Monday, August 6, 2007

August Is...

Who on earth dreams up all those “National (fill in the blank) Month (or Day)” ideas? I did a quick search and found that August is Admit You're Happy Month, Family Fun Month, National Catfish Month (Have you ever tasted catfish? Tell us.), National Golf Month, Peach Month (as we well know here in Colorado!), Romance Awareness Month, Water Quality Month, National Picnic Month. We’ve already missed National Ice Cream Sandwich Day (2nd) and Wiggle Your Toes Day (6th), but we are not too late to rev up for Left-Handers’ Day (13th) or Frankenstein Day (20th).

On a more serious note, it’s also National Eye Exam Month. We wrote last week about low vision and just how much is out there now for vision rehabilitation. We featured Dr. Jennifer Tasca (pictured left) at our quarterly vision seminar. She stressed just how much individuality plays in treatments and rehab options. Many of the diseases that affect vision show up differently with individuals. It’s not uncommon, therefore, that one person with macular degeneration might respond well to a video reader that features an array of contrasting colors, while someone else may only be able to see black on white or white on black. This is cause for hope, she said, since the book is not definitively written on a particular disease and ways to cope with it. She also underscored how important eye exams are, regardless of age and ability. To identify conditions early is crucial in determining treatments and options.

Richard Faubion also attended our event. Richard plays a significant role with the Foundation Fighting Blindness. He outlined the significant research going on today with the help of FFB. He has retinitis pigmentosa. He demonstrated what that means in terms of his vision by holding out his arms out to his sides and progressively moving them together. He said he could not see them until they were exactly parallel in front of him and then he had to move them toward his face to get anything resembling clarity. And yet, he had notes at which he glanced every so often, written in large print with a 20/20 pen.

The audience, some of whom come regularly to our quarterly seminars on low vision, asked many questions and offered their own tips on how they cope with their changing vision. We also feature state-of-the-art equipment on display for people to experiment with after the seminar.

So, just a reminder in this month of celebrating all things weird and wonderful, get an eye exam! You can contact Dr. Jennifer Tasca at 303-665-7797 for a consultation. Richard Faubion can be reached at 303-799-1501. Please also sign up for the Vision Walk and help FFB raise money for more research.

By the way, August 18th is Bad Poetry Day. If you have a bad (or great) poem you would like to share, post it here!

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