Monthly Archives: May 2017

National Immunization Awareness Month

August is National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM) The goal of NIAM is to increase awareness about immunizations across the lifespan, from infants to the elderly. August is an ideal time to make sure everyone is up-to-date on vaccines before heading back to school and to plan ahead to receive flu vaccine.Getting vaccinated is an easy way to stay healthy all year round. During the month of August, take the time to make sure that you and your loved ones have received all of the vaccinations you need. By making sure your vaccinations are up to date, you can help prevent harmful diseases from affecting you and your family.

People of all ages need vaccines

Getting vaccinated is important for people of all ages. Here’s some information about vaccines that people need throughout their lives:

August: A great time to get vaccinated

Vaccines protect you all year round, but August is a great time to get vaccinated.

In August, as summer winds down, it’s a good time for you and your family to make plans to get the flu vaccine. The vaccine usually becomes available in mid- to late-August. Getting the vaccine early can help prevent you and your family members from getting the flu throughout all of flu season. You can learn more about the flu and flu vaccine at Flu.gov.

When taking yourself and your family for your flu shots, you can also ask your health care provider about other routinely recommended vaccines you might need. For example, you should make sure that the whole family is up-to-date on their DTap/Tdap and MMRV boosters, each of which protects against several serious diseases:

Finally, HPV vaccines help prevent girls and boys from getting cancers later in life that are caused by HPV. If you have questions about the HPV vaccine, read our FAQ, and ask your healthcare provider for more information.

There are many routinely recommended vaccines for people of all ages. These are some examples of vaccines you can discuss with your healthcare provider. Make sure that you and your family are up-to-date on all recommended vaccines.

Vaccines: Our best defense

Vaccines are the best defense we have against these and other serious diseases, and it’s important to make sure that you’re up to date on all recommended vaccines. Use National Immunization Awareness Month as your chance to make sure that all your vaccinations are current. Talk with your healthcare provider about what vaccines you and your family need, and keep putting your healthiest foot forward!

May is Healthy Vision Month

It’s Healthy Vision Month! Make Your Eye Health a Priority

Women are more likely to have eye-related diseases and conditions, including cataracts, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration. Nearly two-thirds of blindness and visual impairment occurs in women, and women make up the majority of the 4.4 million Americans age 40 and older who are blind or visually impaired. You may be busy, on the go, and caring for your family, but it is important that you make the time to take care of you! During Healthy Vision Month, held each May, the National Eye Institute (NEI) reminds you to make your eye health a priority and encourages you to take five important steps to protect your sight.

Get a dilated eye exam.

Getting a comprehensive dilated eye exam is the best way to know if your eyes are healthy and you are seeing your best. Talk to your eye care professional about how often you should have one. If you want to see what your eye care professional sees during a dilated eye exam, check out NEI’s eye exam animation!

Live a healthy lifestyle.

Eating healthy foods, maintaining a healthy weight, managing chronic conditions, and not smoking can lower your risk of eye disease. You’ve heard carrots are good for your eyes, but eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, particularly dark leafy greens such as spinach, kale, or collard greens, is important for keeping your eyes healthy, too. Research has also shown there are eye health benefits from eating fish high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, tuna, and halibut.

Know your family history.

Talk to your family members— including parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles—about their eye health history. It’s important to know if anyone has been diagnosed with an eye disease, since many diseases are hereditary. This will help to determine if you are at higher risk for developing an eye disease yourself.

Use protective eyewear.

Protect your eyes when doing chores around the house, playing sports, or on the job to prevent eye injuries from happening. This includes wearing safety glasses, goggles, safety shields, and eye guards that are made of polycarbonate. Eyewear should sit comfortably on the face, so talk to your eye care provider about the appropriate type of protective eyewear for your sport or job. Make a habit of wearing the appropriate type at all times, and encourage your teammates and coworkers to do the same.

Wear sunglasses.

Wear sunglasses outside to protect your eyes from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. When purchasing sunglasses, look for ones that block out 99 to 100 percent of both UVA and UVB radiation, so you can keep your eyes healthy. Prolonged exposure to sunlight can increase your risk for getting an eye disease like cataracts or age-related macular degeneration. A wide-brimmed hat offers great protection, too!

These steps can help you keep your eyes healthy and prevent vision loss and blindness from eye disease.

To learn more about Healthy Vision Month and find additional eye health information, visit www.nei.nih.gov/hvm.