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A-Z; of Dr Gareth's casebook.

Byline: Dr Gareth Smith

F is for flat feet. My six-year-old son has them. Will it lead to problems and can it be fixed?

Flat feet - Pes Planus to give it its proper name - is a relatively common condition. It may be present in infancy or can develop in later life from prolonged standing or gaining weight. Treatment is with exercises and is only necessary if the condition is causing pain. Both my children and my mother have flat feet and have had no problems.

G is for glue ear. What causes it - my GP hasn't given my daughter anything for it? It is a build-up of thick fluid behind the ear drum that can develop after an ear infection or, if there is a blockage, in the Eustachian Tube which is a tiny passage between the ear and the throat. It is most commonly found in children and can cause temporary deafness in the affected ear. Most cases clear up if left alone, but if it is recurrent then it may have to be drained under anaesthetic and a grommet put in to ease the pressure.
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Title Annotation:Body And Soul
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jan 13, 2002
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