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KUSA - Dr. John Torres from Premier Urgent Care answers your questions every week. If you have a medical question for Dr. John, send it to mornings@9news.com and make sure to have Ask Dr. John in the subject line.

Question #1

Dr. John: Where do we stand on the possibility of surgery to alleviate Tinnitus? Thanks. Gary

Answer

Tinnitus is that constant roaring or ringing in the ears that by some estimates over 30 million Americans suffer from. It's usually caused by damage to our hearing that occurs over the years from exposure to load noises. Sometimes though, it can be caused by excessive ear wax, inner ear problems or even some medications. Although there is no cure for tinnitus getting to the root cause is important because if it's a tumor causing it, or even wax, sometimes eliminating these issues can improve tinnitus symptoms. But for the majority of cases, those caused by hearing damage over the years, surgery won't help. Usually sound therapy, which uses one type of sound to mask the ringing in the ears can help. But research is going on now so hopefully we can find a way to not only better treat tinnitus but to even stop it from happening in the first place.

Question #2

Hi Dr. John, My husband has had pain like pins/ needles, burning, and swelling in his feet since 2012. They are a pale color all the time. He was considered border line diabetic so he was on medication for that. We have gone to neurologist for peripheral neuropathy and was diagnosed with this. Pain medication was given for pain and still no relief. We are thinking maybe PVD at this point. Can you help shed some light on this for us? Thank you, Julie

Answer

Both of these conditions can cause symptoms like the feeling of pins and needles or that burning sensation, but how they are treated is very different. Peripheral neuropathy happens when the nerves to the hands and feet get damaged over time and start causing that pins and needles feeling. Diabetes is the major cause of this and treatment consists of getting the diabetes under control. If controlling diabetes doesn't improve the neuropathy there are medications that can treat it directly. PVD stands for peripheral vascular disease, and this is also a big cause of these feeling in the feet and can also be responsible for the swelling. PVD occurs when the arteries supplying blood to the legs and feet start narrowing down. Plaque buildup, usually from atherosclerosis is the main cause. Treatment for this is usually lifestyle changes like managing cholesterol, losing weight and quitting smoking. If this doesn't work than vascular surgeries might be needed. ​

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