[COLUMN] Queries from you

IS Omicron deadly?

There were almost 230,000 COVID-19 cases last Monday, December 27 and more than 80 percent of them Omicron. There were 823 new deaths that day, 836,605 total deaths (almost 73.8 million total cases) in the United States since the pandemic started. Omicron is more severely contagious and appears (NOT for certain yet) to be less deadly. The unvaccinated are at the gravest risk, like walking without a helmet and a vest amidst flying bullets in a war zone. The vaccine, mask, and distancing, personal hygiene are our best weapons against this killer virus.

What causes palpitation?

Palpitation (pounding heartbeat, harder and faster than normal) could be due to extrinsic causes like ingestion of a stimulant (coffee, tea, cola drinks, chocolates, some medications, etc.) and/or cigarette smoking, or due to an intrinsic causes like coronary or heart valve diseases. The person feels the heart thumping in the chest that could lead to some degree of discomfort and anxiety. When this happens regularly, in spite of abstinence from the extrinsic causes listed above, prompt medical consultation is recommended.

Do cellphone shields work?

No, the so-called “radiation shields” for cell phones do not work, and therefore are not effective in protecting the user from radiation, reports the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in the U.S. If anything at all, this shield “lulls” the user to complacency and, thus, the user is subjected to more prolonged radiation exposure due to a false sense of security. While the association between cell phone use and some type of brain tumors is still unclear, it is best to avoid and minimize any type of radiation exposure from whatever source. To reduce radiation exposure from cell phones, we recommend the use one of hands-free devices that now commercially available.

Are body moisturizing lotions safe?

Yes, in general, hand and body lotions in the market are safe. The frequent (two or more times a day) use of hand and body lotion is recommended because our skin needs moisture to keep it comfortable, healthy, and looking as young as possible. Caution: Some people may be allergic to some of these commercially available skin moisturizers.

What is cardioversion?

Cardioversion, as the term suggests, means converting the heart rhythm from an abnormal one to a so-called normal and regular sinus rhythm, either by medications or by electrical “zapping.” The term is most often used to imply electrical cardioversion. The two paddles (“zappers”), held one in each hand of the cardioverting personnel (a physician, a nurse or a medical technician) are applied on the mid-chest of the patient and the heart is “electrically shocked” to a normal rhythm or to a safer, more benign form of irregularity. In some persons with heart disease, it may not be possible to convert the rhythm to a perfect sinus rhythm. In these cases, the goal is to convert the rhythm to an acceptable more benign rhythm.

Can trauma to the breasts cause cancer?

Repeated trauma to the breast has been implicated as a possible etiology in the formation of cancer of the breast among women. This could be in the form of biting, pinching, squeezing or rough manual manipulation. The breasts must be handled with care and tenderness. Consult your physician if you are concerned about something in your breast.

Does diabetes cause blindness?

Most definitely, especially among persons whose diabetes is untreated, poorly treated or simply brittle and hard to treat. The blindness is due to what is termed diabetic retinopathy. A significant number of blindness in the world today is caused by diabetes. Once the diagnosis of diabetes mellitus is confirmed, prompt and appropriate therapy should be instituted. A diabetic should be disciplined and follow the prescribed diet and medications if the complications of the disease, like blindness, leg gangrene, etc., are to be prevented.

Is hydrogen peroxide gargle safe?

Yes, hydrogen peroxide is for gurgling, but ask your dentist first since he/she knows your dental condition better and can advise you accordingly. Hydrogen peroxide, together with sodium fluoride and other common ingredients (like triclosan) in toothpaste, help prevent tooth decay, gingivitis (inflammation of the gums), tartar/plaque formation, and halitosis (bad breath). Hydrogen peroxide is a substance that is incorporated in many toothpaste preparations. Baking soda is another.

Do skin whiteners work?

There are a few popular preparations of skin (“bleach”) whiteners available in the market today which are effective and safe. The basic ingredient is 4% hydroquinone. The original use of it was to make skin blemishes (chloasma, melasma, freckles, senile lentigenes and other areas of melanin hyperpigmentation) disappear, but today cosmetologists, many dermatologists and some plastic surgeons, recommend it for the entire face as a “bleaching agent” to whiten the complexion. Those using this should stay away from sunlight to prevent skin burns. Before applying skin whitener, one must consult with his/her physician first because of potential allergy, side effects and possible complications of this cream.

Can loud music lead to deafness?

Yes, and not only music. Prolonged or repeated exposure to any type of very loud noise or sound can cause damage to the auditory nerve damage, which could lead to varying degrees of hearing impairment, and even to permanent deafness. Headset users should set the volume of sound to a safe level. A simple way to do this is to turn the volume down until you can barely hear it, then gradually increasing the loudness (and adjusting the treble and the base if possible) to a comfortable level.

Does surgery make cancer spread?

No, this is a myth. Doing surgery or “opening the patient up” does not cause metastasis (spread) of the cancer. In general, cancer proliferates rapidly to invade surrounding tissues and distant organs. The misconception resulted from the refusal of patients suspected or confirmed to have cancer to be operated on early when first advised, and delayed the surgery so much that the malignant tumor had already spread beyond help before they acceded to have the operation. So, when the surgeons operated on them that late, invariably the cancer had already spread all over. When the patients soon expired, people blamed the surgery as the cause of the spread. Today, almost everybody knows that prompt detection and the treatment of cancer gives the best chance for a cure for majority of patients with malignancy.

A blessed, safe, and joyous New Year to all nations and men of goodwill!!

* * *

The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the Asian Journal, its management, editorial board and staff.

* * *

The main objective of this column is to educate and inspire people live a healthier lifestyle to prevent illnesses and disabilities and achieve a happier and more productive life. Any diagnosis, recommendation or treatment in our article are general medical information and not intended to be applicable or appropriate for anyone. This column is not a substitute for your physician, who knows your condition well and who is your best ally when it comes to your health.

* * *

Philip S. Chua, MD, FACS, FPCS, a Cardiac Surgeon Emeritus based in Northwest Indiana and Las Vegas, Nevada, is an international medical lecturer/author, Health Advocate, newspaper columnist, and Chairman of the Filipino United Network-USA, a 501(c)3 humanitarian foundation in the United States. Websites: philipSchua.com, Today.SPSAtpoday.com, FUN8888.com; Email: [email protected].


Dr. Philip S. Chua

Philip S. Chua, MD, FACS, FPCS, Cardiac Surgeon Emeritus in Northwest Indiana and chairman of cardiac surgery from 1997 to 2010 at Cebu Doctors University Hospital, where he holds the title of Physician Emeritus in Surgery, is based in Las Vegas, Nevada. He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, the Philippine College of Surgeons, and the Denton A. Cooley Cardiovascular Surgical Society. He is the chairman of the Filipino United Network – USA, a 501(c)(3) humanitarian foundation in the United States.

The Filipino-American Community Newspaper. Your News. Your Community. Your Journal. Since 1991.

Copyright © 1991-2023 Asian Journal Media Group.
All Rights Reserved.