Vitamin D: Building Stronger Bones
Adults ages 50 and older need between 800 and 1,000 IU of vitamin D daily, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation. Check with your doctor for the right amount for you.
If you aren’t getting enough vitamin D from sunlight and food, consider taking a supplement. But, before adding a vitamin D supplement, check to see if any of the other supplements,
multivitamins or medications you take contain vitamin D. Many calcium supplements also contain vitamin D.
If you need help choosing a vitamin D supplement, ask your doctor or pharmacist to recommend one.
Source: National Osteoporosis Foundation
Checking High Blood Pressure
Blood pressure is measured using two numbers. The first, called systolic blood pressure, measures the pressure in your blood vessels when your heart beats. The second, diastolic blood pressure, measures the pressure in your blood vessels when your heart rests between beats. If the measurement reads 120 systolic and 80 diastolic, you would say “120 over 80” or write “120/80 mmHg.”
- A blood pressure less than 120/80 mmHg is normal.
- A blood pressure of 130/90 mmHg or more is too high.
- People with levels between 120/80 and 130/90 have a condition called prehypertension, which means they are at higher risk for high blood pressure.
Sources: American College of Cardiology; American Heart Association
Cataracts: Just the Facts
A cataract is a clouding of the lens in the eye that affects vision. A cataract can occur in either or both eyes. It cannot spread from one eye to the other. Researchers suspect that there are several causes, such as smoking, prolonged exposure to ultraviolet light and diabetes. Or it may be that the protein in the lens just changes from the wear and tear it takes over the years.
During middle age, most cataracts are small and do not affect vision. It is generally after age 60 that most cataracts cause vision problems. Wearing sunglasses and a hat with a brim to block ultraviolet sunlight may help delay cataract development. If you smoke, stop. Researchers also believe good nutrition, including fruit and leafy greens, can help reduce the risk of age-related cataract.
If you are age 60 or older, schedule a comprehensive dilated eye exam at least once every two years. In addition to cataract, your eye-care professional can check for signs of age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma and other vision disorders.
Source: National Eye Institute
Beating Dry Indoor Air: Keep Your Home Humidifier Clean and Safe
It’s easy to plug in a portable humidifier and forget about it, just adding water now and then. But microorganisms can grow in a humidifier that isn’t properly cleaned, and that’s not good for your family’s health.
Keeping your humidifier clean is simple: Empty the tank, wipe all surfaces dry, and refill the water in portable humidifiers daily to reduce any growth of microorganisms. (Be sure you unplug the unit from the electrical socket first.) Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for weekly and end-of-season cleaning.
Stop using your humidifier and contact your doctor if you have respiratory symptoms that you believe are associated with periods of use of your home humidifier, even if you are following maintenance directions.
Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency