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Ask Dr. Gott 7/5
Risk of reaction after surgery
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    DEAR DR. GOTT: My eye specialist recently told me that I need cataract surgery. My reaction was negative because I have always been allergic to anything and everything in or around my eyes. I have never even been able to wear any kind of makeup. I can’t wear contact lenses because it was found I was allergic to the lenses themselves. I tried twice but not through this doctor.
    DEAR READER: A cataract is the clouding of the eye’s natural lens, situated behind the iris and pupil. The condition is common in the elderly and affects about 70 percent of those over 75 years of age.
    Allergies of the eye are no different than allergies affecting the lungs, nose and sinuses. In the case of cataract surgery, adverse reactions to eye-numbing injections can cause hypersensitivity either from the compound itself or from the mechanical manipulation of the needle. Reactions are uncommon but do happen. Onset of an allergic reaction following surgery can occur within a few hours, days or several weeks.
    Because you appear to be a likely candidate for an allergic reaction, I recommend you discuss the issue with your ophthalmologist. He or she can tell you what injection are normally used, whether there are options and, based on your history, whether you should have the surgery. I don’t mean to skirt the problem and refer you back to your surgeon, but he or she knows your eyes, medical history and whether the benefits will outweigh the risks. Perhaps a three-way conversation with your primary-care physician might provide the answers you need.
    To give you related information, I am sending you a copy of my Health Report “An Informed Approach to Surgery.” Other readers who would like a copy should send a self-addressed, stamped, No. 10 envelope and $2 to Newsletter, PO Box 167, Wickliffe, OH 44092. Be sure to mention the title.

    DEAR DR. GOTT: I suffer from fibromyalgia and hot flashes. I am not a fan of conventional medicine and don’t take anything for either condition. Do you know what I can take that will be a natural substance or supplement.
    DEAR READER: In brief, fibromyalgia might be handled with pain-relieving drugs such as Aleve or Motrin, coupled with mild exercise. Castor oil rubbed on affected joints two or three times a day might provide relief. Certo and purple grape juice have provided relief from joint pain.
    Modify your diet to include nuts and omega-3 fish oil. Drink green tea and eat grapes, which contain a compound that blocks the arthritic swelling.
    Hot flashes can often be handled by eating two or three slices of crystallized ginger or by taking one or two ginger capsules twice a day.
    While hot flashes can be handled relatively easily, fibromyalgia is difficult to treat without the use of prescription drugs. You should be under the care of a rheumatologist. Barring that, consider a naturopath, who might suggest more options.
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