Smile Snacks for Your Football or Oscar Party

by MikeMeehan 1/31/2018 11:07 AM

Whether you’re hosting an awards show party or throwing a game-day bash, you can help your friends take care of their smiles as well as their taste buds. Reconsider the trend Rosé, champagne and prosecco may be a trendy choice and a fun idea for an award show party or to celebrate your favorite team winning the big game, but these drinks can be hard on tooth enamel. Prosecco, champagne, and rosè have high acid levels, so opt for sparkling water or even a dry martini instead. Cheese – both appetizing and helpful A fancy cheese tray – or even just slices of good ol’ cheddar – is an easy choice. It can also protect your teeth if you do decide to indulge in champagne and the other celebratory drinks described above. Cheese is always a crowd pleaser, and you can dress it up with a charcuterie board including prosciutto, salami and chorizo. Throw in some healthy garnishes, such as almonds and pickles, and you’ve got a spread that’s sure to impress. But skip the crackers and crostini. Foods that are high in carbohydrates break down into sugars that can harm your enamel just like the sugars in cookies and candies. A veggie tray will save the day Instead of opening a bag of chips, which are also high in carbohydrates and starches, put a veggie tray on the menu. Vegetables will provide the same satisfying crunch your guests crave while keeping their smiles healthy. If you’re looking for something different than the usual celery, carrots and broccoli, try parsnips, jicama, snap peas, artichokes and asparagus. Berries for sweetness For a little something sweet, opt for berries drizzled with dark chocolate. Dark chocolate has lower sugar content than milk chocolate and white chocolate, so it’s a good choice for dessert.

Sugar and Your Eyes

by MikeMeehan 1/22/2018 3:46 PM

Last week we talked about how sugar affects your teeth, which is probably commonly considered. Candy, soda and other sweets often trigger fears of cavities. But what’s less likely to be considered is how sugar can be harmful to your eyes.  How are they connected? One way sugar and our eyes are connected is through blood sugar levels. Since we have blood vessels in our eyes, the amount of sugar we consume that goes into our blood can affect our vision. As explained on AllAboutVision.com, “Fluctuating blood sugars are known to cause fluctuating vision.”  There is a connection between blood sugar levels and the lens in your eye being able to maintain focus. According to BostonSight, “sugar consumption is linked to a number of serious eye health conditions.” One example provided was from a study that found limiting sugar can reduce the risk or the advancement of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). AMD can cause you to lose your vision. As discussed in an article on WebMD, it’s better to eat foods that are low on the glycemic index and that won’t make your blood sugar levels spike quickly. Cataracts are another eye condition that research has linked to sugar intake. High amounts of sugar in your blood can cause the lens in your eyes to swell. According to the American Optometric Association, this may increase your risk of developing cataracts. Excessive pressure in your eye can lead to glaucoma, another serious eye disease. High blood sugar can cause the blood vessels in your eyes to create a buildup of fluid. This fluid can create that excessive pressure. Diabetes and eye disease If you have diabetes, there are other diseases you’re at risk of developing - diabetic retinopathy and diabetic macular edema. Talking with your eye doctor to learn more and going for a comprehensive eye exam regularly can detect some of these conditions early.  Though it may seem common knowledge to watch your sugar intake because of the negative effects it can have on your health, it’s important to consider all the ways it can impact your health – including your eyes and vision.

5 Things to Know About Glaucoma

by MikeMeehan 1/11/2018 10:20 AM

Glaucoma is an eye disease that can lead to permanent vision loss. According to the American Optometric Association (AOA), it’s one of the leading causes of blindness in the United States. And according to the Glaucoma Research Foundation, of the 60 million people in the world that have glaucoma, an estimated half of those people don’t know they have it. With January as Glaucoma Awareness Month, here are five things to learn about the disease. Use this information as a way to start your research and develop knowledge on how this disease can affect you and your family.  Glaucoma usually has no symptoms The symptoms of glaucoma can vary. What’s frightening is that you could have glaucoma without knowing; it can develop slowly and without pain. There could be no warning signs until you start to notice a loss in your vision. But as much as 40% of your vision can be lost without you noticing. With some forms of the disease, the condition could happen quickly, and there could be symptoms like blurred vision and halos around lights. Glaucoma can be detected with a comprehensive eye exam While it’s scary to think that glaucoma can develop without you realizing, remember this disease can be detected with a comprehensive eye exam from your eye doctor. With early detection, there is treatment available that can control the disease and reduce the risk of vision loss. Regular eye exams are so important for detection of this disease because any vision loss from glaucoma is irreversible. People over the age of 60 are at high risk If you’re over the age of 60, you have a higher risk of developing glaucoma. Other factors can increase your risk, so talk with your eye doctor and discuss these variables. The most common forms of glaucoma affect older people, but the disease can still affect all age groups. If you have a high risk of glaucoma, it’s extremely important to get a comprehensive eye exam with your eye doctor every one to two years. Family history increases your risk According to the AOA, the exact cause of glaucoma is not known. We do know that the condition is “usually associated with an increase in the fluid pressure inside the eye.” We also know that it’s hereditary in some families. Read more about this and other risk factors. There are different types of glaucoma While we often might just use the general term glaucoma when referring to it, there are different forms of the disease. Primary open-angle glaucoma is the most common. You can learn more about the different types of glaucoma and how they’re different on the Glaucoma Research Foundation website. Now, with these five things to know about glaucoma, consider your vision health, talk to your family, and make an eye doctor appointment. 

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