Preview of Your Coming Attractions

When I retired after 40 years of writing columns for the San Jose Mercury News, I figured I'd said about all I could say. Wrong. I've realized that at age 76, I'm about 10 years older than the oldest baby boomers, who are now turning 66. My very average body has had a lot of experiences in those 10 years. I've learned a lot that could be helpful to people just starting on that same path -- what to do, what to avoid, what to keep an eye on.. Consider me your canary-in-the-coalmine for the boomer generation. Tune in regularly for the heads-up advice.

Sunday, April 22, 2012


     Every so often, you see an older person with eyes like a St. Bernard. You know the look: red rims, saggy, sort of doleful looking even though the person may be in good spirits.
      That look now is mine. Temporarily.
      It’s a condition called Blepharitis, an inflammation of the eyelids. It can happen in people of any age, but for some odd reason, seniors seem more likely to suffer it. Once you get it, you’re likely to be stuck with it for the rest of your days. But that doesn’t mean you have to look like a large, sad dog all that time.
     My ophthalmologist has recommended this course of treatment: For two weeks, apply hot compresses on the eyes each night and morning. Before bed, clean the lids with warm water and baby shampoo on a Q-tip. Then apply a topical ointment (your doc can give you a prescription) to the lower rim of the eye.
     It works. The treatment removes the red. Oh, it’ll eventually return, but then you just repeat the treatment.
     Sure beats hanging a cask of brandy around your neck and heading for the Alps. 

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