Factors That Affect Your Joint Health

man stretching hips on field

When most people thinking about joint pain, they imagine a man or woman well advanced in years complaining about arthritis and predicting changes in the weather, but really it can affect anyone at any age along with joint swelling, redness, and limited motion.

The earlier you learn to care for your joints, the more likely you’ll be able to keep up with your favorite activities in later years

Age

As you age, you’re likely to lose some bone density (especially for women after menopause). This means that your bones become more fragile and there’s a better chance of breaking something. The cartilage in your joints also becomes thinner and damage becomes more likely. If not dealt with, these things can easily lead to osteoarthritis and further pain and injuries.

To slow these down, keep exercising and building up muscle. Strong muscles will help to keep ligaments strong and prevent unnecessary damage to your joints. You should also be aware of your limits–you don’t want to push yourself too far and end up with an injury anyway.

Weight

Excessive weight can affect how your joints function and age. Because of the extra pounds, there’s more weight bearing down on your joints than they’re supposed to handle and the added stress will begin to wear them down.

But it doesn’t end there; your cartilage will then begin to wear down, too, and it can’t be regrown. If this keeps up, you’ll likely be headed for hip surgery to get a joint replacement. You can avoid these drastic measures by eating a healthy, controlled diet starting now and continuing to get the right amount of exercise that your body needs to stay fit.

Repetitive Stress or Injuries

You might already eat well and love to workout, but you might have suffered a few injuries that affect your joints. If you continue to put stress on these areas, your joints can also wear down, and more acute injuries may follow. Things like tendinitis, sprains, strains, and dislocations should not be ignored.

Prevent any further injuries by taking the proper precautions for whatever activities you participate in. Wear appropriate shoes and padding to protect yourself, and if you do have an injury, give it time to heal by easing back into physical activity.

Certain Foods

Did you know that certain foods can affect your joint health for better or for worse? Things we love to eat every day are some of the worst culprits. How often do you drink sugary soda or eat fried and processed foods? Be more aware of foods containing saturated fats like your favorite pizza as well as dairy, preservatives, and Omega-6 fatty acids found in corn and other oils.

Luckily, there are some foods you can start adding to your diet to promote joint health. Up the number of fruits and vegetables you’re eating. Opt for low-fat dairy products if you can’t go without. You can also add fish, garlic, and green tea to your current diet plan.

Your Medications

There are several medications out there that people use for their joint pain, especially those with arthritis, but you may be taking other medications that are causing inflammation rather than reducing it, causing you more pain.

Talk with your doctor about your medications. If you don’t think your current prescriptions are doing their job, he may change up what you’re taking. Because he’s familiar with your medication list already, he will be able to balance everything so it’s all working together. If you’re interested in natural joint supplements instead, talk them over with your doctor, too.

It’s Probably Not Cancer, But Just In Case…

lady without cancer laying on couch

When you’re feeling under the weather, but you have no idea what’s causing it, nine times out of ten you jump on the internet and go looking for solutions. Its probably not cancer, even though the symptoms may seem that way. And nine time out of ten, you come away from WebMD thinking you have cancer or some other serious illness that could end unpleasantly.

Before you go have a panic attack, take a look at these risk factors, signs, and symptoms associated with cancer so you can verify that you are not, in fact, dying.

Bodily Functions

Let’s get your immediate worries out of the way. Many physical symptoms of cancer contribute to the symptoms of other illnesses as well, so if you have one symptom out of the ten listed for a particular disease, it’s pretty safe to say that you haven’t contracted it.

Take a look through the following bodily signs to see how you measure up. Remember, some of these may also be the result of recent lifestyle changes or injuries and simply need to be followed up on by your physician.

  • A change in bowel and/or bladder behavior
  • Sudden weight changes
  • Unusual lumps or hardened areas
  • Unexplained and persistent pain, fever, or bleeding/discharge

Behavior & Habits

The next step to take to alleviate your worries about cancer is assessing your current behavior. Are you uncharacteristically tired and seem to have no energy even when you sleep long hours? Symptoms specific to brain cancer would be persistent headaches or issues with your sight and hearing. Your balance could also be off and you might have difficulty forming words.

Other affected aspects of your behavior could be difficulty processing information or remember things. Mood swings and extreme changes in personality may also be signs that something more is going on. If you’re about as weird as normal, chances are that you’re fine.

Now let’s review some of your current habits. While these may not be symptoms of an underlying illness, they can be indicators that put you at a higher risk for cancer. If you’re eating too much greasy junk food and drinking a lot of alcohol instead of getting enough fruits and vegetables, it’s time to make a change. If you spend most of your time sitting or lounging, make a plan to get moving and do more on your feet.

Exposure

So far, it looks like you’ll live, but there are a few more things to run through. If you spend excessive time in the sun or lying in a tanning bed, your at a higher risk for cancer. UV radiation exposure over time can add up and affect how cells are growing in your body.

Review the types of chemicals and infectious agents (like HIV, HPV, or Hepatitis B and C) that you’re exposed to routinely. These can increase your risk of cancer, especially if you haven’t been using the appropriate protective equipment when interacting with such substances or individuals who have them.

Health History

If you’ve made it to this section, then you’re home free. You should already have a good idea of what your health history is like and whether or not cancer risks run in your family. If you don’t, call up a family member to get the story.

Finally, check in regularly with your primary physician, even when you’re feeling fit and healthy, and keep up with your vaccinations. When you do have concerns about your health, don’t be afraid to bring them up at your appointment so your doctor can address them.

If your doctor suspects anything, they can refer you to a specialist like Teton Cancer Institute for further treatment. So stay consistent with tracking your health, and if you still have concerns (even if you’re pretty sure it’s not life-threatening anymore), make an extra appointment just to allay your worries.

Help Your Oral Hygiene Regime

girl smiling with hands above head

It’s common knowledge that brushing and flossing your teeth on the daily is good for your oral health. Maybe swish around some fluoride mouth rinse, avoid sugary foods and drinks, don’t bite your nails – these are all things that we know will contribute in a good way to our dental health.

 

But maybe there are some things that you weren’t aware would affect your dental health in a positive way. Take a gander at these tips and make sure you include them in your daily habits toward improving your oral (and overall) health.

Drink Water

 

Water is so healthy for you! And this is something most people know. It helps with just about every bodily function you can think of, so it should be no surprise that it assists in great oral health too.

Drink water often throughout your day, and try to drink a glass of water after every meal. This will help you wash some of the acidic and sticky foods from your teeth when you are away from your toothbrush.

Eat Fresh Produce

 

Apples, celery, carrots, and peppers are all great for your teeth. These fresh, fibrous, and crispy foods help scrub your teeth as your chew them. They are a great way to finish a meal. And because they are crispy and require more jaw work and more chewing, your mouth produces more saliva, which is great for helping to eliminate some of the bad bacteria that likes to stick to your teeth.

 

When you’re on the go, pack these easy snacks up with you to give your teeth and body some good vibes throughout your busy day.

Wash Your Tongue

 

Did you know that plaque can build up on your tongue too? So don’t neglect your tongue when you are cleaning your teeth. Give it a good brushing with your toothbrush (many toothbrushes now have textured tongue scrubbers on the backside of the bristles). Swishing around a mouth rinse is a good way to kill bacteria on your tongue too.

Try Cinnamon

 

Do you keep cinnamon gum on you for fresh breath? Then you’re ahead of the game, even if you don’t know why.

 

Cinnamon actually has the ability to kill some of the bad bacteria that contributes to plaque and bad breath. That doesn’t mean it’s a replacement for brushing your teeth, but it can definitely help with bad odors in your mouth throughout the day.

 

Try a stick of gum (yes, gum can actually be good for your teeth). You can also try adding some cinnamon oil to a glass of water.

Eat Cheese

 

For all you cheese lovers out there, this might be the best news you’ve ever heard. Yes, cheese can be a positive contribution to your dental health. Cheese has actually been found to neutralize the acidity of plaque and lower the pH levels in your mouth when you eat it.

This doesn’t mean that you should eat a diet that consists only of cheese, but having some cubes of cheese for a snack can be a good thing.

 

Incorporate these healthy tips into your life and you’ll find your Durango dentist raving about the great health of your teeth at your next dental visit.

Healthy Ways You Can Boost Your Mental Health and Mood

mental health

There are times when our mood suffers. Sometimes something tangible happens in life, such as a job loss, divorce/breakup or death in the family that makes us fall into a depression. Other times our mood shifts from upbeat to depressed with virtually no warning. Those moments can be frustrating, but there are actions you can take to improve your mood.

Exercise

There isn’t one kind of exercise that works for everyone. Each person responds differently to different forms of physical activity. Some people love going to the gym, while others despise it. Some folks love running, while others don’t find it enjoyable. Whatever form of physical activity you love, do that. Try rock climbing, Zumba, hip-hop dance class, aerobics, Pilates, yoga or take regular walks in the park. Getting your body moving will inevitably help improve your mental health. You’ll find yourself feeling energized and wanting to continue that momentum.

Supplements

Always consult with your doctor or medical professional before trying new supplements to see if they are safe for use. There are some great mood lifting supplements that people see benefits from! Fish oil or cod liver oil contains DHA and OMEGA-3 fatty acids, which help to stimulate our brains and help put us in a better mood. Magnesium is a great supplement to take if you deal with chronic anxiety or muscle tension. It naturally relaxes the body and the mind. We’ve learned that serotonin originates in our guts. There are scientifically proven benefits to taking probiotics, which promote healthy stomach bacteria and regulate our digestion and can help assist in delivering serotonin to the brain!

Social Activity

When you’re out with friends, volunteering at an animal shelter, going on dates or anything that involves being around other people, your mood will be lifted. It’s hard to motivate yourself to get out there when you’re feeling down, but the more you can take actions that result in you being social, the better your mood will be. It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant. It could just be meeting a friend for coffee, or going out to lunch with a co-worker. As long as you’re getting out of your house and interacting with other human beings, you’re bound to feel better on the inside.

Seek Help

If you find that your mood is consistently low, you’re isolating from your loved ones, having trouble getting up, showering or getting out of the house, it could be time to seek help. There are many options out there from seeing a therapist in person to online counseling. This is a convenient option; you can access your counselor from anywhere you’ve got an Internet connection. Reach out to an online therapist to get the help you need. A counselor can help you develop a plan so that your mood is lifted. We go through difficult times in life, but an online counselor can help you navigate through those hard times and live the life you truly deserve.

10 Ways Smiling Improves Your Overall Health

young woman with a smile

If there is one thing you should do every day to improve your overall health, it would probably be to smile.

Smiling has so many health benefits, not to mention it’s contagious and people will definitely enjoy being around you more with a smile on your face.

Our friends at Alligator Dentist, a pediatric dentist in Idaho Falls, know how important a smile can be, so they helped us put together this list of the great benefits of smiling.

Mood Boost

Are you ever really unhappy when you smile? It’s kind of a known fact that when people smile, they are in a good mood. Sometimes you can even trick your mind and body into thinking you’re happy by forcing a smile. Try waking up each morning and putting a big smile on your face to start the day off right. Encourage your friends and family to do the same!

Lower Blood Pressure

Smiling and laughter have the ability to slow down our bodies by relaxing us. Initially, it might cause an increased heart rate, but after that, our muscles relax with a decrease in heart rate and blood pressure.

Stress Relief

As if an improved mood and lower blood pressure aren’t enough to relieve a little stress. Because smiling can help lower your heart rate, it can actually help reduce your stress during particularly stressful tasks.

Better Relationships

People like to be around, and in general just tend to like, other people who are positive and happy. Smiling lets others know that you are a positive and happy ray of sunshine that they want to be near. And because people thrive on that positivity, it improves your relationships with them.

Pain Killer

Laughter and smiling can actually help to reduce pain, or at least make it more tolerable. Smiling releases endorphins that can help lift our moods, and endorphins are our bodies’ natural painkillers.

Longer Life

With the benefits we’ve mentioned so far, it should come as no surprise that smiling can help increase your lifespan. With less stress, lower blood pressure, and great relationships, people who smile often tend to live longer than average.  

Increased Productivity

Think of “we whistle while we work”. Humming a happy tune or, you guessed it, smiling, helps to create a more productive mindset while working. So, smiling can help you be more productive during some of those daunting tasks that you might be dreading.

Build Attraction

It’s no secret that people are more attractive when they smile. Everyone loves a good smile. So, that’s one easy step to making yourself more attractive (and helping others around you since smiles are contagious).

Look Younger

Do you want to look more youthful? Then smile often! Smiling is basically a natural facelift. The results might not be immediate, but it can make a real difference in a few years if you’ve been smiling instead of frowning.

Better Immune System

Smiling helps with our overall health, and that includes your immune system. Because smiling helps us to relax, the immune system is ready to react when unfriendly invaders attach the body. Ergo, smiling can help prevent sickness – so why wouldn’t you smile more?

5 Reasons Crafting is Super Good For You

knitting as a craft

You enter the craft room, pull out some yarn and a knitting needle, paint and a canvas, or fabric and glue, and suddenly, you are in your happy place.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise to avid crafters that the act of crafting is actually really good for you, mentally and physically. Crafting allows its participants to explore their creativity and it brings a unique outlet for stress.

Learn for yourself these wonderful benefits that crafting can have for you, and why you should start doing it today.

Reduce Stress

First, certain crafts have a rhythmic and repetitive nature that can help to relieve stress. Try knitting or painting, or even simply coloring in an adult coloring book. These repetitive actions like stroking a paint brush or moving a colored pencil along a page can give the user a sense of calm, similar to meditation. Having some physical action to do and focus on allows us to forget everything else going on around us other than the task at hand. So lose yourself in a craft and help relieve some of that daily stress.

Improve Mood

When you relieve your stress, your mood is likely to increase. But crafting doesn’t just improve your mood by reducing stress. When you learn a new skill or finish a beautiful crafting project, you gain a sense of accomplishment and feel more productive. Productivity is always great for a good mood boost. When you create something so beautiful that you want to put it up in your own home, you create a lasting sense of pride and accomplishment that you are reminded of every time you see your finished project.

Social Connection

Many people enjoy crafting in groups. Get together with a bunch of friends and have a fun crafting night. You can all bring something different, or have one person in your group teach everyone a new craft project that they have mastered. People need a social outlet, especially if they are surrounded by children or secluded in a cubicle all day.

Crafting is something that many people have in common, so it can be easy to get a group of people together for the sole purpose of crafting. But then you come out of this experience having made new friendships and a great social atmosphere that you can come back to when you need it.

Coordination

We did say that crafting can help you physically, too, and improved hand-eye coordination is exactly how! The more you practice something, the better you become at it. That’s a fact. So, the more you are participating in crafting projects, whether it is a complex crochet design or simply coloring in the lines of a coloring book, the better your coordination will become, and the better you’ll get at your craft.

Learned Skills

Crafting is a great opportunity to learn new skills! Not only do you learn the physical ability to create some new project, but crafting also teaches patience and perseverance. It’s not always easy to pick up a new skill like knitting, sculpting, or even painting. But if you are committed to learning this new crafting skill, you also learn to become more patient with yourself as you persevere through the first-timer frustrations. And these skills are something that you can lean on throughout the rest of your life.

If you’re looking for a new crafting project to try, check out Thoughts in Vinyl. They have beautiful do-it-yourself crafting kits and vinyl lettering that you can add to just about anything for a fun new home decoration.

Stinky Feet & 5 Reasons Behind The Odors

Stinky Feet

Nobody likes stinky feet, but it seems for most, repugnant feet are inevitable.

From sandals to tennis shoes, nothing seems to help the stench emanating from those ten toes.

But why does this happen? How can you help to make this not happen?

Some smells are relatively easy to keep at bay with some easy daily activities, while others might signify its time to visit a foot doctor.

Here are five reasons your feet may be emanating that offensive odor.

 

You have too much bacteria

 

Naturally, your feet produce sweat, which is important for feet health, and it naturally occurs from daily activity and being confined to socks and shoes.

But the downside of that is all of that sweat is a perfect breeding ground for bacteria, and too much bacteria can cause some of that stinky foot smell. Technically the smell comes from the bacteria breaking down your dead skin cells and sweat, which just sounds like a smelly process.

Making sure to keep your feet as clean and dry as possible can help prevent the smell associated with the process.

 

You don’t switch up your shoes enough

 

The bacteria that we just talked about love to live in your most worn shows, because it’s usually nice and warm and moist.

Making sure to switch up the shoes you wear often and always wearing socks is a great way to prevent smelly shoes and smelly feet.

Also, there are deodorizing sprays you can spray in your shoes to help with that as well.

 

You don’t let feet be naked enough

 

Making sure to have time when you are without shoes on your feet is actually super important to avoid smelly feet.

Allowing your feet time to air out will keep your feet less sweaty, therefore not allowing those odor-producing bacteria to develop.

According to the American Podiatric Medical Association, they say a great time to let your feet breathe is when you go to sleep at night, so maybe skip those warm fuzzy socks. However, they warn it’s important not to go barefoot too much in places other than your home because other harmful bacteria can attach to your feet.

 

You shared a towel with a friend

 

Stink is actually transferable, and by sharing a towel with a friend who might also have a smelly feet problem, you might have inherited that problem as well.

Sharing something like a towel which can hold bacteria can make you get that bacteria onto places like your feet as well. It’s better to just avoid it if possible, or at least make sure to wash your feet or soak them in warm water and vinegar to keep the smell at bay.

 

You may have an infection

 

Last but not least, one of the biggest reasons you feet are reeking is that you have some sort of infection.

Good news is, according to the Center for Disease Control most foot infections can be remedied with products found at most drug stores, sanitizing your feet as much as possible, and time.

If it seems that something with your feet isn’t right and smelling really bad or hurting really bad it’s probably time to visit a foot doctor, also known as a podiatrist.

If it is necessary they can help you and let you know what you need to do to get rid of that infection and be on your way to healthy feet.

12 Things To Declutter Your Busy Mind

relaxing

How many of you have a busy mind? You’ve constantly got something that you are thinking about, there’s always something to do – an errand to run or a child to take care of.

Sometimes this busy mind can get in the way of achieving anything at all. It causes you to stress about everything that you have to do that you spend too much time worrying and not enough time doing.

Maybe if you spend some time decluttering those busy, distracting, and often stressful thoughts, you’ll find that you are able to get more done, breathe easier, and enjoy life a little more.

Try a couple of these things to lift that burden from your busy mind.

Journal

 

Get those busy thoughts out of your head and down on paper. Write down your stresses and worries – and then let them go. Writing can be a good method of therapy that allows us to visualize all of our thoughts in one place.

 

Another tactic is to instead focus on writing positive things – things you are grateful for, happy experiences. Use this tool to reflect upon the things that make you happy in your life. This will help you to cultivate a more positive outlook.

Exercise

 

Go for a walk! Clear your mind as you walk outside or do some physical activity. Our bodies release endorphins when we exercise, which physically make us happier. If you’re doing a difficult workout, you tend to focus more on the workout than the daily stressors that clutter your mind.

Sleep

 

Are you getting enough sleep? Sometimes a change in sleeping habits is all you need to get you back into the right mind-frame that you need to function each day. Make sure you get the amount of sleep that your body and mind require.

Eliminate

 

Do you have a stockpile of stuff in your home that is always on the back of your mind? Get rid of it! Take some time to go through the things in your home – donate old clothing and items to Goodwill, recycle old car batteries sitting in the garage, whatever you have lying around that you don’t use, eliminate it.

Declutter

 

Physically decluttering can help declutter your mind as much as any of these other methods. Take the time to organize your desk at work or your counters, table, and shelves at home.

Single-task

 

Instead of stressing yourself out while trying to multi-task and doing two things at a mediocre level, try focusing on one task at a time and excelling at it.

Prioritize

 

Pick one or two of the most important things you need to get done that day and focus on them. Prioritize the bigs things and let those drive your motivation rather than stressing about all the little things.

Let Go

 

Let go of the little things. Make a list of everything you need to do that is stressing you out – and cross half of the list off. Not everything needs to get done in one day. Get one or two things done and be proud of that, knowing that you accomplished something good that day.

Breathe

 

Take a minute to breathe. Physically stop yourself from doing anything and literally just sit and breathe for a few minutes. Focus on your breathing and allow your thoughts to drift away for those few precious moments. Also known as meditating, this allows us to bring our thoughts to the present moment and refocus on what is truly important.

Limit Media

 

How much time do you spend on your phone, watching TV, on the computer? Cut some of that time out of your day. Not only will it free up your time to do something more productive, but it will help limit your intake of information. Media is consumption of information, and not all of it is useful and only takes up space in our already busy minds.

Go Slow

 

Literally slow down. We’re often in a hurry to make it to our next destination – work, home, the grocery store. When we’re in a hurry, we tend to get it in our heads that something really bad will happen if we don’t make it to our destination by a certain time. But when you slow down and take a second to breathe and think, that stress often goes away.

Take a Break

 

Sometimes we just need a break. Take a nap. Take a vacation. Do whatever you need to do to relax and recover.

Why Do I Have Nasal Blockage?

tissue

Nasal blockage or congestion is more commonly referred to as a stuffy nose. Although many people think nasal blockage is caused by excessive build-up of mucus in the nasal passages, this problem is actually the result of inflamed blood vessels. Nasal congestion is often a symptom of the common cold, the flu, a sinus infection, allergies, or any other health issue that can trigger the irritation and consequent inflammation of blood vessels in the sinuses.

Nasal blockage is marked by:

  • A runny or stuffy nose
  • Mucus build-up
  • Inflamed nasal tissue
  • Sinus pain

Causes of nasal blockage

Nasal congestion is when a patient’s nasal passages become stuffed-up and inflamed. Minor health conditions like the flu, cold, and an infection of the sinus are the most common causes of a stuffy nose, but illness-related blockage will almost certainly abate within a week. Any nasal congestion that lasts for more than a week might be indicative of an underlying health problem. There are many possible explanations for long-term nasal blockage, including:

  • Exposure to environmental irritants
  • Exposure to chemicals
  • Allergies
  • Development of benign tumors or noncancerous growths known as nasal polyps on the lining of nasal passages
  • Hay fever
  • A deviated septum
  • A long-lasting sinus infection called chronic sinusitis

Increase in blood supply and hormonal fluctuations, both commonly associated with pregnancy, can also cause long-term nasal congestion. These changes can have a drying and irritating effect on the nasal membranes, causing inflammation and bleeding. As such, expectant mothers are likely to experience nasal blockage, especially towards the end of the first trimester.

Regardless of the cause, there are a number of ways to relieve nasal congestion.

Home remedies for a stuffy nose

Natural home remedies can help alleviate nasal blockage, especially if it is not chronic. Here are a few things that can help you feel and breathe better.

Use a humidifier: Humidifiers can help relieve a stuffy nose. By adding moisture to your indoor air, these devices offer a quick and easy solution. Besides thinning and breaking up the mucus in your sinuses, moist air can help soothe inflamed nasal tissues and blood vessels, reducing sinus pain and restoring your breathing to normal.

Stay hydrated: Staying hydrated can help thin the mucus congesting your nasal passages, allowing you to push these fluids out. This will, in turn, decrease the amount of pressure exerted on your sinuses, meaning less irritation and inflammation.

Use a nasal saline spray: Saline is a saltwater solution that can help increase the amount of moisture in your nostrils, which will, in turn, break up the mucus congesting your nasal passages and soothe inflamed blood vessels. Saline sprays are also safe for all ages. When it comes to babies, however, the use of a nasal bulb or aspirator is necessary to clean any remaining mucus from their noses. Also, some saline sprays contain decongestant medication and can worsen the congestion if used for more than a few days. So, consult your doctor before you use this type of saline spray.

Drain your sinuses: Although it might not be an alluring task, you can use a neti pot to flush clogged nostrils. This container is ideally designed for the purpose of flushing fluids out of nasal passages. The FDA advocates the use of sterile or distilled water, and not tap water.

Take a hot shower: The steam from a hot shower can help relieve a stuffy nose and restore your breathing to normal by thinning the mucus clogging your nose and reducing inflammation. This is, however, a short-term solution.

Use a warm compress: Warm compresses can help unclog your nose by opening your nasal passages from the outside. Soak a towel in slightly hot water, squeeze out the water, fold the towel, and then place it over your face, specifically over the nose and forehead. Repeat as often as necessary. The warmth can help relieve inflammation and provide comfort from any pain.

When should you see a doctor?

Home remedies are not always enough to relieve nasal congestion, especially if it is not associated with a minor health issue. Medical treatment might be necessary for chronic or long-term congestion. You should also seek medical attention if you are in pain or can no longer perform your day-to-day activities as you should. See your doctor right away if any of the following applies to your case:

  • Nasal blockage lasting more than 10 days
  • Blockage along with high fever for more than three days
  • Bloody nasal discharge
  • Green nasal discharge accompanied by sinus pain and fever
  • Constant clear discharge
  • A weakened immune system, asthma, or emphysema

Also, it’s imperative that you seek immediate medical attention if you’ve suffered any recent head injury.

Nasal congestion in infants and older children

Nasal blockage can be more of a health risk to infants than it is to older children and adults. Apart from interfering with infant feedings, a stuffed-up nose can lead to breathing problems that might be fatal. Nasal congestion may also inhibit the development of normal speech and hearing in children. For these reasons, it’s imperative that you contact your pediatrician the soonest possible if your child has a stuffy nose. In this way, your doctor can work together with you to determine the most appropriate treatment option for your baby.

Medical treatment

If you are suffering from chronic nasal blockage, your doctor will recommend a treatment plan once he/she has established the cause. Treatment plans will in most cases include prescription medications to help alleviate or resolve the symptoms.

The following are some of the medications used to treat long-lasting nasal congestion.

  • Nasal sprays that contain antihistamines
  • Oral antihistamines for treating allergies
  • Nasal steroids
  • Antibiotics
  • Prescription or over-the-counter strength decongestants

Surgery might be the recommended form of treatment for patients who have nasal polyps or benign tumors in their nasal passages, or sinuses that keep mucus from draining out.

Prognosis

Nasal blockage is not likely to cause major health issues. With proper treatment, the symptoms don’t usually take long to improve.

Becker Ear Nose and Throat Center strives to provide specialized and personalize care to all patients. You deserve the best treatment and care that is tailored to your individual needs. With their internationally recognized doctors, you are assured of quality health care.

Flu season is well underway in most of the United States. Ensure you are diagnosing your illness correctly when comparing nasal blockage to the common cold or flu. Consider some of the remedies mentioned above to ensure you are staying ahead of the season and taking care of yourself!

6 Excellent Stress Coping Techniques

stress

We’re coming into a high-stress time for the majority of the U.S. population – tax season. On top of work, kids, finances, health, and any other stressors you might have, this time of the year can be really stressful. Too much stress can be detrimental to your physical and mental health, so it’s important to find ways to deal with that.

Rachelle Jones, a doctor in Rexburg, ID, has helped us compile this list of ways that you can use to help cope with your stress.

Everyone copes with stress differently. Try a few of these out and see if they help lower your stress and anxiety levels. The goal is relaxation.

Meditation

This is one of the top coping mechanisms for stress. A lot of people might think of this as more of a spiritual mind and body connection and get lost in how it can actually help them. When you can learn to clear your mind and focus on the present, you can change your mindset completely and learn to relax and realize that it’s not the end of the world.

If you’re new to meditation, try doing a little research to learn what it really is and how it can help you.

If you want to try a guided meditation, Calm is a great app that you can download on most mobile devices to get started.

Massage

Stress can literally cause us physical pain. It can build up into knots in your neck, back, and shoulders. If you’re unusually overloaded with stress and find that you have aches and pains in these areas, schedule an appointment with a massage therapist. Sometimes all we need is a little physical relief to help us keep moving.

Make a List

Make a list of everything that is stressing you out – chores and errands that need to get done for example. Now, initially this might cause a little more stress, but it’s when you start checking these items off of your list that you can relax.

Our minds are funny, and sometimes just this little visual representation of getting things done can help immensely. It shows us that we are being productive, and sometimes that’s all we need.

Do Things You’ve Been Putting Off

What is it that you’ve been wanting to do forever but can never seem to get around to? Maybe you’ve been wanting to see a certain movie, try out a new recipe, or read a new book. Do it!

Take a break from the daily things that are causing stress and try doing that thing that you’ve wanted to do forever to relieve some of the stress.

Take a Bath

You know that physical stress we mentioned earlier? A nice warm bath and some essential oils can do wonders for this. Just take 20 minutes out of your day and draw yourself a bath. If possible, make sure it’s during a time when you can be completely uninterrupted, so you can reap all of the benefits of relaxation that this will offer you.

Exercise

Are you one of those people who just has to keep moving? Then try exercising to relieve stress. Head to the gym or go for a run. If possible, do your stress-relieving workout away from home or wherever the majority of your stress is generating from.

Exercising releases endorphins and helps us to mentally feel better. So plug in some tunes and get moving. After your workout you might find you have the energy and motivation that you’ve been looking for.