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Aging eyes and the diseases that can blind

Now that I have hit FORTY I have started to really keep track of my health from head to toe in hopes of not getting ill. I do not fear death at all but I am afraid of old age and the things that go wrong when our bodies wear out. My biggest fear is blindnesss so I've been reading some at Eye Digest about various diseases that can afflict tired, old eyes.

My dad had macular degeneration and by the time he was 67, he couldn't see well enough to drive and by 68 he could no longer read. His last four years were spent not seeing much of anything at all unless he held his head at a certain angle. They've made great progress in treatment in the last decade but it still scares me to death. At my last eye exam, the doctor warned me about hereditary eye diseases and said I should wear very dark sunglasses outside and of course take a zinc supplement.

Being at the computer all day every day has already led to dry eyes which I treat with some Visine and vision breaks to force myself to look away from the screen and focus far away for a couple of minutes. I took the test linked to in the dry eyes section and according to it I don't have the clinical definition of dry eyes.

Prior to researching, all I knew about glaucoma was that it tested for by dilating the eyes and I'd never had that done. I don't believe I have any family instances of that disease. My mother had her nearsightedness correct with LASIK I think and also had her eyelids operated on. Many in my family have heavy eyelids that sag and block normal vision. There are some cool (but not for the squeamish) videos of LASIK, Epi-LASIK & Sub-Bowmans laser surgery.

I am not really knowledgeable on cataracts but I know that is also a disease where the treatments have progressed a lot in my lifetime. If memory serves me right it used to be quite a process and now is an outpatient procedure that heals very quickly. Amazing how fast medical techniques progress.

There are just so many things that can go wrong with the eyes and eye health is usually not on the radar for most folks until their vision has greatly diminished already. I have given up on trying to get all my friends to quit smoking but won't you please listen to me and educate yourselves about eye diseases and have regular eye exams so you can see me age gracefully? I plan to get more beautiful by FIFTY and it would be nice if you all could see that. ha!

Aunt Rose, you know I'm thinking of you as I write this and I am hoping you will attest to taking care of your eyes.