Beating the Winter Blues

Shorter days, lack of sunlight and colder weather are all contributors to what many call the “Winter Blues”. You may call it this, but it is actually a very real type of depression called Season Affective Disorder or SAD. According to the MAYO Clinic*, the specific cause of seasonal affective disorder remains unknown. Some factors that may come into play include:
1. Your biological clock (circadian rhythm). The reduced level of sunlight in fall and winter may cause winter-onset SAD. This decrease in sunlight may disrupt your body’s internal clock and lead to feelings of depression.
2. Serotonin levels drop. A drop in serotonin, a brain chemical (neurotransmitter) that affects mood, might play a role in SAD. Reduced sunlight can cause a drop in serotonin that may trigger depression.
3. Melatonin levels may be disrupted by the change in season. This can play a role in sleep patterns and mood.
The Mayo Clinic* offers these tips to help beat the “Winter Blues”: Get outside for some natural sunlight, exercise regularly and stay engaged socially.
Often times during the winter months people stay inside due to inclement weather. It is easy to just stay tucked away in your apartment. Get out and socialize. At Copperfield Hill, with numerous outings and activities, there is always something to do and someone to do it with! Exercise classes, walks in the atrium or even a trip to the grocery store can increase your energy level and lighten your mood.

*www.mayoclinic.org

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January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month

Glaucoma is an eye disease that can damage your optic nerve. The optic nerve supplies visual information to your brain from your eyes.
Glaucoma is usually (not always), the result of abnormally high pressure inside your eye. Over time, increased pressure can erode your optic nerve tissue, which may lead to vision loss or even blindness. If caught early, vision loss can be avoided. The most common symptom of glaucoma is gradual vision loss. Risk factors include: age, ethnicity, medical history, chronic eye problems and injury. Glaucoma can be diagnosed by a comprehensive eye exam by a qualified ophthalmologist.
Treatment includes eye drops and if advanced treatment is needed, surgery may be required. Glaucoma can’t be prevented, so it is very important to catch it early with a regular eye exam. January is Glaucoma Awareness Month, a perfect opportunity to educate yourself on this sight robbing disease.
Learn more at:

https://www.glaucoma.org/news/glaucoma-awareness-month.php

https://www.healthline.com

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