Harsha Reddy, MD

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Harsha Reddy, MD

Full Name: Harsha S. Reddy
Age: 35
Hometown: Cedarburg, WI

Specialty: Ocular Plastic Surgery 

Place of Practice: New York Eye & Ear Infirmary, New York, NY

Why did you want to become a doctor?

I had always admired medicine as a field that combined knowledge and service, but in college, I was also attracted to other scientific disciplines. Before entering medical school, I followed my love of wildlife biology and studied wild tigers for 2 years in India. This field work was grueling and beautiful, but it was also surprisingly isolating, and I found it impossible to ignore the medical conditions among the communities where I worked. My experiences during those years helped me realize that I would be happiest if I could use the power of science and persistence to take care of people.

What sets you apart from other doctors in your field? 

My commitment to education, both as a teacher and doctor. I enjoy teaching physicians-in-training. Their questions push me to think of new solutions to clinical problems. And while my patients come to me for my expertise, they teach me how we can work together to improve their health. I want both my residents and my patients to feel empowered by our interaction.

What are your 5 tips for living longer? 

1. For those eyelids: sunblock, sunglasses even in moderately bright light (not just for wrinkles, but to prevent cancer).

2. For those “bags”: lower salt intake, and, yes, cucumbers. (Really, anything cool helps.)

3. Glaucoma is serious business. Get checked.

4. Take omega-3 fatty acid supplements to prevent styes, decrease redness and improve dry eyes.
5. Talk to a good friend every day.

Will you ever feel comfortable in your own skin? That is, if you don't make an effort to protect it? Although 64% of adults do report wearing sunscreen when outside for prolonged periods of time, it turns out that only about 10% of people surveyed actually protect themselves daily, according to a recent review.

No matter what your skin tone is, unless you live in a cave with no sunlight, daily protection with either sunscreen, sunblock or protective clothing can not only protect you from developing sunburns (ouch!) but can significantly reduce your risk of developing skin cancer, particularly the deadliest type called melanoma. In addition, for those of you wanting to keep your youthful looks, daily sunscreen has been shown to reduce the development of wrinkles. A great teacher once told me that the best way to not have wrinkles is not to get them in the first place (think of how much money you can save on useless creams that claim to diminish wrinkles).

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