Q. Is it safe to buy medicine online?
Only if you are very careful. There are many fraudulent operators on the internet.
According to the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP), the professional organization that represents the state agencies that license pharmacies, only three percent of online websites reviewed appear to meet state and federal pharmacy laws.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns you to beware of online pharmacies that:
* Offer very low drug prices that seem too good to be true.
Q. I’d like to be able to do CPR, but I’m squeamish about doing mouth-to-mouth on a stranger. Any suggestions?
There is an emergency technique called Hands-Only CPR. This is CPR without mouth-to-mouth breaths. It consists of two easy steps: Call 9-1-1 and push hard and fast in the center of the victim’s chest. That means 100 minute, uninterrupted compressions until paramedics arrive.
The University of Arizona College of Medicine offers a helpful video of Hands-Only CPR at this website:
Q. I have found that I don’t sleep as well as I used to when I was younger. How common is this?
Many people believe that poor sleep is a normal part of aging, but it is not. Sleep patterns change as we age, but disturbed sleep and waking up tired every day are not part of normal aging.
Seniors need about the same amount of sleep as younger adults: seven to nine hours a night.
Q. What chemicals in the environment have a real impact upon our health?
There are way too many to cover. Here are a few important ones:
Lead: Paint chips, dust, fumes and water containing lead can get into your body. Even small amounts of lead in your system can impede learning and generate behavior changes. Large quantities of lead can be fatal. A simple blood test can alert you before lead poisoning causes significant problems.
Q. Episodes of depression seem to be common over several generations in my family. Is depression genetic?
There is substantial evidence that depression is a hereditary disease. A depression gene known as 5-HTTLPR has been found.
The World Health Organization reports that more than 120 million people worldwide suffer from depression. At least 10 percent of people in the United States will experience major depressive disorder at some point in their lives. Two times as many women as men experience major depression.
Q. I keep hearing about how bad coffee is for you. I also hear about how good coffee is for you. What gives?
The average American drinks more than 400 cups of coffee a year. How this popular beverage affects our health is an important issue.
Let’s start with the bad part.
For the general population, the evidence suggests that coffee drinking doesn’t have any serious detrimental health effects.
Q. What are “blue blockers” and are they worth getting?
There’s a controversy over the possible harm done by blue light.
There is blue light in the bright glare from snow or water. Lenses that block blue light are usually amber-colored. This color is supposed to help you see distant objects more easily. Amber sunglasses are used by many pilots and hunters.
If you are shopping for sunglasses, the most important feature to look for is the ability to protect your eyes from invisible ultraviolet (UV) light, which also causes sunburn.
Q. I just turned 70 and I was wondering what my chances are of getting to 100?
If you want some idea about your life expectancy, you can check out a table provided by the U.S. Social Security Administration:
If you are a “healthy geezer,” you can do better than the average.
If you want to reach 100, you should know that there are three major characteristics that seem to enable you to become a centenarian. First, be a female. Second, have fabulous genes. Third, maintain an optimistic outlook.
Q. I wear dentures now. Any pointers I should know about?
The following are some tips for eating with dentures:
- Don’t bite with your front teeth or pull your food outward from your mouth.
- Chew food on both sides of your mouth simultaneously to stabilize your dentures.
- Cut food into small pieces.
- When you first eat with your dentures, you should avoid sticky foods, raw vegetables and hard-to-chew meats.
- It is more difficult to feel inside your mouth when you wear dentures, so be careful with hot foods and anything with small bones.
Last of four parts
There are three basic ways to correct faulty vision: eyeglasses, contact lenses or surgery. In this column, we’ll cover surgery.
Surgery is used to correct a variety of eye disorders. Of special interest to seniors is surgery for cataracts, so we’ll start there.
A cataract is a clouding of the lens, the clear part of the eye that helps focus images like the lens in a camera. Cataracts can blur images and discolor them.