The Doc Replies

The Sunday Post (Inverness) - - Advice -

I’ve been plagued by bouts of sneez­ing when I’m ly­ing in bed at night – up to 50 times. Any ideas?

Sneez­ing can be an ir­ri­tat­ing symp­tom and is of­ten re­lated to al­ler­gies. It may be that there is some­thing within the bed­room – pets, for ex­am­ple – that is lead­ing to this an­noy­ing symp­tom. The best thing is to re­move the thing that is caus­ing the al­lergy. An ex­am­ple of this is clos­ing the window at night when you have a hay fever prob­lem. However, some­times the al­lergy-caus­ing agents, known as al­ler­gens, are just too trou­ble­some to move and steroid nasal sprays can be very help­ful along with an­ti­his­tamines.

My neigh­bours have started keeping hens, but the smell is in­tol­er­a­ble. Could it be dam­ag­ing my health? The wind tends to blow from their gar­den to mine.

Hens would rarely cause prob­lems to neigh­bour­ing house­holds but there can be as­so­ci­ated bac­te­rial ill­nesses and rare res­pi­ra­tory ill­nesses that can be caused by con­tact with chick­ens. Gen­er­ally though the symp­toms you de­scribe are a nui­sance rather than a dan­ger to your health.

Once ev­ery two or three months I’m plagued by a mouth­ful of ul­cers. Could it be a vi­ta­min de­fi­ciency?

Mouth ul­cers have mul­ti­ple causes but if they’re re­cur­ring then it is cer­tainly worth­while seeing your doc­tor. Try to go to the surgery dur­ing an episode, so that the GP can clas­sify the type of ul­cer that you have. They can then sug­gest if fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tion is needed with you. As you say, some vi­ta­min de­fi­cien­cies can cause these ul­cers.

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