ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Molecule in Skin May Link Eczema and Asthma
Keep Asthma, Allergies at Bay for the Holidays
Climate Change Could Sting Allergy, Asthma Sufferers
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Pharoah's Wine Jar Yields Medicinal Secrets
Acupuncture Eases Side Effects of Head, Neck Cancer Treatments
Acupuncture May Trigger Natural Painkiller
ANIMAL CARE
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Beware of Dog Bites
BONES & JOINTS
Majority of College Students Report Backpack-Related Pain
Returning to the Road Tricky After Injury
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
CANCER
Low Vitamin D Levels May Initiate Cancer Development
Drinking Green Tea May Slow Prostate Cancer
Multiple Screening Strategy Boosts Cervical Cancer Detection
CAREGIVING
Organ Donation Policies Vary Among Children's Hospitals
Distance No Bar to Kidney Transplants in Remote Areas
More Than 60,000 Patients Risked Hepatitis Infections
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Mercury in Fish Linked to High Blood Pressure
Drink a Little Wine, Live a Little Longer
Grapefruit-Heavy Diet Helped Spur Dangerous Clot
COSMETIC
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
Contact Lenses Boost Kids' Self-Image
DENTAL, ORAL
Scientists Find Gene for Tooth Enamel
Laser Technology Spots Cavities Before They Start
Toothbrushing May Stave Off Heart Woes
DIABETES
Fish Twice a Week Cuts Diabetics' Kidney Risks
Formula Puts Doctor, Patient Glucose Readings on Same Page
Diabetes Linked to Cognitive Problems
DIET, NUTRITION
Blueberry Drink Protects Mice From Obesity, Diabetes
More Whole Grains May Mean Less Fat
Pesticides and How to Affordably Eat Organic or Reduce Pesticide Consumption
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Controversial Chemical Lingers Longer in the Body
Is It Safe to Go in the Gulf Coast's Water?
Pilots May Face Greater Cancer Risk
EYE CARE, VISION
Kids Think Glasses Make Others Look Smart, Honest
Poor Night Vision May Predict Age-Related Eye Disease
Eye Care Checkups Tied to Insurance Status
FITNESS
Barefoot Best for Running?
Yoga Can Ease Lower Back Pain
Be Healthy, Spend Less
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
GENERAL HEALTH
Healthy Eating While On Vacation
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
Time to Remind Teens About Sun Protection
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Fatty Fish May Cut Heart Failure Risk in Men
Laughter Can Boost Heart Health
Coffee Is Generally Heart-Friendly
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Viral Infection Might Trigger High Blood Pressure
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
Surgical Masks Could Prevent Flu, Maybe
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Exercise in Adolescence May Cut Risk of Deadly Brain Tumor
Exercise During Pregnancy Keeps Newborn Size Normal
Eating Fish, Breast-Feeding Boost Infant Development
MEN'S HEALTH
Eating Fast Until Full Triples Overweight Risk
Drinking Green Tea May Slow Prostate Cancer
Sunlight May Help Protect Men From Kidney Cancer
MENTAL HEALTH
Fear Response May Stem From Protein in Brain
Environmental Chemicals May Affect Male Reproduction
Love Hormone May Ease Discussion of Painful Topics
PAIN
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Exercise Boosts Bone Density in Breast-Feeding Moms
Pregnant Women Exposed To Certain Pollutants Could Lower Childs IQ
Expectant Mom's Exercise Keeps Newborn's Birth Weight Down
SENIORS
Friends, Not Grandkids, Key to Happy Retirement
The Juice From Beetroots May Boost Stamina
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Exercise, Weight Control May Keep Fibromyalgia at Bay
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
Iodine in Prenatal Vitamins Varies Widely
Add your Article

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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