• Why has asthma become more common?

    Asthma is a common respiratory condition that seems to be on the rise. It is commonly diagnosed during childhood, but more adults are also being diagnosed with the condition than in the past. This increase in the rates of asthma can be seen everywhere from the emergency rooms of hospitals across the country to the offices of primary care providers, but why is asthma suddenly becoming more common? Although experts are still trying to figure out the answers, there are some theories that could explain this increase in disease.

    Pollution
    As the video suggests, may experts point to an increase in air pollution as the cause of an increase in asthma rates. Particles in the air from chemicals, cigarettes, smoke from commercial facilities, and even farm animals could be causing people to experience asthma symptoms more often.

    The rise in e-cigarettes could also be to blame. As mentioned in the video, no one really knows the long-term consequences of e-cigarettes. They could be releasing pollutants that exacerbate respiratory problems, including asthma, for people who are exposed to secondhand smoke, and they could also be increasing the risk of asthma in people who use them.

    Hygiene hypothesis
    The hygiene hypothesis is the idea that homes and public spaces are kept so clean in many developed countries that children’s immune systems are not able to develop appropriately. According to the hypothesis, children aren’t exposed to enough germs for their immune systems to develop the ability to tell the difference between dangerous germs and normal substances, so the body overacts to things like allergens, causing asthma symptoms.

    According to the hygiene hypothesis, people who live on farms develop asthma and other respiratory issues at lower rates than others, because they are exposed to more germs. The hygiene hypothesis is also being examined as a cause of autoimmune diseases, like type 1 diabetes.

    Asthma can be a disconcerting diagnosis, but at Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center , we’re here to help you manage it every step of the way. From emergency care in Las Vegas for urgent symptoms to outpatient care to manage your condition, we have the treatments and providers you need. Contact us at (702) 916-5023 to request a referral to one of our physicians.

  • Exploring the unexpected health benefits of volunteering

    When most people think about volunteering , they think about the impact their service has on the people who are benefiting from it. In reality, the people who give their time volunteering may be the ones who benefit from it most of all. Volunteering can positively impact your life in many ways, including by improving your health. As it turns out, donating your time as a volunteer could be one of the best ways to make a commitment to your health. Here is what you need to know:

    Health and volunteering
    Researchers have been exploring the impact of volunteering on health for an extended period of time through multiple studies. The results of these studies have indicated that there is a clear, positive relationship between your health and donating your time as a volunteer. Volunteering may affect your health in these ways:

    • Lower mortality rate
    • Lower rates of depression
    • Great functional ability

    The health benefits of volunteering seem to increase the more you do it. The greatest benefits were found in people who volunteer for 100 hours per year or more.

    Seniors and volunteering
    Volunteering can be especially helpful to seniors. Seniors who volunteer receive the greatest health benefits from volunteering. They are less likely to experience things like depression and dementia, and they are less likely to experience physical health problems.

    The reasons that seniors receive the largest number of benefits are unknown, but researchers think that volunteering helps them avoid a significant health risk: loneliness. Seniors are more likely than other age groups to face isolation, as well as depression and anxiety associated with being alone. Volunteering keeps seniors from being alone and gives them a social group.

    Volunteer opportunities
    There are volunteer opportunities throughout every community. The Corporation for National & Community Service connects people with volunteer opportunities, as can local churches, schools, hospitals, and nonprofit organizations.

    Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center welcomes volunteers to assist with serving patients, greeting guests, and performing clerical work. Students, retirees, professionals, homemakers, and former patients all come together in our dedicated team of volunteers at our hospital in Las Vegas . To learn how you can volunteer your time, call (702) 916-5023.

  • Walking your stress away

    No matter how much you try to avoid it, stress is a part of life. When you’re feeling overwhelmed by stress, the way you manage it has an enormous impact on how it affects you and your health. Exercise can be a powerful part of stress relief for many people, whether you are facing occasional bouts of stress or prolonged periods of chronic stress and anxiety . Patients of all ages who visit their providers for help with stress management are likely to have exercise as part of their treatment plans, because of its powerful ability to manage stress without medication.

    How does stress impact your body?
    The impact of stress on the body can be far-reaching. When you suffer from chronic stress, your body is coping with an influx of the hormone adrenaline. In small doses, adrenaline can be a good thing. It spurs your body into action so that you are ready to face an acute stressor. Adrenaline is responsible for the “fight or flight” response people feel when they are facing a threat.

    Adrenaline—and the responses it causes in your body—are meant to be present only until the threat has passed. When you suffer from chronic stress, adrenaline stays in the body for an extended period of time. This can lead to heart disease, weight gain, insomnia, high blood pressure, anxiety, and depression.

    How can walking help?
    Exercise has been shown to reduce stress levels and be an effective means of controlling anxiety. Walking may be the most beneficial exercise of all for people dealing with chronic stress. Research has indicated that a 10-minute walk can be as effective as a 45-minute workout in curbing anxiety.

    To use walking to deal with stress, walking frequently is more important than walking far or for long. Aim to walk at least five times per week, for about 30 minutes at a time, for lasting benefits.

    If you’re suffering from the effects of chronic stress, speak to a behavioral health specialist at Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center. From inpatient geriatric psych care in Las Vegas to comprehensive outpatient services, we help patients overcome a multitude of behavioral health issues . Call us today at (702) 916-5023 to get a referral to one of our providers.

  • How occupational therapy helps families with autistic children

    For families dealing with autism, occupational therapy can make a dramatic difference. Occupational therapy helps children with autism overcome issues that affect their behavior and development by teaching new ways of tackling problems. This kind of intervention can be helpful for children in a number of different places on the autism spectrum and in a number of different settings. Here is what families need to know.

    What is occupational therapy?
    Occupational therapy is designed to help people accomplish tasks that they want to accomplish in ways that work for them. It is useful in helping people with a number of different diagnoses, from people who are learning new ways of doing everyday activities after suffering brain damage from a stroke to children who have been diagnosed with autism and need to learn how to function in a classroom.

    The goal of occupational therapy is to help everyone do the things that they want to do, even if they have obstacles that prevent them from doing things the way that other people do. For families that are affected by autism, this usually means developing a customized therapy plan, based on personal symptoms and needs.

    How is occupational therapy used to help children with autism?
    For people with autism, occupational therapy is usually centered on sensory processing issues. Many children with autism experience sensory processing problems, which can make it difficult for them to manage sensory stimulation. This is why many children with autism dislike loud noises or touch.

    Through occupational therapy, children can learn to process sensory stimulation in a more effective way. This can allow them to cope better in classrooms and at home, and it can help reduce behavioral issues that are associated with sensory issues.

    Could occupational therapy be beneficial for your family as you deal with autism? Let a physician at Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center in Las Vegas help you make a customized autism management plan that meets your family’s needs. To learn more about our programs or to get a physician referral, call (702) 916-5023.