5 Tips for Self-Care After 50

self-care

The faster the world gets, the more we need to slow down. Making time to take care of yourself is vital, especially as you grow older. Here are five self-care tips you can use to increase your overall health.

1. Get Enough Sleep

There’s more to sleep than sweet dreams. Sleep is when your body rests and resets. Without it, you can see negative effects from your head to your toes, including increased anxiety and higher blood pressure.

To avoid a restless night — and get at least seven hours of quality sleep — create a comfortable bedtime routine. Hit the sack at the same time every night, and banish screens from your bedroom. If falling asleep is a constant challenge, consider a sound machine, meditation or talking to your physician.

2. Eat Well

This is a crucial slice of self-care no matter how old you are, but its importance only expands as you grow older. Nourish your body with healthy, whole foods that lift your energy level and support your body’s systems. Avoid processed and packaged foods that are full of salt and preservatives. They may be convenient, but at best, they’ll make you sluggish; at worst, they’ll cause weight gain.

3. Keep Your Stress in Check

Stress may decrease with age, as your children start their own families and your work-related obligations grow tamer (or disappear entirely!), but it certainly doesn’t go away. In fact, between decreasing mobility and the high cost of health care, simply growing older can be a huge source of stress.

If you don’t manage those stressors, they can cause or exacerbate a host of health problems:

  • Digestive trouble

  • A compromised immune system

  • Vision loss

  • Hearing loss

  • Heart attack and other cardiac issues

To keep your stress level low, keep moving. Even something as simple as a nightly walk after dinner can do wonders for your stress. Learning relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing and meditation, is another way to decrease day-to-day pressure. For me, yoga, combines the best of both worlds when it comes to movement and mindfulness. Plus, I’m more flexible than ever!

4. Make Time for Friends

Loneliness inspired dozens of memorable pop songs, but it has no place in your life if you want to optimize your health and wellness. Persistent loneliness can cause anxiety and stress to spike.

Feeling isolated isn’t just bad for your mental health, either. In addition to nudging your stress and anxiety levels off the charts, it can also affect your body in negative ways, such as:

  • Increased risk of heart disease

  • Obesity

  • Organ damage

Spending time with your friends and family is imperative to wellness. Getting together for coffee, shopping or a quick stroll around the park can provide a huge boost to your mental health.

If your loved ones are spread out across the map, get involved in your community. Volunteering for organizations and causes that hold meaning for you is just one way to start expanding your social circle. Don’t know where to begin? Your local library likely plays host to a variety of groups and guest speakers.

5. Kick Old Habits

Old habits may die hard, but once you hit 50, the jig is up. If you’re still smoking, drinking heavily, or regularly indulging in junk food, it’s time to make a concerted effort to stop.

The benefits will kick in almost immediately. Bid farewell to your daily cookie binge, for example, and you’ll feel less lethargic. Stop smoking and you’ll literally be breathing easier in as little as 48 hours. You’ll also stop accelerating the aging process and start decreasing your odds of a variety of health problems that are fed by cigarettes, such as heart disease.

With age comes wisdom. Know when it’s time to take a break from business as usual and indulge in some self-care. Better still, incorporate these tips into your daily routine. Your mind and body will thank you for it.

Does Fish Oil Help Achy Joints?

Are you living with the discomfort of achy joints? You’re in good company! In fact, I had trouble just getting out of bed today because my darn knees were giving me grief. Whether your achy joints are an old or a new problem, you’re probably wondering how to help them calm down. Sure, your doctor can recommend medications to help manage the pain, but at what cost? Many medications come with side effects that are even less pleasant than the condition they’re treating!

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could minimize your pain through natural methods? Well, guess what? You may be able to! Some people swear by fish oil supplementation and claim that the stuff helps their achy joints. So I decided to do a little research into the matter. Here’s what I found out.

What Is Fish Oil?

Fish oil comes from the tissues of oily fish. While that may sound off-putting, the stuff is actually quite remarkable! It’s full of omega-3 fatty acids, which are known to reduce inflammation in the body. Since achy joints are commonly caused by inflammation, omega-3 fatty acids are like their kryptonite. Omega-3 fatty acids are also essential for many other bodily functions. They facilitate cell growth and help the muscles function properly.

There are many food sources of omega-3 fatty acids, including nuts, plant oils and seeds. But fish oil is one of the richest sources of omega-3s, which is why it’s so popular. Unfortunately, the taste isn’t too great, so don’t try to take it straight. Instead, take fish oil in capsule form so you don’t have to taste it at all (though I can’t promise you won’t have fish oil burps afterward).

What Causes Achy Joints?

There are many things that can cause your joints to ache, but inflammation is one of the most common causes. In fact, inflammation has been linked to some of the most egregious joint pain conditions, including:

  • Arthritis

  • Gout

  • Lupus

  • Bursitis

  • Tendinitis

  • Complex regional pain syndrome

Joint pain can also be due to serious conditions such as bone cancer and avascular necrosis. It’s very important to see your doctor and rule out these causes before attempting to treat your joint discomfort on your own with fish oil supplementation.

What Are Signs of Joint Inflammation?

In addition to pain, other common indications of joint inflammation include:

  • Loss of joint function

  • Joint pain

  • Redness and swelling in the joint

  • Joint stiffness

When joints are inflamed for a prolonged period of time, they can cause chronic pain. This can, in turn, make it difficult to live a full, happy life. Depending on the severity and cause of your joint pain, diagnosis and treatment may be required to live normally. In some cases, however, supplementing with fish oil can significantly minimize joint pain.

How Does Fish Oil Minimize Joint Aches?

Now that you know fish oil has the potential to minimize joint aches, you may be wondering how it does so. It turns out that omega-3 fatty acids can rude joint discomfort in three different ways.

  1. Omega-3 fatty acids increase blood flow throughout the body. Adequate blood flow can naturally reduce swelling and pain in the joints.

  2. Omega-3 fatty acids are known to inhibit inflammation of the joints. They also limit the body’s production of negative proteins that are linked to certain arthritis types.

  3. Omega-3 fatty acids help restore and maintain healthy cells in the joints. They also help aid proper lubrication on the joints and help minimize excessive wear and strain.

In these three ways, omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil can help you experience strong, healthy joints that are less susceptible to inflammation and pain. Who knew a simple little fish oil could do so much?

The 6 Best Home Remedies for Menstrual Cramping

Virtually every woman has experienced menstrual cramping at some point in their lives. Finding a suitable home remedy for cramping is a must to prevent discomfort and ensure you're not held back when that time of the month rolls around. Here are a few effective treatments you can use to quell cramps and feel your best:

1. Get Up & Move

While it might seem like the last thing you want to do when plagued with period cramps, movement is a great way to reduce discomfort. Physical activity releases endorphins, which are natural pain-relieving chemicals your body produces. If you're not up for an intense workout or a 5-mile run, don't fret. Yoga is a great alternative, as it involves gentle, concentrated movements to balance your mind and body. Even doing yoga as little as 5 minutes a day when you have your period can make a huge improvement.

2. Apply Heat

It's a remedy that's passed down from generation to generation for very good reason; applying heat directly to your abdomen is a great way to reduce cramping and discomfort. Heat improves the blood flow to the area, while also relaxing contracting muscles responsible for cramping. There are a few ways you can use heat during your period. A hot shower works well, but many women use a heating pad or pack to apply heat therapy directly where it hurts.

3. Drink Herbal Tea

Herbal remedies have also been in use for generations thanks to their natural healing properties. A variety of herbs are associated with pain relief, including ginger. Ginger is also good for quelling nausea, which can sometimes occur during your period. Other herbal treatments good for menstrual cramping include chamomile, fennel, and green tea, which also provides a burst of energy when you're feeling sluggish.

4. Massage Yourself With Essential Oils

Similar to applying heat, gently massaging your abdomen can also boost blood flow for all-natural pain relief. By incorporating essential oils into your self-massage session, you'll also be privy to other amazing benefits. In addition to being absorbed into the skin, inhaling essential oils lowers stress and helps you feel relaxed. Lavender, rose, and cinnamon oils are just a few that provide relief from cramping, as well as decreasing feelings of anxiety and tension.

5. Steer Clear of Certain Foods

Some women go crazy for cakes and cookies during their periods, while others can't get enough of salty snacks. Both are problematic, but for vastly different reasons. Chocolate and other sweet treats can affect your blood sugar level, which in turn impacts your mood (which is already being impacted by your wildly fluctuating hormones). When it comes to salty snacks, potato chips and pretzels cause you to retain water, which increases bloating. Instead, look for foods rich in vitamins and other nutrients when experiencing period cravings.

6. Stop Smoking

Smoking is bad for you in so many ways, from increasing your risk of developing certain types of cancers to negatively affecting your chance of conceiving. There is also evidence that smoking cigarettes actually makes menstrual cramping worse for many women, especially for women who are habitual smokers. One study found that smokers experienced periods cramps more consistently when compared to women who've never smoked, with some smokers reporting period cramping approximately 80% of the time. The reason is likely nicotine. Nicotine is a stimulant that causes blood vessels to restrict, which increases abdominal cramping and discomfort.

While it's true that periods are a fact of life, that doesn't mean you must resign yourself to feeling miserable once a month. By using the above remedies, you can reduce the painful effects of menstruation thanks to proven, all-natural methods.

Your Facial Cleanser Should Not Contain THESE Chemicals

The smiling faces of beautiful women on a TV advertisement look appealing, but are facial cleansers really as safe as they look? Actually, many skincare products contain ingredients that may be toxic or irritating to your skin. Here are five common ingredients you should avoid:

1. Formaldehyde

Formaldehyde and related compounds are used in many modern skincare products. If that makes you uncomfortable, you’re not alone. Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen, which means it can cause serious health problems such as cancer. Avoid any of these dangerous formaldehyde variants: diazolidinyl urea, bronopol, quaternium-15, DMDM hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea or hydroxymethylglycinate.

2. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate or Sodium Laureth Sulfate

Countless cleansers and body washes contain sodium lauryl sulfate or sodium laureth sulfate. These intense cleaning agents are good at removing oils, dirt and makeup. So, what’s the problem?

For one thing, SLS is too strong for many skin types. Underneath that bubbly exterior, your skin is being subjected to a severe onslaught. SLS completely decimates your face’s natural oils. It’s not surprising that sulfates can lead to significant irritation or rashes in some people. Your best bet is to steer clear of this harsh chemical.

3. Parfum or Fragrance

The word “parfum” seems sophisticated and enticing. Many women look at fragrances in cosmetics as something attractive. However, there’s a dark side to parfum that you can’t ignore. In the cosmetic industry, parfum refers to many different ingredients that the manufacturer considers a secret formulation.

This can include dangerous chemicals such as phthalates that may interfere with healthy hormone function. All in all, there are about 3,000 chemicals that qualify as fragrances. Many of them can cause asthma problems, allergic reaction and headaches.

4. Petroleum-Based Ingredients

Synthetic oils are added to many facial cleansers to help ingredients reach deep into your skin. However, petroleum-based products can also irritate the face, and cheaply sourced oils can be contaminated with cancer-causing compounds. Here are several types of synthetic oils:

  • Petrolatum

  • Paraffin wax

  • Mineral oil

  • Polyethylene glycol

  • Butyl- ingredients

  • Propyl- ingredients

From a skincare perspective, synthetic oils can’t compete with the beauty of natural oils, either. Petroleum products rest on top of the skin, which can trap dirt and oil. In contrast, natural oils replenish and rejuvenate your face’s layers.

5. Isopropyl Alcohol

Alcohols are used to give cleansers a lighter feel and sometimes to add disinfectant properties. Not all alcohols are a bad thing; fatty alcohols such as stearyl alcohol can actually hydrate dry skin.

However, isopropyl alcohol, denatured alcohol (SD alcohol 40) and ethyl alcohol have the opposite effect. They make your skin drier and drier every time you use them. Needless to say, that can also provoke irritation.

Incredible Natural Alternatives

You don’t have to subject your skin to these harsh chemicals. Enjoy a soothing beauty routine with your favorite essential oils and natural ingredients. Organic facial cleansers have amazing benefits for skin moisturizing, repair and wrinkle control. Apple cider vinegar can clear up acne without damaging healthy oils. Extra virgin olive oil removes your makeup quickly and nourishes your face instead of harming it. Try honey and coconut oil as a cleanser for sensitive skin.

Topical Organic Oils

There are plenty of other effective organic oils for restoring skin's elasticity. One of the keys is ramping up collagen production. This plumps and hydrates sagging or wrinkled skin. Here you can see the dramatic results when Argon Oil, Jojoba Oil, and Apricot Kernel Oil are used together to replenish a youthful glow.

Does CBD Really Ease Arthritis Pain? (Spoiler: Yes)

cbd-arthritis

For those living with arthritis, a pain-free day is like a dream come true. Unfortunately, it can also be very hard to achieve. While there are several different types of medication that can help you live more comfortably from day to day, you may be wondering if there is anything else out there that you haven’t tried yet.

Some people swear by CBD and claim that it can minimize all types of aches and pains. But are their claims too good to be true? It turns out that in the case of CBD, the rumors might actually hold some weight. Here’s what you should know about CBD and how it combats pain from arthritis.

What Is CBD? 

So, what is CBD, anyway? Some people say it’s the same thing as marijuana while others say CBD extract provides none of the benefits of marijuana because it’s so highly processed. So, what’s true and what isn’t?

CBD stands for cannabidiol, which is a chemical compound that’s taken from the Cannabis sativa plant (otherwise known as hemp). Hemp is a cousin of the marijuana plant. CBD is extracted from hemp and added to medical marijuana products for maximum benefits.

Can CBD Help Arthritis Pain? 

Arthritis affects an estimated 22.7% of adults throughout the United States. And this is just taking the diagnosed cases into account. There could potentially be millions more adults living with the pain of arthritis without knowing they have it.

There are many different medications out there that can help ease arthritis symptoms. However, some of them come with undesirable or even dangerous side effects. Many people choose to risk the side effects in order to experience relief from their discomfort. But what if there was an alternative option available that could minimize arthritis pain with minimal side effects? CBD may be such an option.  When used as directed, CBD offers a variety of benefits with relatively mild side effects when compared to commonly used medications.

One of its most notable benefits is its ability to fight inflammation in the body. Since arthritis is closely associated with inflammation, it often responds well to CBD treatments. One study conducted in 2016 showed that the topical application of CBD could potentially relieve pain and inflammation associated with arthritis. Similar studies conducted in 2017 and more recently reveal that CBD might be a useful and safe treatment for joint pain.

What Are the Side Effects of CBD?

Though its side effects are mild compared to others, CBD use can cause the following:

  • Dizziness

  • Dry mouth

  • Drowsiness

  • Anxiety

  • Appetite changes

  • Diarrhea

  • Nausea

  • Changes in mood

  • Vomiting

The type and severity of symptoms can vary significantly from one person to the next. Some people don’t experience any adverse symptoms at all when taking CBD for arthritis pain.

Is CBD Addictive?

Research shows that CBD oil is non-addictive. It does not contain notable amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, which is the compound within marijuana that is highly addictive and produces mind-altering affects. In fact, CBD oil may help ease withdrawal symptoms associated with the absence of THC. So, it may be useful as an aid to help overcome addictions.

What Are Other Benefits of CBD?

In addition to lowering inflammation and minimizing pain associated with arthritis, CBD also offers the following benefits:

  • May reduce depression and anxiety

  • May reduce acne

  • May help alleviate symptoms related to cancer, including pain, nausea and vomiting

  • May benefit heart health

  • May protect brain function

More research and studies must be done before the many benefits of CBD oil are clearly confirmed. However, plenty of people with arthritis have found relief through this drug. It may relieve your pain as well.

Disease Prevention Tips for Seniors

Like taxes, growing older is an inevitable part of life. However, the way you feel as you age is largely under your control. While genetics play a big role in senior wellness, lifestyle choices can have a huge impact as well. If you’re determined to greet your golden years with energy and vigor, here are some disease prevention tips you should try implementing now.

Move More

Did you know your body requires regular movement to function optimally? There are many diseases and health risks linked to an inactive lifestyle, including obesity, stroke, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. To avoid these types of conditions, make it a goal to move more and sit less each day.

Getting daily physical activity can be simpler than you think. To start, try taking a couple of 10-minute walks per day or weeding your garden for 15 minutes at a time. Even doing housework is considered physical activity. If you’re used to sitting for long periods of time, try setting a timer every half hour to remind you to get up and walk around.

Go to the Doctor Regularly

Don’t wait until you’re sick to go to the doctor. Preventative services are very important for staying well and identifying diseases early on. The earlier you detect a disease, the better your treatment outcome generally is. Talk to your doctor to determine how frequently you should schedule checkups for optimum health as you age.

Make Healthy Food and Drink Choices

You know the old saying “you are what you eat”? It turns out there’s a lot of truth to it. If you eat foods that are known to contribute to inflammation and disease, you’re more likely to become inflamed and diseased. That’s why it’s important to analyze your diet and make sure you’re eating a variety of healthy foods.

Eat plenty of colorful fruits and vegetables and consume lean meats, whole grains and low-fat dairy products. You should also avoid acidic drinks such as sodas. These drinks can contribute to common senior problems such as acid reflux and joint pain.

Don’t Use Tobacco

Tobacco products can cause a variety of diseases, from lung cancer to heart disease. Whether you smoke tobacco or chew it, you should take steps to stop. With a quick online search, you can find free resources to help you quit your habit. Once you stop using tobacco, you’ll increase your chances of living disease-free in your senior years.

Pay Attention to Your Brain Health

It’s natural for the brain to change as you age. However, issues such as dementia are not a natural part of aging. Instead, they are diseases that affect some people. Your family history can play a large role in your propensity for brain diseases. However, early intervention may help you stave off diseases that affect brain health. Talk to your doctor if you have a family history of dementia or if you’ve noticed troubling changes in your memory or brain health.

Know Your Family Health History

Chronic diseases often run in families. That’s why it’s important to know your family health history and be aware of health conditions that your family members had. The more prevalent a particular health condition is in your family history, the more likely you are to develop it. Write down your family health history and bring it to your doctor. He or she will then know what chronic diseases you’re likely to develop and will be in a better position to detect and treat them early.

Growing older doesn’t have to be synonymous with pain or disease. By following these helpful tips, you can ensure your physical and mental health as long as possible into your senior years.

7 Tips for Getting a Better Night’s Sleep (Every Night!)

Getting a great night’s sleep is important for your health. It benefits your immune system, emotions and heart. If you wake up every morning feeling exhausted, these 8 tips can help you get the rest your body desperately needs:

1. Save Your Bedroom for Sleep

It’s easier to fall asleep at night when your body’s hormones follow an established sleep/wake cycle. To train your brain for a great night’s sleep, designate your bedroom as a sleep-only area. Don’t use it to watch TV, surf the internet or work.

2. Stay Active During the Day

Getting plenty of exercise during the day can help you sleep like a baby at night. Moderate exercise is best for fighting the effects of insomnia, but even 10 minutes of walking provides benefits for your sleep habits. Staying active makes you spend more time in the rejuvenating stages of deep sleep.

3. Avoid Alcohol at Night

Wait … doesn’t alcohol help you fall asleep? Yes and no. Drinking a glass of wine can make you feel drowsy, but it tends to wake you up in the middle of the night. If you have problems with insomnia, skip the booze and choose some calming chamomile tea with honey instead.

4. Phone a Friend

Sleep issues are often caused by anxiety or nervousness. One of the best remedies for stress is hearing the voice of a loved one. Talking with friends or family for 15-20 minutes in the evening can make you smile and put you in a great mood to rest soundly.

5. Know Your Body

Knowing your body’s unique sleep problems can help you prevent insomnia. If you wake up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, avoid drinking liquids for at least 90 minutes before bed. If joint pain doesn’t let you sleep, try a natural inflammation fighter such as turmeric to find relief.

6. Turn Off the TV Screen Ahead of Time

To get the best night’s sleep, you have to give your body a gentle push in that direction. About an hour before bedtime, start getting in the mood for sleep. Turn off the TV or other electronic devices that stimulate your brain. Take a warm bath, dim the lights a bit, read a book or listen to some soft music until you feel sleepy.

7. Eat Foods That Help You Sleep

One of the most important things you can do to sleep better is to eat the right foods. To wake up feeling refreshed every morning, your body needs plenty of tryptophan, a natural sleep miracle. This essential sleep hormone increases your levels of the brain chemicals serotonin and melatonin, helping you relax and making you super sleepy.

How can you treat your brain to these sleep superstars? Here are the best foods for sleeping all night long:

  • Complex carbohydrates: Sweet potatoes, oatmeal and whole-grain breads contain lots of tryptophan.
  • Fresh fruit: Cherries, peaches, nectarines and bananas are high in tryptophan and magnesium (great for calming).
  • Healthy proteins: Turkey isn’t the only type of protein that makes you sleepy. Fish, peanut butter and eggs also have this effect.


5 Ways To Stay Happy and Healthy While Staying at Home

The key to feeling happy and staying healthy at home is to keep your activity level high. Here are five ways to take great care of your physical, emotional and mental health even if you can’t leave the house.

1. Good Emotions: Connect With Friends and Family

You need your friends and family, and they need you. Even if you can’t talk long, just seeing a friendly face can do wonders for your heart. There’s simply no replacement for a laugh or smile from loved ones.

How can you keep in touch while following social distancing to stay safe? Share the love digitally. Download video-conferencing apps such as WhatsApp or Zoom. These tools are easy to learn.

Phone calls, emails and text messages can also spread welcome morning cheer to friends. With voice technology, composing a heartfelt message is easy.

2. Calm Heart: Limit Negative News

The coronavirus is bad. You understand that. But you don’t need to keep hearing about it multiple times every day. Many health experts recommend cutting down on the amount of coronavirus-related news you watch.

This can reduce your anxiety levels significantly. Ironically, the less stress you have, the stronger your immune system. Instead of staying up late watching the news, get a good night’s sleep and wake up completely refreshed.

3. Active Mind: Put Together a Jigsaw Puzzle

Fight boredom by exercising your mind. Jigsaw puzzles are the perfect recipe for days stuck at home: they keep you entertained, take a long time to finish and feel rewarding from beginning to end.

The beautiful and sometimes humorous images of many puzzles can give you a positive attitude. Try ordering custom jigsaw puzzles online using pictures of your grandkids!

Sudoku, crossword puzzles, adult coloring books and other brain games can be just as effective. The important thing is to give your mind a healthy workout.

What are the best foods for staying healthy during the coronavirus? Follow a colorful diet. Eat lots of red bell peppers, broccoli, spinach, strawberries, yogurt and fresh fish.

4. Healthy Body: Stick to Your Exercise Routine

Now’s a great time to pick a dedicated exercise spot and do some exercise every day. Alternate excellent stretching exercises like Pilates with moderate activities that make you sweat: dancing, strength training or riding an exercise bike.

Keeping up a healthy exercise routine offers many benefits:

  • Excellent cardiovascular health
  • Great emotional health
  • Comforting sense of structure
  • Gratifying feeling of accomplishment

Plus, you get to watch your tummy getting slimmer every day. Having a stunning waistline can definitely make you smile.

5. Satisfied Tummy: Make Delicious and Nutritious Meals From Scratch

It’s easier than ever to have groceries delivered to your door. Instead of ordering takeout, get your hands on colorful fruit, crunchy veggies and nutrient-packed proteins.

It may take longer to prepare breakfast, lunch or dinner from scratch, but honestly time is something you have in abundance right now. Making nutritious meals is good for your whole body:

  • Making meals gives you a satisfying activity boost
  • Eating fresh fruit and veggies provides higher levels of nutrients
  • Avoiding takeout lowers cholesterol and glucose
  • Getting vitamins is essential for a healthy immune system

Cooking is a great way to stay entertained and stay healthy at the same time. It gives you more flexibility for eating healthy and making things that get your mouth watering.

Most Common Causes for Seniors to Lose Vision

Vision, for many people, is one of the most precious of the five senses. It allows you to get around more easily, read books and cards, and look at the faces of the people you love most. As with all the other senses, vision tends to become less crisp with age. In fact, the National Center for Health Statistics estimates that approximately 13.5% of adults in the United States ages 65 and older have vision loss. Here are the most common causes for seniors to lose vision, in no particular order.

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a disease that affects the optic nerve in the eye. Usually, it occurs when fluid builds up on the front portion of the eye. As the fluid pools, it places pressure on the inner eye and damages the optic nerve.

There are two main types of glaucoma: primary open-angle glaucoma and angle-closure glaucoma. The first type is the most common, and it tends to occur gradually. The second type is less common, but far more serious. It usually comes on suddenly and can cause permanent vision loss if it is not treated right away.

For people over 60 years of age, glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness. The good news is that the condition can be prevented if treatment is sought early.

Age-Related Macular Degeneration

As you age, you’re more likely to develop vision loss from age-related macular degeneration. This condition causes loss of sight in the center of your field of vision. It’s also one of the leading causes of permanent vision loss in people aged 60 and older.

Age-related macular degeneration happens when the macula, or middle portion of the retina, wears down. As it does, it causes blurry vision that tends to progress with time. There are two main forms of age-related macular degeneration: dry form and wet form. The dry form type occurs when drusen, or yellow deposits, form in the macula and distort or dim vision. The wet form happens when blood vessels beneath the macula leak fluid into the retina. This distorts vision and can create blind spots. Over time, the bleeding blood vessels can begin to scar, which frequently leads to permanent central vision loss.

If you have any symptoms of macular degeneration, including blurry vision or dark areas in the center of your vision, go to your eye doctor immediately. If diagnosed with the condition, you’ll need to make regular eye doctor appointments to manage it as much as possible.

Diabetic Retinopathy

Seniors with diabetes have an increased chance of developing an eye condition called diabetic retinopathy. This condition happens when the blood vessels in the retina are damaged by high blood sugar. Over time, the blood vessels can become inflamed and begin to leak. They can also close off completely, which prevents blood from passing through to the eye. All of these issues can affect your vision or cause total loss of sight.

Symptoms of diabetic retinopathy usually affect both eyes and may include poor night vision, an increasing number of “floaters,” or “washed-out” vision. It’s very important to see your eye doctor if you experience any of these symptoms so you can receive treatment.

Cataracts

Cataracts typically develop slowly over years and they can make it seem like you’re viewing the world through a cloudy window. Cataracts are characterized by a clouding of the eye lens. There are different types of cataracts, but fortunately, most can be removed with a simple surgery.

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