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What To Know During The Allergy Season

By Dr. W. Gifford Jones

What's the best way to stay symptom©free during the allergy season? It used to be an impossible task. But that's past history. Here are some answers to the most common questions that arrive in my mail.

How iPods Can Make you Rich, Rich, Rich

By Dr. W. Gifford Jones

Friday, April 14, 2006

Anyone interested in a hot tip on how to make a lot of money without any risk? It's not my job to pass along financial advice, but in this instance I can't resist the urge. Invest in a hearing aid company, because the next generation is going deaf and they don't know it.

The Tight Necktie Syndrome

By Dr. W. Gifford Jones

December 4, 2004

A 55 year old businessman complained of headaches, blurring of vision and a tingling sensation in his right ear. Harvard professors failed to make a diagnosis. So he journeyed to the Mayo Clinic , then to a famous Harley Street doctor in London, England. But none could diagnose his problem.

The Do's And Don'ts of Sinusitis

By Dr. W. Gifford Jones

August 29, 2004

I must confess I've been putting off writing this column for a long time. Sinusitis seems to be such a dull, boring, uninteresting topic compared to most medical troubles. But nevertheless this condition affects millions of people and it's a damn annoying condition when it strikes. There are also some important do's and dont's in treating sinusitis.

I've Fallen In Love With Flanagan

By Dr. W. Gifford Jones

December 8, 2003

Remember that magic moment when you fell in love? How your eyes met and you instinctively knew this was the one. This happened to me a few nights ago. She was a beauty with black shining hair, loving eyes and I had never seen such regal bearing. I was irrevocably hooked on Flanagan, the black Labrador seeing eye dog, who welcomed us to the 75th anniversary of the Seeing Eye in Toronto. And Flanagan proceeded to teach us that evening an important medical lesson that's desperately needed today.

Socioacusis: The Case Speaks For Itself Against The ACC

By Dr. W. Gifford Jones

December 2003

Centuries ago, Diogenes Laertius wrote, "We have two ears and one tongue in order that we may hear more and speak less." Now an increasing number of people are having difficulty hearing more with either ear. Noise induced hearing loss (socioacusis) is primarily due to constant and excessive noise. And since it appears anyone can sue for anything these days why doesn't somebody start a class action suit against Toronto's Air Canada Centre (ACC). It's a prime example of needless, senseless and harmful noise.

Careless Use of Contact Lenses Can Cause Blindness

By Dr. W. Gifford Jones

March 2, 2003

It's estimated that 38 million people in North America wear contact lenses (that's 76 million eyes). Owners love the benefits. They're great for sports. They don't break, fall off or steam up. Most people find them more comfortable than glasses and more flattering. And they're a great boon following cataract surgery. But placing foreign objects anywhere in the body has a dangerous downside.

The Sneak Thief of Sight

By Dr. W. Gifford Jones

October 21, 2002

The statistics are frightening. Three million North Americans suffer from glaucoma. The National Eye Institute estimates that 120,000 are blind because of this disease. And half the people with glaucoma do not know they have it. Glaucoma is also the leading cause of blindness in African-Americans and the second leading cause of blindness in North Americans.

Is it a Floater or a Detached Retina?

By Dr. W. Gifford Jones

May 26, 2002

p> Some people are prone to see pink elephants now and then for good reason. But others who never misbehave on Saturday night may suddenly start to notice spots, threads or cob-web like structures floating in front of their eyes. A few people find them terribly annoying. Others fret that they may herald the onset of a serious eye problem. Or even end in blindness. What causes these floaters? And when do they indicate an eye emergency has happened?

To Hear Or Not To Hear

By Dr. W. Gifford Jones

April 21, 2002

Why would a deaf person not want to hear? After all, I've never met a blind person who doesn't want to see. Or a paralyzed victim who doesn't want to walk. One would think this matter would be as clear as 2 +2 = 4. But life is never that simple. Some people who are deaf are vehemently opposed to the use of cochlear implants, an electronic device that introduces deaf people to the hearing world. Are they right?

The Dangers of Tongue Piercing

By Dr. W. Gifford Jones

February 24, 2002

Why in the name of Heaven do they do it? And the locations? One of the first rings I encountered in my office was in the belly button. The next one in a very intimate part of the female anatomy. That's the one that made my white hair stand on end. Then others began to appear in the lips, cheeks , nose and tongue. Now several reports indicate that placing a ring in the tongue can trigger life-threatening complications.

Is Laser Eye Surgery Worth The Risk?

By Dr. W. Gifford Jones

August 27, 2000

Á "Caveat empor" (let the buyer beware), was good advice in Roman times. It's still sound counsel today. Last year, I cautioned readers about the possible complications of LASIK eye surgery. Now, a report from London, England, shows it remains prudent to think twice about throwing away your eye glasses. And that laser surgery may affect the death toll on our highways.

Are You Using Contact Lenses Safely?

By Dr. W. Gifford Jones

July 8, 2000

Today 35 million North Americans wear contact lenses. They don't fall off, break or steam up. They're great for sports. Most people find them comfortable and more flattering than glasses. And they're also a great boon for patients following cataract surgery. But there is a downside and it's vital that users know about it.

"Blueberry Test" Fights Bad Breath

By Dr. W. Gifford Jones

June 25, 2000

Have you ever watched your friends draw away from you? Then wondered whether you have bad breath? Often people who suffer from "Halitosis" are the last to know. So before you find yourself down to your last friend, there is help for this condition.

Don't Mask Your Allergy Symptoms, Treat Them

By Dr. W. Gifford Jones

March 18, 2000

A letter from Devon, England tells it all. It reads, "Thank you, thank you a zillion times for curing my leg ulcer. A sisterªin©law in Canada sent me your column explaining how Intal (sodium cromoglycate) cures some stubborn leg ulcers."

Surgery For Near-sightedness

By Dr. W. Gifford Jones

July 31, 1999

How would you like to have good vision without glasses or contact lenses? Benjamin Franklin who invented the first bifocals in the 18th century would say "yes" to that question. Today ads promise that an operation called radical keratotomy can make this dream come true. But before you agree to this surgery it's important to know both the risks and the benefits.

The Dry Eye Syndrome

By Dr. W. Gifford Jones

June 6, 1999

"Thank you for curing my eyes, doctor". This was a patient's surprise remark to me several years ago. Doctors always enjoy hearing that a patient has been cured. But there was a problem in this particular case. Normally I know how I've cured them. But in this case, I hadn't a clue. In fact, to make matters worse I hadn't even prescribed anything for her eyes.

Meniere's Disease Or a Tight Collar?

By Dr. W. Gifford Jones

April 18, 1999

"Am I about to die?" You went to bed in good health. But on awakening you rolled over and suddenly felt the room spinning. It's a terrifying feeling if it's never happened before. The sense of impending doom is vivid. And the feeling you're about to meet your Maker. What causes "vertigo" and how serious is this disorder?

A Drug That Made Me A Hero With My Mother

By Dr. W. Gifford Jones

April 17, 1999

What have sore eyes (allergic conjunctivitis), leg ulcers, asthma and my Mother to do with each other. A good Trivial Pursuit question! But to start this story. If you're a doctor it's not easy to be a hero with your Mother. She expects quick cures. And when you repeatedly fail she wonders, "Did my son learn anything inmedical school and all those years of post-graduate training?"

The Multifocal Lens, A New Advance in Cataract Surgery

By Dr. W. Gifford Jones

March 13, 1999

Wouldn't you like to have a full range of vision from near to far following cataract surgery? Not many people facing this operation would say no. But until recently multifocal vision was merely a dream. Now it's a reality and thousands of patients will benefit from the new AMO Array multifocal lens. And a large number of patients don't require their glasses after the operation.

10 Ways To Protect Your Eyes

By Dr. W. Gifford Jones

May 3, 1998

How can you avoid losing your vision? According to the World Health Organization up to 80 percent of visual loss can be averted. Here are 10 steps that will help to protect your eyes from aging, disease and injury.

What You Should Know About Contact Lenses

By Dr. W. Gifford Jones

October 27, 1996

  How should you respond when your ophthalmologist asks if you want contact lenses? More and more people are replying "Yes" to their many advantages. But it's also well to remember the sage advice of Niccolo Machiavelli. He wrote in 1513, "A man's wisdom is most conspicuous where he is able to distinguish among dangers and make choice of the least."

Reading The Label Can Save Your Life

By Dr. W. Gifford Jones

May 11, 1996

How can you choose the right antihistamine for the allergy season? For most medical consumers this is a tedious task. There are so many products available. But one cardinal rule exists. You must learn to read labels. They can save your life.

Gable sweeps Vivian Leigh into his arms

By Dr. W. Gifford Jones

February 11, 1996

Are people backing away every time you talk to them? Are you having trouble getting a date? Or is your faithful dog starting to lie on the other side of the room? If so, you may be suffering from "halitosis". What causes bad breath and how can it be prevented?

What You Should Know About The Sore Throat Card?

By Dr. W. Gifford Jones

January 21, 1996

Every year it happens several times to millions of North Americans. Someone in the household wakens with a sore throat. The dilemma is knowing what to do about it. Should you wait until nature cures it? Or is it prudent to see the doctor in case it's a prelude to serious disease? Now there's a sore throat card to help answer this common question.

How To Prevent Blindness From "The Sneak Thief of Sight"

By Dr. W. Gifford Jones

November 13, 1995

Is it possible to go blind in at least one eye before glaucoma is diagnosed? It's very easy according to two surveys done in Germany and the Cayman Islands.

New Hope For Retinal Detachment Patients

By Dr. W. Gifford Jones

August 5, 1995

How a few moments can change our lives! One minute we have perfect eyesight. The next instant a shadow clouds all or a large part of our vision. Retinal detachment often occurs suddenly with no warning. Now a new technique using perfluorocarbon liquids (PCL's) has revolutionized retinal detachment surgery. Eyesight that was permanently lost a few years ago can now be restored.

Meniere's Disease

By Dr. W. Gifford Jones

February 4, 1995

Was Vincent van Gogh, the famous Dutch painter really mad, or did he cut off his ear because he suffered from Meniere's Disease? We'll never know the answer to that question. But prior to his death in 1890 Van Gogh was severely depressed. He suffered from vicious, recurring attacks of dizziness, nausea and an intense ringing in the ear.

A Simple Painless Way To Stop Snoring?

By Dr. W. Gifford Jones

October 2, 1994

"Giff, would you look at my throat?", a medical colleague recently requested. He had been in great pain for several days after being treated for snoring by a new method called laser assisted uvula palatoplasty (LAUP). He was not amused by his doctor's remark that "it's a simple, painless, office procedure". And he uttered a few choice remarks about the doctor that cannot be repeated in this column.

Halleluja For the The Non-Sedating Antihistamines

By Dr. W. Gifford Jones

June 12, 1994

¡ I used to hate the start of the allergy season. I had two choices. I could get some relief from antihistamines. Or suffer the usual agonies. But there was a problem with the first alternative. If I took the antihistamines available at the time I couldn't keep awake to write this column. So like thousands of others I endured the annoying symptoms without medication. Now thanks to the non™sedating histamines I've returned to the land of the living.

What Parents Should Know About Fireworks

By Dr. W. Gifford Jones

May 15, 1994

  How can a festive occasion turn quickly into tragedy? In a couple of words, very easily. And just as sure as night follows day it will happen again during the next few weeks. It occurs year after year. People around the world love to celebrate their national days with fireworks. Hopefully this column will help save some North Americans from needless injuries.

Are You Listening With The Other Ear?

By Dr. W. Gifford Jones

March 20, 1994

Á What should you do if the ear you normally use for the telephone isn't up to par anymore? That in order to hear adequately it's necessary to hold the telephone to the other ear? If so should you accept this as an aging problem? Or seek medical advice? In this case a little knowledge about a grain of wheat could save your life.

Yuletide Colds and The Wisconsin Card Game

By Dr. W. Gifford Jones

December 13, 1992

Sir William Osler, one of this nation's most renowned doctors, once gave this advice on how to treat a cold when he himself was feeling well. "Treat it with contempt", he said. But even this famous physician wasn't always consistent. Another day when he too suffered from this common malady he gave this advice, " Go to bed. Put a hat on the bedpost. Drink whisky until you see two hats!"

Night Blindness

By Dr. W. Gifford Jones

October 4, 1992

How would you react if you knew you were gradually going blind? This week the account of one man who faced this frightening problem. It's a story of despair and courage.


By Dr. W. Gifford Jones

May 25, 1991

What instrument can shuck a bucket of oysters, correct typing errors, fuse atoms, lay a straight line for a garden bed, repair detached retinas and drill holes in diamonds? If this question were to be asked in Trivial Pursuit, the answer is, "The laser". Albert Einstein predicted the use of lasers in 1917. Now the "smart" laser used in computer-guided weapons that recently destroyed the Iraqi army, can also treat eye problems with pin-point accuracy.


By Dr. W. Gifford Jones

April 6, 1991

The figures are staggering. 541,000 cataract extractions are performed annually in the U.S. Among Americans between the age of 60 and 75, 20 per cent have visually disabling cataracts. Cataracts are the leading cause of impaired vision and blindness in the elderly and they affect 400,000 people every year. The cost of treating cataracts is also soaring. Last year 3.5 billion dollars was spent in the U.S. removing these clouded lenses. What causes the lens of the eye to become foggy? And how do vitamins C and E act to help fight this disabling disease?


By Dr. W. Gifford Jones

January 19, 1991

Have you ever wondered if the boss was listening to you when you asked for an increase in salary? Or whether the person across the table was bored with your conversation? And did the politician skirt around the truth when asked an important question. The next time you're in doubt just watch how they blink. That's what we should have done during the Watergate Hearings. There's more to a wink and a blink than meets the eye.


By Dr. W. Gifford Jones

August 26, 1990

Superman may be faster than a speeding bullet. But golf balls are not far behind. Most people associate eye injuries with hockey and squash. But as you leave for the links this summer don't dismiss the possibility of an eye injury, even loss of sight. And who says you can't make money reading this column? This week there's a sure way for you to win a bet.


By Dr. W. Gifford Jones

December 4, 1988

N.W. McLachlan wrote in 1935, "Noise is any undesired sound. Noise is sound at the wrong time and in the wrong place." Many people who complain that a constant noise in the ears is driving them mad would say,"Amen " to that definition. What causes "tinnitus" a ringing in the ears? And what can relieve this unrelenting annoyance?


By Dr. W. Gifford Jones

April 16, 1988

How can you tell whether your partner has been unfaithful? It's not easy. Certainly if he or she wanders home every night at 4:a.m. the excuse can't always be walking the dog. Or if there's an occasional smear of lipstick on the cheek it's unlikely it's from a loving mother. But consider the eyes, the so-called window of the soul. Might they reveal a clue about the existence of an extramarital affair?


By Dr. W. Gifford Jones

January 18, 1988

Why wouldn't anyone jump at the chance of wearing contact lenses for weeks at a time without the daily hassle of putting them in, taking them out, and cleaning them? The invention of extended-wear lenses seemed like a gift sent from Heaven. But those who jumped at the opportunity of using them for cosmetic reasons sometimes had a rude awakening. This gift carried a troublesome price tag. Some patients developed allergic reactions to the cleaning solutions. Others developed potentially dangerous infections and ulcers due to protein deposits on the lens. If they're lost during swimming several hundred dollars went down the drain. Now a new six-pack of disposable lenses may help to solve these problems. And they can even turn your brown eyes blue.


By Dr. W. Gifford Jones

October 19, 1987

Niccolo Machiavelli wrote in 1513 that ,"A man's wisdom is most conspicuous where he is able to distinguish among dangers and make choice of the least." This wisdom would be useful to medical consumers in 1987. Today increasing numbers of people are choosing contact lenses rather than traditional eye glasses. They are a great boon for patients following cataract surgery. But if such choice is for cosmetic or convenience reasons patients should be reminded that they rarely get something for nothing. Common sense dictates that a foreign object placed in the eye for many hours or days must result in some adjustment, be it minor or major. That's why it's important for patients to ask an ophthalmologist whether the benefits are worth the potential risk.

W. Gifford-Jones M.D is the pen name of Dr. Ken Walker graduate of Harvard. Dr. Walker's website is:

My book, �90 + How I Got There� can be obtained by sending $19.95 to:

Giff Holdings, 525 Balliol St, Unit # 6,Toronto, Ontario, M4S 1E1

Pre-2008 articles by Gifford Jones
Canada Free Press, CFP Editor Judi McLeod