6 ways to improve and protect your vision

Healthy habits help protect one’s vision and independence. These include eating a healthy diet with foods that are rich in antioxidants, such as leafy greens; quitting smoking; controlling underlying conditions (like diabetes) that increase the risk for vision problems; and getting regular comprehensive eye exams. Using artificial tears can relieve the gritty feeling of dry eyes and sometimes improves vision. It’s also helpful to protect the eyes by wearing sunglasses when outside or safety glasses when doing work around the house. (Locked) More »

What is lupus?

Systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus for short) is an autoimmune disease. It occurs when the body mistakenly attacks the skin, joints, blood cells, kidneys, brain, and other organs. Medications can help suppress the autoimmune attack. (Locked) More »

The new networking

In order to stave off isolation and loneliness in later life, a person should consider expanding his or her social network by reaching out to create new friends. It may take work to find and nurture relationships. Some ways to meet new people include getting to know one’s neighbors, volunteering for political organizations, joining an adult sports league, getting a part-time job, mentoring young people, joining a choir, taking a class, and just asking an acquaintance to meet for coffee. (Locked) More »

Precious metals and other important minerals for health

 Image: © fstop123/Getty Images Gold, silver, and platinum get all the attention as the world's most precious metals. But they're more precious for the global economy than for human health. Instead, other metals and minerals (metals are one type of mineral) are more important for our health (see "What essential metals do for us"). Indeed, some of them are so important that we can't live without them. "Each one plays a role in hundreds of body functions. It may take just a very small quantity of a particular mineral, but having too much or too little can upset a delicate balance in the body," says Dr. Bruce Bistrian, chief of clinical nutrition at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Many metals are used to make strong and durable everyday objects, like copper pipes or iron skillets. But they don't form such strong and durable objects in our bodies. Instead, many essential metals are needed to activate enzymes — molecules with important jobs in the body. And metals have many other essential roles as well. For example: More »

The benefits and risks of multigenerational fitness parks

Multigenerational fitness parks offer fun ways to exercise. The parks include playground equipment that’s suitable for people of all ages: swings are sturdy and roomy; slides are wide, with gentle slopes; and seesaws have ergonomically designed seats that are easy to sit on. The equipment makes it possible for adults to play alongside their kids or grandkids or other children. The parks may also include outdoor fitness equipment, such as leg presses and recumbent bicycles to build leg, hip, and core muscles and elliptical or cross-country ski machines for a total body workout. (Locked) More »

Common summer skin rashes

Several rashes can cause discomfort during the summer months. People often develop an itchy, oozing rash after brushing against certain plants, such as poison ivy. A rash of tiny bumps with a prickly sensation (known as prickly heat) can result from sweating while wearing tight clothing. Some people get an itchy rash as an allergic reaction to sun exposure. It helps to see a doctor if one has poison ivy or if a rash persists and interferes with sleeping, working, or relaxing. More »