Common Issues That Can Be Treated Safely Online

Common Cold


What causes cough, runny nose, and other symptoms of the common cold? — These symptoms are usually caused by a viral infection. Lots of viruses can take hold inside your nose, mouth, throat, or lungs, and cause cold symptoms. Most people get over a cold without lasting problems. Even so, having a cold can be uncomfortable. And if your child has a cold, it can be hard to know when the symptoms call for a trip to the doctor. What are the symptoms of the common cold? — The symptoms include: ●Sneezing ●Coughing ●Sniffling and runny nose ●Sore throat ●Chest congestion In children, the common cold can also cause a fever. But adults do not usually get a fever when they have a cold. How can I tell if I have a cold or the flu? — The common cold and the flu both cause many of the same symptoms. But they also have some important differences. This table can help you tell the difference between the 2:




Flu


What is the flu? — The flu is an infection that can cause fever, cough, body aches, and other symptoms. There are different forms of the flu, including the "seasonal" flu, the 2009-2010 pandemic H1N1 flu (also called the "swine" flu), and the bird flu. All forms of the flu are caused by viruses. The medical term for the flu is "influenza." What are the most common flu symptoms? — All forms of the flu can cause: ●Fever (temperature higher than 10 0ºF or 37.8ºC) ●Cough ●Headache or body aches Less common symptoms are sore throat and a runny nose. Is the flu dangerous? — It can be. Most people get over the flu on their own, without any lasting problems. But some people need to go to the hospital because of the flu. And some people even die from it. This is because the flu can cause a serious lung infection called pneumonia. That's why it's important to keep from getting the flu in the first place. What should I do if I get the flu? — If you think you have the flu, stay home, rest, and drink plenty of fluids. You can also take acetaminophen (sample brand name: Tylenol) to relieve fever and aches. Do not give aspirin or medicines that contain aspirin to children younger than 18. In children, aspirin can cause a serious problem called Reye syndrome. Most people with the flu get better on their own within 1 to 2 weeks. But you should go to your local ER if you: ●Have trouble breathing or are short of breath ●Feel pain or pressure in your chest or belly ●Get suddenly dizzy ●Feel confused ●Have severe vomiting Take your child to the ER or pediatrician if he or she: ●Starts breathing fast or has trouble breathing ●Starts to turn blue or purple ●Is not drinking enough fluids ●Will not wake up or will not interact with you ●Is so unhappy that he or she does not want to be held ●Gets better from the flu but then gets sick again with a fever or cough ●Has a fever with a rash If you decide to go to a walk-in clinic or a hospital because of the flu, tell someone right away why you are there. The staff might ask you to wear a mask or to wait someplace where you are less likely to spread your infection. Whether or not you see a doctor or nurse, you should stay home while you are sick with the flu. Do not go to work or school until your fever has been gone for at least 24 hours, without taking fever-reducing medicine, such as acetaminophen. If you work in a healthcare setting taking care of patients, you might need to stay home longer if you are still coughing. Also, always cover your mouth and nose with the inside of your elbow when you cough or sneeze. Can the flu be treated? — Yes, people with the flu can get medicines called antiviral medicines. These medicines can help people avoid some of the problems caused by the flu. Not every person with the flu needs an antiviral medicine, but some people do. Your doctor or nurse will decide if you need an antiviral medicine. Antibiotics DO NOT WORK on the flu. What if I am pregnant? — The flu can be very dangerous for pregnant women. If you are pregnant, it is very important that you get the flu vaccine. You should also avoid taking care of anyone who has the flu. You should not seek treatment through telemedicine. An "in person" exam is necessary if you are pregnant! If you are pregnant, call your doctor or nurse right away if: ●You might have been near someone with the flu. ●You think you might be coming down with the flu. In pregnant women, the symptoms of the flu can get worse very quickly. The flu can even cause trouble breathing or lead to death of the woman or her baby. That is why it is so important that you talk to doctor or nurse as soon as you notice any of the flu symptoms listed above. You will need an antiviral medicine if you are pregnant and have the flu.




Bronchitis


What is bronchitis? — Bronchitis is an infection that causes a cough. It happens when the tubes that carry air into the lungs, called the “bronchi,” get infected. Usually, bronchitis happens when a person gets a cold or the flu. The viruses that cause the cold or flu infect the bronchi and irritate them. What are the symptoms of bronchitis? — The most common symptoms of bronchitis are: ●A nagging cough that can last up to a few weeks ●Coughing up mucus that is clear, yellow, or green (People with bronchitis do not usually get a fever).




Sinusitis


What is sinusitis? — Sinusitis is a condition that can cause a stuffy nose, pain in the face, and yellow or green discharge (mucus) from the nose. The sinuses are hollow areas in the bones of the face. They have a thin lining that normally makes a small amount of mucus. When this lining gets infected, it swells and makes extra mucus. This causes symptoms. Sinusitis can occur when a person gets sick with a cold. The germs causing the cold can also infect the sinuses. Many times, a person feels like his or her cold is getting better. But then he or she gets sinusitis and begins to feel sick again. What are the symptoms of sinusitis? — Common symptoms of sinusitis include: ●Stuffy or blocked nose ●Thick yellow or green discharge from the nose ●Pain in the teeth ●Pain or pressure in the face – This often feels worse when a person bends forward. People with sinusitis can also have other symptoms that include: ●Fever ●Cough ●Trouble smelling ●Ear pressure or fullness ●Headache ●Bad breath ●Feeling tired Most of the time, symptoms start to improve in 7 to 10 days. Should I see a healthcare provider? — See your doctor or nurse if your symptoms last more than 10 days, or if your symptoms get better at first but then get worse. Sometimes, sinusitis can lead to serious problems. See your doctor or nurse right away (do not wait 10 days and do not use online/telemedicine) if you have: ●Fever higher than 102°F (38.9°C) ●Sudden and severe pain in the face and head ●Trouble seeing or seeing double ●Trouble thinking clearly ●Swelling or redness around one or both eyes ●A stiff neck Is there anything I can do on my own to feel better? — Yes. To reduce your symptoms, you can: ●Take an over-the-counter pain reliever to reduce the pain ●Rinse your nose and sinuses with salt water a few times a day – Ask your doctor or nurse about the best way to do this. Antihistamines do not improve symptoms of sinusitis. Common antihistamines include diphenhydramine (sample brand name: Benadryl), chlorpheniramine (sample brand name: Chlor-Trimeton), loratadine (sample brand name: Claritin), and cetirizine (sample brand name: Zyrtec). They can treat allergies, but not sinus infections, and could increase your discomfort by drying the lining of your nose and sinuses, or making you tired. Your healthcare provider might also prescribe a steroid nose spray to reduce the swelling in your nose. (Steroid nose sprays do not contain the same steroids that athletes take to build muscle.) How is sinusitis treated? — Most of the time, sinusitis does not need to be treated with antibiotic medicines. This is because most sinusitis is caused by viruses – not bacteria – and antibiotics do not kill viruses. Many people get over sinus infections without antibiotics. Some people with sinusitis do need treatment with antibiotics. If your symptoms have not improved after 10 days, ask your provider if you should take antibiotics. They might recommend that you wait 1 more week to see if your symptoms improve. But if you have symptoms such as a fever or a lot of pain, he or she might prescribe antibiotics. It is important to follow your doctor's instructions about taking your antibiotics.




Pink Eye


What is pinkeye? — “Pinkeye” is the everyday term people use to describe an infection or irritation of the eye. The medical term for pinkeye is “conjunctivitis.” If you have pinkeye, your eye (or eyes) might: ●Turn red or pink ●Weep or ooze a gooey liquid ●Become itchy or burn ●Get stuck shut Pinkeye can be caused by an infection, allergies, or an unknown irritation. Can you catch pinkeye from someone else? — Yes. When pinkeye is caused by an infection, it can spread easily. Usually, people catch it from touching something that has touched an infected person’s eye. If you know someone with pinkeye, avoid touching his or her pillowcases, towels, or other personal items. Can pinkeye be treated? — Most cases of pinkeye go away on their own, without treatment. But, yes, it can be treated. When pinkeye is caused by infection, it is usually caused by a virus, so antibiotics will NOT help. Still, pinkeye caused by a virus will go away on its own in a few days. Pinkeye caused by an infection with bacteria can be treated with antibiotic eye drops or gels. Pinkeye caused by other problems can be treated with eye drops normally used to treat allergies. These drops will not cure the pinkeye, but they can help with itchiness and irritation. When using eye drops for infection, do not touch your good eye after touching your affected eye, and do not touch the bottle or dropper directly in one eye and then use it in the other. Both of these things can cause the infection to spread from one eye to the other. What if I wear contact lenses? — If you wear contact lenses and you have symptoms of pinkeye, it is really important to have a doctor look at your eyes. In people who wear contacts, the symptoms of pinkeye can be caused by serious problems. During treatment for eye infections, you might need to stop wearing your contacts for a short time. Plus, you might need to throw away your contact lens case and carefully clean your contacts. If your contacts are disposable, you will want to throw them away and start fresh. Can pinkeye be prevented? — To keep from getting or spreading pinkeye, wash your hands often with soap and water. If washing is not possible, alcohol-based hand gels work, too. Also, avoid sharing towels, bed clothes, or other personal items with a person who has pinkeye.




Urinary Tract Infection


What is the urinary tract? — The urinary tract is the group of organs in the body that handle urine (figure 1). The urinary tract includes the: ●Kidneys, 2 bean-shaped organs that filter the blood to make urine ●Bladder, a balloon-shaped organ that stores urine ●Ureters, 2 tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder ●Urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body What are urinary tract infections? — Urinary tract infections, also called "UTIs," are infections that affect either the bladder or the kidneys. Bladder infections are more common than kidney infections. Bladder infections happen when bacteria get into the urethra and travel up into the bladder. Kidney infections happen when the bacteria travel even higher, up into the kidneys. Both bladder and kidney infections are more common in women than men. What are the symptoms of a bladder infection? — The symptoms include: ●Pain or a burning feeling when you urinate ●The need to urinate often ●The need to urinate suddenly or in a hurry ●Blood in the urine How can Nytingale Virtual Urgent Care help? A Nytingale provider may prescribe an antibiotic (in most cases a UTI/Bladder infection is caused by the same bacteria in everyone). The provider may also prescribe a bladder analgesic which will help with the pain associated with a urinary tract infection.




Poison Ivy


What is poison ivy? — Poison ivy is a plant that can cause an itchy, red skin rash. When people have this rash, they often say, “I got poison ivy.” The same substance that causes the poison ivy rash is also found in poison oak, poison sumac, the ginkgo fruit, and mango peels. How did I get poison ivy? — You might have gotten poison ivy if you: ●Touched a poison ivy plant ●Touched something that had the plant’s oils on it (such as clothing, animal fur, or garden tools) ●Were nearby when poison ivy plants were being burned What does poison ivy look like? — Poison ivy and poison oak have 3 leaves coming off a single stem. That's why there is a saying, “leaves of 3, let them be." The leaves start out green, but they can turn red or brown. Even dead plants can cause the rash. What will happen to my rash? — Your rash should go away within 1 to 3 weeks, but it might form blisters before it does. Blisters are little bubbles of skin that are filled with fluid. They can show up in different places at different times. But that does not mean that the rash is spreading. Touching the blisters or the fluid inside the blisters will not spread the rash. What can I do to relieve the itching? — You can: ●Avoid scratching (that makes the itch worse) ●Try putting a cold, wet cloth or paper towels on your rash ●Use calamine lotion ●If your blisters have started to pop, use skin products that have aluminum acetate in them (examples include Burrow's solution and Domeboro)




Home Medication Refills


We can offer a refill of common maintanence medications when you cannot reach the original prescriber. Nytingale providers cannot refill controlled substances.




What Else?


If there is anything a patient may feel could be treated safely online, please complete the intake form to the best of your ability by giving information you may feel is pertinent. A provider is more than happy to evaluate and let you know if its something they can treat online.





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