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How to treat eye strain

June 20th, 2018 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on How to treat eye strain)

Eye strain is a condition that happens when the eye becomes tired from excessive use such as staring at computer screens and other digital devices and long-distance driving.

Causes of eye strain

  • Excessive reading without pausing to rest the eyes
  • Looking at screens of digital devices
  • Long distance driving and performing activities that involves extended focus
  • Exposure to bright light or glare
  • Looking at a very dim light
  • Stressed and fatigue
  • Underlying eye problems such as dry eyes or uncorrected vision

    eye strain

    Sore, tired and burning or itching eyes.

  • Exposure to dry moving air such as fan or heating or air-conditioning system

Symptoms

  • Watery or dry eyes
  • Sore, tired and burning or itching eyes
  • Headaches
  • Sore neck, shoulders and back
  • Blurred vision
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Increased sensitivity to light
  • Feeling of incapable of keeping the eyes open
  • Tightness of the temples

Treatment

  • Make a relaxing mask by soaking small clean towel cold water. Wring out excess water from the towel and then fold it lengthwise and place it over the eyes for at least 2-7 minutes while lying down. Repeat this process several times every day. Another alternative is using tea bags. Tea bags have tannins that constrict blood vessels and lessen puffy eyes due to eye strain. Ice cubes placed in a plastic bag and placed in the affected eyes also lessen the symptoms.
  • Turn off any strong lights, extra lights and fluorescent light bulb to prevent long exposure of the eyes to these lights and over stimulate the body and eyes. It will also prevent fatigue and irritability. Make a comfortable lighting by using soft and warm lights.
  • Use anti-reflective screen on the computer screen to lessen the glare and lessen straining the eyes.
  • Strengthen the eyelids by lowering the eyelids halfway down for at least 5 seconds. Then slowly close the eyes and relax the eyelids. Take a few breaths to increase flow of blood in the area. Inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth for at least 1-2 minutes.
  • Prescribed artificial tears to lessen dryness of the eye
  • Prescribed medicated eye drops to lessen dry eyes and other symptoms
  • Take regular breaks from working on a computer or looking at the phone by closing the eyes for a few minutes, standing up and stretching the body and taking snacks or a short meditation.
  • Wear sunglasses to protect the eyes from the ultraviolet rays of the sun or the blue light from electronic devices to prevent making the condition worse and prevent headaches.
  • Take plenty of rest and sleep at least 7-9 hours of sleeping.

Tips

  • Avoid exposing the eyes to air such as hair dryer, car heater and air conditioner.
  • Install a humidier inside the room to add moisture to dry air.

Remedies for fire ant bites

June 19th, 2018 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on Remedies for fire ant bites)

A fire ant is a venomous and aggressive insect with pinching mandibles found in their heads and a sharp stinger on the rear side of the body which is attached to a venom sac. Stings of the fire ants usually happen on the legs or feet after accidentally stepping on their mound.

Skin reactions

  • Instant burning sensations followed by itching and raised and red swelling that develops on the skin that last for about 4-6 hours.
  • Formation of pustules with blisters for a week.
  • Sometimes a large swelling can develop and last for 6-12 hours. Swelling with severe itchiness and eventually becomes painful. In one or two day the swelling becomes enlarged and becomes hot and severely painful.
  • Anaphylaxis happens which is a severe allergic reaction within 30-40 minutes after the bite. The whole body becomes itchy, difficulty with breathing and weakness.

    fire ant bites

    Instant burning sensations followed by itching and raised and red swelling that develops on the skin that last for about 4-6 hours.

Symptoms of fire ant sting

  • Pain
  • Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea
  • Development of hives, swelling and itching
  • Blistering
  • Problems with breathing and chest tightness
  • Swelling of the tongue, throat, lips or swallowing difficulties
  • Anaphylactic shock and result to blackout, dizziness and cardiac arrest if not treated immediately.

Treatment

  • Wash the affected area using mild antiseptic soap to wash off venom, dirt or debris present in the skin to prevent any development of infections. Pat dry the skin using soft towel and apply olive oil to moisturize the area.
  • Remove embedded stinger in the skin by scraping it using a credit card. Avoid pinching the stinger to prevent releasing more venom in the area.
  • Elevate the affected area above the level of the heart to lessen the swelling and the pain. If the legs are affected raise it in couple to pillows to keep it elevated.
  • Apply cold compress to the area to lessen the itchiness of fire ant stings. Put some ice cubes in a plastic bag and wrap it in towel before placing to the area for at least 5 minutes at a time on the first 24 hours after the sting. Another alternative is running cool water over the affected area for a few minutes.
  • Oatmeal is rich in anti-irritating and anti-inflammatory properties that lessen the inflammation and the itchiness of fire ant stings. Fill a bathtub with lukewarm water and add 2 cups of colloidal oatmeal and mix it thoroughly. Soak the affected areas in the mixture for at least 30 minutes, 2-3 times every day.
  • Inject epinephrine immediately if available for breathing difficulties, severe swelling and changes in consciousness.
  • Prescribed hydrocortisone injections or cream for severe swelling and pain and redness of the skin.

Disclaimer / More Information

The material posted on this page on fire ant sting is for learning purposes only. Learn to recognize the signs and how it is managed by taking a first aid and CPR class with one of our training providers.

Remedies for swimmer’s itch

June 18th, 2018 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on Remedies for swimmer’s itch)

A swimmer’s itch is due to macroscopic parasites infecting mammals and birds. The parasites migrate from snails and spread to geese, ducks, gulls, swans, beavers and muskrats.

Remedies for swimmer’s itch

The rashes are characterized by a reddish pimples or blisters in the skin and usually develop in a few minutes or days after exposure to the parasites.

These infected birds spread the parasite into the water through their feces and eggs. When the parasite is exposed to the human skin, it burrows into the skin and results to rashes. The parasites cannot develop inside the human skin, later on they just die.

Symptoms of swimmer’s itch

  • The rashes are characterized by a reddish pimples or blisters in the skin and usually develop in a few minutes or days after exposure to the parasites.
  • It affects the exposed skin not covered by swimsuits, wet suits and waders
  • Tingling, burning or itching sensations can be felt.
  • Scratching of the affected area result to secondary infection.

Treatment

  • Apply cold compress on the area. Put some ice cubes in a plastic bag and wrap it in a towel or a thin cloth before placing on the area to lessen the swelling and the pain.
  • Prescribed antihistamines or anti-itch creams to lessen the itchiness.
  • Prescribed medication to lessen the pain and discomforts.
  • Soak the affected areas of the body using Epsom salt and water mixture. Fill a bathtub with warm water and add a cup of Epsom salts. Mix them well until salt is totally dissolved. Soak the body in the mixture to lessen itchiness and relax the body. Baking soda can also be mixed with warm water is also good for the condition.
  • Make a paste by mixing baking soda with a few drops of water. Mix them until it becomes the consistency of a paste and apply it directly on the affected area to lessen the itchiness and other symptoms.
  • Wash the affected area using diluted apple cider vinegar.
  • Avoid wearing synthetic clothes while in the healing process to prevent further irritations on the skin and worsen the condition. Wear cotton clothes.

 

Tips

  • Avoid swimming or wading in contaminated waters especially marshy areas and plenty of snails.
  • Avoid swimming in the shoreline, go to deeper water and flowing water such as rivers to prevent development of swimmer’s itch.
  • Rinse properly exposed skin with clean water immediately after the swim. Dry the skin vigorously using a towel.
  • Wash swimsuits regularly especially after taking a swim.
  • Avoid feeding birds on docks or near swimming areas.
  • Apply waterproof sunscreen on exposed areas of the skin before taking a swim to prevent swimmer’s itch.
  • Maintain cleanliness and well chlorinated swimming pools.

Tick bites

June 6th, 2018 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on Tick bites)

Tick bites are caused by a tick, a small blood-sucking bug. These pests can range in size from small as a pin’s head to as large as a pencil eraser.

These ticks can grow when they take in a lot of blood up to the size of the marble. After a tick finishes feeding on its host for several days, the tick may become engorged and can have a greenish blue color.

Most of tick bites are not an issue of concern and do not cause any problem or illness. However, ticks can cause an allergic reaction and, in some cases, transmit diseases to humans or pets. These diseases that the ticks pass can be hazardous and even be life-threatening such as Lyme disease.

Signs and symptoms

Tick bites

Most of tick bites are not an issue of concern and do not cause any problem or illness.

Tick bites are often harmless and produce no symptoms. However, a person with an allergy to tick bites may experience these symptoms:

  • Skin rash
  • Pain or swelling at the site of the bite
  • A burning sensation at the site of the bite
  • Blisters
  • Breathing difficulties for a severe reaction

Treating tick bites

The most important thing to do first when you find out that there is a tick on you is to remove it with a tick removal tool or a pair of tweezers. Pull the tick straight up and away from your skin but do not try to bend the tick. Check the bite site and see if any parts of the tick’s head or mouth is in the bite, remove those if there’s any. When you’re done, clean the bite site with soap and water.

Once the tick is removed, immerse in rubbing alcohol to ensure that the tick is dead and store in a sealed container. Consult a doctor as soon as possible to find out if there’s any necessary treatment you need based on the type of tick that bit you.

Prevention

  • Inspect skin closely after travelling in tick-prone regions, especially the underarms, behind ears, between legs, behind knees, and in hair.
  • Wear long sleeves and pants while you are outside
  • Use a tick repellant
  • Take a shower or bath within two hours of being outdoors

Diarrhea

June 5th, 2018 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on Diarrhea)

Diarrhea is a condition where an individual has increased frequency of bowel movements, usually brought about by an infection in the stomach. Common causes of this are eating contaminated food and water. Diarrhea is more common in places where hygiene is poor and access to medicine is difficult.

Diarrhea lasts for a few days only, in most cases but diarrhea can last for weeks which indicate that there is a more serious problem.

Microbes such as bacteria, viruses, and parasites embedded in foods and water are the most common causes of diarrhea. Places with poor hygiene or improper handling or preparation of foodstuffs can cause food to be contaminated by these microbes. To prevent this, foodstuffs must be carefully handled and must be prepared in a clean environment.

Diarrhea

Diarrhea lasts for a few days only, in most cases but diarrhea can last for weeks which indicate that there is a more serious problem.

What are the causes?

  • Eating contaminated food or water
  • Diseases that cause chronic diarrhea such as Crohn’s disease
  • Food that upsets the digestive system
  • Diabetes
  • Allergies to certain food
  • Medication
  • Diseases that cause dysentery

Characteristics

  • Frequent loose and watery bowel movements
  • Abdominal cramps and pain
  • Nausea
  • Fever
  • Bloating
  • Presence of blood in the stool

When is the right time to see a doctor?

  • When diarrhea has lasted for more than two (2) days.
  • When you have a fever higher than 39 Celsius for more than a day.
  • Constant nausea or vomiting that prevents you from drinking fluids to replace lost fluids.
  • Severe abdominal pain.
  • Presence of blood in your stool.
  • When you have signs of dehydration.

Treatment for diarrhea

  • Lost fluids can be replaced by drinking more fluids or can be received intravenously if oral intake is not possible.
  • Oral rehydration salts can be used to replace lost fluids and salts to help rehydrate a person suffering from diarrhea.
  • Over-the-counter medications such as Imodium can help reduce the frequency of bowel movements.
  • Antibiotics, but only must be used if the diarrhea is caused by bacterial infection.

Fever

June 5th, 2018 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on Fever)

A fever is an increase in the body temperature from the 37 degrees. This is caused by an immune response as this is the body’s natural mechanism of defense against infection from microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, or parasites that cannot live or survive in higher temperatures.

Fevers are also symptoms of illnesses along with other symptoms like a cough, sore throat, fatigue, chills, nausea, and much more.

Fevers that have temperatures lower than 38 degrees Celsius is considered as a low-grade fever and should normally go untreated.

However, fevers with temperatures above 40degrees Celsius are dangerous and requires immediate home treatment and may possibly require medical attention as it can develop more severe symptoms such as delirium or convulsions.

Fever

Fevers are also symptoms of illnesses along with other symptoms like a cough, sore throat, fatigue, chills, nausea, and much more.

Accompanying symptoms

  • Increase in body temperature
  • Headache
  • Sweating
  • Dehydration
  • Loss of appetite
  • Chills and shivering
  • Weakness

To determine your body temperature, you can use a thermometer on several parts of the body to take your body temperature. There are several types of thermometers, these include oral, rectal, ear and forehead.

You can also check your body temperature by placing an oral thermometer into your armpit.

When to consult a doctor

Fevers alone are not a cause for alarm or a reason to schedule a checkup with your doctor, though there are cases where you need to do an appointment with your doctor, these include:

  • The fever lasts longer for more than three (3) days.
  • The fever developed after being left in a hot car.
  • You experience persistent vomiting.
  • You get convulsions or seizures.
  • You experience abdominal pain or pain while urinating.
  • You experience confusion.
  • You suddenly have a sensitivity to bright lights.

Causes of fever

  • A virus
  • A bacterial infection
  • Heat exhaustion
  • A tumor
  • Some medication such as antibiotics or drugs used to treat blood pressure or seizures

Since fevers are caused by infections, the best way to prevent them from happening is to keep your environment clean and reduce your exposure to infectious diseases.

How to treat a wasp sting

June 5th, 2018 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on How to treat a wasp sting)

Wasp sting causes redness, swelling and pain. The stinger has poisonous venom that can be transferred to humans when they are stung. They have the ability to sting several times and the stingers remain intact.

Symptoms

  • Severe pain or burning sensations at the stinged area
  • Development of hives. A small white mark at the center of the bump which indicates the point where the stinger has punctured the skin.
  • Wheezing
  • Swollen mouth or throat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea and vomiting

    wasp sting

    Keep the affected area dry as much as possible by covering it using a bandage to prevent the risk of developing an infection and worsen the condition.

  • Fainting
  • Chest pain
  • Redness, swelling and itching

Anaphylactic reaction to a wasp sting

  • Problems with breathing such as wheezing
  • Severe swelling of the face, lips and throat
  • Severe itching or hives in all areas of the body which are not affected by the sting
  • Stomach cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness and hypotension which is a sudden drop in the blood pressure
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Weak or fast pulse beat
  • Losing consciousness

Treatment

  • Clean the affected area using soap and water to wash away venom in the area.
  • Remove the stinger using a pair of tweezers or rub it using a card to prevent the fast spread of the venom into the body.
  • Ice the affected area.
  • Keep the affected area dry as much as possible by covering it using a bandage to prevent the risk of developing an infection and worsen the condition.
  • Elevate the area and remove any tight-fitting clothing in the legs, hands, arms or feet. Jewelries should be removed to prevent difficulties in removing them when the area starts to swell. If the legs are affected, lay down immediately to prevent swelling.
  • Prescribed calamine lotion or a topical hydrocortisone cream to lessen the irritation and itching.
  • Prescribed over-the-counter medications to lessen the pain.
  • Make a paste by mixing baking powder with a few drops of water. Mix them well until it becomes the consistency of a paste. Apply the paste on the affected area to lessen the symptoms.
  • Prescribed antihistamines to lessen the swelling and the itching caused by wasp sting.
  • Use the prescribed EpiPen if available.
  • Perform CPR if there is difficulty breathing.

Tips

  • Use a medical alert bracelet when travelling. It is a small tag that is worn on a neck chain; bracelet or clothing with a message that the bearer has an important medical condition that needs medical attention.
  • Wear protective shoes and clothing when going outdoors.
  • Avoid using strong scented perfumes outdoors.

Disclaimer / More Information

The material posted on this page on a wasp sting is for learning purposes only. Learn to properly manage a sting by taking a first aid and CPR class with one of our training providers.

Cluster headaches

May 23rd, 2018 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on Cluster headaches)

Cluster headaches are one of the most painful types of a headache that occur in a cyclical pattern or clusters. This headache typically wakes you up in the night with intense pain focused in or bordering one eye on one side of the head.

These outbursts of frequent sudden attacks, known as cluster periods, can last for weeks up to months, then is usually followed by periods where the headaches stop. The period that the headaches stop is called a remission period. During the remission period, the time that headaches stop and don’t occur lasts about a month or sometimes even years.

Cluster headaches

These outbursts of frequent sudden attacks, known as cluster periods, can last for weeks up to months, then is usually followed by periods where the headaches stop.

Cluster headaches are rare and are not life-threatening. There are various treatments that help ease the pain and make cluster headaches attacks shorter and less severe. There is also medication that can help reduce the number of cluster headaches.

Signs and symptoms of a cluster headache:

  • Excruciating pain that is focused in or around one eye, but may also radiate to other areas of the face, neck, and shoulders
  • Pain on one side of the head
  • Undue tearing
  • Restlessness
  • Eye redness
  • Blocked or a runny nose forehead or facial sweating
  • Pale or flushed skin on the face
  • Swelling around the eye on the affected side
  • Drooped eyelids

Cluster periods can generally last from six to twelve weeks. The starting date and duration of the cluster might be consistent from period to period. An example is: a cluster period can occur on a specific season such as every winter or every spring.

The pain typically arises and suddenly ceases, with rapidly declining intensity. After the episodes, most people are free from pain, but tired.

When to see a doctor?

See your doctor as soon as possible if you’ve started to have cluster headaches so that you can be properly diagnosed to rule out other disorders and to receive the proper treatment.

Headache pain, even when severe, usually isn’t an indication that there is an underlying disease. But headaches also usually indicate a serious underlying medical condition, such as a brain tumor or an aneurysm.

You should seek emergency care when you develop these:

  • A sudden, abrupt, severe headache
  • A headache accompanied by symptoms such as a fever, nausea or vomiting, stiff neck, confusion, seizures, numbness, or speech difficulty
  • A headache after a head injury, even if the cause was a minor fall or bump, and especially if the headache starts to worsen
  • An abrupt, intense headache
  • A headache that becomes worse as days pass and there are alterations in the pattern
  • Causes of cluster headaches

The precise cause of cluster headaches is not known but is believed to be that irregularities in the biological clock of the body plays a role. Unlike migraines or tension headaches, cluster headaches are not associated with triggers like foods, hormonal changes, or stress. Drinking alcohol during a cluster period may quickly trigger a very painful headache, which is a reason why people who have cluster headaches avoid drinking alcohol during a cluster period.

The use of medication such as nitroglycerin, a drug that is used to treat heart disease is also a possible trigger.

Chilblains

May 22nd, 2018 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on Chilblains)

Chilblains are the condition where the presence of small, itchy swellings on the skin occurs as a reaction due to exposure to cold temperatures. The extremities, such as the toes, fingers, heels, ears, and nose are often affected by this condition. This condition mostly brings discomfort only and rarely causes any permanent damage. Chilblains usually heal within a few weeks if any further exposure to the cold is stopped.

Signs and symptoms of chilblains

The symptoms of chilblains usually manifest several hours after contact to the cold.

  • A burning and itching feeling in the affected area that can become more severe if moving to a warm room
  • Swelling of the affected area
  • Discoloration of the affected area to a reddish or bluish color
  • In severe cases of chilblains, the skin may break, and sores or blisters may develop

    Chilblains

    A burning and itching feeling in the affected area that can become more severe if moving to a warm room.

It is important that you should not scratch the skin as it can tear the skin easily and become infected from the break.

When to see a doctor?

Most people who have chilblains don’t need to seek medical attention as it usually heals within a few weeks and doesn’t cause any permanent problems. However, seek medical attention when:

  • You experience severe or recurring chilblains
  • Symptoms fail to improve within a few weeks
  • Swelling accompanied by pus formation in the affected area
  • Feeling generally unwell
  • A fever with temperatures of 100.4°F (38°C)
  • Swollen glands

What causes chilblains?

The reason is not exactly known but is believed to be an abnormal response of the body when exposed to the cold then followed by rewarming in some people. Rewarming of cold skin can cause the small blood vessels under the skin to expand more quickly than the nearby larger blood vessels. When this happens too quickly, the blood vessels near the surface of the skin can’t always handle the sudden increase of blood flow causing the blood to seep into the surrounding tissue which causes the swelling and itchiness.

Risk factors that increase chances of chilblains

  • Tight clothing or clothing that exposes skin to the cold.
  • Being female and the weight of the person.
  • The environment and the season.
  • Having poor circulation.
  • Having been diagnosed with a condition named Raynaud’s disease.

More Information

The details posted on this page on chilblains is for learning purposes only. To learn to recognize and manage – enroll in a first aid course with one of our training providers.

Bed bug bites

May 21st, 2018 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on Bed bug bites)

Bed bug bites are caused by small, flattened insects in oval shape that are reddish-brown in color and can range from the size of 1 to 7 millimeters. Bed bugs can sneak their way into your bed, furniture, and even your carpet. These insects feed on blood from humans or animals and are mostly active at night where they feed on their victims while they sleep. By the next morning, you’re left with a mysterious bite that is red and itchy.

What does a bed bug bite look like?

Some people will not have a reaction to bed bug bites at all. But to those people who experience a reaction to bed bug bites will have one or more symptoms like these:

  • A bite or multiple bites that left a red, swollen area with a dark red center
  • Multiple bites that are lined or grouped together in a small area

    Bed bug bites

    A bite or multiple bites that left a red, swollen area with a dark red center.

  • Presence of blisters or hives at the site of the bite(s)

Bed bug bites can happen anywhere in the body but are more commonly found in exposed areas of the skin while you sleep, such as the face, arms, hands, and legs.

Signs and symptoms of a bed bug bite:

Note that these bites will not always arise right after you’ve been bitten, sometimes they can take multiple days to begin triggering any symptoms. Bed bugs don’t come out every night to feed and go through several days without eating.

  • The sudden appearance of red, swollen areas on your skin
  • Itchiness
  • A burning sensation

It is important not to scratch the bites as you may damage the skin and cause an infection which will lead the bite to swell and bleed.

How to treat bed bug bites

Bed bug bites pose no threat to most people and are just a nuisance. These bites have symptoms that typically disappear within a week or two. The itching caused by the bite can be eased by using an anti-itching cream to keep yourself from scratching the bite. An antihistamine can also help reduce the itching. Ice packs can be used to numb the skin which can help you reduce your urge to scratch. If there is an infection on the bite, you can apply an antiseptic cream or lotion.

If you do find bed bugs in your home, you should call your landlord or a pest control company to get your house cleaned from bed bugs. It is difficult to remove bed bugs and you may prolong infestation if you don’t get professional help. Bed bugs in your home can hide for several months without feeding, so therefore the help of a professional can help you surely get rid of the bed bugs completely.