A clear vision of eye care

Published 8:46 pm Friday, August 5, 2011

I’ve had many headaches in the past because of it. In fact, I’m squinting as I’m writing this column.

I have astigmatism, where one eye is shaped like a football and the other eye is perfectly rounded, causing my vision to be irregular. I’ve worn glasses — big ones, to skinny ones to thin ones — all of my life.

And, as much as I hate to admit it, it’s about that time for another eye exam. Steven Q. Urkel, I sympathize with you.

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August is “National Eye Exam Month” and some ophthalmologists suggest getting your eyes checked at least twice a year to make sure that you don’t develop cataracts or have any other eye diseases or disorders such as glaucoma or retinitis arise.

Growing up, I can remember constantly getting my regular eye exams and the eye doctors telling me one thing: “You’ll need glasses.” Of course, I dreaded those very words every time I heard them, hoping and praying that in the next couple of months my vision would instantly change to 20/20 so I wouldn’t have to bear the name calling or ridicule amongst my peers.

And each time, I would just be disappointed. Sulking, I’d pick out a pair that looked somewhat fashionable.

I think I’ve owned more than 100 pairs of glasses in my lifetime. Fat bulky ones to safety goggles size to more stylish kinds, coming in a variety of colors.

I’ve never been a fan of glasses maybe because of the stigma that came along with wearing them. If you wore glasses you were considered a “nerd” or a “geek,” sometimes making you an outcast.

I didn’t mind being referred to as smart, but I wanted to have friends too. Oh the days of youth.

Over the years, I’ve learned to appreciate the advice of doctors and wear glasses. No matter how badly I don’t want to wear them,

I want to keep my eyes for as long as I can. This time, I will follow their advice. Maybe I’ll even wear them to bed to show my dedication.

With so many eye diseases, having regular eye checkups and wearing your glasses or contacts is imperative to continued eye health.

Because, after all, you only have one set of eyes, so protect them.