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Health Topics


Obesity

Obesity means having too much body fat. It is different from being overweight, which means weighing too much. The weight may come from muscle, bone, fat, and/or body water. Both terms mean that a person’s weight is greater than what’s considered healthy for his or her height. Obesity occurs over time when you eat more […]

Obesity in Children

Obesity means having too much body fat. It is different from being overweight, which means weighing too much. Both terms mean that a person’s weight is greater than what’s considered healthy for his or her height. Children grow at different rates, so it isn’t always easy to know when a child is obese or overweight. […]

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a type of anxiety disorder. If you have OCD, you have frequent, upsetting thoughts called obsessions. To try to control the thoughts, you feel an overwhelming urge to repeat certain rituals or behaviors. These are called compulsions. Examples of obsessions are a fear of germs or a fear of being hurt. […]

Occupational Health

Occupational health problems occur at work or because of the kind of work you do. These problems can include Cuts, broken bones, 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 […]

Occupational Health for Healthcare Providers

Healthcare workers are exposed to many job hazards. These can include Infections Needle injuries Back injuries Allergy-causing substances Violence Stress Follow good job safety and injury prevention practices. They can reduce your risk of health problems. Use protective equipment, follow infection control guidelines, learn the right way to lift heavy objects, and find ways to […]

Oil Spills

Oil spills often happen because of accidents, when people make mistakes or equipment breaks down. Other causes include natural disasters or deliberate acts. Oil spills have major environmental and economic effects. Oil spills can also affect human health. These effects can depend on what kind of oil was spilled and where (on land, in a […]

Opioid Addiction & Treatment

Addiction to opioids, such as heroin and prescription pain relievers like oxycontin, is a serious public health problem, with potentially devastating consequences — both for the people who are addicted and for our communities. Visit the Vermont Department of Health to learn more and get help and advice. Learn More Resources People addicted to opiates [...]

Oral Cancer

Oral cancer can form in any part of the mouth or throat. Most oral cancers begin in the tongue and in the floor of the mouth. Anyone can get oral cancer, but the risk is higher if you are male, over age 40, use tobacco or alcohol or have a history of head or neck […]

Organ Donation

Organ donation takes healthy organs and tissues from one person for transplantation into another. Experts say that the organs from one donor can save or help as many as 50 people. Organs you can donate include Internal organs: Kidneys, heart, liver, pancreas, intestines, lungs Skin Bone and bone marrow Cornea Most organ and tissue donations […]

Organ Transplantation

You may need an organ transplant if one of your organs has failed. This can happen because of illness or injury. When you have an organ transplant, doctors remove an organ from another person and place it in your body. The organ may come from a living donor or a donor who has died. The […]

Orthodontia

Some people have naturally straight teeth that fit together. But if you have problems with your bite or the spacing of your teeth, you may need orthodontic care. Orthodontia is the branch of dentistry that deals with abnormalities of the teeth and jaw. Orthodontic care involves the use of devices, such as braces, to Straighten […]

Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. It causes pain, swelling, and reduced motion in your joints. It can occur in any joint, but usually it affects your hands, knees, hips or spine. Osteoarthritis breaks down the cartilage in your joints. Cartilage is the slippery tissue that covers the ends of bones in a […]

Osteogenesis Imperfecta

Osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) is a genetic disorder in which bones break easily. Sometimes the bones break for no known reason. OI can also cause weak muscles, brittle teeth, a curved spine, and hearing loss. OI is caused by one of several genes that aren’t working properly. When these genes don’t work, it affects how you […]

Osteonecrosis

Osteonecrosis is a disease caused by reduced blood flow to bones in the joints. In people with healthy bones, new bone is always replacing old bone. In osteonecrosis, the lack of blood causes the bone to break down faster than the body can make enough new bone. The bone starts to die and may break […]

Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis makes your bones weak and more likely to break. Anyone can develop osteoporosis, but it is common in older women. As many as half of all women and a quarter of men older than 50 will break a bone due to osteoporosis. Risk factors include Getting older Being small and thin Having a family […]

Ostomy

An ostomy is surgery to create an opening (stoma) from an area inside the body to the outside. It treats certain diseases of the digestive or urinary systems. It can be permanent, when an organ must be removed. It can be temporary, when the organ needs time to heal. The organ could be the small […]

Ovarian Cancer

The ovaries are part of the female reproductive system. They produce a woman’s eggs and female hormones. Each ovary is about the size and shape of an almond. Cancer of the ovary is not common, but it causes more deaths than other female reproductive cancers. The sooner ovarian cancer is found and treated, the better […]

Ovarian Cysts

A cyst is a fluid-filled sac. In most cases a cyst on the ovary does no harm and goes away by itself. Most women have them sometime during their lives. Cysts are rarely cancerous in women under 50. Cysts sometimes hurt – but not always. Often, a woman finds out about a cyst when she […]

Ovarian Disorders

The ovaries are a pair of organs that women have. They are located in the pelvis, one on each side of the uterus. Each ovary is about the size and shape of an almond. The ovaries produce a woman’s eggs. If an egg is fertilized by a sperm, a pregnancy can result. Ovaries also make […]

Over-the-Counter Medicines

Over-the-counter (OTC) medicines are drugs you can buy without a prescription. Some OTC medicines relieve aches, pains and itches. Some prevent or cure diseases, like tooth decay and athlete’s foot. Others help manage recurring problems, like migraines. In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration decides whether a medicine is safe enough to sell […]

Overactive Bladder

Overactive bladder is a condition in which the bladder squeezes urine out at the wrong time. You may have overactive bladder if you have two or more of these symptoms: You urinate eight or more times a day or two or more times at night You have the sudden, strong need to urinate immediately You […]

Oxygen Therapy

Oxygen therapy is a treatment that provides you with extra oxygen. Oxygen is a gas that your body needs to function. Normally, your lungs absorb oxygen from the air you breathe. But some conditions can prevent you from getting enough oxygen. You may need oxygen if you have COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) Pneumonia A […]

Ozone

Ozone is a gas. It can be good or bad, depending on where it is. “Good” ozone occurs naturally about 10 to 30 miles above the Earth’s surface. It shields us from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Part of the good ozone layer is gone. Man-made chemicals have destroyed it. Without enough good ozone, people may […]