Ask the Doctor: Iron deficiency, watery eyes, blood clots

Published: Mar. 7, 2023 at 12:51 PM EST
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - Dr. Bob Cassady from the South Bend Clinic joins us every Tuesday on 16 News Now at Noon to answer your medical questions.

Question #1 (from John): “Is low iron common among older people?”

DR. BOB: I think sometimes people say “low iron” to describe anemia.

Anemia is a condition where there is a decrease in the blood’s ability to carry oxygen. Iron deficiency is one cause of anemia. However, there are dozens of other causes.

Anemia is more common as we age for multiple reasons. There can be issues with iron intake that can lead to anemia, but also many of the other causes of anemia can also become more common.

It is reasonable to take a multivitamin that has iron in it, but if you are concerned that you might have anemia, it is best to discuss that with a physician.

Question #2 (from Mary): “Why are my eyes always watery? Tears flow at least a couple times a day, if not more.”

DR. BOB: A couple of things come to mind in listening to your symptoms.

The first is that having dry eyes can paradoxically lead to your eyes watering too much. Dry eyes can be a side effect of certain medicines.

Another problem could be allergies. Allergies commonly cause the eyes to get inflamed and to water.

You could try an over-the-counter allergy medicine, such as Claritin, and see if it improves.

Question #3 (from Darlene): “What is the best way to get rid of a blood clot in your lung? What are they caused by, and how can you keep from getting them?

DR. BOB: A blood clot in the lungs is an extremely serious problem, and I hope you aren’t at home reading this if that is going on. It is something that, in most cases, needs to be managed in the hospital.

There are some “clot buster” medicines which can help dissolve a blood clot in the lungs. However, blood clots are treated most of the time with blood thinners.

What happens with blood thinners is they prevent the blood clot from worsening or any new clots from forming. Then, the body can get rid of the blood clot on its own.

Some people have genetic problems that cause them to form blood clots. However, most people develop blood clots after an issue that affects the blood such as surgery, being bed bound, or taking hormones.

Preventing a blood clot is going to be avoiding whatever might have caused it, and in many cases, taking blood thinners long term.

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