House Calls

SUM 2017

House Calls Magazine is a quarterly publication that focuses on health and wellness. It includes a wide assortment of articles with topics on the latest health and wellness information, nutrition, safety, lifestyles, and more.

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E ndless summer days are here, which means we have more time to spend cruising through the harbor, fishing off the pier, sprucing up the lawn. And while we need to protect our eyes year-round, it's especially vital during these warmer months when we spend more time outdoors. "The sun damages the eyes primarily through exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation," says Roper St. Francis affiliated ophthalmologist Dr. John Kulze. "Longer days lead to more exposure, which can cause more damage." UV rays are filtered through the eye's cornea and absorbed by the lens, which, after decades of exposure, can become yellow 14 { summer 2017 } h o u s e c a l l s senior health Eye Guide Dr. Kulze shares his go-to tips for boosting eye health Pick the right protection. Not all sunglasses are created equal. Be sure to find a pair with lenses offering UV protection. If you wear glasses, ask your eye doctor for lenses with a UV- protective coating. 2 Gear up. When spending time in the sun, wear a hat to shield your eyes from direct sunlight. If you aren't wearing sunglasses, apply sunscreen to your eyelids, as well (try a stick sunblock to help keep it from dripping.) 3 Don't skimp on checkups. Dr. Kulze recommends that anyone over age 50 get eye exams every year or two. 4 Dig in. Eating a nutritious diet is one of the most effective ways to improve eye health, says Dr. Kulze. Consume as many fruits and vegetables as possible, aiming for roughly four cups per day. Foods high in vitamins C, A, and E as well as omega-3 fatty acids are known to promote eye health—as is swapping out trans fats, saturated fats, and refined carbs for monounsaturated oils and whole grains. Out of Sight Outdoor adventures are calling; are your eyes up for the challenge? - B Y S A M A N T H A C O N N O R S and develop cataracts—a condition in which the lens becomes cloudy, making surroundings appear hazy or foggy. Even indirect contact with UV light can lead to cataracts as well as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), an ailment characterized by damage to the macula (the central area of the retina), leading to blurred eyesight and blank spots in vision. Another UV- related concern is solar retinopathy: vision loss that can result from staring directly at the sun. "In most cases, the damage from UV light is a cumulative problem, so our risk for eye-related diseases increases as we age," explains Dr. Kulze. Indeed, according to the National Eye Institute, AMD is the leading cause of vision loss for people over 50, and the American Academy of Ophthalmology states that by age 75, roughly half of all Americans have cataracts. While it's best to start protecting your eyes early in life, Dr. Kulze says it's important to stay vigilant at any age, as extended UV exposure can also lead to eyelid skin cancers and corneal sunburn. The good news? The preventative steps for warding off eye maladies of any sort are rather straightforward. "Wearing sunglasses, hats, and sunscreen, plus maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle, are the keys to reducing your risk." Answer: b. August 21, 2017. NASA warns that "eclipse blindness" and retinal burns can take place if you stare directly at the sun during a partial phase of a total solar eclipse (standard UV-protecting sunglasses aren't strong enough for this phenomenon; specialty eclipse glasses are needed). Avoid looking at the sun with your naked eye during the eclipse, and visit eclipse2017.org to learn about this rare astronomical event. a. July 23, 2017 b. August 21, 2017 c. August 30, 2017 d. September 6, 2017 POP QUIZ! This summer, the moon will pass between the earth and sun, resulting in a fully or partially obscured view of the sun, known as a solar eclipse (Charleston is in the pathway for a total version). Do you have the date marked on your calendar?

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