STAY HEALTHY. STAY OUT OF THE ER.


We love interacting with the people of the Laredo community, but we’d much rather do it outside the ER than inside it. Keep up with the latest knowledge from our professionals to help keep yourself in the peak of health.




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24/Aug/2019

Did you know that back pain back is one of the most common health issues that Americans of all ages face? Studies show that at least 8 out of 10 people will suffer from it, which means at least 31 million Americans are expected to experience back pain at some point in their life, so the odds are that you have experienced some form of back pain already.

What are the most common causes of back pain?

The most common factor among people who suffer from back pain is sitting too much. This is because a large portion of the back, neck, and various other muscles connected to the body’s distribution of force are all used when working or staying in unnatural positions for extended periods of time, such as sitting or slouching.

A more unknown cause can be linked to your emotional state. Emotional and mental health determines your ability to effectively address stress, which means that depression can have a huge effect on the overall physical health of your body.

Bulging or ruptured disks can be a major cause of back pain. This happens when the disks, the cushions between the bones in your spine, bulge or rupture and press on a nerve in the spine causing severe discomfort.

Arthritis and Osteoarthritis can also affect the lower back. In some extreme cases, having arthritis in the spine can lead to a narrowing of the space around the spinal cord, resulting in a medical condition called spinal stenosis.

Scoliosis, a condition where an individual’s spine curves to the side, can cause discomfort and lifelong back pain.

Other causes for back pain can be attributed to a spinal injury, primarily if pain resides in the lower back. Sudden pain that lasts less than six weeks can be due to a fall or heavy lifting, while back pain that lasts more than three months is considered chronic and should be checked by your doctor. Weight gain can also place a constant strain on your back that often comes along with muscle spasms.

Pain management for any form of back pain can be approached in several ways, some more extreme than others.

Before reaching for pain meds or opting for surgery, there are a few less extreme options to consider:

1.) Shed excess weight. By using a BMI calculator, an individual can type in their information and discover if they are considered a healthy weight for their height.

2.) Wearing flat shoes with cushioned soles are vital for those of us who experience back pain. Having supportive footwear will reduce the stress on the spinal cord and require less effort from your spine when in motion.

3.) Focus on your posture. How you sit, stand, and lie down can have a significant effect on your back. For standing, try to keep your back straight and balance the weight of your body evenly with both feet and legs straight. For sitting, sit upright with support on the small of your back, keeping knees and hips level while your feet are flat on the floor.

4.) If you are continually working on a computer, be sure when using a keyboard to make sure your forearms are horizontal while keeping your elbows at right angles.

5.) Sleeping on a firm mattress is vital for supporting the weight of your shoulders and lower body, allowing your spine to stay straight. Support your head with a pillow while making sure your neck is not forced at an upward angle.

 

Too much sitting is bad for you. Learn how to stand up and stay active, even when you work in an office!  Read Here. 

 

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24/Aug/2019

They say that you’re only young once, and life in your 20’s can certainly seem like there is no other choice but to have as much fun as possible! But now you’re in your 30’s, and making lifestyle adjustments in these next few years can go a long way in repairing the damage that your younger self may have done to your body – staying up late, excessive drinking, maybe even smoking or not staying physically active. These transformative years can help get your health back on track, and we have a few tips and lifestyle changes to help you do it.

The first step to achieving a healthy lifestyle is the mental will to get there. Adults in their late twenties to early thirties experience a lot of unneeded stress, mostly due to professional or personal life issues. While the demanding responsibilities that we face during this time of our lives can be stressful and exhausting, there are small exercises you can do to help make the stressors of life more bearable. A great example is journaling or making a list – putting pen to paper to get your responsibilities and anxiety out of your head can make it easier to prioritize and identify them, and eventually overcome them.

Whether you’ve spent the last few years focused on climbing the corporate ladder or have been too stressed to worry about sleep, now is the time to take back control of your sleep schedule. Did you know that not getting enough sleep can cause hormonal imbalances, which can affect the overall health of your body and can lead to serious health issues later in life? If you find yourself having trouble falling or staying asleep, try keeping your cell phone and computer on do not disturb after a certain hour. The blue light that these devices give off can keep you awake for hours after logging off, and less screen time can also be good for your eyes and mental state.

Regular exercise is an essential step in being healthy at any age. Some good options for getting back into the work out state-of-mind, especially if you’ve been out of the game for a while, is to get up and walk for 30 minutes every morning, sign up for a yoga class, go spinning, or reach out to a personal trainer for weekly workouts until confident enough to exercise on your own. Whatever it is you choose to do, finding something you love will help you stick to a routine!

A great way to make working out a regular habit is to take the ‘cue and reward’ approach. For example, if you want to become a regular runner in the morning, you would first need to start running at the same time every day which creates a cue, and then rewarding yourself with an episode of your favorite show after the run. Doing this repeatedly will create a habit in your day-to-day life, and make it something to look forward too, rather than dread.

Weight management and nutrition goes hand-in-hand with regular workouts – often times, getting on track with one will lead to healthy adjustments for the other. A balanced diet complemented with vitamin supplements can give your body a kick-start for maintaining focus on your weight management and workout routine.

The downside of getting older is that our bodies cannot bounce back like they used to, but with age comes wisdom. With wisdom and some of our tips listed above, you have the complete power to make this stage of your life the best, most healthy one yet!

For more health tips, follow us on Facebook! Laredo Emergency Room is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.


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24/Aug/2019

Time and time again, you have been told by advertisements, doctors, or other medical professionals that wearing sunscreen is essential, but it can be hard to understand the benefits of wearing it until it’s too late and you’ve got a bad sunburn! Wearing sunscreen daily, especially during the summer months, can make a huge difference in your skin’s health and appearance, especially later down the road. In fact, studies have shown that individuals under the age of 55 who use sunscreen regularly have a 24% less chance of developing early signs of aging, compared to their non-sunscreen/occasional sunscreen wearing counterparts.

Sunscreen 101 dictates that wearing it lowers the risk of getting sunburns, which if severe enough have the potential to escalate to skin cancer. People who have received repeated sunburns are at a higher risk of being diagnosed with melanoma (the most dangerous kind of skin cancer) later down the road. This type of skin cancer can be life threatening to all ages, even people in their twenties.

The first and most important thing to look for when shopping for sunscreen is the “broad spectrum” protection. This label means the protection offered covers both UVA and UVB rays and has gone through specific tests to receive this certification. UVB rays are what causes the standard sunburn, but UVA rays are what can cause skin cancer and signs of premature aging. It is also essential to understand that the SPF count is the percentage of protection the product offers against UVB rays. It’s recommended that you use at least SPF 30 or higher, as SPF 15 only filters out 93% of UVB rays, while SPF 30 sunscreens filter out 97%, SPF 50 filters 98%, and finally SPF 100 screens 99%. Unfortunately, there is not an SPF count that filters out 100% of protection. We should also note that the FDA requires any sunscreen with SPF below 15 to carry a warning that it only protects against sunburn, not skin cancer or skin aging. When searching for a “water-resistant” option, you should know that no sunscreen is considered water or sweat-proof, which is why it is recommended to continuously re-apply every two hours, even more often if you are in the water or breaking a sweat.

When examining the ingredients list, specific ingredients are vital to making sure your sunscreen is effective, such as titanium oxide, for promoting healthy skin, octyl methoxycinnamate (OMC), avobenzone (also parasol), zinc oxide, which all offer basic, everyday protection.

As far as sunscreen goes, another way to protect your skin from the blazing summer sun is by simply covering up. Be sure you are wearing clothing and a wide-brimmed hat to protect your skin as much as possible. It’s also important to wear sunglasses, which can protect your eyes from 99% of UV light. Limiting direct exposure to the sun between the hours of 10am and 4pm, when UV rays are most active, will also be beneficial to your skin.

We hope you find these tips helpful and beneficial with summer quickly approaching!

For more health tips, follow us on Facebook! Laredo Emergency Room is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

 


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24/Aug/2019

Diabetes is a huge concern that many of us are aware of. With 30.3 million individuals in the U.S. living with some form of diabetes, only about two-thirds of those are professionally diagnosed, meaning almost 7.2 million individuals go undiagnosed with this condition. Diabetes cases in our country on the rise, and it is vital that we stay as informed on this disease and it’s risks as possible, taking note of the lifestyle changes that can help you prevent it’s onset.

Although many Americans are able to continue living their life after being diagnosed with one of the four types of diabetes with minimal issues, there can be serious consequences if this condition goes untreated or mismanaged. Health problems such as blindness, kidney failure, heart disease, heart disease, stroke, dental disease, and nerve damage can arise if you are not taking steps to properly deal with your diagnosis.

While there are certain factors you can’t change — such as your genes, age, or past behaviors — there are many actions you can take to reduce the risk of developing this disease. The first and most important step is cutting sugars and refined carbs from your diet. These foods can put you on the fast track towards developing diabetes due to the body having to rapidly break these foods down into smaller sugars that getting absorbed into the bloodstream, causing continuous high blood pressure. Working out is also a huge lifestyle adjustment that you can make to combat developing diabetes. Losing even a small amount of weight can help reduce this risk.

Drinking water as your beverage of choice can be vital. Sugary drinks like sodas have been linked to an increased risk of developing both type 1 and 2 diabetes. Although water should be your primary drink, research suggests that including unsweetened coffee or tea in your diet may help you avoid this chronic condition because they contain antioxidants that help defend against diabetes by reducing blood sugar levels and increases insulin sensitivity.

Unfortunately, these preventive steps that you can take don’t result in overnight changes to your risk of developing diabetes, but these are changes that are meant to inspire and create a new, healthy lifestyle. Cases of diabetes are rising, but you do have control over several of the determining factors that will affect your chances of diagnoses.

If you have been diagnosed with prediabetes, instead of accepting it as a transitional process to the eventual diabetes diagnoses, motivate yourself to make these changes that reduce your risks. Eating the right foods and adopting other healthy, positive lifestyle behaviors promote healthy blood sugar and insulin levels, which will give you the best chance at preventing this disease.

For more health tips, follow us on Facebook! Laredo Emergency Room is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.


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24/Aug/2019

No one ever plans for a medical emergency to happen, but when it does, you want to be as prepared as possible. You need to know where to seek medical attention, especially those of us that are parents to small children or guardians of the elderly. Having an “idea” versus knowing where to seek the best medical care for emergency situations can make a huge difference in the timeliness and quality of the assistance you receive.

From the outside, a freestanding emergency room and urgent care clinic might appear to be very similar, but through the doors and under the surface there is a lot of vital information that separates the two facilities that a patient should be aware of. In general, a free-standing emergency room compared to an urgent care clinic offers completely different medical services. The first and most basic distinction between the two is a free-standing emergency room will be open 24 hours a day, where an urgent care clinic is only operating within regular business hours.

The most crucial difference between the two types of facilities is dependent on the care a patient seeks. Although both types of establishments market to “immediate” medical attention seekers, if choosing the wrong type of medical aid, help can be delayed for quite some time due to redirection or relocation. It is essential for patients to be able to distinguish between a real medical emergency and symptoms considered urgent. Free-standing emergency rooms are considered best for symptoms that are abnormal or extreme, like broken bones or severe cuts, whereas urgent care is made for handling symptoms that are more run-of-the-mill – experiencing flu-like symptoms, a fever, or a stomach bug. It is also important to note that when you come to an emergency room, you will normally be treated by a board-certified physician. While urgent care centers can be staffed by physicians, more often than not you will be seen by a physician assistant (PA) or nurse practitioner (NP).

Because freestanding emergency rooms are privately owned, they will typically house more advanced medical facilities/equipment and staff trained in various different medical fields. This means that at a free-standing emergency room, not only are you often able to receive an overnight observation but also be given fluids and full serviced lab testing, compared to urgent care counterparts, which are typically hospital-owned facilities only able to give basic care and prescriptions.

As far as price and acceptance of medical insurance goes, because both offer standard services, typically both establishments accept very similar forms of health insurance and payment options. The difference you will find here is all dependent on the facility. We always recommend conducting prior research on insurance acceptance before seeking treatment in order to avoid receiving services that won’t be covered. We hope that this information is helpful to our patients so that the next time you need medical assistance, you will be fully prepped and educated on the best type of facility for their situation.

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Laredo Emergency Room is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.


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24/Aug/2019

Springtime can be the season to catch the DIY bug. Replacing the cabinets, painting the shutters, planting some new trees – but let’s face it, nothing is ever as easy as it seems on television, especially when it involves taking on a home improvement project!

Here at Laredo Emergency Room, we know that spring is the season for tidying up and getting around to those home improvement projects that have been put off all year. We also know it is a time of the year where severe injuries can increase due to lack of safety precautions taken while tackling those home improvement projects. Whether it is finally cleaning out those gutters or completely revamping your backyard for the perfect outdoor barbecue, we want to provide you with some basic safety tips that can be applied to all of your improvement projects and make a significant difference when it comes to protecting yourself and loved ones.

The first and most important safety rule is to only take on home improvement projects that are you are capable of and prepared to handle. Meaning, if you’re afraid of heights, it might be best to leave the roof repairs to the professionals. This rule also applies to any projects having to do with electricity and especially gas repairs. If a home improvement project requires knowledge or training you do not possess, the general rule of thumb is to hire a technician, saving yourself the risk of a severe injury and costly damage to your home or even your person.

Another great safety tip to abide by is to be mindful about outwear when working on your DIY project. Working areas can become cluttered and crowded, making it easier for items to be tripped over or stepped on. You should always dress for safety. Wearing a long sleeve t-shirt, durable jeans, and close-toed shoes can save you from a lot of cuts and bruises that project sites can bring. If you are working on larger project or construction sites, think about wearing a hard hat to protect yourself from any possible head injuries, and glasses to shield your eyes from dust fibers that could cut your cornea. Gloves are also essential when handling wood, metal, or electrical wires.

If you are working on anything that requires a ladder, be careful knowing that gravity will always win! Make sure the ladder is placed securely on a flat surface, only work when it is light outside, and don’t work when the weather is bad to avoid any slips. This next tip should apply for all projects: avoid working under dangerous weather conditions. Bad weather can cause power outages, wet grounds, and bring other hostile elements into your DIY site, putting you at a higher risk for injury. If working on a project that requires the use of a power tool, make sure you have read and understood the manual fully before using. If you are accustomed to handling a power tool, make sure to keep up with the tool’s maintenance, like keeping the blades and tips sharp. This might not sound important but letting a tool’s blade or drill bit dull out will require you to place extra force on the tool while using it, allowing more opportunity for risk of injury.

Finally, be sure to have a fire extinguisher and a fully equipped first aid kit ready. These two items might seem like no-brainers, but from our experience, when an emergency arises these two items can be literally life-saving.

Taking on home improvements projects can be stressful enough, don’t make it that much harder by creating hazards for yourself. Although simple, these safety precautions can make a world of difference when it comes to your safety and self-preservation. We hope you find these safety tips useful in your home improvement projects this spring season!

Remember: if it seems too complicated to accomplish, its best left to the professionals.

For more health tips, follow us on Facebook! Laredo Emergency Room is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.


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24/Aug/2019

Laredo Emergency Room’s mission is to treat every individual that comes through our doors accurately, efficiently, and with compassionate care. We also strive to make you feel as safe and confident in our professional emergency care as possible, leading you and your loved ones to make us your first choice for emergency medical attention.

From treating everything to a stomach ache, asthma, chest pains, and even broken bones, we have much more to offer than just quality emergency medical services. We have been blessed to have a great medical team, comprised of experienced and local caregivers, nurses and other medical staff members and physicians that have trained at the best institutions throughout the country. At our emergency room, you can rest assured that you and your family’s medical needs are in the best care Laredo has to offer.

As soon as you step foot through the doors of our ER, equipped with top-of-the-line medical equipment and testing services, you will be greeted with not only unparalleled compassion but also comfortable waiting area, and a waiting time that is less than half of what you would face in a standard ER, with no appointment necessary. Because our mission is to meet every individual that comes to us with the best medical assistance possible, we accept all major private insurance providers. Along with having comparable costs to a hospital or other emergency rooms, we have various ways a patient can pay for their medical expenses if you don’t see your insurance provider on the list. We understand how difficult surprise medical expenses can be, so if any of our patients need assistance, Laredo Emergency Room will always be willing to work with you to determine the best payment method, without leaving you in a financial bind. Whether you have insurance, or you are a self-pay patient, we will work with you and the budget that you have.

We believe that nothing is more important than get you the best emergency medical care for you and your family, so don’t let a wait time or a payment method get in the way of receiving the assistance you and your loved one need and deserve. Come and experience the best emergency medical care in Laredo, Texas and see why we are trusted by so many members in the community.

 

We are always here for all your emergency needs, but we also pride ourselves in promoting healthy lifestyles. Check out these 5 great places to exercise in Laredo

For more health tips, follow us on Facebook! Laredo Emergency Room is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.


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24/Aug/2019

Laredo, Texas is known for many things – from our excellent food, down to the hidden historical gems you can discover throughout the city. One of our most famous traditions is one closest to our hearts, the annual WBCA Carnival, an event where year after year streets are filled with both locals and out of town visitors, all wanting to enjoy the exciting family-friendly celebrations.

Although this is a fun celebration, it can be stressful, especially for parents with young children. The event is meant to be an occasion for you and your family to enjoy and make memories that will last a lifetime, not one that ends in an emergency room visit.  At Laredo Emergency Room, want to make sure that doesn’t happen and help make this celebration as stress-free as possible, so we have put together some steps you can take to prepare and hopefully avoid any accidents that will get in the way of a fun-filled day:

1.) Before heading out to the carnival grounds, make sure all members of your family understand and abide by the Carnival rules. It is important to take note of everything from the instructional signs to listening to park instructors. Carnival grounds can be hectic and filled with areas that have dangerous machinery or wires. Following the rules can help children avoid running the risk of a severe injury when they may not be paying close attention to being safe over having fun.

 

2.) Be mindful of your families footwear. Before heading out to enjoy the carnival festivities, make sure that you and your family members are wearing close-toed shoes. Due to the massive crowds the carnival annually sees, it can be tough for festival officials to keep track of broken glass, potholes, and various other items that can be stepped on or tripped over. Wearing proper footwear will ensure that your family will get around more safely and comfortably when maneuvering through the crowded areas.

 

3.) Members of your family or group should also take time to identify and agree on an emergency meet-up location. This predetermined spot will allow your family to locate each other if someone gets lost from the pack. When picking out a meeting place, it is also a good idea to locate where the nearest bathrooms and the police/medical tents are, in case of an emergency arising that requires immediate medical or authoritative attention.

 

4.) Due to the massive amounts of people that come to enjoy the carnival, there is also a large number of germs that follow. It’s essential that after holding on to rides and using the restrooms, you and your children are washing your hands, keeping the spreading of germs and bacteria at bay. The WBCA carnival also brings out many furry faces, such as livestock and various other friendly animals. Although adorable, and fun to pet, it is crucial to make sure your children are sanitizing their hands when they are done at the petting zoo.

 

Finally, with all the fun the festival brings, it can also distract you from important signals your body is trying to send. It is vital that you are making sure you and your family stay hydrated and not overindulge in the delicious carnival treats. It’s also a great idea to bring a bag with medicine, bottled water, band-aids, hand sanitizer and various other medical items that can help to handle spontaneous issues these long carnival days might bring.

We hope these tips are helpful to all of those in attendance of this fun annual event! If you should find yourself facing a medical emergency this celebratory season, anything from a stomach ache to a broken bone, Laredo Emergency Room is here to help!

 

For more information on the George Washington Birthday Celebration, please visit: http://www.wbcalaredo.org/event/wbca-carnival-sponsored-by-mcdonalds-of-laredo/

For more health tips, follow us on Facebook! Laredo Emergency Room is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.


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24/Aug/2019

Congratulations!

You have made it through another year of holiday travel, complete with crowded airports, busy freeways, and stressed family members. Travel stress always seems to be amplified over the last months of the year, but how many of us experienced an emergency that made traveling that much more hectic? Maybe food poisoning had you sidelined during Christmas, or one of the kids managed to hit their head on the fireplace at your relative’s home. Whatever it might have been, the next time you face an emergency while out of town, you can be ready to face it with a few helpful tips:

1.) Be Prepared. The best thing you can do when getting your holiday (or any time of year) travel plans together is to be prepared for anything that might befall you or your loved ones while on vacation. If you’re going overseas, be aware of any health concerns going on at your destination. Arm yourself with a travel health kit that not only includes prescription and over the counter medications, but also first aid supplies, vitamins, and your health insurance information. Pack clothing that will protect you from the elements, whether it’s sun or snow. Give your body a fighting chance against illness by staying hydrated and getting plenty of sleep before and during your trip.

2.) Know Your Options. One of the hardest issues to face when dealing with a medical emergency at home or on vacation can be where you can go to receive care, and which establishments will accept your insurance. There is nothing like a heavy medical bill to compound an already hectic health emergency, and this is something that can usually be avoided with a little planning. Most insurance providers have a tool on their website to find the closest urgent care, emergency room, or hospital. Use these tools to do some research and make a plan for the best course of action in the worst case scenario. Do you have a travel credit card? Check with your card company to see if they offer coverage for medical expenses.

3.) Don’t Stress. This last tip may sound like a tall order, but one of the most important things to keep in mind when dealing with any medical emergency is to keep a level head. Staying calm for yourself and your family members can go a long way in de-stressing the situation. It’s true that you can’t predict an emergency. But, if you have prepped and planned for this situation, you should be ready to face most of the illnesses, bumps, and bruises that come your way.

You don’t always need to be prepared for the worst, but the more complete plan you have, the less you will be surprised when emergencies do arise!

For more health tips, follow us on Facebook! Laredo Emergency Room is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.


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24/Aug/2019

How often do you hear a friend or family member say their allergies are killing them? Several studies have shown that when the pollen count rises, there is an increase in emergency room visits for both younger children and adults. In recent years, scientists have put a more significant focus attempting to understand and explain why various weather patterns affect our immune systems.

Our bodies get used to particular weather patterns. When there are sudden changes to those patterns, this can have a direct influence on our immune and musculoskeletal systems, causing illnesses to arise or allergies and asthma to become hyper-reactive. Every season is known to bring their personalized allergies, so as we enter the winter season, it is essential to be aware of the expected forecast.

It is no secret that winter in Texas can have drastic swings in weather, but most people are not aware that cold swings can bring much more than chilly days. The winter season is also known for being the worst allergy period in Texas. The cold days bring on what Texans call, ‘cedar fever,’ the informal term given to allergies caused by the Texas mountain cedar trees. Cedar pollen can cause intense allergy symptoms, famous for copying flu symptoms. Another favorite set of allergies seen during this time are the indoor allergens, as dust mites are known to thrive in the cold weather. Although they might not sound harmful, during a season where most individuals spend a majority of their time indoors, cold weather can lead to extreme receptivity to these indoor pests.

For these colder weather months, here are some mindful tips to think about that can help keep your asthma and allergies at bay during this heightened season.

1.) Pay attention to the weather. Checking local pollen and mold counts can be beneficial, letting you know if you need to be spending less time outside if you are likely to be reactive.

2.) Start the preparation for your allergies early. If you show the same allergy symptoms annually, ask your doctor if you can start taking allergy drugs a few weeks before the peak of the allergy season.

3.) Use the air conditioning to filter out mold and pollen. Using a dehumidifier can also be preventive to keep mold growth and dust mites at bay.

4.) Keep your doctor involved. Be sure you are aware of the specifics of your allergy causes; you can request an allergy skin test, which can show the exact triggers of your symptoms, making it easier to take preventative action.

Also, consider asking your doctor about immunotherapy, an allergy shot or even the allergy tablets. They can be accommodating to keep your allergies under control.

For more health tips, follow us on Facebook! Laredo Emergency Room is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.


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