What is melanoma?

Melanoma is a serious form of skin cancer. It can be genetic.

Normal skin cell convert to abnormal cancer cells and form melanoma.

Melanoma can form of the skin anywhere in the body, including hard to see places like the scalp, in the lining of the mouth, in between fingers, toes, bottom of the feet, fingernails, toenails,

buttocks, genitals, back, etc. 

What are the symptoms of melanoma?

Melanoma can appear as a brown or black mole or birthmark.

But melanoma has some other features which your healthcare provider can diagnose.

They are asymmetric [one half looks different than the other half], Uneven borders, different colors, Larger than the eraser on the end of a pencil, it can grow bigger, change color, shape, Bleed,

become red, swollen, crusty. 

Unfortunately, melanoma can be aggressive and spread to deeper organs in the body.

How is melanoma diagnosed?

Please to see your healthcare provider as soon as possible.

The healthcare provider will perform skin exam all over your body.

If there is a suspicion for skin cancer, a 'biopsy'is performed. The skin is numbed with an injection, and the abnormal skin is removed.

It is then sent to another healthcare provider to look at the skin under the microscope to rule out cancer.

How is melanoma treated?

If the biopsy is positive for melanoma, staging is done.

Staging determines how deep the cancer has spread in the skin. Treatment will depend on the staging.

Some of the treatment methods are Surgery, immunotherapy, targeted therapy, chemotherapy, radiation therapy.

Your healthcare provider will determine the right treatment for you. 

What happens after treatment?

Your healthcare provider will recommend frequent follow-ups to check the skin to see if the melanoma has come back, or if new melanomas appear.

They will perform imaging tests to see if melanoma has spread to other organs in the body.

You should check your skin frequently, at least once in six months, to look for any suspicious skin lesions. You should obtain help from your family member to look in hard to see places for abnormal

suspicious skin lesions.

Seek your healthcare providers help immediately if you suspect any abnormal skin lesion.

What happens if melanoma comes back or new melanoma appears?

See your healthcare provider immediately.

Treatment in the form of surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy will be recommended by your healthcare provider.

How can I prevent melanoma?

Melanoma can be prevented by protecting the skin from sun rays, UV rays.

Start using sun protection as a baby or as early as possible. 

Stay out of the sun in the middle of the day between 10 AM-4 PM.

Wear sunscreen with SPF more than 50, reapply frequently.

Use UV rays barrier protection like widebrimmed hats, longsleeved shirts, or long pants.

Do not use tanning beds.

People with genetic risk should be screened frequently by healthcare providers.

Melanoma of the skin

 Image result for melanoma skin cancer

 

 

 

What is conjunctivitis?

Conjunctivitis is an eye condition caused by infection or allergies.

What are the symptoms of conjunctivitis?

It can affect both the eyes, and make them pink, red, burn, gritty, watery, produce pus that sticks to the lashes, itching

How is conjunctivitis diagnosed and treated?

Consult your healthcare provider immediately.

If it is bacterial conjunctivitis, antibiotics are prescribed.

If it is viral or allergic conjunctivitis, different medicines are prescribed.

What are some things I can do at home?

Use clean cotton wool (1 piece for each eye). Boil water and then let it cool down. Dip the cotton wool in cool water and gently rub your eyelashes to clean off the crusts.

Hold cold flannel on your eyes for a few minutes to cool them down.

Do not wear contact lenses until your eyes are better.

Wash hands frequently with soap and water.

Wash personal clothing, pillowcases, with hot water and detergent.

What are the danger signs?

Unusual pain in the eyes, fever, vision loss, intense redness, unusual headaches.

Get immediate medical help if there are danger signs.

 Acute purulent conjunctivitis

 Image result for acute conjunctivitis

 

What is sinusitis?

Sinusitis is swelling of the sinuses, usually caused by an infection. It's common and usually clears up on its own within 2 to 3 weeks. But medicines can help if it's taking a long time to go away.

What the symptoms of sinusitis?

Discomfort, swelling, tenderness around your cheeks, eyes, fore head.

Blocked nose.

Reduced sense of smell.

Green or yellow mucus from your nose.

Sinus headache.

High temperature

Discomfort in your teeth.

Bad breath.

How is acute sinusitis diagnosed and treated?

For mild symptoms,

Get plenty of rest

Stay hydrated by drinking lots of fluids

Use over-the-counter Tylenol or ibuprofen [do not give aspirin to children under age 16]

Avoid allergic triggers, avoid smoking.

Consult your healthcare provider if your symptoms are severe. They can prescribe steroid nasal spray to decrease swelling, decongestant nasal spray, antibiotics in case of bacterial infection.

Imaging of the sinuses can be done.

ENT consultation is recommended if sinusitis lasts over three months, repeated sinusitis, unilateral sinusitis.

 

What is a cataract?

Cataract is a condition when the lens, a small transparent disc develops cloudy patches.

What are the symptoms of cataract?

It causes blurry misty vision, lights appear too bright or glaring, difficulty seeing in dim light, colors look faded.

How are cataracts diagnosed?

An optometrist can check your vision and determine if you have cataracts. 

They will refer you to an eye doctor to determine if you are a candidate for surgery.

How are cataracts treated?

If the cataracts of not ready for surgery, stronger glasses are prescribed.

If the cataract is ready for surgery, the eye doctor will perform the surgery.

How can I reduce my risk of cataracts?

Avoid smoking

Maintain normal blood sugars

Avoid trauma to the eyes.

Avoid long-term use of steroids

Avoid drinking too much alcohol.

Use sun shades in bright sunlight

Patients with strong family history of cataracts can get vision checkups from healthcare provider.

Cataract

 Image result for cataract

 

What is otitis media?

Otitis media are ear infections commonly seen in children.

Ear infections often get better on their own in 2-3 days.

What are the symptoms of otitis media?

Fever.

Feeling sick.

Loss of energy

Difficulty hearing.

Discharge from the ear

Feeling of pressure inside the ear

Itching and irritation around the ear

Scaly skin in and around the ear.

Young children/babies with your infection may also

Rub or pull their ear

Not react to some sounds

Irritable

Lose their balance.

Not eat normally.

What should I do if I have otitis media with severe symptoms?

Consult your healthcare provider immediately if

You have high fever.

Ear pain that does not get better after three days.

Swelling around the ear

Fluid/Blood coming from the ear

Other symptoms like being sick, severe sore throat, dizzy

Repeated ear infections

If you have a weak immune system due to long-standing disease, medications.

Antibiotic tablets, eardrops, steroid eardrops, antifungal eardrops can be prescribed based on the condition.

What should I do if I have otitis media with mild symptoms?

Use over-the-counter painkillers like Tylenol or ibuprofen. Children under 16 should not use aspirin.

Place a warm or cold wash cloth on the ear

Do not put anything inside your ear to remove earwax, such as cotton buds or your finger

Do not let water or shampoo get in your ear

Do not use decongestants or antihistamines – there's no evidence they help with ear infections

How can I prevent ear infections?

Stay up-to-date with your vaccinations.

Do not smoke.

Avoid sticking objects or fingers in your ears

Use earplugs when you swim

Prevent water or shampoo getting into your ears when you take a shower or bath.

Treat conditions that affect your ears like eczema or allergies to hearing aids.

Otitis media

Image result for otitis media