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May 2021
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In This Issue
Take Precautions To Prevent Lyme Disease

What Can I Do to Reduce My Seasonal Allergies?

Why is Vitamin A an Important Nutrient?

Patient Story: Spine Surgery

Featured Video: On Pins and Needles- Living with Neuropathy

Women’s Health and Pelvic Floor Therapy

TMJ Therapy

Milford Regional Receives Grade “A” For Patient Safety Sixth Time in A Row

Do you Need a Primary Care Physician?
 
Get To Know Our Pulmonary/Critical Care and Allergy Physicians
News Brief
Take Precautions To Prevent Lyme Disease
Illness from ticks is concerning in Massachusetts considering the large number of blacklegged ticks in the state and that many of them are carrying diseases. The blacklegged tick carries at least five different illnesses; Lyme disease is the one with the greatest number of cases. The season for ticks in Massachusetts is April through December, with the peak season occurring in May through August.

Ticks are tiny bugs most likely found in shady, damp, brushy, wooded, or grassy areas (especially in tall grass), including your own backyard. They attach to animals or people that come into direct contact with them. Usually the tick needs to be attached for 24 hours before it can spread a germ. These ticks are capable of spreading more than one germ in a single bite.
Ticks like to attach to people in warm, moist areas like along the belt line, back of the knees, armpits, in the groin area, along the scalp, back of the neck and behind the ears. Early symptoms will usually occur 3 to 30 days after a tick bite. The symptoms you should look for with tick-borne diseases include fever, chills, headaches and muscle aches. With Lyme disease you may also see a rash around the site of the bite that looks like a bullseye, but not always. If you suspect you may have been bitten by a tick, call your primary care provider. Early treatment with antibiotics will prevent later more serious problems such as chronic arthritis in joints, nervous system problems or heart rate issues.

You shouldn’t be afraid to go outside during the summer months because of ticks, but you and your family should take precautions to avoid a tick bite.

  • Wear pants and long-sleeve shirts when doing yard work or if you are hiking or walking in areas where ticks are usually found.
  • Use an insect repellent with Deet when spending time outside, and be sure to use it according to directions on the label.
  • Do a daily tick check on yourself, your children and your pets after being outside. Run your hand over your skin and check for any abnormal bumps. Ticks are very small, so the bump will be subtle.
  • Shower within two hours of working outside or walking in areas where ticks are found. If you do have a tick on you, it will wash right off, if done promptly. The least amount of time a tick can latch on, the less likely it will spread disease.

If you find a tick attached to your body, remove it as soon as possible using a fine-point tweezers. Do not squeeze or twist the tick’s body, but grasp it close to your skin and pull straight out with steady pressure. Learn more by visiting the CDC website.
Question & Answer
What Can I Do To Reduce My Seasonal Allergies?
Allergies are one of the most common chronic diseases; more than 50 million Americans experience an allergy each year. An allergy occurs when the body’s immune system sees a substance as harmful and overreacts to it. The substances that cause allergic reactions are allergens.

There are many types of allergies. Some allergies are seasonal such as allergies to trees, grass or pollen and others are year-round such as medicines, food, latex, insects or pet dander. Allergy treatment is based on your medical history, the results of allergy tests and how severe your symptoms are. It can include three treatment types: avoiding the allergens you are allergic to, medicine options and/or immunotherapy (allergens given as a shot or placed under the tongue).

Pollen is one of the most common triggers of seasonal allergies. Most pollen comes from grasses, trees and weeds. These plants make small, light and dry pollen grains that travel by the wind.

Doctors diagnose allergies with a skin prick test and sometimes a specific blood test. Once you know what you are allergic to, you can take steps to prevent or reduce allergic reactions.

There are actions you can take to reduce allergic reactions to pollen:

  • Limit your outdoor activities when pollen counts are high. This will lessen the amount of pollen allergen you inhale and reduce your symptoms. 
  • Keep windows closed during pollen season and use central air conditioning whenever possible.
  • Start taking allergy medicine before pollen season begins. Most allergy medicines work best when taken this way. This allows the medicine to prevent your body from releasing histamine and other chemicals that cause your symptoms.
  • Bathe and shampoo your hair daily before going to bed. This will remove pollen from your hair and skin and keep it off your bedding
  • Wash bedding in hot, soapy water once a week.  
  • Wear sunglasses and a hat. This will help keep pollen out of your eyes and off your hair.
  • Limit close contact with pets that spend a lot of time outdoors.
  • Change and wash clothes worn during outdoor activities.
  • Dry your clothes in a clothes dryer, not on an outdoor line.

Healthy Living Tip
Why is Vitamin A an Important Nutrient?
Vitamin A is important for good vision, a healthy immune system, cell growth and reproduction. There are two types of vitamin A; retinoids -- that comes from animal products, and beta-carotene which comes from plants. Most people get enough vitamin A by eating a healthy diet which is why it is so important to maintain healthy eating habits.

Although supplements are available, getting too much vitamin A can have harmful side effects and can interact with medicines. Don’t take supplements without consulting your physician. The recommended daily intake of Vitamin A for adult females is 700 mcg/day and for adult males it is 900 mcg/day.

Good food sources of retinoid vitamin A include:

  • Liver
  • Fortified cereals
  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Milk

Plant sources of vitamin A (from beta-carotene) include:

  • Sweet potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Spinach
  • Squash
  • Cantaloupe 
  • Apricots
Patient Story: Spine Surgery
Loriann was experiencing excruciating back and leg pain for months. After exploring various options outlined by her insurance company without success, Loriann saw neurosurgeon Ziev Moses, MD. He diagnosed her with a disc herniation in her lower spine and it was impinging on the sciatic nerve. Most disc herniations, including Loriann’s, occur due to normal wear and tear from aging. Not all herniations need to be treated with surgery. It’s just when it is significant enough to impinge on the nerve.

Dr. Moses performed a minimally invasive microdisectomy surgery to relieve Loriann's pain. Since so many advances have been made in minimally invasive technologies, this surgery is just a day surgery. Loriann was back to work in three weeks with no pain!
Featured Video
On Pins and Needles: Living with Neuropathy
Neuropathy is a painful nerve condition that often causes numbness or muscle weakness in the extremities. While common, many people don’t realize they suffer from neuropathy, which can be treated and, at times, the progression of the disease can be slowed. Watch this video with neurologist Aditi Ahlawat, MD, who discusses the causes, symptoms and treatments available to manage neuropathy to help you live more comfortably and without injury.
Good Things to Know
Women’s Health and Pelvic Floor Therapy
Up to one third of all women experience a problem with their pelvic floor muscles at some point in their life. At Milford Regional’s Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine (Northbridge and Milford locations), we offer a non-surgical approach to rehabilitation of dysfunctions in the pelvis/groin that contribute to bowel, bladder, sexual health, and pain complaints. We treat conditions such as pelvic pain, low back pain or incontinence as a result of pregnancy, endometriosis pain, painful bladder syndrome and much more. Visit our website to learn more.
TMJ Therapy
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is used about 1500-2000 times a day. Dysfunction of this joint is caused by the joint, muscles used for chewing or surrounding structures, microtrauma (clenching teeth/bruxing), macrotrauma (whiplash), and degenerative changes.
Symptoms of temporomandibular dysfunction (TMD) include pain, limited opening, joint noises, headaches, dizziness, neck symptoms, earache, tinnitus, and swallowing difficulties. 50-75% of the population suffers from at least one symptom at some point in their lifetime. At Milford Regional’s Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine site in Northbridge, we offer a non-surgical approach to rehabilitation of the TMJ and surrounding muscles which contribute to pain and dysfunction. Visit our website to learn more.
Milford Regional Receives Grade “A” For Patient Safety Sixth Time in A Row
Milford Regional Medical Center has been nationally recognized for the sixth time in a row with an “A” for the Spring 2021 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade. The distinction recognizes Milford Regional’s achievements in protecting patients from errors, injuries, accidents, and infections. The Leapfrog Group is an independent national organization committed to health care quality and safety. The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade assigns an “A,” “B,” “C,” “D,” or “F” grade to all general hospitals across the country and is updated every six months. It is the only hospital ratings program based exclusively on hospitals’ prevention of medical errors and other harms to patients in their care. Read more about the Leapfrog recognition.
About Our Doctors
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Milford Regional's active medical staff, consisting of over 250 doctors, is highly qualified to treat you and your family through sickness and in health. Whether you need a primary care physician or a specialist, you can be assured of the best possible care.

Do you Need a Primary Care Physician? 
If you need a physician, please call our Physician Referral Line at 1-888-DRS-HERE (1-888-377-4373). Our Referral Line is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We have several new primary care providers that have recently joined our staff or opened to new patients in Bellingham, Franklin, Hopkinton, Medway and Northbridge…..For a quick look, see our list of primary care physicians who are accepting new patients. It is important to note that not all physicians accept all insurances. Please call the physician's office directly to find out if they accept your insurance plan.

Get to Know Our Pulmonary and Critical Care Physicians
Residents within Milford Regional’s service area can take comfort in knowing that if they or a loved one ever find themselves in our intensive care unit (ICU), they will receive a very high level of care. The ICU at Milford Regional is staffed with intensivists who are highly experienced, board-certified pulmonologists and additionally certified in critical care medicine. They are trained in dangerous acute care medical situations in a variety of specialties such as cardiology, neurology and post-operative care. They also receive education in end-of-life decisions.

Our pulmonary and critical care physicians also see patients in their private offices. They treat patients with allergies, lung diseases and also sleep disorders. Read more about these specialists. Click on their name to read their bio.
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