Not the Smokey Eyes You're Looking For

I quit smoking when I found out I was going to be a dad. This was the catalyst that made me want to change my life for the better. After twenty years of trying different ways to quit, it was the thought of not being with her that helped me quit. I thought of my life, her life, without me in it. I want to be there for her every moment I can, for as long as I can. Roughly a month or so before I found out she was going to be in my life, I started working at an online contact lens retailer. It was here that I learned about contact lenses, the eye care industry, and overall eye health. I knew smoking was bad for my lungs, my heart, and my overall long-term well-being; and I guess it just never crossed my mind, but I also learned just how bad smoking was for my eyes. Not only do I want to be alive with my daughter in the long term, I also want to be able to see her grow and become the amazing woman I know she will be.

Working in the contact lens industry I've read a lot of horror stories about people who don't follow proper contact lens care directions and end up with gruesome results. Your eyes are the only organs that get their oxygen from their surroundings rather than from your body. When you smoke you pollute your environment and cause your eyes problems from the lack of oxygen. Every smoker has felt the sting of smoke in their eyes. When you wear contacts it compounds the inflammation, soreness, dry eyes and irritability. Plus when you smoke it not only leaves tar and nicotine on your fingers, but also on your contact lenses themselves causing a litany of issues which I will lay out below.

The CDC estimates the United States alone has roughly 480,000 deaths a year attributed to smoking. That's half a million people that die each year from a preventable habit! The health risks associated with smoking are well known and numerous: Lung cancer, emphysema, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, a reduction in my overall life expectancy are just several of the dozens of concerns detrimental to my long term liveliness. This number does not take into account those people who are still alive and suffering from the adverse effects of smoking. More than 16 million Americans are living with a disease caused by smoking. For every person who dies because of smoking another 30 live with a serious smoking related illness.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) starts as a loss of central vision and makes it harder to read or see fine details in things. Smoking increases the severity and triples the risk of this disease, which is the leading cause of blindness in people over the age of 65. There are two types of AMD, "dry" and "wet", with dry being the most common. Dry AMD causes fatty deposits to form in the back of the eye behind your retina, with vision getting worse slowly over time. Wet AMD causes tiny blood vessels to leak or break open, which in turn causes scar tissue to develop. Wet AMD is less common, but more quickly to produce harmful vision results.

Glaucoma is the gradual breakdown of the optic nerve cells that sends visual information to your brain. As the cells die, your vision slowly begins to deteriorate, usually starting with your peripheral vision. This is often not noticeable until a significant amount of nerve damage has occurred. Due to this, almost half the people who have glaucoma may not be aware they have it. There are two types of Glaucoma: Primary open-angle Glaucoma and acute angle closure Glaucoma. The former is the most common type, which by the time you are aware of it, can have already caused significant vision loss. The latter form of Glaucoma is less common, but can come on more rapidly due to increased pressure on the inside of the eye. Symptoms can include: eye pain, nausea, red eye, seeing colored rings around lights and blurry vision. Smoking can significantly increase the risk of developing open-angle Glaucoma, which can lead to blindness. Unfortunately, presently there is no cure for this horrible disease.

Smoking thins your blood, not allowing enough oxygen to flow to the parts of your body that need to breath; like your eyes. Smoking enhances your risks for developing diabetes and the potentially blinding complications that come with it; one of them being Diabetic Retinopathy. Diabetic Retinopathy causes tiny blood vessels in your eye to become blocked, leak or break down completely. When new blood vessels begin to grow they can cover your retina, which can cause extreme vision complications and even blindness. There are four stages of Diabetic Retinopathy: mild, moderate, severe non-proliferative Retinopathy and Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy; the last of which leads to permanent vision loss. People with all types of Diabetes are at risk for this additional complication. Roughly 40-45% of people with Diabetes have some stage of Diabetic Retinopathy, yet only half are even aware of it.

When you smoke it leaves a sticky brownish black residue on your fingers which you can wash off; imagine the gunk it is leaving on your eyes, this cannot be rinsed away. This gunk over time accelerates the erosion of the lens in your eye, which can lead to Cataracts. Cataracts are the leading cause of vision loss in the United States, and smoking doubles your chances of getting them. Cataracts are a build-up of protein in the lens of the eye which causes cloudy or blurry vision. Generally cataracts take years to develop and can be undetectable in the early stages of growth. This is why cataracts for the most part start being noticeable in people age forty and older, although you can develop them when you are young or even be born with them. Symptoms may include double vision, cloudy, blurry vision, faded colors or a stark glare around light sources. Cataracts are estimated to affect roughly twenty million plus people in the United States over the age of forty; with this number set to double in the next twenty years. Strangely enough, out of this number, 61% of those affected by Cataracts are women. Cataracts can be classified by their location in the eye and length of time they have been present. There are a few types of cataracts: Subcapsular Cataracts develop in the back of the lens, Nuclear Cataracts develop in the center of the eye, and Cortical Cataracts form along the edges of the lens and point inward. The only solution to cure Cataracts is through surgery. This is an expensive and uncomfortable in and out procedure. Luckily for the majority of patients, the Cataracts don't return after they're removed. Only in about 10% of patients does a film begin to develop over the lens again. Beyond smoking and aging other causes of Cataracts can include: Excessive alcohol consumption, overt exposure to the sun and other UV rays, Diabetes, certain medications and injury to the eye itself.

Smoking ruins lives. Not only does it affect you, but the lives of those around you and the lives of those you love. I love my daughter more than I've ever loved anything else in my life. I want to live for her as long as I can, see her grow and see her experience life. I can't do that if smoking takes away my vision or worse yet my life. Whether it's your eyes, your lungs, your heart or any other part of your body; smoking is just not worth it.

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5 Benefits of a Multi-Generational Advisory Firm and What It Means For You

Many clients of financial advisors share a common concern and fear. Because the process of finding an individual to trust with their money is not something to be taken lightly, this concern can be magnified. Clients wonder what happens to them if their financial advisor retires or unexpectedly dies. This is a legitimate concern. What would happen if your advisor decided to retire to warmer weather and sunnier places? Isn’t that something most people work hard for? Or a worse case scenario, what if your advisor was involved in an accident. As a result they have been deemed physically or mentally incapable of handling your finances. Now what… ?

Is your financial advisory firm prepared to deal with these what if scenarios?

This commonly voiced concern is why advisory firms and the financial industry have begun focusing more on succession planning and multi-generational advisory teams.

If multi-generational has you thinking «Big Deal» or «Who Cares?»… here are 6 benefits of a multi-generational advisory team and what it means for you.

Built In Transition Planning

Life is unpredictable and we cannot predict the future. What we do know is that change and growing older are inevitable. Just as you are working hard to save enough to retire, your financial advisor is doing the same.

Multi-generational advisory firms have a built-in transition plan. These firms are acclimating their newer and younger associates with current clients. They are leveraging the experience and wisdom that the senior advisors have gained to help train and guide newer associates. Newer advisors will gain experience, knowledge and expertise in the field while working with senior partners. This built in transition plan ensures continuity and no disruption of service to the client.

While this won’t happen over night and will require a lot of work, this type of planning is in the client’s best interest. Feeling confident that your advisors have a plan for you and your future should be encouraging and expected. Multi-generational family practices offer an additional dynamic where family life, familiarity and genetics can also contribute to the trust factor.

Experience And Wisdom Meet New Technology And Expanded Communications

As an advisor enters into the industry, there is one valuable thing that all of the studying, textbooks, and exams cannot provide… experience. Experience is undeniably an important attribute when looking at an advisor. This can only be obtained with time and is something every new associate has to go through «on the job». Multi-generational advisory firms are more prepared to alleviate this concern. While they cannot completely eliminate this, aging advisors are able to pass down their experience and wisdom to the next generation of advisors through training and mentorship. This is extremely valuable asset for any new advisor in the field and can play a huge role in their development and client successes.

The veteran advisor also stands to benefit from this relationship. After doing things the same way for a number of years, a fresh new outlook and access to new communication tools will be of tremendous help to the senior advisor and their clients.

Financial planning 30 years ago is not the same as it is today. With technology evolving by the day, the younger advisor can help bridge the gap towards better client service that has continued to evolve over the last 30 years.

Technology. It allows for information to be distributed quickly and efficiently. Next gen advisors are more apt to develop an effective contact management strategy that utilizes modern technology. They are more comfortable with technology which helps implement better client communications.

Couple this with the experience of a veteran advisor and your financial team is better equipped to help you and your family at any stage in life.

Longevity and Continuity

Life expectancies are increasing past age 80. Younger generations are expected to live longer than their predecessors. Because individuals are living longer, they need to build this into their retirement expectations. Americans aren’t saving enough as it is. It is more important than ever to plan accordingly.

With clients of all ages having advisors of different ages becomes even more important. Today many advisors are in their 40’s and 50’s. Let’s say you start to work with an advisor in their 50’s. What will you do if in 10-15 years your advisor decides to retire and you, as most people, need guidance well into your 80’s or 90’s? During those years change is inevitable. From a financial standpoint, change requires the adjusting and readjusting of your financial plan to reflect those changes.

With multi-generational support as you progress through life and all of its challenges, you’ll have someone there throughout to help guide you and should not have the need to search for a new advisor..

Fiduciary Responsibility

All investment advisors have a fiduciary responsibility to act in your best interest.

Having a succession plan in place is part of this responsibility. There should be a plan for how clients will be handled if an advisor retires, dies or is incapable of acting as your financial advisor due to an accident. Some owners plan to sell their business 100% to the highest bidder. Others decide to have a succession plan where a familiar face of the advisory firm steps in to take ownership.

Having an existing and familiar advisor be appointed as an owner prior to being needed is another benefit of a multi-generational advisory firm. Knowing that your advisor has helped trained and trusts the next generation advisor enough to personally recommend them can make the decision to continue the advisory relationship much easier.

As an advisor, I would prefer to train and work hand-in-hand with the advisors that will ultimately become my successor. This way I can screen them in advance to make sure they are familiar with the expectations of my clients and the relationships we have formed. I believe this enhances my clients best interest and multi-generational firms make this possible.

Working With Your Multi-Generational Needs

If you’re currently working with a financial advisor, you understand and see the benefits of financial planning. Most parents who have a financial advisor want their children to do the same. Knowing what they know now, many clients want their children to start sooner than they did. Multi-generational firms’ continuity helps you and your children.

Next gen advisors may be able to relate better with next-gen clients because they are from the same generation. They grew up with the same technology and may even be facing some of the same financial concerns. The advisory relationship may begin with the veteran advisor and evolve naturally to the younger advisors over the years.

In Conclusion:

Whether its you or your children you’re concerned about, figuring out the answer to these «what if» questions is important. There is nothing more stressful than being content and comfortable with your financial advisor and then being forced to find a new one.

Ask your financial advisor these questions and see what his or her response is. If you’re unhappy with the response start doing your research at other advisory teams. Look for an advisory team that has that built in transition plan like multi-generational firms. These firms have planned for your advisory needs now and in the future. They are trying to make sure you are comfortable with the relationships for a long time to come. But remember, the decision is always yours.

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Diets and Their Issues

What does the word diet mean? According to the oxford dictionary the word diet means the kind of food people eat. This can clearly be the case because according to the company Boots there are over 100 many types of diets, from the alkaline diet, to the zone diet. There are a vast majority of them, with their benefits and their downfalls. However are these diets successful? Are they long term? Do we lose weight on them?

As we all approach the festive season, and the New Year, people at this time are looking at what foods they want to cut down on, or what new fad diet they would like to try. But overall will these work in the long term?

According to the magazine psychology today, researchers tested this methodology on various clients, it was found that there were other aspects to health, not just dieting, and weight loss, but also reduced blood pressure and cholesterol. The clients did not lose weight, however they had a positive attitude about themselves. In that respect diets can be a positive awareness, or on the other end of the spectrum diets can be seen as negative. For example a study carried out by Leicester City Council concluded that due to a poor diet they were unable to achieve the healthier diet that is recommended by the health professionals. A poor diet can mean lack of essential vitamins and minerals. Lack of vitamins and minerals can cause an array of problems. From feeling tired, to poor vision at night time, dry skin, fatigue, and soft bones. In relation to the popular diets out there each of the diets have problems if they are not followed properly, or not researched for suitability.

The Dr Dukan diet was set up by Pierre Dukan in 2000. His aims and objectives were:

To increase a higher intake of protein.

To have a no limit of calories or the types of food you can eat, therefore people can eat whatever and whenever.

However there are some known issues of this diet, this includes:

The cost of purchasing the higher protein foods, i.e. meat, chicken, pork, nuts and seeds

The suitability for people on a restrictive diet for example, vegetarians or gluten free clients.

However there are some positives of this particular diet, one of them is that it is high in protein, which is important for the growth of new cells in the body, this can include hair, skin and nails. Another feature is that there is no limit of the amount of calories or types of food you can eat. Finally there is a limit on the amount of foods high in sugar, as excess sugar can lead to weight gain.

Another example of this is the cheater’s diet. This was created by Paul Rivas. He stated that by basing the meals on a Mediterranean style diet during the week, at the weekend cheat days are highly encouraged. Rivas explains that by having cheat days there is no restriction on having food and drink that consumers love to have, which include foods that may not be the healthiest of products. The diet is also supported by encouraging exercise.

According to a journal published by the European Journal of clinical nutrition, the writer Robinson explained that there were other factors that affected diet and lifestyle. While educational attainment had the strongest effects on diet, age, number of children living in the home, the number of people that smoked and the number of hours spent watching television, all were the contributing factors on the amount of exercise completed daily.

From the study it was concluded that the barriers that identified the issues facing diet and lifestyle, were to improve the quality of life, and not just based on weight loss alone. A study carried out by Yardley et al demonstrated that a combination of web based and health professional support for weight management could potentially offer a cost effective means of motivating obese patients to achieve a meaningful weight loss. It is important to be mindful that suitable diets that are recommended by Health Professionals including Dietitians, and Nutritionists are sourced by the National Clinical Governance Of Excellence (NICE). This is an organisation set up to provide guidance to improve the health and wellbeing in the United Kingdom.

Overall diets can be successful, especially for the better. As long as the vitamins, minerals as well as the macronutrients are not detrimental towards a poor diet, any diet can be positive long term, with the support of qualified health professionals.

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The Wonders of Office Cleaning

A clean environment is a happy environment. If your Liverpool, Manchester or Leeds based business is not neat and orderly then efficiency and productivity will decrease. That is why several businesses choose to hire office cleaning services to provide employees with a clean office or environment. Office cleaners can provide quality service and perform a variety of duties. It does not matter how big or small your office or working environment is. A little office cleaning can make an excellent impression on clients and employees.

The type of office cleaning you need varies by the size of your company. Some companies may need many office cleaners and daily cleaning. Other companies may need only one cleaner a couple times of week. Whatever your needs are, Leeds, Manchester and Liverpool office cleaning services can provide quality day to day janitorial services. This includes vacuuming, sweeping and mopping floors and hallways, washing interior windows, cleaning and dusting surfaces, maintaining bathrooms, and taking out the trash. Some companies are also available to provide special services such as grouting titles, washing exterior windows, dusting ceilings and light fixtures, extracting carpet, and cleaning every crevice. If you wish to have your building pressure washed, parking lots cleaned, or your heat, ventilation and air conditioners maintained, you can schedule an advanced cleaning for these tasks.

There are several large and small Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds office cleaning services vying for your business. Larger companies can provide more technologically advanced equipment and offer alternative personnel. However, large cleaning service companies are usually not flexible with rates or personalized considerations. The best way to choose a company that fits your needs is to determine what type of office cleaning you need. What type of work needs to be done and how frequently does it need to happen? In addition, will you need any special tasks to be done? You also should find out when the office cleaners can start. After that, you should check the service's documentation. Make sure they are insured and certified. Ask for the results of background checks and drug tests of the office cleaners that are employed at the company. If you have to sign a contract, you should review it carefully.

Although no wants to clean the bathrooms, vacuum or sweep up any messes, or take out the trash, every successful business in Leeds, Manchester and Liverpool needs someone to accomplish these tasks. Hiring office cleaning services is an excellent way to increase the efficiency and productivity of your company while making a great impression on clients. When choosing a company to do your office cleaning, it is important to choose a company that complies with all cleaning regulations. You should also check the backgrounds of all office cleaners employed at the company to make sure you are getting quality service.

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Indian Premier League – A Sport Or Just Business?

The recently concluded IPL has seen a lot of ups and downs in the past three years of its existence. It has always had some controversy or the other associated to it, be the bidding of players, exclusion of Pakistani players by the owners, slapping of a fielder by another on the field, owners walking out on their team, rumors of love affairs starting off the field, match fixing, people twitting about IPL secrets, so on and so forth… The list is quite big.

Lalit Modi, the brain behind the ever so popular IPL, has been in limelight ever since IPL came into existence until his latest stunts and expulsion as the IPL supremo. As soon as he was shown the door, the new IPL chief Chirayu Amin started changing the very face of IPL and making declarations about what will happen and what will not happen from IPL season 4 onwards.

Whatever said and done IPL has no doubt brought the Twenty-twenty format of this game to the foreground and though an Indian initiative it has managed to get global success and fan-fare. Reasons for IPL being so popular could be any of these, the humongous amount of involvement of money, bidding of cricket players, support from local celebrities and business tycoons, media coverage, non-stop off the field controversies, cheer-leaders, or maybe the game itself.

IPL managed to bring in the sort of fame and name to Lalit Modi that nothing else could have possibly done, he says he has seen many ups and downs in his life and the recent showdown is nothing but a passing phase. But credit must be given to him for all the effort he has put in the past three years to bring IPL to a stage where it currently is. Only this man had the guts to get IPL moved out to South Africa and get all the arrangements done in such a short notice, when players from abroad showed apprehensions about security in India after 26/11. Only this man had the guts to bring business tycoons like Mukesh Ambani & Vijay Mallaya opposite each other fighting to win the bids for cricket players and still support him wholeheartedly when the entire BCCI crowd turned their back on him.

Many hard core cricket fans call IPL a mockery of cricket, a circus, just a mere business where some people are minting money cuz one nation is so crazy about this one game. But you may say whatever; IPL has provided some good cricketing action, mindblowing entertainment to all hardcore fans of cricket in India, where cricket is nothing less than a religion and Sachin Tendulkar a God.

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Leftbank Apartments – Location and Facilities

The city of Manchester has become the choice destination for many new settlers in the United Kingdom. London has long been the economic hub to attract investors and workers from all over Britain. However, due to the overcrowded city of London, many people are now heading towards Manchester. Manchester has been one of the most industrial towns in the Britain, and its development into a sophisticated and cosmopolitan city has been reason enough to attract settlers in this part of Britain.

When going through residential properties, you would come across the development of Leftbank Apartments, structured specifically for settlers and new dwellers in Manchester. The Leftbanck Apartments attract a lot of attention and notice from new would-be residents, primarily because of their location.

Located in the centre of Manchester city, these apartments boast a number of top-notch facilities. Central Manchester houses great shopping malls, cuisines and many bars and pubs. The night life in this part of the city is full of vigour and energy. Hence, the location of the Leftbank apartments in the core of Manchester is of no surprise.

The apartments are mostly located on the banks of rivers such as River Irwell. This makes them a prime attraction for people who are looking for scenically beautiful areas to lodge at. Moreover, the location ensures that the general hustle and bustle of life in this busy metropolitan is not such a major factor for people who prefer some peace and quietness.

All apartments are well-furnished and are well-connected with elevators. To get to your desired shopping mall or some gym, all you have to do is to take the elevator and walk on. This is another reason why the Leftbank apartments are so popular among new settlers.

Another reason for their popularity is that the prices of these apartments are inclusive of electricity rates, towels and linens. Hence, you do not have to worry about paying for all these things individually, rather as a small chunk of the price you pay for the entire apartment. The rents are quite nominal, when compared with other residential areas, and you can get the apartments on a daily, weekly or monthly basis on rent, the way it best suits you.

The spacious parking lots work in the favour of these apartments as well. Other residential areas have congested parking lots due to smaller construction area; however, at Leftbank, you get good parking space for your vehicle. It is also well-secured and, thus, you do not have to worry about car theft when parking your car.

Also, apart from the above mentioned factors, another great thing about these apartments is their 24/7 reception. The Leftbank administration also provides its residents with a facilitation centre that allows them to arrange their trips etc. Moreover, the apartment complex has huge swimming pools, hair saloons for both ladies and gents among other things. It is definitely a residential feat to be able to construct something like the Leftbank apartments and at such reasonable rent per month.

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Premier League Review – Chelsea Stun Manchester United

Chelsea blew the Premier League title race wide open again when they came from a goal behind to beat Manchester United, with ten games of the season remaining. Chelsea still have a mathematical chance of retaining the league title themselves, although they would have to win the majority of their remaining games while relying on other results to go in their favour.

United who started the game on the back of an impressive run of form, had amazingly not beaten Chelsea at Stamford Bridge since 2002. Chelsea however who have their worst run of form for many seasons were a huge fifteen points adrift of United before the start of the game.

The Blues, who left Didier Drogba on the bench in favour of a Fernando Torres and Nicolas Anelka strike partnership, started the game brightly, but the visitors soon found their stride, with crisp passing and fluent football.

Wayne Rooney, who controversially escaped a ban following his clash with Wigan’s James McCarthy at the weekend, was jeered by the home fans every time he touched the ball. It was Rooney, however, that silenced the Chelsea fans after 29 minutes when he sent a long range shot into the Chelsea goal before celebrating in front of the Chelsea fans.

The Reds, who started with their first unchanged team for 165 games, continued to dominate play during the first half and prevented any real threat from the hosts, although a fine save from Edwin Van der Sar from a Frank Lampard free kick, six minutes before half time, should have set alarm bells ringing and reminded United of the nemesis that Chelsea have been over the last few years.

Chelsea’s hero on the night proved to be David Luiz, who’s arrival from Benfica in the January transfer window was somewhat overshadowed by the £50million signing of Fernando Torres. Luiz was impressive throughout the game and it was his unstoppable shot in the 54th minute that levelled the scores and threw the game wide open.

Both managers made positive, attacking substitutions, with Drogba replacing Anelka for the Blues and Dimitar Berbatov and Ryan Giggs coming on for United, which was a record 606th appearance for Giggs at the club where he began his professional career twenty years ago.

Neither side seemed happy with a draw and both teams went in search of a winning goal, the play and tackles were furious at times as both teams seemed to be playing for pride as much as the three points. After Chris Smalling made a clumsy challenge on Zhirkov in the 80th minute, Frank Lampard, whose impressive penalty record has wavered of late, made no mistake this time as he smashed home the spot kick to give Chelsea a 2-1 lead. Zhirkov nearly added a third goal for the Blues moments late but his shot was deflected onto the post.

To compound United’s misery Vidic was sent off during injury time for a second book able offence, which means he will miss the important trip to Liverpool and the dismissal could leave United defensively weak.

The main beneficiaries of this game would appear to be Arsenal who are now just four points behind the leaders and have a game in hand, while Chelsea have consolidated their quest for a top four Premier League finish and entry into next years Champions League.

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