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Diseases & Conditions Archive

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Poliovirus in wastewater: Should we be concerned?

Published July 6, 2022

Thanks to vaccination, the US has been polio-free since 1979, and the spread of this disease has been interrupted in most countries. But worldwide eradication of polio has been elusive, and traces of the virus were recently found in wastewater in London.

Recognizing and preventing sun allergies

Published July 5, 2022

No one is truly allergic to the sun, but some people may develop mild to serious reactions after spending time in the sun, especially if they have not been exposed to sunlight during winter. The most common "sun allergy" is polymorphous light eruption, an autoimmune condition of the skin.

How do I calm my shaking hands?

Published July 1, 2022

Long-established treatments for essential tremor, such as medication and deep brain stimulation surgery, have been joined by a leading-edge technique called focused ultrasound. This incision-free procedure aims sound waves at a spot deep in the brain responsible for tremors. While scientists study ultrasound’s long-term effects, the procedure is currently used to treat shakiness on only one side of the body. Other common causes of tremor include Parkinson’s disease, caffeine, alcohol withdrawal, anxiety, and fatigue.

Diabetes risk increases after COVID-19 diagnosis

Published July 1, 2022

A 2022 study found that people who recover from COVID-19 face significantly higher risks of developing type 2 diabetes than those who had short-term upper respiratory tract infections, which are often caused by other viruses.

Why does my eyelid twitch?

Published July 1, 2022

Most people have eye twitches at some point in their lives. These are usually a sign of minor physical or mental stress. Spasms can be calmed with a warm compress, sleep, or exercise. People should see a doctor if one or both eyes close involuntarily with spasms.

Can stress trigger hiccups?

Published July 1, 2022

Hiccups are sometimes triggered by emotional stress such as surprise, fright, or nervousness. People can try to stop hiccups by holding their breath for five to 10 seconds, breathing into a paper bag, or sipping ice water. Occasionally, hiccups signal other conditions.

Injections for knee osteoarthritis might not cause damage

Published July 1, 2022

People with knee osteoarthritis often gain temporary pain relief from joint injections. However, there is uncertainty about long-term risks of steroid injections. A 2022 study suggests that the risk may be minimal if these injections are done infrequently.

You don’t say? Does that tickle?

Published July 1, 2022

Ticklishness falls into two categories: gargalesis (which produces laughter and squirming) and knismesis (the sensation of a feather brushing over the skin, also known as light-touch tickling). It is not clear why some people are ticklish, but it may be a bonding or protective reaction.

Answers to questions about long COVID

Published July 1, 2022

A troubling aspect of COVID infection is long COVID, also known as post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection, or PASC. PASC is marked by persistent symptoms 30 days or more after a person tests positive for COVID. Also, symptoms suggestive of PASC may emerge many weeks after recovery from the initial infection. Scientists are still learning about PASC, but they have discovered much so far, such as who may be at higher risk, what symptoms are common, how long it may last, and what people can do to protect themselves.

Corneal transplants becoming more common

Published June 30, 2022

While not as routine as cataract surgery, corneal transplants are becoming more common. A number of things can go wrong with the cornea, especially as people get older, and a partial-thickness or full-thickness transplant can restore vision.

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