Decongestants and BPH, eye problems, prostate cancer pain


Every Tuesday, Dr. Rob Riley joins us to answer viewers’ medical questions. Here are the questions he asked on March 21.

“Are there any decongestants that can be taken if a patient has BPH? “

BPH stands for benign prostatic hyperplasia. This is sometimes just called an enlarged prostate, and most men will have some degree of it as they get older. This can cause difficulty passing urine, and the decongestants we sometimes take for colds can temporarily make things worse. That is why there is a warning on the bottle. In fact, men with BPH who have mild symptoms can almost always use these drugs safely for the short time they need them. But if someone has a lot of difficulty urinating, or has had problems with decongestants in the past, it is best to avoid these products. A better choice might be decongestant nasal sprays, things like Afrin, which don’t get much absorption and work right where they’re sprayed. The limitation with these is that they can only be safely used for about three days.

I have bad inflammation in my left eye. The drops do not work. I use the tears but they don’t work. Is there anything else I can do? “

Like many things in medicine, the best treatment really depends on knowing the root cause. The list of things that can cause red and itchy eyes is quite long and the treatments are different. If there is a bacterial infection, antibiotic drops are helpful. If it’s a viral infection, we wait most of the time and things get better on their own. Allergies can do it, and a combination of eye drops and oral medications does the trick. Excessive dry eyes are common this time of year, and lubricant drops help. Some chronic illnesses can have red, itchy eyes as a symptom. So there is no single treatment for irritated eyes. It would be important for our viewer to meet with their doctor to determine the cause so that they can start the right treatment.

“I have prostate cancer that has metastasized to the hip bones. Are there any home remedies for pain? “

First of all, I’m sorry our viewer is facing this problem. But yes, there are things that can be done at home besides pain relievers. First, staying in a good sleep cycle can be very important. The pain is greatest when we are not well rested. Staying as active as possible also helps. Good nutrition. Some people find that applying ice or heat to the painful areas can provide some relief. Relaxation techniques like deep breathing and meditation can be helpful in managing chronic pain. All of these things can be done with any medication plan that you and your doctor have come up with to help keep you as painless as possible.

Dr Riley joins us from Memorial Family Medicine.

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