Finally, the news we've all been waiting for: cleaning could be hazardous to your health! I know many people appreciate clean surroundings. And if that describes you, don't worry. I'm not going to tell you that you have to live in squalor. But you may want to carefully consider just what you're exposing your body to and the ramifications it could have for your health. This is especially true since lung disease is on the rise among women.
Researchers at the University of Bergen in Norway recently looked at data from the 6,235 participants in the European Community Respiratory Healthy Survey. This survey followed the participants for over 20 years. The researchers wanted to know how exposure to cleaning chemicals affected lung function over time.
They evaluated two important measures of lung function, forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1), or the amount of air a person can force out in one second, and forced vital capacity (FVC), the total amount of air a person can force out. They found that for women who cleaned at home, their FEV1 declined 3.6 ml/year faster than women who didn't clean, and women who worked as cleaners were 3.9 ml/year faster. For FVC, the numbers were 4.3 ml/year and 7.1 ml/year faster, respectively. In fact, the lung function decline for women who worked as cleaners was similar to that of women who smoked.
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Researchers in Japan genetically engineered mice to be missing an enzyme that makes fatty acid chains (lipids) longer. They noticed that the mice suffered from dry eye disease, and many developed cloudy corneas over time. The researchers believe that their work has helped them identify the gene responsible for synthesizing the long-chain lipids needed to prevent dry eye disease. This is a promising future area of study that could lead to transformative treatment options for people with dry eyes.
But there's plenty you can do now to relieve dry eyes. You can help to minimize dry eye symptoms by limiting your screen time and being sure to look up and blink often when you do need to use a screen for an extended period of time. "Refresh" eye drops, often recommended by ophthamologists, are an easy topical solution. Qi Ju Di Huang Pian provides what is called Yin or moisture for the eyes. You can find this for a very reasonable price at http://www.activeherb.com/qiju/. Take as directed. It usually takes about two to three bottles to notice a significant difference.
You also can give the skin around your eyes a little extra TLC with a product like the Système 41 Eye Serum. A good serum will help repair some of the damage you may have inflicted from rubbing your eyes. The Eye Serum is in a base of hyaluronic acid, so the skin repair is not superficial. It helps the delicate tissue hold more moisture.
To your health, naturally,
Sumino H, Ichikawa S, Abe M, Endo Y, Ishikawa O, Kurabayashi M. Effects of aging, menopause, and hormone replacement therapy on forearm skin elasticity in women. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2004;52:945-949.