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Ask Doctor Cory.

Dear Pr. Cory:

Why does your foot fall asleep whenever you sit on it? And why does if hurt?


Chino, California

Dear Sharilynn:

The bundles of nerve cells in your body are like power lines. They carry messages between your body and your brain.

When you sit or rest in some positions for a long time, it pinches your nerves. The messages get blocked and nerves in your hands or feet "fall asleep."


Moving around takes the pressure off so your nerves can get back to work. Rubbing or massaging the area that's "asleep" usually helps, too.

As your nerves "wake up," you will get a tingling "pins and needles" feeling. This is normal. Maybe nerves don't like waking up any more than some people do!

Dear Dr. Cory:

When I am active in sports or gym class, I always.cheek my heart rate. Sometimes it is really fast and then it slows down all of the sudden. Sometimes it even stops for a second or two. Do I need help? Sometimes I feel like I do but am not sure. Can you help?


Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Dear Heather:

It is normal that your heart beats faster when you are active and slower when you rest. When you exercise, your heart has to move extra blood and carry more oxygen and food to the muscles and organs, such as the brain. It also carries away more waste. So, the harder the exercise the faster your heart will beat. The amount of blood the heart pumps with each beat will also increase. With hard exercise, your heart may pump four times as much blood than when you are at rest.

After exercise, the time it takes for the heart rate to return to the resting rate is known as recovery time. The shorter your recovery time, the healthier your heart.

If you are still concerned, your doctor can listen to your heart at your next appointment and decide if any further testing is needed.

Here's a healthy tip: To keep your heart in shape, play until you get tired. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says you should be active for at least 60 minutes every day doing enjoyable, vigorous, physical activities. You can break the 60 minutes up into two 30-minute or three 20-minute periods if needed.

Dear Dr. Cory:

What is pink eye? My friends have it at school. How can I not get it?My mom and dad said to wash my hands and face. How do you get pink eye? Is it bad?


Bryans Road, Maryland

Dear Stephanie:

Pinkeye is a common problem that causes swelling and itching of the conjunctiva (kon-junk-TIE-vuh), the thin layer of tissue that covers the eyeball and eyelid. The irritated eye turns red (thus the name "pinkeye") and may form a sticky liquid. Although pinkeye looks bad, it is usually easy to treat.

Most kids get pinkeye from bacteria or viruses like the ones that cause sore throats or colds. Viral pinkeye often clears up without treatment. Antibiotic drops or ointments work for bacterial pinkeye but not for viral.

Pinkeye infections are very contagious, meaning they are easy to catch. If a person with pinkeye rubs his eye and touches a pencil, and then you touch the pencil with the bacteria on it and rub your eyes--you could easily come down with pinkeye, too! Your parents are right; one of the best ways to avoid pinkeye is to wash your hands often with warm, soapy water and keep your hands away from your eyes.

People with bacterial or viral pinkeye should stay home until there is no longer a discharge coming from the eyes, or after 24 hours of antibiotic therapy. They need to wash their hands often, and not share towels, washcloths, sheets, or pillows. These items should be washed frequently to keep the infection from spreading to other family members.

Sometimes pinkeye is due to an allergy or something irritating the eye. This is not contagious.

Check Your Heart From the Outside


Your pulse rate is the number of heartbeats that can be counted in one minute. You can feel (and sometimes see) your pulse in places where arteries are close to your skin. The two most common places to feel your pulse are on your wrist just below your thumb and on the side of your neck.

See you next issue!

Your friend,

Cory SerVaas, M.D.
COPYRIGHT 2008 Benjamin Franklin Literary & Medical Society, Inc.
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Author:SerVaas, Cory
Publication:Jack & Jill
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2008
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