Urgent care or emergency room?

    In a life-threatening situation, a call to 911 or a visit to an emergency room is always your best choice. For minor illnesses at times when you can’t see your own doctor, like weekends or evenings, an urgent care clinic or a trip to a standalone ER such as Grace ER can give you the care you need. Grace ER has locations in Houston and Pearland, TX. Research the urgent care options available on your health plan. These guidelines can help you decide if you or someone else needs emergency attention:  

EMERGENCY ROOM OR 911

  • Chest pain with shortness of breath and/or sweating
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Uncontrollable bleeding
  • Trauma or head injury
  • Sudden dizziness, difficulty seeing, slurred speech, confusion, numbness, or paralysis
  • Unconsciousness
  • Poisoning
  • Severe injury, burns, or electrical shock
  • Vaginal bleeding during pregnancy

Standalone ER/ URGENT CARE

  • Sore throats, coughs, congestion, fever, and other flu or cold symptoms
  • Cuts that require stitches
  • Mild or moderate asthma attacks
  • Earaches and eye or skin infections*
  • Insect bites or rashes
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Sprains, strains, deep bruises
  • Diarrhea*
  • Pregnancy tests and physical exams
    If any of these symptoms seem severe, always consider them an emergency room.

Sprained Ankle

A sprained ankle is an injury that occurs when you roll, twist or turn your ankle in an awkward way. This can stretch or tear the tough bands of tissue (ligaments) that help hold your ankle bones together. Ligaments help stabilize joints, preventing excessive movement. A sprained ankle occurs when the ligaments are forced beyond their normal range of motion. Most sprained ankles involve injuries to the ligaments on the outer side of the ankle.Treatment for a sprained ankle depends on the severity of the injury. Although self-care measures and over-the-counter pain medications may be all you need, a medical evaluation might be necessary to reveal how badly you've sprained your ankle and to determine the appropriate treatment.   Signs and symptoms of a sprained ankle vary depending on the severity of the injury. They may include:
  • Pain, especially when you bear weight on the affected foot
  • Tenderness when you touch the ankle
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Restricted range of motion
  • Instability in the ankle
  • Popping sensation or sound at the time of injury

Call your doctor if you have pain and swelling in your ankle and you suspect a sprain. Self-care measures may be all you need, but talk to your doctor to discuss whether you should have your ankle evaluated. If signs and symptoms are severe, you may have significant damage to a ligament or a broken bone in your ankle or lower leg.   Factors that increase your risk of a sprained ankle include:
  • Sports participation. Ankle sprains are a common sports injury, particularly in sports that require jumping, cutting action, or rolling or twisting of the foot such as basketball, tennis, football, soccer and trail running.
  • Uneven surfaces. Walking or running on uneven surfaces or poor field conditions may increase the risk of an ankle sprain.
  • Prior ankle injury. Once you've sprained your ankle or had another type of ankle injury, you're more likely to sprain it again.
  • Poor physical condition. Poor strength or flexibility in the ankles may increase the risk of a sprain when participating in sports.
  • Improper shoes. Shoes that don't fit properly or aren't appropriate for an activity, as well as high-heeled shoes in general, make ankles more vulnerable to injury.

Complications

Failing to treat a sprained ankle properly, engaging in activities too soon after spraining your ankle or spraining your ankle repeatedly might lead to the following complications:
  • Chronic ankle pain
  • Chronic ankle joint instability
  • Arthritis in the ankle joint

Prevention

The following tips can help you prevent a sprained ankle or a recurring sprain:
  • Warm up before you exercise or play sports.
  • Be careful when walking, running or working on an uneven surface.
  • Use an ankle support brace or tape on a weak or previously injured ankle.
  • Wear shoes that fit well and are made for your activity.
  • Minimize wearing high-heeled shoes.
  • Don't play sports or participate in activities for which you are not conditioned.
  • Maintain good muscle strength and flexibility.
  • Practice stability training, including balance exercises.
    https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/sprained-ankle/symptoms-causes/syc-20353225

Sugar, oh sugar, sugar

  Sugar is sweet, but too much might have souring effects on your body. In fact too much sugar intake can lead to illnesses and complications that often lead people to the Emergency Room. To maintain good health, one needs to maintain a healthy diet.   Sugar is a simple carbohydrate that naturally occurs in many foods such as in fruits (fructose) and milk products (lactose).   These sugars provide us with the nutrients and calories our bodies need. When we eat too many added sugars — such as white sugar, honey, corn syrup, and molasses — we may start to see side effects.   Some signs that you are getting too much sugar from empty calories include weight gain, elevated cholesterol, and cavities.   There are many ways to reduce added sugar in your diet:  
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables.
 
  • Drink fewer sugar-sweetened beverages, and keep in check how much 100% fruit juices and alcoholic beverages you drink.
 
  • Eat fewer and smaller portions of items containing added sugars.
 
  • Limit using added sugar to improve the flavor of foods.
 

FLU

Flu is a respiratory infection caused by a number of viruses. The viruses pass through the air and enter your body through your nose or mouth. Between 5% and 20% of people in the U.S. get the flu each year. The flu can be serious or even deadly for elderly people, newborn babies, and people with certain chronic illnesses. Symptoms of the flu come on suddenly and are worse than those of the common cold. They may include
  • Body or muscle aches
  • Chills
  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
Is it a cold or the flu? Colds rarely cause a fever or headaches. Flu almost never causes an upset stomach. And "stomach flu" isn't really flu at all, but gastroenteritis. Most people with the flu recover on their own without medical care. People with mild cases of the flu should stay home and avoid contact with others, except to get medical care. If you get the flu, your health care provider may prescribe medicine to help your body fight the infection and lessen symptoms. The main way to keep from getting the flu is to get a yearly flu vaccine. Good hygiene, including hand washing, can also help.  
Most people who get influenza will recover in several days to less than two weeks, but some people will develop complications as a result of the flu. A wide range of complications can be caused by influenza virus infection of the upper respiratory tract (nasal passages, throat) and lower respiratory tract (lungs). While anyone can get sick with flu and become severely ill, some people are more likely to experience severe flu illness. Young children, adults aged 65 years and older, pregnant women, and people with certain chronic medical conditions are among those groups of people who are at high risk of serious flu complications, possibly requiring hospitalization and sometimes resulting in death. For example, people with chronic lung disease are at higher risk of developing severe pneumonia. Sinus and ear infections are examples of moderate complications from flu, while pneumonia is a serious flu complication that can result from either influenza virus infection alone or from co-infection of flu virus and bacteria. Other possible serious complications triggered by flu can include inflammation of the heart (myocarditis), brain (encephalitis) or muscle (myositis, rhabdomyolysis) tissues, and multi-organ failure (for example, respiratory and kidney failure). Flu virus infection of the respiratory tract can trigger an extreme inflammatory response in the body and can lead to sepsis, the body’s life-threatening response to infection. Flu also can make chronic medical problems worse. For example, people with asthma may experience asthma attacks while they have the flu, and people with chronic heart disease may experience a worsening of this condition triggered by flu.
https://medlineplus.gov/flu.html#cat_78

SHINGLES

Shingles is a viral infection that causes a painful rash. Although shingles can occur anywhere on your body, it most often appears as a single stripe of blisters that wraps around either the left or the right side of your torso. Shingles is caused by the varicella-zoster virus — the same virus that causes chickenpox. After you've had chickenpox, the virus lies inactive in nerve tissue near your spinal cord and brain. Years later, the virus may reactivate as shingles.
While it isn't a life-threatening condition, shingles can be very painful. Vaccines can help reduce the risk of shingles, while early treatment can help shorten a shingles infection and lessen the chance of complications The signs and symptoms of shingles usually affect only a small section of one side of your body. These signs and symptoms may include:

Symptoms

  • Pain, burning, numbness or tingling
  • Sensitivity to touch
  • A red rash that begins a few days after the pain
  • Fluid-filled blisters that break open and crust over
  • Itching
Some people also experience:
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Fatigue
Pain is usually the first symptom of shingles. For some, it can be intense. Depending on the location of the pain, it can sometimes be mistaken for a symptom of problems affecting the heart, lungs or kidneys. Some people experience shingles pain without ever developing the rash. Most commonly, the shingles rash develops as a stripe of blisters that wraps around either the left or right side of your torso. Sometimes the shingles rash occurs around one eye or on one side of the neck or face.

When to see a doctor

Contact your doctor promptly if you suspect shingles, but especially in the following situations:
  • The pain and rash occur near an eye. If left untreated, this infection can lead to permanent eye damage.
  • You're 60 or older, because age significantly increases your risk of complications.
  • You or someone in your family has a weakened immune system (due to cancer, medications or chronic illness).
  • The rash is widespread and painfu
  • Causes

  • Shingles is caused by the varicella-zoster virus — the same virus that causes chickenpox. Anyone who's had chickenpox may develop shingles. After you recover from chickenpox, the virus can enter your nervous system and lie dormant for years.Eventually, it may reactivate and travel along nerve pathways to your skin — producing shingles. But, not everyone who's had chickenpox will develop shingles.The reason for shingles is unclear. But it may be due to lowered immunity to infections as you grow older. Shingles is more common in older adults and in people who have weakened immune systems.Varicella-zoster is part of a group of viruses called herpes viruses, which includes the viruses that cause cold sores and genital herpes. Because of this, shingles is also known as herpes zoster. But the virus that causes chickenpox and shingles is not the same virus responsible for cold sores or genital herpes, a sexually transmitted infection
  • Risk factors

    Anyone who has ever had chickenpox can develop shingles. Most adults in the United States had chickenpox when they were children, before the advent of the routine childhood vaccination that now protects against chickenpox. Factors that may increase your risk of developing shingles include:
    • Being older than 50. Shingles is most common in people older than 50. The risk increases with age. Some experts estimate that half the people age 80 and older will have shingles.
    • Having certain diseases. Diseases that weaken your immune system, such as HIV/AIDS and cancer, can increase your risk of shingles.
    • Undergoing cancer treatments. Radiation or chemotherapy can lower your resistance to diseases and may trigger shingles.
    • Taking certain medications. Drugs designed to prevent rejection of transplanted organs can increase your risk of shingles — as can prolonged use of steroids, such as prednisone.

    Complications

    Complications from shingles can include:
    • Postherpetic neuralgia. For some people, shingles pain continues long after the blisters have cleared. This condition is known as postherpetic neuralgia, and it occurs when damaged nerve fibers send confused and exaggerated messages of pain from your skin to your brain.
    • Vision loss. Shingles in or around an eye (ophthalmic shingles) can cause painful eye infections that may result in vision loss.
    • Neurological problems. Depending on which nerves are affected, shingles can cause an inflammation of the brain (encephalitis), facial paralysis, or hearing or balance problems.
    • Skin infections. If shingles blisters aren't properly treated, bacterial skin infections may develop.

    Prevention

    Two vaccines may help prevent shingles — the chickenpox (varicella) vaccine and the shingles (varicella-zoster) vaccine.

    Chickenpox vaccine

    The varicella vaccine (Varivax) has become a routine childhood immunization to prevent chickenpox. The vaccine is also recommended for adults who've never had chickenpox. Though the vaccine doesn't guarantee you won't get chickenpox or shingles, it can reduce your chances of complications and reduce the severity of the disease.

    Shingles vaccine

    The Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of the varicella-zoster vaccine (Zostavax) for adults age 50 and older, whether they've already had shingles or not. Although the vaccine is approved for people age 50 and older, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention isn't recommending it until you reach age 60 or older, when the risk of shingles and its complications is highest. Your doctor may recommend vaccination between ages 50 and 59 if you have a condition or circumstance that may make it more difficult to tolerate a shingles infection, such as chronic pain or if you have received or expect to receive certain medications that suppress the immune system. As with the chickenpox vaccine, the shingles vaccine doesn't guarantee you won't get shingles. But this vaccine will likely reduce the course and severity of the disease and reduce your risk of postherpetic neuralgia within the first five years after vaccination. Protection beyond five years is uncertain. The shingles vaccine is used only as a prevention strategy. It's not intended to treat people who currently have the disease. The vaccine contains live virus and should not be given to people who are pregnant or have weakened immune systems.
  • Treatments For Shingles

    There is no cure for shingles, so treatment for the condition is primarily focused on reducing the severity of symptoms and, ideally, decreasing the longevity of the outbreak. Individuals are encouraged to seek treatment as early as possible to prevent the infection from becoming worse.For initial outbreaks of shingles, at-home or over-the-counter (OTC) options may be sufficient for reducing symptom severity and preventing the condition from having a detrimental impact on the individual’s daily functioning. Techniques such as taking an oatmeal bath, applying calamine lotion regularly to the rash, or using cool compresses on the area can be effective in decreasing itchiness and soothing irritated skin.
  • Oral analgesics that can be obtained OTC, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), may be recommended to reduce inflammation and relieve pain. Antiviral or oral steroid medications may also be prescribed by your doctor, depending on the severity of symptoms. Alternative techniques may be employed, in conjunction with other techniques, to provide additional relief from symptoms. In particular, participating in yoga or regular relaxation practice is shown to reduce the individual’s overall degree of stress contributing to the shingles infection. Since the development of the chickenpox vaccine, there has been some suggestion that it may also help in preventing the development of shingles. This vaccine is not intended to cure the condition; however, it has been shown to reduce an individual’s risk for manifesting shingles in adulthood, even among populations of older adults

Allergic Conjunctivitis

The conjunctiva is a clear layer of tissue lining the eyelids and covering the white of the eye. Allergic conjunctivitis occurs when the conjunctiva becomes swollen or inflamed due to a reaction to pollen, dander, mold, or other allergy-causing substances.

Causes

When your eyes are exposed to allergy-causing substances, a substance called histamine is released by your body. The blood vessels in the conjunctiva become swollen. The eyes can become red, itchy, and teary very quickly. The pollens that cause symptoms vary from person to person and from area to area. Tiny, hard-to-see pollens that may cause allergic symptoms include grasses, ragweed and trees. These same pollens may also cause hay fever. Your symptoms may be worse when there is more pollen in the air. Higher levels of pollen are more likely on hot, dry, windy days. On cool, damp, rainy days most pollen is washed to the ground. Mold, animal dander, or dust may cause this problem also. Allergies tend to run in families. It is hard to know exactly how many people have allergies. Many conditions are often lumped under the term "allergy" even when they might not truly be an allergy.

Symptoms

Symptoms may be seasonal and can include:
  • Intense itching or burning eyes
  • Puffy eyelids, most often in the morning
  • Red eyes
  • Stringy eye discharge
  • Tearing (watery eyes)
  • Widened blood vessels in the clear tissue covering the white of the eye

Exams and Tests

Your health care provider may look for the following:
  • Certain white blood cells, called eosinophils
  • Small, raised bumps on the inside of the eyelids (papillary conjunctivitis)
  • Positive skin test for suspected allergens on allergy tests
Allergy testing may reveal the pollen or other substances that trigger your symptoms.
  • Skin testing is the most common method of allergy testing.
  • Skin testing is more likely to be done if symptoms do not respond to treatment.

Treatment

The best treatment is to avoid what causes your allergy symptoms as much as possible. Common triggers to avoid include dust, mold and pollen. Some things you can do to ease symptoms are:
  • Use lubricating eye drops.
  • Apply cool compresses to the eyes.
  • DO NOT smoke and avoid secondhand smoke.
  • Take over-the-counter oral antihistamines. These medicines can offer more relief, but they can sometimes make your eyes dry.
If home-care does not help, you may need to see a provider for treatments such as eye drops that contain antihistamines or eye drops that reduce swelling. Mild eye steroid drops can be prescribed for more severe reactions. You may also use eye drops that prevent a type of white blood cell called mast cells from causing swelling. These drops are given along with antihistamines. These medicines work best if you take them before you come in contact with the allergen.

Outlook (Prognosis)

Symptoms often go away with treatment. However, they can persist if you continue to be exposed to the allergen. Long-term swelling of the outer lining of the eyes may occur in those with chronic allergies or asthma. It is called vernal conjunctivitis. It is most common in young males, and most often occurs during the spring and summer.

Possible Complications

There are no serious complications.

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Call your provider if:
  • You have symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis that do not respond to self-care steps and over-the-counter treatment.
  • Your vision is affected.
  • You develop eye pain that is severe or becoming worse.
  • Your eyelids or the skin around your eyes becomes swollen or red.
  • You have a headache in addition to your other symptoms.

Alternative Names

Conjunctivitis - allergic seasonal/perennial; Atopic keratoconjunctivitis; Pink eye - allergic
https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/001031.htm  

9 Healthy Holiday-Eating Strategies

  https://www.realsimple.com/health/nutrition-diet/healthy-eating/eat-healthy-during-holidays

ABSCESS

A skin abscess  is a tender mass generally surrounded by a colored area from pink to deep red. Abscesses are often easy to feel by touching. The vast majority of them are caused by infections. Inside, they are full of pus, bacteria and debris. Painful and warm to touch, abscesses can show up any place on your body. The most common sites on the skin in your armpits (axillae), areas around your anus and vagina (Bartholin gland abscess), the base of your spine (pilonidal abscess), around a tooth (dental abscess), and in your groin. Inflammation around a hair follicle can also lead to the formation of an abscess, which is called a boil (fur-uncle). Unlike other infections, antibiotics alone will not usually cure an abscess. In general an abscess must open and drain in order for it to improve. Sometimes draining occurs on its own, but generally it must be opened with the help of a warm compress or by a doctor in a procedure called incision and drainage (I&D). When our normal skin barrier is broken, even from minor trauma, or small tears, or inflammation, bacteria can enter the skin. An abscess can form as your body's defenses try to kill these germs with your inflammatory response (white blood cells = pus). Obstruction in a sweat or oil (sebaceous) gland, or a hair follicle or a pre-existing cyst can also trigger an abscess. The middle of the abscess liquefies and contains dead cells, bacteria, and other debris. This area begins to grow, creating tension under the skin and further inflammation of the surrounding tissues. Pressure and inflammation cause the pain.People with weakened immune systems get certain abscesses more often. Other risk factors for abscess include exposure to dirty environments, exposure to persons with certain types of skin infections, poor hygiene, and poor circulation.   https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/abscess#1    

Pharyngitis

Pharyngitis, or sore throat, is discomfort, pain, or scratchiness in the throat. It often makes it painful to swallow. Pharyngitis is caused by swelling in the back of the throat (pharynx) between the tonsils and the voice box (larynx). Most sore throats are caused by colds, the flu, coxsackie virus or mono (mononucleosis).
Bacteria that can cause pharyngitis in some cases:
  • Strep throat is caused by group A streptococcus.
  • Less commonly, bacterial diseases such as gonorrhea and chlamydia can cause sore throat.
Most cases of pharyngitis occur during the colder months. The illness often spreads among family members and close contacts.
 The main symptom is a sore throat.
Other symptoms may include:
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Joint pain and muscle aches
  • Skin rashes
  • Swollen lymph nodes (glands) in the neck
Most sore throats are caused by viruses. Antibiotics do not help viral sore throats. Using these medicines when they are not needed leads to antibiotics not working as well when they are needed. Sore throat is treated with antibiotics if:
  • A strep test or culture is positive. Your provider cannot diagnose strep throat by symptoms or a physical exam alone.
  • A culture for chlamydia or gonorrhea is positive.
Sore throat caused by the flu (influenza) may be helped by antiviral medicines. The following tips may help your sore throat feel better:
  • Drink soothing liquids. You can either drink warm liquids, such as lemon tea with honey, or cold liquids, such as ice water. You could also suck on a fruit-flavored ice pop.
  • Gargle several times a day with warm salt water (1/2 tsp or 3 grams of salt in 1 cup or 240 milliliters of water).
  • Suck on hard candies or throat lozenges. Young children should not be given these products because they can choke on them.
  • Use of a cool-mist vaporizer or humidifier can moisten the air and soothe a dry and painful throat.
  • Try over-the-counter pain medicines, such as acetaminophen.

Depression

What Is It?

It's natural to feel down sometimes, but if that low mood lingers day after day, it could signal depression. Major depression is an episode of sadness or apathy along with other symptoms that lasts at least two consecutive weeks and is severe enough to interrupt daily activities. Depression is not a sign of weakness or a negative personality. It is a major public health problem and a treatable medical condition.

Depression Symptoms: Emotional

The primary symptoms of depression are a sad mood and/or loss of interest in life. Activities that were once pleasurable lose their appeal. Patients may also be haunted by a sense of guilt or worthlessness, lack of hope, and recurring thoughts of death or suicide.

Depression Symptoms: Physical

Depression is sometimes linked to physical symptoms. These include:
  • Fatigue and decreased energy
  • Insomnia, especially early-morning waking
  • Excessive sleep
  • Persistent aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems that do not ease even with treatment
Depression can make other health problems feel worse, particularly chronic pain. Key brain chemicals influence both mood and pain. Treating depression has been shown to improve co-existing illnesses.

Depression Symptom: Appetite

Changes in appetite or weight are another hallmark of depression. Some patients develop increased appetite, while others lose their appetite altogether. Depressed people may experience serious weight loss or weight gain.

Impact on Daily Life

Without treatment, the physical and emotional turmoil brought on by depression can derail careers, hobbies, and relationships. People with depression often find it difficult to concentrate and make decisions. They turn away from previously enjoyable activities, including sex. In severe cases, depression can become life-threatening.

Suicide Warning Signs

People who are depressed are more likely to attempt suicide. Warning signs include talking about death or suicide, threatening to hurt people, or engaging in aggressive or risky behavior. Anyone who appears suicidal should be taken very seriously. Do not hesitate to call one of the suicide hotlines: 800-SUICIDE (800-784-2433) and 800-273-TALK (800-273-8255).If you have a plan to commit suicide, go to the emergency room for immediate treatment.

Depression: Who's at Risk?

Anyone can become depressed, but many experts believe genetics play a role. Having a parent or sibling with depression increases your risk of developing the disorder. Women are twice as likely as men to become depressed.

Causes of Depression

Doctors aren't sure what causes depression, but a prominent theory is altered brain structure and chemical function. Brain circuits that regulate mood may work less efficiently during depression. Drugs that treat depression are believed to improve communication between nerve cells, making them run more normally. Experts also think that while stress -- such as losing a loved one -- can trigger depression, one must first be biologically prone to develop the disorder. Other triggers could include certain medications, alcohol or substance abuse, hormonal changes, or even the season. Illustrated here are neurons (nerve cells) in the brain communicating via neurotransmitters.

Diagnosing Depression

As of yet, there is no lab test for depression. To make an accurate diagnosis, doctors rely on a patient's description of the symptoms. You'll be asked about your medical history and medication use since these may contribute to symptoms of depression. Discussing moods, behaviors, and daily activities can help reveal the severity and type of depression. This is a critical step in determining the most effective treatment.

Talk Therapy for Depression

Studies suggest different types of talk therapy can fight mild to moderate depression. Cognitive behavioral therapy aims to change thoughts and behaviors that contribute to depression. Interpersonal therapy identifies how your relationships impact your mood. Psychodynamic psychotherapyhelps people understand how their behavior and mood are affected by unresolved issues and unconscious feelings. Some patients find a few months of therapy are all they need, while others continue long term.

Medications for Depression

Antidepressants affect the levels of brain chemicals, such as serotonin and norepinephrine. There are many options. Give antidepressants a few weeks of use to take effect. Good follow-up with your doctor is important to evaluate their effectiveness and make dosage adjustments. If the first medication tried doesn't help, there's a good chance another will. The combination of talk therapy and medication appears particularly effective.

Exercise for Depression

Research suggests exercise is a potent weapon against mild to moderate depression. Physical activity releases endorphins that can help boost mood. Regular exercise is also linked to higher self-esteem, better sleep, less stress, and more energy. Any type of moderate activity, from swimming to housework, can help. Choose something you enjoy and aim for 20 to 30 minutes four or five times a week.

The Role of Social Support

Because loneliness goes hand-in-hand with depression, developing a social support network can be an important part of treatment. This may include joining a support group, finding an online support community, or making a genuine effort to see friends and family more often. Even joining a book club or taking classes at your gym can help you connect with people on a regular basis.

Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS)

Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) can help patients with treatment-resistant depression that does not improve with medication. VNS is like a pacemaker for the brain. The surgically implanted device sends electrical pulses to the brain through the vagus nerve in the neck. These pulses are believed to ease depression by affecting mood areas of the brain.

Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)

Another option for patients with treatment-resistant or severe melancholic depression is electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). This treatment uses electric charges to create a controlled seizure. Patients are not conscious for the procedure. ECT helps 80% to 90% of patients who receive it, giving new hope to those who don't improve with medication.

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

A newer option for people with stubborn depression is repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS). This treatment aims electromagnetic pulses at the skull. It stimulates a tiny electrical current in a part of the brain linked to depression. rTMS does not cause a seizure and appears to have few side effects. But doctors are still fine-tuning this treatment.

Good Outlook

In the midst of major depression, you may feel hopeless and helpless. But the fact is, this condition is highly treatable. More than 80% of people get better with medication, talk therapy, or a combination of the two. Even when these therapies fail to help, there are cutting-edge treatments that pick up the slack.
Source: www.webmd.com