Family Doctors in Houston, TX
If you’ve got a health concern, chances are we can treat it. The family medicine physicians at Sim Family Clinic are trained and experienced in assessing and treating a wide range of medical conditions.
We often see adult and pediatric patients with acute injuries and illnesses – such as a cold, infection, or rash – that require immediate attention. We are available for this type of urgent care and will do our very best to get you in to see a doctor as soon as possible. We even have on-site diagnostic tests that can help us assess your particular situation quickly.
At Sim Family Clinic, we can diagnose and treat a variety of health concerns, including:
Sure, a cold or the flu may sound harmless. Everyone gets them at some point in their lives, after all. However, depending on your age and overall health, it may be critical to see your doctor about your cold or flu symptoms.
When the infections are caused by bacteria, antibiotics are often required as treatment. Your family doctor can prescribe the type of antibiotic, dosage, and duration that best suits you.
Patients who may be especially susceptible to cold or flu complications should see their family doctor right away to ensure the infection doesn’t get worse and cause potentially life-threatening complications such as respiratory failure or inflammation in the brain (encephalitis) or heart (myocarditis). Generally speaking, this includes patients who are very young, old, or those who have compromised immune system function, possibly as the result of a medical condition or treatment (such as chemotherapy, a common cancer treatment). Patients who are obese or underweight may also benefit from early medical intervention for their cold or flu symptoms.
If your cold or flu symptoms are severe or do not improve after a week or two, see your family doctor for help in relieving your symptoms. Your doctor may also be able to identify whether another medical issue might be involved. For example, a common cold can turn into a middle ear infection that requires medical treatment.
Minor cuts and lacerations that require medical attention are those that are either very deep or very large and may be difficult to heal on their own. These wounds may gape open or expose deeper layers of tissue.
Your family doctor may use stitches and sutures for these injuries. In some cases, medications such as antibiotics or a tetanus booster shot, may be required in addition to wound care. If you have any doubt at all, call your doctor at Sim Family Clinic – it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Our patients with diabetes are particularly susceptible to wounds that do not heal properly on their own. This is because diabetes can damage nerve functioning and inhibit blood flow. Damaged nerves may be unable to signal to your brain that an area of your body has been hurt. When blood carrying nutrients and oxygen is unable to reach body tissue, that tissue is susceptible to infection and tissue death (gangrene). Diabetic patients should regularly inspect their limbs – especially their feet – and see their doctor at the earliest sign of a problem.
If you have suffered an injury and your bleeding is significant or won’t stop, seek medical attention right away. This is considered a medical emergency. Call 911 or visit your nearest emergency room.
Ear infections are very common, especially among children. That’s because the tiny, complex structures within their ears are still developing, leaving them prone to fluid buildup in the middle ear and infection.
Earaches in adults can indicate different problems, including:
- Allergies – Ear pain is just one of many possible allergy symptoms. That’s because the tissue lining the eustachian tube – which connects the back of the nasal cavity to the middle ear – can become irritated and inflamed during an allergic response.
- Ear infection – Middle and outer ear infections are the most common causes of ear pain in adults. When infection occurs in the middle ear, it typically travels there after a respiratory infection. An outer ear infection, on the other hand, can be caused by bacterial exposure in the ear canal while swimming. Hearing aids, ear buds, and other foreign objects put into the ears may also scratch or irritate the skin in the ears and lead to infection.
- Earwax buildup – The most common reason for earwax (cerumen) buildup is the incorrect use of cotton swabs, which pushes the wax back up against the eardrum, making it harder for wax to naturally drain from the ear. See your family doctor about the best way to remove impacted earwax as well as how to prevent it from reoccurring.
- Perforated eardrum – Loud sounds and rapid pressure changes can damage the delicate membrane separating your ear canal from the middle ear.
- Sinus or other infections – Sinus infections, strep throat, colds, flu, and other infections may also cause earaches in adults.
- Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction – Problems with the hinge joint of the jaw can restrict jaw movement and cause a telltale “click” sound when opening your mouth. Other symptoms of TMJ dysfunction include pain, including ear pain.
Stomachaches are incredibly common – and may be a symptom of many different medical conditions – that your best bet is to visit your family care doctor when your stomach pain is especially intense or persistent. Your doctor will perform a physical examination, medical history assessment, and discuss all your symptoms and context in which your symptoms occur in order to find the cause of your stomach pain.
Potential causes of stomachaches include:
- Abdominal hernia
- Acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- Bowel obstruction
- Food allergy or intolerance
- Food poisoning (e.g., E. coli, giardia, noroviruses, salmonella)
- Inflammatory bowel disease (e.g., Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis)
- Kidney stones
- Menstrual cramps
A sore throat is perhaps one of the most common reasons people go to a doctor. Having a sore throat from time to time is normal. However, if your sore throat fails to improve within a reasonable period of time, see your family doctor.
A simple swab from the back of your throat in your doctor’s office can quickly determine the presence of strep throat – a common bacterial infection that causes a sore throat. Other strep throat symptoms include fever, tonsils that are red and inflamed, and swollen lymph nodes at the side of your neck.
Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics, which can help prevent you from spreading the infection to others. Without antibiotics, you may be contagious for up to a month – long after your symptoms have subsided. Not everyone who has strep throat will exhibit symptoms. Many physicians recommend that all members of a household be tested if someone in the home is diagnosed with strep throat – doing this can help contain the spread of the infection.
UTIs – also called bladder infections – occur when bacteria gets into your urethra (the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the body) and travels to your bladder. UTI symptoms include a burning sensation when urinating, strong-smelling urine, and pelvic pain.
Women are particularly susceptible to UTIs, for a couple of reasons. First, the urethra is shorter in women, allowing bacteria to more easily reach the bladder and because of the location of the urethral opening (just above the opening of the vagina). The introduction of bacteria can occur during sexual activity. It also may occur if women wipe themselves from “back to front” after a bowel movement.
Treatment typically involves antibiotics. The specific type of medication you need will depend on the type of bacteria identified in a sample of your urine, as well as your health history or the presence of any other medical conditions. If you suffer from frequent UTIs, ask your family doctor about steps you can take to prevent recurrences.
These are just a few of the most common medical illnesses and conditions we see and treat at Sim Family Clinic.
Please note: if you have a life-threatening medical emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room. Sim Family Clinic does not have an emergency medicine department.
Immunizations & Vaccines
Vaccines aren’t just for children. Adults of all ages can benefit greatly from them, as well. You and your family members may require certain immunizations if you are traveling internationally. People in certain occupations (healthcare and child care workers, for example) may be required to be up to date on their vaccines. And, of course, some vaccines are recommended based on your age, health, exposure, and whether you had the vaccine as a child.
Vaccines for adults may include:
- Flu shots – recommended yearly for all adults
- Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR)
- Tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (Tdap) – booster recommended every 10 years
At Sim Family Clinic, we provide immunizations specifically intended for adults as well as pediatric immunizations. To find out more about which vaccines are recommended and when, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. You can also ask your doctor at Sim Family Clinic which vaccines may be right for you.
As an added bonus, many vaccines are 100% covered by insurance. Be sure to ask your insurance provider about your specific coverage.
If you have a health concern or nagging symptoms that require treatment, call the family care doctors at Sim Family Clinic at (281) 893-5870. We look forward to seeing you at our office in Houston, Texas.