September is Healthy Aging Month
As a new season rolls around, the days become shorter, school is back in session, and summer winds down, September is a perfect time to celebrate Healthy Aging Month. Drawing on the “back to school” urge embedded in everyone from childhood, the observance month’s activities are designed to encourage people to rejuvenate and get going on positive measures that can impact the areas of physical, social, financial, and mental health. As the number of people age 45 and older grows every year, the focus of September’s Healthy Aging® Month is to inspire these adults to improve their overall health and well-being.
Are you doing all you can to stay active and healthy? The choices you make today may affect the quality of your life down the road. Diet and exercise are key components to healthy aging. Fitbits and online apps can help track healthy eating habits and steps. Have you set a new goal to walk 10,000 steps a day? Perhaps fresh vegetables and salads are becoming a staple in your refrigerator.
Posture plays a key role in how we age. Walking and standing tall will help to maintain posture and balance as aging occurs. Preventing falls as we age is a key component to remaining independent.
When was the last time you had a physical, dental, or eye exam? By staying up to date with regular medical exams, you can be proactive in changes that may be occurring with your health.
Seeing your eye doctor is not just about needing glasses. During your annual comprehensive eye exam, you are also going to be screened for other diseases …. diabetes, cataracts, glaucoma, and macular degeneration. After the age of 40, everyone should be tested regularly for macular degeneration, especially if there is a family history of the disease.
These are things the doctors at Bissell Eye Care look for during your exam and may uncover a health issue you may not be aware of.
7 Types of Health Issues an Eye Exam Can Help Uncover
- Diabetes affects the small capillaries in the retina of the eyes. These blood vessels may leak blood or a yellowish fluid, and this may be discovered in an eye exam.
- Hypertension presents when blood vessels in the eye exhibit bends, kinks or tears, and this may be an indication of high blood pressure.
- Autoimmune disorders are recognized by inflammation of the eye which may be a sign of Lupus or another autoimmune disorder.
- High cholesterol can be found with a yellowish appearance or a yellow ring around your cornea. There also may be plaques in the blood vessels of the retina which could indicate elevated cholesterol.
- Thyroid disease will often present as bulging eyes or protruding eyeballs.
- Cancer can be present if the structure of your eye is unusual. Ocular melanoma can develop in the cells that make pigmentation in the eye. Your eye exam can also help detect skin cancer. Basal cell carcinomas can appear on the eyelid. In any of these cases, you would be referred to a specialist.
- Tumors can present with a droopy eyelid or irregularly shaped pupils and could possibly indicate a neck tumor or an aneurysm (Source: Digital Journal).
At-risk factors for age-related macular degeneration (AMD) include high blood pressure (hypertension), smoking, obesity, race, and family history of (AMD). AMD is painless and can progress slowly over time or suddenly with dramatic changes in your vision. Early detection is key to slowing vision loss. AMD — damages then destroys central vision. Central vision is your “straight-ahead”, finely detailed vision. This eye disease takes two forms, “dry” and “wet”. Most AMD cases are dry. The “wet”, is a more damaging form of AMA that is responsible for about 90% of serious vision loss.
Cataracts are small at first and may not affect vision. But the denser they grow, the more they will affect your vision. As cataracts grow, they may hinder your ability to drive safely.
Just as annual physical and regular health screenings help to detect disease, the most important lesson learned is to have an annual eye exam as well.
Early detection of eye disease is the key to healthy vision as you age. Give our offices a call at 724-443-6767 or 724-226-0444 to schedule your annual eye exam.
About Bissell Eye Care: John D. Bissell, OD owns and operates Bissell Eye Care servicing Northern Pittsburgh and Alle-Kiski Valley regions. With two locations to treat patients, we offer evening and Saturday appointments. Bissell Eye Care provides comprehensive eye examinations for the entire family beginning as early as 6 months, ocular disease detection and treatment, eyeglasses, sunglasses, activewear, contact lenses, and low vision examinations for those with significant vision loss. We accept most types of vision and health insurance plans. For more information, visit bisselleyecare.com or call our Bakerstown Office at 724-443-6767 or Natrona Heights office at 724-226-0444.