Dr. John Roberts - The Paper of Montgomery County
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Tuesday, May 26, 2020
  • More summer safety issues to address
    Monday, May 25, 2020 4:00 AM
    Readers have asked me to address more summer safety issues. It’s great to see kids and adults out on their bicycles now that the weather has warmed up. This will undoubtedly result in more bike accidents. Some of the most difficult experiences I had during my medical training were when I took care of kids who were brain injured as a result of bike accidents.
    0 comment(s)
  • It’s time to start thinking about sun and water safety
    Monday, May 18, 2020 4:00 AM
    It will soon be warm outside (hopefully) which means it’s time to starting thinking about summer. This week, I want to briefly review some sun and water safety tips.
    Most people enjoy a good day in the sun. Getting outside, while continuing to physically distance (or wearing your mask if you can’t), will hopefully continue to slow the spread of coronavirus. Whether it’s lounging by the water or working outdoors, we all get our fair share of sun every summer.
    2 comment(s)
  • What are night terrors and why do patients have them?
    Monday, May 11, 2020 4:00 AM
    An adult patient asked me to write about night terrors. While adults can suffer from night terrors, they are much more common in children. It’s hypothesized that this has something to do with brain development.
    Night terrors are a subclass of sleep patterns called parasomnias, derived from the Greek root para, meaning abnormal, and Latin somnus meaning sleep. Rather than focus specifically on adults, I’d also like to talk about kids.
    0 comment(s)
  • It’s time to strap on those masks, Montgomery County!
    Friday, May 8, 2020 4:00 AM
    I hope you have noticed that the number of cases of COVID-19 has been rising in Montgomery County – 106 as of the time I write this, and now two families are grieving the loss of loved ones. We are not certain if the numbers are rising due to an increased rate of spread of infection or if it’s from the increased number of tests we are doing (or both).
    5 comment(s)
  • Our summer season will bring sprains and strains
    Monday, May 4, 2020 4:00 AM
    The summer sports season (perhaps a little late), gardening and other outdoor chores will be starting soon. If they haven’t already, weekend warriors will soon be doing all sorts of things to keep doctors who treat musculoskeletal injuries busy. I want to give everyone some pointers in how to take care of the inevitable sprains and strains of spring and summer.
    0 comment(s)
  • Swimmer’s Ear is just around the corner
    Monday, April 27, 2020 4:00 AM
    Summer is just around the corner which means I’ll start to hear from patients complaining of “swimmer’s ear.” Doctors tend to see more of this malady in hot, humid weather, but it can also be brought on by other conditions as well.
    The medical term for swimmer’s ear is otitis externa, indicating inflammation of the external ear. This is in contrast to the more common otitis media, or infection of the middle ear (the air filled cavity just behind the ear drum).
    0 comment(s)
  • Transitioning outpatient health care to telemedicine
    Monday, April 20, 2020 4:00 AM
    This week I want to write about a challenge that is facing patients and doctors alike – how to see a medical provider in the age of COVID-19. Many patients are afraid to go to their doctor’s office, fearing they will catch coronavirus, or they think their doctor can’t or won’t see them.
    Most primary care doctors’ offices have stopped seeing patients in person for the most part.
    0 comment(s)
  • Messrs. Mendel, Watson and Crick left a legacy
    Monday, April 13, 2020 4:00 AM
    A community member recently asked me to address how DNA and stem cells might be used to treat inherited medical conditions. That’s a tall order for the space allotted, but I’ll give it a shot.
    Modern genetics started with Gregor Mendel’s work on the inheritance of various traits in pea plants in the mid 1800s.
    0 comment(s)
  • The season of sneezing is coming fast upon us
    Monday, April 6, 2020 4:08 AM
    It’s once again time to run my annual column on allergies. Many of our readers are probably already cursing the annual return of allergy symptoms. The tree pollen levels in Indiana have already been at moderate to high levels. Spring allergy symptoms are making it even more difficult to differentiate who might have COVID-19 symptoms or just run of the mill allergy symptoms.
    0 comment(s)
  • What’s a thyroid and what does it do?
    Monday, March 30, 2020 3:19 AM
    Jill wants to know, “what’s a thyroid and what does it do?” Thyroid problems are common in a family medicine setting. For those like Jill who don’t know what the thyroid gland is or does, keep reading.
    The thyroid is an endocrine gland found in the front part of the neck below and to the sides of the larynx or Adam’s apple.
    0 comment(s)
  • How sleep apnea and snoring are connected
    Monday, March 23, 2020 2:13 AM
    Snoring can certainly be annoying, but it doesn't always indicate a serious medical problem. This week, however, I do want to focus on a harmful condition that can be associated with snoring – sleep apnea.
    Sleep apnea is a condition where people have pauses in their breathing while sleeping.
    1 comment(s)
  • Plumbing problems and how to deal with them
    Monday, March 16, 2020 4:52 AM
    I’m running through my list of suggested topics from readers, and this one goes out to a reader from Sheridan. It’s a common problem, but one of those topics that doesn’t usually come up in casual conversation - constipation.
    There are three common times in a person’s life when constipation can become a problem. The first is during early childhood, the second when a person has decreased activity for some reason, and the last is during the elder years. Each one has different causes.
    0 comment(s)
  • Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and what you need to know about it
    Monday, March 9, 2020 3:30 AM
    Last week I tried to explain the very complex non-Hodgkin lymphomas (NHL). This week I want to cover Hodgkin lymphoma, more commonly known as Hodgkin’s Disease (HD). It gets its eponymous name from Dr. Thomas Hodgkin, who first described it in 1832.
    Hodgkin’s is a potentially curable malignant lymphoma that carries a much better prognosis than non-Hodgkin lymphomas. It is a very specific type of lymphoma, defined by its microscopic appearance and by specific proteins that are found on the cell membranes of the tumor cells.
    0 comment(s)
  • What is Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma and how does it affect people?
    Monday, March 2, 2020 3:57 AM
    One of my patients asked me recently what lymphoma is. I must admit my knowledge of the subject is limited. It’s a medical condition I’ve tended to avoid because of its complex and evolving nature. It can, however, be a very interesting disease and a type of cancer that is illustrative of where cancer treatment in general is heading in the years to come.
    0 comment(s)
  • Stem Cells: What they are and where they come from
    Monday, February 24, 2020 1:05 AM
    I’ve been seeing a lot of news lately about stem cell treatments. This week I want to focus what they are, where they come from, how they might be used to treat disease and finally, the social and ethical challenges surrounding their use.
    Stem cells are cells that have the potential to change into other more specialized cells in the body through a process known as differentiation. By definition, stem cells have to exhibit two properties: (1) they must be able to divide multiple times and remain unchanged and (2) they have to have “potency,” the ability to differentiate into other cell types.
    1 comment(s)
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