What you need to know:
- Experiencing migraines has a genetic component.
- There is also some medication taken to prevent the headaches such as flunarizine and propranolol.
- You also need to identify triggers that may start the headache.
I suffer from occasional migraines that typically subside on taking a pain killer. I usually experience blurry vision for a few minutes, followed by a sharp, painful headache. I have seen a physician who thought it could be as a result of my eye glasses. What should I do to keep migraines at bay? Please advise me.
Migraine headaches are severe, pounding or throbbing headaches that last for a few hours to several days. They usually affect one side of the head, and may be accompanied by increased sensitivity to light, smell and sound, blurring of vision, abdominal discomfort, nausea and vomiting. For some people, migraine headaches have an aura, that is, symptoms that you experience that warn you of an oncoming headache. Experiencing migraines has a genetic component - you are more likely to experience migraines if you have a close family member who also experiences migraines.
There is medication that helps to prevent recurrent headaches and painkillers can help with the headache. When the headaches are constant, it is advisable to take medication continuously for a specified period. There is also some medication taken to prevent the headaches such as flunarizine and propranolol, which should be taken under the direction of a doctor. The best specialist to see is a neurologist.
You also need to identify triggers that may start the headache. The easiest way to avoid the symptoms is by avoiding the triggers. These include hunger, dehydration, inadequate sleep, anxiety, stress, second-hand tobacco smoke, alcohol, strong smells, noise, air pollution, poor lighting, and weather changes. If you have any other illness, get it treated, including your eyes. It is not possible to completely eliminate headaches. However, you can use these tips to avoid headaches as much as possible and you can use painkillers to treat them when they occur.
Lately, I have been experiencing a sharp pain in my left ankle. The pain starts when I stand up to walk after sitting for a while then it goes away after walking for a some time. Sometimes the pain is so severe that I cannot take the first step immediately after standing up, so I have to wait for some time before I begin to walk. What could be the cause of this pain?
You are most likely suffering from plantar fasciitis, which means inflammation of the fascia on the bottom of your foot. The plantar fascia is like a sheet of fibrous tissue that connects the heel to the front of the foot, where the toes start. It supports the foot, and helps us walk by acting as a shock absorber. It can easily get injured or torn due to too much pressure on the feet.
When this happens, there is pain, usually when one starts to walk after sitting or lying down for long, or after being on your feet for long. It is more common in those who are overweight or obese, those whose jobs require them to stand or walk for long durations of time, and also long distance runners. It can also occur during late pregnancy, and also in those with flat feet or a high foot arch. Wearing shoes with poor arch support also contributes to the problem.
You may also have a calcaneal spur, which is a bony projection from the underside of the heel bone (calcaneus) caused by deposition of calcium, which usually occurs together with plantar fasciitis. This protrusion is visible on X-ray examination.
To manage it, reduce the pressure on your feet by reducing the walking and standing. You can stretch and massage your feet before getting out of bed in the morning and after being on your feet for long. Get heel cushions or wear shoes with good arch support and a cushioning sole.
Pain killers help to reduce the pain and inflammation. You can also see a physiotherapist to help with the exercises for the feet and legs. In case you have tried all this and you are still in a lot of pain, you may require a steroid injection to the damaged area, which should be done by an orthopaedic specialist. Other treatments that the orthopaedist may recommend include using splints, plantar iontophoresis (using an electric current to get an applied drug to get into the foot), extracorporeal shock wave therapy and surgery.
My husband had a bypass operation in July 2019. After more than 10 months, it healed well. Suddenly, a bump appeared on the throat above the chest bone and he had a small operation to remove the wire because the surgeon thought the wire was causing the infection. After that, he has had a recurrent boil at the same place despite taking antibiotics since May last year. He has been on amoxicillin/clavulinic acid before and Flucloxacillin at the moment for five months now continuously. My husband is 80 years old. What’ is your advice? Do we have to take a blood test to find out what kind of infection he has?
A boil or an abscess is caused by an infection getting into the layers of the skin through tiny cuts or around a hair follicle or sweat glands or sebaceous gland (skin glands that produce “oil”). Because of the infection, pus forms and accumulates in that place leading to a painful swelling which may turn red. Sometimes a part of it will turn yellow due to the pus underneath. For your husband, the boil probably developed because of the wire that had been placed there.
Getting recurrent boils is associated with poor hygiene, a dirty environment, being near people with some kinds of skin infections and poor blood circulation. It could also be a sign of a weak immune system, for example due to old age, diabetes, long-term use of steroids, cancer, blood disorders, alcoholism, Aids and other diseases. In some people, though, there is no good reason for getting the recurrent infections.
Treatment involves opening the abscess so that the pus can drain out, and sometimes, antibiotics are needed. If the swelling is small, less than 1cm in diameter, you can press it with a cloth dipped in warm water several times a day for about 20 to 30 minutes. It would be advisable to have a blood test to check for infection, blood sugar level among other issues. A sample of pus from the boil should also be tested to determine which infection it is and what antibiotics will work on it.
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