When I say “sandwich generation” you know what I mean, right? I’m talking about those of us who are jammed in between young kids to raise and aging parents to care for.
My dad, bless him, typically calls me during the morning rush—you know: school lunches are flying, I've issued the 34th reminder to brush teeth, and it's a mad hunt for keys/phone/homework/left shoe. My father calls me smack in the middle of all that to tell me about his latest ache, the bloodwork his doctor ordered, and an update on his ankle swelling. And why does he call me then? Because he says it’s the only time he can “get me.”
Is it any wonder we moms don’t exactly take the best care of ourselves? On the list of things to do, our own health typically comes way down the priority list. Somewhere after: take dog to vet, prep for meeting, pick up dry cleaning...
Am I right? Well, here’s something I want you to do—a quick yet powerful way to take care of your health.
Book an appointment for an eye exam with a Doctor of Optometry.
I know, I can hear your objections: your vision is fine, your glasses prescription hasn’t changed for years...why bother, right?
Well, I have some eye-opening news for you. A complete eye exam can reveal a whole host of health issues that affect much more than just your eyes. Your eyes are an indicator of overall health, and can show early signs of dangerous, potentially life-threatening conditions that haven't caused symptoms yet.
Here are some of those conditions:
There are telltale signs of uncontrolled, silent hypertension (meaning, you can't feel it) that can be seen on a routine eye exam. Detecting hypertension early means you can do something about it well before it causes complications like heart failure and kidney disease.
Diabetes is a common and serious condition, but many people have no idea they have it. One of the most serious complications of diabetes is eye damage leading to vision loss. Signs can be seen on an eye exam, raising the flag of diabetes before you feel a thing.
I have a patient whose pituitary gland tumour was first picked up by her Doctor of Optometry during an exam. I'm pretty sure I don't need to spell out the reasons why it's a good idea to detect brain tumours (malignant or benign) at an early stage.
Of course, there are also serious eye diseases that can be diagnosed during an exam, like glaucoma, retinal detachment, cataracts, and macular degeneration. The early stages of these can be subtle, and you wouldn’t necessarily know you had a problem. But untreated, they can lead to serious eye problems and blindness.
Check out this excellent video for information about how you can prevent eye disease through diet and lifestyle approaches:
If you need more motivation, here are 25 important reasons why we moms need to take care of ourselves. But I think you know our health is important. Our vision is important. Besides, you need your eyes for a lot of reasons—not the least of which so you can see that school lunch you’re throwing together and find that ringing phone so your father can update you on his ankle swelling. Yes?
Do yourself a favour and take this one simple step towards better health FOR YOU.