Medical Hotline: June 2006


Itchy eyes

In hot weather, when there are many pollens in the air, do not rub itchy eyes. Bathe eyes with weak salty water. Patanol drops effectively lessen allergy reactions. There are many others. Non-sedating antihistamines also help. Keep eyes well moistened.

Dryness increases itching. Avoid wind and air conditioning.


Girls can become pregnant as soon as ovulation starts—when periods commence. Usually this is anywhere from nine to 15 years of age. An egg is released from the ovary, and if it’s in the fallopian tube, pregnancy will occur if it meets a male sperm. Ovulation occurs 14 days before the start of a period. Women are often at their height of sexuality and psychological desire at this time.


Bloating and headaches are common, reactions caused by the hormones produced soon after ovulation and two weeks before the expected onset of the next period. When a period starts there is usually an enormous fluid loss, which quickly resolves the issue. Taking the pill stops ovulation and can be an effective remedy.

Tight Lips

Many children are intolerant to certain foods. Do not force them to take a bite. In due course they may take small amounts.

Food intolerances are common in children, and they are usually better off without that particular food.

Sore Throats

Antibiotics are usually useless for simple sore throats that are usually caused by a viral infection. Paracetamol is best to reduce pain and bring down mild fevers. Drink lots of water and have a few early nights. Antibiotics will only kill sensitive organisms.

Many sore throats come from allergies. This can be relieved by gargling or using the non-sedating antihistamines available over the counter from the pharmacist.

Best Soap

There are so many brands of soap, it is bewildering, and one is confused as to which is best. It is not a hard decision. I believe the best is a non-alkaline product. There are several fine brands around. As soap involves a chemical process called saponification (hence the word soap), other products do not rely on this reaction so are often termed a liquid or “bar.” There is Cetaphil, QV bar by Ego, Dove, Neutragena and various others. Most are non-perfumed, contain no dyes or additives. Some contain a moisturiser, which is also beneficial and help keep skin supple and moist.

Dab dry with a soft towel afterwards. Do not rub briskly.


Heartburn occurs when strong corrosive acid from the stomach refluxes into the lower end of the food tube. Untreated, it may lead to inflammation, Later it may lead to Barrett’s syndrome, which can lead to cancer. This means heartburn should be actively treated from an early age.

Lump on Scalp

Lumps occasionally form on the scalp of adults. This is a sebaceous cyst, once called a “wen.” The gland, attached to a hair root, has a small outlet tube that easily gets blocked. Fat production continues, and swelling occurs. The stuff is gunky and foul smelling.

A doctor can clean it out.

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