Ask our Doc

Don’t be shy – Chat’s Dr Martin Ed­wards is a fam­ily GP who’s seen it all be­fore…

Chat - - Health -

Swollen glands

Q I’ve had swollen glands in my neck for weeks now. Why won’t they go down? An­gelina, 29

A A se­ries of colds and sore throats, or an in­fec­tion else­where, such as in a tooth or on your scalp, might leave your glands swollen for weeks.

But more se­ri­ous in­fec­tions such as tu­ber­cu­lo­sis, or a kind of can­cer called lym­phoma, are rare pos­si­bil­i­ties, so you should see your doc­tor.

Sensitive eyes

Q My eyes wa­ter and clamp shut when I’m in bright sun­light.

I feel silly con­stantly wear­ing my shades. Milly, 21

A An op­ti­cian can rule out eye in­flam­ma­tion or in­fec­tion or dis­eases of the retina at the back of your eye.

Mi­graine is a pos­si­bil­ity, es­pe­cially if you also have headaches. But some­times light-sen­si­tiv­ity is a habit you just de­velop. If it causes you prob­lems, talk to your doc­tor.

Jaw ache

Q Af­ter a bril­liant hol­i­day with lots of snog­ging, my jaw hurts!

Surely I can’t dam­age it through kiss­ing? Tulip, 27

A Yes you can! Vig­or­ous kiss­ing can tem­po­rar­ily put your jaw joint out of place. It’s called Costen’s syn­drome and can also hap­pen with teeth that don’t meet prop­erly, or through tooth-grind­ing.

It should get bet­ter with painkillers, a soft diet and jaw ex­er­cises if nec­es­sary.

‘Erm, it’s a bit... per­sonal’ Smear con­cern

Q I’m gay, so why does my doc­tor want me to have a smear test?

I thought only hav­ing sex with men put you at risk of cer­vi­cal can­cer. Trudy, 34

A Many gay women have had sex with a man, so could catch the virus, which in­creases the risk of cer­vi­cal can­cer.

Even if you haven’t, there’s a tiny risk from gay ac­tiv­ity, so it makes sense to have a smear test.

Leaky vagina

Q I get wa­ter in my vagina af­ter a bath. It drib­bles out and wets my briefs.

Is this nor­mal? Sheila, 53

A Nor­mally, the en­trance to your vagina is closed and wa­ter won’t en­ter, but weak­ened mus­cles around your vagina and pelvic floor, usu­ally the re­sult of child­birth, might let it in.

Pelvic-floor ex­er­cises can help re­store mus­cle tone, mean­while wear pads af­ter a bath.

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