Happy New Year and welcome back to the first full week of 2010. To Bring in the New Year, I have a few suggestions;
1. Patients with Diabetes – make sure to get an eye exam at least once this year. This should be with your pupils dilated and not an examination for just glasses. Remember, even if your sugar is controlled and you are happy with your vision, get examined. Good sugar control does not prevent the disease and excellent vision does not mean you are disease free. Every patient with diabetes needs at least a yearly eye examination.
2. Patients with Macular Degeneration – get examined if you are over the age of 55 years old. An examination, with your pupils dilated is essential for your doctor to properly diagnose any disease of the retina. Most commonly, patients with macular degeneration have symptoms affecting the central vision; distortion, blurriness, dark or blank spots.
3. Tell your friends, and your doctors, about resolutions #1 and #2. Most don’t know as much as you do. Really.
4. If someone you know gets diagnosed with diabetes this year…tell them they need a baseline exam – there is no way of knowing how long they’ve actually been diabetic.
5. If someone you know complains of persistent blurry vision, including distortion (common symptoms of macular degeneration), suggest (kindly) that they have a complete eye exam. While there are other conditions (e.g. macular hole, epiretinal membrane) that may give these symptoms, it could be signs of macular degeneration.
6. Learn to Use the Internet Critically – don’t believe everything you hear and don’t believe everything you read. Be critical in your “surfing.” Is web site trying to sell me something? Is this a true study, or is it just manipulative marketing? Is the author an authority?
You can always email and ask me my opinion.
7. Tell your Doctor about www.RetinaEyeDoctor.com – as the web site grows, I am more dedicated to my mission about physicians embracing the Internet and providing credible sources of health information.
8. Tell your friends about our web site. The more the merrier. I am proud of how this has enhanced my relationship with existing patients and has reached people in other countries. There are few web sites written by real physicians. There should be more..
9. Make comments, ask questions, give me suggestions and criticisms.
10. Have a great 2010.
Randall V. Wong, M.D.
Ophthalmologist, Retina Specialist