Don’t Let the Holiday Blues Take Over You

The holidays usher in a spirit of excitement and joy, but it’s not all time off, family traditions and cozy meals around the dining room table. An uptick in depression and anxiety is common in the winter, especially around the holidays when stress and family disappointments can lend themselves to mental strain. Millions of Americans say they suffer from this seasonal depression. Do you? 

Seasonal Affective Disorder

SAD, or seasonal affective disorder, is a depression associated with changes in seasons and most commonly occurs in the fall and winter. Symptoms of SAD include:

  • Feeling sad or “down”
  • Having low energy and experiencing exhaustion often
  • Losing interest in your hobbies
  • Weight gain

SAD is familiar to many in the US—10 million Americans suffer from this mental disorder. If you’re one of them, you don’t have to continue to suffer in silence. There are ways to find normalcy and experience the joy of the holidays again. Check out our list of five ways to manage your depression this holiday season. 

Acknowledge Your Feelings

It may be hard around the holidays to be surrounded by spirit and joy when you don’t feel the same way. Remember that you can’t force yourself to feel “happy.” Instead, recognize your emotions and try to be open with family and friends. 

Join a Support Group 

Studies have found that joining a support group, where other members are experiencing similar or the same mental illnesses, can help alleviate feelings of sadness and other symptoms. Especially around the holidays, it’s recommended to surround yourself with a community that can empathize with you and support you.

Outdoor Exercise Can Make You Feel Good!

Though it may be cold, experts recommend bundling up and heading outside as a natural way to fight depression. Regular exposure to nature has calming effects that can benefit someone experiencing anxiety or depression. Even if you can’t get outside, do an at-home workout. Exercise is a highly effective method for treating depression and at-home workouts provide flexibility that’s useful in planning around your holiday calendar. 

Set Attainable Goals

Depression and anxiety can be crippling, leaving one overwhelmed by their to-do list. Instead of thinking “I’m going to buy gifts for everyone in my family today,” try narrowing down your goals and shopping for just one person. When you’ve accomplished one small thing, it’s easier to tackle the rest of your to-do list without becoming overwhelmed.

Seek Professional Help

Speak to a therapist this holiday season about your experiences with mental health issues. According to the American Psychological Association, 75% of people who see a therapist report experiencing a lessening of symptoms. Speaking with a professional can provide you with appropriate coping mechanisms, medication or just a consistent outlet to express how you feel. 

At Coryell Health, we care about your health, whether that’s your physical or mental health. If you’re experiencing depression, talk to your primary care provider today about treatment options that are right for you.

There’s an App For That: Personal Health Journaling Options Made Easy

Traditionally an activity limited to pen and paper, the expansion of consumer technology has enabled health journaling to go digital. Apps and online tracking exercises can be accessed 24/7 from your smartphone. Whether using apps or not, accurate monitoring of your day-to-day life as it relates to your body provides detailed information which allows you and your primary care provider greater insight into your overall health.

Why Track Your Health?

Tracking your health can help you make smarter choices about your body while allowing you to improve your quality of life. Through day-to-day observation, you’re given more insight into your habits. You may begin to choose to eat healthier, drink more water and prioritize exercise after an in-depth review of your regular routines. These records can help you make the most of your doctor’s visits—be ready to ask your doctor questions based on your symptoms and the patterns you’re noticing while tracking. Share any information of note with them, such as a rise in your blood pressure, that you’ve noticed over time.

What Health Data Is Useful?

Health tracking enables you and your primary care provider to see trends in symptoms and

behaviors for individual wellness metrics like:

  • Weight, temperature, blood pressure and blood sugar levels
  • Sleep quality and quantity
  • Medication intake
  • Food and beverage consumption
  • Exercise and activity level

Advancements in technology have made it easier than ever to track these metrics through

apps, but if you prefer, you can simply use a pen and spiral notebook to record your health.

Manually Monitoring Your Health

If you’re not a fan of using apps, you can still effectively track your health using just a pen and paper. Consider purchasing a daily wellness journal and logging your information, like sleep patterns and calorie intake, on paper. If you have a smartphone or watch, utilize the built-in reminders or calendar to set alerts to take your medication, drink water or set a bedtime prompt. If you don’t want to use a journal, you can also document information in the notes section of your phone.

Monitor Using Apps

If you’re looking for more guidance while tracking your information, consider using an app on your smartphone. Apps have the potential to make health journaling less complicated, prompting you to input information or reminding you to complete certain actions. These popular apps might make your experience more manageable.

Waterlogged

Did you know that dehydration can lead to heat exhaustion, urinary and kidney issues, seizures and more? If you struggle to remember to pick up your water cup and take a sip, you’re not alone. Nearly 30% of older adults experience dehydration. Waterlogged is an app that provides users with information on water intake and helps track how many ounces they’re drinking so they can stay hydrated. Knowing you’re consistently dehydrated or how much water you drink may help your doctor when diagnosing you the next time you visit the office. 

Clue 

This menstrual cycle tracker app provides female users with the opportunity to track and predict their periods. Cycle helps monitor information to relay to your primary care provider when discussing fertility matters and monitoring hormone changes. Clue may even pick up on irregularities your doctor should know about.

SleepScore

Lack of sleep is harmful—studies show it might lead to a less effective immune system, increased depression and anxiety, impaired memory and more. SleepScore helps users track shut-eye and determines how many restful hours of sleep they’ve gotten each night.

Apple Health

If you have an Apple Watch, monitoring your heart rate and exercise time is simple. The Apple Health app allows you to monitor your heart rate and detects any abnormalities to report to your doctor. You can also customize the app and add in your blood sugar readings and track your menstrual cycle.

Whichever method you choose, stay consistent and make sure you’re reporting your findings to your primary care provider. Explore our website to find other helpful articles relating to your health. 

https://coryellhealth.org/about-us/news-events/.

We Are Thankful for Our Medical Clinic- Mills County Team!

Coryell Health was proud to provide our Mills County Clinic team a Thanksgiving feast on National Rural Health Day. The National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health sets aside the third Thursday of every November to celebrate National Rural Health Day. “We are appreciative of all our clinic locations because through them we increase local access to medical care and allow patients to focus on ‘getting better’ rather than ‘waiting to get an appointment,’ ” says Diedra Wuenschel, Coryell Health Clinic Medical Director and Coryell County Health Authority. “Through connectivity and collaboration, we believe our rural healthcare system is large enough to serve local community health needs, but we are also small enough to care.”

Are You a Part of the 10%?

Nearly one in 10 Americans are living with diabetes. Are you one of them? If diabetes is controlling your life, it may be time to consider bariatric surgery to reduce your symptoms and establish long-term health. 

Bariatric & Metabolic Surgery

Bariatrics surgery can be helpful when treating diabetes because it helps the body process sugar in the bloodstream. For those with the disease, their bodies reject or react poorly to insulin, which is the key factor in the processing of blood sugar. This blood sugar build-up can lead to major health conditions like heart disease and kidney disease. This form of diabetes, type 2, is often linked to obesity.

Bariatric surgery helps to manage weight and reduce the amount of food one consumes by decreasing the size of the stomach. Patients can see up to 80% loss in excess weight in the two years following surgery. The procedure permits individuals more control in dealing with weight gain, even allowing for an immediate reduction in blood sugar, which helps manage symptoms of diabetes.

Treating Diabetes

Depending on one’s symptoms, there are different recommended ways to treat diabetes as encouraged by one’s doctor. While monitoring blood sugar and taking prescribed drugs is vital, regular exercise, eating healthy and losing weight are also imperative. For many, it’s difficult to manage weight and healthy eating habits on their own. That’s when some doctors might suggest consulting a bariatric surgeon.

Coryell’s Bariatric Surgery Center

At Coryell, bariatric surgery is paired with expert nutrition advice and behavioral health counseling to maximize results and long-term success. Directed by David Gochnour, MD,  general and bariatric surgeon, patients receive guided counsel and are treated with expert hands. Both gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy surgeries are available at Coryell. 

Diabetes doesn’t have to rule your life. You can take back your health and manage your symptoms with the right medication and lifestyle adjustments or choose to consider bariatric surgery. Consult your doctor for more information or visit our website.

Live Your Best Life, Even With COPD

COPD is the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S, and 16 million Americans are diagnosed with the disease today. This life-altering illness can change the way you live drastically, preventing you from traveling, visiting family, exercising and even completing day-to-day errands. But there is hope! If you have COPD, it is possible to manage your symptoms so you can live a normal life and get back to the things, and people, you love.

What is COPD? 

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, is a group of diseases including ​​emphysema and chronic bronchitis, that constricts airflow, causing excess air to become trapped in the lungs. COPD damages your lungs and makes it difficult to breathe normally. It’s also progressive, meaning it worsens with time.

Managing Your Symptoms Starts Today

Don’t put life on pause after your COPD diagnosis. Lower your chances of complications related to COPD by managing your symptoms. Here are a few ways to take back control:

Quit Smoking

Smoking is the primary cause of COPD and can dramatically worsen symptoms. When you quit smoking, you can stop the progression of the disease and immediately improve your chances of managing your symptoms. 

Avoid Allergens and Air Pollutants

It’s vital to monitor the quality of the air you breathe. Especially with the changing seasons, pollutants and allergens in the air can cause difficulty breathing, so keep track of your city’s air quality and try to stay inside on days when the quality is poor. Consider purchasing a humidifier. When allergy season approaches, work with your doctor to get the right medications or inhalers to manage your allergies to maintain your COPD symptoms.

Physical Activity

Exercise helps the body use oxygen more productively, giving your lungs a better chance at breathing regularly. Studies have shown that a moderate amount of exercise, usually 20 to 30 minutes a day several times a week, can help improve how the body uses oxygen. Exercise increases energy levels, reduces anxiety and stress, improves sleep and reduces shortness of breath. If you suffer from COPD, you should always talk to your doctor first before beginning an exercise regimen.

Pulmonary Rehabilitation can be a great way to stay active and learn how to exercise with COPD. This program consists of education and exercise classes that teach patients about their lungs and disease and instruct participants on how to manage shortness of breath. The classes take place in a group setting, giving students the chance to meet others with COPD while both giving and receiving support.

Food & COPD

Experts recommend sticking to foods that produce less carbon dioxide, such as protein and healthy fats. Protein-rich foods, like milk, eggs, cheese, fish and nuts are recommended in two meals per day. COPD patients also should avoid simple carbohydrates, such as sugar and soft drinks, and foods high in salt. 

Diet and exercise are great ways to lessen COPD symptoms and maintain a healthy weight. With COPD, there are risks associated with being either under or overweight. People who are overweight may already have a harder time breathing, even without lung damage from COPD. Underweight people are more susceptible to infections, including infections of the lungs. 

Keep a Journal of Your Symptoms

Monitoring your symptoms in a journal will allow you to track when your symptoms worsen and can help you pinpoint why. With a firmer understanding of why your symptoms worsen, you can avoid those specific triggers and live a life with fewer disruptions. Journaling is also a great way to track any symptoms day-to-day, providing your doctor with evidence-based information on how you are doing or what changes need to be made to your treatment. 

Join a Support Group

Patients diagnosed with COPD and their caregivers often have feelings of loneliness and isolation. Talking openly and honestly about feelings and experiences with others going through similar challenges helps reduce depression, anxiety and fatigue. Group members are able to offer support, encouragement and tips to the other group members, and receive the same in return. Consider joining the American Lung Association’s Better Breathers Network. Even if you don’t have access to a club meeting near you, you will get direct access to education, support and connection to others also living with chronic lung disease. You can also connect with an expert online or over the phone by contacting the Lung HelpLine at 1-800-LUNGUSA.COM

Consult a Physician

If you or a loved one is suffering from COPD, you don’t have to do it alone. Talk to your doctor about Coryell’s pulmonary rehabilitation program, designed to help you meet your goals so you can get out there and live your life to the fullest extent possible! Our rehabilitation team includes doctors, nurses, physical therapists, respiratory therapists and exercise specialists. Together, these health professionals create exercise and education tailored to meet your specific needs. Our pulmonary rehab program will empower you to not only live with, but control your disease because life is meant to be lived—on purpose and with purpose. Learn more: https://coryellhealth.org/pulmonary-rehab.

Team Coryell Health Turned Out for Gatesville’s Big Sting

Team Coryell Health staff, family and friends represented Coryell during the annual Big Sting high school pregame ceremony.  The Big Sting is an effort to provide immediate support for practical needs to members of the Gatesville community who are currently battling cancer.

Each year during a selected game, Gatesville athletes wear jerseys to honor those in our community who have lost their lives to cancer or are currently battling cancer.This year, The Big Sting celebrated ten years of giving.

The jerseys are sponsored by families and local businesses.

No Family History of Breast Cancer- Not A Reason to Miss Your Yearly Mammo!

Some women who have no family history of breast cancer might think they can skip their mammograms. However, 80% of women who are diagnosed with breast cancer have no family history at all, according to the American Cancer Society. Listing lack of family history is one of the more troubling reasons Dr. Kevin Dwyer, Coryell Health radiologist, says he hears from women regarding why they put off their yearly mammogram.

80 % of women who have breast cancer have no family history.

“Early detection is critical,” says Dwyer. “If you wait to have a mammogram until you have symptoms of breast cancer, such as a lump or discharge, at that point the cancer may be more advanced .” According to the American Cancer Society, early-stage breast cancer has a five-year survival rate of 99 percent. Later-stage cancer has a survival rates of 27 percent.

When Bonnie Latham was only 30 years old, she received a shocking diagnosis of Stage I, Triple Negative Breast Cancer. With only paternal history two generations removed, the young mom was not expecting this kind of life altering news. Due to a routine annual exam, her breast cancer was caught early and dealt with swiftly.

Bonnie shares her cancer story to, “Encourage other women, especially young women, to be more cognizant of their health. I want to stress the importance of early mammograms and maintaining your annual appointments because they can literally save your life. Cancer doesn’t discriminate and I want people to be proactive in their health instead of reactive.” 

 

“The fact is, women are getting diagnosed with breast cancer who have zero family history,” says Dywer. “Yes, there is a genetic component to breast cancer, but don’t think you’re out of the woods because you don’t have a family history. Women with close relatives who’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer do have a higher risk of developing the disease, but family history is just one contributing factor. Being born a female and aging are also significant risk factors.”

Dwyer adds, another big deterrent is the fear of finding something.

“Of course, there can be anxiety to overcome, but we try to have our women focus on the fact they are being proactive. We can catch things so early now with 3D mammography, if we do find something, you’re going to have more treatment options, and oftentimes less invasive treatment options the sooner you catch something versus letting it go and finding something at a more advanced stage,” he explains. “If you have a mass, it’s going to be there whether you get screened or not. But if we find it early, it can really make a world of difference when it comes to treatment.”

 

Patients who get their mammogram screening in October get a free t-shirt in recognition of

Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

Call Coryell Health to schedule your annual 3D Mammogram! These screenings are your best bet for detecting breast cancer as early as possible. Doctors recommend all women aged 40 and above schedule one visit yearly. To make your appointment today, call (254) 248-6238. Coryell’s waiting period is usually less than 48 hours.

 

Nervous for Your First Mammogram? Here’s What You Need to Know Before You Go

 

So it’s time for your first-ever mammogram. Nervous? That’s perfectly natural. When you don’t know what to expect, anxiety can kick in. It’s not unusual to be nervous about getting a mammogram. In fact, fear is one of the most common reasons women put off the routine screening. The American College of Radiology and Society of Breast Imaging recommend that women of average risk start getting annual mammograms at age 40. Yet, a little over 66% of women in that age group report having done so in recent years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

There can be a plethora of reasons why you’re putting off your annual mammogram; maybe you’re worried it will be painful or awkward; maybe you’re worried about the potential cost; maybe you’re super busy and can’t find time; maybe you have no family history of breast cancer, or maybe you think you’re too young. Whatever your reasoning is, receiving your annual mammogram, even if you are of average risk, is an important prevention measure with the goal of catching any suspicious lumps or masses early.

PREPARING FOR YOUR MAMMOGRAM

  • Try to avoid scheduling the week before and after your period
  • If you have sensitive breasts, take Tylenol or Advil about an hour prior to your appointment
  • Do not wear or be prepared to remove any jewelry
  • You may want to wear an outfit in which you only have to remove your top versus wearing a dress or romper that would require you to fully undress. Regardless, the technologist will provide you with a gown.
  • Bring your insurance information,
    • Most insurance pays in full for yearly preventative care
  • If you are going to a new facility for your mammogram, please be sure to have your previous results sent over, placed on a CD or bring the previous location information with you to your appointment, so radiologist can compare the current exam to all of the prior studies. Sometimes the most important finding on your mammogram is a subtle change over time, which cannot be detected without the benefit of the comparison. You might also avoid unnecessary additional views or biopsies if a finding is seen now, but can be shown to be unchanged over a long period of time.
  • Relax as much as you can!

“Anxiety about the exam is a big contributing factor to women avoiding the exam. People tend to tense up because they’re nervous and therefore it may be a bit difficult to get you in the appropriate position and that can be more painful. I like for patients to get in there and be relaxed,” says Miranda Davis, ARRT(R)(M), mammogram technologist. “I do my best to walk them through it so they know what’s happening step by step to help alleviate those nerves.”

Patients who get screened in October get a free t-shirt in recognition of

Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

 

These screenings are your best bet for detecting breast cancer as early as possible. Doctors recommend all women aged 40 and above schedule one visit yearly. To make your appointment today, call (254) 248-6238. Coryell’s waiting period is usually less than 48 hours and the exam takes less than 20 minutes.

Coryell Health Now Offering Updated, Bivalent COVID-19 Booster Vaccine for Patients Ages 12 and Older

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently approved — and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now recommend — that all individuals ages 12 and older receive one updated, “bivalent” booster dose, specifically engineered to fight both the original version of SARS-CoV-2 and the most prevalent Omicron strain of the virus.

The CDC recommends the reformulated Moderna COVID-19 vaccine booster for people ages 18 and older, and the updated Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine booster for individuals ages 12 and older.

The new bivalent booster replaces the former, monovalent booster dose for those 12 and older. Currently, there are no changes to the COVID-19 vaccine schedule for children ages 6 months to 11 years.

Both vaccines have been authorized for administration at least two months after a patient completes primary COVID-19 vaccinations or receives a previous booster.

Coryell County Medical Authority, Dr. Diedra Wuenschel, wants patients to know, as flu season quickly is approaching, patients safely can receive both the flu vaccine and the new COVID-19 booster during the same appointment. “The bivalent boosters are worth getting. They keep people out of hospitals, save lives and combat the pandemic,” said Wuenschel, who is also Coryell Health Medical Clinic Director and Chief of Staff.  “Luckily, a major new variant hasn’t arisen, but the virus is still evolving. Reigning in the virus with new boosters every few months is not a long-term strategy, but it is all we have now, until a next-generation vaccine is developed that can fight all or most variants and provide long-lasting protection.”

This may be the last free shot; it is the final one Congress has funded. Wuenschel strongly recommends taking advantage of this opportunity.

Find Out When You Can Get Your Booster

Coryell Health Medical Clinic- Gatesville, Bldg. 2, is providing the Bivalent vaccine for walk-in and appointment scheduled patients. Monday- Friday, 8:30am-11:30am – 1:30pm- 4:30pm. Doses for 5-11 year-olds are in route. Follow Coryell Health’s Facebook page for the latest COVID-19 updates.

For more information about the recent booster, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/stay-up-to-date.html and/or https://dshs.texas.gov/covidvaccine/.

 

Getting a flu shot protects you, your family, and your community.

The fall 2022 flu season may hit early and hard this year, so it’s best to get your flu vaccine as soon as possible.

Dr. Diedra Wuenschel, Coryell Health Medical Clinic Director and Coryell County Health Authority, is urging people to get their flu vaccines relatively early this fall.

“Every year, we try to guess when the flu is going to hit and when we should get our vaccines. Some people wait to get their flu shot until right before Thanksgiving in case they’ll be traveling over the holidays,” said Wuenschel.

Her advice: “Don’t wait. Get your flu shot as soon as it’s available.”

Learn more about the newest COVID-19 booster shots

Patients can receive their COVID-19 booster during the same visit as flu vaccine- in the opposite arm.

Wuenschel reminds people that it takes about two weeks after you get your flu shot for the vaccine to fully go into effect.

Getting your flu shot relatively early this year — in September or October — is the best way to brace yourself for what could be an early, virulent flu season.

“The flu vaccine will protect you for four to six months. If you’re a little off on your timing, that’s fine. It’s best to be early this year. If you get your shot too late, it just means you’re more at risk of getting the flu,” adds Wuenschel.

Coryell Health Medical Clinic- Gatesville, Goldthwaite, Moody, Waco and Temple are providing flu shots for walk-in patients. Monday- Friday, 8:30am-11:30am – 1:30pm- 4:30pm.

Coryell accepts most major insurance. Health plans usually cover a set of preventive services like shots and screening tests at no cost to the patient. Uninsured self-pay $35.

https://www.dshs.texas.gov/flu/finder.aspx

Coryell Health Advanced Wound Center Wins Two Awards

Coryell’s Advanced Wound Center won both the Clinical Distinction Award and the Excellence in Patient Satisfaction Award from RestorixHealth! These awards mean that our Advanced Wound Center demonstrates exceptional success in clinical and safety benchmarks, and our patient success rate is at least 96%. We are proud of these achievements and are grateful for our hardworking team behind it all. Want more information about our Advanced Wound Center and the technology behind the healing? Visit our website: https://coryellhealth.org/wound-center.

Have You Heard These Three Myths About Lice?

Tips And Tricks For Dealing With Lice This School Year

The school year has just begun, and pretty soon your kids may be coming home with more than homework. The CDC estimates that between 6 and 12 million children get lice a year! Knowing the common myths about lice and prevention and treatment methods can help you set your family up for an itch-less school year.

Three Myths About Lice

  • Lice like dirty hair, so people with poor hygiene are more prone to them

Lice have no preference between hair that is dirty, oily or uncombed and hair that is well-managed. Regardless of the cleanliness of the hair, lice are attracted to the food source that the host head represents—no amount of washing will deter these creatures. 

  • Lice spread diseases

There is no evidence that lice can spread diseases from person to person. While they are a nuisance and can cause intense itching, which can lead to infection, the lice themselves carry no diseases we can pick up and thus pose no immediate threat to the health of your family. Don’t fret for the furry members of your family. Lice can’t spread from people to pets or vice versa! 

  • Lice jump or fly from head to head 

Lice have no wings and are thus constrained to the ground. And while they’re speedy crawlers, the insects have no ability to jump, meaning they can only get from person to person by crawling into objects or onto heads that are touching. If you think you’re seeing them jump from head to head, it’s your imagination!

What Are Lice?

Lice are tiny insects, about the size of a sesame seed, that feed off human blood and can be found in human hair, specifically behind someone’s ears or at the base of their neck. These fast-crawling insects lay up to 6 eggs, or nits, a day, and only feed off human blood, not the blood of your pets.

How Do People Get Lice?

People, especially children, are susceptible to lice when making direct contact with other people’s heads. Lice can crawl from one head to another in seconds. Lice can also be spread through the sharing of hats, brushes or pillows. 

School-age children are susceptible to head lice and can pick it up in class, though that’s not the only place they can attract these pests. Sleepovers, sporting events, playdates and more all are prime lice-spreading events.

Preventing Lice 

  • Avoid sharing clothing such as scarves, hats, helmets and hair accessories and products like brushes. 
  • Have kids place their jackets and coats in their backpacks instead of in communal coat bins or hanging them with their classmates’ items. 
  • Wash and dry clothing, bed linens and any other items used by someone in your household with lice. Machines should be set to hot (130°F) and use the highest drying cycle possible. If you can’t wash certain items, dry clean them or place them in a sealable container for two weeks. 
  • Vacuum your carpets and furniture, including kids’ car seats, and throw away the vacuum cleaner bag once finished 

Treatments That Work

Many experts recommend wet combing, the process of combing through hair soaked with water and conditioner or oil with specially designed teeth to remove lice and nits. The process, which can take 15 to 60 minutes depending on hair length, can remove all adult lice and prevent the further laying of eggs. It should be repeated every few days until no more lice or nits are found. 

There’s also the option of prescription treatment solutions, like Sklice, that suffocate the insects or target their nervous systems. Contact your primary care physician for more information about prescription treatment methods.

Treatments That Don’t Work

If you’re using at-home solutions that involve suffocating the lice, like applying mayonnaise, oil or petroleum jelly, you may not fully rid your family’s scalps of the pests. Most over-the-counter solutions no longer treat lice on their own. A recent study showed that 98% of head lice “had genetic mutations that would make them resistant” to the most common over-the-counter options. 

If you do opt for an over-the-counter lice-fighting product, be sure to follow the directions carefully and pay attention to whether or not a follow-up treatment is recommended. Because many products don’t kill nits, an additional treatment a few days later may be necessary to remove newly hatched lice. Some products may also recommend combining treatment with wet combing. 

Many people use shampoo shields, shampoos marketed as natural options to prevent lice. However, no evidence exists to prove these products do anything to prevent or remove lice infestations. 

Looking to treat a lice breakout in your home? Check out these local lice treatment centers.

Now that your kids are back in school, lice aren’t the only contagion you have to worry about. Make sure your family is scheduled for their annual visits with their primary care providers. In the market for a new doctor? Check out our website for more information on our clinics with family medicine: https://coryellhealth.org/services/family-medicine/.