SAD lights – or any light– can cause eye prob­lems

The Buffalo News - - WEATHER - – C.J. from Ap­ple­ton – Jake in Wi­chita, Kan.

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.

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