ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Obesity May Raise Kids' Allergy Risk
Air Quality Better in Northeast, Midwest
New Spray Could Benefit Cystic Fibrosis Patients
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Licorice May Block Absorption of Organ Transplant Drug
Ginger Can Ease Nausea From Chemotherapy Treatments
Soybean Chemicals May Reduce Effects of Menopause
ANIMAL CARE
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
BONES & JOINTS
A Little Drink May Be Good for Your Bones
Rheumatoid Arthritis May Harm Gums
Chronic Low Back Pain Is on the Rise
CANCER
Herb May Counter Liver Damage From Chemo
Study Cites Gains in Gall Bladder Cancer Treatment
Some Spices Cut Cancer Risk That Comes With Grilled Burgers
CAREGIVING
Late-Life Fatherhood May Lower Child's Intelligence
Hospital Volume Imperfect Gauge of Cancer Surgery Outcomes
Stressed Health Care Workers Battle 'Compassion Fatigue'
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Anemia Rates Down for U.S. Women and Children
Drink a Little Wine, Live a Little Longer
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
COSMETIC
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
DENTAL, ORAL
Sports Drinks May Be Tough on Teeth
Amino Acid May Be Key to Strong Teeth
Health Tip: At Risk for Gingivitis
DIABETES
Drug May Not Help Diabetes-Related Eye Damage
Chamomile Tea May Ward Off Diabetes Damage
Boosting Vitamin D Can Do a Heart Good
DIET, NUTRITION
Research Confirms How Valuable A Healthy Lifestyle Can Be
Olive Oil May Be Key to Mediterranean Diet's Benefits
Fasting on Alternate Days May Make Dieting Easier
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
U.S. Diet Needs Heart-Felt Overhaul
Childhood Food Allergies on the Rise
What's Cookin'? It Could Be Air Pollution
EYE CARE, VISION
Just Like Skin, Eyes Can 'Burn' in Strong Sun
Decorative Halloween Eye Lenses May Pose Serious Risks
Brain Pressure More Likely to Cause Vision Loss in Men
FITNESS
Eating Well And Keeping Active As You Grow Old Will Help You Stay Sharp
Exercise Key Player in Knee Replacement Recovery
After a Stroke, Light Exercise Gets Hands, Arms Working Again
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
GENERAL HEALTH
Eating More Soy May Be Good For Your Lung Function
Retail Clinics Attracting Those Without Regular Doctors
Deployment Takes Toll on Army Wives
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
The Internet Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Psychiatric Drugs Might Raise Cardiac Death Risk
Too-Low Blood Pressure Can Also Bring Danger
Relaxation Tapes or Mozart Lower Blood Pressure
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
Swine Flu Is Now a Pandemic Says W.H.O.
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Winter's Bitter Cold Poses Health Dangers
Too Many Infants Short on Vitamin D
Fussy Babys Could Be Out Of Your Control
MEN'S HEALTH
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Soy Linked to Low Sperm Count
Vigorous Exercise Cuts Stroke Risk for Men, Not Women
MENTAL HEALTH
Eight Spiritual Universal Principles in the Art of Practice
Using the Mind to Heal the Heart
Meditation May Boost College Students' Learning
PAIN
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Acupuncture May Relieve Acid Indigestation In Pregnancy
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
Sugary Colas Tied to Gestational Diabetes
SENIORS
Nighttime Urination Linked to Higher Death Rate Among Elderly
Seniors Who Volunteer May Live Longer
15-Point Test Gauges Alzheimer's Risk
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
Exercise Boosts Bone Density in Breast-Feeding Moms
Green Tea May Help Treat Uterine Fibroids
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When Gauging Age, the Eyes Have It

By Randy Dotinga
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Feb. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Want to look younger or less tired? Focus on the area around your eyes, a new study suggests, because that's where people get visual clues about your age and level of fatigue.

When asked to estimate the age of people in photographs, participants in a study looked at the eye region almost half the time, researchers found. The number was about the same when the participants tried to figure out how tired people in the photographs were.

The findings might seem obvious, but the study's lead author, a plastic surgeon, said they're important because cosmetic-surgery patients don't always get treatment where they need it.

"They want to look younger and less tired, but if you look to see what's being offered them, it's often not things around the eyes," said Dr. Peter A. D. Rubin, a plastic surgeon in Brookline, Mass., and an associate professor of ophthalmology at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center.

Rubin and his colleagues launched the study to figure out how people gauge age and fatigue. "What better way than to see where are people actually looking when they're making these judgments about things?" he said.

The researchers recruited 47 college students -- 15 men, 32 women -- from the Boston area and told them to look at photographs of 48 older people on a computer monitor. The monitor analyzed reflections from the eye to determine where the study participants were looking. The participants then rated either the age or the fatigue level of the people in the photos.

When gauging the age of people, the students looked at the eye region 46 percent of the time, followed by the nose (19 percent), forehead (13 percent) and the area between the eyebrows (11 percent).

The numbers were similar when the students were trying to figure out how tired the people in the photos appeared.

The study findings were published in the February issue of the journal Ophthalmology.

The eye region makes up just 21 percent of the face, according to the study authors. So why does it seem to reveal so much?

"There is a lot going on around the eyes," Rubin said. For one thing, eyelids are the thinnest skin on the body, making swelling more prominent. Also, he said, the eye region undergoes many changes during aging and suffers from significant sun damage.

"Beauty is not only in the eye of the beholder," Rubin said. "It's also in the eye of the beholdee."

Timothy J. Slattery, a postdoctoral fellow in psychology at the University of California, San Diego, said the study findings reflect those of other research that has found that people fixate on the eyes when they look at photos of faces.

But the study does not prove that the eye region is the most important when it comes to judgments about age and fatigue, said Slattery, who tracks how the eye moves.

More information

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons has more about plastic surgery.



SOURCES: Peter A. D. Rubin, M.D., plastic surgeon, Brookline, Mass., and associate professor of ophthalmology, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, Tenn.; Timothy J. Slattery, Ph.D., postdoctoral fellow in psychology, University of California, San Diego; February 2009, Ophthalmology

Last Updated: Feb. 02, 2009

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