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Wed, 14th June 2017

With cool weather, gusty days, sun and glare, peeper problems escalate. Care is essential as irritable eyes are uncomfortable and may lead to long term problems.

When outdoors on bright sunny days, shield the eyes with sunshades, caps and hats. Use standards approved sun glasses. The Cancer Council has an excellent range, including models that readily fit over normal specs. Side flaps give added protection.

Red eyes, often from infections or allergies, is called conjunctivitis, and simple drops usually bring quick relief.

Bathe often. Add a pinch of salt to an eye bath of luke-warm water. Hold to the rim of the eye, look up and blink several times. As it washes over the eye, it soothes and removes debris, including pollens and dust to which you may be allergic. Dab dry and add a drop of Albalon, specially if you are an allergy person. It tends to reduce the irritation and desire to continually rub which only makes it worse.

Many suffer from dry eyes, often aggravated by heat and worse with air conditioning. This sucks moisture from the air, dries the eye surface, causing discomfort and irritation. Those using VDU screens blink at half the normal rate which means eyes dry more rapidly. Rest every hour, close the eyes and relax. It also helps reduce strain on muscles as well!

Liquid tears, Refresh or any of the other excellent eye-drops temporarily restore fluid to the eye surface, and it is OK to re-use often.

Foreign bodies are common, frequently from wind and dust. One may adhere to the inner surface of the upper eyelid. If simple bathing is ineffective, reflect the eyelid over a match. Often the black bit of grit can be seen and removed with a moistened cotton wool bud or hanky tip.

See the doctor if not easily removed, and do not touch the eye surface.

Babies in strollers are a problem, with parents and grannies pushing them along often with the sun shining directly onto the face. Please provide adequate shade at all times.

Continual exposure to the sun can lead to cataracts (reduced vision) in later life, so protection from infancy is essential. A regular eye pressure check for those over 35 is important, as many unknowingly suffer glaucoma, another cause of gradual visual loss. Eyes are precious. Treat them with TLC.



is there any proof that sex causes headaches, to confirm the oft repeated saying "Not tonight dear I have a headache?"


Yes, according to a recent study in the Lancet medical magazine. When 200 patients with severe migraine-like "cluster headaches" were examined, "over-heating" from any cause was noted in most. Exercise, a hot bath, alcohol, air conditioning was present in others. Intercourse, was a relevant cause in several! It may yet be a valid excuse with some!

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We hear/read terrible stories about the adverse effect of some of the new anti-depressant anxiety medication. What does a person believe?


For genuine cases the new family, commonly referred to as the SSRIs, may produce an amazing helpful effect. Persons doomed to a life of misery may soon return to their normal happy selves. It must be seen (or even experienced) to be believed. However, they are often abused, and over used, often for the wrong reason. This is unwise. Under proper supervision they are fine. Adverse effects are minimum and rarely seen. Their benefits outweigh risks. Keep in touch with your doctor and take medication only as prescribed.

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Are there any "natural remedies" to help women with monthly problems?


The sage and chaste tree have been used for centuries. Chaste berries are made into a tea, one tsp ripe berries to the cup, used one to three times a day according to results, Michael Baines, my herbalist expert says. A fresh sprig of sage to a cup of water often relieves hot flushes and other symptoms. Angelica, chilli, and guilder rose have also been used. However, ideally seek some professional guidance. I am not advocating their use.

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What is meant by "Doctor Shopping".


In its true sense, it means patients who jump from doctor-to-doctor, often for the same illness or medication. This is frequently an unnecessary abuse of the government funded health system, and is not recommended. In fact, many of these people have now been identified. There were 13,000 in 1996, but with observation and surveillance, this has dropped to around 9,500. In May, 2017, the Computer is silently tracking your activities. Do not ask multiple doctors for sedatives, tranquillisers and pain killers. Stick with your one trusted GP.

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The more telly I watch, the more jittery I become. I thought it was supposed to be a sedative.


In a recent 30 second commercial I counted at least 70 changes of scene, wording or other rapid movements, accompanied to a shrill voice, and music that set my teeth on edge. Relaxation? Fat chance. Stress, stress, stress! Wham, wham, bang, crash!! If you want peace of mind, go for a pleasant walk in a park, down the road - smell the roses, pat the dogs, say "Hi" to a passer-by. That is real peace of mind. Enough said.

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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.



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

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