Sidney Crosby is having another brilliant season, and should probably be rewarded for it when it's time to vote for major awards.
Sidney Crosby is having another brilliant season, and should probably be rewarded for it when it's time to vote for major awards.
Emma Donoghue on writing Room: ‘I toned down some of the horror of the Fritzl case’Donoghue’s bestseller drew on the case of Felix Fritzl, who was held captive in a dungeon by his father, and her observations of her own children ‘Writing the screen adaptation certainly has opened doors to me.’ Emma Donoghue. Photograph: REX/Shutterstock
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Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died from complications of metastatic pancreatic cancer. The same deadly disease took civil rights leader and Democratic Representative John Lewis and Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek. So what is pancreatic cancer—and why should you be worried about getting it yourself? Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You Had COVID and Didn't Know It. 1 What is Pancreatic Cancer? Your pancreas, tucked away behind your stomach, is an inconspicuous organ tirelessly producing essential enzymes and hormones your body needs for digestion, and to regulate blood sugar. Pancreatic cancer is a disease in which cancerous cells form in the tissues of the organ, disrupting its necessary functions. 2 How is it Diagnosed? Justice Ginsberg's cancer was caught during a routine blood test last July. If caught early, pancreatic cancer is treatable. But the vast majority of cases aren't diagnosed until it's too late—in large part because no reliable early screening test exists. And when something goes wrong with it, your pancreas has a tendency to whisper, not shout. This makes pinpointing problems particularly challenging, especially when it comes to pancreatic cancer. 3 How is it Treated? There are a variety of effective forms of treatment: surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, and immunotherapy. Justice Ginsberg's initial treatment lasted three weeks—and was then ongoing as it flared. Trebek underwent chemotherapy. "Cancer is mysterious in more ways than one," he told GMA. "The thought of passing on doesn't frighten me," he said. "Other things do. The effect it will have on my loved ones—yes, that bothers me. It makes me sad. But the thought of myself moving on? Hey, folks, it comes with the territory." 4 What is the Prognosis? According to the American Cancer Society, "for all stages of pancreatic cancer combined, the one-year relative survival rate is 20%, and the five-year rate is 7%," reports Pancreatic.org.Trebek originally said he'd fight his, ending with a joke: "Truth told, I have to! Because under the terms of my contract, I have to host Jeopardy! for three more years." His good humor aside, the news shocked his fans—and many Americans. The "low survival-rate statistics for this disease" he said meant "the prognosis for this is not very encouraging." As for Ginsberg, she initially "canceled her annual summer visit to Santa Fe," according to a statement, "but has otherwise maintained an active schedule"—and she worked right up until her death.Discovering it early was key to her recovery. Read on to learn the warning signs we should all watch out for. 5 You Experience Nausea and Vomiting, Especially After Eating Fatty Foods Fatty foods can do a number on you, and others—for proof, just visit a men's room on a Monday morning (or don't). However, if you are repeatedly experiencing nausea and vomiting, especially after eating fatty foods like fries, pizza, or even avocados, it may be a sign that something is wrong with your pancreas. Why? Pancreatic cancer symptoms can arise when pressure from a pancreatic cyst or tumor is growing on the stomach or small intestine, causing a block of the digestive tract. As the growth becomes bigger, it can actually cause a partial block by entwining itself around the far end of the stomach.As well, your pancreas produces digestive enzymes that help your system break down fat, among other things. Diseases that affect the pancreas tend to mess with your body's fat-digesting capabilities, leading to nausea and possible vomiting. A sudden onset of these symptoms, though, is more likely to indicate pancreatitis, an inflammation of the pancreas.The Rx: There are myriad reasons for an upset stomach, so don't quickly jump to conclusions. If nausea or vomiting after eating persists, make sure to see a doctor so you can find out what's going on. 6 Your Skin and Eyes Look Yellow Jaundice is a yellowing of the skin and eyes that occurs when bilirubin, a component of bile, builds up in the blood. Bilirubin is made by the liver as a breakdown product of old red blood cells and is usually eliminated from your body when your gallbladder releases bile.Here's how your pancreas is involved: Bile travels from your gallbladder through the common bile duct and passes through the pancreas. But if the bile ducts become blocked—for whatever reason—jaundice may result. Jaundice can be a sign of pancreatic cancer if a tumor is growing in the head of the pancreas, obstructing the bile duct and flow of bile.The Rx: They may be galling, but gallstones are the more likely cause for jaundice in adults than pancreatic cancer. Lower your risk of gallstones by following a healthy eating plan and regularly exercising. 7 Your Poop. It's Doing Funny Things, like Floating Oily? Greasy? Gray? Floating? If your poop is playing these tricks on you, it may be a sign of pancreatic disease. It can wreak havoc on your ability to produce the digestive enzymes that break down fats properly. The result can be funky feces. See an oily film in your toilet water after going No. 2—or find your feces floating? That's due to dietary fat that's not getting broken down by your body. And as for the pale poop phenomenon: Bilirubin gives your poop its brown color, but when your bile ducts are blocked, that color goes to monochromatic hues of gray or clay.The Rx: Poop that's a bit "special" every now and then is nothing to freak out about. But if most of your bowel movements start to have these characteristics, call your doctor and get yourself checked out.RELATED: The #1 Cause of Obesity, According to Science 8 You Suddenly Get Diabetes If you eat a healthy diet, your weight is under control, but you become diagnosed with diabetes, it might warrant a closer look at your pancreas. This is true especially if you're over 50 and have a low BMI (body mass index), with no family history of diabetes. Your pancreas produces insulin, which regulates your body's blood sugar. When your pancreas is under attack by a tumor or disease, systems begin to fail, and it can be common for people to suddenly develop type 2 diabetes.The same goes if you've had well-controlled diabetes for a while and suddenly find it difficult to manage the disease. Rapid shifts in diabetes status without a clear-cut rationale may be associated with pancreatic cancer.The Rx: If you have diabetes but experience a sudden change in your blood sugar levels, be sure to let your doctor know so you can rule out a more serious problem with your pancreas. 9 You've Just Unexpectedly Lost Weight You might be rocking the keto diet, but if you're dropping weight (too) rapidly, it could be due to digestive issues associated with pancreatic cancer or other pancreatic disorders. The weight loss may be caused by incomplete digestion either due to the cancer or as a result of the cancer itself (like when a tumor creates a stomach blockage). Unintended weight loss is a common symptom of pancreatic cancer.The Rx: Many other health conditions can also explain sudden weight loss, like thyroid issues. If you have just unexpectedly lost weight, you should see a doctor.RELATED: 5 Ways to Prevent Dementia, Says Dr. Sanjay Gupta 10 You Experience Abdominal Pain Pain in your abdomen or back is a common warning sign of pancreatic cancer and acute pancreatitis, but the pain manifests differently for each. Radiating pain that extends toward the mid or lower back, which goes on for weeks, could be a sign of pancreatic cancer. The American Cancer Society shares that if a tumor that starts in the body or tail of the pancreas grows to be rather large, it can press on neighboring organs, causing pain. Sometimes, pancreatic cancer can spread to the nerves that surround the pancreas, which can result in back pain.If the pain, however, comes on suddenly, feels intense, and is mostly in the middle of your abdomen, it's more likely to be acute pancreatitis.The Rx: Any number of health issues can be the cause of your stomach aches or pain. And more likely than not, your upset stomach is due to a more mundane, garden-variety cause. If abdominal pain persists, however, please see your doctor. As for yourself: To get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.
"Growing evidence indicates that people can reduce their risk of cognitive decline by adopting key lifestyle habits," says the Alzheimer's Association. "When possible, combine these habits to achieve maximum benefit for the brain and body. Start now. It's never too late or too early to incorporate healthy habits." Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You Had COVID and Didn't Know It. 1 You're Not Fueling Up Right "Eat a healthy and balanced diet that is lower in fat and higher in vegetables and fruit to help reduce the risk of cognitive decline," says the Alzheimer's Association. "Although research on diet and cognitive function is limited, certain diets, including Mediterranean and Mediterranean-DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension), may contribute to risk reduction." 2 You're Not Taking Care of Your Mental Health "Some studies link a history of depression with increased risk of cognitive decline, so seek medical treatment if you have symptoms of depression, anxiety or other mental health concerns," says the Alzheimer's Association. "Also, try to manage stress." 3 You're Not Staying Socially Engaged This one is hard to do during the pandemic, but it's important. "Staying socially engaged may support brain health. Pursue social activities that are meaningful to you. Find ways to be part of your local community — if you love animals, consider volunteering at a local shelter. If you enjoy singing, join a local choir or help at an after-school program. Or, just share activities with friends and family," advises the Alzheimer's Association. 4 You're Not Staying Educated "Formal education in any stage of life will help reduce your risk of cognitive decline and dementia," says the Alzheimer's Association. "For example, take a class at a local college, community center or online." 5 You're Not Taking Care of Your Heart or Lungs "Evidence shows that risk factors for cardiovascular disease and stroke — obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes — negatively impact your cognitive health," says the Alzheimer's Association. "Take care of your heart, and your brain just might follow." Don't smoke either. 6 You're Courting a Brain Injury "Brain injury can raise your risk of cognitive decline and dementia. Wear a seat belt, use a helmet when playing contact sports or riding a bike, and take steps to prevent falls," says the Alzheimer's Association. 7 You're Not Sleeping Enough "Not getting enough sleep due to conditions like insomnia or sleep apnea may result in problems with memory and thinking," says the Alzheimer's Association. 8 You're Not Exercising "Engage in regular cardiovascular exercise that elevates your heart rate and increases blood flow to the brain and body," says the Alzheimer's Association. "Several studies have found an association between physical activity and reduced risk of cognitive decline."RELATED: 5 Ways to Prevent Dementia, Says Dr. Sanjay Gupta 9 Play Brain Games "Challenge and activate your mind. Build a piece of furniture. Complete a jigsaw puzzle. Do something artistic. Play games, such as bridge, that make you think strategically," says the Alzheimer's Association. "Challenging your mind may have short and long-term benefits for your brain." And to protect your health, don't miss these Signs You're Getting One of the "Most Deadly" Cancers.
McDonald's often advertises new deals for customers, especially those who are using the chain's phone app. But there may be no better deal than the always-popular Buy One Get One For $1 deal. And now it's back for a limited time!How does it work? When you buy one of the menu items that are part of this deal at full price, you'll get a second one for just $1. It's the perfect option for those who are buying for two.RELATED: McDonald's Is Teaming Up With the Most Popular Pop Band in the WorldThere are, however, only a few items to which this BOGO For $1 deal applies. These are the Big Mac, the Quarter Pounder with Cheese, the Filet-O-Fish, and the 10-Piece Chicken McNuggets. And while most McDonald's locations nationwide will be honoring the deal, according to Chew Boom, universal participation is not guaranteed.McDonald's is also currently offering a number of other deals, many of which are designed to shepherd customers toward using the company's app to place their orders. For example, through late June, you are eligible for a free serving of Large Fries with a first-time purchase through the McDonald's app. Also through late June, existing McDonald's app users can add Large Fries for just $1 once a week to any mobile order, and free fries on Fridays with any purchase made through the app.Also currently on offer: any size of Premium Roast Coffee (hot or iced) for 99 cents as well as the seemingly perennial $1 for any size of soft drink offer. For more, check out McDonald's Has a New Summer Treat On the Menu, and don't forget to sign up for our newsletter to get the latest restaurant news delivered straight to your inbox.
From wrinkles to acne to razor bumps.
Hottest front-room seats: the best theatre and dance to watch online. From live streams of new plays to classics from the archive, here are some of the top shows online now or coming soon The stage on screen: our guide to films about theatre
It's no secret that fresh groceries leave your body feeling better than processed foods. Highly processed diets can sap your energy, hurt your skincare regimen, and even put you in a bad mood. Now, researchers have discovered yet another reason to cut out the Big Macs for good—turns out, diets full of processed foods can weaken your immune system and increase your risk of certain chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes.A recent study published in the journal PLOS Pathogens found that a Western-style diet—described as a diet rich in processed foods that are high in fat and refined sugars but low in fiber—could create a breeding ground for harmful gut bacteria and make you more susceptible to insulin resistance which can lead to type 2 diabetes. (Related: The 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now)"Processed foods, such as high sugar foods and pre-packaged foods, lack fiber and nutrients which are needed to support the gut microbiota," Jonathan Valdez, RDN, CDCES, owner of Genki Nutrition, and Media Spokesperson for New York State Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, said in an interview with Eat This, Not That! "Studies have concluded that processed foods reduce the number of gut microbiota and influence the immune system's 'readiness' and the body's defense against pathogenic bacteria."In other words, if your diet includes too many processed foods, you could be reducing the healthy bacteria in your gut that protect you from harmful bacteria that can a) make you sick immediately (think foodborne illness) and b) alter your gut microbiota and increase your risk of chronic inflammatory diseases in the long run.So, what foods should you avoid to keep your gut health in tip-top shape? Abbey Sharp, a registered dietitian at Abbey's Kitchen, strongly recommends cutting back on red meat varieties that are high in preservatives, salt, and saturated fat including bacon, pepperoni, and hot dogs."While I don't believe in completely removing any one food from your diet, I think there's value in trying to limit our intake of ultra-processed foods," she said, adding that it's not just inflammatory infections and foodborne illnesses that you should be watching out for."We do have evidence to suggest that a diet rich in ultra-processed red meat like hot dogs may increase the risk of cancer. Even 'nitrate free' or 'natural' hot dogs contain natural nitrates so I suggest limiting consumption to special occasions."Looking for foods that won't leave you at high risk? Try these 15 Homemade Swaps for Ultra-Processed Foods.
They called for peace and unity, but in truth, they came to dominate. Smashburger introduced their Scorchin' Hot Crispy Chicken Sandwich last month, rolling it out with a marketing campaign that called for the end of the "chicken sandwich wars" among fast-food restaurants. They gave sandwiches away for free to fast-food workers and ran a BOGO deal for everyone else.But it's easy to make a peace offering with such a powerful weapon in hand. Smashburger's newest menu item is flying off the shelves (or, perhaps more accurately, out of industrial ovens). The sandwich is made with famed Nashville hot crispy chicken, spicy red pepper mayo, pickles, and served on a classic toasted bun. And Smashburger locations cannot keep enough of it in stock.RELATED: This Popular Fast-Food Chain Just Confirmed a Shortage of Chicken TendersThe Scorchin' Hot creation has already sold out at 35 of the chain's 200+ locations, according to a spokesperson for the brand. In just over two weeks after it launched, the new chicken sandwich has become Smashburger's second most popular menu offering. The sammy was meant to be on the menus until June 15, but there's a chance your local Smashburger has already run out of their supply.The popularity of the Scorchin' Hot Crispy Chicken Sandwich underscores what all fast-food chains seemingly realized at the same time: chicken is the fast-food of the moment. Especially when you add the words "spicy" or "crispy" (in McDonald's case, both) to the name, the popularity of a fast-food chicken sandwich is unmatched in 2021.Smashburger in particular says that the new poultry promotion has contributed to a 30% traffic increase since its launch. The chain recently redid their logo and their online presence, made plans to open 40 more locations, and launched this incredibly popular item—who says you can't be productive in a pandemic?For more, check out We Tried Popular Spicy Fast-Food Items and This Is the Best One, and don't forget to sign up for our newsletter to get the latest restaurant news delivered straight to your inbox.
Have you been affected by the recent GWR and LNER train cancellations?We’d like to hear from those who have been affected by cancellations from Great Western Railway and London North Eastern Railway as they inspect trains for hairline cracks A spokesman for GWR said the cracks were found in two of its Hitachi 800 trains during routine maintenance. Photograph: Ceri Breeze/Getty Images
Lipliner is back, in all its 1990s glory90s makeup was all about the lip pencil, ideally worn three shades darker than your lipstick, in tones of pure supermodel ‘Makeup is obsessed with all things from that decade.’ Photograph: Alex Lake/The Guardian
Not Even This by Jack Underwood review – fatherhood, philosophy and fearA poet confronts his anxieties about becoming a parent in this free-wheeling meditation on the theme of uncertainty ‘A parent has little choice but to learn to trust a child to become themselves.’ Photograph: fotostorm/Getty Images
David Hare: Covid-hit UK theatre needs a John Osborne-inspired revolutionPlaywright mulls mass appeal of Osborne, who is being honoured with an English Heritage blue plaqueCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverage Jimmy Akingbola and Simon Harrison in a production of John Osborne’s Look Back in Anger at Jermyn Street theatre in 2008. Photograph: Tristram Kenton/The Guardian
Which Caribbean island was invaded by the US in 1983? The Weekend QuizFrom Murmillo to mollymawk, test your knowledge with the Weekend quiz Island life. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images
20 of the best UK hotels and inns to rest and relaxWith hotels about to reopen, it’s time to emerge from lockdown, eat fabulous food, hit the spa or just chill out somewhere lovely The Scarlet Hotel, Cornwall Photograph: PR
Blind date: ‘Would we have kissed? Good question’Nicole, 26, ecological consultant, meets Luke, 26, physiotherapist Nicole and Luke: ‘My mum would say he has kind eyes.’ Photographs: Graeme Robertson/The Guardian Photograph: Graeme Robertson/The Guardian
Tim Dowling: my middle son has become my boss, and he’s relentlessI finish the interview and have the whole day before me. Then I remember I still have an appointment with the cat’s last pill ‘It’s cat food,’ I say. ‘Pure and unadulterated.’ Photograph: Getty Images
Fancy? Yes. But it promotes eyelash growth, and you simply don’t get that with a drugstore brand.
You check your milk's label before pouring it into your cereal and your lunch meat always gets the sniff test before building the ultimate sandwich. But there are other items in your home you may never think about that also have expiration dates. When you use ineffective or outdated products, it can negatively impact your health and environment. Not sure what to look for to ensure you're getting the most out of the items you buy? Check out these 20 items you shouldn't use after they expire so you know your cabinets are full of fresh and effective products. Read on, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You Had COVID and Didn't Know It. 1 Your Toothbrush Your toothbrush is a vital component to your oral hygiene but if it's expired, it may be ineffective at keeping your teeth clean. "When you don't change your brush in the recommended amount of time, the bristles can become frayed. Frayed bristles are less effective in removing plaque and food debris around the teeth," according to Inna Chern, DDS, from New York General Dentistry. What to do: "Replace toothbrushes every three to four months or more often if the bristles are visibly matted or frayed," suggests the American Dental Association (ADA). 2 Your Running Shoes As you run, walk, or exercise, the shoes you wear absorb shock, provide cushion, and promote stability. If you don't replace your running shoes when they expire, they lose their cushion and increase the stress on your bones, muscles, and joints. This can lead to overuse injuries and annoying aches and pains after exercising. What to do: Replace your running shoes every 200 to 300 miles or as soon as you notice wear and tear or cushion breakdown. "You can maybe still get 400 to 500 miles on an older pair of shoes, but your injury risk will definitely go up because the materials are already breaking down," according to Kyle Stump from Fleet Feet in Delray Beach, Florida. 3 Your Shower Towel When you step out of the shower, you want that clean feeling to last forever, but if you're doing it wrong, you could cause more harm than good. If your shower towel has taken on a mildew-like smell or lost its absorbency, chances are, you'll start to feel gross again right after drying off. What to do: Home health experts suggest replacing your shower towels when they lose their "fluffiness," start to smell, stop absorbing, or at least once every two years. "Because towels are used daily and washed frequently, they tend to fray and tear after a couple of years. They typically lose their absorbency around the two-year mark, which is a good indicator that it's time to replace them," says Leanne Stapf from The Cleaning Authority. 4 Medication If allergies or a headache only strike once every few years, you may have medication bottles in your medicine cabinet that have been there for a long time. While it may not be dangerous to your health to take expired medications, the ingredients usually aren't as effective. The chemical components in expired medication may have started to break down already, decreasing their strength. What to do: "Certain expired medications are at risk of bacterial growth and sub-potent antibiotics can fail to treat infections, leading to more serious illnesses and antibiotic resistance," The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns. Check expiration dates on all medications and safely dispose of your outdated bottles. 5 Spices Most spices, such as cinnamon or chilli powder, don't have expiration dates listed on the bottles. While most spices don't necessarily expire, they can begin to lose their flavor and potency after a few years, especially if they're no longer stored in an airtight container. What to do: If you want to get the most flavor out of your cooking, Anar Allidina, a registered dietician, suggests replacing spices after six months to a year. Keep in mind, ground spices lose flavor faster than spices that are dried whole. 6 Vitamins Most vitamin bottles have "use by" dates, which suggest when the substance may begin to break down and lose its potency. It's not dangerous to take a vitamin after its expiration but you may not be getting all the nutritional elements promised on the label.What to do: Your vitamins may remain potent for up to two years after the "use by" date, according to Dr. Shanna Levine from Goals Healthcare. To increase shelf life, store your vitamins away from extreme temperatures, out of the sunlight, and protected from humidity. 7 Your Hairbrush Your hairbrush is probably made from plastic or wood, so you may assume it'll last forever. But after a while, it begins to collect your dead hair and styling products, leading to buildup. This makes it hard for your brush to pass through your hair and do its job and may put your hair at risk for damage. "The product debris can irritate the scalp, which can lead to redness, itch, and scale," says Tsippora Shainhouse, M.D., from SkinSafe Dermatology and Skin Care. What to do: Keep an eye out for damage to your brush, such as separated bristles, as a sign it needs to be replaced. Even if it's kept its integrity, experts recommend replacing your hairbrush every six months to a year. 8 Your Pillows The average American spends 36 years in bed. Sleep is so important for your body that a lack of it can be disorienting—and even fatal. One of your closest allies during all these years is your pillow. But night after night, your pillow absorbs your dead skin and body oils. Even if you follow the proper protocol and wash them every six months, these allergens may still stick around, causing the pillow to be weighed down or begin to smell. They can also become the perfect breeding ground for dust mites, which can then spread to your linens and mattress.What to do: Experts recommend replacing your pillows every few years, or when they begin to lose shape. To determine if it's time for a pillow replacement, "check to see if any foam or batting in the pillow is lumpy and, if it's a feather pillow, ask yourself if you constantly have to fluff it up to support your head or if it still does it on its own," says experts at The Sleep Foundation.RELATED: Unhealthiest Habits on the Planet, According to Doctors 9 Your Kitchen Sponge Your kitchen sponge is constantly exposed to dish soap and water, so it must automatically be clean, right? Wrong. The sponge in your kitchen has the tough job of getting rid of food particles and dirt. While it's washed frequently, it may stay damp and remaining particles may be present. Most sponges carry a variety of bacteria, including salmonella, according to a study published in Scientific Reports.What to do: If your sponge begins to crumble and break or it smells, replace it. Even if you don't notice anything wrong with your sponge, experts who conducted the study recommend replacing your kitchen sponge every week. 10 Your Mattress If you don't feel like you're getting a great night's sleep, you may want to consider how long you've had your mattress. A saggy mattress is ineffective at keeping your body in a comfortable sleeping position and it may cause back pain or poor sleep. What to do: You should replace your mattress when it's six to eight years old, if you notice it's sagging, or if it begins to squeak or make other noises, according to experts at The Sleep Foundation. If you find yourself constantly waking up stiff or if your allergies get bad at night, it may also be a sign it's time to invest in a new mattress. 11 Sunscreen When you lather yourself in sunscreen, you expect it to protect you from the sun's rays so you can avoid painful sunburn. If your sunscreen is expired, it may not be able to help block your skin from these harmful rays. So, how do you know when your sunscreen has become ineffective? What to do: "Sunscreens are required by the Food and Drug Administration to remain at their original strengths for at least three years," according to the Mayo Clinic. Many sunscreens also include an expiration date on the bottle. Throw it out after the expiration date or three years after you bought it. 12 Eye Makeup After it expires, makeup can begin to change texture and may be greasy or separated. This is a sure sign to toss your products but it's even more important to pay attention to the integrity of your eye makeup. Mascara, eye shadow, and eyeliners get really close to your eyes and if they're ridden with bacteria, using these expired products can cause irritation or infection. What to do: Mascara should be tossed out after two to three months and you should throw away your eyeliner after about six months. Unless it smells funny or has lost its texture, powdered eye shadows can generally last about three years before going bad, according to health experts interviewed by The Kansas City Star. 13 Sunglasses If you have a favorite pair of sunglasses you've worn for years, it may be time to shop for a new pair. Your sunglasses are made to block harmful UV rays from the sun that can damage your eyes. However, after being exposed to the brutal sunlight for years, the components that protect your eyes may be compromised, making your sunglasses ineffective at blocking these rays. What to do: Sunglasses manufacturers don't provide clear guidelines on when you should replace your sunglasses, according to a study published in Biomedical Engineering Online. "Based on informed estimates, it is quite reasonable to assume that the UV protection of sunglasses should be required to last at least two years," the study suggests. Replace your sunglasses every few years or if you notice the lenses are scratched or compromised in any way. 14 Slippers The slipper you lounge in every night may be a breeding ground for bacteria. If you can't regularly wash your slippers and you wear them outside at all, you could be tracking in "an average of 421,000 units of bacteria on the outside of the shoe and 2,887 on the inside," according to a study conducted by Dr. Charles Gerba and The Rockport Company.What to do: To prevent a buildup of bacteria on your slippers and to ensure your feet stay comfortable and safe, footwear experts recommend replacing them every year. If your slippers start to smell, look visibly dirty, lose their cushion, or are damaged, you should also consider replacing them before the six-month expiration date. 15 Cutting Boards Your cutting boards see all different types of foods, so washing, scrubbing, and sanitizing after use is essential. However, at some point, your cutting boards may have been exposed to one too many a sharp knife and could lose their integrity. At this point, it's hard to get food remnants out of the deep grooves that have developed, increasing the chance that bacteria and particles are stuck in the board and could contaminate your food.What to do: "When your cutting board has accumulated a lot of deep grooves from repeated use, you probably need to replace it," according to an article published by NC State University. 16 Soy Sauce Soy sauce is chock full of sodium, which keeps bacteria growth and contamination at bay. Your soy sauce should last a while but it can begin to lose its flavor after several years. Keep an eye (and a nose) on your soy sauce and if it smells different or changes texture, it may be time to replace it. What to do: Keep it in the refrigerator to lengthen its life. "Once opened, the soy sauce will start to lose its freshness and the flavor will begin to change. By refrigerating the sauce, the flavor and quality will remain at their peak for a longer period," according to experts at Kikkoman USA.RELATED: Signs You're Getting One of the "Most Deadly" Cancers 17 Wooden Kitchen Utensils Wooden kitchen utensils are popular because they're more gentle on your pans and are known to have antibacterial qualities. Just like other utensils, if they're used frequently, they may begin to show signs of wear and tear. If you take care of your utensils carefully, you can prolong their life. What to do: To keep them in good shape, hand wash these utensils, rub them with mineral oil, and use fine sandpaper to remove stains, according to experts at New Hampshire Bowl and Board. Even if you take care of your wooden utensils, the experts warn, "Wooden spoons can eventually split as they dry out or are exposed to extreme temperature changes." When these items split, crack, or dry out, it's time to replace them. 18 Bike Helmet Your bike helmet may not be able to fully protect your head in the event of a crash if it's expired. The integrity of the cushion and protective elements inside your helmet can be negatively impacted over time, decreasing its effectiveness. What to do: Replace your helmet if it's been involved in a crash already or it's been damaged in another way, according to experts at the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute. You should also replace your helmet if it doesn't fit properly, the technology is old, or it's been about five years since you originally purchased it.RELATED: The #1 Cause of Diabetes, According to Science 19 Bug Spray Most bug sprays don't have expiration dates printed on their packaging. While they won't become hazardous to your health after some time, these products can become less effective at keeping insects away so it's important to figure out if your bug spray has expired before using it. What to do: "DEET-based or picaridin-based repellents don't have an expiration date. If the repellent contains IR3535 (which is commonly added to skincare products), then there is an expiration date that is usually between 18 and 36 months after it is packaged," according to experts at Pest Control FAQ's. 20 Batteries Over time, batteries can lose their effectiveness. If they're stored at extreme hot or cold temperatures, battery acid may also leak out, ruining the batteries and making a dangerous mess in your junk drawer. What to do: Your batteries should be stamped with a "Best If Used By" date. "The best consumer experience and battery performance occurs with battery usage before the Best If Used By Date," according to experts at Energizer. If the date has passed, your batteries may still function but don't expect them to last too much longer or offer optimal performance. As for yourself: To get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.