Sleep apnea solutions

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is common in men. It happens when the upper airway intermittently pinches closed overnight, disturbing sleep and starving the brain of oxygen. OSA is linked to poorer heart health and increased risk of accidents because of daytime fatigue. The most effective treatment is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) or variations on that therapy. These require wearing a face mask tethered to a bedside air pump. For people who cannot tolerate CPAP, several options are available, although they are not as effective. These include supplemental oxygen, surgery, or wearing a special oral appliance at night. Surgery is not generally effective for mild to moderate OSA. More »

Ask the doctor: Aspirin and cancer prevention

Taking aspirin regularly may reduce risk of colon cancer but also increases risk of internal bleeding. It is not possible yet to routinely determine who would be helped more than harmed by taking aspirin for colon cancer prevention. (Locked) More »

Ask the doctor: Different dementias

The symptoms of Alzheimer's disease and dementia with Lewy bodies overlap substantially, but some symptoms point more strongly to the latter kind of dementia. Treatment focuses on controlling the symptoms. (Locked) More »

How much alcohol is too much?

Many studies link light to moderate drinking (up to two standard alcoholic drinks per day for a man) to better health, but scientists remain uncertain as to whether alcohol really can improve health. Other factors may just make it look that way. Older men might consider limiting themselves to one drink per day to get the potential benefits while avoiding higher risk for heart attack and stroke. More »

The risks of testing for hidden disease

Preventive health screening tests marketed directly to the public are often unnecessary and carry hidden risks. Defensive, just-in-case testing can lead to additional tests and procedures. Ultrasound scans of the neck for blockages, for example, are not recommended unless the person has possible symptoms of stroke. The best way to decide if screening tests are warranted is to have a discussion with a primary care doctor.  (Locked) More »

How to team up to improve your health

In addition to forging a good working relationship with one’s personal physician, participating in group health care offers multiple benefits. A common and easy form of group health care is attending health education classes. Less common are shared medical appointments, where doctors see groups of patients. Spending time regularly with people with similar health concerns is an opportunity to share helpful strategies and information and obtain psychological support.   (Locked) More »

Relief for hand arthritis

Osteoarthritis in the hands is treated primarily with medication to control pain and inflammation. In addition, seeing a certified hand therapist can also be very helpful for minimizing pain and remaining functional. Hand therapists offer a range of services, including fitting braces and splints and advising on how to alter work habits to protect the affected joints. (Locked) More »