Getting your ears
Getting your ears pierced may
seem simple enough, but the
second your skin is punctured,
you run the risk of infection.
Here are suggestions from
Alberta Health Services on
how to stay safe and avoid
Ask to see a recent AHS
Ensure the spa worker
washes their hands
thoroughly before and after
Ensure the worker wears
disposable gloves during
Ensure your ear lobes
are thoroughly cleaned with a skin
Double-check that the earrings are
prepackaged and sterile, and opened
in front of you.
Get verbal and written aftercare
BITES ILLUSTRATED BY REMY SIMARD, i2iart.com
Beat the seasonal blues
Many people feel sluggish in the winter,
but for those with seasonal affective
disorder (SAD), the problem goes
beyond being gloomy. People with SAD
experience depression, fatigue and a
lack of motivation. Here are eight ways
to brighten your outlook:
• Be active. It relieves stress, builds
energy and increases your resilience.
• Soak up some sun. Make sure blinds
are open during the day, with a direct
path to where you sit or work. Better
yet, get outside in the sunshine.
• Try artificial light for 30 minutes each
morning. Consider a SAD lamp that
has 10,000 lux, the measurement of
the light’s intensity. You’ll find them at
medical supply stores and drugstores.
• Take a vitamin D supplement— 3,000
IU per day may help lift your mood.
• Eat three healthy meals a day, and
have healthy snacks between meals.
For information, visit healthyeating
• Stay hydrated. Most adults need nine
to 12 cups of fluids per day.
• Cut down on alcohol and caffeine.
They can worsen SAD symptoms.
• Try practising mindfulness.
Accept your thoughts without
judging. Even 15 minutes a day can
lift your spirits.
If you are concerned about your mental
health, call Health Link at 811.
— with files from Dr. Laura Calhoun
Winter eye care
Your eyes need extra care in the winter.
We asked ophthalmologist Dr. Jessica
Ting, from the Eye Institute of Alberta,
and optometrist Dr. Scott Lopetinsky
how to keep your eyes at their best all
• Wear sunglasses. In winter, about
80 per cent of the sun’s ultraviolet
rays bounce off the snow and into
our eyes. Those rays increase
the risk of cataracts and macular
degeneration. Polarized lenses
block harmful rays. If you’re skiing
or snowboarding, wear goggles.
• Use good eye drops and turn on
the humidifier. Cold, dry winter air
can dry your eyes. Ask your eye
doctor about lubricating eye
drops. Consider getting a humidifier
to keep air moist.
• Wash your hands. Pink eye,
also known as viral
is common in
flu season and
If you have it,
your eyes and
— Jennifer Allford