HOBBIES ARE GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH

Do you have a hobby? Hobbies can give meaning and purpose to your life in retirement. As Robert Putnam points out in his book, Bowling Alone, it’s easy to discount the importance of hobbies and social engagements. Putnam details the widespread decline in civic engagement, from PTA memberships to neighborhood potlucks and bowling leagues. Over a couple of generations, Americans have misplaced the concept of free time.

SPECIAL PLANS FOR YOUR SPECIAL PEOPLE

Lily is a beautiful, active and full of personality toddler who happens to have Down syndrome. Lily’s parents and I have been friends for years and I have the continuing pleasure of watching Lily and her siblings grow up. While Lily is becoming a physical therapy rock star and hitting all her milestones in a timely fashion, her parents have started planning for the future.

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WHY WE ENJOY OUR HOBBIES

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a hobby as “a pursuit outside one’s regular occupation, engaged in especially for relaxation.” Hobbies include anything from playing a musical instrument to gardening, bird watching or sewing. A hobby is a way of focusing on something you enjoy just for the sake of that enjoyment. It may also be a way to clear your mental palette. You could be stressed out by a situation at work or the challenges of raising children and need an escape.

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Thanks in large part to advances in technology, bifocal contact lenses now exist, and many patients are pleased with the results. “The technology has come along way over the years improving vision with bifocal contact lenses, giving patients good vision at distance and near,” King said. Patients can also do monovision with contacts, setting the patient’s dominant eye for distance and non-dominant eye for up close.

It’s no secret that as a person ages, their body changes. The same is true for vision.


While someone may have perfect 20/20 vision in their early 20s, by the time they hit the big 4-0, they suddenly find themselves needing bifocal lenses to see things clearly.


“The reality is, our eyesight changes once we hit our early 40s, and the need for bifocals or reading glasses inevitably starts to set in,” said Dr. Sarah King. “The lens’ ability to focus on fine detail reduces, resulting in an inability to see clearly at near distances – a normal change called presbyopia.”


According to the American Optometric Association, presbyopia is a vision condition in which the crystalline lens of the eye loses its flexibility, which makes it difficult to focus on close objects. Presbyopia can occur suddenly, but the actual loss of flexibility takes place over a number of years. It is a natural part of the aging process of the eye. It is not a disease, and it cannot be prevented.


King says there are some classic telltale signs that a person might need bifocal lenses. These include:  

TAKE CARE OF YOUR AGING EYES


Other signs to be aware of are when you’re driving, your vision is clear when looking out into the distance, but blurred when glancing down at the speedometer. The quality of your vision may also change throughout the day.


Once a patient is diagnosed with presbyopia, corrective lenses, bifocals, over-the-counter readers or contact lenses are most commonly prescribed. “There are also surgical procedures, which may be an alternative option,” King said.


For patients worried about the way the lines commonly associated with bifocal lenses look on glasses, King says that should no longer be a concern. “The most common bifocals are progressive addition lenses, also known as no-line bifocals, which give you vision for distance, near and everything in between, versus lined bifocals, which give you clear vision at distance and near.”