Overdiagnosis is the diagnosis of a medical condition that would never have caused any symptoms or problems. This kind of diagnosis can be harmful if it leads to psychological stress and unnecessary treatments.
The typical signs of chickenpox are a very itchy skin rash with red blisters and a mild fever. This contagious viral infection mainly affects preschool and school-age children between the ages of two and ten. Chickenpox is unpleasant, but it rarely leads to any serious complications in otherwise healthy children.
If you have hay fever or a dust mite allergy, you’re not alone: These conditions affect about one in four people. Various medications and allergen-specific immunotherapy often provide effective relief from the symptoms of hay fever or dust mite allergies. But there are also other ways to prevent or relieve these allergies.
If you sleep poorly at night, you're not alone. Nearly one out of five people have trouble with insomnia now and then. Certain relaxation techniques and sleeping habits can help you fall asleep faster and get more restful sleep.
Eczema is an inflammatory skin condition that often occurs in children. The main symptom is a very itchy rash. Acute flare-ups can greatly affect quality of life, but eczema often gets better over time or even clears up completely.
We all have abdominal pain and digestion problems from time to time. In most cases they're harmless. But if you have cramping pain in your upper abdomen that comes in waves, you may have gallstones. Gallstones don't always cause colic, though, so they often go unnoticed.
Seeing nearby objects less clearly is a normal part of aging. Known as presbyopia, this typically becomes noticeable in your mid-forties: you have to start holding newspapers or books further away in order to be able to read them. Although there are no effective treatments for the causes of presbyopia, its effects can be corrected.
Colorectal cancer is sometimes considered to be a disease only men have. But that is wrong: Although it affects men more commonly and often at an earlier age, women can also develop colorectal cancer. Here you can read about the risks and causes of colorectal cancer, and find information about the screening tests and living with the disease.
Depression is very common. People who have depression feel like they are stuck in an emotional black hole for weeks or months, and may not see any way out. Treatment often includes psychological approaches and medication. Relaxation techniques and exercise can also help.
Cystitis is very common in women. It is caused by a bacterial infection. Typical symptoms include a burning pain during urination, often associated with having to go the bathroom more often. There are effective treatments for uncomplicated cystitis, and it usually clears up without any problems.
Symptoms of acute tonsillitis include sore throat, difficulty swallowing, fever and fatigue. More frequent tonsil infections can be a real problem, and may also lead to complications in rare cases.
Acute middle ear infections among the most common illnesses in babies and young children. Parents often have sleepless nights when their child has a middle ear infection. The child may cry a lot, have an earache, run a fever and be unable to sleep. But middle ear infections generally clear up on their own within two to three days, and serious complications are rare.
Many parents start feeling anxious when their child has a hot, flushed face and is running a high fever. Most of the time a harmless viral infection is the cause. But it is still good for parents to know the signs of more serious medical problems and to realize when a doctor is needed.
People often use the terms “flu” and “cold” interchangeably. The course of these two types of infections is very different, though. Whereas common colds develop slowly, the flu arises suddenly and is more severe. Read about the symptoms, the flu vaccine and treatment options.
Most people experience ringing in their ears every now and then, for instance after a loud concert. But some people constantly hear sounds such as a whistling noise for no apparent reason. Tinnitus can seriously affect your everyday life. Read what has been shown to help – and what hasn't.
Most hernias occur when part of the intestine or peritoneum pushes through a gap in the abdominal wall. A bulge can usually be seen from the outside. Inguinal hernias are the most common kind of hernia, and usually occur in men. But women and children may also be affected by hernias occasionally. We describe the most common types and the treatment options.
In cataracts the lens of the eye becomes cloudy. This causes vision to worsen, making it especially difficult to see fine details clearly. Some people’s vision is only slightly affected, whereas others might lose their eyesight very quickly. The only long-term solution is surgery.
A pregnancy is associated with a great deal of change, especially if it is the woman’s first. Parents-to-be often feel a whole spectrum of emotions, ranging from joy to hope to anxiety: How will everything go? How will life change once the baby has arrived?
What happens in a woman’s body during menopause? What symptoms can the hormonal changes cause, and how can you best deal with them? Find out about menopause, hot flashes and wellbeing during this phase of life.
Inflamed joints, pain and reduced flexibility can be signs of rheumatoid arthritis, but they may also be caused by osteoarthritis. Here you can find an overview of the typical symptoms and causes of rheumatoid arthritis. You can also read about the usual course of this chronic condition and the different treatment options.
Most teenagers will have pimples at some point. Severe acne can be very distressing. But there are a number of things that can help, although patience is usually needed.
About one in five adults have varicose veins. These bumpy, bluish veins are mostly a cosmetic issue for a lot of people. But they sometimes cause heavy-feeling legs, pain or muscle cramps. Read about the treatment options for varicose veins.
Although menstruation is a normal part of a woman's life, severe period pain need not be. Women do not have to simply put up with it – menstrual pain can usually be treated effectively. It is a good idea to see a doctor if period pain is severe or gets worse over time.
Fertility can be affected by a number of different things. One possible cause is varicose veins in the scrotum, called varicoceles. They are quite common. Read on to find out about treatment options and who can benefit from treatment.
Diarrhea is very common. It is usually caused by viruses and goes away on its own after a few days. But more severe or longer lasting diarrhea needs to be treated because it can lead to the loss of dangerously high levels of fluid and salt, especially in young children and older people.
As we age, we may develop eye conditions that impair our eyesight or have more serious consequences. Glaucoma is one of these eye conditions, but early diagnosis and treatment can help delay loss of eyesight.
Taking medication sounds easy enough but can be complicated, for example if you have to take a lot of different medications for a long time. What is the best way to keep track of it all? And what is important to know when using antibiotics? And how can you make sure children get the right dose?
Although ticks can carry and spread disease, tick bites do not generally cause health problems. You're much less likely to develop tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) than Lyme disease (Lyme borreliosis). And there are several things you can do to prevent tick bites.
Most of us know what it’s like to have “fuzzy-feeling” teeth after eating sweet foods. But if your entire mouth feels cottony all the time, and you also have problems tasting and swallowing food, you may have oral thrush. Although this fungal infection is hardly ever a serious danger to your health, it can be very unpleasant.
Sometimes breast cancer is found only after it has already spread to other parts of the body. But with well-planned and individualized treatment, it is often possible to live with the disease for years and have a good quality of life.
Hemophilia is a disease that causes problems with blood clotting. It makes people's blood clot (coagulate) much more slowly than usual. The more poorly the blood clots, the worse the symptoms are. Read about the degrees of severity, the causes and effects of hemophilia, and the treatment options.
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