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What is Swimmer’s Ear and How Do I Prevent (and Treat) It?

Posted on Mon, Jun 27, 2016

It’s summertime, which means kids are going to be spending a lot of time in the water cooling off from the heat: diving in, swimming underwater and splashing around. The bad news: all that time in the water makes swimmer’s ear a risk among children. The good news: it’s pretty easy to prevent.

Swimmer's Ear TreatmentWhat is Swimmer's Ear?

Swimmer’s ear got its name because it's often associated with the water and moisture that gets trapped in the ear after swimming, which can lead to an infection of the ear canal (otitis externa). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), swimmer’s ear is to blame for about 2.4 million health-care visits each year. The most common culprit is water from a lake, followed by ocean, bath and then pool water. But, you can reduce your chances of getting swimmer’s ear with a few preventative measures.

Is swimmer’s ear the same as the common middle ear infection?

No. Other types of ear infections cause pain inside the ear, but swimmer's ear causes pain when the outside of the ear is touched. Look for these common symptoms.

Swimmer’s Ear Prevention

Since moisture creates the “perfect environment” for bacteria to grow, the best thing to do to prevent swimmer’s ear is to keep your ears as dry as possible. After you’re done swimming or showering, use a small towel to gently dry the inside of your ears and tilt your head to allow water to naturally escape each side. Also use a swim cap or ear plugs to prevent water from entering the ear canal when you’re in the water.

What not to do?

Never use a cotton swab to clean or dry the ear canal because it can be damaging to the ear drum. Avoid scratching your ear canal; little breaks in the skin from fingernails can invite a serious infection to spread quickly. Don’t try to remove ear wax. Your ear wax is there to help protect your ear canal from infection; remove it and you risk infection.

Swimmer’s Ear Symptoms

The symptoms typically start off mild (manifesting a few days after the ear is contaminated) but they can intensify quickly if the infection is left untreated. Look for the tell-tale signs of pain, itching, swelling, redness, discomfort, drainage, and a loss of hearing. Hearing will be muffled, and the ear may feel “full.” Look for redness and inflammation that can spread to the outer ear and the lymph nodes in the neck. It is not contagious and is generally confined to one ear. See The American Academy of Pediatrics for more information about swimmer's ear.

Listen Up: Swimmer’s Ear Requires Medical Attention

If the infection advances without treatment, symptoms may progress to severe pain and swelling and fever. If you or your child has developed swimmer’s ear, it's important to seek medical attention for the proper treatment and prescriptions. Generally, the pain and swelling will dissipate as the antibiotics take effect, clearing up in about a week. Learn more about our services and how we can treat you and your family by calling our location in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey (908) 464-6700, or Middletown, New Jersey (732) 957-0707. We welcome you to walk in, get your exam and be on your way.

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Sidelined by Summer Sports? Walk-In Pediatrics NJ Urgent Care Is Here When You Need Us Most

Posted on Tue, Jun 07, 2016

More and more kids are playing organized sports, but along with summer fun and fitness comes the rise of injuries. eMedical Urgent Care and pediatric walk-in clinics in Middletown and Berkeley Heights are committed to providing superior for sports injuries by board-certified physicians. Sidelined by Summer Sports? Walk-In Pediatrics NJ Urgent CarePut me in coach! According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 2.6 million children up to the age of 19 receive emergency care for sports and recreation-related activities. Although the nature of sports and other recreational activities lends itself to occasional accidents, knowing basic safety procedures can help to prevent injuries in young athletes.

Be Prepared with a Sports Physical

Before starting any sports leagues, it’s important to make sure your child has received their pre-participation physical exam (PPE). Our urgent care doctors are here to administer a sports physical including the medical history and physical exam. No appointment is required, so you may walk in whenever it’s convenient for you and your child.

Wear Protective Gear

Many parents assume that proper equipment is the key to safety, but experts caution against becoming complacent. Growing athletes require properly sized gear; what fit last summer may not fit this summer. Pads and helmets are not effective unless they fit correctly.

Helmet ControversySummer Sports Walk-In Pediatrics NJ Urgent Care

You may have heard of the controversies over whether helmets do more harm than good. Recent evidence suggests that concussions are caused by rotational motion, rather than angular—or forward and backward—motion. Regardless, plenty of research shows that wearing protective equipment does reduce the risk of injuries, although some critics still say kids actually play rougher when they’re wearing helmets or heavy gear because they think they're better protected.

Stay Hydrated

Before, during and after the game it’s always important for young athletes to drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration and heat exhaustion. A good rule of thumb is to drink 30 minutes prior to playing and then every 15-20 minutes during play time.

Be a Role Model

Demonstrate the importance of safety and sportsmanship to your children. Teaching young athletes to play by the rules of their sport can prevent unnecessary aggression (resulting in injuries) on the field.

Rest

Schedule at least one day off per week from sports to allow the body to recover. Also, be sure to take breaks throughout intense exercise. Rest periods during practice and games can help reduce injuries and prevent heat illness.

eMedical Urgent Care for Sports Injuries and Sports Physicals

eMedical Pediatrics NJ Urgent Care treats a wide array of sports injuries and administers sports physicals at both of our locations. Learn more about our services and how we can treat you by calling our location in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey (908) 464-6700, or Middletown, New Jersey (732) 957-0707. We welcome you to walk in, get your exam and be on your way.

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5 Surprising Things You Probably Didn’t Know about Urgent Care

Posted on Wed, Mar 30, 2016

According to the Urgent Care Association of America, “more Americans have insurance than any time in the past five years and urgent care centers are playing an important role in keeping up with the everyday needs of the growing patient-base.” With approximately 9,000 urgent care centers in the U.S., urgent care offices are more popular than ever with patients looking to receive convenient and affordable treatment for minor illnesses and injuries, vaccinations, and physicals. Highlighted below are five facts and stats that might surprise you about eMedical Urgent Care.

1. Convenient Hours

Eighty-five percent of urgent care offices are open seven days a week, with 95 percent closing after 7 p.m. At eMedical Urgent Care, we offer services at two locations: Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, and Middletown, New Jersey and are open 7 days a week, including holidays from 8 a.m. until 8/9 p.m.

2. Faster Treatment

Urgent care centers can be overlooked in the frantic rush when an injury occurs, but if the injury is not life-threatening, you’ll receive faster treatment (at a fraction of the cost) at an urgent care office rather than an ER. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the total average ER wait time is roughly 2 hours, whereas urgent care centers are able to see walk-in patients within 15 to 45 minutes. Sixty-nine percent of urgent care centers have wait times of less than 20 minutes, 28 percent have wait times between 21 and 40 minutes and 3 percent have more than a 40 minute-wait. At eMedical Urgent Care, we pledge that, on average, you’ll be seen by one of our professional providers within 30 minutes.

3. Strong Community Relationships

The majority of urgent care centers — 61 percent — have been in operation for more than five years, with approximately 40 percent open for nine years or more. Fifteen percent have operated for three to five years, 16 percent for one to two years and 8 percent for less than a year. Since 1984, our physicians at eMedical have been building relationships with families within the communities we serve.

4. Lower Cost Per Visit

The average urgent care visit costs patients $70 to 125 for basic care, with additional costs added for shots, X-rays, labs, etc. The average emergency room visit can cost you over $1,000. eMedical Urgent Care participates in many managed care plans for your convenience and for those patients who are uninsured, we offer eCard benefits.

5. We Have You Covered!

The most common diagnosis in an urgent care center is an upper respiratory condition, and the most common procedure is wound repair. An estimated 13.7 to 27.1 percent of all emergency department visits could actually take place at an urgent care center. Chances are, if you’re Googling a minor symptom, our medical staff at eMedical Urgent Care can treat you.

eMedical Urgent Care Locations

With summer right around the corner, this means that weekend warriors and kids in sports will be ramping up as well. Did you know that approximately 12 million people between the ages of 5 and 22 years old suffer a sports-related injury each year? From sprains and strains to cuts and fractures, eMedical Urgent Care can take care of these minor injuries and more! Learn more about our services and how we can treat you by calling our location in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey (908) 464-6700, or Middletown, New Jersey (732) 957-0707.

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Walk-In Doctor’s Office vs ER [INFOGRAPHIC]

Posted on Wed, Sep 16, 2015

How do you know when it’s better to go to an urgent care center versus the ER? Believe it or not, there are plenty of reasons for visiting urgent care over the emergency room. eMedical walk-in doctor’s office provides complete urgent care and occupational health services delivered by board-certified emergency physicians, family physicians and internists working with highly trained radiology techs and medical assistants.

Emergency Rooms and Urgent Care Differences:

Walk-In Doctor’s Office / Urgent Care Center:

• Flu or Cold, Fever, Headaches, and Chills • Sprains and Strains • Cuts Requiring Stitches • Minor Burns including Sun Burns • UTI • Immunizations (such as flu shots) • Foreign Objects in the Eye • Pink Eye • Ear Ache • Rash • Broken Bones • After-Hours Care • Annual Exams

Emergency Room

• Severe Abdominal pain • Major Trauma or Accident • Major Laceration with Uncontrollable Bleeding • Severe Burns • Shortness of Breath • Loss of Consciousness • Heart Attack or Chest Pain • Stroke • Compound Fracture The average urgent care visit costs patients $70-125 for basic care, with additional costs added for shots, x-rays, and labs. The average emergency room visit costs over $1,000. In 2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported the total average ER wait time is roughly 2 hours, whereas urgent care centers are able to see walk-in patients within 15-45 minutes. At eMedical, we pledge that, on average, you’ll be seen by one of our professional providers within 30 minutes.

Get Medical Treatment Right Away

After work, or on weekends, we‘re here. Patients are seen on a walk-in basis without appointment. Our convenient hours are designed to fit your schedule. Learn more about our services and how we can treat you by calling our location in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey (908) 464-6700, or Middletown, New Jersey (732) 957-0707. Feel better knowing we’re here.

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