Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Seasonal Allergies: A Late Spring Means Bad Allergies

Due to spring’s late start, many Long Islanders may have forgotten to take seasonal preventative steps to avoid irritating allergy symptoms.

“Sneezing, coughing, difficulty breathing, itchy-watery eyes, are the initial signs of an allergic reaction. Due to longer than usual winter in the Northeast, allergy season was delayed a few weeks,” explained Louis Guida, MD, FCCP, allergist on staff at St. Charles Hospital. “The pollens are now in full bloom. One must remember an allergen is an irritant that causes an inflammatory process leading to some of the previously mentioned symptoms.”

How can you mitigate the discomfort?
  • Begin taking antihistamines immediately to help manage and prevent allergy symptoms, such as inflammations and sinus infections.
  • Use a saline solution or neti pot to cleanse nasal passages and rinse away allergens that stick to membranes in the nose, to prevent inflammation in the sinus passages and respiratory tissues. 
  • More over-the-counter sprays and other remedies will be available this spring, including some that were previously available only by prescription, but do not OVER USE them, as that can cause irritation and bleeding. They can also have significant side effects, including but not limited to, hypertension and prostate enlargement. Please check with your health care provider prior to initiating these over-the-counter medications.
  • If you are experiencing any signs of sinusitis, asthma or upper respiratory tract infections, or if sneezing symptoms persist, consult your doctor. If you are prescribed allergy medications, please use only as directed.
  • Plan for good health: it’s recommended that sufferers know their allergens. Ask your doctor to test to find out what you’re allergic to, so you can begin taking medication before symptoms begin. This usually helps allergy sufferers feel better throughout the changing seasons.

If you need a family practitioner, please visit www.chsli.org or call 1-855-CHS-4500.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

CHS: Healthy Sundays

If you need access to convenient, free health care, then read further. CHS provides free health screenings, immunizations and education to the medically underserved all year round. Since 2005, the system’s Healthy Sundays program has been delivering these vital services to residents in their own communities, partnering with churches and other community-based organizations across Nassau and Suffolk. CHS employees volunteer thousands of hours each year to staff these events and make a difference in others’ lives.

Our teams provide blood pressure, cholesterol and other screenings, as well as offering immunizations and seminars, reaching thousands of people who otherwise would be without health care. Those with elevated, or high, screening results are referred to one of the Bishop McHugh Health Centers located in Bay Shore and Hicksville or to a CHS hospital, where they are treated, regardless of their ability to pay.

Click on “Community Health” at www.chsli.org to read more about Healthy Sundays or view the events calendar for details on a free health screening in your community or call 1-855-CHS-4500. 

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Weighing Your Options for Weight Loss

More than 11 million Americans suffer from severe obesity, which is commonly associated with Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and other co-morbidities. Morbid obesity is generally defined as excess body weight of 100 pounds or more or a body mass index of at least 40 kg/meters2. Currently, weight-loss surgery provides the only effective, lasting relief for those who are morbidly obese and have been unsuccessful losing weight through diet, exercise or medication.

Most CHS hospitals offer expert bariatric surgical services, along with free seminars and support groups related to this life-changing treatment. Good Samaritan, Mercy and St. Charles Hospital are all accredited by the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP). St. Charles is accredited as a Comprehensive Center with Adolescent Qualifications.

“We specialize in a multidisciplinary approach to weight loss through both surgical and non-surgical methods,” commented St. Charles bariatric surgeon John Angstadt, MD. “We have designed a special comprehensive program for our adolescents to provide the extra support they need for success.”

For bariatric surgery candidates, potential procedures include sleeve gastrectomy, adjustable gastric band and Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, depending on the patient’s needs. Single-incision or laparoscopic techniques are available for select patients.

For more information about bariatric services available at CHS hospitals in Nassau and Suffolk, please call 1-855-CHS-4500 or visit chsli.org.