Doc Wright, Australia's #1 Media Medic. Medical advice for all the family.

Hear Dr Wright daily on Sydney's No 1 Radio Station

2UE

Download a list of other radio stations around Australia here.

newer   older
 
  article topic 

Article

TONSILS
Wed, 10th February 2016
 

It's not that many years ago that tens of thousands of kids had their tonsils and adenoids removed, commonly referred to as "T & As". The barbarous custom, a bit like routine circumcision in male bubs has vanished. Today, only under exceptional circumstances is surgery advised. Looking inside an open mouth, the tonsils are located on either side of the throat towards the back of the tongue. The adenoids are located at the back of the nasal passageways and cannot be seen with out special tools.

Both are there for a special reason. They are composed of adenoid tissue, which produces special white blood cells. This improves the bodys general immune system, which naturally fights invading germs. However, in young life, they are often naturally large. Sometimes so big they almost meet in the centre. This can make breathing, swallowing, and even speaking difficult. Also, surfaces often contain crevices and crypts. This enables germs to hide and multiply causing tonsillitis. Often pussy yellow gunky stuff forms on the surfaces. It is unpleasant, causes a sore throat and fever.

Today, treatment with antibiotics quickly kills most germs enabling a rapid return to normal health. Plenty of fluids (water is best) and paracetamol for pain or fever also help. However, in some, there may be three or four attacks a year. This in itself can reduce immunity. Often referral to a throat specialist gives the best outcome. In certain cases, removal is carried out and the problems are solved.

However, older specialists are now finding that infected tonsils left in place have a greater tendency to develop quinsy - adult tonsillitis in later life, when removal may be necessary. It is not a pleasant adult operation. Today most play the waiting game and with increased immunity, most kids do OK.

 
OPTIONS

Q: 

I have a fairly well paid job. But I am starting to develop facial wrinkles and creases. I cannot make up my mind whether to get a face makeover or use the funds to pay off my mortgage.

A: 

Today many women believe retaining a good job involves retaining a youthful appearance as well as mental efficiency. So it is easy to understand your dilemma. However, you must live somewhere till death do us part. I'd opt for the house, but continue to sparkle and shine and do your job better than any prospective competition. Whatever the surgeon could do is temporary only, very expensive, and nature guarantees everything eventually travels south.

 
^back to top
 
SOLARIUMS

Q: 

Today, solariums for artificial skin tanning are getting bad press This is unfair, as many women (and guys) still like a skin tan, which has been trendy even in my grand-parents age.

A: 

True, true - but if it exponentially increases risks of skin cancers, especially melanomas which can guarantee premature death, often in early life, it is not worth the risk. Brown and dead at 35 simply cannot compare with white and healthy at 85. State legislation will gradually ban solariums. Then what becomes illegal often makes that option more attractive. Humans are perverse creatures. I like to wake up each morning.

 
^back to top
 
APPLE CIDER VINEGAR

Q: 

My grandmother took a small daily dose of apple cider vinegar and claimed it reduced her arthritis symptoms. I tasted it, and it was awful.

A: 

This has been a traditional remedy for sore joints for centuries. Some smart marketers have it flavoured to make the taste improve. Cheap varieties are foul. Like many simple remedies, it is unlikely to harm. Many older people still use it regularly. If it seems to work, it is sure better than todays NSAIDS, aspirin, COX-2 inibitors all of which may increase risks of bleeding, and in some cases, heart disease.

 
^back to top
 
POPULATE AND PERISH

Q: 

Do you think mankind will ultimately populate itself out of existence?

A: 

Chances of being born are far less than winning Lotto. Women are born with about 250,000 eggs. There are up to 500,000 male cells of reproduction with each climax. Most humans are sex mad for at least 30 years. So there is the potential for any one couple to populate India and China several times over. In real life, this is mechanically impossible, but you get the drift. However, we are likely to run out of our resources first, with around six billion currently raping the globe, and future projections mind boggling. Eventually we will use the last drop of oil, bit of coal, firewood, clean water. Mankind will perish from a huge viral pandemic as there have been no new antibiotics for 50 years. Cancer too if we go down the uranium track or sit and meditate in the sun. Have a nice day.

 
^back to top
 
SCARLET FEVER

Q: 

Death dealing scarlet fever and small pox have vanished. Will this be the future of HIV?

A: 

Who knows. Germs can rapidly change their make up, going from a non-event to major killer, or the reverse, as we have seen with various once deadly flu strains, and scarlet fever. Man made efforts and vaccination removed small pox as a common killer, and similar global efforts are being made to eradicate polio and measles. Progress is heartening. Yes, HIV may become a historical curio in time, but don't hold your breath.

 
^back to top
 

This health advice is general in nature. You are advised to seek medical attention from your doctor or health care provider for your own specific symptoms and circumstances.

NEWSLETTER

MY SYMPTOM OR ILLNESS IS

Just Ask Dr James Wright.

Coughs, colds, aches and pains, feeling off colour, painful joints, sweaty and miserable? Whatever your symptom, or illness, Dr James Wright may help you, and answer your questions.

Simply log onto docwright.com.au type in your symptom in the space on the left hand column, click topic and up it comes. Simple easy-to-follow information Dr Wright has written over the past several years. Then click contact us if you have a special message.

MONTHLY HEALTH BULLETIN

You can subscribe (no cost) to Dr James Wright's Monthly Health Bulletin by emailing your name and email address to newsletter@docwright.com.au. The bulletin contains up-to-date health tips and news for wellbeing. A copy of the current Bulletin may be viewed online here.

Dr James Wright is associated with lovely Vimiera Retirement Village (vimieravillage.com.au) in the leafy Sydney (NSW) suburb of Eastwood. It is operated by Mediaid Centre Foundation (mediaid.org.au), a non-profit Public Benevolent Institution which provides housing for the elderly, as well as providing a large amount of health information.

Waiting to hear from you Dr James Wright.