September 29th, 2011
Partnering to Help People Improve Eye Health
From Gary Esterow, Senior Director, Public Relations, VISTAKON® Division of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc.
Research shows that many people think that seeing well translates to good eye health. As a result, they often don’t see an eye care professional regularly or take the necessary steps to protect their eyes. To address this issue, in June, Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc. launched Healthy VisionTM with Dr. Val Jones, a Blog Talk Radio program devoted to educating and improving people’s eye health. Dr. Val, who hosts the show, is the, CEO of Better Health, LLC, a network of popular health bloggers. She also writes the well-known “Dr. Val and the Voice of Reason” blog, which won The Best New Medical Blog award in 2007. Dr. Jones, (who, in the interest of full disclosure, is a paid consultant for VISTAKON® Division of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc.) says that even health care professionals have a lot to learn when it comes to eye health, so I thought it would be a great opportunity to hear directly from Dr. Val about what we’re doing.
From Dr. Val Jones:
I love being a doctor primarily because there’s never a dull moment in medicine. I am constantly learning new things, and doing my best to keep up with the latest research and recommendations so that I can give my patients the best care possible. Nowadays, my patients often turn to social media sites on the Internet for their health information, so I’m doing my part to get credible information to them via my blog, Facebook, and Twitter. Most recently, I had the opportunity to learn about eye health via a series of expert interviews that I conducted for the Healthy VisionTM show, featured at Better Health. As it turns out, physicians have a lot to learn from optometrists – and I was really surprised by what I learned.
Take for example my interview with Dori Carlson, O.D., the president of the American Optometric Association. She taught me that at least one-in-four school age children have an undiagnosed vision problem! This means that they may not see their classroom, computer screens, or homework assignments clearly, resulting in slower learning and wandering attention. Vision is critical to success at school, and comprehensive eye exams should be a regular part of child health checkups. Vision screenings alone are not enough.
I also learned from Jeffrey Walline, O.D., and Mitchell Prinstein, Ph.D., that childhood self-esteem may be improved dramatically by a simple switch from glasses to contact lenses. Some research suggests that kids who have more favorable self-perceptions are more likely to participate in sports, avoid becoming overweight or obese, and have a better chance of becoming healthy adults. Primary care physicians and pediatricians (as well as parents) should take the time to ask children how they feel about their appearance, and find constructive ways to address their concerns.
The good news is that the take-home messages I learned from the Healthy VisionTM Show are available for all to hear at my blog (www.getbetterhealth.com/healthyvision), on iTunes, and at BlogTalkRadio. Expert content, featured on social media platforms, can provide patients and their families with the credible health information they seek in a fun and interactive new format. I hope you’ll tune in to expand your own knowledge base about healthy vision. I think you’ll be amazed by what you learn.