LiveWell: Victoria Dunkle
Updated: Thursday, March 6 2014, 03:33 PM EST
News 13 is getting ready for a big health initiative. As we lead up to the Live Well Expo in March, we're talking about what that means to each of us.
For News 13's Victoria Dunkle, that means never missing my regular health screenings. That's because I owe my very ability to see to making sure I didn't skip a checkup.
Every year I head to my Eye Doctor's Office. I have to have a vision checkup to renew my contact lens prescription. But there's more to it than that.
My Optometrist, Dr. Kim Walters says, "There is a lot you can see in the eye that other physicians may not be able to detect. And also I think a lot of people will come and get their eyes checked because they're not seeing well and may not go to a regular doctor. And so it's really important that I do check vitals on these patients."
Dr. Walters is the one who first spotted something wrong.
"In part of our regular examination we have a screening test that we do, that tests the peripheral vision. You had a couple of specific places on your visual field that needed to be investigated further."
I had no symptoms that would have made me think "I need to see a doctor." But the regular checkup uncovered the change. So she sent me for further tests and this is what we found. That is a tumor, sitting on my optic nerve. It was slowly stealing my vision.
Fortunately, this tumor was not cancerous, and I was connected with Dr. Jon Silver with Carolina Spine and Neurosurgery. He helped me fully understand what to expect from brain surgery. And he successfully removed the tumor without damaging my optic nerve.
My follow up screenings are showing something even more amazing, no sign of vision loss. Even the areas that raised the red flags initially are back in my vision field.
Now Dr. Walters and I are working to continue my vision health. We are taking steps to protect my eyes from Macular Degeneration, which runs in my family.
Dr. Walters says, "I have an instrument here called a densatometer that measures the thickness of that protective layer in the eye. So we can determine very early on in life if someone is going to be at risk for developing that disease. And the good thing is there are things we can do to help build that protective layer up."
Those things include wearing special glasses that block out harmful blue light from computers and LED lighting.
While this is an extreme example of why to stay on top of your regular checkups, I hope it gives you a reason to find out the regular health screenings you need to have like vision, blood pressure, blood glucose, mammograms, and colonoscopies to make sure you're on a path to Live Well.
By Victoria Dunkle
Follow Victoria on Twitter: @victoriadunkle
News 13 is challenging all of our viewers to take the pledge to LiveWell in 2014. Just click here
to sign the pledge. We also invite you to send us your photos of what
living well looks like to you, things like food or exercise. For more on
the expo, click here.
You can keep up to date with Victoria on her Facebook page, just click here.
News 13 for the LiveWell Expo presented by Asheville Savings Bank and
Ingles Markets, March 29th at the WNC Agricultural Center. News 13
personalities will be there, along with entertainment, booths and
information to help you LiveWell! It's free and open to the public.
to see you there!
Click here for more information about Dr. Walters and Optix Eye Care.