• Why asthma makes your allergies worse

    People who have asthma frequently also suffer from allergies. There is a close link between these conditions, and they can easily exacerbate each other. If you have asthma, your physician may focus on helping you control both asthma and allergy symptoms to prevent them from feeding off each other. Here is what you need to know.

    Allergic asthma
    Allergic asthma is the most common form of asthma, affecting 60% of asthma sufferers. With this kind of asthma, symptoms are triggered by an exposure to an allergen. There are many different potential triggers for allergic asthma, including:

    • Dust mites
    • Cockroaches
    • Mold
    • Pollen
    • Pets

    For people with allergic asthma, exposure to an allergen can cause the airways in the lungs to swell. This swelling can in turn cause an asthma attack to occur, for which sufferers may need to seek emergency care at a hospital.

    Asthma and allergy symptoms
    Allergies can be the cause of asthma symptoms, including shortness of breath, wheezing, chest tightness, and chronic cough. Continued to exposure to an allergic trigger can make these symptoms chronic, while occasional exposure to triggers can cause acute symptoms or flare-ups of symptoms.

    Asthma symptoms can also make allergy symptoms worse. Allergies and asthma cause similar symptoms, so when they occur at the same time, the symptoms of each condition can be intensified. Similarly, the chest tightness and shortness of breath that occurs with asthma can make rhinitis and associated nasal membrane swelling that occurs with allergies feel worse.

    Asthma and allergy management
    For people with allergic asthma, managing both asthma and allergies is essential for symptom relief. Avoiding exposure to allergens as much as possible is the first step. Your physician may also provide medications for both chronic asthma and allergy symptoms and acute attacks that occur as symptoms flare up.

    Managing asthma and allergies can involve a complex treatment plan, but Riverside Community Hospital is here to help. Our ER provides emergency care around the clock, so we’re ready when asthma attacks strike, and our providers cam help you create a comprehensive and effective treatment plan. Contact our hospital in Riverside for a referral to a physician today by calling (951) 788-3463.

  • Myths and facts about hepatitis C

    Hepatitis C is an increasingly common but often misunderstood disease. Researchers did not identify the hepatitis C virus until 1989, but since that time, a huge amount of knowledge has been amassed about the disease. Unfortunately, myths keep some people from getting tested who could benefit from it while others let misinformation impact their attitudes about the condition. If you or someone you love has hepatitis C, your doctor can explain the facts about the condition so you have a better understanding what it is. Don’t let these myths impact your knowledge about hepatitis C.

    Myth: Hepatitis C is a terminal disease.
    Although hepatitis C is a serious diagnosis, most people with the disease live long lives. It is true that 10 to 25% of people with the disease can develop serious and potentially fatal liver complications, but being diagnosed with hepatitis C does not mean that you have a terminal illness.

    People with hepatitis C can do many things to improve their health, including:

    • Seeing physicians regularly to monitor the disease progression
    • Eating a healthy diet
    • Avoiding alcohol
    • Following the recommended treatment plan
    • Exercising daily

    Myth: Hepatitis C is an STD.
    There are some instances in which hepatitis C is transmitted via sexual contact, but research has indicated a 0-3% of passing the disease on during sex in heterosexual couples. The rate is slightly higher among homosexual men, but most people with hepatitis C got the disease from blood-to-blood exposure.

    Some people believe that hepatitis C can be transmitted through air or salvia, but it cannot. Sharing utensils and drinking glasses, hugging, and other forms of casual contact will not expose anyone to the disease.

    Myth: Hepatitis C cannot be treated.
    There is no cure for hepatitis C, but there are many medications that can help manage the progression of the disease. Not everyone needs to be on medications, but there are treatments available if your physician determines that you could benefit.

    Hepatitis C medications have a reputation for having significant side effects, but these can be managed by working closely with your physician.

    Living a healthy life with hepatitis C is possible. Contact Riverside Community Hospital to get a referral to a physician in Riverside who can help you get the care you need. Dial (951) 788-3463 for more information.

  • What are the symptoms of osteoarthritis of the elbow?

    Osteoarthritis can occur in any joint in the body, and although it is more common in weight bearing joints, the elbow can be affected. If you are experiencing chronic elbow pain that impacts your range of motion and ability to do certain tasks, see your physician to determine if osteoarthritis could be blame. A range of treatments, including noninvasive options and robotic surgery, is available and help get you out of pain and back to your normal activities.

    What is osteoarthritis of the elbow?
    As explained in the video, osteoarthritis occurs in the elbow for the same reason it occurs in other joints. When the cartilage in the joint degenerates, it allows the bones to rub together or bump into each other, causing pains. Bone spurs may also develop.

    Cartilage degeneration can occur because of an injury or because of joint overuse. Often, injuries that cause osteoarthritis happen many years before the arthritis actually appears. Overuse injuries can also take years to develop, which is why osteoarthritis is more common later in life.

    What are the symptoms?
    Osteoarthritis causes pain and stiffness in the elbow. In early stages, you may only notice the pain when you are moving your elbow. However, osteoarthritis is a progressive disease, and the pain will become worse over time until you feel it even when you are at rest.

    Swelling is also common, as is hearing creaks and squeaks when the joint moves. It often becomes difficult to bend and straighten the arm when osteoarthritis gets worse.

    What treatment options are available?
    Steroid injections and pain medications are successful in reducing osteoarthritis symptoms in some people. Activity modification and physical therapy are also helpful for some people.

    When noninvasive treatments don’t provide adequate relief, surgery may be necessary. There are many different procedure options, including minimally invasive and robotic procedures, such as joint debridement and elbow joint replacement.

    Don’t let osteoarthritis pain keep you from doing the things you love. At Riverside Community Hospital, we offer comprehensive orthopedic and joint replacement procedures and cutting-edge robotic surgery. Contact our hospital in Riverside at (951) 788-3463 for a referral to a specialist.

  • Women – set healthy goals

    Today is a great opportunity for women to take time out to focus on their own health and wellness. Are you ready to commit to some healthier goals this year? Here are some strategies for committing to better health.

    Have a physical
    A yearly physical, including a well woman exam, is the foundation of good health. During a physical, your physician can get a clear view of your overall health, determine if you could be suffering from any undiagnosed medical conditions, and evaluate how well your current medical treatments are working.

    A physical is also a good time to ask questions about your health and address any concerns you have about symptoms or your risk factors for certain diseases. By having a physical each year, your physician can track and identify changes in your health that need further attention.

    Stop smoking
    Smoking has a tremendous impact on your health. It can do everything from increase your risk of heart attack and stroke to cause mouth and lung cancer. The longer you smoke, the more damage you will do to your body, but when you stop, your body begins to recover immediately.

    Quitting smoking is challenging, but you don’t have to do it alone. Your physician can help you find resources that work for you, from support groups in your area or online to medications that reduce cravings, so you can succeed in quitting, even if you’ve tried before.

    Learn your numbers
    There are certain numbers that mean a lot to your health, and knowing them helps you make smart decisions about your wellness. Make sure you know these numbers:

    • Weight
    • Cholesterol
    • Blood pressure
    • Blood glucose

    If you don’t like some of your numbers, ask your doctor about changes you can make to get them in a healthier range.

    At Riverside Community Hospital, your health is our priority. If you don’t have a physician, contact us at (951) 788-3463 and ask for a referral to a primary care physician or OBGYN in Riverside .