Summer Vision Protection – Wellness Notes July, 2013

WELLNESS NOTES

“Cast all your anxieties on him, for he cares about you.” I Peter 5:7

JULY  WELLNESS  reminds us to focus on first, our vision, and second summer protection.  Two recent articles prompt us to new awareness.

Protecting our vision during the sunny, bright summer months is of paramount importance.  All ages need to remember to protect from UV light by using sun glasses at all times when outdoors.  Even cloudy or overcast days may allow damaging UV rays to stress our eyes.   Hats, visors, sun shades and porches can be our best friends.  Statistics  state that up to 80+% of Arizona adults will develop cataracts.  Protecting eyes as early as possible make decrease those statistics.   Wise use of eye drops that dry and constrict eye fluid is important.  Annual dilated eye exams and update of vision prescriptions are recommended.      Obtain prescription sunglasses if you are a daily glasses wearer, or try the “Cocoon” type sunglasses that fit over prescription glasses.      New research aimed at those at high risk or who have early or diagnosed Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)  addresses adjustment of the 2001 recommended use of “AREDS” formula vitamin supplements.  The Journal of American Medical Association states a new study shows that  eating a diet high in omegs-3 fatty acids plus nutrients lutein and zeaxanthin, found in leafy green veggies, eggs, & corn, as well as the “AREDS”  supplement combining high dose Vitamin C and E, beta carotene, zinc, and copper reduces the risk of worsening AMD by 25% in some people.   Those at risk of lung cancer or who smoke should  skip the beta carotene component.      Ask your Opthamologist about this supplement for you.

Another recent  article  from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)  identifies a potentially fatal antibiotic resistant bacterium which has surfaced in many hospitals and care facilities.   CRE or Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae has become seriously infective and dangerous.  This bacteria found is found in the GI tract.   Those at risk are patients with devices like ventilators, catheters, and IV’S and those who have taken long courses of antibiotics.    Individuals are encouraged to do the following to protect from this difficult infection:

  • Inform your healthcare provider if you have been hospitalized in another facility or country
  • Take antibiotics sparingly and only when prescribed  for a specific condition
  • Ask all healthcare providers  (YOU CAN DO THIS AS YOUR OWN ADVOCATE) to wash their hands with soap and water or an alcohol based hand rub before and after touching your body.
  • Clean your own hands often, especially before preparing or eating food; before touching your eyes, nose, or mouth; before & after changing wound dressings or bandages, or handling medical devices;  and after using the bathroom.

Be your own advocate and protect yourself and those around you.

Alice Stephenson BSN,RN,PN

Parish Nurse Consultant

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