Superb Issue, Subpar Cover

Sometimes optometry inadvertently contributes to its own public relations failings with respect to the public and our own self-image.

The cover of the October 15, 2014 issue features a phoropter, which perpetuates the image of optometrists as refractionists. In counterdistinction, the subjects covered in this superb issue include IOL advances, a review of refractive surgery, postoperative complications of cataract surgery, retinal blood disorders and external ocular pathology.

We've come a long way from being primarily identified with refraction and glasses, and the images with which we identify ourselves should refl ect the change.

—Harvey Rosenwasser, OD
Key Biscayne, Fla.
Editor's note: To explain, the cover concept was meant to illustrate how ODs are now integrating medical eye care with "traditional" optometry, as seen through the eyepieces of the phoropter.

Real Eye Exams Are Worth the Time, Trouble and Expense

Online eye exam technology has the potential of disrupting the industry and negatively impacting our profession. This technology has strong consumer support, and our efforts to block it could be viewed merely as protecting our own interests. But if optometry does not lead and own this conversation, we seriously risk losing credibility and authority on this issue.

In addition to dispensing a refractive prescription, the online eye exam will recommend an eye health exam with a local optometrist or ophthalmologist. However, this will not be required or enforced, with the digitally-signed Rx already given.

At least for now, no one under the age of 18 or over the age of 40, or with pre-existing medical conditions, is allowed to take the online eye exam. Yet we all know that serious eye diseases and medical conditions can be fi rst diagnosed in this age group. For this reason, the Optometric Society's public service campaign focuses on this age category and on patient education (

Let's send a strong message: an eye exam is well worth the commute, the wait, the time and the money!

Four things you can do:

1. Make sure your staff communicates with every patient the difference between a refraction and a comprehensive eye exam. In the waiting room, have written patient cases and testimonials of how ocular and medical conditions were found during a routine exam.
2. Write an op-ed for your local newspaper or give an interview at your local radio station, detailing the limitations of online eye exams and the importance of full-scope optometric care
3. Alert your state medical board and your state AOA chapter. Get involved!
4. Expand your services to include specialty contact lenses, orthokeratology, low vision and vision therapy. Expand the technology offered in your practice to deliver the highest level of eye care possible.

—Lisa Shin, OD
The Optometric Society