A Dentist Explains Root Canals
In a root canal, the soft tissue inside the tooth's canal is removed and the space is filled with a material that's compatible with the body's own tissues.
A Guide to Eyeglass Lenses
Eyeglasses can be prescribed for a range of vision problems, from nearsightedness to farsightedness to the diminished vision of advancing age.
What the Inside of Your Nose Reveals
Doctors usually don't look inside your nose unless they have a specific reason. Usually, they are looking for an infection or allergy. Sometimes, they're looking for other sources of your breathing problem, such as a deviated septum, the term doctors use to describe a misalignment of the cartilage that runs down the center of your nose.
Why the Doctor Gives You an EKG or ECG
Did you know that electrical currents flow throughout your body? Because the strongest of these travels through your heart, doctors are able to monitor your heart by placing electrical sensors on the surface of your skin. They do this by giving you an electrocardiogram -- abbreviated either ECG or EKG (from the original German spelling of the word).
Exercise and Target Heart Rate
The key to cardiovascular fitness is getting a good but safe aerobic workout. Heart rate monitors, which monitor your heart rate while you exercise, can help you do that with ease.
Why the Doctor Takes a Blood Sample
You probably don't enjoy giving a blood sample, but it's an important part of a physical exam. From a small sample of your blood, your health care provider can order scores of tests.
Q and A on Generic Drugs
Although many generic drugs are made in other countries, drug makers must adhere to strict manufacturing requirements in order to distribute and sell their products in the United States.
Why the Doctor Presses Your Abdomen
When your doctor presses on your abdomen, he or she is feeling to see if any major internal organs are enlarged or tender, making them painful to touch, which could indicate disease.
A Guide to Common Medicinal Herbs
Here's a look at some of the more common medicinal herbs. Most herbs have not been thoroughly tested for effectiveness or interactions with other herbs, supplements, drugs or foods.
Side Effects of Medicine May Increase With Aging
Sometimes medicines can cause side effects and actually make a person feel worse. Side effects are more common as people age, so it's important to understand how to identify and prevent side effects.
Side effects of medications are more common as people age, so it's important to understand how to identify and prevent them.
Learn to Be a Smart Pharmaceutical Consumer
Prescription medications have joined the ranks of new cars and breakfast cereals. Many of them are being marketed directly to the public through ads on television and in magazines. Some medications get so much free publicity they don't need to be advertised.
How to Plan for Long-Term Care
Most older people are independent. But later in life, you or someone you love may need help with everyday activities, such as shopping, cooking and bathing.
Screening for Prostate Cancer
If you are a man, you are at risk for prostate cancer. The risk for prostate cancer increases with age. Your risk is also higher if you are African-American or have a family history of prostate cancer. The American Cancer Society recommends that men over age 50 get tested for prostate cancer once a year.
What Is Angioplasty?
When you feel chest pain from blocked arteries, you might see an interventional cardiologist for treatment.
What to Expect at Your Mammogram
A mammogram is an X-ray of the breast. It can find changes in the breast when a lump is too small for you or your doctor to feel.
Why Doctors Remove Cataracts
A cataract is a clouding of the eye's lens, a clear, soft structure behind the pupil that works much like a camera lens. The top cause of cataracts is aging. In fact, more people over 70 have cataracts than not.
What to Do if Your Child Needs Surgery
If having surgery makes you nervous, imagine how it can seem for a child. By helping the youngster anticipate and face those fears, you can ease the trauma and smooth the way for a quicker, easier recovery.
Why a Colonoscopy Is Important
Many people worry about having their large bowel examined with a colonoscope. While anxiety is normal, the colonoscope is an amazing instrument that gives gastroenterologists like me a very close view of the large bowel, also called the colon.
Anti-Aging Hormones: Do They Work?
Wouldn't it be wonderful if you could look and feel years younger just by taking a supplement? The makers of "anti-aging" hormone supplements would like you to believe that this is possible. But before you accept their claims and open your wallet, see what medical researchers say.
Scoping Out Sunglasses
You may think we wear sunglasses for comfort and fashion. But here's another important reason to wear sunglasses: to protect the health of your eyes.
Teaming Up with Your Pharmacist
Pharmacists do much more than count tablets and pour liquids. Their main job is to focus on the medications you take and the effect they have.
Recognizing Medication Tampering
No packaging system is completely safe, so it's important that you check for signs of tampering whenever you buy or use a medicine.
A Must-Know Guide to Drug-Drug Interactions
Drug-drug interactions occur when one drug interacts or interferes with another drug. Such interactions are dangerous because they can alter the way one or both of the drugs act in the body. They can also cause unexpected side effects. The following information can help you avoid drug-drug interactions.
Taking OTC Pain Relievers
At first glance, visiting the pain-reliever section of your drugstore might just give you a headache -- if you don't already have one. After all, there are more than 150 products on the market to choose from.
Who's Who in Health Care
This list of health care professionals, which excludes doctors, can help you understand the wide array of people called upon to render care.
AEDs: High-Tech Help for Heart Attacks
Technology has given us the automated external defibrillator (AED), which is turning up far from hospitals. Some schools and public buildings already have AEDs.
Managing Your Medicine Cabinet
Stocking your medicine cabinet isn't difficult and doesn't take much time. You'll first want the essentials for first aid and symptom relief, rounded out with a few items that meet the special needs of you and your family.
How to Properly Manage Medical Devices
Many people with chronic illnesses depend on elaborate medical devices, such as cardiac pacemakers or blood-glucose monitors for their health and well-being. Countless others help their loved ones, young or old, deal with an oxygen machine, asthma medication inhaler or other device. No matter how sophisticated or simple the piece of medical equipment is, it's crucial to use and maintain it properly.
How to Find Dr. Right
Your relationship with your health care provider is one of the most important in your life.
Influenza Shots Urged for Young Children
Each fall you hear that the flu threatens senior citizens and folks with chronic ailments. But the rate of hospital stays is highest in another group—young children.
Over-the-Counter Remedies for Seniors
It's easy to forget that OTC remedies are drugs that can cause side effects and affect other medications. That's why it's important to read the dosage instructions, health risks and warnings on the packaging.
Options in Nicotine Therapy
By using nicotine replacement therapy to reduce withdrawal symptoms, smokers who try to quit have a better chance of succeeding.
Use Caution with Pain Relievers
Over-the-counter pain relievers are safe and effective when used as directed. It's when a person doesn't follow the label's advice that problems may occur.
Your Child's Diabetes Care Team
Having a child with diabetes can be overwhelming. Fortunately, a team of experts can guide you now and in the years to come.
Planning for End of Life
You need to understand your options and take time to consider what will help you reach the end of your life with dignity, comfort and a sense of control.
Your Asthma Health Care Team
An entire team of health care experts is on hand to help people with asthma manage their symptoms and continue to live normal, active lives.
How to Be an Active Patient
People who are actively involved in their medical care stay healthier, recover quicker when they're ill and live longer, healthier lives.
Your Arthritis Health Care Team
No matter what form of arthritis you have, your role as part of your health care team can make the difference in how well you function with pain, stiffness or inflammation.
The Value of a Second Opinion
If your provider suggests non-emergency surgery or a major medical test, it can be worthwhile to get a second opinion
How Much of a Threat Is Bird Influenza?
Influenza, with its fever, aches, fatigue and threat of complications, seems a uniquely human illness. But the flu, caused by a virus, can infect animals and birds, as well.
Maintaining Your Personal Health Record
A PHR can help reduce or eliminate duplicate tests and allow you to receive faster, safer treatment and care in an emergency. It also can help you play a more active role in your health care.
Depressed Kids Need Help
Teen depression is a serious illness. The benefits of getting help, including taking medications if needed, far outweigh the potential risks.
The Quest for Whiter Teeth
The experts say most of us can have whiter teeth. What's more, many of us can do it ourselves with an over-the-counter (OTC) tooth-whitening product.
Oral Health and Asthma
If you have asthma, does your dentist know? This is important for good oral health, especially if you use a corticosteroid inhaler.
Diuretics help your blood pressure go down by helping your body to get rid of extra water and salt by producing more urine.
Take Care With Nasal Sprays
A medicated nasal decongestant spray may offer fast relief when your nose is congested and running. It can reduce swelling and clear mucus from your nasal passages quickly.
Offsite Health Care Options
Many forms of emergency treatment take place outside the emergency room, and even many surgeries are performed in locations other than a hospital operating room.
Self-Treat? Or See a Doctor?
When you’re sick, knowing whether you should treat yourself at home or see your doctor can save you time and hundreds, possibly thousands, of dollars a year.
Choosing a Hospital
You don't have time to choose a hospital if you have a health emergency. But if you’re facing surgery or treatment for a particular health condition, taking time to find a hospital that meets your needs is well worth the effort.
Second Opinions for Cancer
Whether you’re facing major surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy, a second opinion can help ensure you’re getting the most targeted, effective treatment for your condition.
Understanding Long-Term Care
When people of any age need others to help them with medical, physical or emotional needs over an extended period of time, they need long-term care.
Insulin Pump Use
Insulin pumps are used most often by people with type 1 diabetes, but some people with type 2 diabetes use them, too.
What Is Spinal Stenosis?
Spinal stenosis is a condition in which the spinal canal narrows and pinches the nerves, resulting in back and leg pain.
ADHD Drugs Safe, Experts Say
Parents of kids with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) face a tough choice: whether to medicate their children or not.
How to Safely Choose OTC Medications
Over-the-counter (OTC) cough and pain relievers, laxatives, and headache remedies may treat different conditions, but they all have one thing in common: They’re serious medicines that need to be taken with care.
Using a Surgeon's Tools to Erase the Years
It's called plastic surgery, but there's no plastic involved. In this case, "plastic" refers to the ability of the surgeon to reshape the skin, the face, or other body parts. With advances in technique and an aging population, plastic surgery is more popular than ever.
Use Your Medications Wisely
Although most medications are safe when you take them the right way, some drugs can cause dizziness, loss of consciousness, bleeding, irregular heartbeats, and other side effects in some cases.
Trouble Flossing? Help Is at Hand
Are you one of those people who don't floss because you find it awkward to maneuver the floss between your teeth? If so, a number of products can help you get the job done.
Digital X-Rays Give Dentists the Big Picture
Digital technology has spread to the dentist's office. Somewhere between 10 to 30 percent of dentists have forgone film, choosing instead digital X-rays that come with a number of advantages.
How to Tell if Your Child Needs Braces
Orthodontic treatment most commonly begins between ages 9 and 14 because kids in this age range have at least some permanent teeth and are still growing.
How to Control Surgical Costs
Hospitalizations account for more than half of all health care costs, so avoiding surgery is one of the best ways to reduce your medical expenses.
New Rules for OTC Cold Relief
You'll face new hassles as you sneeze and sniffle. You'll have to ask your pharmacist or a store worker for medications that include pseudoephedrine.
Safe Use of Alternative Remedies
Using any herb, vitamin, or natural hormone without knowing what you’re getting into—and without a health care provider’s advice—carries a real risk of damaging your health.
MRSA Infections on the Rise
Bacteria resistant to antibiotics are causing a growing number of infections, both in hospitals and in schools and other community settings.
Make Your Dentist Your Partner
One of the most important things you can do to ensure great oral health care is to develop a good relationship with your dentist.
Glossary of Dental Terms
Dentists use a lot of terms to describe problems and procedures. Here is a look at some of them.
Could Medication Be Causing Weight Gain?
The most common prescription medications to cause weight gain include drugs that treat depression, heartburn, bipolar disorder, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
Antibiotics Not the Cure for the Common Cold
Most of the time, however, a cold passes in a week, with or without the use of antibiotics. Taking these drugs does not help you get better faster. In fact, it can create problems.
Using Antibiotics Safely and Wisely
Antibiotics have been misused so much in recent years that doctors now face an alarming problem. Bacteria that once were easily controlled have become resistant to many antibiotics.
Making Sense of Medical Notes
If you’ve ever tried to read a medical chart but couldn’t understand the doctor’s shorthand, these definitions can help.
Stay Safe When You’re In the Hospital
Being active and involved in care decisions and taking extra precautions to avoid infection when in a hospital can help keep you and your family safe.
Health Newcomer: The Patient Advocate
Patient advocates fulfill many roles, even, in some cases, staying with hospitalized patients around the clock to help guard against medical errors.
Genetics and Illness: What's Your Fate?
Although inheriting certain genes might boost your chances of contracting a disease, it's rarely a sure thing. Often, your lifestyle and environment can join with disease-prone genes to make a potential disease a reality.
Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Range of Treatment
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) can be a frustrating condition to deal with because it doesn’t have an easily identifiable cause. It’s an autoimmune disorder, which means your immune system literally attacks your body—in this case, your joints.
For Parents: Treat at Home or Call the Doctor?
For parents of a newborn, first-time parents, or any anxious mom or dad, it may be hard to tell a true health threat that needs a doctor's attention from a frightening, yet simple, illness that doesn't require medical treatment. Most sniffles, sneezes, and stomachaches don't need medical attention. But how do you know when it's time to call the doctor?
Coping with Hair Loss During Cancer Treatment
Hair loss, known medically as alopecia, is one of the most common side effects of chemotherapy, the drugs used to attack the cancer cells in your body. Hair loss can be difficult emotionally because of the way it alters your appearance.
Older Adults and the Common Cold
Cold and flu season is hard on everyone, but for older adults who may have chronic health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, it’s especially challenging.
Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery (CABG)
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Coronary artery bypass surgery is performed to treat a blockage or narrowing of one or more of the coronary arteries, thus restoring the blood supply to the heart muscle.
How to Plan for Major Surgery
Major surgery can be intimidating, but you’ll feel more confident if you get all the information you need about your surgery beforehand. This will help you prepare for the procedure and for your recovery in the hospital or at home.
Planning for Same-Day Surgery
Same-day surgery can take place at a hospital, surgical center or doctor's office. Because of advances in surgery and anesthesia, many surgeries that once required a hospital stay can be safely done as same-day surgery.
What to Know About Herbs and Surgery
Experts recommend that all herbal supplements be stopped two to three weeks before surgery. That's because these herbs can have side effects that could make surgery more dangerous for you.
What to Know About Joint Replacement Surgery
Many factors are used to determine the need for joint replacement surgery. Some of the factors that you and your doctor will consider are the extent and nature of the damage to the joint in question.
New Ways to Heal Broken Bones
Advances in orthopedic technology are helping broken and fractured bones to heal quicker and more strongly than ever before.
Palliative Care: Bringing Comfort
Palliative care focuses on improving a patient’s quality of life by improving the symptoms of his or her illness, such as pain, shortness of breath, and difficulty sleeping. It's used with a variety of ailments, including cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, kidney failure, or congestive heart failure.
What Is a Personal Health Record?
A personal health record is a documentation of your medical history and care. Although health care providers routinely keep such medical records, you can create your own record, and records for other family members.