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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Mineral oil may harm ear

Peter H. Gott, M.d. The Spokesman-Review

Dear Dr. Gott: For years, I have suffered with an inner ear problem, many times to the extent of nausea. I have been to several specialists with little to no help. Talking with another person with the same problem, I learned that neither of us has any ear wax.

I started putting a little mineral oil into my ear a couple of times a week. It has been several months now since I’ve had a bout with my ear.

Also, I am the only caregiver for my wife, who has been bed-ridden for more than 2 1/2 years. She has had several strokes, high blood pressure, diabetes (two shots per day) and dementia.

She had a skin tag on her cheek about the size of a toothpick.

I put clear nail polish on it for several days, and it came off without irritation.

My question: Is there any danger in either of these practices?

Dear Reader: If you happen to have a hole in your eardrum, putting oil into the ear is not a good idea, so I recommend that you have your ears checked by your family physician before continuing the oil treatment. If your ears check out fine, then the mineral oil will not harm you.

The second situation is more complicated, so I will refrain from commenting on your wife’s multiple health problems, which you are apparently handling as best you can. Using clear nail polish to shrink or remove skin tags is certainly an appropriate option, especially for a bed-bound person with several other problems.

To give you related information, I am sending you a copy of my newly updated health report “Ear Infections and Disorders.” Other readers who would like a copy should send a long, self-addressed, stamped envelope and $2 to Newsletter, P.O. Box 167, Wickliffe, OH 44092. Be sure to mention the title.

Dear Dr. Gott: I have never written to a newspaper, but I read your column regularly and feel you often offer great alternative choices to traditional medical therapies.

I am a 58-year-old retired nurse, and my husband is a practicing OB/Gyn. Last year, a young woman wrote about several embarrassing topics: urinary control, which should definitely be addressed by a urogynecologist, and flatus control during intimate situations, which may also be helped by the same type of specialist.

It is possible she may have healed after her last delivery with a possible fistula between her vagina and rectum due to tearing. This happened to me, and I, like her, was considering becoming a hermit.

My husband was unaware this had happened and had to make me get examined by a colleague. Subsequent surgery improved the situation.

This definitely should be checked out. Of course, Kegel exercises and time also could be helpful but may not get to the root of the problem.

The amount of gas produced could also be helped, not only by avoiding the foods you listed, but also by completely cutting out all carbonated beverages.

Dear Reader: A recto-vaginal fistula (a hole in this area) is a common cause of troublesome symptoms, such as chronic urinary infection and excessive intestinal gas. Your suggestion makes perfect sense and could vastly improve her quality of life.