Health Library

The Health Library is a collection of health and wellness resources created for learning and accessibility. Select a topic below for related health information or search for a topic in the search bar for more information on other medical conditions.

Emergency Medicine

  • Discusses nonsurgical procedure, called catheter ablation, for atrial fibrillation if medicine is not effective or not tolerated. Also discusses implanting a pacemaker. Looks at why procedure is done, how well it works, and possible risks.

  • Discusses procedure that uses electric current to reset heart's rhythm to its regular pattern. Covers its use to stop atrial fibrillation. Discusses what to expect after treatment, how well it works, and risks.

  • Discusses atrial fibrillation, an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia). Covers causes, including high blood pressure and CAD. Discusses what increases your risk. Covers treatment with medicines, cardioversion, and catheter ablation.

  • Diseases affecting the lungs—such as asthma, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)—share many of the same medicines. These medicines are often delivered through a metered-dose inhaler (MDI). Using an MDI: Delivers most of a measured dose of medicine directly to your lungs...

  • What is deep vein thrombosis? Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot (thrombus) in a deep vein, usually in the legs. Clots can form in superficial veins and in deep veins. Blood clots with inflammation in superficial veins (called superficial thrombophlebitis or phlebitis) rarely cause serious problems. But clots...

  • The best thing parents can do to help prevent drug and alcohol use by their children is to get involved before a problem begins. Starting when your child is age 5 or 6, talk with him or her about how these substances are harmful to kids....

  • Guides you through decision to have cardioversion for atrial fibrillation. Discusses electrical cardioversion and rate control drugs. Lists benefits and risks. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • The following are some obvious signs that a person may be smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol, or using other substances. This is not a complete list of signs to look for. If you suspect a particular drug or drugs, get more information on signs of...

  • Support groups provide encouragement when you have decided to quit smoking. Support groups can: Increase your chances of success. Keep you motivated. Allow you to express your feelings with others who understand. Give you hope and the confidence to...

  • Many prescription and nonprescription medicines may reduce your blood's ability to clot and cause bruising or bleeding under the skin. A few examples are: Medicines (called blood thinners) that prevent blood clots. Also, taking a nonprescription medicine with a blood thinner may increase your risk of bruising and...

  • The habit of smoking is very strong: you puff on a cigarette hundreds of times each and every day—and for many years. When people who have smoked for a long time stop, they find it strange to have nothing in their hands or mouths. They have become so accustomed to handling cigarettes that their hands seek cigarettes...

  • Headache clinics can evaluate and treat cluster headaches. If your headaches become more severe and medicines aren't working, your doctor may refer you to a headache clinic for more intensive treatment. When you are looking for the right clinic, ask a few questions about the services provided—such as what types of...

  • Occasionally a problem elsewhere in the body can cause pain in the arm or elbow. These may include: A neck problem, such as a pinched nerve in the neck. A shoulder problem, such as arthritis in the shoulder. A wrist problem, such as carpal tunnel syndrome. A heart problem, such as angina...

  • A nicotine patch looks like an oversized adhesive bandage. The outer part of the patch sticks to your skin, while the inner portion presses against and slowly releases nicotine into your skin. See a picture of how to use these patches to help you quit smoking or stop using smokeless tobacco. Nicotine patches are...

  • Belly-breathing fills your lungs fully, slows your breathing rate, and helps you relax. Place one hand on your belly just below the ribs and the other hand on your chest. You can do this while standing, but it may be more comfortable while you are...

  • What is an abscessed tooth? An abscessed tooth is an infection in or around the tooth. It can be very painful. If the infection isn't treated, it can spread and you can lose your tooth or have other health problems. What causes an abscessed tooth? Damage to the tooth, an untreated cavity (tooth decay)...

  • To prevent stings from bees, wasps, yellow jackets, and hornets: Avoid flowering plants, gardens, and trees with ripe fruit, where bees spend their time. Do not use perfumes, scented soaps, or suntan lotion. Do not wear bright colors, flowered...

  • Having bradycardia (say "bray-dee-KAR-dee-uh") means that your heart beats very slowly. For most people, a heart rate of 60 to 100 beats a minute while at rest is considered normal. If your heart beats less than 60 times a minute, it is slower than...

  • Learn how being active builds a strong core and keeps your back healthy.

  • If you want to save this information but don't think it is safe to take it home, see if a trusted friend can keep it for you. Plan ahead. Know who you can call for help, and memorize the phone number. Be careful online too. Your online activity may be seen by others. Do not use your personal computer or device to...

  • Topic guides reader through decision to get an ICD for heart rhythm problems. Provides general overview of what ICDs are and what heart rhythm problems can be helped with ICDs. Lists benefits and possible complications of getting an ICD.

  • Just keep moving, even if it's only a few steps. That's what Robert learned is a key to helping his low back pain. "I discovered that what you have to do is this: You do as much as you can." Robert has been suffering with low back pain for more than 15 years. There have been several times when his back went out and he...

  • Getting back to work with low back pain depends on what your day is usually like. But there are some basics that apply to everyone. Moving keeps your back muscles strong, which can help your back. And avoiding activity for more than a day or two can...

  • Learn how to safely get up after a fall and what to do if you need to call for help.

  • Learn how to fix some common tripping hazards around your home.

  • Learn what's going on in the lungs that can make it hard to breathe when you have asthma.

  • Learn about activity and exercise to help reduce low back pain.

  • Learn which medicines could make your heart failure worse.

  • Learn easy ways to help prevent the return of low back pain.

  • Learn why sodium is bad for heart failure and get tips for low-sodium meals.

  • Learn to keep track of your symptoms to help manage your heart failure.

  • Learn an easy way to drain blood from a smashed fingernail or toenail.

  • If you check your blood pressure, you may wonder when an abnormal reading means you should call your doctor. This information can help you understand what your blood pressure numbers mean and when you need to call for help. What do blood pressure numbers mean? Your blood pressure consists of two numbers...

  • Hear how four people kept their friends and sense of self when they quit smoking.

  • Long-acting opioid pain relievers are medicines used to relieve moderate to severe long-term pain. They are also called extended-release opioids. Opioids relieve pain by changing the way your body feels pain. They don't cure a health problem, but they help you manage the pain. If you take a lot of short-acting...

  • Learn how to take small steps toward long-term self-care for heart failure.

  • Learn how to prevent blood clots in leg veins when you must sit or lie down for long periods of time.

  • Learn why taking a statin pill is such an important part of your treatment.

  • Learn some of the many immediate and long-term health benefits of quitting smoking.

  • Learn how to have a healthy, active lifestyle with atrial fibrillation.

  • Learn how to easily check your symptoms daily so you can stay healthy.

  • Find what motivates you to add a little activity to your life and benefit your heart.

  • Learn about treatment choices for sleep apnea.

  • Learn some common signs of a problem with prescription medicine misuse.

  • Get help making a plan to change your drinking habits.

  • Your calf muscle is actually two muscles, the gastrocnemius muscle and the soleus muscle. These muscles can be injured if they get overstretched. Injury to a calf muscle can range from a strain or pull that you can treat at home to a more serious...

  • Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) is a way to replace the aortic valve without open-heart surgery. This procedure is done to treat aortic valve stenosis. TAVR is often done through an incision (cut) in the groin. But sometimes a small cut is made in the chest. The doctor uses a tube called a catheter and...

  • Learn what an appendectomy is and how the surgery is done.

  • An avulsion fracture occurs when an injury causes a ligament or tendon to break off (avulse) a small piece of a bone that's attached to it. The ligament or tendon also may be damaged. This type of injury can happen in the hip, ankle, knee, heel,...

  • What is a posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) injury? A PCL injury is a sprain or tear of the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL). The PCL is a band of tissue that crosses inside the center of the knee joint. It connects your thighbone to the bone of your lower leg. The PCL keeps your knee stable when it moves forward...

  • Learn what an anticoagulant (blood thinner) shot is, and see how to give yourself an injection.

  • Learn about your treatment options for substance use disorder.

  • Learn what's happening to your body during drug withdrawal.

  • You can help prevent the flu by getting a flu vaccine every year, as soon as it is available. The vaccine prevents most cases of the flu. But even when the vaccine doesn't prevent the flu, it can make symptoms less severe and reduce the chance of...

  • What is left ventricular hypertrophy? Left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) means that the muscle of the heart's main pump (left ventricle) has become thick and enlarged. This can happen over time if the left ventricle has to work too hard. This part of the heart needs to be strong to pump oxygen-rich blood to your...

  • It can be hard to know which treatments you may or may not want near the end of life. Learning more can help.

  • Learn how to clean and care for your trach.

  • Take a minute to learn about diarrhea and what you can do to feel better.

  • Take a minute to find out about an insect bite or sting and what you can do to feel better.

  • How does protein help with wound healing? Your body needs protein to help build and repair muscle, skin, and other body tissues. Protein also helps fight infection, balance body fluids, and carry oxygen through your body. When you have a wound that's healing, think of food as medicine. Eat a balanced diet with enough...

  • Learn how to do infant CPR in 3 minutes—just in case.

  • If you touch a frozen metal surface with a wet body part such as your tongue, lip, or wet hand, it could stick. Don't pull or tug. This can cause an injury. Have someone pour warm water on the metal and on the part of the body that's stuck. Try...

  • A fifth metatarsal Jones fracture is a break or a thin, hairline crack in the long bone on the outside of the foot. A Jones fracture occurs near the end of this bone that is closest to the ankle. A Jones fracture can happen when a person jumps or...

  • Opioids are strong pain medicines. Examples include hydrocodone, oxycodone, fentanyl, and morphine. Heroin is an example of an illegal opioid. Opioid use disorder means using these drugs in a way that keeps you from living the life you want....

  • Opioids are strong pain medicines. Examples include hydrocodone, oxycodone, fentanyl, and morphine. Heroin is an example of an illegal opioid. Taking too much of an opioid can cause death. An overdose is an emergency. Naloxone is a medicine used to...

  • Adults with physical, mental, or emotional disabilities are more vulnerable than other adults because they are not as independent. They may have a hard time making decisions. Or they may have problems controlling their behavior. Along with older adults, these vulnerable adults have a higher risk of being abused by...

  • What is withdrawal? If you drink alcohol regularly and then cut down on how much you drink or suddenly stop drinking, you may go through some physical and emotional problems. That's because the alcohol is clearing out of your system. This is called withdrawal. Clearing the alcohol from your body is called...

  • Learn why you need to keep using your corticosteroid inhaler and how to make it easier to use.

  • Naloxone can stop an opioid overdose. Here's how to give it—just in case.

  • Learn how to do child CPR in 2 minutes—just in case.

  • Learn how to clean and care for your child's trach.

  • Learn how to do hands-only CPR.

  • Learn how to care for your child after an appendectomy.

  • Learn what happens during an appendectomy for children.

  • Learn why it's important to prepare for the times when your baby won't stop crying.

  • Find out what to do and when to call for help if your child has a minor burn.

  • Find out what to do and when to call for help if your child has a mild sunburn.

  • Find out what to do and when to call for help if your child has mild heat exhaustion.

  • Find out what to do and when to call for help when children bump their head.

  • Find out what to do and when to call for help if your baby or child has mild dehydration.

  • Learn how to pack a wound at home.

  • Learn about asthma tests for children.

  • Learn about spirometry tests for children.

  • Learn how to care for your IV site.

  • Learn what an EP study and ablation are and how to prepare your child for each one.

  • Learn what you can do at home to care for your child after an EP study and ablation.

  • This article covers the basics of COVID-19, including common symptoms, treatment, the course of the disease, and how to care for yourself.

  • Find out how you'll feel after a catheter ablation and how to take care of yourself at home.

  • Find out how you'll feel after coronary angioplasty and how to take care of yourself at home.

  • Learn ways to deal with cravings when you're trying to quit.

  • Learn what to think about and plan for when you're getting ready to quit smoking.

  • Learn how to move ahead with your plan to quit smoking after having a smoking relapse.

  • Find out what COVID-19 is, how it's spread, its symptoms, and how to protect yourself and others.

  • Learn how to take care of yourself if you have COVID-19 and find out ways to prevent spreading it to others.

  • Learn how to take care of yourself if you have been exposed to COVID-19 and find out ways to prevent spreading it to others.

  • Learn what social distancing means and why it's important to keep your distance.

  • Discover things you can do to while keeping a social distance.

  • Learn the 5 steps to hand-washing.

  • The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is caused by a virus. It is an illness that was first found in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. It has since spread worldwide. The virus can cause fever, cough, and trouble breathing. In severe cases, it can cause pneumonia and make it hard to breathe without help. It can cause...

  • During the coronavirus outbreak, learn what to do if you do if you feel sick.

  • Social distancing means putting space between yourself and other people. The recommended distance is 6 feet, or about 2 meters. This also means staying away from any place where people may gather, such as parks or other public gathering places. Social distancing is the best way to reduce the spread of COVID-19...

  • Social distancing is the best way to help keep COVID-19 from spreading. Here are some things you can do while you're putting space between yourself and other people. Be active outside. Fresh air and exercise are good for you. But stay informed about what's best for your community. Keep a 6-foot (or...

  • Learn about the risk levels for getting infected or infecting others with COVID-19 during different activities.

  • Learn the difference between symptoms of the flu and COVID-19.

  • This topic helps readers assess whether they may have a drinking problem.

  • Find ways to stay connected when you can't be together.

  • Looks at the problem of using alcohol or drugs as a way to cope with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Covers when alcohol or drug use becomes a problem. Includes a test to see if you have a problem with alcohol or drugs and steps for getting help.

  • Treatment helps you quit alcohol or drugs, but your recovery doesn't end there. After you're done with treatment, it's important to focus on quitting for good. After treatment, you may choose to continue with counseling or group therapy. These meetings can help you stay committed to an alcohol- or drug-free...

  • If you have a substance use disorder, your doctor may suggest treatment at an inpatient or outpatient facility. At inpatient facilities, you stay overnight. At outpatient facilities, you come only during the day. How long you stay varies among programs. How are inpatient and outpatient treatment similar...

  • In residential treatment, you live in an alcohol-free and drug-free setting while recovering from substance use disorder. How long you stay varies. You may stay for a number of months or more. Residential treatment may be a good option if you have a...

  • Discusses causes, symptoms, medicines, home treatment, triggers, and prevention tips for children's migraine and tension headaches.

  • Looks at eating plans for those who have had kidney stones. Explains what kidney stones are. Offers tips for preventing kidney stones, including drinking more water. Lists foods you should avoid.

  • During pregnancy, everything you eat, drink, or take into your body affects you and your growing baby ( fetus). Pregnant women often need to make changes to have a healthy pregnancy, such as eating better or exercising. But one of the most important things you can do when you are pregnant is to avoid alcohol and drugs...

  • Some people who drink alcohol, use illegal drugs, or misuse prescription or nonprescription medicines may develop substance use disorder. This means that a person uses these substances even though it causes harm to themselves or others. Substance use disorder can range from mild to severe. The more signs of this...

  • Covers commons allergies, including food, medicine, insect stings, and animals. Covers seasonal allergies like hay fever. Offers home treatment and prevention tips. Includes interactive tool to help you decide when to call a doctor.

  • Discusses what to do for animal or human bites. Covers puncture wounds, cuts, scrapes, and crushing injuries. Covers bites by adults and kids, dogs and cats, and wild animals. Covers home treatment. Includes tool to help you decide when to call a doctor.

  • Minor arm injuries are common. Symptoms often develop from everyday wear and tear, overuse, or an injury. Arm injuries are often caused by: Sports or hobbies. Work-related tasks. Work or projects around the home. Your child may injure his or her arm during sports or play or from accidental falls. The chance of...

  • Covers problems like swelling or arm pain caused by overuse, arthritis, and hormone changes. Links to info on bursitis and osteoarthritis. Includes tool to help you decide when to call a doctor. Offers home treatment and prevention tips.

  • Discusses importance of tracking weight for those with heart failure. Offers links to info on watching fluid intake, activity and exercise, and eating less salt. Covers how to check your weight when you have heart failure.

  • Guides you through decision to have bypass surgery. Explains when bypass surgery might be needed. Covers other treatment options. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Alan is something of a miracle man. At the age of 32, he had a massive heart attack. But more than 40 years, 4 bypass surgeries, 30 angioplasties, and a combined pacemaker/defibrillator later, he's still thriving. He learned how to cope with heart disease the hard way. Alan had always been healthy and athletic. Except...

  • There are lots of things you can do to lower your risk for coronary artery disease. But some diets and dietary supplements do not lower risk. It's not clear if vitamins, minerals, and multivitamins can lower risk. Talk with your doctor about the best ways to lower your risk of heart disease. By eating heart-healthy...

  • Guides you through the decision to have a coronary calcium scan. Explains why a coronary calcium scan is done and what it can show. Lists treatments that might come after a coronary calcium scan. Lists risks and benefits. Includes interactive tool to help you decide.

  • Most people who have stable angina can control their symptoms by taking medicines as prescribed and nitroglycerin when needed. Staying active is also important. Before you get started, ask your doctor what kind of activities would be good for you. But if prescription medicines and activity don't help you manage your...

  • What is smokeless tobacco? Smokeless tobacco comes in many forms, such as snuff, chewing tobacco, and snus . Snuff is finely ground tobacco sold in cans or pouches. Most of the time, snuff is used by putting a "pinch" or "dip" between the lower lip or cheek and the gum. Chewing tobacco is...

  • As people age, they lose muscle strength, which can make them more likely to fall. Also, their reflexes slow down. This makes it harder for them to regain their balance if they start to fall. Learn some strength and balance exercises, and take the time to do them each day. This can help you stay active and...

  • Most people will have a minor back problem at one time or another. Our body movements usually do not cause problems, but it's not surprising that symptoms develop from everyday wear and tear, overuse, or injury. Back problems and injuries often occur during sports or recreational activities, work-related tasks, or home...

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that you wear disposable gloves when cleaning up diarrhea or other body fluids. You may wear reusable rubber gloves if you wash and disinfect them after each use. If you don't have gloves, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water when you...

  • Discusses how and why bruises and blood spots might develop. Offers checklist to help you decide when to call a doctor. Offers home treatment and prevention tips.

  • Most burns are minor injuries that occur at home or work. It is common to get a minor burn from hot water, a curling iron, or touching a hot stove. Home treatment is usually all that is needed for healing and to prevent other problems, such as infection. There are many types of burns. Heat burns...

  • Influenza vaccine can prevent influenza (flu). Flu is a contagious disease that spreads around the United States every year, usually between October and May. Anyone can get the flu, but it is more dangerous for some people. Infants and young children, people 65 years of age and older, pregnant women...

  • Influenza vaccine can prevent influenza (flu). Flu is a contagious disease that spreads around the United States every year, usually between October and May. Anyone can get the flu, but it is more dangerous for some people. Infants and young children, people 65 years of age and older, pregnant women...

  • Includes links to info on back and neck pain. Also includes links to info on drugs used to treat back and neck pain, and guides to help you decide among treatment options.

  • Provides links on nosebleeds, rashes, and blisters. Also includes topics addressing more serious first aid emergencies, such as choking rescues and sprained ankles.

  • Provides links to info about types of headaches and treatment. Covers tension and migraine headaches. Covers avoiding migraine triggers. Includes info to guide you through decision to take or not take medicines to prevent migraines.

  • Provides links to information about drug and alcohol misuse. Includes info on substance misuse in teens and adults and resources for cutting back or stopping drug and alcohol use.

  • Provides links to how-to information about asthma. Includes info on asthma in teens and adults, using an asthma action plan, and using inhalers.

  • Links to information on colds and flu. Covers at-home treatment for cold and flu symptoms, the flu vaccine, prevention of colds and flu, and medicines for the flu.

  • Most substances you get in your eyes that make your eyes burn will not cause serious eye problems. The only treatment needed for items such as soaps, shampoos, and perfumes that get in the eyes is to immediately flush the eyes with water. After flushing, the eyes may be slightly painful and irritated, but these symptoms...

  • Choking is usually caused by food or an object stuck in the windpipe. For tips to avoid choking, see preventing choking. A person who is choking cannot talk, cough, or breathe, and may turn gray or blue. The Heimlich maneuver can help get the food or object out. WARNING: Do not try the Heimlich maneuver...

  • It's easy to get cold quickly if you are outside in wet, windy, or cold weather. Cold temperature exposure can also happen if you spend time in a dwelling or other building that is not well heated during cold weather. Injuries from cold exposure "Frostnip" usually affects skin on the face, ears, or fingertips...

  • Discusses possible causes of chest pain, which include angina, heart attack, pneumothorax, or chest wall pain. Covers heart attack symptoms. Includes interactive tool to decide when to seek care. Offers home treatment and prevention tips.

  • Cuts are open wounds through the skin. Normally the skin is under slight, constant tension as it covers the body. A cut is a forceful injury to the skin. Many people accidentally cut themselves with household or work items, yard tools, or when...

  • In cardiac arrest, the heart suddenly stops beating. This causes blood to stop pumping to the body. If the heartbeat is not restarted within minutes, the person will die. This problem is also called sudden cardiac arrest. Cardiac arrest is different...

  • Backpacks are handy for carrying books—and lots of other things. But if they're not used right, they can strain muscles and even cause back pain. Backpack safety is important for everyone. It's especially important for children, who can be hurt by regularly carrying too much weight or by not wearing their backpacks...

  • Many medicines and drugs can affect the rate and rhythm of the heart. A few examples are: Asthma medicines. Decongestants and cold medicines. Illegal drugs such as cocaine or amphetamines. Some heart and blood pressure medicines. Some medicines for depression and anxiety. Thyroid medicine. Illegal drugs, such as...

  • Covers the causes and symptoms of upper and middle back pain. Looks at treatment with rest, pain medicine, and surgery. Includes steps to prevent back pain from returning, such as practicing good posture and getting regular exercise.

  • Guides through decision to have surgery for sleep apnea. Discusses problems like depression and high blood pressure associated with lack of treatment. Covers alternatives to surgery. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Many prescription and nonprescription medicines can cause confusion or make you less alert. A few examples are: Antidepressants. Antihistamines. Opioid pain medicines. Sedatives and tranquilizers. Medicines for bladder control problems (anticholinergics). Contact your doctor before you stop taking or reduce the...

  • Many health problems cause confusion or decreased alertness. It is not unusual for a person who is sick to be sleepy or confused when he or she wakes up. But extreme sleepiness may be a symptom of a more serious health problem. Confusion may range from mild to severe. Symptoms of confusion may include...

  • A normal heart rate for a healthy adult is between 60 and 100 beats per minute. Heart rates of more than 100 beats per minute (tachycardia) can be caused by: Exercise or stress. This fast heart rate usually returns to normal range (60 to 100 beats...

  • It was a week to forget. Cathy was working hard and training a new employee. She was enduring long meetings. She and her husband had just moved into a new house. And they were set for a trip to Italy in 2 weeks. "I had too much to do and too little time," Cathy says. "That means stress. And when I start stressing, my...

  • Sometimes Patty doesn't know whether to laugh or cry when one of her three kids runs at her for a flying hug. She loves the affection, but picking up her kids all the time is one reason the 33-year-old third-grade teacher has back pain. She tries to smile and gently remind her kids to hug mommy with their feet on the...

  • Ravi thought he was coping well with his back pain. He had gotten used to having pain most days since he hurt his back in college while playing rugby. He figured some amount of pain would always be part of his life. But over a couple of months, Ravi stopped going out with friends after work. He didn't go on bike rides...

  • Commissurotomy is an open-heart surgery that repairs a mitral valve that is narrowed from mitral valve stenosis. During this surgery, a person is put on a heart-lung bypass machine. The surgeon removes calcium deposits and other scar tissue from the valve leaflets. The surgeon may cut parts of the valve structure. This...

  • A balloon valvotomy is a treatment for mitral valve stenosis. It is a procedure that widens the mitral valve so that blood flows more easily through the heart. A balloon valvotomy is a minimally invasive procedure. A doctor uses a thin flexible tube (catheter) that is inserted through an artery in the groin or arm and...

  • Learn about acupuncture and massage for low back pain.

  • Learn how your back is like a bridge and the three things that can fix most back problems.

  • Guides you through the decision to use epidural corticosteroid shots to relieve back pain. Explains risks and benefits of epidural steroid shots. Compares steroid shots with other treatment for back pain.

  • When your back hurts all or most of the time, it can affect more than just your body. There's an emotional side to chronic pain. You may need a shoulder to cry on or someone to talk to. You need support. Support groups—where you meet or talk to...

  • As soon as you start to think about leaving, you need to take extra care to stay safe. For example, if you printed out this information, it may be better off in the hands of a trusted friend than at home. The more prepared and supported you are, the safer leaving can be. Here are some tips that may be helpful. Keep in...

  • After you leave a violent relationship, you may have to take extra steps to stay safe. For example, if you printed out this information, it may be better off in the hands of a trusted friend than at home. Here are some tips that may increase your safety. Keep in mind that this information is not official legal advice...

  • Topic guides reader through decision to get a pacemaker for heart rate problems. Provides general overview of what pacemakers are and what heart problems can be helped with pacemakers. Lists benefits and possible complications of getting a pacemaker.

  • In the past, opioids were used only for short periods for short-term pain or for cancer pain. Many experts now also use them for longer periods to treat chronic pain. You can take these drugs, which are sometimes called narcotics or opiates, to...

  • Jack remembers it well—and not in a good way. "I'll never forget the first time I had back pain. I couldn't move. I had to crawl to the car and push and pull myself into the seat. The drive to the doctor's was hard. The pain was unreal." When Jack got to his doctor's office, he had questions. "What can you do? Will I...

  • What is low back pain all about? Dr. Robert Keller, an orthopedic surgeon, shares his thoughts about the basics. Dr. Keller, many people have low back pain. When someone sees you about low back pain, what do you tell that person? Dr. Keller: This really depends on the cause. If it appears the pain is...

  • Is housework bad for you? Ask Lorna what she thinks. You'll get a lesson in how to tackle those chores—and how not to. "I never had back problems, and then one Saturday I bent over to scoop out the cat box," she recalls. "When I tried to straighten up, I could hardly do it." Lorna didn't have a severe episode. She...

  • Healthy, satisfying sex is very important for relationships. And the fear of having sex because of back pain can be a big problem. If your sex life has suffered because of back pain, take heart. Many people have faced this problem. And there are steps you can take to deal with it. 5 tips for a better sex life...

  • It's a sad fact: You have back pain and you also have housework to do, children to take care of, and errands to run. When you can't find someone else to do a chore for you, keep in mind these important rules: Bend forward carefully. When you must bend forward to empty the dishwasher, pick up clothes, make the bed...

  • Babies and small children need early treatment for asthma symptoms to prevent severe breathing problems. They may have more serious problems than adults because their bronchial tubes are smaller. Although it may appear that occasional treatment with medicines for children who have mild asthma is enough, one review...

  • Use these tips when your back aches. Keep moving If you can, walk for 10 to 20 minutes at a time every 2 to 3 hours. Walk on level surfaces, not on hills or stairs. Walk quickly if you can, and swing your arms as you walk. Lying down for too long can make back pain worse. Sitting can make it worse too...

  • When you have low back pain, try these steps to help you move from sitting to standing: If you are in a chair with arms, scoot forward until you are on the edge of the seat. Bring your feet in toward the chair. Then stand up. Use the arms of the...

  • Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries in children and teens are less common than in adults. But they do occur, especially in teens. An injury that hasn't been treated (or one in which the treatment didn't work) can lead to future knee problems....

  • Medicines may stop a cluster headache after it starts and prevent more headaches from occurring. Finding the right medicine can take some time. You may need a combination of medicines to effectively treat your cluster headaches. Treatments most...

  • What is deep vein thrombosis (DVT)? Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot in a deep vein, usually in a leg. A DVT is dangerous because the clot can break loose, travel through the bloodstream, and block blood flow to the lungs ( pulmonary embolism). Without treatment, this can be deadly. Why does...

  • Surgery is usually the best treatment for a broken (fractured) hip. Three types of surgery can be used. Hip repair (internal fixation). Hip repair involves stabilizing broken bones with surgical screws, nails, rods, or plates. This type of surgery is usually for people who have fractures in which the...

  • Blood thinners are medicines that help prevent blood clots. Although they are called blood thinners, they don't really thin the blood. They slow down the time it takes for a blood clot to form. You have to be careful when you take blood thinner medicines. They can raise the risk of serious bleeding. But you can do...

  • You can help keep your heart and blood vessels healthy by taking steps toward a healthier lifestyle. These healthy habits include not smoking, eating right, exercising regularly, staying at a healthy weight, and getting the screening tests you need. A heart-healthy lifestyle is important for everyone, not just for...

  • Radiation is energy that travels as a wave or particle. Some types of radiation, called ionizing radiation, can be harmful. Radioactivity is ionizing radiation that is given off by substances, such as uranium, as they decay. About half of the...

  • Several medicines can help you stop smoking. You can take medicine to reduce your craving for nicotine. You also can use nicotine replacement products to reduce cravings and give you smaller and smaller amounts of nicotine. Your doctor can help you...

  • Guides you through the decision to take warfarin or a different anticoagulant (apixaban, dabigatran, edoxaban, or rivaroxaban) to prevent stroke. Explains atrial fibrillation and risk of stroke. Lists benefits and risks of anticoagulants.

  • What is medical marijuana, and is it legal? Marijuana is a drug that is made up of the leaves, flowers, and buds of the hemp plant Cannabis sativa. Medical marijuana is the use of this drug to help treat symptoms like pain, muscle stiffness ( spasticity), nausea, and lack of appetite. It may be used by people who...

  • What is a traumatic brain injury? A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can range from a mild concussion to a severe head injury. It is caused by a blow to the head or body, a wound that breaks through the skull (such as from a gunshot), a fall, or another injury that jars or shakes the brain. This can cause bruising...

  • Learn the correct way to use a spacer with your inhaler.

  • Learn how following an asthma action plan can help you take control of your asthma.

  • Hear how others with asthma have learned to control their symptoms.

  • Learn common myths about inhaled steroids, which are some of the best medicines for controlling asthma.

  • Learn how to avoid common asthma triggers to better control your symptoms.

  • Balloon valvuloplasty (also called valvulotomy or valvotomy) is a procedure that widens a heart valve that is narrowed. The cause of this narrowing in the aortic valve is aortic valve stenosis. During this procedure, the doctor puts a thin, flexible tube called a catheter into a blood vessel in your upper leg (groin)...

  • Aortic valve replacement gives you a new aortic heart valve. The new valve may be mechanical or made of animal tissue. You and your doctor can decide before surgery which type of valve is best for you. The aortic valve opens and closes to keep blood flowing in the proper direction through your heart. When the aortic...

  • Learn how a heart-healthy lifestyle can lower your risk for heart disease.

  • Learn how keeping your mood healthy can also help keep your heart healthy.

  • Learn the signs of infection with diabetes so that small skin problems don't become serious.

  • Learn what bypass surgery does for your heart and what will happen during surgery.

  • What is acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS)? Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is a lung problem. It happens when fluid builds up in the lungs, causing breathing failure and low oxygen levels in the blood. ARDS is life-threatening, because it keeps organs like the brain and kidneys from getting the...

  • Learn how angioplasty opens narrowed or blocked coronary arteries to improve blood flow.

  • Discusses how to live with an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD), a device that helps control heart rhythm. Gives safety guidelines and tips for travel, exercise, and managing anxiety.

  • Learn how to give yourself an epinephrine shot for a severe allergic reaction.

  • Learn how to give a child an epinephrine shot to treat a severe allergic reaction.

  • Learn how the Epley maneuver can help you get rid of your vertigo.

  • What is an MCL injury? An MCL injury is a sprain or tear to the medial collateral ligament. The MCL is a band of tissue on the inside of your knee. It connects your thighbone to the bone of your lower leg. The MCL keeps the knee from bending inward. You can hurt your MCL during activities that involve bending...

  • Learn simple ways to keep your back healthy.

  • Learn how to sit and lift correctly to keep your back healthy.

  • Learn why X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs may not find the cause of your low back pain.

  • What are pressure injuries from scuba diving? Scuba diving can expose you to high waves and dangerous sea life. But the more likely dangers are those you can't see. You can be injured if your body isn't able to adjust to the increasing and decreasing pressure of the water as you breathe compressed air. Pressure...

  • It's true—diabetes raises your risk of heart disease. That means your risks of heart attack and stroke are higher when you have diabetes. Diabetes is plenty to keep up with as it is. That explains why dealing with both heart risk and diabetes can seem like too much all at once. But it's also true that good...

  • What is near-drowning? Near-drowning is a common but out-of-date phrase for surviving a drowning event. Drowning happens when a person is underwater and breathes water into the lungs. The airway (larynx) can spasm and close, or water can damage the lungs and keep them from taking in oxygen. In either...

  • Learn what causes most falls and what you can do to stay safe.

  • Learn how getting an eye exam may help you stay safe and independent.

  • Learn how to do two exercises to improve your strength and balance.

  • Learn to spot hazards in your home by using a home safety checklist.

  • Learn how taking medicine at the first sign of a migraine can help manage headache pain.

  • Learn some common headache triggers so you can plan to avoid the ones that affect you.

  • Learn how keeping a headache diary can help you find what's causing your pain.

  • Learn why taking headache pain medicine too often may be causing even more headaches.

  • Learn how plaque in blood vessels can become a problem and cause a heart attack.

  • Learn how beta-blocker medicine helps your heart heal after a heart attack.

  • Get a clear, simple explanation of what happens during a heart attack.

  • Learn how it may take a few attempts before you quit smoking for good.

  • Learn about products and medicines that can take the edge off nicotine cravings.

  • Learn why nicotine makes it hard to quit smoking and how it can be overcome.

  • Learn why it matters that your reason for quitting comes from inside you.

  • Learn why your controller medicines are so important.

  • Learn how to get past those things that make you want to smoke by replacing them with healthier things.

  • Learn how medicine can double or triple your chances of stopping smoking.

  • Imagine your life without cigarettes.

  • Learn seven ways that can help you lower your risk for a heart attack.

  • Vital signs include heart rate, respiration (breathing rate), blood pressure, and temperature. Knowing the ranges for vital signs for your child can help you notice problems early or relieve concerns you may have about how your child is doing. The...

  • What does "high-risk" mean? High-risk means that a medicine can cause serious health problems or accidents. High-risk doesn't always mean "do not use." It can mean "use with care" when a medicine is more likely to help you than harm you. If you take a medicine that may make you feel confused, drowsy, or dizzy...

  • Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) uses a special type of pacemaker called a biventricular pacemaker (say "by-ven-TRICK-yuh-ler") to treat heart failure. This pacemaker sends electrical pulses to make the ventricles pump at the same time. A biventricular pacemaker is implanted in the chest, and it connects to...

  • Learn the right way to lift objects to protect your back.

  • Learn why you need a written plan to know when heart failure symptoms are an emergency.

  • Learn why your daily care plan is so important for managing your heart failure.

  • Learn an easy way to give yourself a back massage using a tennis ball.

  • Learn when and how to use ice and heat to relieve low back pain.

  • Learn how to protect your back and relieve pain during pregnancy.

  • Learn how to avoid things that could make your heart failure worse.

  • Understand how daily weight checks help you avoid heart failure emergencies.

  • Learn how exercise is good for your heart and how to be active and safe.

  • After you've had a heart attack, you may be worried that you could have another one. That's easy to understand. But the good news is that there are things you can do to reduce your risk of having another heart attack. Taking medicine, doing cardiac rehabilitation, and making healthy lifestyle changes can help...

  • Learn tips for limiting fluids to prevent fluid buildup.

  • Post-thrombotic syndrome (PTS) is a complication of deep vein thrombosis (DVT), or deep vein blood clot. After a while, this blood clot (usually in your leg), can damage the vein. Damage to the vein can lead to more pressure in the veins. The...

  • Learn how to give a glucagon shot to a person who is having a low-blood-sugar emergency.

  • Learn the correct way to use an inhaler that doesn't have a spacer.

  • Learn how to use a mask spacer to give a child an inhaled asthma medicine.

  • Learn the right way to use a dry powder inhaler to help control your asthma.

  • Learn how to use a peak flow meter to check how well your lungs are working.

  • Learn how medicines and a healthy lifestyle help protect you from another heart attack.

  • Learn how to start eating foods that are good for your heart.

  • Learn how regular exercise can help your heart get stronger and healthier.

  • Learn why it's important to know your risk for heart disease if you're a woman.

  • Hear a story about how heart attacks may feel different than you expect.

  • Learn how surgery is done to repair or replace heart valves.

  • Learn what catheter ablation is and how it is done to treat atrial fibrillation.

  • Find out what atrial fibrillation is and how it's treated.

  • Learn easy ways to protect your back when you get in and out of bed and while you sleep.

  • When you spend time around an animal—whether it's a pet, a farm animal, or a wild animal—there's a chance you can pick up an infection. An infection you get from an animal is called a zoonosis (say "zoh-uh-NOH-sus"). Some infections can seem mild,...

  • Being active is an important part of growing up healthy, in body and in mind. But active kids can get hurt, especially when they don't know their safety basics. As a parent, you can't protect your child from every injury. But you can help your child keep safety in mind. How can you help your child get ready...

  • Learn how to treat minor burns and prevent infection, and when to see a doctor.

  • Learn how to care for your stitches to help them heal properly.

  • Learn how to care for your cut or scrape so it will heal and won't get infected.

  • Learn how to care for your blister so it will heal and won't get infected.

  • Learn steps you can take at home to reduce pain and swelling after a sprain or strain.

  • Learn how to take care of your cast or splint at home.

  • Learn how to use a compression wrap for a sprained ankle to help control swelling.

  • See how three women found ways to fit heart-healthy habits into their busy lives.

  • Learn about catheter ablation for supraventricular tachycardia and how this procedure is done.

  • Asthma is more than a day-to-day problem that makes your life difficult. Over time it damages your airways and lungs. That damage can lead to serious health problems. So it's important to keep your asthma under control with medicine. What are the types of asthma medicine? Daily controller medicine prevents asthma...

  • See how beta-blocker medicines work in your body and can help prevent another heart attack.

  • Learn how following an asthma action plan can help you control your child's asthma.

  • Learn why a long-acting bronchodilator might be added to your child's asthma medicine.

  • Learn how to tell when your child is using a rescue inhaler too often.

  • Learn how other people quit smoking by using nicotine replacement and other medicines.

  • Find out the important things that happen for you and others when you get the flu vaccine.

  • Practice talking to your smoking friends about your decision to quit.

  • Hear what others thought about as they decided whether to have herniated disc surgery.

  • Compare pros and cons, including risks and benefits, of having herniated disc surgery.

  • Learn how surgery can repair a herniated disc and how long it takes to recover.

  • Learn how home treatment of back and leg pain from a herniated disc can help you avoid surgery.

  • Learn how high cholesterol raises your risk for heart attack and stroke.

  • Learn ways to prevent a return trip to the emergency room for your child with asthma.

  • Learn ways to encourage your young child to take asthma medicine with a nebulizer.

  • Learn how to help your child deal with asthma and asthma treatments.

  • Learn how expressing your negative feelings about asthma will help you feel better.

  • Learn how your child should use an inhaler without a spacer.

  • Learn how your child should use an inhaler with a spacer.

  • Learn how to use a nebulizer, with a face mask, on your child.

  • Learn why antibiotics shouldn't be prescribed to children who have a cold or flu.

  • Guides you through the decision to have catheter ablation for the heart rhythm problem supraventricular tachycardia. Lists benefits and risks of catheter ablation and medical therapy. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Learn why taking your osteoporosis medicine is so important.

  • See how a diagnosis of heart disease inspired others to care for their heart.

  • Learn how heart disease affects you and how to help prevent a heart attack.

  • Learn why having diabetes raises your risk for heart disease and what you can do about it.

  • Learn how others accept taking heart medicines as part of daily life.

  • Picture an exercise plan you would enjoy, and commit to taking small steps to get there.

  • See how to get back to taking care of your heart.

  • See why your doctor prescribed low-dose aspirin for your heart.

  • Golfer's elbow is pain or soreness in the inner part of the elbow from movement of muscles and tendons in the arm. A tendon is tissue that connects your muscles to bone. Golfer's elbow isn't just a problem with the elbow. It also involves the wrist....

  • Learn from another person with heart failure about the importance of taking your ACE inhibitor/ARB.

  • Learn what you can do to be safe when you're taking warfarin.

  • Learn why you need to keep taking warfarin and how to get help so you can keep taking it.

  • Learn what many people tell themselves about a cough that won't go away.

  • Learn what can cause a DVT, why it's so dangerous, and what the symptoms are.

  • Learn how clot-busting medicines are used for emergencies like stroke and heart attack.

  • Learn why it's important to take blood-thinning medicine after your stroke.

  • Learn how to help prevent dangerous blood clots after your surgery.

  • Learn how to start tracking the sodium in all the foods and drinks you have each day.

  • Learn about help you'll get to manage your heart failure at home.

  • Learn how to reach out to friends and loved ones for support.

  • Find motivation to quit by comparing what you tell yourself about smoking and what the facts are.

  • Learn how continuing to smoke will affect your COPD symptoms.

  • Hear how one man with COPD finally quit after many years of smoking.

  • Learn how to assess the things that led to a slip-up and get back on track with quitting.

  • Learn how cardiac rehab works and how it can help you get stronger and feel better.

  • Learn how and why an angiogram is done.

  • Learn how you'll feel after an angiogram and how to take care of yourself at home.

  • Learn how the pneumococcal vaccine protects you from serious infections.

  • Learn how ACL surgery is usually done and what to expect after surgery.

  • Learn how knee arthroscopy is done and what to expect after surgery.

  • Learn how to manage your symptoms and live better with a-fib.

  • Learn how an ICD works and how it can help your heart.

  • See what you can expect and how to prepare for getting a pacemaker.

  • Learn how to be sure when changes in your symptoms mean you should get help.

  • Learn how checking your symptoms every day helps you manage your heart failure.

  • Learn how to adjust to life with a pacemaker and have an active, healthy life.

  • Get motivated to quit by thinking about the example you are setting for your child.

  • Learn how to make a plan that helps you use medicines safely.

  • Learn how a negative pressure device helps heal your wound and what to expect when you take the device home.

  • Learn when having an angiogram is helpful and when it may not be needed.

  • Hear what other people thought about as they decided whether to have a coronary angiogram.

  • Learn about surgery to repair a broken or fractured hip and what to expect.

  • Get tips on how to take care of yourself at home after hip repair surgery.

  • Learn what you can do at home to help yourself get better from pneumonia.

  • Learn how long it may take to start doing daily activities again after a hip replacement.

  • Hear how cardiac rehab helped others have less fear and be more sure about how to live with a heart problem.

  • Learn seated exercises you can do at work or at home that can help you relieve stress and strain.

  • Learn what raises your risk for having a heart attack or stroke and how you can lower your risk.

  • The groin area needs careful cleaning to prevent rashes and infections. Rashes are most likely to form in moist areas where skin touches skin, such as the folds of the groin, under the breasts, and on the stomach. For a larger-sized person, other areas of concern are the folds on the neck, arms, inner elbows, legs...

  • Hear how atrial fibrillation affected three people's lives and how each one found a way to manage it.

  • Think about what you've tried for back pain and what you might consider now.

  • POTS is a fast heart rate (tachycardia) that starts after you stand up. This can suddenly happen as long as 10 minutes after you stand. With POTS, the body does not control blood pressure or heart rate as it should after you stand up. So for a brief...

  • Get tips on how to stay safe in the sun.

  • A nicotine test measures the level of nicotine—or the chemicals it produces—in your body. It's usually done by testing a sample of your blood or urine. The test is used to see if you smoke or use other forms of tobacco. All forms of tobacco have...

  • Learn about the different types of treatment that can help with prescription medicine misuse.

  • Learn the simple steps that can help you reach a goal of quitting medicine misuse.

  • Learn about the importance of finding support for recovery.

  • Learn how to renew your commitment to stopping medicine misuse after a slip-up.

  • Learn the signs of possible risky use of alcohol and think about the role alcohol plays in your life.

  • Hear how others found the motivation to change their relationship to alcohol.

  • Learn more about the different treatment options that can help you change your alcohol habits.

  • Use what you learn from a slip-up to help prevent a relapse and strengthen your plan to change your habits.

  • Learn what bronchoscopy is and how it is done.

  • Learn about appendectomy and how to care for yourself after the surgery.

  • Learn what transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) is and how it is done.

  • The flu and the common cold are both types of upper respiratory infections (URIs). Both are caused by viruses. But the flu is not the same as the common cold. Flu symptoms are usually much worse than a cold. The flu usually comes on suddenly and...

  • Learn what a tracheostomy is and how it is done.

  • Learn how to take care of yourself at home after a tracheostomy.

  • What is a lateral collateral ligament (LCL) injury? An LCL injury is a sprain or tear to the lateral collateral ligament (LCL). The LCL is a band of tissue on the outside of your knee. It connects your thighbone to the bone of your lower leg and helps keep the knee from bending outward. You can hurt your LCL...

  • Learn what wound debridement surgery is and how to prepare your child for it.

  • Learn what you can do at home to care for your child after wound debridement surgery.

  • Learn what skin graft surgery is and how to prepare your child for it.

  • Learn what you can do at home to care for your child after a skin graft.

  • Do not try to remove a fishhook (seek medical care instead) if any of the following are true: The fishhook is in or near an eye. See first aid measures. The fishhook is in a joint, in a bone, or deep in a muscle. You are concerned that removing the fishhook may damage nearby blood vessels or nerves. The person who...

  • Use this form to describe the severity of your heart failure symptoms and whether they get worse. Also, record any new symptoms that develop. Take this form with you when you visit your doctor. Describe severity of symptoms and when they started...

  • Use this form to record the sodium content of the foods you eat or drink each day. This record will help you see whether you are getting too much sodium in your diet. Use the Nutrition Facts on food labels to help find how much sodium you eat. You can tell when your body retains fluid by weighing yourself often. Sodium...

  • Guides you through the decision to have surgery for a herniated disc in the low back. Describes the types of surgery available, as well as nonsurgical treatment. Lists the benefits and risks of both types of treatment. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Covers causes of hip fractures. Includes list of things that increase risk. Describes symptoms and how hip fractures are diagnosed. Covers treatment choices. Offers prevention tips, including ways to slow osteoporosis.

  • Heart failure means that your heart muscle doesn't pump as much blood as your body needs. Because your heart cannot pump well, your heart and your body try to make up for it. This is called compensation. Your body has a remarkable ability to compensate for heart failure. The body may do such a good job that many...

  • Explains how to take medicine for congestive heart failure. Suggests schedules, lists, and pill containers to remember when to take medicines. Covers need-to-know names of medicines and side effects. Also how to handle missed doses, need to avoid certain medicines.

  • Discusses need to watch fluid intake with congestive heart failure. Gives tips on spacing fluids throughout day and how to easily keep track of fluid intake. Also mentions diuretic medicines to remove excess fluid from body.

  • Tells how to prevent sudden heart failure. Covers symptoms and lists triggers that lead to congestive heart failure: too much salt, too much exercise, and taking medicines wrong. Encourages staying with diet, medicine, and exercise plan.

  • If you want to save this information but don't think it is safe to take it home, see if a trusted friend can keep it for you. Plan ahead. Know who you can call for help, and memorize the phone number. Be careful online too. Your online activity may...

  • Guides people not already diagnosed with coronary artery disease through decision to take statin medicine to lower risk of heart attack or stroke. Covers cholesterol and other risk factors. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Briefly covers symptoms and diagnosis of a broken toe. Discusses treatment options, which include home care and surgery.

  • Covers how broken noses can happen. Discusses symptoms such as nose pain, swelling, and crooked or bent appearance. Covers diagnosis and treatment. Also covers possible complications, such as infection and breathing difficulty.

  • You may be able to prevent cold exposure by having emergency equipment with you if you do outdoor sports or activities. Your equipment may include: 2 or 3 fire-starting kits and a cigarette lighter. A pocketknife. A wire saw, to cut large pieces of...

  • What is hypothermia? Hypothermia occurs when the body gets cold and loses heat faster than the body can make it. A rectal temperature is considered the most accurate body temperature. A normal rectal body temperature ranges from 97.5 F (36.4 C) to 99.6 F (37.6 C), and for most people it is 98.6 F (37 C). For...

  • Guides through decision to have knee surgery for an ACL injury. Compares surgery to rest, exercise, and rehabilitation as treatment for an ACL injury. Covers benefits and risks. Includes an interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Guides through the decision to have magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for low back pain. Discusses the problems an MRI can find and why it may not show the source of pain. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • As someone with asthma, you know how important it is to monitor your condition. Your doctor may want you to know how well your lungs are "working." Is their ability to move air in and out staying the same, or is it getting better or worse? When you monitor your asthma, you can control it. When you control your asthma...

  • Asthma is a long-lasting (chronic) disease of the respiratory system. It causes inflammation in tubes that carry air to the lungs (bronchial tubes). The inflammation makes your bronchial tubes likely to overreact to certain triggers. An overreaction can lead to decreased lung function, sudden difficulty breathing, and...

  • Discusses preventing high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) problems in a person with diabetes. Explains emergencies in type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Discusses treating infections early, being prepared, and drinking plenty of liquids.

  • Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a life-threatening condition that develops when cells in the body are unable to get the sugar (glucose) they need for energy because there is not enough insulin. When the sugar cannot get into the cells, it stays in...

  • Alcoholic cardiomyopathy is caused by long-term heavy alcohol use. It is a type of dilated cardiomyopathy. The heart muscle is weakened and cannot pump blood efficiently. If your heart gets weaker, you may develop heart failure. Alcohol in excessive...

  • Thrombolytics are medicines that rapidly dissolve a blood clot. They are used when a blood clot causes an emergency, such as a heart attack or stroke. These clot-busting medicines help blood to flow normally again. Thrombolytics are used as soon as...

  • If a tooth or dental appliance breaks, take the following steps: Remove loose dentures and the parts of broken dentures. Find any pieces of tooth or the broken dental appliance and take them with you when you go to see your dentist. Your dentist...

  • Tells how to exercise to improve health with congestive heart failure. Includes need for doctor's okay and exercise plan. Includes tips on physical activity like stretching, walking, swimming, lifting weights, yoga, and tai chi.

  • Marijuana, also called cannabis, is a drug that is made up of the leaves, flowers, and buds of the hemp plant Cannabis sativa. It is often smoked in pipes or hand-rolled cigarettes. But it can also be vaporized, applied to the skin, cooked in food,...

  • If you want to save this information but don't think it is safe to take it home, see if a trusted friend can keep it for you. Plan ahead. Know who you can call for help, and memorize the phone number. Be careful online too. Your online activity may be seen by others. Do not use your personal computer or device to...

  • Thyroid storm (thyroid crisis) is a potentially life-threatening condition for people who have hyperthyroidism. Thyroid storm happens when your thyroid gland suddenly releases large amounts of thyroid hormone in a short period of time. If you have...

  • Triggers of migraine headaches are different for each person. Triggers include changes in daily routine, foods, hormones, medicines, lights, odors, or other things in the environment. The most common migraine triggers are: Stress (either during a...

  • A good quit-smoking program can help a person quit smoking by providing support and encouragement. Programs are available for you to attend in-person, by telephone, or online (on the Internet). Look for a program that is led by someone who has had training in helping people quit smoking. Better in-person smoking...

  • Guides you through the decision to have imaging tests to evaluate your headaches. Looks at the types of imaging tests used, including CT scan and MRI. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) occurs when the sugar (glucose) level in the blood drops below what the body needs to function normally. Some medicines for diabetes can cause low blood sugar. Even mild low blood sugar can affect the way you think and respond to things around you. And mild low blood sugar can quickly...

  • Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) occurs in people with diabetes when the sugar (glucose) level in the blood drops below what the body needs to function normally. If your blood sugar drops below 70 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL), you may have symptoms, such as feeling tired, weak, or shaky. If your blood sugar drops...

  • Covers using an asthma action plan for asthma attacks. Explains green, yellow, and red zones in an action plan. Covers what medicines to take in each zone. Reviews what to do if an attack becomes an emergency.

  • Elder abuse refers to any of several forms of maltreatment of an older person by a caregiver, family member, spouse, or friend. Categories of elder abuse The 1987 Amendment to the Older Americans Act identified three separate categories of elder abuse: Domestic elder abuse usually takes place...

  • Keeping a headache diary may help you understand what types of headaches you get and what treatment works best for you. You also may be able to find out what your headache triggers are, such as certain foods, stress, sleep problems, or physical activity. Take your headache diary to your doctor. Together you can look at...

  • What is traveler's diarrhea? Traveler's diarrhea is a common medical problem for people traveling from developed, industrialized countries to developing areas of the world. High-risk areas for traveler's diarrhea include developing countries in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America. Low-risk areas...

  • You may have started smoking to fit in with your friends. Maybe your parents smoke or your brother chews. Whatever the reason you began using tobacco, there are lots more reasons to stop: Smoking is much more addictive than you may believe. You may...

  • If you are a woman who smokes and you are thinking about getting pregnant or are pregnant, now is a good time to quit smoking. Women who smoke may have a harder time getting pregnant. Women who smoke are more likely to have the following...

  • Nicotine replacement therapies are helpful for people who quit smoking. They are available in several forms, such as patches, gum, lozenges, nasal sprays, and inhalers. All forms of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) work equally well. But talk with your doctor about what products might be best for you and what...

  • You chew nicotine gum as a way to help yourself quit using tobacco. The gum contains nicotine and feels and looks like chewing gum. When you chew the gum, the nicotine begins to slowly release into your mouth. Then you hold the gum in your mouth between your cheek and gums. Cigarette smoke passes nicotine almost...

  • Your heart normally beats in a regular rhythm and rate that is just right for the work your body is doing at any moment. The usual resting heart rate for adults is between 50 to 100 beats per minute. Children have naturally higher normal heart rates...

  • Oxalate is a compound found in some foods, and it is also produced as a waste product by the body. It exits the body through the urine. Too much oxalate may cause kidney stones in some people. Foods high in oxalate include: Beans. Beer. Beets....

  • If emergency care is not needed, the following steps will protect the wound and protect you from another person's blood. Before you try to stop the bleeding: Wash your hands well with soap and water, if available. Put on medical gloves, if available, before applying pressure to the wound. If gloves are...

  • Guides through decision to have extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy to break up kidney stones. Describes what lithotripsy is and when it is normally used. Covers benefits and risks. Includes an interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • A body digit or limb, such as your finger and toe (digits) or hand and foot (limbs), can sometimes get caught in objects such as bottles, jars, toys, pipes, railings, or fences. You may be able to free your digit or limb using home treatment. Blood...

  • This information is for people who may need to give a person with diabetes an injection of glucagon during a low blood sugar emergency. Giving a glucagon injection is similar to giving insulin. If possible, practice giving your partner or child an insulin injection at least once a month so you will be more ready if...

  • It is important to remove the stinger as quickly as possible after a sting. Even a delay of a second or two in removing the stinger is likely to increase the amount of venom you receive. In less than 20 seconds after a sting, 90% of the venom is...

  • You can gently encourage someone who smokes to quit. Think of your comments about smoking as only one event that moves that person toward quitting. Start any discussion of quitting in a gentle way. Let the person know why you want him or her to...

  • If you smoke, your chance of dying from a heart attack is 2 to 3 times greater than that of a person who does not smoke. About 1 out of 4 heart attacks is believed to be directly related to smoking. Smoking is a much more important risk factor for a...

  • Many common activities or events can trigger the urge to smoke. Knowing how to deal with them can help you deal with these triggers: Finishing a meal. Get up from the table immediately. Rinse your mouth with mouthwash or brush your teeth. Or start a pleasurable activity. Try a walk or a new hobby...

  • Smokeless tobacco products include chewing tobacco and snuff. These products are less harmful than smoking cigarettes. But they are just as addictive as cigarettes and do have serious health risks. Smokeless tobacco causes the following health...

  • A nicotine inhaler looks like a cigarette. It has a cartridge that contains nicotine. You inhale, and nicotine vapor is absorbed into your mouth and throat area. You don't absorb the nicotine into your lungs like you do with a cigarette. As a result, you don't get the same "hit" of nicotine as with...

  • If you are at risk for low blood sugar levels because of diabetes or some other health condition, you need to keep with you at all times some type of food that can quickly raise your blood sugar level. Eating quick-sugar food puts glucose into your bloodstream in about 5 minutes. Glucose or sucrose is the best choice...

  • When you quit smoking, you'll reap many physical benefits. Your taste buds will come back to life. Your sense of smell will improve. Your voice may improve as irritation of the voice box (larynx) from cigarette smoke is reduced. Your teeth will become whiter (less yellow). Your hair and breath will no longer smell...

  • Ask yourself some questions to see whether you smoke to relieve tension, irritability, and stress or to improve your mood. Does smoking a cigarette automatically come to mind when you are frustrated, angry, or sad? Does smoking a cigarette calm you when you are upset? Do you smoke more cigarettes when you are under...

  • Smoking may be a big part of your social life. Do you automatically smoke when you are around someone who is smoking? Do certain people, places, or things seem to make you want to smoke? Do your friends smoke? Friends care about one another, support...

  • Ultraviolet (UV) light can cause serious flash burns to the cornea from a source of radiation like the sun or lights. High-intensity light from welding equipment. Wear a welding mask or goggles for protection. Sunlight (ultraviolet rays). This is especially true at elevations above 5000 ft (1524 m) or...

  • Some unsuccessful attempts to quit smoking result from picking a time when it is harder to quit. If your life is hectic, you may feel there will never be a good time to quit. In that case, pick a time to quit, and do what you can to make your life...

  • Tracking your smoking can be helpful both while you prepare to quit and after you quit. Use it to record information about your smoking behavior, such as: Your list of reasons to quit. Your smoking triggers, which are those times, places, and...

  • Reduced smoking is a conscious change in the amount you smoke. It can prepare you to quit smoking at a later date, even if the quit date doesn't come for a long time. Reduced smoking has some limitations, and it should not be a goal itself, because...

  • Little Leaguer's elbow occurs in young baseball players who throw the ball too hard or too often (for example, more than 80 times twice a week). The growing part of the elbow, called the growth center (physis), widens and enlarges a part of the...

  • A pinched nerve (nerve entrapment) in or near the elbow can cause elbow pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness of the arm, wrist, or hand. The nerve that most commonly gets pinched in or near the elbow is the ulnar nerve. It is located in the elbow area, on the little finger side when the palm is facing up. Less often...

  • Hyperventilation symptoms can be similar to symptoms that are caused by another problem. Hyperventilation can also be directly caused by: A medical condition or disease. Examples include: Asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). A blood clot, such as a deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or pulmonary embolus...

  • What is mitral valve regurgitation? Mitral valve regurgitation means that one of the valves in your heart—the mitral valve—is letting blood leak backward into the upper area of the heart. Heart valves work like one-way gates, helping blood flow in one direction between heart chambers or in and out of the heart. The...

  • Home remedies may help to relieve the pain of an insect bite. While they haven't been proven scientifically, many people report relief. You can try one or more and see whether they help you. Apply calamine lotion, underarm deodorant, or witch hazel...

  • The reaction that you have to a jellyfish or Portuguese man-of-war sting depends on many things. The potency of the venom changes with the type of jellyfish and also is stronger during some seasons than in others. Other things that affect the...

  • A nebulizer is a device used to deliver liquid medicine in the form of a fine mist (aerosol). It is sometimes used for asthma because: The medicine can be given over a longer period of time. It may be easier to use for small children or for people...

  • Vocal cord dysfunction is the uncontrolled closing of the vocal cords when you breathe in. The symptoms can seem to be the same as those of asthma and may occur alone or along with asthma. If you have asthma and vocal cord dysfunction, it may be...

  • Peak expiratory flow (PEF) measures how much air you or your child can breathe out using the greatest effort. It is used in the monitoring and treatment of asthma to determine how well your lungs are functioning. Your peak flow drops when the tubes...

  • Asthma is a long-lasting (chronic) disease that may last throughout your life—you must treat it long term. But following a management plan can be difficult over a long period of time. Here are some reasons you may not follow your management plan....

  • Wheezing is a whistling noise that occurs when the bronchial tubes, which carry air to the lungs, narrow because of inflammation or mucus buildup. Wheezing is often present in asthma. During an asthma attack, the bronchial tubes become smaller. At...

  • Bursitis is an inflammation of small sacs of fluid (bursae) that help joints move smoothly. Olecranon bursitis, which affects the olecranon bursa at the back of the elbow, is sometimes called Popeye elbow. This is because the bump that develops at...

  • Smoking can gradually and permanently damage blood vessels throughout the body, including those that carry blood to the penis. This can make it difficult to get or maintain an erection (impotence). Quitting smoking may help prevent new damage from...

  • If you are like most smokers, you know that smoking is not good for you. But what you may not know is that the smoke from your cigarettes (secondhand smoke) also puts your loved ones' health at risk. Because of secondhand smoke, spouses and children...

  • Use the following measures to reduce the chance of flea bites: Treat animals for fleas. Do not let pets sleep on your bed. Vacuum rugs daily. You may need to exterminate the house or kennel area if infested with fleas. You may need to contact a...

  • To avoid bites from spiders: Wear gloves if working in an area where spiders are likely to live. Avoid wood or rock piles and dark areas where spiders live. Look for spiders in low-lying webs in garages, in barbecue grills, around swimming pools,...

  • There are several types of slow heart rates ( bradycardias or bradyarrhythmias). Each type carries a specific risk of complications and treatment options. Some of the types are described here. Sinus bradycardia When a person has sinus bradycardia, the heart rate is less than 60 beats per minute. This slow...

  • Discusses how to deal with low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) when you have gestational diabetes (diabetes that developed during pregnancy). Covers symptoms and complications of hypoglycemia. Offers tips on preventing and managing low blood sugar emergencies.

  • Fishhook injuries to the eye are rare. When they occur, they can cause a serious injury, including blindness. Prompt emergency room or ophthalmology care is needed to remove the fishhook, prevent complications, and minimize damage from the fishhook. Do the following, and then seek emergency care: Do...

  • An asthma action plan is based on zones defined by your symptoms, your peak flow, or both. It tells you what to do if you or your child has a sudden increase in asthma symptoms (asthma attack). The green zone of the asthma action plan is where a...

  • Diabetes is a disease in which the body either does not produce or is unable to use the hormone insulin properly. The pancreas produces insulin, which helps the body use sugar (glucose) from foods. If the pancreas cannot produce enough insulin, or if the body cannot use the insulin properly, blood sugar levels rise and...

  • Everyone gets angry from time to time. Anger and arguments are normal parts of healthy relationships. But anger that leads to threats, hitting, or hurting someone is not normal or healthy. This is a form of abuse. Physical, verbal, or sexual abuse is not okay in any relationship. When it occurs between spouses or...

  • Discusses signs of when your body loses too much fluid through diarrhea, vomiting, sweating, or exercise. Covers dehydration in babies, small children, and older adults. Discusses prevention, when to see a doctor, emergencies, and rehydration steps.

  • Discusses diarrhea in those 11 and younger. Covers causes such as infection or inflammatory bowel disease. Offers home treatment tips. Discusses signs of dehydration. Includes interactive tool to help you decide when to call a doctor.

  • Discusses diarrhea in older children and adults. Covers causes and symptoms such as abdominal pain and black or bloody stools. Offers home treatment tips. Discusses signs of dehydration. Includes interactive tool to help you decide when to call a doctor.

  • Dizziness is a word that is often used to describe two different feelings. It is important to know exactly what you mean when you say "I feel dizzy," because it can help you and your doctor narrow down the list of possible problems. Lightheadedness is a feeling that you are about to faint or "pass out."...

  • What are the most important things you need to know about your medicines? Make sure you know about each of the medicines you take. This includes why you take it, how to take it, what you can expect while you're taking it, and any warnings about the medicine. The information provided here is general. So be sure...

  • What are the most important things you need to know about your medicines? Make sure you know about each of the medicines you take. This includes why you take it, how to take it, what you can expect while you're taking it, and any warnings about the medicine. The information provided here is general. So be sure to read...

  • Covers common causes of elbow injuries. Discusses injuries caused by sudden injury and those caused by overuse. Discusses treatment options. Offers interactive tool to help you decide when to see a doctor. Covers home treatment and prevention tips.

  • Looks at conditions, such as gout, pinched nerve, bursitis, tennis elbow, and golfer's elbow, that may cause elbow problems. Offers interactive tool to help you decide when to see the doctor. Covers home treatment and prevention tips.

  • Emergencies Review this topic before you need it. Then, when you are faced with an emergency or injury, you will know what to do. Your confidence in dealing with both major and minor emergencies will be reassuring to an injured person. Some of the medical emergencies you may find helpful to review are...

  • It's common for a speck of dirt to get blown into your eye, for soap to wash into your eye, or for you to accidentally bump your eye. For these types of minor eye injuries, home treatment is usually all that is needed. See a picture of the eye. Some...

  • At one time or another, everyone has had a minor facial injury that caused pain, swelling, or bruising. Home treatment is usually all that is needed for mild bumps or bruises. Causes of facial injuries Facial injuries most commonly occur during: Sports or recreational activities, such as ice hockey, basketball...

  • Facial problems can be caused by a minor problem or a serious condition. Symptoms may include pain, swelling, or facial weakness or numbness. You may feel these symptoms in your teeth, jaw, tongue, ear, sinuses, eyes, salivary glands, blood vessels,...

  • Discusses fevers in children age 11 and younger. Includes info on temperatures considered normal, mild fever, or high fever. Offers home treatment tips to reduce fever. Includes interactive tool to help you decide when to call a doctor.

  • Discusses fevers in those age 12 and older. Includes info on temperatures considered normal, mild fever, or high fever. Covers causes of fever and offers home treatment tips. Includes interactive tool to help you decide when to see a doctor.

  • Even if you fish carefully, you may get a fishhook in your skin. A fishhook is a curved, sharp instrument placed on a lure or line to catch fish. Some fishhooks have a barb near the tip that keeps the fish on the hook. You can also use a barbless...

  • Discusses common toe, foot, and ankle injuries. Covers home treatment and basic foot care. Offers injury prevention tips.

  • Details types of injuries to the fingers, hands, and wrists. Discusses possible emergency situations. Includes worksheet to help you decide when to seek care. Offers home treatment and prevention tips.

  • Looks at common causes of minor and serious head injuries. Discusses possible head injury emergencies. Offers tool to help you check symptoms and decide when to call a doctor. Offers home treatment and prevention tips.

  • Provides overview of head injuries in those age 3 and younger. Offers tool to help you check symptoms and decide when to see doctor. Discusses emergency symptoms and when to seek care. Offers prevention tips.

  • Provides info on common types of headaches and their causes. Offers home treatment and prevention tips. Includes interactive tool to help you decide when to call a doctor. Covers when a headache is an emergency.

  • A hip injury can be hard to deal with, both for the child who has the injury and for the parent or caregiver. A child who has a hip injury may feel pain in the hip, groin, thigh, or knee. A child in pain may limp or be unable or unwilling to stand,...

  • A hip injury and pain can make it hard to walk, go up and down stairs, squat, or sleep on the side that hurts. A clicking or snapping feeling or sound around your hip joint ( snapping hip) may bother you or cause you to worry. But if your hip is not...

  • Hip pain can make it hard to walk, go up and down stairs, squat, or sleep on the side that hurts. A clicking or snapping feeling or sound around your hip joint (snapping hip) may bother you or cause you to worry. But if your hip is not painful, in many cases the click or snap is nothing to worry about. Home treatment...

  • Discusses heat-related illnesses. Looks at heatstroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps, heat rash, and dehydration. Covers signs and symptoms. Offers home treatment and prevention tips. Covers emergency first aid treatment.

  • Covers types of coronary bypass surgeries, also called CABG. Includes minimally invasive surgeries. Links to slideshow of CABG. Looks at when surgery is done. Describes how surgery is done, recovery time, and risks.

  • Covers procedure, which is also called percutaneous coronary intervention, to widen narrow coronary arteries for stable angina and heart attack. Links to a slideshow of angioplasty. Describes use of stent and balloon to open artery. Explains why it's done and when it's not done. Includes how well it works, risks, and...

  • Includes causes and symptoms of heart disease. Looks at cholesterol, hypertension, and risk of heart attack. Covers diet, physical activity, and treatment with medicines, angioplasty, and bypass surgery. Includes how to help prevent heart disease.

  • Physical activity is one of the best things you can do to help prevent a heart attack and stroke. Being active is one part of a heart-healthy lifestyle. Eating healthy foods, not smoking, and staying at a healthy weight are other ways you can be...

  • The most common triggers for tension headaches are physical and emotional stress. Sometimes stress is caused by conditions such as anxiety and depression. If you think you may have anxiety or depression, talk with your doctor. If you treat these...

  • There are two main types of migraine headache: Migraine without aura (common migraine). Most people with migraines have common migraines. This type of migraine causes a throbbing pain on one side of the head. The pain is moderate to severe and gets worse with normal physical activity. You also may have...

  • Discusses possible causes and symptoms of migraine headaches. Covers common warning signs like the aura, nausea, and light sensitivity. Discusses tests used to diagnose migraines. Offers home treatment advice and discusses treatment with medicine.

  • What is lead poisoning? Lead poisoning occurs when you absorb too much lead by breathing or swallowing a substance with lead in it, such as paint, dust, water, or food. Lead can damage almost every organ system. In children, too much lead in the body can cause lasting problems with growth and development. These...

  • Although most cases of influenza (flu) get better without causing other problems, complications sometimes develop. Possible complications of flu include: Pneumonia, which is an inflammation of the lungs. Primary influenza viral pneumonia develops...

  • Many people choose not to have the influenza vaccine because of myths they believe about the disease or the vaccine. Myth: Influenza is a minor illness. Truth: Influenza and its complications caused from 3,000 to 49,000 deaths each year from 1976 to...

  • Discusses symptoms of the flu, which is caused by the influenza virus. Covers how it's spread and when people who have the flu are contagious. Discusses prevention, including getting the influenza vaccine. Offers home treatment tips.

  • What is an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury? An anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL, injury is a tear in one of the knee ligaments that joins the upper leg bone with the lower leg bone. The ACL keeps the knee stable. Injuries range from mild, such as a small tear, to severe, such as when the ligament tears...

  • The CAGE questionnaire is used to test for alcohol use disorder in adults. It is not used to diagnose the disease but only to show whether a problem might exist. The CAGE questionnaire consists of four questions that relate to your use of alcohol: Have you ever felt that you ought to C ut down on your...

  • The physical signs of alcohol use disorder can be vague in the early stages of the disease. Some early symptoms include: Blackouts, which cause you to not remember what happened when you were drinking. Blackouts are not the same as passing out....

  • When visiting a treatment center to see whether the program offered there meets your and your family member's needs, ask the following questions. Are the counselors certified chemical dependency counselors (CDC)? Counselors who are certified have...

  • Is this topic for you? This topic is about alcohol use disorder in adults. For information about alcohol problems in teens or children, see the topic Teen Alcohol and Drug Use. What is alcohol use disorder? Alcohol use disorder means having unhealthy or dangerous drinking habits, such as drinking every day or...

  • What is an E. coli infection? E. coli ( Escherichia coli) is the name of a germ, or bacterium, that lives in the digestive tracts of humans and animals. There are many types of E. coli, and most of them are harmless. But some can cause bloody diarrhea. Some strains of E. coli bacteria may also cause severe...

  • You can help protect the person in your care by making the home safe. Pad sharp corners on furniture and countertops. Keep objects that are often used within easy reach. Install handrails around the toilet and in the shower. Use a tub mat to prevent slipping. Use a shower chair or bath bench when...

  • People who have Alzheimer's disease or another dementia are sometimes easily confused and may forget where they are, what day it is, and other common facts. The following tips will help avoid confusion. Use familiar objects, such as a favorite chair...

  • The National Asthma Education and Prevention Program has classified asthma as: Intermittent. Mild persistent. Moderate persistent. Severe persistent. These classifications are based on severity, which is determined by symptoms and lung function tests. You should be assigned to the most...

  • Exercise challenge and inhalation challenge tests are sometimes used to diagnose asthma and workplace asthma (occupational asthma). In an exercise challenge test, spirometry is done before and after you exercise on a treadmill or an exercise...

  • Asthma is a challenging condition. It can affect all areas of your child's life. Many children with asthma miss school days. When this happens, have your child call a friend to ask about the work he or she missed. Doing this both keeps your child's...

  • An asthma action plan is based on zones defined by your symptoms or your peak flow, or both. It tells you what to do if you have a sudden increase in your asthma symptoms (asthma attack). The yellow zone may mean that you are having an asthma attack...

  • An asthma trigger is a factor that can lead to sudden difficulty breathing or other symptoms of asthma (asthma attack). Some triggers are substances a person may be allergic to (allergens). Allergens cause the body's natural defenses (immune system)...

  • An asthma action plan is based on zones defined by your symptoms, your peak flow, or both. It tells you what to do if you have a sudden increase in your asthma symptoms (asthma attack). You are in the red zone of your asthma action plan if you have...

  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is the abnormal backflow, or reflux, of stomach juices into the esophagus, the tube that leads from the throat to the stomach. GERD is found in many people who have asthma. Having asthma increases the chances...

  • Occupational asthma is the most common form of work-related lung disease in many countries. When a person develops asthma as an adult, occupational exposure is a likely cause. Occupational asthma develops when a person is exposed to a particular...

  • An asthma attack (also called an acute asthma episode, flare-up, or exacerbation) is a sudden increase in the symptoms of asthma, including: Rapid, shallow, and difficult breathing. Feeling that you cannot take a deep breath (chest tightness)....

  • It is important to know the symptoms of difficulty breathing in asthma. If you or your child is having trouble breathing, follow your asthma action plan. You are having mild difficulty breathing if: Your breathing is slightly faster than normal....

  • An asthma attack is a short period when breathing becomes difficult, sometimes along with chest tightness, wheezing, and coughing. When this happens during or after exercise, it is known as exercise-induced asthma or exercise-induced bronchospasm....

  • The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (AAAAI) and the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (ACAAI) have developed guidelines for getting asthma under control. They list the goals of asthma treatment as:...

  • Asthma is a long-lasting (chronic) disease that may last throughout your life—you must treat it long term. Taking medicines and following a management plan can be difficult over a long period of time. Taking daily medicines is often one of the...

  • It can be difficult to know whether your child is having a mild, moderate, or severe asthma attack. The following chart may help you. Talk with a doctor if you are unable to tell how severe your child's symptoms are. Factor Mild attack Moderate...

  • Diagnosis and treatment of asthma can be a challenge if you are age 65 or older. You might have another medical condition that masks your asthma. Or you may be more likely to have side effects from asthma medicines or be at risk for reactions from...

  • Exposure to cockroaches may increase asthma symptoms. Cockroaches leave behind particles from their feces, eggs, and shells that can cause an allergic reaction. Cockroaches are a problem in many homes, especially in the southern part of the United States. Here are some steps you can take to remove cockroaches from your...

  • Educating yourself and your family about asthma is essential for you and your child to have control of the disease. If you understand asthma, you will have an easier time following the different aspects of treatment, such as avoiding substances that cause symptoms (triggers) and knowing what to do during an asthma...

  • Allergy shots are a type of immunotherapy treatment in which small doses of substances to which you are allergic ( allergens) are injected under your skin. Over time, your body may become less responsive to the allergens, which means you may have fewer symptoms. Allergy shots are given after careful skin testing for...

  • Discusses infection of the heart's valves or inner lining (endocardium). Covers cause by bacteria (bacterial endocarditis) or fungi (fungal endocarditis). Looks at symptoms like fever. Covers treatment with medicines or possibly surgery.

  • What is pericarditis? Pericarditis is swelling and irritation of the pericardium, which is the sac that surrounds your heart. Pericarditis usually doesn't cause serious problems. Most people get better in 7 to 10 days. When there are problems, they may include: A buildup of fluid in the pericardial sac ( pericardial...

  • What is shaken baby syndrome? If you want to save this information but don't think it is safe to take it home, see if a trusted friend can keep it for you. Plan ahead. Know who you can call for help, and memorize the phone number. Be careful online too. Your online activity may be seen by others. Do not use your...

  • Describes surgery to remove a tooth that is damaged. Discusses why surgery is done and how well it works. Covers what to expect after surgery. Covers possible risks. Offers home care tips. Provides questions to ask your dentist about tooth extraction.

  • Mitral valve replacement surgery may be needed for mitral valve regurgitation or mitral valve stenosis . Valve replacement is typically done as an open-heart surgery. Minimally invasive types of surgery may be another option. This document describes open-heart surgery. Before you have valve replacement...

  • What is Bell's palsy? Bell's palsy is a paralysis or weakness of the muscles on one side of your face. Damage to the facial nerve that controls muscles on one side of the face causes that side of your face to droop. The nerve damage may also affect your sense of taste and how you make tears and saliva. This...

  • Discusses aortic valve regurgitation. Discusses symptoms and how it is diagnosed. Covers treatment with medicines and aortic valve replacement surgery. Covers lifestyle changes to help the heart work better.

  • What is aortic valve stenosis? Aortic valve stenosis is a narrowing of the aortic valve. The aortic valve allows blood to flow from the heart's lower left chamber (ventricle) into the aorta and to the body. Stenosis prevents the valve from opening properly, forcing the heart to work harder to pump blood through the...

  • Covers causes and symptoms of cluster headaches. Covers medicines and treatment that either help reduce frequency or severity of headaches or stop a headache after it has started.

  • Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a treatment to increase a person's blood oxygen level, which can prevent tissue death, promote healing, and help fight infection. This treatment involves a person being in an enclosed chamber while 100% oxygen is pumped in at high pressure. The purpose of oxygen therapy for the...

  • What is carbon monoxide poisoning? Carbon monoxide poisoning happens when you breathe too much carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is a gas produced by burning any type of fuel—gas, oil, kerosene, wood, or charcoal. What makes this gas so dangerous is that when you breathe it, it replaces the oxygen in your blood...

  • There are four main types of kidney stones. Most kidney stones are made of calcium compounds, especially calcium oxalate. Calcium phosphate and other minerals also may be present. Conditions that cause high calcium levels in the body, such as...

  • Discusses extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL), a procedure that uses shock waves to break a kidney stone into smaller pieces. Covers how it is done and what to expect after treatment. Covers risks.

  • Discusses traditional surgery used to remove kidney stones. Covers why it is done and what to expect after surgery. Covers risks.

  • Looks at procedures to remove kidney stones from the kidneys. Explains difference between nephrolithotomy and nephrolithotripsy. Looks at when each may be done. Covers risks.

  • Briefly discusses test used to see if a kidney stone or something else is blocking your urinary tract. Covers how it is done and possible results.

  • For this procedure the surgeon, often a urologist, doesn't make any incisions (cuts in the body). He or she first inserts a thin viewing instrument (ureteroscope) into the urethra (the tube that leads from the outside of the body to the bladder). Then the doctor passes the ureteroscope through the bladder and the...

  • Explains why and how kidney stones form. Covers types of stones such as calcium, cystine, uric acid, and struvite. Discusses symptoms. Covers treatment, including extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy and ureteroscopy. Offers prevention tips.

  • The Epley and Semont maneuvers are exercises used to treat benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). They are done with the assistance of a doctor or physical therapist. A single 10- to 15-minute session usually is all that is needed. When your head is firmly moved into different positions, the calcium crystal...

  • The Brandt-Daroff exercise is one of several exercises intended to speed up the compensation process and end the symptoms of vertigo. It often is prescribed for people who have benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) and sometimes for labyrinthitis. These exercises will not cure these conditions. But over time they...

  • When you swallow food, liquid, or an object, what is swallowed passes from your mouth through your throat and esophagus into your stomach. A swallowed object will usually pass through the rest of your digestive tract without problems and show up in your stool in a few days. If food or a nonfood item gets stuck along the...

  • Discusses swelling symptoms caused by collection of body fluid, tissue growth, or abnormal movement or position of tissue. Includes swelling caused by disease, allergic reaction, and circulation problems. Covers legs, feet, hands, and other body areas.

  • Discusses emergency first aid treatment for heatstroke (rising body temperature of 105°F or higher). Covers signs, including fainting and convulsion. Offers first aid steps when helping a person with heatstroke.

  • The National Weather Service developed the heat index to help people identify days when the risk for a heat illness is higher than normal. During a heat wave, the heat index is excessive for many days in a row. Everyone has an increased risk for a heat-related illness during a heat wave. A heat-related illness can be...

  • Many medicines change how well your body can stay cool. They include: Some antidepressants. Antihistamines. Some blood pressure medicines. Some sedative medicines. Thyroid medicine. Alcohol and illegal drugs such as methamphetamines, amphetamines, cocaine, heroin, PCP (phencyclidine hydrochloride), and LSD...

  • The bones (vertebrae) that form the spine in your back are cushioned by round, flat discs. When these discs are healthy, they act as shock absorbers for the spine and keep the spine flexible. If they become damaged, they may bulge abnormally or...

  • Discectomy is surgery to remove lumbar (low back) herniated disc material that is pressing on a nerve root or the spinal cord. It tends to be done as microdiscectomy, which uses a special microscope to view the disc and nerves. This larger view allows the surgeon to use a smaller cut (incision). And this causes less...

  • Follow instructions from your physical therapist or other health professional for stretching and strengthening exercises. Stretching exercises are controlled stretches that prevent tennis elbow stiffness and tendon shortening. Gently bend, straighten, and rotate your wrist. If you have increasing...

  • Surgery for tennis elbow may involve: Cutting (releasing) the tendon. Removing inflamed tissue from the tendon. Repairing (reattaching) tendon tears if it is possible to do so without overtightening the tendon. Surgery may be done using arthroscopy, traditional open surgery, or a combination of the two techniques...

  • Covers symptoms of tennis elbow, including pain around the elbow. Covers activities that increase risk, like gardening, swimming, or golf. Looks at treatment options, including surgery. Offers prevention tips, including photos of exercises that may help.

  • Covers surgical removal of herniated disc material that presses on a nerve root or the spinal cord. Discusses why it may be done such as for a bulging disc, to relieve pain, or help prevent serious nerve damage. Looks at how well it works and risks.

  • Discusses herniated disc, which is also called a slipped or ruptured disc. Covers symptoms like back pain, numbness, and weakness. Looks at sciatica and bulging disc. Discusses nonsurgical and surgical treatment options. Offers prevention tips.

  • Discusses cardiac rehabilitation (rehab), which helps you feel better and reduce risk of future heart problems with exercise and lifestyle changes. Looks at rehab for people who have heart conditions such as heart attack, heart surgery, or heart failure.

  • A cardiac rehabilitation (rehab) program can help you make lifestyle changes. In cardiac rehabilitation (rehab), a team of health professionals provides education and support to help you make new, healthy habits. Quitting smoking is the best thing...

  • Exercise is an important part of a cardiac rehabilitation program. Combining exercise with other lifestyle changes, such as eating a balanced diet and stopping smoking, reduces the risk of future heart problems. Riding a stationary bike, walking on...

  • Cardiac rehabilitation (rehab) may start while you are in the hospital. The hospital program is one part, or phase, of your cardiac rehab. This phase emphasizes exercise and education. The parts of a hospital program include: A customized exercise program, based on your medical history, clinical condition, and...

  • Your cardiac rehabilitation (rehab) might include an exercise program that you do at home. You might start this program after you go home from the hospital. The home program is one part, or phase, of your cardiac rehab. The goals of a home program are to: Make a smooth transition from hospital to home. Take care of...

  • Cardiac rehabilitation (rehab) typically includes an outpatient program. This program is one part, or phase, of your cardiac rehab. The goal is to lower your risk of future heart problems. You will take part in a supervised exercise program. You will receive information and tools to make lifestyle changes, such as...

  • Cardiac rehabilitation (rehab) includes a phase that helps you keep the healthy behaviors and habits that you learned in rehab. This phase, or program, is often referred to as the maintenance part of rehab, because it can help you maintain healthy lifestyle changes. Your goals are to: Learn lifestyle changes to lower...

  • A bacterial infection may develop following infection with viral influenza. Signs of a bacterial infection include: Feeling short of breath. A fever that doesn't go away. A cough that lingers more than 7 to 10 days after other symptoms have...

  • Body piercing is very popular with both men and women. Many areas of the body are used for piercing. Most people who have piercings do not develop any problems. The ears are the most common piercing site. Most of the time, an earlobe piercing heals...

  • Other tests for lung infections, such as pneumonia and acute bronchitis, may include: Blood tests or cultures. Blood tests may help tell whether antibodies to a specific organism that can cause pneumonia are present or whether specific viruses, such as influenza (flu) or respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)...

  • Common problems may develop with artificial nails, such as: Bacterial infection. You may dislodge an artificial nail from the nail bed by bumping it or catching it. Infection can develop in the gap that forms between the two nails, especially if the...

  • Discusses benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). Distinguishes between dizziness and a feeling of spinning (vertigo). Covers how it is diagnosed. Discusses treatment with head exercises (Epley and Semont maneuvers) and medicines.

  • Guides you through the decision to have an angiogram. Explains why the test is done and what it can show. Discusses why you might or might not want to have the test. Lists risks and benefits. Includes interactive tool to help you decide.

  • Between 1948 and 1971, millions of women took a drug called diethylstilbestrol (DES) to prevent miscarriage. Daughters born to women who took DES while pregnant have a slightly higher risk of developing: Abnormal cervical cells that cause an...

  • Covers causes and symptoms of asthma in teens and adults. Includes info on avoiding triggers and treating attacks. Looks at treatment with controller medicine. Covers delivery systems that include metered-dose and dry powder inhalers and nebulizers.

  • Your doctor or physical therapist will design a physical rehabilitation (rehab) program for you that takes into consideration your normal level of activity, physical fitness, and extent of your anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury. A rehab program should include: Flexibility exercises. Strengthening exercises...

  • Surgery for anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries involves reconstructing or repairing the ACL. ACL reconstruction surgery uses a graft to replace the ligament. The most common grafts are autografts using part of your own body, such as the tendon of the kneecap (patellar tendon) or one of the hamstring tendons...

  • A heart transplant is a procedure in which a surgeon removes a diseased heart and replaces it with a donor heart. During a heart transplant, a mechanical pump circulates blood through the body while the surgeon removes the diseased heart and replaces it with a healthy heart from a recently deceased donor. The surgeon...

  • Sudden heart failure happens when your heart suddenly cannot pump as much blood as your body needs. Certain things, called triggers, can cause sudden heart failure. These triggers make it harder for your heart to pump well. But if you know what the...

  • What are cold sores? Cold sores, sometimes called fever blisters, are groups of small blisters on the lip and around the mouth. Often the first sign of a cold sore is a spot that tingles, burns, or itches. A blister usually forms within 24 hours. The skin around the blisters is often red, swollen, and sore. The...

  • The following is a classification for heart failure devised by the New York Heart Association (NYHA). It is important to be familiar with this classification, because it may be referred to during the course of your care. Class I People whose...

  • If you are under a doctor's care for heart failure, the following tips may help you deal with fluid buildup that causes difficulty with breathing. Note: If your symptoms are severe enough to require these measures and you have not been diagnosed with heart failure, call your doctor first. Also, call your doctor...

  • If you have heart failure, it is important that you do as much as possible to avoid catching colds, the flu, and other respiratory infections. Although these may be relatively minor illnesses in healthy people, they are more dangerous if you have heart failure, and you are at higher risk for dangerous complications...

  • Describes heart failure (congestive heart failure). Discusses common causes like hypertension and coronary artery disease. Has info on symptoms. Covers diagnostic tests and treatments. Discusses heart failure classification system and stages of CHF.

  • The nerves that carry messages to and from your legs come from your low back. By checking your muscle strength, your reflexes, and your sensation (feeling), your doctor can tell whether there is pressure on a nerve root coming from your spinal column. He or she can often also tell which nerve root is involved. Muscle...

  • Slouching puts stress on your lower back. Slumping or slouching on its own may not cause low back pain. But after the back has been strained or injured, bad posture can make pain worse. When you sit, keep your shoulders back and down, chin back,...

  • Bed rest of more than a couple of days can actually make your low back pain worse and lead to other problems such as stiff joints and muscle weakness. If you do use bed rest for a short time, remember the following guidelines. Sitting up in bed puts...

  • There is some evidence that heat will help decrease low back pain. There is little proof that cold will help. But some people do find that heat or cold help them. Follow these suggestions if you would like to try heat or cold for low back pain. Heat to relieve low back pain Apply heat for 15 to 20 minutes...

  • Stress is what you feel when you have too much to handle. You may have too much work to do, or you may be having trouble with children or a spouse. If stress happens too often or lasts too long, it can affect your health. Where do you hold your stress? We all "hold" stress in different ways. Some people hold stress in...

  • Discusses tracheostomy to treat obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). This surgery is done only for severe OSA. Explains that permanent opening in windpipe is created. Discusses possible complications, including lung infection, trouble talking, or scar tissue.

  • What is dilated cardiomyopathy? Dilated cardiomyopathy is a serious condition that weakens your heart muscle and causes it to stretch, or dilate. When your heart muscle is weak, it can't pump out blood as well as it should, so more blood stays in your heart after each heartbeat. As more blood fills and stays in...

  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (say "hy-per-TROH-fik kar-dee-oh-my-AWP-uh-thee") happens when the heart muscle grows too thick, so the heart gets bigger and its chambers get smaller. Many people have no symptoms and live a normal life with few...

  • Gives info on heart problem that leads to heart failure. Includes symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment with medicines, lifestyle changes, and surgery. Also info on causes like amyloidosis, hemochromatosis, and sarcoidosis. Includes info on tests.

  • Comprehensive rehabilitation (rehab) programs offer a variety of treatments for low back pain. They may use physical therapy, pain management with medicine and mental skills, and other medical treatments. These programs teach people how to care for...

  • Covers a surgical procedure that joins, or fuses, two or more vertebrae to treat low back pain. Looks at why it is done and what to expect after surgery. Includes how well it works and possible risks.

  • Covers the causes and symptoms of low back pain. Looks at treatment with rest, over-the-counter pain medicine, and heating pads. Includes steps to prevent low back pain from returning, such as practicing good posture and getting regular exercise.

  • Discusses toxoplasmosis test, a blood test that checks pregnant women for antibodies to the Toxoplasma gondii parasite. Covers why and how it is done. Also discusses what results mean.

  • Discusses pneumonia, a lung infection caused by bacteria. Covers mild symptoms of walking pneumonia and more severe symptoms of other types of pneumonia. Discusses tests used to diagnose pneumonia. Includes info on treatment using antibiotics.

  • Discusses what happens when the appendix becomes infected and inflamed. Includes appendicitis symptoms such as belly pain. Looks at exams and tests. Covers different types of surgery to remove your appendix (appendectomy).

  • The oil (urushiol) that causes the rash from poison ivy, oak, or sumac can be spread to skin from: Sporting equipment, such as fishing rods, balls, baseball bats and gloves, and hockey sticks. Lawn and garden tools, such as lawn mower handles,...

  • If you have contact with poison ivy, oak, or sumac, immediately wash areas of the skin that may have touched the plant. Sometimes the resulting rash (contact dermatitis) can be completely avoided by washing the affected areas with plenty of water...

  • A rash caused by poison ivy, oak, or sumac may itch and produce blisters. If you get a mild rash, you can take care of it at home. Here are some tips to help with itching: Apply a cool, wet cloth for 15 to 30 minutes several times a day. Take short,...

  • Covers test done on a kidney stone to find out what the stone is made of. Links to info on types of stones, including calcium, uric acid, struvite, and cystine. Explains that test can help doctor decide treatment or give info on preventing more stones from forming.

  • Quitting smoking is probably the most important step you can take to decrease your chance of coronary artery disease (CAD) and a heart attack. Smoking raises your risk of getting CAD and dying early from CAD. Carbon monoxide, nicotine, and other...

  • People with one or more close relatives who have or had early coronary artery disease (CAD) are at an increased risk for CAD. For men, early CAD is being diagnosed before age 55. For women, early CAD is being diagnosed before 65. A...

  • There is a link between depression and coronary artery disease. People with heart disease are more likely to get depression. And if a person has both depression and heart disease, they may not stay as healthy as possible. They are less likely to...

  • This test measures the amount of lead in a person's blood. Lead is a poisonous (toxic) metal that can damage the brain and other parts of the body. A lead test may be done on blood drawn from the vein, a finger (finger stick), or the heel (heel stick). A person can be exposed to lead: By eating or drinking...

  • What is angina? Angina (say "ANN-juh-nuh" or "ann-JY-nuh") is a symptom of heart disease. Angina happens when there is not enough blood flow to the heart muscle. This is often a result of narrowed blood vessels, usually caused by hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis). Angina can be dangerous. So it is...

  • There is a strong association between being overweight and the risk for coronary artery disease (CAD). Being overweight increases your chances of having risk factors for CAD. These include high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol. Losing...

  • As part of a healthy diet, eat at least two servings of fish each week. Oily fish, which contain omega-3 fatty acids, are best. These fish include salmon, mackerel, lake trout, herring, and sardines. Fish is an important part of a heart-healthy...

  • Low to moderate alcohol use (no more than 2 drinks a day for men, 1 drink a day for women) might lower the risk of coronary artery disease. If you drink alcohol, drink in moderation. But if you do not drink alcohol, do not start drinking to try to lower your risk of heart disease. You have many other options that can...

  • Discusses using nitroglycerin to treat angina, a type of chest pain. Covers how to take the drug. Provides info on side effects and interactions with other drugs. Covers how to store nitroglycerin. Includes info on when to call for emergency help.

  • Hyperventilation is breathing that is deeper and more rapid than normal. It causes a decrease in the amount of a gas in the blood (called carbon dioxide, or CO2). This decrease may make you feel lightheaded, have a rapid heartbeat, and be short of breath. It also can lead to numbness or tingling in your hands or feet...

  • Insect and spider bites often cause minor swelling, redness, pain, and itching. These mild reactions are common. They may last from a few hours to a few days. Home treatment is often all that's needed to relieve the symptoms of a mild reaction to common stinging or biting spiders and insects, such as fleas, flies, and...

  • Walking on a beach or swimming in the ocean can be fun and relaxing. But just like any other activities, accidents can happen. This topic will help you determine the next steps to take if you have a jellyfish or Portuguese man-of-war sting, seabather's eruption, or a coral scrape. Stings Jellyfish and Portuguese...

  • Looks at sudden injuries like meniscus tears or torn ligaments that cause knee pain. Covers injuries like bursitis and tendinitis caused by overuse. Includes tool to help you decide when to call a doctor. Offers home treatment and prevention tips.

  • Helps you check symptoms of leg injuries caused during sports or recreational activities, work-related tasks, and work or projects around home. Includes bruises, swelling, sprains, pulled muscles, and broken bones. Discusses treatment and prevention.

  • Helps you check symptoms of leg problems not caused by injury. Covers symptoms like pain, swelling, cramps, numbness, tingling, weakness, and lumps and bumps under the skin. Includes pictures of bones of lower leg, thigh, and muscles and tendons.

  • Male genital problems and injuries can occur fairly easily since the scrotum and penis are not protected by bones. Genital problems and injuries most commonly occur during: Sports or recreational activities, such as mountain biking, soccer, or baseball. Work-related tasks, such as exposure to irritating chemicals...

  • It is not unusual to have a problem with your mouth from time to time. A mouth problem can involve your gums, lips, tongue, or inner cheeks, the roof of your mouth (soft and hard palates), under your tongue, your neck, or your teeth. Your mouth may...

  • Discusses common injuries such as a chipped or broken tooth, mouth pain, or a puncture or tear in your lip, tongue, or inside your mouth. Offers home treatment and prevention tips. Includes interactive tool to help you decide when to call a doctor.

  • Minor fingernail and toenail problems are common. At one time or another, almost everyone has caught a nail on something, causing it to rip, or has smashed a finger in a door, leaving blood under the nail. These kinds of injuries can be quite painful but are usually not serious. You can often relieve pain and prevent...

  • Cancer prevention is action taken to lower the chance of getting cancer. By preventing cancer, the number of new cases of cancer in a group or population is lowered. Hopefully, this will lower the number of deaths caused by cancer. To prevent new cancers from starting, scientists look at risk factors and protective...

  • Cannabis, also known as marijuana, is a plant grown in many parts of the world. It makes a resin (thick substance) that contains compounds called cannabinoids (see Question 1). By federal law, possessing Cannabis is illegal in the United States outside of approved research settings. However, a growing number of states...

  • Childhood cardiac tumors, which may be benign or malignant, form in the heart. Most tumors that form in the heart are benign (not cancer). Benign heart tumors that may appear in children include the following: Rhabdomyoma: A tumor that forms in muscle made up of long fibers. Myxoma: A tumor that may be part of an...

  • Most people will have a minor neck problem at one time or another. Our body movements usually do not cause problems, but it's not surprising that symptoms develop from everyday wear and tear, overuse, or injury. Neck problems and injuries most commonly occur during sports or recreational activities, work-related...

  • Nose injuries often occur during play, sports, accidents, fights, and falls. Pain, swelling, and bruising are common, even with minor injuries. Home treatment can usually help relieve your symptoms. It may be hard to tell if your nose is broken. Swelling can make your nose look crooked even if it is not broken. When...

  • Improper posture may put too much stress on your back and neck. The key to good back posture is to keep the right amount of curve in your lower back. A healthy back has three natural front-to-back curves that give the spine an "S" shape. Too much...

  • Many prescription and nonprescription medicines can cause a rash. A few common examples are: Antibiotics. Aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), and naproxen (Aleve). Pain medicines, such as codeine. Seizure medicines. If a rash occurs after your child has begun a new medicine: Stop giving the medicine to your...

  • Problems that can develop when you have your tongue, inner cheek, uvula, or lip pierced include: Pain. Bleeding. Infection at the site of the piercing. Infections, such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV. Speech problems. Chewing and swallowing...

  • Follow these steps to transport a piece of severed tongue: Wrap the piece of tongue in a clean cloth or sterile gauze, if available. Put the wrapped piece of tongue in a bag of ice to keep it cool. Do not put the tongue directly on the ice. Do not...

  • Vertigo is a feeling that you or your surroundings are moving when there is no actual movement. The motion commonly is described as a feeling of spinning or whirling, but it also can include sensations of falling or tilting. Vertigo can cause nausea and vomiting. It may be hard to walk or stand, and you may lose your...

  • Make good clothing choices in hot environments to help prevent heat-related illnesses. Clothing made of synthetic fabrics should be lightweight and draw sweat from the skin. The evaporation of sweat will decrease the body's temperature. The upper...

  • Acclimation helps you remain active in a hot environment with less risk of a heat-related illness. You can acclimate yourself to a hot environment by gradually increasing the amount of time you exercise in the heat each day. Do this over 8 to 14...

  • Each body piercing site has its own normal healing time. Common sites usually heal within the time frames listed below. Healing depends on many things. It can depend on how big the piercing is and how thick the tissue is at the site. Your own...

  • Chili pepper burns are caused by an irritating substance found in the skin of the pepper. This burn can feel like a sunburn, a throbbing and prickling feeling, or a very intense, hot pain. The best treatment is to wash the area with soap and water...

  • Immediately run cold water over the hot tar or hot plastic to cool the tar or plastic and stop the burning. Do not attempt to peel the tar or plastic off after it has cooled. This may remove skin that is stuck to the tar or plastic. To remove tar or...

  • Try home treatment if you think you have an infection in the skin around your nail. Soak your foot or hand 2 to 3 times each day in a solution of 1 tsp (5 g) of salt dissolved in 4 cups (1 L) warm water. After soaking, apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly, such as Vaseline, and a bandage. Do not try to...

  • Everyone gets a bad taste in the mouth from time to time. Try the following simple home treatment measures to improve the taste in your mouth: Gargle with water. Using toothpaste, brush your teeth, tongue, roof of your mouth, and gums at least two...

  • A painful sore or ulcer inside your mouth may make it hard to eat and drink. Be sure to let your doctor know you are having mouth sores. You may need to have your medicines adjusted. And try some of the following home treatment measures to help ease...

  • Signs of sexual abuse may not be apparent without an examination of the genital area. These signs include: Bruises, scars, chafing, or bite marks in the genital area. Discharge or bleeding from the vagina. Rectal or genital bleeding. Anal tears or dilation. Symptoms of a sexually transmitted...

  • Increase your fluid intake to replace lost fluids when you have a fever, diarrhea, vomiting, or sweating. The following suggested amounts of fluids to drink every hour are based on body weight: Your weight Fluid Pounds Kilograms Ounces Milliliters...

  • Acid products include toilet cleaners, battery acid, bleach, chemicals used in industry for crystal etching, and chemicals that are added to gas. Acid solids and liquids can cause injury, depending on the type, the strength, and the length of time the acid is in contact with the body. The damage is usually kept to the...

  • Alkaline products include lime products, plaster and mortar, oven and drain cleaners, dishwasher powders, fertilizers, and sparks from "sparklers." They can cause serious damage in a very short time, depending on the type, strength, and the length of time the alkali is in contact with the body. Alkaline chemicals are...

  • An object can become stuck in the airway at any age but is most common in children younger than age 3. Although a child may not have any symptoms when something is stuck in his or her airway, any of the following symptoms may occur: Rapid, noisy, or high-pitched breathing Increased drooling Difficult...

  • Bites and stings from insects (bees, wasps, yellow jackets) and spiders usually cause pain, swelling, redness, and itching at the site of the sting or bite. In some people, especially children, the redness and swelling may be worse and last up to a...

  • Fire ants are wingless insects that belong to the same family of insects as bees and wasps. Fire ants are found in the southeastern and south-central United States, especially along the Gulf Coast. They tend to attack and sting in great numbers. A...

  • Good posture and the way you move your body can help prevent tension in your neck, shoulders, and upper back muscles. If your headaches seem to be related to tension in this area, be aware of your posture and position during daily activities. This...

  • Symptoms of a nonpoisonous spider bite may last from a few hours to a few days and are usually mild. Symptoms usually occur at the site of the bite and may include: Swelling. Redness. Pain. Itching. Home treatment is often all that is needed to...

  • When your child is not feeling well, he or she may not want anything to drink. This may happen if your child has a fever or diarrhea or is vomiting. It is important that your child drink enough fluids to avoid dehydration. Not drinking enough fluid can cause constipation. When the weather gets hot or when your child is...

  • Objects (foreign bodies) inserted into the ear usually do not cause significant damage. But objects that are inserted forcefully can damage the ear canal or penetrate the eardrum. Problems with objects in the ear most commonly occur in children younger than age 5 and in people who have problems with thinking and...

  • It's not uncommon for a speck of dirt or a small object, such as an eyelash or makeup, to get in your eye. Usually your natural tears will wash the object out. Objects may scratch the surface of the eye (cornea) or may become stuck on the eye. If the cornea is scratched, it can be hard to tell when you have gotten the...

  • Young children are more likely than older children or adults to put small objects—such as beads, dried beans, popcorn, plastic toy pieces, foam rubber, or small batteries—up their noses. If the child doesn't tell you about it, your first clue may be a bad-smelling green or yellow discharge or blood (epistaxis) from one...

  • A puncture wound is a forceful injury caused by a sharp, pointed object that penetrates the skin. A puncture wound is usually narrower and deeper than a cut or scrape. Many people accidentally get puncture wounds with household or work items, yard...

  • If your doctor thinks you might have a heart rhythm problem, he or she may ask you to keep a diary of symptoms. This information can help your doctor find out what type of rhythm problem you have. And if you have a rhythm problem, a symptom diary...

  • Vagal maneuvers are used to try to slow an episode of supraventricular tachycardia (SVT). These simple maneuvers stimulate the vagus nerve, sometimes resulting in slowed conduction of electrical impulses through the atrioventricular (AV) node of the...

  • Electrical cardioversion is a procedure in which a brief electric shock is given to the heart to reset the heart rhythm back to its normal, regular pattern ( normal sinus rhythm). The shock is given through patches applied to the outside of the chest wall. In some situations an external defibrillator, which has paddles...

  • Covers procedure to destroy (ablate) tiny areas of heart muscle causing fast heart rate. Includes radiofrequency ablation and cryoablation. Covers use for supraventricular tachycardia (SVT), atrioventricular reciprocating tachycardia (AVRT), Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) syndrome, and ventricular tachycardia.

  • What is supraventricular tachycardia? Supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) means that from time to time your heart beats very fast for a reason other than exercise, high fever, or stress. For most people who have SVT, the heart still works normally to pump blood through the body. Types of SVT include: Atrioventricular...

  • Provides questions to help you learn why you use tobacco. Discusses the benefits of quitting and offers strategies for quitting. Explains nicotine dependence and offers link to info on nicotine replacement therapy.

  • Discusses common skin rashes that affect those 11 and younger. Covers chickenpox, diaper rash, prickly heat, and contact dermatitis. Offers home treatment tips for fever and itching. Includes interactive tool to help you decide when to call a doctor.

  • Lists common causes of skin rashes in those 12 and older. Covers allergies, chronic skin problems like eczema, or contact with poisonous plants like poison oak. Covers home treatment. Includes interactive tool to help you decide when to call a doctor.

  • Discusses respiratory problems that babies and children can have. Covers viral and bacterial infections, allergies, and asthma. Offers home treatment tips. Includes interactive tool to help you decide when to call a doctor.

  • Discusses respiratory problems that older children and adults can have. Covers viral and bacterial infections, allergies, and asthma. Offers home treatment tips. Includes interactive tool to help you decide when to call a doctor.

  • Covers causes and symptoms of tension headaches. Looks at managing headaches with over-the-counter and prescription medicines. Includes stress reduction and getting sleep and exercise. Includes getting treatment for depression or anxiety.

  • Dust builds up throughout your home. The dust may contain substances that trigger asthma symptoms, such as wheezing or coughing, or another allergic reaction, such as the rash of atopic dermatitis or stuffy nose of allergic rhinitis. These substances are called allergens. Dust mites are another example of an allergen...

  • Explains allergies to insect stings. Covers symptoms. Discusses local and systemic reactions. Covers diagnosis and treatment options. Offers home treatment tips.

  • Guides through decision to take shots for insect sting allergies. Describes different types of allergic reactions. Includes how allergy shots work. Covers benefits and risks. Includes an interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Explains what immunotherapy is and why it is done. Lists specific allergies treated by immunotherapy. Covers how it is done, how well it works, and what to expect after treatment. Covers things that increase risk.

  • You can reduce your or your child's chances of being stung and having a subsequent allergic reaction by preventing or avoiding exposure to the stinging insects. Be cautious when you are outdoors, especially in areas where stinging insects may be...

  • Sexual abuse or assault (rape) can happen to anyone. If this has happened to you, you are not to blame. Sexual abuse is any type of sexual activity that is done against your will. It can be nonviolent sexual abuse, such as nontouching sexual exposure (like being forced to look at sexual pictures) or unwanted or forced...

  • Shock means that your body and its functions are shutting down. The body goes into shock when it can't get enough blood to the vital organs like your heart or brain. This may be caused by a sudden illness, an injury, or bleeding. Sometimes even a mild injury will lead to shock. Shock is a life-threatening...

  • Minor shoulder problems, such as sore muscles and aches and pains, are common. Shoulder problems develop from everyday wear and tear, overuse, or an injury. They can also be caused by the natural process of aging. Your shoulder joints move every time you move your arms. To better understand shoulder problems and...

  • Your wound will need care and observation. After the stitches or staples are put in, the area may be covered with a thin layer of ointment and covered with a nonstick bandage. Your doctor will give you instructions on how to care for your stitches or staples. Be sure to follow those instructions. Check with your...

  • The signs of drug use depend on the drug and the person using the drug. Behaviors that may be signs of drug use include: Changes in sleeping or eating habits, less attention to dressing and grooming, or less interest in sex. Up and down moods, a...

  • Before using tweezers or a needle, try using cellophane tape to remove a splinter. Simply put the tape over the splinter, then pull the tape off. The tape will stick to the splinter and remove it painlessly. If tape doesn't work: Wash your hands...

  • It is important to determine if your wound needs to be closed by a doctor. Your risk of infection increases the longer the wound remains open. Most wounds that require closure should be stitched, stapled, or closed with skin adhesives (also called liquid stitches) within 6 to 8 hours after the injury. Some wounds that...

  • The American Heart Association recommends taking a class on how to give CPR and then use the chart below as a reference. What to do Recommendations for: Adults and older children who have reached puberty Young children until the age of puberty...

  • Your skin type affects how easily you sunburn. Sun protection measures should be used to prevent sunburn. Skin types and sunburn Skin type Skin color when not exposed to sun How skin reacts to sun I White or freckled skin You sunburn very easily and are not likely to tan. II White You...

  • Button disc batteries Button disc batteries are found in watches, cameras, calculators, hearing aids, and computer games. They are easily swallowed by children. These batteries, which contain corrosive fluids, can come apart when swallowed and quickly damage tissue. Some batteries contain potentially...

  • Sometimes after you swallow a pill it may feel like it "got stuck" or didn't go all the way down. This feeling usually goes away within 30 to 60 minutes if you drink liquids or eat a piece of bread. You may not have any symptoms when something is stuck in your esophagus. But when symptoms are present, they may include...

  • Diarrhea is described as an increase in the frequency of bowel movements or a decrease in the consistency of stools that causes the discharge of watery, loose stools. The severity of diarrhea is determined by the size and number of stools passed within a period of time. Severe diarrhea means having more...

  • What to watch for after a head injury A minor head injury is sometimes hard to distinguish from a more serious injury to the brain even when there is no visible bleeding or injury on the outside of the skull. Check for the following changes immediately after a head injury: A significant change in the child's level...

  • Mouth injuries that are forceful enough to knock out a tooth may also damage other teeth or other structures in the mouth or face, such as the roof of the mouth, gums, lips, or cheeks. A permanent tooth can sometimes be put back into its socket (reimplanted). The best results occur if a dentist puts the tooth back in...

  • A chip or break in a tooth may occur suddenly with an injury or develop slowly over time because of wear and tear. A chip, crack, or break in the tooth enamel is less serious than one to a deeper layer of your tooth. A chip may result from grinding the teeth at night. A dentist can recommend a course of treatment for...

  • Signs of rapidly progressing heatstroke include: Unconsciousness for longer than a few seconds. Convulsion ( seizure). Signs of moderate to severe difficulty breathing. A rectal temperature over 104 F (40 C) after exposure to a hot environment. Confusion, severe restlessness, or...

  • When you touch a light switch to turn on a light, you may receive a minor electrical shock. You may feel tingling in your hand or arm. Usually, this tingling goes away in a few minutes. If you do not have damage to the skin or other symptoms, there is no reason to worry. If your skin is burned by electricity, there is...

  • You can quickly estimate the size of a burn by using the "rule of nines." This method divides the body's surface area into percentages. Estimating burn size in adults See a picture of the "rule of nines" for adults. The front and back of the head and neck equal 9% of the body's surface area. The front and back of...

  • It is common to cough for a few minutes after breathing in smoke or fumes from a fire. Your breathing should return to normal within a short period of time, about 30 minutes. If your breathing does not return to normal or if your breathing is getting worse instead of improving, it is important to think about whether you...

  • Note: If a chemical has been swallowed that may be a poison or may cause burning in the throat and esophagus, call your local Poison Control Center or the National Poison Control Hotline (1-800-222-1222) immediately for information on treatment. When you call the Poison Control Center, have the chemical container with...

  • The seriousness of a burn is determined by: The depth of the burn (first-, second-, third-, or fourth-degree). First-degree burns are burns of the first layer of skin Second-degree burns. There are two types of second-degree burns: Superficial partial-thickness burns injure the first and second layers of skin...

  • The first steps to take when a person is in contact with an electrical source are: Have someone call or other emergency services. Do not touch the "electrified person" with your hands. Unplug the appliance or turn off the main power switch. Try to remove the person from the electrical...

  • Note: If a chemical has been swallowed that may be a poison or may cause burning in the throat and esophagus, call your local Poison Control Center or the National Poison Control Hotline (1-800-222-1222) immediately for information on treatment. When you call the Poison Control Center, have the chemical container with...

  • For many second-degree burns, home treatment is all that is needed for healing and to prevent other problems. Rinse the burn Rinse burned skin with cool water until the pain stops. Rinsing will usually stop the pain in 15 to 30 minutes. The cool water lowers the skin temperature and stops the burn from...

  • Dry mouth (xerostomia) may make it hard for you to eat, talk, swallow, wear dentures, or taste food. In most cases, home treatment will relieve symptoms of a dry mouth. An ongoing dry mouth can lead to mouth infections, gum disease, and dental cavities. Some causes of dry mouth include dehydration, breathing through...

  • Mouth sores may make eating and talking painful. The most common mouth sores are cold sores and canker sores. In severe cases of canker sores, a doctor may prescribe a medicine to ease inflammation and pain. Other possible causes of mouth sores include: Impetigo. Symptoms may include oozing...

  • When is bad breath most likely to occur? Everybody has bad breath from time to time, especially first thing in the morning. You also may have bad breath when you are hungry, when you are dieting, or after eating foods with a strong odor, such as garlic, onions, or pastrami. What causes bad breath? Many things can...

  • A blackout means not being able to remember what happened when you were drinking or using drugs. Blackouts are not the same as passing out. Passing out occurs when you lose consciousness. You don't pass out when you have a drug or alcohol blackout. In a blackout, you lose short-term memories. A blackout is a type of...

  • Cuts may slice off several layers of skin. As long as some of the layers of skin are still in place, new skin will form in the bottom of the wound and along the wound edges. The wound will heal from the bottom up. When a cut or scrape removes all of the layers of skin (a full-thickness avulsion injury), fat and...

  • Many prescription and nonprescription medicines can cause mouth problems. A few examples are: Antibiotics. Some seizure medicines. Medicines used to treat cancer (chemotherapy). Steroid medicines. Medicines used after organ transplant. Antibiotics may cause many mouth problems. If you have recently started an...

  • Minor cuts on the head often bleed heavily because the face and scalp have many blood vessels close to the surface of the skin. Although this amount of bleeding may be alarming, many times the injury is not severe and the bleeding will stop with treatment you can do at home. But it is important to know the difference...

  • Many insects, such as the following, cause mild reactions: Bedbugs. Kissing bugs. Chiggers. Fleas. Flies. Mites. Mosquitoes. Nonpoisonous spiders. Ticks. Scabies. Lice. For more information on lice, see the topic Body Lice, Head Lice, or Pubic Lice. Some insects are more likely than others to cause...

  • Most scrapes heal well with home treatment and do not scar. Minor scrapes may be uncomfortable, but they usually heal within 3 to 7 days. The larger and deeper the scrape, the longer it will take to heal. A large, deep scrape may take up to 1 to 2 weeks or longer to heal. It's common to have small amounts of fluid...

  • In the following situations, do not try to remove an object from the wound. Seek medical treatment immediately. Do not remove an object that has punctured and penetrated the eyeball. Note: Do not bandage or put any pressure on the eye. If an object has penetrated the eyeball, hold the object in place to prevent...

  • A bite injury may need to be closed by a health professional, may require antibiotic medicines, or both. The decision to close a wound with stitches, staples, or skin adhesive depends on: The type of biting animal. The size and location of the bite. The time that has passed since the bite occurred...

  • Rashes in the groin or genital area are usually caused by irritation of the skin from many sources, such as clothes rubbing against the skin. Rashes that occur without other symptoms are usually minor and often go away with home treatment. Contact dermatitis A common cause of a rash is contact with a substance that...

  • A blow to the chest can cause a minor or serious injury. It is not unusual to have the "wind knocked out of you" and be short of breath for a few minutes after a blow to the chest. Even after a chest injury, it is important to determine whether your pain might be caused by a heart problem. If you do not have any...

  • An injury to the genital area can cause severe pain. Usually the pain subsides over the course of a few minutes to an hour. Severe pain does not always mean that your injury is severe. After an injury to the genital area, it is important that you watch for urinary problems. Other injuries that can cause problems with...

  • Many prescription and nonprescription drugs can cause weakness and fatigue. A few examples are: Antianxiety medicines. Antidepressants. High blood pressure medicines. Statin medicines for high cholesterol. If you think a prescription or nonprescription medicine may be causing your weakness or fatigue, call your...

  • When your child injures his or her genital area, the pain can be quite severe at first. Usually, the pain subsides over the course of a few minutes to an hour. The severity of the pain is not always an indication of the severity of the injury. After an injury to the genital area, it is important to watch for urinary...

  • The possibility of a spinal injury must be considered anytime an accident involves the head, face, neck, or back. Permanent paralysis may be avoided if the injured person is kept from moving (immobilized) and is transported correctly. Do not move the person if you think he or she may have a spinal injury...

  • Blunt abdominal injuries, such as from a fall or a blow to the stomach, can cause severe bruising of the abdominal wall and bleeding from or rupture of the internal organs. These types of injuries are often caused by falls from a significant height. They can also be caused by car, bike, sledding, or skiing accidents in...

  • Many prescription and nonprescription medicines and supplements can cause headaches. A few examples are: Medicines that contain hormones, such as birth control pills and hormone therapy for menopause. Medicines for erection problems. Caffeine (because of caffeine withdrawal). Some heart and blood pressure...

  • Most nosebleeds occur in the front of the nose and involve only one nostril. Some blood may drain down the back of the nose into the throat. These nosebleeds typically are not serious, and you can generally treat them yourself at home. A less common but more serious type of nosebleed starts in the back of the nose and...

  • Most people lose as much as 1 qt (1 L) to 2 qt (2 L) of fluid during 1 hour of exercise. When you are not drinking enough fluids, your muscles get tired quickly, and you may have leg cramps while walking or running. If you are an athlete, you can lose as much as 3 qt (3 L) of fluid an hour during an intense workout...

  • Many nonprescription and prescription medicines can cause nausea or vomiting. A few examples are: Antibiotics. Antidepressants. Aspirin, ibuprofen (such as Advil or Motrin), and naproxen (such as Aleve). Medicines used to treat cancer (chemotherapy). Opioid pain medicines. Vitamins and mineral supplements, such...

  • Most injuries are not caused by abuse. But bruises are often the first sign of possible abuse. Suspect physical abuse of a child or vulnerable adult when: Any injury cannot be explained or does not match the explanation. Repeated injuries occur. Explanations change for how the injury happened. You may be able to...

  • Some minor pain, bruising, and swelling are common following a blow to the eye. A black eye may show up after 1 or 2 days. A few specks or a small amount of blood on the white part of the eye often appear after a blow to the eye. Use home treatment to help relieve your symptoms. A direct blow to the eye can damage the...

  • Many soaps, shampoos, and perfumes cause some burning in the eye. Flushing these products out of the eye quickly usually prevents any permanent damage or other problems. Other products also contain chemicals that can cause the eyes to burn. Predictably, pepper spray causes a burning sensation in the eyes. But so do car...

  • Ice and cold packs can reduce the pain, swelling, and bleeding of an injury. Cold therapy is usually used immediately after an injury. For an eye injury, use one of the following methods: Ice towel. Wet a towel with cold water and squeeze it until it is just damp. Fold the towel, place it in a plastic...

  • Warmth may relieve pain, relax muscle spasms, increase circulation, and help heal a wound or other problems that affect the eye. For an eye problem, use either of the following methods: Dry warmth. Place a protective layer of fabric between a warm compress and the skin. Heating pads and hot water...

  • Disc batteries (also called button cell batteries) are found in toys, watches, hearing aids, cameras, calculators, and some remote-controlled devices. These batteries are small, usually less than 0.5 in. (1.3 cm) across, and can be easily inserted into the nose. A disc battery in the nose must be removed...

  • Some insect and spider bites or stings can cause flu-like symptoms to develop within hours of a bite or sting. Or symptoms may be delayed up to 3 weeks. Flu-like symptoms include: Fever. Shaking chills. Muscle or joint aches. Headache. Swollen glands. A vague feeling of illness (malaise). Flu-like symptoms may...

  • The inability to move a part of your body (paralysis) as a result of a tick bite is a rare problem. Tick paralysis can be caused by several different types of ticks in North America. The symptoms of tick paralysis are caused by the venom secreted from the female tick during feeding. Symptoms usually start 4 to 7 days...

  • Many of the diseases ticks pass to humans can cause flu-like symptoms, including: Fever. Headache. Muscle aches (myalgia). A general feeling of illness (malaise). Nausea and vomiting. Diseases ticks may pass to humans include: Lyme disease. Symptoms usually start 1 to 4 weeks after the tick bite, with up to 90%...

  • Many prescription and nonprescription medicines can cause diarrhea. A few examples are: Antibiotics. Antidepressants. Antacids. Proton pump inhibitors, such as omeprazole (Prilosec) and lansoprazole (Prevacid). Medicines used to treat cancer (chemotherapy). Many antibiotics cause diarrhea. Usually the diarrhea...

  • Poisonous snake or lizard bite A bite from a poisonous (venomous) snake or lizard requires emergency care. If you have been bitten by a snake or lizard that you know or think might be poisonous, call or other emergency services immediately. Do not wait for symptoms to develop. If you are not sure what type of...

  • Sunlight can help our mental outlook and help us feel healthier. For people who have arthritis, the sun's warmth can help relieve some of their physical pain. Many people also think that a suntan makes a person look young and healthy. But sunlight can be harmful to the skin, causing immediate problems as well as...

  • Scrapes (abrasions) are skin wounds that rub or tear off skin. Most scrapes are shallow and do not extend far into the skin, but some may remove several layers of skin. Usually there is little bleeding from a scrape, but it may ooze pinkish fluid....

  • Cardiomyopathy is a disease that affects the heart muscle and the way it pumps. There are different types of cardiomyopathies. And these types have different causes. Cardiomyopathy may occur as a result of damage to the heart, such as from a heart attack, or a person may inherit the tendency to develop it. What...

  • Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction. If your child has had a severe allergic reaction in the past, you know how frightening it can be. Symptoms of breathing problems, itching, nausea or vomiting, and swelling can come on quickly and become life-threatening. Giving your child an epinephrine shot can slow down or...

  • Covers control of asthma with asthma action plan. Includes working with doctor on a plan and medicines for symptoms and attacks. Includes use of controller medicine and peak flow meter. Reviews avoiding triggers and keeping asthma diary.

  • What is fainting? Fainting is a sudden, brief loss of consciousness. When people faint, or pass out, they usually fall down. After they are lying down, most people will recover quickly. The term doctors use for fainting is syncope (say "SING-kuh-pee"). Fainting one time is usually nothing to worry about. But it is a...

  • If you need oxygen at home, it is important to learn how to use and take care of your equipment. This information will help you get the most from your oxygen treatment. If you have low blood oxygen levels, breathing extra oxygen can help you feel better and lead to a longer, more active life. You can travel even...

  • Guides through decision to take antiviral medicine for the flu. Explains the two types of antiviral medicines for the flu and who should take them. Covers benefits and risks. Includes an interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Guides you through the decision to get a flu vaccine. Provides info on the flu vaccine. Explains who should and should not get a flu vaccine. Covers benefits and risks. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Discusses pacemakers to control heart rhythm. Gives information on safety guidelines and tips for exercise and travel.

  • Programs to screen for lead poisoning focus on finding children or adults who are likely to be exposed to lead. These programs, developed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), advise local and state agencies to determine which geographic areas are the most likely to be at risk for lead exposure...

  • Ticks are small spiderlike animals (arachnids) that bite to fasten themselves onto the skin and feed on blood. Ticks live in the fur and feathers of many birds and animals. Tick bites occur most often during early spring to late summer and in areas where there are many wild animals and birds. Most ticks don't carry...

  • If the herpes simplex virus (HSV) invades a part of the body other than the genital area, it may cause disease in that part of the body. In general, complications are rare. And they usually occur with the first-time (primary) genital herpes outbreak. Some of these complications include: Meningitis, an infection of the...

  • Is this topic for you? This topic is about many different types of food poisoning. You can also see the topics E. Coli Infection and Toxoplasmosis During Pregnancy. What is food poisoning? Food poisoning is an illness caused by eating foods that have harmful organisms in them. These harmful germs can...

  • Wash your hands often and prepare foods properly to reduce the risk of food poisoning . How to wash your hands The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the following steps for hand-washing: Wash your hands with running water, and apply soap. Rub your hands together to make a lather. Scrub...

  • There are things you can do while shopping to help prevent food poisoning. Put raw meat, poultry, eggs, fish, and shellfish in separate bags, and do not mix them with other food items. Do not buy meat or poultry that has a tear in the package or is leaking. Pick up your refrigerated and frozen items at the end of...

  • It is important to cook foods at a safe temperature to avoid food poisoning. The following picture shows you safe temperatures for a number of foods. Adapted from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service (2011). Safe Minimum Cooking Temperatures. Available online...

  • Storing food promptly and correctly can help prevent food poisoning. Set your refrigerator at or below 40 F (4 C) and your freezer at or below 0 F (-18 C). Refrigerate or freeze meat, poultry, eggs, fish, shellfish, ready-to-eat foods, and leftovers within 2 hours or sooner. If the temperature outdoors is above 90 F...

  • Food packaging labels provide information about when to use the food and how to store it. Reading food labels and following safety instructions will greatly reduce your chance of becoming ill with food poisoning. The following guidelines are included on a packaging label. Sell by: This tells the store...

  • You can help prevent food poisoning by taking precautions when serving food. Keep hot foods hot [ 140 F (60 C) or above] and cold foods cold [ 40 F (4 C) or below]. Never leave meat, poultry, eggs, fish, or shellfish (raw or cooked) at room temperature for more than 2 hours. If the temperature outdoors is...

  • What is food-borne botulism? Food-borne botulism is a rare but serious type of food poisoning that can result in paralysis. It is caused by the Clostridium botulinum ( C. botulinum) bacterium. The bacteria produce a nerve toxin that can cause paralysis. Food-borne botulism can be fatal and is considered a medical...

  • What is campylobacteriosis? Campylobacteriosis is food poisoning caused by the campylobacter bacterium. It is one of the most common causes of diarrhea in the United States, affecting more than 2.4 million people every year. Campylobacteriosis occurs much more often in the summer months than in the winter months...

  • What is salmonellosis? Salmonellosis is a type of food poisoning caused by the Salmonella enterica bacterium. There are many different kinds of these bacteria. Salmonella serotype Typhimurium and Salmonella serotype Enteritidis are the most common types in the United States. Salmonellosis is more common in the summer...

  • What is staph food poisoning? Staph food poisoning is a type of food poisoning caused by infection with the Staphylococcus aureus ( S. aureus) bacterium. The bacteria multiply in foods and produce toxins especially if food is kept at room temperature. The toxins may be present in dangerous amounts in foods that have...

  • What is shigellosis? Shigellosis is a type of food poisoning caused by infection with the shigella bacterium. It is more common in summer than winter. Children ages 2 to 4 are most likely to get the condition. What causes shigellosis? Shigellosis is spread when the bacteria in feces (stool) or on soiled fingers are...

  • What is C. perfringens food poisoning? C. perfringens food poisoning is caused by infection with the Clostridium perfringens ( C. perfringens) bacterium. C. perfringens is found frequently in the intestines of humans and many animals and is present in soil and areas contaminated by human or animal feces...

  • Explains what a drug allergy is. Offers a list of symptoms. Covers medicines that can cause an allergic reaction. Discusses how allergies are diagnosed and treated. Provides home treatment options. Covers when to call a doctor.

  • What is penicillin allergy? A penicillin allergy is an allergic reaction that occurs when your body's immune system overreacts to penicillin antibiotics. What are the symptoms of penicillin allergy? Common allergic reactions to penicillin include rashes, hives, itchy eyes, and swollen lips, tongue, or...

  • Heart block refers to an abnormality in the way electricity passes through the normal electrical pathways of the heart. The abnormality "blocks" the electrical impulse from continuing through the normal pathways and usually results in a slower heart rate. What causes heart block? Heart block can be caused...

  • Is it safe for you to have sex? If you have an arrhythmia and your doctor says that it's okay for you to do moderate activity, like brisk walking, then it's probably safe for you to have sex. If you have any concerns, ask your doctor. Your doctor can check the health of your heart and help you know if it's safe...

  • Are there driving restrictions for people with heart rhythm problems? If you have an arrhythmia or an ICD that makes it dangerous for you to drive, your doctor might suggest that you stop driving, at least for a short time. If you have an arrhythmia that doesn't cause significant symptoms, you don't have to stop or...

  • Sick sinus syndrome is the name given to a group of arrhythmias that occur because the normal pacemaker of the heart (the sinus node) does not work properly. Sick sinus syndrome is also called sinus node dysfunction. For more information on other types of sinus node problems, see Types of Bradycardia. What...

  • Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) syndrome is a heart rhythm problem that causes a very fast heart rate. WPW is one type of supraventricular tachycardia called atrioventricular reciprocating tachycardia (AVRT). With WPW, an extra electrical pathway links the upper chambers (atria) and lower chambers (ventricles) of the...

  • Heart rhythm problems, called arrhythmias, can cause a few types of symptoms. These symptoms happen because the heart isn't beating regularly or may not be pumping blood as well as normal. Some of these symptoms include palpitations, lightheadedness, fainting, and shortness of breath. Palpitations Having palpitations...

  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a genetic disease in which the heart muscle grows abnormally, making the heart muscle thicken. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is described as either obstructive or nonobstructive. Nonobstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. The heart muscle is abnormally thick but not to...

  • Some people who have hypertrophic cardiomyopathy are at high risk for sudden death. It can occur at any age, but it is most shocking when it happens to young adults or athletes. While the media often highlight these tragic deaths, sudden death is...

  • When can I have sex again? Sex is part of a healthy life and part of your quality of life. It is safe for most people after they have had a heart attack. After a heart attack, you can resume sexual activity when you are healthy and feel ready for it. You could be ready if you can do mild or moderate activity...

  • Some risk factors—things that increase your risk—for coronary artery disease (CAD), such as your gender, age, and family history, cannot be changed. Other risk factors for CAD are related to lifestyle and often can be changed. Your chance of developing coronary artery disease increases with the number of risk factors...

  • If you have an irregular heartbeat ( arrhythmia), ask your doctor what type and level of exercise is safe for you. Regular activity can help keep your heart and body healthy. The type and amount of exercise that is allowable will vary depending on the cause of your abnormal heart rhythm and whether you have other...

  • Discusses pacemakers used to treat bradycardia. Discusses various types of pacemakers. Covers how they work and how well they work, risks, and possible side effects.

  • What is an ankle sprain? Most people have twisted an ankle at some point in their life. But if your ankle gets swollen and painful after you twist it, you have most likely sprained it. This means you have stretched and possibly torn the ligaments in your ankle. Even though ankle sprains are common, they are not...

  • Kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty are surgeries that are done to try to relieve pain from compression fractures of the spine by stabilizing the broken bone with a substance that works like cement. These surgeries are not done very often, because most fractures heal on their own. Fractures can happen because of...

  • Ankle sprains are common injuries that can result in lifelong problems. Some people with repeated or severe sprains can develop long-term joint pain and weakness. Treating a sprained ankle can help prevent ongoing ankle problems. Rehabilitation (rehab) exercises are critical to ensure that the ankle heals completely...

  • Ankle sprains are common injuries that can result in lifelong problems. Some people with repeated or severe sprains can develop long-term joint pain and weakness. Treating a sprained ankle can help prevent ongoing ankle problems. If an ankle sprain does not heal correctly, the joint may become unstable, resulting in a...

  • What you pack in your first aid kit will depend on where and how long you plan to travel and the medical care available there. Here is a general list of items to include. Insect repellent Sunscreen (SPF 30 to 50) and lip screen Thermometer Oral rehydration solution packets Basic first aid items (adhesive bandages...

  • What is domestic violence? If you want to save this information but don't think it is safe to take it home, see if a trusted friend can keep it for you. Plan ahead. Know who you can call for help, and memorize the phone number. Be careful online too. Your online activity may be seen by others. Do not use your personal...

  • If you want to save this information but don't think it is safe to take it home, see if a trusted friend can keep it for you. Plan ahead. Know who you can call for help, and memorize the phone number. Be careful online too. Your online activity may...

  • If you want to save this information but don't think it is safe to take it home, see if a trusted friend can keep it for you. Plan ahead. Know who you can call for help, and memorize the phone number. Be careful online too. Your online activity may...

  • Covers importance of exercising regularly when you have coronary artery disease. Guides you through steps of starting a complete exercise program that includes aerobic exercise, strength training, and stretching. Explains how to set goals you can reach.

  • Covers risk of heart disease and stroke in women. Lists things that increase risk. Lists prevention steps, such as diet, exercise, not smoking, managing cholesterol and blood pressure, and making decisions on birth control and hormone therapy.

  • If you want to learn about supraventricular tachycardia (SVT), go to the topic Supraventricular Tachycardia. What is ventricular tachycardia? Ventricular tachycardia is a type of fast heart rhythm that starts in the lower part of the heart (ventricles). The heart might beat more than 100 beats per minute...

  • Discusses taking aspirin to prevent a first and second heart attack for people who have coronary artery disease. Covers aspirin therapy to help lower risk of a stroke. Discusses if aspirin therapy is for you. Looks at things to avoid while taking aspirin.

  • Interactive tool measures your readiness to quit smoking. Helps you identify the stage of change that you're in. Offers questions to help you think about what to do next. Includes link to more extensive info on quitting tobacco use.

  • A person who is choking cannot talk, cough, or breathe, and may turn gray or blue. The Heimlich maneuver can help get the food or object out. WARNING: Do not try the Heimlich maneuver unless you are sure the person is choking. If the person can cough or make sounds, let him or her cough to try to get the object out...

  • If the baby can cough or make sounds, let him or her cough to try to get the object out. If you are worried about the baby's breathing, call. WARNING: Do not begin the choking rescue procedure unless you are certain that the baby is choking. If a baby can't breathe, cough, or make sounds, then: Put the...

  • Many prescription and nonprescription medicines can cause a rash. A few common examples are: Antibiotics. Aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), and naproxen (Aleve). Pain medicines, such as codeine. Seizure medicines. If a rash occurs after you have begun a new medicine: Call the doctor who prescribed the medicine...

  • The copperhead is a poisonous (venomous) pit viper found in areas extending from the eastern United States to Texas. Copperheads may leave distinctive double marks on the skin. They leave one, two, or three puncture marks on the skin, but you won't always see any marks. A copperhead has: Hourglass-shaped...

  • Coral snakes are found in tropical regions of North America and are often confused with nonpoisonous (nonvenomous) milk snakes because they look similar. A coral snake can be up to 3 ft (1 m) long and has: Red, yellow, and black bands along the length of the body. Round pupils and a black nose...

  • The cottonmouth, also called a water moccasin, is a poisonous (venomous) snake found in southeastern and south central North America. They leave one, two, or three puncture marks on the skin, but you won't always see any marks. Water moccasins can be up to 6 ft (2 m) long and have: Distinctive white...

  • The Gila monster and the Mexican beaded lizard are two types of poisonous (venomous) lizards found in North America. These large, thick-bodied lizards have short, stubby limbs. They live in desert regions of the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. Poisonous lizards do not generally bite unless they are...

  • Rattlesnakes are the most widely known of the pit vipers (family Viperidae). They are found throughout the United States and parts of Canada and account for most poisonous (venomous) snakebites in North America. They leave one, two, or three puncture marks on the skin, but you won't always see any marks...

  • Pit vipers, such as the rattlesnake, copperhead, and cottonmouth (also called water moccasin), are poisonous (venomous) snakes. They leave one, two, or three puncture marks on the skin, but you won't always see any marks. Symptoms of a pit viper snakebite usually appear within a few minutes to a few hours after a bite...

  • You can take steps today to stop drinking. Your first step might be to see your doctor, contact a support group, or set a date in the near future to stop. While some people can stop drinking on their own, others need medical help to manage the physical process of withdrawal. If you think you have alcohol use disorder...

  • My plan to stop drinking alcohol I will stop drinking any alcohol on (date): _______________. I have written down my reasons for not drinking and placed the list: _______________________________________________________. I have discussed my plan with my family and asked for their support. They will support me by...

  • Discusses teen use of alcohol and other harmful or illegal substances. Covers the effects and consequences substance use has on a teen's life, including physical and emotional health. Includes info on how to recognize and deal with teen substance use.

  • The best way to manage migraine headaches is to avoid them. And to avoid them, you need to know what things (or triggers) bring them on. By finding and avoiding your triggers, you can limit how often you get migraines and how bad they are. Try to avoid as many triggers as you can. Triggers add up, so the fewer you have...

  • Below are some of the most common and helpful strategies people use to get through the tough period of nicotine withdrawal. Make a list of your smoking triggers. It is wiser to avoid triggers after you have quit smoking than to tempt yourself too soon. If you cannot avoid them early on, be cautious when they are...

  • The best way to cope with a strong temptation to smoke is to quickly remove yourself from the situation that is causing the temptation. Don't worry about "how it will look" if you leave a party, wedding reception, or public function to avoid the temptation to smoke. You have an important reason for leaving. When you...

  • Putting a plan for avoiding alcohol and substance use in writing will help your teen make good decisions in the future. Using the example below, have your teen help you write the contract. Teens feel more responsible for their actions when they are...

  • Helping a person to stop drinking can: Reduce possible health problems and injuries caused by alcohol use. Ease family conflicts or other relationship problems. Reduce legal problems caused by alcohol use.

  • Use this list to help you plan how to help someone you care about get treatment for an alcohol use disorder. A health professional who has special training in conducting interventions (intervention specialist) with people who have alcohol use...

  • Guides you through ways to reduce the severity of a headache and prevent it from coming back. Looks at combining stress management with medicines. Includes things you can do every day to help prevent headaches.

  • When a child has diarrhea or is vomiting, it is important to replace the fluids he or she is losing. Give your child small sips of water. Let your child drink as much as he or she wants. Ask your doctor if your child needs an oral rehydration solution (ORS) like Pedialyte or Infalyte. Oral rehydration solutions contain...

  • What is child abuse and neglect? If you want to save this information but don't think it is safe to take it home, see if a trusted friend can keep it for you. Plan ahead. Know who you can call for help, and memorize the phone number. Be careful online too. Your online activity may be seen by others. Do not use...

  • If you want to save this information but don't think it is safe to take it home, see if a trusted friend can keep it for you. Plan ahead. Know who you can call for help, and memorize the phone number. Be careful online too. Your online activity may...

  • The rash and skin irritation that occurs with minor jellyfish or Portuguese man-of-war stings will usually go away with home treatment. Seabather's eruption is a rash that develops from the stings of jellyfish or sea anemone larvae. Although these rashes are annoying, they are not a serious medical problem. When an...

  • Pneumocystis is a fungus that can sometimes cause pneumonia in people who have AIDS. Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs. Pneumonia can make it hard to breathe and to get enough oxygen into the bloodstream. Symptoms often begin suddenly and may be similar to those of an upper respiratory infection, such as...

  • What is a black widow spider? Black widow spiders ( Latrodectus mactans and Latrodectus hesperus) are found throughout the United States, Mexico, and southern Canada. A female black widow is much more likely to deliver more venom than a male spider. Female black widows are long-legged, shiny...

  • What is a brown recluse spider? Brown recluse, violin, or fiddleback ( Loxosceles) spiders are about 0.5 in. (1.3 cm) long with a dark violin-shaped mark on the combined head and midsection (cephalothorax). They are found most often in the south-central part of the United States and live in hot, dry, abandoned...

  • Scorpions , found mostly in the western and especially the southwestern United States, are up to 3 in. (7.6 cm) in length. They have eight legs and a pair of pincers like a crab has. The stinger, which injects venom, is located at the end of a narrow tail that curves around and over the back of the scorpion's body...

  • The puss caterpillar, or woolly slug, is the most poisonous caterpillar in the United States. Its poison is hidden in hollow spines among its hairs. This hairy caterpillar is found in the southern states, ranging west through most of Texas and north to Maryland and Missouri. It feeds on shade trees such as elm, oak, and...

  • Puncture wounds caused by the injection of a substance under high pressure into the skin are serious injuries. High-pressure equipment may be used for paint, paint thinner, grease, oil, fuel, or other liquid solvents. Most high-pressure injection injuries affect the hands and fingers. These injuries are at high risk for...

  • Snake venoms can cause many problems, such as: Blood-clotting problems. Injury to muscles. Low blood pressure leading to shock. Kidney damage. Nervous system problems. Severe allergic reactions. Swelling. Antivenom is a medicine that is given to stop snake venom from binding to tissues and causing serious...

  • Pelvic pain and problems urinating may mean you have a bladder infection. Flank pain with fever and urinary symptoms may mean you have a kidney infection (pyelonephritis). Flank pain is felt just below the rib cage and above the waist. It can be on one or both sides of the back. If you have pelvic or flank pain and...

  • Skin adhesives are clear gels that may be used to hold the edges of a small cut together. Your doctor may apply a skin adhesive instead of stitching your cut. A liquid will be applied to your skin and allowed to dry. As it dries, it creates a film that will hold together the edges of your cut. If a skin adhesive is...

  • Signs that an intoxicated person might need medical evaluation include: An injury. An intoxicated person may not feel pain normally, so he or she may not be aware of an injury or realize how serious it may be. It is not uncommon for an intoxicated person to vomit once. But an intoxicated person who is confused or not...

  • Discusses high and low blood sugar levels caused by diabetes. Suggests when to check blood sugar levels. Covers symptoms. Offers home treatment and prevention tips. Includes info on diabetes emergencies.

  • A rash in your vaginal area ( vulva) may be caused by irritation of the skin from many sources, such as clothes rubbing against the skin. Rashes that occur without other symptoms are usually minor and often go away with home treatment. Contact dermatitis A common cause of a rash is contact with a substance that...

  • Anyone can become a victim of domestic violence. Certain factors can increase your risk of being abused. Your risk for abuse increases if your partner: Uses alcohol or drugs. Had a job loss or job change or had a change in the level of income. Has a...

  • If you want to save this information but don't think it is safe to take it home, see if a trusted friend can keep it for you. Plan ahead. Know who you can call for help, and memorize the phone number. Be careful online too. Your online activity may be seen by others. Do not use your personal computer or device to read...

  • What is mercury? Mercury is a metal found naturally in the environment. Human activities, such as farming, burning coal, and using mercury in manufacturing, increase the mercury cycling through the air, water, and soil. In water, mercury changes its form and becomes methylmercury. Fish absorb this mercury. When you...

  • The kneecap (patella) is normally positioned over the front of the knee joint at the base of the thighbone (femur). A kneecap can be dislocated, or moved out of its normal position, when: The inner edge of the kneecap is hit, pushing it toward the outer side of the leg. This can happen more easily if there is patellar...

  • The hamstring muscles are the three muscles that run down the back of the thigh. They attach to the lower pelvis and to the back of the leg just below the knee. Tight hamstring muscles cause the tendons that attach them to the bone to feel taut and make them vulnerable to injury. Regular stretching can prevent...

  • When you're pregnant, everything you put in your body can affect your baby. If you smoke, your baby is exposed to chemicals such as nicotine and carbon monoxide. If you're a smoker and get pregnant, now is the time to quit. If you're not a smoker, avoid secondhand smoke. If you smoke and aren't pregnant but are...

  • A subluxation is a partial dislocation. The kneecap, or patella, can sublux out of its normal position more easily when the thigh muscles are weak, when the patella is not firmly held by the surrounding tendons and ligaments, or when there is a problem with the alignment or structure of the knee bones. A patellar...

  • Bursitis or a tendon injury (tendinopathy) in the elbow causes soreness or pain in the elbow region, particularly when the arm is in motion. Pressing on the affected area will also cause pain. The epicondyles are the bony bumps you can feel on the inside and outside of your elbow. Tendinopathy or epicondylopathy is a...

  • Most women develop back pain at some point during pregnancy. As the size and weight of your growing belly place more strain on your back, you may notice your posture changing. To protect your back from poor posture, unnecessary strain, and painful injury, follow these guidelines: Avoid standing with your belly...

  • A back school is an educational program that teaches you practical information about back care, posture, body mechanics, back exercises, and how to prevent long-term back problems. Going to a back school gives you the tools for self-care, which may improve how well you manage low back pain. Back school works only as...

  • Botulinum toxin A is a protein produced by the bacteria Clostridium botulinum, the same bacteria that causes botulism food poisoning. When injected into muscle in tiny amounts, botulinum A (Botox) can stop or reduce muscle spasm by blocking nerve signals to the muscle. This treatment has been used since the early 1990s...

  • Covers intradiscal electrothermal therapy (IDET) to treat spinal disc-related chronic low back pain. Explains why it is done and what to expect after surgery. Includes how well it works. Looks at possible risks.

  • Lists common lifting mistakes. Offers basic rules to protect your back when lifting. Includes links to pictures on proper lifting technique and more extensive info on low back pain and herniated disc.

  • Describes toothache. Lists symptoms and possible causes. Also describes gum disease, including gingivitis and periodontal disease. Includes interactive tool to help you decide when to call a doctor. Offers prevention tips.

  • What is teen substance use? Many teens try alcohol, tobacco, or drugs. Some teens try these substances only a few times and stop. Others can't control their urges or cravings for them. This is substance use disorder. Moderate to severe substance use disorder is sometimes called addiction. Teens may try a number of...

  • Experts disagree about the use of heat after an injury. Some experts: Do not recommend using heat because it may increase swelling, especially in the first few hours right after the injury. If you decide to use heat and you notice that the swelling increases, stop using heat and return to cold treatments. Think heat...

  • Skin wounds, including animal or human bites, need thorough cleaning to reduce the risk of infection and scarring and to promote healing. You may be able to do this yourself for minor wounds. You'll have to stop any bleeding, clean the wound, and perhaps bandage the wound. Stop the bleeding Before you...

  • Insect stings often cause minor swelling, redness, pain, and itching. Most bites and stings will heal on their own without a visit to a doctor. There are several things you can do to relieve pain and itching and prevent infection from a bite or sting. After a sting After you are stung, try to move away from...

  • Whether you want to think about kicking your tobacco habit or not, you might find it interesting to take a look at the ways tobacco has worked its way into your everyday life. Check your response: Rarely Sometimes Often Smoking or chewing tobacco is something I do when I'm out having a good time with...

  • What would motivate you to quit smoking? Take a moment to fill out the smoker's self-test. Be honest when you answer the questions. You may discover that you have more good reasons to quit than to continue using tobacco. Decide if you agree with any of these statements. _____It makes me uncomfortable to know that I am...

  • What is a concussion? A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury that is caused by a blow to the head or body, a fall, or another injury that jars or shakes the brain inside the skull. Although there may be cuts or bruises on the head or face, there may be no other visible signs of a brain injury. You...

  • Discusses a break in the navicular (scaphoid) bone, one of the bones in the wrist. Covers causes and symptoms, such as pain, tenderness, and swelling. Discusses diagnosis using X-rays. Covers treatment with arm cast, splint, or surgery.

  • What is radial head subluxation? Radial head subluxation means that the radius, one of two long bones in the lower arm (forearm), has pulled away from its normal position. The ligament that supports the radial bone then slips into the elbow joint. When this happens, the radial bone can't move back into its normal...

  • If you want to save this information but don't think it is safe to take it home, see if a trusted friend can keep it for you. Plan ahead. Know who you can call for help, and memorize the phone number. Be careful online too. Your online activity may...

  • Many people worry about getting a disease like hepatitis or HIV from an accidental needle stick. But it doesn't happen often. Most of the time, the person on whom the needle was used doesn't have hepatitis, HIV, or another infection that can be spread that way. When the person does have an infection that can be spread...

  • Most ticks do not carry diseases, and most tick bites do not cause serious health problems. But it is important to avoid and check for ticks, and to remove a tick as soon as you find it. Removing the tick completely may help you avoid diseases such...

  • Cervical spinal fusion ( arthrodesis) is a surgery that joins selected bones in the neck ( cervical spine). There are different methods of doing a cervical spinal fusion: Bone can be taken from elsewhere in your body or obtained from a bone bank (a bone graft). The bone is used to make a bridge between vertebrae that...

  • Guides through the decision to have surgery for tennis elbow (also called lateral epicondylitis). Explains how surgery is done. Covers risks. Lists reasons for and against surgery. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Discusses cellulitis, a skin infection caused by bacteria. Discusses how bacteria can get into the body through cuts, scrapes, and broken skin. Covers symptoms. Discusses treatment with antibiotics. Offers prevention tips.

  • Physical therapists provide a type of treatment you may need when back pain makes it hard to move around and do everyday tasks. This treatment helps you move better and may relieve pain. It also helps improve or restore your physical function and your fitness level. The goal of physical therapy is to make daily tasks...

  • Covers exercises that may help reduce or prevent low back pain. Includes aerobic, strengthening, and stretching exercises. Looks at why it is important to exercise for low back pain. Includes tips on how to do the exercises.

  • Guides through decision to receive CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and mechanical ventilation. Describes the procedures and discusses risks and benefits of each. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Guides you through decision to have spinal manipulation. Describes treatment and how well it works for low back pain. Lists benefits and risks of both spinal manipulation and home treatment. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Home treatment may be all that is needed to treat mild nausea caused by cancer or the side effects of chemotherapy or radiation therapy. If you are having chemotherapy, your doctor can give you medicines to prevent and treat nausea and vomiting. Be sure to tell your doctor if you continue to have problems after your...

  • Home treatment may be all that is needed to treat diarrhea caused by cancer or the side effects of chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Be sure to follow any instructions and take any medicines your doctor has given you to treat diarrhea. Check with your doctor before using any nonprescription medicines for your diarrhea...

  • Because children and teenagers are more flexible, back pain is not as common in this age group as it is in adults. Back pain in a child that occurs immediately after an injury or an athletic event should be checked by a doctor. Back pain in children and teens may also be caused by an overuse injury. Children or their...

  • Covers possible effects of sun exposure, including sunburn and skin cancer. Explains UVA and UVB rays. Offers tips for children and adults on how much time to spend in the sun. Discusses protective clothing and sunscreen protection, including proper SPF.

  • Discusses surgical treatment to control irregular heartbeat and restore normal rhythm of heart. Looks at what to expect after surgery such as taking medicine such as Coumadin. Covers risks.

  • Most people with atrial fibrillation don't have to change their daily activities. You can live well and safely with atrial fibrillation. There are some precautions you can take to prevent problems from atrial fibrillation. For example, tell your doctor about any activities that trigger an episode of atrial...

  • Anyone who has a head injury during a sporting event needs to immediately stop all activity and not return to play that day. Being active again before the brain returns to normal functioning increases the person's risk of having a more serious brain injury. Every person involved in a sporting event (every coach...

  • Questions on safety standards If you are thinking about having a tattoo or body piercing, go to a reputable studio. Look for or ask about the following: Is it clean? The entire shop, including the bathroom, should be clean. What type of sterilization procedures does the shop follow? Is there a...

  • Signs of abuse may not be apparent without an examination of the genital area. These signs include: Bruises, scars, chafing, or bite marks in the genital area. Discharge from the vagina or penis. Rectal or genital bleeding. Anal tears or dilation. Symptoms of a sexually transmitted infection (STI), such as...

  • Many prescription and nonprescription medicines can cause dehydration. A few examples are: Antihistamines. Blood pressure medicines. Chemotherapy. Diuretics. Laxatives. If you think that your dehydration is caused by a medicine: Call the doctor who prescribed the medicine to find out if you should stop taking...

  • Skin changes are a common side effect of many prescription and nonprescription medicines. Common side effects include: Rash. Any medicine can cause a rash. Two examples are aspirin and antibiotics. Color changes in the skin. A few examples of medicines that can cause this are: Birth control...

  • Blood draw puncture site The puncture wound caused by a needle stick for a blood sample or to donate blood usually heals without trouble. It is not unusual to develop a bruise at the puncture site. Most puncture wounds for blood draws do not need further care. Intravenous (IV) line puncture site If you need...

  • Amputation is the removal of a body part. This can be done by a doctor in a hospital setting, such as when a foot must be amputated because of diabetes complications. But amputation may also happen during an accident. An amputation may be complete...

  • Crying is a normal part of your child's life. Stay as calm as possible during crying episodes. There are many different ways to approach your child's crying, and over time you will understand your child's needs and know how to care for him or her. A child's crying can be very upsetting, especially when you are...

  • Home treatment often can relieve discomfort and itching until a rash clears up. If you have come in contact with a substance that causes contact dermatitis (such as poison ivy, oak, or sumac), immediately wash the area with large amounts of water. Over-the-counter medicines may help relieve itching...

  • Asbestos is a substance that was used in building materials. The substance can enter the body by being inhaled or swallowed. The substance attaches to the lining of the respiratory and digestive tracts. Contact with asbestos over time has been...

  • If emergency care is not needed, the following steps will protect the wound and protect you from exposure to another person's blood. Before you try to stop the bleeding: Wash your hands well with soap and water, if available. Put on medical gloves, if available, before applying pressure to the wound. If...

  • Drinking alcohol may increase the risk of injury from cold exposure. Alcohol: Changes your body's ability to regulate body temperature. Changes your judgment. For example, a person may not put on more clothing when it is needed if his or her judgment is changed by alcohol. Can cause blood vessels in the skin to get...

  • Cold injuries occur more in certain outdoor conditions, such as: Cold temperatures. Hypothermia can develop quickly with temperatures below freezing. Frostbite develops at freezing temperatures. People who live in poorly heated homes can gradually develop hypothermia in temperatures of 60 F (16 C) to 65 F...

  • Babies Babies, especially newborns, are more likely to suffer injury from cold temperature exposure. They have a large body surface area compared with their weight. Their body heat is lost more rapidly when exposed to cold weather conditions. Their ability to regulate body temperatures is not well-developed. They...

  • To prevent getting too cold, wear proper clothing and shoes, such as: A hat and face mask. Up to 80% of total body heat loss is from your head and neck areas. Layers of clothing to keep you warm and dry. Clothing made of wool, polypropylene, down, or Thinsulate. These are good insulators and will prevent loss of...

  • First aid measures may prevent further heat loss and help the body slowly warm up. Remain calm. Fear or too much activity causes sweating. Sweating can make you feel chilled. Find shelter so you can get out of the cold, the wind, or the water. Remove cold, wet clothes. Put on dry clothing, especially...

  • The body loses heat through: Evaporation of water from your skin if it is wet (sweating). If your clothing is wet, you will also lose some body heat through evaporation and through respiration (breathing) when the body temperature is higher than 99 F (37 C). During intense exercise, the body loses 85% of its...

  • What is the collarbone? The collarbone (clavicle) is one of the main bones of the shoulder joint. It holds the shoulder up and, along with the shoulder blade (scapula) and acromioclavicular (AC) joint, provides stability and strength to the shoulder. The collarbone also protects nerves and blood vessels from the neck...

  • What is a shoulder separation? A shoulder separation is the partial or complete separation of two parts of the shoulder: the collarbone (clavicle) and the end of the shoulder blade (acromion). See a picture of shoulder separation injuries. The collarbone and the shoulder blade (scapula) are connected by the...

  • With an injury to the eye, the muscles that control the pupil size and shape can be damaged. These muscles control the ability of the pupil to change in size and keep its round shape. An injury that punctures the eyeball may tear the colored part (iris) of the eye, causing it to lose its round shape. An injury to the...

  • Flushing your eye may help relieve mild eye symptoms and is the most important first aid measure for a chemical substance in the eye. The sooner you get a chemical out of the eye, the less damage it may do. If you are wearing contacts, remove them before flushing your eye. If you are not able to remove a contact, flush...

  • Don't rub the eye since this can scratch the outer surface ( cornea) of the eye. You may have to keep small children from rubbing their eyes. Wash your hands before touching the eye. If you wear contact lenses, take your contacts out before you try to remove the object or flush the eye. If an object is...

  • A black eye is a type of bruise. Simple bruises are treated with ice and by elevating the head. The bruise should be gone in 2 to 3 weeks. Apply ice or cold packs for 15 minutes 3 or 4 times a day during the first 48 hours to help reduce swelling. Place a cloth between the ice and the skin. The sooner you apply a cold...

  • Immediately flush the eye with cool water. Quickly diluting the chemical reduces the chance of serious eye damage. Fill a sink or dishpan with water. Put your face in the water, then open and close your eyelids to force water to all parts of your eye. You can also flush your eye gently under a...

  • Immediately flush the eye with cool water. Fill a sink or dishpan with water. Put your face in the water, then open and close your eyelids to force water to all parts of your eye. You can also flush your eye under a running faucet or shower. You may need to open and close your eyelids with your...

  • Use a sterile bandage if you have one. If you don't have one, use a clean bandage or cloth. Don't use fluffy cotton bandages around the eye. They could come apart and stick to the eye. Apply light pressure to a very minor skin cut near the eye to stop the bleeding. Do not apply any pressure to the eyeball. See how...

  • Physical sunscreens, such as zinc oxide, are usually thick white or colored cream. They prevent the skin from being exposed to the sun's ultraviolet rays. They are useful for high-risk areas such as the nose, lips, and shoulders. It's safest to keep babies younger than 6 months out of the sun. Use sunscreens on children...

  • Some medicines may cause your skin to sunburn more easily. Medicines used for treatment on the skin (topical) or for the whole body (systemic) can cause two types of reactions: Phototoxicity. Medicines react with proteins in the skin and sunlight and cause a more severe sunburn reaction with increased...

  • The sunlight that reaches the earth has ultraviolet A and ultraviolet B (UVA and UVB) rays. These ultraviolet rays are the main causes of damage to the skin from the sun. UVA and UVB rays affect the skin's sensitivity to sun exposure in different ways. UVA: Can pass through window glass. Is not affected by a change...

  • There is no evidence-based research to support the safety and effectiveness of the following home treatment measures, but they may help relieve your burn symptoms. Soak a washcloth in water to make a cool compress. Add a handful of oatmeal (ground to a powder) to your bath. Or you can try an oatmeal bath product...

  • In some women, the estrogen in combination hormonal birth control methods increases the risk of a blood clot in a leg ( deep vein thrombosis, or DVT) or a blood clot in a lung ( pulmonary embolism, or PE). A blood clot in a leg vein can travel through the circulation system and cause pulmonary embolism. The risk for...

  • Puncture wounds are less likely than cuts to be stitched, stapled, or have a skin adhesive applied because: Puncture wounds tend to be smaller than cuts and usually do not heal better or scar less when stitched. Puncture wounds tend to be deeper, narrower, and harder to clean than cuts. Sealing bacteria into a wound...

  • Foreign objects or forgotten tampons may cause a vaginal infection. Young girls might insert pieces of toilet paper, small toys, or household objects into their vagina. Teens and adult women may forget a tampon or a birth control device. The most common symptoms of a vaginal infection caused by a foreign object include...

  • Guides you through the decision to take an anticoagulant to prevent stroke. Explains atrial fibrillation and risk of stroke. Lists benefits and risks of anticoagulants. Includes interactive tool to help you decide.

  • Covers causes of heart attack (myocardial infarction) and unstable angina. Discusses symptoms like chest pain or pressure. Explains MI and angina differences. Offers prevention tips. Covers diagnostic tests and treatment with medicines and surgery.

  • Heart failure is most often a lifelong illness that will require frequent changes in your medicine schedule and regular follow-up with your doctor. Over the years, many things will affect the course of your disease, including other illnesses that you develop, your age, your diet, your ability to tolerate and comply...

  • What is an intra-aortic balloon pump? An intra-aortic balloon pump (IABP) is a mechanical device that helps the heart pump blood. This device is inserted into the aorta, the body's largest artery. It is a long, thin tube called a catheter with a balloon on the end of it. If you are hospitalized, your doctor may insert...

  • A ventricular assist device (VAD), also known as a heart pump, is a mechanical device that helps pump blood from the heart to the rest of your body. A VAD can be implanted in the chest or worn outside the body. If it is implanted, surgery is done to place it in the chest area. The pump part of the VAD is placed in a...

  • If you have heart failure, symptoms start to happen when your heart cannot pump enough blood to the rest of your body. Shortness of breath While shortness of breath is the most common symptom of heart failure, it may be difficult or impossible to distinguish it from shortness of breath caused by other health...

  • While there are certain symptoms that people with heart failure experience more commonly, there are many other symptoms that heart failure can cause. These symptoms are typically less common because they often result from more severe heart failure, when the body can no longer compensate properly for the failing heart...

  • Heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) happens when the left side of your heart doesn't pump blood out to the body as well as normal. It's sometimes called systolic heart failure. This is because your left ventricle doesn't squeeze forcefully enough during systole, which is the phase of your heartbeat...

  • Heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) occurs when the lower left chamber (left ventricle) is not able to fill properly with blood during the diastolic (filling) phase. The amount of blood pumped out to the body is less than normal. It is also called diastolic heart failure. What does preserved...

  • High-output heart failure happens when the body's need for blood is unusually high, so heart failure symptoms happen even though the heart is working well. This type of heart failure happens to a very small number of people with heart failure. What happens to the heart? High-output heart failure occurs when the...

  • Right-sided heart failure means that the right side of the heart is not pumping blood to the lungs as well as normal. It is also called cor pulmonale or pulmonary heart disease. What happens to the heart? Most people develop heart failure because of a problem with the left ventricle. But reduced function of the right...

  • Even if you are treating your heart failure successfully, you may develop a complication that can be serious and life-threatening. It is important to identify complications of heart failure as soon as possible, because some can be extremely serious conditions. You can discuss your complications with your doctor and...

  • Heart failure means that your heart muscle does not pump as much blood as your body needs. Failure doesn't mean that your heart has stopped. It means that your heart is not pumping as well as it should. There is more than one type of heart failure, so you might hear your doctor call it different names. The types are...

  • Why is diet important for heart failure? Diet is critical in the treatment of heart failure. Limiting sodium is typically recommended to limit fluid build-up. But some other nutrients or substances also play a role as well. Heart failure can become more severe if diet and medicine recommendations for heart failure are...

  • People who have heart failure can be active and enjoy life. Daily activities. If you have heart failure, you may find that your symptoms make it difficult to do things like cook, clean, bathe, or shop. You can deal with these limitations in various ways. For example, you can rearrange your kitchen to make...

  • Many hospitals and insurers have developed disease management (DM) programs to educate people who have heart failure about their disease. Disease management includes a broad range of health services, such as home health care, visiting nurses, and rehabilitation. The goal of DM programs is to offer a combination of...

  • Talk with doctors, therapists, and counselors about how to help a friend or relative living with heart failure. Most people don't hesitate when they are called upon to help a loved one who is ill. But being a full-time caregiver may be an unfamiliar role for you. It is important to consider the long-term...

  • One of the most frightening aspects about having heart failure is that it can lead to premature death. The increased death rate among people with heart failure is in part caused by the tendency of those with heart failure to develop abnormal heart rhythms. Some people with heart failure die suddenly from abnormal rapid...

  • Cardiac cachexia is unintentional severe weight loss caused by heart disease. The weight loss might be life-threatening. It can happen to people who have severe heart failure. Even with a very good appetite and high calorie intake, some people lose muscle mass. Cardiac cachexia can require supplemental nutrition...

  • The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association have devised a classification system for heart failure. It categorizes heart failure based on how the disease progresses in most people. Under this system, heart failure is...

  • Discusses shots of EDTA into bloodstream to remove heavy metals or minerals from the body. Also discusses its use to treat atherosclerosis and coronary artery disease. Covers safety.

  • Discusses radon, a tasteless and odorless cancer-causing gas. Covers how to prevent exposure to radon gas. Covers health risks. Discusses radon test kits and what results mean. Offers telephone and website contact info for EPA radon help.

  • After you start a cardiac rehabilitation (rehab) program, you will work with many health professionals. Each will have a specific role in your rehab. While you are in rehab, make sure to stay in touch with your doctor or other health professionals who can keep track of your progress and health. You will probably keep...

  • If you are in a cardiac rehab program, you are probably taking medicines for your heart and for other health reasons. Some prescribed medicines can change your heart rate, blood pressure, and overall ability to exercise. It's important for your rehab team to know what medicines you take. Give your rehab team a list of...

  • There are several ways to measure your body's responses to exercise and other lifestyle changes. You may want to keep track of the following measurements during your exercise sessions at cardiac rehab and at home. Target heart rate Your target heart rate can guide you to how hard you need to exercise so you can get...

  • It can be hard for your doctor to tell whether you have migraine headaches, tension headaches, sinus headaches, cluster headaches, or a combination of these types. The symptoms of these headaches are often the same, and no test can diagnose headaches. Listing a few key features of your headaches may help your doctor...

  • Guides you through the decision to take drugs for migraines. Covers treatment with antidepressants, anticonvulsants, beta-blockers, and calcium channel blockers. Lists side effects. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Feverfew ( Tanacetum parthenium) is an herb that has been studied a lot for migraine prevention. Some small studies show that it may help prevent migraines in some people. Feverfew is available as dried leaf powder, tablet, capsule, and tea. You might find it under the name MIG-99. If you would like to try feverfew to...

  • Guides through the decision to take prescription drugs for tension headaches. Covers treatment with antidepressants, anticonvulsants, and antianxiety medicines. Lists side effects. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Guides you through identifying and avoiding tension headache triggers. Helps you reduce the frequency and severity of headaches. Explains common triggers. Includes stress management, treatment for depression, and regular exercise and sleep.

  • Covers giving yourself an epinephrine shot to slow down or stop an allergic reaction. Says why you need an epinephrine shot and how to give yourself a shot.

  • What is mitral valve stenosis? Mitral valve stenosis is a heart problem in which the mitral valve doesn't open as wide as it should. The valve becomes stiff or scarred, or the valve flaps become partially joined together. See a picture of mitral valve stenosis. Mitral valve stenosis can lead to heart failure; a...

  • Discusses primary cause (blood clot in the lungs) and symptoms of pulmonary embolism. Looks at treatment with thrombolytic medicines, blood thinners (anticoagulants), or surgery. Links to info on complications like pulmonary hypertension.

  • Blood clots can happen in veins. A blood clot in a vein close to the skin isn't likely to cause problems. But having blood clots in deep veins is called deep vein thrombosis. Deep vein thrombosis happens most often in the legs. This problem can lead to a blood clot in the lung ( pulmonary embolism). The deep veins of...

  • If you have a normal heart, you have a low risk for endocarditis. But if you have a problem with your heart that affects normal blood flow through the heart, it is more likely that bacteria or fungi will attach to heart tissue. This puts you at a higher risk for endocarditis. If you have certain heart conditions...

  • What is ischemia? Ischemia is the medical term for what happens when your heart muscle doesn't get enough oxygen. Ischemia usually happens because of a shortage of blood and oxygen to the heart muscle. It is usually caused by a narrowing or blockage of one or more of the coronary arteries (which supply blood to the...

  • What health professionals are involved in taking care of people who have coronary artery disease? After a diagnosis of coronary artery disease (CAD), you should visit your primary care physician every few months. Your doctor can help track your condition and make sure that your treatment is going as planned. If you...

  • How can I help a loved one who has coronary artery disease? If you have a family member or other loved one who has coronary artery disease (CAD) or has just returned home from the hospital due to a complication of CAD, you may want to know what you can do to help. Your loved one may be able to do fewer normal...

  • Why is it important to manage stress? Stress is the way we all react to change. It includes our mental, emotional, and physical responses to the pressures of everyday life. Because change is a natural and normal part of life, everyone has some stress. But stress can be bad for your heart. If you have heart...

  • Protecting babies Each new learning stage for your baby requires increased attention on your part to prevent an injury. It may surprise you how fast your baby can move from one stage to the next. Being aware of your baby's abilities and what skills he or she is likely to develop next will help you prevent...

  • Lists common products that could be poisonous, including household cleaners, medicines, alcohol, cosmetics, garden products, and houseplants. Also covers chemicals and fumes. Offers tips on keeping children safe. Offers poisoning hotline telephone number.

  • Steps to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning include the following: Purchase and install a carbon monoxide detector on each level of your home and near sleeping areas. Use those marked UL 2034 or IAS 6–96, which have met the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission guidelines. Follow the directions carefully for...

  • Burns are a potential hazard in any home. There are four kinds of burning hazards that may hurt your child: Heat burns Electrical burns Friction burns Chemical burns Heat burns Heat burns, also called thermal burns, are caused by contact with fire, steam, hot objects, or hot...

  • Swimming pools Most childhood drownings occur in swimming pools. When visiting public or private pools, make sure that your children are supervised closely and that they are familiar with pool safety rules. If you have a pool at your home, use these tips to help prevent drowning tragedies: Pool safety...

  • Young children can easily choke on food and everyday objects. You can help prevent your child from choking by offering the right kinds of foods and watching for choking hazards. Food Watching how your child eats can also help prevent choking. Teach your child to eat only in the kitchen and dining room. Be...

  • Sex is part of a healthy life and is part of your quality of life. Most people with heart failure can still have an active sex life. If you have mild heart failure, your doctor will likely say that sex is safe for your heart. If you have more severe heart failure, your doctor will likely check your health to make sure...

  • Joan figured she would need months to recover physically from the heart attack 2 years ago that led to her heart failure. She didn't realize she would need just as much time to recover emotionally. "I was only 52 when I had the heart attack," she says. "Heart disease runs in my family, but I thought I'd been taking...

  • Jerry, 32, works in customer service at a call center. So he's hunched over a computer for most of his work day. "I love my job, but it can be stressful. I hold my stress in my shoulders and neck. My shoulders are always up around my ears. A lot of times, I leave at the end of the day with a big headache." Jerry...

  • Carole lost a lot of time to migraines. Instead of playing with her children, she would lie on her bed in the dark, with a bag of ice on her head. "I kept thinking I could stop the migraines if I would just lie down and be still and quiet," says the 41-year-old mother of two. "It hardly ever worked." When a migraine...

  • Rheumatic fever is a bacterial infection that can cause problems with the heart's aortic and mitral valves. Rheumatic fever is caused by certain strains of streptococcal bacteria. A strep throat infection that isn't properly treated can trigger rheumatic fever. Rheumatic fever can damage heart muscle and heart valves...

  • Guides you through decision about choosing new valve to replace your heart valve if you have aortic valve problems or mitral valve problems. Compares benefits and risks of mechanical valves versus tissue valves. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • The major decision in treating aortic valve regurgitation is whether to have aortic valve replacement surgery and, if so, when to do it. Your doctor will check the severity of your condition. Your doctor will also check your overall health to see if surgery is too risky for you. Then you and your doctor will weigh...

  • The severity of asthma can vary, and asthma often requires changes in your treatment to control it. To ensure that you are getting the proper treatment, you have to continuously monitor and evaluate the disease and communicate with your doctor. Symptoms Know the symptoms of poorly controlled asthma—wheezing, cough...

  • Discusses causes and symptoms of asthma in children. Looks at treatment with medicine such as inhaled corticosteroid and albuterol. Discusses avoiding triggers and treating attacks. Covers using nebulizers, metered-dose with spacer and dry powder inhalers.

  • You can lower your chance of being bitten by an insect or spiderlike animal (arachnid) by using insect repellents. Mosquitoes, biting flies, and ticks can cause annoying bites and sometimes a serious disease. Mosquito bites can spread infections such as West Nile virus, a virus that causes swelling of the brain (...

  • A sports hernia is an injury of the inguinal area caused by repetitive twisting and turning at high speed. This type of hernia occurs mainly in people who play ice hockey, soccer, or tennis. Although the condition is known as a hernia, in many cases an obvious hernia is not seen. The main symptom is groin pain that may...

  • Covers angina and symptoms that happen when the heart does not get enough blood. Covers unstable angina and heart attack. Discusses treatment with medicines, angioplasty, or bypass surgery. Offers prevention tips.

  • Guides people who have not had a heart attack or a stroke through decision to take daily aspirin. Discusses benefits and risks. Looks at who can take daily aspirin. Includes interactive tool to help you decide.

  • Guides through decision to get a pacemaker for heart failure. Answers common questions about pacemakers, such as how they work and are placed. Covers benefits and risks. Includes an interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Guides you through decision to get an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD). Gives information about ICDs and asks questions to help you learn if an ICD is right for you. Covers benefits and risks. Includes an interactive tool to help you decide.

  • Discusses safety issues for those with vertigo. Offers checklists with tips for home and personal safety. Offers links to more extensive info on Ménière's disease, benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), and dizziness and lightheadedness.

  • What is heart valve disease? Heart valve disease is the term used for a number of conditions that affect the four valves of the heart. A heart valve disease happens when any of the heart's valves either cannot open well enough to let blood flow through (stenosis) or cannot close well enough to prevent backflow...

  • What is mitral valve prolapse? Your mitral valve controls blood flow on the left side of your heart. The valve opens and closes with each heartbeat. It works like a one-way gate, letting blood flow from your upper heart chamber to your lower chamber. When you have mitral valve prolapse (MVP), the valve closes after...

  • Many people experience vertigo. If you have Ménière's disease or benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), you may have to deal with vertigo throughout your life. The spinning sensation it causes puts you at risk for falling and can also affect your quality of life if it interferes with your level of activity. You...

  • Myxomas are tumors of connective tissue. They can occur almost anywhere in the body, including the heart. Treatment for a myxoma in the heart depends on many things. These include where the tumor is and if it is blocking blood flow. If the tumor is in the left atrium, surgery might be done to remove it. This can help...

  • If you have mitral valve stenosis and you need surgery to treat it, you have a choice of repairing the valve or replacing it. Many things play a role in this decision. These things include whether you have symptoms or other health problems (or both), the severity of your mitral valve stenosis, the shape of the mitral...

  • To treat mitral valve regurgitation surgically, the options are to repair or replace the mitral valve. Repair of the heart valve may be recommended if it is likely that the valve can be repaired and that the repair will last a long time. Valve...

  • Use a form to record the sodium content of the foods you eat or drink each day. This record will help you see whether you are getting the prescribed daily amount of sodium in your diet. Make a chart with 3 columns and as many rows you need for meals...

  • What is listeriosis? Listeriosis is food poisoning caused by eating foods contaminated with the Listeria monocytogenes ( L. monocytogenes) bacterium. In pregnant women, the infection can result in miscarriage, premature delivery, serious infection of the newborn, or even stillbirth. Listeriosis affects mainly...

  • What are noroviruses? Noroviruses are also called Norwalk-like viruses and caliciviruses. Noroviruses cause gastroenteritis, food infection, food poisoning, and acute nonbacterial gastroenteritis. What causes infection with noroviruses? Noroviruses typically spread through contaminated water and foods, although they...

  • Toxoplasmosis is infection with the parasite Toxoplasma gondii. Most people who become infected don't have symptoms. This is because the immune system is usually able to fight the disease. Toxoplasmosis is dangerous to a pregnant woman and her...

  • Tips for older adults and people who have had a stroke or have multiple sclerosis or osteoporosis to help prevent falls and injuries. Covers taking care of your health and making changes in your home. Covers preventing falls in the bathroom and outdoors.

  • Omalizumab (Xolair) is a medicine approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in people age 12 and older who have moderate or severe persistent asthma. This medicine costs a lot more than any of the standard treatments for asthma. The medicine works by blocking immunoglobulin E (IgE) from attaching...

  • When you use inhaled asthma medicine, you usually use a device that delivers the medicine directly to your lungs. Different types of delivery systems are available. And one type may be more suitable for certain people, age groups, or medicine than another. The following table describes how asthma medicines may be...

  • Medicines for quick relief of the narrowed bronchial tubes caused by asthma include short-acting beta2-agonists. These medicines relieve sudden increases of symptoms ( asthma attacks) quickly. But overuse may be harmful. Overuse of short-acting beta2-agonists has been associated with worsening asthma and increased risk...

  • An asthma diary helps you keep track of how well you are managing your asthma. If you have symptoms or an asthma attack, record the trigger (if possible), the symptoms, and what kind of medicine you used for relief and how well it worked. Also note if you had to contact your doctor or seek emergency care. This can help...

  • Week of ________________________ If I use a peak flow meter: My personal best peak expiratory flow (PEF) is ________ . My PEF for green zone is ___________ liters per second (80% to 100% of my personal best*). My PEF for yellow zone is ___________ liters per second (50% to less than 80% of my personal best*). My...

  • After an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury, you lose leg strength and motion and stability of the knee. It is important that you regain your leg strength and motion as soon as possible, whether you choose to have surgery for your ACL injury or not. Exercises to regain muscle strength and knee motion should begin...

  • A lot of the research on preventing anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries has focused on women: women athletes injure their ACLs up to 8 times as often as men athletes. Although the following tips come from women's programs, they can help anyone prevent ACL injuries. Training and conditioning should take...

  • Your doctor may talk with you about your risk for heart and blood flow problems, including heart attack and stroke. You and your doctor can use your risk to decide whether you need to lower it and what treatment is best for you. What might you be at risk for? Your doctor is checking your risk of having a...

  • What is a spinal cord injury? A spinal cord injury is damage to the spinal cord. The spinal cord is a soft bundle of nerves that extends from the base of the brain to the lower back. It runs through the spinal canal, a tunnel formed by holes in the bones of the spine. The bony spine helps protect the spinal cord. The...

  • Spinal cord injuries (SCIs) can be classified based on function (how much feeling and movement you have) or on where the damage occurred. When a nerve in the spinal cord is injured, the nerve location and number are often used to describe how much damage there is. For example, a C7 injury is associated with the seventh...

  • People who have had a spinal cord injury (SCI) don't always have the ability to cough forcefully. A forceful cough is important, because it will help you bring up mucus in the lungs, which can help prevent some lung complications, such as pneumonia. But some people shouldn't try assisted cough. Don't use an assisted...

  • Covers helping a child with asthma use a metered-dose inhaler with mask spacer. Explains that a metered dose inhaler delivers a measured dose of medicine directly to the lungs. Includes pictures on how to use metered-dose inhaler with mask spacer.

  • A spinal cord injury (SCI) makes movement difficult. Movement is what keeps your muscles and joints flexible and helps prevent spasticity. If you cannot move your muscles and joints easily, you may lose some of your range of motion. This will make it harder to perform daily activities, such as getting dressed or moving...

  • Covers questions about asthma during pregnancy and labor. Looks at treatment with medicines including inhaled albuterol, budesonide, salmeterol, and formoterol. Includes treatment of allergies. Covers safety of steroids for pregnant mother and baby.

  • An asthma action plan is a written plan that tells you how to treat your asthma on a daily basis. The plan also helps you deal with sudden increases in your or your child's asthma symptoms ( asthma attacks). You need to treat the inflammation in your lungs to minimize the long-term effects of asthma. The plan tells you...

  • Understanding asthma can help you control your symptoms and reduce your risk of asthma attacks. The following statements summarize what you should know about asthma. If you do not know, or are not sure, about any of them, talk to your doctor. The more you understand about asthma, the better you will be able to follow...

  • When you are recovering from a spinal cord injury (SCI), it is best to work with a group of health professionals known as a rehabilitation (rehab) team. Your rehab team designs a unique plan for your recovery that will help you recover as much function as possible, prevent complications, and help you live as...

  • Rehabilitation (rehab) for a spinal cord injury (SCI) is typically done in a special center. You and your family work with a rehab team, a group of health professionals that designs a unique plan for your recovery. This plan will help you recover as much function as possible, prevent complications, and help you live as...

  • Pain in a spinal cord injury (SCI) can be complicated and confusing. There are different types of pain, and they are often described in different ways. You may feel pain where you have feeling. But you may also feel pain in an area where otherwise you have no feeling. The pain may be severe at some times. But at other...

  • Talking with your partner may help your sexual function, whether it be erection problems for men or lack of arousal for women. Couples often wrongly assume that they each know what the other person likes when it comes to sex, but likes and dislikes may change after a spinal cord injury (SCI). Talk about how the SCI...

  • Sensual exercises may help you enjoy sexual intimacy and find satisfaction after a spinal cord injury (SCI). You may find that your old methods of finding satisfaction still work or that they no longer do. Doing sensual exercises with your partner may help you relax and focus more on the pleasurable touching of...

  • Lung and breathing problems are common in a spinal cord injury (SCI). This is because you may not be able to use some of the muscles necessary for breathing, or they may be very weak. This makes it difficult to breath, cough, and bring up mucus from the lungs, which leads to a greater risk of lung infections such as...

  • Mobility is an important aspect of a spinal cord injury (SCI). The ability to move lets you participate more fully in community life and do the things you would like to do. You are not "confined" to crutches or wheelchairs—they make you independent. Mobility devices can help you get to work, go shopping, and get around...

  • When you leave a rehabilitation (rehab) center for your home after a spinal cord injury (SCI), you need to have your home ready for your special needs. Following are some of the adaptations and adaptive equipment you may need. Talk with your rehab team about what you will need specifically and the best way to proceed...

  • After your spinal cord injury (SCI), you may need a wheelchair. Moving from your wheelchair to other locations is known as a transfer. If you have enough upper body strength, you may be able to do this yourself. Your injury and strength will determine what type of transfer you do. But there are general things that are...

  • What are marine toxins? Marine toxins are chemicals and bacteria that can contaminate certain types of seafood. Eating the seafood may result in food poisoning. The seafood may look, smell, and taste normal. There are five common types of marine toxins, and they all cause different symptoms. Food poisoning...

  • A balanced, nutritious diet during your pregnancy is important to maintain your health and nourish your fetus. When making your food choices, you generally are able to eat the foods you usually eat. But because some types of food poisoning pose a greater risk to you and your fetus, you should take a few extra...

  • What is Vibrio vulnificus food poisoning? Vibrio vulnificus food poisoning is caused by Vibrio vulnificus, a bacterium that lives in warm seawater. The condition is rare. What causes Vibrio vulnificus food poisoning? Vibrio vulnificus food poisoning occurs when you eat seafood infected with the bacteria or you...

  • Autonomic dysreflexia is a syndrome in which there is a sudden onset of excessively high blood pressure. It is more common in people with spinal cord injuries that involve the thoracic nerves of the spine or above (T6 or above). Be prepared to call your spinal cord injury therapist, , or other emergency services if you...

  • Asthma is the most common long-lasting (chronic) disease of childhood. It usually develops before age 5. Many children who have allergies get asthma, but not all. And not every child with asthma has allergies. In most cases of persistent asthma, the first symptoms (such as wheezing) start in the first years of life...

  • What is healthcare-associated pneumonia? Healthcare-associated pneumonia (nosocomial pneumonia) is pneumonia that you get when you are in a hospital or nursing home. Experts generally consider it a more serious illness than pneumonia that people get in daily life (community-associated pneumonia). This is because the...

  • The following questions are about your use of alcohol and other drugs. Count the number of "yes" answers you have. How you figure your results is provided at the end of the questions. During the past 6 months: 1. Have you used alcohol or other drugs (such as wine, beer, hard liquor, pot, coke, heroin or...

  • What is altitude sickness? Altitude sickness occurs when you cannot get enough oxygen from the air at high altitudes. This causes symptoms such as a headache, loss of appetite, and trouble sleeping. It happens most often when people who are not used to high altitudes go quickly from lower altitudes to 8000 ft (2500...

  • The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) defines military sexual trauma (MST) as experiences of sexual assault or repeated, threatening acts of sexual harassment. These traumas occur when a person is in the military. The...

  • Many people think substance use disorder happen only to teens and younger adults. But all ages can have problems with drugs and alcohol, including older adults. Older adults may use illegal drugs, misuse prescription or over-the-counter medicines,...

  • Some people have an alcohol or drug use problem and a mental health problem. Doctors call this a dual diagnosis. You need to treat both problems to fully recover. Mental health problems that can happen with alcohol or drug use include depression, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress...

  • Alcohol is part of many traditions and is often served at parties and other functions. And although many drugs are illegal or legal only with a prescription, people may offer them to you. If you're in a situation where someone is offering you alcohol or drugs, try this: Look the person in the eye. In a firm voice...

  • Is this topic for you? This topic is about substance use disorder in adults. For information about drug use in teens or children, see the topic Teen Alcohol and Drug Use. What is substance use disorder? Substance use disorder is using drugs in a way that harms you or that leads you to harm others. It...

  • Stopping substance use, whether it's alcohol or drugs you are using, is very hard. Very few people succeed the first time they try. A lapse or relapse is likely. A lapse is the first time you use a drug or alcohol again after you have quit, or brief episodes of use at later points. A relapse is not being...

  • If you have a family member or friend with a drug problem, you probably want to help. This can be hard. You can't force a person into treatment. One thing you can do is to stop making excuses for the person. For example, if the person is late to work, refuse to make an excuse. The person has to deal with the problems...

  • You can complete this form and print it for easy reference. When you exit the form, the information will be deleted. Answer these questions based on your use of drugs—not alcohol— in the past 12 months. Choose the answer that is mostly right for you. These questions are asking about risky drug use, including: Using...

  • You've made a big decision. You're going to quit smoking. Quitting is hard, and you probably know this. Maybe you've quit before. If so, that's normal. Most people quit many times. What can you do to make it more likely that you'll kick the habit for good? One important part of quitting smoking is getting help from...

  • Your partner or friend has decided it's time to quit smoking. This is great news. You're excited, and you want to help. But you don't want your partner or friend to feel that you're coming on too strong or that you're "checking up" on him or her. This Actionset will give you tips on helping someone who is trying to...

  • For close to 40 years, Stan woke up each day feeling as if he were going to die. "Mornings were like doomsday," he recalls, describing his depression, alcohol use disorder, and prescription drug misuse. "It was like everything was just dead … that...

  • A dental implant is an artificial tooth. Your dentist may suggest it if a permanent tooth fell out from an injury or was taken out because of bad tooth decay. Implants are natural-looking, can provide support for dentures, and do not affect the teeth bordering them. But after you have an implant, you may need to have...

  • Don't drink too much alcohol before eating. It may dull your senses, and you might not chew food properly or might try to swallow too large a portion of food. Take small bites. Cut meat into small pieces. Chew your food thoroughly. Do not give popcorn, nuts, or hard candy to children younger than 4, and...

  • High blood sugar from diabetes can affect the body's immune system, impairing the ability of white blood cells to come to the site of an infection, stay in the infected area, and kill microorganisms. Because of the buildup of plaque in blood vessels associated with diabetes, areas of infection may receive a poor blood...

  • Nicotine is only one of the thousands of chemicals in tobacco, but it is the major component that acts on the brain. The lungs readily absorb nicotine from the smoke of cigarettes, cigars, or pipes. The tissues of the mouth can also absorb nicotine when a person smokes cigars or pipes or chews tobacco. Nicotine reaches...

  • Inhalants are substances that produce chemical vapors that, when inhaled, result in mind-altering effects. The term inhalant is used because these substances are rarely, if ever, used by any other means. These substances are common household, industrial, or medical products. But most people do not think of them as...

  • Ecstasy (MDMA) is both a stimulant (amphetamine-like) and mild calming (tranquilizing) substance. Ecstasy is also called Adam, XTC, X, hug, beans, and the love drug. Ecstasy pills often have a logo, such as cartoon characters, stamped on them. This drug is most often taken as a pill, but the powder form is sometimes...

  • Drugs that have been used in date rapes include flunitrazepam (Rohypnol) and gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB). These drugs inhibit a person's ability to resist sexual assault. Gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) is a central nervous system depressant. GHB is a...

  • LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) is the most widely used hallucinogenic drug. Hallucinogenic drugs cause a person to see vivid images, hear sounds, and feel sensations that seem real but are not. LSD is also called acid, blotter, or dots. It is...

  • Cocaine is a powerful stimulant that is used legally as a local anesthetic for some eye, ear, and throat surgeries. Cocaine is also called coke, C, snow, flake, or blow. It may contain other substances, such as cornstarch, talcum powder, or sugar....

  • Methamphetamine is a powerful stimulant. It's like amphetamine, which doctors use to treat sleep problems (narcolepsy), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and severe overweight problems. The illegal form of methamphetamine is a white,...

  • Heroin is an illegal drug. It is a white or brown powder or a black, sticky substance (black tar heroin). It can be sniffed, snorted, smoked, or injected into a muscle or vein. It is often mixed (cut) with other drugs or substances, such as sugar or...

  • The program you choose for your teen needs to view substance use as a primary disease and not as a symptom. Your teen needs to have a comprehensive evaluation to determine the level of substance use and the presence of psychiatric or medical conditions. If you need to place your teen in a treatment program, look for...

  • Discusses high blood sugar (also called hyperglycemia) in children with diabetes. Covers symptoms. Offers tips on preventing high blood sugar emergencies. Covers when to seek emergency care.

  • Low blood sugar, also called hypoglycemia, occurs when the sugar (glucose) level in the blood of a person with diabetes drops below what the body needs to function normally. Taking too much insulin, not eating enough food or skipping meals, or exercising more than usual can cause blood sugar levels to drop rapidly. If...

  • What are shin splints? Shin splints are a condition that causes pain and sometimes swelling in the front part of the lower leg (shin). The pain is most likely from repeated stress on the shinbone (tibia) and the tissue that connects the muscle to the tibia. They are common in people who run or jog. Activities where you...

  • Covers using an inhaler to get needed medicine into lungs quickly. Describes dry powder inhalers, how they work, and why to use them. Includes pictures on how to use a dry powder inhaler.

  • A slip is when a smoker who has quit smokes one or two cigarettes. A relapse is when a smoker who has quit returns to regular smoking. It is hard to quit smoking. The temptation can be very strong. Here you will find strategies to help you avoid slips as well as a relapse. You will also find tips for deciding how soon...

  • The cravings for nicotine can be intense for the first few days when you stop smoking, but they will get better with time. Here are some tips on how to cope: Use nicotine gum, lozenges, or an inhaler. Distract yourself. Stop what you are doing, and do something else. Try to stay away from other smokers, at least in...

  • Most women experience minor vaginal problems from time to time. These problems can be related to menstrual cycles, sex, infection, birth control methods, aging, medicines, or changes after pregnancy. A change in your normal vaginal discharge may be the first sign of a vaginal problem. Changes in urination, such as...

  • Violence can happen to anyone—males or females, children, teens, adults, older adults, or people with disabilities. You are not to blame. No matter what happened, violence is not okay. Violent people usually have many problems that they find hard to deal with, which can cause them to act out with violence. Physical...

  • Vomiting occurs when a child's stomach contents are forced up the esophagus and out of the mouth. Although nausea may accompany vomiting in adults and older children, children younger than age 3 are usually not able to tell you if they are having nausea. Most of the time vomiting is not serious. Home treatment will...

  • Weakness and fatigue are terms that are often used as if they mean the same thing. But in fact they describe two different sensations. It is important to know exactly what you mean when you say "I feel weak" or "I am fatigued" because it can help you and your doctor narrow down the possible causes of your symptoms...

  • Discusses muscle cramps, also known as charley horses. Covers causes like strained muscles, dehydration, and needing more potassium or calcium in your body. Covers treatment and prevention, including stretching or taking a warm bath.

  • What is whiplash? Whiplash is pain and stiffness in the neck after an injury that has caused the neck to move suddenly or beyond its normal range. It occurs when the head is suddenly forced backward or forward and is then snapped in the other direction. This kind of motion most often happens to people in a car that is...

  • What are bedbugs? Bedbugs are flat, wingless insects about 0.25 in. (0.6 cm) long. They range in color from almost white to brown. They turn rusty red after feeding. Like mosquitoes, bedbugs feed on blood from animals or people. Bedbugs have that name because they like to hide in bedding and mattresses. Bedbugs...

  • Covers making your home fall-proof to prevent injuries. Looks at common hazards like clutter and throw rugs. Discusses simple changes you can make in your home and the way you do some activities to reduce risk of falling.

  • Anabolic steroids are synthetic substances similar to the male hormone testosterone. Doctors prescribe them to treat problems such as delayed puberty and other medical problems that cause the body to make very low amounts of testosterone. Steroids...

  • What is a canker sore? A canker sore is a shallow sore shaped like a crater (ulcer) on your tongue or on the inside of your lip or cheek. Canker sores have a red border and a white or yellow center. They may be painful and can make it hard to talk and eat. You may have one or more than one canker sore at a time...

  • My name:__________________ Doctor's name: ___________________ Doctor's phone: _______________ Controller medicine How much? How often? Other instructions Quick-relief medicine How much? How often? Other instructions...

  • A familial lipid disorder is a condition that runs in families. It causes very high levels of cholesterol. This condition can cause a person to get coronary artery disease (CAD) while still young. Because familial lipid disorders are rare, your doctor may only suspect one if you have: Very high cholesterol...

  • A hypertensive emergency is very high blood pressure that damages the body. It can cause damage to the brain, heart, eyes, or kidneys. A hypertensive emergency needs immediate care. Symptoms include numbness, blurry vision, chest pain, severe headache, and confusion. This problem is also called malignant...

  • What is an environmental illness? An environmental illness can occur when you are exposed to toxins or substances in the environment that make you sick. These health hazards may be found where you live, work, or play. Maybe you have headaches that only occur on weekends. Or maybe you began to feel sick and got a...

  • Resistance training with weights, elastic bands, or your own body weight may help you regain the physical strength and confidence to do the daily tasks you performed before your heart problem or surgery. Resistance training can help you get the most benefit from your cardiac rehabilitation (rehab) program. Do...

  • Covers walking as one of the easiest ways to increase your physical activity and improve your health. Explains what you need to know before starting a walking program. Includes how to stay motivated.

  • If you have heart failure, you need to be extra careful with medicines. Some can make your heart failure worse. Other medicines may not mix well with your heart failure drugs. This Actionset will help you learn which medicines you may need to avoid and what questions to ask your doctor or pharmacist. Each time you...

  • It's not easy to quit smoking. The nicotine in cigarettes is addicting. Your body craves it because it makes you feel good. So when you try to stop smoking, you go through nicotine withdrawal. You feel awful, and you may worry about gaining weight. You get cranky and anxious. It can be hard to sleep. You're not the...

  • Briefly discusses causes and symptoms of a collapsed lung (also called pneumothorax). Covers how it is diagnosed and treated. Links to info on COPD, asthma, cystic fibrosis, and pneumonia.

  • Discusses symptoms of a fractured rib, such as pain and difficulty when breathing and pain around fractured area. Covers how fractured ribs are diagnosed. Looks at treatment choices. Offers home care tips to prevent pneumonia.

  • In older adults, hip fractures are usually caused by a fall. Even a slight fall can sometimes cause a fracture in a weakened hipbone. Children and young adults are more likely to break a hip because of a bike or car accident or a sports injury. Falls cause more fractures—including hip fractures—as people age because...

  • Asks questions that help you find out if your low back problem might be helped by surgery. Results help you talk with your doctor about back pain or other symptoms like leg pain. Helps you talk with your doctor about surgery and other treatment options.

  • "Fibro fog" is the name commonly given to the cognitive problems that can go along with fibromyalgia syndrome. These problems with concentration and memory can lead to confusion, losing your train of thought, or forgetting or mixing up words or details. You can take steps to manage fibro fog. Try some of the...

  • Prolotherapy involves injecting a substance into the body to promote the growth of normal cells, tissues, or organs. There are three types of prolotherapy. The type used to treat joint pain is called inflammatory prolotherapy. In inflammatory prolotherapy, a sugar water solution (dextrose) is injected into a weakened...

  • Interactive tool that helps you estimate the impact smoking will have on your lifespan. Provides links to info on quitting tobacco use and a decision tool to determine whether you're ready to quit smoking.

  • Interactive tool helps you calculate how much money you have spent on cigarettes in the past and how much you will spend on them in the future if you keep smoking. Offers link to more extensive info on quitting tobacco use.

  • Offers interactive tool to help you find out if you may have an alcohol problem. Calculates how many signs of a drinking problem you have. Suggests if you are at low, medium, or high risk for an alcohol problem. Links to info on alcohol abuse.

  • Discusses controlling and preventing nausea and vomiting from chemotherapy. Looks at antinausea drugs including Zofran and Ativan. Also discusses complementary therapy, acupuncture, and nutrition.

  • Briefly covers boils, bumps under the skin often caused by infected hair follicles. Explains that bacteria form an abscess (pocket of pus). Covers home treatment. Also discusses when you should call a doctor. Includes info on how to prevent boils.

  • Discusses gastroenteritis (also called stomach flu) caused by a virus or bacteria. Covers symptoms like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or fever. Offers home treatment tips. Also offers prevention tips. Covers when you should seek care.

  • Guides you through the decision to have angioplasty when you have stable angina. Lists benefits and risks of angioplasty and medical therapy. Explains why lifestyle changes are still important. Includes interactive tool to help you with your decision.

  • Guides you through the decision to have catheter ablation for the heart rhythm problem atrial fibrillation. Lists benefits and risks of catheter ablation and medical therapy. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

Load More