping.
  • If an object or debris is embedded in the cut.
  • If the wound shows signs of infection such as warmth and redness in the area.
  • If the wound was caused by a bite from a human or animal.

Treatment for Cuts and Lacerations is available now at Omni-Med in Florham Park, NJ.  



Dehydration
 

Three quarters of a body’s weight is water. When there is more water going out of the body than coming in, the result is volume depletion or dehydration. We naturally lose water breathing, sweating and urinating on any given day. That is why we have to drink enough water each day to replace what we normally lose.

Symptoms

  • Thirst
  • Dry mouth, lightheadedness
  • Reduction in tears and sweat
  • In severe cases, muscle cramps, nausea, heart palpitations
  • In extreme cases confusion, weakness, shock and eventually death

Who is at risk?

Anyone not taking in enough water during exercise, while sick (with nausea and vomiting), when sunburned or without any access to drinking water is at risk for dehydration. Children are at a greater risk because their bodies are comprised of a greater percentage of water and their metabolic rate consumes more water.

Treatment

Fluid replacement is the first treatment, preferably by mouth, but if you are unable to take fluids orally, then by intravenous fluids under a physician’s direction. Water provides the best hydration, but it is acceptable to try clear broths, popsicles, Jello and electrolyte beverages. Avoid any soft drinks that are loaded with sugar or corn syrup.

Emergency Warning Signs: When should I see a doctor?

If the patient appears confused, sleepy or unconscious, get emergency help.

Treatment for Dehydration is available now at Omni-Med in Florham Park, NJ.



Dental Abscess (tooth infection)
 

An abscess is a collection of pus in an infection. Microorganisms invade the tissue where there is a break in the skin. Since the mouth is already a breeding ground for bacteria, infections of the mouth have a tendency to develop quickly. A dental abscess is reason for emergency attention before infection spreads or causes irreparable damage to the teeth and gums.

Symptoms

  • Swelling or presence of pus around the teeth and gums
  • Compelling desire to gnaw or chew
  • Tooth pain that is sensitive to touch, heat or cold
  • Facial swelling or fever

Who is at risk?

Diabetics and anyone with an immune deficiency are most prone to the spread of infection.

Treatment

Failure to treat an abscess can lead to loss of teeth, so prompt medical attention is required to evaluate you for an abscess. A physician or dentist will determine if antibiotics are necessary. The degree of bone and tissue loss will determine whether a root canal or tooth extraction is necessary. The earlier an abscess is treated, the higher the chances of saving the tooth.

Emergency Warning Signs: When should I see a doctor?

Any symptoms of abscess are cause for medical attention. If the symptoms occur after hours, when your dentist is not available, seek emergency attention from an urgent care center or emergency department.

Evaluation and emergency treatment for Dental Abscess is available now at Omni-Med in Florham Park, NJ.



Diabetes
 

According to the American Diabetes Association, nearly 21 million Americans have diabetes (the disease in which blood sugar levels are too high). Type 1 Diabetes results from the body not producing insulin, a hormone that helps the glucose or sugar get into the body’s cells for energy. Type 2 Diabetes is the most common type in which the body does not make enough insulin and does not properly use it. The glucose or sugar ends up staying in the blood, which eventually may damage the eyes, kidneys and even nerves. Diabetes may also cause heart disease or stroke. Gestational diabetes affects only pregnant women. And lastly, pre-diabetes is the condition in which a person’s blood sugar levels are high, but not enough to categorize for type 2 diabetes.
 
Possible Symptoms:

  • Fatigue
  • Thirst
  • Weight loss
  • Blurred vision
  • Frequent urination

It is important to remember that some people may not have any symptoms at all, and only a blood test may show if diabetes is present. Diabetes is a genetic disease; it is possible you may be at risk if your family members are sufferers. To find out for sure, as well as establish a consistent and healthy meal plan, exercise routine, and weight control, it is important to see your physician.
 
Evaluation and treatment for Diabetes is available now at Omni-Med in Florham Park, NJ.



Dry Socket (alveolar osteitis)
 

Dry socket is a common complication following a tooth extraction; particularly extraction of wisdom teeth. The blood that clots at the site of the extraction becomes dislodged leaving nerves and bones exposed to the cold air. This may cause excruciating pain.

Symptoms

  • Severe pain following a tooth extraction, radiating to the eye or ear
  • Exposure of bone at the site of extraction
  • Foul odor or unpleasant taste from the mouth
  • Lymph nodes around the jaw or neck are swollen

Who is at risk?

Watch for symptoms in anyone who has had a tooth extraction. Tobacco use can contaminate the wound, leading to dry socket. Oral contraceptives can deliver high amounts of estrogen that may dissolve the blood clot prematurely. An already infected tooth or gum will increase chances of dry socket as well.

Treatment

Seek medical attention for relief. Do not sweat out the pain. A physician or dentist will want to flush and clean the socket and apply medicated dressings. Pain medication might be prescribed, along with self care for keeping the socket clean.

Emergency Warning Signs: When should I see a doctor?

If pain worsens after a tooth extraction, contact your dentist or oral surgeon immediately for evaluation and treatment. If you don’t have access to the doctor who performed the surgery, don’t delay in getting emergency help from an urgent care facility or emergency department.

Evaluation and emergency treatment of Dry Socket is available now at Omni-Med in Florham Park, NJ.



Dysuria
 

Painful urination is a common indication for a urinary tract infection, but may also indicate the presence of a sexually transmitted disease, kidney stones, tumors or prostate condition. Most often a bacterial infection causes inflammation that triggers the pain. Bacteria can present from soaps, bubble baths, spermicides, douches and unclean wiping habits.

Symptoms

  • Burning sensation or slowness during urination
  • Blood in the urine or itchy vaginal discharge
  • Upper back pain with fever and chills

Who is at risk?

Occurs mostly in the 24-54 age range. Physical activities such as horse or cycle riding can trigger symptoms; sexual intercourse may also introduce contaminates that may result in dysuria.

Treatment

Physicians will prescribe antibiotics in infection is detected. In general, keep the area clean and dry. Women should change feminine products frequently and limit products used in the bath tub. Bubble baths should be avoided in children as they are a frequent cause of burning with urination and urinary infections especially in females.

Emergency Warning Signs: When should I see a doctor?

Dysuria should be evaluated by your physician to expedite treatment if it is found necessary. Pain in the upper back accompanied by fever are signs of kidney infection and must be evaluated immediately to avoid severe illness.

Treatment for Dysuria is available now at Omni-Med in Florham Park, NJ.



Ear and Nose Foreign Bodies
 

Foreign bodies in the ear and nose tend to be placed there by curious children. Common items include small toys, buttons, crayons, batteries, insects and particles of food.

Symptoms

  • Loss of hearing
  • Sudden onset of wheezing or difficulty breathing
  • Pain, redness or drainage in the case of food or insects

Who is at risk?

Children under six or mentally ill adults are those most likely to experience foreign bodies in the ear and nose.

Treatment

Consult a physician to safely remove obstructions without causing further damage or even suffocation. Removal can be painful as well and you can trust a physician to know the best method to employ. Physicians might use an instrument to remove the item through the natural opening or even magnets or suction to coax the object out.

Emergency Warning Signs: When should I see a doctor?

Magnets and small batteries in the ear or nose constitute a true ENT emergency. It is best to let a physician assess how to remove objects that seem innocently lodged, as repetitive efforts can push the item further into the cavity and cause more harm, even death.

Treatment for Ear and Nose Foreign Bodies is available now at Omni-Med in Florham Park, NJ.



Ear Pain
 

The most common locations and causes for ear pain are the outer ear from moisture trapped in the ear canal (otitis externa or swimmers ear) or from trapped foreign objects and the middle ear from trapped fluid resulting in a bacterial infection (otitis media).

Symptoms

  • Sharp or dull, throbbing pain or itching in the ear
  • Fluid or pus leaking from the ear
  • Ringing or buzzing in the ear or complete hearing loss

Who is at risk?

Ear pain might result in anyone who has experienced extreme head congestion from sinus blockage, colds or flu. In infants, bottle feeding often lends to ear pain because of the position of the child during feeding and the collection of moisture in the ear canal. More unusual causes of ear discomfort may stem from anyone who has experienced a change in altitude or pressure – like a swimmer, hiker, or scuba diver – might experience a sudden ear ache. Secondhand smoke has been shown to occasionally result in ear pain as well.

Treatment

A doctor should be consulted for most ear pain, unless chronic recurrence is taking place, in which case a doctor might recommend one or two steps to be taken at home before seeking medical care. External ear pain is most often treated at home with ear drops for 7-10 days and possibly pain medication. If the drainage causing pain builds up in the ear, an infection might occur, requiring possible medical attention. Middle ear pain and infections are often treated with an antibiotic and analgesics for 10-14 days.

Emergency Warning SignsWhen should I see a doctor?

Persistent ear pain should be seen by your primary care doctor or an Omni-Med physician if your doctor is not accessible. Only a physician has the knowledge and instruments needed to properly diagnose and treat the problem. 

Treatment for Ear Pain is available now at Omni-Med in Florham Park, NJ.



Electrocardiograms (EKG)
 

An electrocardiogram also known as an EKG or ECG is a non-invasive test that looks at the electrical activity of the heart. In simplest terms, the human heart may be thought of as containing two systems – plumbing and electrical. The electrical system of the heart actuates the pump (heart muscle) sustaining the flow of de-oxygenated blood to the lungs and the flow of oxygenated blood to the cells of the body.

Test Procedure

  • Small sticky tabs will be placed on your chest and extremities
  • Electrical wires from the EKG machine will be attached to the tabs
  • The operator will ask that you lie quietly while the machine translates your heart’s electrical activity into a series of lines on special chart paper for interpretation

Who might need an EKG?

An EKG may be ordered by your physician for a number of reasons ranging from evaluation of your heart during an annual physical to evaluating the performance of a pacemaker. EKGs are most commonly ordered when a person complains of chest pain or palpitations. The pattern of the lines traced on the chart paper can indicate to your physician the severity of your condition. This will help guide the physician when deciding what future tests or medications you might need.

What if my EKG is abnormal?

It depends on the setting in which the EKG is being taken. If you are receiving an EKG in your doctor’s office or another outpatient setting, you may be referred to a heart specialist called a cardiologist for further evaluation or sent to the Emergency Department if an immediate life threat is detected.

Electrocardiograms are available now at Omni-Med in Florham Park, NJ.



Eye Pain
 

There are two types of eye pain: ocular pain and orbital pain. Ocular pain originates at the outer surface of the eye and might be experienced with a corneal abrasion, conjunctivitis, chemical burns, plugged tear ducts or a sty. Orbital pain refers to an ache originating inside the eye such as one might experience with glaucoma, sinusitis, neuritis, migraine headache or a penetrating injury.

Symptoms

  • Pain in or around the eye
  • Severe headache centered behind the eyes
  • Vision impairment or double vision
  • Light sensitivity or halo vision
  • Floating objects or flashes of light
  • Redness or discharge from the eye
  • Change in the shape of the eyeball or pupil

Who is at risk?

Ocular pain may affect anyone engaging in sports involving flying objects (balls) or contact sports like boxing, wrestling and martial arts unless they wear specially designed protective eyewear. Corneal abrasions are common in the workplace where people are engaged in work around potential contaminants such as chemicals, dust, flying metal debris, etc. Orbital pain may affect anyone with migraines or a sinus infection and older patients seem to be more susceptible to glaucoma.

Treatment

Treatment for eye pain varies according to the source of the symptoms, which is why medical treatment is so important. A physician will have the proper equipment and solutions to wash any contaminants from the eye or safely remove foreign objects. If there is a bacterial infection, a physician will likely treat with antibiotic eye drops along with possibly a prescription ointment and pain medication.

Emergency Warning Signs: When should I see a doctor?

Seek advice from a doctor or ophthalmologist to examine and diagnose your problem. If chemicals or cleaning solvents get in your eyes, seek emergency medical help right away. Sudden loss of vision or swelling/discharge with a severe headache are reasons for emergency evaluation as well. Certainly a puncture wound or hard blow to the eye warrants emergency attention.

Treatment for Eye Pain is available now at Omni-Med in Florham Park, NJ.



Fever
 

A fever is a condition that refers to your body temperature being higher than normal. Also known as Pyrexia, a fever is your body’s main defense against infection, as most bacteria and viruses find it difficult to survive at temperatures higher than your body’s normal temperature. Fevers also serve to activate your body’s immune system. Most fevers are caused by infections; however, other causes include heat exhaustion, cancers, autoimmune disorders, and certain medicines.

Symptoms

  • If your body temperature is 100.5 or above, then you have a fever.
  • If you have a sore throat, dry cough, muscle aches or headaches, or general fatigue, then you may also have a fever.
  • Nausea, diarrhea and vomiting and weight loss may accompany a fever.
  • If you are having chills, you likely have a fever.

It is important to remember that a fever is usually a symptom of an infection, and to monitor your symptoms very carefully.

Who is at risk?

  • If you are suffering from any kind of infection, fever is usually the most common symptom
  • If you are taking certain medications, your risk of fever may be higher
  • People suffering from heat exhaustion
  • People with cancer
  • People with autoimmune diseases

Treatment of Condition

Treatment of your fever will depend on the cause of your fever. Usually, over the counter medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen will lower a very high fever. Adults can also take aspirin, although aspirin should not be given to children with fevers. You should also be sure to drink enough liquids to prevent dehydration.
Fever in children requires different treatment than in adults; contact your child’s physician for more information.

When should I see a doctor?

  • If your fever lasts for over a week, seek medical attention
  • If you have lost weight unintentionally
  • If your fever comes and goes and/or stays considerably high
  • If you have recently started taking a new medicine
  • If you have been exposed to high temperatures and are not sweating (this is a sign of heatstroke)

If you have any symptoms of infection that have lasted more than a few days, see your doctor right away.
If your child has anything more than a low-grade fever that can be treated with cold medicine, seek medical attention immediately, as the fever may be a symptom of a serious infection.

Treatment for Fevers is available now at Omni-Med in Florham Park, NJ.


Location
Omni-Med Family Care & Urgent Care
131 Columbia Tpke, 3b
Florham Park, NJ 07932
Phone: 973-377-8776
Fax: 973-822-2393
Office Hours

Get in touch

973-377-8776