It’s that time of year. If the flu or a cold hasn’t gotten to you yet, seasonal allergies likely have. But what do you do when that cough you developed from the sniffles just won’t go away? It’s possible that your illness or allergies could have developed into bronchitis.
What is Bronchitis?
Bronchitis occurs when the respiratory tract is triggered either by an irritant or preexisting condition, causing your bronchial tubes to become inflamed. Because your bronchial tubes carry air to your lungs, those with bronchitis often suffer from a cough that brings up mucus, shortness of breath, wheezing, chest tightness, and even a low-grade fever. If you experience this condition over an extended length of time or the condition recurs, you might be suffering from chronic bronchitis, a type of COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
What are the symptoms?
Those who are suffering from bronchitis can have symptoms varying in severity over a varied amount of time. Those who experience symptoms for at least three months or more and experience recurring bouts are typically diagnosed with chronic, rather than acute, bronchitis.
Symptoms of Acute Bronchitis:
- Chest Congestion or tightness
- Cough that brings up thick, hard to break up, clear, yellow or green mucus
- Shortness of breath
- Sore throat
- Runny nose
- Body aches
Those suffering from acute bronchitis will often present symptoms similar to a cold or the flu at first before developing a cough. Most acute bronchitis symptoms last less than ten days, but the cough might linger for several weeks.
Symptoms of Chronic Bronchitis:
- Cough that brings up thick, hard to break up, clear, yellow or green mucus
- Cough that lasts longer than three months
- Shortness of breath
- Difficulty Breathing
- Chest tightness
- Body aches
You may have chronic bronchitis if your acute bronchitis symptoms worsen and your cough persists for longer than three months. If left untreated, chronic bronchitis can develop into much more severe conditions like pneumonia and peripheral edema.
What causes bronchitis?
Acute bronchitis can be caused by a virus, bacteria or an airborne irritant. The most common cause of acute bronchitis is a contagious virus such as a cold or the flu. Still, the condition can be triggered by environmental factors such as pollution, allergens, smoke, fumes, dust and vapors. The most common cause of chronic bronchitis is smoking, but not everyone who suffers from chronic bronchitis is a smoker. Other factors such as asthma, allergies, air quality, genetics, a history of respiratory disease, or a history of gastroesophageal reflux disease, may make you more likely to develop acute or chronic bronchitis.
When should I get help?
If you think you may be experiencing chronic bronchitis, you must seek treatment as prolonged irritation can cause lung and airway tissue damage and even develop into pneumonia or other conditions such as emphysema. Because chronic bronchitis restricts airflow to the lungs when left untreated, the condition causes low oxygen levels in the blood leading to complications such as peripheral edema.
If you are experiencing the following symptoms, you should seek emergency medical help immediately.
- Extreme changes in body temperature dipping below 95°F or rising above 104°F
- Rapid heart rate
- Rapid breathing
- Nails and lips begin turning grey or blue
- Difficulty breathing
- Dizziness or Confusion
- Coughing up blood or blood in your mucus
- Inability to swallow
- Chest pain
- Swelling of the feet or hands (peripheral edema)
If you think you might have bronchitis of any severity or you think you might be experiencing a complication related to your bronchitis, come to a Medco ER & Urgent Care for treatment. Our advanced technology, board-certified physicians, and highly trained nurses make Medco ER & Urgent Care the best place to treat anything from acute to chronic bronchitis and even breathing emergencies. Our locations in Plano and Frisco are open 24 hours a day seven days a week for all urgent care and emergency services. With little to no wait time and no appointment needed, you won’t have to wait to start feeling better. If you have any questions, please contact us or visit one of our locations in Plano or Frisco.
Allergies and allergic reactions are very common, often drastically ranging in symptoms and severity based on the allergen, genetics and your body’s natural response. When you are exposed to an allergen that your immune system sees as a threat, your body will react to protect you from what it thinks is harming you, causing allergic reaction symptoms. These allergens could be pollen, pets, foods, chemicals, or even medications. Knowing the signs of an allergic reaction and when it’s time to seek medical help is very important and could potentially save your life or that of someone you love. If you are unsure if you might be allergic to a substance, consider making an appointment with a local allergist who can help you identify your triggers safely and provide you with treatment options.
What are the different types of allergic reactions?
Depending on the substance the individual has been exposed to, allergic reaction symptoms can develop in many forms and affect different areas of the body. In severe cases, allergens can trigger a life-threatening reaction known as anaphylaxis.
What is Anaphylaxis?
Anaphylaxis is a rare, life-threatening reaction to an allergen to which the body has become hypersensitive. Most allergic reactions don’t result in anaphylaxis, but it’s important to know the signs, as this condition can be fatal. An anaphylactic reaction can occur within seconds or minutes of exposure to something to which an individual is highly allergic. When anaphylaxis begins, the brain releases a flood of chemicals that start to shut down the body’s natural processes and can cause the sufferer to go into shock very rapidly.
Because anaphylaxis is rapid and life-threatening, an injection of epinephrine is essential to relax the constricted muscles around the airways and in the lungs. This injection prevents the airway from closing for a short time until the individual can be transported to an emergency room for further care. It is important to seek emergency medical care after receiving the injection because it’s possible for the recipient to have a second severe allergic reaction after the medication has worn off. If you do not have an emergency epinephrine injection, seek emergency medical help or call 911 immediately.
Symptoms of Anaphylaxis include:
- Skin reactions, including hives, itching and flushing or pale skin
- Low blood pressure (hypotension)
- Constriction of airways
- A weak and rapid pulse
- Wheezing and trouble breathing caused by a swollen tongue or throat
- Severe shortness of breath
- Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
- Dizziness or fainting
- Loss of consciousness
If you think you or someone you know is experiencing anaphylaxis administer an epinephrine injection and seek emergency medical help immediately.
Often referred to as seasonal allergies or Hay Fever, allergic rhinitis occurs when the immune system overacts to allergens in the air, such as dust, pollen, dander and mold. This allergic reaction is widespread and affects more than 50 million Americans each year.
Symptoms of Hay Fever include:
- Itchy nose, eyes, or roof of the mouth
- Runny, stuffy nose
- Watery, red or swollen eyes (conjunctivitis)
Hay Fever can typically be treated with over-the-counter allergy medications, but if your symptoms become more severe, or if you have a child suffering from Hay Fever, you should see your doctor about additional or alternative treatment options.
Food allergies are caused by the overreaction of the immune system to certain foods it identifies as a threat. While triggers, symptoms and the severity of the reaction can vary from person to person, allergic reactions can sometimes be triggered by exposure to only a small amount of the food allergen. While some may experience mild or uncomfortable symptoms, others may have an allergic reaction that is far more frightening, painful and even life-threatening.
Common symptoms of a Food Allergy include:
- Tingling or itching in the mouth
- Hives, itching or eczema
- Swelling of the lips, face, tongue and throat or other parts of the body
- Wheezing, nasal congestion or trouble breathing
- Abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting
- Dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting
Some mild food reactions can be treated with an over-the-counter antihistamine. If the symptoms are more moderate than mild, avoid exposure to the food that triggered the response and make an appointment with your doctor. If your symptoms begin to worsen or become severe, try to stay calm and seek medical help immediately.
Insect Sting Allergy:
While it’s normal for the body to react to insect stings, there is a distinct difference between a normal insect sting reaction and an allergic insect sting reaction. The most common insect stings in the United States come from wasps, yellow jackets, hornets, honeybees and in the southern US, red and black fire ants. A typical reaction will result in pain, swelling, redness and itching confined to the sting site while an allergic reaction will cause symptoms outside of or include an extensive area around or near the sting site. A typical insect sting on the arm should not produce severe pain and swelling of the whole limb.
Common symptoms of an insect sting allergy include:
- Swelling (in are of sting and sometimes beyond)
Although many insect sting allergic reaction symptoms can be treated with over-the-counter topical and oral medications, it’s vital that you seek medical help if you are experiencing any severe symptoms or believe you may be experiencing anaphylaxis.
Any medication, including over-the-counter, prescription, oral, topical or herbal is capable of triggering a drug allergy. A drug allergy is not the same as a drug side effect or drug toxicity. Drug side effects are known possible reactions and can be found listed on the drug label; an overdose of the medication causes drug toxicity; and a drug allergy is the body’s immune system overacting to the medication.
Common symptoms of a drug allergy include:
- Skin Rash
- Shortness of breath
- Runny nose
- Itchy, watery eyes
If you think you may be having an allergic reaction to a medication, stop taking the medication immediately and call your doctor. If your symptoms worsen or become severe, seek emergency medical help immediately.
Allergic reactions of any severity can happen at any time. Medco ER & Urgent Care is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and patients can usually be seen by a physician within minutes. With facilities in Plano and Frisco, you can rest assured that help is right around the corner should an allergic reaction occur. Our board-certified physicians and highly-trained nurses are prepared to help you in any situation at any time. If you think you may be having an allergic reaction, please call our Frisco location at 469.392.4100, our Plano location at 469.392.4000, or walk-in at any time.
One of the most common illnesses we treat at Medco ER & Urgent Care is influenza (the flu). While it’s possible to contract the flu year-round, it’s more common to see an increase in those infected with the illness during the fall and winter. As we head into flu season, we believe it’s essential to be knowledgeable about the virus, its symptoms, and how to protect yourself from contracting and spreading the flu. These are the most frequently asked questions we often see regarding influenza.
What are the symptoms?
- Fever of over 100.4° F (38° C)
- Aching muscles
- Chills and sweats
- Dry, persistent cough
- Fatigue and weakness
- Nasal congestion
- Sore throat
How do I know if I have a cold or the flu?
While the symptoms of influenza and the common cold are very similar, those with a cold are less likely to experience a fever, chills, and headaches. Those suffering from a cold are more likely to experience gradual symptoms rather than the abrupt, more severe symptoms of the flu. If you think that you may have the flu, its important that you promptly see a doctor to help prevent the spread of the virus. After a physical, assessing your symptoms and performing tests, your doctor will be able to more accurately tell if you are suffering from a common cold or the flu and treat your condition properly.
How long will I be contagious?
After exposure to the influenza virus, it may take between 1 and 4 days for you to develop symptoms. If a healthy adult has contracted the virus, they will be the most contagious in the first three or four days of developing symptoms but can be contagious 1 day before the appearance of symptoms and up to 7 of being sick. Children and those with a compromised immune system may be contagious for longer than 7 days.
Can the flu be treated at home?
If you are only experiencing minor flu-like symptoms, it is possible to treat and soothe flu symptoms at home with over the counter medication. However, a physician has the ability to more accurately diagnose your condition and prescribe the appropriate antiviral or related prescription medication.
When should I see a doctor for the flu?
If you think that you are experiencing severe flu-like symptoms or are in a high-risk group such as children under the age of 12, those over the age of 65, and individuals with chronic illness or a compromised immune system, it is essential you are seen by a physician. High-risk groups are more likely to develop complications related to the flu, such as pneumonia, sinus infections, bronchitis, and in some rare cases, hospitalization or death. Even in healthy adults, flu-like symptoms are shared by many other, often life-threatening conditions that may require immediate attention, such as a heart attack.
When should I go to the ER for flu-like symptoms?
You should go to the nearest emergency room or seek emergency medical help if you are in a high-risk group or are experiencing:
- A fever of 103° F or higher
- Trouble breathing or shortness of breath while at rest
- Pain or pressure in the chest
- Abdominal pain or pressure
- Sudden dizziness
- Severe vomiting
You should take your child to the emergency room or seek emergency medical help if they are experiencing:
- Any of the above symptoms
- Difficulty breathing or breathing fast
- A bluish tone to the skin
- A fever with a rash
- Limited liquid intake
What can I do to prevent the flu?
The best way to prevent contraction of the flu is to get a flu vaccination each year. Visit Medco ER & Urgent Care in Plano or Frisco, at any time 24/7 to have you and your family vaccinated before flu season begins.
Wash your hands:
To help protect yourself from getting sick or spread of the virus, regularly wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer.
Cover your mouth:
Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid those who are sick:
Avoid exposure to the virus by limiting close contact with those who are sick. If you are caring for someone who has the flu, its best to limit the number of people who have contact with the sick individual, keep surfaces around the home disinfected, and make sure that all who are in the home are following the flu prevention measures listed above.
If you’re sick stay home:
While sometimes the contraction of influenza is unavoidable, it is imperative to stay home if you to become sick. Unless you are going to see your doctor, it’s recommended that those who are infected with the flu avoid public spaces to reduce the spread of the virus.
Why do I need to get a flu shot every year?
The first line of defense against the flu is getting vaccinated, but unlike other illnesses, there are many different strains of the influenza virus. This constant change in the virus, coupled with the body’s natural decline in immunity over time, makes it essential to get a new flu vaccination each year before the flu season starts.
Can I contract the flu from a flu shot?
This is a common misconception. You cannot contract influenza from the flu vaccine. However, the flu vaccine does not work right away. It takes about two weeks for your body to develop the proper antibodies to protect against the flu. Therefore the CDC recommends vaccination before the flu begins to spread through your community.
If you think you or a loved one might have the flu come to see us at one of our locations in Plano or Frisco. Each Medco ER & Urgent Care facility is equipped to diagnose, test, and treat minor to severe flu-like symptoms and related conditions under one roof, 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
Before we delve into some things about childhood asthma that you may not know, it’s important to point out that patients of all ages can be impacted by the condition.
But when it comes to children, childhood asthma is one of the leading causes of emergency room visits and hospitalizations in children. In fact, according to the American Lung Association, the condition affects over seven million children younger than 18 in the United States.
Here’s What A Lot of Parents Don’t Know About Asthma in Children
- The symptoms may seem to come and go without you being able to identify the triggers that cause them.
- Your child can have an allergic asthma attack without the presence of a wheeze.
- Although children do not grow out of asthma, there may be periods of time when asthma medications aren’t needed.
- Asthma can be found in every social and economic group — in other words, allergic asthma does not discriminate.
Asthma Attack Treatment
The bottom line about asthma is that anyone with the condition should always be prepared for emergency treatment at a medical facility such as Medco ER & Urgent Care. It’s important to bring your child in to be treated by us as soon as you see any sign of an asthma attack. Even if you believe that it’s not a medical emergency, the condition can worsen without you becoming aware of it and needs to be treated promptly.
How to Recognize an Asthma Emergency
Although the symptoms will vary between individuals, the following are some of the most common symptoms that we treat:
- Shortness of breath, even when immobile
- Wheezing when breathing both in and out
- Chest tightness and pressure
- Frequent Coughing
- Tightened neck and chest muscles
- Difficulty walking, talking or participating in normal activities
- Increased heart rate.
- Unexplained anxiety
- A bluish tint to lips and fingernails
- Unexplained exhaustion or confusion
- A “sunken in” appearance around the ribs
How Medco ER Can Help
If you think that your child may be having an asthma attack seek emergency medical help IMMEDIATELY. When it comes to childhood asthma, don’t wait for the symptoms to worsen – we’re here 24/7 to make sure every patient is taken care of. With little to no wait times, your child can get the help that they need as quickly as possible.
In many cases, patients who’ve experienced trauma to a bone will pass it off as “only a fracture” and not a break, and not seek medical treatment. But the truth is that any bone trauma requires medical attention.
Broken Bones and Fracture Treatment Require the Same Attention
Whether a patient refers to the damage they’ve received as a fracture or a break, the body’s response is the same. The lining of the bone contains an abundance of nerve endings that cause pain. When a trauma occurs to the bone, the muscles that surround the affected bone begin to spasm to isolate movement – your body’s own way of preventing further damage. But even if you can move the injured area, it does not mean treatment should be avoided. Here are some things you can do prior to coming to Medco ER & Urgent Care:
- If there’s bleeding associated with the trauma, apply pressure to the wound with a clean cloth
- Do not try to realign the bone – instead, try to immobilize the area until it can receive bone fracture treatment or broken bone treatment
- Use an ice pack to minimize swelling to the area and to provide pain relief
- If the person who has suffered the trauma is displaying signs of shock (such as feeling faint or having difficulty controlling their breathing), have them lie down in a position that places their head lower angle than the rest of their body and if possible elevate the legs.
Healing Time for Bone Fractures
The time required for a bone fracture – or a bone break – will depend on several different factors such as:
- The type of break or fracture
- The patient’s age
- Underlying medical conditions
- Overall health status
Generally, most patients are able to achieve functional healing in about eight weeks.
Visit Medco ER & Urgent Care for Emergency Medical Care and More!
Whether it’s for a broken bone, a bone fracture, or any other type of medical care, Medco ER & Urgent Care is the best facility in your community to meet your medical needs. We offer advanced technology, compassionate staff, and high-quality care to each of our Plano and Frisco neighbors. If you ever need medical help, you can trust that Medco ER & Urgent care will always be available when you need us 24/7.
Food poisoning can cause serious illness that can sometimes be fatal if not treated properly. With the Centers for Disease Control reporting that more than 48,000 people get sick each year from some type of food-related illness, more and more people are wondering whether what they’re experiencing at home is indeed food poisoning — and if it is, what type of food poisoning treatment should be pursued.
The Timing of Food Poisoning
The symptoms of food poisoning will present themselves within the first 36 hours of ingesting contaminated food. However, it’s important to point out that some cases of food infection may not appear until much later – sometimes up to one week after the food has been ingested.
The Symptoms of Food Poisoning
Although food poisoning usually presents itself with stomach cramps, diarrhea, and vomiting, other pathogens can manifest in symptoms as wide-ranging as what’s shown below:
- Loose stools
- Bloody diarrhea
- Blurred or double vision
- Sensitivity to light
Some of the above symptoms signal a type of food poisoning called botulism and require immediate food infection treatment from a facility such as Medco ER & Urgent Care. Some other symptoms include:
Food Poisoning Remedies
Most severe forms of food poisoning will require medical intervention if the symptoms have not cleared on their own within a day or two. If you are experiencing diarrhea, it is very important to stay hydrated. While solid food intake may make you feel worse, you might try drinking broth, tea, or coconut water in addition to regular water intake to avoid dehydration and restore lost electrolytes. Try to avoid drinking sugary beverages since they can make symptoms of diarrhea worse. Once your stomach starts to settle down, reintroduce bland foods in small quantities. These include plain toast, bananas, rice, non-creamed soups, and unsweetened oatmeal. If you are experiencing severe symptoms or if your symptoms persist over a long period of time, seek medical help.
At Medco ER & Urgent Care, our facilities are designed to treat food poisoning and it’s symptoms at any severity. Our locations in Plano and Frisco are open 24/7 and our compassionate staff is always standing by, available to help at any time. There are no appointments needed and with our minimal wait times, you will be back to feeling better, faster.
Any time the immune system faces a threat, there’s the risk of infection. Infections most frequently occur in and around wounds, in the skin, and along the respiratory and digestive tracts. Although sometimes dismissed as minor health conditions, infections can become serious quickly and may even become life-threatening.
Signs and Symptoms
One of the most common symptoms of infection is a fever. A temperature above 101 degrees Fahrenheit is considered a fever severe enough for medical attention. Fevers also produce other signs, such as reduced appetite, chills, lethargy, and aches. If you are experiencing signs of a fever, even at a lower temperature, coupled with other symptoms of skin, urinary, respiratory, or digestive tract infections, you should seek treatment at a Medco ER & Urgent facility in Plano or Frisco.
Recent cuts or surgical wounds are at higher risk of infection because it exposes the tissue under the skin to germs and bacteria that can grow and prevent the wound from properly healing. Skin and wound infections might appear swollen or irritated and feel warm to the touch, firm, or painful. An infected may also produce pus or discharge, a yellow crust on top, or foul odor. If you have a red streak that runs from your wound toward your heart, it is very important that you seek medical help immediately as your infected wound may have become life-threatening.
Urinary Tract Infection
Urinary tract infections most often happen due to hospital visits, personal hygiene issues, or sexual activity. The signs of a urinary tract infection are relatively easy to spot and include pain or burning while urinating, changes in urination frequency, and changes to the smell of urine. Although easily treated, urinary infections do pose the risk of causing kidney infections and even kidney failure. This is why while there are over the counter medications and treatments to soothe the symptoms of a urinary tract infection, it’s important to see a doctor that can prescribe you the proper antibiotics to treat the infection.
Respiratory Tract Infections
Most often, respiratory tract infections occur as a complication to colds, sinus issues, or other illnesses. Respiratory infections are usually accompanied by coughing, phlegm, a runny nose, discolored mucus, scratchy or sore throat, swollen lymph nodes, congestion, and sneezing. While there is a wide range of respiratory tract infections with varying symptoms, some infections, such as Strep, can be very contagious. If you think that you may have a respiratory infection, it’s important to be treated promptly to prevent the development or a more severe condition and to prevent the spread of the infection to the public.
Commonly referred to as stomach flu, Gastroenteritis is an infection of the digestive tract that can be caused by ingesting contaminated food or contacted with someone else who is infected. Symptoms of Gastroenteritis are watery diarrhea, abdominal cramps, nausea or vomiting, and sometimes fever. It’s important to see a doctor if you are unable to keep liquids down for 24 hours, you have been vomiting for more than two days, you showing signs of dehydration, you have blood in your vomit or bowel movements, or you have a fever above 104 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you think you’re experiencing any of these conditions, contact a Medco ER & Urgent Care near you in Plano or Frisco so that we can help you avoid more serious complications. If symptoms worsen, including higher fever, unconsciousness, or severe pain, know that at all of our locations, we have minimal wait times and have staff standing by to help you immediately, 24/7. We are here to provide you and your family with the fastest professional care for any condition at any time.