Doctor Q & A



Internal Medicine



  • Q. Why is Lasik so popular?

    A. Seventy-five million people woke up this morning reaching for their eyeglasses, or squinting to see without their contact lenses. But more than a million people each year give up this daily struggle, and make the decision to have laser vision correction.One of the most popular ways to correct vision is with a procedure called LASIK (laser in-situ keratomileusis), which uses a laser to change the curvature of the cornea (outer window of the eye). LASIK has quickly become the procedure of choice for most patients because they recover quickly and have fewer side effects and complications than with other methods of vision correction. In fact, most LASIK patients notice a significant improvement in their vision soon after surgery.The ProcedureAfter your eye has been completely numbed using “eye drop” anesthesia, an eyelid holder will be placed between your eyelids to prevent you from blinking.Next, an instrument known as a microkeratome makes a protective flap in the cornea. During this process you may feel a little pressure, but no discomfort. You will be asked to look directly at a target light while the laser reshapes the cornea, usually in less than a minute. Then, the protective flap is folded back in place where it bonds securely without the need for stitches. After LASIK, some patients report a slight discomfort that usually goes away within twelve to twenty-four hours.How it WorksTo treat nearsightedness, the cornea must be made flatter. This is accomplished by removing tissue from the center of the cornea.To treat farsightedness, the central cornea must be made steeper. This is accomplished by directing the laser beam to remove tissue from around this area.

    To treat astigmatism, the cornea must be made more spherical. By changing the pattern of the beam, tissue is removed in one direction more than the other.

    What’s The Next Step?

    If you’re tired of reaching for glasses and contacts, call 1-866-EYE-LASER to make an appointment to find out if you’re a candidate for laser vision correction.

  • Q. My wife has had hives very bad since late last year. She has been to several local doctors who have prescribed medicines that help but nothing can eliminate the condition. We would appreciate any help you might give.

    A. The causes of these rashes (hives-urticaria) and swellings (angioedema) are not yet fully understood. The hives often develop in areas of scratching and pressure, such as under tight belt lines, bras, watchbands, shoes, etc. The swelling often affects the lips, eyelids, tongue, throat, hands and feet. Hence, the methods of treatment revolve around detecting those things, which “trigger off” or incite an episode. Often there is more than one cause of these symptoms.Recommendations: I recommend patience and understanding; it sometimes takes extensive “detective” work on the part of the patient and the physician to uncover clues as to the causes of hives. Various laboratory tests are sometimes indicated and sometimes both an allergist and a dermatologist work together to adequately treat hives.Communication: I usually need your thoughts and observations in order to pull loose ends together, to reach a conclusion. Keep a “symptom diary”.Medication: Use as directed to alleviate the symptoms while the causes of your problem are being evaluated. Various combinations must sometimes be tried until the one right for you is found. Your patience and understanding are needed. Never hesitate to call your physician if a regime is not helpful within 4-5 days.Other Suggestions:
    Aveeno Bath – dissolve one cup in three cups of warm water, then add to a lukewarm tub of water, soak for 15-20 minutes 1-3 times per day;
    Sarna Lotion – apply to external area of itching 2-3 times per day as needed.
    I will be more than happy to evaluate your wife’s condition and to work with you toward setting her into a program of recovery. Thank you for your question and best of luck to you both.Dr. Diana K. Cavanah
  • Q.  I notice as I’ve have gotten older I bruise easier than I use to. Sometimes I’ll have a bruise on my arm and not even remember bumping it on anything. Is this something to be concerned about?

    A. Quite often people will wonder, “Now when did I do that?” as they look at a deep blue mark on their arm. If you bruise easily, you’re not alone. As we age, bruising easily becomes more common. This is because skin tends to thin with age. Sun damaged skin bruises easily and some families just tend to bruise easier than others. In addition, some medications, such as blood thinners, arthritis medications, and steroids, can result in bruises.Usually bruising easily isn’t a sign of anything serious, but sometimes it indicates another problem that may require a professional medical evaluation.Bruises are caused by the breakage of blood vessels under the skin. When a blow to the area causes these vessels to break, blood leaks out and causes the “black and blue” appearance we call a bruise. The harder you’re hit, the darker and larger the bruise will be, but sometimes even little bumps can cause significant bruises.Sometimes bruising easily is a symptom of a lack of vitamins or problems with clotting. If you have never bruised easily before but suddenly find yourself dealing with a myriad of bruises, you may want to seek professional attention. The same is true if your bruises are especially painful or tend to be large and you can’t remember bumping yourself. Bleeding elsewhere (nose or gums) in addition to bruising also points to the need for medical attention.Feel free to contact our office for an appointment with any questions or problems you may have.
  • Q. Who is at risk for osteoporosis?

    A. Risk factors that cannot be controlled include female gender, Caucasian and Asian races, smaller build, and early onset of menopause, as well as a family history of osteoporosis. Risk factors that can be controlled include smoking, low calcium diet, inactivity, and alcohol consumption greater than two servings per day. Certain medications, including steroids and thyroid medication, may also increase a woman’s risk of developing osteoporosis.Dr. Hope Havener
  • Q. My 3 year old child has been diagnosed with RSV. What is RSV and should I be concerned?

    A. RSV stands for respiratory syncytial virus, the most frequent cause of serious respiratory tract infections in infants and children younger than 4 years of age. This is such a common virus that RSV has infected virtually all children by the age of 3. In most young children, it results in a mild respiratory infection that is not distinguishable from a common cold. RSV is most prevalent during the winter months, and causes nasal stuffiness and discharge, a cough, and sometimes an ear infection. Children may also have a low grade fever for several days, respiratory symptoms that may last 1 to 2 days, and a cough that sometimes persists beyond 2 weeks.RSV, if not diagnosed early, can be very serious. An infant or young child who is experiencing his or her first RSV infection may develop a severe infection in the lower respiratory tract that is best managed in the hospital. Approximately 90,000 children are hospitalized with these infections each year. A child who develops signs of more stressful breathing, deeper and more frequent coughing and who generally look sicker by appearing tired, less playful and less interested in food, may have developed a more serious RSV infection.As in any case of illness, you should call your pediatrician whenever you are worried about your child. Pediatricians prefer to examine ill infants in person, as severity may be impossible to determine over the phone. In a great majority of cases, RSV is self-limiting and requires no specific therapy. If, however, your child has more severe symptoms they may need hospitalization.Please feel free to call our office if you have any further questions.Dr. Patricia Faulkner-Simmons
  • Q. If I see blood in my urine, should I see a doctor?

    A. Yes. Blood in the urine could be a sign of many things including infection, trauma, kidney stone, or even cancer. We recommend an evaluation any time blood is found in the urine.Dr. Bergamini 
  • Q. Is a Vasectomy a safe procedure?

    A. Vasectomy is a safe sterilizing procedure done in the office. The vasa are muscular tubes which transport sperm from the testis into the penis during sexual activity. The tubes are easily felt in the scrotum, allowing recognition and ligation of the vasa. This is a safe, secure, and permanent form of birth control.Dr. Bigler