Woman blowing nose- sick with flu-urgent care

Early Flu Prevention At First Med Urgent Care

First Med Urgent Care Prepared For Flu Season

This year weather in Oklahoma has thrown us all for a loop. It was one of the rainiest summer seasons we’ve seen in a long while, followed by a quick burst of heat for a few short weeks, and then suddenly fall weather slowly began rolling in one morning. By the middle of the day it’s not dreadfully hot and it’s not quite full fledged fall weather either, but these rapid changes have all had one thing in common; they caused people to start getting sick with the flu earlier than usual. Luckily, First Med Urgent Care has prepared for the flu season early, too!

If not caught in time, the flu can wreak havoc on your life and it is a formidable foe to battle with. It’s no fun for anyone to be stuck in bed trying everything to help with a sore throat and feeling like a truck knocked you down. First Med Urgent Care would caution people with already poor immune systems to be extra careful. In addition, pregnant women, young children, and the elderly have a higher risk of catching the flu.

If you feel nauseated, have diarrhea, a fever, or have difficulty breathing these are all more signs of the flu. Please don’t hesitate to get treatment at one of our local urgent care locations if you’ve made it to the later stages of the flu fight, but the best thing to do if you can is prepare ahead of time. Getting the flu shot early is best for preventative measures.

As we mentioned, we’re prepared for you! Our urgent care clinics received our supplies for flu shots earlier this month and we’ve already been helping people prevent the flu from getting them!

If you would like to get your flu shot before the flu gets you, please stop by any of our locations. First Med Urgent Care locations are open 7 days a week 8:00am – 7:30pm. No appointment is necessary to enjoy our convenient medical care, just walk in and receive prompt attention.

Stress- First Med Urgent Care

First Med Urgent Care Reveals 9 Ways Stress Can Impact Your Life: Part 3

First Med Urgent Care Shares Information About Stress

In part one and part two of this urgent care blog series, we have listed several ways in which stress can cause a slew of other issues for people who don’t get it under control. In the final part of this series, our urgent care staff will go over another 3 ways to demonstrate how stress can be troublesome in the long-term.

1. Stress can make you look older.

Chronic stress contributes significantly to premature aging.

Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, discovered that stress shortens telomeres — structures on the end of chromosomes — so that new cells can’t grow as quickly. This leads to the inevitable signs of aging: wrinkles, weak muscles, poor eyesight, and more.

2. Stress weakens your immune system.

The connection between mind and body is often underestimated.

It could be stated that nearly everyone has experienced a cold when they could least afford to have it happen. That’s because the high demands that stress puts on the body makes the immune system suffer, which makes you more vulnerable to colds and infections.

The American Psychological Association (APA) recommends calming exercises, as well as social outlets, to relieve stress.

3. Stress can lead to long-term disability.

The potential dangers created by even mild stress should not be underestimated. They can lead to long-term disability serious enough to render you unable to work.

Researchers reached this conclusion after their five-year study of 17,000 Swedish working adults, ages 18 to 64, published in 2011 by the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

One in four study subjects in the Stockholm area who had mild stress were awarded disability benefits for physical conditions like angina, high blood pressure, and stroke. Nearly two-thirds drew benefits for a mental illness.

Editor’s Note: This story was originally published on August 27, 2013 and was updated by Patrick Keeffe on August 4, 2016.

Our urgent care staff hopes that this information spread over our 3-part urgent care blog series has been eye-opening. If you think you have too much stress in your life it might be time to consider some techniques to bring your stress levels down.

On behalf of First Med Urgent Care, we hope that you have a safe, happy, and low stress fall!

Stress- First Med Urgent Care

First Med Urgent Care Reveals 9 Ways Stress Can Impact Your Life: Part 2

First Med Urgent Care Shares Information About Stress

In part one of this urgent care blog series, we listed 3 out of 9 ways that stress can impact a person’s life. Today, our urgent care staff wanted to dive in a bit more and give you 3 more ways, in part 2 of this series, which describe how stress can introduce other problems.

1. Stress can ruin your teeth and gums.

Some people respond to stressful situations through nervous tics or by grinding their teeth. While people often grind their teeth unconsciously or when they sleep, it can do lasting damage to your jaw and wear their teeth thin.

A multi-university study, in 2012, also linked stress to gum disease. Researchers concluded that the pressures of marriage, parenthood, work, or lack of romantic involvement were factors in periodontal disease.

Moreover, those at greatest risk were people who became highly emotional when dealing with stress caused by their finances.

2. Stress can ruin your heart.

Stress can physically damage your heart muscle. Stress damages your heart, because stress hormones increase your heart rate and constrict your blood vessels. This forces your heart to work harder, and increases your blood pressure.

According to the American Institute of Stress, the incidence rate of heart attacks and sudden death increases after major stress inducing incidents, like hurricanes, earthquakes, and tsunamis.

3. Stress can make you gain weight.

In the ancient days of hunter-gatherers, harsh conditions forced people to eat as much as possible when food was available in order to store up for lean times. That compulsion lives on inside us, and comes out when we are stressed.

Researchers at the University of Miami documented that when people find themselves in stressful situations, they are likely to consume 40 percent more food than normal. Those scientists recommended turning off the nightly newscast before eating dinner, to keep bad news — and overeating — at bay.

Our urgent care staff hopes that this information will help you make decisions in your life which may keep your stress levels lower. After all, once you’re aware of the many ways stress can negatively impact you, the more equipped you are to defeat those “demons”.

Our urgent care staff feel it is important to share this information as it may keep you from becoming unnecessarily ill. If you’d like to know even more about the negative impacts of stress, feel free to come back in a few weeks to read the final part of our urgent care blog series on this topic!

Stress- First Med Urgent Care

First Med Urgent Care Reveals 9 Ways Stress Can Impact Your Life: Part 1

First Med Urgent Care Shares Information About Stress

It’s no secret that stress can cause people to act outside the norm. In part one of this series, our urgent care article provides 3 out of 9 ways that stress can impact a person.

1. Emotions can be difficult to control under stress.

New research shows how even a little stress can be destructive and cause people to slip. In fact, a 2013 study by neuroscientists found that even mild levels of stress can impair our ability to control our emotions.

In the study, stress control techniques were taught to the subjects. Afterwards, the subjects were put under mild stress — by having their hands dunked in icy water — they could not easily calm themselves down when shown pictures of snakes or spiders.

“Our results suggest that even mild stress, such as that encountered in daily life, may impair the ability to use cognitive techniques known to control fear and anxiety,” lead author Candace Raio, Ph.D., said in a press release.

2. Stress can promote disease.

Illnesses that have been linked to stress are cancer, lung disease, fatal accidents, suicide, and cirrhosis of the liver. Some of the population are more prone to diseases, and steady supply of stress can give these conditions the green light.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University have found that children subject to chronic stress are prone to developing a mental illness if they are genetically predisposed.

3. Stress can affect your love life. 

Your love life can be an effective and pleasurable way to relieve stress, but stress can also throw a wrench in the works faster than you think.

According to a 1984 study, it was found that stress can impact a man’s body weight, testosterone levels, and sexual desire. Numerous studies have shown that stress — especially performance anxiety — can lead to impotence.

High levels of stress in pregnant women also may trigger changes in their children as they grow, specifically behavioral and developmental issues.

While visiting an urgent care may not take care of stress related problems in your life our urgent care staff feel it is important to share this information as it may keep you from becoming unnecessarily ill. If you’d like to know more about the negative impacts of stress, feel free to come back in a few weeks to read the second part of our urgent care blog series on this topic!

Abdomen Pain- First Med Urgent Care

First Med Urgent Care Reveals Reasons For Abdominal Pains: Part 2

First Med Urgent Care Sharing Helpful Information

In part one of this series, our urgent care article focused on 7 possible culprits of pain in the abdominal region. As we mentioned, pain in the abdomen can range from being a temporary problem to something more serious. As there are so many different problems that could be associated with pain in the area, we’ve come back to list 7 more possible reasons someone might feel pain in the stomach area.

  • Endometriosis – This one if for women only as it is a condition that affects the cells of the lining of the uterus. Pain, irregular bleeding, and infertility issues can be the result of these cells escaping and starting to grow in other parts of the body, usually somewhere in the pelvis.

 

  • Thyroid Problems – The thyroid, even though it is located in the neck, can cause digestive tract problems. The production of too many hormones can lead to pain, diarrhea, and cramps. An under-active thyroid can lead to the slowing down of the digestion process potentially causing pain in the form of constipation and gas.

 

  • Parasites – There are all types of parasites and many ways that they can enter someone’s body. You can get them from eating undercooked food, from your pets, and even from just walking outside in soil without any shoes on! Not matter how you get them, parasites can cause cramps, diarrhea, and nausea.

 

  • Ulcers – Pain from peptic ulcer disease (ulcers in the stomach and small intestine) can be felt by most in the mid-upper abdomen.

 

  • Stress – This alone can cause a multitude of pains throughout the entire body, including digestive pain.

 

  • Some Foods – Lactose intolerance, Gluten intolerance, and reactions to too many sugar substitutes like Sorbitol can all cause people to have digestive pains including; bloating, diarrhea, burping, gas, and indigestion. Eating undercooked food or bacteria ridden food can lead to food poisoning which can cause pain in the stomach for up to a few days.

 

  • Cancer – It’s rare for patients to feel pain from cancer in the abdominal organs, but it’s not impossible. This pain may most likely be felt in later stages of cancer.

Our wish is that you’ve found this list informative. As we stated in part one, our urgent care doctors may be able to help you narrow down your type of abdominal pain to a specific cause, but some of the more serious diseases will require follow-up treatments. First Med Urgent Care is for non-emergency medical problems such as the flu, common colds, sore throats, ear infections, minor burns, cuts and scrapes, and minor injuries.

Some the types of pain mentioned in this article are only temporary pains that may not require medical attention; however, others listed may require surgery or ongoing medical assessment. Should you feel that your stomach pain is caused by something minor, please feel free to come in and get a check-up at any of our 6 urgent care locations.

Abdomen Pain- First Med Urgent Care

First Med Urgent Care Reveals Reasons For Abdominal Pains: Part 1

First Med Urgent Care Sharing Helpful Information

Pain in the abdominal region can be caused by something temporary or it could be a signal from your body that something more serious is to blame. As there are so many organs in the abdomen it can be difficult for some patients to pinpoint the exact reasons for their tummy issues. Today, our urgent care article focuses on 7 possible culprits of pain in the belly area.

  • Pancreatitis – Inflammation of the pancreas that can cause burning pain in the upper or middle abdomen. Sometimes, it can even be felt in the back.
  • Appendicitis –This kind of pain is usually very sudden in the mid-abdomen, progressing into the lower, right side. This usually warrants surgery to remove the appendix before it bursts.
  • Gallstones – These can form in the gallbladder, causing a blockage of the duct that leads into the intestinal tract which can result in pain. You may notice this pain in the right, upper side of the abdomen.
  • GERD – Gastroesophageal reflux disease can cause pain in the upper stomach and patients often feel heartburn in the lower chest.
  • Diverticulitis – This happens when the pockets that form the lining of the intestines become inflamed. Pain can range from mild cramping in the lower abdomen to sever pain as a result of abscesses, bleeding, and even perforations.
  • IBD – Inflammatory bowel disease is inflammation inside the small or large intestine and can cause abdominal pain, diarrhea, and rectal bleeding. This can progress to cancer so it requires monitoring.
  • IBS – Irritable bowl syndrome can cause similar stomach pains as those with IBD, but it doesn’t cause inflammation, rectal bleeding, and doesn’t progress to cancer.

We hope this list is informative for you. Please note that our urgent care staff has provided this information for educational purposes. While our urgent care doctors may be able to help you narrow down your type of abdominal pain to a specific cause, please note that we may not have the capability at our clinics to treat some of the more long-term and serious abdominal diseases. First Med Urgent Care is for non-emergency medical problems such as the flu, common colds, sore throats, ear infections, minor burns, cuts and scrapes, and minor injuries.

Many of the conditions mentioned in this article may require you to take serious action such as receiving emergency surgery or ongoing medical assessment. Should you feel that your stomach pain is caused by something minor, please feel free to come in and get a check-up at any of our 6 urgent care locations.

Epidermoid Cysts- Urgent Care

First Med Urgent Care Explains Epidermoid Cysts

First Med Urgent Care Educating Patients

It’s a normal reaction for many people to become a little scared when they see a bump rise up on their skin, especially if it becomes infected. A lot of people automatically fear the worst and seek advice online which can often lead to false information and a self-diagnosis of cancer. Some people rush to the urgent care in a panic!

The truth is that there are a number of skin conditions which can cause lumps or bumps to appear on or just below the skin. Today, our urgent care article aims to educate patients about epidermoid cysts (also sometimes called sebaceous cysts).

These cysts are NOT cancerous and they normally form as a round bubble sticking out from the hair follicle. Usually, a dark portion of the cyst is visible on the skin. While typical locations include the genitals, chest, and back; these cysts can also form in other areas. In most cases epidermoid cysts are not very painful; however, if the area becomes infected it can become very sensitive to touch.

Most cysts do not disappear on their own without treatment and some will need to be drained to relieve symptoms. Squeezing an epidermoid cyst will push out a thick, white discharge, but as some urgent care patients have experienced, a removal of the cyst is necessary. If you simply rely on squeezing the discharge out without removing the sac, the cyst will return.

Allowing our urgent care doctor to take care of an epidermoid cyst is safer than trying to do this procedure at home! In addition, antibiotics may need to be prescribed to treat an infected cyst.

If you think you have an epidermoid cyst, don’t hesitate to have it checked out. You may visit any of our urgent care locations; we’re open 7 days of the week! To see our urgent care locations and hours of operation, please click here.

American dog tick- Urgent Care

Urgent Care Discusses Diseases Carried By American Dog Tick

Urgent Care Shares Concerns About This Common Tick

It’s the time of year again when a lot of families love to go camping, take walks with their dogs, and stroll through parks. It’s also the unfortunate time when being outdoors near woody or grassy areas can mean picking up unwanted pests such as ticks. One of the most common ticks in Oklahoma is known as the American dog tick. Most people associate ticks with Lyme disease, but it’s important to know that there are other types of ticks which carry different diseases. Today, our urgent care article aims to educate about the American dog tick’s most commonly carried diseases which can be passed to humans.

The American dog tick is known to carry tularemia and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Our urgent care staff put together information regarding tularemia and Rocky Mountain spotted fever listed below.

Tularemia: Most people who have contracted this illness will show signs within 3-5 days, but some have reported that it takes up to 14 days. While there are several types of tularemia, depending on how it was contracted, the most common type is called ulceroglandular tularemia.

Symptoms include:

  • A skin ulcer that forms at the site of infection
  • Swollen and painful lymph glands
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Headache
  • Exhaustion

Our urgent care team recommends that you see your doctor immediately if you feel you have this disease as most cases can be cured with prompt care.

Rocky Mountain spotted fever: This illness also usually shows up within 14 days. It is a bacterial infection that can cause serious damage to internal organs, such as your kidneys and heart if it is not promptly treated.

Symptoms include:

  • Severe headache
  • High fever
  • Chills
  • Muscle aches
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Restlessness and insomnia
  • A rash on the wrists and ankles (usually after a few days)
  • Again, it is important to visit the doctor as soon as possible if you experience any of these signs after a tick bite.

The best thing to do to protect yourself, your pets, and others from the American dog tick is utilize prevention. Always wear a bug repellent and if you can stand it try to wear long sleeves and pants when walking in tall grass or through forest areas. At home, you can protect your own yard by maintaining proper lawn care. If you find a tick on you remove it carefully by following instructions listed here.

Should you need urgent care treatment, feel free to come on in to any of our urgent care locations as there is no appointment needed!

Conjunctivitis- Urgent Care

First Med Urgent Care Provides Symptoms Of Conjunctivitis

First Med Urgent Care Informing About Pinkeye

Did you wake up this morning with the feeling that something might be wrong with your eye? Perhaps you think you might have an eye infection of some sort, but you aren’t really certain it’s conjunctivitis (also known as pinkeye)? Then, you have landed in the right spot, today! Our urgent care article will focus on the discussion and symptoms of pinkeye.

The cause of your pinkeye may vary and therefore the symptoms may vary, as well. You may have all or some of the associated symptoms. Here’s a list of common pinkeye symptoms that were compiled by our urgent care staff:

  • Redness in the white of the eye or inner eyelid
  • Increased sensitivity to light
  • Increased tear production
  • Thick, yellowish discharge that causes crust to form on eyelashes (usually noticeable when waking up)
  • Green or white discharge from the eye
  • Itchy eyes
  • Burning eyes
  • Blurred vision

There can be different causes for your pinkeye which include:

  • Bacteria
  • Viruses
  • Irritation from soap, dirt, smoke, and chlorine in swimming pools
  • Allergies (dust, pollen, or from wearing contact lenses)

The treatment options for pinkeye will also vary based on the cause. Bacterial infections can easily be treated with a prescription from our urgent care doctors for antibiotic eye drops, ointments or pills. Viral pinkeye can often be due to the common cold which will clear up, in most cases, on its own. It does help if you wash your hands often and avoid contact with others as it is contagious. Pinkeye caused by irritations and allergens usually require you to flush the eye for several minutes or to remove the allergen in question.

If you think you might have pinkeye and you need assistance with determining the best treatment option for you, please feel free to visit any of our 6 First Med Urgent Care locations.

Urgent Care Printable Patient Forms

First Med Urgent Care Offers Printable Patient Forms Online

Quicker Visits For New Urgent Care Patients

A few months ago we highlighted how First Med Urgent Care has helped save patients time by offering them the capability to check-in online. Since then, so many of our patients have flooded our feedback inbox with positive notes about this wonderful option (thank you to all of our patients who have told us how much you love the online check-in system). Today, we wanted to let new patients know that they can speed up their urgent care wait times even more by using the printable patient forms available on our website!

At an average doctor’s office you end up waiting for up to one hour just to even be called to back. That’s not counting the time it often takes to get to talk to the doctor. It’s not like that at First Med Urgent Care! Of course, there will be days when the lobby seems packed with new patients trying to get in, but a lot of those people are still filling out their patient paperwork.

Even then we strive to get those patients back as soon as possible, but you can imagine that it helps if you already have that vital paperwork filled out and ready to hand in upon your arrival. First Med is committed to giving you the best possible health care experience so you may click here to access the forms you’ll need to print, fill out, and bring with you to your visit.

If you find yourself feeling ill or have minor injuries and you’d rather skip the long wait times, come see us at any of our 6 convenient First Med Urgent Care locations that are easily found around the OKC and Edmond area. You may check-in online by clicking here. Then, simply show up with your important patient documents, your identification, and insurance cards that you may need to provide. Our urgent care staff will do the rest.

We look forward to treating you!