Dr. Mauk’s Boomer Blog

/Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog

Each week, Dr. Mauk shares thoughts relevant to Baby Boomers that are aimed to educate and amuse.

Five Eye Health Tips for Maintaining Long-Life Vision

 

As you age, so do your eyes. It is a simple fact of life, however, age related vision problems don’t need to be a lifestyle changer. Knowing what’s to come and how you can maintain your vision for the long haul is an essential first step, according to the American Optometric Association.

As you approach 60 years young, it is vital to pay more attention to the warning signs of age-related vision issues. Vision problems as you get older can be acute or chronic, but knowing how to steer clear of them is probably at the top of your list.

Making significant lifestyle choices and getting regular eye exams will help keep you focused on your eye health. Let’s face it, visiting your optometrist is more fun than seeing your dentist or primary physician. Let’s take a look at a few ways you can keep your vision strong, no matter your age.

  1. Visit Your Eye Doctor Regularly for Optimal Eye Health

There are some pretty unfavorable eye diseases you may be at risk for, especially if you skip your eye exams. In order to keep your vision as keen as a 20 year olds, visiting your optometrist regularly is vital.

In fact, an article published in academic journal, American Family Physician (1999) found several common causes of vision loss in the elderly. The vision debilitating eye diseases you may be at risk for include Macular Degeneration, Glaucoma, Cataracts, and Diabetic Retinopathy, among others. Seeing your eye doctor will help you avoid these chronic vision loss conditions.

  1. Eat Right to See Right

What you eat directly affects your health. And the same applies for your eye health. Eating the healthy nutritious meals at least three times per day is one exceptional way to keep your focus on great vision.

Food loaded with nutrient rich vitamins and minerals, such as omega-3 fatty acids, lutein, zinc, and vitamin C, and vitamin E may help keep your eyes in superb shape. Those greens, eggs, nuts, and salmon are a great place to begin. You may even see a few pounds shrink away from your waist.

  1. Focus on Eye Health and Quit Smoking

Saving your lungs from smoking is also saving your vision from acute and chronic vision issues in the future. In fact, smoking increases your risk for cataracts, optic nerve damage, and macular degeneration.

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If quitting your attempt to quit smoking continues to happen, don’t give up. Your vision as you age may depend on it. And if you quit smoking, you will most likely live longer, making it even more imperative to have great vision to see your grandchildren blossom.

  1. Look Cool and Protect Your Eyes with UV Sunglasses

If keeping your eyes healthy aligns with your fashion, even better. Wearing UV sunglasses may help protect your eyes from the sun’s powerful rays. Research suggests that too much UV exposure will increase your risk for cataracts and macular degeneration.

Pick up some sunglasses with 99% to 100% of both UVA and UVB rays. Protecting your peripheral vision is also important, so wraparound shades may be even better. There are even contacts with UV protection these days. However, sunglasses with UV block are best.

  1. Limit Your Screen Time for Better Vision Later in Life

Limiting your screen time is nothing new. In fact, mothers have been saying television ruins eyes for decades. If you want to protect your eyes, taking a break from so much screen time is essential.

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This also extends to tech devices such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops. The American Macular Degeneration Foundation suggests that the blue light emitted by these tech screens may trigger macular degeneration, among other health issues.

Protecting your eyes today may pay off big time as you begin reaching those golden years. And it is never too late to start living healthy to improve your vision. Most of the suggestions made by professionals can also make a big impact on your overall health. Stay focused when it comes to eye health, because seeing is an important sense to maintain forever.

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By |2019-05-16T12:27:08-05:00May 21st, 2019|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on Five Eye Health Tips for Maintaining Long-Life Vision

Four Most Effective Ways to Treat Bone Spurs

Group of older mature people lifting weights in the gym

Bone spurs, which are small projections that develop on the edges of bones, are a highly common ailment that affects about 2 percent of the U.S. population.

People of any age can develop bone spurs, but they’re especially common in senior citizens since they are often associated with osteoarthritis-related joint damage.

Bone spurs don’t always require medical treatment, but, depending on their location, they can contribute to joint inflammation, pain, and stiffness that limit mobility. Bone spurs along the spine are particularly problematic, as are ones that develop in the knee or ankle joints.

For seniors who are struggling with bone spurs, there are lots of different treatment options available, including the four listed below.

 

1. Weight Loss
Weight loss is one of the most effective treatments for managing bone spurs, especially spinal bone spurs.

Changing your diet will is, generally speaking, the most effective weight loss tool. Focus on limiting your caloric intake and cutting out greasy fast food and highly processed snacks. Replace them with high-quality protein, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats like avocados and olive oil.

Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids can also help lubricate the joints and relieve inflammation.

2. Lifestyle Aids
There are lots of tools out there as well that can help relieve pain caused by bone spurs. Some good options to invest in include:

Supportive shoes that cushion the feet and avoid putting extra strain on the joints
Orthotic inserts to provide extra support
A shoe horn to help you avoid bending over and aggravating your back while getting dressed

3. Regular Exercise
Exercise releases natural painkillers in the form of endorphins. It also strengthens the muscles to help support the joints and relieve pressure placed on them.

Resistance training, walking, and swimming are all good exercise options for people struggling with bone spurs. Work with a trainer or physical therapist to make sure you’re practicing proper form and not doing anything to aggravate your condition.

4. Minimally Invasive Surgery
Finally, some people require minimally invasive surgery to get rid of their bone spurs. When you undergo surgery, a doctor will use state-of-the-art equipment to identify the spur and extract it.

This is typically an outpatient procedure, and the recovery time only lasts a few hours — you’ll be up and walking shortly after and won’t have to deal with an extended hospital stay.

By |2019-05-16T12:26:12-05:00May 20th, 2019|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on Four Most Effective Ways to Treat Bone Spurs

Guest Blog: Preventing Diabetes In Seniors

Prevent Diabetes mellitus type 2 in Seniors

The number of seniors diagnosed with diabetes has reached epidemic proportions. The American Diabetes Association estimates that 11.8 million individuals over age 65 have some form of diabetes, whether it is Type 1 or Type 2. That accounts for almost 25 percent of the population of people in the United States over age 65.

Just because this disease has reached an epidemic level doesn’t mean you have to accept that someday you will get it, too. There are a number of steps you can take to help decrease your chances of receiving a diabetes diagnosis.

 

Try to Increase Your Daily Amount of Exercise

Aches and pains, health problems and busy schedules often result in people starting to slow down as they age. Unfortunately, this is the worst thing you can do if you are trying to prevent diabetes.

Exercise reduces your risk of diabetes by not only lowering blood sugar levels, but by helping you lose weight. Both high blood sugar levels and being overweight has been proven to increase an individual’s risk of developing diabetes.

Many seniors are unsure of where to start when it comes to increasing exercise, especially if there has been a decrease in mobility. Luckily, there are a number of ways seniors can get their daily amount of exercise without having to run a marathon or lift weights at the gym.

Some exercise recommendations include:

  • Walking at a moderate to brisk pace
  • Seated or chair aerobics
  • Yoga
  • Lightweight strength-building exercise

It is recommended that seniors try to get at least 30 minutes of exercise in a day, but it doesn’t have to happen all at once. Exercise routines can be broken up into 5-minute or 10-minute increments. This makes exercise goals easier to reach, as it seems less intimidating.

Start Making Healthy Choices when it Comes to the Food You Eat

The food and drinks you consume on a daily basis dramatically increase or decrease your risk of diabetes. If you wish to reduce the risk of developing this disease, it is important to start making healthy food choices.

Some healthy food choice recommendations for seniors include:

  • Try to eliminate or reduce your intake of foods that are high in saturated fat, sugar and salt.
  • Reduce the amount of juices and sodas you drink and replace them with water.
  • Watch the amount of carbs that are consumed every meal, as carbs can increase blood sugar levels.
  • Reduce portion sizes.
  • Consider eating several small meals throughout the day, as opposed to two or three big meals.
  • Choose healthier snacks, such as nuts, fruits and vegetables.

Making dietary changes can be difficult, which is why there is help available. Many nutritionists offer group classes or individual sessions that focus on making healthy lifestyle choices that can help reduce your risk for diabetes.

Maintain a Healthy Weight or Work to Lose Weight

Excessive weight gain can increase your risk for diabetes because the body is unable to produce the natural insulin needed to break down glucose. It is important to either maintain your weight, if you are at a healthy weight, or lose weight if you wish to prevent Type 2 diabetes.

If you are overweight, losing anywhere from 5 to 10 pounds could dramatically decrease your risk for diabetes. The amount of weight you will need to lose will vary depending upon your unique situation. Speak with your doctor or health care provider to determine how much weight, if any, should be lost. He or she may be able to provide you with recommendations on how you can lose weight.

While following these recommendations may lessen your chances of getting diabetes, it may not completely stop it from happening. Some factors — such as other health problems, genetics and race — increase the possibility of diabetes. Unfortunately, these factors are uncontrollable and/or cannot be changed.

Even though there are some risk factors of diabetes that cannot be controlled, you can still dramatically minimize your risk of getting this disease by incorporating some, if not all, of these recommendations into your daily life.

Author Bio:

Thomas Boston founded Cash Now Offer as a way to help the diabetic community. Being a diabetic himself, his main goal is to make sure everyone who is in need of diabetic strips has access to them.

 

 

 

 

 

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By |2019-05-16T12:25:23-05:00May 19th, 2019|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on Guest Blog: Preventing Diabetes In Seniors

Medicine Cabinet Spring Cleaning Reminders for Seniors

Are you tending to your ever-growing spring cleaning checklist? If you don’t have “clean out the medicine cabinet” as one of your ToDos, add it today and don’t forget these important reminders:

Dispose of Old Medicine
Unused prescriptions, expired over-the-counter drugs, empty boxes, and bottles . . . it’s easy for a medicine cabinet to become cluttered over the year with superfluous items. Take some time this spring to clear it out and safely dispose of the medicine you no longer use.

  • Check expiration dates and recycle old medicine boxes and bottles (remove prescription labels before you toss them or mark out private information)Follow instructions for disposing of medicine or check with your local pharmacy or law enforcement agency about upcoming drug take-back events
    Simplify your daily medicine schedule by sorting pills into color-coded pill organizers with day of the week and time of day compartments

Upgrade Home Health Items
As you get older, is your doctor recommending you check health metrics at home more regularly like blood pressure, temperature, or blood sugar? Having handy, reliable home health tools to gather and record important health data could play a significant role in helping you manage a chronic illness, prevent infection, and be alerted when something seems off. Don’t forget to check that these tools are in working order:

  • An accurate thermometer to check one’s temperature regularly
    A reliable blood pressure monitor with memory for recording readings
    A blood sugar monitor with strips (especially if you are one of the 25% of adults over 65 with diabetes)
    A pulse oximeter (if you have frequent respiratory infections or heart disease)

Update Medical ID
Did you know that most smartphones offer you the ability to store important medical ID information in the event of an emergency? Simply find the Health app or Medical ID feature in the settings on your phone and input important information like birth date, known medical conditions, allergies, blood type, and emergency contact numbers.

If first responders are unable to get this information from you at the scene of an accident, they are now trained to check your smartphone. Medical ID information can be accessed from the lock screen of most smartphones without having to enter a passcode.

Don’t forget to check the stock on your first aid kit – refilling items like band-aids, wound solution, NSAIDs, cold compresses, antibiotic cream, sterile gauze, and elastic bandages could come in handy during your summer adventures.

By |2019-05-16T12:24:53-05:00May 18th, 2019|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on Medicine Cabinet Spring Cleaning Reminders for Seniors

4 Ways to Turn Your Walk Into a Workout


While senior fitness offerings continue to explode in gyms around the country, the age-old tradition of simply ‘going for a walk’ still touts loads of health benefits, especially for older adults.

Brisk walking a offers low-impact activity that is relatively simple, can be done most anywhere, is fun to do with friends, and is easily modifiable to increase calorie burn. In addition to strengthening your bones and muscles, routine walking can also help prevent lifestyle conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure, as well as improve your balance, coordination, and even your mood.

If you are looking for quick ways to take your daily walk to the next level, don’t miss these expert tips:

Speed Up
The best exercise is that which gets your heart rate up to at least 55 to 85% of your MHR (maximum heart rate). The formula for MHR = 220 – your age. So if you are 65, for example, your maximum heart rate is around 155. Speeding up your walk so your heart rate climbs over 109 (70% of 155) for at least 10 minutes is going to count as good aerobic exercise that is helping strengthen your heart muscle.

Climb Hills
Walking up an incline naturally requires the body to work harder and use up more energy. This can help you build endurance over time and tone muscle groups in your legs you weren’t previously engaging. If you are concerned about a weak knee, reduce lateral knee movement and prevent discomfort with a knee brace specifically designed for walking.

Change Terrain
Instead of doing your usual walk around the roads in your neighborhood, head to a local trail and take a hike. Hiking up and downhill will burn more calories as well as pose a greater challenge to your balance and coordination skills. Exercising like this in nature has also been shown to boost feelings of attentiveness and positivity.

Add Intervals
Incorporate more intervals of high-intensity activity into your walk and you can both improve your endurance and aerobic capacity as well as give your metabolism a boost. 5 minutes of brisk walking punctuated with 30 seconds of squats, lunges, or crunches, followed by another 5 minutes of walking and then 1 minute of jogging and so on and so forth also spices up your walking routine and makes it a little more fun.

By |2019-05-16T12:24:24-05:00May 17th, 2019|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on 4 Ways to Turn Your Walk Into a Workout