By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
It's getting easier to look well
Senior Moments
Rich DeLong is executive director of Station Exchange Senior Care. - photo by File photo

With every year that goes by I feel more and more like the bionic man.

It all started years ago when I broke my ankle while wrestling in high school. Since then, I’ve had operations on my knee, shoulder and, most-recently, both eyes. The wonderful world of medicine has been good to me. for sure.

I know there are plenty of people out there with more scars and stories to tell than my own; yet for me it is a personal victory to wake up like I did on Tuesday morning and have 20/20 vision. I’ve been wearing glasses since I was 6 years old; and probably should have had them way before then.

I pretty much blame my poor vision for my lack of excellence in all areas of my life as a youth. How many kids do you know who fell off of a slide because they could not see what direction to slide?

When I was 9, old I accidentally walked into the neighbor girl while we were trekking home from school. Our heads bumped and later that day she was admitted into the hospital with a concussion. There’s nothing like a good head butt to sweep a girl off her feet.

It was easy for me to understand when I started to play football that a position on the line would be the best place for my skills - considering I could see only about three feet in front of me. During my entire football career I caught one pass for a two-point conversion. I happened to line up in the wrong position and eventually caught an errant pass. Miracles do happen!

Even with my visual impairment, I was a pretty decent athlete and earned a spot as the special team’s kicker for our all-star football squad. I even have a record for a negative yardage kick when I missed the entire ball during a kickoff and my foot hit the ball backwards as I ran past it; knocking it toward the opposing team’s goal. You don’t see that every day.

Most people don’t worry when they have an appointment with the eye doctor. I finally started memorizing the eye chart to take some of the pressure off of me; but that only lasted a while until they started using various positions of the letter "E" … or was it "M"? Maybe it was a "W". I could never tell.

Now there are products on the market that are improving access to eye care worldwide. Peek and D-EYE each pair a small lens attachment with an app that turns a smartphone into a portable exam tool. The tools allow doctors to examine eyes in places where it may be hard or impractical to transport bulky equipment.

TapTapSee and VizWiz are two other smart phone apps that have been developed to help people see. With these apps, a visually impaired person points the camera on his phone at an object, and the app then tells him what it is. If the app doesn’t know, it can send details out to a network to see if someone else can help

Nearly 300 million people around the world suffer from some type of vision loss or blindness. Improved medical technology is not only making it easier for nearsighted and farsighted patients to see, but it’s also improving the odds of saving the vision of patients with diseases such as macular degeneration and glaucoma. Even certain types of blindness, once considered incurable, are inching toward a possible cure, with the bionic eye providing glimpses of light to those who once could see only darkness.

Looking good my friends!

Contact DelLong at 912-531-7867 or email him at:

Sign up for our E-Newsletters