Monday, July 14, 2014
     

The Healthy Geezer

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Q. Do older people get dandruff more often?

No. Dandruff affects people of all ages across all ethnic groups. Dandruff often occurs after puberty and is most common in people in their early 20s. It continues into middle age. However, it does also affect many seniors.

Dandruff is a common, non-contagious skin condition that causes flakes of dead skin to appear in the hair. It is estimated that half of all people will be affected by dandruff at some point in their lives.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The U.S. Administration on Aging found that more than a half-million people over the age of 60 are abused or neglected each year.

About 90 percent of abusers are related to the victims. People older than 80 years suffer abuse and neglect two to three times their proportion of the senior population.

Almost four times as many new incidents of abuse, neglect and/or self-neglect were not reported as those that were reported and substantiated by public authorities.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Q. What is the definition of constipation?

The clinical definition of constipation is any two of the following symptoms for at least 12 weeks (not necessarily consecutive) in the previous year:

Ÿ Straining during bowel movements

Ÿ Lumpy or hard stool

Ÿ Sensation of obstruction or incomplete evacuation

Ÿ Fewer than three bowel movements per week.

Those reporting constipation most often are women and adults age 65 and over.

Constipation is one of the most common gastrointestinal complaints in the United States.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

(This is the second of two columns about changing your appearance. The first was on plastic surgery. This one is about cosmetic procedures.)

Cosmetic procedures are used to make the skin look more youthful. Many dermatologists perform cosmetic procedures. Here are some examples:

Microdermabrasion uses tiny, fine particles or a very hard diamond-tipped wand to slough off cells from the top layer of the skin and encourage new skin growth.

Laser resurfacing uses high-intensity light to zap and improve the look of wrinkles and scars by tightening loose skin.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Q. What is the most common type of cosmetic surgery?

(This is the first of two columns on changing your appearance.)

I was surprised by the answer to this question. I guessed facelift and was wrong.

My wife, Gale, answered correctly without hesitation. Breast augmentation is the leader. She talks to more women, I guess.

Women outnumber men by about 9 to 1 for undergoing cosmetic surgery.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Q. Is a TIA dangerous?

TIA stands for "transient ischemic attack." A TIA is an interruption in the flow of blood to a part of your brain.

Its symptoms are the same as for a stroke. A TIA lasts anywhere from minutes to many hours. It goes away and leaves no apparent permanent effects.

If you have a TIA, your chances of having a stroke are increased nine times. Treat a TIA like an early warning and get to your doctor immediately for a checkup.

A stroke, which is also called a "brain attack," is caused by a blood problem in the brain.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Q. Is it true that pesticides are responsible for people getting Parkinson's disease?

Although genetics is very important in Parkinson's disease, environmental exposures also increase a person's risk of developing the disease. Scientists have known for some time that farm workers who used pesticides, or people who lived or worked near fields where they could inhale drifting pesticides, have an increased risk of the disease.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Q. What can I do to avoid lead exposure?

Lead exposure can cause anemia, make you irritable, affect your memory and ability to concentrate, and it can increase blood pressure, particularly in older people.

Lead can also lead to digestive problems and cataracts. Exposure to high lead levels can be fatal.

The following are some significant sources of lead exposure: tap water, lead-based paint that was used before it was banned from housing in 1978, soil, household dust, lead crystal or lead-glazed pottery.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Q. Are there some good ways to control anxiety without resorting to medications?

You can control anxiety by employing relaxation techniques. When your body is relaxed, breathing slows, blood pressure decreases, and you feel better. This is called the relaxation response, which is the direct opposite of the stress response.

Relaxing can counteract the effects of long-term stress, which may contribute to depression, digestive disorders, headaches, high blood pressure, and insomnia.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Q. Do we lose our sense of taste as we get older?

In general, sensitivity to taste gradually decreases with age. But there are some whose taste isn't affected by getting older.

The ability to taste food and beverages means a lot to seniors. Let's face it; we lose a lot of the pleasures of our youth, but eating well isn't usually one of them.

Taste also has a major impact upon our physical and mental health. Our sense of taste is especially important if we have to stay on a diet.