There's help for the pain of fallen arches. If you
have pain along the inside of your foot when you put weight on it, and
it doesn't seem to be improving, better see your doctor.
He'll do an exam that calls for you to stand on one
leg and rise up to your tiptoes. A healthy posterior tendon allows you
to do it, but if you can't, the doctor will check for flatfoot
deformity. Tests may include X-rays, ultrasound or magnetic resonance
You may be advised to lose weight.
If these steps don't help, you will be sent to a foot
care specialist, who may fit you with a short leg cast or walking boot
to be worn for four to eight weeks. It immobilizes the tendon and
Custom orthotics may be necessary if you have
moderate to severe changes in the shape of your foot.
Sometimes, an ankle brace is used to support the
joints at the back of the foot and alleviate tension in the tendon.
If you think you have fallen arches, get treatment
sooner, not later.
An active lifestyle may fill exercise requirement
Research on exercise science at Oregon State
University shows that small increments of daily activities, even of
one-to-two-minute duration, can have positive health benefits. They help
to prevent high blood pressure, high cholesterol and metabolic syndrome.
The study of more than 6,000 adults showed that 43
percent of those who participated in short bouts of exercise met the
federally recommended physical activity guidelines of 30 minutes a day.
It's like using a rake or broom instead of leaf blower.
Less than 10 percent of those in structured exercise
sessions met the minimum guidelines because they were more sedentary the
rest of the day.
Taking care of your eyes
Doctors call it allergic conjunctivitis, an inflammation of the conjunctiva (the
membrane covering the white part of the eye) due to allergy. It causes
red, itchy, watery eyes.
The rest of us call it spring hay fever or rose
fever. It's caused by pollen released by the spring flowering of trees,
grasses and plants.
When the pollen comes in contact with an allergic
person's eyes, it causes cells known as mast cells to release histamine,
which causes swelling and wateriness, according to the American College
of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.
The first step in treatment is the avoidance of trees
and grasses that cause the symptoms. Not everyone can stay indoors, but
you can avoid activities that keep you outdoors for any length of time.
Treatment with antihistamines is generally effective.
Using over-the-counter medications, such as Claritin or Zyrtec, will
usually clear up your symptoms.
Antihistamines also are in nasal spray and eye drop
If you have asthma, or if over-the-counter
medications don't work well enough for you, see your doctor for a
Dry eye syndrome
It can occur any time during the year when you don't
produce enough tears to lubricate your eyes. Sometimes dry eye is caused
by working long hours at a computer without blinking occasionally. If
you do this type of work, purposely blink your eyes so they will remain
You can also treat dry eyes with over-the-counter
preservative-free artificial tear solutions. Some people find that
taking an omega-3 fish oil capsule each day prevents dry eyes.
Some medications, like antidepressants,
antihistamines and decongestants can also dry out your eyes.
Diet drinks linked to depression
Researchers say cutting back on sweetened diet drinks
is probably a good idea after one study linked diet drinks to
The results are not conclusive, however. Researchers
for the National Institutes of Health say the higher reported depression
rates could be caused by people who were prone to it.
Still, the study of 263,923 adults ages 50-70 is
suggestive. They followed participants for 10 years. After that time,
11,311 reported having been diagnosed with depression between 2000 and
2006. Those drinking four or more of these beverages per day had a 31
percent increase in depression.
Diet iced tea caused a 25 percent increase, while ice
tea sweetened with sugar slightly decreased the risk of depression. Diet
fruit punch caused a 51 percent greater risk, but sugar-sweetened punch
had no effect.
Only unsweetened coffee produced a lower risk for