Harvard Health Blog

Join the discussion with experts from Harvard Health Publishing and others like you on a variety of health topics, medical news and views.

I can’t tolerate CPAP, what can I do?

Many people with sleep apnea find that a CPAP machine helps them, but others struggle and have difficulty using a CPAP machine. There are many reasons this could be happening, and it’s important for people to work with their doctor to troubleshoot and try adjustments that can make using the machine easier and more effective.

Avoiding COVID-19 when following the guidelines seems impossible

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

By now people understand the measures intended to prevent the spread of coronavirus, yet people with certain conditions may not be able to follow these guidelines. Here are some suggestions that may help.

The lowdown on the low-FODMAP diet

Studies show that a diet that eliminates or lowers consumption of high-FODMAP foods can reduce symptoms for many people with irritable bowel syndrome. But the process is time-consuming and can be confusing, so it is best undertaken under the supervision of a dietitian.

Youth sports during COVID-19: What parents need to know and do

Claire McCarthy, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Playing youth sports is a great way for children to be active and learn important socialization skills, but the risks of COVID-19 mean parents with children who participate in sports must consider a number of factors when deciding whether to play.

Does air pollution cause Alzheimer’s disease?

It has been known for some time that air pollution causes heart and lung diseases. Now, results from three different studies on populations in different parts of the world show an association between higher levels of air pollution and greater risk of cognitive impairment, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Healthy headphone use: How loud and how long?

Headphones and earbuds are nearly ubiquitous, but how often do people think about whether or not they are using them safely? Knowing about safe listening levels and safe length of listening time will help people protect themselves while using their listening devices.

Vaccines for COVID-19 moving closer

Scientists around the world are trying to engineer safe, effective, long-lasting vaccines to help the body block the virus that causes COVID-19. Three vaccine approaches out of more than 100 are among the first to be tested clinically in the United States.

How can I know if my penicillin allergy is real?

People who are allergic to penicillin are often given less effective medications that can make them more susceptible to infections, but many people who believe they are allergic to penicillin are not. New techniques are allowing medical providers to assess whether or not a person has a true penicillin allergy.

Metabolic syndrome is on the rise: What it is and why it matters

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Because metabolic syndrome boosts the risk of developing several serious health problems, a troubling rise in rates of occurrence of metabolic syndrome among certain segments of the US population is of great concern.

Gender differences in cardiovascular disease: Women are less likely to be prescribed certain heart medications

Cardiovascular disease is the leading killer of both women and men in the US, but despite the significant impact it has on women, awareness and education for women’s heart disease has historically been low. A recent meta-analysis found that women were significantly less likely to be prescribed common medications for CVD.