alt=a woman speaks through a megaphone, standing on a globe and gesturing to an eye, a marked calendar, and a hand with a string tied around the finger.

Dear World, Please Go See An Eye Doctor

I had an interesting conversation with a few of my friends recently about eye doctors that I simply can’t stop thinking about. They were all in agreement on something that was… Well, it was terrifying to me to say the least. It’s really had me thinking about people as a whole, on a much larger scale than just in my inner circle of friends.

Sharing my experience with friends

I don’t get to spend in-person time with this particular group of friends as often as I’d like. So, when we get together we always catch up on a few particular items. One such item is my vision and the endeavors that stem from it, including the articles I write for this awesome community.

I was explaining to my friends that I had a pretty intense scare at the beginning of this year that had me at the doctor a handful of times. You know, taking off work, emergency visits, the whole nine yards.

One of my friends commented something like ‘I don’t know how you find the time to do that (Which, is a whole other entire conversation because it’s not exactly an option). But, she went on to say that she hasn’t visited an eye doctor in years. YEARS!

The shocking truth

You see, my friends are pretty educated people. They take care of themselves well. Heck, some of them are even in mental health therapy to try to conquer their own personal struggles. So, needless to say, I was shocked when I found out that they don’t see an optometrist or ophthalmologist yearly to get their eyes checked.

I guess I assumed they all knew this was an important thing to do - even if they don’t use corrective lenses.

So, I began asking everyone else at the table if they see an eye doctor or not, knowing that I was the only one at the table that does wear corrective lenses. Every one of them said they don’t see an eye doctor and don’t see a reason to since they see well. When they saw how big my eyes got at their statements, they began to ask why they’d need to.

We all need to see an eye doctor yearly

Look, here’s the deal friends... A diagnosis of macular degeneration doesn’t always accompany a need for a prescription or corrective lenses earlier in life. By the time you start having noticeable changes in your vision, you could be dealing with irreversible vision loss and a diagnosis of this disease.

It’s important to see an eye doctor each year so they can monitor the way your eyes look inside. Do you have drusen? Do you have atrophy? Do you have any other signs of macular degeneration rearing its ugly head?

Caring for our eyes properly is imperative for all people

Besides that, do you know how to care for your eyes properly before this life-changing diagnosis? Things like how imperative it is to protect our eyes by wearing sunglasses and hats religiously when out in the sun? Or, do you know the right foods to eat to keep our eyes as healthy as possible? Do you have that thing called an Amsler Grid so you can quickly monitor any slight changes in your vision daily?

People with ‘good’ vision are not exempt from a diagnosis for macular degeneration

It's more common than you think

It’s 2021. Almost 200 million people worldwide are affected by this disease and the numbers are quickly on the rise! Not only that, but this disease can come on quickly, without warning. It’s important to know what to do and where to go when symptoms start to manifest.

Spread the word, support your friends'

I know that, if you’re here reading this article, you most likely see an optometrist, ophthalmologist, and/or retina specialist at least once a year. I’m writing this article in regards to the people in your inner circle... The people you know that may not be seeing an eye doctor yearly because they don’t know why they should.

People just don’t know what they don’t know. I think that if I didn’t need corrective lenses, I may not have caught my disease when I did and it scares me to wonder about how truly detrimental that could have been to the vision I have today.

Andrea Junge

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