TAKE CHARGE OF YOUR HEALTH
September is a perfect time to celebrate Healthy Aging Month. As summer winds down fall activities and upcoming holidays are top of mind. We often get so caught up with our daily routine that we forget to take care of ourselves. This month reminds us of the importance of following a healthy lifestyle to ensure we age comfortably.
Healthy aging refers to the continuous process of making lifestyle improvements that keep a person physically and mentally sharp, throughout life. The choices you make today may affect the quality of your life down the road. Diet and exercise are key components to healthy aging.
Move More, Sit Less.
Staying active can help you prevent, delay, and manage chronic diseases, improve balance and stamina, reduce the risk of falling, and improve brain health. Aim for moderate physical activity, like walking, at least 150 minutes a week (22-30 minutes a day) and muscle strengthening activities, at least 2 days a week. Things such as utilizing hand weights, carrying groceries or other activities that involve the use of your muscles. Always consult with your doctor before starting a new exercise regimen.
Use Technology to Measure Your Results
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.
Schedule Regular Checkups
As we look at the components of staying healthy – we also look at regular exams. 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 the 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.
Did you know during a comprehensive eye exam, underlying health problems can be uncovered? 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.
- 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).
Just like having annual physical and regular health screenings help to detect disease, the most important lesson learned is to have an annual eye exam. 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.