Healthy Aging Exercising

What Older Patients Need to Know about Healthy Aging

September is Healthy Aging Month, and Bedminster Eye and Laser Center wants older patients to know that regular eye care helps to maintain healthy vision and could possibly save their lives.

“Many people only go to the eye doctor when they experience a vision change or notice some other symptom. They don’t know they should have regular, comprehensive eye exams and vision testing to maintain healthy vision, monitor eye health and overall health,” noted Lawrence V. Najarian, MD, founder of Bedminster Eye and Laser Center.

Two out of three Americans falsely believe vision loss is inevitable as we age, according to a survey conducted by The Harris Poll for the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Aging can affect your eyes — but vision loss is not the norm.

Click here to learn common changes to vision and eye health that aging adults should watch for, and the best ways to protect eyesight as you age.

We Couldn’t Be Prouder!

At right, meet Isabella Caroline Avila, daughter of our very own Dr. Lisa Ortenzio, O.D.

Isabella, like her mother, is one smart cookie! She graduated with honors from Mother Seton Regional High School in Clark, N.J. She is a freshman attending The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa majoring in Public Relations & Advertising.

Isabella participated in Sorority Rush (largest in the country) in August and is a new member of Pi Beta Phi Sorority. Way to go, Isabella!

From Boyhood Fascination to Tail-Waggin’ Passion

By Dr. David Mitchell O.D.

Dr. Mitchell sitting at a radio station

I became interested in radio at age 5 when my parents bought me a Heathkit Crystal Radio Kit for Chanukah. Late at night when the local stations turned their power down, I could hear stations from Upstate NY and Connecticut. I was fascinated. My interest in science and electronics increased and I used to take my red Flexible Flyer wagon around the neighborhood to pick up discarded radios and use the parts from several to make a working one. One day I found a Zenith television on the curb, determined the problem, replaced the damaged picture tube and we had our first color television set!

I earned my first and second amateur radio licenses at age 12 along with two other teenaged friends, and was assigned the unique call sign WB2PJH. Radio amateurs all over the world have unique call signs, with the prefix identifying the country. The local radio club made no bones about not wanting “kids” around so the three of us formed our own group, doing an annual Field Day event, setting up a portable station using a generator and building our own antennas on site. We have operated together for over 50 years, all moving from Staten Island to New Jersey and continuing our long friendship.

I presented a program on Ham radio for my sons’ Boy Scout troop, bringing a radio, simple wire antenna, and helped them tune to the 40 Meter foreign broadcasters. The scouts were fascinated, and many of them signed up for my Radio Merit Badge course. I constructed a station “kit” that the scouts were able to assemble themselves, with supervision, and participated in the Jamboree on the Air where scouts have the opportunity to communicate with other scouts around the world. They were thrilled to receive confirmation cards from some of the stations we contacted.

a dog sitting underneath the desk at the radio station

I was recently nominated and accepted into an International High Speed Morse Code club. I rarely miss a contest or special event, all of which I enjoy. I have a notebook full of certificates, many first-place wins, and am proud of my “Most Improved” award from the Frankford Radio Club, a contesting club that I’ve been an active member for ten years. I am the club’s Optometric Physician, joining many other professionals who share their expertise with other club members.

I’ve contacted over 295 countries and entities, mostly using Morse code, and have made friends across the country and internationally. I’ve constructed all of my antennas, and it’s not unusual for me to participate in multiple contests at once, sometimes using up to seven antennas, two radios and two Morse code keys.  My rescue dog, Lois, loves the sound of Morse code and sits at my feet under my operating desk. I talk to her and tell her how I‘m doing and she wags her tail. 

Book cover of "Budapest" by Victor Sebestyen. Purple book with shiny gold buildings.

What Are You Reading These Days?

We’ve noticed that many of our patients enjoy reading a good book. We’re collecting recommendations for a “good read,” and we will be sharing them every month in our newsletter.

At right is just one reading recommendation for September 2022

Click here to see all recommendations for September

Have a reading recommendation? Email it to our Newsletter Editor.

Come Meet this World-Class Racewalker and Raise Funds for Charity

A woman standing, smiling, in exercise clothes

Editor’s note: This October 22, Armenian American Health Professionals Organization (AAHPO) will sponsor a 5K Run/Walk for charity. Our own Dr. Lawrence V. Najarian is president of AAHPO, and he invites you to lace up your shoes and participate in the 5K Run/Walk. You will have a chance to meet world-champion racewalker Sherry Brosnahan (shown at left) who will walk with AAHPO members and supporters! 

It’s interesting to note that Sherry Brosnahan of Bridgewater, NJ considered three other sports before selecting racewalking as her athletic focus. Had she gone another way, this world record-holding racewalker might have been a winning competitor in golf, tennis, or equestrian sports!

“I chose racewalking because of its simplicity,” Sherry said. “All you need is a good pair of walking shoes, and you’re off!”

Of course, to be a champion like Sherry, you need a whole lot more than that, including commitment, focus, love of competition, hard work and years of training, Sherry said she did not start off with all that.

“I was always a walker. My mother would walk everywhere, she didn’t have a car at home. My mother, myself and three siblings – all five of us – would walk to the grocery store and walk back with the groceries. Of course, we walked to school and everywhere we needed to go,” Sherry remembers.

Sherry always had a competitive drive, and for a time as an adult she channeled that into obedience competition with her dog. In 1997, the dog developed cancer, and its competitive career ended.

“A friend of mine said, ‘What are you going to do with your competitiveness?’ and then posed the question: ‘In a perfect world, what sport would you pick?’ Sherry remembered. “I chose racewalking.”

Sherry got herself a book, The Rockport Book of Walking, and started to train. Her first racewalk was 5 miles – and she won her age group. As she finished, a man asked her, “Who is your coach?”

“Of course, I didn’t have a coach,” said Sherry. “That man was Olympian Dave Romansky, and he became my coach.”

At that time, Sherry was 46 years old. She set a goal to be, in four years time, the fastest 50 year old female racewalker. The very next year she went to racewalking Nationals and finished fourth. Two years after setting that ambitious goal, Sherry went to racewalking Worlds in England – and medaled! It turned out that Sherry was best at longer distances, and in fact, broke the world record for Women’s 50-Kilometer.

Now 70, and retired from competition, Sherry has a new goal: To be as active as long as she can. Stay tuned for a future article that shares Sherry’s tips on remaining healthy no matter what your age.

Please plan walk (or run) on October 22 at Overpeck Park, Ridgefield Park, NJ. This great family-oriented Run/Walk begins at 1 pm. Along with meeting world-class racewalker Sherry Brosnahan, you will help raise funds to support AAHPO’s Medical Mission to Armenia. You may register for the race/walk at https://www.raceforum.com/aahpo

Connect with The Optical Shoppe

(908) 719-2020

NICE! Shop New Fall Frames in Our Online Frames Gallery!

Don’t Wait: You can shop for frames online!

row of glasses frames
row of sunglasses frames
row of glasses frames
row of glasses frames

Our Doctors are Always Here to Help

Scheduled appointments offered 6 days a week and some evenings.

Emergency services available. 

Call Now: 908-781-2020

Doctor Headshot