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Wed, 19th July 2017
 

Dizzy bouts are an extremely common and worrying condition and adversely affect vast numbers of people. But details of a simple do-it-yourself remedy is reported from Boston this week. Already, it is carried out by a few doctors, but is largely unknown.

The condition's technical name is Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo. It consists of a sudden onset of dizziness, maybe nausea, often when the head is moved. It is now believed to be caused by minute particles of debris floating in the fluid of the semi-circular canals of the middle ear. The doctor teaches the patient to lie on the back with the head extending from the end of the bed. The head is then moved to the left, then the right, repeated lying on the back and again as the patient sits up. Particles gravitate through the canals to lodge in a chamber called the utricle out of harm's way, and symptoms often vanish. It may have to be repeated. Simple head shaking can often give temporary relief.

It is really a three step manoeuvre. Ideally, the doctor will perform the treatment. Success rate is usually 80% after one treatment, and 100% with more than one.

However, just as the unwanted particles accumulated in the first case, so recurrences may take place in up to 30$ of cases over the following 2-3 years. However, it is a simple drug free method.

Naturally, a medical check is always carried out first to make certain there is no sinister underlying disease. In the great majority it is a simple uncomplicated symptom, as the head takes on certain positions.

Today, no symptoms should be neglected, for early diagnosis and successful treatment is often available irrespective of the condition.

 
MAGPIES

Q: 

A large sign has appeared in our local park which has lots of high gum trees. "Beware - Attacking Magpies In This Area."

A: 

When baby magpies are around, parents are very protective and territorial. Ideally, walk in groups. Holding a stick about 500 cm beside and above the head may help break the wing span of a magpie swooping to attack from behind, the usual method. Some wear inverted plastic ice cream tubs. Many serious facial laceration and terrible eye injuries have been reported. Take care at all times.

 
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TEA TREE OIL

Q: 

How come tea tree oil is so toxic to germs, yet reasonably user friendly?

A: 

It's a quirk of nature. Tea tree produces a pungent oil in self-protection, against attacking germs, fungi and other nasties. Fortunately, it is very human user friendly. Nevertheless, keep it out of reach of infants and children, for it is fairly toxic if taken internally.

 
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IRRITABLE SKIN

Q: 

My skin gets dry, itchy, irritable, but the more I wash and massage it the worse it becomes.

A: 

Ideally, use a neutral (non alkaline) soap. Take body warmth showers, avoid prolonged baths, and dab the body with a very soft towel. Do not rub vigorously. Often a moisturising cream will help, urea based is simple, cheap and effective. Many find sprinkling with cornflour twice a day soothing! Gently rub in, and note the silky texture. A check for diabetes is recommended.

 
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ON THE WEB

Q: 

I've been told your information is now on the internet, but how do I access it?

A: 

Simply enter www.docwright.com.au in your web browser and you'll find heaps of current information to keep you fit and well. It costs virtually nothing.

 
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INSOMNIA

Q: 

Do you have a natural "drug free" remedy for insomnia?

A: 

Heaps of remedies abound. Slowly sip a glass of hot water. It is very relaxing and calming. Or add half a tsp of honey. Camomile tea has been effectively used for years. Also, a warm/hot milk drink contains "tryptophan", a natural protein which is also a good sedative. Avoid tea, coffee, choccies and cola drinks which may contain caffeine, a well-known nerve stimulant.

 
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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 (vimieravillage.com.au) in the leafy Sydney (NSW) suburb of Eastwood. It is operated by Mediaid Centre Foundation (mediaid.org.au), 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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