Dr. Mike Ford, an ophthalmologist with DeHaven Eye Clinic, leads the Oct. 19 Walk with a Doc.
He will discuss eye care.
Walk With a Doc, a project of the Smith County Medical Society, begins with registration at 5:45 p.m. The presentation begins at 6 p.m. at the Copeland Road trailhead, followed by walking.
Q. What is considered "normal aging" for your eyes?
A. Decreased ability to focus up close without reading glasses or bifocals, slow-growing cataracts, increased floaters, dryness of the eyes and drooping of the eyelids are all normal aging changes which affect the eyes of even the healthiest people as they grow older.
Q. What can you do to help children not need glasses or is it genetically predetermined?
A. Genetics and environment both play a role. While many studies have been done, there is no practical, reliable way to decrease the likelihood that a child will eventually need to wear glasses.
Q. Is there any way to prevent the development of cataracts?
A. Most cataracts are age-related, but trauma, radiation, steroid use and UV light exposure can all cause cataracts to form at a younger age than usual, so avoiding those things when possible and wearing UV-blocking sunglasses when outdoors may help.
Q. What are some common eye conditions that you see in your practice that could have been avoided?
A. I have seen cases of diabetic eye disease, glaucoma, macular degeneration and retinal detachment which caused permanent damage to someone's eyes that could possibly have been prevented. Having a complete examination done is the only way to know for sure that your eyes are healthy, especially if you have any risk factors such as diabetes, family history or smoking, or if you are experiencing any vision symptoms.