Current Events in Optometry, From the Eyes of Our Patients

While I truly believe that optometry is my calling, sometimes I like to think that I have lived past lives doing other things. I love maps so I perhaps once was a cartographer, I love the court scenes in my fiction novels so I may have been a defense attorney, and I have always loved current events so I was definitely once a TV news anchor. While I will probably never be able to make all these careers happen in real life, it’s nice to try to combine some of them to the best of my ability.

So that’s why I like optometry current events. Some I stumble upon when searching things online and other stories are emailed to me from friends, family, and colleagues. As students being extensively educated on eyes and clinical patient care, it’s important for us to be aware of the literature out there that is not only available to the public, but geared toward the common person. We should be familiar with what our patients are reading at their leisure in addition to other evidence-based research articles to better answer our patients’ questions when they come into our offices or clinics. Here are a few quick summaries of recent articles I (and most likely some of our patients) have come across. Try to put yourself in your patients’ shoes next time you read an article on eye health!

From Women’s Health magazine, 8/9/2012: Does Coffee Really Make You Blind?
Large numbers of both men and women were involved in an observational study over 20 years and researchers drew the conclusion that serious coffee drinkers are much more likely to develop exfoliation glaucoma. While there may be some connection or relationship between the two, the information from this study does not prove that drinking coffee actually causes this type of secondary glaucoma.

From The New York Times, 11/26/12: Investing in Eyeglasses for Poor Would Boost International Economy
It has been estimated that to train 60,000 optometrists and equip clinics where glasses could be provided would cost $28 billion. But overall and long-term, this would add $200 billion to the economy. Hundreds of millions of people in the world have some type of refractive error which can be corrected by a simple pair of mass-produced glasses. This correction would allow some children to flourish as well as allow adults to work at jobs they otherwise wouldn’t be able to do.

From Medline Plus, 11/12/2012: Cataract Patients Relax to a Soothing Beat, Study Says
Previous studies have shown that listening to music can reduce anxiety during surgical procedures, and this has recently been tested on patients undergoing modern cataract surgery. Tones are presented to each ear with headphones, resulting in relaxation. These patients also tend to be less afraid of any possible pain caused by the procedure and they tend to have lower blood pressure. Cataract surgery is one of the most common surgical procedures performed, and with local anesthesia, musical tones may make our patients feel more comfortable.



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