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  • How to Get Relief from Allergy Symptoms

    An estimated 50 million Americans suffer from some type of allergy, according to the Centers for Disease Control, and many of them are probably sniffling as they read this. Though spring can bring a welcome respite from the winter cold, the season also brings with it the release of allergens like tree pollen and, in humid areas, mold spores, which can trigger reactions in those with allergies. The symptoms include a stuffed or runny nose with a clear discharge, violent sneezing, wheezing, coughing, and watery and itchy eyes. (A yellow nasal discharge, a high temperature or an achy body are signs of a flu). Want to soothe your seasonal symptoms? Here's our short list of tips: ...
  • Herpes: Is a Cold Sore an STD?

    Cold sores--they always seem to pop up when you have a big interview, first date or important event. You know what they look like and what a pain they can be, but are they a sexually transmitted disease? According Dr. Craig Austin, a dermatologist in New York City, cold sores usually aren't a sexually transmitted disease (STD). They are caused by the herpes simplex virus. There are two kinds of herpes virus: HSV-1, which is usually not an STD and occurs on the lip, and HSV-2, which usually causes herpes genitalis, which is essentially an STD in the genital area. Both viruses can be transmitted by saliva, body secretions or oral sex. If you contract either kind of herpes you will always have the virus because the cold sore lives in the sensory nerve and stays dormant in the nerve until outbreaks occur. Some people only get one cold sore in their lives and may not realize they are carrying a latent form of the virus. Even if you don't have a visible cold sore, there's a chance you can...
  • Burma: How You Can Help

    Here are some of the main agencies accepting donations for the victims of Cyclone Nargis.
  • The 9 Unhealthiest Summer Vacation Destinations

    Your summer vacation should be a chance to escape the stresses of everyday life. But how much can you relax, really, if you're in an area that's unhealthy, unsafe or uncomfortably hot or humid? No place is perfect, of course, or entirely immune to crime, pollution and bad weather. But statistically speaking, there's a higher risk that you'll encounter one or more of those summer vacation spoilers in one of these nine destinations: ...
  • Are Mineral Water Facial Sprays Worth the Money?

    Evian dreamed up a creative way to sell even more of its bottled mineral water: by repackaging and marketing it as a revitalizing spray for your face. A 5 oz. bottle of the mineral water mist sells for $10 on sephora.com, which touts the product as a way to rehydrate and invigorate tired skin. Other brands say their water sprays will moisturize skin and combat fatigue. But the pricey bottles probably aren't that much better for your skin than putting regular tap water in a spray bottle, or just washing your face, says New York-based dermatologist Dr. Jennifer Levine. Water sprays are useful mostly to refresh skin after a long, dry plane ride, or to reset makeup at work. But in most cities the tap water is clean enough to use as a substitute, Levine says. And water is only useful as a temporary hydrator: "When water evaporates, it could also take things [like natural protective oils] away from the skin at the same time." Levine says she can think of only one clear benefit of using...
  • MIT’s Green Energy Club

    It's a Monday night at MIT, just a few weeks before final exams. Grad students Tegin Teich and Todd Schenk could be studying or relaxing. Instead, they're hustling through a maze of basement hallways in search of notorious energy hogs: vending machines. The average soda dispenser consumes 3,500 kilowatts a year—more than four times the juice for a home refrigerator. To conserve electricity, MIT's administrators have been installing devices called Vending Misers, which use motion detectors to turn off a machine's lights and cooling systems when people aren't nearby, cutting energy consumption by 50 percent. Trouble is, MIT isn't exactly sure where all its vending machines are located, or which ones already have the devices installed. So tonight it's enlisted the MIT Energy Club to help figure it out.It's just one event on the club's very busy calendar. With 750 students, the four-year-old group is MIT's fastest-growing extracurricular organization. Many of its members aim to build...
  • The Four Worst Home Acne Cures

    Teens (and some adults) will try almost anything to quell an outbreak of acne, but many traditional home remedies may do more harm than good.
  • Iceland’s Green Man

    How a tiny island nation weaned itself off fossil fuels and took the lead in alternative energy.
  • Health: Prevention is Worth the Money

    Don't be misled by recent reports, changes in diet and lifestyle are still the most effective way to lower health-care costs. You'll feel better, too.
  • Fact or Fiction: Is the freshman 15 real?

    Most high school seniors have been warned about the "freshman 15"--the extra pounds they'll allegedly pack on after a year in the dorms, eating mostly buffet-style on a meal plan. But scientists at Texas A&M International University in Laredo found that although first-year dorm residents consumed significantly more calories and sugar than students who lived off campus, neither they nor their counterparts gained weight over the course of the year. The researchers studied 43 first-year female students at their university during the 2006-7 school year, monitoring their subjects' food consumption, physical activity levels, BMI and weight for year. Despite consuming more calories and sugar than off-campus students who weren't on the school's meal plan, the dorm residents also exercised more, perhaps because they were closer to campus facilities, and walked from the dorms to class instead of commuting by car, researchers said.
  • When Doctors Kill Themselves

    Every year, between 300 and 400 doctors take their own lives—roughly one a day. No other profession has a higher suicide rate.
  • Top Teen Health Hazards

    What adolescents don't know, can hurt them. The 28-year-old author of a new book on teen-parent relations offers these tips on how to talk safety with kids.
  • Who Judges Doctor's Care?

    Doctors say insurance company rankings of doctors are based on cost, not quality. Will a new patient charter resolve the debate?
  • Benedict XVI, the Green Pope

    Benedict XVI has embraced environmentalism. How he's using church teachings to urge Roman Catholics to take care of the earth.
  • Is Echinacea Effective?

    Maybe. Every couple of years, it seems, there's a new study of whether purple coneflower, or echinacea, prevents the common cold. The most recent assessment, reported in the British journal Lancet in July, concluded that one of America's favorite herbal remedies both prevents and shortens colds. When scientists at the University of Connecticut combined the results of 14 previous studies, (all clinical trials with human beings) they found that taking echinacea reduces the chances of getting a cold by 31 percent. And if you've already come down with one, the herb will make you feel better a day and a half earlier, they said. A caveat: more than 200 viruses are known to cause the symptoms of the common cold. So echinacea's effectiveness may depend on which virus you're exposed to. In most of the studies volunteers were exposed to colds naturally in their ordinary environment. When the data was limited to three studies in which volunteers were directly inoculated with a single virus,...
  • The Testosterone-Profit Link

    A new study links high testosterone levels in male financial traders to profits, but too much of the hormone can have the opposite effect.
  • New Pompeii Plan Draws Fire

    Authorities have come up with a new plan to control visitors and raise money for the ancient site. Italians don't like the idea because it's too … American.
  • 10 First Aid Mistakes

    From cut fingers to electrical burns—what you should and shouldn't do in a home health emergency.
  • Why I Had My Breasts Removed

    The author of a new memoir talks about her decision to have her breasts removed to lower her cancer risk, and her desire to be a mother.
  • A New Reason to Frown

    Does Botox get into the brain? Troubling research contradicts earlier findings about the treatment.
  • May We Scan Your Genome?

    As personal genetic testing takes off, some worry that marketing is getting ahead of science.
  • Therapists Time Good Sex

    Therapists rate how long satisfying sex lasts and find that the difference between 'adequate' sex and 'desirable' sex is a matter of minutes.
  • Is Flavored Milk Healthy?

    Some parents limit the amount of sweetened chocolate or strawberry milk they give their children because it doesn't seem all that healthy—especially compared to the plain stuff. But it turns out that kids who consumed regular or flavored milk had comparable or lower body-mass-index measures compared to nonmilk drinkers, according to a new study in the current issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association. "The take-home message is that limiting children and teens' access to flavored milk due to its slightly higher sugar and calorie content may only lead to the undesirable effect of reducing intakes of important nutrients while having no impact on obesity," says study coauthor Rachel Johnson, professor of nutrition at the University of Vermont."Milk seems to be a marker for a better diet. Over and over again, children who are regular milk consumers have overall better diets," says Johnson. Nonmilk drinkers "chose high-sugar beverages that are devoid of nutrients, like...