• When Are Headaches a Sign of a Serious Medical Condition?

    Most people will experience headaches from time to time, and they can usually be cured with some water, rest, and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications. However, headaches can be a sign of more serious medical conditions that should be treated right away in the emergency room . If you experience any of the headache symptoms below, be sure to seek immediate medical attention, as you may have a more serious condition than a typical migraine or a tension headache.

    You have the worst headache of your life

    Headaches that are incredibly severe, sudden, and could easily be characterized as the most intense headache you’ve ever had should be evaluated right away by a doctor. Even if you get headaches regularly, you should not ignore pain that is excessively severe compared to your average headache.

    You have recently suffered a head injury

    Concussions can have lingering after effects, so you should not assume that you do not have a concussion if you do not notice symptoms right away after a head injury. When it comes to head injuries, it is best to play it safe and seek medical attention to evaluate the extent of the injury, which will limit the severity of potential after effects.

    You have slurred speech and changes in vision

    When a headache is accompanied by slurred speech, blurry vision, or loss of balance, it may be a sign of a stroke. At the first sign of any of these symptoms, head to the ER or call 9-1-1 right away, since every second matters when it comes to emergency stroke treatment.

    When you need emergency care in San Jose , you can count on the ER at Good Samaritan Hospital for low wait times and around-the-clock care from board-certified emergency physicians. To learn more about the higher standards of care in our hospital, give us a call at (888) 724-2362 or visit our website today.

  • Tips for Managing Your Stress

    While the holiday season can be cheerful, it may also be a time of stress as you balance holiday events, work, and travel. When you have high levels of stress, you might not only have feelings of anxiety and tension, but your health can suffer as well. To reduce the effects of stress on your health and maintain a more positive mood through the busy holiday season, try these strategies for healthy stress management.

    Spend time with loved ones

    Spending time with friends and family is probably a cherished holiday tradition, and it is one that can help you minimize your stress as you enjoy activities together. Social activity is important for stress relief, since isolation will often only compound negative feelings and make you feel even more anxiety.

    Stay active

    Whether you choose to exercise, volunteer, or join a local club, staying active will be beneficial for managing stress and keeping the happy spirit of the season. Exercise is perhaps the most helpful tool for reducing stress, since it will cause your brain to release chemicals that promote positive feelings. Plus, physical activity can allow you to burn off some of the calories consumed at decadent holiday dinners that might otherwise promote winter weight gain.

    Steer clear of drugs and alcohol

    It can be easy to go out for a cigarette or imbibe in an alcoholic beverage when stress stacks up, but these quick fixes will only worsen your stress and damage your health in the long-run. A more effective and healthy strategy for immediate stress relief is therapeutic breathing, which will let you take a moment to reflect and relax so that you can re-focus your energy with more positive thoughts.

    For more health tips to get you through the hectic holiday season, contact Good Samaritan Hospital at (888) 724-2362. Our San Jose nurses will answer your call anytime, 24/7 to offer healthy living tips, physician referrals, and current ER wait times at our hospital.

  • How to Stay Healthy in the Peak of Flu Season

    Flu season is in full swing, which means that your chances of getting sick may be high if you do not take steps to protect yourself from this common wintertime illness. Preventing the flu can require a series of strategies that will boost your immune system and reduce your exposure to the germs that cause the flu to spread. Read on to learn what you can do to keep the flu from keeping you off your feet this winter.

    Get a flu shot

    While getting a flu shot early will be the best strategy for prevention , it is not too late to see your doctor or local pharmacy for flu vaccination. It is important to get the whole family immunized against flu every year, since the virus strain evolves between each flu season.

    Fortify your diet

    In addition to the flu shot, you might consume a healthier diet to bolster your immunity against the flu virus. Foods that are rich in vitamin C, antioxidants, and sulfuric compounds will be best for an immune system boost, and these foods include garlic, onions, citrus fruit, berries, and green tea. Hot soup and tea have also shown to be beneficial in fighting off the flu, since hot liquids can raise the temperature in the nasal passages to kill lingering germs in the airways.

    Wash your hands often

    Flu germs spread easily through contact with other people and common surfaces, so you’ll want to make sure that you wash your hands thoroughly and often, especially before touching your nose or mouth. You will want to wash with warm water and soap, scrubbing for at least 20 seconds. When you can’t wash your hands, reach for some hand sanitizer containing alcohol.

    If you have a flu-related emergency this season or you simply want more health tips to help you ward off seasonal illnesses, stay connected with Good Samaritan Hospital in San Jose. You can reach us on our website, or call our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line at (888) 724-2362 for current ER wait times or answers to your health questions.

  • Holiday Light Safety Tips

    Holiday lighting is a trademark of the winter season, but it can also be a home safety hazard when lights are not hung and plugged in properly. To eliminate fire hazards with your holiday lights and prevent decorating injuries that could end with a trip to the ER , follow these helpful tips for holiday light safety.

    Opt for LED lights

    Not only are LED lights a more energy-efficient option for holiday decorating, but they are also a better choice for burn prevention. LED lights are cool to the touch, unlike incandescent bulbs. Plus, they are made from epoxy lenses, which are less prone to shattering than glass, and, therefore, less likely to lead to injuries.

    Always plug into a surge protector

    Any electronic decorations are best plugged into a surge protector that is plugged directly into an outlet. You should never piggy back one surge protector onto another, but rather use extension cords when you need more length to reach the outlet.

    Untangle lights before hanging

    You will want to make sure that strings of lights have been untangled and tested for dead bulbs before you climb up the ladder to hang them. Fumbling around with tangled lights on top of a ladder could cause you to fall and sustain serious injuries that could have been avoided with just a little preparation beforehand.

    Avoid candles where possible

    Electronic candles have become popular for holiday decorating because they eliminate the more immediate fire hazard of traditional candles. If you do prefer to light regular candles, be sure that they are kept away from trees and dangling decorations that could easily ignite.

    For reliable emergency care and health tips throughout the holiday season, connect with Good Samaritan Hospital in San Jose. You can reach us on our website or by calling our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line at (888) 724-2362.