Illustration: Christopher Silas Neal

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You know how vitamin C protects against colds? Actually, it doesn't. Warm milk contains no magic sleep aid. And hydrogen peroxide will do your skinned knee more harm than good. In their new book, Don't Cross Your Eyes...They'll Get Stuck That Way, Aaron Carroll, MD, and Rachel Vreeman, MD, both of the Indiana University School of Medecine, use hard science to disprove wives tales that have been passed down through the generations. The findings may surprise you—and save you money on cold cures (none of them work). Read on for six remedies that aren't, and the doctors' tips on what you should try instead.

Sitting Too Close to the Screen Will Ruin Your Eyes

When TVs first became popular in the 1950s, they emitted 100,000 times more radiation than they do today, so parents may have been smart to keep their kids away from the tube back then. But sitting too close to a modern set or computer screen won't do any permanent damage to your eyes. The fuzzy vision and headaches that follow a long day at the office (or an I Love Lucy marathon) are symptoms of eyestrain—a temporary condition no different from the soreness you feel after a workout. Relieve the aching with light massage around your eyes.


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