General Health

It’s National Autism Awareness Month!

It’s National Autism Awareness Month!

This month represents an excellent opportunity to promote autism awareness.

Let’s look at the facts: 

More than 3.5 million Americans live with an autism spectrum disorder. (Buescher et al., 2014)
Prevalence of autism in U.S. children increased by 119.4 percent from 2000 (1 in 150) to 2010 (1 in 68). (CDC, 2014) Autism is the fastest-growing developmental disability. (CDC, 2008)

The Autism Society defines autism as:

“A complex developmental disability; signs typically appear during early childhood and affect a person’s ability to communicate, and interact with others.”
ASD is a “spectrum condition” that affects individuals differently and to varying degrees.
Currently, there is no known single cause of autism.
Autism is treatable. Studies show that early diagnosis and intervention lead to improved outcomes.

The CDC’s “Learn the Signs. Act Early” site has excellent resources for childhood development. Here are some signs to look for:

  • Lack of or delay in spoken language
  • Repetitive use of language and/or motor mannerisms (e.g., hand-flapping, twirling objects)
  • Little or no eye contact
  • Lack of interest in peer relationships
  • Lack of spontaneous or make-believe play
  • Persistent fixation on parts of objects


Put on the Puzzle!

National Autism Awareness Month
The Autism Awareness Puzzle Ribbon is the most recognized symbol of the autism community in the world.
Show your support for National Autism Awareness Month by wearing the Autism Awareness Puzzle Ribbon – as a pin on your shirt, a magnet on your car, a badge on your blog, or even your Facebook profile picture – and educate folks on the potential of people with autism!
To learn more about the Autism Awareness Ribbon, click here.
To purchase the Autism Awareness Puzzle Ribbon for your shirt, car, locker or refrigerator, click here.

Yucky Pink Eye!! Here’s How To Get Rid Of It Fast

Yucky Pink Eye!!

Here’s How To Get Rid Of It Fast

There are actually a few different causes for pink eye: viral, allergic, and bacterial.



Viral pink eye is not treatable but usually goes away within a week or so.


Allergic pink eye is not contagious.

You can treat it with over-the-counter allergy medication or eye drops.

pills pink eye

But, it will continue as long as you’re in contact with the allergen.


Bacterial pink eye produces more mucus than the two other types.

For this type, you should see a doctor for prescription antibiotics.


You can also use lubricating eye-drops or a warm washcloth to reduce the symptoms.

Omg! Did I Break My Toe? How To Determine If Your Toe Is Actually Broken

Omg! Did I Break My Toe?

Determine If It’s Actually A Broken Toe

Is there anything worse than stubbing your toe?

We’ve all been there. In that moment of blinding pain, you’re sure you’ve got a broken toe.

broken toe

Watch For Signs

If it starts bruising, swelling or becomes discolored, it’s time to see a medical provider.


Your toe could be sitting at an incorrect angle or pulled out of alignment. It could be a fracture, which could lead to arthritis.


Your provider will x-ray your foot and determine the ideal steps to ensure proper healing. It may be a simple fix of a boot, or something as serious as surgery.

The sooner you find out, the better your chance of proper healing.


Flu Vs. Cold: What’s The Difference?

Can’t tell the difference between the flu and a cold? Don’t feel bad. They’re both respiratory illnesses, but different viruses cause them.

bio lab

It can be tough to differentiate the two. In fact, you need to get tested within the first few days of illness to know for sure.

Generally, though, the flu is much worse than the common cold. In fact, the flu can result in serious health concerns, like pneumonia.


Cold symptoms are usually milder, like a stuffy nose and fatigue.

The Center For Disease Control created this awesome chart to understand the symptoms:

What is the difference between a cold and flu?

Here’s the cold vs. flu takeaway:

If it’s a cold, it’s gradual. The flu is more abrupt.

Fever is very rare for a cold, whereas it’s usual for the flu.

Aches, chills, and fatigue are regular with the flu.

Stuffy nose, sneezing, and sore throat: a few symptoms more common for the flu.

As always, see your provider if you’re feeling feverish, achy, and fatigued.

Urgent Care Vs. Emergency Care: Which One Do I Need?

Urgent Care Vs. Emergency Care:

Which One Do I Need?

You don’t want to be struggling over the decision of urgent care vs. emergency care in a moment of panic.

Frantic decisions can sometimes be the difference between life and death.

When a health scare happens, it’s good to know which option is best for you and your family.

Urgent Care

When a medical issue arises outside of normal business hours, urgent care is an option.

In fact, 90% of urgent care patients wait 30 minutes or less to see a provider.

If it’s a fracture, blood work, fever, stitches, cold or flu, urgent care is an excellent choice.

The majority of urgent care patients are in and out within an hour, and most take insurance.

Emergency Care

If it’s an emergency, go to the ER.

Conditions like chest pain, head trauma, loss of vision, or slurred speech are better served at an ER.

These conditions can need emergency treatment, like surgery.

Calling 911

When considering calling 911, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Never drive yourself if you’re having severe symptoms, like chest pain or vision loss.

The Room Is Spinning! What Does Dizziness Mean?

Feeling dizzy? Does it get worse when you move your head? It could be vertigo. That’s a classic symptom of this particular type of dizziness.


When is the last time you drank water? When you’re dehydrated, your blood pressure can drop quickly, making you feel woozy.


It could also be an ear infection caused by a virus. In cases like this, your ears may ring, and you might feel nauseous.

It could also be a low blood sugar issue. If you are diabetic, or even pre-diabetic, glucose and insulin imbalances can occur.

Poor circulation can also lead to serious dizziness issues. Blood clots or clogged arteries can cause low blow flow to the brain.


Sometimes dizziness is a side-effect of medication. Are you taking anything new? Antibiotics, anti-depressants, and sedatives can all cause dizziness.


The bottom line: If you feel dizzy, you should get medical attention immediately.

Your provider will know how to best combat those dizzy spells.

Reduce Sodium for World Salt Awareness Week

Check the label! This year’s World Salt Awareness Week (February 29 – March 6) focuses on the need for clear and consistent nutrition labelling so consumers know how much sodium they are consuming each day and can choose foods with lower sodium.

Too much sodium increases your blood pressure, a leading risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Previous themes for World Salt Awareness Week have encouraged chefs, caterers, and the prepared food industry to decrease the amount of sodium they add to foods and to purchase lower sodium ingredients and products.

Why Is Reducing Sodium Important?

Consuming less sodium can help prevent or control high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, which is a leading contributor to death, disability, and costs from cardiovascular disease (CVD). CVD is the leading cause of death in the United States and a major factor in health disparities across different population groups. US spending on CVD in 2010 totaled an estimated $315 billion.

Most of the sodium we eat—more than 75%—comes from packaged, processed, store-bought, and restaurant foods. That means the sodium is in our food before we even buy it, and the salt you add to food during cooking or at the table is only a small amount of what you consume each day. CDC’s Sodium and Food Sources Web page shows which food categories are the biggest contributors of sodium to your daily diet.

Many people are surprised to learn that foods that seem healthy, such as low-fat deli turkey or light salad dressings, can be high in sodium. In fact, the top sources of sodium in the American diet are bread and rolls, cold cuts and cured meats, and pizza. Learn more about the most common sources of sodium in our diets from CDC Vital Signs.

What would the nation gain if everyone could reduce daily sodium intake to 2,300 mg? Such a reduction has been estimated to

  • Reduce cases of high blood pressure by 11 million.
  • Save $18 billion health care dollars each year.

What You Can Do

During World Salt Awareness Week and every week of the year, you can reduce your sodium intake by following the tips below. Check out CDC’s Salt Web site to get more recommendations about reducing sodium in your diet and improving your heart health.

At the Grocery Store

  • Check Nutrition Facts labels while shopping to find the lowest sodium options of your favorite foods.
  • Limit purchases of processed foods high in sodium.
  • Talk with your grocer about stocking lower sodium food choices.

Eating Out

  • Ask your server for nutritional information, or check online before you go to find lower sodium options.
  • Ask the chef for no added salt in your meal. You can add some yourself if you find it is needed.
  • Talk with the manager of your favorite restaurant about offering lower sodium food choices.

At Home

  • Eat a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables. You can opt for frozen or canned fruits and vegetables, but select no-salt-added varieties and packages without sauce.
  • Prepare more meals from fresh ingredients at home, where you can control added salt.
  • Get enough potassium each day.1 Potassium can help reduce the effect of sodium on blood pressure and is found in many foods, such as bananas, potatoes, beans, and dairy products.
  • Support initiatives that reduce sodium in foods sold in cafeterias and vending machines.

Sodium Reduction in Communities

CDC is working to lower sodium intake at the community level through the Sodium Reduction in Communities Program. This current 3-year effort encourages communities to reduce sodium in school meals, at senior centers, in restaurants, at convenience stores, and at government facilities, and among other food establishments.

You can help by spreading the word to similar organizations in your community to ask for “less salt, please.”


Affinity announces price cut for all self-pay patients

In our continuing effort to provide you with the highest quality health care at the most affordable prices, Affinity Urgent Care has lowered its per-visit price for self-pay (non-insurance) patients to $95.

Affinity is focused on ensuring each and every member of our local community has access to affordable health care services delivered in a caring and professional manner. Our mission is to make this a reality and that’s the reason we’ve lowered our prices from $115 to $95 for those paying for our services out of their own pockets.

For more information on this pricing change, please don’t hesitate to call Affinity at 866-905-2029.

Affinity launches new online appointment system

To better serve our patients and make it easier to fit coming to our clinics into your busy schedule, Affinity Urgent Care has launched a new online appointment system that allows you to skip the wait by registering for your visit online.

Simply visit our website at and look for the Skip The Wait box on the right-side of each page. Click on the button titled “Reserve Your Place In Line” to be taken to another page where you can actually check on wait times at each clinic before you make your reservation.

Click on the blue “Get In Line Now” button underneath the clinic you plan to visit and fill out the form on the subsequent page. That’s all there is to it. You can even receive a text before your visit to confirm your appointment.

Affinity’s online appointment system is powered by ClockwiseMD, a leading a provider of healthcare information technology that is pioneering the use of tech tools for doctor offices and clinics.

Click here to go directly to the online appointment page.

Affinity blood drive set for Tuesday, Dec. 30

Affinity Urgent Care locations in Galveston and La Marque will sponsor blood drives outside their respective clinics on Tuesday, December 30, 2014, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The blood drive at the Galveston location – 2808 61st Street, Suite 200 – is being conducted by UTMB Health’s Blood Center. Donors who successfully give blood at that location will receive a sweatshirt hoodie while supplies last. Potential donors can make an appointment online for the Galveston blood drive by clicking here.

The drive at the La Marque location – 2600 FM 1764, Suite 190 – is being conducted by the Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center.

Giving blood is vital to the health of our communities. In fact, your one blood donation can help extend or save the lives of three patients. Please join us on Tuesday for this special event at Affinity Urgent Care.