DR JEFF FOSTER is The Sun on Sunday’s new resident doctor and is here to help YOU.
Dr Jeff, 43, splits his time between working as a GP in Leamington Spa, Warks, and running his clinic, H3 Health, which is the first of its kind in the UK to look at hormonal issues for both men and women. See h3health.co.uk.
Q) MY sinuses are blocked all year round. I rely on nasal decongestant sprays to breathe. This has been going on for years. I’ve tried antihistamines and steroid nasal sprays but nothing cures it. Do you have any suggestions?
Simon Hays, London
A) Nasal congestion is extremely common and can impact our ability to function.
Chronic nasal congestion can cause difficulty in breathing, post nasal drip (where mucus trickles down the back of the throat and causes a cough), loss of sense of smell and an increased risk of sinus infections and pain.
There are several causes including anatomical problems such as inherited deviation of the nose, trauma (being hit in the face), inflammatory causes such as hayfever or chronic infections. Finding the underlying cause is so important. See if anything you do makes the condition worse or better.
For example, if you go on holiday and breathing improves, this suggests an allergic response to something you are breathing in at home.
If nothing makes a difference and the steroid nasal sprays have not helped then see an ear, nose and throat doctor who can pass a small camera up your nose and see why you are having trouble breathing.
While surgery can be an option in more severe cases, getting that initial diagnosis is vital in improving the condition in the long term.
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Q) I’M a 35-year-old mum of four. After my third pregnancy my hair started falling out at the front and didn’t grow back. My youngest has just turned one. Will my hair grow back soon?
Lauren Smith, Aberdeen
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A) Having children can change a woman’s body in many ways, including metabolic and hormonal changes. Changes in hair quality are a common problem after giving birth.
We need to establish why your hair changes have occurred – you may have become deficient in certain vitamins or developed a secondary hormonal problem such as thyroid disease.
In most cases, hair loss post pregnancy is due to a sudden drop in oestrogen which causes hair to go into a shedding phase.
If this is the cause, hair will generally return to normal over time but in the interim it is important to be very gentle with your hair, avoid pulling it or putting strain on the scalp, use a good quality shampoo and conditioner to nourish and support the existing hair and eat a varied diet to help reduce the chances of vitamin deficiency.
As it has been more than a year, see your GP.