Dr. John Roberts - The Paper of Montgomery County
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Sunday, January 24, 2021
  • Waking with crusted, itchy eyes? Here’s what you need to know
    Monday, January 18, 2021 4:00 AM
    Now that winter is in full swing, the incidence of “pink eye” is starting to pick up. This is a very common condition that accounts for over 30 percent of patient visits for eye problems.
    Conjunctivitis is the medical term for “pink eye.” The conjunctiva is the continuous connective tissue membrane that covers the inside of the eyelids.
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  • Speaking about breast cancer awareness and BSE
    Monday, January 11, 2021 4:00 AM
    I failed to release this column during breast cancer awareness month in October. Women are always interested to learn about what they can do to reduce their risk of developing this dread disease. Breast self examination (BSE) is one thing women have traditionally performed, but some readers may have read that this monthly ritual is no longer recommended.
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  • Cold sores and information regarding herpes simplex viruses
    Monday, January 4, 2021 4:00 AM
    I saw a patient with a rather large “cold sore” on his upper lip the other day and he asked me to write a column on this unsightly condition.
    People use the term “cold sore” to describe different types of lesions that occur on the lips or inside the mouth. I’m not sure of the origin of the term, but I presume that it came into being to describe sores that sometimes appear when a person has an illness like the common cold. 
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  • Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease or more commonly known as GERD part 2
    Monday, December 28, 2020 4:00 AM
    I left you hanging last week wondering about the treatment of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). First, a quick review. Recall that acid from the stomach (gastro) is found in the tube that connects the mouth and stomach (esophagus) and goes in a backward direction (reflux).
    When I see someone complaining of GERD symptoms in my office I review my patient’s history to try and identify any risk factors for GERD such as decreased tone of the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), loss of normal muscular function of the esophagus, excess production of stomach acid, delayed emptying of the stomach and overeating.
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  • Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease or more commonly known as GERD
    Monday, December 21, 2020 4:00 AM
    I’ve been asked to re-run my columns about Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, more commonly known as GERD. Breaking down the term translates to: acid from the stomach (gastro) is found in the tube that connects the mouth and stomach (esophagus) and goes in a backward direction (reflux).
    It’s helpful to know the anatomy when trying to understand GERD (top diagram). The esophagus is a muscular tube that contracts in a rhythmic fashion and moves food from the back of the mouth down to the stomach. 
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  • Answering questions regarding the COVID-19 vaccines – part 3
    Monday, December 14, 2020 4:00 AM
    I’m sure most of you have read that it will take time to produce enough vaccine to adequately vaccinate Americans to slow the spread of COVID-19. Manufacturing and distribution are massive undertakings. Storage will also be an issue for the earlier messenger RNA vaccines – Pfizer/BioNTech requires storage at minus 94 degrees Fahrenheit and the moderna vaccine at normal freezer temperatures.
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  • Answering questions regarding the COVID-19 vaccines – part 2
    Monday, December 7, 2020 4:00 AM
    Last week I went over the basics of how vaccines work and specifically how the first three COVID-19 vaccines work. This week I’ll cover safety.
    There has been a lot of press over the last few months regarding public concern about the safety of COVID-19 vaccines. This greatly concerns those of us in public health because we simply won’t get control of this pandemic if the vaccines don’t become vaccinations in peoples’ arms. 
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  • Answering questions regarding the COVID-19 vaccines – part 1
    Monday, November 30, 2020 4:00 AM
    A lot of my patients and friends have been asking me questions about COVID-19 vaccines. I’m sure many of you have read or seen information about the vaccines in the news, but I’ll start from scratch for those who have not. This is a huge topic and rather than try to squeeze some basic information into one column, I’ve chosen to go into more detail and split up my treatise over three weeks.
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  • Carpal tunnel syndrome’s symptoms and diagnosis
    Monday, November 23, 2020 4:00 AM
    I see a number of people who suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome. Carpal tunnel is a very common condition, often related to repetitive injury at home or in the workplace. It is one of a number of repetitive strain injuries or “RSIs.” 
    Carpal tunnel symptoms usually include numbness and/or pain in the hand and wrist that may extend up into the arm, shoulder or even neck. The numbness, tingling or pain frequently wakes people during sleep.
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  • How noroviruses affects the body and cause symptoms
    Monday, November 16, 2020 4:00 AM
    In addition to COVID-19 we’re starting to see some “stomach flu.” I have to start by dispelling a common misconception people have that all types of “flu” are the same. “Stomach flu” is not caused by the same viruses that cause respiratory illnesses. Flu shots, given to prevent respiratory influenza, will not protect you against viruses affecting the gastrointestinal tract that cause viral gastroenteritis.
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  • Fraudulence in medicine and it’s practice
    Monday, November 9, 2020 4:00 AM
    This week I’d like to write about a problem that costs taxpayers billions of dollars each year – Medicare fraud and abuse. Medicare paid out $644 billion in payments for services and medications in 2019, accounting for 14% of the federal budget. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) reports that approximately 15.9% of those payments were “improper,” meaning the services were not necessary, did not meet Medicare guidelines, or were downright fraudulent (a decrease from 17.9% in 2018).
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  • My head is spinning, whirling and reeling
    Monday, November 2, 2020 4:00 AM
    This week I want to address a specific variant of a condition that I’ve been seeing a lot of lately – dizziness. Primary Care doctors in the U.S. see about six million patients a year who complain of “dizziness.” 
    Dizziness means different things to different people and can be a symptom of many different medical conditions. People use “dizzy” as a universal term to describe feeling faint, lightheaded, or when they feel like their environment is spinning. 
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  • Restless leg syndrome can really shake things up
    Monday, October 26, 2020 4:00 AM
    Someone told me the other day that they thought “restless leg syndrome” (RLS) was dreamt up by pharmaceutical companies to sell more medications. You may have seen commercials for Requip® and Mirapex®, both drugs used to treat this condition.
    People have described symptoms suggestive of restless legs since the 17th Century.
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  • Exercising is not just for the young
    Monday, October 19, 2020 4:00 AM
    “All parts of the body if used in moderation and exercised in labors to which each is accustomed, become thereby healthy and well developed, and age slowly; but if unused and left idle, they become liable to disease, defective in growth, and age quickly.”
    Hippocrates

    Few things benefit the body more than maintaining physical fitness. While doctors routinely recommend exercise for younger patients, we’re continuing to realize how important it is for our older patients as well. Regular exercise, even in one’s senior years, can still reduce your risk of a number of health conditions, particularly heart attacks, strokes, and falls. It also may be one of the few things that helps slow the onset of dementia.
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  • Rosacea: a skin condition that gives bumps in the night
    Monday, October 12, 2020 4:00 AM
    The comedian W.C. Fields once said, “I never drink water; that is the stuff that rusts pipes.” This referred to his penchant for drinking alcohol. So what do alcohol and W.C. Fields have to do with this week’s topic of rosacea? Read on. 
    Rosacea is a common skin condition usually found on the face, which can be a great source of consternation. It is a disease with various clinical signs. These can include redness, flushing, coarse skin, and bumps and pustules resembling acne. It may also present with visible tiny superficial blood vessels called telangiectasias. 
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