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EYEING YOUR DRIVER'S LICENSE

If you have had laser refractive surgery to improve your eyesight, and your new vision is 2 0/4 0 or better without corrective lenses, you should consider having the corrective lenses restriction removed from your driver's license.

Jim Austin of the Town of Tonawanda says he found this out the hard way when he was stopped by a police officer for a minor traffic violation. The officer noticed the restriction on his license, saw that he was not wearing glasses, and asked, "Where are your glasses?" Austin explained that after wearing contact lenses for the past 10 years, he recently had laser surgery to correct his vision. He now sees 2 0/2 0 without corrective lenses. When he could not present written proof that he no longer required corrective lenses to drive, the officer issued him a summons for violating the restriction on his license. Now he will get to see the judge next week.

"Meanwhile, I filled out a form and paid $3 to the Department of Motor Vehicles to have the restriction removed," says Austin, who urges other folks who have had corrective vision surgery to do likewise. "I also understand that people who wear contact lenses must show written proof to an officer if the driver's license has a corrective lenses restriction."

OUT OF CONTROL WHEN EATING OUT

There's term for eating everything you are served at a restaurant -- then realizing you are basically too stuffed to move. It's called "passive overeating" and is the subject of a survey commissioned by the American Institute for Cancer Research, an organization devoted to exploring the link between diet and cancer.

The poll found that two-thirds of Americans clean their plates during restaurant meals, quite a feat when you realize restaurant portion sizes continue to get big, bigger and super-biggest.

In any case, research shows people who eat out are significantly more likely to be overweight. Here are some strategies for resisting the tendency to overeat at restaurants:

Take home leftovers (55 percent of respondents do so regularly, though the numbers skew more to adults 35 and older compared to diners between 18 and 34).

Order an appetizer as a main course (a tactic followed at least some of the time by respondents).

Order one main course to split between two people (32 percent).

Ask for a half-order portion (13 percent, a number that would likely grow if restaurants offered the option more regularly).

CHECK YOUR PULSE

Experts say stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States and the leading cause of adult disability. About 20 percent of all strokes are caused by arterial fibrillation (AF), an irregular heartbeat condition.

To increase public awareness of AF and its medical consequences, the Research Center for Stroke and Heart Disease of Kaleida Health and the National Stroke Association have scheduled "Check Your Pulse America" programs at 10:30 a.m. Thursday in the Jewish Community Center's suburban building at 2640 N. Forest Road, Getzville, and at 7:30 p.m. that day in the center's Buffalo facility at 787 Delaware Ave.

The free programs are open to the public and will include a talk by Janice Bowman, registered nurse. Attendees also will be taught to screen themselves for AF. For more information, call Karla Wiseman at 886-3172, Ext. 403.

STEPS FOR HEALING FOOT ULCERS

People with diabetes who develop foot ulcers -- a common complication -- may get back on their feet faster if they are treated with a bioengineered "skin" recently approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration.

The skin, called Apligraf, is made from donated human skin cells. In a study of 33 foot ulcer patients, those who got standard ulcer care and had their ulcers dressed with the skin healed about twice as quickly as those who got standard care alone, according to Dr. Aristidis Veves, who headed the study and is research director of the microcirculation lab at Joslin-Beth Israel Deaconess Foot Center in Boston.

WOMEN UP IN SMOKE

Women are more vulnerable than men to the breathing problems and other harmful effects of smoking, Norwegian doctors report.

Although they are not sure why, the doctors suspect the answer may be in the size of women's lungs.

By News Staff Reporter Lisa Muehlbauer, compiled from staff and wire reports.

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