Causes and Symptoms of Dizziness

Dizziness itself is not a disease or disorder, but rather a symptom associated with various disorders. There are several symptoms of dizziness and while some are minor and temporary, others need to be treated as an emergency. Here are some of the reasons dizziness occurs and warning signs that you need to see a doctor immediately.

Common Symptoms of Dizziness

Symptoms of dizziness include:

  • Feeling lightheaded
  • Loss of balance
  • Spinning sensation
  • Weakness
  • Lethargy
  • Headache

When you talk to your doctor, it is very important that you describe the sensations you are experiencing as accurately as possible so the proper diagnosis can be made.

Common Causes of Dizziness

Dizziness could result from something as simple as motion sickness or a complex issue such as an inner ear problem. In some instances, it can be a sign of an extremely serious disorder affecting the heart or blood vessels. These are just some of the reasons dizziness occurs.

Heart Attack

The symptoms of dizziness can occur due to a reduction of blood flow to the brain, which could be a sign of a heart attack.

If you experience sudden loss of consciousness, this usually means the blood supply to the brain is dramatically reduced. Should you or a loved one faint or lose consciousness, medical attention should be called for immediately.

Low Blood Sugar (Hypoglycemia)

Without sufficient blood sugar, every system in the body, including the brain, goes into reservation mode. This is the body’s way of using as little energy as possible and may make you feel lightheaded or dizzy.

In some cases, drinking some juice will relieve symptoms, but it’s best to get your blood sugar levels checked as soon as possible.

Motion Sickness

Many people experience some form of motion sickness while traveling by car, boat, plane or train. In this case, dizziness is a sign that your body’s sensory organs are sending mixed messages to your brain.

This confusion can cause people to feel not only dizziness, but lightheadedness and nausea as well. If you know you’re prone to motion sickness, you can try to prevent symptoms by taking prescription or over-the-counter medication.

Hypotension

Hypotension is low blood pressure. Typically, low blood pressure is considered preferable to high blood pressure, but if it dips too low, it can make you feel tired or dizzy. In these cases, hypotension can be a sign of an underlying condition.

Hypotension can be the result of:

  • Extreme blood loss
  • A bloodstream infection
  • Diabetes or other endocrine disorders
  • Anaphylactic shock

Dehydration

Without enough fluids in the body, your blood can decrease in volume. This lowers your blood pressure and can prevent your brain from getting enough blood, making you feel dizzy or lightheaded.

A glass of water may be enough to help, but if you haven’t been eating or drinking enough for a few days, it will take more than that to rehydrate. In severe cases, you may need to visit your doctor for an intravenous fluid infusion.

When to Get Help

Dizziness will usually clear up on its own after a short time. If you experience a dizzy spell, avoid tobacco and caffeine and either sit or lie down until it goes away. If the spell is accompanied by hearing loss, a severe headache, nausea or vomiting, get in touch with your doctor.

If you are experiencing shortness of breath, any sort of change in speech or vision, limb weakness or chest pain, have someone take you to the nearest emergency medical center as soon as possible.

24-Hour Emergency Room Services in Colorado Springs and Texas

Dizziness isn’t a symptom you should brush off, as it could be the sign of a more serious condition. 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.

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

Four Benefits of Digital X-Ray Imaging

X-ray imaging has a long history of medical use. Accidentally discovered by a German physicist in 1895, X-rays transformed medicine almost overnight and have been used for everything from finding foreign objects trapped in a child’s throat to tracing food through the digestive system. However, technological advances since the late 19th century have led to the digital evolution of the X-ray.

What Is a Digital X-Ray?

A digital x-ray system combines software and hardware to provide a detailed picture of the inside of a patient’s body. The system’s sensors immediately process pictures and transmit them to a monitor in minutes, giving the doctor a clear idea of what is happening much more quickly than previous generations of the technology.

These images can easily be stored for future access and transmitted to other medical professionals if needed. This could reduce the need for additional examinations at a later date.

Here are some of the benefits of using digital x-rays.

#1 – Higher Quality of Care

All forms of radiography expose you to some levels of radiation. However, digital x-rays typically reduce exposure by 75 percent or more compared to traditional x-rays. Although traditional x-rays currently in use are not as dangerous as some patients seem to fear, these newer iterations are even safer.

Digital x-rays also promote a higher quality of care by improving the communication between you and your doctor and the speed with which accurate diagnoses can be provided. Because digital radiography provides a more comprehensive picture than film x-rays, you will have a better understanding of your body and your physician will be able to detect and treat problems earlier and more efficiently.

#2 – Time and Productivity Savings

Conventional x-rays take about 15 minutes to develop, while digital technology reduces this time to mere seconds. Digital images are instantly stored and ready to view on a computer, which can limit the time you spend at the doctor’s office.

If your office needs to send the x-ray to another specialist or insurance company, it can be sent in just minutes, without the need for shipping or making a copy.

#3 – Less Expensive and More Environmentally-Friendly

Film is costly to purchase and develop, which is one reason many medical institutions favor digital x-rays. The technology is readily available and costs less for facilities to operate, and ultimately those savings are passed on to you.

Digital technology is also considered more “green” than traditional radiography. A digital x-ray doesn’t require chemicals to develop or disposable paper film, reducing its environmental impact.

#4 – No Lost Images

Digital radiography safely stores your x-rays so you don’t have to worry about losing important images. Most medical centers will back-up your data to a cloud server, providing even more protection.

Comprehensive Medical Services at Complete Care

You don’t have to go to a hospital emergency room or doctor’s office to receive high-quality, digital x-ray imaging. Complete Care offers this same advanced service to our patients without the long wait times you will have to deal with at most ERs or urgent care facilities. With locations across Texas and in Colorado Springs, we’re available 24/7 to take care of all your medical needs.

Visit us online to find the location nearest you.

When Bronchitis Becomes an Emergency

 

Acute bronchitis is one of the most common respiratory illnesses, with nearly five percent of American adults seeking treatment for the condition each year. It is typically caused by viruses and produces symptoms including persistent cough, sore throat and body aches.

While most cases last less than three weeks and can be resolved with at-home care, there are certain circumstances where bronchitis becomes a medical emergency.

 

Bronchitis Emergency Infographic

 

 

Bicycle Safety Tips for Children

Kids love biking to school. It gives them a sense of independence, allows them to catch up with friends and gives them an outlet for their energy. As most parents know, though, biking presents its own set of challenges and safety concerns.

Child Bike Safety Statistics

When children aren’t adequately prepared for the responsibility of biking to school or don’t fully appreciate the potential for injury due to reckless behavior, they may make mistakes without realizing it. Making a wrong turn or reading a text message could send them careening into a car, causing serious injury.

Although biking is a fun activity and a convenient mode of transportation for children, the stats serve as a stark reminder of the importance of bicycle safety. While you don’t want your child living in constant fear, you should explain that there is always potential danger when riding a bike.

Biking Safety Tips

#1 Wear a Helmet

It’s the most basic rule, but nearly half of parents say their child doesn’t follow it. A helmet is the only layer of defense between your child’s brain and the source of impact, which is usually an unyielding surface such as asphalt or concrete. Your child needs to wear one every time they go riding, even if it’s only around the block.

Be sure the helmet you pick has the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) sticker. This certifies the helmet is of sufficient quality to protect your child in case of a fall. It also helps to pick a fun, brightly colored helmet so your child is motivated to wear it.

Here are a few additional helmet tips:

  • Never reuse a helmet that has been damaged during a crash
  • Make sure the helmet fits snugly
  • Always tighten and buckle the straps so they form a V under the ears
  • Pull the helmet down so it covers part of the forehead

#2 Choose a Safe Route

Don’t let your child go off of Google Maps the first time they set out for their bike ride. You’ll want to plan and practice the route in advance so there aren’t any hiccups along the way.

The U.S. government currently funds Safe Routes to School (SRTS) programs that organize events like Bike to School Day and educate parents on how kids can bike to school safely. In conjunction with these programs, your child’s school may have a list of safe and popular biking routes that they recommend.

If you don’t have access to such information, consider planning a route yourself – or visiting MapMyRide.com for ideas – and traveling it with your child on the weekend. Make note of busy intersections, hills, poor lighting and any other safety concerns, and adjust the route as needed.

#3 Go With Friends

The buddy system is a tried-and-true method for staying safe. If your child is in elementary or middle school, they may benefit from riding with a group of friends to school. In the case of very young children, you may want to send one parent to monitor the “bike train” of students.

#4 Obey the Rules of the Road

Children and young teens have never driven, so they may be unaware of basic road rules. As you help them prepare for their bike ride, be sure to explain every situation they may encounter. Here are a few key pieces of information to cover:

  • Do not dart out in front of cars, even if it seems like they’re going slow
  • Bike with traffic, not against it
  • Stay on the sidewalk or to the right-hand side of the road
  • Stop at stop signs and red lights
  • Walk the bike across crosswalks
  • Tell pedestrians you are passing by saying “on your left,” ringing a bell or honking a horn
  • Use hand signals to let cars know which direction you are turning
  • Be cognizant of your visibility to drivers, especially at dawn, sunset or night when a motorist’s vision can be easily impaired

#5 Pick the Right Clothes

Children and teens should always pedal with sneakers on, never in flip-flops or barefoot. Sneakers provide the right amount of grip so the feet won’t slip off the pedals.

Kids should also wear highly visible clothing, such as a bright neon top or a reflective biking jacket, so cars can see them at dawn, in fog or while it’s raining or snowing. Depending on the situation, you may want to equip your child’s bike with lights and reflectors.

Treating Children’s Bike Injuries at Complete Care

Sometimes injuries happen whether we’ve prepared for them or not. If your child has gotten into a biking accident and sustained an injury, you can bring them in to Complete Care ER for immediate emergency treatment. Our friendly doctors can treat:

  • Cuts
  • Broken bones
  • Fractures
  • Sprains
  • Head and back injuries
  • And much more

Call or visit your nearest Complete Care for prompt treatment.

When Should I Worry About a Rash?

 

A rash can be worrisome. Most of the time, rashes are caused by something relatively minor. However, there are instances where a rash is a sign of a serious medical condition that needs to be addressed immediately. Here is more information about common rashes and some ways to identify them so you can get an idea of what you’re dealing with.

What Are Rashes?

“Rash” is an umbrella term describing any type of skin irritation, discoloration or abnormal change in texture. Since it’s not a specific diagnosis, rash causes, symptoms and classifications vary greatly. This is the reason why it can be difficult to determine whether a rash is serious or not.

Rashes may appear as discoloration, blisters, bumps, scales, itchiness or raised plaques. They can affect one area of the body or multiple areas at once; they may also be chronic or a singular event.

Rashes are generally broken down into two categories. Some examples include:

  • Infectious – Herpes, shingles, ringworm, yeast infection, chickenpox and scabies.
  • Non-infectious – Allergic dermatitis, eczema, contact dermatitis, hives and dry skin.

Signs of a Serious Rash Include:

  • High fever
  • Extreme pain
  • Appearance in young infants
  • Full-body coverage
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Throat swelling or difficulty breathing
  • Sudden onset or rapid expansion of affected area
  • Infection

When to Worry for Children

As a parent it’s entirely reasonable to be concerned when your child has a rash accompanied by a fever. While most of the time a rash isn’t a major medical concern, it could also be a symptom of a rare or life-threatening condition. If your child is acting out of character or lethargic, that can be a sign something is dangerously wrong. Conversely, if they are acting relatively normal, you may not need to worry.

A meningococcal infection is an example of a fatal fever-inducing rash. One defining symptoms is the rapid expansion of the rash and the development of a purple bruise. This, accompanied by a fever, is a telling sign. If you notice this type of rash affecting your child, you need to get to the nearest emergency center immediately.

A blistering rash on an infant’s skin could be the result of a herpes virus and could also be dangerous. If a child has a rash that looks like a peeled sunburn accompanied by low blood pressure and a fever, that could be a serious infection known as toxic shock.

When to Worry for Adults

Shingles, a virus that manifests as raised, red bumps with blisters, can be especially dangerous for adults. Also called herpes zoster, shingles is essentially the chickenpox virus reappearing later in life. This is an extremely painful condition that affects only one side of the body. Early treatment can substantially reduce pain.

Allergic reactions to food and medication can also cause dangerous rashes. Most allergic reactions will cause itching and general skin irritation, but a severe reaction that results in a terrible rash as well as mouth or respiratory tract ulcers needs to be treated as soon as possible.

Hives, which look like puffy welts, are a type of rash that can appear during an allergic reaction. If you have hives accompanied by a sudden drop in blood pressure or difficulty breathing, get to a doctor as quickly as you can.

Urgent Medical Care in Texas and Colorado Springs

As with any medical condition, it’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to rashes. If you or your child has a rash that is even a little bit concerning, don’t hesitate to seek out immediate medical attention. Complete Care offers urgent medical care throughout Texas and Colorado Springs without the long wait times of other ERs and urgent care clinics.

Find a Complete Care location near you today.

Delicious Healthy Foods

Many people make the mistake of assuming all food that’s good for them tastes bad. Fortunately, that’s not true. There’s a long list of delectable, healthy foods that can give your body a boost of essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients.

9 Simple At-Home Exercises For a Total-Body Workout

Between time spent at work, school, with friends or family, you might not have time to hit the gym. There’s no doubt life can be hectic, but it’s important to make your health a priority. Regular exercise can help you lose or maintain weight, reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease and lower your risk of some cancers and provide many other life-improving benefits.

Even if you can’t make it to the gym, these at-home exercises can help you stay healthy.

9 at home exercises

Hand Fractures to Mallet Fingers: 7 Common Hand and Wrist Injuries

We use our hands for everyday tasks like typing, driving, writing and picking things up. So, it should come as no surprise that hand and wrist injuries are extremely common. These are some of the most commonly experienced injuries.

Sprains

  1. Thumb Sprains

Thumb sprains occur when the ligaments supporting it stretch beyond their limits or tear. Most sprains involve the ulnar collateral ligament located inside the thumb’s knuckle joint. Thumb sprains usually happen when a strong force bends the thumb away from the palm of the hand.

Treatment typically requires wearing a splint or cast to prevent the thumb from moving while the ligament heals. More severe sprains may require surgery to restore joint stability.

  1. Wrist Sprains

Wrist sprains are most often the result of a high-impact fall onto an outstretched hand. These sprains vary in severity depending on the degree of injury to the ligaments. Damage can range from a tiny tear in the ligament fibers to a complete tear through the ligament or even detachment from the bone.

Symptoms of a sprained wrist may include:

  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Warm feeling around the wrist
  • Popping or tearing feeling inside the wrist
  • Pain

Treatment options vary. For minor sprains, rest, ice, compression and elevation (RICE) are recommended. Severe sprains may require surgery to repair fully torn ligaments.

Bone Injuries

  1. Hand Fractures

Hand fractures are breaks in one or more of the bones in the hand, including the small bones of the fingers and the long bones within the palm. Fractured hands are usually the result of a fall, crush injury, twisting injury or through direct contact in sports.

Symptoms of a hand fracture include:

  • Swelling
  • Deformity
  • Tenderness or pain
  • Inability to move the fingers

In most cases, hand fractures will heal without surgical treatment but may require wearing a cast or splint for a short period. Severe fractures typically necessitate surgery to realign the broken bone fragments.

  1. Wrist Fractures

A broken wrist can happen when any of the ten bones connected to the wrist break. A break in the radius is the most common cause of a wrist fracture. Breaks commonly occur following a hard fall onto an outstretched hand.

Signs of a wrist fracture include:

  • Difficulty moving the wrist
  • Swelling
  • Tingling feeling in the fingertips
  • Visible deformity

Treatment can be as simple as having the bones reset and wearing a cast. More severe fractures can benefit from surgery to put the broken bones back together and hold them in the right position.

  1. Dislocations of the PIP Joint

Dislocations of the proximal interphalangeal (PIP) joint are one of the most common injuries to the hand. The PIP joint is located above the knuckle and typically sustains injury when the finger is either hyperextended or forced downward into a bent position.

Symptoms include:

  • Disfigured joint
  • Loss of joint function

PIP joint dislocations rarely require surgery. They can be treated with an immobilizing splint or by buddy taping the injured finger to an adjacent one.

Soft Tissue and Closed Tendon Injuries

  1. De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis

De Quervain’s tenosynovitis is a painful condition affecting the tendons on the thumb side of the wrist. The exact cause of the syndrome isn’t known, but frequent, repetitive hand or wrist movement can worsen it.

Symptoms of de Quervain’s tenosynovitis include:

  • Difficulty moving the thumb and wrist when grasping or pinching
  • Swelling near the base of the thumb
  • A sticking or stop-and-go sensation in the thumb when moving it

Treatment options are designed to reduce inflammation, prevent reoccurrence and preserve movement in the thumb. Medication and physical therapy are common methods of treatments but surgery may be necessary in severe cases.

  1. Mallet Finger

When a ball or other object strikes the tip of the finger and forcibly bends it, the tendon that straightens the finger can tear. A mallet finger is the resulting deformity of this kind of injury. This condition is sometimes referred to as baseball finger.

Signs of mallet finger include:

  • Inability to straighten the fingertip
  • Pain
  • Bruising
  • Swelling

Most mallet finger injuries can be treated without surgery. Your doctor will recommend wearing a splint for about two months. They will instruct you how to wear it and demonstrate exercises to maintain motion in the middle joint.

Emergency Medical Services at Complete Care ER

Our hands are crucial to everyday life, which is why keeping them healthy is so important.

Whether you’ve sprained your thumb, fractured your wrist or anything in between, Complete Care ER’s locations throughout Texas and in Colorado Springs are here to care for you 24/7. Our attentive medical staff will make sure you receive prompt, thorough, high-quality care.

Stop by the Complete Care ER location nearest you the next time you need quality emergency care!

How to Treat Cuts and Scapes

Life is full of small hazards that lead to cuts and scrapes, like slicing an avocado or falling off a bike. The next time you or a loved one gets banged up, follow these first aid tips.

Causes

Cuts and scrapes occur when your skin breaks. This is typically the result of falling, hitting a hard object or being cut by something sharp.

While cuts and scrapes are common enough, some people are more prone to these types of injuries. Children are usually sporting some type of minor skin damage due to clumsiness and rough play. Older people are more likely to get cuts and scrapes because of limited mobility, issues with balance and the delicacy of their skin from aging, illness or medications.

Complications

Keeping your cut or scrape clean will allow it to heal properly and lower the chance of infection. Some signs of infection are:

  • Redness, swelling or warmth around the affected area
  • Fever
  • Increased pain
  • Discharge or pus
  • Foul odor

If any of these signs appear, seek medical attention.

Treatment for Cuts

The first thing you want to do after getting cut is to clean the wound and stop the bleeding.

Cuts That Do Not Require Medical Attention

  1. Clean the cut with water and a mild soap to remove debris and bacteria. Avoid cotton or wool when cleaning, as fibers may get caught in the wound and cause infection.
  2. Use astringents, antiseptics or alcohol on the area surrounding the cut to kill bacteria.
  3. Dress the wound with a topical antibiotic to prevent infection.
  4. Cover the wound with either a Band-Aid or cloth wrap depending on the size.

Cuts That Require Medical Attention

If the cut meets any of the following criteria, seek medical attention.

  • Bleeding lasts longer than 10 minutes
  • The sides gape open if you let go of the cut
  • It is deep – tissues like tendons, nerves or blood vessels may be damaged
  • There is exposed muscle tissue (red) or fat tissue (yellowish)
  • It appears dirty after being cleaned
  • It is on a joint or somewhere where healing might be difficult

Stitches or Glue?

Stitches thread the wound together so the edges of the cut can be lined up squarely. This is particularly important if the cut is on a joint or somewhere that experiences a lot of movement. If the wound is jagged or uneven, stitches are also preferred.

Steri-Strips are fine, thin and sticky strips that act like stiches. They are used when the cut is deep, but not deep enough for stitches. If the cut is on the face, doctors might want to minimize scarring, so they’ll use Steri-Strips or butterfly strips to act as stitches.

Skin superglue is a substance that glues the skin together to heal. This is used when stitches can be avoided and in areas of minimal scarring, like the face. The glue goes on quickly and painlessly but can’t be used in areas of high tension or that bend a lot.

Treatment for Scrapes

Unlike cuts, scrapes are not deep, but they may cover a large area of skin. When treating scrapes:

  1. Clean the scraped area with water and a gentle soap to remove any debris.
  2. Apply astringents, antiseptics or alcohol on the surrounding areas to remove bacteria.
  3. Cover the scrape with an antibiotic ointment and a bandage to create a barrier from the elements.

Since a large area of skin is missing, germs have an easier time breaking through the body’s defenses, making scrapes prone to bacterial infections. People with skin injuries should have up-to-date vaccinations.

Emergency Treatment at Complete Care ER

Whether you’re experiencing continuous bleeding or infection from a cut or scrape, Complete Care can treat your laceration or wound. We have knowledgeable staff on hand 24/7 so you can receive immediate emergency treatment.

With no appointment necessary and short wait times, you can be treated when you need it. Find the Complete Care location nearest you.