Do you wake up feeling like you have grit in your eyes? Do your eyes feel dry, sore and scratchy, particularly when you are driving, working at your computer or reading?
If so, you likely have dry eye or keratoconjunctivitis sicca—an uncomfortable condition where the eye does not produce a sufficient amount of tear film, or the film produced lacks the appropriate composition to prevent fast evaporation from the eye’s surface. Since the tear film serves to lubricate the eye when blinking, a lack of it can cause extreme discomfort.
Dry eye can be caused by a number of factors, including aging, environmental issues, and medications such as hormone replacement therapy (HRT), diuretics, antihistamines, nasal decongestants, beta blockers, oral contraceptives and antidepressants. Sometimes, the dryness is temporary but, for most, it is a chronic condition that needs to be addressed for the ongoing comfort of the eyes.
Few people take their eyesight for granted, but did you know that most eye conditions and mishaps are preventable? Here are ways to ensure your eyes—and those of your family—remain healthy throughout life.
The early years
The Canadian Association of Optometrists recommends that babies have their first eye exam between the ages of six and nine months. Children should have at least one eye exam between the ages of two and five, and yearly after starting school.
For many people, purchasing a health supplement that is specifically formulated for a single purpose— and labelled accordingly—is a big step in the right direction. New Nordic health supplements, recently introduced to London Drugs, are an innovative range of formulas designed to help with specific health conditions.
Let’s take a closer look at these nature-inspired formulations from Sweden and how they may help you achieve better health.
Thicker, healthier hair
Thinning hair can affect both sexes and all ages. Usually the result of genetic influences or hormonal shifts, hair that is fine or sparse can profoundly affect one’s sense of well being.
New Nordic Hair Volume is formulated to nourish the scalp and hair follicles from the inside. It contains a number of helpful ingredients for building healthy hair. These include proanthocyanidin B2, which has been studied extensively and found to increase hair growth.1
Millet extract, organic silica and other B vitamins (biotin, and pantothenic acid) help boost hair growth and volume, while copper contributes to normal hair colour (helping to avoid greyness). The amino acid L-methionine helps protect the hair follicles from oxidative stress and zinc helps reduce hair loss.
Teachers, parents and caregivers still need broadened awareness of emergent anaphylactic treatment required for school-age children with severe allergies, say pharmacists.
“Understanding how to administer epinephrine in an emergency is just as important as other lifesaving skills like CPR or the Heimlich maneuver,” says London Drugs Pharmacist, Jason Chan-Remillard. “While awareness in schools about allergies has grown in recent years, there is a lag in understanding when it comes to emergent anaphylactic treatment.”
For those students with severe allergies, school can be a dangerous place. Teachers, parents and caregivers must be able to recognize the signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis and know how to initiate treatment.
Most of us understand that we’ll pay the price for a beautiful tan later on in life. Even a light tan means damage to the skin has already taken place, and this damage is cumulative. Not only does acquiring a tan cause damage to the collagen and elastin fibres, it also increases our lifetime risk for disfiguring and fatal skin cancers.
So how can we best achieve that warm glow of summer, without risk to the health, or of prematurely aging the skin?
The newest formulations of self-tanners are the answer. No longer overly orange, or impossible to predict in terms of resulting colour, today’s self-tanners are a far cry from those of yesteryear. Jergens® Natural Glow®, for example, creates a gradual, natural looking tan and comes in a variety of formats that also enhance and moisturize the skin.
Sophie Mullins of Paradise, Newfoundland, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she became seriously ill at the age of 18 months. Her parents, Heidi Pavelka and Jamie Mullins, worried about her constantly, since her blood sugar can drop without warning, putting her at risk of hypoglycemia. “Sophie doesn’t feel her lows—she could have low blood sugar and be running around the house as if everything is normal,” says Pavelka. Their worries were alleviated thanks to a new addition to the family: a six-month-old black Labrador retriever named Peaches, a diabetes alert dog who has been trained over several years to detect Sophie’s low blood sugar levels and get help when she needs it. (Note: At six months the dog moves in with the patient’s family to begin the training process.)
They’re tempting, tantalizing and, of course, tanning, but the siren song of indoor tanning beds covers up one important fact: they are also dangerous.
Proponents of tanning beds often advertise that their “sunshine” is safer than the real thing, as their beds primarily emit UVA light. This allows you to naturally build a tan, so that you are less likely to burn when you expose yourself to actual sunshine. Most salons also have UVB beds or pods which will further deepen your tan.
Many people frequent tanning salons just prior to a tropical or semi-tropical vacation, believing that the colour they develop will protect them from burns when they arrive at their destination. In fact, a salon tan is the equivalent to an SPF of 2 to 4 and should never replace the use of a sunscreen with appropriate SPF. (This is dependent on your natural skin and hair colour and how long you plan on staying in the sun, but an SPF of 30+ is generally recommended.)