Chest Pain: 10 Causes of Chest Pain & Tightness

Chest pain can be a scary situation – from the minimally concerning heartburn to a high-risk heart attack. You may experience chest pain for a number of reasons, and while a few of them are nothing to worry about, most of them may require immediate attention or a trip to the emergency room.

How do you know if your chest pain is something to worry about, and what are your treatment options?

Common Causes of Chest Pain and Tightness

1. Muscle strain

When you’re sick or have been coughing more often, sometimes the muscles in your chest can become strained. This causes tightness or soreness in your chest that feels painful with further coughing.

By getting over-the-counter products like cough syrup, cough drops, and other chest relievers, you can minimize the pain and begin the road to recovery. You should treat your muscle strain similarly to how you would treat a sore leg muscle – with plenty of rest and relaxation.

2. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

Also known as acid reflux, GERD occurs when fluids from your stomach move back into the throat. This can cause a burning sensation in your throat and chest. In addition to chest pain, symptoms include a bitter taste in your mouth, belching, and feeling bloated. GERD is most likely to occur after eating a large, deep-fried, or spicy meal, being overweight or obese, or being pregnant – especially when lying down soon after eating.

Heartburn from GERD can be treated with over-the-counter products like Tums and other antacids. Be sure to abide by instructions, as overuse can cause problems with the lining of your stomach.

3. Pancreatitis

If you have lower chest pain that worsens when you lie flat or lean forward, then the issue may be with your pancreas, which is located on the upper left side of the abdomen. When your pancreas becomes inflamed, it can cause pain in your abdomen and chest. The pain gets worse after meals, and you may get lightheaded when standing up. Pancreatitis can be acute or severe.

If you think your pancreas is inflamed, you should visit a doctor immediately to see if your pancreatitis is acute or severe. If it’s acute, you’ll likely receive some IV fluids, and your pancreas will be monitored for any damaged tissue. If your pancreatitis is severe, surgery may be required.

4. Gallbladder problems

Chest pains could also be a sign of gallbladder problems. After a fatty meal, if you have pain in your lower chest area or upper right-side abdomen area, then your gallbladder may be the culprit. Additional symptoms include nausea, fever, chills, darker than usual urine, and changes in bowel movements (lighter-colored stools or diarrhea).

You should visit a doctor to see if your gallbladder is functioning properly. If it’s not, you may need to have surgery to have it removed. Your doctor may also prescribe antibiotics to prevent infection post-surgery.

5. Pneumonia

Pneumonia is often associated with the winter, wet and cold months, but the truth is that pneumonia can take place regardless of the season – especially in older individuals. Pneumonia that’s causing chest pain is typically a sign of lung infection. In addition to chest pain, you may feel shortness of breath, coughing, and yellow or green mucus.

You should visit your doctor for testing and get antibiotics to alleviate any lung infection. During your recovery time, you should drink plenty of fluids and get rest. You may also take medicines to relieve any fevers.

6. Pleuritis

Pleuritis or pleurisy is caused by inflammation and irritation of the lining of the lungs or chest. This is caused by bacteria from viral infections, pulmonary embolism, or pneumothorax. The result is a sharp pain in your chest when you breathe, cough, or sneeze. The pain can radiate to your shoulders or back, and you may also experience headaches and shortness of breath.

If you’re experiencing sharp pains in your chest, you should visit your doctor. Your physician will conduct some tests to determine if you have pleuritis. If you do, they’ll prescribe you with antibiotics. You should also rest for a few days until the pain subsides or your antibiotics run out.

7. Pulmonary embolism

When a blood clot passes through the bloodstream and lodges in the lungs, the result can be acute pleuritis, trouble breathing, and a rapid heartbeat. Depending on the severity of your pulmonary embolism, you may also experience fever, spitting up blood, and shock.

If you think you might have a pulmonary embolism, you should immediately see a doctor. They’ll need to try and break up the blood clot. This can be done with blood thinners, drugs, or medical procedures. You’ll need to talk to your doctor about treatment options to determine which is best for your pulmonary embolism.

8. Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)

CAD is caused by blockage to the heart vessel. It reduces blood flow and oxygen to the heart, which causes a feeling of squeezing or pressure in your chest. While CAD is a symptom of heart disease, it doesn’t cause permanent damage to your heart. If left untreated, you could be at a higher risk of a heart attack. Additional symptoms to chest pain include dizziness, fatigue, and numbness of the chest and abdomen.

If you have coronary artery disease, your doctor will first suggest some lifestyle changes – particularly to your diet. If lifestyle changes don’t resolve the issue, they may prescribe medications or suggest surgery. You should talk to your doctor about your options and how to prevent future issues.

9. Myocardial infarction

Also known as a heart attack, myocardial infarction is caused by a reduction of blood flow through the heart blood vessels, which causes heart muscle cells to die. While the pain can be similar to that of CAD, heart attacks tend to cause a more severe, crushing pain in the center or left side of your chest. It can also be accompanied by shortness of breath, nausea, sweating, and severe weakness.

If you think you’ve had a heart attack, you should seek medical attention immediately. Your doctor will suggest immediate lifestyle changes, and depending on the severity of your condition, you may also require cardiac rehabilitation, medications, stents, or bypass surgery.

10. Pericarditis

When the sac around the heart becomes inflamed or infected, this is known as pericarditis. In addition to CAD pain, it causes a sharp, steady pain along the upper neck and shoulder muscles. It can feel worse when you breathe, swallow food, or lie on your back.

Treatments may include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents to eliminate pain and inflammation. Depending on the severity of your pericarditis, your doctor may also suggest steroids, antibiotics, and colchicine.

Related: Common Causes of Chest Pain While Sleeping

Chest Pain Services in Colorado Springs and Texas

If you’re experiencing chest pains or you think you’ve had a stroke or seizure, we can provide the care you need. If you have questions or need immediate treatment, your nearest Complete Care location is ready to help, no matter the time of day or night. We offer a variety of services to help you and your family in your time of need. No appointments are necessary.

Find the Complete Care location nearest you.

World Heart Day: 7 Daily Habits to Help Improve Heart Health

Every year, we celebrate World Heart Day on September 29. It was created by the World Heart Federation – and for good reason. According to the CDC, 610,000 people die from heart disease in the US each year. That means one in every four deaths is caused by heart disease. How do you improve your heart health and avoid becoming a statistic? What are some of the things you can do daily to prevent it?

How to Improve Heart Health

1. Exercise

Exercise has many benefits for your body – from giving your cardiovascular system a boost to releasing serotonin (also known as the happy hormone). By exercising for 30 minutes a day, five days a week, you can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), depression, type II diabetes, metabolic syndrome, colon and breast cancer, and vertebral fractures, and you’ll feel happier.

That doesn’t mean you need to do high-intensity workouts in the gym. You could also participate in yoga, dancing, swimming, or even brisk walking for 30-minutes to reduce your risk. Anything that gets your heart pumping is the goal.

If you don’t know how to get started, enlist some friends to join you, take selfies while out on beautiful walks in nature and post them on social media, and make sure to start slowly and build the length and intensity of workouts gradually. This will help keep you motivated since it won’t feel overwhelming and it will also prevent injuries associated with wanting to do too much, too soon. Also, don’t become obsessed with the number on the scale. You are doing this for your heart health and there are more accurate ways to measure your progress: lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure, less fatigue when doing simple tasks such as going up a flight of stairs, better sleep, and better moods.

2. Eat Well

Eating a diet that’s rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, potatoes, olive oil, seeds, and fish will help nourish your body. By the same token, you should limit saturated fatsdairy, and red meat, since all of them have been linked to higher risks of cardiovascular disease. A well-balanced diet minimizes the build-up of fats and high cholesterol.

Research the different kinds of fats and become familiar with what fats are good and bad for your body. Trans fats found in fried, processed snacks, and fast foods raise your cholesterol levels. While unsaturated and polyunsaturated fats – such as those found in avocado, nuts, olive oil, and fish – are healthy and necessary for your body.

If you like to snack, pack healthy options to take to school or work, so that you’re not tempted to buy items that are high in saturated fats. Apples with almond butter, carrots and hummus, grapes, and even popcorn (without the butter) are all healthy choices that are also good for your heart.

Related: Delicious Healthy Foods

3. Get Sleep

Life gets busy, and there never seems to be enough hours in the day. For some people, this means sacrificing hours of sleep at night. While an occasional night of fewer hours of sleep is bound to happen, your standard for sleep as an adult should be a minimum of seven hours.

Anything less than six hours doubles your risk of CVD, including heart attacks and strokes. Sleep plays a critical role in your health and the biological processes that impact your blood pressure. The less sleep you get, the more at risk you become.

If you regularly experience sleeping difficulties, there are things you can do to help your body get ready for bed –– avoid heavy meals in the evening, develop nighttime routines to help you wind down for the evening, go to bed every night at the same time, consider whether you need to buy a new mattress, keep the temperature in your bedroom at around 67 degrees Fahrenheit (19 degrees Celsius), and limit alcohol intake.

4. Maintain Dental Hygiene

When you think about your heart health, probably the last thing that comes to mind is your teeth. The connection is that the risk of heart disease and periodontal disease are the same.

Bacteria from gum disease travels to the bloodstream and can raise the levels of C-reactive proteins, which causes inflammation to your blood vessels. By brushing regularly two to three times a day, flossing daily, and visiting your dentist twice a year, you can lower your risk.

5. Turn Off Gadgets After 8 pm

Similar to getting more sleep, you should also try eliminating all gadgets and electronics after 8 pm. Studies have found that electronics — including your television and mobile devices — emit a soft blue light that stimulates brain activity.

If you go to bed around 9 pm, then turn off your electronics at 8 pm. A good rule of thumb is one hour before you try to go to sleep. Eliminating this distraction will help you fall asleep quicker and give you a deeper sleep, which lowers your chances of heart-related stress.

6. Remove Your Earphones

If you work in an office environment, then earphones can be a savior, but did you know that the loud noises are actually detrimental to your heart? That’s because loud noises from traffic or music cause your heartbeat to quicken and blood pressure to rise.

By investing in noise-canceling headphones that allow you to listen to music at a quieter volume, or by simply limiting your exposure to earphones, you can help reduce the risk of high blood pressure. Low tempo and soothing music can also have the opposite impact – slowing your heart rate ever so slightly and calming your mind.

7. Avoid Smoking/Smokers

By now, you’ve probably heard of the vast amount of conditions that can be caused by smoking – disorders like gum disease, cancer, and more. That also extends to CVD. Smoking yourself can extend your risk by 80% while even being around heavy smokers — like family members and friends — can raise your chances to 30%.

If you smoke, work towards quitting by limiting your tobacco intake gradually over time using patches or vapes, getting professional help, or stopping cold turkey. If you have loved ones that smoke, set boundaries for when and where they can smoke around you. It can be a difficult conversation, but your health is important, and your loved ones should be understanding.

Healthy Heart Services in Colorado Springs and Texas

If you’re experiencing chest pains or you think you’ve had a stroke or seizure, we can provide the care you need. If you have questions or need immediate treatment, your nearest Complete Care location is ready to help, no matter the time of day or night. We offer a variety of services to help you and your family in your time of need. No appointments are necessary.

Find the Complete Care location nearest you.

Signs You Have Food Poisoning

It would be a safe bet to say that at some point or another, most people have experienced a stomach ache. Sometimes it’s due to overeating, other times it may be due to gas. But when do you know if your symptoms are a sign of food poisoning, and what can you do about it?

What is Food Poisoning?

Food poisoning occurs when you eat something that is contaminated with bacteria and your intestines become inflamed as a result. The most common bacteria that cause food poisoning are Salmonella, E. Colli, and Listeria, and they can end up in food by either not cooking them properly, leaving perishables unrefrigerated for too long, or coming into contact with fecal matter (which can happen any time a person handles food without first washing their hands).

The foods most commonly associated with food poisoning include eggs, meat, poultry, unpasteurized milk, and unwashed produce.

Symptoms of Food Poisoning

Signs of food poisoning are easy to recognize and can last anywhere between several hours to a day or two. They include the following:

  1. Abdominal cramping
  2. Nausea
  3. Vomiting
  4. Watery diarrhea
  5. A low-grade fever

These symptoms can also be confused with a stomach virus. However, viruses come with additional symptoms, such as weakness and dizziness which can last for up to a week.

In addition, food poisoning is easy to recognize if anyone who ate the same food you ate is also experiencing the same or similar symptoms.

Treatment for Food Poisoning

Most people will get food poisoning at some point in their lives. Because it’s so common, it can often be treated with home remedies by resting, staying hydrated, and drinking electrolytes (you can do this by consuming coconut water or sports drinks).

If symptoms persist for more than a day and the thought of food puts you off, you can stick with bland items so that you can at least consume some nourishment, such as:

  • Saltine crackers
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Oatmeal
  • Toast
  • Rice

Do prioritize resting and hydration, as these two elements are essential for you to recover as soon as possible.

When to Go to the ER for Food Poisoning

Food poisoning often heals on its own within 48 hours or less. If you’ve been feeling sick for longer than that, seek medical attention immediately, as it could be a sign of infection.

Also seek emergency attention if you’re pregnant or already have a weakened immune system due to conditions such as cancer, HIV, liver disease, or lupus. In addition, any of these symptoms could be a sign of a more serious medical condition:

Do not ignore these symptoms; in the most severe cases, people with food poisoning do required hospitalization. Your symptoms may also be an indication of a more serious medical condition.

24-Hour Emergency Room Services in Colorado Springs and Texas

If you’re not feeling well, we can provide the care you need. If you have questions or need immediate treatment, your nearest Complete Care location is ready to help, no matter the time of day or night. We offer a variety of services to help you and your family in your time of need. No appointments are necessary.

Find the Complete Care location nearest you.

Asthma & Shortness of Breath

Having an asthma attack can be a terrifying experience, especially when it’s your first one and you don’t fully understand what’s going on. In addition, there can be instances when a person simply thinks they are fatigued, “out of shape,” or tired, when in reality, they’re experiencing the kind of shortness of breath that signals an asthma attack.

What is Asthma?

Asthma is a chronic condition that affects your lungs and airways. When a person gets an asthma attack, their airways become extremely inflamed, making it difficult for air to reach your lungs. If not treated adequately, it can be life-threatening. However, millions of people have learned to recognize and manage symptoms of asthma successfully.

When Shortness of Breath is Really an Asthma Attack

There are situations when shortness of breath has more to do with having allergies or getting used to a new exercise regimen. Even simple levels of exertion (like going up a flight of stairs) may result in shortness of breath when a person leads a sedentary lifestyle. Yet, gasping for air is of relatively short duration, and the person will start breathing normally again minutes after feeling short of breath.

That said, if you’re having an asthma attack, the episode will go hand-in-hand with several other symptoms.

Additional Warning Signs of an Asthma Attack

In addition to feeling like you can’t get enough air into your lungs, an asthma attack has the following symptoms:

  • Breathing quickens
  • Wheezing
  • Chest tightening
  • Coughing

Attacks can vary in severity, so while a person may feel short of breath for only several minutes, the experience may last for hours for someone else.

The condition may feel worse for people who already have an underlying illness of their respiratory tract, such as bronchitis, pneumonia, anxiety, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), or lung cancer.

When to Worry About Shortness of Breath

Experiencing shortness of breath may be cause for alarm if in addition, you’ve noticed any of the following red flags:

  • Dry, painful cough
  • Chest pain
  • Attacks always start after exercising
  • It’s harder to breathe when lying down
  • Swollen ankles or feet
  • Paleness
  • Feeling exhausted all the time

*All of these symptoms are chronic

24-Hour Emergency Room Services in Colorado Springs and Texas

If you’re not feeling well, we can provide the care you need. If you have questions or need immediate treatment, your nearest Complete Care location is ready to help, no matter the time of day or night. We offer a variety of services to help you and your family in your time of need. No appointments are necessary.

Find the Complete Care location nearest you.

Most Common Broken Bones

If you’ve ever had a bone fracture, you’re aware of how painful they can be. And due to the extended time it can take for them to heal, the injury can significantly interrupt your daily activities. From personal hygiene to participating in your sport of choice, being sidelined can be frustrating and disheartening.

What are the most common broken bones, and how can you learn to recognize their symptoms?

The 5 Most Common Broken Bones Seen in the ER

The following injuries are the most common broken bone injuries seen in the ER:

1. Broken Arm

The most common cause of arm fractures is falling and trying to break the fall with your arms. It’s also common for them to occur in people who play contact sports or who’ve been involved in a motor vehicle accident. Seeking medical treatment is crucial to prevent complications such as infections, a permanent limited range of motion, or post-traumatic arthritis.

Symptoms of a Broken Arm

Symptoms of a broken arm include:

  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Tenderness
  • Limited range of motion
  • An open wound, with the bone protruding from the skin

2. Broken Foot

Fractures to the foot can range from hairline fractures (stress fractures) that occur from repetitive motion, to full-on breaks on the bone after experiencing blunt trauma. For hairline fractures, you’ll need to rest from the activity that caused it. This includes long-distance running, gymnastics, soccer, or any other sport that requires repetitive movements. Other fractures require immobilizing the foot with a cast and keeping your body weight off the foot with crutches, while the most severe of injuries may require surgery to realign the bones or insert screws to help you regain mobility.

Symptoms of a Broken Foot

Symptoms of a foot fracture include:

  • Bruising
  • Swelling
  • Tenderness
  • Foot deformity
  • Intense pain
  • Inability to put your body weight on the injured foot

If you have a stress fracture, the pain starts when doing physical activity involving the injured foot and goes away when resting.

3. Hip Fracture

Hip fractures are always the result of blunt trauma, such as a fall or accident. They are also more likely to happen to people with osteoporosis. When they occur in older adults, the injury may require surgery. Sometimes the injury is not necessarily a bone break, but a dislocation of the ball-and-socket joints on either side of the hip. Rehabilitation for either type of injury may take months.

Symptoms of a Hip Fracture

Symptoms of a hip fracture include intense pain that radiates to the groin or upper thighs.

4. Broken Ribs

Broken ribs are also the result of blunt impact. The injury can range from a hairline fracture to a rib, to multiple broken ribs, or breaks along multiple parts of a rib.

Symptoms of a Broken Rib

Symptoms of a broken rib include:

  • Intense pain that worsens when taking a deep breath, laughing, coughing, or sneezing
  • Swelling
  • Tenderness to the touch
  • Shortness of breath

Since the ribcage cannot be immobilized by a cast, your doctor may recommend sleeping in an upright position, holding a pillow against your chest when sneezing or coughing, and icing the site of injury.

5. Broken Clavicle

The clavicle is your collarbone. It’s an injury most commonly experienced by children and teenagers. This is because the clavicle doesn’t fully harden until around age 20. While it’s often the result of trauma (such as falling, being involved in an accident, or playing contact sports), it’s also possible to occur to a baby during birth.

Symptoms of a Broken Clavicle

Symptoms of a broken clavicle include:

  • Pain that worsens when you try to move your shoulder
  • Bulge on the collarbone
  • Cracking sound when you move your shoulder
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Tenderness

When the injury occurs to a baby, you’ll also notice the baby has not moved the injured arm for days.

24-Hour Emergency Room Services in Colorado Springs and Texas

If you’re not feeling well, we can provide the care you need. If you have questions or need immediate treatment, your nearest Complete Care location is ready to help, no matter the time of day or night. We offer a variety of services to help you and your family in your time of need. No appointments are necessary.

Find the Complete Care location nearest you.

Abdominal Pain: Common Causes & Signs You Should Go to the ER

Most people experience abdominal pain at some point or another. Sometimes, it can be due to overeating, gas, soreness from exercise, or simply being bloated. Other times it can be a sign of a more serious condition. What are the most common causes of this type of discomfort and how can you tell the difference between a simple stomach ache and a legitimate reason to go to the emergency room?

What are the Most Common Causes of Abdominal Pain?

It’s important to note that most cases or abdominal pain are not due to life-threatening conditions. In fact, some of the illnesses that cause the most damage usually show very mild or no symptoms during its beginning stages, such as colon cancer.

Some of the less serious reasons for abdominal pain include:

If you’re experiencing abdominal pain due to any of the reasons listed above, the pain will usually resolve on its own.

Signs You Should Go to the ER for Abdominal Pain

Now, there are also plenty of instances when you should listen to your body and seek medical attention as soon as possible. This is because there are many other organs located in the abdominal area, such as the stomach, intestines, the appendix, gallbladder, liver, pancreas, and kidneys, and your symptoms may be a sign that there’s something wrong with any of them.

You may also have an undiagnosed chronic condition, such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Crohn’s Disease, Celiac Disease, or Endometriosis. If that’s the case, you’ll want confirmation from a doctor so that you can learn how to manage it.

Signs that you should go to the ER due to abdominal pain include:

  • Pain that lasts longer than 24 hours
  • Chronic pain
  • Intense pain
  • High fever
  • Diarrhea that continues for over 24 hours
  • Repeated vomiting
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Blood in your stools
  • Anal bleeding
  • The abdomen is sensitive to the touch
  • Pain that radiates to the chest
  • Exhaustion
  • Fainting

If you’re experiencing any of the above symptoms, it’s crucial to seek medical attention immediately, since they may be signs of a serious health condition.

24-Hour Emergency Room Services in Colorado Springs and Texas

If you’re not feeling well, we can provide the care you need. If you have questions or need immediate treatment, your nearest Complete Care location is ready to help, no matter the time of day or night. We offer a variety of services to help you and your family in your time of need. No appointments are necessary.

Find the Complete Care location nearest you.

The Most Common 4th of July Injuries

The 4th of July is one of the most fun American holidays. People get together with friends and family, eat their favorite foods, take some time off work, and watch fireworks shows. But along with that laissez-faire attitude can come plenty of instances for getting hurt (especially when alcohol does tend to get involved).

In hopes of helping you prevent injuries, below is a list of the most common types of injuries typically seen in emergency rooms across the country over the 4th of July weekend.

7 of the Most Common 4th of July Injuries

1. Hand Injuries

Sparklers may look beautiful and are an attractive, “safer” option for children. However, they are still capable of inflicting serious burns to skin. In addition, it’s also common for the flames to touch people’s clothes, increasing the likelihood of getting injured. If they are one of your favorite things and you can’t imagine a 4th of July celebration without them, have a bucket full of water nearby whenever you or anyone else in your group is using them. In addition, always keep your arms extended when using sparklers, and only light them in open spaces, far away from anything flammable.

Related: 7 of the Most Common Hand and Wrist Injuries

2. Face Injuries

A substantial portion of ER injuries during the 4th of July weekend are related to fireworks. They mostly occur to people who either held the fireworks too close when lighting them, or children who shouldn’t have been allowed to handle them in the first place. If you do opt to light them, walk away from them as quickly as possible, and never allow minors to do it themselves. Also, never wear loose clothing while dealing with fireworks.

2. Car Accidents

Any time there’s an event where people drink heavily, the number of car accidents increases. The 4th of July is the deadliest of American holidays when it comes to motor vehicle accidents, even worse than New Year’s Eve. You can try to stay safe by celebrating at home, avoid driving from 6:00 PM until the next morning, or learn how to spot drunk drivers (swerving, weaving in and out of traffic, tailgating, driving in the middle of the street, driving with their face too close to the windshield).

4. Swimming Accidents

Fourth of July parties involve a lot of pool parties, as well as swimming in beaches and lakes. From alcohol to unattended children, the stage is set for drownings. No matter how young your children may be, teach them how to swim. Also, learn CPR, provide your children with arm floats or other flotation devices, and never leave them unattended.

Related: Top 7 Important Water Safety Tips

5. Boating Accidents

Just as alcohol impairs drivers, it also affects boating. In fact, along with Memorial Day and Labor Day, 4th of July leads the list of holidays with the highest amount of boating accidents. If you’re going to drive a boat, take a state-approved boating safety course, limit your alcohol intake, make sure everyone on board is wearing a life jacket, know how to call for help and inform authorities of your exact location in the event of an accident.

6. Dehydration or Heat Stroke

It’s the middle of the summer, and most of the 4th of July celebrations occur at swimming pools or beaches, where people spend the entire day in the sun. Whether by engaging in water sports and/or drinking alcohol, the circumstances are prime for a person to become dehydrated. Take breaks to go indoors or sit in the shade and consume water and fruits throughout the day. Finally, learn how to recognize symptoms of heatstroke: fast heartbeat, rapid breathing, dizziness, confusion, headache, nausea, or fainting. If you or someone you know is experiencing any of them, move to an air-conditioned or shaded area, drink water, and call 911 if the person becomes unconscious.

Related: How to Prevent Dehydration This Summer

7. Food Poisoning

This happens from both, undercooked meats done at a barbecue as well as perishable foods that have been left outside in the heat all day, such as cheeses, potato salad, mac and cheese, and anything else that you would normally keep refrigerated on any other occasion. If you’re having an outdoors event, bring out coolers, since heat causes bacteria to multiply faster. Never leave perishables unrefrigerated for more than an hour.

Related: Food Safety Tips to Avoid Food Poisoning This Summer

24-Hour Emergency Room Services in Colorado Springs and Texas

If you or a loved one were injured, we can provide the care you need. If you have questions or need immediate treatment, your nearest Complete Care location is ready to help, no matter the time of day or night. We offer a variety of services to help you and your family in your time of need. No appointments are necessary.

Find the Complete Care location nearest you.

Eye Injuries: What Is Considered an Eye Emergency?

There are many different types of eye trauma, and they can all vary in severity. Sometimes it’s just a minor issue that will go away with an ice pack or flushing the eye with water, while other problems require immediate medical attention.

In a country where so many people can’t afford to receive healthcare, it’s tempting to “tough it out” and see if the pain and discomfort will go away on its own. However, failing to receive medical treatment when you need it can lead to chronic conditions, complications, or sometimes even blindness. Therefore, it’s crucial to learn to recognize when your injury is serious and get the care you need.

Signs and Symptoms of Injuries for Eye Emergencies

There are several different causes for eye emergencies. These include trauma, foreign objects, burns, or chemicals.

Symptoms will vary depending on the type of injury you’re suffering from. Seek emergency care if you’re experiencing any of the following:

  • Eye pain
  • Burning sensation
  • Light sensitivity
  • Blood in the white of your eye
  • There’s a foreign item in your eye
  • Eye swelling
  • Cuts on the eyelid
  • Bruising around the eye
  • Unusual size or shape of the pupil
  • The injured eye is sticking out
  • Double vision
  • Pain around the eye
  • Severe itching
  • Irritation
  • Headache

If any of these apply to you, do not rub your eyes, and do not attempt to remove any object stuck in your eye on your own. If you’re wearing contact lenses, do not remove them. Wait to receive emergency care, and let your medical provider remove them for you.

If you have a chemical in your eye, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water, hold your eyelid open and flush the affected eye with cold water for 10 to 15 minutes, then go to an emergency room.

Common Non-Emergency Eye Problems

1. Eye Scratch

This can happen by playing with a small child or pet, or working in minor home improvement projects. Fortunately, your eyes are efficient at tearing up to take care of it naturally. Avoid rubbing your eye and blink as much as possible. Wear sunglasses to avoid light sensitivity and avoid using over-the-counter eyedrops, as they may exacerbate the pain. Schedule an appointment with your ophthalmologist, who will prescribe medication if necessary and let you know of activities you should avoid while you heal.

2. Small Foreign Object in the Eye

This can be an eyelash, pet hair, or dust. Blink rapidly several times to see if it clears on its own. You can also use eyedrops to try to flush it out. Do not rub your eye to avoid irritation. If after several tries, the item is still stuck in your eye, see a doctor.

3. Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye)

This is commonly known as Pink Eye. Your eyes have a clear layer which covers the surface, called the conjunctiva. An allergic reaction, wearing dirty contact lenses, or getting a small foreign object stuck in your eye can cause it to become inflamed, resulting in conjunctivitis. Symptoms include redness, slight itchiness, tearing, and crusting while sleeping. The good news is that it usually clears up on its own.

4. Swollen Eyelids

Swollen eyelids can occur as a result of an allergic reaction or an infection. Fluid accumulates on the eyelid, and you end up with irritated eyes, teary-eyed, and experience slight pain. Common culprits include allergic reactions to pollen, dust, pet dander, contact lens solution, or makeup. They can also happen when you wear dirty contact lenses. Antihistamines, eyedrops, and a cold compress will help alleviate symptoms and promote healing. Also, try to narrow down what may have caused it so you can prevent reoccurrence.

5. Eyelid Bumps

Small bumps on your eyelids can be a result of fat deposits, chalazia (caused by blocked glands), or milia (small white bumps). These are typically harmless, painless, and go away on their own.

24-Hour Emergency Room Services in Colorado Springs and Texas

If you’re not feeling well, we can provide the care you need. If you have questions or need immediate treatment, your nearest Complete Care location is ready to help, no matter the time of day or night. We offer a variety of services to help you and your family in your time of need. No appointments are necessary.

Find the Complete Care location nearest you.

When to Go to the ER for an Asthma Attack

There are few things people take for granted as much as breathing. It’s such an automatic act that unless someone is consciously aware of it, it goes unnoticed… Until suddenly, you can’t do it anymore, that is.

What does it mean to have an asthma attack? What are the risk factors? How can you learn to recognize an attack is on its way?

What is Asthma?

Asthma is a chronic condition that causes a person’s airways to become inflamed. As a result, they become narrowed, making it difficult for a person to get air to their lungs. They are typically caused by some type of allergen in the air; although the triggers are unknown for some patients. While some people develop it as children, it could start at any age.

There is no cure for asthma and it can be life-threatening. However, if you learn how to manage it, you can lead a relatively normal life.

Types of Asthma

There are different classifications of asthma. Some people only experience mild intermittent asthma. This means that symptoms occur sparingly.

There’s mild persistent asthma, which can occur as often as once or twice a week.

Moderate persistent asthma occurs about once a day, while severe persistent asthma can occur more than once a day, with symptoms worsening at night.

Symptoms of an Asthma Emergency

The signs of an asthma attack are impossible to ignore. While they may range from mild to severe, they include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest tightening
  • Wheezing
  • Coughing

Some people experience symptoms on a daily basis, while others experience them seasonally.

Asthma Risk Factors

There are several risk factors that can contribute to a person suffering from an asthma attack:

  1. Environmental factors: This includes poor air quality due to pollution, exposure to cigarette smoke, pet dander, pollen, ragweed, substantial amounts of dust, cold weather, or being exposed to irritants on a regular basis while at work.
  2. Medical conditions. People who suffer from allergies experience infections of the respiratory tract, and people who are obese are more prone to obstructed airways.
  3. Family history. If your parents (or a parent) suffers from asthma attacks, there’s a higher likelihood that you will do so as well.

Treatment for Asthma

Treatment for asthma includes medications and inhalers. It’s crucial to keep the inhaler with you at all times, since they open airways and administer medication at the same time.

Your doctor will also ask detailed questions to help you recognize triggers and to find ways to avoid them as much as possible. If your asthma attacks change, your doctor may modify medication doses accordingly.

What to Expect at the ER

You will be asked a lot of questions about your asthma attacks. Make a list of symptoms you’ve experienced, how often you experience them, and any triggers you may have noticed. It’s also a good idea to record time of day when attacks typically occur, as well as medications you’re currently taking. All of this information will help your doctor narrow down triggers and what type of asthma you’re suffering from.

Asthma Attack Prevention

There are several ways to lower the risk of getting an asthma attack.

  • Avoid triggers
  • Change the air filters in your air conditioner once a month
  • If you live in a cold climate, wear a face mask when going outside in the winter
  • If you live in a humid climate, install a dehumidifier in your home
  • If you have any pets, get them groomed regularly
  • When cleaning your home, pay close attention to the kitchen and bathrooms to prevent mold growth.
  • Maintain a healthy weight, since being overweight can worsen symptoms

Related: Tips for Effective Asthma Control

24-Hour Emergency Room Services in Colorado Springs and Texas

If you’re not feeling well, we can provide the care you need. If you have questions or need immediate treatment, your nearest Complete Care location is ready to help, no matter the time of day or night. We offer a variety of services to help you and your family in your time of need. No appointments are necessary.

Visit us online to find the Complete Care location nearest you.

When to Go to the ER For a High Fever

Fevers are miserable. You can be burning up, but feel chilled. And if it’s your child who has a fever, it can be very worrisome. While fevers are not uncommon, how do you know if it’s something you can ride out or if you should seek medical attention?

Knowing what to do and when will bring you peace of mind.

What is a Fever?

Generally speaking, a normal body temperature is around 98 degrees Fahrenheit (36.6 degrees Celsius). If your body is trying to fight an infection, its temperature rises. This increase in temperature is a fever. Therefore, a fever is not a disease, but an indication that there’s something going on that your body is trying to combat.

In addition to feeling hot, symptoms of a fever include:

  • Shivers
  • Sweats
  • Dehydration
  • Weakness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Achy muscles

High Fever in Babies and Infants

High fever in a baby can cause seizures.

When to go to the ER for a high fever in babies and infants: See a doctor if your baby is younger than three months of age. If your baby is between three and six months, go to the doctor if their temperature is higher than 102 F (38.9 C).

If your child is older than six months old, seek medical attention if they also have diarrhea.

High Fever in Children

Due to their regular contact with other children, it’s common for kids to get sick often. If your child has a fever, keep them home from school so that they can rest. Also, keep them hydrated. If they get tired of water, give them watermelon or orange slices as snacks. Another fun option is popsicles.

A good way to gauge their level of hydration is to check the color of their urine. If it’s too dark, give them more water, juice, and fruit. This will help to reduce their temperature. Also keep them in lightweight, cool clothing.

When to go to the ER for a high fever in children: Visit a doctor if the fever lasts longer than three days, is higher than 102 F (38.8 C), or if your child is lethargic, vomiting, won’t stop crying, seems confused, or was recently vaccinated.

High Fever in Adults

If the fever is less than 102 F, adults don’t generally need medical intervention. Good home remedies include plenty of hydration and lukewarm baths.

When to go to the ER for a high fever in adults: See a doctor if the fever is higher than 102 F, lasts more than three days, or if any of the following apply:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Skin rash
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Earache
  • Bruising
  • Vomiting
  • Pain while urinating
  • History of heart disease, diabetes, or cancer
  • Being HIV positive

24-Hour Emergency Room Services in Colorado Springs and Texas

If you’re not feeling well, we can provide the care you need. If you have questions or need immediate treatment, your nearest Complete Care location is ready to help, no matter the time of day or night. We offer a variety of services to help you and your family in your time of need. No appointments are necessary.

Find the Complete Care location nearest you.