Stay healthy. Stay beautiful….one health tip at a time.

Archive for October, 2010

Cornea Sunburn: Cause and Cure

Is it possible for your eyes to get sunburned? Yes—and we’re referring to the cornea of the eye. The cornea is the clear tissue that covers the iris to protect the inner structure of the eye. Because the cells in the cornea behave like skin cells, they suffer the same fate—sunburn is a great possibility, especially if your eyes are exposed to bright light sources.

Radiation from the sun in the form of UV rays can inflict harm not only the skin causing photo-aging, age spots, wrinkles and even skin cancer, it can also harm your eyes. Two main types of UV rays—UV-A and UV-B are notorious culprits. UV-A rays can harm your central vision and damage the macula (the part of the retina at the back of your eye). UV-B rays with longer wavelengths can actually cause even more harm and is responsible for cornea sunburn.

If you’re looking for a technical term, the word is photokeratitis.  Any prolonged exposure to sunlight (anytime from 3 to 12 hours) can do that. UV-rays reflecting off bright surfaces such as bodies of water, snow, sand or bright surfaces can also cause cornea sunburn. However radiation is not just limited to the sun. Other examples include powerful light sources such as the photographer’s flood lamp, the sun lamp in the tanning booth, the halogen lamp or even the welder’s arc.

Symptoms can be mild or severe. Tell-tale signs include pain in the eyes, light sensitivity, tearing, blurry vision or bloodshot eyes. In severe cases, especially prolonged exposure to bright reflecting surfaces such as snow, temporary blindness can set in for a day or two.

Although you can’t lather sunscr
According to the American Optometric Association, it is highly advisable and downright smart to don protective eyewear, whenever you’re out and about, even on cloudy days. Look for sunglasses or contact lenses that offer 99 to 100 percent UV protection and cut off 75 to 90 percent of visible light.

The effort is minimal. You may even look stylish in trendy sunglasses and you can definitely save yourself some eye-grief in the long run. Cornea sunburn can lead to cataracts, macular degeneration, tumors and formation of Pinguecula (unsightly yellow bumps on white of the eye.

 

If you’re looking for a pair of protective sunglasses, read this: Protective UV Sunglasses: How to Choose a Good Pair

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Health Benefits of Nutmeg

 

Nutmeg spice

Nutmeg is warm and spicy...a great spice to add to food.

 

Once upon a time, nutmeg could launch wars, as in did when the Europeans vied for dominance in the spice trade. The competitors (Venice, Genoa, the Netherlands, Portugal and England) fought ferociously and in the process, the natives of Banda Islands in the Indonesian archipelego (where nutmeg abounds) were nearly wiped out. It was also the poor man’s dream–selling  a few nutmeg nuts can generate enough money to offer financial stability for life.

That was a few hundred years ago. Though nutmeg has lost much of its “nobility,” it’s still  highly regarded in the medicinal world. Its medicinal value has health implications. Let’s consider some proven health benefits:

Zap Zits

Harsh acne application can dry your skin and it may not necessarily banish those unsightly bumps. Try nutmeg–it has anti-inflammatory effects. Simply mix a few pinches of nutmeg with enough whole milk to form a paste. Apply to troubled spots, leave for a couple of minutes and rinse off.

Eases Stomach Problems

Indigestion, diarrhea or intestinal gas? Try nutmeg.  According to Andrew Gaeddert, author of Healing Digestive Disorders, essential oils and other chemicals found in nutmeg can regulate gastrointestinal tract. Simply sprinkle some nutmeg powder on your morning cereal for a couple of weeks.

Aphrodisiac

Since ancient times, nutmeg has been used to increase sexual desire. In Arab countries, nutmeg is used as an aphrodisiac. In China, they use it to treat impotence. Sex therapist Lori Buckley suggests adding a dash of nutmeg to your meal–it tastes great on lasagna or add it to sauteed vegetables.

Dental Health

Nutmeg oil can treat anything from toothaches, to sore gums to bad breath. Research shows that nutmeg oil exert anti-bacterial properties that is useful in fighting oral bacteria. Sara Snow, author of Sara Snow’s Fresh Living, offers this easy home remedy: Massage a drop or two of nutmeg oil onto your gums if they’re painful or inflamed.

Nutmeg’s health benefits are not limited to the above,. Consider its diverse benefits: it can promote sleep, reduce flatulence, improves memory, relax muscles (often used to relieve  rheumatic pain.) and in homeopathy, the essential oil of nutmeg is used to treat anxiety and depression.

So, include nutmeg in your food–sprinkle it on your cereal, add a dash to your tea or coffee, include it in your baking and cooking and reap great health benefits. Only go easy on it–no more than 1/2 teaspoon. Too much can cause nausea.