In the hours before a thunderstorm, I feel light-headed, my eyes are heavy, my hands tingle and I can't concentrate. Is this common? Does it relate to changes in atmospheric pressure? And if so, how?
Good question. Actually, I've wondered about the same thing for years, since some of my patients with arthritis have often reported feeling more pain in their joints when the atmospheric pressure drops suddenly, and people with multiple sclerosis have told me of similar weather-connected symptoms. Sadly, these are just anecdotal reports, and I don't know of any repeated studies in which these apparent connections have been confirmed and explained. Colleagues have suggested that our internal tissue pressures may sometimes not change as rapidly as the atmospheric pressure around us, perhaps causing joint and nerve tissues to swell, but I know of no proof of this or how it could happen. Just a small point – the tingling in your hands may be important, suggesting possible pressure on the nerves as they enter the spine in the neck. It's probably a good idea to let your doctor know, so you can be examined, if need be.
At 40, I have the nose of an 80-year-old man. It is a mottled red, blue and purple colour, with thread veins, the texture of orange skin and with very open pores. It is also getting larger. I am told it is rosacea, and have tried everything I have been prescribed to combat it, with no success. My skin is very oily – so much so that it stains the pillow. Is there anything more I can do? This is a big source of stress to me.
It sounds to me as if you have rhinophyma, a condition that causes the nose to enlarge exactly as you describe. If all else has failed, then the next step is surgery to remove the excess fleshy tissue. This will leave you with a normal-looking nose, and is a routine operation for specialist plastic surgeons. There will surely be an expert in one of your local NHS hospitals who is very used to operating on rhinophyma, so do discuss this with your doctor, and explain how distressed you are about your nose. I'm sure you will be referred onwards.
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