Your COVID-19 Vaccination

COVID-19 Vaccination

The Immune System—the Body’s Defense Against Infection

To understand how COVID-19 vaccines work, it helps to first look at how our bodies fight illness. When germs, such as the virus that causes COVID-19, invade our bodies, they attack and multiply. This invasion, called an infection, is what causes illness. Our immune system uses several tools to fight infection. Blood contains red cells, which carry oxygen to tissues and organs, and white or immune cells, which fight infection. Different types of white blood cells fight infection in different ways:

  • Macrophages are white blood cells that swallow up and digest germs and dead or dying cells. The macrophages leave behind parts of the invading germs, called “antigens”. The body identifies antigens as dangerous and stimulates antibodies to attack them.
  • B-lymphocytes are defensive white blood cells. They produce antibodies that attack the pieces of the virus left behind by the macrophages.
  • T-lymphocytes are another type of defensive white blood cell. They attack cells in the body that have already been infected.

The first time a person is infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, it can take several days or weeks for their body to make and use all the germ-fighting tools needed to get over the infection. After the infection, the person’s immune system remembers what it learned about how to protect the body against that disease.

The body keeps a few T-lymphocytes, called “memory cells,” that go into action quickly if the body encounters the same virus again. When the familiar antigens are detected, B-lymphocytes produce antibodies to attack them. Experts are still learning how long these memory cells protect a person against the virus that causes COVID-19.

How COVID-19 Vaccines Work

COVID-19 vaccines help our bodies develop immunity to the virus that causes COVID-19 without us having to get the illness.

Different types of vaccines work in different ways to offer protection. But with all types of vaccines, the body is left with a supply of “memory” T-lymphocytes as well as B-lymphocytes that will remember how to fight that virus in the future.

It typically takes a few weeks after vaccination for the body to produce T-lymphocytes and B-lymphocytes. Therefore, it is possible that a person could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination and then get sick because the vaccine did not have enough time to provide protection.

Sometimes after vaccination, the process of building immunity can cause symptoms, such as fever. These symptoms are normal and are signs that the body is building immunity. Talk to a doctor about taking over-the-counter medicine, such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, aspirin (only for people age 18 or older), or antihistamines for any pain and discomfort experienced after getting vaccinated.

Learn more about getting your vaccine.

Types of Vaccines

Currently, there are three main types of COVID-19 vaccines that are approved or authorized for use in the United States or that are undergoing large-scale (Phase 3) clinical trials in the United States.

CDC recommends that people who are starting their vaccine series or getting a booster dose get either Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna (mRNA COVID-19 vaccines); however, which vaccine you can get depends upon your age. The mRNA vaccines are preferred over Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine (a viral vector vaccine) in most circumstances. Although mRNA vaccines are preferred, the J&J/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine may be considered in some situations.

Below is a description of how each type of vaccine prompts our bodies to recognize and protect us from the virus that causes COVID-19. None of these vaccines can give you COVID-19.

  • mRNA vaccines (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna) contain material from the virus that causes COVID-19 that gives our cells instructions for how to make a harmless protein that is unique to the virus. After our cells make copies of the protein, they destroy the genetic material from the vaccine. Our bodies recognize that the protein should not be there and build T-lymphocytes and B-lymphocytes that will remember how to fight the virus that causes COVID-19 if we are infected in the future.
  • Protein subunit vaccines (vaccines under development) include harmless pieces (proteins) of the virus that causes COVID-19 instead of the entire germ. Once vaccinated, our bodies recognize that the protein should not be there and build T-lymphocytes and antibodies that will remember how to fight the virus that causes COVID-19 if we are infected in the future.
  • Vector vaccines (Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen) contain a modified version of a different virus than the one that causes COVID-19. Inside the shell of the modified virus, there is material from the virus that causes COVID-19. This is called a “viral vector.” Once the viral vector is inside our cells, the genetic material gives cells instructions to make a protein that is unique to the virus that causes COVID-19. Using these instructions, our cells make copies of the protein. This prompts our bodies to build T-lymphocytes and B-lymphocytes that will remember how to fight that virus if we are infected in the future.

While COVID-19 vaccines were developed rapidly, all steps have been taken to ensure their safety and effectiveness.

Booster Shots and Additional Primary Doses

Booster shots enhance or restore protection against COVID-19 which may have decreased over time. Everyone ages 12 years and older who have completed their COVID-19 vaccine primary series should get a booster.

An additional primary dose is for people who are moderate to severely immunocompromised and did not build enough or any protection from their primary vaccine series.

This post was written by a medical professional at The Wellness Firm.  The Wellness Firm services include covid testing for travel, mobile flu shot clinics, onsite rapid COVID event testing, employee physical examination, as well as American Heart Association CPR certification classes. Founded by local Firemen, The Wellness Firm has been providing a safer Tampa Bay since 2006.

What Are the Most Common Vascular Diseases?

Vascular Diseases

Vascular diseases can lead to an amputation depending on how severe the disease is. Vascular diseases are often linked with smoking; this could be because smokers generally smoke for pleasure rather than to cure medical conditions. Unfortunately for people that suffer from vascular diseases, it might be necessary to have amputations to prevent further severe damage. This makes caring for the patient much more complicated as they must come to terms with what has happened, and this may be difficult because often, it isn’t treated as a regular amputation.

Vascular diseases affect people worldwide and could potentially become more of an issue in the future due to smoking becoming more popular. This article looks at some of the most common vascular conditions that may need you to visit David Naar MD, a vascular specialist based in Westlake.

Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are the most common vascular condition that affects people worldwide. Usually, varicose veins don’t cause any pain, but they can be unsightly and may become uncomfortable, especially after sitting down for an extended period.

Symptoms of varicose veins include swelling of the legs, visible veins on the legs, and pain in the legs. You can treat varicose veins at home by elevating your legs above heart level, wearing compression stockings, and not smoking to prevent further damage. If you are suffering from varicose veins or any other vascular disease, visit David Naar MD to find out the best course of treatment.

Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD)

This condition is caused by decreased blood flow to the legs and feet, which means that patients may also suffer from claudication, tingling, or pain in their lower limbs. The symptoms can be very similar to varicose veins, and a doctor will tell the difference during a physical examination. Often claudication occurs when walking, but it can also happen when exercising, standing for prolonged periods, or even while going to the toilet.

To prevent further damage, smokers should stop smoking and visit a doctor for appropriate treatment. Once you have quit smoking, treatment will include medication, exercising, and following a healthy lifestyle. In some cases of peripheral vascular disease, it may be necessary to have an amputation to prevent more severe damage.

Deep Vein Thrombosis

Deep vein thrombosis is a severe condition that needs to be treated as soon as possible. Symptoms of deep vein thrombosis include swelling of the legs, pain in the lower leg, and increased heart rate. Deep vein thrombosis can occur in both smokers and non-smokers, but smoking makes it much more likely that you’ll develop the condition. If you feel any of the symptoms of deep vein thrombosis, visit a doctor as soon as possible, as it can be life-threatening if left untreated. Treatment often includes drugs, surgery, or a combination of the two.

In summary, vascular conditions are often severe and can even require amputation if not treated early. Some of the most common vascular diseases include varicose veins, deep vein thrombosis, and peripheral vascular disease. If you notice any symptoms or are at risk for any of these conditions, you should see a vascular specialist as soon as possible.

Signs That You Need to See a Foot and Ankle Specialist

Foot and Ankle Specialist

If you or someone you know is experiencing pain, swelling, or discoloration of the foot and ankle, this article may be helpful. The foot and ankle can be troublesome sites of discomfort for those living with chronic conditions such as diabetes mellitus, arthritis, and vascular diseases, among other things. These common conditions often go undiagnosed for long periods because the sufferer may not know precisely what they are feeling. This critical article discusses recognizing when you need to seek care from Aloha Foot and Ankle Associates.

1. You Have Chronic Foot or Ankle Pain

If you or someone you know has been experiencing pain in the foot and ankle for over a month, it’s time to seek help. In addition, if your pain worsens as time goes on instead of going away, this could indicate that something is not correct. Many conditions can lead to chronic pain, such as nerve damage, tendonitis, arthritis, and fractures, to name a few. A doctor may make these diagnoses during the initial examination, so it’s best to catch them early.

2. You Have Unexplained Foot or Ankle Swelling

Many conditions can cause foot and ankle swelling, especially high blood pressure, clogged arteries, or diabetes. However, when the swelling does not go away after taking medication or if it is accompanied by pain, you might have an infection in your foot. This is why you need time to visit a foot and ankle specialist, where experts will conduct a thorough examination, including lab work or x-rays.

3. You Have New Shoes But Since Wearing Them Your Foot or Ankle Has Swelling and Pain

Wearing new shoes can be a great experience, especially when they make you feel even more fabulous. However, it’s essential to give your feet time to adjust to them before wearing them for long periods. If you have just purchased a new pair of shoes and within a short period, your foot begins to swell, or you experience pain, this could indicate that the shoes are too small. Don’t panic because seeing our specialists can make all the difference in the world, mainly if they diagnose something more serious such as arthritis, plantar fasciitis, or tendonitis.

4. You Have Muscle Weakness, Foot Drop, or Ankle Instability

Many conditions can lead to muscle weakness in the foot and ankle, including diabetes, stroke, or arthritis, among other things. The muscles of the foot and ankle work together to provide stability for your bones while also absorbing impact after you walk, run, or jump. In addition, you have a group of muscles in your foot called the intrinsic muscles that work together to provide stability and maintain proper positioning of the bones in the foot. If these muscles are not functioning correctly, you can experience various symptoms, including foot drop and ankle instability.

In summary, the foot and ankle can cause a lot of pain, so you need to know when to see a specialist. Some of the most common reasons for visiting a foot and ankle specialist include unexplained swelling or chronic foot or ankle pain. You should also see a specialist if you develop pain or swelling after wearing a new pair of shoes. You may need to schedule an appointment for some people if you have muscle weakness, ankle instability, or foot drop.

How to Recognize Common Insomnia Symptom

Insomnia

Sleep is a necessity for everyone, and you should strive to get quality sleep every day. But you can develop sleep complications like insomnia where you can’t fall asleep or are getting problems staying asleep. Health practitioners offering sleep medicine in Rockville, MD, can help you understand how to get better sleep. Many people fail to seek help in advance as they do not understand when lack of sleep becomes a problem. Let the following tips help you assess if you have insomnia.

Evaluate How Long You Take to Fall Asleep

Sleep patterns differ from one person to another. But many people have a routine of falling asleep within 30 minutes after they get to bed. If it takes you over 30 minutes after your head hits the pillow and you put the lights off to sleep, you might have insomnia. Sometimes it can take up to four hours to fall asleep after you go to bed, indicating you might have insomnia. Also, you might experience lots of turning and tossing in bed while you try to sleep.

If you become anxious or frustrated because you are not falling asleep, it can worsen your situation and take longer to fall asleep. Although this can occasionally happen due to illnesses or stress, it is considered a problem if it happens three times a week.

Understand What it Means to Have a Healthy Sleep

People have different sleep routines depending on their lifestyles and occupations. However, doctors recommend everyone to sleep continuously for about 7-9 hours per night. However, some people can need about 10 hours, and other rare persons can go with less than seven hours of sleep without experiencing negative health complications. Therefore, estimate the time you are getting to sleep every day to tell if you have insomnia. In most cases, those with insomnia sleep for less than six hours even if they want to sleep more hours.

Note If I Get Up at Night.

Frequently waking up from your sleep at night is a common hallmark sign you might have insomnia. Healthy people mostly do not wake up at night, but those with insomnia will often do so, especially in the late night and wee hours. You might get out of bed due to frustration from not getting sleep, the urge to go to the bathroom, or due to physical discomfort. Therefore, understand that getting up at night is not healthy to sleep habits, and you should seek help if you do so.

Look Out for Morning Tiredness

Feeling tired in the morning should not be a normal consequence. If you are getting quality sleep at night, you should be less tired in the morning. If you have insomnia, you might feel unrefreshed every morning, and you might even feel more tired than when you went to bed. You might experience less strength, reduced coordination, slower reflexes, and headaches.

Assess Your Mood Changes

If you continue lacking enough sleep, it affects your immune system, causes physical side effects, and affects your emotions and moods. You can experience irritability, anxiety, depression, poor memory, reduced concentration, and reduced attention span. Also, you can become more aggressive or impulsive if your condition worsens.

Reach out to Sleep Services of Maryland if you have trouble falling or remaining asleep. Your provider will evaluate your symptoms and diagnose insomnia. They will also help you understand how to better your sleep.

Everything You Should Know About Dermal Fillers

Unpleasant consequences of aging include facial volume loss, resulting in deep folds and sunken cheeks. Thankfully, you can maintain a youthful appearance with proven treatments. To receive exceptional dermal fillers in Willowbrook, partner with the professionals of Elite Dermatology. With the highest level of care in administering non-invasive procedures, you can be sure to attain the look you desire with minimal fuss. Call or go online to discover how fillers can remedy your condition.

Definition

Dermal fillers refer to injectable materials that aim to add volume and fill in wrinkles in target areas. Presently, the majority of dermal fillers are hyaluronic acid-based.

Hyaluronic acid is readily present in your body’s subcutaneous skin. However, its production declines with time. This compound works jointly with your skin’s support network to maintain your skin smooth and supple.

When you experience hyaluronic acid depletion, dermal fillers can kick in to grant you a natural-looking, eye-catching appearance.

Which Areas Can Dermal Fillers Address?

Nearly every part of your body that lacks volume or has wrinkles can benefit from dermal fillers. Typical areas include:

  • Lips
  • Marionette lines on the chin
  • Cheeks
  • Lines around the lips

For How Long Do Dermal Fillers Last?

The longevity of your treatment depends on the type of dermal filler and the area of injection. Dermal fillers in the Juvederm and Restylane class normally last six months to one year. They can however last longer.

Fillers’ effects linger longer in the midface, particularly the cheeks. With Juvederm Voluma® XC, you can enjoy significant results for almost two years on the cheeks.

Since the lips move more frequently than other parts of your face, fillers on this part tend to disappear quickly. Nonetheless, you can be sure to receive at least six to twelve months of remarkable results with fillers on your lips.

What Should I Expect During Recovery?

With dermal fillers, recovery is a quick and easy process. You will need no downtime at all. After a treatment consultation of fifteen to thirty minutes, you will be free to resume your regular daily activities.

While you may suffer some minor bruising, swelling, and redness a few days after treatment, these effects will dissipate hastily. You can also apply makeup to the treatment area, albeit in moderation.

When Do I Get to Witness Dermal Filler Results?

One of the weightiest upsides of dermal fillers is the immediate results. Your results will be evident before stepping out of the Elite Dermatology office. Nevertheless, it is worth noting that initial results are somehow overrated due to swelling. In a matter of days, the swelling declines leaving behind the final results.

Potential Side Effects of Dermal Fillers

Just like any other medical procedure, dermal fillers do have some risks. Most of these effects appear shortly after injection and subside within a few weeks. Occasionally, side effects may occur weeks, months, or some years later. Such risks include:

  • Itching
  • Tenderness
  • Bruising
  • Rash
  • Pain

Do you seek to eliminate facial folds, add volume to your lips, or restructure your cheekbones? Dermal fillers can help your dreams come true. Call the office or arrange an appointment online with Elite Dermatology experts today.

Exceptional Cardiology Services in Texas

High blood pressure may trigger severe medical complications, including stroke and heart attack, without proper intervention. Sadly, you may fail to notice this developing condition unless you screen regularly for hypertension. If you need top-notch Tomball cardiology, Northwest Houston Heart Center can help. Your elite providers deliver regular blood pressure tests to ensure that you stay healthy and avoid serious issues. Call or arrange an appointment online with the nearest office today.

What is Hypertension?

Hypertension, often known as high blood pressure, is a major health concern that can lead to a life-threatening heart attack, renal failure, or stroke without you even realizing it. Some people with high blood pressure may experience migraines, shortness of breath, or nosebleeds. The symptoms are not specific and do not appear until your high blood pressure has grown to a severe level.

Your blood pressure level is measured by checking the blood flow force through the arteries and around the body. If your blood pressure becomes too high, the power with which your blood flows might trigger major medical issues.

Sadly, high blood pressure rarely causes symptoms, so if you don’t get your blood pressure checked regularly, you won’t know there’s a concern until you have a severe health crisis.

As a result, regularly having your blood pressure tested by your medical team at Northwest Houston Heart Center is vital.

Causes of Hypertension

High blood pressure can result from underlying health problems such as hormonal imbalances, kidney disease, or diabetes. However, most people who have high blood pressure have at least one, if not more, risk factors due to their lifestyle. Among these elements are:

  • Being overweight
  • Chronic stress
  • Overconsumption of alcohol
  • High-fat diet
  • High-salt diet
  • Smoking
  • Insufficient exercise
  •  High levels of bad (LDL) cholesterol

Because blood pressure increases with age, the impacts of an unhealthy lifestyle grow more powerful as you become older.

How is My Blood Pressure Measured?

Checking your blood pressure is a quick and painless process that only takes a few minutes at the Northwest Houston Heart Center office. Your physician wraps a blood pressure cuff around your arm and inflates it. They collect two readings that reveal how much pressure there is when the heart is pounding (the systolic reading) and in-between beats (the diastolic reading).

These two digits add up to reveal your blood pressure reading.

  • Healthy blood pressure is below 120 systolic and below 80 diastolic
  • High blood pressure occurs over 140 systolic or over 90 diastolic.
  • Raised blood pressure comes between 121 and 140 systolic, or 81 and 90 diastolic.
  • Dangerously high blood pressure: 160 or above systolic; 100 or above diastolic

At Northwest Houston Heart Center, your care team takes your blood pressure at your yearly checkup and normally checks it anytime you visit the clinic.

Available Treatments for Hypertension

In some circumstances, high blood pressure may require medicine. Regardless, the best method to control it is to make lifestyle changes. Northwest Houston Heart Center’s specialists can assist you with healthy eating regimens, diet and exercise, and smoking cessation.

Call Northwest Houston Heart Center today or schedule an appointment online to learn more about high blood pressure management.

Expertise with a Touch of Care

Personalized and comforting care in any medical facility always improves your moods, attitude towards treatment and even helps you relax regardless of the illness. Combining this type of care with high expertise and years of experience gives you a top-notch physician who guarantees you nothing but the best experience while in their care. This is the kind of care specialists at StatMD Urgent Care Inc offer you. They provide people from Bakersfield urgent care medical services, general physical diagnosis, sports injury treatments, vaccinations, women health specialists, and many other primary care services. There is no option for one-size-fits-all treatment in their facility regardless of the service you require. Below is a broader view of some of these institutions’ services and how they are handled.

· Sports Injuries

Sports injuries arise when a person engages in physical exercise and gets hurt. Normally, sports injuries are treated with home remedies, but it is advisable to seek professional medical attention when the pain persists.  To diagnose your sports injury, the doctor will ask you a series of questions as the first step to diagnosing your injury. To determine the intensity of your injury, you will undergo a comprehensive physical examination starting with the affected area. The doctor may also require you to get a scan so that he can be able to rule out significant disorders such as fractures or internal bleeding.  Sports injuries are treated differently depending on how severe the injury is and the body part that the injury has impacted. Some of the treatments offered are physical therapies and, in extreme cases, surgery. Treatment aims to alleviate discomfort, enhance movements, and avoid additional problems.

· Physical Exam

A physical exam is an excellent way to protect your wellbeing in the long run and has no recovery time. The physical exam involves asking a series of questions and conducting a diagnosis to identify whether you have any allergies or any underlying conditions. The specialist asks questions about your lifestyle like eating habits, fitness plans, and whether you consume alcohol or other harmful substances like tobacco. The doctor will then examine your breathing patterns, skin, and sensitive body parts like your ears, eyes, and heart rate. Lastly, your joints and muscle reflexes are analyzed. If the examinations reveal something unusual that is not clear, they will perform a deeper scan like an x-ray to better grasp your condition and accord the best treatment plan. The doctor may also prescribe laboratory tests as a part of the diagnosis. You will then receive personalized treatment concerning the condition that they identify. They may also recommend that you have your immunizations updated. It is important to express your concerns, especially if you have distinctive signs and symptoms that are not responding to home therapies.

Whether you are undergoing a general check-up like a physical or have an illness that demands urgent treatment, expertise with a touch of care always improves your experience at a medical facility. If you are looking for a facility that guarantees you nothing but the best care, look no further. Call or visit StatMD Urgent Care Inc today.

Top 5 Uncommon Ways to Prevent Leg Cramps

Leg cramps are common, especially for pregnant women and athletes but painful and debilitating. The cramps tighten the muscles in your curves, quadriceps, or hamstrings and can last anything between a few seconds and fifteen minutes. Although the exact cause of the sudden, painful knots is unknown, medical experts like Michelle Molina, MD, an Ardsley leg cramps specialist, offer quick ultrasounds to get to the root of your situation. Since several factors influence the occurrence of leg cramps, you can try to prevent the recurrence of the condition in various ways. Try the following tips.

Hydrate Yourself

Studies have shown that you can prevent leg cramps by staying hydrated, while others have no connection between the two. Researchers believe that reduced fluid around the cells of the body leads to muscle twitches which cause cramps. Ensure you drink enough water regularly and replenish it after your exercises. Experts suggest that men should consume about 13 cups which is 3.3 liters of total beverages daily, while women drink about 9 cups which is 2.2 liters a day. Factors like activity level and weight determine the amount of fluids needed.

Get More Sodium

Electrolytes are crucial in sustaining the fluid balance in your body and can be lost when you excrete sweat. More than other electrolytes, sodium is mainly lost through sweat. When exercising or you are an endurance athlete and sweating, especially when the weather is hot, sodium loss may lead to cramping and a more dangerous condition known as hyponatremia. You can replace sodium by taking drinks with electrolytes or eating salty foods. You can also try eating sour pickle slices or drinking juice from a pickle to prevent cramping. Additionally, unrefined sea salt is proposed since it contains other mineral deposits beneficial to the body.

Enhance Increment in Your Calcium Intake

Many individuals believe that muscle cramps are triggered by calcium deficiency. Increase your intake of calcium naturally by consuming a diet high in dairy products such as milk, yogurt, or cheese. Also, you can try to take calcium supplements that can be bought online or at your local pharmacy. If dairy products are not available, you can also try beans, dried figs, kale, or salmon or look for calcium supplements that contain vitamin D.

Have Enough Magnesium in Your Blood

Currently, leg cramps are being linked to low levels of magnesium in an individual’s system. However, research is still ongoing, and the magnesium effect is being tested. It has so far been demonstrated to be an active treatment for pregnant women. Magnesium levels suggested vary from 360 mg/day to 420 mg/day depending on age; therefore, you can consult with your doctor about the best dosage.

Increase Your Potassium Levels

The flow of liquids in and out of the body’s cells is regulated by potassium, which also helps conduct nerve impulses and contractions of muscles. Water pills used to treat conditions such as high blood pressure enhance the risk of leg cramping since it increases your excretion of potassium. Most adults require 4700 mg of potassium daily, and you can get it from bananas, milk, peanut butter, spinach, or yogurt.

Leg cramps can make it hard to concentrate on anything else but pain. Contact Wellness and Surgery if you experience leg cramps, especially at night, for more first-hand information on avoiding it. Share your lifestyle information with your provider to help in understanding your condition.