Just Curious: What Happens When...

We've got answers to all your questions, from waking up with a puffy eye to burning the roof of your mouth.

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…You wake up with a mysteriously puffy eye

When it looks as if you sleepwalked into a boxing ring, there are many potential culprits, says Jonathan A. Bernstein, MD, a professor of clinical medicine at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. We release less inflammation-fighting cortisol when we snooze, so if you're having an allergic reaction to food, pollen, or a skin product, one or both eyes may look puffier in the morning. Other possible causes: a bug bite, or pinkeye that hasn't spread to both peepers. In pain or not seeing right? Get checked by your doc to rule out a more serious issue, such as an infection. Otherwise, take an OTC antihistamine and use a warm compress; if the eye doesn't deflate after a day, see an MD, who may send you to an allergist.

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…You burn the roof of your mouth

That piping hot coffee or molten cheese pizza slice can sizzle on contact. Many food-related mouth burns affect the first layer of the skin inside the mouth, called the mucosa, says Jeremy Goverman, MD, a burn surgeon at Massachusetts General Hospital. Your food may taste funky for a bit since a burn can cause blisters, but it usually heals in less than a week, he says. Treat it with cold water, and pop ibuprofen or acetaminophen for the pain. Still hurting after that? A topical antiseptic spray may help.

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…You don't get a whole splinter or glass shard out

It's safest to go after the sucker carefully (to avoid causing more damage or bleeding) with a sterilized needle and tweezers. Otherwise, your skin may develop a painful lump in an effort to rid itself of the strange object, says Whitney Bowe, MD, a clinical assistant professor of dermatology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Leaving a remnant in there ups your risk of infection, so if you can't extract it yourself, hand the job off to your doc.

…You don't really stretch before exercising

Research shows it may up your odds of getting hurt, says Steven Loy, PhD, a professor in the Department of Kinesiology at California State University, Northridge. The key is to stretch "dynamically," which means doing moves like leg swings or arm circles that get your blood and muscles going. This may lessen your risk of injury and increase your range of motion — well worth the few minutes it takes!

…Your tummy growls

It doesn't mean you're hungry. Fluids and air are moving through your intestines, says Ryan Shelton, MD, an internal medicine physician with Carolinas HealthCare System in Charlotte, NC. Want to avoid loud grumbles? Eat slowly and chat less while chowing (you'll swallow less air).

This story originally appeared in the January/February 2016 issue of Dr. Oz The Good Life.

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