January 9, 2005 |
The eyes are the window to the soul ? and to a host of travel-related illnesses, according to a new report in a medical journal. In an article published by Travel Medicine and Infectious Disease, doctors said patients' eye problems could provide important clues to ailments that might be affecting other parts of the body. "A lot of infectious diseases can cause eye problems," said Dr. Susan Lightman, professor of ophthalmology at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London and lead author of "The Wandering Eye: Eye Infection in the Returning Traveler," which appeared Nov. 30 online.
December 12, 2004 |
In the beginning, it gave hope to older men trying to give their sexual performance a lift. Now sildenafil, better known by its trade name, Viagra, is gaining popularity for a different use among skiers and mountain climbers. Their concern: avoiding high-altitude pulmonary edema, a potentially deadly condition in which excess fluid collects in the lungs. Research has been accumulating about sildenafil's value in nonsex-related uses. The drug has been shown to help some people with high blood pressure in arteries supplying the lungs, a condition known as pulmonary hypertension.
November 28, 2004 |
If you're headed to a developing country or bound for adventures where bubbling streams beckon, use common sense and consider the latest in water disinfection. Contaminated drinking water can be a trip's undoing, causing traveler's diarrhea, an intestinal infection or other nasty problems. Beyond the United States, Canada and Western Europe, travelers often need to choose their drinking water carefully ? and decontaminate it if they have any doubts. New solutions are available.
November 14, 2004 |
For Eric and Sharon Zitaner, encountering a language barrier while traveling abroad this summer could have been more than inconvenient. It could have been life-threatening. The New York couple took their two daughters on vacation in Israel. The problem: Jenna, 11, is allergic to peanuts, lentils, tree nuts and chickpeas. Kailey, 10, has to avoid gluten, which is found in wheat, rye and barley. Although Eric is reasonably fluent in Hebrew, he didn't want to risk being misunderstood.
October 31, 2004 |
The first effective vaccine against malaria made news earlier this month as scientists reported success in fighting the mosquito-borne illness that strikes 400 million people annually worldwide. In clinical trials in Africa, the vaccine prevented nearly half of new infections in children and reduced the number of serious cases by nearly 60%. But because more clinical trials are needed and manufacturing plants take five to six years to build, the new malaria vaccine isn't expected to be widely available until 2010 at the earliest.
October 17, 2004 |
Your flight departs tomorrow, but your problems arrived today: Your nose is running, a temporary dental crown is hurting or your toddler has an ear infection. To fly or not to fly? Seemingly minor health issues can be aggravated by changes in altitude and other realities of travel, eventually developing into painful problems. With cold and flu season approaching, a few experts have provided some guidelines to help you decide whether to leave home and how to minimize the misery if you must travel while you're sick: ?
August 22, 2004 |
Search on Google using the words "travel health information," and more than 9 million results come up. No wonder it's difficult for travelers to separate legitimate advice from worthless talk. One way to avoid inaccurate or outdated information, experts say, is to stick with governmental sites, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's newly revamped travel health Web pages. Although some commercial travel sites do carry solid health information, overall they fall short, according to Dr. Herbert DuPont, chief of internal medicine and medical director of travel medicine at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital in Houston.
August 8, 2004 |
For many travelers crossing the border to Mexico, the lower prices of prescription drugs are just too tempting to resist, despite the recent imprisonment of U.S. citizens who bought drugs in Mexico and last month's warning from the Food and Drug Administration about counterfeit drugs in Mexico. Raymond Lindell, a 66-year-old Phoenix retiree, was arrested in May on charges of buying 270 Valium pills without a Mexican prescription at a Mexican pharmacy in Nogales. He was released in mid-July, and charges were dismissed.
July 11, 2004 |
Our catamaran was headed to the Hawaiian island of Lanai last month, and the crew was on deck doling out warm cinnamon rolls. But my sister Maureen was more interested in my wrists. "Do you have your bands on?" She was talking about acupressure wristbands that she had bought, items marketed as a remedy for motion sickness. Apparently she remembered our family car trips from childhood, when I got sick before we passed the city-limit sign, or perhaps the time when, as an adult, I vomited on a date's sailboat.
June 13, 2004 |
Antibiotics can be your best friend, especially when infection or traveler's diarrhea strikes in the middle of a glorious vacation. It's crucial to know which antibiotics are worth toting, how they can ease symptoms of illness and when it's wise to pop a pill. In some cases, it might even be before symptoms appear. Infectious illnesses are common in travelers but account for only 1% to 3% of deaths, says Dr. Jay Keystone, a travel medicine specialist at the University of Toronto and Toronto General Hospital in Canada who published a review of antibiotics for travelers in the February issue of the journal Current Infectious Disease Reports.