August Is National Eye Exam Month

It’s a fact of life that vision changes occur as you get older, says the National Optometric Association. But, when detected and treated as a result of annual eye exams, these changes don’t have to compromise your lifestyle.

As you reach your 60s and beyond, you need to be aware of the age-related eye health problems that could cause vision loss. However, many eye diseases have no early symptoms. They may develop painlessly, and you may be unaware of vision changes until the condition is advanced. The good news is that regular eye exams can significantly improve your chances of maintaining good eye health as you age.

Age-Related Eye and Vision Problems

In the years after age 60, a number of eye diseases may develop that can affect your vision and eye health. An annual exam can help detect these conditions early, thereby increasing the chances of keeping healthy vision.

Here are common vision disorders that can be detected during eye exams:

  • Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) affects the macula, the center of the light-sensitive retina at the back of the eye, causing loss of central vision.
  • Diabetic retinopathy can occur in people with diabetes, and can result in progressive damage to the tiny blood vessels that nourish the retina, which, untreated, can lead to vision loss.
  • Cataracts are cloudy areas in the normally clear lens of the eye that can interfere with normal vision. Current treatments are very successful in successfully restoring vision.
  • Glaucoma results from increased pressure within the eyeball, which, if untreated, can damage the optic nerve, resulting to partial or full vision loss. People with a family history of glaucoma, African Americans, and older adults are at higher risk for developing the disease.
  • Dry eye is a condition, common among older adults, in which the eyes produce insufficient tears or poor-quality tears to lubricate and nourish the eyes. Effective treatments are available.

 

How Often Should You Get an Eye Exam? What Will It Entail?

At age 65 and over, you should get an annual eye exam, says the American Optometric Association—or more frequently if you need monitoring and treatment for an existing condition. A comprehensive eye exam entails a review of your personal and family history for hereditary problems relating to eye disease, diabetes, high blood pressure or poor vision. The doctor will perform tests to check for vision acuity, eye muscle coordination, side (peripheral) vision, pupil response to light, color testing, eyelid health and function, interior and back of the eye, and measurement of fluid pressure within the eye.

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February is Heart Healthy Month

valentines-day-blog

For seniors a perfect time to focus on a healthy lifestyle

February is American Heart Month- a time to focus on your health which can start with the heart. While heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women, there is good news: heart disease is largely preventable and controllable. Seniors especially should be encouraged to make those very important heart healthy choices. At Welbrook Senior Living healthy meals and exercise are incorporated into resident’s choices, making a difference in their lives.

In the United States, the most common type of heart disease is coronary artery disease (CAD). One can reduce the risk for CAD through lifestyle changes. From heart healthy meals to making active lifestyle choices, the staff at Welbrook Senior Living would like to share some ideas and tips for a better heart.

  • Exercise 30 to 60 minutes a day on most days of the week, cardio is best for a healthy heart a simple walk works
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Quit or don’t start smoking
  • Eat a diet that’s low in saturated fat, cholesterol and salt
  • The “Other” Heart: The saying goes that you can die of a broken heart or in other words our emotions can indeed affect our heart. Keep it happy with:
    • Gratitude. Remind yourself of what you have to be grateful for
    • Laugh. Yes just laugh
    • Connect. Get out, find a group, take a class, call an old friend – your heart will be lighter.

It’s equally important to be alert to the signs and symptoms of a heart attack, which can include:

  • Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest;
  • Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach;
  • Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort;
  • Nausea, lightheadedness, or breaking out in a cold sweat; and
  • Chest pain or discomfort.

About Welbrook South Bay
Welbrook South Bay provides the finest in assisted living and memory care options for residents. Located in Torrance, California, the expertly trained staff provides residents with the highest standards of senior care services which include daily exercise classes to promote a healthy lifestyle. It is operated by Integral Senior Living, which manages independent, assisted living and memory care properties. ISL is founded on a care philosophy that fosters dignity and respect for residents and promotes their independence and individuality. For more information call 424-488-6340 or visit www.welbrooksouthbay.com.