DEAR ABBY: I am the wife of an Army soldier who has been deployed to Honduras for six months. In a telephone call a couple of weeks ago, he confessed that he had cheated on me since he left. He said he has cut off all contact with this local woman, yet he continues to go to the bar where they met. He says I should trust him because he's told me about the infidelity, and I should trust that he won't do it again.
But, Abby, how can I trust him when he lied to me all this time? I know he is stressed being away from home, but the stresses of him not being home are equally hard on me and the children.
How do I get over this and start trusting my husband again? -- CONFUSED ARMY WIFE IN ALASKA
DEAR CONFUSED: If your husband didn't have a conscience, he wouldn't have confessed his indiscretion to you. However, your concerns are valid. Tell your husband that, as proof of his contrition, you want his promise that he will avoid not only that bar, but any other tempting situations that might present themselves while he's away. Once he returns, marriage counseling to heal the breach he has caused would be a giant step in the right direction. With professional help, the two of you can get past this.
DEAR ABBY: As your readers mature, some of them will be among the 9 million older Americans who have some signs of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Nearly 2 million struggle to read because of it.
AMD is a painless disease. It sometimes develops so slowly that people notice little change in their vision. But AMD blurs the sharp, central vision needed for "straight-ahead" activities, like reading, sewing and driving.
There are two forms of AMD: wet and dry. Wet AMD is the more serious form. It's caused by new blood vessels that grow at the back of the eye and then bleed. Usually the first symptom is when straight lines begin to look wavy. If you have dry AMD, the most common symptom is a slight blurring. You might also have trouble recognizing faces, and you may need brighter light to read or perform other tasks.
The good news is, recent clinical trials show that a combination of high-dose vitamins and minerals can slow AMD and vision loss. Many advances in technology are also providing effective solutions to AMD and other age-related vision problems.
Please encourage readers who suspect they may have AMD or other vision problems, who are over the age of 60, or have diabetes, to consult an eye health-care professional as soon as possible. Thank you for helping to make vision a health priority. -- PAUL A. SIEVING, M.D., PH.D., DIRECTOR, NATIONAL EYE INSTITUTE
DEAR DR. SIEVING: I'm pleased to spread the word. The subject may not be "sexy," but it's important.
Readers, any change in vision should be immediately reported to your doctor. This includes blurring of vision, "flashing lights" or an increased number of "floaters." Before buying vitamin supplements to maintain your vision, ask your doctor which kind is most helpful.
The federal government's National Eye Institute provides a wealth of information to help people of all ages maintain healthy vision via its Web site: www.nei.nih.gov. A clever feature of this site allows users to increase the text size as needed. Check it out.
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