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.

Urgent Care

  • Covers symptoms and possible causes of abdominal pain, such as peptic ulcer disease, indigestion, appendicitis, or stomach flu. Includes interactive tool to help you decide when to call a doctor. Offers home treatment tips.

  • Learn how temporary ear tubes help treat ear infections.

  • Learn about sinusitis and how you can care for yourself at home.

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

  • Take a minute to learn about a urinary tract infection and what you can do to feel better.

  • Here's help with giving your child eyedrops or eye ointment.

  • Here's help with using eyedrops or an eye ointment.

  • Here's help with giving your child eardrops.

  • 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 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.

  • 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.

  • Discusses pinkeye (conjunctivitis). Covers symptoms like red eyes and itching or burning feeling. Explains possible causes. Offers home treatment and prevention tips. Includes interactive tool to help you decide when to call a doctor.

  • Briefly discusses causes of coughs, including common cold, bronchitis, pneumonia, asthma, GERD, COPD, choking, or chemicals in the air. Offers interactive tool to help decide when to seek care. Also offers home treatment and prevention tips.

  • Briefly discusses causes of coughs in children, including common cold, bronchitis, pneumonia, asthma, allergies, choking, or chemicals in the air. Offers interactive tool to help decide when to seek care. Also offers home treatment and prevention tips.

  • Learn ways to ease the discomfort of pinkeye and keep the infection from spreading.

  • Learn why you probably don't need an antibiotic when you have acute bronchitis.

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

  • Covers possible causes of abdominal pain in children 11 and younger, including stomach flu, urinary tract infection, constipation, and appendicitis. Includes interactive tool to help you decide when to call a doctor. Offers home treatment tips.

  • Learn about ear infections and how you can care for your child at home.

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • Ear pain in children may be a sign of an infection in the space behind the eardrum ( middle ear). Ear infections (otitis media) most commonly occur when cold symptoms, such as a runny or stuffy nose and a cough, have been present for a few days. An...

  • Complications from ear infections are rare, but they can arise. Some problems that can occur include: Trouble hearing. Hearing problems are usually mild to moderate and are usually temporary. Long-lasting hearing loss is rare. But some children may...

  • Tympanocentesis is the removal of fluid from behind the eardrum. The doctor uses a special needle with a tube attached to collect the sample of fluid. A culture and sensitivity test is usually done on the sample of fluid. Before the test, your child may get medicine to help him or her relax. Or a doctor or nurse may...

  • Tympanometry tests the movement of the eardrum when an ear infection or other middle ear problem is suspected. A doctor places the tip of a handheld tool into the child's ear. The tool changes the air pressure inside the ear and produces a clear tone. Then the tool measures how the eardrum responds to the pressure and...

  • Is this topic for you? This topic covers infections of the middle ear, commonly called ear infections. For information on outer ear infections, see the topic Ear Canal Problems (Swimmer's Ear). For information on inner ear infections, see the topic Labyrinthitis. What is a middle ear infection? The middle ear is the...

  • Discusses test kits you can get without a prescription to use at home to check for urinary tract infections (UTIs). Looks at how test is done and how to prepare. Discusses possible results.

  • 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)...

  • Describes acute bronchitis, which is short-term inflammation of the tubes carrying air to the lungs. Explains difference between bronchitis and pneumonia. Includes causes and symptoms like cough. Covers treatment options.

  • 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...

  • Several factors determine whether you have a complicated urinary tract infection. You have symptoms, such as: A high temperature, greater than 101 F (38.3 C). Ongoing nausea, vomiting, and chills. Your condition getting worse in spite of doctor-directed home treatment. You have other risks, such as...

  • Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are common in older women and men. Factors that make older adults more likely to develop UTIs include: An immune system that isn't as strong as when the person was younger. A reduced ability to control urination and...

  • For years, people have used cranberry juice to prevent and help cure urinary tract infections (UTIs). There is limited proof that this is worth trying. Pure cranberry juice, cranberry extract, or cranberry supplements may help prevent repeated UTIs...

  • Discusses urinary tract infection in teens and adults. Covers symptoms and how problems might be diagnosed with urinalysis or a urine culture. Looks at treatment with antibiotics. Offers home treatment and prevention tips.

  • In endoscopic sinus surgery, an endoscope is inserted into the nose, providing the doctor with an inside view of the sinuses. Surgical instruments are inserted alongside the endoscope. This allows the doctor to remove small amounts of bone or other material blocking the sinus openings and remove growths (polyps) of the...

  • Briefly discusses surgery to treat chronic sinusitis. Covers how it is done and what to expect after surgery. Lists risks.

  • An endoscopic sinus exam allows the doctor to see all the structures inside the nose and the sinuses. Before inserting the endoscope, the passages inside the nose are opened up with a decongestant medicine and numbed with an anesthetic. The endoscope is guided up through a nostril and into the sinus opening, but it...

  • For this test, the sinus cavity is punctured with a needle, and a sample of the sinus contents is obtained. A culture and sensitivity test is often done on the sample to identify the bacteria, virus, or fungus causing the infection and to determine which medicine will be most effective in treating it. Cells taken from...

  • Saltwater washes (saline lavage or irrigation) help keep the nasal passages open by washing out thick or dried mucus. They can also help improve the function of cilia that help clear the sinuses. This can help prevent the spread of infection to the other sinuses and reduce postnasal drip. It also can make the nose feel...

  • Medicines available without a prescription may help relieve pain and promote sinus drainage. Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label. You can: Try a pain reliever such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen to relieve facial...

  • Discusses sinusitis, which is infection or inflammation of the lining of the sinus cavities. Covers acute sinusitis and chronic sinusitis. Looks at causes and symptoms. Covers treatment with medicines and surgery.

  • Many chronic illnesses can cause belly (abdominal) pain. These illnesses include sickle cell disease, diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and cystic fibrosis. Sudden (acute) illnesses, such as strep throat and influenza (flu), can cause belly pain when the glands in the belly become swollen or inflamed. These...

  • 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...

  • 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.

  • Recurrent abdominal pain (RAP) with no cause is defined as at least 3 separate episodes of abdominal pain that occur in a 3-month period. These episodes are often severe, and the child is not able to do his or her normal activities. It may affect up to 30% of children between the ages of 4 and 12. Symptoms of RAP are...

  • If a child has repeat ear infections (three or more ear infections in a 6-month period or four in 1 year), you may want to consider treatment to prevent future infections. One option used a lot in the past is long-term oral antibiotic treatment. There is debate within the medical community about using antibiotics on a...

  • 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 can cause belly pain or cramping. A few examples are: Aspirin, ibuprofen (such as Advil or Motrin), and naproxen (such as Aleve). Antibiotics. Antidiarrheals. Laxatives. Iron supplements. Your health professional may be able to prescribe other medicines if you are...

  • A productive cough helps clear mucus (sputum) and foreign material from the airways. Mucus may be made in the lungs because of bronchitis, pneumonia, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Colds and allergies may produce mucus that drains down the back of the throat ( postnasal drainage). Home treatment may...

  • Dry coughs that continue after other cold symptoms clear or that occur without other symptoms may be caused by a variety of health problems. Some people start coughing when they breathe very dry, heated air. This can be caused by environmental irritation or allergies. This type of cough may be more noticeable when you...

  • Signs of an eye infection may include: Pain in the eye. A feeling that something is in the eye (foreign body sensation). Increased sensitivity to light ( photophobia). Yellow, green, bloody, or watery discharge from the eye. Increasing redness of the eye or eyelids. A gray or white sore on the colored part of the...

  • A cough that is more noticeable when your child is lying down is usually caused by mucus running down the back of the throat (postnasal drip) from an upper respiratory infection, such as a cold, sinusitis, or allergy. A child usually has a runny or stuffy nose, may be irritable, and may have a fever. Home treatment is...

  • Parents are often the first to notice vision problems in a young child. A vision exam may be needed if your child: Is clumsy (beyond normal toddler clumsiness) and fails to notice new things around him or her. Squints when the light is not bright or...

  • Looks at symptoms of sore throat caused by virus and bacteria infections and irritants. Covers common cold, mononucleosis (mono), strep throat, and flu. Covers symptoms such as swollen glands and pain. Discusses antibiotics and home treatment medicines.

  • Guides through decision to have surgery to treat chronic sinusitis. Discusses endoscopic and traditional surgery. Explains who is a good candidate for surgery. Lists reasons for and against surgery. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Here are some ways you can help comfort your child who has a respiratory illness (such as respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection or a cold): Ask your doctor if your child can take acetaminophen or ibuprofen to help relieve fever (if present). Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the...

  • Guides through decision to use antibiotics for a child's ear infection. Covers symptoms of an ear infection. Offers home treatment tips. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision. This topic is only appropriate for children 6 months and older.

  • Discusses urinary tract infection in children 12 years and younger. Covers symptoms and how problems might be diagnosed with urinalysis or a urine culture. Looks at treatment with antibiotics. Offers home treatment and prevention tips.

  • 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...

  • Most women have an increased urge to urinate during pregnancy. This is a normal body response related to hormone changes that occur during pregnancy and to physical pressure on the bladder. Bladder infections are more common during pregnancy. When a bladder infection develops during pregnancy, you may have discomfort...

  • Abdominal pain can have many causes. Often the specific symptoms help determine the cause of the pain. Causes of abdominal pain Cause Most common symptoms Gastrointestinal problems, such as constipation, gallbladder disease, bowel obstruction, pancreatitis, appendicitis, gastritis, peptic ulcer disease...

  • Chemical pinkeye (conjunctivitis) or toxic pinkeye is caused by getting smoke, liquids, fumes, or chemicals in the eye. Flushing the eye with running water must be done immediately to remove the toxic chemical or liquid. Mild pinkeye can be caused by the chlorine in swimming pools. Most people don't need treatment...

  • Guides through decision to take antibiotics for acute bronchitis. Explains when antibiotics are helpful. Covers risks of antibiotics. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Coughing is your body's way of getting foreign substances and mucus out of your lungs and upper airway passages. Coughs are often useful, and you should not try to stop them. Sometimes, though, coughs are severe enough to make breathing difficult, cause vomiting, or prevent rest. Home treatment can help you feel more...

  • Urinary problems and injuries are a concern in children. A young child may not be able to tell you about his or her symptoms, which can make it hard to decide what your child needs. An older child may be embarrassed about his or her symptoms. When your child has a urinary problem or injury, look at all of his or her...

  • Most people will have some kind of urinary problem or injury in their lifetime. Urinary tract problems and injuries can range from minor to more serious. Sometimes, minor and serious problems can start with the same symptoms. Many urinary problems and injuries are minor, and home treatment is all that is needed to...

  • Discusses pinkeye (conjunctivitis). Covers what causes it and symptoms. Offers home treatment tips. Also offers tips to prevent spreading it. Includes pictures of normal eye and one with pinkeye.

  • What are colds? Everyone gets a cold from time to time. Children get more colds than adults. Colds usually last 1 to 2 weeks. You can catch a cold at any time of year, but they are more common in late winter and early spring. There is no cure for a cold. Antibiotics will not cure a cold. If you catch a cold...

  • Guides you through the decision to take antibiotics to treat sinusitis. Explains causes of sinusitis and how well antibiotics work. Lists risks. Discusses other treatment for sinus infection. Includes interactive tool to help you decide.

  • Guides readers through the decision to take antibiotics for sore throat. Explains the causes of sore throat and that most sore throats are caused by virus. Explains that antibiotics only work for sore throat caused by bacterial infections.

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