Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center
Above all else, we are committed to the care and improvement of human life. We strive to deliver high quality, cost effective healthcare in the communities we serve.

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Trigeminal Neuralgia: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Options

Trigeminal neuralgia, or tic douloureux, is a disorder of the fifth cranial nerve. This nerve, called the trigeminal nerve, is responsible for providing parts of the face with sensory functions such as pain, pressure, and temperature, as well as motor functions such as biting and chewing. A person suffering from trigeminal neuralgia will feel severe, shooting pain along the path of this nerve, usually only on one side of the face. 

Pain can last for less than a second or up to a few seconds and can come and go for long periods of time. Sudden attacks of shooting pain can be brought on by a number of triggers, from shaving to a slight breeze brushing the face. Symptoms can be felt on the cheek, chin, or eye and even inside the mouth or in the lips. Twitching may accompany the pain, which can occur up to hundreds of times each day. 

Although the cause of this disorder is largely unknown, in some cases, an abnormally formed blood vessel can be at fault. Such a vessel can compress a part of the trigeminal nerve, leading to the symptoms associated with trigeminal neuralgia. Very rarely, this condition can also be caused by a tumor, multiple sclerosis, or a flare-up of Herpes zoster (shingles). 

If you are suffering from trigeminal neuralgia, your doctor may perform an MRI or CT scan to search for an underlying cause of the nerve pain. He or she may prescribe an antiseizure medication, such as carbemazepine, which has shown to help with the pain associated with this condition in some instances. In extreme cases, surgery can be performed to either remove the vessel or tumor compressing the nerve or to cut the trigeminal nerve itself. 

Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center offers state-of-the-art GammaKnife stereotactic radiosurgery as an option for patients suffering from this condition. This non-invasive treatment eliminates many of the risks associated with open surgery, while providing therapy with little or no discomfort. Contact our healthcare team at (805) 497-2727 to learn more about the advantages of GammaKnife and how it can be used to treat trigeminal neuralgia.

Emergency Care for Allergic Reactions

Peanut Allergy

Allergic reactions occur when the immune system becomes hypersensitive and reacts to otherwise harmless environmental substances. While most people only experience mild allergic reactions, others suffer from potentially life-threatening attacks triggered by very specific allergens. Read on to learn how to recognize a serious allergy attack and when to seek emergency care

Allergens such as insect stings, peanuts, and penicillin are infamous for causing dramatic, serious allergic reactions that affect a person’s entire body. For example, when someone who is severely allergic to peanuts ingests even trace amounts of the nut, the immune system reacts by forming antibodies, which cause mast cells to release histamines into the bloodstream. Histamines can cause a host of different symptoms, ranging from mild to severe. In someone with a severe peanut allergy, the reaction can lead to anaphylaxis, a condition that affects many parts of the body at once and can be fatal. The symptoms of anaphylaxis develop very rapidly and may include:

  • Feelings of confusion and anxiety
  • Wheezing or coughing
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Difficulty breathing or severe respiratory distress
  • Fainting, dizziness, pale/bluish tinge to the skin, or lightheadedness
  • Skin redness, warmth, itchiness, or hives
  • Nasal congestion
  • High-pitched breathing sounds due to the obstruction of the mouth, nose, or throat
  • Convulsions
  • Low blood pressure and shock

If you or someone you know is experiencing the symptoms of anaphylaxis, seriously consider calling 911 to seek medical attention immediately. Without immediate treatment, anaphylaxis can lead to suffocation, cardiovascular collapse, and even death. If you know that you are allergic to a certain food, substance, or material, even if you have only experienced mild reactions in the past, formulate a plan with your physician in case of emergencies. 

The Emergency Medicine and Trauma II Center at Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center is prepared 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to provide the highest quality care in any medical emergency. You can learn more about how we provide faster emergency care by contacting Los Robles Hospital at (805) 497-2727.

What are the Symptoms of Anaphylaxis?

Anaphylaxis is a sudden, severe, and life-threatening allergic reaction that is commonly triggered by insect bites, food allergies, or drug allergies. When suffering from this dangerous allergy attack, it is vitally important that patients receive immediate emergency care to avoid the severe complications associated with this condition. Watch this video to learn more about the symptoms of anaphylaxis and what to do if you experience an attack.

When you are formulating your emergency medical plan, consider including Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center’s Emergency Care Center as your go-to for prompt, quality medical care. Our physicians work around the clock to provide the community of Thousand Oaks, CA with experienced emergency care. Learn more about our ER by calling (805) 497-2727, or contact us online.

Heart Health and Family History: How You Can Reduce Your Risk Factors

Heart Disease

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States for both men and women, causing over 25% of American deaths in 2006. Scientists have established two main categories of factors that put people at a higher risk for developing conditions that affect the heart: modifiable and non-modifiable risk factors. Modifiable risk factors are defined as habits, such as tobacco use, dietary choices, and physical activity level, that can be altered if one so chooses. Non-modifiable risk factors, including characteristics such as age and genetics, cannot be altered to decrease risk for heart disease.

So, what roles do these non-modifiable, inherited risk factors play in the development of cardiovascular disease? After carefully evaluating the human genome, scientists found that some genes specifically influence cardiovascular risk by affecting certain physiological processes. Genetic and protein markers have been found that may help physicians to identify the heightened risk for developing certain types of heart disease.

Although these genetic risk factors cannot be altered, they can help you to know and predict future cardiovascular events. People at risk for heart disease can still greatly benefit from modifying their behavior to ensure that they are physically active, eat well, and avoid tobacco use. Monitoring cardiovascular activity and keeping blood pressure and cholesterol levels under control with the help of your general practitioner or cardiologist will do wonders in lowering your risk of cardiovascular disease. Those with higher risk can also improve their futures by:

  • Maintaining good dental hygiene
  • Drinking alcohol only in moderation
  • Maintaining a healthy body weight
  • Managing stress
  • Controlling diabetes by maintaining stable blood glucose levels

Are you at risk for heart disease? To find out more about your risk factors or to locate an experienced cardiologist in the community of Thousand Oaks, CA, contact Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center by calling (805) 497-2727.

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