What’s making my husband so windy? DR MARTIN SCURR answers your questions

My husband has had flatulence for a while, but it has gotten worse over the past few months. He does not eat excessive amounts of fruits and vegetables. Can you advise what steps we can take to resolve this?

Name and address provided.

We all have gas in our gut, produced by our gut microbes breaking down food, and much of it has to be passed in moments of flatulence (flatulence up to 20 times a day is considered normal).

But you say in your longer letter that the smell is offensive. The main culprit for smelly flatulence is hydrogen sulfide gas, which smells like rotten eggs.

We even know from research that this particular component of wind is actually good for us.

The main culprit for smelly flatulence is hydrogen sulfide gas, which smells like rotten eggs (File image)

A study published last month in the journal Nature Microbiology found that hydrogen sulfide improves the health of the gut lining.

It has previously been found to act as an antioxidant and protect cells from damage; it also encourages greater resistance to certain infections.

Despite this, it’s worth noting that some foods contain more sulfur, which is broken down into hydrogen sulfide by the bacteria in the gut β€” and limiting those foods may help control gas production to some degree.

These include meat, chicken, eggs and vegetables such as cabbage, leeks, broccoli, onions and garlic.

Of course, these are just the kind of foods that help feed the good bacteria in the gut, so you don’t want to cut them out entirely.

I suggest it’s worth bearing in mind that the embarrassing problem your husband has may actually be of some benefit to him regarding his health. Knowing this may help to change your attitude towards it.

I have had a glaucoma test every year for 40 years. I have now been told I have to go every two years, due to government cutbacks. I was advised that if I want them yearly I would have to pay. What do you advise?

Eddie Marsh, Newbury, Berkshire.

Thank you for writing about what is such an important topic for so many people. About half a million Britons have glaucoma, which usually leads to a slow deterioration of the edges of your vision. If left untreated, it can eventually lead to blindness.

The problem is that vision loss in the early stages is so slow that it’s almost unnoticeable; other hallmark symptoms, such as blurred vision, may not become apparent until the later stages.

About half a million Britons have glaucoma, which typically leads to a slow deterioration of the edges of your vision (File image)

About half a million Britons have glaucoma, which typically leads to a slow deterioration of the edges of your vision (File image)

That’s why screening β€” checking everyone with or without symptoms β€” is so important. There are several types of glaucoma: the most common is silent primary open-angle glaucoma. This is where fluid in the eye (the aqueous humour) builds up, increasing the pressure in the eye.

We used to think that this pressure caused irreversible damage to the optic nerve that sends vision signals to the brain – but recent thinking is that glaucoma stems from a disorder of the optic nerve.

This then damages the control of fluid in the eye. And this pressure then further damages the optic nerve, leading to a gradual loss of vision at the edges of vision that gradually close in. (Another form, narrow-angle glaucoma, comes on quickly, causes a painful red eye, and needs urgent treatment.) While glaucoma is most common in adults over the age of 70, anyone over the age of 40 who has an eye test will be seen by an optician. investigated.

This includes measuring the pressure in the eye and checking for any deterioration in peripheral vision. It’s best practice to get screened for this every two years β€” the fact that glaucoma progresses slowly means there’s nothing to be gained by testing more often. This is not so much a cut as a sensible policy to ensure that, in a time of limited resources, no one is left out.

Those at higher risk — people who have a close relative diagnosed with it — will be advised to get screened more often.

If glaucoma is diagnosed, you should be immediately referred to an ophthalmologist: after further testing, most people would then start with regular eye drops which reduce pressure in the eye and the likelihood of persistent nerve damage.

I believe it is acceptable for you to be screened every two years. I understand that you are not confident about this, but if the pressure in your eyes is stable and there is no gradual upward trend over the years, then I think you have little to fear.

Write to Dr. Scurr

Write to dr. Scurr at Good Health, Daily Mail, 9 Derry Street, London, W8 5HY or email: drmartin@dailymail.co.uk β€” add contact details. Dr. Scurr cannot respond to personal correspondence. Answers should be taken in a general context. In case of health problems, consult your own doctor.