Recent posts

Treatment and Prevention of Kidney Stones

February 18, 2014

Each year, countless patients suffer from kidney stones, a condition which often results in unbearable pain. Kidney stones occur when substances in the urine become concentrated, forming crystals. The crystals then grow into large masses ( "stones") which work their way through the urinary tract. It is when the stones get stuck that pain begins to occur. Once a person has had kidney stones once, they are far more likely to experience a second one.

Kidney stones are usually diagnosed when a patient is admitted to the emergency room with severe pains. Let's take a closer look at how you can treat and prevent kidney stones.

  1. Drink plenty of water. Kidney stones are usually caused by a poor diet, as well as by drinking a great deal of soda. Drinking water, however, is a great way to keep both your body and urinary tract healthy, essential for preventing kidney stones. Taking calcium supplements or eating calcium-rich foods can also be helpful in preventing this condition.  Since patients who have had kidney stones once are more likely to experience kidney stones again, taking these preventative measures are crucial.
  2. Taking pain medication. Some kidney stones will pass on their own, if they are small in size. If your doctor believes that your kidney stone will pass on its own, nonprescription, anti-inflammatory pain medication can help relieve pain. Some doctors may also prescribe pain medicine if the patient requires it.
  3. Surgery. Surgery is rarely needed for kidney stones, and is usually performed when the stone is very large, causing bleeding, or caused by an infection. There are two methods of surgery performed for kidney stone cases. One method is involves the surgeon making a small cut in the back, in order to either remove or break up the stone. This method of surgery is sued when the stone is very large. Open surgery is another option, and involves the surgeon making an incision in the stomach area to remove the stone.

Kidney Stone Treatment in Astoria

To learn more about prevention and treatment for kidney stones, 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.


FAQ: What to Know About Vaginitis

January 2, 2014

Vaginitis is an unpleasant condition that impacts millions of women. While the condition is common, patients always have questions about it. Let's take a closer look at some of these questions:

  1. What is vaginitis? Vaginitis is the inflammation of the vagina. This condition can be caused by a number of factors, including infection caused by a build-up of bacteria in the vaginal area. This can be caused by a virus, as well as by wearing clothes that are too tight. Vaginitis can also be caused by organisms that are passed between sexual partners.
  2. What are some symptoms of vaginitis? Symptoms include burning, itchiness, and smelly vaginal discharge. The itchiness and burning sensations can occur inside of the vagina or on the skin outside of the vagina (the vulva). Other common symptoms of this condition include discomfort during sexual intercourse, or discomfort during urination. However, vaginitis can also be present without a woman experiencing any symptoms! This is why it is important for women to have a routine gynecological exam yearly.
  3. Are there different types of vaginitis? There are three different types of vaginitis: Bacterial vaginosis, Yeast infection, and Trichomoniasis. Of the three, bacterial vaginosis is the most common, since at one point or another most women will experience a build-up of vaginal bacteria. The symptoms of vaginitis are similar to those associated with sexually transmitted diseases, so it is important to address any symptoms so proper treatment can begin.
  4. How can vaginitis be treated? Treatment for vaginitis will depend on the symptoms, as well as what form of the condition a patient has. Yeast infections are usually treated with either prescription or over-the-counter antifungal creams, miconazole or clotrimazole, or with oral antifungal medication. Bacterial vaginosis is usually treated either either oral tablets or with a prescription gel or cream that is applied directly to the impacted area. Trichomoniasis is treated with the prescription oral tablets Flagyl or Tinamax.
  5. Can vaginitis be prevented? With proper hygiene, vaginitis is preventable. Wearing breathable, comfortable-fitting clothing and cotton underwear can help. It is important to avoid douching, using harsh soaps, and scented tampons, all of which can cause irritation to the vagina.

Vaginitis Treatment in Astoria

To learn more about vaginitis and its treatment, 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!


What to Do If You've Suffered a Burn

December 2, 2013

Burns are one of the most common — and painful — types of injuries. If you sustain a major second degree or third degree burn, immediately call 911. For first degree or smaller second degree burns, such as those that cover less than 2 inches of skin, for instance, you can see a doctor for treatment and to make sure that it heals properly.

The most common complications involving burn injuries are related to infection. To prevent a burn wound from becoming infected, do not blow, breathe or cough on the affected area. Flush out bacteria by running cool water over the burn for at least 5 minutes, but only if the skin is unbroken.

Make sure that the water is not too cold and do not apply ice to the burn. Don’t immerse a severe burn in cold water, as this can cause shock, according to the National Institutes of Health. To sooth a minor burn once it has cooled down, you can gently apply a moisturizing lotion, such as one made from aloe, to the skin.

Seek medical attention if you are unsure of the severity of the burn. Don’t judge how bad a burn is based on how much it hurts — the most serious burns can be painless, because they affect deeper tissues and damage nerve endings.

Make sure that you don’t apply any medicated ointments or creams to a severe burn unless directed to do so by a doctor. Don’t try any household remedies, such as applying butter, honey, oil spray or vinegar to the burn, as these may do more harm than good. Carefully follow your doctor’s instructions for how to care for the burn in order to make sure that it heals correctly and does not become infected.

After flushing or soaking, cover the burn with a dry, sterile, non-adhesive bandage and make sure that you remove any clothing that is stuck to the skin. As the skin begins healing and repairing itself, avoid breaking open burn blisters and keep pressure off of the sensitive area.

Burn Care in Astoria

To learn more about treating and caring for a first or second degree burn, 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.


Nail Abnormalities and What They Mean

October 31, 2013

Nail abnormalities such as breakage, discoloration or ridges are relatively common. It’s important to have any nail concerns evaluated by a doctor, however, as they can be indicative of underlying health problems.

Let’s take a look at a few common nail abnormalities and what they could be trying to tell you about your health:

Dry and Brittle Nails. Nails that chip and break easily can be a sign of a nutritional deficiency or anemia. An iron or protein deficiency can result in weak nails, as can a lack of B-complex vitamins such as B12, calcium, biotin, hydrochloric acid or zinc. LIC Urgent Med offers vitamin B12 injections, which can be very beneficial in treating anemia and vitamin B12 deficiency.

Ridges. Our nails naturally develop slight vertical ridges as we age. However, severe and raised ridges can be a sign of iron deficiency anemia. Nutritional deficiencies, such as a lack of vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin B12 or keratin can result in fingernail ridges. Hormonal changes can also cause ridges to appear.

Abnormal Curving. The condition of an abnormally shaped fingernail is called koilonychia. Nails that curve upward in a “spoon” shape have a form of koilonychias that is indicative of a vitamin B12 deficiency or iron-deficiency anemia. Vitamin B12 injections would help to remedy this condition.

Beau's lines. These appear as horizontal grooves or indents in the nail, and can show up on one or more fingers. These lines can occur following an injury to the nail, such as being hit by a hammer, or an illness that is accompanied by a high fever. Diabetes, malnutrition or zinc deficiency can also cause Beau's lines to develope.

A Bluish Hue. Nails that have a light blue or pale purple tint can be an indicator of cardiovascular or lung problems, such as pneumonia, asthma or emphysema. They can also be a sign of certain heart conditions or nutritional deficiencies. Circulation problems may also cause nails to turn blue.

If you’ve noticed a troubling change or irregularity in one or more of your nails, click here to schedule an appointment with one of our doctors.

Board Certified Physician in Astoria

To learn more about nail health and treatment options for various nail abnormalities, 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.


Hearing Loss in Adults

September 30, 2013

Affecting roughly one third of Americans aged 65-75, hearing loss is an irreversible condition that can occur gradually, over time.  It’s even estimated that half of all those aged 75 and up have experienced at least some degree of hearing loss.  So what exactly is responsible for this loss of hearing?

While hearing loss is considered part of the natural aging process, there are a number of other risk factors that can contribute.  Explore some of the most common risk factors for hearing loss, borrowed in part from the Mayo Clinic.

Top 5 Risk Factors for Hearing Loss in Adults

  1. Occupational noises. Those who have spent time working in loud environments are at a greatly increased risk for hearing loss as they age.  These loud workplaces typically include factories, construction sites, and anything involved prolonged exposure to loud equipment.
  2. Recreational noises. There are a number of activities people partake in that can be damaging to their hearing, like listening music too loudly, motorcycling, using fireworks, shooting firearms, and more.
  3. Medications. Certain medications can actually cause damage to the inner ear, and others may cause more temporary hearing damage.  Certain chemotherapy drugs, gentamacin, high doses of aspirin, and some pain relievers can all be factors in the eventual loss of hearing.
  4. Heredity. Like many other conditions and illnesses, genetics may play a role in hearing loss.  It's even estimated that half of all cases of hearing loss are due to genetic factors.
  5. Illnesses. Certain infectious diseases – like mumps, measles, and meningitis – can lead to hearing loss down the line.  If you’ve suffered from any of these conditions, you may be at an increased risk.

While there is no treatment for hearing loss, there are some ways in which hearing may be able to be restored.  Hearing aids and cochlear implants are proven solutions that can help adults regain hearing that has been lost with time.  If your hearing has gotten worse with age, contact your doctor today to find out more about what your options are.

Board Certified Physician in Astoria

To learn more about hearing loss in adults or to find out what your treatment options are, 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.


Top Patient Questions about Hypothyroidism

August 22, 2013

A common thyroid disorder, hypothyroidism occurs due to an underactive thyroid gland, the butterfly-shaped gland in the front of the neck.  As the hormone produced by the thyroid gland is a crucial component of a healthy metabolism, hypothyroidism can have a number of damaging consequences for one’s health.  Despite it being the most common form of thyroid disease, there are still many questions surrounding this condition.  Keep reading for the answers to some of the top patient questions about hypothyroidism.

Top Patient Questions about Hypothyroidism

  1. What exactly is it? Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland fails to produce enough of the hormones necessary for a healthy metabolism.  This can slow the chemical processes of the body as well as one’s metabolism, while also potentially leading to fatal complications.
  2. What are the symptoms? The symptoms of hypothyroidism typically vary, depending on the severity of the case.  Symptoms may not even be noticeable at first, but can gradually intensify as time goes on and the metabolism slows.  Patients with hypothyroidism typically experience fatigue, constipation, dry skin, weight gain, sensitivity to cold, muscle weakness, and more.
  3. What are the causes? Hypothyroidism can be brought on by a number of different factors, including hyperthyroidism treatment, thyroid surgery, autoimmune disease, radiation therapy, and certain medications.  In rarer cases, this condition can be caused by congenital disease, pregnancy, pituitary disorder, and iodine deficiency.
  4. Am I at risk? While everyone is susceptible to hypothyroidism, there are some reasons why you might be at a higher risk.  Women over the age of 60, those who have or have a relative with an autoimmune disease, have undergone treatment with anti-thyroid medications or radioactive iodine, have received any radiation to the upper chest or neck, have recently been pregnant or given birth, or have had thyroid surgery are at an increased risk for this condition.
  5. What are the treatment options? The traditional treatment option for patients living with hypothyroidism is through daily use of thyroid hormone pills, or synthetic levothyroxine.  Patients undergoing this treatment are typically expect to undergo routine visits with their doctor to ensure the correct dosage is being administered.

Board Certified Physician in Astoria

For more information about hypothyroidism or any other conditions we treat, 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.


Diagnosis and Management of IBS

June 24, 2013

Those living with IBS, or irritable bowel syndrome, know firsthand the effect it can have on one’s quality of life.  An intestinal disorder, IBS can cause patients to experience bloating, cramps, and abdominal pains, along with diarrhea and constipation.  Affecting roughly 7-10% of the world’s population, IBS is a widespread condition that many still don’t know much about.  So how do we diagnose this condition, and what are the options for patients living with it?

Symptoms and Diagnosis

The most common symptoms of irritable bowel disease are stomach pain, accompanied with diarrhea or constipation.  Many also experience mucus in their stools, bloating, and a feeling as if their bowels haven’t been completely emptied.  While many experience symptoms so light that it doesn’t warrant a visit to the doctor, others are affected more greatly.

The exact causes of IBS are currently unclear, as the triggers may differ from person to person.  However, doctors have a number of ways in which they can diagnose this condition.  Patients will likely be asked about their symptoms and medical history, and a physical exam will be completed.  If a physical exam proves ineffective in identifying IBS, there are a number of tests that can help.  These tests, like blood tests and stool analysis, work to rule out other conditions, allowing the doctor to accurately diagnose irritable bowel syndrome.

Management and Treatment

While there is no cure for IBS, there are ways to manage this condition and prevent it from affecting your quality of life.  Certain lifestyle choices, like diet and exercise, can help to manage symptoms, as well as avoiding known triggers.  As certain foods can work to bring about unwanted symptoms, realizing and avoiding these triggers can greatly help in IBS management.  Avoiding or dealing with stress has also proven to have a role in the management of this condition.

If a patient’s symptoms are more severe, there are medications that can help reduce the symptoms of IBS.  It’s important to speak to your doctor, as they will be able to personalize a treatment plan based on your unique, individual needs.

Board Certified Physician in Astoria

If you think you may be suffering from irritable bowel syndrome or you just want to learn more, 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.


Treatment Options for the Common Cold

You’ve likely experienced it before – a runny nose, sneezing, watery eyes, sore throat – all symptoms of the common cold.  It’s estimated that Americans suffer from roughly one billion colds annually, averaging two to four colds a year.  Despite the incredibly widespread nature of these colds, many are unaware of what causes them, and what the available treatment options are.

There are over 100 viruses that can cause the common cold, the most prevalent being the Rhinovirus.  These virus can be easily transmitted through close contact, or through the air.  Defined as a viral infection in the upper respiratory tract, the common cold can cause a number of different symptoms depending on the virus.  Most patients experience fever, a stuffy or runny nose, cough, congestion, and more, which usually lasts for a week or two.  While the common cold is typically harmless, the symptoms leave many patients wondering what treatment options are available.

Top Treatment Options for the Common Cold

Despite the prevalence of the common cold, there is currently no cure.  There are, however, some treatment options designed to help ease the symptoms.  As outlined by the Mayo Clinic, here are the top 3 treatment options for the common cold.

  1. Pain relievers. Mild pain relievers like acetaminophen can help ease some common cold symptoms, like headache, sore throat, and fever.  It’s important to talk to a doctor before taking these medications, however, as any kind of pain reliever should not be taken too frequently or in excess.
  2. Nasal decongestants. Nasal sprays can be an effective way to help clear some of the congestion brought on by the common cold.  Much like pain relievers, prolonged use is not recommended.
  3. Cough syrup. While they shouldn’t be used for young children, cough syrups can prove helpful in suppressing common cold symptoms.

In addition to these medications, there are some lifestyle changes and home remedies that can help get you back on your feet more quickly.  It’s recommended that patients drink lots of fluids, and rest whenever possible.  While all of these remedies can prove to be helpful, all patients are encouraged to speak to their doctor for the most accurate treatment.

Board Certified Physician in Astoria

If you’re suffering from a cold and want to learn more about your treatment options, 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.


Frequently Asked Questions about Atopic Dermatitis

May 2, 2013

Let’s face it – none of us want dry, red, or irritated skin.  Besides the aesthetic problems it presents, it can cause discomfort in many aspects of daily life.  Those suffering with atopic dermatitis, commonly known as eczema, have to constantly deal with dry, itchy, and scaly skin, which can affect their appearance and quality of life.  For those who aren’t sure what this common condition entails, here are the answers to some of the most common patient questions.

Frequently Asked Questions about Atopic Dermatitis

  1. What is it, exactly? Atopic dermatitis, or eczema, is a chronic, recurring inflammatory skin disease that’s characterized by itchy, scaly, and dry areas of skin.  It commonly affects the arms and the area behind the knees, though it can show up anywhere on the skin.
  2. What are the symptoms? Symptoms of atopic dermatitis typically include patches of red and brown skin, small bumps, mild to severe itching, scaly or cracked skin, and sensitive skin.  As it’s a reoccurring condition, symptoms might disappear for a period, only to return later on.
  3. What causes atopic dermatitis? While an exact cause for this condition is currently unknown, researchers believe it has a genetic basis.  There are many ways in which eczema can triggered, which includes changes in temperature or humidity, certain chemical irritants, allergies, stress, infections, and more.
  4. Is it preventable? Atopic dermatitis is not fully preventable, though there are measures people can take to manage their symptoms and reduce the severity or frequency of flare-ups.  Some of these measures include using moisturizer, bathing in warm water, using mild soap, avoiding irritants like perfume and jewelry, and more.
  5. What are the treatment options? While there is currently no cure for atopic dermatitis, there are a number of treatments options available.  Cortisteroid creams or ointments may prove helpful, as well as antibiotics and antihistamines.  It’s important to always discuss these treatment options with your doctor, as they will be able to customize a treatment plan based on the severity of your eczema.

Board Certified Physician in Astoria

To learn more about atopic dermatitis or any other conditions we treat, 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 serving you.


Diagnosing and Treating Acne

April 1, 2013

Acne, the most common skin condition in the United States, is a chronic inflammatory condition that affects roughly 80% of people between the ages of 11 and 30.  And just because it typically affects younger people, doesn’t mean adults are immune.  So what exactly is acne, and how do we diagnose and treat it?  Read on to find out.

Diagnosing Acne

Acne, or acne vulgaris, is a skin condition in which oil and dead skin cells clog your pores.  This can manifest in pimples, like blackheads, whiteheads, papules, pustules, nodules, and cysts.  It’s common in teens due to hormonal changes caused by puberty, as the skin becomes more oily and prone to pimples.  Depending on the severity of your acne, you may have some small pimples on the face or potentially many more throughout the body.  There are a number of other factors attributed to causing acne besides puberty, though.  Hormone changes during pregnancy, birth control pills, certain medications, greasy makeup, and heredity are all factors that can lead to an outbreak.

While it may be easy to identify mild acne on your own, a more severe case can present similarities to other skin conditions.  For this reason, you should always consult with a doctor for the most accurate diagnosis.

Treatment

There are a number of different ways to try and treat acne, ranging from topical creams and medications to antibiotics.  Here are some of the more common acne treatments available:

  • Topical OTC treatments: Over-the-counter topical treatments usually contain ingredients like benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid, which work to target bacteria in the skin.  Used daily, these treatments are often effective in reducing acne symptoms.
  • Prescription drugs: For those with acne too severe to be cleared by topical treatments alone, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics like tetracycline or minocycline.  There are also prescription topical treatments available, containing adapalene and azelaic acid.  Treatments derived from retinoids have been proven to help as well, so make sure to discuss your prescription options with your doctor.
  • Proper skincare: Lifestyle choices can also be important in managing acne. Gently cleaning your skin daily and avoiding oily foods can help to prevent breakouts.  Look for products labeled “noncomedogenic”, as they won’t clog your pores like others might.

There are a number of other acne treatments available as well, including laser treatment, chemical peels, pimple extraction, and more.  Make sure to discuss your case with a doctor so they can provide the comprehensive care necessary to clear your skin up, once and for all.

Board Certified Physician in Astoria

To learn more about acne or the different treatment options, contact us today to 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 soon.


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