Thursday, May 2, 2013

May Is...

So its the beginning of  a new month, May to be exact and its time to inform you what May exactly is. Yes I know its the fifth month in the Gregorian calendar but there are a ton of awareness campaigns going on. In previous posts it was fairly easy to navigate through the awareness campaigns of each corresponding month but May has campaigns for days I mean literally 31 days to be exact. There are some really great campaigns and then some are just straight-up bizarre like National Hamburger Month, really? I shouldn't judge... to each their own... but really a whole month for ground meat? *smiles*

To help navigate through the campaigns I try to focus on those initiatives that relate to vision in some way and this month has some goodies. So good that yesterday (May 1st) was Macular Degeneration Awareness Day which I found out about today (May 2). I kind of redeemed myself in an indirect way with yesterday's post The REAL Adventures of Helen Keller. Yesterday was May Day or International Workers Day which is celebrated worldwide and Helen Keller was a big supporter of workers rights among other causes.

Healthy Vision Month - The National Institutes of Health (US) recognizes May as Healthy Vision Month and in Canada its called Vision Health Month. Many vision related diseases can be properly treated if caught early. This healthy eyes initiative encourages individuals to get their vision checked by eye doctors at least once a year. This is especially true for older adults.
Below are some ways you can protect your vision:
  • Get a full eye examination from an optometrist or ophthalmologist. 
  • Wear sunglasses that protect your eyes from UVA & UVB rays from the sun.
  • Make sure to maintain a healthy weight & eat balanced diet.
  • Use the 20-20-20 rule if you spend a lot of time in front of a computer screen to reduce eyestrain. Every 20 minutes look away from the computer 20 feet infront of you for 20 seconds.
For more info check out the Healthy Vision Month page here and the Vision Health Month page here.

National Mental Health Month - Vision loss is a big change and can cause much emotional stress on patients. Dealing with the loss of this vital sense can make people feel inadequate and can make one question their identity. I went through this myself when I was initially diagnosed. Creating this blog, reaching out to others on social networks who have Stargardt's and the support of my family have greatly helped me to deal with this. I'll admit it isn't always easy but I'm grateful for having them in my life. 

Pathways to Wellness 2013 Logo | Mental Health America
The month of May is recognized by Mental Health America (formerly National Mental Health Association) as Mental Health Awareness Month. We often focus on the wellbeing of our body sometimes neglecting the needs of our mental health. The 2013 theme is Pathways to Wellness. The following is one of the key messages Mental Health America wants to spread about wellness:
Wellness is more than an absence of disease. It involves complete general, mental and social well-being. And mental health is an essential component of overall health and well-being. The fact is our overall well-being is tied to the balance that exists between our emotional, physical, spiritual and mental health. (Mental Health America)
If you would like more information about mental health check out the following link: 

Do you know any other events taking place in the month of May that I missed? Feel free to share in the comments below.

Suscribe to the blog at the following link to be on the lookout for more posts about more awareness campaigns this month.
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