Consumer Real Estate News

    • Eyeing Better Vision: 9 Tips to Maintain Eye Health

      12 October 2018

      (Family Features)--When considering making changes to positively impact your well-being, many aspects of health may jump to the forefront, from taking care of mental and emotional health to ensuring a well-maintained body from head to toes. However, one sometimes overlooked area is your eyes and the importance of vision care.

      Despite nearly 4.2 million Americans over the age of 40 suffering from impaired vision, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, it's an aspect of daily health that is sometimes neglected.

      To better care for your eyes, consider these tips that put the focus back on eye health:

      Schedule an exam. While focusing on enhancing care for your eyes is a productive idea regardless, it's also important to have your vision and eye health checked regularly by a professional. This can help detect diseases and conditions that cause vision loss and blindness, many of which show little or no symptoms in the early stages, and a doctor can help create a care plan that preserves your eye health.

      Understand your family history. Genetics can play a major role in eye health, so talk to family members about their vision history. If anyone has been diagnosed with a disease or condition that impacts their eyesight, knowing can help determine if you are at a higher risk for developing a hereditary trait.

      Use proper lighting. While there are many everyday ways to maintain eye health and function, there is one simple yet overlooked way to take care of your sight: reducing eye strain.

      While three out of four Americans suffer daily from eye strain, according to an online survey conducted by Russell Research, some people may not realize the lighting they use at work and home may be contributing to the problem.

      One way to achieve a reduction in eyestrain is to use indoor lighting lamps that closely match the spectrum of natural daylight to reduce eye fatigue and eyestrain by 51 percent. These can include ClearSun LED technology, high-quality diffusers for clear illumination and multiple brightness settings, all intended to help reduce eyestrain by providing "good" lighting, which means providing enough natural daylight-quality illumination to see clearly without being blinded by excessively high light levels or glare.

      Clean contact lenses. If you wear contacts, make sure to take proper precautions, which includes cleaning and rinsing each time you wear and remove the lenses. When cleaning, use cleaners approved by an eye doctor, and don't wear lenses longer than recommended.

      Maintain overall health. Living a healthy lifestyle overall can have a positive impact on your eye health, too. For example, maintaining a healthy weight can help avoid risks like diabetes, which can lead to vision loss from diabetic eye disease or glaucoma. In addition, eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, or fish high in omega-3 fatty acids, aids eye health..

      Wear sunglasses. Overexposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays can increase the risk of age-related macular degeneration and blurred vision. It's important to protect the eyes from harmful UV rays when you're outside by wearing sunglasses that block out 99 - 100 percent of UV-A and UV-B radiation.

      Shield your eyes. While sunglasses help block out the sun, protective eyewear like safety glasses and goggles can help shield the eyes while conducting physical activities like yard work or playing sports. Be sure to use safety glasses specifically intended for the use you'll wear them for, as some varieties are designed for certain activities.

      Limit evening screen time. The blue glare from traditional lighting and electronics (TV, cell phones, computers, tablets) used before bed may disrupt sleep patterns and circadian rhythm, and may even lead to sleep disorders, depression, cancer and cardiovascular disease.

      Take a break. Your eyes work hard when you put extended focus on a computer screen or other activity. Take periodic breaks to avoid eye fatigue. Try the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, shift your gaze to something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.

      Optimal Eye Health
      Your eyes are your window to the world, so protecting your eye health is an essential component of your overall wellbeing. Symptoms like headaches and drowsiness can be signs of eyestrain, a feeling of discomfort caused by issues like poor lighting.

      Keep your eyes in optimal condition and avoid problems like eyestrain by ensuring you're utilizing proper lighting within your home and workspaces. Natural daylight renders colors most accurately, which offsets the potential mood and energy level impact that occurs when you're not able to perceive colors correctly.

      However, when natural light isn't practical while working at a desk or reading inside, rely on lamps that simulate natural light and have a high Color Rendering Index, such as those from the OttLite Wellness Series, which use diffusers to evenly distribute illumination and protect against glare with dimmable options for users if a lower light level is necessary.  

      Don't Skip the Eye Doctor
      If you're having trouble with your vision, don't hesitate to set up an appointment with an eye doctor. These symptoms specifically, according to the Centers for Disease Control, are reasons to see a doctor as soon as possible:
      - Eye pain
      - Decreased vision
      - Double vision
      - Draining
      - Redness
      - Flashes of light
      - Floaters or tiny specks that appear to float
      - Halos appearing around lights

      Source: OttLite

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Don't Toss the Tea Bag: 7 Brilliant Ways to Use Tea

      12 October 2018

      If you’re among the millions who start your day with a hot cup of tea, you may be setting the stage for some timesavers, health tips and beauty regimens.

      From new consumer newsletter, here are brilliant ways to use those used teabags:

      Treat a burn. Tea bags contain tannic acid, a proven force for taking the sting out of a sunburn or a small burn to the skin. Apply the wet bag to the affected area.

      Beautify your eyes. Got under-eye bags from stress or lack of sleep? Store used tea bags in the fridge for three days and then apply them under your eyes to take away that puffiness.

      Promote hair growth. Cosmeticians advise using old tea bags to brew a warm bowl of tea, then using the tea as a hair rinse after shampooing to promote growth and give your hair a sleek shine.

      Shrink warts. Warts are caused by the human papilloma virus. Drink 2 - 3 cups of tea daily and the antioxidants will help reduce the HPV-caused warts.

      Absorb bad shoe odor. Dry tea bags work wonders to absorb bad shoe odor. Once you’ve used your tea (for drinking), let the bag sit out overnight to dry. Then place them inside your shoes; the dry tea leaves will work over time to absorb the odor.

      Give houseplants a boost. Many plants, like ferns and other common houseplants, prefer an acidic soil. Tear open a tea bag and place it underneath the soil to lower the pH level and give your plants the minerals and nutrition they need to flourish.

      Degrease those dishes. Brew your tea, then throw the bag into the sink and let your greasy plates or pans soak while you enjoy a cuppa. The antioxidants in the tea will work to make the grime and sludge easier to remove when you wash those utensils by hand or in the dishwasher.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Fall Home Considerations to Make Before Winter

      12 October 2018

      While Spring is the standard time to do a clean sweep of your home, fall is also a great opportunity to examine areas you may have overlooked, refresh any spaces that feel dull, and consider safety measures. Below are four fall items to examine, from MultiVu.

      Safety first. Did you know that three in five home fire deaths are the result of fires in homes without smoke alarms, or with no working smoke alarms? Oftentimes, this is due to missing alarm batteries from intentional device deactivation. Fire Prevention Month in October is the perfect time to take stock of your home's safety by testing alarms to ensure that batteries and devices are functioning properly. Replace any alarms that are outdated and install new alarms in your home—which should be located on every level and in every bedroom of the home.                                                                   

      Refresh. Give rooms a facelift by switching out the old carpeting. Opt for a hypoallergenic option to help you enjoy the comfort of the carpet, while not worrying about its allergens, microbes and odors.                                                          
      Mind your peepers. Short and frigid days mean we'll be spending a lot more time indoors. Switch to light bulbs that are easy on the eyes because poor quality light can cause unnecessary eye strain.  Making simple décor improvements and taking better care of yourself is as easy as changing a light bulb.

      Cozy corner. Keep your house cozy during the long, cold months ahead. Have a basket with comfy throws and blankets for those colder nights and curl up with a book or a movie.  

      Source: MultiVu

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • What to Know About Insuring Your Roof

      11 October 2018

      Your roof is, quite literally, hanging over your head whenever you're inside your residence. As a homeowner, you need to take good care of this important part of the house, which means understanding what your homeowners policy includes (and what it doesn’t) in the event of damage or decay.

      Homeowners need to ask themselves two important questions according to Paul K. Improta, CPIA, AAI, LUTCF at Connecticut's Underwriters, Inc. Is your roof properly insured? Or are you carrying more risk than you realize?   
      Generally speaking, Improta says if an unavoidable event like vandalism damages your roof, your homeowners insurance should cover it; however, if it’s determined the damage was caused by something within your control, like neglected maintenance, that’s where things get tricky.   

      Improta says factors that influence your coverage could include:

      - Age of your house and roof: Once a roof has passed its life expectancy, your coverage may be reduced or eliminated.   

      - Roofing materials: Premium shingles, like those made of slate, may not be covered.

      - Your location: In some cases, replacement coverage is available for roofs. In others, you’ll only be reimbursed for what the roof was worth at the time it was damaged.  

      - Type of damage: Weather events like tornadoes and hurricanes are usually covered, but wind or hail alone may not be.  

      Maintenance matters, too! Improta says homeowners can more easily respond to minor issues before they result in major damage by conducting a roof inspection twice a year.

      That involves carefully checking the state of shingles and examine gutters, flashing and ventilation. Also, look for leaks and water damage inside and out, especially after big storms.  

      Chris Jurin at says one of the other most common roof component problems involves the fascia—a band running horizontally and situated vertically under a roof edge.

      Jurin says moisture is the No. 1 cause of problems with your fascia so be sure to look for signs of rot or damage. Contact a roofing contractor immediately if you notice an issue.

      The bottom line, Improta says, is don’t make the costly mistake of assuming any and all roof damage will be covered by your homeowners insurance.

      You can avoid problems if and when they happen by double-checking your policy for specifics about your coverage and reaching out to your agent or homeowners carrier if you have questions.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Electrical Safety During Storm

      11 October 2018

      Power outages aren't the only electrical issues that can occur inside your home during a storm. Schneider Electric asks you to consider the following.

      Costly damage to residential or commercial electrical systems can be minimized or avoided while ensuring human safety by following three important steps while preparing homes and businesses for the oncoming storm:  
      Before evacuating, unplug all appliances and turn off main power sources and all electrically-powered equipment. If you don’t have access to the main power, contact an electrician or your electric utility to assist.

      If you have an onsite generator, test it before the storm to ensure functionality, but ensure that you have a battery-operated carbon monoxide alarm in your home prior to the storm and that it works before using a generator. You should also have current product diagrams and equipment documentation handy, along with any critical spare parts should they be needed upon return to your home or business.  

      Business owners should re-examine and implement an electrical emergency action plan, which includes identifying critical functions essential to efficiently and safely restore power.  

      Following the storm, residents, rescuers and others in the area should take additional precautions, including:  

      - Do not enter a home or building where there is standing water inside until it’s confirmed that the main power is shut off.

      - If there is evidence of flooding but it’s difficult to determine if the main power has been turned off, do not attempt to turn it off. Contact an electrician or the local electric utility.

      - Locate the main panel to see if any circuit breakers or fuses have tripped if there is no electricity upon return.

      - If there are any signs of smoke, fire or water damage near electrical outlets, immediately unplug all items in the area and contact an electrician or your electric utility.

      Source: Schneider Electric

      Published with permission from RISMedia.