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Bristol Area Lions Club Learns About Eye Disease 05/26/2012

Posted by DS in meetings, speakers.
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Members of the Bristol Area Lions Club were made aware of age-related eye diseases and conditions at a recent presentation by retired optometrist Dr. Doug Hancock. A native of Maine, Dr. Hancock ran an optometry practice in Damariscotta from 1974 until 2005.

His talk made it clear that none of the four main eye diseases are easily detected without undergoing a comprehensive eye exam. Hancock emphasized the importance of regular eye exams after age 50, with the hope that any incipient disease can be spotted and managed before more damage is done to the eye.

The four age-related eye diseases are cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic eye disease, and macular degeneration.

Cataracts are caused by the clouding of the eye’s lens, causing light sensitivity and loss of vision. Advances in medicine have made cataract treatment, in which the old lens is replaced with a new implant, very successful.

Glaucoma, a disease causing pressure inside the eye to damage the optic nerve, leads to the loss of peripheral vision and eventually to blindness if left alone but it is easily treated if caught early.

Diabetic eye disease, as the name implies, afflicts only those with diabetes and is caused by a problem with blood vessels. If detected early and managed along with blood glucose levels, blood pressure and cholesterol, the risk of vision loss from diabetic eye disease can be reduced almost completely.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is an eye disease with two forms, dry and wet. Strongly hereditary, and aggravated by smoking, age, and obesity, AMD attacks the eye’s sharp central vision. Left alone, normally treatable dry AMD advances to wet AMD, which is more difficult to control. Monthly treatment with a drug for colon cancer, however, has been seen to help many patients with wet AMD. Dr. Hancock recommends regular dosages of Vitamin E to help prevent macular degeneration.

In the business meeting that followed Doug Hancock’s talk, the scholarship committee reported on the $6,000 in scholarships to be awarded at Lincoln Academy by the Bristol Area Lions Club.

Also discussed were the summer’s upcoming fundraising projects, from summer-long raffle ticket sales and July-August car trunk sales to the July 26th Treasures and Treats sale and 4th annual golf tournament/silent auction on August 11.

These important efforts fund the generous scholarships that the Bristol Area Lions Club is able to award each year.

At the next meeting of the Bristol Lions, on Monday June 4, Michael Barndollar of the Iris Network will give a talk entitled, “Can a Person Who is Blind Really Drive a Car?”

To make dinner reservations for that meeting, please call 677-6191, and to learn more about the Bristol Area Lions Club, contact John Janell at 563-7402.


1. Herb Watson - 05/29/2012

Very informative. Thanks for the info.

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