Q&A - Fall 2012


Can tobacco use damage my bladder?


You might not think there’s a connection between smoking and the bladder, but any use of tobacco products increases your risk for bladder cancer by more than 400 percent. No matter how you use tobacco, the carcinogens are excreted from the body in urine. That means the lining of the bladder is exposed to the carcinogens.

Because of the cumulative effect of tobacco exposure, bladder cancer can develop even years after you stop smoking. And because there aren’t many symptoms, most bladder cancer isn’t diagnosed until it’s in later stages.”

Watch for: Blood in the urine. It’s the main symptom of bladder cancer. If you notice it, see your doctor, especially if you’ve ever used tobacco.

Yair Lotan, M.D.
Professor of Urology


Can I catch up on missed sleep over the weekend?


Sleeping in on the weekend doesn’t help you get a fresh start on the Monday workweek. It just makes you sleepier come Monday morning. Your daily, or circadian, cycles guide your body’s internal clock. Sleeping in one hour or more over the weekend can delay your body’s internal clock up to an hour. Sleeping in both weekend days can delay the brain’s circadian clock up to two hours. That makes it tough to get to sleep Sunday night and even harder to wake Monday morning. If you’re really sleepy, turning in earlier is more effective than sleeping later. When we’re really sleepy, our brains rest more efficiently, allowing us to recover lost sleep in one or two nights of sleeping eight hours.”

Do: Get eight hours of sleep daily to maintain your internal clock.

Don’t: Drink alcohol or work on your blue enriched computer monitor just before bedtime.

Gregory Carter, M.D.
Associate Professor of Neurology and Neurotherapeutics


Should I use a neti pot for sinus cleansing?


Most allergists or ear, nose, and throat doctors have few concerns about neti pots, a nasal irrigation and cleansing tool that originated in India. Neti pots can be highly effective for sinus cleansing when used correctly. But they do require special care. Their safety was brought into question after users cleaned their pots with straight tap water. For effective cleaning, neti pots should be sanitized only with a saline solution made with distilled water or cooled water that has been boiled for one minute. They can occasionally be washed in the dishwasher or with soap and water.”

Neti pot care: Mix one cup of water, one teaspoon of a 3-to-1 mixture of iodide-free salt (such as pickling or canning salt, not table salt), and baking soda. After cleaning, empty the neti pot and allow it to air-dry.

Bradley Marple, M.D.
Vice Chair and Professor of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery