Peace of Mind Is Almost as Valuable as Vision
Blindness is almost always at or near the top of most peoples’ list of public health fears. And yet, eye care is one of the most underused health sectors today. What’s going on here?
A False Alarm and a Smart Move
Yesterday I saw a patient who thought he was losing his vision. He began seeing spots and shadows and called for an emergency appointment. Years ago, he had a retinal detachment that required surgery. He was afraid it was happening again.
I was happy to report he had nothing more than a few floaters. He relaxed and smiled. He was relieved. I not only gave him the answer to what was happening, but I also gave him some peace of mind.
Why be scared when you can take action?
In my last post, I discussed rock singer Bono’s glaucoma. He says, “Thanks to good medical care, my eyes are OK…” The key: He makes eye care a priority, and you should too.
My patient also did the right thing. Instead of wondering what was going on, he called an expert to help him. Instead of fearing the worst, he got an answer right away.
Vision loss is one of our biggest health fears. Blindness makes the list in nearly every survey. But there’s a problem. Based on the usage of eye care, a lot of the people who list vision loss as a significant fear don’t have to. They can do something about it. They just don’t.
What’s Really Going On?
Why would we continue to be afraid when there’s something we can do? Here are three reasons:
- We don’t know. Many people who fear vision loss don’t know they should care for their eyes. Eye care is one of the most underutilized health sectors in our country. It doesn’t make sense for us to be afraid but skip easy access to experts who can help us.
- We don’t ask. Too few of my patients ask questions, even if they have serious eye diseases. Your eyes are your responsibility. Ask questions and learn as much as you can. Every eye doctor I know wants to help his or her patients live a better life. Your doctor should be happy to help you too.
- We don’t act. Learning requires application. If you don’t apply what you’ve learned, have you really learned anything? Make sure your physical and eye exam are up to date. And use the answers to those questions to make changes to improve your eye health and vision.
Blindness is one of our greatest public health fears, but it doesn’t have to be. There are real steps to give you peace of mind about your visual lifestyle and the future of your eye health. Why wouldn’t you take them?