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College Health Issues

List of common conditions and diseases affecting college students. Get to know the signs, symptoms, and when you need to seek medical attention.

Cold & Flu

These illnesses affect thousands of college students every year, especially common in the winter or rainy seasons. There are over one billion colds in the United States each year.

Sleep

Sleep is a vital part of your overall wellness. Getting to know your body and creating healthy sleep patterns is important to your success in college.

Stress

Learning to recognize and cope with stress during your college career can help you excel.

Bronchitis

Bronchitis is an inflammation in the lungs which can be caused by many different irritants.

Meningitis

Meningitis has two different forms, viral and bacterial, the latter of which can cause severe brain damage and death; and needs immediate medical attention.

Mononucleosis

Mononucleosis, "the kissing disease," is a viral infection which causes fever, sore throat, and swollen lymph glands.

Sinusitis

Sinusitis is an infection of the sinus cavities, behind and adjacent to the nose and eyes.

Stomach Flu

Stomach Flu, or Gastroenteritis, causes vomiting and diarrhea, but is unrelated to the flu virus.

  • Conjunctivitis
    Conjunctivitis (pink eye) is a condition in which the mucosal membrane that extends over the eyeball and underneath the eyelids becomes inflamed, causing symptoms of redness, irritation, itching and possible discharge.
  • Constipation

    Constipation is the most common gastrointestinal complaint in the U.S. People who experience constipation have infrequent bowel movements, pass hard stools, or strain during bowel movements. The normal frequency for bowel movements varies widely. In general, you're probably experiencing constipation if you pass fewer than three stools a week and those stools are hard and dry. Fortunately, most cases of elimination are dependent on a balanced diet and exercise.

  • Contact Dermatitis
    Contact dermatitis is an inflammation of the surface of the skin caused by exposure either to an irritant or an allergen - something your skin is allergic to - like poison ivy.
  • Hay Fever
    The body’s immune system is designed to produce various chemical factors to fight foreign substances, such as bacteria, viruses and other proteins that the immune system perceives as threatening. An allergic response occurs when the body’s immune system over responds, or is hypersensitive to, specific particles known as allergens. Common allergens include plant pollens, molds, dust mites, animal dander, industrial chemicals, foods, medicines and insect venom.
    Among the important components of the immune system are the antibodies, which are produced by lymph tissue. A key player in the allergic response is the antibody known as immunoglobulin E (IgE). IgE is overproduced in certain people, usually those with inherited susceptibility. During an allergic attack, these antibodies attach to cells known as mast cells, which are generally concentrated in the lungs, skin and mucous membranes. Once IgE binds to mast cells, these cells are programmed to release a number of chemicals. One of these chemicals, histamine, opens the blood vessels and causes skin redness and swollen membranes. More mucus or tears may be produced than is normal. Histamine causes many of the symptoms associated with allergies. A common seasonal allergy is hay fever.
  • Headaches
    A headache is not a disease, but it may indicate that something is wrong. Headaches are common and generally are not serious. Approximately 50% to 75% of all teens report having at least one headache per month. However, more frequent headaches can be upsetting and worrisome for you. The most common headaches in your teens and early twenties are tension headaches and migraines. Sometimes these problems may require a visit to your medical provider.
  • Hives
    The body's immune system is designed to produce various factors to fight foreign substances, including bacteria and viruses that the immune system perceives as threatening. An allergic response occurs when the body's immune system over-responds, or is hypersensitive to particles known as allergens. Common allergens include plant pollens, molds, dust mites, animal dander, industrial chemicals, food, medicines and insect venom. More than 10% of people get hives. Hives are a common allergic reaction involving the skin.

    Symptoms:
    • Very itchy rash
    • Raised pink lesions with pale centers, ranging in size from ½ inch to several inches wide
    • Variable shapes
    • Rapid and repeated change in location, size, and shape


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