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Shingles vaccine, fluorescent lights and your eyes

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October 25th, 2011

Q. I received the shingles vaccine three years ago. Will I ever need a booster shot?

A. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only a single shingles vaccine is recommended for adults over the age of 60. That s because shingles is far more common in older adults, especially for those who have weakened immune systems because of another medical condition such as cancer, or because they are taking drugs such as steroids. In addition, the rash associated with shingles can be very painful and that pain may persist even after the rash has cleared. In clinical trials, the vaccine reduced the risk of shingles by 50% and has also been shown to reduce the severity of symptoms for people who still get shingles after being vaccinated.

Q. I ve changed to all fluorescent lighting in my house to save on electric bills. But I heard that reading under fluorescent lights is bad for your eyes. Is this true?

A. There s no scientific evidence that fluorescent light is harmful to the structures of your eyes, but according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, high contrast between light and dark areas of a computer screen or reading surface can cause eye fatigue and headaches. Diffused light is best, regardless of whether it s incandescent or fluorescent. The best position for a reading lamp is above and slightly behind your head. Use lampshades whenever possible, or switch to warm-color fluorescent bulbs, which have recently become available.

Barbara Morris, M.D.

Medical Director Wind Crest 

Highlands Ranch, Colo.

Dr. Morris received her bachelor s degree from Brown University in Providence, R.I., and her medical degree from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry in Rochester, N.Y. She completed her residency in family medicine at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C. Board certified in family practice. Morris joined Wind Crest in June 2008.

 

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