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Optometry: A clearer vision

By Senior Airman Sean Martin 2nd Bomb Wing Public Affairs

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The 2nd Aerospace Medicine Squadron optometry clinic provides high quality, primary vision care and vision research to visually sustain combat capability in support of wartime readiness and the aerospace mission.

The optometry clinic has a variety of tools to test different areas of the eye as well as check for various health issues. A standard eye exam will consist of a visual acuity check used to determine a change in vision and other procedures to ensure the patient's eyes are healthy and free of disease.

"This clinic is very technologically advanced compared to others," said Michael Hoskins, 2 AMDS paraoptometric technician. "We have automated refractors, a laser scanner which will provide us with a picture of the back of your eye, and a high definition ocular coherence tomography test, which is done to look at the retina. These tests allow us to see many things and rule out health issues to include glaucoma, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, macular degeneration and other concerns."

In addition to routine eye exams, the clinic offers single, bi-focal and tri-focal lenses, spectacle and contact lens prescriptions to all active-duty personnel.

"We provide frames of choice, glasses, gas mask inserts, ballistic eyewear, contact lens services and standard issue glasses or boot camp glasses," said Tech. Sgt. Kelly Carter, 2 AMDS optometry NCO in charge.

Prescription safety glasses are also offered to active-duty members who work on the flightline or in a job requiring them.

"Safety glasses are provided to personnel through their squadron," said Hoskins. "They order a spectacle kit for the person and we provide them with the prescription inserts. These inserts are helpful in assisting Airmen with daily duties while also providing them with the proper safety for their eyes."

In some cases, Airmen work in environments with debris and particles where regular glasses are insufficient.

"The added protection from safety glasses prevents objects from getting in the eye from the top or sides," said Maj. Stephanie King, 2 AMDS optometry flight commander. "The inserts provided make it less cumbersome for Airmen. Putting safety glasses over regular glasses may cause discomfort forcing them not to wear the proper eye wear."

Safety and mission readiness are the top concerns of the optometry clinic; however, they also provide contact prescriptions as a courtesy to their patients.

"We provide people with an exam to determine what their prescription is," said Hoskins. "To make sure there are no issues with the contacts, we may order them one set to determine a proper fit, but it is the patient's responsibility to order the contacts."
The 2 AMDS optometry clinic plays a vital role in the success of Team Barksdale and its mission.

"Without their eyesight, Airmen will not be able to put bombs on target or bullets down range," said Hoskins.

To schedule an appointment with the optometry clinic, call the appointment line at 456-6555.