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Health: Smoking, Parkinson’s, And Stress

Thursday December 22, 2005

Stephanie Stahl

Dec 19, 2005(CBS) - Medical Reporter Stephanie Stahl reports on how being exposed to cigarette smoke can have blinding consequences among other topics.

Cigarette Smoke

There is mounting evidence indicating that cigarettes are not only bad for smokers but those around them. Now a new study from Cambridge University says second hand smoke can cause vision problems.

Second hand smoke nearly doubles the risk of developing age related macular degeneration and the risk is much higher for smokers.

Researchers found smoking a pack a day for 40 years tripled their risk of vision loss.

Macular Degeneration Disease is the leading cause of partial blindness in the United States.

Teens And Smoking

Smoking is losing its popularity among teenagers according to a new government report, it says cigarette smoking is at its lowest level for them and teens are also using fewer illegal drugs like marijuana.

However, they may have been replaced by other hazardous vices. A growing number of teenagers are turning to the recreational use of prescription medications such as vicodin and oxycontin.

Parkinson’s Disease

Ibuprofen could provide protection against Parkinson’s disease. Researchers looked at more than 150,000 woman enrolled in a cancer study.

They discovered that over the counter medications like Advil and Motrin could prevent the onset of the crippling disease.

In fact, regular ibuprofen users had a 35-percent lower risk of developing Parkinson’s than non users. There was no evidence that aspirin provided the same benefit.

Holidays And Stress

Finally, all the last minute shopping and running around during the holidays can trigger serious stress according to researchers from Florida University.

Warning signs include head and body aches, trouble sleeping and irritability. Over time that stress can run down your bodies defenses.

Some advice from the experts include do not forget to give yourself a gift this year, a little scheduled down time to relax.