Last night I stood in front of our full-length mirror and took a hard look at myself. “You know,” I said to my husband, “I see an old woman. My face is wrinkling, my body is succumbing to the effects of gravity, my hair is greying and I have age spots.”
Disgusted, I turned to my husband and said, “Tell me something positive to make me feel better.”
He thought for a minute and said, “Well, there’s nothing wrong with your eyesight.”
Okay, that didn’t actually happen. My husband values his life too much. No, that was just a little humour preceding the serious topic of eye health. I guess you could say it was “vitreous” humour. (I’m so glad I paid attention in high school biology so I could make that joke.)
But seriously, the topic of losing your sight is no laughing matter.
Did you read “The Fault In Our Stars?” It’s a beautifully written, but tragic story. When one of the characters loses his vision due to eye cancer, I could easily imagine how frightened he must have been. When I sneak into my sleeping child’s room at night to kiss her forehead, as I feel my way through the dark to avoid stepping on a sleeping dog or tripping on a toy, I imagine I’m blind. The feeling makes me uneasy, but soon I step out into the light of the hallway. With my vision restored, I go on with my life, rarely giving my eyesight another thought.
I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve had my eyes checked. Shocking considering how precious my eyesight is to me. Without it, how could I take care of my family? My daughter’s special needs require that I constantly look out for her—both figuratively and literally.
A few years ago I had an ocular migraine. I thought I was going blind. After that you could say I saw the light. I’ve scheduled yearly appointments with our doctor of optometry ever since—for the kids, and my husband too.
Early detection of eye disease significantly lowers your risk of vision loss. In fact, 80 per cent of vision loss can be prevented or treated. An eye exam can also uncover underlying—and life-threatening—health issues, such as Type 2 diabetes, brain tumours, cancer of the eye, eye tumours, high blood pressure, and certain vascular diseases like strokes and heart attacks. An eye exam can help save not only your sight, but also your life by red flagging other potentially serious health concerns.
Your family doctor probably won’t remind you to schedule an appointment with a doctor of optometry. This is something you need to do for yourself. It’s important, so do it and go annually. Appointments are quick and painless. In many provinces, annual eye exams for kids are covered, so it won’t even cost you. To find out if your child’s eye exam is covered in your province, click HERE. My husband and I have full coverage under our medical insurance plan.
Don’t turn a blind eye on your eye health. Sorry, but do you even know how many eye puns there are? I’m trying my best to put a ‘lid’ on it. ;)
So before I get on your last optic nerve, I’ll just end here with this list.
Simple Things You Can Do To Improve Your Eye Health:
- Get a regular eye exam from a Doctor of Optometry.
- Eat healthy — eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables - especially leafy greens, and consider upping your intake of Omega-3.
Protect your eyes from the sun — consider this permission to buy those new Ray Bans you've had your eye on.
- Wear eye protection — we wear squash glasses when we have Nerf gun wars at our house. As my mother always says, “It’s all fun and games until somebody loses an eye.” She’s right.
- Consider vitamin supplements — Lutein and zeaxanthin (say that three times fast) and vitamin C to help you see.
- Keep alcohol consumption to a minimum — sadly, highballs are bad for eyeballs.
- Don’t smoke — unless you’re talking salmon *see point about Omega-3s.
- Educate yourself — and then pass this information around to peeps whose peepers you’d like to protect
To VIEW more storEYEs of an OCULAR nature, LOOK no further. Read an ocular haiku/eye-ku here (Beware, the bloody eyeball photo is not for the faint of heart).
Or if like me, you spend entirely too much time staring at a computer screen, watch this to find out if reading on a screen is bad for your eyes and what simple things can you do to lessen the symptoms of eye strain: www.youtube.com/embed/SSZqjdKEBS4
This post was brought to you by Doctors of Optometry Canada, however the images and opinions are my own. For more information please visit http://doctorsofoptometry.ca.