3rd Sunday in June


Father’s Day has historically been designated as the 3rd Sunday in June.   For some, this is a day of recreation, picnics and/or just spending quality time with Dad.  Others, while not having the good fortune of being able to hug Dad, will still take some time to reflect on the wonderful effect he had on their life.

It also allows for brief discussion on common eye issues for men.  Men, as opposed to women, may be slightly more reluctant to deal with health issues quickly, specifically vision issues.   It is important to know some eye symptoms and complaints that could help you spare Dad any vision loss.

First is a fluctuation in vision.  There may be days when one feels vision is better for a short period of time than before.  This could range from simply a need for glasses to correct a refractive error (e.g. nearsightedness, farsightedness) or something more serious and complex as a change in the hormonal or vascular status of the body.  Yes, men can experience change in body chemistry that can affect their eye health and vision.

Secondly, listen for specific complaints such as recent appearance of floaters, vision just not as clear as it used to be, problems with glare, not liking to drive at night, or glasses appearing foggy all the time.  These are just a few of the more common complaints, but it’s important to know that vision complaints should not be ignored.  You can help prevent vision loss and serious health issues with having Dad get an appointment for a thorough, comprehensive eye exam.

Finally, prevention is always vital when discussing eye injuries.  Men are far more likely to have accidents or events that affect their eyes.  Urge Dad, really everyone, to always wear protective eye wear when playing any sport, particularly racquet sports, or when doing any home chores.  It has been reported by various sources that nearly 90% (9 of every 10!) eye injuries could have been prevented by simply purchasing and wearing protective eyewear.  The idea that it will happen to everyone else and not “me” is just silly when you consider the above statistic.

Father’s Day has been celebrated for over 115 years.  The first Father’s Day was in 1910 and history suggests the origins of the day come from a horrible mining accident in Monongah, West Virginia in 1907.   A memorial service was held a year later in honor of those many Dads who died in that accident.  Officially is was recognized as an annual holiday by President Nixon in 1972.

We all have great men in our lives: fathers, grandfathers, and friends.   When it comes to eye health, and problems such as cataracts, retinal problems, Glaucoma, Age Related Macular Degeneration, Dry Eye Syndrome, eye injuries, conjunctivitis, or vascular vision loss, it is important that they, as well as all people must protect their eyes properly.  Everyone should wear a correct spectacle prescription, use true UV blocking with good sunglasses, and get quality, thorough eye examinations.  Don’t wait.  Push Dad to get his eye health checked so he can experience great vision for many Father’s Days to come.

Brian O’Donnell, M.S., O.D.