Swimmer Fears Repeat of Legionnaire’s Disease
DEAR DR. ROACH: I’m 73, male and have been swimming a mile in inside pools every day for 10 years. Two months ago, I caught Legionella pneumonia and was in the hospital for three weeks. They said I was critical. I’m afraid to go back to swimming for fear that I’ll die if I get that disease again. What are my chances of getting it again if I return to daily swimming? -- D.F.
ANSWER: Legionnaire’s disease is caused by Legionella pneumophila, a bacteria species that lives in water, especially warm water. Legionella is a dangerous infection. It most commonly affects those over 50 or those with other risk factors, including smoking, alcohol use and a suppressed immune system from a medication or medical condition.
Pools are an occasional cause for Legionella infection; hot tubs are more common. Air conditioning systems and cooling towers are responsible for most large outbreaks. Infection occurs when the aerosolized water droplets contaminated with the bacteria are inhaled deep in the lungs where they can cause infection. I don’t know if an investigation was done in your case, but large outbreaks are a significant concern, and often trigger a response by public health officials. The swimming pool is a possibility.
A properly cleaned and treated pool poses little risk. You should discuss your diagnosis with the operator of the pools where you swam in the week or two prior to getting sick, so the water can be tested. I would point them to tinyurl.com/CDC-legionella-pool for information appropriate to aquatics professionals.
Swimming is a great form of exercise, and you should feel safe and comfortable in your pool.
• • •
DEAR DR. ROACH: Does a person with Eustachian tube dysfunction have to be careful when washing her or his hair? I am concerned that the water that gets into the ear can be felt going down the throat. Or is that another problem? — K.C.H.
ANSWER: The ear has three compartments: external, middle and inner. The external ear is all of the part you can touch, all the way to the tympanic membrane (eardrum). It is watertight (unless there is a perforation or a doctor has placed a tube in the eardrum). The middle ear is the location of three bones that connect the eardrum to the cochlea, the organ of hearing. The cochlea and the organ of Corti, from which you derive your sense of balance, comprise the inner ear.
The Eustachian tube runs from the middle of the ear into the back of the throat, and it allows the pressure in the ear to equalize with the pressure in the atmosphere. Eustachian tube dysfunction is when the tube fails to open, causing pressure changes in the ear. This often comes with reduced hearing and a sensation of ear pressure, and sometimes with ear pain, itching or tinnitus, the sensation of ringing in the ears or other noise. Eustachian tube dysfunction is a complicated issue I can’t explain fully here.
However, showering with Eustachian tube dysfunction is not a problem. A sensation of water going down the throat during showering could possibly be from a wide-open hole in the eardrum, but it is more likely a referred sensation, meaning the body is misinterpreting the data from its own nerves.
• • •
Dr. Roach regrets that he is unable to answer
individual questions, but will incorporate them
in the column whenever possible.
Readers may email questions to ToYourGoodHealth@med.cornell.edu.
© 2020 North America Synd., Inc.
All Rights Reserved
No matter how good you are,
you’re going to lose one-third of your games.
No matter how bad you are,
you’re going to win one-third of your games.
It’s the other third that makes the difference.
• If you go to a yard sale and an item catches your eye, don't be afraid to haggle. If the owner can't agree to your price, give him your name and phone number. If it doesn't sell, he might be ready to accept a lower price.
• "You can sprinkle a bit of baking soda on your porcelain sinks for a non-harsh scrub. It serves a double purpose, because it will also freshen and absorb odors, then get washed right down the drain!" — M.M. in Texas
• Wash and save yogurt cups for kids to use for painting. You can set several in a jelly roll pan to keep them together and upright.
• "I have a beautiful glass window in my front door. Unfortunately, once a day, the sun comes streaming through it and seems to magnify. I have a couple of hooks that are backed by suction cups. I can hang a garden flag from the hooks to cover the window. Sometimes I even use it at night for privacy. It still looks pretty from the other side if I don't take it down, and it didn't involve any holes in my door!" — W.D. in Kentucky
• Make-up bags make the perfect place to stash extra cords and accessories for your computer or other devices. Put them in a basket and all your tech will stay orderly.
• Car Wash Tips: Use a soap that's made for vehicles, because it's less likely to strip the protective coating off your paint. Don't wash in full sun if possible. If you must, then work in small sections to keep soap from drying on the car. Rinse off your sponge regularly — the dirt and grime can scratch the surface. Use a microfiber cloth to dry.
Send your tips to
Now Here’s a Tip,
628 Virginia Drive,
Orlando, FL 32803.
© 2020 King Features Synd., Inc.
Grilled smoked sausage and fresh vegetables make a great light summer or holiday meal. To save time, these kabobs can be prepped a day before serving, wrapped and refrigerated.
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed with press
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and pepper
2 large (8 to 10 ounces each) onions
2 medium (4 to 6 ounces each) purple or green peppers
3 medium (4 to 6 ounces each) red peppers
2 pounds fully cooked kielbasa (smoked Polish sausage)
12 (12-inch) metal or bamboo skewers
1. If using bamboo skewers, soak skewers in cold water at least 30 minutes to prevent burning. Prepare outdoor grill for covered direct grilling on medium.
2. In small bowl, combine oil, garlic, oregano, 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Let stand while you cut onions, peppers and sausages into 1-inch chunks.
3. Thread peppers, 2 at a time and alternating with onion and sausage, onto skewers. Brush skewers with oil mixture.
4. Place on hot grill grate; cover and cook 10 to 12 minutes or until browned, turning occasionally. Place on platter to serve. Serves 12.
• Each serving: About 325 calories, 27g total fat (9g saturated), 51mg cholesterol, 745mg sodium, 10g total carbohydrate, 2g dietary fiber, 12g protein.
For thousands of triple-tested recipes, visit our Web site at www.goodhousekeeping.com/food-recipes/.
© 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc.
All rights reserved
Luscious Layered Lemon Dessert
Nothing is quite so refreshing on a hot summer day as a cold glass of lemonade. Well, how about all that refreshment in a delicious dessert! This has all the flavor of lemonade, but it’s so creamy it will practically melt in your mouth!
12 (2 1/2-inch) graham cracker squares
2 (4-serving) packages sugar-free instant vanilla pudding mix
1 (4-serving) package sugar-free lemon gelatin
1 1/3 cups dry milk powder
2 cups diet lemon-lime soda
1 cup reduced-calorie whipped topping
1. Evenly arrange 9 graham crackers in a 9-by-9-inch cake pan. In large bowl, combine 1 package dry pudding mix, dry gelatin, 2/3 cup dry milk powder and 1 1/4 cups diet lemon-lime soda. Mix well using wire whisk. Blend in 1/4 cup whipped topping. Carefully spread mixture evenly over graham crackers. Refrigerate while preparing topping.
2. In same bowl, combine remaining package of dry pudding mix, remaining 2/3 cup dry milk powder and remaining 3/4 cup soda pop. Mix well using wire whisk. Blend in remaining 3/4 cup whipped topping. Spread topping mixture evenly over filling. Crush remaining 3 graham crackers into fine crumbs; evenly sprinkle over top. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours. Makes 8 servings.
• Each serving equals: 96 calories, 0g fat, 5g protein, 19g carb., 296mg sodium, 0g fiber; Diabetic Exchanges: 1/2 fat-free milk, 1/2 starch.
© 2020 King Features Syndicate, Inc.