Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, June 24, 2017

MVNews this week:  Page A:10




Mountain Views-News Saturday, June 24, 2017 



Dear Savvy Senior

What all can be done to combat dry eyes? Since I 
turned 50, my eyes have become increasingly dry and 

Constantly Blinking 

Dear Blinking,

Dry eyes is a common problem that affects more 
than one-third of middle-aged and older Americans. 
But you don’t have to just put up with it. There are 
lifestyle adjustments and multiple treatment options 
available today to keep your eyes moist and healthy. 
Here’s what you should know.

Dry Eye Issues

 Dry, red, irritated eyes are one of the most 
common reasons for visits to the eye doctor, but 
discomfort isn’t the only problem of dry eyes. Light 
sensitivity and blurred or fluctuating vision are 
common problems too, and worse yet, dry eyes are 
more likely to get scratched or infected, which could 
damage your vision permanently.

 The reason people get dry eyes are because they 
either don’t produce enough tears to keep their eyes 
properly lubricated, or because they produce poor 
quality tears. 

 In some cases dry eyes can be triggered by medical 
conditions such as diabetes, thyroid diseases, 
allergies, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and Sjogren’s 
syndrome. It can also be brought on by age (tear 
production tends to diminish as we get older), eye 
conditions, eyelid problems, certain medications, 
environmental factors and even LASIK and cataract 
surgery. Dry eyes are also more common in women, 
especially after menopause. 

 Lifestyle Adjustments

 The first step experts recommend in dealing with 
dry eyes is to check your lifestyle and surroundings 
for factors that might be contributing to the problem 
and make adjustments: 

 Avoid blowing air: Keep your eyes away from air 
vents, hair dryers, oscillating and ceiling fans and 
consider buying a home humidifier. 

 Blink more: When you’re reading, watching 
television, or using a smartphone, tablet or computer, 
take frequent breaks because these activities cause 
you blink less often. 

 Avoid irritants: Avoid smoke-filled places and if 
you swim, wear goggles to cut down exposure to 

 Use protection outside: When you go outdoors, 
use sunglasses that wrap around the sides of your 
face to protect yourself from sun, glare, wind, and 

 Check your meds: Dozens of prescription and 
over-the-counter (OTC) drugs like antihistamines, 
decongestants, diuretics, beta-blockers, 
antidepressants, tranquilizers, and Parkinson’s 
medications can all cause dry eyes. If you’re taking 
any of these, ask your doctor about alternatives. 

 Get more omega-3s: Studies show that eating 
more fish and other foods rich in omega-3 fatty 
acids (or take a supplement) helps some people. 

Treatment Options

 If adjusting your environment and habits doesn’t 
do the trick, there are a variety of OTC artificial tears 
that can help. If you experience a lot of burning, 
try another product or opt for a preservative-free 
formula. If your dry-eye is persistent, use gel-
containing drops like Refresh, Systane and GenTeal. 
The gel will keep your eyes lubricated for longer 
periods. If you need a product that’s even longer 
lasting, consider OTC lubricating ointments like 
Refresh PM. 

 If the lifestyle and OTC treatments don’t help, 
see an ophthalmologist. He or she can offer 
additional advice and may prescribe a medication. 
There are several FDA approved medications for 
dry eye including Xiidra and Restasis, and one in 
development called Lacripep.

 If your dry eye is severe and does not improve, you 
doctor might recommend a simple office procedure 
that plugs the small openings (tear ducts) that drain 
tears away from the eyes. Blocking these openings 
with punctual plugs keeps tears in place longer.


 Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. 
Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit SavvySenior.
org. Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today 
show and author of “The Savvy Senior” book.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! …June Birthdays*

Joanne Thrane, Nellie Haynes, Dorothy McKay, Theresa Daley, Donna Doss, Mary 
Carney, Carol Handley, Marilyn McKernan, Pat Fujiwara, John Shier, Beth Smith-
Kellock, Ann Disbrow, Joan Ellison, Anne Montgomery, Trini Ornelas, Martha 
Spriggs, Pat Starkey, Kathleen Coyne, Suzanne Decker, Jacque Persing, Jeanne Peterson 
and Grace Sanders

* To add your name to this distinguished list, please call the paper at 626.355.2737. 
YEAR of birth not required


ACTIVITIES: Unless listed differently, all activities are at the Hart 
Park House (Senior Center) 222 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre



Hawaiian & Polynesian Dance Class: Every Tuesday morning from 10a.m. 
to 11a.m. Join instructor Barbara Dempsey as she leads you in the art of Hula. 

Bingo: Every Tuesday beginning at 1:00p.m. Cards are only $0.25 each! Everyone is welcome to join. 
May be canceled if less than five people. 

Free Blood Pressure Testing: 2nd Tuesday of the month from 11a.m. to 12p.m. No appt. is necessary. 

Brain Games: Thursdays, 10:30a.m. to 11:30a.m., improve your memory and strengthen your 
brain. Activities facilitated by Senior Volunteers.

Free Legal Consultation: Wednesdays from 10:30a.m. to Noon. Attorney Lem Makupson is 
available for legal consultation. He specializes in Family Law, Wills, Trusts, Estates, and Injury. 
Appointments are required by calling 626-355-7394. 

Senior Club: Meets every Saturday at the Hart Park House Senior Center. Brown Bag Lunch at 

Tax Assistance: Every Wednesday beginning on February 1st through April 12th from 1:00p.m. 
to 2:00p.m. - Don Brunner is available for income tax consultation. Appointments are required by 
calling 626-355-7394.

Chair Yoga: Mondays and Wednesdays from 11:00 to 11:45a.m. with Paul Hagen. 3rd Monday of each 
month, a variety of balance exercises are practiced. All ability levels are encouraged and welcomed! 

*A suggested donation of $5 at one of the classes is requested, but is not required.

Case Management: Case Management services are provided by the YWCA and provide assistance in 
a variety of areas. Appointments are required and can be scheduled by calling the Hart Park House 
Office at 626-355-7394.

Birthday Celebrations: Every 2nd Thursday of the month at the Hart Park House, share some free 
birthday cake provided by the Sierra Madre Civic Club.

Game Day: Every Thursday starting at 12:00p.m. Come join this group of Seniors in a poker game. 
Other games are offered to all. Please note time change. 

Free Strength Training Class: Every Friday from 12:45p.m. to 1:30p.m. with Lisa Brandley. This 
energetic class utilizes light weights for low impact resistance training. All class materials are provided.

Stress, Resilience, Positivity: Finding Balance - by The Kensington Sierra Madre Four Tuesdays, 
March 7 - 28th from 2:00 - 4:00p.m. Register by calling 213-821-6919 or 213-821-6908. 


Thursday, May 25th from 10:30a.m. – 11:30a.m. at the Hart Park House!

Just in time for spring! Join us in making a silk flowers planter. All supplies will be provided. Let’s get 
creative... Please call the Hart Park House, 626-355-7394, to make your reservations. 

Invite your friends and family for some arts and crafts fun and take home your planters for the season


One of the best times in my life 
was my childhood, and with 
every passing year I appreciate 
more and more a childhood 
spent in the 1980’s rather than 
in the 2010’s. Afternoons 
following dismissal from school 
were blissfully unscheduled for me, and summers 
were as free as the open prairie. My mom did enroll 
me in the occasional craft class and swimming 
lessons, but none of it had the disciplined rigor of, 
say, competitive gymnastics or classical violin. Not 
to say that gymnastics 
or violin are bad, but 
to put your kid in it 
at age four with the 
anticipation that they 
will compete in the 
Olympics or perform 
at the Music Center is a 
bit much. There seems 
to be a growing trend 
of parents overbooking 
their kids in activities 
during any free time in 
their schedules. “Busy 
work” is something 
teachers sometimes 
give students to fill up 
class time. “Busy fun” 
is something parents 
do to fill up children’s 
free time with activities 
that are meant to be 
enriching, but which I believe are often stressful or 
just a drag.

 One time that this really stood out for me was 
when I volunteered for Vacation Bible School 
(VBS) at Church. To say that the day was hectic 
would be an understatement. Whoever organized 
the events packed about 10 different activities into 
a three-hour time frame. It started with frantic 
herding of children into one area to focus on an 
activity for about half an hour, then they were 
relocated somewhere else, all accompanied with a 
lot of directives from the adults. Heck, I was getting 
stressed out and I was in my 20’s at the time! I 
wonder how the poor kids felt.

 Just as the VBS day was drawing to a frenzied 
close, I heard with dread one of the mothers 
announce that her kids only had a few minutes to 
change into their soccer uniforms. What? You 
mean they didn’t have enough structure, enough 
of following directions, and enough pre-planned 
activities already? They needed more? As I leisurely 
strolled away from Church I pitied the first graders 
who were already pulling on their shin guards.

 I have no research to back this up, but I really feel 
that over packing kids’ days does them a disservice 
developmentally. How can they learn to be creative 
if they are constantly being told what to do and 
how to do it? There is a certain invaluable lesson in 
learning how to entertain oneself and keep oneself 
occupied without 
direct instruction. 
I think one of the 
best lessons parents 
can give their kids 
sometimes is just the 
simple response, “Find 
something to do.” 

 Why are parents 
feeling this pressure to 
fill every empty space 
in their kid’s schedule? 
I think some obvious 
reasons include the 
logistics of their own 
work schedules and 
childcare. Some 
obstacles can’t be 
avoided. But for 
others I think they 
have a dread fear that 
unscheduled time 
will cause their child to fall behind or not reach 
their fullest potential. Instead of viewing their 
child as fruit that will blossom and grow of itself, 
they see them as machines that must be built and 
maintained in order to function. And besides, “All 
the other parents are doing it.” Like everything 
in society, there’s a certain “Keeping up with the 
Joneses” mentality coloring people’s perception.

 Of course it’s easy for me to say all this, seeing as 
I don’t have kids of my own. The last thing I want 
is to come off as judgmental if you have your kids 
in afterschool or summer programs. There area a 
lot of great activities that truly are interesting and 
enriching. And not all kids are the same, I’m sure 
that there are some who need that extra structure 
and level of engagement. I just thank my parents 
that they didn’t think I was one of them. 

We’d like to hear from you! 

What’s on YOUR Mind?

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Mountain Views News 80 W Sierra Madre Blvd. No. 327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.609.3285 Email: Website: