$50 House - All About Supplements & Health

Air Purifiers, good, bad, or ugly?

Dear Dr, How do you feel about air purifiers, especially the "ozone" machine? Brenda, Warner Robins, Georgia

Dear Brenda, Air purifiers are very good, especially for people who suffer from allergies or asthma. The benefits will be greatest in the Southern states, where mild winters and humid long summers grow multiple types of molds and mildews. The plentiful evergreen long-needle pine trees add to the allergy season. Any one from Georgia can tell the other states about our "yellow-snow", when pine-pollen falls and coats everything in site. There are two types of purifiers that have "tried-n-true" benefits: the Ionic Breeze, which it sold by Sharper Image, is one that I have in my house which works very well and has cut down on my son's allergies; the other is an ozone type which one of my patients has, which has dramatically reduced her wheezing and allergies, and we have even cut down on the amount of medications she has had to take. Of interest is that my patient also has a unit that fits into her car that has proven benefit. There may be more types that I am not familiar with, but over all a purifier is a good healthy investment.


Dear Dr, I have had rheumatoid arthritis for many years, but my worse problem is not joint pain but dryness. My mouth and eyes are very dry and I am always thirsty. My skin is dry even though I put lotion on several times a day. I was on high dose steroids for many years and I know that can damage skin and bones, but now I am off of steroids but I continue to have severely dry skin and eyes. Is this a result from years of steroid use? What can I do? Ann from Dallas, Texas.

Dear Ann, Skin problems are common with autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus. Skin problems can persist after years of steroid use. Dry skin, nails, hair can also be from prescription medicines. The combination of dry eyes and mouth may be from Sjogren's syndrome, which is a condition frequently associated with auto-immune diseases. In Sjogren's syndrome the immune system damages moister producing glands. The dry mouth can cause sever tooth decay, the dry eyes can lead to corneal abrasions and difficulty reading, dry nasal passages can reduce your sense of smell and flavor. If Sjogren's syndrome goes undiagnosed it can lead to fatigue with muscle weakness. First, discuss these problems with your doctor. Then search for quality lotions and other products that work especially well with dry skin. Most importantly-discuss this with your physician. Also pay attention to such as the cream Cerave moisturizing lotion.