Photo by Dakota Roos

Summer has arrived in the United States. Over the following months, it will be important to protect ourselves from the health risks posed by the sun and heat. Regardless of skin color, exposure to the sun carries many dangers to one’s skin — from wrinkles often associated with aging to freckles, sunburns, benign tumors, or cancerous skin lesions. Exposure to heat can also have many negative impacts on one’s health ranging from a rash, exhaustion, fainting, or even death. During the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, being in crowded areas with unvaccinated people — even outside — without appropriate protection measures can pose health risks to those around them.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) encourages everyone — especially those with pale skin; blond, red, or light brown hair; or who has a personal or family history of skin cancer — to practice care while in the sun. The sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can damage skin in as little as 15 minutes, and

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From teen years through adulthood, people spend much of their time at work. A culture of wellness in the workplace can be an important factor in overall health by promoting and supporting healthy behaviors. It’s important that both employees and employers take steps to create an environment that promotes health and well-being. Although employees are always in control of their own choices to improve health, employers can create a culture of wellness by implementing policies and providing services that support employees’ efforts towards a healthy lifestyle. When employees and employers work together to create healthier worksites, people can get healthier and be happier and more productive at work.

Employers can promote wellness among their workforce with diverse activities such as on-site health education, access to free medical screenings, on-site kitchens and healthy food options, financial or other incentives for healthy habits such as being tobacco-free,

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Public health is “the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting human health through organized efforts and informed choices of society, organizations, public and private, communities and individuals.” Analyzing the health of a population and the threats it faces is the basis for public health. Public health professionals work to prevent problems from happening or recurring through implementing educational programs, recommending policies, administering services, and conducting research. Public health also works to limit health disparities by promoting healthcare equity, quality, and accessibility. You can look at public health narrowed down to any population — from a neighborhood, country, or our entire planet.

Many factors affect public health, and people are unlikely to be able to directly control those factors. Social and economic environment, as well as physical environment, can be determine their quality

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Perhaps more than any other year, Americans are making plans for their summer and beyond. For those with chronic illness or disabilities and their families, finding appropriate and supportive environments for recreation can be a challenge. Luckily, there are camps and retreats that are available specifically for people affected by various chronic conditions.

Every camp listed on the NeedyMeds site is different — serving different people based on their medical condition. Most camps are for children and young adults with a specific diagnosis, though there are also camps available for children whose parents have a specified diagnosis or for siblings or the entire family to enjoy. Most camps are funded by private or government run organizations.

Each camp has a different set of eligibility requirements, though most require a diagnosis for the child or a member of their family. Some camps are limited to certain states, while others are available to anyone who is a legal resident of the United States. There may be financial requirements for many of the camps; recreational programs listed are not

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We are a few short weeks away from the beginning of spring in the United States, when more than 50 million Americans may be affected by seasonal allergies. Allergies are one of the most common chronic illnesses. An allergy occurs when the body’s immune system sees a substance (referred to as an allergen) as harmful and overreacts to it. Allergies affect as many as 30% of adults and 40% of children in the U.S. The most common allergy symptoms make you uncomfortable, while others can be life-threatening

Allergens can be inhaled into your nose and lungs, ingested through the mouth, absorbed through the eyes and skin, or injected into the body. The severity of symptoms during an allergic reaction can vary widely based on the allergen, infection vector, and individual reaction. Some of the symptoms of an allergic reaction include:

  • Itchy, watery eyes
  • Itchy nose
  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Rashes
  • Hives
  • Stomach cramps
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Bloating
  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Pain
  • Tongue swelling
  • Cough
  • Throat closing
  • Wheezing
  • Chest tightness, loss of breath
  • Feeling faint, light-headed, or “blacking out”
  • A sense of “impending doom”

Asthma, affecting over 25 million Americans, may or may not be related to allergies and can cause similar symptoms. There are two types of asthma — allergic (or extrinsic) and

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