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How to treat a stingray sting

July 6th, 2017 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on How to treat a stingray sting)

A stingray is flat-bodied cartilaginous fish with one or more barbed stingers found midway on the tail. They live in coastal tropical and subtropical marine waters which makes it easy for them to encounter humans. They are not aggressive, but will use their stingers in self-defense when they are accidentally stepped on and secrete venom into the sting site.

Symptoms of a stingray sting

  • Muscle cramps and seizures
  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Headache
  • Bleeding
  • Weakness

    stingray-sting

    If there is bleeding, apply direct pressure on the affected area for a few minutes until the bleeding is reduced.

  • Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Dizziness and lightheadedness
  • Fainting
  • Palpitations
  • Allergic reactions such as swelling of the tongue, lips, neck and other areas of the body, shortness of breath or wheezing and red and itchy rash.
  • Elevated heart rate, low blood pressure and rapid breathing

Treatment

  • While still in the water, irrigate the wound using sea water and remove all debris and foreign bodies from the area. Use a tweezer if needed. Once the area is already irrigated, move out of the water and dry the area using a towel. Avoid removing any remaining debris found in the neck, chest and abdomen.
  • If there is bleeding, apply direct pressure on the affected area for a few minutes until the bleeding is reduced.
  • Soak the wound in hot water as tolerated for at least 30-90 minutes or until the pain has subsided. Soaking in hot water lessens the pain by eliminating the venom protein complex.
  • Elevate the affected body part for a few days to lessen the swelling.
  • Take the prescribed over the counter anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen or naproxen to lessen the pain and the swelling. If there is profuse bleeding, take acetaminophen to thin out the blood and lessen the clotting ability of the body.
  • Maintain cleanliness of the affected area and keep dry all the time. Apply the prescribed antibiotic every day and keep the area uncovered.

Tips

  • When swimming in tropical waters, be cautious with sharks, stingrays and other dangerous sea animals that might be around.
  • Drag or shuffle the feet when walking in water, so that you can only bump on the stingray instead of stepping on them.
  • When the affected area becomes itchy, avoid scratching or rubbing the area to prevent the condition from getting worse.
  • Hot sand can be used as a medium in soaking the wound. Clean the wound properly after the soak.

More Information

The details posted on this page on a stingray sting is for learning purposes only. To learn to recognize and manage marine animal stings, enroll in a first aid course with one of our training providers.

Treatment of hypermobility syndrome

July 4th, 2017 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on Treatment of hypermobility syndrome)

The hypermobility syndrome is a condition where the joints moves easily beyond the normal range expected for a joint. It is a benign condition and usually affects children especially girls.

Conditions that puts on at high risk of developing this condition includes tendinitis, bruising, carpal tunnel syndrome, scoliosis, osteoarthritis, joint instability, ankle sprains, fibromyalgia, pelvic dysfunction, fractures and exocrine gland dysfunction.

Symptoms of hypermobility syndrome

  • Pain in the knees, fingers, hips and the elbows
  • Joint dislocation and sprain on the affected joint
  • Scoliosis or curvature of the spine that result to back pain
  • Fatigue

    hypermobility-syndrome

    Pain in the knees, fingers, hips and the elbows.

  • Anxious mood
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Headaches
  • Exercise-induced pain
  • Joint stiffness
  • Clicking sound can be heard in the affected area
  • Poor coordination

Causes of hypermobility

  • Muscle tone or strength
  • Bone shape or the depth of the joint sockets
  • Poor sense of proprioception
  • Family history of hypermobility

Treatment

  • Take the prescribed anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen to lessen the joint pain.
  • Elevate the affected joint to lessen the swelling and the flow of blood in the area. Raise the injured joint in a couple of pillows to keep it elevated.
  • Take plenty of rest especially the affected joint. Avoid placing stress on the area for at least 24-48 hours for fast healing of the condition.
  • Apply heat on the affected joint for at least 15-20 minutes to lessen the pain in the joint. Heat can be in the form of a hot water bottle or heating pad set on low or medium heat.
  • Alternately, apply cold therapy on the affected area in the form of an ice pack or a bag of frozen vegetables for at least for 10 minutes intervals to lessen the swelling and the pain.
  • Maintain a regular sleeping routine and plenty of good sleep for the fast healing of the condition. Be aware of the sleeping position. Avoid lying on positions that puts plenty of stress on the joints to prevent waking up feeling sore or unrested. Place pillows between the knees to support the hips and the back. Stretch out the muscles thoroughly upon waking up.
  • Perform low-impact exercises regularly such as swimming or biking.
  • Drink plenty of fluids especially water to prevent dehydration and worsen the condition.

Tips

  • Avoid overextending the joints to prevent the development of arthritis which is the inflammation of the joints. It can also cause the dislocation of the joints due to minor trauma or self-manipulation.
  • Use braces or orthotics when performing exercises to protect the joints. If the joint is sensitive or loose, tape or wrap the affected area before stressing it.

Dealing with windburn

June 19th, 2017 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on Dealing with windburn)

Windburn is the reddening of the skin due to contact to strong and chilly winds for long extended periods. It is characterized by soreness, inflammation and itchiness of the affected area.

The wind eliminates the ultraviolet-filtering thin layers of lipids within the skin and result to irritation. The reduction of oil layer can be caused by both the sun and wind. Windburn can cause the skin to become severely dry and result to soreness and redness of the area. Skiers are more susceptible to windburn and sunburn.

Causes of windburn

  • Low humidity, cold temperature and very chilly wind
  • Living in colder climates
  • Spending plenty of time in cold, dry and windy weather

Symptoms

windburn

Acne-like bumps or blisters develops on the face.

  • Redness
  • Irritation
  • Watery eyes
  • Acne-like bumps or blisters develops on the face
  • Peeling of the affected area
  • Burning sensation on the face

Treatment

  • Take plenty of rest. Avoid overexertion to prevent sweating that result to dehydration and causes mild headaches.
  • Take a cool water bath. Tepid water is also good if not comfortable with cool water. Another alternative is adding 1 cup of vinegar to the water. Avoid taking hot showers.
  • Avoid exposure to stoves, heaters and fires to prevent further damage that can worsen the condition.
  • Apply a hydrating lotion on the affected area to replenish lost moisture in the area. Use specially-foumulated facial oils and water-based lotions and moisturizers. Use a hydrating lip balm every time when going out in the cold or dry environment.
  • Place a cool compress on the affected area to lessen the burning sensation.
  • Drink plenty of water, soups and healthy juices regularly to hydrate the skin. Drink at least 2-3 liters of water every day to replenish moisture of the body which is needed for prevention and for fast healing of the condition.
  • Avoid facial treatments such as facial peels or microdermabrasion done before spending long periods of time outside in the cold and windy weather to prevent further damage.
  • Take the prescribed pain medication such as ibuprofen and naproxen to lessen the inflammation, pain and the itching of the skin.
  • Soak a clean washcloth in cool milk, drain excess liquid and place on the affected skin.
  • Apply the prescribed eye drops or artificial tears to moisten the eyes and lessen the itchiness of the area.

Tips

  • Wear a mask while skiing and snowboarding.
  • Regularly use of petroleum jelly at least 3-4 times every day as well as sunscreen lotion that contains an SPF of at least 15 and always wear hand gloves, scarves, mufflers and lip balm to prevent windburn.
  • Wear googles to prevent burning sensation in the eyes.

Ways of treating cervicogenic headaches

June 19th, 2017 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on Ways of treating cervicogenic headaches)

Cervicogenic headaches are those that start off at the neck exactly at the bottom of the skull at the upper part of the spine. The headaches start out occasionally in the primary stages and eventually become continuous.

It is usually due to stress, fatigue, difficulty in sleeping, poor posture, back and neck injuries and disc injuries. The headaches are triggered by sudden movements of the neck, dizziness and blurred vision. The episode can last for one hour up to a week. A cervicogenic headache is a secondary headache and caused by another illness or physical problems.

Symptoms of cervicogenic headaches

cervicogenic-headaches

Headache that can be felt on the same side of the neck.

  • Headache that can be felt on the same side of the neck. Headaches felt on the occipital area or back of the head can spread to the forehead or temples. Pain differs from person to person.
  • Limited movement of the cervical spine or stiffness of the neck.
  • Tenderness in the base of the neck
  • The pain can spread to the arms and shoulder on the same side of the headache.
  • Sensitivity to light and sound
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Pain in the head when coughing, sneezing or taking a deep breath
  • Pain that stays in one area such as front, back, side of the head or on the eye

Causes

  • Cervical osteoarthritis which is joint degeneration in the cervical spine
  • Trauma to the spine such as whiplash and other neck-related injuries
  • Growth of tumors in the spine
  • Chronic postural strain due to poor working and sleeping positions
  • Frequent downward position of the head such as reading with the head in a downward position
  • Inflammatory conditions in the neck
  • Conditions such as diabetes and vasculitis

Treatment

  • While sitting and standing, maintain proper posture to prevent pressure placed on the spine and lessen the cervicogenic headaches. Place a pillow or a rolled towel at the back while sitting and make sure the hips are pressed firmly on the back of the chair to lessen the pressure placed on the spine while sitting.
  • Apply heat on the affected area. Heat can be in the form of a hot compress to relax the aching muscles and lessen the pain.
  • Perform simple exercises such as simple walking to strengthen the back and lessen the headaches for at least 20-30 minutes every day.
  • Take the prescribed over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen and paracetamol to lessen the pain and the fever.
  • Seek the help of a physical therapist for some exercises to relieve the cervicogenic headaches.
  • Perform relaxation techniques such as yoga and deep breathing to lessen the pain and relax the muscles.

Treating carpal tunnel syndrome in pregnancy

June 12th, 2017 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on Treating carpal tunnel syndrome in pregnancy)

Carpal tunnel syndrome in pregnancy is caused by inflammation and swelling of the nerves of the carpal tunnel cavity of the wrist found in each hand. It is a common condition during pregnancy due to the accumulation of fluids in the tissue of the body.

Carpal tunnel syndrome usually happens during the second or third trimester and continues to develop until giving birth. It affects the dominant hand and the first and middle fingers but it can also affect the whole hand. It becomes painful upon waking up in the morning due to the curling of the hands all night.

carpal-tunnel-syndrome

Apply ice packs on the affected wrist for at least 20 minutes at a time.

Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome

  • Numbness
  • Pain
  • Tingling sensations felt in the hands, palms and fingers
  • Difficulty gripping objects
  • Symptoms persists up to 6 months after giving birth

Treatment

  • Change and avoid performing activities that make the symptoms severe. Take frequent breaks from repetitive tasks.
  • Wear the prescribed wrist splint to keep the wrist straight prevent it from curling usually at night and prevent unnecessary movements.
  • Apply ice packs on the affected wrist for at least 20 minutes at a time. Wrap the packs with a towel or a cloth before placing on the area to prevent further damage. Another alternative is applying cold and hot therapy alternately 3-4 times every day.
  • Place the affected hands in ice-cold water for at least 10 minutes at a time or another alternative is using a bag of frozen vegetables that is placed on the painful area in the wrist.
  • Elevate the affected hand above the level of the heart to lessen the swelling, inflammation and slow down the flow of blood. When lying down, put the hand on a couple of pillows or a rolled-up towel to keep it elevated.
  • Perform gentle exercises for the fingers and wrist to lessen the swelling and inflammation of the area. Clasp the affected wrist using the hand and massage the area in a circular movement to lessen the congestion and prevent the accumulation of fluid.
  • Take the prescribed pain medication such as aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen to lessen the inflammation and pain.
  • Maintain a good sleeping posture such as sleeping on the side or back when pregnant. Avoid clenching the hands but keep in a neutral and relaxed position. Rest the affected hand on a pillow. If there is numbness and tingling sensation, shake the hands until the pain disappears.

Dealing with a pinched tendon in the rotator cuff

May 23rd, 2017 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on Dealing with a pinched tendon in the rotator cuff)

A pinched tendon in the rotator cuff is also called impingement syndrome. The rotator cuff is composed of small muscles that keep the shoulder joint stable along with full mobility.

If the rotator cuff becomes inflamed, it causes tendonitis and it can become stuck or pinched under the shoulder bones. Inflammation of the rotator cuff happens due to overuse or injuries. A pinched tendon in the rotator cuff causes severe pain in the shoulder especially moving the shoulder overhead.

Symptoms of a pinched tendon in the rotator cuff

  • Mild or moderate pain
  • Pain becomes severe with lifting the arm overhead

    pinched-tendon

    Apply an ice pack on the affected area for at least 20 minutes at a time at 3-4 times every day to lessen the pain and inflammation.

  • Shoulder pain, mainly in the outer area of the upper arm
  • Abnormal clicking sound can be heard when raising the arm over the shoulder
  • Weakness of the affected area. Difficulty in lifting the arm or holding any object using the arm.
  • Limited range of movement. Difficulty in reaching from behind or lifting the arm above the head. Difficulty wearing clothes due to stiffness of the shoulder.

Causes

  • Inflammation or irritation of the rotator cuff muscle
  • Keeping the shoulder under the head while sleeping or playing games which requires extension of arms above the head.
  • Work conditions that needs frequent lifting of the arm can result to wear and tear of the tendon and eventually inflammation.
  • Playing volleyball, baseball, tennis, weight lifting and swimming
  • Aging and degeneration of the tendons.

Treatment

  • Take plenty of rest especially the affected shoulder joint. Avoid performing activities using the affected area.
  • Apply an ice pack on the affected area for at least 20 minutes at a time at 3-4 times every day to lessen the pain and inflammation
  • Take the prescribed anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen and naproxen to lessen the pain and swelling.
  • Minimize activities that can worsen the condition.
  • Seek the help of a physical therapist for some rehabilitation exercises to stretch, strengthen and restore the range of motion of the muscles of the rotator cuff. Rehabilitation exercises strengthen the weak muscles and correct postural problems.
  • If the pain persists, a steroid injection might be required to lessen the pain and swelling in the pinched tendon.

Tips

  • Proper warm up and adequate stretching exercises for the arm and shoulders.
  • Use proper techniques especially in sports and dancing.
  • If pain in the shoulder starts to develop, stop any activity that triggered the problem at least for a few days and perform only stretching and strengthening exercises.

More Information

The details posted on this page on a pinched tendon in the rotator cuff is for learning purposes only. To learn to recognize and manage tendon conditions enroll in a first aid course with one of our training providers.

Dealing with giant cell arteritis

May 22nd, 2017 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on Dealing with giant cell arteritis)

Giant cell arteritis is a condition in which the medium sized arteries found in the scalp, eye and face becomes narrowed and inflamed. It causes headaches, tenderness of the scalp, pain in the jaw and problems with vision. If not properly treated, this condition can result to loss of vision or stroke. The large blood vessels, aorta and its branches can be affected by this condition and can rupture years later.

Symptoms of giant cell arteritis

  • Sudden and permanent loss of vision in one eye
  • Double vision
  • Throbbing headache usually in the temples
  • Pain in the jaw after chewing

    giant-cell-arteritis

    Pain in the upper arms, shoulders, hips or upper thighs especially in the morning.

  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Dry cough
  • Loss of appetite
  • Tenderness of the scalp or temples
  • Pain in the upper arms, shoulders, hips or upper thighs especially in the morning
  • Persistent pain in the head especially in the temple area
  • Unintended loss of weight
  • Bleeding gums

Risk factors

  • Older adults
  • Women
  • A person with Scandinavian origin
  • Suffering from polymyalgia rheumatica with aching and stiffness in the shoulders, hips and neck.

Treatment

  • Take the prescribed steroids such as prednisone to lessen the inflammation in the arteries at least 60 mg every day followed by a reduced maintenance dose of 10 mg every day for 1-2 years. This medication can cause weakening of the bones. Take the prescribed calcium and vitamin D supplements together with a prescribed medication bisphosphonate to prevent damage on the bone.
  • Take the prescribed low dose aspirin to thin out the blood and prevent stroke or heart attack.
  • Take the prescribed proton pump inhibitor to prevent the risk of developing an ulcer. Proton pump inhibitors are medications for long lasting reduction of gastric acid production.
  • Maintain a healthy diet by increasing the consumption of protein to prevent thinning of the bone, high blood pressure and diabetes. Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, fish, lean meats and whole grains. Avoid beverages such as alcohol. Minimize sugar and salt.
  • Perform regular exercises such as aerobics to prevent high blood pressure, diabetes and bone loss.
  • Drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration.
  • Take the prescribed vitamin K supplement to prevent the risk of developing osteoporosis when taking steroids for treatment.
  • Maintain an ideal weight. Avoid being overweight to prevent making the condition worse.

Giant cell arteritis that is not treated properly can result to complications that include inflammation and damage to the other blood vessels in the body along with loss of vision or blindness, stroke and aortic aneurysms.

Remedies for swine flu

May 22nd, 2017 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on Remedies for swine flu)

Swine flu refers to influenza in pigs. Hog farmers and veterinarians are usually affected by the virus. Swine flu is caused by the H1N1 strain of influenza virus. It causes respiratory infection in humans.

Swine flu can be transmitted by inhaling or ingestion droplets that contains the virus usually from people sneezing or coughing. Symptoms of swine flu are the same as the regular influenza.

Symptoms of swine flu

  • Runny or stuffy nose

    swine-flu

    Get plenty of rest and sleep for fast healing of the condition.

  • Fever and chills
  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Watery or red eyes
  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhea
  • Body aches
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headaches

The H1N1 flu symptoms usually develops 1-3 days after exposure to the virus

Causes

The influenza virus infects the cells that lines the nose, throat and lungs and enters the body when inhaling contaminated droplets or getting the virus from contaminated surfaces to the nose, eyes and mouth

Treatment

  • Get plenty of rest and sleep for fast healing of the condition.
  • Drink plenty of liquids such as water, juice and warm soups to prevent dehydration.
  • Take the prescribed over-the-counter pain medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen to lessen the inflammation and pain.
  • Take the prescribed antiviral medication to treat the flu immediately after the person is infected with the virus at least within 2 days. It prevents the growth of the virus in the body and makes the symptoms less severe and reduces the risk for developing serious complications.
  • Perform regular exercises such as walking

Tips

  • Stay home if sick. Avoid exposure to other people to prevent the spread of the disease. Stay home at least for 24 hours after the symptoms are gone.
  • Maintain personal hygiene by thoroughly and frequently washing hands using soap and water. Another alternative is washing hands using an alcohol-based sanitizer.
  • Cover the mouth when sneezing or coughing. Sneeze or cough into a tissue to prevent contaminating the hands.
  • Avoid contact with other crowds if possible to prevent the high risk of developing complications from flu, especially children below 5 years, older than 65, pregnant and suffering from chronic conditions such as asthma.
  • Avoid swine barns at seasonal fairs.
  • Avoid exposure to any members of the household suffering from swine flu.
  • Drink plenty of liquids to prevent dehydration
  • Avoid being stressed.
  • Eating a balanced diet.
  • Minimize touching the nose, eyes or mouth.
  • Avoid going to unhygienic places and using public restrooms.

Dealing with knee gout

May 19th, 2017 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on Dealing with knee gout)

Knee gout is an inflammatory condition characterized by severe pain, redness and swelling of the affected knee joint. Men are more susceptible to this condition than women, usually at the age of 75 years old.

The most common areas affected by gout are the big toes, but it can also affect the hands, ankles, wrist and the knee. These areas become painful, warm, red and swollen.

Causes of knee gout

knee gout

Take the prescribed over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen and naproxen to lessen the pain and inflammation.

  • High levels of uric acid in the blood. Uric acid is a waste product of various sources of food. It usually passes out in the urine, but sometimes there are problems on how the body metabolizes or breaks down the uric acid.
  • High levels of uric acid can develop crystals in the soft tissues especially around the joints including the knee.
  • The uric acid level is usually raised for several years before the symptoms of knee gout can be felt.

Symptoms

  • Pain can be felt usually at night due to the low temperature of the body
  • The joint is warm, reddened, sore and swollen
  • The skin appears shiny around the affected joint
  • Small and firm lumps form under the skin
  • Fever
  • Severe pain when walking

Treatment

  • Take the prescribed over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen and naproxen to lessen the pain and inflammation. Take the medication immediately after the attack.
  • Elevate the affected joint to lessen the swelling and avoid performing strenuous activities. Elevate the affected joint above the level of the heart for proper circulation of blood and drainage.
  • Take the prescribed steroids orally or by injection to lessen the pain and inflammation.
  • Cool down the affected knee joint by applying an ice pack on the area for at least 20 minutes to lessen the pain and inflammation.
  • Fill a small basin with warm water and mix Epsom salt until totally dissolved. Soak a towel in warm water, wring out the excess and wrap around the affected knee and alternate with an ice pack.
  • Perform exercises regularly to improve overall health at least 30 minutes of walking or 15 minutes of running and swimming at 5 times in a week.

How to treat angular cheilitis

May 18th, 2017 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on How to treat angular cheilitis)

Angular cheilitis is a condition that causes cracking, inflammation and bleeding in one or both corners of the mouth. It is also called mouth corner cracks. This condition is caused by staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans but it might also be due to poor-fitted dentures, nutritional deficiency, dry skin and a habit of lip licking. It makes regular daily activities and using the mouth difficult as it affects eating and talking.

Symptoms of angular cheilitis

  • One or two corners of the mouth may be blistered, bleeding and cracked
  • Itchiness, crusting, scaling, redness and pain
  • Dry and uncomfortable
  • Burning sensation in the lips and mouth
  • Bad taste in the mouth
  • Difficulty eating that result to weight loss

    angular-cheilitis

    Apply the prescribed anti-fungal cream such as clotrimazole to the sores. It lessens the pain and inflammation.

Causes

  • Deficiency in vitamins
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Allergic reaction to cosmetic products and foods
  • Poor nutrition and deficiency in zinc and iron
  • Using ill-fitting dentures
  • Excessive salivation and drooling
  • Sunburn and exposure to severe weather condition
  • Underlying disorders such as anorexia nervosa and diabetes mellitus
  • Medical conditions that are at a high risk of developing angular cheilitis include anemia, diabetes, cancer of the blood and immune disorders such as HIV
  • Dehydration
  • Oral herpes due to stress, poor eating and lack of sleep

Treatment

  • Apply the prescribed over-the-counter topical antibiotic and antifungal creams.
  • If angular cheilitis is due to a nutritional deficiency, take the prescribed nutritional supplement and medication for deficiency in vitamins and minerals. Deficiency in vitamins B2, B3, B6 and B12 can cause angular cheilitis.
  • Stop lip-licking habit.
  • Apply the prescribed anti-fungal cream such as clotrimazole to the sores. It lessens the pain and inflammation
  • Moisturize the lips by applying a lip salve regularly. Vitamin E oil and olive oil can be used as lip moisturizers. Avoid citrus and beverages that contain citrus during the healing process to prevent worsening of the condition. Avoid eating spicy foods.
  • Avoid wearing ill-fitting dentures to prevent further damage.
  • Soak the affected area on salty water.
  • Keep the body well hydrated by drinking 8-10 glasses of water every day. Water keeps the body moisturized from the inside and prevents it from becoming cracked and dry.