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Ask the health expert: Leslie J. Rigali, D.O.

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January 25th, 2011
Erickson Livinghealth and wellness experts can be found atErickson Living communitiesall over the U.S. This month our expert is Leslie J. Rigali, D.O., Medical DirectorBrooksby Village, Peabody, Mass. Dr. Rigali received her bachelor s degree from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, Mass., and her degree in osteopathic medicine from the University of New England s College of Osteopathic Medicine in Biddeford, Maine. She completed her internship and residency in internal medicine at Carney Hospital in Boston and is board certified in internal medicine. Rigali joinedBrooksby Villagein October 2006. Please note: The following questions were submitted by readers. The answers are intended for general information purposes and should not replace your doctor s medical advice. Q: I have chronic breathing problems. At my doctor s office, some people wear so much perfume or cologne that it is bothersome. Shouldn t medical offices post signs asking people to avoid wearing such overwhelming scents? A: Strong odors can negatively affect people with lung problems or allergies, and some doctor s offices have policies in place to help ensure that their staff, patients, and visitors avoid wearing perfume or cologne. Unfortunately, however, not all people abide by such requests. Wear a mask if you can tolerate it, or if there s a way to wait outside of the office in a better ventilated area, do so. Tell your doctor or manager of the medical practice about the problem so they can enact policies that might help. Q: I am 88 years old and had shingles. I still have pain from it, and sometimes just moving or putting on clothes is intolerable. I ve tried some treatments, including acupuncture, but the pain persists. What else can I do? A: Pain after shingles is called post-herpetic neuralgia, and it affects about one in five people who have had a shingles outbreak. It may last for weeks, months, or even years after shingles has healed. Standard treatments include medications like steroids, antidepressants, anticonvulsants, and topical agents. A pain specialist may be able to help. He or she knows all about how to effectively manage pain and is an expert at recommending an individualized combination of therapies to give you the most relief. Ask your doctor for a referral or recommendation.

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