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Ask Dr. Gott 11/16
Runny nose makes eating, drinking difficult
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    DEAR DR. GOTT: I am having a health problem for which I seek your valuable advice.
    For the last eight to nine months, whenever I eat or drink anything, my nose runs. Even if I drink a cup of plain water in the morning, my nose runs. This creates a lot of trouble for me in that I have to wipe and blow my nose immediately. Could you please explain this symptom and suggest a remedy?
    DEAR READER: A drippy nose while eating or drinking is a common complaint. I do not know the cause -- and neither does my ear-nose-and-throat consultant.
    In some cases, the symptom appears to be the result of an allergy, such as hay fever. You might try taking Claritin, an over-the-counter antihistamine, and see what happens.

    DEAR DR. GOTT: My husband has a loud ringing in his ears. He has been told that it could be tinnitus. He had his ears cleaned out, and that didn't help. He's seen a chiropractor and an acupuncturist, and they haven't helped. Can you?
    DEAR READER: Your husband's tinnitus could have many causes, including nerve damage from noise exposure, fluid in the middle ear chamber and nerve irritation of unknown cause. I suggest that your husband get checked by your family physician. The doctor may choose to refer him to an ear-nose-and-throat specialist for a hearing test and ear exam.
    Tinnitus is very common in the elderly and is a nuisance that can be treated with a new product called Lipo-Flavonoid, which was designed specifically to improve deafness and tinnitus. It is nonprescription and available at your local pharmacy
    To give you related information, I am sending you a copy of my Health Report "Ear Infections and Disorders." Other readers who would like a copy should send a long, self-addressed, stamped envelope and $2 to Newsletter, PO Box 167, Wickliffe, OH 44092. Be sure to mention the title.

    DEAR DR. GOTT: I am a 71-year-old overweight female. I take Synthroid, blood-pressure medicine and an anti-inflammatory for osteoarthritis. I have also been told I am borderline diabetic, which I have been keeping under control without medicine. Consequently, I consume diet drinks and eat sugar-free foods.
    For the last few years, my legs have been increasingly painful and weak. I was recently told by a friend that artificial sweeteners will cause leg problems. I haven't seen this subject in your column, which I read every day, and wonder if you have an opinion or if any of your readers have written to you about this.
    DEAR READER: Artificial sweeteners can cause serious allergic reactions in patients who are sensitive to the products.
    I suggest that you eliminate sugar substitutes and monitor (with your doctor's help) your symptoms. If improvement occurs within a month or two, you have your answer. Substitute fructose, which is found in dried fruits such as apricots, raisins, figs, and others.
    If, on the other hand, your symptoms persist, work with your family physician for further testing.

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