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.
Q. Every so often, my left eye twitches. It goes away after a while, but it’s annoying. Is there a remedy?
Eye-twitching, which is also called eye spasms or blinking disorder, is known technically as blepharospasm. It usually is not a serious condition.
In most cases, eyelid spasms stop on their own. The most common causes are fatigue, stress, prolonged staring, eye strain, and caffeine. The best remedies are more sleep, relaxation techniques, reduced caffeine, warm soaks, eye drops, and correcting vision deficiencies.
Q. Will taking testosterone bring back the virility of my youth?
The subject of testosterone is fuzzy, so it’s difficult to give a simple answer to this question.
There is some controversy about whether testosterone therapy should be used in men who have naturally lower testosterone levels because of aging. It remains unclear whether restoring earlier testosterone levels benefits older men.
Q. My father is 82 and his driving is getting scary. I’ve been asking him to give up the keys, but he won’t do it. Any suggestions about how to handle this?
Here are some questions driving experts recommend asking older motorists to determine if they are still road-worthy:
Do other drivers often honk at me?
Have I had some accidents?
Do I get lost, even on roads I know?
Do cars or pedestrians seem to appear out of nowhere?
Have passengers in my car told me they are worried about my driving?
Q. I’m having a knee replaced and I was wondering what it’s going to be like when I get home after the surgery.
More than nine out of 10 patients who have a total knee replacement have positive results. They experience reduced pain and improved ability to perform common activities.
Within the first year after your operation, you should increase your endurance gradually. One of the key pitfalls is trying to do too much too soon.