The Importance of Exercising for Seniors

importance-of-exercising

Physical activity is the way to health and longevity, especially when it concerns elderly people.

It is believed that with age many people have reduced activity. This may be due to age-related negative emotions and decrease in self confidence. The lack of physical and mental activity really accelerates the aging process, therefore it is for the benefit of all people to prevent or at least reduce the effects of aging. For this purpose it is certainly worth to sharpen our focus on physical training.

Is not hard to guess, that physical activity contributes to muscle tone, maintenance of the cardiovascular system, good mood and improvement of the quality of life.

Factors affecting the change in the life balance of elderly people

Unfortunately, the factors of aging every day have a negative impact on human health. Several factors are inevitable, and they cannot be affected, but some can be controlled or even minimized.

Behavioral factor of elderly people

- Maintain an active lifestyle. Use comprehensive training programs: strength / resistance, cardio/endurance, stretching/flexibility.

- Balanced proper nutrition including the most essential vitamins and nutrients. In particular, vitamin D is very important.

- Comfortable shoes. Shoes should not be too high (a negative effect on your posture) and heavy. Comfortable, lightweight, fitting shoes provide the best contact with the ground. Even walking barefoot (not everywhere of course) becomes an excellent help

- Pay attention to reception of medications. Individual side effects are possible. Always consult your doctor as for the impact of certain drugs.

Age-related biological factor

With age loss of vision, hearing and mental clarity is possible. There is a risk of arthritis developing and deterioration of the vestibular apparatus. You may experience the appearance of any chronic disease.

Studies show that many diseases and ailments that accompany the aging process, such as difficulties with movement, can be prevented by physical training. In addition, physical activity is an excellent way to improve the quality of life and make friends. Also, regular physical activity reduces the risk of the following diseases:
heart disease,
• stroke
• diabetes
osteoporosis
arthritis,
• back pain,
high blood pressure,
• some cancers, such as colon cancer.

As a prevention of the described above diseases can serve all the same exercises and training. A competent physical activity improves endurance, strength and immune system.

Exercises help to increase muscle strength and improve their tone, thus reducing the risk of accidental falls, leading to injuries. In addition, regular physical exercises develop flexibility, mobility, speed of movements, endurance improve cognitive abilities, memory, the ability to sound judgment, well-being and quality of life.
Physical training is also new acquaintances and communication.

External factors

Try to avoid the potential dangers that surround us in everyday life. That’s a minimum list of external factors:

- Winter time. The presence of ice on the roads
- Rooms with slippery floors
- Curbs and various roughness of the pavement
- The quality of lighting in the streets and indoors
- Escalators

The task of exercises is to adapt the body to everyday loads, regulate the cardiovascular, autonomic, neuromuscular systems, strengthen the musculoskeletal system, create a good mood. All exercises should be done with a smile and best of all to the music.

The most important point to be considered in training is a balance between physical exercises. For example, between normal walking and running. Understanding the balance helps to optimize the training process and avoid unexpected injuries. This is especially important for the elderly.

Each year, about 20 percent of people older than 60 years receive a variety of injuries. Fear of injury restricts people in physical activity. This fact, and the fact of biological changes in the body, changes in the environment and the difficulties of life forms certain stereotypes. But all this can be avoided through a balanced exercise (strength training, cardio, etc.).

Nowadays almost all gyms develop various special programs for seniors. But before you start any training it is better to consult your doctor concerning the possible initial physical loads for your body.

Remember, it is impossible to stop the natural biological processes, but it is completely possible to control them, staying active at any age. Physical activity is that little thing you can do for yourself at any stage of life.
As one very wise man said: “Help your body now and the body will help you in an old age.”

Day View Adult Family Home provides qualified and affordable services for seniors. Our trained staff understands the importance of exercises and we work to create positive environment for seniors’ training.

Heart Attack: Symptoms and Prevention

heart-attack

The human heart is primarily a muscular organ. It performs many functions in our body, violation of at least one of them leads to serious disruptions in the whole body. Quite often many of us do not pay attention to the alarm bells of the heart, telling that it is just the time to start taking care of it. We work ourselves ragged, smoke a lot and laugh too little, worry too much about trifles and do almost no exercises or sports. So we can say about almost every resident of the modern metropolis. And that doesn’t do any good to our heart.

Most of the cardiovascular diseases begin with poor lifestyle and the gradual “clogging” of the arteries. Heart disease should be diagnosed by a doctor after a comprehensive analysis. However, the symptoms of these diseases should be known to anyone, even to people, who are very far from medicine.

A heart attack, which can very often be provoked by abovementioned, is known as a terrible disease, taking human lives. Heart attack, also known as myocardial infarction, leads the list of causes of death. But what factors contribute to heart attacks and how to avoid it?

When the access of the blood flow to the heart muscle is blocked, it does not get enough oxygen, part of the heart tissue begins to die, and there comes a heart attack.

Blocking of blood flow to the heart occurs because of the presence in the coronary arteries of sufficiently large blood clots, known as plaques. When the plaque blocks the artery, it blocks the path for blood to the heart. Without blood flow the heart doesn’t get oxygen and part of its tissues start to deteriorate, or even die.

The plaques may start to appear in coronary arteries already in childhood. Over the years the situation may worsen. By themselves, the plaque may partially restrict the access of blood to the heart, then angina starts – a disease that increases greatly the possibility of heart attack.

Let us consider the symptoms of a heart attack

The most typical manifestation of myocardial infarction is the appearance of pain. The pain may arise in the left half of the body, in the arm before forearm, in scapula, in the left side of the neck. It is also possible to feel pain in hands, in the lower jaw, in shoulder area, and in the upper abdomen. The pain is long-standing and can be squeezing, stabbing, burning and aching in nature.

Characteristic symptoms indicative of a heart attack, is the shortness of breath, which manifests itself even at minimal activity, and may also be felt at rest. This happens because of the fact that the heart does not receive the needed quantity of blood for its normal functioning. A person may also feel weakness. Sweating may increase greatly.

Attention should be paid to functioning of the heart also in case of increased fatigue. This feeling of fatigue may persist for several days, weeks without any special attention to be paid to it. A heart attack may also be accompanied with stomach pain, nausea and vomiting. In most cases, these symptoms are not associated with a heart disease, but one should pay attention to them, if they occur on the basis of normal food consumption and are not associated with the reception of poor nutrition. Sometimes a temporary loss of consciousness happens.

Heart attacks may be preceded by increased heart rate, which manifests itself in a form of rapid and disordered pulse.
Precursors of a heart attack can also be such conditions as anxiety, feeling of discomfort, insomnia.

People with diabetes, and / or those who are over 75 years may have “silent heart attack.” Such a heart attack is not accompanied by any pain sensations.

Reasons that increase the risk of heart attack

• Age: Age is considered one of the major risk factors. In men over 45, women over 55, the risk of having a heart attack raises a lot.

• Angina: a disease, which increases the risk of a heart attack. The major difference between a heart attack and angina is that having angina the patient will feel better within 15-30 minutes after taking the medication, and the patient having a heart attack will feel no improvement.

• The level of cholesterol in blood: if a person has increased cholesterol level, the risk of blood clots formation in the arteries increases. The clots can block the blood flow to the heart muscle, and this can lead to a heart attack.

• Diabetes: People with diabetes are unfortunately at a higher risk of development of a number of diseases and conditions, many of which contribute to increased risk of a heart attack.

• Diet: People consuming large quantities of animal or saturated fats has a higher risk of a heart attack.

• Genes: a person may inherit a predisposition to heart diseases.

• Heart surgeries: patients who had undergone a heart surgery have more chances to suffer from a heart attack.

Hypertension (high blood pressure): the disease also increases the risk of heart attack, and hypertension itself can develop due to a lack of physical activity, overweight, diabetes, family diseases history and some other factors.

• Physical inactivity: people who lead a sedentary lifestyle, have much higher risk of heart attack than people who lead an active lifestyle.

• Previous heart attack: anyone who has had a heart attack, are to a much greater extent than other people at risk of heart attack.

• Smoking: people who smoke regularly, are also at risk of a heart attack.

• Excessive body weight (obesity)

Prevention

Is there any prevention of myocardial infarction or how to avoid it?
We can answer this question in the following way: something we are destined by nature (we can not escape from such risk factors as age and heredity), but there are a number of factors which we can influence, so that at least delay the time of the heart attack.

1. Control of body weight. In people who are overweight, the load on the heart increases, together with the risk of hypertension and diabetes development.

2. Regular physical exercise. Physical activity leads to the improvement of metabolism, and hence weight loss. It is proved that regular exercise lowers for 30% the risk of recurrent myocardial infarction in those who have suffered it. A set of exercises and the level of activity is chosen by your doctor.

3. Quitting the bad habits. Scientists have already long ago proved that smoking and alcohol consumption significantly increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases. In people who do not want to give up the destructive habits, the risk to have a recurrent heart attack increases twice.

4. Control of blood cholesterol levels. All people older than 45 are recommended to regularly monitor the parameters of lipid metabolism, as atherosclerosis is one of the major causes of cardiovascular problems.

5. Control of blood pressure as at arterial hypertension the load on the heart increases significantly.

6. Diet. It is recommended to limit consumption of salt, foods containing large amounts of cholesterol, and high-melting fats. The diet should increase the amount of fruits and vegetables containing fiber, vitamins and minerals, and seafood.

7. Receiving preparations containing acetylsalicylic acid. Aspirin is included in the standard of not only treatment of myocardial infarction, but also its prevention. For the selection of the optimal dosage and selection of a particular drug you should consult a doctor.

8. Avoid stressful situations and learn to manage stress.

DEHYDRATION IN SENIORS: all you need to know about this illness

dehydration in seniors
The normal course of vital processes both, in a healthy state, and in the cases of illness, regardless of age requires maintaining the stability of the internal environment of the tissues, for example, temperatures, acidity, concentrations of various substances, such as sugar, mineral salts and other. The regulatory apparatus serves to maintain these normal conditions, or the so-called homeostasis. Unfortunately, the regulatory and metabolic processes of elderly people are not as perfect as they used to be at a young age, and perhaps therefore dehydration occurs very often in geriatric patients.

The proportion of water to our body weight is approximately 60%, however this number is slightly larger at a young age that in the elderly. Water is in the blood vessels, in intercellular space and in the cells themselves. Water is a solvent for the salts, proteins, lipids and other substances forming our body. A balance between intake and loss of water indicates about the normal water parameters. Drinking liquid depends on access to its source, from mental factors and the sensitivity of the thirst center, which can be found in the brain.

One should not underestimate the role of water for our body. The insufficient amount of water in the body may result in devastating consequences, causing the development of many diseases. And on the contrary, this state itself – dehydration – can be kind of a signal of the developing diseases. Thuswise it is extremely important to have sufficient information about dehydration.

Dehydration may appear at any age but the most dangerous it is to elderly people and children. That is why it is so significant for caregivers to learn more about the symptoms and reasons of dehydration, and understand how to prevent it.

The main reasons of dehydration

There are several reasons that lead a person to dehydration. Among the major factors of fluid loss can be identified the following:

• long-term overheating in the open sun – heat stroke;
• excessive sweating;
• loss of water due to some gastrointestinal tract diseases -diarrhea, vomiting;
• inadequate nutrition;
• temperature changes during fever;
• increased urine output at different diseases, such as diabetes, Addison’s disease, kidney disease, hyperparathyroidism, incorrect use of diuretics;
• decreased feeling of thirst, and as a result drinking not enough water;
• poor kidney function;
• for disabled or frail seniors – inability to reach a glass of water or sometimes it is just difficult or painful for them to get up from the chair to get some drink.

In a normal state blood plasma is composed of 90% of water. The lack or thickening of blood provokes constriction of peripheral capillaries and vessels, which manifests itself in the hemodynamic disturbances – hypotension, vegetative-vascular disorders or hypertension. In cases when the stage of dehydration is extremely severe, it often ends in death.

Symptoms and signs of dehydration

A major indicator of dehydration is a quick weight loss. In just a few days you can lose up to several pounds. A quick weight loss (when you lose more than 10% of your body’s total weight) is considered severe. The problem is in the fact that very often it is hard to distinguish signs of dehydration from the symptoms of other diseases, but, in general, dehydration has the following signs:

• viscous saliva, dry mouth;
• increased thirst;
• mucous membrane of the eye cannot tear;
• wrinkled skin;
• swings of emotional state – at first excitement, then – sudden irritability;
• a slight dizziness;
• decreased urination, at the same time urine has a dark color;
• cooling of the limbs;
• skin numbness;
• occurrence of muscle cramps.

In severe cases of dehydration you may observe the following signs:
• severe dizziness, which occurs in the supine position;
• changes in behavioral responses – a sharp sense of fear, inattention, embarrassment, etc .;
• lightheadedness, shown after 2 minutes after lifting;
• weakness in limbs, when you cannot get up or move around;
• rapid breathing and weak pulse;
• clammy and cold skin, and sometimes the opposite – hot and dry;
• no urination for more than 12 hours;
• loss of consciousness.

Prevention of dehydration

The danger of dehydration consequences is so high that at times it can cost too much. In order not to expose your body to such endurance it is necessary to prevent possible dehydration in the very first stage. To prevent dehydration some simple recommendations should be followed:

1. In dry weather, during long journeys, active physical activity or high body temperature, always have on hand a bottle of water.
2. Make sure that children and the elderly in your family consume a sufficient amount of fluid per day.
3. Avoid exercise, when the weather is hot and dry.
4. Avoid alcohol, especially in hot weather, because it blocks the ability to feel the symptoms of the first stage of dehydration.
5. In sunny and dry days, try to wear clothing in bright colors, preferably made of natural fabrics and loose-fitting.
6. Try to be in the shade or air-conditioned environments.
7. Healthy eating is also important – the diet should include food containing water, such as fruits, vegetables, soups.

Take care of your loved ones and help them to hydrate normally. And mind, that cases of severe dehydration need an urgent medical attention.

Bedsores

bedsores

Bedsores are the areas of ischemia and necrosis of tissues resulting from prolonged compression, shear or friction of the tissues between the human skeleton and the surface of bed.

It is well known that human body tissues function obtaining the necessary nutrients from blood. Blood vessels, which penetrate all human tissues and are like soft elastic tubes, deliver blood to all the organs and tissues of the human body. The smallest ones, the capillaries, are especially important for normal metabolism in tissues. The movement of fluid through such tubes is easy to be slowed down or completely stopped by compressing them. Any sitting or bed-bound person has some of his soft tissue and blood vessels compressed, which results in a lack of blood flow to the tissues. If this condition lasts for more than 2 hours, then a nutritional disorder (ischemia), and later the death (necrosis) of soft tissues comes. Bedsores (or as they are also called – decubitus ulcers, pressure sores or pressure ulcers) are developing. Therefore it is necessary to remember that prolonged immobility is not safe!

The second reason, due to which bedsores may develop, is, for example, when the bed sheet is pulled out from the patient. At this time there is a significant displacement of the surface layers of soft tissues relative to deeply placed layers, which results in rupture of small blood vessels, and disturbance of blood supply to these tissues. Similarly, bedsores can form in weak, bed-bound patients, who, without support in the legs, start slowly slide down in a chair or in a bed from a sitting or half-sitting position, which is barely noticeable to the eye but very sensible to soft tissues.

Bedsores risk factors:

- bad nutrition and lack of drinking;
- overweight and exhaustion;
- smoking;
- cardiovascular diseases;
- diabetes;
- incontinence;
- injuries and diseases of the brain and spinal cord;
- sweating at an elevated temperature;
- dirty skin;
- crumbs and small items in the bed;
- folds, stitches, buttons on underwear;
- allergic reaction to skin-care products.

Places where bedsores appear more often

Potential areas of bedsores formation may be all the places over the bony prominences on the body, which are compressed when lying or sitting. The subcutaneous fat at these places is the least expressed, and the pressure of bony prominences is expressed more strongly. If the patient is lying on his back these places are the sacrum, heels, ischial tuberosity, elbows, shoulder blades, back of the head. When lying on sidelong – on the side of the hip (the area of major trochanter), on the sides of the ankles and knees. If the patient is lying on his stomach – the pubic area and cheekbones.

Bedsores stages

In the development of bedsores several stages can be distinctly specified. The longer lasts the pressure on the skin area, the harder is the tissue damage.

Stage I. Clearly limited red area of intact skin, the redness does not disappear after relieving the pressure. Patients with darker skin, which does not allow to determine the change in its coloring, may perform the diagnostic of the skin area under pressure by the increase in temperature, the emergence of induration or edema. Redness disappears in a few hours or days after the cease of pressure depending on the degree of circulatory disorders.

Stage II. Partial damage of epidermis up to dermis. It is characterized by surface ulcer, which can manifest itself clinically in the form of scratch, blister, or shallow crater.

Stage III. Damage of all skin layers (epidermis, dermis and subcutaneous tissue), which can reach the fascia lying under the skin, without affecting it. Clinically such bedsore manifests itself as a deep open ulcer exposing underlying tissues or without it.

Stage IV. Sores throughout the entire thickness of skin with extensive tissue necrosis and damage to muscles, tendons and bones. Often there is tissue damage and the formation of infected pockets.

Prevention principles

Treatment and prevention of bedsores are inextricably associated with a whole set of measures aimed at the care for sick person. Material costs for the prevention of bedsores are always lower than their treatment.

The preventive measures are required for patients who use a wheelchair, are confined to bed, patients suffering from partial immobility (of separate body parts), urinary and/or fecal incontinence, exhausted patients, patients with obesity, suffering from diabetes, or suffering from effects of a stroke.

Major prevention principles:

• reduction of pressure, friction or shear;
• periodical change of position;
• special mattresses, aids and appliances helping to reduce compression areas;
• good nutrition and personal hygiene;
• reduction of skin irritants;
• skin care – keep the skin clean;
• reduction of skin moisture;
• regular and proper urination and defecation.

But even with the best care, only bedsores of the first and second stage may be treated without any operative intervention. Bedsores of stages three and four usually need a surgery followed up by a prolonged recovery period with possible complications. That’s why a regular inspection of the body of immobile patients with the early detection of bedsores is so important.

Senior Dental Health

Senior Couple In Bathroom Brushing Teeth

Aging affects functioning of the whole body, but often, people are just not aware or are not prepared for some health issues. In today’s article we will introduce the readers to the most common age-related oral diseases.

Xerostomia (dry mouth)
Reduction of salivation can be caused by a range of factors, including the receipt of certain medications, Sjogren’s syndrome or radiation therapy of tumors in the head and neck area. Saliva provides a natural protection of the mouth, washing away food debris and preventing the uncontrolled growth of pathogenic bacteria. In case of insufficient secretion of saliva greatly increases the risk of caries and periodontal disease, which, in their turn, entail other problems of dental health.

Darkening of the teeth
It happens due to the thinning of the enamel (the underlying layer of dentin, which has a darker color, becomes visible through the thin enamel), and prolonged use of food and drinks leading to changes in enamel color. Very often it is possible to return the whiteness by simple teeth whitening procedure, whereas in some cases more complex procedures of cosmetic dentistry may be required.

Tooth root caries
As a result of aging and deterioration of oral health care, the recession (lowering) of the gums is frequently observed. The result is the exposure of the tooth root, which is much less protected and more vulnerable to the development of caries.

Periodontal disease
This disease is typical not only for elderly people, it occurs in people of all ages. However, taking into consideration the long progression of the disease, its severe forms are more specific to elderly people. The longer period the disease remains undetected, the greater amount of oral tissues get involved in the pathological process. Although periodontal disease is caused by dental plaque, there are other factors increasing the risk or severity of the disease. They include food debris between the teeth, smoking, occlusion pathologies, poorly made dental prostheses, malnutrition and systemic diseases (such diseases like anemia, diabetes). Although the periodontal disease occurs because of disorders in the whole body, its development may be prevented. At early stages the symptoms of the disease can be completely eliminated. The treatment at the later stages may require surgical intervention. If you notice any of these symptoms: redness, swelling and bleeding gums, mobility of teeth, bad taste and bad breath, there is an urgent need to consult your dentist.

Which factors complicate the gum diseases?
- Poor diet
- Insufficient oral hygiene
- Chronic diseases such as some heart diseases, diabetes and cancer.
- External factors such as stress and smoking
- Some medications that can affect the condition of the gums

It is important to note that the prevention of gingivitis and periodontal disease can help keep your teeth until old age.

Teeth loss
It happens due to many reasons, including the following: as a result of periodontal disease, injury, or tooth decay which was left untreated. The lost tooth should be replaced as soon as possible to prevent misalignment of teeth, which can cause malocclusion and lead to dysfunction of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ).

Stomatitis caused by wearing dentures
The reason for inflammation of the soft tissues under the dentures can become bad-fitting dentures, insufficient oral hygiene or yeast-like fungi Candida albicans.

How to prevent dental problems in the elderly
First and foremost is a thorough oral hygiene throughout the whole life. Proper oral hygiene lies in brushing teeth, at least two times a day during two minutes, every day flossing and using antibacterial mouthwashes.
With age, even usual oral hygiene may for many people become quite a challenge, due to developing arthritis or loss of strength and manual dexterity. Fortunately, now many products that can help in this situation began to appear on the market. In addition, it is important not to miss any scheduled visit to your dentist to carry out preventive examinations and some professional oral hygiene.

Take care about your teeth and stay healthy!

What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

RA-and-normal

Joint diseases occur in people of all ages. And it should be noted that diseases of the musculoskeletal system “get younger” every year. More and more of young population is suffering from arthritis, and already almost half of seniors over 65 have this disease. Thus, the prevalence of arthritis today is enormous.

In addition to such extensive prevalence, it is important to pay attention to the insidiousness of the disease. Many people are seeing the doctor too late, when the pain becomes unbearable, and there are restrictions in joint mobility.

Arthritis is an inflammatory disease characterized by affecting the joint’s inner lining. Localization, origin and course of arthritis may be different, but always accompanied by pain, redness, swelling, and limitation in joint mobility, particularly expressed in the morning.

Rheumatoid arthritis most commonly affects the elderly. It becomes the reason of inflammation of joints and tissues surrounding them. This significantly affects their function and quality of life. For the disease not to develop further, and for a person not to lose the ability to work, it is necessary to slow down the inflammatory process.

So what rheumatoid arthritis is?

Rheumatoid arthritis is known as an autoimmune disease in which the lymphocytes begin to struggle with own body. It is a chronic inflammatory damage of joints and surrounding tissues. Arthritis develops in connective tissue and causes erosive changes in it. After the inner lining of joints is inflamed, the joint liquid starts to be produced in them intensively. Eventually the joint becomes immobile and any movement results in acute pain. Sometimes there is a thickening of the joint, which is distributed to other tissues, ligaments are affected and a person may become invalid.

Rheumatoid arthritis is the most common for women. Most often the disease affects the smokers. This disease may appear after earlier cold, after injury or if you have a source of infection in your body.

The causes of rheumatoid arthritis

The causes of the arthritis development in seniors are immunological and biochemical changes. Autoimmune changes occur in the connective tissue of joints. Regular hypothermia can also cause the development of rheumatoid arthritis. There are studies proving that there is some genetic predisposition to rheumatoid arthritis. Smoking and viral infections play quite a remarkable role in the development of the disease.

High physical loads on joints upregulate rheumatoid arthritis. For example, when the knees or other joints are often heavily loaded. During pregnancy a woman’s body has a double load, and this directly affects the joints.

Symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis

The development of the disease is slow, and therefore often remains unnoticed at an early stage. The following symptoms are usually appearing first:

1) a slight increase in body temperature;
2) general weariness;
3) rapid fatigability;
4) loss of appetite;
5) weight loss;
6) weakness.

Rheumatoid arthritis affects whole groups of joints, polyarthritis develops. The joints’ lesion occurs symmetrically. Rheumatoid arthritis in the elderly differs from rheumatoid arthritis in other people by the fact that it always begins acute and all the symptoms are expressed brightly. After the development of inflammatory process, the joint pain appears, they start to swell. People start feeling joint stiffness.

The treatment of rheumatoid arthritis in seniors

Treatment of rheumatoid arthritis in older people has its own peculiarities:
1) timely diagnosis of the disease;
2) determining the appropriate treatment regimen and further prognosis;
3) modifying medications;
4) taking into account peculiarities of metabolism in patients of geriatric age;
5) relief of inflammation;
6) antidepressants (if necessary);
7) training in nutrition, sleep and rest schedules.

The treatment regimens are prepared by the doctor considering the possible risk of side effects and compatibility of medications.
Any person, who has received a chronic incurable disease, can become depressed. But the sooner a person realizes that the power of will and thirst for life can work wonders, the quicker his condition will become easier. Rheumatoid arthritis is not a sentence, with proper treatment and appropriate psychological mood it is quite possible to live a full life with it.

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Age-Related Eye Disorders. Part 2

Age-related changes

Even if you manage to avoid serious ailments, with age gradual and barely noticeable changes anyway occur in your body. For example, the pupil decreases in size, which limits the amount of light incoming into the eye. A crystal clear lens of the eye gradually turns yellow, losing its transparency and acting like a filter for the camera, which absorbs some part of the light. This usually leads to essential reduction in the quantity and color intensity of light reaching the retina.

In addition, at a younger age photoreceptors, contained in retina (rods and cones) were positioned close to each other, now their density has decreased so less and less relevant cells can respond to the falling on the retina light. All these factors lead to the fact that, according to research, a person at the age of 80 requires 10 times more light than a twenty-five year old.

With age the ability of the eye to adapt to darkness and restore vision in bright light decrease greatly. Most of all this affects the color vision and vision in darkness, as both of them depend on the illumination intensity.

Against this background, many serious eye diseases are developing in elderly people. In the previous article we described two of them, cataract and glaucoma. In this article we will talk about age-related macular degeneration, which may lead to a complete blindness, and about diabetic retinopathy.

Age-related macular degeneration
Macula is a small part of retina that is most sensitive to light and allows you to see the smallest details. To clearly see something, you automatically turn the eyes so that the image falls exactly on the macula, and for the clearest distinction of details they need to get to the central macular fosse. Macular degeneration is an atrophy of macula. Also being, in fact, a nervous tissue of the brain, retina is particularly sensitive to a decrease in blood flow and / or bleeding.

In this case (decrease in blood flow and / or bleeding), the macula loses some of its ability to distinguish the image, which may lead to a slight or even severe impairment of vision. In old age exactly macular degeneration is one of the main causes of visual deterioration.

If the problem is in the rupture of a blood vessel, in this case laser therapy can advantageously be applied to block it, on the condition that the vessel is not too close to the macula. If the problem is the insufficient blood supply, the direct way to influence it does not exist. There is some evidence that in this case some certain diets are useful, for example, products with a high content of zinc and antioxidant vitamins.

In people with this disease, blindness rarely develops, but a sharp reduction of visual acuity develops. This disease deprives a person from the ability to read, drive and perform many other everyday functions. Additionally, the ability to distinguish shades disappears.

Approximately 46% of people over 75 years old may have different stages of this disease. Similarly to cataract and glaucoma this disease can be inherited.
Giving up smoking, in case if you are a smoker, will give a great chance to slow down the course of the disease or to reduce greatly the chances of its development!

Diabetic retinopathy
A person can get sick with diabetes at any age, but complications with vision are usually seen in older age, they have the ability to “accumulate”. Patients with diabetes, who do not see a doctor or “deceive themselves” with diets or drugs, risks to lose their eyesight. When a person has diabetes, the tiny blood vessels of the ocular fundus are affected – they clog, bleed, form a messy accumulation. This phenomenon is called diabetic retinopathy, and it often leads to blindness. In this case, laser treatments are successfully used. People with diabetes are also more prone to cataracts.

People with diabetes may have the following effects:
1. Rapid changes in vision or experiencing difficulty reading, which may happen in days or weeks. They are usually caused by a change or an increase in the sugar content in blood.
2. When looking at the brightly lit areas some spots appear. This is often a sign of bleeding in the eye or it may also indicate a retinal detachment.
3. Loss of some portions of the field of vision. The cause of this may be the tissues’ swelling due to local bleeding.

All these diseases are very serious, and can lead to visual disability, if they are not timely detected and an appropriate treatment isn’t started. It is therefore extremely important at the slightest visual impairment or unexplained symptoms to visit an eye specialist.

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Age-Related Eye Disorders. Part 1

There are four seasons in a year, and the same way there are four seasons in our lives.
Unlike the calendar autumn, the autumn of life comes once and for ever. Autumn always brings us a lot of joy showing its beauty through the multiple vivid colors of the parks and gardens, carpets of leaves under our feet, the last warm and splendid days of Indian summer… Autumn of life also brings a lot of bright feelings and impressions – a rest that was well deserved throughout your life, the long-awaited birth of grandchildren, the opportunity to acquire interesting hobbies, for which we didn’t have enough time before, etc. And we would like to have as many marvelous and bright days in old age as possible. But as always, any warm autumn sooner or later gets replaced by nasty weather, cold rains and icy wind, we rarely, after reaching an old age, are not facing health problems.

Of course, it is extremely unpleasant to suffer from arthritis, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and many other ailments, but when the vision deteriorates, the fear appears of blindness and loss of own independence.
After reaching the age of 65, the vision of every third elderly person is getting worse due to the development of some eye disease. There are 4 main diseases, the presence of which is very often directly connected with the age-related changes of the body – cataract, glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy.

Cataract occurs when the lens and its capsule become clouded. The lens consists mainly of water and proteins. If the proteins clumped together, it manifests itself in clouding of a small part of the lens. This dense mass of proteins is a cataract. It may increase in size, gradually impairing vision. At full lens opacity the central vision is completely lost; the only thing which people may only distinguish is the presence of light, its absence, and its brightness.

The cataract may be defined by some symptoms, the presence of which should alert you and make you to refer to the eye care professional. Among them are the following: a photophobia, when people may complain that the light from a lamp or the sun rays hurts their eyes constantly. In addition, a sense of mist may appear, which prevents to see clearly.

Factors affecting the lens opacification, are extremely diverse. There are cases of the lens opacity as a result of physical influences (thermal heat causes cataracts, ionizing radiation originates radiation cataract). The cause of cataract development, as known, may also be the effects on the eyes of ultraviolet sun rays, so it is necessary to protect the eyes. In most cases lens opacification results from aging. It was called “Cataracta senilis”, or “age-related cataract”.

Eat more beta-carotene.
According to Allen Taylor, director of the Laboratory of Nutrition and Visual Research, located in Boston, and supported by the United States at Boston University, beta-carotene – vitamin A, contained in vegetables – can prevent the incipiency of cataract or delay its development. Beta-carotene is an antioxidant and it effectively neutralizes the harmful free oxygen molecules that, traveling throughout the body, are involved in many degenerative changes. Studies have shown that people with a high content of beta-carotene in blood are much less likely to get cataract, while those who avoid foods rich in this substance, get sick more often. Beta-carotene may be found in orange and yellow fruits and vegetables such as carrots, pumpkins, cantaloupe and apricots, as well as in dark green leafy vegetables – cabbage and broccoli.

Vitamin C – is also a wonderful doctor. Studies conducted by scientists have shown that a healthy eye contains enough vitamin C, while in people suffering from cataract, its concentration is much lower.
In laboratory experimentation it has been found that vitamin C protects the lens from formation of free radicals, particularly those whose appearance is caused by the effects of ultraviolet rays. It has been found that between vitamin C and a frequency of cataract there is a direct bond. A daily dose of 500 milligrams of vitamin C will create a reliable protection from the disease. This amount is equal, for example, three glasses of orange juice.
But if the cataract is in severe state, in this case only surgery can help.

Glaucoma is a disease that can be described as an increase of intraocular pressure that damages the optic nerve of the eye. This disease often proceeds for a long time without any apparent symptoms. About one million people live around the world with this disease, completely unaware of its presence. But unfortunately, glaucoma may become extremely dangerous, without timely detecting and then the proper treatment it can lead to total blindness! In the United States it is one of the main reasons of people becoming blind. Factors that may provoke the occurrence of glaucoma are natural aging, receiving of steroids, as well as myopia.

Glaucoma treatment is normalization and monitoring of ophthalmic fundus pressure. There are both medicamental treatment (eye drops, etc.), and the surgical intervention – trabeculectomy. There is also a more advanced method of laser treatment called trabeculoplasty.
Patients with glaucoma should observe the general regime: regular sleep (at least 7-8 hours a day), walks on fresh air, lacto-vegetarian diet; the use of coffee and alcohol is prohibited. Fluid intake is restricted to 4-5 glasses per day. Hard work and night shifts are counter-indicative for patients with glaucoma.
Remember, glaucoma, as well as cataract, may be a genetic condition. The risk group includes everyone, whose blood relatives have ever had this eye disease.

The hair aging or secrets of hair care for seniors

hair-aging

With age, not only our skin changes, but also our hair. Gray hair is not the only sign of hair aging. If with age the skin becomes prone to wrinkles, sagging, the signs of aging hair are brittleness, weakness and dull color. Hair loses its elasticity, becomes thinner. Naturally, the structure of your hair when you are 20 and 50 years old is quite different, that is why the hair care should also vary with the age. To maintain the beauty of your hair as long as possible, it’s helpful to listen to the advice of experts and follow some rules.

The impact of hormones on our hair

After 40, even long before menopause, female body begins to produce less estrogen – a hormone that has a positive impact, including on the life cycle of hair. The hair growth slows down and thus the physiological hair loss is not balanced out by sufficient growth of new hair. Gradually, hair gets thinner, its brittleness increases, and the appearance gets worse. Supplementation, which contain cysteine and tyrosine – substances that limit the negative impact on the hair and strengthens their capillary fiber can extend the natural balance and protect hair from age-related changes.

If the loss is focal in nature, you will not be able to deal with it without the help of a dermatologist and a specialist treatment.

The hair becomes porous

The next type of hair age-related changes is very similar to the processes occurring in the skin. With age, the number of substances that are gluing, “cementing” the flakes of hair is significantly reducing, and the pores between them become bigger and bigger. The reduction of keratin and collagen amount leads to the fact that hair becomes less protected from the aggressive influence of external environment, especially ultraviolet rays.

To protect your hair, use a special shampoo to wash your hair with high UV – filters. Once a week, make it a rule to apply a nourishing mask, restoring the structure of your hair. Thus, the hair will be protected from the negative effects of the sun, wind and pollution.

Dull hair color

With the age, indeed, hair becomes less shiny, loses its bright color. The outer shell of the hair consists of many overlapping small flakes. The hair shine and its beautiful color are provided by the reflection of the light by the outer shell of the hair. When the capillary fiber lacks internal moisture, these flakes rise and reflect the light in a lesser degree or irregularly.

Beautiful color and luster of the hair begins with the proper and adequate nutrition. Sufficient presence of essential vitamins, minerals and amino acids in the diet is very important. Such substances increase capillary hair fiber, as well as its growth. Regarding cosmetic products based on silicone, they, of course, provide the softness and shine of hair, but at the same time affect only the outer shell of hair, without solving the root cause of the problem. Furthermore, the prolonged regular use of such means can cause the hair to become even duller.

Increased hair brittleness

The weakening and increase of hair brittleness is connected with its dehydration, lack of moisture. In this case, well help preparations for hair washing with pro-vitamin B5, which stimulates the oxygen saturation and microcirculation in the tissues, and hence, improves the nutrition of hair follicles. To restore extremely dry, almost dehydrated hair, you can use something as simple as olive oil. Once a week you need to rub olive oil in the hair and massage the scalp. This will significantly improve the condition of your hair; saturate it with moisture and nutrients.

Electrostatic voltage

With the age also the fact that the hair is susceptible to a greater degree of electrostatic voltage becomes more noticeable. This happens because after 50 years milestone the chemical composition of hair is changing. To avoid electrostatic voltage of your hair and a little bit funny phenomenon of “standing up” hair, try to use a hair dryer as seldom as possible. For the “taming” of hair you can use hair spray, but it is useful once a week to apply a hair mask with collagen. Thus, you will not only take perfect care of your hair, but you’ll practically solve the problem of electrostatic voltage of your hair.

Stay healthy and beautiful!

Laughter Therapy is Prolonging Our Lives

laughter-therapy

Not everyone knows that there exists a whole science of laughter and it is called gelotology. It claims that laughter, laughter therapy is able to have a positive impact on human physiology. Laughter therapy is widely used by psychologists worldwide.

Laughter therapy, what is it?
Laughter therapy is one of the methods of psychotherapy, which is practiced by modern psychologists all over the world since the 60s. Gelotology manifests that a person can treat some of his diseases by laughing. Referring also to history, we see that even the great Hippocrates said that laughter is a medicine and that it brings invaluable benefit to our health.

Why laughter is so useful and on what principles the laughter therapy is built? 
William Fry, a professor of Psychology from Stanford University, considered laughter as one of the types of breathing, at which the inhale increases and exhalation is shortened, herewith the intensity of such laughter makes the lungs to get completely rid of air. At this moment the body’s biochemical reactions occur. In particular, the laughter therapy helps to reduce the level of stress hormones – adrenalin and cortisone, and at the same time promotes the release of endorphins, that can reduce the emotional and physical pain, thus a feeling of satisfaction appears.

In addition, laughter therapy helps to cleanse the upper air passages and improve the blood circulation. Therefore laughter therapy can be compared to a walk in the woods or an oxygen cocktail.

By means of laughter therapy, first of all, the accumulated psychological problems can be solved. Laughing, we overcome stress, become more sociable, get rid of hatred, anger and resentment, reset the negative emotions and irritation. Laughter, which began in a state of relative rest, eventually restores our entire body.

But the benefits of laughter therapy do not end thereon. You do not have enough good rest? Laughter therapy for only 5 minutes will replace a 40-minute rest. Therefore, if you suffer the lack of sleep – just laugh and you will immediately feel how the body is filled with cheerfulness and energy.
No time for training in the gym? Also laugh! Laughter therapy helps almost 80 muscle groups to relax. During laughter therapy the heartbeat quickens, blood cholesterol level decreases, and endocrine glands produce substances that contribute to the removal of headaches. It’s hard to believe, but 1 minute of laughter therapy is equal to 30 minutes of aerobics.
Laughter therapy may work as a personal cosmetologist. Laughing involves almost all the facial muscles, thereby increasing their tone and, consequently, improving the appearance.

Thus today there are three subtypes of laughter therapy:
• Classical laughter therapy – conducting psychological trainings in groups and individually;
• Laughter Yoga – Indian technique of correct, natural and light laughter;
• Medical clownery – employees of medical institutions make some performances for the patients.

During special trainings, under the guidance of an experienced specialist, people learn to laugh properly. To laugh in such a way that laughter will bring maximum benefit to their health. They learn such laughter with the help of special exercises – breathing and physical, autotrainings, yoga, and special games. Medical studies have shown that the cerebral cortex contains areas that are responsible for the overall physical condition of a person and their proper work cause a sense of happiness.
Laughter can influence these “areas of happiness”! When a person laughs, the intensity of the blood flow to the brain increases, and the cells of the gray matter of the brain receive a large dose of oxygen. As a result, the weariness and headaches go away, the blood circulation in the vessels improves, the upper respiratory tract is cleared, endorphins are produced – the hormones of happiness, depression and other mental illnesses disappear. Shakespeare said, “A merry heart lives long.” Here you have the principle of the laughter therapy.

Wise nature has given the human laughter not in vain. It releases vast amounts of energy, rejuvenates and heals us, makes it possible to throw off the heaviness of accumulated thoughts, problems. But how to use laughter to fight for our health teaches the laughter therapy. Laughter therapy is a great healer. So laugh more often and be healthy!