Recent posts

Why Am I So Dizzy?

October 30, 2014

Dizziness is one of the most common reasons patients go to an urgent care facility. Dizziness is non-life threatening, but can be a major disturbance in day-to-day life. Most often when individuals are experiencing dizziness, they are suffering from a condition know as vertigo.  To follow is a brief overview of some of the causes for dizziness and when it is appropriate to see a board-certified physician.

Main Causes of Vertigo (Dizziness)

  • Benign paroxysmal vertigo (BPPV) is experienced when you turn your head or sit up too quickly after being in a relaxed state. This is often common and can last just a few seconds. However, if this condition persists, it could be a marker of a more serious health issue.
  • Inflammation or infection in the inner ear. The inner ear controls how we balance. If there is inflammation in the inner ear, balance can be thrown off resulting in vertigo symptoms.
  • Meniere's Disease occurs when there is excessive fluid in the inner ear. This disease is often accompanied by ringing in the ear and intermittent hearing loss.
  • Vestibular migraine is a very serious headache that affects the inner ears.
  • Rarely, vertigo is an indication of a serious neurological disorder such as stroke, multiple sclerosis, or a brain hemorrhage.

Reasons Why Dizziness May Lead to Faintness

  • A drop in blood pressure can cause individuals to lose consciousness.
  • The heart is not pumping enough blood.

Other Causes for Dizziness

  • Side effect from medications
  • Ear infections
  • Anxiety disorders and panic attacks
  • Anemia, the medical term used for iron deficiency
  • Dehydration
  • Motion sickness

When is it Time to Seek Medical Attention?

If dizziness worsens and causes other problems such as:

  • Balance and depth perception resulting in a fall or head trauma
  • Difficulty in motion, such as driving
  • Vomiting

The doctor will ask specific questions about your dizziness and may run a few tests to determine the exact cause of the dizziness to determine the best course for treatment.

Have You Been Experienced Prolonged Episodes of Dizziness? Visit LIC Urgent Med for Answers.

No appointments required, walk-ins are welcome at LIC Urgent Med, conveniently located on Broadway in Astoria, Queens. Dr. Katechis and his team look forward to helping you get back to feeling your best. For questions or concerns call us at 718-204-7550. We hope you feel better soon.


Complications of HIV Infections

September 5, 2014

The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a progressive disease that attacks the body's immune system, our natural defense against infections and diseases. HIV is a life-threatening disease that progresses to AIDS, which is the final stages of HIV. Opportunistic infections often arise in those with compromised immune systems. To follow is a brief overview of the most common infections patients with HIV experience.

  1. Tuberculosis (TB) is a contagious infection that starts in the lungs. HIV patients that are infected with TB often experience excessive coughing, extreme weight loss and fatigue.
  2. Thrush (candidiasis) is a fungal infection of the mucus lining in the mouth, tongue and throat. Thrush causes a thick white mucus and inflammation making swallowing, chewing, and speaking very painful.
  3. Kaposi's Sarcoma (KS) is a cancer that presents with purple/brown/black lesions on the skin. These lesions  can also develop inside the body in the mouth, throat, stomach, digestive tract, and vagina. This disease can damage the immune system of someone with HIV so severely that they are moved into the AIDS stage of the disease.
  4. Cryptosporidiosis is a medical term for what is commonly called "food poisoning." It is an infection caused by a parasite that lives in soil, food and water. This infection causes dehydration, weight loss, stomach cramps, fever, nausea and vomiting.
  5. Cryptococcal Meningitis causes inflammation of the membranes and fluids surrounding the brain and spinal cord. This infection spreads rapidly within the central nervous system and can cause confusion, headache, weakness, loss of motor function, fevers, seizures, watery diarrhea, neck pain/stiffness, memory loss/mood changes, nausea and vomiting.
  6. Cytomegalovirus (CMV) often does not cause symptoms in those with healthy immune systems. However, those with HIV/AIDS experience sore throat, swollen glands, fatigue, fevers, blurred vision, difficulty/painful swallowing, diarrhea and abdominal pain.
  7. Mycobaterium Aviam Complex (MAC) can quickly become a life threatening infection for someone with HIV/AIDS. Those with HIV/AIDS with a MAC co-infection are likely to experience a high fever, chills, weight loss, diarrhea, fatigue and swollen glands. MAC can lead to other conditions such as blood infections, hepatitis, and pneumonia.
  8. Hepatitis A is a contagious, generally short-term liver disease that's typically transmitted by sharing food and drinks or needles with someone who has the virus or has come in contact with the feces of someone who is infected.
  9. Hepatitis B infects nearly 10% of the population of people living with HIV in the United States. Hep-B is transferred much like HIV, through contact with infected blood, feces, urine, semen, or sexual contact.
  10. Hepatitis C infects nearly 25% of HIV patients in the United States. Hep-C is primarily transmitted through exposure to infected blood, most often by sharing infected needles for drug use. This co-infection is the most fatal for those with HIV, and greatly complicates HIV treatment.

Board Certified Physician in Astoria

If you are living with HIV/AIDS and may have developed a co-infection, seek immediate medical attention. For more information,  contact us today and schedule an appointment. Our offices are located in Astoria, and you can reach us at (718) 204-7550. We hope to hear from you soon.


Three Main Types of Contact Dermatitis

Contact dermatitis is the medical term for a red, itchy rash that is caused by a substance or allergen that comes into contact with the skin. Contact dermatitis is not contagious, or life threatening, but it can be very irritating for an individual experiencing the condition. Generally, contact dermatitis will subside on its own through avoidance with the substance or allergen that caused the rash. However, if certain symptoms present, it is necessary to seek medical attention. To follow is a brief overview of the three main types of contact dermatitis and when it's time to see a doctor.

Irritant Contact Dermatitis

  • Most common type
  • Categorized as a nonallergic inflammatory reaction in the epidermis (top layer) of the skin
  • Reaction can begin as quickly as a few minutes after exposure to an irritant. In some instances the reaction doesn't start for a few hours.
  • Most common irritants are strong chemical products such as solvents, rubbing alcohol, bleach, saw dust, wool, or newly introduced personal hygiene products such as soaps, deodorants or cosmetics

Allergic Contact Dermatitis

  • Occurs when skin comes into contact with a substance that provokes an immune reaction. When this happens, the substance causing this reaction is referred to as an "allergen."
  • Rash generally remains in area of body that came into direct contact with the allergen
  • Can also be caused by the ingesting of an allergen found in food, medication, or dental hygiene products
  • Once you have developed an allergen to a substance, you are likely to always have an allergic response to the substance, regardless of amount you have come into contact with
  • Most common skin allergens are nickel found in costume jewelry, medications (oral antihistamines and antibiotic creams), perfumes, certain brands of cosmetics, mouth wash, adhesives (formaldehyde found in band aids), deodorants, hair dye, nail polish, tattoo ink, poison ivy, air fresheners
  • Another type of Allergic contact dermatitis is when a combination of allergens and sun exposure cause a rash. This is called photoallergic contact dermatitis.

Occupational Contact Dermatitis

  • Rash resulting from exposure to skin irritants while on-the-job
  • Can be considered irritant or allergic contact dermatitis
  • Professionals at a higher risk are often in the  medical, pharmaceutical, construction and cosmetology fields. Other workers at a higher risk are commonly restaurant servers, swimmers, household cleaners, dry cleaners, gardeners and landscapers.

When You Should Visit a Doctor

Rashes aren't often a medical emergency, although it is possible that from repeatedly scratching a rash that the skin may break. When skin breaks it is a breeding ground for bacterial and fungal infections. If your rash has begun to ooze, or feels warm and is accompanied by a fever, contact a doctor immediately.

Contact Dermatitis Treatment in Astoria

To learn more about treatment for contact dermatitis, or any other conditions we treat, contact Dr. Katechis to schedule a consultation, or visit us today. Walk-ins are always welcome at our office in Astoria. You can reach us directly at (718) 204-7550. We look forward to meeting you.


Acute Migraine Headache Treatments

August 4, 2014

There are two main methods for treating acute migraines. One method is abortive, which is when efforts are made to alleviate pain and stop the migraine through use of over-the-counter pain relief medications. The second method for treating acute migraines is preventative medications, which is used primarily for individuals suffering from chronic migraines.

Abortive methods for treating acute migraines generally include a combination of acetaminophen, aspirin and caffeine found in OTC medications such as Excedrin® Migraine. Migraines can vary in intensity, and sometimes OTC drugs and relaxing in a dark quiet room isn't enough to conquer the pain. For more severe migraines, medical attention may be required.

A migraine is considered to be severe if it induces nausea or vomiting, cold sweats, weakness, disorientation, changes in vision or hearing, and lasts more than 4 hours, and up to 3 days or more. If a migraine has persisted and intensified, a physician may prescribe triptans.  Triptans are prescription drugs used to stop a migraine, however they will not prevent them from happening in the future. These drugs work to narrow blood vessels in the brain to relieve swelling. Some triptans are available in tablet form, while others are injected or used as a nasal spray.

If migraine pain is unbearable and at extreme intensity accompanied by other symptoms, it may be crucial to seek urgent medical care. Depending on the length of the migraine and other symptoms, intravenous drugs called antiemetics (used to control or stop vomiting) and dihydroergotamine (DHE), a drug that is similar to, but stronger than many types of triptans may be prescribed.

Individuals suffering migraines on a frequent basis should visit their primary care physician to make sure that there isn't a larger medical problem present causing the migraines. Chronic migraines may be treated through preventative medications such as beta-blockers, antidepressants, and in some cases, BOTOX® injections.

Acute Migraine Treatment in Astoria

To learn more about acute migraine headaches, or any other conditions we treat, contact Dr. Katechis to schedule a consultation, or visit us today. Walk-ins are always welcome at our office in Astoria. You can reach us directly at (718) 204-7550. We look forward to meeting you.


How Can Stress Fractures be Prevented?

June 11, 2014

Stress fractures are a common, sports-related overuse injury that typically appears in the leg bones, ankles, and feet. They occur when the muscles surrounding bone in the lower extremities become fatigued, with a high demand still being placed on the area. Over time, the stress from this impact is transferred from the fatigued muscle to the bone, which can cause hairline fractures. Athletes participating in tennis, track and field, gymnastics, and basketball are the most likely to suffer from stress fractures.

Stress fractures generally only cause pain during activity, with it subsiding during periods of rest. Early treatment is favored in stress fractures, as they generally will not heal on their own certain lifestyle changes are made. Sometimes, a doctor will recommend the patient not bare weight on the fracture for 6-8 weeks for optimal healing. Re-injury can be devastating to a stress fracture, and may even prohibit it from healing properly.

Tips for Preventing Stress Fractures

  1. Set incremental goals for sports and exercise. If you decide you want to train to run a 5K, do not attempt to run the 5K on your first day of training. Start slowly, and only go a short distance. Pushing your body too far and too fast can place elevated levels of stress on your muscles, which can weaken your bones.
  2. Cross training is a must. If you're training to run, only run on even numbered days. Since the goal here is cardio, on odd numbered days ride a bike. The same goal is being achieved but different muscles are being worked.
  3. Wear the appropriate gear for your sport or workout. Wearing tattered, worn-out sneakers can increase stressful conditions on your body.
  4. After exercise, take some time to rest and apply ice to sore muscles.
  5. Practice healthy eating habits. Try eating foods rich in vitamin-D and calcium to support bone health.

Stress Fracture Treatment in Astoria

To learn more about stress fractures, contact Dr. Katechis to schedule a consultation, or visit us today. Walk-ins are always welcome at our office in Astoria. You can reach us directly at (718) 204-7550. We look forward to meeting you.

 


Understanding Acute Bronchitis

May 8, 2014

You've likely experienced it before – coughing, a mild fever, hoarseness, wheezing while breathing.  These are all symptomatic of bronchitis, a condition that involves the inflammation of the bronchial tubes, or the tubes that carry air to the lungs.  There are two main types of this condition – acute bronchitis and chronic bronchitis.  While chronic bronchitis can be a long-term issue, acute bronchitis typically lasts for only 2-3 weeks.  Keep reading to learn more about what you can expect from this condition.

What are the causes and symptoms?

Acute bronchitis is most commonly caused by the same viruses that cause colds and the flu. These viruses are easily spread through the air and physical contact, and many get bronchitis following an upper respiratory tract infection. Acute bronchitis can also be brought on by exposure to tobacco smoke, dust, air pollution and more, as these can irritate the bronchial tubes. In more rare cases, acute bronchitis can be caused by bacteria.

The initial symptom of acute bronchitis is typically a dry, hacking cough. After a few days, this cough may start to bring up mucus, which can be clear, yellow, or green. Patients with acute bronchitis may also experience a mild fever, a feeling of tiredness, wheezing or whistling noises when breathing (that are exacerbated by physical activity, and chest tightness & pain. In severe cases, some patients experience a shortness of breath.

How can it be diagnosed and treated?

To diagnose acute bronchitis, your doctor will first ask about your symptoms and medical history. He or she may also inquire as to whether you have been exposed to common lung irritants like dust, fumes, or air pollution. To make an accurate diagnosis, your healthcare provider will likely listen to your lungs, and potentially administer other tests like a chest x-ray, lung function tests, examination of mucus, and more.

For many patients, acute bronchitis will simply go away on its own with rest, fluids, and avoiding smoke or fumes. In some cases, cough syrup or an inhaled bronchodilator may be helpful in treating this condition. A humidifer may also prove effective, as it can help loosen mucus and ease breathing. It's important to speak to your doctor if you think you may have acute bronchitis, as they can advise you towards an individualized treatment plan.

Board Certified Physician in Astoria

If you think you may be living with acute bronchitis or just want to learn more about this condition, contact us today and schedule an appointment. Our offices are located in Astoria, and you can reach us at (718) 204-7550. We hope to hear from you soon.


Top Patient Questions about Anaphylaxis

You or someone you know is likely living with an allergy, whether it be to bee stings, tree nuts, penicillin, or something else.  What you may not realize is just how serious these allergies can be.  Exposure to one of these allergens can trigger anaphylaxis, a dangerous and life-threatening allergic reaction that requires immediate treatment.  To learn more about anaphylaxis, explore some of the top patient questions below.

Top Patient Questions about Anaphylaxis

  1. What is anaphylaxis? Anaphylaxis is defined as a severe, full-body, and potentially life-threatening allergic reaction.  Symptoms can appear immediately after exposure to an allergen, requiring urgent treatment before complications arise.
  2. What causes it? Anaphylaxis can be triggered by exposure to any substance that you're allergic to, though it's typically not caused by pollen or other inhaled allergens.  Some common allergens include certain medications, stings or bites from insects like bees, yellow jackets, hornets, and wasps, and foods like peanuts, wheat, shellfish, tree nuts, milk, and more.
  3. What are the symptoms? Symptoms of anaphylaxis appear quickly, and can include anxiety, skin redness, hives, wheezing, difficulty breathing, a rapid and weak pulse, nausea or vomiting, dizziness, and more.
  4. How is it treated? As anaphylaxis symptoms can begin to appear in a matter of minutes, emergency medical attention is always required.  Possible treatments for an anaphylactic attack can include epinephrine to help reduce the body's allergic response, antihistamines and cortisone to relieve inflammation of the air passages, and oxygen to help with restricted breathing.
  5. Can it be prevented? As anaphylaxis is triggered by something you are allergic to, avoiding this allergen is the best way to prevent it from occurring.  There are some other ways you can keep yourself safe, like carefully reading food labels, informing your doctor of any drug allergies, keeping an emergency medical kit on you at all times, and wearing a medical alert bracelet or necklace to inform others of this allergy.

Board Certified Physician in Astoria

To learn more about anaphylaxis, contact us today and schedule a consultation.  Our offices are located in Astoria, and you can reach us directly at (718) 204-7550.  We look forward to hearing from you.


Osteoarthritis | Triggers and Treatments

March 6, 2014

Chances are, you know someone with osteoarthritis.  As the most common form of arthritis, it affects nearly 27 million Americans, leaving them with pain, stiff joints, and several other symptoms.  What you may not know is what causes this condition, and what exactly it entails.  If you're ready to learn more about osteoarthritis and what to expect from this condition, keep reading.

Symptoms and Triggers

Osteoarthritis is a chronic condition that involves the breakdown of cartilage over time.  As cartilage works to cushion our joints, this condition can leave patients with a great deal of pain and discomfort.  Symptoms of osteoarthritis develop gradually, and typically include joint pain, stiffness, tenderness, a loss of flexibility, and a grating sensation when the joint is in use.  Some patients even develop bone spurs, or bony growths formed on the existing bone.  While this condition can affect any joints in the body, it's most commonly seen in the hands, lower back, neck, hips, and knees.

There are a number of risk factors for osteoarthritis, though it is typically seen as a result of the aging process.  Other factors that can raise a person's risk for this condition include gender, obesity, bone deformities, prior joint injuries, certain jobs, and more.  Women are more likely to experience the effects of osteoarthritis than men, and those who repeatedly put stress on particular joints are also at an increased risk.

Treatments

While there is no cure for osteoarthritis, there are several treatment options and lifestyle changes that can help you manage its symptoms.  There are a number of medications that can help relieve pain and discomfort, including acetaminophen, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and narcotics.  Your doctor may also suggest therapy as an option, which can encompass physical and occupational therapy, as well as braces, shoe inserts, and more.  If the symptoms are too severe for more conservative methods of treatment, your doctor may recommend cortisone shorts, lubrication injections, and joint replacement surgery.

In addition to the medical options, there are also a number of at-home ways to help reduce the symptoms of osteoarthritis.  These can include rest, exercise, weight loss, over-the-counter pain creams, and the use of hot and cold to help deal with the pain.  Some patients also find relief through the use of assistive devices, like a cane.  If you're experiencing the symptoms of osteoarthritis, it's important to talk to your doctor to discover what treatment plan is best suited for you.

Osteoarthritis Treatment in Astoria

For more information about osteoarthritis and how you can manage this condition, please contact us today and schedule an appointment.  Our offices are located in Astoria, and we can be reached at (718) 204-7550. We look forward to hearing from you.


Treatment of Allergic Rhinitis

February 18, 2014

While you may have never heard of allergic rhinitis, you or someone you know has likely experienced it.  Known colloquially as hay fever, this common condition affects the nose, and can bring about many unwanted side effects.  Sneezing, runny noses, and watery eyes are all symptoms of allergic rhinitis, causing a great deal of discomfort in patients.

Allergic rhinitis is the result of the immune system overreacting to particles in the air, like pollen, dust, ragweed, animal dander, and more.  The symptoms are caused by the body’s immune system attacking these particles, and can include runny nose, sneezing, tearing, nasal congestion, itchy nose, problems with smell, and many more.  Allergic rhinitis is a long-lasting condition, though depending on what you're allergic to, symptoms may only appear at certain times.

While there is currently no cure for allergic rhinitis, there are some treatment options that can help to relieve the symptoms associated with this condition.  Keep reading to find out some of the top treatment options for this condition.

Top Treatment Options for Allergic Rhinitis

  1. Avoid known allergens. Since the symptoms of allergic rhinitis are brought on by external factors like dust mice, pollen, and more, avoiding these triggers can help you reduce your symptoms.  Speak to your doctor about allergy testing, as it can help you figure out what exactly is triggering your symptoms.
  2. Medications. Antihistamines, cortisteroids, and decongestants are all medications that can be helpful in clearing unwanted allergy symptoms.  You should always consult with a doctor before taking any of these, however, as they may not always be the right treatment option for you.
  3. Allergy shots. If your allergy symptoms are severe, or if you can't avoid the allergen that's causing these symptoms, allergy shots can be an effective option.  Regular injections can help your body adjust to the allergen, thereby reducing your symptoms.

Board Certified Physician in Astoria

If you’re living with allergic rhinitis and want to find out more about the treatment options, contact us today and schedule a consultation.  Our offices are located in Astoria, and you can reach us directly at (718) 204-7550.  We look forward to serving you.


FAQ: What You Need to Know About Cirrhosis

Cirrhosis is a condition that leads to the scarring of the liver, and can be caused by several factors. Cirrhosis is the third most common cause of death among people ages 45 to 65 in the US, after heart disease and cancer.

Read on to find out what the symptoms of cirrhosis are and what can be done to prevent it.

  1. What Causes Cirrhosis? One of the most common causes of cirrhosis is alcohol abuse. Chronic excessive drinking is hard on the liver and can cause it to become inflamed, and this inflammation can lead to a permanent scarring.The liver can also become scarred from the hepatitis C virus, which is the most common chronic blood-born infection in the US. Cirrhosis is also a symptom of fatty liver disease, which is caused by a build-up of fat deposits in the liver and is linked to those who are overweight or obese.
  2. What Are the Symptoms of Cirrhosis? When scarring becomes severe enough to interfere with the liver’s normal functions, cirrhosis symptoms begin to show. These include blood in the stools, as well as throwing up blood, nausea, loss of appetite and weight loss.Other symptoms include stomach pain or discomfort, fatigue, weakness and jaundice, which causes the skin or whites of the eyes to appear yellow. If you experience any of these symptoms, LIC Urgent Med can help to determine what the cause is, whether it’s cirrhosis or another condition.
  3. How Can Cirrhosis Be Treated? Further liver damage can be prevented or controlled with medication, but the existing liver scarring caused by cirrhosis is generally not considered to be reversible. Those whose cirrhosis is due to alcohol abuse should stop drinking completely and permanently.Patients whose cirrhosis is related to fatty liver disease due to being overweight or obese should speak to a doctor regarding starting a safe weight loss or exercise regimen. Those with hepatitis C who are concerned about cirrhosis should speak to a doctor about symptoms and testing, as well as lifestyle changes they can make in order to decrease their chances of developing cirrhosis.

Primary and Urgent Medical Care in Astoria

To learn more about cirrhosis and how it can be prevented or controlled, please contact us today and schedule an appointment. Our offices are located in Astoria, and we can be reached at (718) 204-7550. We hope to hear from you soon.


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