By Lion Karen Burns

A different story of Independence.  Many of you don’t think about your “Independence” if you become blind.  It is vital to your eye sight that you take care of your eyes by having an eye exam each year.  Maintain a healthy diet so you don’t lose your independence.

Some vision changes make it difficult to perform everyday activities.  These changes can also impact one’s feeling of independence. You may notice difficulty with driving, reading, seeing to take your medication or taking care of personal needs.  It may be a slow process, or move swiftly.  Having difficulty doing everyday activities can impact the ability to maintain independence and could contribute to anxiety and depression.  By appropriately addressing your vision changes, you can maintain your everyday activities and independence and reduce associated anxieties or concerns.

Some changes in vision are common as we age. These changes include the following:

  • Losing focus, making it harder to focus vision up close.
  • Noticing declining sensitivity, making it harder to distinguish colors, such as blue from black, or where an object ends and its background begins.
  • Needing more light to see well and more time to adjust to changing levels of light (e.g., going from a room that is dark to one that is brightly lit).

Some people can age without ever experiencing changes in their vision, or vision loss. Vision changes do not have to stop you from enjoying an active lifestyle or maintaining your independence.  Many times, vision changes may be corrected with glasses, contact lenses, or improved lighting. For example, increasing the lighting in your home can help you avoid accidental trips and falls; night lights or automatic lights can be especially helpful when you enter a darkened room, or if you get up to go to the bathroom during the night.

Do something physically active every day, such as exercising, gardening, or walking.  Maintain normal blood pressure.  Control your diabetes (if you have it) to prevent eye complications from diabetes.  Wear sunglasses and a brimmed hat anytime you are outside in bright sunshine. Wear protective eyewear when working around your house or playing sports.

It is important to have good communication with your eye care professional.

Have a list of all your questions and concerns ready when you visit your eye care professional. Bottom line — take care of your eyes.

Your local lions clubs are here to help you by providing vision screening and assistance if you need it with doctor visits and prescriptions.  This is the time of year we start making appointments with your elementary school nurses to screen your children free of charge.  If you need assistance with purchase of your glasses or doctor visit we will assist you in that too.  “Sight First” is our mission.

If you would like to learn more about being a Lion, please visit,,, or give me a call Lion Karen @ 242-1129 and I’ll point you in the right direction. If you are on Facebook, check us out.  We have three clubs servicing the local area, Chugiak Lions, Eagle River Lions and the SleepingLady Mountain Lions.