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Health Services Frequently Asked Questions

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Q: What is Pinkeye (Infectious Conjunctivitis)?

A: Conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the thin, clear membrane that covers the white part of the eye and the inside surface of the eyelid. The symptoms of "Pinkeye" include increased tearing with possible discharge, burning, itching, and redness of the white of the eye. The usual treatment is with prescription antibiotic drops or ointment.

Q: What is ringworm?

A: Ringworm is a fungal infection of the skin that is rarely serious but often requires a long time to clear up. Good personal hygiene should be encouraged to prevent ringworm. Over-the-counter medications can be purchased at the pharmacy to treat ringworm.

Q: What is mononucleosis?

A: Mononucleosis is an infectious disease caused by a virus that affects the lymphatic system, respiratory system, and the liver. Common symptoms include sore throat, swollen lymph nodes, fever, fatigue, diminished appetite, headache, and generalized aching. Medical attention is necessary to confirm the illness and to prevent complications.

Q: What should I do if I have a nosebleed?

A: You need to sit in an upright position leaning forward to let blood drip out of the nose rather than being swallowed. Avoid blowing your nose if possible, otherwise only blow nose gently. If bleeding reoccurs, hold pressure by pinching the nose as far back on the nostril as possible for a full five minutes by the clock. If bleeding continues, contact your physician or go to the Emergency Department.

Q: What can I do if I have a sprain or contusion?

A: Sprains are usually painful injuries caused by the partial or complete tearing of ligaments. Contusions are painful injuries of soft tissues. The following are suggestions to help ease your discomfort until you receive follow-up care with your physician as needed.

Elevate the injured extremity for 24-48 hours to reduce swelling.

An ice pack should be applied to the area of a fresh injury for 36-48 hours. Direct contact of ice and skin should be avoided by using a cloth material such as a towel between the skin and ice. Use at one hour periods, allowing another hour rest between applications. An ice pack may be applied directly to an elastic bandage.

Elastic bandages may become too tight or too loose. It is wise to unwrap them for 5 minutes and rewrap them every 2-3 hours.

After 48-72 hours, you may apply a lukewarm heat source to the area if swelling is still pronounced.

Persistent pain and disability for more than 72 hours are caution signs that you should see your doctor for a check-up as soon as possible, especially if the pain and disability are not diminishing in character.

Q: How do I know if I have a fever blister or cold sore?

A: Fever blisters are different from canker sores; they are caused by the virus Herpes Simplex, Type 1 and are very contagious. You should avoid all physical contact with these lesions and avoid kissing during an outbreak of Herpes Simplex. If the condition continues, seek professional help.