What If?….

 

As the year comes to a close I think about all of the things I am grateful for.  Being in Asheville, making new friends, and adventuring with my dog are just a few things I am grateful for this past year.  While on a waterfall adventure I started to wonder, what if I couldn’t see all of the beauty nature has to offer?    That question made me realize the one thing I should include being grateful for this year is my precious sense of sight.  I then came to an epiphany.  If I do not take care of my eyes I will not be able to enjoy nature and all of its beauty.

What if I had macular degeneration?  Macular degeneration is an eye disease that causes visual distortion, loss of vision in color and empty spots in central vision.  The vision loss associated with macular degeneration can be sudden, without warning, causing irreversible damage.  The macula helps to protect our eyes acting as an internal sunscreen to combat against damage that can be caused by the sun.  The picture below is a simulation of what it would be like to view beautiful Bridal Veil Falls with macular degeneration.   Protecting my eyes with the proper sunglasses and getting my macular pigment density checked every year will help to detect early warning signs before they affect my sight permanently.

What if I had glaucoma?  What if I had to live life with tunnel vision?  Glaucoma is a retinal disease that affects the optic nerve.  High intraocular pressure is associated with the disease and can cause permanent damage.  A result of untreated high pressures is visual field loss, or tunnel vision, which over time may lead to blindness.  The picture below is a simulation of what it would be like having glaucoma.  Getting my pressures measured yearly can help detect early signs and symptoms so I do not become a victim of the disease.

As this year comes to an end, I encourage everyone to include being grateful for their precious sense of sight.  What if you couldn’t see all of the beauty life and your surroundings hold? Visual impairments, such as macular degeneration and glaucoma, may develop without symptoms and may cause loss of vision before the problem is identified.  It is very important to get a yearly comprehensive eye health exam to detect and treat eye problems helping to keep your vision healthy.

by Kia Trapp

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