8 habits to avoid for a healthy lifestyle

July 12, 2013 12:13:08 AM PDT
You might not think twice about biting your nails or rubbing your eyes, but those common habits can lead to some serious problems. Here are the eight habits to avoid and the solutions some Valley doctors are offering.

Tim Pursell of Madera was honest when we put him to the test, admitting to four of the eight health habits to avoid.

Number one: since Tim plays guitar, loud music comes with his hobby. But he knows to protect his ears.

But many of us turn up the volume too high and doctors say, over time, that could lead to hearing loss.

Number two: nail-biting can lead to infection because of the bacteria under your nails.

Number three: eating too fast can lead to over-eating because it takes the brain about 20 minutes to recognize the stomach is full.

Number four: skimping on sleep. Getting less than 6 hours a night could double your risk for a heart attack or stroke.

Number five: avoid sitting for long periods of time. A study showed women who sat for more than six hours a day had a 37% higher death rate than those who sat less than three hours a day. So take breaks and move around.

Number six: it's a habit committed by as much as 67 percent of contact lens wearers.

Lisa Romero of Fresno says she's often too tired or just forgets to take out her contact lenses.

Opthalmologist Dr. Eric Poulsen at Insight Vision Center in Northeast Fresno, says over-wearing your contacts can lead to permanent damage, such as scarring of the eye.

Dr. Eric Poulsen said, "The eye gets starved for oxygen and the germs that stick to the contact lens end up causing infections and all sorts of very serious problems with the eye."

Number seven: it's also eye-related: rubbing your eyes.

"Eye rubbing can lead to astigmatism, irritation, infections, and abrasions of the eye," said Dr. Eric Poulsen. "The first question is why are you rubbing eyes? Is there any underlying problem that needs to be treated? If you have eye allergies, you need to get the eye allergies treated."

From your eyes to down to your feet: the 8th habit that could hurt your health: wearing high heels.

The unnatural angle of the foot can lead to bursitis, benign nerve tumors and arthritis. Lisa justifies her heels habit with what a lot of women would say: "Beauty is pain (laughs)."

Fresno Podiatrist, Dr. Larry Scortt has many patients who want pain relief from wearing high heels. But he says, telling women to stop wearing their favorite shoes is unrealistic. So he offers a couple of compromises.

Dr. Larry Scortt explained, "I'm going to encourage them to lower the heel height if they can."

Dr. Scortt says many foot problems are hereditary, and high heels can make them worse. But relief is a few simple steps away.

Since Dr. Scortt doesn't tell women they have to stop wearing their heels, he offers these: custom made orthotic devices. A patient simply puts them in her shoes and they help relieve the pain and pressure of wearing high heels.

Dr. Larry Scortt said, "We want design something that will fit into the shoe, relieve the pain and protect it."

As for Tim, he'll try to keep his health habits in check. But his other challenges?

ABC30 asked, "Any other bad habits we should know about?"

Tim replied, "(laughs) you'd have to ask my wife."


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