• Pneumonia: Symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment

    One can get infected with pneumonia from many sources. The source of an infection helps the diagnosis as there are some organisms specific to the sources. Even hospitals and health care institutions which cater to long-term nursing for chronic illness, old age, etc.  generally have infecting agents that sometimes are drug resistant.

    The common pneumonia symptoms may include
    – Pain in the chest when you breathe or cough
    – A cough, which may produce phlegm
    – Fever, sweating, or shivering
    – Fatigue
    – Lower body temperatures (this is mainly found in adults age 65 and above and those with weak immune systems)
    – Vomiting, nausea, or diarrhea
    – Shortness of breath

    Diagnosis of pneumonia symptoms is aided by the history of the case and physical examination, especially an auscultation of the lungs which gives an accurate idea of the location of the infection. An X-ray would confirm the locality and extent of the infection. To identify the infecting agent, a blood test and sputum brought up by a deep cough is subjected to pathological tests. Pneumonia interferes with oxygen transfers thereby reducing the oxygen levels in the blood. The level of oxygen in the blood is estimated by pulse oximetry. If the patient is aged above 65 yrs, is admitted to a hospital, and has other serious health issues, additional tests may be prescribed. A CT scan may be asked for if the infection is taking more time to clear. This helps the doctor to have greater clarity about the lung condition. He may order a pleural fluid culture to accurately determine the causative agent.

    The treatment approach for pneumonia symptoms is primarily decided on the basis of the infecting organism. Generally, community-acquired pneumonia is easy to treat while hospital- and healthcare unit-acquired are most difficult as they are more drug resistant. Antibiotics can be prescribed on the basis of the infecting agent. The other commonly-used drugs are cough medicines, anti pyretic, and anodynes to keep the fever and body aches under control. In the case of fungal infections, antifungal medicines will be prescribed after examining a culture of the fluid from the lung or sputum culture. In viral pneumonia, however, the approach is to subdue the fever and bodily discomfort and allow the disease to run its course. Cases of community-acquired pneumonia can often be treated at home. Hospitalization is required only where risks of complications are high.

  • Looking for an assisted living home? Here are 3 common types of assisted living homes

    Assisted living is a residential facility for the elderly, disabled individuals, mentally challenged people, and even those with special needs. It provides basic services such as dressing, bathing, cooking, shopping, paying bills, and taking medications to the residents. However, such facilities are not licensed as skilled nursing facilities are.

    An assisted living facility (ALF) or an assisted living residence or is similar to a retirement home; the facilities provided are same, and they cater to the senior population. The main purpose of an assisted living facility is to help seniors live independently in a safe environment.

    What is it?
    These facilities offer assistance with and supervision over activities of daily living (ADLs) such as three meals a day, housekeeping, and so on. They also do a proper coordination of services from outside health care providers and monitor the residents’ activities to ensure their health, safety, and well-being. Assistance often includes the administration or supervision of medication and personal care services. Depending on the assistance required with the ADLs, the facilities are broadly classified into the following.

    • Type I – Assisted living facility: Apart from providing basic monitoring for 24 hours and 7 days a week, the residents also get a minimum assistance for up to 2 ADLs. Typically, the service plan also includes assistance from a nurse who can help with daily medication.
    • Type II – Assisted living facility: Here, you can get full assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs) along with general nursing care from the facility staff.
    • Small Healthcare facility: This one is similar to Type II with the major difference being that there are a lesser number of residents. You get to enjoy a homely environment as it is a licensed home occupied by the owner or operator, and supervised nursing care is provided on a daily basis from a fixed plan of care.

    Assisted living facilities aim toward providing a homely environment, making it a suitable place to live in for someone who needs some assistance with everyday life, but does not need intensive care as offered in nursing homes.

  • A brief overview of the vaccine for children initiative

    For those who can’t afford to pay for vaccines, the government provides the same at no cost. The Vaccine for Children (VFC) program is a federal initiative started in 1963. This initiative aims to immunize children who have no health insurance through both the private and public sectors.

    Essentially, this initiative is meant for children below the age of 19 who are uninsured, underinsured, Medicaid eligible, and an American Indian or Alaska native. To clarify the underinsured part, one can avail the scheme if the child has a health insurance but that insurance does not cover vaccines, specific vaccines, or those that have a fixed dollar limit. The underinsured ones can reach out to any of the Federal Qualified Health Centers or Rural Health Clinics for availing the scheme.

    Nevertheless, there could be certain costs associated with the vaccination which may include administration fee, office visit fees, and fees for extras such as blood or eye tests. Additionally, the administrative fees vary from state to state which can be equally waived off if one is unable to pay.

    These vaccines come in either single or combination doses against 14 preventable diseases as per the ACIP. The CDC is the administrator of VFC for purchasing and distribution of the vaccines. Moreover, most of the pediatricians are enrolling to the VFC providers. Every state’s health department has a VFC program which makes it easier for a local resident to receive free immunization. Following is the list of the recommended vaccinations offered under the scheme:

    • Diphtheria
    • Haemophilus influenza type B (HIB)
    • Hepatitis A/B
    • Human papillomavirus
    • Influenza flu
    • Measles
    • Meningococcal
    • Mumps
    • Pertussis
    • Pneumococcal
    • Polio
    • Rotavirus
    • Rubella
    • Tetanus
    • Varicella

    All these vaccines are carefully evaluated as per the safety guidelines and compliance norms before it gets rolled out by the VFC. Needless to say, this program aims to eliminate all barriers toward free immunization and create a safer environment for both residents and visitors.

  • Foods that help reduce the risk of melanoma

    Melanoma is a form of skin cancer that develops in the cells that produce melanin. Melanoma can also form in the eyes and, in rare cases, the nose or throat. The cause of the condition is unknown, but there are many factors that can contribute to its development. In this article, we shall discuss how certain foods affect melanoma. Continue reading to see which ones can help you fight this condition.

    Foods with high protein content

    When it comes to managing melanoma, it is important to add protein-rich foods to your meals. This is because protein is one of the building blocks of the human body, and they contribute to a lot of essential body functions. Proteins help with repairing cells and rebuilding tissue. They also help strengthen the immune system and help the body recover from illnesses.

    Whole grains

    Whole grains are an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. They are a great source of both fiber and carbohydrates that help the body stay energized. Individuals can add foods like oatmeal and brown rice to their meals instead of processed and refined grains.

    Fruits and vegetables

    Fruits and vegetables are rich sources of nutrients, antioxidants, and vitamins. Antioxidants found in many fruits and vegetables protect the body from damage caused by free radicals. Certain fruits and vegetables also have lycopene, an antioxidant that protects the skin from sun damage.

    Foods with healthy fat content
    When it comes to avoiding and fighting melanoma, people can also try adding foods with healthy fat content such as omega-3 fatty acids to their meals. This is because omega-3 fatty acids inhibit COX-2, which promotes the progression of skin cancer in the body. Omega-3 fatty acids also help reduce inflammation and help the body stay healthy. It is recommended to try adding foods such as salmon, sardines, walnuts, and flaxseed to get the required amounts of omega-3 fatty acids.

    Those who suffer from melanoma also need to take medications to keep the condition in check. Common medications include:


    OPDIVO®, also known as nivolumab, is a prescription medication that is used to treat advanced melanoma. The medication is often prescribed in combination with YERVOY®. Common side effects of children include bone pain, change in taste, and mouth sores.


    Dacarbazine is used to treat melanoma that has spread to other parts of the body. Common side effects include nausea, vomiting, flushing, and flu-like symptoms.

  • 7 myths about herpes

    Every disease has some or the other myth attached to it. While some of them might turn out to be true, most of them are not. Herpes might sound like a common health issue, but still, there are many misconceptions doing rounds among people. Here, we will bust a few myths about herpes. Keep reading.

    Myth 1: Rashes caused by herpes are permanent
    This statement is not true since the rashes do go away. Though rashes take some time to disappear, they dissipate eventually and are not a permanent symptom of this infection.

    Myth 2: One can get herpes from a toilet seat
    It is not true since the microbes that cause genital herpes cannot survive for too long outside the human body and that too on a surface like a toilet seat.

    Myth 3: If your partner has herpes, they are promiscuous
    This statement has no truth to it. It is very likely that your partner might be carrying the infection for a long time and that it has recently activated itself.

    Myth 4: People with herpes cannot donate blood
    People who have oral or genital herpes can definitely donate blood as long as they are not weak.

    Myth 5: You cannot have sexual intercourse post-herpes
    There are many ways to manage the outbreak, including protecting oneself from getting this infection. Herpes is not a permanent condition, and you can definitely have sexual intercourse after you have dealt with the infection or even during it, if it is safe.

    Myth 6: You cannot get herpes from oral sex
    You can definitely get oral herpes if you perform oral sex since the virus is easily transmitted through the saliva.

    Myth 7: You will know it when you have herpes
    A lot of people who suffer from herpes are unaware of their condition. Sometimes it may not even show any symptoms. The only way for you to know for sure is to get yourself tested for the same.

    These above-mentioned myths have no truth to them, so when you hear any of these, it is better for you to disregard them and trust a doctor’s verdict and advice instead.

  • Causes of frequent urination problems in men

    Urinary problems in men are quite common. These problems can range from frequent urination to pain in the bladder and overactive bladder.

    Frequent urination is when you need to empty the bladder more than (at least) eight times in a day. Frequent urination problem is also associated with the urgency to empty the bladder. This is medically referred to as an overactive bladder (OAB). In OAB, frequent urination is a problem rather than a symptom of another disease.


    Frequent urination problems can occur due to many medical conditions. These can range from minor to major health concerns.

    • Urinary tract infection (UTI): Any infections in the urinary tract can lead to frequent urination. The infection is accompanied by abdominal discomfort or pain and fever.
    • Prostate problems: When the prostate becomes enlarged, it can push against the urethra wall and impede urine flow. The urethra is the thin tube that transfers urine out of the bladder. With the constant pressing of the urethra, the bladder begins to contract even with little urine present inside it. The contractions cause frequent urge to urinate.
    • Diuretic use: Medicines that treat high blood pressure and some kidney problems like fluid buildup can cause frequent urination in men.
    • Diabetes: Frequent urination problem can be a symptom of diabetes (both type 1 and type 2). Large amounts of urine can occur due to diabetes as the body eliminates unused glucose through the urination process.
    • Neurological problems: Any neurological damage or problems such as a stroke can cause bladder function disorders. Multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injuries often cause frequent urination. These problems can cause the nerves associated with the bladder to malfunction.
    • Bladder cancer: Urination frequency can increase when the bladder is damaged due to cancerous cells.
    • Radiation therapy: Radiation treatment for any cancer can lead to frequent urination. However, this is not very common.
    • Bladder dysfunction: When any bladder problem occurs, often it can lead to frequent urination problem.

    Frequent urination is treatable with the help of medications, surgeries and diet modifications. Your doctor can recommend a treatment plan based on your health needs.

  • Important symptoms of neuropathy that should not be ignored

    Neuropathy is a common condition that occurs when the peripheral nerves happen to get disrupted or damaged. Although it mostly occurs after the age of 55, there are many cases where this disorder affects you even at a younger age. Neuropathy can trigger a wide array of indications including erectile dysfunction to constipation. The most common neuropathy symptoms that one should not ignore are as follows

    • Numbness and pain: The burning sensation and tingling in your legs and arms can be one of the earliest indications of some kind of damaged nerve. They normally occur in your feet and toes and may also trigger severe pain. You may also experience numbness in these areas.
    • Muscular issues: Any nerve damage normally triggers difficulty in muscle control and even weakness. Sometimes you will find difficulty in the movement of a particular part of your body. Simple tasks like buttoning your shirt may seem difficult. You can also experience cramps or twitching of your muscles. Another neuropathy symptom includes falling down suddenly.
    • Various issues with different organs of the body: Neuropathy can affect various parts of the body, and the various symptoms that one would experience with different organs of the body are given below.
      Digestive system: If you have any neuropathic issue, you may experience neuropathy symptoms like issues in the digestion of food and even constipation. You can also experience heart burns and bloated sensations without even having a proper full meal. Some people also experience difficulties in swallowing food.
      Heart: If there happens to be any damage to the nerves connected to the heart, one may experience symptoms like lightheadedness when they stand up.
      Bladder issues: Leakage of urine is a prominent symptom of peripheral neuropathy.
      Sexual issues: Erectile dysfunction for men and dryness of the vagina are all common neuropathy symptoms.
      Excessive sweating: This is yet another symptom that should not be ignored as this occurs even when the climate is quite cool and pleasant and even when you are resting.

    If you experience any of the above-mentioned symptoms, the best course of action is to consult a doctor who specializes in neurological disorders so that treatment can begin at the earliest. You will, therefore, be able to prevent unwanted complications due to ignorance.

  • EMR and EHR – What is the difference

    Both these terms—electronic medical records (EMR) and electronic health records (EHR)—seem to have a simple change of an alphabet in the middle, but still, both of the terms are used by doctors, patients and other health practitioners interchangeably. There is a slight difference between these two forms of record systems. Let us find out more.

    Know the difference
    Before we delve any further, we must first understand what the two terms mean. An EMR is an Electronic Medical Record which is used by clinicians in carrying our diagnosis and treatment of an ailment based on the health metrics contained therein. These records include information regarding the past ailments and any allergies as well as current medication, for the patient. Whereas EHR is known as an Electronic Health Record, and it is used to record all the information that pertains to the state of the patient’s health. In this way, an EHR goes a little further than an EMR and helps in understanding the health of the individual rather than merely carrying out treatment and diagnosis of a particular ailment.

    Data usage
    While the EMR or Electronic Medical Record will keep track of all the information about the ailment for which the patient may visit the doctor, it also helps in setting screening schedules depending on the health and other metrics defined with the records. The EHR goes a little further by depicting the health of the patient. This information is not merely collected and collated, but it is also in a format which can be shared across health organizations and with clinicians who can compute this data to help in better care giving practices across various clinical settings.

    While the Electronic Medical Records will talk about the ailment and screening schedules, the EHR will be helpful in emergency situations as well so that proper care may be accorded without having to hunt for the appropriate health information.

    Maintaining medical records is of utmost importance in today’s day and age so that one can get the right care at the right time for timely treatment of an ailment.

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  • 4 advantages of rent-to-own furniture

    Buying furniture is a huge investment and at the same time, it is time-consuming. On occasions, purchasing furniture can take a huge hit on your finances. Moreover, you might have to incur miscellaneous expenses related to delivery charges or installment. If you are facing a financial crunch, then you can try rent-to-own furniture. Rent-to-own is nothing but leasing furniture for a stipulated period. It can be ideal for both short-term and long-term use. Here are some benefits of choosing rent-to-own furniture.

    • Inexpensive Good-quality furniture often comes with hefty price tags. The biggest advantage of rent-to-own furniture is getting quality furniture within your budget. Moreover, leasing furniture can save you from making hasty decisions. For instance, if you have recently moved to a new city and have limited resources, you might settle for low-quality furniture. This might be quite inconvenient in the long run. As an alternative, renting furniture will give you enough time to collect some money to buy your own.
    • Minimal accountability Owning furniture means that you have to be responsible for its maintenance too, which at times can be an expensive affair. Thankfully, most rent-to-own furniture businesses take care of the maintenance. So, if something goes wrong, you can immediately call them, and they will repair or replace it. However, it is important to remember that every rent-to-own company will have their terms and conditions regarding damage caused due to irresponsibility.
    • Short-term convenience If you are moving to a place for a few months or just a year, then it makes more sense to lease furniture than to buy it. For example, if you have moved for work, you might just require a bed, a desk and a few chairs in your apartment. Purchasing furniture will be a waste of your resources. Furthermore, when you are moving back, managing the sale or hauling of this furniture can get unnecessarily cumbersome. Instead, opting for rent-to-own furniture will be more affordable and reliable.
    • Flexibility Some consumers might frequently like to experiment with their interior style. Purchasing new furniture every year might not be monetarily feasible, however, you can avail this option when you are using rent-to-own furniture. Some businesses allow you to upgrade your furniture in every few months. However, this option might be only accessible to clients who are a part of the one-year renting contract.

    The following are some of the popular rent-to-own furniture stores.

    • Aaron’s
    • Atlantic Bedding and Furniture
    • ColorTyme Rent-to-Own
    • Sears Lease It
    • Conn’s Home Plus
    • Kmart’s Lease-and-Go
    • FlexShopper
    • Buddy’s Home Furnishings
  • Quirky-themed restaurants for a spunky you

    Dining with your friends and family is always a pleasant experience. A fine dining is always the safest choice when you wish to go on a date or take your family for dinner. The ambiance is calm and you are supposed to dress appropriately. You would definitely enjoy the calm dining experience and relish the food served to you. If you are the adventurous kind or love experimenting with new places, then you might not want limit this inquisitive nature of yours just to trekking or visiting new places. You can extend this eagerness of trying new things to your cuisines as well and not limit yourself to a fine dining.

    People have become very creative these days and it knows no limits. You would find yourself face-to-face with various innovations that has gripped the imagination of various restaurateurs. Their restaurants are not just fine dining restaurants anymore, they are governed by various themes. Here are some of the best and quirky themed restaurants that is now on everyone’s wishlist.

    • The DC Comics Superheroes Cafe- This superhero cafe in Singapore is inspired by everyone’s all time favorite idols- the DC Comics superheroes. You can dine at their superhero inspired diner and the menus too are theme-based. Find your inner child here and treat yourself to an amazingly œsuper dining experience
    • Dine in the sky at Belgium- If you are the adventurous kind and wish to experience instances which boosts your adrenaline, then try the œRestaurant in the sky type of dining. This would be one-of- its-kind experience. All the customers would be dining 150 feet up in the air!
    • Ithaa, the undersea restaurant, Maldives- This amazing restaurant allows its customers to dine right in the middle of the Indian Ocean. You would get the opportunity of witnessing the majestic marine life and the colorful corals while dining with your companion
    • Villa Escudero Waterfalls Restaurant, Philippines- If you are a water baby and wish to experience the pristine beauty of nature, this restaurant is the one for you. The water from the Villa Escudero falls would tickle your feet while you calmly enjoy your lunch on tables made of bamboos
    • The Ninja Restaurant, New York- The Ninja themed restaurant in New York is a huge hit among all sections of the population. You would find yourself in a 15th century Japan with a feudal setup. The waiters would be dressed up as ninjas and adapt their few mannerisms.

    These different themed restaurants take some getting used to but have garnered a lot of fan-following in recent times. So, give in to your adventurous side and make a dash to either of these restaurants.

  • An insight into some important aspects about blinds

    Blinds are available at different prices, materials, and colors. When you choose your window blinds, you must focus on the right size. You have to measure and think of a creative way to hang these blinds before making any purchase. The quality of the blinds also varies. So, you must carefully consider all aspects before you make a choice.

    Availability of different options 
    When it comes to the styles of window blinds, the choices are plenty and these include, vinyl blinds, wood blinds, mini blinds, faux wood blinds, aluminum blinds and so on. Wood Blinds definitely offer you the full richness and they provide excellent design solutions as well. These blinds are available for different prices and cater to people with budget restrictions. Vinyl blinds add to the elegance of the house.

    Faux wood blinds and mini blinds
    If budget is your prime consideration, you can search for faux wood blinds. These blinds mimic the look and feel of real wood blinds, but the price is really economical compared to the wooden versions. If you are living in areas where temperature levels are fluctuating extremely, faux blinds are an excellent option. There are mini blinds and they are available in traditional blind sizes. You can fit them easily into your home or office. Easy installation and lifetime guarantee play an important role in making these products extremely popular.

    Vertical window blinds
    If you want to achieve a streamlined look for your windows, vertical blinds are the best option available. These are excellent choices for narrow windows. The heavy curtain look can be replaced with these types of blinds and they are usually made of vinyl or wood. You can also find PVC vertical blind these days. They are on a tracking installation system and you can associate unique draw factors with them. Several blinds open one way and these types of blinds can be configured to open up in the center or you can open them at the side.

    Blinds are pretty easy to clean and maintain. Various companies offer different types of blinds and some of them come with a limited guarantee. You need to purchase the most suitable one that goes well with your unique needs. High-quality blinds can provide you with a sober look and if you select the ones that fit your budget, you can make the windows and rooms attractive and functional. Moreover, you will be able to create the ambiance you want. Proper blinds can also offer insulation from the cold and they get better protection from the heat during the summer. You can adjust top quality blinds quite easily and trusted manufacturers have made their products extremely affordable.

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