Activity by lizatorborg
DEAR MAYO CLINIC: I just turned 48 and am considering having blepharoplasty surgery to remove the excess skin on my eyelids, which has bothered me for years. What does this procedure involve? What are the risks? Is the change permanent, or is there a chance my eyelids will return to the way they look now?
ANSWER: The surgery you are considering typically includes removing extra skin, muscle and fat from both the upper and lower eyelids. Blepharoplasty, also called an eyelid lift, can help reduce vision problems caused by excess eyelid skin. It also can make your eyes look younger and more alert. As with all surgery, there are risks involved.
As you age, your eyelids stretch, and the muscles supporting them get weaker. As that happens, extra fat may gather above and below your eyelids, causing droopy upper lids and bags under your eyes. If the skin around your eyes sags significantly, it can make it harder to see, especially in the upper and outer parts of your field of vision. Eyelid surgery may be able to reduce or eliminate these problems. [...]
ANSWER: Removal of a tooth is usually a straightforward process that can be done by most general dentists. However, people who have osteoporosis often take medications that can increase the risk of complications after tooth extraction. In that case, having an experienced oral and maxillofacial surgeon surgically take out the tooth may reduce the likelihood of problems after the tooth is removed.
Osteoporosis is a condition that causes bones to become weak and brittle. The most widely prescribed medications used to treat osteoporosis are in a class of drugs called bisphosphonates. Examples include alendronate, risedronate, ibandronate and zoledronic acid.
These medications help keep your bones healthy as you age and lower the risk of a bone fracture if you have osteoporosis. Unfortunately, bisphosphonates can have a negative effect on bone healing following an injury, including after tooth extraction. [...]
DEAR MAYO CLINIC: My father, who is 70, was a smoker for 30 years. I have read that men who used to smoke should be screened for an abdominal aortic aneurysm. What does the screening involve? What would be done if he is found to have an aneurysm?
ANSWER: Because of his history of smoking, you are correct that your father should be screened for an abdominal aortic aneurysm. The screening usually includes a physical exam and an ultrasound of the abdomen. Other imaging tests may be needed in some cases, too. If an abdominal aortic aneurysm is found, treatment depends on the size of the aneurysm, its rate of growth, and if it is causing any symptoms.
The aorta is a large blood vessel about the size of a garden hose that runs from your heart through the center of your chest and abdomen. An abdominal aortic aneurysm is a bulge in the aorta just above the area of your belly button that forms due to weakness in the blood vessel’s wall. The greatest risk of such an aneurysm is that it will rupture. Because it provides the body with much of its blood supply, a rupture in the abdominal aorta can lead to life-threatening internal bleeding. [...]
DEAR MAYO CLINIC: I am very healthy and active, but was recently diagnosed
with sarcoidosis. My doctor said it may go away on its own, but I am worried it will worsen. How often should I see my doctor for monitoring the condition? What treatments do you recommend?
ANSWER: Your doctor is correct that sarcoidosis often goes away on its own. In many cases, it does not require treatment. But how often you need to see your doctor and any specific treatment recommendations for you should be based on your individual situation, including what triggered your diagnosis and any symptoms you may have.
Sarcoidosis is the growth of tiny collections of inflammatory cells in different parts of the body. The condition can affect almost any organ, but it is most commonly found in the lungs, lymph nodes, eyes and skin. Doctors believe sarcoidosis happens as a result of the body’s immune system responding to an unknown substance, most likely something inhaled from the air. [...]
DEAR MAYO CLINIC: I have had bunions for years, but they have not bothered me much until recently. I now have pain every day and most shoes hurt my feet. Is surgery the only option at this point? What does that involve, and can it be done on both feet at the same time, or will I need to have each foot done separately?
ANSWER: In a situation like yours, surgery could be considered. But surgery is not the only treatment for bunions. More conservative measures may help decrease your symptoms and relieve pain. If you try them and they don’t work, though, then it would be a good idea to talk with a foot surgeon about surgical options.
The structure of your feet changes over time. Sometimes these are subtle changes that you do not notice. But in other instances, the changes are more substantial. Bunions happen due to changes that force the bones of your feet out of alignment and increase the width of your foot.
When a bunion develops, your big toe actually tilts or drifts away from the midline of your body, eventually crowding the second toe. The bone that is just behind the big toe, called the first metatarsal, drifts or tilts in toward the midline of your body. As the first metatarsal tilts in, it becomes more prominent. That is the bony bump referred to as a bunion. [...]
DEAR MAYO CLINIC: Is there anything that can be done for a tailbone that is painful? My mother is 70 and won’t go to the doctor even though she is miserable. She said there is nothing they can do for her. Shouldn’t a doctor be consulted in this case?
ANSWER: Tailbone pain can be very uncomfortable. Fortunately, in most cases, the pain goes away on its own within a few months. During that time, there are steps your mother can take to help lessen the pain. If her tailbone pain lasts for more than two months, or if it gets worse despite home remedies, then your mother should see a doctor.
Your tailbone, or coccyx, is the bony structure at the bottom of your spine that helps to support your pelvic floor. Tailbone pain, a condition called coccydynia, is usually dull achy pain in or around the tailbone. But the pain may become sharper or more intense after sitting or standing for a long time, during sex, or with urination or a bowel movement. [...]
ANSWER: Your husband’s situation is not uncommon for people who have atypical parkinsonism. When symptoms of parkinsonism begin, the condition may at first be diagnosed as Parkinson’s disease. But over time, it becomes clear that a different disorder is really the underlying cause of the symptoms. Treatment for atypical parkinsonism depends on several factors, including the specific diagnosis, symptoms, and how quickly the disease progresses.
To understand atypical parkinsonism, it is helpful to know a bit about parkinsonism in general. First, parkinsonism is not a disease itself. It is a name used to describe a group of symptoms, which include: tremor when a limb is at rest, slowed movement, rigid muscles and impaired balance and posture. When someone has at least two out of these four symptoms, they are said to have parkinsonism.
Parkinsonism has many causes. Parkinson’s disease is the most common cause, but it is not the only one. Parkinsonism can be a result of certain medications. A type of progressive dementia, called Lewy body dementia, which includes a decline in both mental and physical abilities, may lead to parkinsonism.
Parkinsonism also can be caused by three other rare movement disorders: multiple system atrophy, progressive supranuclear palsy and corticobasal degeneration. When a neurologist suspects one of these three disorders as the source of parkinsonism, but an exact diagnosis has not yet been made, it is often labeled atypical parkinsonism. [...]
DEAR MAYO CLINIC: Is there anything that can be done for snoring other than using a CPAP machine? I have tried using one for the past year, and while my wife says it does prevent me from snoring, I cannot sleep comfortably with it on.
ANSWER: Although they do reduce snoring, continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP, machines usually are prescribed for people who have sleep apnea, and not for snoring alone. If your snoring is a symptom of sleep apnea, there are a number of steps you can take to try to make the CPAP machine more comfortable. Other treatment options and lifestyle changes may help, too. If the problem is confined to just snoring, then a variety of alternatives are available.
Sleep apnea is a serious medical condition in which breathing stops and starts repeatedly during sleep. Loud snoring is a common symptom. A CPAP machine relieves sleep apnea by delivering air pressure through a mask placed over your nose while you sleep. With CPAP, the air pressure is somewhat greater than that of the surrounding air, so it keeps your upper airway passages open, preventing apnea and snoring.
CPAP is the most common and reliable way to treat sleep apnea. But the machine can be cumbersome or uncomfortable. Before you go to a different approach, you could try working with the company that supplies your CPAP machine to find a more comfortable mask. Adding heated humidity to the CPAP or lowering the CPAP pressure slightly also may make it easier to tolerate. Before you make these changes, though, talk to your doctor.