A Question of Health
Thursday 01 July 1999
The lumps are lipomas, benign fatty growths. People who have a genetic susceptibility to develop lipomas can have lots of them - 10 or 20 are not particularly uncommon - of differing sizes. They never become malignant or cancerous, and they usually do not cause any problems. Occasionally a large lipoma can be painful if it is in an awkward position, such as overlying a muscle. The only good reasons to have a lipoma removed are if it is painful or unsightly.
IS THERE any reliable evidence to prove the efficacy of the Bates Method of training the eyes and brain to rectify myopia and other vision problems? I have used prescription lenses to deal with my short-sightedness for 35 years and would consider giving the system a try if there was any scientific evidence of its success.
Dr Bates was a New York ophthalmologist who devised a system of exercises which, he believed, would allow people to improve their vision without spectacles. His book on the subject was published in 1920. There is no reputable scientific evidence to support his claims, although there are individuals who believe his method has helped them. One of Dr Bates's more bizarre (and potentially damaging) suggestions was that the eyes benefited from "sun treatment". He recommended that the sun should be allowed to shine on closed eyes and on the white portion of the eye while looking downward. "One cannot get too much sun treatment," his book claims.
MY MOTHER, who is 94 and lives in a nursing home, is distressed by sudden attacks of coughing. The sister in the home says this is a side-effect of the drug she takes for high blood pressure. It seems to me that, at 94, the chance of a stroke from high blood pressure is less of a problem than the irritation of coughing all day. Is there any solution?
There is one group of blood pressure tablets - the ACE inhibitors - which have the unusual side-effect of causing a persistent dry cough. These drugs all end in "pril" - eg: enalapril, ramipril, lisinopril, captopril. If your mother's coughing is indeed caused by her blood pressure medication, she could easily be changed to another drug that did not have this distressing side-effect. Although it is tempting to think that it is no longer necessary to control blood pressure at the age of 94, elderly people actually benefit much more than younger people from having their blood pressure treated. Why not suggest to your mother's doctor a change of medication to something without side-effects, such as a small dose of a diuretic? This would have the double benefit of stopping her cough and also controlling her blood pressure.
Please send your questions to: A Question of Health, The Independent, 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5DL; fax 0171-293 2182; or e- mail them to email@example.com. Dr Kavalier regrets that he is unable to respond personally to questions
The best TV shows and films coming to the servicetv
Watch the new House of Cards series three trailerTV
Oscars 2015It was the first time Barney has compered the Academy Awards
Oscars 2015 From Meryl Streep whooping Patricia Arquette's equality speech to Chris Pine in tears
Oscars 2015 Mexican filmmaker uses speech to urge 'respect' for immigrants
TV ReviewThe intrigue deepens as we delve further but don't expect any answers just yet
Razzies 2015 Golden Raspberry Awards 'honours' Cameron Diaz and Kirk Cameron
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Raif Badawi, the Saudi Arabian blogger sentenced to 1,000 lashes, may now face death penalty
- 2 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 3 Dakota Johnson's 'It's only Isis' Saturday Night Live sketch sparks controversy
- 4 Robert Mugabe eats a zoo for 'obscene' 91st birthday party
- 5 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
Broadchurch series 3: David Tennant and Olivia Colman to return for third season, ITV confirms
Downton Abbey Christmas special 2014, review: Love is everywhere, actually
EastEnders may bring transgender character to Albert Square to challenge 'traditional' viewers
Spectre: Director Sam Mendes teases clips from upcoming James Bond movie
Indian Summers recommissioned: Channel 4 confirm a second series of British Empire drama
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Russia's roadmap for annexing eastern Ukraine 'leaked from Vladimir Putin's office'
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how Corporation is funded