George Practice

3 Trefoil Square, Gloucester Ln, George Central, 6529

Opening Hours

Mon - Thu: 8am - 5pm
Friday: 8am - 3pm
Sat - Sun: CLOSED
24 Dec - 2 Jan: CLOSED


Fax : 044 874 6299


Feel free to contact us

Seasonal Allergies

Spring is almost here!  The birds are chirping, the flowers are blooming and…..those with allergies are sneezing.  Welcome to allergy season.

As plants release pollen, millions of people with hay feverstart to sniffle and sneeze.

But what is hay fever?

Allergies, more commonly known as hay fever occur when a substance is seen as foreign to the body.   The immune system then acts as if the substance is dangerous and releases antibodies that attack the allergens. That leads to the release of chemicals called histamines into the blood. Histamines trigger the runny nose, itchy eyes, and other symptomsthat are all too familiar if you have allergies.

Hay fever comes by its name from hay-cutting season. Historically, this activity occurred in the summer months, around the same time many people experienced symptoms.

What are the major causes of spring allergies?

  • Pollens from trees, grasses, or weeds
  • Mold spores, which grow when the weather is humid, wet, or damp

What are the symptoms?

You may have:

  • Runny nose
  • Watery eyes
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Itchy eyes and nose

What you can use to treat your seasonal allergies:

People with seasonal allergies might use one or more of the following treatments to help reduce their symptoms:

  • Nose rinses– Rinsing out the nose with salt water cleans the inside of the nose and gets rid of pollen in the nose. Different devices can be used to rinse the nose.
  • Steroid nose sprays– Doctors often recommend these sprays first, because they are the best treatment for stuffy nose. (Steroid nose sprays do not contain the same steroids that some athletes take illegally). Steroid nose sprays work best if you use them every day, and it can take a few days for them to work fully. Steroid nose sprays are more effective than other allergy medicines for stuffy nose and post-nasal drip (which is when mucus runs down the back of your throat).
  • Antihistamines– These medicines help stop itching, sneezing, and runny nose symptoms. They don’t treat stuffy nose as well as steroid nose sprays. Some antihistamines can make people feel tired.
  • Antihistamine eye drops– These medicines are available without a prescription. They can help with eyes that feel itchy or gritty.

Organ Donation

August is organ donation month and we would like to take this opportunity to highlight the importance of this decision.

What is organ donation?

Organ donation is the process when a person allows an organ of their own to be removed and transplanted to another person, legally, either by consent while the donor is alive or dead with the assent of the next of kin.

Why should you consider organ donation?

By donating your organsand tissue after you die, you can save or improve as many as 75 lives. Many families say that knowing their loved one helped save or improve other lives helped them cope with their loss. It’s especially important to consider becomingan organ donorif you belong to an ethnic minority.

As an organ donor, you can save the life of someone who is suffering from a life-threatening disease or someone who was in a serious accident.

Approximately 4300 people are waiting for a life-saving organ or cornea transplant in South Africa, but only 0,2% of our population are registered organ donors.

Organ and tissue donation is a simple choice that will cost you nothing but a few minutes of your time to register. Organ transplants are undertaken in both government and private hospitals in the Western Cape, and currently heart, kidney, cornea and liver transplants are carried out at the following government hospitals:

  • Groote Schuur Hospital
  • Red Cross Children’s Hospital
  • Tygerberg Hospital

Here are some FAQ and answers from the Organ Donor Foundation of South Africa.

Who can be an organ / tissue donor?
Any person, who is in good health, and is clear of defined chronic diseases that might adversely affect the recipient, will be considered as a possible donor.

Can I be a donor if I have an existing medical condition?
Having a medical condition does not necessarily prevent a person from becoming an organ donor. The decision about what organs will be transplanted will be established at your time of death.

Which organs can be transplanted?

Your heart, liver and pancreas can save 3 lives and your kidneys and lungs can help up to 4 people.

Which tissues can be transplanted?

You can help up to 50 people by donating your corneas, skin, bone and heart valves.

Can I agree to donate only some organs or tissue and not others?
Yes.Please inform your family which organs/tissue you do not wish to donate.

How long after death do the organs / tissue have to be removed?
It is essential that organs / tissue are removed as soon as possible after brain death in order to ensure successful transplantation. Brain death has to be certified by two independent doctors.

Is there any cost involved in signing up as an organ / tissue donor?
No,it costs nothing to sign up as an organ donor.

Does my family pay for the cost of donation?
No,The hospital or state will cover all
medical expenses from the moment of
diagnosis of brain death and when your family has given consent for the removal of organs/tissue.

Can I donate an organ / tissue while I am alive?
Yes,in some cases. Live donations, such as a kidney are often done between family
members, because the blood groups and
tissue types are more compatible to ensure a high success rate.

How do doctors know I am really dead?
Two doctors, who are completely independent of the transplant team, have to perform detailed Electronic Packs before a person can be declared brain dead. The criteria for brain death are very strictly adhered to and
accepted medically, legally and ethically in South Africa and internationally.

Can doctors keep me alive on support systems?
All potential organ donors are patients on support systems. They are submitted to Electronic Packs to certify brain death and become organ donors once brain death is certified and permission is obtained for organ donation. Death of the organ donor is defined by the time of certification of brain death, not by the withdrawal of support.

Does being a donor delay the funeral?
No.As soon as the donated organs / tissue has been removed, the body is returned to the family to bury or cremate.

Does organ / tissue donation leave my body disfigured?
No.The utmost respect and dignity is given to the donor at all times. The recovery of organs and tissue are carried out with great care by surgeons and trained staff and the process does not change the way the body looks.

Please consider organ donation.  Your death can mean life to another person.

Registering as a donor

You can register as an organ donor by:

Once you’ve been successfully registered, the Organ Donor Foundation will send you an organ donor card to carry in your wallet as well as stickers to stick on your ID book and driver’s licence to make your intentions known in case of an emergency.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

OSA is the most common sleep-related breathing disorder, but not a lot of people know about it.

What is obstructive sleep apnea?

Let’s firstly start by defining the word “apnea”. Apnea, simply put, is when someone stops breathing. So, what is obstructive sleep apnea? Someone has obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) when this person’s breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep.

What are the signs and symptoms of OSA?

Signs and symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea include:

  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Loud snoring
  • Observed episodes of stopped breathing during sleep
  • Abrupt awakenings accompanied by gasping or choking
  • Awakening with a dry mouth or sore throat

Individuals with OSA are rarely aware of difficulty breathing, even upon awakening. It is often recognized as a problem by others who observe the individual during episodes or is suspected because of its effects on the body. OSA is commonly accompanied by snoring. Symptoms may be present for years or even decades without identification, during which time the individual may become conditioned to the daytime sleepiness and fatigue associated with significant levels of sleep disturbance. Individuals who generally sleep alone are often unaware of the condition, without a regular bed-partner to notice and make them aware of the signs.

Risk factors

Anyone can develop obstructive sleep apnea. However, certain factors put you at increased risk, including:

Excess weight. Most but not all people with obstructive sleep apnea are overweight. Fat deposits around the upper airway may obstruct breathing. However, not everyone with obstructive sleep apnea is overweight and vice versa. Thin people can develop the disorder, too.

Narrowed airway. You may inherit naturally narrow airways. Or your tonsils or adenoids may become enlarged, which can block your airway.

Chronic nasal congestion. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs twice as often in those who have consistent nasal congestion at night, regardless of the cause. This may be due to narrowed airways.

Smoking. People who smoke are more likely to have obstructive sleep apnea.

A family history of sleep apnea. If you have family members with obstructive sleep apnea, you may be at increased risk.

Older age

Male gender. OSA is approximately two to three times more common in males than females, although the risk appears to be similar once women are postmenopausal



Obstructive sleep apnea is considered a serious medical condition. Complications may include:

  • Daytime fatigue and sleepiness. The repeated awakenings associated with obstructive sleep apnea make normal, restorative sleep impossible.

People with obstructive sleep apnea often experience severe daytime drowsiness, fatigue, and irritability. They may have difficulty concentrating and find themselves falling asleep at work while watching TV or even when driving. They may also be at higher risk of work-related accidents.

Children and young people with obstructive sleep apnea may do poorly in school and commonly have attention or behavior problems.


  • Cardiovascular problems.Sudden drops in blood oxygen levels that occur during obstructive sleep apnea increase blood pressure and strain the cardiovascular system. Many people with obstructive sleep apnea develop high blood pressure (hypertension), which can increase the risk of heart disease.

The more severe the obstructive sleep apnea, the greater the risk of coronary artery disease, heart attack, heart failure, and stroke.

Obstructive sleep apnea increases the risk of abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias). These abnormal rhythms can lower blood pressure. If there’s underlying heart disease, these repeated multiple episodes of arrhythmias could lead to sudden death.


  • Metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. Patients with OSA have an increased prevalence of insulin resistance as well as type 2 diabetes and diabetes complications
  • Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Patients with OSA, particularly those with severe OSA, have a two- to threefold increased prevalence of NAFLD
  • Miscellaneous. Patients with OSA may have an increased risk of developing gout compared with patients who do not have gout (4.9 versus 2.5 percent)



Numerous treatment options are used in obstructive sleep apnea. Avoiding alcohol and smoking is recommended, as is avoiding medications that relax the central nervous system (for example, sedatives and muscle relaxants). Weight lossis recommended in those who are overweight. Continuous positive airway pressure(CPAP) and mandibular advancement devices are often used and found to be equally effective. Physical training, even without weight loss, improves sleep apnea. There is insufficient evidence to support widespread use of medications or surgery.


If you suspect that you or your partner may have OSA, speak to your doctor who will assist in the diagnosis and offer treatment options.






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  • Mon - Thu8:00 - 17:00
  • Fri8:00 - 15:00
  • Sat - SunClosed
  • HolidaysClosed
  • 24 Dec - 2 JanClosed

Welcome! We are two dedicated doctors offering a full-service family practice situated in the centre of George on the beautiful Garden Route. We are eager to optimize the health of patients in and around George, as well as the surrounding area. Our doctors collaborate in order to meet the health needs of the whole family, from baby-care to care of the elderly, in a friendly relaxed atmosphere. We regard our role as being family doctors, concerned with care and support to each member of the family. Being familiar with the personal and family history of each patient, ensures that we will be able to give high quality care and service.

Drs. van der Spuy © 2019 All Rights Reserved