Health Watch: Tips for protecting your eyes
TIP OF THE WEEK
Everywhere you look, you’re reading, shopping, banking, or being entertained online with digital devices small and large. In fact, 62 percent of adults use computers, smartphones, tablets or other hand-held devices for five or more hours a day, according to the American Optometric Association’s 2015 American Eye-Q survey.
Since digital use is only expected to continue to increase, it’s more important than ever for consumers to make smart eye care choices. Below are three simple tips consumers can follow to help protect their vision.
Give your eyes a break: Although ongoing technology use doesn’t permanently damage vision, regular, lengthy use of technology may lead to a temporary condition called digital eye strain. This condition can cause burning or tired eyes, headaches, fatigue, loss of focus, blurred vision, double vision or head and neck pain. To ward off these symptoms, follow the 20-20-20 rule: Take a 20-second break every 20 minutes and view something 20 feet away.
Be a savvy shopper: Shopping online can be great for some products that aren’t individually custom-made like prescription eyeglasses. However, health and safety trump convenience when it comes to eyewear. Eyeglasses are a health investment and must be custom-fitted to be comfortable and precise allowing for a patient to see their best.
Skip shortcuts: When it comes to really seeing what’s going on with your eyes, there is no substitute for a comprehensive, yearly eye exam by an eye doctor. Despite catchy claims, there is truly no app for that. Comprehensive, yearly eye exams are one of the most important, preventive ways to preserve vision, and the only way to accurately assess eye health, diagnose an eye disorder or disease and determine if corrective lenses are needed.
Parents should do their best to instill healthy eating habits in their children in order to prevent their little ones from developing Type 2 diabetes. The most common cause of Type 2 diabetes in children is extra weight. Symptoms of the condition include unexplained weight loss, fatigue, dry mouth, heavy breathing, numbness or tingling in the hands or feet, and increased urination. If you are worried your child may have developed diabetes, see a doctor as soon as possible so you can work to get the condition under control.
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According to a recent study published in the journal Neurology, snoring and sleep apnea may be linked with earlier memory decline in elderly people. Researchers said their data showed that elderly people with sleep apnea tend to begin experiencing cognitive decline about 10 years earlier than those without the disorder. Author Dr. Ricardo S. Osorio of the Center for Brain Health at NYU School of Medicine in New York encourages people who snore should talk to their doctor to make sure they don’t have sleep apnea.
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Researchers of a new study say that regular aspirin use over the course of several years may reduce your risk of developing gastrointestinal cancers. According to the study’s lead researcher, Yin Cao, a postdoctoral research fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, there was a 20 percent lower risk of cancers of the gastrointestinal tract among regular aspirin users. The results of the study were presented earlier this month at an American Association for Cancer Research meeting in Philadelphia.
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‘The Blue Zones Solution’ by Dan Buettner
Dan Buettner, The New York Times bestselling author of “The Blue Zones,” lays out a proven plan to maximize your health based on the practices of the world’s healthiest people. For the first time, Buettner reveals how to transform your health using smart eating and lifestyle habits gleaned from new research on the diets, eating habits, and lifestyle practices of the communities he’s identified as “blue zones” — those places with the world’s longest-lived, and thus healthiest, people.
— National Geographic