Health Buzz: YouTube Videos May Help Ease Vertigo

How to fight 7 in-flight ailments; how to cope with hypochondria

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Study: YouTube Videos Help Ease Vertigo 

YouTube: a prescription for vertigo? New research suggests the popular site is useful for more than dispensing funny videos or concert footage: It's helpful to those who have vertigo, a condition that makes you feel like everything around you is moving or spinning, though you're standing still. Easily accessible YouTube videos show people how to administer the Epley maneuver—a simple manipulation of the head that treats benign paroxysmal positional vertigo. That type of dizziness occurs when particles of loose calcium deposits become trapped in the inner ear. "It was good to see that the video with the most hits was the one developed by the American Academy of Neurology when it published its guideline recommending the use of the Epley maneuver in 2008," study author Kevin Kerber, of the University of Michigan Health System in Ann Arbor, said in a journal news release, according to HealthDay. "But it was also good that the majority of the videos demonstrated the maneuver accurately. We found it encouraging that YouTube could be used to disseminate information about this maneuver and educate more people about how to treat this disorder." 

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  • Travel Health: How to Fight 7 In-Flight Ailments 

    As you pack your bags, remove your shoes at security, and kill time at the gate, your health is likely the last thing on your mind. But the fact is that traveling, whether for work or play, can take its toll on your physical condition. Here are seven health problems you might encounter in transit along with tips for avoiding them. 

    1. Jet Lag. You're bound to experience sleep deprivation or fatigue while traveling, especially if you're swapping one time zone for another. Jet lag results when your internal clock is disrupted by irregular light schedules, making you feel wide awake when you should be asleep—and vice versa. Jet lag often results in sleep deprivation, symptoms of which generally include loss of concentration, decreased motivation, irritation, and reduced physical and mental capabilities. Depending on how many time zones you're crossing, jet lag can last for up to several days after your trip. 

    How to fight it: Avoiding caffeine, drinking juice or wine, eating less… everyone has a trick for curing jet lag. Truth is: There is no cure, but there are ways to bounce back more quickly. If you're traveling east, you lose sunlight, meaning fewer nighttime hours for shut-eye. For east-bound trips, skip the in-flight movie and instead follow your bedtime routine as closely as possible, trying to fall asleep as soon as it's dark outside. If you're traveling west, you'll gain hours of sunlight, so do your best to stay awake for the entire flight. [Read more: Travel Health: How to Fight 7 In-Flight Ailments

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    • How to Cope With Hypochondria 

      Headache? It must be a brain tumor. Bruise on your leg? Leukemia. Slightly nauseous? Either cancer or a heart attack. 

      Welcome to the life of a hypochondriac. 

      We've become a nation of them, says Catherine Belling, an assistant professor of medical humanities and bioethics at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine. In her new book A Condition of Doubt: The Meanings of Hypochondria (Oxford University Press), she explores our increasing anxiety about our health, as well as the way hypochondriacs are perceived by the public and their doctors. "Hypochondria is not a mental illness, so much as it is an extremely irrational response to the uncertainty of medicine," she says. "We think of these people as silly, as demanding attention they don't really need. But no doctor can ever tell you that you're 100 percent healthy and will be forever. It causes a lot of misery and becomes a real nightmare for patients and doctors." 

      People who suffer from hypochondria make frequent doctors' appointments, insist on unnecessary tests, and see physical illness where medicine says there is none. They fret needlessly over diseases that procedures prove they don't have. They're obsessed with the idea that a disease is lurking, awaiting the right doctor and diagnosis. They experience ordinary discomforts more intensely than others, sinking often into a full-blown panic. They grow angry with physicians who fail to acknowledge sinister symptoms. [Read more: How to Cope With Hypochondria]