For me, December is always an exciting time of year in terms of both business and personal affairs. Theres always a heap of work that needs to be completed by year-end. If were especially industrious, the stacks on our desks might get smaller. Or, if youre like me, you look at the stack and think to yourself, Its my New Years resolution to get this done! Or, better yet, I resolve to prevent these stacks from reappearing next year.
In any case, December is a time for looking back so that we can plan the year ahead. Its a time for reflection and a time for resolutions. Its about high hopes, big dreams, lofty goals and renewed ambition. Thats why we usually run a big presbyopia report every December, in which we talk about all the exciting new techniques that will revolutionize eye care and significantly boost your bottom lineassuming youre alive by the time theyre FDA approved.
Granted, research is importantcritical, in factand planning ahead is a good thing. But this year we did something radically different for our Fifth Annual Presbyopia Report. We didnt talk about the enormous, rapidly growing market. Likewise, we didnt talk about how demanding these patients can be. In fact in this years presbyopia report we didnt even utter the phrase baby boomers. Heresy!
This year we chose not to reflect on recent innovations or project future ones. Rather, Managing Editor Jeff Eisenberg looked at something that is all too often overlooked: the reality of visual functioning for advanced presbyopes. No, its not a sexy topic. This isnt the crowd that stands ready with an open wallet, willing to buy just about anything that will make it better (after they research it on the Internet and act like theyre educating you).
Instead, this is the crowd who trusts their doctor to recommend whats best for them. And, they wont part with their money so easily. Theyve lived with and gotten used to deteriorating vision, so theyre not as loud and demanding as their kin. Maybe theyre not as memorable. Sadly, though, theyve become invisible, if not in your practice then at least in much of the eye care literature, including Review of Optometry. Some places theyre not so invisible: emergency rooms and orthopedic offices.
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As it turns out, one in three adults ages 65 and older suffers from falls each year. Whats more, several studies have found that reduced visual acuity is at least one factor involved in these falls. In Your Role in Preventing Falls (page 46), Jeff explains why falls among older patients are a serious public health problemone that you can help control.
Sometimes, I think that the holidays and the excitement of a new year tend to cloud whats real. In a sense, its a little too surreal to be well real. All of the shopping and the lights and the optimism make us lose our focus.
I was reading one of those e-mail chain letters the other day; I dont know who the original author was. However, she was making the point that she was so utterly frazzled by the chores that the holidays bring, but she was suddenly humbled by an image on the television of our troops fighting abroad. She writes: They didnt have a present even though it was tradition. The only boxes I could see were labeled ammunition.
How easy it is to overlook the things, and the people, that should be at the top of our lists.
Vol. No: 141:12Issue: 12/15/04