Posted May 19, 2011
Recognizing National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, May 2011
During the month of May, Americans are reminded of the importance of following a healthy lifestyle by eating nutritious foods and exercising at least five times a week for 30 minutes. An important key to enjoying a healthy life is to take care of your eyes and teeth.
According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, by 2020 more than 43 million Americans will be at risk for significant vision loss or blindness from eye diseases, including cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration. This is a 50 percent increase over the number of Americans currently diagnosed with these diseases.
Schedule regular comprehensive eye exams. Many eye diseases do not have symptoms that are easily recognized. Often the vision gradually changes until there is a noticeable difference. Routine eye exams are essential for eye doctors to detect vision changes in the early stages. For example, diabetes and hypertension affect the blood vessels in the eyes, which eye professionals can identify during comprehensive eye exams. This type of evaluation is more than just a vision check; it is a series of tests that review the eyes’ sight, muscle coordination, neurological function and the internal and external structure. Follow these guidelines from the American Optometric Association to know when to schedule eye exams for you and your family members.
Tips for Good Oral Health
Do you daily brush and floss your teeth, use an antiseptic mouthwash and regularly schedule dental appointments for cleanings and checkups? How well you care for your oral health today will affect the healthiness of your teeth and gums in the future.
It’s easy to put off taking care of your teeth. After breakfast you are in a hurry to get to work and at night you are too tired to remember to brush and floss. And scheduling a dental checkup appointment takes time out of your busy schedule.
Why brush and floss?Regular brushing and flossing helps control the buildup of plaque on your teeth. Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that forms on the outside of your teeth and between them. Daily brushing and flossing remove two-thirds of the plaque and bacteria in your mouth.
Value of regular dental appointments. During a dental exam, your teeth are professionally cleaned and your oral health is carefully evaluated. The dentist analyzes your gums and teeth for signs of oral and medical concerns that can lead to thyroid problems, leukemia, certain cancers, diabetes, osteoporosis, bulimia and anemia, if left untreated.
Review these important statistics:
- Tooth decay is the most common chronic disease for American kids, affecting more than one-fourth of those ages 2-5, and half of those ages 12-15
- According to national data estimates, kids ages 5 -17 miss nearly 2 million school days in a single year due to dental health problems
- One-fourth of U.S. adults age 65 and older have lost all of their teeth
- About 35,000 new cases of oral cancer are diagnosed each year
- Employees miss approximately 20.4 million workdays annually due to oral health problems
- Schedule regular dental exams as directed by your dentist; learn more about dental care.
Taking care of your eyes and oral health is relatively easy. Invest time to develop good oral health and vision care practices. Adopt a healthy lifestyle by consuming nutritious foods and exercising regularly to enjoy good health throughout life.
How often do you schedule regular exams for dental and vision checkups? – Scott Delisi, Ameritas Group