Secondhand Health Problems You Never Knew About

Secondhand smoke isn’t the only subsequent risk to your health. From stinky odors to medications, learn how other people’s actions affect your well-being.

Secondhand Products

Do you buy products secondhand to save money? From mattresses to car seats, Dr. Sears reveals the dos and don’ts of buying secondhand .

• Is it safe to reuse take-out containers?

Secondhand Test Results
Is it OK to get your medical test results from an assistant, rather than your doctor?

“[If] we have some normal results on one of my [patients], sure, I’ll have the nurse call the parents [to tell them], ‘Those tests we did are normal,’” pediatrician Dr. Jim Sears says. “If there’s something that needs to be discussed, I’ll wait until the end of the day, when I have the time, and I’ll call the parent. I know if I tell them there’s an abnormal result, they’re going to have a lot of questions, and they’re not going to want to talk to the nurse; they’re going to want to talk to me.”

OB-GYN Dr. Lisa Masterson adds that any results that need explanation and interpretations should be given by the doctor. “We call you if there’s something to discuss and talk about,” Dr. Lisa says. “We cannot leave a voicemail, because [of privacy].”

“I think everyone deserves an explanation,” ER physician Dr. Travis Stork says. “If you’re going to give an abnormal result, you have to explain what the next steps are and where you go from there.”


Registered dietician and diabetes expert Molly Gee joins The Doctors to explain how small changes can make a big difference when it comes to diabetes management.

More on diabetes.

How do you feel about getting test results from someone other than your doctor?
• Should you ever take medical advice from a friend?

Sharing Medications
Is it safe to share prescription medication with others? 

“Do not share medications. Just don’t do it,” Dr. Travis says. “When a prescription is written for you or for someone else, it’s written for a reason. Every single medication out there has adverse reactions. [There are] 4.6 million visits every year to ERs for adverse medication reactions. 

“If you’re going to take a medicine, make sure it’s written for you [and has] the proper dosing,” Dr. Travis adds. “And do not share.”

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Surgery
Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve, which controls sensations to the palm side of the thumb and fingers, is pressed or squeezed at the wrist. Symptoms of the condition include numbness, tingling and burning in the palm and fingers and can be caused repetitive motions, such as typing on a keyboard or blow drying hair.

After suffering from carpal tunnel in her left hand following a wrist injury, Debra, 58, underwent surgery to correct it. Following the surgery, however, she developed carpal tunnel in her right hand. Hand surgeon Dr. James Coleman performs the breakthrough MANOS Carpal Tunnel Release System to fix Debra’s carpal tunnel.

“The advantage of this new technique is that it is the absolute least-invasive way of treating carpal tunnel syndrome,” Dr. Coleman says.

See Debra’s incredible results and learn how the MANOS procedure is performed .

• Find out how to prevent and treat the pain from carpal tunnel syndrome.
• More on carpal tunnel syndrome .

Secondhand Smells