Can you “catch a cold” through your eyes?

A. Yes, you can.  It’s quite common . Coming into contact with an infectious person and rubbing your eyes spreads the virus through your body by viral transfer into the tear ducts. Avoid this by washing your hands frequently, using hand sanitizer and keep from touching your eyes and face.

Congrats @PrakashHemdev, @SallyMcCaughrin, @VickiEisenpresser


Which is the first sense you lose as you age?

A. Anosmia or loss of smell is typically impaired or partial rather than a total loss of ability to smell.

Besides aging, other conditions causing anosmia include:

  • Dementia (memory loss)
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Brain and nasal tumors
  • Head injuries
  • URI (upper respiratory Infections) or sinusitis (sinus infection)
  • Radiation therapy
  • Certain medications (e.g. blood pressure medicines and decongestants)
  • Hormonal disturbances
  • Certain prescription medications, such as some high blood pressure medications, can also alter your sense of taste or smell.

Certain studies report that permanent loss of smell can be heralding the end of life.

Congrats to @SallyMcCaughrin,@VickiEisenpresser


What is your vestigial organ?

A. Vestigial organs are those that we have due to an evolutionary process where there was a purpose to them generations ago but no longer serve any purpose. This is a bit of a trick question because most people automatically think of appendix as the answer, when in fact, we have 5 vestigial “organs”.

1. The Appendix: This small pouch attached to your large intestine, at the junction of the small intestine, no longer aids in digestion, those that undergo an appendectomy do not experience any effects. A study in 2009 reported that the appendix might actually be useful now in harboring beneficial bacteria.

2. Wisdom Teeth: these teeth may have aided in grinding or replaced lost teeth but now serve only to cause pain and teeth crowding in our smaller mouths.

3. The Tailbone:Tails aid in balance in mammals but when we became erect, the tail ceased to provide any function. Evolution shortened it to some  fused vertebrae (coccyx).

4. Male Nipples: which evolves in utero since the fetus is not gender-specific at first. Fetuses are all female initially and then testosterone creates male development. Men can lactate due to a response to certain medications and tumors.

5. Body Hair: Body hair provides warmth (which is now function of clothing) and stands on end to make a person seem larger to enemies when threatened. Remember the expression “hair standing on end”?  You may still see it on riders after some roller coasters  in Magic Kingdom. 


What causes Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

A. Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a condition where the median nerve is compressed in the carpal tunnel which is a narrow and rigid passage of bones and ligament, located at the base of the hand. When the median nerve becomes pinched or impinged, it will cause pain, tingling, weakness and numbness. The median nerve becomes compressed due to swelling of the tendons or the nerve in the wrist.

This usually occurs from repetitive motions (E.G. typing on a keyboard all day-ouch!)


What is that “dangly” thing at the back of the throat and what function does it provide?

A. The uvula or palantine uvula hangs on your soft palate. This structure is only found in mankind and just like our thumbs, distinguishes us from all the other mammals in the food chain. Some people feel that it induces the gag reflex or sleep apnea so that some suffering from apnea sleeping buy Ambien online no prescription have actually had their uvula removed.

The more recent theory is that since the uvula functions remarkably well at excreting saliva, so that it provides lubrication during speech patterns.  This way, your mouth won’t go totally dry when you stand up in the front of the room to give that talk!

Thanks to all those that left comments.

Stay tuned to the Question of the Day for the next week!

#healthquestion  #healthquestionoftheday   #questionoftheday