Posts Tagged ‘Allergies’

Eye on Beauty

April 15, 2011

Beauty is said to be in the eye of the beholder, but it turns out a person’s eyes determines whether someone finds them attractive or not.

Research published in Ethology finds that people with bloodshot eyes are considered sadder, unhealthier and less attractive than people whose eye whites are untinted.

So what does this mean?  Well, for one thing, it’s apparently the first time eye redness has been viewed as an indicator of emotion.  Also…like opposable thumbs…this tendency is apparently unique to humans.

This is bad news during allergy season.  Also if you tend to overwear your contacts.  Thank goodness for eye drops!  However, I wouldn’t be surprised, if eye drop companies rebrand their products as beauty aids.

Allergy Sufferers Rejoice!

May 25, 2010

Sneezing?  Coughing?  Itchy and watery eyes?  Yup, we’re in the middle of a brutal allergy season (one of the worst in recent years), but it turns out all that suffering could actually be good for you.  Sounds impossible, I know, but get this: According to a stack of recent research, allergies may help protect against cancer. 

It has to do with how allergies activate our immune systems.  During an allergy attack, our bodies’ defenses kick into high gear in an effort to drive out whatever is irritating us.  (That’s way we sneeze and cough.)  Researchers think that as we’re ridding ourselves of allergens, we could also be flushing out cancer-causing toxins.  The concept is still fairly new (read: not widely accepted), but here’s a round-up (courtesy of the New York Post) of what some studies have found so far.

~Cornell University: reduced rates of lung, skin, throat and intestinal cancers in allergy sufferers

~Brigham Young University: lower risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and stomach cancer

~Harvard University: “a stong inverse relationship” between brain cancer and asthma, eczema, hay fever or allergy

If this theory proves true, it should be interesting to see how it’ll shape how we treat both allergies and cancer.  I should note, however, that there are a lot of other factors (smoking, obesity) that contribute to cancer risk. 

And if you’re curious about how your city stacks up against others when it comes to whose residents are more allergy prone, check out this Forbes article.

Tears in your beer

April 29, 2010

We’re in the middle of one of the worst allergy seasons in years.  Whether you blame it on the snowy winter, a dry April or climate change, the sneezing, wheezing and headaches have been unbearable.  And believe it or not, consuming alcohol can make your symptoms worse.  Here’s something I bet you didn’t know, alcohol (wine, beer and liquor) contains histamine.  Yup, that same chemical that causes your body to produce those allergy symptoms can be found in your favorite drink.  Life can be so unfair sometimes…