Ask the expert
2:32 PM EST, January 13, 2016
As the temperatures drop in winter and people turn to alternative heating systems, the chances of carbon monoxide poisoning increase. Faulty space heaters and gas-burning electric generators, along with furnaces and water heaters that aren't functioning properly, can lead to injury and death by poisoning. Carbon monoxide is odorless, so people need to check that their heating systems are operating properly and are well ventilated, and they need to be on the lookout for symptoms, said Dr. Ziad Mirza, a physician with the Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine Center at Greater Baltimore Medical Center.
4:07 PM EST, December 30, 2015
Esophageal cancer is one of those diseases that sneaks up on people. The symptoms in many cases may not show up until the advanced stages of the illness. Dr. Bruce D. Greenwald, a professor of medicine in the division of gastroenterology and hepatology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, said that the cancer has probably grown enough to block the esophagus by the time symptoms appear.It is estimated that about 17,000 people were diagnosed with esophageal cancer — about three times as many men as women. Greenwald, also chairman of the Esophageal Cancer Action Network, said those at greatest risk can get screened.
2:55 PM EST, December 16, 2015
It's not uncommon to hear people say they feel tired, whether it's because of a new work schedule, a new baby or just a hectic lifestyle. The answer for most is just getting enough sleep at a consistent time, said Dr. Emerson Wickwire, an assistant professor and director of the Insomnia Program at the University of Maryland School of Medicine who treats patients at the University of Maryland Sleep Disorders Center. But sometimes new strategies are needed, said Emerson, also president of the Maryland Sleep Society.
5:37 PM EST, December 2, 2015
Public health officials often warn the public not to approach wild animals because they might be infected with rabies, whether they show obvious signs or not. Hundreds of animals a year are confirmed to have the nervous system disease, according to Dr. Katherine Feldman, state public health veterinarian at the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
3:23 PM EST, November 18, 2015
Head lice, the scourge of daycare centers and elementary schools, might have just become a bigger problem. A new strain of "super lice" has infested people in 25 states, potentially making it more difficult to get rid of the parasites. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports there are up to 12 million cases of lice a year, mostly among children. But itching doesn't necessarily mean an active infestation, and neither does the sight of eggs. But if creepy crawlers are found, over-the-counter and prescription products can treat the social malady, said Dr. Bernard "Buddy" Cohen, a pediatric dermatologist at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center.
2:17 PM EST, November 4, 2015
Jimmy Fallon fell while holding a bottle of liquor at a party in his honor Oct. 24, causing a relatively minor injury, but nonetheless leaving him with a bandage — before the one on his other hand was removed. The host of NBC's "Tonight Show" slipped on a rug over the summer and caught his ring on a countertop. In that case, it took specialized microsurgery to repair the "ring avulsion," where the skin and most everything underneath is torn.
2:53 PM EDT, October 21, 2015
Influenza is a nasty virus that ends with thousands of people hospitalized or dying every year, but the flu vaccine can prevent many people from becoming ill, according to Dr. Stephen E. Scranton, who specializes in allergy and immunology for Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic. He follows national recommendations that call for almost everyone 6 months and older to be immunized, and he said now is the time.
1:59 PM EDT, September 23, 2015
Our bodies need some cholesterol, but many people have levels that are too high, which can lead to health problems. Factors like poor diet, age and genetics contribute to increases in the kind of cholesterol that is most troubling. Fortunately, there are ways to lower levels of bad cholosterol and heighten levels of the good kind. Dr. Lisa Carey, an internal medicine and pediatrics physician at Greater Baltimore Medical Center at Hunt Manor, explains the different types of cholesterol and the roles they play in the body.
5:01 PM EDT, July 15, 2015
In place of traditional knee replacement, doctors at Anne Arundel Medical Center have been using patients' cells to help repair their damaged cartilage. The cartilage knee replacement, where cells are implanted and grow into the damaged space, is the longest-lasting fix for younger patients who don't have arthritis, said Dr. James York, an orthopedic surgeon at AAMG Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Center.
5:07 PM EDT, June 3, 2015
Many children suffer from foot problems that often go undiagnosed. There are many symptoms parents can watch for, says Dr. Bradley Lamm, a Baltimore-area foot and ankle surgeon and fellow of the American College of Foot & Ankle Surgeons. Many parents think children can outgrow foot problems, but Lamm said it is important to get treatment.
3:52 PM EDT, May 20, 2015
Anyone suffering from sciatica can say that the pain can be intense, from the back all the way down the leg. Those who are overweight, smoke, don't exercise or even wear high heels can make the pain worse. And while exercising can keep you fit, it can also lead to nerve pain. But episodes generally pass and over-the counter drugs and at-home exercises can help, according to Dr. John J. Carbone, an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in spine surgery and spine reconstruction at MedStar Harbor Hospital.
2:57 PM EDT, April 22, 2015
Think those fancy, too-small shoes with the pointy toes caused that bunion? Genetics probably paid a bigger role, says Scott E. Woodburn, a fellow of the of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons, who practices in Maryland. That is just one of the misconceptions people have about bunions, Woodburn said. He sets the record straight on other things people get wrong about the disorder.
3:56 PM EDT, May 6, 2015
About 50 million people in the United States suffer from some kind of allergy, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The immune system becomes overactive when a person comes into contact with a substance from the environment or in food. People sneeze, cough or have some other more serious reaction.
5:10 PM EDT, April 8, 2015
Many people are adopting clean eating habits, trading in processed foods for natural, nontoxic and organic choices. Doctors say it can lead to better health, but for some it can become an unhealthy obsession. Dr. Steven Crawford, co-director of The Center for Eating Disorders at Sheppard Pratt in Towson, said some people can become so focused on eating the right foods that they develop an eating disorder called orthorexia. Crawford says more research is needed on the disease, which is not yet listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association, the gold standard for psychological disorders.
4:59 PM EDT, March 25, 2015
Radiation plays a significant role in treating patients with breast cancer, but there are more options now that can reduce the time spent in therapy or the amount of healthy tissue treated. Dr. Maria C. E. Jacobs, director of radiation oncology at Mercy Medical Center, explains some new techniques and their benefits.
11:18 AM EDT, September 11, 2015
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among U.S. men, though because the cancer grows slowly it doesn't always immediately cause health problems. And there are effective treatments for many people, with several new drugs approved for tougher cases in recent years. Researchers also are exploring genetic tests to decide which therapies are best for which cases, according to Dr. Emmanuel Antonarakis, medical oncologist at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center.
11:25 AM EDT, August 21, 2015
Former President Jimmy Carter revealed recently that the cancer doctors had found in his liver during an exam in May had spread to his brain. The doctors diagnosed the cancer as melanoma, a skin cancer, but they didn’t know the exact source. The doctors removed a malignant tumor along with about a tenth of Carter’s liver in early August, according to reports by Tribune Newspapers. Later, scans found the four spots on his brain. They did not find cancer in his pancreas, though pancreatic cancer killed four Carter family members. Carter said he will undergo treatment, though this cancer in late stages has a poor prognosis. He told reporters that he was "at ease" with what comes and wasn't in much pain. Dr. Charles Park, a neurosurgeon at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, who has not treated the former president, answers questions about melanoma in the brain.
6:50 PM EDT, July 29, 2015
Epilepsy is a common disorder that causes seizures, but most people who suffer from it can be treated with medications. Trial and error is often needed to find the proper drugs and dosage, according to Dr. P. Jay Foreman, director of the Epilepsy Center at the Sandra and Malcolm Berman Brain & Spine Institute at LifeBridge Health's Sinai Hospital. He explains the condition.
2:30 PM EDT, July 1, 2015
Acne is one of the most common problems that send people to the dermatologist, and it's not always young people coming through the door, according to Dr. Angela Peterman, Anne Arundel Medical Center dermatologist. Adult acne isn't uncommon, and there is help at the drugstore and from doctors.
2:46 PM EDT, June 17, 2015
As women get older, they have different needs when visiting their gynecologist. The body begins changing as menopause nears. Menstrual periods become irregular, hormone levels change. It can all be confusing for women. Dr. Katharine H. Taber, medical director of the Women's Wellness Center at Northwest Hospital, offers tips on what to ask their doctor as they age.
7:14 PM EDT, March 11, 2015
Bobbi Kristina Brown, daughter of the late Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown, has spent more than a month in a medically induced coma since being discovered Jan. 31 unconscious and face-down in a bathtub. People can survive a coma, with their chances largely depending on the level of brain damage they suffered, according to Dr. Michael A. Williams, medical director of the Sandra and Malcolm Berman Brain & Spine Institute at LifeBridge Health. He explains the meaning of consciousness and the different states of unconsciousness.
5:13 PM EST, February 25, 2015
Chronic coughs are one of life's little annoyances. Coughing fits make it hard to sleep, make breathing difficult when exercising and can sneak up when you least expect it, like during an important phone call. The causes of chronic cough are many, said Dr. Jonathan Matz, an internal medicine and allergy & immunology specialist at Sinai Hospital of Baltimore and a partner with Dr. Golden & Matz LLC. He talks about the causes and treatments for chronic cough.
2:34 PM EST, January 28, 2015
Women won't likely develop bulky muscles when they work out like many men do, and most probably don't want to, says Dr. Barbara Semakula, sports medicine specialist at Anne Arundel Medical Center. But like men, women benefit from strength training and stretching, even during pregnancy, though there are a few things that make women's muscles different from their male counterparts' bodies, she said.
3:09 PM EST, December 17, 2014
That teaspoon of acetaminophen parents give their children when they have a fever may not be a teaspoon at all. Studies show parents who use utensils from the kitchen drawer may inadvertently give their child too little or too much of all kinds of medicines, and that can sometimes lead to severe side effects. Parents should be using a carefully marked dropper or the cap that comes with the medication, consulting the recommended dosages for their child's weight and age, according to Dr. Scott Krugman, chairman of pediatrics at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center.
3:07 PM EST, December 3, 2014
Heart disease is a leading killer of Americans, and there are many factors that put people at risk. But among the top problems is something hard to measure – stress – according to Dr. Michael Miller, professor of cardiovascular medicine, epidemiology and public health in the University of Maryland School of Medicine and author of "Heal Your Heart: The Positive Emotions Prescription to Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease." He says there are actions everyone can take to lower their stress, and their risk of a heart attack.
3:19 PM EST, November 12, 2014
Everyone needs to take care of their teeth, but athletes can have a special burden. The sugary drinks, dry mouths, sweating and falling can each take a toll, some more than others, says Dr. Sharon Colvin, an athlete and an assistant professor in the department of general dentistry at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry.
5:14 PM EDT, October 29, 2014
Society's obsession with being thin doesn't seem to have motivated most people to lose weight and keep it off. One expert suggests that people give up on dieting and learn to listen to their bodies. Linda Bacon, a speaker and author, plans a free lecture on the subject Nov. 8 at the Center for Eating Disorders at Sheppard Pratt Health System. She answers some questions here about weight myths and dieting.
2:36 PM EDT, October 1, 2014
Some women at high risk for breast cancer because of an inherited gene mutation, including actress Angelina Jolie, are choosing to have preventive double mastectomies. Other women who have cancer in one breast are asking their doctors to remove the other breast removed out of caution. Whatever the reason, more women are having both breasts removed in response to cancer or a cancer threat. Dr. David Euhus, chief of breast surgery in the division of surgical oncology at Johns Hopkins Hospital, explains the trend and what happens after.
4:18 PM EDT, September 24, 2014
Busy lives, smartphones and poor sleep habits are all contributing to groggy children suffering from the same sleep disorders as adults. But Dr. Laura Sterni, director of the Johns Hopkins Pediatric Sleep Center at Mount Washington Pediatric Hospital, said treating sleep ailments in children takes a different approach form that used for adults.
11:14 AM EDT, September 11, 2014
Because of advanced treatments, curing prostate cancer has become more common. There now are more than 2.5 million survivors in the United States. Still, many men suffer from side effects after treatment, which may be a deterrent to obtaining care or even discussing the matter with a doctor. But early diagnosis and appropriate treatment will provide the best outcomes, according to Dr. Ira E. Hantman, a urologist with Urology Specialists of Maryland at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore. He said men should discuss the pros and cons of screening with their doctors as they approach 50.
4:59 PM EDT, September 3, 2014
Antibiotics have saved countless lives over the years, but their overuse has lead to problems including antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Dr. Mary R. Clance, an epidemiologist at Anne Arundel Medical Center, discusses the history, troubles and appropriate uses of the drugs.
1:29 PM EDT, August 20, 2014
With all of the beeping of machines and checking of vital signs, patients in the intensive-care unit often have trouble sleeping. This, along with other hospital conditions, like lack of natural light and familiar surroundings, can lead to disorientation. It's called ICU psychosis, and while it's unsettling to patients and their families, it's not likely to last all that long, according to Dr. Chaitanya Ravi, director of LifeBridge Health Hospitalist Services.
1:34 PM EDT, August 7, 2014
As kids spend time in the water, officials warn parents to keep a close watch to ensure children don't drown. But there is another condition parents should know about: secondary drowning. It afflicts children who survive a near-drowning incident. And though it's uncommon, it can be fatal if left untreated, according to Dr. Melissa Sparrow, clinical director for pediatric inpatient and emergency services at Greater Baltimore Medical Center.
3:23 PM EDT, July 23, 2014
Keeping the body hydrated is important for everyone, but older people may face more challenges. Amy Boulware, director of nursing for North Oaks, a senior living facility in Pikesville, talks about how medications and lifestyle may make it hard for them to stay hydrated.
5:41 PM EDT, June 25, 2014
Hip dysplasia may not be obvious in newborns, but the disorder may already be affecting babies' development. And the sooner parents and caregivers get an evaluation and treatment, the easier the fix, according to Dr. Andrew Abramowitz, a board-certified orthopedic surgeon at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center who trained in pediatric orthopedics.
1:56 PM EDT, June 11, 2014
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Indiana State Department of Heath announced the nation's first case of Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome on May 2. Public health officials are keeping tabs on the virus, which has infected more than 800 people in more than a dozen countries, killing at least 310 of them, according to Reuters. But the officials don't believe the general public is at great risk.
2:33 PM EDT, May 28, 2014
The winter was cold and snowy and the spring has been wet and warm, and that combination has made it easier for trees to produce much more pollen than normal. And that means runny noses and red, watery eyes for many who suffer from allergies. But Dr. Gregory Small, board-certified in internal medicine and a primary care physician at Greater Baltimore Medical Center at Texas Station, says that there are a number of ways to treat these allergies.
3:12 PM EDT, May 14, 2014
Bumps that appear on the body can be hard for the average person to detect. Is it a pimple? A boil? A mosquito bite? Dr. Amy Espy-Smith, the area medical director for Concentra, an urgent-care clinic with multiple locations in Maryland, talks about how to distinguish a boil from other bumps.
2:46 PM EDT, April 30, 2014
While diabetes is becoming more common, people are learning how to better manage the disease.
7:32 PM EDT, April 16, 2014
Tooth decay has become a major problem among young children, and pediatric dentists are urging parents to take steps such as limiting sugary snacks and drinks. They also now advise brushing with a small amount of fluoride toothpaste and having a wellness exam at age 1, according to Dr. Norman Tinanoff, chief of the division of pediatric dentistry at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry.
5:32 PM EDT, April 2, 2014
It's the weekend or nighttime, and someone in the family doesn't feel well or has hurt themselves. Many people assume the local hospital's emergency department is the best place to go for treatment, but an urgent care center may be a faster and cheaper way to get care for less serious conditions, according to Dr. William P. Jaquis, chief of emergency medicine at Sinai Hospital of Baltimore. LifeBridge Health, Sinai's parent company has recently partnered with ExpressCare urgent care centers.
3:34 PM EDT, March 19, 2014
Lying awake at night staring at the ceiling is never fun. But we all experience this insomnia at some points in our lives. When sleeplessness becomes chronic, it can cause other health and lifestyle problems. Dr. Audrey Liu, a sleep specialist at Mercy Medical Center, talks about how to treat insomnia.
2:33 PM EST, March 5, 2014
Multiple myeloma is cancer of the bone marrow, an incurable type of the disease that kills about 10,700 people a year. But for the 22,000 diagnosed annually, including recently Tom Brokaw, former NBC news anchor, there are new options for treatment and more kinds of therapies in the works, according to Dr. Gary I. Cohen, medical director of the Sandra & Malcolm Berman Cancer Institute at Greater Baltimore Medical Center. He answers questions about the disease.
11:25 AM EST, February 20, 2014
We slather on sunscreen and sport our shades during the sunny summer months. But Dr. Francisco Burgos at Katzen Eye Group says we should also be wearing sunglasses in the winter. The practice's director of refractive surgery services and comprehensive eye care says ultraviolet light can damage eyes at any time of the year.
7:38 PM EST, February 5, 2014
Putting too much stress on your joints? Or maybe arthritis has become an issue?
4:08 PM EST, January 22, 2014
It seems that just about all kids, from toddlers to teenagers, have a smartphone, tablet or other device in their hands at one time or another. But too much screen time might not be healthy, especially if it's replacing physical activities or interfering with personal relationships or homework.
3:02 PM EST, December 25, 2013
Lazy eye is often mistaken for eyes that cross or wander, but some patients with the disorder don't show these symptoms. Dr. Lisa Abrams, a pediatric ophthalmologist at Katzen Eye Group, talks about how lazy eye is diagnosed, who gets it and how it is treated.
1:56 PM EST, December 11, 2013
Normal wounds heal within weeks, but for people with health problems, the injuries may fester for much longer. In the worst cases, persistent wounds that aren't treated can infect the bone and even lead to amputation. Dr. Kapil Gopal, vascular surgeon and assistant professor of surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and medical director of the Maryland Wound Healing Center at the University of Maryland Medical Center's Midtown Campus, talks about treatment options for severe wounds.
4:12 PM EST, November 13, 2013
Wear eye makeup to bed or don't wash your face well and you may wind up with pimple-like styes on your eyelids. The bumps don't typically lead to vision loss, but can cause scarring if not treated. Dr. Karen Dunlap, assistant professor of ophthalmology at The Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins, said that it is easy to prevent eye styes.
2:51 PM EDT, October 30, 2013
The beginning of the school year is a time when allergy symptoms in children may flare up. Dr. Manav Singla, a specialist at the Asthma Allergy & Sinus Center in Baltimore, said the change in fall temperature, allergens and environment during this time can trigger an increase in mucus production as well as increased inflammation in the large and small airways of the lungs. He talks about how parents can help their children manage asthma symptoms.
5:05 AM EDT, October 20, 2013
Women with dense breast tissue will now get an extra warning about cancer. Dense breast tissue, while common in women, can make it harder to detect breast cancer. A new state law requires doctors to send women with dense breast tissue a special letter warning of the danger. Together the patient and doctor can decide on what type of screening should be done. Dr. Diana Pack, a radiologist at Anne Arundel Medical Center, explains the new law.
4:07 PM EDT, October 2, 2013
Marylanders who need insurance under health reform because they don't have it through their employer or a federal plan will be able to get it from a state exchange. Maryland Insurance Commissioner Therese M. Goldsmith discusses the kinds of plans that are offered on the exchange, called Maryland Health Connection, which opened Tuesday. People shopping for health insurance can compare the specific plans at marylandhealthconnection.gov. Coverage starts in January.
3:36 PM EDT, September 18, 2013
Women who find themselves having a hard time getting pregnant may have endometriosis to blame. The condition is one of the most common causes of infertility. Dr. Michael A. Giudice, a physician of obstetrics and gynecology with University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center, explains what causes the condition and how to treat it.
3:15 PM EDT, September 4, 2013
How far would you want doctors to go to save your life after a bad accident? It's a tough question many people may not want to think about it, but they should. The state has created the Maryland Order for Life Sustaining Treatment form, which patients fill out as a guideline for how doctors should proceed. Dr. Barbara Carroll, the medical director at Broadmead senior living community in Cockeysville, talks about the new form and how it is different from living wills and other directives.
2:58 PM EDT, August 7, 2013
We've all heard of arthritis in the knees and even the hips. But many people may not know the thumb is prone to the joint disease as well. Neil Zimmerman, hand surgeon at the Curtis National Hand Center at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital, said the most common type of thumb arthritis happens gradually over time.
2:06 PM EDT, July 24, 2013
You don't have to be a heavy drinker to suffer from liver problems. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease has become the most common chronic liver disease in all developed countries, including the United States, says Dr. Srinevas K. Reddy, assistant professor of surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and a liver surgeon at the University of Maryland Medical Center.
2:30 PM EDT, July 10, 2013
Our muscles and organs are divided into compartments held together by connective tissue. Damage to the compartments can cause a condition called compartment syndrome, which can cause painful swelling. Dr. Daryl Osbahr, an orthopedic surgeon at Union Memorial Hospital, said if the condition isn't treated soon enough, it can cause long-term damage.
4:51 PM EDT, June 26, 2013
Hemorrhoids can be a painful and embarrassing condition, but many people suffer from it, especially as they get older. Luckily, the condition is easy to treat. Sergey Kantsevoy, director of the Center for Therapeutic Endoscopy at Mercy Medical Center, said one new treatment is simpler and quicker than the older options.
3:54 PM EDT, June 12, 2013
Ovarian cancer can be a death sentence for many women. It is difficult to treat and often goes undetected until the late stages when it has spread to other organs in the pelvis and abdomen.
May 30, 2013
Owning a cane, wheelchair or walker is a little bit like owning a car, said Brad Barnhart, a physical therapist at North Oaks, a senior living community in Pikesville. Skip maintenance, and it could lead to unsafe conditions. Barnhart, with more than 25 years of experience in senior living settings, provides some tips on keeping medical devices in good shape.
5:39 PM EDT, May 15, 2013
It is well known that HPV (human papillomavirus) can lead to deadly cervical cancer in women, but the virus is causing cancer in men as well. Throat cancers caused by HPV are showing up typically in men with little or no history of smoking, said Dr. Kevin J. Cullen, an oncologist who specializes in treating head and neck cancers. Cullen, the director of the University of Maryland's Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center, talks about the growing cases of HPV-related throat cancers.
2:28 PM EDT, May 1, 2013
Many men will experience prostate enlargement as they get older, some to the point that it will cause urination problems. Dr. Michael Naslund, director of the Maryland Prostate Center at the University Maryland Medical Center, said there are many options for treatment, including surgery, drugs and lifestyle changes.
2:06 PM EDT, April 17, 2013
Constipation hits everybody at some point. The uncomfortable condition can be caused by many things, including a bad diet and dehydration. Dr. Vaibhav A. Parekh, director of Medstar Harbor Primary Care, talks about how to prevent and treat constipation, and how to tell if it's a sign of more serious health problems.
3:41 PM EDT, April 3, 2013
Does eliminating specific foods from the diet, such as sugar or wheat, provide health benefits? Such cleansing has become a popular way for people to lose weight, boost energy and eat more healthfully. Liz Lipski, academic director for the Master of Science degree in nutrition and integrative health at Maryland University of Integrative Health, believes cleanses can be beneficial if they are not too extreme.
3:15 PM EDT, March 20, 2013
Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women, but many don't recognize the warning signs. They may ignore the symptoms or mistake them for more benign ailments. Dr. Shannon J. Winakur, medical director of the Women's Heart Center at Saint Agnes Hospital, said women should be more aware of heart disease and how to prevent it.
6:49 PM EST, March 6, 2013
Low libido can not only ruin a women's sex life but could also cause her to miss out on some key health benefits. Dr. Valerie Omicioli, a certified menopause practitioner and clinical assistant professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, said that low sexual desire is something that women should not ignore.
3:02 PM EST, February 6, 2013
Surgery on older people can be riskier than other generations. But it can be safely done if doctors take certain precautions. Dr. Mark Katlic, chief of surgery at Sinai Hospital of Baltimore and an expert on surgical care of patients 80 and older, talks about the risks involved.
2:58 PM EST, February 20, 2013
A popular "Downton Abbey" character died in childbirth from eclampsia in a storyline that shocked audiences. But what exactly is eclampsia, and does it kill modern-day moms?
2:58 PM EST, January 23, 2013
As people look to live more healthful lifestyles, many are contemplating meat-free diets. But becoming vegan or vegetarian can seem daunting as people try to figure out what to eat to get all the proper nutrients. Ingrid Beardsley, registered dietitian at MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital, said the transition can be done with proper planning.
2:16 PM EST, January 9, 2013
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton recently received a gag gift of protective headgear after she suffered a concussion and blood clot near her brain after a fall. While Clinton can now make light of the injuries, a blood clot can be a serious health risk that can lead to death. Dr. James L. Frazier, III, a neurosurgeon at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, talks about the dangers.
3:23 PM EST, December 12, 2012
Hand, foot and mouth disease is a common ailment often picked up by children in day care. While it may make for a cranky child, Dr. Benjamin N. Lockshin, a Silver Spring dermatologist who also teaches at Georgetown University and the Johns Hopkins University, said the disease is easily treated.
2:24 PM EST, November 28, 2012
Diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness among adults 20 to 74 years old. Dr. Michael Grodin, co-director of retinal services and director of clinical research at Katzen Eye Group, discusses eye problems and the link to diabetes.
2:21 PM EST, November 14, 2012
ACL tears have taken out so many University of Maryland football players, you'd think the injury is contagious. Four Terps football players have suffered from the knee injuries this season. Dr. Michael E Trice, assistant professor of orthopedic surgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and director of the Johns Hopkins Cartilage Restoration Center at Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, says ACL tears aren't that uncommon in athletes.
3:19 PM EDT, October 31, 2012
Fans were missing linebacker Ray Lewis at the end of the Ravens' last game. Lewis is out for the season after suffering a triceps tear, a rare injury with a long recovery time. Dr. Umasuthan Srikumaran, assistant professor of orthopedic surgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, said triceps tears are significant injuries for athletes.
1:55 PM EDT, October 17, 2012
First-time parents may not always know how to care for their newborn's skin or recognize common conditions. Most problems resolve themselves, and the basic rule of thumb for washing and choosing products is to go with what's simple, says Dr. Kate B. Puttgen, assistant professor in the Johns Hopkins Medicine departments of dermatology and pediatrics and assistant director of the division of pediatric dermatology and cutaneous laser center.
4:23 PM EDT, October 3, 2012
That chronic groin pain sometimes felt by athletes may be called a sports hernia, but it's not really a hernia at all, according to Dr. Katherine G. Lamond, assistant professor of surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and a surgeon at the University of Maryland Medical Center. She said they are different from what's normally thought of as a hernia and sometimes tough to diagnose. But once doctors determine that this is the cause, there is effective treatment.
3:57 PM EDT, September 19, 2012
With so many things to think about, expectant mothers sometimes neglect their teeth, but this can have implications for their unborn babies. In response, the advocacy group Maryland Dental Action Coalition is educating women about proper oral hygiene and dietary habits through an effort called Healthy Teeth, Healthy Kids. The group's aim is to develop good habits by mothers and children and to reduce early childhood cavities, said Dr. Winifred J. Booker, an Owings Mills pediatric dentist who has served on several state committees and professional organizations and is currently a spokeswoman for the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.
4:19 PM EDT, September 5, 2012
The beginning of the school year often means morning battles between parents and their children who don't want to get out of bed in the morning. But a good night's sleep is crucial to a student's performance in school. Dr. Scott Krugman, chairman of the department of pediatrics at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center and the vice president of the Maryland Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, talks about children's sleep patterns and how to get them on a workable sleep schedule.
7:40 PM EDT, August 24, 2012
No parent would ever intentionally leave a child in a steaming car on a hot summer day. But it happens every year to astounded parents. Dr. Melissa Sparrow, clinical director of pediatric inpatient and emergency services at Greater Baltimore Medical Center, talks about what can happen when babies are left in hot cars and how to prevent it.
3:40 PM EDT, August 8, 2012
Despite its name, ringworm is not caused by a worm. Instead, it develops when fungus grows and multiplies on the skin. Dr. Dakara Rucker Wright, a dermatologist with the Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group who practices at Kaiser Permanente's Towson Medical Center, said the disease, most common in children, is easy to treat.
2:09 PM EDT, July 25, 2012
With the extreme heat, and even in less extreme temperatures, those who spend any time outside must stay properly hydrated. Some drinks are better than others, and some people need more fluids than others, says Dr. Marc I. Leavey, an internist at Mercy Medical Center and Lutherville Personal Physicians.
2:31 PM EDT, July 11, 2012
Often, those who are very overweight have tried dieting for years before giving up in frustration. But more obese people are turning to bariatric surgery to jump-start their weight-loss programs.
2:32 PM EDT, June 27, 2012
Earlier this month a Texas Rangers sportscaster went from calling live highlights of a baseball game to talking about a botched robbery. The sportscaster's incoherent switch confused listeners, but doctors saw the symptoms of aphasia, a disease not known to many but which affects 1 million people.
3:42 PM EDT, June 13, 2012
The many people who suffer from migraine headaches often seek quiet, dark places to ride them out. But there are effective means of preventing them, shortening their duration and even stopping them. There are established medications and lifestyle changes sufferers can employ, and even some new ones to try, says Dr. Michael Sellman, chief of neurology at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore.
7:24 PM EDT, May 30, 2012
For years, the PSA test has been the standard method for early detection of prostate cancer, which strikes one in six men.
11:35 AM EDT, May 17, 2012
The story of a 24-year-old Georgia graduate student fighting a flesh-eating disease has prompted a microbiologist with the Veterans Affairs Maryland Health Care System to speak out about the infection.
2:05 PM EDT, May 2, 2012
Hernias are a common ailment among Americans; more than 4 million people develop the painful condition. And although both men and women develop hernias, female patients may be harder to diagnose. Doctors and patients may not realize the abdominal pain a woman is feeling is because of a hernia. Dr. Hien Nguyen, assistant professor of surgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, said the pain can be mistaken for other conditions with similar symptoms, such as adhesions from prior surgery, endometriosis, fibroids and ovarian cysts. Nguyen talks about treating hernias in women.
4:24 PM EDT, April 18, 2012
Sometimes men are the ones to take care of birth control through a surgical procedure. But when those men and their partners have a change of heart about children for any number of reasons, they seek to reverse their vasectomies. And that's usually possible, even long after the original procedure, says Dr. Brad Lerner, co-director of the Vasectomy Reversal Center of America a division of Chesapeake Urology. Lerner answers questions about getting and reversing a vasectomy.
3:33 PM EDT, April 4, 2012
Many women became used to having a Pap smear annually to check for cervical cancer, but recent recommendations from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force have updated the timeline. Now, most women will need the test every five years. Cancer experts now agree that that this can fully protect women, while cutting down on costs, false positive test results and side effects, said Dr. Amanda Nickles Fader, assistant professor of gynecologic oncology at the Greater Baltimore Medical Center.
4:52 PM EDT, March 21, 2012
Many teens are unhappy with their appearance and ask their parents for a "nose job," or rhinoplasty. But there are a lot of factors to consider, such as the limits of surgery, the long-term effects and possible complications, according to Dr. Patrick J. Byrne, a facial plastic surgery specialist who practices at the Johns Hopkins Cosmetic Center at Green Spring Station. Byrne, also an assistant professor at Hopkins School of Medicine, says there are better techniques to make the surgery successful, but this is still a big decision.
6:34 PM EST, March 7, 2012
When a young woman is diagnosed with cancer, getting pregnant is probably the last thing on her mind. But if she wants children in the future, it's something she should think about. The chemotherapy and radiation treatments used to treat cancer can hurt a women's fertility. Nearly 10 percent of the 1.5 million diagnosed with cancer each year are of childbearing age, according to the National Cancer Institute, Dr. Melissa M. Yates, an assistant professor of gynecology and obstetrics at the Johns Hopkins Fertility Center, says these women need to think about fertility preservation before they begin treatment for cancer.
1:38 PM EST, February 23, 2012
Jim Calhoun should be on the sidelines of a basketball court, coaching the University of Connecticut men's team. Instead, he's been on medical leave for a painful arthritic condition.
2:17 PM EST, February 8, 2012
Dialysis is a lifesaving treatment for those with kidney disorders. But during emergencies, particularly bad weather, sometimes patients don't want to go — or can't get to — their usual dialysis center. There are some steps patients can take to prepare, says Brandon Eck at the DaVita dialysis centers, who volunteers with the company's emergency response team, DaVERT.
4:30 PM EST, January 25, 2012
The da Vinci robotic technology allows doctors to perform more precise surgeries. The technique also enables patients to recover more quickly with fewer complications in many cases. The technique is used to perform many different types of surgeries. Dr. Gavin Henry, program director of the surgical residency at Saint Agnes Hospital in Baltimore, uses it over traditional lobectomy surgery to treat patients with lung cancer. The hospital said Henry is poised to outpace every surgeon in Maryland in the use of robotic technology for this operation. He talks about the technique below.
3:41 PM EST, January 11, 2012
Every woman will experience menopause, some in the normal course of aging and some before. It can bring on a host of symptoms in addition to hot flashes. But there are things that women can do, from improving their diet and exercising to finding the right treatment, explains Dr. Rakhi Gupta, a gynecologist at the Center for Women's Health at Good Samaritan Hospital. She answers some common questions about this life change.
3:07 PM EST, December 28, 2011
Many people pick quitting smoking as their New Year's resolution. But if quitting smoking was easy, most smokers would have already done it. Tobacco is highly addictive and the process isn't easy, but quitting is possible for those who really are ready and are linked to methods that work for them, says Christine Schutzman, a certified tobacco treatment specialist who leads a free Freshstart smoking cessation program at the Cancer Institute at St. Joseph Medical Center.
December 15, 2011
More than 20 million Americans are living with diabetes, and another 40 million are in the early stages of the disease. Managing diabetes can be a challenge all year long, but the holidays can pose special problems. All those extra treats, meals and drinks can add up to extra pounds and higher glucose levels. But a little planning, and will power, can keep diabetes in check, according to Susan Steinweg, a registered nurse and a certified diabetes educator. She's also the coordinator of Carroll Hospital Center's Diabetes Center.
2:26 PM EST, November 30, 2011
Most people have heard of carpal tunnel syndrome, and likely even know someone who suffers from it. Cubital tunnel syndrome is less common but also can cause debilitating symptoms, such as numbness in the ring and little fingers and wasting of muscle in the hand. More men than women suffer from the disorder, which can be caused by repeatedly leaning on your elbow or bending your arm for long periods of time. Dr. Ryan Katz, attending hand surgeon at the Curtis National Hand Center at Union Memorial Hospital, answers questions about its cause and treatment.
12:48 PM EST, November 16, 2011
Blepharitis, usually identified by a sufferer's red, irritated eyelids, is becoming more common. And while doctors aren't sure why, it can be controlled with vigilance, according to Dr. Laura K. Green, residency program director of cornea, cataract and refractive surgery at the Krieger Eye Institute at Sinai Hospital of Baltimore. She said there are some simple things sufferers can do at home, such as keeping the eyelids clean, that can help ease the irritation.
5:13 PM EDT, November 2, 2011
We've all stubbed a toe, stepped down on our foot awkwardly or hurt our feet in an accident. Sometimes there's no damage. But other times, there's pain, swelling and bruising. Dr. Gary A. Pichney, from the Mercy Medical Center Institute for Foot & Ankle Reconstruction, answers questions about proper steps to take after an injury to the toe or foot, when to see the doctor and how long the healing may take.
5:40 PM EDT, October 19, 2011
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, an independent advisory panel, recently recommended that healthy men not be given PSA blood tests to detect prostate cancer. But that won't mean the end of diagnosis and treatment of the disease, the most common cancer and the second most common cause of cancer death in American men.
6:30 PM EDT, October 5, 2011
There is more to training for a marathon than running a few laps around the track. Finishing 26.2 miles, or even getting to the starting line, takes attention to some details about eating and hydrating, miles covered, and aches and pains. Dr. John Senatore, avid runner and chief of podiatry in Union Memorial Hospital's sports medicine department, talks about what to do — and what not to do — as next week's Baltimore Running Festival approaches.
10:52 AM EDT, September 30, 2011
Acupuncture, the traditional Chinese medicine that uses needles for treatment, is increasingly being used with cancer patients. Dr. Ting Bao, an assistant professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and faculty at Maryland's Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center and Center for Integrative Medicine, regularly used acupuncture to alleviate pain and treat side effects.
September 22, 2011
The state of Maryland created one of the nation's first statewide emergency medical systems to ensure that patients got consistent and timely care no matter where they were. The Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems now oversees and coordinates the providers from the field to the emergency department, according to James W. Brown, director of educational support services, from headquarters in Baltimore.
September 8, 2011
Hepatitis C has long been a problem with a low rate of cure. But new drug therapies are in use and others are on the horizon, according to Dr. Paul J. Thuluvath, chief of gastroenterology at Mercy Medical Center and the medical director of the Institute for Digestive Health & Liver Disease at Mercy. That has meant better liver health for millions in this country and around the globe.
August 25, 2011
Going back to school, particularly if it's a new school, can be a daunting time for kids and their parents. There's a lot to consider, from sleep schedules to proper nutrition and immunizations. Much can be accomplished by establishing good habits, says Dr. Julie Yeh, a pediatrician at Greater Baltimore Medical Center, who answered questions about handling the coming school year.
August 11, 2011
Every year, some 750,000 Americans develop sepsis, an extreme immune system response to infection. It kills a quarter to half of them, more than the number that die from prostate and breast cancer and AIDS combined, according to the National Institutes of Health. Health care providers have a limited amount of time to treat sepsis, which appears to be on the rise, possibly because of the longevity of people with chronic diseases and spread of antibiotic-resistant organisms. Dr. Dean W. Meadows, assistant director of the adult intensive care unit at St. Agnes Hospital, explains sepsis and how it's treated.
6:04 PM EDT, July 27, 2011
A newer procedure that involves inserting an artificial disc, called total disc replacement, means patients can get that range of motion and pain relief without the drawbacks of fusion.
4:28 PM EDT, July 13, 2011
Everyone forgets a name or a date from time to time. But how do you know when it's something serious?
4:51 PM EDT, June 29, 2011
There are steps to take to ensure there aren't any unwelcome fireworks in your belly.
3:56 PM EDT, June 15, 2011
Annual checkups important as men age, urologist says
4:27 PM EDT, June 1, 2011
Dr. Robert Ancona at St. Joseph Medical Center answers questions about MRSA in children
3:37 PM EDT, May 4, 2011
Maryland Poison Center fields questions about medications, cleaners, plants and other household items
April 7, 2011
In Baltimore, as many as one in five children suffers from the condition and many go untreated.
March 24, 2011
Dr. Tanveer Giaibi of Northwest Hospital answers questions about animal bites
March 10, 2011
Union Memorial orthopaedic surgeon discusses danger as baseball season approaches
3:28 PM EST, February 23, 2011
Driving can become a challenge as people age. Jan Crye, an occupational therapist and certified driving rehabilitation specialist at the Driving Evaluation and Training Program at Sinai Hospital, called it a delicate balance between the need for independence and the need for safety. She pointed to an 83-year-old man who recently drove the wrong way on a California freeway, causing a pileup. There are many factors that should be considered before elders get behind the wheel, she said.
4:26 PM EST, February 9, 2011
Dr. Robert Williams of University of Maryland Dental School answers questions about third molars
January 27, 2011
The new year brings a lot of resolutions to exercise. And sometimes the cold weather also means more snow shoveling. All that exertion can be harmful to people with abnormal hearts by leading to sudden cardiac arrest. Dr. Gordon Tomaselli, director of cardiology at Johns Hopkins Hospital, talks about the difference between sudden cardiac arrest and a heart attack and what those at risk can do.
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