Blog Posts


Top 10 Most Googled Medical Symptoms in 2015

Posted on Wed, Dec 30, 2015

Popular Medical Symptom Searched in 2015Googling is generally used for looking up pretty much anything, from finding directions to researching medical symptoms. Google recently released its annual summary of what the U.S. searched for this past year. Among the top trending searches from January to November 2015 included Lamar Odom, Jurassic World, American Sniper, Caitlyn Jenner and Ronda Rousey. Google is also a popular first-stop for looking up symptoms. In fact, one in 20 Google searches are for health-related information. Although if you have a medical concern, there is no substitute for a consultation with one of eMedical’s highly trained, board-certified emergency medicine physicians. Though for your typical hypochondriac, online symptom checkers are quite popular. In 2015, people searched for medical symptoms including the flu, gallbladder infections, measles, listeria, sinus infections, Ebola and more.  Users commonly seek out relevant medical information about common conditions including symptoms, treatment and prevention.

Top Searched Medical Symptoms

Below are the 10 most searched for symptoms this year, according to Google.
  1. Flu
  2. Gallbladder infection
  3. Measles
  4. Listeria
  5. Sinus infection
  6. Gastritis
  7. Anxiety attack
  8. H. Pylori infection
  9. Heat stroke
  10. Lactose intolerance

Top Searched Health-Related Questions

Below are those popular burning questions that users searched for this past year:
  1. “Is bronchitis contagious?”
  2. “Is pneumonia contagious?
  3. “How much water should I drink?”
  4. “How many calories should I eat?”
  5. “What is lupus?”
  6. “How far along am I?”
  7. “When do you ovulate?”
  8. “What is gluten?”
  9. How long does the flu last?

Medical Symptom Search Results

If you’ve ever woken up with a stomach ache wondering if it was something you ate or possibly the flu and start typing your symptoms into your go-to search engine, suddenly you start feeling worse and the worry spikes immediately. In fact, according to a new study led by researchers at the Harvard Medical School, many search results can be so inconsistent and inaccurate that patients shouldn't rely upon them for correct diagnoses. Simple symptoms can be misconstrued by “cyberchondriacs,” those who misdiagnose their illnesses after looking up their symptoms online, resulting in unnecessary anxiety. Patients should only use online symptom checkers as a starting point. Self-diagnosis can be dangerous; it is better to have a conversation with your doctor. But if you must browse, make sure the sites you visit for health advice are reputable and vetted by medical experts. Cleveland ClinicMayo Clinic, and The Centers for Disease control and Prevention all have legit and easy-to-find information.

eMedical Urgent Care Walk-In Clinic

Your best bet is to visit eMedical Urgent Care; our emergency medicine physicians provide urgent medical care to both adults and children with convenient hours designed to fit your busy schedule. 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.


Acute Sinusitis: Symptoms and Treatment

Posted on Mon, Dec 14, 2015

Acute Sinusitis Symptoms and TreatmentsFeeling stuffy with uncomfortable pressure on your cheekbones? It could mean you have acute sinusitis. Also known as rhinosinusitis, this short-term sinus infection can cause inflammation or swelling of the membranes that line your sinuses preventing mucus from draining from your nose.

Causes of Acute Sinusitis

In a normal (healthy) scenario, our sinuses are usually filled with air. However, when infection hits, these healthy sinuses become clogged and accumulate fluids, germs from bacteria, fungi and even viruses. Individuals with the following illnesses and conditions are more prone to developing sinusitis
  • Colds and runny noses
  • upper respiratory infections
  • fungal sinus infections
  • allergies that cause mucus production in the sinuses
  • lack of cilia motility, caused by disease
  • nasal polyps or tumors
  • deviated nasal septum
  • enlarged or infected adenoids
  • infected tooth (in rare cases, bacteria can spread from the infected tooth to the sinuses)
  • cystic fibrosis (a disease that causes thick, sticky mucus to build up in the body)
  • immune deficiencies
  • nasal structural differences causing narrowing of nasal drainage ducts

Types of Sinusitis

Sinusitis is divided into four categories including acute sinusitis (typically lasting 3 weeks), sub-acute sinusitis (usually lasts for 4 to 8 weeks), chronic sinusitis (can last for 8 weeks or longer and is also characterized by extreme sinus infection), and recurrent sinusitis (these tend to recur over time).

Signs and symptoms

Some of the signs and symptoms associated with acute sinusitis include:
  • Pain, tenderness and inflammation Swelling is most commonly associated with this condition. Infections of the sinus cause inflammation and a dull constant pain is usually felt on the affected sinuses.
  • Discharge A thick, greenish-yellow discharge can come from the nose or go down the back of the throat.
  • Congestion Inflamed sinus can cause nasal obstruction causing difficulty breathing through your nose.
  • Persistent cough The couch may be worse at night and usually irritates the throat causing a sore throat.
  • Headache Swelling and sinus pressure can lead to headaches, aching in your upper jaw and teeth, and fatigue.
  • Other symptoms include: ear pain, fever, bad breath, reduced sense of smell and taste

At-Home Symptom Relief

Help relieve some of the symptoms with a little at-home TLC, starting with getting enough of rest to fight infection and speed up the recovery process (you might even try elevating your head as well). Drinking plenty of fluids (avoid caffeine or alcohol) will help to dilute mucous secretions and promote drainage. Next time you’re feeling stuffy, also try taking a hot, steamy shower and breathe in the warm, moist air or apply a warm compress around your nose, cheeks and eyes (this should help to ease pain and help drain mucus).


The good news: sinus infections are not contagious. Treatment for acute sinusitis varies depending on whether the source of the infection is viral or bacterial and may include analgesics (such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories), saline irrigation, corticosteroids, decongestants or antihistamines. Antibiotics can be prescribed to treat sinusitis caused by bacterial infections, if the infection is severe, recurrent or persistent. Visit eMedical Urgent Care at the first sign that sinusitis is detected; as this goes a long way in preventing an individual from developing chronic or recurrent sinusitis. Treatment for sinus infections are available at eMedical Urgent Care. Our convenient hours are designed to fit your busy schedule. 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.


Should I Bring My Child to a Walk In Clinic for the Flu?

Posted on Wed, Nov 18, 2015

Should I Bring My Child to a Walk In Clinic for the Flu?It’s pretty much a given that our children will pick up the flu at some point throughout the school year from all the coughing and sniffling students in their classrooms. So, how does a parent know when to bring their child into a walk-in clinic for the flu or a terrible cold? The flu and colds are both caused by viruses (not bacteria), so symptoms may last four or five days then you could be on your way to recovery. That said, both illnesses can morph into more serious conditions, including sinus infection, bronchitis, pneumonia, and strep throat. Drive to an eMedical Urgent Care walk in clinic near you if your child is experiencing any of the following symptoms:

  • Persistent sinus pressure
  • Worsening sore throat
  • Cough followed by yellow or green phlegm
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Ear pain
  • High fever

Walk-In Clinic vs ER

Severe influenza problems are most common in children under 2 years. In addition, children with chronic health problems like asthma, diabetes and disorders of the brain or nervous system are at especially high risk of developing serious flu complications. How do you know when it’s better to go to an urgent care center versus the ER? Read more about the common emergency room and walk-in clinic differences on our recent blog post, “Walk-In Doctor’s Office vs ER [INFOGRAPHIC].”

Protect Yourself from the Flu Virus

Flu shots are your best protection against the flu epidemic. And because the influenza virus(es) changes every season, it’s important to get your child vaccinated every year. Take your child for regular check-ups and stay up to date on their immunizations. Protect yourself and your family; talk with the pediatric-trained doctors at eMedical Urgent Care about the benefits of getting the flu vaccine to keep your child healthy. In addition to getting vaccinated, you can do more to fight the flu with a few healthy steps.

How do you know if it’s the flu, food poisoning, allergies or the common cold?

Symptoms of the flu usually develop within two days of exposure, but a person can spread the virus before they begin to develop symptoms. The common cold is a respiratory illness that can be caused by many different viral infections. I's often confused with the flu. There is no cure for the common cold or for the influenza virus. There are, however, treatments available to lessen the severity of the symptoms. As a parent, how can you tell if your child is dealing with a bout of food poisoning or the onset of the flu? They both have very similar symptoms. A doctor at your local urgent care office should be able to help you determine from which he or she is suffering, but always assume your child contagious and take the proper precautions. It can also be difficult to differentiate between the common cold and allergies. Parents should be on the lookout for specific symptoms covered in our recent blog post, “Is Your Child Suffering from the Common Cold or Seasonal Allergies?

Get Medical Treatment Right Away

Most of our pediatric physicians are parents too, so we understand the importance of keeping our tiny humans happy and healthy. After school, 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.


Sinus Infections

Posted on Mon, Sep 28, 2015

Sinus infections, also referred to as sinusitis, usually occur after a common cold swells the mucus membranes which traps mucus and air behind the sinuses. The changing pressure allows (usually harmless) bacteria to slip into the sinuses, where it grows inside the mucus. Our physicians at eMedical Urgent Care after hours doctors office have provided some insight on sinus infections below:

What are the Sinuses?

Behind the bones of your face there are hollow spaces which are filled with air that lead to the nose cavity. This is known as the sinuses. Your sinuses have the same mucous membrane lining as your nose does. The membrane produces a slimy secretion (called mucus), which keeps the nasal passages moist. This mucus traps dirt particles and germs.

What is Sinusitis?

In medical English, the suffix “it is” means an “Inflammation.” Sinusitis is a swelling of and infection of the sinuses. Since the passageways from the sinuses to the nose are very narrow, swelling and mucus may block the passageways leading to painful pressure. They can be categorized as:
  • Acute: Lasts 4 weeks or less
  • Sub-acute: Lasts 4 to 12 weeks
  • Chronic: Lasts more than 12 weeks and can continue for months or years
  • Recurrent: Several acute attacks within a year

Causes of a Sinus Infection

Sinus infections are common all year round due to the increased pollution we continue to push into the air and our resistance to antibiotics. Most often it’s either allergens (such as pollen and mold) or viruses (such as the common cold) are to blame for swelling. When the swelling causes the passageway to close off, bacteria, viruses and even fungus can get trapped in the sinuses all leading to an infection.

Symptoms of a Sinus Infection

Symptoms of a sinus infection include:
  • feeling pressure in your head
  • a headache that is most painful when you first wake up in the morning or when you bend your head forward
  • pain around your eyes and eye lids
  • earaches or neck pain
  • aching in the teeth, cheeks and upper jaw
  • thick, green mucus and stuffy nose (loss of smell)
  • cough, especially on the evenings
  • fluid draining down the back of your throat (postnasal drainage)
  • sore throat
  • dizziness (the inner ear is affected causing a person to lose equilibrium and become off-balanced)


You want your nose to run. Try treatments like sipping on hot tea, taking a hot, steamy shower, add some spicy mustard to lunch, or even watch the Notebook for a good cry…and relief. You can also try a nasal irrigation like a netipot to rinse the nasal passages, warm compress and sleeping with your head raised. In addition, decongestants will also help to relive pressure, and help open up the airways. The more that your mucus stays thick, the more pain and pressure you’ll create, so remember to avoid dairy products which will exasperate the symptoms.

When Should I see a Doctor?

The good news is that sinus infections are not contagious. Although, a true sinus infection, if left untreated, can lead to other infections around the eyes and/or teeth or an upper respiratory infection. When over the counter relief prove to be ineffective and pain and stuffiness persist, seek medical attention. If you have a fever, if the mucus is thick or green, antibiotics are a necessary treatment. Treatment for Sinus Infections are available at eMedical. 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. [youtube]


10 Questions – And Answers – About Sinus Infections

Posted on Wed, Mar 04, 2015

By Jane Sennett, DO flu While winter is known for cold weather, ice skating and hot chocolate, it’s also known for the flu, colds and the dreaded sinus infection. Deciphering and diagnosing a sinus infection can be tricky, but fortunately there are frequently asked questions to help you. What are sinuses? A sinus is a hollow, air-filled cavity. There is a frontal sinus, located in the forehead; the maxillary sinus, which is behind the cheek; ethmoid sinuses between the eyes and the sphenoid sinus, located deep behind the eyes. What is sinusitis? Sinusitis, or a sinus infection, is an inflammation or swelling of your sinuses. Normally, your sinuses are filled with air. When the sinuses become blocked and filled with fluid, bacteria can grow there and cause an infection. How common is sinusitis? More than 37 million Americans suffer from at least one episode of acute sinusitis each year. It has increased throughout recent years, perhaps due to increased pollution and resistance to antibiotics. What are the signs of a sinus infection? Symptoms include facial pain or pressure, nasal obstruction, or a “stuffed up” nose, nasal discharge, and a diminished sense of smell. How is sinusitis treated? Most sinus infections are viral and will resolve. However true bacterial infections require an extended course if antibiotics. Patients needing antibiotics are generally treated with 10 to 14 days of antibiotics. We also may prescribe oral and topical decongestants to help alleviate the symptoms. Can I use over-the-counter sinus medicine for a sinus infection? It depends on the person. It’s best to come to our office to be examined by a doctor to determine the best treatment. How long does a sinus infection last? Severe cases can last 4 to 12 weeks, while less severe cases can last up to 4 weeks. Chronic sinusitis can last 3 months of longer and may require surgery. Is rinsing your sinuses safe? You may safely use normal saline spray to help irrigate your sinuses. Using something like a neti pot is safe as long as the water used is filtered or distilled. If you experience a fever, nosebleed or experience frequent headaches after using a neti pot, you should definitely seek medical attention. Are sinus infections contagious? Sinusitis is not contagious. However, keep in mind that clogged sinuses can provide an ideal environment for bacteria to breed. What happens if a sinus infection is left undiagnosed? If left untreated, a sinus infection can lead to severe medical problems including infections of the eye socket and blood clots in the sinus area around the front and top of the face. If this winter weather has you yelling ”achoo” instead of outside chanting ”woohoo,” visit eMedical Urgent Care in Berkeley Heights and Middletown, N.J., and to start feeling better today! Jane Sennett, DO, is the medical director for eMedical Urgent Care, formerly known as eMedical Offices (EMO). She joined eMedical Urgent Care in 2014. She is board-certified in emergency medicine. Dr. Sennett earned her medical degree from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey’s School of Osteopathic Medicine and completed her emergency medicine residency at Union Hospital and Newark Beth Israel Medical Center. Dr. Sennett holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Rutgers University. She also is an attending physician at Overlook Medical Center- Union Campus and Robert Wood University Hospital at Rahway.

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