Erectile dysfunction is linked to computer use and smoking may increase belly fat. What to know about this week's health headlines.

For every 1.2 hours spent on leisure computer use, the odds of erectile dysfunction went up, according to a new study.
For every 1.2 hours spent on leisure computer use, the odds of erectile dysfunction went up, according to a new study. (Getty Images)

Welcome to your weekly check-in on the latest health news you might have missed. This week, a new report revealed that, despite the overturning of Roe v. Wade in 2022, abortion rates in the U.S. are the highest in a decade. Meanwhile, the norovirus continues to hold steady, with the Northeast being hit the hardest.

If you’re more affected by brutal seasonal allergies than the stomach bug this spring, you may be wondering about a new report regarding neti pots and their connection to deadly amoeba infections. The good news? You don’t have to give it up if rinsing is relieving your sinus symptoms, but experts tell Yahoo Life that you do need to take precautions to ensure that you're using these devices safely. Here’s what you need to know about this week’s health news.

💻 Computer use could affect erectile dysfunction

Using a computer in your free time is now linked to a higher chance of erectile dysfunction, according to a recent study published in Andrology. Researchers found that for every 1.2 hours spent on leisure computer use, the odds of erectile dysfunction increased significantly. Spending time on the computer wasn't tied to feelings of depression or anxiety — which could potentially cause erectile dysfunction by affecting arousal — but it was linked to lower levels of a follicle-stimulating hormone, which is important for sexual development and reproduction.

🚬 Smoking leads to belly fat

There are plenty of health reasons to stop smoking — but here’s a new one: A recent study published in the scientific journal Addiction suggest that smokers tend to have more abdominal fat, even if they appear to have lower body weight. This excess fat is mostly visceral fat, which has been linked to health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke or fatty liver disease. (Want to quit? Here's why it's hard and how to come up with a successful plan.)

🌖 Why you need glasses for a solar eclipse

A solar eclipse is coming April 8, and everyone is looking up — just don’t look directly into the sun, experts tell Yahoo Life. Even though the sun is under the cover of the moon and appears dark, staring into the sun can cause permanent damage to your eyes and vision due to the presence of ultraviolet (UV) rays. If you want to witness the eclipse, get yourself a pair of solar eclipse glasses, which are thousands of times darker than your traditional pair. Make sure to buy them from retailers on the American Astronomical Society’s (AAS) list so you know you’re getting the real deal.

👃 Neti pots work, but proceed with caution

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently linked neti pots and other sinus rinsing devices to Acanthamoeba infections, which can be deadly. Experts say these devices work to reduce nasal and sinus symptoms, and can be used safely as long as you are mixing the saline solution with the correct water. You can buy water labeled "distilled" or "sterile" from the store, boil tap water for three to five minutes before cooling it to lukewarm temperatures or use water passed through a filter that's made to catch germs.

🍽️ Should you be worried about intermittent fasting?

Intermittent fasting has been touted for its purported health benefits, such as weight loss and improving blood sugar levels. However, a recent study presented at an American Heart Association meeting challenged these benefits, stating that the practice — in which you eat within a shortened window of time — may increase the risk of dying from heart disease by 91%. Experts tell Yahoo Life, however, not to jump to conclusions, pointing to the limitations in the research, such as the study participants' smoking habits, which could have influenced the results. More research is needed, they say, before making changes to intermittent fasting recommendations.