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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

Ask the Harvard Experts: Something to cry about

By Robert Shmerling, M.D.




Damaging your cornea by not tearing sufficiently


JewishWorldReview.com | Q: I've been diagnosed with recurrent corneal erosion. My eyes are dry all the time. One eye doctor suggests putting small plugs in the ducts that drain tears from my eyes, which should make the tears stay in my eye longer and make my eyes moister. I use artificial tears all day long and an ointment at night. Will the plugs help prevent further eye damage? Also, I have a dry mouth and wonder if I have Sjogren's syndrome. If I have it, would the plugs still help?


A: Placing "punctal plugs" has become a common procedure for patients with severe dryness of the eyes. These plugs block your tears from draining. So the tears you make last longer in the eye. Your condition sounds severe enough that this approach seems appropriate to consider.


The dryness could be an isolated problem or part of Sjogren's syndrome (see below). Whatever it's from, punctal plugs can help relieve symptoms and protect the cornea.


Other ways to help avoid dry eye include:


  • Using artificial tears frequently

  • Steering clear of low-humidity environments

  • If possible, avoiding medicine that makes dryness worse (such as diuretics, antihistamines and certain antidepressants)


There are a variety of eye drops that may reduce irritation and help prevent corneal damage from not making enough tears. Doctors commonly recommend artificial tears and cyclosporine (RESTASIS). Your ophthalmologist can determine the best care for your eyes after a full evaluation.


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Sjogren's syndrome is an autoimmune disease. That's a condition in which the immune system mistakenly attacks its host. People with Sjogren's syndrome have dry eyes and mouth and inflammation in multiple organs, including the eyes, joints and skin.


Antibody tests can help diagnose this condition. Diagnosis is important because you may need more than just eye drops. For example, drugs that stimulate saliva production or drugs that suppress the immune system may be helpful.


Dry mouth increases the risk of cavities. So your dentist may recommend frequent dental cleaning and an oral rinse with fluoride.


Based on the symptoms you describe, I would suggest you see an ophthalmologist, dentist and rheumatologist for evaluation.


(Robert H. Shmerling, M.D. is a practicing physician in rheumatology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Mass., and an Associate Professor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School.)

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