Super Seniors Fitness Solutions

Keys to Living Well, Feeling Great & Enjoying Life

Age Related Macular Degeneration April 3, 2011

Age-Related Macular Degeneration Drops

by a Third

March 23, 2011

Q. Is there any positive news on the horizon about this disease? What are ways that he can cope with this dreaded condition?

There is some good news just out. The percentage of people with
age-related macular degeneration has dropped by a third in the past 15 years.

The overall prevalence of AMD among adults age 40 and older was an
estimated 6.5 percent, which represented a decrease from the 9.4 percent
reported in a 1988 to 1994 survey. The estimated prevalence of late (more
advanced) AMD was 0.8 percent

Macular degeneration, or age-related macular degeneration (AMD), is a
leading cause of vision loss in many 60 and older. It is a disease that
destroys sharp, central vision, which is needed to see objects clearly and to
complete such important tasks as reading and driving.

“The decreasing prevalence of AMD may reflect recent change in the
frequency of smoking and other exposures such as diet, physical activity and
blood pressure associated with AMD,” according to the study.

This news does bode well for future seniors who can alter their
lifestyle in an effort to help prevent this disease.

Check with your Optician or GP to determine the best way to manage your
eyesight.

Treatment

How is wet AMD treated?

Wet AMD can be treated with laser surgery,
photodynamic therapy, and injections into the eye. None of these treatments is
a cure for wet AMD. The disease and loss of vision may progress despite
treatment.

1.      Laser surgery. This procedure uses a laser to destroy the
fragile, leaky blood vessels. A high energy beam of light is aimed directly
onto the new blood vessels and destroys them, preventing further loss of
vision. However, laser treatment may also destroy some surrounding healthy tissue
and some vision. Only a small percentage of people with wet AMD can be treated
with laser surgery. Laser surgery is more effective if the leaky blood vessels
have developed away from the fovea, the central part of the macula. (See
illustration at the beginning of this document.) Laser surgery is performed in
a doctor’s office or eye clinic.

The risk of new blood vessels developing after laser treatment is high.
Repeated treatments may be necessary. In some cases, vision loss may progress
despite repeated treatments.

2. Photodynamic therapy. A drug called verteporfin is injected into
your arm. It travels throughout the body, including the new blood vessels in
your eye. The drug tends to “stick” to the surface of new blood
vessels. Next, a light is shined into your eye for about 90 seconds. The light
activates the drug. The activated drug destroys the new blood vessels and leads
to a slower rate of vision decline. Unlike laser surgery, this drug does not
destroy surrounding healthy tissue. Because the drug is activated by light, you
must avoid exposing your skin or eyes to direct sunlight or bright indoor light
for five days after treatment.

Photodynamic therapy is relatively painless. It takes about 20 minutes and can
be performed in a doctor’s office.

Photodynamic therapy slows the rate of vision loss. It does not stop vision
loss or restore vision in eyes already damaged by advanced AMD. Treatment
results often are temporary. You may need to be treated again.

3.      Injections.
Wet AMD can now be treated with new drugs that are injected into the eye
(anti-VEGF therapy). Abnormally high levels of a specific growth factor occur
in eyes with wet AMD and promote the growth of abnormal new blood vessels. This
drug treatment blocks the effects of the growth factor.

You will need multiple injections that may be given as often as monthly. The
eye is numbed before each injection. After the injection, you will remain in
the doctor’s office for a while and your eye will be monitored. This drug
treatment can help slow down vision loss from AMD and in some cases improve
sight.

How is dry AMD treated?

Once dry AMD reaches the advanced stage, no form of treatment can
prevent vision loss. However, treatment can delay and possibly prevent
intermediate AMD from progressing to the advanced stage, in which vision loss
occurs.

The National Eye Institute’s Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS)
found that taking a specific high-dose formulation of antioxidants and zinc
significantly reduces the risk of advanced AMD and its associated vision loss.
Slowing AMD’s progression from the intermediate stage to the advanced stage
will save the vision of many people.

 

 

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Are You Eating Properley – 10 Warning Signs

10 Warning Signs When Older Adults Are Not Eating Properly

March 28, 2011

So how do you know if your diet fits the bill?

These 10 warning signs are red flags that may signal a potential problem:

#1  Loss of appetite: If you have always been a hearty eater but no longer eat what you used to, it’s time to find out why.

Underlying illness could be the root cause.

#2  Little to no interest in eating out: If you loved eating out at a favorite restaurant but that no longer appeals, dig deeper to determine the problem

#3  Depression: Change in appetite is a classic sign of depression. Be sure to follow up with your health care provider if you feel down or suspect depression may be a problem.

#4  Sudden weight fluctuation: A weight change — losing or gaining 10 pounds in six months — is another sign that something could be amiss.

#5  Expired or spoiled food: Check the refrigerator for expired or spoiled food. Don’t save food until it’s no longer safe. Make sure that all food is labeled, with the date, in large
letters and numbers.

#6  Skin tone: Observe your skin tone. If you’re eating properly, your skin should look healthy and well-hydrated.

#7  Lethargy: If you are usually active and enjoy taking walks but suddenly become lethargic, it’s time to see your doctor. Poor nutrition could be to blame.

#8  Cognitive problems: Seniors who live alone can forget to eat. Dementia and cognitive problems can lead to nutritional deficiencies. Quick intervention is vital. Monitor your weight in your diary.  Join a lunch club and have lunch with friends.  Ensure that meals are planned into your daily routine

#9  More than three medications: Medication
can influence both appetite and weight. Check with your doctor to find out if
medications could be the culprit.

#10 A recent illness: Illness or a hospital stay can make you stop eating.
Keep tabs on your recovery, making sure you have reliable help at home.

 

 

Can Caffeine Prevent Dementia?

Caffeine May Help Seniors
Avoid Dementia

April 1, 2010

I love coffee, but my everyone is always
telling us to quit drinking it.

As it turns out, the evidence continues to grow showing the benefits of
caffeine in fighting Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia.
Although caffeine is the most widely consumed psychoactive drug worldwide and a
particular favourite for senior citizens who thrive on coffee, its potential
beneficial effect for maintenance of proper brain functioning has only recently
begun to be adequately appreciated. Here are some interesting findings you can
ponder the report “Therapeutic Opportunities for Caffeine in Alzheimer’s Disease
and Other Neurodegenerative Diseases”:

Multiple beneficial effects of caffeine to normalize brain
function and prevent its degeneration.

● Caffeine’s neuroprotective profile has an
ability to reduce some of the characteristics of  Alzheimer’s disease.

● Caffeine as a disease-modifying agent for
Alzheimer’s disease.

● Positive impact of caffeine on cognition and
memory performance.

● Studies suggesting that caffeine may be
protective against Parkinson’s disease

According to a study conducted for a Senior Care network, 57 percent of
seniors rarely cook for themselves. And yet, a well-balanced diet is essential
to healthy aging. Seniors whose diets are nutritionally lacking are at
increased risk for a variety of health problems.

Have you thought about joining a local senior lunch club?

Such facilities offer nutritious meals at an affordable price with a
dollop of companionship on the side.

Many older adults don’t realize how much they miss the companionship of
dining with others after a spouse has died. You could find that improves your
diet as well.

Or, if you’d like to remain in your home for meals, why not invite over
friends once a week, take it in turns to entertain each other.

 

 

4 Simple Rules for Better Senior Sleep

4 Simple Rules for Better Sleep

This sounds way too good to be true: a quick, effective solution to the insomnia
that plagues an estimated 15 to 30 percent of older adults — without drugs,
without even needing to consult a doctor.

A University of Pittsburgh team, testing its method on 79 seniors with chronic
insomnia (average age: 72), reported very encouraging results. The treatment
required just two short sessions with a nurse-practitioner, plus two brief
follow-up phone calls, over the course of a month.

Afterward, the researchers reported two-thirds of those treated reported measurable
improvement in sleep, compared with 25 percent of those in a control group. 55
percent of those treated no longer had insomnia at all. And six months later,
three-quarters of those tested had maintained or improved their better sleep
patterns.

So what was this potential wonder non-drug?  It’s a change in what you do, not in what you take.
So the researchers distilled those principles into four simple rules, came up with
a workbook and sleep diaries to help patients follow them, and trained a
nurse-practitioner to explain the regimen and the physiology behind it.

Insomnia, like other sleep disorders, can take a serious toll on health. It’s associated
with depression, falls and fractures, with higher mortality — and its
prevalence increases with age.

Doctors take insomnia seriously and prescribe medications to help patients sleep.

But sedatives can create problems. In older patients, sleep drugs can cause daytime
drowsiness and impair memory, and they’re also associated with falls.

The British Medical Journal in 2005, concluded that while the drugs improved sleep,
their effects were small and the hazards significant. “In people over 60, the
benefits of these drugs may not justify the increased risk,” the researchers
wrote.

Drug FREE Sleep

An intervention not involving drugs would therefore be a great boon “In an
ideal health care system, one would wish for behavioural treatment for insomnia
to be widely available because of the data supporting its success,” not to
mention the cost savings from reduced drug use and fewer side effects and injuries,
Thomas C. Neylan, a psychiatrist at the University of California, San
Francisco, wrote in a commentary accompanying the study.

So why isn’t this method commonly prescribed.

The idea is to stick to a schedule that maximizes your “sleep efficiency” — the
amount of time in bed you spend sleeping, instead of tossing and hoping that
sleep will descend.

The four rules:

1        Reduce the time spent in bed.

2        Get up at the same time every day.

3        Don’t go to bed until you feel sleepy.

4        Don’t stay in bed if you’re not sleeping.

The nurse instructing patients in the technique uses diagrams and examples,
describes the physiology involved, cautions that people may feel tired and
sleep-deprived for the first few weeks but usually go on to deeper, more
restful sleep that comes more quickly. Still, that’s about all that needs to be
said — not much. In the study, three brochures given to the control group
contained a lot of the same information, but just reading about better sleep
habits didn’t do the trick.

However obvious the strategy may sound, the reality is, people gravitate toward the
exact opposite behaviour. It’s common to see older adults spend 10 or 12 hours
in bed in order to get five hours of sleep. It’s very frustrating.  But it’s also frustrating to think that a potentially safe and effective answer to a widespread problem might once more fail to make its way out of an academic journal and into physicians’ offices
and people’s bedrooms

 

Jax Allen

Fitness Solutions Uk