“I don’t think theaters should be closed at this point,” Robert Lahita, a clinical professor of medicine at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School and the chair of the department of medicine at St. Joseph’s Healthcare System, told me. “In fact, a month ago, I said they should have been open, especially if we’re taking kids to school and kids are before teachers in live learning. There’s no reason that theaters should be closed.”

Anything traumatic can trigger a fight or flight response within our bodies. Most people recover from PTSD as it’s known, but some people wind up with a stress disorder that causes a part of the brain that controls emotions to be overactive. It also lowers the activity of the front of your brain a decision-making area. This area of the brain is called the amygdala. There is also an effective part of the brain which keeps memories called the hippocampus. An example of PTSD would be a very bad fire in a house where someone had been burned severely. A fireman who rescued that individual might have flashbacks and nightmares when confronted with future fires. Such flashbacks and bad memories can prevent clear thinking and take a physical toll on the victim. PTSD is regularly treated by psychiatrists and clinical psychologists.

Why are some people depressed?

Clinical depression as we know it can actually change the character of your brain. In depression certain parts of your brain have lesser activity, these include the frontal lobes which are involved in things like reasoning, personality, and judgment. Of interest to all of us is brain inflammation that can happen in people who are depressed. Brain cells are lost during the inflammatory process and would make memory problems and even dementia more likely. Depression requires the assistance of a psychiatrist or clinical psychologist. A patient with clinical depression may require antidepressant medication, which basically changes the way certain aspects of the brain function. Anyone who believes that they are seriously depressed should seek medical help.

If a tick attaches to a mouse, deer, or other animal that is carrying the bacteria called Borrelia, and the tick becomes infected. It may then spread the disease when it attaches itself to you. Tick populations tend to be higher in elevations, in wooded and grassy areas where the creatures they feed on live and roam; including deer, rabbits, birds, lizards, squirrels, mice, and other rodents. They can also be found in urban areas as well as on beaches and coastal areas of the country.

One of the major issues in Saddle River is the large populations of deer and the deer tick that spreads Lyme disease. Every summer we have a few people in the borough that are infected with Lyme disease. These are usually people that walk through the woods and come back home with an embedded tick.

What are the stages of Lyme disease?

There are several phases of Lyme Disease that are important. The first phase is the early localized disease. A characteristic flat red ringed bull’s-eye rash develops in 75% of the people who have been bitten by a tick infected with Lyme. The rash appears days to weeks after the bite and spreads outward. The bull’s-eye rash is called erythema migrans. Some people don’t notice or even remember being bitten by a tick because the tick is too small, or a rash never appeared. Someone with newly acquired Lyme disease can suffer from fatigue, headache, joint and muscle stiffness, and swollen glands.

The second stage of Lyme disease is called early disseminated disease, which means that when you’re not treated and you ignore the skin redness associated with the early localized Lyme disease, the second stage occurs weeks or months after the appearance of the red rash. During this time bacteria affect other parts of the body including the heart, joints, and nervous system.

The third phase is what is called the late disease. Late stage Lyme disease can inflame the heart and lead to heart rhythm disorders and even heart failure. Nervous system problems associated with late disease can include facial paralysis known as Bell’s palsy, meningitis, confusion, and abnormal function of the nerves outside of the spinal cord. We call that peripheral neuropathy. Joint inflammation can certainly occur in just one or a few joints; most often the knees, resulting in pain, stiffness, and swelling. The arthritis associated with Lyme disease can become chronic and may mimic other forms of inflammatory arthritis.

The nose and smell are extremely important to good health. They are often signs of health problems. This has particular importance to Covid19 and the influenza virus. Symptoms usually appear quickly and include fever, aches, and chills regarding the flu. Fever aches, and loss of smell and taste are typical of Covid19 infections. About the flu, antiviral treatments can shorten your illness by one to two days; a disease that can exist anywhere between a few days and two weeks. Covid19 on the other hand can be with you for many weeks and months. We can discuss this further in the month of December when doctors will be busy establishing the difference between the two infections.

Why do I get bloody noses all the time?

Parched air draws moisture from your sinuses, so they’re more likely to dry and crack. Bacteria can get in and infect the damaged area if that happens, and both conditions—dryness and infected cracks-- can cause bleeding. Use of a humidifier to put moisture back into the air will help your dry nose and prevent bleeding.

The causes of bloody noses range from allergies, hemophilia, and picking your nose to blood thinners, aspirin, nasal sprays, and more things than I can list here. The bleeding itself isn’t usually serious but if you injure your nose and it bleeds for more than 30 minutes, or you can’t breathe properly you should see a doctor. I’m amazed at the number of people that call 911 and ask for an ambulance because their nose is bleeding. Just go to the ER or call your doctor.

What are nasal polyps?

Nasal polyps are usually growths within your nose that are usually harmless. But they can prevent smells from getting to the right cells. Medication or minor surgery can get rid of polyps and make things as good as new for your nose.

Besides covered 19 what are some of the other things that can cause a lack of the sense of smell?

There is a link to smell in a variety of diseases, but one most common link is diabetes. High blood sugar can damage nerves, blood vessels, or organs that make up the complex sense of smell. Diabetes can also upset your endocrine system, the system that deals totally with the glands of your body. If loss of smell is one of your issues you should see a doctor.

Is there such a thing as a brain freeze?

People often say that there are such things as “ice cream headaches” and they call it brain freeze. When it happens something cold touches the nerves in the roots of your mouth. That triggers the blood vessels in the front of your head to swell. This rapid swelling causes the familiar jabbing pain of a brain freeze. An easy solution? Try eating ice cream or other cold foods slowly to avoid getting a headache. I suppose the same kind of brain freeze would happen if you drank a very cold drink with lots of ice like a Slurpee.