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Allergy Triggers to Avoid

Allergy Triggers to Avoid

National Allergy and Asthma Awareness Month

Since 1984, May is National Allergy and Asthma Awareness Month.

These two conditions are often overlooked and not given the importance they deserve. However, according to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), asthma affects more than 24 million people in the United States, including more than 6 million children.

Additionally, allergies are the 6th leading cause of chronic illness, with more than 50 million Americans suffering from allergies each year.

Why Is May National Allergy and Asthma Awareness Month?

Declaring an observance month is never random. May happens to be the peak month for allergies. Asthma and allergies often go hand in hand, so it’s not unusual for someone with asthma to also suffer from allergies.

There is currently no cure for either of these conditions, but educating patients and the public about them can help manage them.

Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.

Asthma and Allergies

People can suffer from asthma or allergies, or both. Many myths surround these conditions, so as part of Altus Emergency Centers’ commitment to educate and prevent different health issues, we would like to share some facts.

Asthma facts:

  • Asthma can be hereditary, but it can also affect people who have other allergic conditions and anyone exposed to polluted air, tobacco smoke, or viral respiratory infections at a young age.
  • Overweight and obese patients are at a greater risk of asthma.
  • Symptoms can include cough, wheeze, shortness of breath, and chest tightness.
  • Medications can help manage asthma allowing patients to enjoy an active life.
  • Weather conditions such as extremely dry, wet, or windy weather can worsen an asthma condition.
  • If not managed adequately, asthma can lead to death

Allergy Facts

  • People can suffer from different types of allergies; food allergies, eczema, and hay fever (rhinitis) are just a few examples.
  • Symptoms from allergic rhinitis, commonly known as hay fever, include sneezing, stuffy or runny nose, itching of the nose, and watery eyes. This can be seasonal or perennial (year-round).
  • Allergies are often hereditary.
  • Allergies can appear at any age, and they can also disappear for some time and return.
  • Although most cases of allergies present mild symptoms, sometimes an allergy can be life-threatening, causing an extreme immune reaction known as anaphylaxis which puts the person into shock and can significantly impair their breathing.  This type of allergic reaction requires immediate medical attention even if the patient receives epinephrine and feels better.
  • Knowing which allergy triggers to avoid is crucial.

Common Allergy and Asthma Triggers to Avoid

  • Tobacco smoke: if you suffer from allergies or asthma, you should avoid smoking and secondhand smoke
  • Outdoor air pollution: pollution originating from factories, cars, and burning wood can trigger respiratory allergies and asthma attacks. Try to avoid places with high pollution levels or plan your activities when air pollution levels are lower.
  • Dust mites: These microscopic bugs that live in beds and couches are big triggers. Try to use allergen-proof mattress and pillowcase covers, wash your bedding weekly, and vacuum carpets, rugs, sofas, regularly
  • Allergens in pet fur: unfortunately, many people are allergic to the allergens of their furry pets. If you know you are allergic, try finding an allergy-friendly breed, bathe and groom them regularly, and use an air cleaner with a HEPA filter.
  • Mold: check your house for mold, which is common in damp areas. Eliminate it to help control your attacks.
  • Disinfectants and cleaning products: avoid overuse of cleaning products. Choose products with a mild scent, and if possible, avoid aerosol presentations. Do not mix disinfectant products. Choose products that are less likely to trigger your allergies or asthma, such as products with hydrogen peroxide (no more than 3%) or ethanol (ethyl alcohol). Avoid using bleach.
  • Dust: avoid disturbing dust but keep surfaces at your home and work as free from it as possible.
  • Food allergies:  make sure to inform the people who handle your food about any food allergies you have.

When to Go to the ER

A severe allergy or an asthma crisis requires immediate medical attention. Go to the nearest Altus Emergency Center immediately if you or someone you know experiences:

  • Shortness of breath or difficulty speaking
  • Very rapid breathing, coughing, or wheezing
  • Chest pain
  • Bluish color in the face, lips, or nails
  • Fainting
  • Vomiting
  • Swelling of the mouth, tongue, or throat.

Altus Emergency Centers are open 24/7 in their four locations: Baytown, Lake Jackson, Lumberton, Waxahachie. Severe allergic reactions and asthma attacks are time-sensitive emergencies; our minimal wait times and highly qualified medical professionals can help save lives.

severe spring allergy symptoms

Altus Emergency Centers Texas

is Here for You 24/7

Altus Emergency Centers are all open 24/7/365, with no lines. Our facilities are well-equipped to diagnose and treat everything from major to minor adult and pediatric emergencies.  We are honored to be a part of our beautiful Texas communities and work hard each day to help see them grow and prosper!

24 Hour ER Services – Best in Texas

Looking for the best quality 24 hour ER services?

We offer the best freestanding 24 hour ER services in Texas. We have top of the line medical technology and highly experienced ER healthcare experts prepped and ready to come to your aid in Baytown, Lake Jackson, Lumberton, and Waxahachie.

Each ER team is highly efficient in treating chest and abdominal pains, pediatric emergencies, flu symptoms, sports injuries, bone breaks, as well as all other major and minor injuries. All services are available 24/7, including weekends and holidays with little to no wait times.  After You Receive Quality ER Care, our Patient Advocate will help ensure Hassle-Free Billing.

Our Promise is to Always Help Find the Best Solutions in Benefit of our Patients from the time you walk-in without having to wait in line and when you are personally assisted with the billing process.  We are here to help you get well and stay well!

Control Asthma & Live a Better Life!

Bring Asthma Under Control

We are in peak season for asthma sufferers, so we thought this was the perfect time to educate and raise awareness of this chronic and potentially life-threatening illness which affects over 1.5 million Texans according to the CDC.

The sad reality is there is no cure for asthma, but, not everything is bad news, people can lead normal happy lives and many deaths are preventable with proper treatment and care. Read on for tips on how to control asthma and improve your quality of life.

How to Control Asthma

What is Asthma? 

Asthma is a chronic lung disease that causes episodes of wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness, and nighttime or early morning coughing. Asthma is a chronic illness, it means you always have it, however, there are asthma attack triggers, that can cause the symptoms to worsen.  Getting to know the triggers is the first step to control asthma whether it’s for you or a loved one.

 

What Causes an Asthma Attack?

The exact cause of the illness has not been discovered yet, but, it is known that the airways of people who have asthma are very sensitive and tend to overreact to substances you are allergic to or find irritating.

When this happens, the airways get swollen and narrower making it hard to breathe, when the symptoms become worse than usual, this is known as an asthma attack. In severe cases, the airways can close so much that vital organs don’t get enough oxygen, and this is when the disease can be life-threatening.

The good thing is you can control your asthma by knowing the warning signs of an asthma attack, staying away from known triggers, and following your doctor’s advice.

How to Control Asthma

Common Asthma Triggers

People react to different allergens, but in general, these are the most common asthma triggers:

  • – Air Pollution: Air quality has a significant impact on the quality of life of people with asthma, industrial and automobile emissions are known triggers.
  • – Mold: Inhaling or breathing in mold can cause an asthma attack, and certain types of mold can cause other respiratory problems.
  • – Tobacco Smoke: Being around people who smoke can cause an asthma attack from breathing second-hand smoke.
  • – Cockroach Allergen: We know, gross! But it has been proven that cockroaches and their droppings are responsible for asthma attacks in many instances.
  • – Dust Mites: Dust mites are present in almost every home, but they don’t present a danger to all, however, if you or a loved one suffers from asthma you should know that dust mites can trigger an attack.
How to Control Asthma

Ways to Control Asthma

We don’t lose hope that someday scientists will find a cure for asthma, but until then the best way to improve your quality of life is by keeping it under control.

 

#1 Learn which Medicines Work Best

This is a trial and error method that you and your doctor need to work together on, there are different types of asthma medications and for some patients, one medication will be enough to control their symptoms, others might need a combination of medications.

 

#2 Take Your Asthma Controller Medicines as Prescribed

Controller medicines are those designed to make your airways less sensitive to asthma triggers, they help prevent asthma attacks or make them less severe when they do occur. The one drawback of these medications is that it may take 2-3 weeks for them to start working, so you need to take them every day even if you are feeling fine.

 

#3 Always Have a Rescue Inhaler with You

Having these small, easy to use portable devices are designed to help you breathe better quickly. For this reason, you should always carry one with you in case you experience an asthma episode.

How to Control Asthma

#4 Learn to Recognize Your Early Warning Signs

If there is one good thing about this illness, its that it gives you clues as to when you are about to get an attack, these symptoms include:

  • – A Headache
  • – Itchy Throat
  • – Itchy Eyes
  • – A Runny Nose
  • – Chest Tightness
  • – Anxiety

#5 Know Your Triggers

Preventing your triggers is vital to control asthma.  Speak to your doctor to help you recognize your asthma triggers, once you know what can cause an asthma attack, you can work towards staying clear of these.

 

#6 Create an Asthma Action Plan

You should never ignore your asthma symptoms; many deaths are caused by patients who think their symptoms are not severe enough to go to the ER for treatment.

Our last recommendation to control asthma is to create an asthma action plan with your doctor.  This plan should help you determine when to use your rescue inhaler, when to call your doctor and when to come in to visit one of our Altus Emergency centers for treatment.

How to Control Asthma

#7 Know Where to Go In the Event of an Emergency

Even if you do everything to control your asthma symptoms, a severe attack can still happen at any time, for this reason, all of Altus Emergency Centers are open 24/7 and our staff is available to treat your symptoms and get you breathing normally again.

If you are ever in need of emergency care, you will not have to wait in line at Altus Emergency Centers.  All of our ERs are fully equipped and open 24/7.

Altus Emergency Centers Texas is Here for You 24/7

altus emergency 24 hr ER Texas

Altus Emergency Centers are all open 24/7/365, with no lines. Our facilities are well-equipped to diagnose and treat everything from major to minor adult and pediatric emergencies.  We are honored to be a part of our beautiful Texas communities and work hard each day to help see them grow and prosper!

24 Hour ER Services – Best in Texas

Looking for the best quality 24 hour ER services?

We offer the best freestanding 24 hour ER services in Texas. We have top of the line medical technology and highly experienced ER healthcare experts prepped and ready to come to your aid in Baytown, Lake Jackson, Lufkin, Lumberton, and Waxahachie.

Each ER team is highly efficient in treating chest and abdominal pains, pediatric emergencies, flu symptoms, sports injuries, bone breaks, as well as all other major and minor injuries. All services are available 24/7, including weekends and holidays with little to no wait times.

Malignant Hypertension – When to Go to the ER

Malignant Hypertension – When to Go to the ER

It’s Malignant Hypertension Awareness & Training Month. At Altus Emergency Centers, we want to take this opportunity to educate our communities of this potentially fatal condition.

What is Malignant Hypertension?

In simple terms, malignant hypertension is extremely high blood pressure (180/120 or higher) that comes suddenly. It can cause severe damage to internal organs such as the kidneys, blood vessels, and heart. Malignant hypertension is also known as a hypertension crisis or emergency.

Because of the high risk for organ damage, malignant hypertension is considered a medical emergency. Like with heart attacks and stroke, the sooner you get to the ER and receive treatment, the better the chances of survival.

What Are the Causes of Hypertension Emergency?

There are many contributing factors to a hypertension emergency, but some groups have a higher risk factor.

Malignant hypertension typically affects people who have a history of chronic high blood pressure. It can happen when a hypertensive patient discontinues their medication or misses a dose.

Other risk groups include smokers and African American males.

Additionally, some medical conditions are associated with an increased risk for hypertensive emergencies, these include:

 

  • Kidney failure or kidney disorders
  • A narrowing of the aorta
  • Use of illegal drugs such as cocaine and amphetamines
  • The use of oral contraceptives
  • Pregnancy-induced high blood pressure (toxemia) or preeclampsia
  • Spinal cord injuries that lead parts of the nervous system to become overactive
  • Certain autoimmune diseases, including systemic lupus erythematosus

Warning Signs of Malignant Hypertension

One of the most significant challenges with high blood pressure is that most patients don’t experience any symptoms. Because of this, many patients don’t know they are sick until the disease has progressed.

Luckily, malignant hypertension does have distinct warning signs that can let someone know they are in trouble.

The most common symptoms of a hypertension emergency include:

 

  • Chest pain
  • Sudden vision problems, including blurred vision
  • Shortness of breath
  • Changes in mental status, including confusion, anxiety, inability to concentrate, and sleeplessness
  • Weakness or numbness in the arms, face, or legs
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Headache
  • Seizure
  • Not urinating enough
chest pain Medicare Patients Visit the ER

Complications of Malignant Hypertension

Malignant hypertension is a severe condition that can be life-threatening. As such, hypertension crises are time-sensitive emergencies. The longer the situation goes untreated, the more likely it becomes for the patient to suffer long-term organ damage or even death.

A severe hypertension crisis can lead to any of these dire complications:

 

  • Brain damage caused by insufficient blood reaching the brain, stroke, or seizures
  • Kidney failure
  • Heart damage, including angina, heart attack, and arrhythmia
  • Pulmonary edema (fluid in the lungs)
  • Vision damage, including permanent blindness

How to Prevent Hypertension Emergencies

Hypertension emergencies can happen to anyone, including children. However, there are ways to prevent it.

  • Regularly monitor your blood pressure, especially if you know you have high blood pressure
  • Take your medication as prescribed by your doctor
  • Quit smoking
  • Eat a healthy diet that is low in salt and saturated fats
  • Maintain a healthy weight

When to Go to The ER

It’s vital for anyone who experiences any of the above symptoms to seek immediate emergency medical attention. Individuals with a history of high blood pressure need to be especially vigilant.

If you suspect you may be having a malignant hypertension episode, don’t delay call 911 or have someone drive you to the nearest Altus Emergency Center. Acting fast could save your life!

Altus Emergency Centers Texas is Here for You 24/7

Altus ER. We-Have-Dedicated-Specialists

Altus Emergency Centers are all open 24/7/365, with no lines. Our facilities are well-equipped to diagnose and treat everything from major to minor adult and pediatric emergencies.  We are honored to be a part of our beautiful Texas communities and work hard each day to help see them grow and prosper!

24 Hour ER Services – Best in Texas

Looking for the best quality 24 hour ER services?

We offer the best 24 hour ER services in Texas. We have top of the line medical technology and highly experienced ER healthcare experts prepped and ready to come to your aid in Baytown, Lake Jackson, Lumberton, and Waxahachie.

Each ER team is highly efficient in treating chest and abdominal pains, pediatric emergencies, flu symptoms, sports injuries, bone breaks, as well as all other major and minor injuries. All services are available 24/7, including weekends and holidays with little to no wait times.

Head Injury Symptoms to go to the ER

Is My Head Injury a Concussion, a TBI?

Should I go to the ER?

Head injuries can range from mild to life-threatening.  A type of head injury, traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are of great concern among the medical community, as numbers suggest these types of injuries contribute to about 30% of all injury deaths.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there some 2.8 million TBI-related emergency room visits per day, and 153 people in the United States die every day from injuries that include traumatic brain injuries.

Given how big this problem is, we should ask ourselves when does a head injury require emergency medical attention, and can these be treated at an urgent care center or should we go to the ER?

Let’s start with understanding what a Traumatic Brain Injury is.

Head-injury-ER Texas

What Is a TBI and What Causes It?

As may have guessed, a traumatic brain injury involves injuries to our head, it can be caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head and it is strong enough to create a disruption to the brain’s normal functioning. Thankfully, not all bumps to the head result in a TBI, and those don’t require you visit the emergency room.

Traumatic Brain Injuries range from “mild” where there is a brief change of mental status or consciousness to severe where patients are unconscious for an extended period or present symptoms like memory loss. Mild TBI’s are known as concussions, and they are the most common type of brain injury.

This does not mean that concussions can be ignored, any type of brain injury regardless of how harmless it may seem requires immediate medical attention.

Can Traumatic Brain Injuries Be Treated at an Urgent Care Center?

The answer is no, and here is why. The severity of a traumatic brain injury is difficult if not impossible to diagnose without the use of CT Scans, and X-rays, the blow might have caused a small skull fracture that is not visible, or there might be swelling around the brain.

Since urgent care centers do not have direct access to the necessary diagnostic equipment, they cannot treat these types of injuries. If you suspect you may have a concussion or other type of brain injury and you visit an urgent care center, they will refer you to the emergency room, and you will have to pay for both consultations.

If you believe you or a loved one has sustained any type of brain injury, you need to come to the nearest Altus Emergency Center as soon as possible. Getting diagnosed and treated for a brain injury promptly can significantly reduce any permanent or long-lasting effects from the injury.

Head-injury-ER Texas

When Should You Visit Altus Emergency for a Head Injury?

As we mentioned, not all head bumps will require you pay us a visit, however, if you receive a blow to the head either from playing sports, falling, or being in a car crash, and experience any of the following symptoms, you need to come in for a medical evaluation as soon as possible:

  •    You lost consciousness at the time of the injury
  •    You feel confused or disoriented after the injury
  •    You experience a headache along with nausea or vomiting

You should monitor anyone who has hit their head and bring them in for evaluation if you notice any of these symptoms:

  •    Unusual behavior or confusion
  •    Their symptoms seem to progress or worsen
  •    They seem weak, complain of numbness or have trouble speaking (slurred speech)
  •    They have difficulty with their eye movements
  •    Their headache won’t go away or becomes more severe
  •    Seizure
  •    They have difficulty waking up or staying alert
  •    There is discharged of clear fluid or blood from their nose or ears

 

As you can see, all brain injuries are dangerous as they can quickly develop complications. For this reason, if you suspect that you or someone you know has a traumatic brain injury, your best bet is to visit the nearest Altus Emergency Center for a proper diagnosis and fast treatment.

Concussion Emergency

Know Where to Go In the Event of an Emergency

If you are ever in need of quality emergency care, you will not have to wait in line at Altus Emergency Centers. All of our ERs are fully equipped and open 24/7.

Altus Emergency Centers Texas is Here for You 24/7

altus emergency 24 hr ER Texas

Altus Emergency Centers are all open 24/7/365, with no lines. Our facilities are well-equipped to diagnose and treat everything from major to minor adult and pediatric emergencies.  We are honored to be a part of our beautiful Texas communities and work hard each day to help see them grow and prosper!

24 Hour ER Services – Best in Texas

Looking for the best quality 24 hour ER services?

We offer the best freestanding 24 hour ER services in Texas. We have top of the line medical technology and highly experienced ER healthcare experts prepped and ready to come to your aid in Baytown, Lake Jackson, Lumberton, and Waxahachie.

Each ER team is highly efficient in treating chest and abdominal pains, pediatric emergencies, flu symptoms, sports injuries, bone breaks, as well as all other major and minor injuries. All services are available 24/7, including weekends and holidays with little to no wait times.

Chest XRAY EKG CT Warning Signs You Need to Get One

Warning Signs You Need to Get a Chest XRAY, EKG, or CT

Did you know your heart beats 115,200 times a day on average? That means every year; your heart beats more than 42 million times. That’s a lot of work!

The heart is a complex system of valves, ventricles, arteries, and veins responsible for pumping oxygen and nutrient-rich blood around the body and eliminating cellular waste.

As such, there is a lot that can go wrong. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in America, with one person dying every 36 seconds.

Preventing cardiovascular disease is possible; however, you might not know you are in danger because not all heart conditions cause symptoms. These situations can lead to emergencies where you require immediate medical attention.

Warning Signs of Heart Attack, Stroke, and Cardiac Arrest

Cardiovascular episodes such as heart attack, stroke, and cardiac arrest are life and death emergencies, where every second counts.

If you notice any of these symptoms in yourself or someone else, please call 911 immediately. It’s important to know that all these signs don’t need to occur. If you notice one or more, get help fast!

There are several medications and procedures that can help stop a heart attack or stroke in progress when administered shortly after the first symptoms. These life-saving drugs can significantly reduce long-term disabilities and increase the chances of survival. Again, if you notice any of these symptoms, don’t delay. Get help right away!

Warning Signs of a Heart Attack

  • Discomfort, pressure, or pain in the center of your chest that lasts for more than a few minutes or comes and goes
  • Discomfort or unexplained pain in other areas of your upper body
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Nausea
  • Cold sweat
  • Lightheadedness

Warning Signs of a Stroke

  • Drooping on one side of your face
  • Sudden numbness or weakness in one arm, leg, or face
  • Trouble talking, slurred speech, unable to speak
  • Sudden confusion, difficulty walking, loss of balance, or lack of coordination
  • Sudden severe headache

Warning Signs of Cardiac Arrest

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Unresponsiveness
  • No normal breathing

Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.

Diagnostic Tests

Here are some ways our doctors can scope out your heart and get you the right treatment fast!

 

X-Ray

An X-Ray is a standard medical scan that takes pictures of your organs and other structures inside your chest. The test is safe, quick, and painless, and it allows our doctors to see if you have an enlarged heart or fluid buildup around your heart and lungs.

Please make sure to let our doctors if you have a pacemaker, a metal implant, or if you are pregnant or could be pregnant before getting an x-ray.

 

Electrocardiogram (EKG)

An EKG (short for electrocardiogram) is a common and painless test used to record the heart’s electrical signals.

Irregular heart rhythms, heart attacks, and the presence of thickened heart muscles will show up as changes on the EKG. This test allows our physicians to detect any heart problems quickly and to monitor your heart’s health.

 

CT Scan

A Computed Tomography scan (CT Scan) is a sophisticated imaging method that uses information from multiple X-rays to create detailed 3D pictures of your heart and blood vessels.

 

There are several applications of this diagnostic test:

Coronary Calcium Scan: Serves to determine if there is a calcium buildup in your heart arteries

CT Angiography: The test allows our doctors to evaluate if there is a narrowing or a blockage in the heart arteries

 

Doctors may recommend a CT angiography if you have any of the following:

  • Unexplained chest pain
  • Unusually high blood pressure
  • Symptoms that suggest you may have a tear in a major artery

 

Sometimes the CT scan will also include the aorta or pulmonary arteries to determine if there are any problems with those structures causing your symptoms.

 

 

At Altus Emergency Centers, we have the most advanced cardiovascular diagnostic technology that allows us to determine if you are suffering from a life-threatening condition quickly. Additionally, all our locations also have on-site clinical laboratories that provide valuable information for our doctors to diagnose and treat your condition.

There’s No Time to Wait in an Emergency!

WHEN THERE’S NO TIME TO WASTE, TRY OUR ONLINE CHECK-IN

Check-In Online

Altus Emergency Centers Texas

is Here for You 24/7

Altus Emergency Centers are all open 24/7/365, with no lines. Our facilities are well-equipped to diagnose and treat everything from major to minor adult and pediatric emergencies. We are honored to be a part of our beautiful Texas communities and work hard each day to help see them grow and prosper!

24 Hour ER Services – Best in Texas

Looking for the best quality 24 hour ER services?

We offer the best freestanding 24 hour ER services in Texas. We have top of the line medical technology and highly experienced ER healthcare experts prepped and ready to come to your aid in Baytown, Lake Jackson, Lumberton, and Waxahachie.

Each ER team is highly efficient in treating chest and abdominal pains, pediatric emergencies, flu symptoms, sports injuries, bone breaks, and fractures, as well as all other major and minor injuries. All services are available 24/7, including weekends and holidays with little to no wait times. After You Receive Quality ER Care, our Patient Advocate will help ensure Hassle-Free Billing.

Our Promise is to Always Help Find the Best Solutions in Benefit of our Patients from the time you walk-in without having to wait in line and when you are personally assisted with the billing process. We are here to help you get well and stay well!

Heart Disease in Texas

Heart Disease in Texas

February Is American Heart Month

This year marks the 57th consecutive year in which we celebrate American Heart Month. As part of the medical community, we are raising our raising awareness to help keep our friends and families free from heart disease.

While medical advances continue to improve our quality of life, cardiovascular disease is still the number one killer of Americans.

The American Heart Association estimates that heart disease and stroke kill close to 2300 people a day. More alarming perhaps is that younger people are falling victim to cardiovascular disease than ever before.

Heart Disease in Texas

These are the most updated statistics in Texas in 2021.  Statistics shared by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that heart disease was the leading cause of death in Texas in 2017, while stroke took third place.

According to the 2017 Texas Heart Disease and Stroke Fact Sheet:

What Are Your Risk Factors?

We usually associate heart disease with older people; however, many of the medical conditions and lifestyle behaviors associated with an increased risk of heart disease are appearing at a younger age.

These are some of the most common risk factors for cardiovascular disease:

 

High Blood Pressure

Hypertension is becoming more frequent in people in their 40’s and 50’s, but it can affect anyone at any age.

The real danger is that many of us don’t know we have high blood pressure and are therefore not doing anything to control it.

Uncontrolled high blood pressure is one of the most significant risk factors for heart disease and stroke.

 

High Cholesterol

While it’s true, our bodies need cholesterol to build healthy cells, too much of it can increase our risk of heart disease.

Cholesterol has a waxy consistency and when we have high levels of it, we can develop fatty deposits in our blood vessels.

These deposits adhere to the walls of our arteries; over time, the buildup slows or prevents blood flow from reaching the heart muscle.

Sometimes these deposits break free and cause a cloth that can lead to a heart attack or stroke.

Smoking

Smoking is known to damage blood vessels and cause heart disease. If you are one of the 37 million Americans that are smokers, speak to your doctor to find out how you can quit.

If you are not a smoker, don’t start!

 

Chronic Disease

Certain chronic conditions are linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, including diabetes, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and psoriasis.

The high blood sugar levels associated with diabetes can damage blood vessels and the nerves that help control the heart muscle.

The chronic inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis and other conditions causes damage to the blood vessels and arteries and can significantly increase the risk of a heart attack.

 

Obesity

Those extra pounds most of us carry around put additional stress on our hearts, which over time, can damage it.

Obesity has become a real health problem with more than 1 in 3 Americans and nearly 1 in 6 children under the age of 19 being obese.

Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.

Recognize When You Are Having a Heart Attack or Stroke

When it comes to cardiovascular episodes the faster you get medical attention the better the outcome. So, it’s essential to learn how to recognize a heart attack or stroke.

 

Signs of a Heart Attack

Should you experience any of the following symptoms, call 911 immediately and ask them to bring you the nearest Altus Emergency Center or other nearby ER.

  • Pain, uncomfortable pressure, sense of fullness or tightness in the center of your chest that lasts more than a few minutes or comes and goes
  • Unusual discomfort or pain in one or both arms, stomach, neck, jaw or back
  • Unexplained shortness of breath with or without chest pain
  • Suddenly breaking out in cold sweat, lightheadedness, or nausea

The most common sign of heart attack in both men and women is chest pain or discomfort. Women are more likely to experience some of the symptoms, including especially shortness of breath, back and jaw pain, as well as nausea.

 

Signs of a Stroke

Both men and women share these stroke symptoms:

  • Face drooping
  • Arm weakness
  • Slurred speech
  • Vision problems
  • Trouble walking and other coordination problems
  • Unexplained severe headache

 

Additionally, women who are suffering from a stroke may experience the following:

  • General weakness
  • Disorientation, confusion, and memory problems
  • Fatigue

Taking control of your heart health needs to be a priority, changes in lifestyle and diet can help protect our heart from illness.

However, even if we are healthy, we can still experience a cardiovascular episode, that is why at Altus Emergency Centers, we guarantee minimal wait times, and quality emergency medical care 24/7.

There’s No Time to Wait in an Emergency!

WHEN THERE’S NO TIME TO WASTE, TRY OUR ONLINE CHECK-IN

Check-In Online

Altus Emergency Centers Texas

is Here for You 24/7

Altus Emergency Centers are all open 24/7/365, with no lines. Our facilities are well-equipped to diagnose and treat everything from major to minor adult and pediatric emergencies. We are honored to be a part of our beautiful Texas communities and work hard each day to help see them grow and prosper!

24 Hour ER Services – Best in Texas

Looking for the best quality 24 hour ER services?

We offer the best freestanding 24 hour ER services in Texas. We have top of the line medical technology and highly experienced ER healthcare experts prepped and ready to come to your aid in Baytown, Lake Jackson, Lumberton, and Waxahachie.

Each ER team is highly efficient in treating chest and abdominal pains, pediatric emergencies, flu symptoms, sports injuries, bone breaks, and fractures, as well as all other major and minor injuries. All services are available 24/7, including weekends and holidays with little to no wait times. After You Receive Quality ER Care, our Patient Advocate will help ensure Hassle-Free Billing.

Our Promise is to Always Help Find the Best Solutions in Benefit of our Patients from the time you walk-in without having to wait in line and when you are personally assisted with the billing process. We are here to help you get well and stay well!

Impaired Driving Dangers and Prevention

Impaired Driving Dangers and Prevention

Impaired driving dangers are a serious reality that take precious lives each year.  They are time-sensitive emergencies that can be prevented.  Lives can be saved.  Let’s get to know about this topic and please help us create awareness to help save lives.  In an average year, 30 million Americans get behind the wheel of a car while drunk, while an estimated 10 million drive while under the influence of an illicit drug.

This year has been anything but average. This year more of us have turned to alcohol to help us cope with the pandemic’s challenges.

This surge in alcohol consumption is concerning because it increases the number of fatal accidents, especially during the Holiday Season.

The Real Cost of Impaired Driving in America

Aside from the $44 billion annual costs of alcohol-related crashes, the most significant loss is human lives.

An estimated 29 Americans die in motor vehicle crashes involving an impaired driver every day. This translates to one death every 50 minutes.  Due to these alarming statistics, we are bringing you the Impaired Driving Dangers and Prevention.  Together, we can prevent traffic accidents.

Never forget that under Texas Law, Insurance Companies Must Cover ER Trips Involving Traffic Accidents.

Impaired driving does not necessarily mean drunk driving; it also involves distracted driving and drugged driving. In fact, drugs, both legal and illegal, are involved in about 16% of car crashes.

Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.

Dangers of Impaired Driving

Get to know about the impaired driving dangers to help prevent a tragedy.  Any amount of alcohol or drugs can significantly impact our ability to drive. Here are several ways in which drugs and alcohol can influence our driving capabilities:

Slow Reaction Time

When we are under the influence or otherwise distracted while driving, our reaction time decreases. A slower response time makes it harder to avoid obstacles such as pedestrians crossing a street and breaking on time to avoid crashing into another car.

Lack of Coordination

Drinking alcohol or taking drugs affects our motor skills, specifically our eye, hand, and foot coordination. These motor skills are vital when driving. Without these crucial coordination skills, we may not be able to avoid harmful situations.

Reduced Concentration

Driving requires concentration. Anything that causes us to become distracted while driving, including alcohol and drug consumption, can significantly increase our risk of being involved in a serious car crash.

Slow Reaction Time

When we are under the influence or otherwise distracted while driving, our reaction time decreases. A slower response time makes it harder to avoid obstacles such as pedestrians crossing a street and breaking on time to avoid crashing into another car.

Lack of Coordination

Drinking alcohol or taking drugs affects our motor skills, specifically our eye, hand, and foot coordination. These motor skills are vital when driving. Without these crucial coordination skills, we may not be able to avoid harmful situations.

Reduced Concentration

Driving requires concentration. Anything that causes us to become distracted while driving, including alcohol and drug consumption, can significantly increase our risk of being involved in a serious car crash.

Decreased Vision

Alcohol impairs our vision. After a few drinks, you may notice your vision becomes a little blurred. Impaired vision affects our ability to judge the distance between our car and other vehicles or obstacles on the road.

Most Common Impaired Driving Injuries

Thankfully, not all impaired driving-related accidents are fatal; however, they can still cause severe injuries, including:

Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal cord injuries can result in partial or complete paralysis. Recovery depends on many factors, such as the extent of the damage and how long it takes a patient to receive treatment. Unfortunately, for many patients, the outcome is permanent.

Traumatic Brain Injuries

Traumatic brain injury is widespread among crash victims. Severe trauma to the brain can have devastating effects on a person. Traumatic brain injuries can cause changes in a person’s memory, their ability to reason, and their emotional behavior. Additionally, they can result in loss of vision, hearing, and taste,

Severe traumatic brain injuries can result in life-long disabilities.

Internal Injuries

The force of impact can cause internal injuries, including organ damage that can be life-threatening and require immediate emergency medical care.

Organs such as the lungs, kidneys, liver, and spleen are the most common internal organs injured during a car crash.

Orthopedic Injuries

Broken bones are common injuries associated with impaired driving-related incidents. Injury severity varies; some patients will only require a cast while others may lose a limb.

Soft Tissue Injuries

The impact during a crash can cause damage to ligaments, tendons, and muscles. When the injury occurs in a victim’s neck, back, or shoulder, it can limit their ability to move and may result in long-term chronic pain.

Burns

Suppose the crash is severe enough to cause one or more of the vehicles to catch fire. In that case, victims may suffer severe burns that may result in permanent disfigurement and scarring. Burn victims also have an increased risk of infection while healing.

Prevention

The only way to prevent an impaired driving-related accident is not to drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

If you plan to drink, make arrangements ahead of time. Either select a designated driver or choose to use a ride-sharing service instead of driving yourself.

Getting Prompt Medical Attention Can Help Save A Life

According to the CDC for every person killed in a road accident,

“8 were hospitalized, and 100 were treated and released from the Emergency Room.”

Anyone who is involved in a severe motor vehicle accident should be taken to the nearest Emergency Room for evaluation, given that some injuries can only be diagnosed with advanced imagining technology.

During a crash, victims might have suffered internal injuries or head trauma that if not treated promptly can lead to long-term disabilities or even death.

Some injuries are more time-sensitive than others, in these cases it is better to transfer the patient to a Free-Standing ER facility such as any of the Altus Emergency Centers where they can be treated by a licensed emergency physician right away, rather than transport them to a Hospital ER where their treatment might be delayed due to overcrowding issues.

It’s important to remember that insurance companies are obligated to offer emergency room coverage in their policies. If you are involved in a car accident and need to go to the emergency room, your insurance policy will cover your visit.

Altus Emergency Centers wishes everyone a Happy and Safe New Year. Stay home if you can, and please don’t drink and drive.

As always, we remain open during the New Year Celebration to help with any medical emergencies.

There’s No Time to Wait in an Emergency!

WHEN THERE’S NO TIME TO WASTE, TRY OUR ONLINE CHECK-IN

Check-In Online

Altus Emergency Centers Texas

is Here for You 24/7

Altus Emergency Centers are all open 24/7/365, with no lines. Our facilities are well-equipped to diagnose and treat everything from major to minor adult and pediatric emergencies. We are honored to be a part of our beautiful Texas communities and work hard each day to help see them grow and prosper!

24 Hour ER Services – Best in Texas

Looking for the best quality 24 hour ER services?

We offer the best freestanding 24 hour ER services in Texas. We have top of the line medical technology and highly experienced ER healthcare experts prepped and ready to come to your aid in Baytown, Lake Jackson, Lumberton, and Waxahachie.

Each ER team is highly efficient in treating chest and abdominal pains, pediatric emergencies, flu symptoms, sports injuries, bone breaks, and fractures, as well as all other major and minor injuries. All services are available 24/7, including weekends and holidays with little to no wait times. After You Receive Quality ER Care, our Patient Advocate will help ensure Hassle-Free Billing.

Our Promise is to Always Help Find the Best Solutions in Benefit of our Patients from the time you walk-in without having to wait in line and when you are personally assisted with the billing process. We are here to help you get well and stay well!

Long ER Wait Times Affect Our Quality of Life

Long ER Wait Times Affect Our Quality of Life

Quality of life is a great concern for us all, especially during the first few months of the year.  We are encouraged to evaluate the important things that make up our lives, like the state of our relationships, our finances, and our health.  As they say, “time is money”, and long ER wait times are more than just a huge waste of time.  They potentially waste life.

While most of us promise to take better care of ourselves every new year, few of us follow through. But, even if we schedule routine doctor appointments and tests, we are all vulnerable to suffer an accident or acute illness that requires emergency care.  For this reason, we will explore the impact of long wait times on the quality of life.

ER Wait Times

The truth is nobody likes to wait. We feel frustrated when our food is delayed at the restaurant. We get impatient at the stop sign when the car in front of us takes a little more time than necessary to start moving.

But, during a medical emergency, waiting can be excruciating, painful, and scary. In all honesty, no medical professional takes pleasure in making their patients wait unnecessarily. However, the reality is patients who visit overcrowded hospital ER’s need to be ready to wait.

The most recent data published by ProPublica, the average time in hours a patient spends in the ER before being sent home, is 2:05 hours.

The wait times are affected by the severity of the injury or symptoms. Patients with severe trauma or those believed to be suffering from a heart attack or stroke will always get priority.

Patients whose symptoms appear non-life-threatening will have to wait longer. The problem, of course, is that since nurses and doctors at hospital ER’s are so busy, many patients who are potentially severely injured fall through the cracks.

The number of patients who are seen by a doctor within 15 minutes of arrival to the ER is roughly 27%. However, the average patient waits 24 minutes before seeing a physician, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner.

Another concern is that the number of patients who leave the ER without getting the medical help they need has almost doubled in recent years.

All this waiting can be harmful to our quality of life. Not receiving prompt medical attention can result in more severe symptoms, more extended healing periods, permanent disability or even death.

Long ER Wait Times

Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.

How Altus Emergency Centers Helps Improve Your Quality of Life

Thanks to our unique business model, we can reduce the risk of our ER ever being overcrowded. Our staffing model ensures there are always enough medical professionals, including physicians, assistants, and nurse practitioners who can take care of our patients.

When you visit one of our facilities, on average, you will be seen by a registered nurse within 6 minutes.  If your injury or symptoms are non-critical, the doctor will be at your side within 15 minutes after arrival. However, doctors will see critically ill patients on arrival. We recommend you use our online check-in form while on the way to our facility so our staff can be ready to receive you at the door.

And, thanks to our onsite laboratory and diagnostic imaging, it usually takes our doctors only 79 minutes to reach a diagnosis and begin treatment.

At Altus Emergency Centers, our patients get to go home within 90 minutes after arrival compared to more than 2 hours at overcrowded hospital ER’s.

Quality of life matters to us; we know how stressful a visit to our ER can be. We work hard to provide our customers with the best emergency care, fast, and at the best rates.

While it’s true, you cannot plan for an emergency; you now know where to go!

There’s No Time to Wait in an Emergency!

WHEN THERE’S NO TIME TO WASTE, TRY OUR ONLINE CHECK-IN

Check-In Online

Altus Emergency Centers Texas

is Here for You 24/7

Altus Emergency Centers are all open 24/7/365, with no lines. Our facilities are well-equipped to diagnose and treat everything from major to minor adult and pediatric emergencies. We are honored to be a part of our beautiful Texas communities and work hard each day to help see them grow and prosper!

24 Hour ER Services – Best in Texas

Looking for the best quality 24 hour ER services?

We offer the best freestanding 24 hour ER services in Texas. We have top of the line medical technology and highly experienced ER healthcare experts prepped and ready to come to your aid in Baytown, Lake Jackson, Lumberton, and Waxahachie.

Each ER team is highly efficient in treating chest and abdominal pains, pediatric emergencies, flu symptoms, sports injuries, bone breaks, and fractures, as well as all other major and minor injuries. All services are available 24/7, including weekends and holidays with little to no wait times. After You Receive Quality ER Care, our Patient Advocate will help ensure Hassle-Free Billing.

Our Promise is to Always Help Find the Best Solutions in Benefit of our Patients from the time you walk-in without having to wait in line and when you are personally assisted with the billing process. We are here to help you get well and stay well!

Could Your Abdominal Pain Be Appendicitis?

Could Your Abdominal Pain Be Appendicitis?

About 5 percent of Americans will experience abdominal pain caused by appendicitis sometime in their lives. 

Could you be one of them?

Read on to learn more about the causes, symptoms, and treatment of appendicitis. Knowing how to recognize the signs could save your life or that of a loved one.

What is Appendicitis?

As the name suggests, appendicitis is the painful swelling of the appendix, which is a small thin pouch about 2-4 inches long.

The appendix is attached to the large intestine. While nobody knows what its function is, we do know that removing it is not harmful.

 

How common is Appendicitis?

Appendicitis is the most common abdominal pain-related emergency that requires surgery. As we mentioned before, about 5 percent of Americans will develop it.

 

What Causes Appendicitis?

The appendix can swell for several reasons, including:

  • It becomes blocked, either by hardened stool, a foreign body, or cancer
  • As a response to any infection in the body
  • Intestinal worms
  • Traumatic injury

 

Who is at Risk?

Teens and young adults are the ones most likely to develop appendicitis. However, the condition may occur at any age.

What are the Symptoms of Appendicitis?

Typical signs and symptoms of appendicitis include:

  • Sudden abdominal pain that can begin at:  the lower right abdomen or around the navel and later shifts to the lower right abdomen
  • Abdominal pain that gets worse when you cough or walk
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Indigestion
  • Nausea and vomiting soon after abdominal pain begins
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fever of 99°F – 102°F
  • Inability to pass gas
  • Constipation or diarrhea

 

About 50 percent of patients will also experience one or more of the following symptoms:

 

  • Sudden pain anywhere in the upper or lower abdomen, back, or rectum
  • Difficulty urinating or painful urination
  • Severe cramps
  • Vomiting that starts before the abdominal pain begins
  • Either constipation or diarrhea with gas
stomach pain woman

How Serious Is Appendicitis, and What Happens if It Is Not Treated?

Acute appendicitis is a severe and sudden condition, with symptoms usually developing over one or two days. 

If you suspect your abdominal pain is due to appendicitis, you need to seek immediate medical attention. 

When left untreated, you run the risk of having your appendix burst a condition known as peritonitis.  Peritonitis is a severe life-threatening condition caused by bacteria from your ruptured appendix spilling into your abdominal cavity.

Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.

How is Appendicitis Diagnosed

Diagnosing appendicitis is not always easy because many of the symptoms are similar to those of other conditions. However, if you experience any severe abdominal pain, it’s a good idea to come to the nearest Altus Emergency Center, so we evaluate and diagnose you.

When you arrive at our center, if our doctors suspect you may have developed appendicitis, they will run some tests to diagnose you correctly. These tests include:

 

  • Abdominal Exam: During the examination, they will check for tenderness in the lower right part of your abdomen, as well as for any swelling or rigidity
  • Urine Test: This is done to rule out the possibility of your pain is caused by a urinary tract infection or kidney stones
  • Blood Test: A complete blood count test will tell our doctors if you have an infection
  • Abdominal Imaging Tests: These tests will help find any inflammation of your appendix. Our doctors may order one or more the following exams:
    • Abdominal Ultrasound
    • Abdominal X-Ray
    • Abdominal CT Scan

When to Seek Medical Help

Sudden severe abdominal pain is usually a red flag. If you suddenly develop any of the symptoms mentioned above, you should immediately head to the nearest Altus Emergency Center.

If we discover you do have appendicitis, we will stabilize you and arrange your transfer to the nearest qualified hospital for your surgery.

Thanks to our business alliances with ambulance services we can arrange transportation for you. In critical cases, we can also arrange to have you airlifted to the nearest hospital where a specialist will be waiting to prep you for surgery.

Timely diagnosis and treatment are crucial factors to avoid complications from appendicitis and to help save a patient’s life.

Altus Emergency Centers offers minimal wait times, an onsite laboratory, and the most advanced imaging technology. Therefore, we can diagnose patients faster than traditional hospital-based ER’s.

There’s No Time to Wait in an Emergency!

WHEN THERE’S NO TIME TO WASTE, TRY OUR ONLINE CHECK-IN

Check-In Online

Altus Emergency Centers Texas

is Here for You 24/7

Altus Emergency Centers are all open 24/7/365, with no lines. Our facilities are well-equipped to diagnose and treat everything from major to minor adult and pediatric emergencies. We are honored to be a part of our beautiful Texas communities and work hard each day to help see them grow and prosper!

24 Hour ER Services – Best in Texas

Looking for the best quality 24 hour ER services?

We offer the best freestanding 24 hour ER services in Texas. We have top of the line medical technology and highly experienced ER healthcare experts prepped and ready to come to your aid in Baytown, Lake Jackson, Lumberton, and Waxahachie.

Each ER team is highly efficient in treating chest and abdominal pains, pediatric emergencies, flu symptoms, sports injuries, bone breaks, and fractures, as well as all other major and minor injuries. All services are available 24/7, including weekends and holidays with little to no wait times. After You Receive Quality ER Care, our Patient Advocate will help ensure Hassle-Free Billing.

Our Promise is to Always Help Find the Best Solutions in Benefit of our Patients from the time you walk-in without having to wait in line and when you are personally assisted with the billing process. We are here to help you get well and stay well!

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