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Best Physical Therapy's Health Information Library

Here, we have gathered health articles on almost every major subject in healthcare. Please explore, enjoy, and share this free resource provided by Best Physical Therapy

Methamphetamine

Methamphetamine - meth for short - is a very addictive stimulant drug. It is a powder that can be made into a pill or a shiny rock (called a crystal). The powder can be eaten or snorted up the nose. It can also be mixed with liquid and injected into your body with a needle. Crystal meth is smoked in a small glass pipe.

Meth at first causes a rush of good feelings, but then users feel edgy, overly excited, angry, or afraid. Meth use can quickly lead to addiction. It causes medical problems including:

  • Making your body temperature so high that you pass out
  • Severe itching
  • "Meth mouth" - broken teeth and dry mouth
  • Thinking and emotional problems

NIH: National Institute on Drug Abuse

Mumps

Mumps is an illness caused by the mumps virus. It starts with:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches
  • Tiredness
  • Loss of appetite

After that, the salivary glands under the ears or jaw become swollen and tender. The swelling can be on one or both sides of the face. Symptoms last 7 to 10 days. Serious complications are rare.

You can catch mumps by being with another person who has it. There is no treatment for mumps, but the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine can prevent it.

Before the routine vaccination program in the United States, mumps was a common illness in infants, children and young adults. Now it is a rare disease in the U.S.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Newborn Screening

Your newborn infant has screening tests before leaving the hospital. There may be different tests depending on the state where you live. They include:

  • Tests on a few drops of blood from pricking the baby's heel. The tests look for inherited disorders. All states test for at least 30 of these conditions.
  • A hearing test that measures the baby's response to sound
  • A skin test that measures the level of oxygen in the blood. This can tell if the baby has a congenital heart defect.

These tests look for serious medical conditions. If not treated, some of these conditions can cause lifelong health problems. Others can cause early death. With early diagnosis, treatment can begin right away, before serious problems can occur or become permanent.

If a screening shows that your baby might have a condition, the health care provider or the state health department will call you. It is important to follow up quickly. Further testing can verify whether your baby has the condition. If so, treatment should start right away.

NIH: National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

Occupational Health

Occupational health problems occur at work or because of the kind of work you do. These problems can include:

  • Cuts, fractures (broken bones), and sprains and strains
  • Loss of limbs
  • Repetitive motion disorders
  • Hearing problems caused by exposure to noise
  • Vision problems
  • Illness caused by breathing, touching, or swallowing unsafe substances
  • Illness caused by exposure to radiation
  • Exposure to germs in health care settings

Good job safety and prevention practices can reduce your risk of these problems. Try to stay fit, reduce stress, set up your work area properly, and use the right equipment and gear.

Optic Nerve Disorders

The optic nerve is a bundle of more than 1 million nerve fibers that carry visual messages. You have one connecting the back of each eye (your retina) to your brain. Damage to an optic nerve can cause vision loss. The type of vision loss and how severe it is depends on where the damage occurs. It may affect one or both eyes.

There are many different types of optic nerve disorders, including:

  • Glaucoma is a group of diseases that are the leading cause of blindness in the United States. Glaucoma usually happens when the fluid pressure inside the eyes slowly rises and damages the optic nerve.
  • Optic neuritis is an inflammation of the optic nerve. Causes include infections and immune-related illnesses such as multiple sclerosis. Sometimes the cause is unknown.
  • Optic nerve atrophy is damage to the optic nerve. Causes include poor blood flow to the eye, disease, trauma, or exposure to toxic substances.
  • Optic nerve head drusen are pockets of protein and calcium salts that build up in the optic nerve over time

Contact your health care provider if you are having vision problems. Tests for optic nerve disorders may include eye exams, ophthalmoscopy (an examination of the back of your eye), and imaging tests. Treatment depends on which disorder that you have. With some optic nerve disorders, you may get your vision back. With others, there is no treatment, or treatment may only prevent further vision loss.