eye health

Eye Health in the 40s and beyond – How midlife and menopause affects menopause and what you can do about it

 

Eye health in your 40s and beyond is paramount. There are so many changes that happen internally and externally when we reach midlife, that sometimes we miss things that are glaringly (pardon the pun) obvious. Noticing small changes to the eyes for example.

eye health

 

Hormone Fluctuations

As we enter the midlife and menopausal phase of our life estrogen levels fluctuate. This causes dryness; not only in our nether regions but also in our eyes. Both of which can feel horribly uncomfortable.

You may have noticed that your eyes feel a bit dry and scratchy. Your contact lenses may have become irritable to wear. Tear production slows down after menopause but there are some great drops available to help relieve this sensation so you don’t have to suffer.

As we get older we need to be aware of certain eye conditions that are more prevalent in midlife and beyond.  Knowing that these conditions exist and staying on top of your eye health may help enhance the quality of your life.

Glaucoma

If you are already through the menopause and out the other side, you may have found that your vision has declined to some degree.  The risk of glaucoma and cataracts increases after the age of 40 and this is worsened with diabetes and high blood pressure. If you don’t have regular eye examinations, then now is the time to book your appointment.

On the discovery recently that I had suspect glaucoma, I set out to find out more about this condition. In the USA it is one of the major causes of blindness and many people do not even realise they have it. It is common in the early stages to have no symptoms (as in my case). If undiscovered for a long period of time, vision and sight is already affected.  If there is history of glaucoma within your family, then make sure you let your  GP and eye care specialist know.

Smoking affects Your Eyes

Smoking isn’t a wise choice if you want to enjoy good health. If you smoke, then now would be a great time to think about stopping.  Smoking causes your eyes to have excessive exposure to oxidative stress and may increase your risk of developing age-related macular degeneration.

Presbyopia

Presbyopia is very common in the 40s and beyond. This is when you may find yourself holding your book as far away from you as possible, and you may need reading glasses. Of course eye surgery is available to correct this condition if you wanted to. There are even bifocal daily contact lenses. I absolutely love mine as they have made a huge difference to my life.

One of the first things I noticed on entering menopause was that my vision felt quite impaired when driving at night. This should not have been a surprise really as our pupils dilate less in the dark as we get older.

Taking care of eye health is just as important as taking care of the mind, body and spirit. Vision is how we view the world and everything in it.  There is a condition called age-related macular degeneration and much vision loss is attributed to this in adults over 55.

Take time Away from Devices

Our eye health is further compromised with the amount of time we spend in front of computer and phone screens.  You may have noticed that your eyes feel really tired after time spent in front of your devices.

Healthy Diet

eye health

So what can you do to protect your eyes?  Ensure you are eating a healthy balanced diet rich in omega 3 fatty acids and antioxidants. Include plenty of fish, organic foods, and leafy greens. Unfortunately this may not actually be enough.  Two nutrients that are excellent for eye health are lutein and zeaxanthin and you will find these in a good quality eye supplement.

Exercise

eye health

Exercise also has benefits to the eyes as well as to the body.  With improved circulation there is more oxygen to the eyes.

Protect Your Eyes from the Sun

eye health

 

Many people don’t realise that it is possible to get eye cancer from not wearing sunglasses in the sun. Don’t buy sunglasses only for the look good designer factor.  Make sure they are good quality and that they are guaranteed to block UV (ultraviolet) rays which are very harmful.

Sunhats

eye health

A big wide brimmed sunhat can not only look chic and fashionable, it also has the added advantage of shielding your eyes from the sun.

Take regular breaks from Computer Screens

Make sure you that you take regular 15 breaks away from computer screens. Look away and focus on something else for a little while.  You have thousands of tiny little eye muscles all focusing hard on the screen.  They need a rest too.  It is helpful to place your computer screen within 20″-24″ within your eyesight.  Minimize the computer glare and blink often, your eye health will thank you.

Kindles and E-readers

eye health

The advantage of these is that you are able to adjust the font size to suit your eyesight. You can go as big as you want! No more struggling with tiny words in a book, or a magnifying glass.

Midlife and beyond doesn’t have to be about wearing ugly glasses and attach them around your neck.  There are some gorgeous glasses available that enhance your features and look great. Just as your body will be showing signs of wear and tear in your 40s and beyond, so will your eyes.

Schedule Your Eye Health Appointments

eye health

Don’t put off addressing eye health problems or eye sight correction due to vanity.  Walking around and not being able to see properly, or to juggle with two pairs of glasses isn’t easy.  There are so many solutions available to help you. Booking your eye appointment and having the correct prescription to enable you to see properly is a real eye opener.  The initial discomfort will be well worth it when you can see clearly and well.

If you have arrived at midlife and beyond and looking for guidance and support, then take a look at the other blogs on the site, and how Flourish Beyond 40 can help you with many aspects of midlife, menopause and beyond.

 

motivate

Motivate Yourself to Exercise in Your 40s and Beyond

Motivate yourself, work on your mindset and move your body. This is the message we hear constantly and for good reason.  Health is priceless particularly as we move into midlife and beyond.  In our youth, time seems to go nice and slow.  However somewhere between 30 and 40 time seems to speed up and appears to fly by.   When we reach 40 we may find ourselves questioning many aspects of our life.  Have we achieved what we want to achieve? Are we leaving behind some form of legacy?  Is our life a full and happy one?  This is also the time when we start to lose friends and family to illnesses and disease.  This makes us question or own mortality and health.

 

motivate

 

Our bodies go through changes in midlife. Menopause may be causing a redistribution of weight. Hormonal fluctuations cause mood swings, skin loses laxity, and gravity begins to take its toll.  We lose muscle mass and bone density and exercise becomes more of a necessity than an option.

It is a true saying that exercise is not about finding the time but creating the time.  By making healthy life choices and changing our lifestyle then we have a better chance of living longer and with a better quality of life.  Having the flexibility, energy  and stamina to enjoy grandchildren, to travel, have adventures, are all great motivators to get moving.   Finding the motivation to incorporate regular exercise into your life brings so many benefits.  Once you see the results your desire to exercise will soar.

MOTIVATION AND MINDSET

The  tips within this Blog will hopefully get you off the sofa and motivate you to move your body every day in some way.  There are so many reasons why you may be avoiding exercise, some of which are:

  • body image issues in public
  • lacking energy
  • no motivation
  • dislike of any form of exercise

Only you know your personal reluctance or avoidance to exercise.  The above are what I hear regularly from my clients and these challenges are easy to overcome, once you know how.

The first place to kick start motivation will always be within your mindset.  When your mindset is focused in the right direction, then following a regular exercise regime become easier to maintain. One of the keys is to find the type of exercise that you enjoy and mix it up to prevent boredom.

motivate

Here are some questions that you can use to nudge you towards making exercise part of your life and to motivate you more:

  1. What benefits do you think you will get from exercising regularly?
  2. How do you think your body will improve?
  3. How will you feel?
  4. What is stopping you?
  5. What needs to happen for you to incorporate exercise into your life?
  6. What small change could you make every day towards exercising more?

MOTIVATE YOURSELF WITH VISUALISATION

Visualisation is a great way for you to start making powerful positive changes within your life.  Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths.  Allow yourself to relax and quieten your busy mind.  Visualise yourself 10 years from now having made healthy lifestyle changes.  Exercising regularly, taking care of your overall wellness goals.  Feeling fit, flexible, energetic, healthy and well.  Spend some time tuning into how that feels for you.  This is a very real possibility that you have the power to create within your life.  Make this visualisation as real as possible in your mind.  What are you wearing?  what is happening?

Now do the opposite, and visualise yourself 10 years from now NOT having made any healthy lifestyle changes. How does that feel for you? Maybe you have gained more weight,  have no energy, feelstiff and lethargic.  This is also a very real possibility. Ultimately you have a personal choice.  Which will you choose?

The following is a great place to start:

WALKING

Taking a thirty minute walk every day is a great way to start the day and improve your mood.  It is also good for heart health, bones, lowers body fat, and reduces the risk of diabetes type 2, and osteoporosis.

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If your goal is to lose weight and become fitter then you are also creating a calorie deficit by burning more calories.  Weight loss is all about input versus out output.  It makes sense that if you are burning off more than you are consuming, then you are likely to lose weight.  Walking of course is much easier if you have a dog!

SWIMMING

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Another great exercise option is swimming and is good for all ages.   This mode of exercise is also very helpful if you have knee or joint problems as it is non weight bearing.  Your body is supported in the water and the fact that water is very dense you have to work a little harder.  Swimming is also great for increasing lung capacity. If you feel self-conscious in a swimsuit then find out when the pool is quiet and go then.

STRENGTH TRAINING

Motivate

 

Strength training in the 40s and beyond is a great way to keep osteoporosis at bay and to burn fat. Don’t avoid lifting weights because you fear you will develop massive muscles.  You are more likely to firm and tone.  Exercise with weights at home, but it may be useful for you to book a few sessions with a personal trainer to make sure you are using proper form to prevent any injuries.  There are also excellent exercise DVDs and Apps that you can use to motivate yourself more.  Remember that your metabolism continues to be raised for around 72 hours after exercise which is also another bonus.

FITNESS TRACKERS TO MOTIVATE

There are so many fitness trackers out there, and this blog has not been written to promote any one in particular. Research which ones appeal to you.  They are a great way to motivate you and keep track on how many steps you are taking,  calories you are burning, and sleeping. This is also part of keeping you motivated.  Checkout out the NHS Fitness Studio which is a great free online resource.

Before commencing any exercise programme make sure you check in with your GP to ensure there are no reasons why you should not be exercising.

Have a wonderful day! Please feel free to browse the other Blogs on the site and to download the free gifts.