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American Heart Month – Heart Health Awareness

February is American Heart Month, a time for our Las Vegas neurologist to remind people to focus on their hearts and raise awareness about cardiovascular disease. It is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. About 2,300 Americans die of cardiovascular disease every day, which averages to 1 death every 38 seconds. Globally, it remains the leading cause of death at more than 17.9 million deaths every year. With your help, our Las Vegas neurology clinic needs to change that!

Risk Factors of Cardiovascular Disease

A new study from Denmark has found that people who experience migraines may be more likely to develop heart problems. This is not the first study to suggest a link between migraines and the risk of stroke and heart attack. Although migraines are considered primarily a headache disorder, there are several reasons why migraines may be tied to cardiovascular problems. The sudden constriction of blood vessels in the brain that leads to migraines may make a person more vulnerable to stroke. If you suffer from migraines, it could be more serious than a headache. Contact our neurologist in Las Vegas during American Heart Month to see how we can help.

Sleep disorders are common among stroke survivors. Those associated with stroke include sleep apnea, parasomnia, and restless leg syndrome. Conversely, people with sleep apnea are more likely to suffer strokes to die in their sleep. Sleep disorders should not be ignored. At our neurology clinic in Las Vegas, we can diagnose and treat your sleep disorders to improve your health even after American Heart Month.

Cardiovascular Disease Prevention

The good news? Heart disease is one of the most preventable causes of death. Our Las Vegas neurology practice encourages you to take charge of your health! Starting this American Heart Month, commit to a healthy lifestyle, and make these small changes for a lifetime of good heart health.

  • Make an appointment with your Las Vegas doctor to discuss your heart health. Even if you’re not sick, schedule regular check-ups. Set goals for improving your health, ask questions, and trust their advice.
  • Prepare heart-healthy meals from scratch at home at least 3 times each week. Watch your sodium! To make your favorite recipe lower sodium, replace the salt with fresh or dried herbs and spices.
  • If you are a smoker, quitting can reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease. Take steps to quit smoking. You can learn more at CDC’s Smoking and Tobacco Use website.
  • Get active! Add exercise to your daily routine little by little. Even walking will help to reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke. Start slow and increase your frequency and intensity over time.
  • Take your prescriptions as directed. Do not discount blood pressure and cholesterol medicines. Ask your doctor in Las Vegas for help if you’re having trouble taking your medication.

Visit the Heart Health Foundation to learn more ways you can help this American Heart Month!

Flu Season Safety Tips: 2018 Flu Season

Flu season safety is of utmost importance right now. This year’s flu season is quite a deadly one. Influenza is all over the continental United States. Roughly 9.1 percent of all deaths in the US are due to flu and pneumonia, which is a common complication of the flu. Those most at risk during the 2018 flu season are children and the elderly.

Our Las Vegas neurologist knows that all parts of patient care are important. Every person at this neurology clinic in Las Vegas is dedicated to maintaining the highest quality of care. You can learn more about our Las Vegas neurology practice here! We want to help prevent the spread of flu. So, here are Silver State Neurology’s top flu season safety tips!

Practice basic personal hygiene

We wash our hands often at our Las Vegas neurology clinic. One of the most effective flu season safety methods is washing your hands frequently. Use soap and water to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizing liquid. You should be using enough liquid to cover all surfaces of your hands. It is especially important to clean your hands after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose. This will help protect you and others during flu season.

Get the flu shot

Is it too late to get the flu shot? No, it isn’t too late to do anything for flu season safety. Though the best time to get the flu shot is in October, the flu season can last all the way through May. If you haven’t already been vaccinated, getting the flu shot can still protect you from getting sick or passing the virus to someone else. Take note that it takes about two weeks after vaccination for your body to create antibodies that can protect against the flu.

Vaccination of people at high risk of serious flu complications is especially important to decrease severe flu illness. That includes young children 6 months or older, pregnant women, people with certain chronic health conditions, and anyone 65 years or older. If you have any questions, contact us! Our neurologist in Las Vegas is more than happy to help.

Stay home if you’re sick

If you’ve been diagnosed with the flu by a Las Vegas doctor, staying at home will keep other people healthy. Sick adults shouldn’t go to work, and sick children shouldn’t go to school. Taking time off to rest will also help speed recovery. In the meantime, anyone who is ill needs to stay hydrated and well-rested. The CDC recommends that those who are ill stay home for at least 24 hours after they no longer have any flu symptoms.

Keep surfaces clean

Common surfaces that are frequently touched must be kept clean. Regularly wipe down shared work spaces and equipment like copy machines, computers, and phones. Don’t forget to stop the spread of flu at home! Focus on cleaning surfaces like doorknobs, television remotes, and faucets. Bacteria can survive on these surfaces the longest. At our Las Vegas neurology office, we emphasize vigilance in keeping our environment clean. We employ this flu season safety tip every day.

Avoid touching your nose and eyes

There’s a common misunderstanding that the flu is spread by sharing food and drinks with sick people. However, the virus is actually spread by touching contaminated surfaces then touching the nose, mouth, or eyes. That’s because saliva doesn’t carry that much of the flu virus, and our stomachs have defenses to kill any viruses present. We’re much more susceptible to viruses that enter through the nose and eyes. For best flu season safety, our neurology office in Las Vegas recommends keeping your hands away from your face altogether.

Practice good health habits

An immune system that is already compromised will have a harder time fighting the flu. So, keep up a healthy lifestyle as much as possible for flu season safety. A healthy immune system is better equipped to withstand infection. Get adequate rest, eat healthy, and exercise. Bonus: moderate exercise, such as brisk walking, is a proven immunity booster. If you have any other health concerns, consult our Las Vegas neurology doctor.

Flu symptoms to watch out for:

  • Fever, feeling feverish/chills
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Vomiting or diarrhea (more common among children than adults)

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by pressure on the median nerve. The median nerve runs along the entire length of the arm. It controls the movement and feeling of your thumb and all fingers besides the pinky. Pressure on the median nerve results in a narrowing of the carpal tunnel, usually from swelling.

If you are suffering from any carpal tunnel syndrome signs, contact our neurology clinic in Las Vegas. Click here for a full list of the insurances we accept. Early treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome can relieve symptoms and prevent permanent damage. At Silver State Neurology, our Las Vegas neurologist can provide treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome. Dr. Christopher Milford wants to help all patients achieve a better quality of life. Learn more about our neurologist in Las Vegas on Facebook! Continue reading to learn about carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms!

What causes carpal tunnel syndrome?

Signs of carpal tunnel syndrome can start to develop due to repetitive motions of the wrist. This is especially true for actions that require use of the lower part of the wrist. Activities like typing on keyboard, texting, or even playing video games can cause symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. It can also be caused by a wrist injury, such as a fracture or sprain.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is more common in women than it is in men. This is due to women having a relatively smaller carpal tunnel space. Going through menopause also increases risk of carpal tunnel syndrome. Conditions that cause carpal tunnel syndrome include hypothyroidism, obesity, rheumatoid arthritis, and diabetes. Being pregnant can also cause carpal tunnel syndrome flare-ups. Symptoms can last a long time and get worse with time. They may even go away and return. Seeing a neurologist in Las Vegas means an earlier diagnosis and better treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome.

Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

  • Tingling: You may experience tingling in your fingers or hands. However, the pinky finger is unaffected by carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms. The sensation may feel similar to an electric shock in your fingers. It travels from the wrist up the arm, and it is usually felt while holding a steering wheel, phone, or newspaper.
  • Numbness: While you’re sleeping, your fingers might fall asleep and become numb at night due to your muscles being relaxed. It is common to wake up in the morning with numbness that runs from your hands all the way to your shoulder.
  • Weakness: Pressure on the median nerve can cause decreased function. Your muscles can actually start to shrink, leading to a loss of strength and coordination. This weakness also decreases the ability for your thumb to pinch properly. You might start to become more prone to dropping things.

Can carpal tunnel syndrome be prevented?

While we can treat your carpal tunnel syndrome at our Las Vegas neurology clinic, there are methods you can use to minimize stress on your hands and wrists. These methods will help to reduce your carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms.

  • Keep your hands warm! Your hands are more likely to be stiff and painful when cold. Use gloves that cover your hands and wrists.
  • Improve your posture. Proper posture will lengthen the muscles in your neck and shoulders while relaxing your nerves. This, in turn, affects your wrists, hands, and fingers. You should also avoid bending your wrists all the way up or down. Keeping a middle position is more relaxing.
  • Relax your grip. Putting less force behind wrist movements will reduce strain and pressure on the median nerve.
  • Stretch periodically! Gently stretch and bend your wrists and hands. Remember to take breaks often when you’re doing activities that require use of your wrists. Alternate tasks whenever possible.