Thursday, December 6, 2012

What If I Were Blind

With the holiday season in the air, I can’t help but stop and think about all the things I’m thankful for in my life, which this year, thanks to my job at Prevent Blindness Texas, includes my sight.

Even though I work at a nonprofit where I talk to clients on a daily basis about their failing vision, I often forget that I am not immune to becoming blind either. Because of the hustle and bustle of everyday life, when you’re generally healthy, none of us have much time to think about our vision or our health in general. 

But eye disease, eye injuries and blindness affect everybody without regard to age, race or social status. You can lose your sight instantaneously due to a sports injury, or over time due to glaucoma or cataracts. Imagine never being able to read your favorite book, never seeing the leaves change colors in the fall, or never seeing your child’s face. Many of us often take our sight for granted, but not all of us are granted the privilege of sight.

Through my time at Prevent Blindness Texas, I’ve learned to appreciate the gift of sight and my hope is that this blog will help you learn to appreciate your sight, as well. It’s a precious gift, and with all things precious, we have to work hard at protecting it. Go to a vision screening or get an eye exam regularly, especially if you notice a difference in your vision, or if you have a family history of eye disease. Wear protective eyewear when playing sports or working with dangerous tools around your home to protect yourself from a serious eye injury. 

On your drive home from school or work, realize that it wouldn’t be so easy (or legal) if you didn’t have your sight. When you see your family members’ smiles, realize you wouldn’t be so lucky if you didn’t have your sight. And when you watch your favorite movie, realize it wouldn’t be as enjoyable if you didn’t have your sight.

Take 2 minutes today and stop and think about all of the things you would miss or couldn't do if you became blind. Now make a commitment to fight and take the steps to prevent blindness.

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