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Our Health: Q & A.

Q I AM 75 years old and in reasonable health. I am intrigued by brown spots of variable size appearing on my head and the back of my hands over the years.

Someone told me they are age spots. What are they and what causes them?

K.J., Brierley Hill

A AGE spots are so called because they tend to appear as you age, but in fact are a sign of chronic damage to the skin caused by the sun's rays.

This is why they tend to appear on the head and hands and sometimes in the V of the neck but are rarely found on the trunk and legs. They are harmless and merely a cosmetic blemish.

Q I AM a 68-year-old man who has had haemorrhoids for years, but recently they have become much worse, particularly when I am sitting. I have been applying ointments which do help, but would appreciate your advice.

H.M. Smethwick.

A HAEMORRHOIDS or piles as they are commonly known, are a painful and often embarrassing condition which often tends to run in families and is certainly related to western diet - one generally low in fibre.

In view of the recent change in your haemorrhoids I would advise you to see your GP for an examination to rule out any underlying cause for your worsening symptoms.

Q I AM 75 years of age and for 13 years have suffered with cervical spondylosis. Sometimes when I have been out shopping I become light headed and dizzy and my head seems to throb.

Could this be caused by the spondylosis? I was also advised by my doctor to take calcium ad phosphate so I am drinking a lot of milk.

K.M., Dudley

A CERVICAL spondylosis is the medical term given to arthritis of the neck which causes restriction of neck movement and sometimes trapping of nerves and blood vessels which can lead to pain and tingling in the arms and dizzy turns.

There is no cure for this, but physiotherapy sometimes helps reduce symptoms. In women, after the menopause, bones become thinner and more fragile and certainly regular calcium intake is important.
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Author:Eccleston, David
Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Jun 11, 2000
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