The big 4-0 has come and gone and you’re stuck wondering what it all means. Well, there are some important health issues to address after the age of 40. Your hair might be changing colors, if it hasn’t already. Your skin might not have the elasticity that it used to and you might not fetch as many compliments as you once used to. Your ability to build muscle and lose weight is seemingly non-existent, especially when compared to the good old days in your twenties. However, most noticeable might be a decline in your body’s major senses, like hearing loss and most important of all, vision changes. Of course, there are some issues that you simply won’t notice until you see a doctor.
Heart health is one of the most prominent concerns of anyone over the age of 40, more specifically, heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. There is something special about the number 40 that causes these concerns to sneak their way into your life. It’s probably due to the years and years we spend enjoying the notion that we’re invisible. We have a tendency to eat and drink what we want, blow off the gym, and most of all, succumb to the stress and health constraints of most corporate and nine-to-five jobs. Luckily, many of these problems are easily remedied with some simple life changes. Refining your diet to eliminate saturated and trans fats will help, along with the avoidance of foods that inspire high cholesterol. Adding just a few minutes a day for exercise can even reverse some of the affects of hitting that ‘middle age’ milestone.
However, protecting your vision as you age is probably one of the most important goals to maintain. There are many issues that can arise as you age, and for some reason, they start to occur at or around the age of 40. Presbyopia is a very common issue that’s noticeable as you make your way ‘over the hill’. If you have trouble focusing on the objects closest to you, it may be a symptom of presbyopia, the hardening of the lens in your eye. You’ll notice yourself holding objects at an arm’s length just to help you focus. If this is the case, it’s time for some over-the-counter reading glasses or multifocal contact lenses.
Macular degeneration occurs as you continue to age, well past 40. In fact, this is the leading cause of blindness in American seniors. It doesn’t mean that you’ll wake up without vision the day after turning 40. Simply put, everyone’s eyes begin to degenerate as time passes on. Macular degeneration is just the fancy name for it. Another scary, yet common condition is glaucoma. For every decade after the age of 40, your chances of developing glaucoma increase exponentially. Another eyesight trend in those ‘of age’ is diabetic retinopathy caused diabetes. Developing diabetes is more common in those over the age of 40, and this particular condition will affect your eyesight.
Now, what can you do about all of this? It’s simple. Schedule regular eye exams every year to–pun intended–keep an eye on potential issues. Besides just addressing concerns with the health of your eyes and vision, remember to be mindful of the other issues common at this age. Ensure that you maintain a healthy diet to fend off possible heart disease and high blood pressure, especially since these issues can contribute to the degeneration of your eyesight. Should you notice any blurred vision or inability to focus, visit your practitioner and stay on top of it. After all, your health is in your hands, so please get control of it as you see fit to ensure a happy, healthy future that is full of bright, colorful memories, all in sharp focus.
What steps are you taking to improve your health after 40?