By Dr. Harry Bohnsack,
President, Canadian Association of Optometrists
It’s January, a time when many of us make resolutions aimed at giving us a fresh start on aspects of ourselves we’d like to improve.
Lose weight, stop smoking, get fit, drink less.
All extremely admirable healthy goals, which I applaud wholeheartedly.
But, by mid-February, the vast majority of people who make those goals have abandoned them.
Why? Because for many of us, they are really difficult commitments to make if they are vague or we haven’t really planned for the change or we lack the supports required to stick with them.
This year, I invite you to make one very simple resolution that is targeted, doesn’t take a ton of planning or support and can be accomplished in a single phone call on Jan. 3.
What is that? A visit to your optometrist for a comprehensive eye exam.
It may lack the “wow” factor of some of the more common resolutions people grapple with each New Year, but a comprehensive eye exam can have a dramatic impact in terms of your overall health.
Optometrists often call the comprehensive eye exam a physical for the eye, because it looks at the entire eye and visual system. Remember, many serious eye diseases (glaucoma, macular degeneration, cataracts, dry eye) don’t have obvious symptoms, so regular eye exams will ensure they’re caught early and in doing so, you might also be alerted to early signs of other systemic health problems, such as diabetes and high blood pressure.
The best part? It is not invasive. No needles to worry about, although there may be the puff of air test, which, while perhaps a bit startling, doesn’t hurt.
And if an optometrist does find vision or eye health issues that need to be addressed, they can offer treatment or can provide referrals to specialists for advanced medical or surgical care, and be available for post-specialist care as required.
My New Year’s wish for you is that you’ll only ever have to make your eye health and vision care a resolution once, because it is so easy to do, it will turn it into something you don’t ever need to “resolve” to do again.
It will just become a routine health habit each year for you and your loved ones.
So here’s to 2022 and better eye health and vision care.