In the eye of the beholder

Readers get answers for their medical and health queries.

Correcting eyesight (illustrative) (photo credit: INGIMAGE)
Correcting eyesight (illustrative)
(photo credit: INGIMAGE)
I keep hearing about iridology from a friend of middle-aged friend of mine who went to a practitioner and was told about all kinds of medical conditions that she had and didn’t mention and conditions she didn’t know she had. What is iridology and is there anything to it? Y.S., Ramat Hasharon
Dr. Menachem Oberbaum, director of the Center for Integrative and Complementary Medicine at Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center, answers:
Wikipedia gives the following definition: “Iridology (also known as iridodiagnosis or iridiagnosis) is an ‘alternative medicine technique [emphasis added]’ whose proponents claim that patterns, colors and other characteristics of the iris can be examined to determine information about a patient’s systemic health.’ I am sorry always to be the “bad guy” who almost always dismisses methods claimed to “save the world,” but I’m obliged to add iridology to this long list. The only persons who benefit from iridology are practitioners who perform iridology.
I feel the time is drawing near when I shall have to do something about my drooping eyelids (for cosmetic reasons only). I have heard of an ophthalmologist at Hadassah-University Medical Center in Jerusalem who performs this surgery, but I was wondering if one should rather go to a plastic surgeon. I have a condition called recurrent corneal erosion syndrome, which occasionally becomes acute and intensely painful. Would this prevent my undergoing this procedure? D.R., via email
Prof. Jacob Pe’er, chairman of the ophthalmology department at Hadassah-University Medical Center, answers:
You need two specialists – an oculoplastic surgeon and a cornea specialist.
Since you have an eye problem and not only an eyelid problem, I would suggest that you not go to a plastic surgeon but rather to an oculoplastic surgeon who is an ophthalmologist who deals with eyelid- orbit and lacrimal system issues. At Hadassah, our oculoplastic surgeon is Dr.
Yael Deckel, while one of the cornea specialists is Prof. Avi Solomon.
Prof. Igal Leibovitch, an ophthalmologist and a leading oculoplastic surgeon who directs the oculoplastic institute at Tel Aviv’s Sourasky Medical Center, adds:
Recurrent corneal erosion is a condition that might be exacerbated by blepharoplasty, especially in the first few months.
I would not recommend undergoing cosmetic eyelid surgery in such a case.
My first child, a boy, is six-and-a-half months old and seemingly healthy. Lately I have started to give him soft solids like avocado, banana, potato and sweet potato that I pressed by hand and in a blender, and in the middle of eating he spits it out or vomits. Even if he drank milk before from a bottle, the milk comes out too. When I add water or milk to the mashed vegetables to make them very thin, he does not spit it out. Is his digestive system not ready yet for soft solids, or is there something wrong? The other babies his age in the day care center have no such problem. Should I wait until he’s a bit older or keep trying? Should I take him to his pediatrician or another specialist? A.H., Jerusalem
Prof. Francis Mimouni, chief of neonatology at Shaare Zedek Medical Center, responds:
First, it is not a bad idea to have a baby thoroughly examined at the age of six months for a complete developmental evaluation. One should not wait until a baby is sick to have him or her examined.
Second, “experts” say that solids may be started at six months. But how “expert” are they really to make this statement? On average, the first tooth erupts at six months, but it occurs in some babies earlier and in many others not before seven to nine months. Isn’t it a “sign from heaven” (or a simple issue of logic) that if you don’t have teeth you should not be eating solids? Most likely this baby is a healthy one, and he should mainly breastfeed or, if not, given formula. He has another 119 years ahead of him to eat solids...
Prof. Arthur Eidelman, retired chief of pediatrics at Shaare Zedek Medical Center, adds:
Beginning one’s baby on complementary solid food at six months is correct. The choice of foods as noted is appropriate, but if one gives sweet potato, there is no need for white potatoes.
The correct way to feed at that age is giving one food type and not mixing three or four types or even alternating them. This is the way we know that the infant can tolerate each food.
Spitting up is normal and making the consistency of the food more watery, rather too mushy, is the right thing for this developmental age. The bottom line is that, all within normal limits, your child does not need a specialist. Just follow his weight and go slowly in introducing foods and in increasing the solidity of the foods.
Rx for Readers welcomes queries from readers about medical problems. Experts will answer those we find most interesting. Write Rx for Readers, The Jerusalem Post, POB 81, Jerusalem 9100002, fax your question to Judy Siegel-Itzkovich at (02) 538-9527, or email it to [email protected], giving your initials, age and place of residence.