When To Worry About Fever in Adults
A fever is a temporary rise in body temperature, and a sign that your body is battling an illness or infection. There is generally no cause for concern, but certain situations warrant a trip to the doctor– or even the emergency room. Learn when it’s time to seek treatment.
Normal body temperature ranges from 97°F to 99°F. If your core body temperature rises above this, you may have a fever. Additional signs and symptoms include sweating, chills, shivering, headache, and muscle aches. Loss of appetite, irritability, dehydration and general weakness are also common.
When and Where To Seek Treatment
Most fevers go away on their own within a few hours to days as your body beats the infection. If your fever lasts longer than 3 days, it’s important to see a doctor. A recurrent fever, however slight, may be a sign of a more serious condition. An urgent care center is a quick, convenient place to seek treatment for mild fevers.
Head into our clinic if your fever…
- Is higher than 102°F
- Lasts more than 3 days
- Continues to worsen and will not break
- Is accompanied by:
- Ear pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Sore throat
Our friendly medical team will perform a physical exam, and ask questions about your symptoms and medical history. The provider may order blood tests or a chest X-ray, as needed, to determine the cause of your fever. If your fever is due to a bacterial infection, we can prescribe antibiotics for treatment. Walk in today for fast, affordable care. No appointment necessary.
When to Seek Emergency Care
Head to the ER or call an ambulance for fevers with the following symptoms:
- Severe headache
- Skin rash
- Unusual sensitivity to bright light
- Stiff neck or neck pain
- Mental confusion
- Persistent vomiting
- Difficulty breathing or chest pain
- Abdominal pain or pain when urinating
- Convulsions or seizures
How To Use Antibiotics Responsibly
Antibiotics are life-saving drugs that treat bacterial infections and prevent serious complications of disease. Unfortunately, these medications are becoming increasingly ineffective due to a phenomenon called antibiotic resistance.
Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria change in a way that reduces, or totally eliminates, the effectiveness of the medication designed to kill them. Bacteria will naturally develop resistance, but the misuse and overuse of antibiotics are speeding up the process at a concerning rate.
Antibiotic resistant bacteria are difficult to treat and lead to an array of healthcare issues, including more serious illnesses, longer recovery times, more frequent or longer hospitalizations, more doctor visits, and more expensive treatments. According to the Mayo Clinic, “approximately 2 million infections from antibiotic-resistant bacteria occur in the United States each year, resulting in 23,000 deaths.” These are some scary statistics, but there are steps we can all take as individuals to help prevent antibiotic resistance.
Use antibiotics responsibly:
- If you’re suffering from a viral illness, antibiotics won’t cure the infection or help you feel better. Talk to your doctor about other medications that will be effective and beneficial for your recovery.
- Take prescribed antibiotics exactly as directed. It’s critical to complete the full course of medication, even if you start to feel better. If even one bacterium survives an antibiotic treatment, it can multiply and pass on its resistant properties.
- Never take leftover antibiotics for a later illness. It may not be the appropriate antibiotic, and it won’t be a complete course.
- Preventing infection altogether can also help reduce antibiotic use and resistance. Practice good hygiene and follow food safety guidelines.
- While viral Upper Respiratory Infections tend to have more severe symptoms and last longer than an average ‘cold’, antibiotics are not the answer. The medication will be ineffective and will also kill off good gut bacteria that are important to your health! It’s best to let your immune system do the work. Please follow your doctors’ advice and communicate if signs and symptoms get much worse.
What’s Causing Your Cough?
A cough is a natural reflex that occurs when your body senses an irritation in your throat or airway. The muscles in your chest and abdomen contract to expel air and hopefully, the irritant. While coughing can be uncomfortable, it’s your body’s natural defense against things like mucus, dust, pollen, mold, and smoke.
There are many illnesses and conditions that can cause a cough reflex. If you’re “hacking up a lung” and wondering why, it’s important to consider the characteristics of your cough. Here are a few questions you should ask yourself:
- When does my cough occur? At night, while exercising, after eating?
- How long have I been coughing? When did it start?
- How does my cough sound and feel?
- Does my coughing cause other symptoms, such as sleeplessness, urinary incontinence, dizziness or fainting, headaches?
- Does my cough produce mucus?
Your answers to these questions can help you and your doctor pinpoint the source of your cough. Acute coughs–those lasting less than 3 weeks–are usually associated with cold, flu, pneumonia, exposure to irritants, or whooping cough. If a cough lasts longer than 8 weeks (or 4 weeks for children), it is considered chronic. Chronic coughs are often attributed to allergies, asthma, bronchitis, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), or postnasal drip.
It may be difficult to decide when to seek medical attention for a cough. Head to our clinic for a professional evaluation if you are experiencing:
- a cough lasting more than a few weeks
- shortness of breath, difficulty breathing or wheezing
- cough with symptoms of fever, chills, sweating, or ill appearance
- painful cough
- a cough that produces green, yellow, or foul smelling phlegm
We recommend that any cough associated with worsening symptoms, especially in children, be evaluated after 7 days.
Get prompt care for coughing at our clinic today!
Seek emergency care if you or your child has a cough with symptoms of blood-tinged phlegm, chest pain, difficulty breathing, choking or vomiting.
Deciding Where To Go For Flu Treatment
Flu can range from a minor inconvenience to a life-threatening illness, and it can be tough to know just when it’s time to seek professional care. Read up on our quick tips for deciding where to go for flu treatment.
First off, it’s important to recognize flu symptoms. Mild to moderate influenza causes symptoms such as:
- Sore Throat
- Congestion or runny nose
For a mild case of influenza, you’ll likely only need a bit of rest and plenty of fluids to recover, but it’s still a good idea to get checked out– and sooner rather than later. Antiviral medications work best when taken promptly! If you’re having trouble booking an appointment with your Primary Care Provider, an urgent care center is a great option for immediate, comprehensive care.
Just walk into our clinic when it’s convenient for you and our medical team can provide a quick flu test to confirm influenza. We are also able to prescribe medication, perform X-rays, administer IV fluids, and complete blood work as needed.
If you or a loved one is exhibiting severe flu symptoms, you should head right to the Emergency Room. Severe symptoms include:
- Chest Pain
- Respiratory Distress or Difficulty Breathing
High-risk groups, such as infants, the elderly, women who are pregnant and individuals with medical conditions that affect their ability to fight infections, should also be treated in the ER.
Remember, the emergency room should be reserved for true emergencies. When you’re dealing with mild to moderate symptoms, check in with your Primary Care or try an urgent care. You’ll save time and money, and free up the ER for patients who truly need that level of care.
We hope this guide helps you in deciding where to go for flu treatment. Feel free to call us with any questions, and know we’re here when you need care!
How to Manage Your Child’s Case of Pink Eye
As kids head back to school and communal settings, they face an increased risk of catching a contagious illness. Pink eye, in particular, spreads rapidly through classrooms and playgrounds. Learn what to do if infectious pink eye makes an appearance in your household.
Pink eye (AKA conjunctivitis) is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, the clear membrane that lines the eyelid and the white part of the eyeball. This inflammation makes the blood vessels in your eye more noticeable, and gives the eye the telltale reddish pink appearance. According to the National Eye Institute, about 3 million cases of pink eye occur in the United States each year!
Symptoms may affect one or both eyes, and include:
- Reddish or pink appearance of the eye
- Eye discomfort, itchiness or grittiness (a feeling of sand in the eye)
- Discharge from the eye
- Swelling and/or crusting of the eyelid
- Sensitivity to light
If your child is suffering from any of these symptoms, it’s a good idea to head to the doctor.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Pink eye can be caused by the same viruses responsible for common colds, sinus infections, and sore throats, and also by the bacteria behind chlamydia and gonorrhea. Allergies or environmental irritants can also cause conjunctivitis, and in these instances, the condition is not contagious.
Treatment for conjunctivitis depends on the root cause. Get a fast diagnosis and proper care at our clinic today. Our medical team will perform an eye exam, review symptoms and go over recent health history to help determine an underlying cause. If the infection is due to a bacteria, your child may need antibiotic eye drops or ointment. If allergies are the culprit, the provider might prescribe an anti-allergy medication. Viral conjunctivitis will usually clear up on its own in a few days, but cool or warm compresses and acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help relieve discomfort.
Kids with contagious conjunctivitis should be kept out of school and childcare until the contagious stage has passed (usually 3-5 day) . Be sure to wash your hands well after touching a child’s infected eye and avoid sharing items such as eye drops, tissues, washcloths, towels, and pillowcases. It’s also important to clean and sanitize common toys, table tops, drinking fountains, faucet handles, and other surfaces.
Visit our clinic when you need fast, affordable pink eye treatment and advice.
Know the Signs of Dehydration
The hot summer days of August are upon us, and as temps rise, so too does your risk of dehydration. Learn the signs and symptoms of this common condition, and when it’s time to seek professional medical care.
In hot and humid weather, your body sweats as a means to cool itself down. But excess perspiration can reduce body water levels, and if you are not replacing those fluids at the same rate, you become dehydrated.
Water is essential for the body to function– it plays a role in nearly all its major systems. Regulation of body temperature, digestion, and joint health all depend on water. Not getting enough fluids can lead to dehydration symptoms that range from mild to severe.
Mild Dehydration Symptoms include:
- Dry lips, tongue and mouth
- Weakness, dizziness, and fatigue
- Less frequent urination
- Dark-colored urine
If you are a healthy adult, you can generally treat these symptoms on your own. Stop activity, drink water or a sports drink with electrolytes, and place a cold compress on your neck to cool off. However, since young children and older adults are at higher risk of serious complications , they should see a doctor for the above symptoms. It’s also important to seek treatment if you are experiencing severe dehydration symptoms, such as:
- Diarrhea for 24 hours or more
- Feeling irritable, disoriented, much more tired, or less active than usual
- Can’t keep down fluids
- Bloody or black stool
If your symptoms are not life-threatening, our urgent care center is a great option for dehydration treatment. Simply walk in for quick, high quality medical care from friendly doctors! We offer shorter wait times and more affordable prices than the ER.
Now you know the signs and symptoms of dehydration. This condition is easily preventable by drinking plenty of water, so be diligent about your fluid intake this summer. If you do need care, we’re here for you!
Grilling Safety Tips to Prevent Foodborne Illness
Firing up the grill this summer? Follow these BBQ food safety tips to prevent foodborne illness.
As the weather warms up, many of us will take our dinner prep outdoors and enjoy food from the grill. But it’s important to remember that instances of food poisoning rise in the summer months, with bacteria multiplying more quickly in higher temps. Make sure you are taking the necessary precautions to protect against foodborne illness and all its unpleasant symptoms. Below, we highlight helpful grilling safety tips to minimize germs.
Grilling Safety Tips
- Wash your hands. Always wash your hands with soap and water before and after handling food. If there is no running water where you’re cooking, plan ahead and bring disposable wipes, hand sanitizer, or water, soap, and paper towels.
- Keep uncooked meat, poultry and seafood below 40°F. Leave your meat in the fridge until it’s time to grill. Or if you are on the go, use an insulated cooler.
- Avoid cross-contamination with marinades and utensils. If you plan on using a marinade as a dressing or sauce, save a separate portion in the fridge or cooler. Throw out marinades that have contacted raw meat, poultry, or seafood. Use clean utensils and a clean platter to serve cooked foods.
- Use a food thermometer. Cook your food thoroughly and ensure it reaches a safe temperature by using a food thermometer.
- 145°F – whole cuts of beef, pork, lamb, and veal (let stand for 3 minutes before serving)
- 145°F – fish
- 160°F – hamburgers, ground beef
- 165°F – poultry and pre-cooked meats, like hot dogs
- Refrigerate. Don’t let food sit out too long. Food should be refrigerated after 2 hours — 1 hour if the outdoor temperature is above 90° F.
Always follow these guidelines to reduce your risk of foodborne illness! Consuming contaminated food can lead to food poisoning, with mild to severe symptoms, including:
- Upset stomach
- Stomach cramps
If you develop severe symptoms after a cook-out, head into our clinic. Our friendly medical team is available to evaluate and treat instances of foodborne illness, with no appointment necessary.
Concussion Signs & Symptoms
A concussion is a traumatic brain injury (TBI) that occurs when a sudden blow or jolt to the head causes your brain to slide back and forth against the walls of your inner skull. This forceful movement creates chemical changes in the brain and can stretch or damage brain cells. Concussions can occur during contact sports and motor vehicle/bicycle accidents, or from falling or physical abuse.
This type of injury can temporarily affect your brain function, and lead to serious long term complications. General symptoms include headaches and problems with concentration, memory, balance and coordination. You may have a concussion and not realize it.
- Headache or pressure in the head
- Feeling foggy, dazed, groggy, in a haze
- Amnesia surrounding the traumatic event
- Dizziness and balance problems
- Ringing in the ears
- Nausea or Vomiting
Other symptoms may appear hours or days after the injury. You may experience issues with concentration, memory, and sleep. Irritability, personality changes, sensitivity to light and noise, and disorders of taste and smell are also common.
Signs of a concussion, as seen by others:
- Amnesia or confusion surrounding the traumatic event
- Delayed response to questions
- Appears dazed
- Slurred speech
- Forgets instructions, or is confused during simple tasks
- Loss of consciousness
For any head injury, it’s important to seek an evaluation from a doctor, even if emergency care isn’t required.
As long as you did not experience a loss of consciousness, nausea or vomiting as a result of your head injury, our urgent care center is a good place to seek care. Our providers are available to perform quick diagnostics and can ensure that the injury is not life-threatening or require emergency treatment. Always err on the safe side in regards to a brain injury! Walk into our clinic today for a fast, affordable evaluation and an expert treatment plan.
When to seek emergency treatment:
Call 911 or head straight to the emergency room for any head injury associated with a loss of consciousness, seizures, neck pain, vomiting or numbness, prolonged confusion or amnesia, or weakness in arms or legs.
When and Where to Seek Treatment for Burns
We run the risk of burns throughout our daily lives. A burn can occur during simple activities such as making dinner, curling your hair, ironing clothes, or making a pot of coffee. And while some burns can be safely treated at home, others require professional medical attention. Underestimating the severity of a burn can delay proper treatment, lead to infection, and in extreme cases, life-threatening conditions. Learn when and where to seek the appropriate treatment for burns.
Consider the following factors to determine the level of care your burn needs:
Superficial, or first-degree, burns are red and painful like a sunburn, affecting only the outer layer of the skin. These burns can usually be treated at home.
Deeper second-degree burns cause swelling and red, white or blotchy skin. Blisters can develop, pain may be severe, and scarring is possible.Head to an urgent care for this type of burn.
Full-thickness third-degree burns involve the entire epidermis and dermis layers of the skin, may have patches of black, brown or white, and appear leathery or charred. At this point, emergency care is necessary.
Location and Size
Most minor burns can be safely treated at our urgent care center. However, any burn involving the face or covering a large area of the body should be treated at a hospital.
It’s important to see a doctor if your burn is showing any signs of infection. Our urgent care can assess your burn, and provide antibiotics or referrals as necessary. Symptoms include:
- Increasing pain
If you’re unsure of your burn’s severity, it’s best to seek professional care. Walk into our clinic for a fast, affordable evaluation and high quality treatment of minor burns.
Seek emergency care for:
- Burns that:
- cover the face or a large area of the body
- cause the skin to look leathery
- appear charred or have patches of black, brown or white
- are caused by electricity
- Deep burns, which means burns affecting all layers of the skin or even deeper tissues
- Difficulty breathing or burns to the airway
Treating a Dislocated Joint
Dislocating a joint can be a frightening and painful experience; a sudden fall or awkward collision knocks your bone out of place, leaving your joint swollen and immobile. Learn the risk factors and symptoms of a dislocated joint, and why you should get treatment right way.
How Dislocations Happen
You can dislocate any joint in your body– your finger, knee, hip, elbow, shoulder, etc. The injury occurs when an abrupt impact causes your bone to slip out of its joint. You can suffer a dislocation bracing for a fall, in a motor vehicle accident, or playing sports. Dislocated joints are especially common among athletes in contact and high impact sports, such as football, hockey, wrestling, basketball, volleyball, skiing, and gymnastics. Another risk factor is hereditary. Some people have naturally loose ligaments, and consequently, are more prone to this type of injury.
A dislocated joint is generally easy to see. It may be:
- Visibly deformed or out of place
- Swollen, bruised, red or discolored
- Intensely painful
- Numb and Tingling
It can be difficult to tell the difference between a broken bone and a dislocated joint. But for either injury, it’s important to seek immediate medical treatment.
Diagnosis and Treatment
If you suffer a possible dislocation, head into our urgent care clinic for fast evaluation and treatment. Our provider will examine your joint, review your symptoms, and may perform an X-ray to confirm the dislocation and check for broken bones or other damage to the joint. For more severe dislocations, you may also need an MRI to assess soft tissue damage. We are happy to provide a referral in this instance.
Treatment of a dislocated joint depends on the area and severity of the injury. Sometimes rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE) is enough to naturally heal the joint. Other times, the provider will need to gently maneuver your bones back into place. This method is called Manipulation. Depending on the level of pain and swelling, you may be given a sedative or anesthetic to help ease the procedure. Once your bones are back in position, the provider may ask you to wear a splint, sling, or cast for several weeks. Immobilization allows the joint to rest and fully heal.
Some dislocations may require surgery.