SAD lights – or any light– can cause eye problems
D ear Dr. Zorba: I read your column about Seasonal Affective Disorder and SAD lights and bought one on Amazon, 10,000 lumens, $45. After I set it up, I read the instructions to contact your doctor if you have macular degeneration. I don’t have it, but now I wonder if I should use the light. It certainly did the trick, gave me more energy. What’s your spin? BTW, I love your radio show and columns. – J.C. from New York
Dear J.C.: Any light at all can cause macular degeneration, from going out in the sun to watching TV or looking at your smartphone. Are lights that help with Seasonal Affective Disorder worse? I can’t find any research showing SAD lights cause macular degeneration, but let’s be prudent. If you already have an eye disease that could lead to blindness, talk to your eye doctor. Those lights might not be for you. But I think that they’re just fine for most of us with SAD.
Dear Doc: On a recent radio show, you talked to a person who struggled, as I have, with chipping, slowgrowing, miserable nails. I’ve tried everything from gelatin to Vicks VapoRub on my nails every night. You suggested putting on gloves when you wash dishes. Is there an ingredient in dishwashing detergent that I should stay away from?
I’ve read the labels – they say they’re safe and may even make your hands soft. All dishwashing detergents contain chemicals to “cut the grease.” When you wash off grease, you are damaging your nails. Gloves are the only answer. Putting your hands in less hot water and less soap will help your nails.
As for products such as gelatin, companies have made a ton of money convincing women that taking some every day would give them great nails. I say, “bah humbug.”
Dear Doc: My girlfriend is really into Ayurveda medicine and holistic healing. She’s been mostly vegan for the past five-plus years but recently had a doctor tell her that she has parasites and that her healthy eating has been feeding the parasites. The doctor convinced her that if she had been eating meat, this never would have happened. So she switched from veggies to farm-fresh, grass-fed beef – abruptly. One day veggies, the next day meat. Her mood and her emotional sensitivity have suffered drastically. Is her doctor correct about her diet and parasites, or is she a victim of chicanery?
Dear Jake: Quack. Quack. Quack. Parasites and other infections come from contaminated food, any food. If you heat food to a high enough temperature, you can kill them unless they’re handled by someone who has parasites and didn’t wash their hands. You know those signs in restaurant restrooms? “Employees must wash their hands before returning to work” signs are there for a reason. As for beef being safer, let us not forget that poorly cooked beef containing E. coli can be a big problem.
My spin: The doctor was wrong. Vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian or omnivore, you still need to handle food properly. Clean those veggies, wash your hands before and after handling food, wash the cutting board. Some common-sense suggestions will cut down on food-related illness.