Diseases & Conditions

The human body is a remarkable structure. It's designed to efficiently manage the wear and tear of everyday life and fend off all sorts of threats. Most of us are healthy for most of our lives. But we're also susceptible to hundreds of injuries, diseases, and conditions. Some are quite common, others are extremely rare. Here are some of the most common conditions that affect humans.


Diseases & Conditions Articles

Does heartburn feel like a heart attack?

Chest pain can indicate acid reflux causing heartburn, or it could be the first sign of an impending heart attack. It’s important to note symptoms in order to tell the difference. (Locked) More »

Should you take an antiviral drug when you get the flu?

Antiviral medications may help reduce the symptoms of influenza. They must be taken within two days of the start of symptoms to be effective. In June 2017, the World Health Organization removed one antiviral, oseltamivir (Tamiflu), from its list of essential medications because of questionable effectiveness. However, Harvard experts say antivirals are the only medication option, have a good safety record, and at least some people respond to the drugs if they are prescribed promptly. (Locked) More »

Avoiding health risks at the farmers’ market

Going to a farmers’ market is a great way to load up on fresh fruits and vegetables. But one should be wary of buying products that may harbor bacteria that can cause foodborne illness. Those products include unpasteurized ciders or dairy foods, such as cheese or milk; and perishable homemade goods (sauces or meals), meat, and dairy products that are sold out of a cooler, without being properly refrigerated. After buying your food items, get them home within one to two hours. Once home, put food away as soon as possible. (Locked) More »

Fall vaccination roundup

There are several vaccines older adults should consider getting. The flu shot is required every year, especially for people ages 65 or older, and for people who have chronic lung disease, cancer, diabetes, or heart problems. The shingles vaccine is recommended for people starting at age 50 or 60. Two vaccines protect against pneumococcus, a bacterium that can cause severe pneumonia, bacteremia, sinus infections, ear infections, or bacterial meningitis. The CDC recommends that adults 65 and older get a dose of PCV13 first, followed by a dose of PPSV23 six to 12 months later. (Locked) More »

Most people with pinkeye get unnecessary treatment

People who get simple pinkeye with redness, itching, and mild discomfort usually don’t need antibiotic eye drops since most cases are due to a virus or allergy. They can use artificial tears and compresses until the eye heals on its own within one to two weeks. More »

How’s your heart rate and why it matters?

When it comes to your heart rate, it's a bit like the speed of your car. What you want is not too fast, not too slow, and not too erratic. In fact, most of the time, heart rhythm and pace are not things you need to think about. And unless something unusual is going on, you're likely completely unaware of what your heart is doing. Heart rate is important because the heart's function is so important. The heart circulates oxygen and nutrient-rich blood throughout the body. When it's not working properly, just about everything is affected. Heart rate is central to this process because the function of the heart (called "cardiac output") is directly related to heart rate and stroke volume (the amount of blood pumped out with each beat). More »

Can any vitamins stop my glaucoma from getting worse?

No convincing studies show that vitamins or dietary supplements can treat glaucoma once it is diagnosed, but a higher intake of green leafy vegetables like lettuce, kale, and spinach is linked to a lower risk of developing glaucoma. Diet may be more effective at preventing glaucoma than treating it once it appears. (Locked) More »

Electronic screen alert: Avoid this vision risk

Looking at a computer or smartphone screen for long periods can lead to computer vision syndrome, which may include dry eyes or eyestrain. Symptoms include blurry vision, discomfort, or headaches. One solution is to take a break from electronic screens every 15 to 30 minutes, just for a minute. Using artificial tears and wearing the proper eyeglasses can also reduce symptoms. So can sitting a few feet away from a computer screen, using softer lighting to reduce screen glare, and using a larger font so it’s easier to see letters on a screen. More »