In a Jan. 6 column, “What you need to know about glaucoma,” by a local ophthalmologist Julie Chen, it was stated that patients at risk for glaucoma “should see an ophthalmologist.” We would like to clarify that patients can also see an optometrist for a full glaucoma screening.
A comprehensive eye exam by an optometrist is a sophisticated series of tests that not only checks vision for glasses and contact lenses, but also tests for glaucoma, macular degeneration, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy and more. Readers can be confident that if they have a comprehensive eye examination (including dilation), they are indeed being evaluated for eye diseases, including glaucoma.
January is Glaucoma Awareness Month. It is estimated that 4 million Americans have glaucoma, but only half of those know they have it. Doctors of optometry play an important role in detecting those previously undiagnosed cases. As glaucoma certified optometrists, we encourage patients to have annual eye examinations, particularly if there are risk factors for glaucoma such as a family history of glaucoma, previous eye trauma, very high near-sighted or far-sighted, over age 60 or African-Americans over age 40.
Contact an eye care professional for further information and for a comprehensive eye examination to be screened for glaucoma.
Linda Anzalone, O.D.
Solano Eye Care
Sutter Medical Group
Note: Corrects author of letter.