Tag Archives: prescription

Avoid Getting Sick on a Cruise

Avoid Getting Sick on a Cruise

Virus outbreaks on cruise ships have been making news headlines recently. While these headlines can be alarming, outbreaks on cruise ships actually affect less than 1% of all passengers, according to the CDC.

Cruise lines are very careful about hygiene and sanitary measures on their ships, and the main health risk is contact with a person who’s contagious, even through touching the same handles, handrails, and elevator buttons. If one passenger is sick, a contagious illness can spread quickly since a cruise ship is the perfect closed environment for an outbreak.

Follow these few simple steps to avoid getting sick on a cruise to steer clear of flu viruses, stomach bugs, norovirus, and other infectious conditions from Assist America, our global travel emergency assistance partner:

  1. See your doctor before your departure.

    6 weeks before your vacation, plan to get a full check-up and ask your doctor about your destination(s). Your doctor will make sure you have all the vaccines you need for your trip and can recommend important medicines for you to bring in case of sickness.

  2. Pack plenty of sanitizer and wipes.

    While rooms are thoroughly cleaned, an extra wipe down of your cabin’s phone, doorknobs, and remotes can’t hurt. Always carry hand sanitizer with you to disinfect your hands as often as possible.

  3. No sharing.

    No matter how much you trust your travel buddies, don’t share plates or silverware and don’t sample cocktails. Remember that a person can be contagious without showing symptoms.

  4. Wash your hands properly.

    While hand sanitizer does the trick, it does not replace a good hand wash under warm soapy water for about 30 seconds. Once you’re done, dry your hands with a paper towel and use it to turn the faucet off and to touch the restroom’s door handle while exiting.

  5. Opt for cooked and pasteurized foods.

    Besides norovirus, other microbes like salmonella and listeria can also cause a living nightmare on a cruise ship. While salads, fruits, and raw seafood is safe on reputable cruise lines, use caution when you are dining onshore in less developed regions. High cooking temperatures kill bacteria and viruses that can upset your stomach, so maybe get your steak well-done. Bacteria can also thrive in unpasteurized dairy or egg, so ask the staff if the food is pasteurized before you savor that cheese platter.

  6. Use your own bathroom.

    Although public restrooms on a cruise ship are frequently sanitized and cleaned, using your own cabin’s bathroom is the safest bet.

  7. Watch for sick travelers.

    If you see another passenger who appears to be sick, steer clear. If you see someone coughing or vomiting, inform a crew member so that they can clean the mess, assess the situation, and potentially isolate that passenger.

  8. Use bottled water.

    While water is generally safe on reputable cruise lines, using bottled water to drink and brush your teeth can help you avoid getting sick should a rare water contamination occur. Always use bottled water when you are enjoying a day onshore.

If, after taking precautions, you still get sick during a cruise, go to the ship’s medical center for a consultation. If the medical team can’t treat you, you’ll probably be sent to a clinic at the next port.

If you need further assistance, make sure to call Assist America’s 24/7 Operations Center for help. A coordinator can help you find a qualified medical facility, fill a prescription at a local pharmacy, and more.

Self-Harm Awareness Month

Self-Harm Awareness Month

It’s Self-Harm Awareness Month, and self-harm is when someone hurts themselves on purpose. Cutting is common, but it’s not the only kind of self-harm. Some people burn themselves, pull out hair, or pick at wounds.

Self-harm itself isn’t a mental illness, and it’s not the same as trying to commit suicide, but it can be a sign of a lack of coping skills, borderline personality disorder, depression, eating disorders, anxiety, or PTSD.

Understanding Self-Harm

 

Self-harm usually starts during a person’s teenage or young adult years, and it’s usually a result of coping with trauma, neglect, or abuse.

When Self-Harm Starts

 

Wanting to hurt yourself can be the result of rage, not knowing how to handle emotions, wanting to trigger endorphins, or simply the desire to feel something “real” instead of emotional numbness.

Why Self-Harm Happens

 

Self-harm can cause shame, both from the act of hurting yourself and from the scars that are left behind. This can lead to a dangerous cycle where self-harm causes feelings that can lead to more self-harm. 

Self-Harm and Shame

 

Getting help from a psychiatrist is a key part of treating the underlying issues that cause self-harm. Sometimes, a prescription like an antidepressant will be part of this treatment plan too.

Treating Self-Harm

 

If you suspect a loved one is self-harming, talk to them about how they’re doing and be prepared to hear the answer, even if it’s something that will hurt to hear. Reassure them that you care and offer to help them find treatment.

Help with Self-Harm
Blindness Awareness Month

Blindness Awareness Month

It’s Blindness Awareness Month, and blindness affects more people than most realize.

Worldwide, over 285 million people are visually impaired, and over 39 million of those people are completely blind.

The Rate of Blindness

 

10 million Americans have retinal diseases, which affect the tissue at the back of your eye. They can get worse over time.

Retinal Diseases

 

Some people lose peripheral and night vision without losing their central vision. It depends on how retinal diseases affect them.

Losing Types of Vision

 

Retinal diseases include macular degeneration. Many people go blind over time with macular degeneration.

Symptoms of retinal diseases include seeing flecks, blurred vision, poor side vision, or vision lost.

Retinal Disease Symptoms

 

If you’re worried you’re suffering from a retinal disease, your eye doctor can run some tests and talk to you about treatment options.

Tests for Retinal Diseases

 

There are ways to take it easy on your eyes, like having your glasses prescription updated and choosing appliances made for low vision.

Making It Easy for Your Eyes
National Eye Exam Month

National Eye Exam Month

August is National Eye Exam Month, and 12.2 million Americans require some sort of vision correction but don’t use any, according to the Vision Council of America.

Almost 50% of children under 12 have never seen an eye care professional. Eye exams can help you fix issues early.

Eye Exams for Kids

 

1 in 4 kids have vision problems, and it’s a common reason for them to fall behind in school. Eye exams could help stop reading problems in their tracks.

Read Better with Glasses

 

Many eye diseases have no symptoms. Eye exams can help your doctor catch serious issues early.

 

Many eye conditions can be improved if they’re caught early, especially in children. Schedule an eye exam for your kids.

Fight Eye Problems Fast

 

Eye exams can also help spot other problems, like high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol.

Window to Your Health

 

If you’re having unexplained headaches, your eye doctor might be able to help. It may be as simple as updating your prescription.

Fighting Headaches with Your Eyes

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Healthy Vision Month

Healthy Vision Month

May is Healthy Vision Month, so we had more info about protecting your eyes each day.

Taking care of your eyes is important at every age. Routine eye exams are especially important with kids who might not know or be able to tell you if something’s wrong with their vision. Learn more.

Helping Kids See Better

 

Your medical history isn’t just important to your primary doctor. Things like your family’s history, diabetes, high blood pressure, and certain medications can affect your eyes too.

Eye exams check for lots of things, like making sure your pupil reacts correctly to light and your side vision, which the loss of can point to glaucoma.

Light and Your Eyes

 

Eye exams can also check for more rare problems, like colorblindness with simple tests like this one:

Colorblindness Test

 

The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends an eye disease screening for adults by age 40, when signs of the disease and changes in vision from age start to occur. Talk to your doctor and protect your vision!

Routine Eye Exams at Any Age

 

Your eye doctor uses regular eye exams to both prescribe glasses and to make sure that prescription stays up-to-date so you can always see your best.

Bringing the World Into Focus

 

Keeping up with your glasses or contacts’ prescription and having clean habits with your contacts are important to protecting your vision.

Caring For Your Contacts
Patient Safety Awareness

Patient Safety Awareness Week

It’s Patient Safety Awareness Week, so we have some tips from the National Patient Safety Foundation to help you protect yourself.

The key is communication with your doctors. This means making sure you understand everything your doctor is telling you, and sharing things that can help them. Tell them things like if you’ve been injured, if you’ve changed your diet or exercise habits, or if you haven’t been able to sleep.

Ask lots of questions! They want you to understand your disease and treatment, so make sure you understand your medicines, condition, and treatment plans.

Ask Questions

 

If you’ve been diagnosed with a condition, learn more about it. You can protect yourself by learning more with materials from your doctor, online resources, and even disease management info from us.

Learning About Your Condition

 

Make sure you carry an updated list of the medicines, vitamins, and supplements you’re taking to all your appointments with doctors, so you can make sure your whole care team is on the same page.

List of Medicines, Vitamins, and SupplementsList of Medicines, Vitamins, and Supplements

 

Speak up if you think you’re getting the wrong prescription, treatment, or you think you’re being made to leave the hospital too soon. Your doctor can help you make sure you’re getting the right care.

Speak Up About Your Treatment

 

If you have a test at the doctor’s office, follow up if you never get or hear your results. Never assume “no news is good news.”

Getting Your Lab Results

 

Have a list of contacts ready. Make sure you have the names and info to contact all of your doctors available, and that your doctor knows who to contact or who should act for you in an emergency.

Contact List