Monthly Chatterbox

Sept 2019 Chatterbox

As we age, even people who do not have age-related eye diseases and who have good visual acuity may experience vision changes. Presbyopia, which begins in the late 30s or early 40s, usually continues to increase over time. Interestingly, research has found that the eye’s “rod” cells, responsible for the visual functions described above, are more likely to degrade with age than the “cone” cells, which are responsible for visual acuity and color vision. The health of rod cells is also more dependent on environmental factors such as nutrition, smoking, and excessive sun exposure, all of which we can control or choose, to some extent. It’s important to have a complete eye exam with your ophthalmologist every year or two after age 65 to check for age-related eye diseases such as age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, cataract and other eye conditions Normal aging of the eye does not lead to low vision; it is a result of eye diseases, injuries or both It’s also important to reduce the risk of falls, which become more likely as we age, due to changes in vision and balance. Systemic health problems like high blood pressure and diabetes that may be diagnosed or become more problematic in midlife can also affect eye health. One warning sign of both high blood pressure and diabetes is when the ability to see clearly changes frequently. Be sure to keep your ophthalmologist informed about your health conditions and use of medications and nutritional supplements, as well as your exercise, eating, sleeping and other lifestyle choices. Systemic health problems like high blood pressure and diabetes that may be diagnosed or become more problematic in midlife can also affect eye health. One warning sign of both high blood pressure and diabetes is when the ability to see clearly changes frequently. Be sure to keep your ophthalmologist informed about your health conditions and use of medications and nutritional supplements, as well as your exercise, eating, sleeping and other lifestyle choices.

THE OFFICE AND SITES WILL BE CLOSED ON THE 2nd OF SEPT FOR LABOR DAY

Each September, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, sponsors National Recovery Month. This observance celebrates the millions of Americans who are in recovery from mental and substance use disorders, reminding us that treatment is effective and that people can and do recover. It also serves to help reduce the stigma and misconceptions that cloud public understanding of mental and substance use disorders, potentially discouraging others from seeking help. The 2019 Recovery Month theme, “Join the Voices for Recovery: Together We Are Stronger,” emphasizes the need to share resources and build networks across the country to support the many paths to recovery—engaging passionate community members along the way. It reminds us that mental and substance use disorders affect all of us and that we are all part of the solution. Mental and substance use disorders have left their mark on every American in one way or another. They affect individuals from all walks of life—and community members must band together to show that recovery is possible for everyone.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO EVERYONE WHO IS CELEBRATING THIS MONTH

The month of September has been declared Pain Awareness Month. Chronic pain is pain that continues a month or more beyond the usual recovery period for an injury or illness or that goes on for months or years due to a chronic condition. It is estimated that one in three people experience some type of ongoing, chronic pain. Many Americans who delay seeing a doctor about their pain believe that their pain will eventually go away, or that pain alone is not a serious health condition. Others delay seeking treatment because they think they can live with the pain even though it is increasingly taking a toll on their quality of life and emotional well-being. Proactive behavior such as recognizing emotions and practicing relaxation techniques to reduce stress, pacing activities and working within personal limits, and exercising on a regular basis may contribute to better pain control. If you have chronic pain, keep a diary to help both you & your doctor carefully describe your pain, including the following: • Location: if there are multiple sites of pain (using a drawing can be helpful) • Intensity: Using a 0 to 10 scale, where 0 means “no pain” and 10 means “worst possible”, describe the intensity of your usual, worst, and least pain • Quality: Select specific words to describe the pain, such as “aching”, “throbbing”, “tingling”, or “electrical” • What makes the pain better? • What makes the pain worse What medication that you have taken, if they worked & what you are currently on.

Yoga isn’t just a physical exercise program. It is a scientific system designed to generate greater clarity and harmony in life. With a regular practice, individuals often notice a stronger, slimmer and more flexible body, in addition to a mentally sharper, more patient and relaxed sense of self. Yoga meets you exactly where you are and does not judge. By practicing yoga you have the opportunity to improve your health with a positive, non-forceful approach. As with any exercise program check with your doctor before starting any program and know your limits

  • Prostate cancer is the third most common type of cancer. It affects over 3 million men in the United States – most of them seniors. Over 90% of all cases are diagnosed in men over the age of 55. If you’re an aging man, prostate cancer is something you should be on the lookout for. In younger men, the prostate is about the size of a walnut. It slowly grows larger as men get older. If the prostate gets too large, it can cause urinary problems. Infection or cancer in the prostate can also cause urinary and other problems. Often, elderly men notice symptoms themselves, and sometimes their doctor finds something during a routine check-up. There are several different kinds of prostate problems. Only a doctor can tell one from another.

Falls are the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries for older Americans. Falls threaten seniors’ safety and independence and generate enormous economic and personal costs. However, falling is not an inevitable result of aging.. A growing number of older adults fear falling and, as a result, limit their activities and social engagements. This can result in further physical decline, depression, social isolation, and feelings of helplessness