Protecting your eyes

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Stuart Bright
  • 2nd Bomb Wing Public Affairs

Air Force optometry clinics perform thorough examinations to ensure that Airmen can maintain their sharp focus.

“Look at the Air Force mission, we are all over the world every day in the air, space and cyberspace,” said Tech. Sgt. Geoffrey Noplis, 2nd Medical Group optometry flight chief. “We rely on our eyes. You don’t realize how important your vision is until it becomes impaired.”

Base optometrists take care of Airmen through complete eye exams in addition to prescribing the correct eyeglasses. The optometry clinic at the 2nd MDG uses machines to examine and catch eye problems that may have been missed.

“The Optos machine can see most of someone’s retina without dilating their pupil,” said Maj. Nathan Anderson, 2nd MDG optometry flight commander. “With one patient I saw in their pictures a retina hole I would not have otherwise seen.”

This information directed Anderson to dilate and examine the pupils in a specific part of the retina.

“Great equipment can lead to prevention and better outcomes,” Anderson said.

Another procedure performed is having air blown into a patient’s eyes, which while uncomfortable is important for the optometrist.

“The puff test is actually checking for inter ocular pressure in your eyes, like a blood pressure test on your arm,” Noplis said. “It’s checking to see if there is pressure coming off the back of your eye, which could mean signs of problems.”

Just like other parts of the human body, eyes are susceptible to disease and injury.

“There are innumerable amount of eye diseases out there and lots of things that could go wrong with an eye,” Anderson said. “High blood pressure can cause problems in the eye and diabetes is a leading cause of preventable blindness.”

There are ways to help prevent ocular diseases and injury. Good overall health and safety are key for good eyesight.

“Having a balanced diet, lots of fruits and vegetables, help the retinas stay healthy,” Anderson said.

Severe eye damage could ultimately lead to vision loss or blindness.

“I emphasize the importance of safety eye wear,” Anderson said.

Power tools can cause small, high velocity projectiles that can hit the eye, Anderson added. Many jobs require protection to help prevent injury.

Air Force optometry clinics are here to help Airmen with their eyesight to complete the mission, but Airmen can also help themselves to prevent eye disease and injury.

Active duty members can schedule an appointment with optometry by calling 456-6555 or going to TRICARE online.