Rx for Readers: The future’s so bright...

Whether it’s clear or cloudy, summer or winter, Israelis should take steps to protect their eyes from the sun’s potentially dangerous rays and decrease the risk of vision disorders.

tel aviv beach 88 248 (photo credit: Oren Klass [file])
tel aviv beach 88 248
(photo credit: Oren Klass [file])
I recently immigrated from a Scandinavian country where the sun is not as intense as here. Although others did, I didn’t get into the habit of wearing sunglasses in my native country. Now, in Israel, with the clear and hot days arriving, I find that the glare of the sun is very strong and disturbs my eyes. I also want to protect them against ultraviolet light. How do I go about buying sunglasses? Are all of those sold in kiosks and shops effective?

    – N.B., Tel Aviv

Gene Stollman, a semi-retired Jerusalem optometrist, answers:
Those of us living in this part of the world should be particularly aware of the dangers of solar radiation. Most people enjoying a day’s outing on the beach often concern themselves with protecting their skin, but not their eyes. Whether it’s clear or cloudy, summer or winter, Israelis should take steps to protect their eyes from the sun’s potentially dangerous rays and decrease the risk of vision disorders.
Quality sunglasses are just what the doctor ordered. These tips are my advice to you:
Wear UV-protective sunglasses any time the eyes are exposed to UV rays. This is not only when it is sunny, as UV rays can get through even when there are clouds in the sky. Look for high-quality sunglasses that can offer good protection by blocking out 95 percent to 100% of UV radiation, as well as screen out 70% to 90% of visible light. Buy them at a reputable optometrist’s or optician’s shop and not glasses whose manufacturer is not fully identified. With this in mind it must be emphasized that these glasses should never be worn for night driving. Remember that cost and quality usually go together; cheaper glasses may not offer the needed eye protection.
Before you buy, check to make sure the sunglasses’ lenses are perfectly matched in color and free of distortion. Wrap-around sunglasses may look “cool,” but their shape may cause unwanted distortions in the visual field. Gray-tinted lenses reduce light intensity without altering the color of objects and tend to offer the most natural vision. Your local optometrist or optician will likely recommend the best type, size and form of sunglasses to best suit your individual optical needs.
Also, don’t forget wear a wide-brimmed hat or a cap with a visor facing forward and not backward – which is an unfortunate trend among young people. And if you have children, don’t forget their eyes also need to be protected from the sun; get them suitable sunglasses.
And it is always good practice to go periodically for a complete and comprehensive eye examination. If you take care of your eyes, they will take care of you.
I heard that drinking four tablespoons of pomegranate concentrate with water once a day improves the flow of blood via the carotid arteries in the neck to the head and helps stop the thickening of the aortic valve. I was thinking of doing this. Is it effective?

    – D.R., via e-mail.
Dr. Menachem Oberbaum, director of the Center for Integrative Complementary Medicine at Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center, replies:
That is nonsense! The water that dilutes the blood is excreted very soon via the kidneys, a process that is initiated by the regulative mechanisms of the human body. It goes without saying that drinking juice does not stop the thickening of heart valves or of the carotid arteries.
I would not recommend using complementary and alternative medicine for this indication, which should be treated only by conventional medicine.
Very impetuous impetigo
Judy Siegel-Itzkovich writes:
Regarding a previous item on chicken pox and impetigo, Dr. Shimshon Bitnun – a specialist in general pediatrics and rheumatology who lives in Galilee – comments:
Your article on chicken pox was timely but the details provided by adermatologist were incomplete. While it is true that staphylococcusaureus is one of the types of bacteria responsible for impetigo, it isnot alone in this regard. Group A hemolytic streptococcus is anotherpathogen that can cause it, and since it has potential complicationsthat staphylococcus aureus does not, it is important for parents to beaware of this so that the child can be followed and treatedappropriately.
Among the numerous but rare potentialcomplications are acute glomerulonephritis (affecting the kidneys),endocarditis (affecting the heart), septic arthritis (affecting thejoints), osteomyelitis (a bone infection) and toxic shock syndrome.These are unusual complications of such infections, but they can occur.It is incumbent on the physician and parent to take impetigo seriouslyand not regard it as an inconsequential complication of chicken pox.
Rxfor Readers welcomes queries from readers about medical problems.Experts will answer those we find most interesting. Write Rx forReaders, The Jerusalem Post, POB 81, Jerusalem 91000, fax your questionto Judy Siegel-Itzkovich at (02) 538-9527, or e-mail it tojsiegel@jpost.com.