East Penn Press

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Healthy Geezer: carrots and cataracts

Friday, August 18, 2017 by FRED CICETTI in Focus

Q. Does drinking carrot juice help with cataracts?

A cataract is a clouding of the lens, the clear part of the eye that helps focus images like the lens in a camera. Cataracts can blur images and discolor them. Most cataracts are related to aging. More than half of Americans over age 65 have a cataract.

I suspect this reader’s question was inspired by the common belief that carrots are good for your eyes. And carrots are good for your eyes.

Healthy Geezer: Fast heart rhythms

Saturday, July 29, 2017 by FRED CICETTI in Focus

Q. My father was diagnosed with SVT? Is that bad?

SVT stands for supraventricular tachycardia, an abnormally-fast heart rhythm. It is not usually dangerous. SVT is one of many types of arrhythmia. An arrhythmia is a problem with the speed or rhythm of the heartbeat.

Most arrhythmias are harmless. Even serious arrhythmias can be treated successfully. Most people with arrhythmias are able to live healthy lives.

Healthy Geezer: Sweating

Friday, July 21, 2017 by FRED CICETTI in Focus

Q. I’m a healthy 71-year-old woman and I sweat a lot. I was wondering if it’s something I should discuss with my doctor.

Heavy sweating, or perspiration, is normal if you are exercising, in a hot environment or you are nervous. It also happens during menopause.

Healthy people sweat, but the amount varies widely. Some people inherit heavy sweating, especially on their palms and the soles of their feet. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, excessive sweating affects about 8 million Americans.

Healthy Geezer: Food allergies symptoms

Friday, July 14, 2017 by FRED CICETTI in Focus

Q. What are the most common food allergies?

Foods that produce most allergic reactions in adults include fish, shrimp, lobster, crab, peanuts, eggs and tree nuts such as walnuts and pecans. Common children’s allergic reactions are caused by eggs, milk, wheat and peanuts.

A true food allergy is an abnormal response by your immune system to certain foods. All reactions to foods are not allergies. When you have a reaction that doesn’t involve the immune system, this reaction is called food intolerance.

Healthy Geezer: Ozone pollution

Friday, July 7, 2017 by FRED CICETTI in Focus

Q. I don’t get it. Is ozone a good thing or a bad thing?

Ozone, a gas, is a form of oxygen. It is created when an electric spark or ultraviolet light passes through air, or when pollutants react chemically with sunlight. Beneficial ozone is in the upper atmosphere, 10 to 30 miles above the surface of the Earth. It protects us from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Too much of these rays may increase the risk of skin cancer, cataracts and problems with our immune systems. Part of the good ozone layer has been destroyed by man-made chemicals.

Healthy Geezer: gout and alcohol

Friday, June 30, 2017 by FRED CICETTI in Focus

Q. Can drinking alcohol give you gout?

Gout, which is one of the most painful forms of arthritis, is caused by a build-up of crystals of uric acid in a joint. Alcohol can lead to increased production of uric acid, so it puts you at a higher risk of getting gout.

Alcohol leads to gout in multiple ways:

It contains purines, proteins that are broken down into uric acid. Purines are found naturally in your body and in some foods.

It promotes dehydration, which raises the uric-acid level in the blood.

Healthy Geezer: grandparenting

Friday, June 9, 2017 by FRED CICETTI in Focus

Q. We’re about to have our first grandchild. I was wondering whether you are a grandfather and have any tips?

My wife, Gale, and I entered grandparenthood with a thud. We were given seven grandchildren in less than seven years. Let me give them all a plug. They are Morgan, 17; Carly, 15; Ethan, 13; Maggie, 13; Christian, 13; Aaron, 11, and Patrick, 10.

First, let me tell you what most grandparents know: you can’t imagine how happy these little people will make you. And I think grandkids improve your mental health by keeping you positive and forward-looking.