Amy McGorry: Protecting your eyes, ears and teeth is an important part of staying healthy.
First, protect your smile. Poor dental care not only causes gum disease but may also trigger more serious health issues such as dementia, heart attacks, diabetes and more.
Brush your teeth atleast twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and floss atleast once a day. It also helps to use a bacteria fighting mouth wash. See your dentist every six months and don't smoke or chew tobacco.
You also want to protect your eyesight. Through our eyes we experience the world. As we age vision may begin to fail, but there are few things you can do to help prevent problems.
First, block the sun with sunglasses. Protecting your eyes from invisible ultraviolet radiation may decrease your risk of cataracts which occur when proteins in the eye's lens are damaged.
Eat eye-friendly foods to help protect your baby blues or browns fill your plate with dark leafy greens which contain carotenoids that may safeguard your retinas and enjoy foods rich in Vitamin C which have been shown to reduce the risk of developing cataracts.
Lastly, protect your hearing. First of all get checked, while half of people between the ages of 40 and 59 have difficulty hearing, only a third have had their hearing tested. Get checked by an audiologist every few years starting in your 40s so you can spot and treat problems early.
You also want to be sure to avoid offenders. While genetics and aging play a part in hearing loss, chronic noise exposure is also a common cause. Excessive noise can permanently damage the cilia, the tiny hairs in the inner and outer ear that transmit sound to the brain or amplify it.
Headphones can pack a mighty wallop too. Results from a recent study suggest that 25% of people regularly listen to music at levels high enough to eventually cause hearing damage. A smart rule of thumb; if those around you can hear your latest download or if you can't hear people talking to you while listening to music, the volume is too high.
Sometimes however these tweaks just aren't enough. If that's the case, see a certified audiologist to find out if you might benefit from a hearing aid. Newer aids can be placed directly inside the ear canal where you can't feel or see them. They can be worn 247 for up to 4 months to activities such as showering, exercising and sleeping so there is no daily hassle.
And these are just a few ways you can keep your smile, sight and ears in check.