Q. I spent many hours at my computer and got this awful pain in my forearm that made me stop. Do you think I have carpal tunnel syndrome?
I’m not qualified to diagnose, so I suggest that, if that pain persists, you see a physician and get it checked. However, I can tell you about carpal tunnel syndrome.
Q. Are cosmetics safe?
Cosmetics include makeup, hair dyes, perfumes, skin creams, lotions, nail polishes, toothpastes and deodorants. Unlike drugs, which are used to treat or prevent disease, cosmetics do not affect the body’s structure or functions.
Q. We’re about to have our first grandchild. I was wondering whether you are a grandfather and have any tips?
My wife, Gale, and I entered grandparenthood with a thud. We were given seven grandchildren in less than seven years. Let me give them all a plug. They are Morgan, 17; Carly, 15; Ethan, 13; Maggie, 13; Christian, 13; Aaron, 11, and Patrick, 10.
First, let me tell you what most grandparents know: you can’t imagine how happy these little people will make you. And I think grandkids improve your mental health by keeping you positive and forward-looking.
Q. What is mold and why does it make me sick?
There are many types of molds, which are fungi that thrive where it is damp and warm. They reproduce by spreading spores, asexual reproductive bodies. Spores are invisible to our eyes. They float through outdoor and indoor air. Molds that cause allergies include alternaria, aspergillus, cladosporium and penicillium.
Q. I heard that taking beta-blockers for high blood pressure is not a good idea. I take a beta-blocker, so should I ask my doctor to take me off it?
Second of two parts
I view surgery as the last possible solution for a health problem. I’m sure most of you agree.
It’s best to look into alternatives such as medicine, treatments, lifestyle changes and watchful waiting before undergoing anesthesia and the scalpel
Do your own research before undergoing surgery. One area of study should be laparoscopy. In this type of surgery, small cuts are used instead of a large incision. These incisions allow the surgeon to insert a laparoscope (a thin tube with a camera) into the body. Then the surgeon use small tools.
First of two parts
Q. I’m having surgery and I’m afraid that the doctor will operate on the wrong side of my body. Is there anything I can do to prevent this?
Absolutely. Ask your surgeon to mark the site of the operation. Some surgical organizations recommend that their members use a marking pen on patients. Don’t be reluctant to request this service to make your surgery safe.
Q. Is pain a necessary part of aging?
It is very difficult to avoid physical pain as you get older. However, as many people age, they complain less about pain. This phenomenon may be caused by a decreased sensitivity to pain. However, some believe that seniors don’t moan as much as juniors because they tend to be stoics.
Q. I’m worried about my hearing because I played in a rock band when I was a youth. How dangerous is the sound level on the bandstand?
Sound volume is measured in decibels (dB). You risk hearing loss when you are exposed to sounds at 85 decibels or more. The louder the sound and the longer the exposure, the greater the risk.
Here’s the bad news: Rock music is on many lists as an example of a dangerous sound. Here’s one of those lists:
30 dB = library
50 dB = rain
60 dB = conversation (apolitical)
70 dB = vacuum cleaner
80 dB = busy street
Q. Is it true that you can get Legionnaires’ disease from gagging on a drink of water? This has got to be bogus.
While this sounds like an urban myth, it is true.
Most people become infected with Legionnaires’ disease when they inhale microscopic water droplets containing legionella bacteria. If you choke or cough while drinking, you can get water in your lungs. If the water contains legionella, you may develop Legionnaires’ disease, which is a form of pneumonia.