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Sleep deprivation is all too common on your average campus, but does being sleep deprived really hurt you? Surprisingly, the answer is yes. Suffering from insomnia in college can lead to reduced concentration and impair your studying efforts.
Transcript: There's a reason that sleep deprivation is used as a form of torture-it's killer on your body. In fact,...
There's a reason that sleep deprivation is used as a form of torture-it's killer on your body. In fact, if you miss enough sleep, it can cause you to drive as erratically as someone who has a blood alcohol level of .08 or higher. In other words, missing too much sleep can impair you in much the same way that being intoxicated can. Multiple studies have documented the negative effects that lack of sleep has on brain function. Just one night of missed sleep can significantly dull the centers of your brain responsible for memory, concentration, and language... -meaning that your all night study session might have done more harm than good. And if you continually skimp on sleep, you may experience memory loss, a decreased desire for sex, and reduced tolerance for alcohol. In the end, you'll definitely gain more by catching some zzzs than you will by cramming all night. It's important to be mindful of the impact on all-nighter can have on your body and mind.More »
Last Modified: 2014-01-10 | Tags »
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Whether you're staying awake for studying or something a bit more exciting, you probably drink more than your fair share of caffeine packed energy drinks and coffee. Here, learn about the pros and cons of staying-awake aids.
Transcript: If you're pulling an all-nighter, you'll probably need some help. Here, the good, the bad, and the ugly...
If you're pulling an all-nighter, you'll probably need some help. Here, the good, the bad, and the ugly of the stay-awake aids. The most common sleep fighting agent amongst college students is caffeine, which is the stimulating ingredient in coffee, tea, and soft drinks. Though some use ephedrine, the active ingredient found in over-the-counter allergy and cold medication, like Sudafed or Mucinex.According to the National Coffee Association, college students are now drinking more caffeine than ever-about 3.2 cups each daily, up from 2.1 in 2005. Meanwhile, some students prefer to get their caffeine rush faster, in the form of over-the-counter pills like NoDoze and Vivarin. Most of these tablets contain about 200 milligrams of caffeine, which is comparable to two cups of coffee. Both caffeine pills and direct caffeine intake are fairly harmless ways to stay awake, according to the FDA. Remember though, that caffeine may make you jittery and distracted, side effects that can defeat the purpose of staying awake to study in the first place. Additionally, caffeine can be addictive, so you can suffer headaches and other withdrawal symptoms if you stop using it. While caffeine is generally safe, some energy drinks, like Wired, contain as much as 500 milligrams of the stimulant. That's the equivalent of five cups of coffee in one fell swoop, a dose that may make doing schoolwork more difficult. Still, if you're sticking with caffeine, you're better off than the 14% of your peers who rely on prescription ADHD medication, like Adderall or Ritalin, to stay awake, according to a 2004 University of Wisconsin study.* These stimulating drugs are often used illegally by college students to increase concentration and ward off sleep. While ADHD meds may work in the short-term, if used incorrectly, they can sometimes come with some dangerous side effects, including fainting and seizures. Plus, drugs like Ritalin are addictive, and users may start to desire them even when all-nighters aren't necessary. But no matter your stay-awake aid, you're probably better off letting yourself actually sleep, says a recent study at Saint Lawrence University. There, researchers found that students who avoided staying up all night had better GPAs than those who relied on not sleeping pre-exam. So think ahead, and plan your schedule so that you can crawl under the covers and get yourself some much deserved rest when you're in crunch time!More »
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Although 95 percent of people will get mononucleosis at some point in their lives, mono makes itself most known on college campuses. If you're experiencing symptoms of mono, like constant fatigue or general lethargy, it's probable you've got it.
Transcript: College is a hook up heaven, and that means it's also a breeding ground for mono. In fact, one in two...
College is a hook up heaven, and that means it's also a breeding ground for mono. In fact, one in two hundred college students will contract mono annually! Infectious mononucleosis is a contagious disease transmitted by saliva. The good news about mono is that it's rarely very serious. The bad news is that it will put you out of commission for a minimum of one week-and for as long as two months! Since mono is spread through saliva, it is usually transmitted via kissing, hence its nickname as the "kissing disease." But sharing cups, like in beer pong, or utensils, can also lead to mono. And so can living in confined quarters with someone who has the kissing disease. It would be easy if you could just avoid swapping saliva with an infected individual! However, mono incubates for four to eight weeks, during which time it is quite contagious - and has no symptoms. As a result, it's nearly impossible to completely avoid people who are infected. As a result of mono's long dormant period, you probably won't experience symptoms for a period of at least four weeks post-infection. But once the disease is done incubating, you'll notice a loss of appetite, chills, and severe lethargy. Several days later, these initial symptoms will often by joined by swollen lymph nodes, sore throat and a high fever. At this point, if you haven't already, you should definitely head to your college's health care providers, who will be able to test your blood to confirm mono. If you are infected, however, there's not much you can do but to tell your profs and pals, then lie low and wait it out. Treat your symptoms with over-the-counter remedies, like throat numbing sprays and ibuprofen. And remember: You may or may not still be contagious at this point, so it's best to avoid swapping saliva until you've fully recovered.More »
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Pink eye, or conjunctivitis as your doctor may call it, is a contagious disease that affects many college students. Blame close quarters and bad hygiene for this itchy ailment. Watch to learn how to treat and - even better - avoid the eye infection.
Transcript: Pink eye isn't just for kids anymore-in fact, it may be coming to a college campus near you. Pink eye,...
Pink eye isn't just for kids anymore-in fact, it may be coming to a college campus near you. Pink eye, or conjunctivitis, is inflammation of the conjunctiva, the mucous membrane that lines the eyelid. If you contract pink eye, you'll experience redness, tearing, itching, discharge, and/or sensitivity to light. The problem with pink eye is that it can be caused by a number of different factors, and each requires a different treatment. Often, conjunctivitis stems from the transmission of bacteria and viruses from person to person. This could happen by sharing towels with your roommate, or by touching infected surfaces and then your eyes. If a visit to the health center shows that your pink eye stems from a virus, you're out of luck. All you'll be able to do is wait out the infection, which can take up to five days. On the other hand, bacteria-based pink eye can be treated with a prescription antibiotic, ending the contagious period much sooner. Some pink eye can be caused by environmental factors, as well, including allergens and chemicals. But these forms of conjunctivitis aren't contagious, and are less likely to plague you on campus.More »
Last Modified: 2013-03-18 | Tags »
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Are you ready to quit smoking? If you're like 51 percent of college smokers, you only smoke cigarettes on a social basis, and don't consider it necessary to stop. Unfortunately, every puff bring you closer to a cancer diagnosis, or worse.
Transcript: Do you think that cigarettes pair with drinking like peanut butter with jelly? If so, you're in a growing...
Do you think that cigarettes pair with drinking like peanut butter with jelly? If so, you're in a growing group of college students. According to a Harvard University study, almost 33% of college students admit to having used tobacco in the past month. While many are everyday users, a whopping quarter of this group consider themselves, "sometimes smokers," only using tobacco on specific occasions. And the CDC attests that of all these college-aged smokers, 40% of them started smoking after high school. So why the increasing rates of cigarette use among college-aged students? For many, smoking is a social activity, that goes hand-in-hand with the college lifestyle of partying and drinking with peers. In fact, over 70% of college students have tried at least one cigarette during college, the Harvard study found. Other students admitted that they smoked to ease stress, to fit in, or as a way to control their weight. Post-college, many smokers do end up quitting the habit, with only 21% of adults classifying themselves as smokers, according to last year's Gallup poll. But because tobacco remains as deadly as ever, it's wise to consider cutting it out of your campus experience, and not waiting until later!More »
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Acne isn't supposed to follow you to college but some people can't find a way to get rid of those pimples, even with great skin care. If you're trying to understand why your skin hasn't cleared up or looking for acne treatment
Transcript: They've pestered you as long as you can remember, but you thought they'd go away when you went to college....
They've pestered you as long as you can remember, but you thought they'd go away when you went to college. No, we're not talking parents-we're talking pimples! While it's true that acne is more prevalent during teenage years, early adulthood doesn't always give you a get out of acne free card. Here's why: As a teen, your body makes extra androgens, which are sometimes called male hormones. But don't let the name fool you: both men's and women's bodies produce androgens, just in differing amounts. In fact, androgens are key to more than 200 functions in women's bodies! Thing is, increased androgens can ALSO lead to pimples!As you finish developing, androgens, and therefore pimple production, slow down. Not all students are fully developed upon going away to college, which can account for some cases of college acne. And since androgen production increases during a woman's period, it makes sense that more college women than men deal with acne. Plus, a recent Stanford University study showed that acne worsens during times of serious stress-like that final exam. While it's a bummer, pimple production does slow down significantly by the time you hit your twenties. And only some adults over thirty deal with recurrent acne issues. If you're not willing to wait it out, your adulthood treatment options go even further than the pharmacy's over-the-counter aisle. Moderate acne may require prescription antibiotics in pill or cream form, like Cleocin or BenzaClin. These are designed to kill acne-causing bacteria and reduce inflammation. Very severe acne may need a doctor's touch, either with drainage of pimples, or surgery to remove them. You have options, so there's no need to live with persistent acne. Talk to a doctor at your college's health center about your best treatment choice.More »
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Athlete's foot is the result of a fungus that lurks in college showers and gyms. If your feet get near this contagious disease, you're likely to join the majority of college students who, at some point, have to deal with the peeling and itching symptoms
Transcript: Sharing a shower with twenty other 20-somethings may lead to a less-than-clean experience for your feet....
Sharing a shower with twenty other 20-somethings may lead to a less-than-clean experience for your feet. Athlete's foot is a common skin condition caused by the transmission of mold-like fungi called dermatophytes. These fungi thrive on the feet, because the warm, moist environment provided by shoes offers them the perfect living environment. Feet fungi are known to slough off in places where you walk barefoot, like dorm showers and the gym locker room. Because other people are also commonly barefoot in the same locations, these fungi can spread quickly from person to person. The symptoms of athlete's foot vary, but often include dry skin, itchiness, and scaling between your toes. You may also notice itchy blisters, crumbly toenails and red spots. If you think you have athlete's foot, apply an over-the-counter antifungal ointment or spray. If that doesn't take care of the Athlete's Foot, your doctor can provide a prescription oral medication like Diflucan. Once your infection clears up, avoid getting another one by drying your feet carefully post-shower, particularly between your toes. Try wearing sandals in the shower, . And whatever you do, don't borrow your roommate's shoes while either of you are infected!More »
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Meningitis, bacterial or viral, is an infection that can be serious, even deadly. Watch this video to see how common meningitis is and how to treat the infection if you catch it.
Transcript: Meningitis. Sounds serious, doesn't it? Well, it can be. Meningitis is an infection that causes inflammation...
Meningitis. Sounds serious, doesn't it? Well, it can be. Meningitis is an infection that causes inflammation of the meninges, which are the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord. There are two types of meningitis: bacterial and viral. Bacterial meningitis is rare, but can be life threatening if not treated right away. Viral meningitis usually seems like a really bad case of the flu, and is usually much less serious. Viral meningitis can be caused by enteroviruses, which are found in mucus, saliva, and feces. They are transmitted through direct contact with an infected person or a contaminated object. Sometimes other viruses including flu, herpes, mumps, West Nile, and HIV can trigger viral meningitis. This type of meningitis is most common in children and adults under age 30, and often causes only flu-like symptoms and gastrointestinal distress. In more severe cases it can trigger pain and seizures. It typically clears up on its own in 2 to 4 weeks with no lasting complications. Bacterial meningitis needs immediate medical treatment or it could potentially be fatal. Aggressive antibacterial treatment is needed to reduce the risk of brain damage, or worse. And long-term treatment and therapy may be needed to recover from the physical damage this infection can cause. A confusing aspect of meningitis is that both bacterial and viral meningitis have similar symptoms in the early stages, which include a stiff neck, fever, headache and possibly nausea. Because bacterial meningitis can be so serious and needs treatment, you should get to the doctor right away to determine which type you might have. A spinal tap, blood cultures and a CT scan of the head will help your doctor figure out a treatment plan, and routine immunizations can go a long way towards meningitis prevention.More »
Last Modified: 2013-03-18 | Tags »
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Some people are more susceptible to catching meningitis than others, which is why it's important to know about risk factors. Watch this video to learn about the most common meningitis risk factors.
Transcript: Anyone can get meningitis, which is an infection of the membrane surrounding the brain and spinal cord....
Anyone can get meningitis, which is an infection of the membrane surrounding the brain and spinal cord. But some people are more vulnerable than others. The infection is most commonly caused by a virus or bacteria. Viral meningitis accounts for about 80 percent of the cases. It often seems like a bad case of the flu and may not require any medical treatment. It's usually spread hand to mouth after contact with anyone or anything--- such as saliva, feces, or mucus - that's contaminated with the triggering viruses. Enteroviruses, the flu virus, mumps, measles and herpes simplex virus can all cause viral meningitis. Bacterial meningitis, on the other hand, is much less common, affecting between 4 and 8 thousand people a year in the U.S. Young children, people living in communal environments, such as college dorms, those with weakened immune systems, because of cancer treatment or HIV, for example, and the elderly, are most likely to get it. More than 50 types of bacteria can cause the infection. If you fall into any of the high risk groups, such as college kids or someone with a weakened immune system, having additional risk factors can make you more likely to come down with the infection. These additional risk factors include: excessive alcohol consumption; diabetes; a head injury or trauma; a recent ear or respiratory infection, including pneumonia; or missing a spleen, if for example yours was removed. And, although exceedingly rare in this country, women are at increased risk for bacterial meningitis during pregnancy because of immune system changes. For both viral and bacterial meningitis, an effective way to reduce your risk of infection is to make sure to wash your hands after you change a baby's diaper, use the bathroom, or prepare food. And always wash your hands BEFORE eating or drinking. There is a vaccine against bacterial meningitis and it is recommended for infants 9 months and older, college students in their first year, military recruits, and anyone traveling to locations where food and water may be sources of infection.For more information on viral and bacterial meningitis, check out other videos on this site.More »
Last Modified: 2012-12-11 | Tags »
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Understanding bacterial meningitis is actually pretty easy when you've got the facts. So watch this for everything you need to know from causes and symptoms to treatment and prevention.
Transcript: There are two forms of meningitis: bacterial and viral. Viral is both more common and usually less serious....
There are two forms of meningitis: bacterial and viral. Viral is both more common and usually less serious. Bacterial meningitis, on the other hand, can be life-threatening. Fortunately, it only affects about 4,000 people in the US every year. So, what is bacterial meningitis? It's an inflammation of the protective covering of the brain and spinal cord that's caused by a variety of bacteria. The most common forms are meningococcal and pneumococcal meningitis. There is now a vaccine against Pneumococcal meningitis, so it is becoming much less common. Infrequently, E. coli, listeria, the tuberculosis bacterium or a head injury can trigger bacterial meningitis. Meningococcal meningitis is easily spread through respiratory fluids, such as saliva, among people living or spending time in close quarters, including college campuses, daycare centers, sleep-away camps, or military barracks. Those with a weakened immune system are also at risk. Symptoms of bacterial meningitis can appear within 2-3 hours or up to two days after exposure and most commonly include: high fever, headache, stiff neck, nausea and vomiting, increased sensitivity to light and confusion. When symptoms appear in infants, they can also include: constant crying, especially when picked up, stiffness throughout the body and a bulge in the soft spot on the head. If a blood test confirms you have bacterial meningitis, immediate intravenous treatment with targeted antibiotics is essential. So, what's your best bet for avoiding bacterial meningitis? It's as simple as being up-to-date on your vaccinations, washing your hands often, covering your mouth when sneezing or coughing, and maintaining a healthy diet. For more information on bacterial and viral meningitis, check out other videos in this series.More »
Last Modified: 2012-12-11 | Tags »
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Treating hepatitis varies depending on the type and severity of the infection. To see what the most common and effect treatments are, watch this.
Transcript: Hepatitis, a viral infection that attacks the liver, comes in many forms. The three main types are hepatitis...
Hepatitis, a viral infection that attacks the liver, comes in many forms. The three main types are hepatitis A, B and C. Treatments for each type vary depending on the severity of the infection. Hepatits A, for example, is usually mild. There are no medications to treat the infection itself, and your best therapy is to rest, drink plenty of fluids, and eat small, bland, low fat meals, to relieve nausea and vomiting. The virus almost always clears up on its own, and the liver usually heals completely in a month or two. Hepatitis B and C also may trigger an acute illness - like hepatitis A-and go away on their own without causing any long-term damage. But they may also cause no noticeable symptoms at all and become chronic-and it may take decades before symptoms show up. By the time they do a person may have extensive liver damage and face cirrhosis, liver failure or liver cancer. Once diagnosed, chronic hepatitis B can be treated with a combination of interferon and nucleoside/nucleotide analogues-you may know them better as treatments for HIV. Hepatitis C medications include a combination of pegylated interferon alfa injections and ribavirin pills. In the most severe cases of chronic hep B or C, a liver transplant may be necessary, but continued antiviral treatment is generally needed after the procedure to avoid damage to the new organ. It's smart for people with Hep C to get vaccinated against hep A and B; you can't risk a double liver infection and you are at increased risk of those forms of hepatitis. For more info on hepatitis check out other videos in this series.More »
Last Modified: 2014-01-02 | Tags »
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Norovirus. It's a lot more common that you think. But what is norovirus? If you're curious, watch this video to find out.
Transcript: You may not know it by name, but the norovirus is what has turned so many Caribbean cruises into floating...
You may not know it by name, but the norovirus is what has turned so many Caribbean cruises into floating infirmaries. It's found in the feces of humans and animals. You can catch it by ingesting contaminated food or water, or by touching something contaminated with the virus and then touching your mouth. Most of us have suffered from norovirus at some point in our lives. Often called the stomach flu, this highly contagious bug infects 21 million Americans a year, and is often confused with food poisoning because the symptoms are similar. If you've caught the norovirus, within 1 to 2 days you'll develop nausea, vomiting, stomach pains, diarrhea, headaches, and perhaps a fever. The good news is that most people get better within 3 days. However, severe dehydration or malnutrition can occur, especially in children and senior citizens, and the consequences can be deadly. If you feel thirsty, light-headed, and are urinating less frequently, chances are you are already dehydrated. So, from the first sign of the infection, make sure you drink more fluids that you usually would. And see the doctor if you cannot keep down enough fluid to relieve dehydration. To avoid catching the norovirus, wash your hands frequently, especially after coming in contact with someone you know is sick. If you live or work with someone who has the virus, disinfect surfaces that have been touched. Keep in mind, the virus can be transmitted for up to two weeks after a person first becomes ill. To learn about other contagious illnesses, check out the rest of the videos in this series.More »
Last Modified: 2014-01-02 | Tags »
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Now that you’ve reached college age, your health is your responsibility. Watch this to see what your annual college health checkup will consist of.
Transcript: Now that you've reached college age, your health is your responsibility-today and for years to come....
Now that you've reached college age, your health is your responsibility-today and for years to come. That means getting the physical activity, good nutrition and sleep you need to protect your heart, brain and other systems. And you need to take charge of your preventive medical care, too. Schedule a yearly physical exam to check your height, weight, vision, hearing, and heart, alerting you to any abnormalities. An alarming number of teens and young adults in the US have elevated cholesterol, pumped up glucose levels and high blood pressure-making them candidates for type 2 diabetes and premature heart disease. So get your cholesterol checked once every 5 years -or more frequently if it's high. And while blood pressure screenings are suggested every two years, a screening will always be part of your annual exam. If diabetes runs in your family and you are overweight and sedentary, ask for a blood glucose check. Women over 18 should have an annual gynecological exam and ANY sexually active adult - whether male or female -- should have a full STD screening. Eight million teenagers and young adults under age 25 are infected with STDs every year. Even if you think you're not a trisk, it's a good idea to find out for sure.And ask you partner to do it, too. Finally, get your vaccinations updated: Many colleges require you get boosters for MMR and meningitis, potentially deadly diseases that are prevalent in areas where people are living in close proximity....like in dorms. It's also smart to get an HPV vaccine -although if you are already infected with the virus it won't provide any benefit. And consider updating tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough.For more ways to stay healthy this semester, check out the rest of the videos in this series.More »
Last Modified: 2013-01-14 | Tags »
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