• Unusual Signs of Asthma

    Asthma is often considered to be a child’s disease, but it can actually develop in adults, too. In fact, many adults don’t realize they have a chronic respiratory disease because asthma doesn’t always follow the same pattern of symptoms. Some adults may not experience the wheezing or shortness of breath that is characteristic of asthma in kids. This is one reason why it’s important to schedule an annual physical exam, even if you feel fairly healthy.

    During your exam, let your doctor know about any unusual issues you’ve been experiencing, such as a persistent cough or problems sleeping. Some people with asthma suffer from chest pain or tightness, indigestion, and excessive fatigue or exercise intolerance. Rapid breathing, frequent sighing, and anxiety are other possible characteristics of adult-onset asthma.

    If you have asthma, you can find the patient-focused care you deserve at Paramount Urgent Care. For more information, please visit www.paramounturgentcare.com.

  • Know the Risks of Foodborne Illnesses

    Foodborne illnesses are incredibly common in the U.S., despite the country’s modern food supply. Millions of Americans get infected with these diseases each year, and several thousand die from them. Paying attention to food safety is important for every family, since anyone could be affected. If you do develop possible symptoms of a foodborne illness, it’s time to visit an urgent care clinic.

    Types of Infections

    There are over 250 foodborne illnesses that can affect humans. These are caused by bacteria, viruses, and parasites. Some of the most common infections transmitted by unsafe food are:

    • Salmonella
    • Norovirus
    • E. coli
    • Listeria
    • Campylobacter
    • Clostridium perfringens

    Any food could potentially become contaminated with germs or parasites, but there are some that are more often culprits of outbreaks, such as the following animal products.

    • Unpasteurized milk
    • Shellfish
    • Meat and poultry
    • Eggs

    Compounding the problem is the fact that just one hamburger patty can contain fragments of beef from dozens or even hundreds of animals. These products can become contaminated before, during, or after processing. Animal products aren’t the only type of food that can transmit infections. Raw vegetables and fruits can also cause foodborne illnesses, especially if they were processed in an unsanitary way or grown with fresh manure used as fertilizer.

    Symptoms of Foodborne Illnesses

    Since there are so many different foodborne illnesses, the symptoms can vary widely. Urgent care doctors who treat these patients most often take note of digestive issues like diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal cramps. Other possible symptoms include:

    • Fever
    • Bloody diarrhea
    • Fatigue
    • Joint and backaches
    • Flatulence
    • Bloating
    • Loss of appetite

    Steps to Prevent Infection

    It’s tricky to protect your family from things you can’t see, and contaminated foods look and smell the same as safe foods. When dining out, choose restaurants that receive high grades in sanitation from health inspectors. Wash your hands before preparing food and eating, and wash your hands while preparing food, especially if you touch raw meat. Cook meat to a safe internal temperature, which you can check with a meat thermometer.

    If you’re experiencing digestive issues, you can find the rapid medical care you need at Paramount Urgent Care. Our five locations are fully staffed by dedicated urgent care providers who genuinely care about our patients’ well-being. You can visit www.paramounturgentcare.com for more information.

  • Quick Tips for Cholesterol Management

    If you’re at least 20 years old, it’s a good idea to have a cholesterol screening during your physical exam. Doctors generally recommend that adults have this screening test every five years. Understanding your cholesterol levels is the first step toward managing them effectively. When you watch this video, you’ll hear about the basics of cholesterol management.

    It covers nutritional topics, such as increasing your intake of fiber-rich vegetables, and eating nuts to get healthy fats. Exercise is also crucial for cholesterol management, as it helps raise good cholesterol and lower bad cholesterol. For many people, lifestyle changes are sufficient, but some may be prescribed cholesterol management medications to use in addition to a healthy lifestyle.

    High-quality family medicine services are available at the walk-in clinics of Paramount Urgent Care. For more information, please visit www.paramounturgentcare.com.

  • FAQs and Answers About Confidential HIV Testing

    Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is much more treatable than it used to be, but getting early treatment for this life-threatening disease requires an accurate, timely diagnosis. HIV testing is a sensitive issue, and many people feel a little awkward about getting tested. However, when you visit a walk-in clinic, you can rest assured that your personal information will be kept in strict confidence.

    Am I at risk of HIV infection?

    This is a good question to discuss with your doctor during a physical exam. If you’re at risk of getting HIV, your doctor will let you know how often you should get tested. Some of these risk factors include:

    • A history of multiple sexual partners
    • Sexual intercourse between two men
    • A history of other STDs
    • A history of hepatitis or tuberculosis
    • Injected drug use and sharing of drug paraphernalia
    • Sexual intercourse with someone who has any risk factors
    • Sexual intercourse with someone whose medical history is unknown
    • Sexual assault

    I’m not at a higher risk. Should I still get tested?

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urges everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 to have at least one confidential HIV test at some point during their lifetime, as roughly one in seven people in the country have HIV without knowing it.

    Can I get tested even if I’m pregnant?

    Doctors recommend that all pregnant women get tested for HIV, even if they think they aren’t at risk. If a woman is HIV-positive, getting treatment as soon as possible can reduce the risk of passing the infection to the baby.

    I think I’ve been exposed to HIV. Can I get tested right away?

    Unfortunately, the tests currently available cannot detect HIV right away. For most patients, it takes three to 12 weeks to develop detectable antibodies to the virus. However, you can see a doctor at any time for medical guidance and to find out when you should get tested.

    When it’s time to get tested, you deserve compassionate, personalized care delivered by friendly professionals. For more information, please visit www.paramounturgentcare.com.

  • Recognizing Poison Ivy, Oak, and Sumac

    Rashes are a common cause of walk-in clinic visits and can have many potential causes. During warm weather, when people spend more time outdoors hiking and camping, some of the most common causes of rashes include poison ivy, oak, and sumac. Within 3 days of touching any of these plants, it’s possible to develop an itchy and uncomfortable rash that may be accompanied by swelling and blisters.

    To help avoid an unwanted encounter with poison ivy, oak, or sumac, it’s essential to know what these plants look like. Poison ivy has green, pointed leaves with smooth edges that grow in groups of 3 on a shrub or vine. Poison oak also grows as a shrub or vine and has leaves that grow in groups of 3, but their edges are similar in shape to oak tree leaves. Finally, poison sumac tends to grow in boggy, marshy areas as a tall shrub or small tree. The leaf-stems of this plant have 7 to 13 leaves that are green and may have dark spots.

    Paramount Urgent Care has walk-in clinics that offer medical care in Orlando, Clermont, Oviedo, and Lady Lake. For more information, please visit our Website.