How to Find Relief from Spring Allergies

Allergy symptoms can be a nuisance. If you have itchy, watery eyes, congestion and persistent sneezing, your doctor might suggest allergy testing. The results of your allergy tests will allow your physician to identify your specific seasonal allergy triggers and develop a personalized allergy management plan for you.

Check pollen counts
Each morning, check your local weather report and look for the pollen count. Reduce the time you spend outdoors on days when the pollen count is high. The concentration of pollen in the air also fluctuates throughout the day. In the spring, it tends to be highest in the evening.

Wash off pollen
If you do go outside, it’s a smart idea to wash off the accumulated pollen on your body and hair once you go back inside your home. Take a shower, wash your hair and change your clothes. If you have a dog, bathe him/her frequently during allergy season.

Reduce pollen inside your home
It isn’t possible to completely eliminate allergens like pollen from inside your home, but using high-efficiency filters can help. Run a portable air purifier with a HEPA filter in your bedroom. Vacuum frequently with a vacuum cleaner that features a HEPA filter. Instead of opening the windows, turn on the air conditioning.

Avoid yardwork
Mowing the lawn is problematic for people with severe seasonal allergies. Consider asking a family member to complete this task for you. Or, hire a landscaping company. If you must do yardwork, wear a NIOSH-rated 95 filter mask.

Consider immunotherapy for allergies

Despite taking these preventive measures, it’s likely that you’ll still experience some allergy symptoms. Consider talking to your doctor about immunotherapy treatments like allergy shots. Immunotherapy gradually reduces allergy symptoms by building up the body’s tolerance to an allergen.

Specialized, patient-focused care is available at JFK Medical Center in Atlantis. For more information or for a physician referral, call us 24/7 at 561-548-4JFK (4535) or visit www.JFKMC.com.


Answers to Your Questions about Infant Immunization

From April 22 to 29, The Birthplace at JFK Medical Center will be celebrating National Infant Immunization Week. This annual observance raises awareness about the importance of vaccinating children in accordance with pediatricians’ recommendations. At The Birthplace at JFK Medical Center, we understand that parents must sort through a great deal of health information for their children’s well-being. We’d like to help you help your child by providing the answers you need to make informed decisions.

Why should my baby be vaccinated?
Vaccines contain antigens that stimulate the immune system to produce antibodies to diseases. Without vaccines, people are left vulnerable to life-threatening diseases. Even when a disease isn’t life-threatening, it can lead to long-term health consequences. Pediatric specialists strongly recommend vaccinating babies to protect them and everyone else in the community.

Is it harmful to receive multiple vaccines?
No, babies can safely receive multiple vaccines during the same medical appointment. A vaccine contains just a tiny portion of the millions of antigens that a healthy baby’s immune system fights on a daily basis.

Is it beneficial to delay some vaccines?
Newborns can get some protection against diseases from their mothers, especially if they are breastfed. However, this protection doesn’t last. Babies are highly vulnerable to infectious diseases, which is why pediatric specialists strongly recommend sticking to the established schedule of vaccines.

How can I soothe my baby?
The temporary discomfort of an injection is preferable to contracting a serious illness, but it’s never easy for parents to witness their children’s pain. While the healthcare provider administers injections, you can comfort your baby by doing the following:

  • Hold your baby on your lap
  • Let your baby nurse
  • Give your baby a pacifier
  • Swaddle your baby
  • Sing or make “shushing” sounds

When you bring your baby home after he or she receives vaccines, a warm, soothing bath may help as well.

The Birthplace at JFK Medical Center is proud to offer family-centered maternity care in our brand-new state-of-the-art facility in Atlantis. We are delivering dreams! Where are you delivering yours? To schedule a private tour, visit www.JFKMaternity.com or call 561-548-1000.


Unique Heart Health Concerns for Women

If you’re a woman, you should know that you have unique risk factors for heart disease. You’re also at a higher risk of suffering a “silent” heart attack, which occurs without a patient’s knowledge. If you have concerns about your heart health, you can find personalized solutions and compassionate care at The Heart and Vascular Institute at JFK Medical Center.

Conditions

Millions of women are affected by heart disease. Like men, women can suffer from heart attacks and coronary artery disease (CAD). Compared to men, women are at a higher risk of certain conditions, including coronary microvascular disease (MVD) and broken heart syndrome. MVD is a condition in which the tiny arteries of the heart sustain damage. Broken heart syndrome is also called stress cardiomyopathy. It involves severe heart muscle failure, which is usually temporary, but may become permanent. It’s thought that it is brought on by sudden episodes of severe stress, such as the death of a loved one.

Risk Factors

Men and women both share some of the same risk factors of heart disease. However, certain risk factors can affect women more significantly than men. For example, a woman’s heart health can be more substantially affected by diabetes, depression, mental stress and smoking. Women also have risk factors that men do not. The low levels of estrogen during menopause, for example, are a risk factor of heart disease that is unique to women.

Signs and Symptoms

Another troubling aspect of women’s heart health is the greater potential for a silent heart attack. Men are more likely to experience severe chest pain or pressure that is characteristic of a heart attack, and they are thus more likely to seek emergency care right away. Women are more likely to experience symptoms that aren’t usually associated with a heart attack, such as fatigue, shortness of breath, nausea and pain of the jaw or upper back. As a result, they may delay medical care and might only be diagnosed with a heart attack long after it has occurred.

The Heart and Vascular Institute at JFK Medical Center provides exceptional cardiovascular care for women and men in Atlantis.

Our advanced and innovative services include the Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR), Transcatheter Mitral Valve Repair (TMVR), Atrial Fibrillation Ablation, Wacthman, Cardiac Electrophysiology, Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) and more. For more information or to request a physician referral, call us 24/7 at 561-548-4JFK (4535) or visit us online at www.JFKMC.com.


Recognizing Vital Numbers for Your Heart Health

We've all heard of BMI, Blood Pressure and Cholesterol, but what do the numbers associated with them mean? Find out here.

It’s common knowledge that eating well and exercising regularly are the cornerstones of good heart health. But did you know, that even if someone appears generally healthy, that person might still be at risk of heart disease? This is why it’s important to schedule regular wellness exams and health screenings. Knowing your numbers can inform your daily lifestyle choices. At the Heart and Vascular Institute at JFK Medical Center, we offer comprehensive heart care services.

Body Mass Index (BMI)

Your BMI is a measurement of your weight that is adjusted in accordance with your height. In other words, people who are taller are generally expected to weigh more than people who are shorter. BMI is a general screening tool—not an exact measurement—of whether you are underweight, of normal weight, overweight or obese.

Check your BMI against these categories:

  • Underweight: Less than 18.5
  • Normal weight: 18.5 to 24.9
  • Overweight: 25 to 29.9
  • Obese: 30 or higher

BMI is significant for your heart health, because being overweight or obese increases the risk of heart disease.

Blood Pressure

Each time you see your doctor, a nurse will take your blood pressure with a pressure cuff that is fitted around your arm. This simple health screening allows your doctor to detect blood pressure problems early, which is significant, because high blood pressure does not cause symptoms.

Here’s a look at blood pressure categories:

  • Normal: Less than 120/80 mm Hg
  • Prehypertension: 120 to 139/80 to 89 mm Hg
  • High blood pressure, stage one: 140 to 159/90 to 99
  • High blood pressure, stage two: 160 or higher/100 or higher
  • Hypertensive crisis: Higher than 180/higher than 110

A hypertensive crisis requires emergency medical care.

Cholesterol

Your doctor may recommend that you have a cholesterol test every five years starting at age 20. The test reveals your total cholesterol, which includes low-density lipoprotein (bad cholesterol) and high-density lipoprotein (good cholesterol).

Here’s a look at desirable levels of cholesterol:

  • Total cholesterol: Less than 200 mg/dL
  • LDL cholesterol: Less than 100 mg/dL
  • HDL cholesterol: 60 mg/dL and higher

The Heart and Vascular Institute at JFK Medical Center in Atlantis is your partner in heart health. Our heart and vascular team is focused on providing our patients with the resources and information they need to make smart healthcare decisions. For more information or to request a physician referral, call us 24/7 at 561-548-4JFK (4535) or visit us online at www.JFKMC.com.


Raising Awareness of AFib

A heart arrhythmia involves rapid, slow or irregular beating of the heart. Atrial fibrillation, or AFib, is one common type of heart arrhythmia. AFib is a serious heart and vascular condition that requires careful medical management. Yet, many people who have AFib do not realize it, because they lack symptoms. Furthermore, many people who have been diagnosed are not receiving the essential treatment they need to prevent complications. At The Heart and Vascular Institute at JFK Medical Center, we’re working to change that by providing innovative medical solutions and patient-centered care.

What Is AFib

Your heartbeat is controlled by the electrical system of the heart. Each electrical signal originates in the upper chambers (atria) and travels down to the lower chambers (ventricles). If you have atrial fibrillation, the electrical signals are irregular and too rapid, causing the atria to quiver ineffectively. Then, the ventricles pump irregularly and sometimes rapidly.

Why It Matters

When the heart cannot pump out all of the blood inside the chambers, some of it may be left inside the organ. These pools of blood can form blood clots. If a blood clot breaks away and travels in the bloodstream, it may reach the blood vessels leading to the brain. There, the clot may obstruct blood flow and deprive an area of the brain of much-needed blood. This causes a stroke, which can be deadly or lead to life-long disability.

What You Can Do

If you already have atrial fibrillation, you can reduce your risk of stroke by working with your doctor to learn how to manage your condition effectively. You may be asked to take medications, some of which may normalize your heart rate. Other medicines are available to prevent blood clot formation. Some people with atrial fibrillation may undergo medical procedures, such as ablation or cardioversion. If you don’t have atrial fibrillation, you can reduce your risk of developing it by avoiding tobacco, consuming alcohol and caffeine in moderation, and generally leading a heart-healthy lifestyle.

If you have atrial fibrillation or any other cardiovascular condition, the Heart and Vascular Institute at JFK Medical Center in Atlantis can help. We are committed to helping all of our patients live a heart healthy life. For more information or to request a physician referral, call us 24/7 at 561-548-4JFK (4535) or visit us online at www.JFKMC.com.


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