What you need to know:
- The average penis size is seven to 10cm in length and nine to 10cm in circumference when flaccid.
- It is 12 to 16cm in length and 12cm in circumference when erect.
I am 22 years old and the problem is that my penis is too small for my age. It looks like that of a 16-year-old. What can I do to increase its size?
The average penis size is seven to 10cm in length and nine to 10cm in circumference when flaccid. It is 12 to 16cm in length and 12cm in circumference when erect. Most people who feel like they have a small penis usually have a size that is within the normal range. Increasing the size is only recommended for those with a flaccid penis of less than 4cm in length or an erect penis of less than 7.5cm in length. This decision should be made after a consultation with a psychologist and a urologist. The only medical ways of enlarging the penis size are through surgery, use of a prosthetic or liposuction, which should be done by a urologist. You should be careful with medications, pills and other treatment methods usually advertised as they may not have proper scientific backing.
I have not been feeling well for some time now. I have been experiencing pain in my upper back on the right and my chest. Whenever I breathe deeply, sneeze or yawn, it hurts. I cannot do anything intensive because I get so tired and my body gets very sore. I am usually burnt out by the time I go to bed. What could be the problem?
Dear M Z,
The pain in the upper back and chest that is triggered by breathing, sneezing or yawning is likely to be due to muscle pain. However, the other symptoms suggest that you probably have an illness affecting the whole body. These symptoms are called constitutional symptoms because they are present in almost all illnesses ranging from infections, blood disorders, hormonal disorders, muscle and bone disorders, digestive disorders, problems with the nervous system among others.
You should visit a doctor for examination and tests to determine the exact cause of your symptoms. Initially, tests are done to check for more common illnesses and if any are found, they are treated. The tests become more advanced with time, until an accurate diagnosis is made.
I am experiencing severe headache, muscle pain, body aches, backache, chest pain and sore throat. I have been tested for malaria, typhoid, brucella and pneumonia, but the results are negative. Recently, I was on PEP, which I completed two months ago. I have been taking HIV tests and the results come out negative; the last one was done this month. What might be the cause of this condition?
Your symptoms of sore throat, headache and generalised aches are most likely being caused by a throat infection that may be bacterial or viral. A bacterial infection will usually clear up within a week as you take appropriate antibiotics. The sore throat may also be caused by a viral infection like Covid-19. It would be advisable for you to visit a good hospital, where you will have some tests done like a haemogram, throat swab and a Covid-19 PCR test and thereafter get the appropriate treatment. Please avoid clinics where non-beneficial tests like brucella and typhoid are done, yet your symptoms point to something else. In addition, the window period for HIV is three to six months. Even though you took PEP, you need to wait until three and six months after the exposure to repeat the tests.
I used to have very sharp eyesight, day and night, and I could clearly see things from far. Then I started working on computers for most of the day, and seven years later, I cannot see things from a distance very well. My mum has shortsightedness, so I am not sure if the degeneration of my eyes is linked to computer use or heredity or both. If it is computer damage, can it be reversed? Does using a smart phone often have the same effect? If I am not on my computer, I am on my phone, so I am always staring at a screen at any given time.
What you are experiencing is called computer vision syndrome or digital eye strain. Figures on a screen are usually not very well defined, the contrast with the screen background is reduced and the glare of the screen plus reflections all make your eye muscles work harder when looking at screens. Also, the distance from the screen and the angles used can compound the problem. In addition, a lot of screen time can cause the eyes to become dry. Anyone who spends two hours or more in front of a screen per day can develop computer vision syndrome. Any other eye problems like shortsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism, will seem worse when a person spends too much time in front of a screen. Even people with glasses or contact lenses can have problems with computers and other screens.
The symptoms include headaches, straining of the eyes, blurred vision, dry eyes with a feeling of having something in the eye and neck and shoulder pain from poor seating posture. In many people, the symptoms reduce after they stop using screens for a long time. In a few people, however, the problems may persist.
To correct the problem, you may need glasses or contact lenses which are specifically made for computer use, visual training exercises and proper computer viewing. The middle of the computer screen should be about 20 degrees below your eye level, and 40-75cm away from you. The computer should be placed in a position to avoid glare from overhead lights and windows, and if possible, use antiglare screens. After every 20 minutes of screen use, look into the distance for about 20 seconds to allow your eyes to refocus. Take a break from the screens after two hours of continuous use. Also, blink frequently to prevent your eyes from drying out and keep yourself well hydrated. Every so often, spend time outside, because natural light relaxes the eyes.
You can also visit an optometrist to get your eyes checked to see if there are any other vision problems like shortsightedness, which sometimes can be passed on genetically. Have your eyes checked once every year.
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