Health: A Question of Health

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I HAD cataract surgery some years ago, which improved my vision enormously, but it has now begun to deteriorate again. Is it possible to develop cataracts a second time?

The lens of the eye is removed in cataract surgery, and it is usually replaced with an artificial lens. The new lens cannot develop cataracts but it is possible for scarring behind the lens to interfere with vision. When this happens, laser treatment can often help. Of course, there may be another cause, but in the first instance you should have a thorough examination by an eye specialist.

OUR TWO-YEAR-OLD daughter has whooping cough. She coughs until she is blue in the face, then vomits. Is there any way to stop these attacks? How long do you think they will they go on for?

Whooping cough is a frightening disease. In the early stages some doctors prescribe antibiotics to try to eradicate the bacteria that cause the problem. But even with antibiotics, the coughing spasms can continue for many weeks. It used to be known as the 100-day cough, and this is not a bad estimate of how long the symptoms can last. Fortunately, the cough gets better as time passes and the worst spasms do not normally occur for more than a few weeks.

Dr Fred Kavalier

Please write to A Question of Health, `The Independent, 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5DL; fax 0171-293 2182; or e-mail health@ Dr Kavalier regrets he cannot respond personally