Article Date: 10/1/2008

Discuss Eye Health, Pregnancy With Female Patients
Wise to the World

Discuss Eye Health, Pregnancy With Female Patients

By Judith Riddle
Senior Editor

NEXT TIME YOU examine a female patient in her childbearing years, educate her about the importance of maintaining eye health in pregnancy.

Many expectant mothers don't make eye exams a priority because of the longstanding myth that it's not safe to have their eyes dilated during pregnancy.

The truth is, not only is it safe to have a dilated exam, under some conditions, it's a very good idea. Reason: Visual acuity changes, such as blurred vision and seeing spots, can signal serious health conditions, including diabetes and high blood pressure, which are common in pregnancy.

Hormonal changes can cause swelling of the cornea, dry eyes and puffy eyelids, leading to contact lens intolerance. Hormonal fluctuations also can cause migraine headaches and light sensitivity.

Given these concerns, it's imperative to discuss the importance of eye exams with female patients to ensure they maintain good vision and eye health during pregnancy.

Quest for the Perfect Contact Lens

Today's clinicians and patients are faced with an increasing number of products as they search for the perfect contact lenses. In our practice, we keep this quest time-manageable and successful by ensuring that our triage, scheduling and contact lens technical staff stay abreast of the latest lens technologies and designs.

We make it easy for everyone to stay current on the most recent innovations by providing employees with a one-page, monthly scouting report of what we believe are the most important product introductions for our patient base. We also offer a short list of contact lens designs that our doctors prefer.

Keeping your employees well informed so they can educate patients goes a long way toward facilitating the daily, never-ending process of choosing the right contact lenses while in the exam room.

Joseph B. Studebaker, OD
Englewood, Ohio
For more great fitting tips, visit

Nipping Myopia In the Bud

DAILY TREATMENT with pirenzepine can slow the rate of myopia progression in children, reported a study in the August 2008 issue of the Journal of AAPOS.

In the study, researchers gave 84 children either pirenzepine gel or placebo gel. Myopia worsened in both groups, but the rate of progression was much slower in the pirenzepine arm after 1 year of treatment.

After 2 years, myopia increased by 0.58D in the pirenzepine group and 0.99D in the placebo arm. Pirenzepine was relatively safe, although 11% of the children stopped using it due to eye irritation. To read the abstract, visit

Develop Higher Ethical Standards

THE AMERICAN OPTOMETRIC ASSOCIATION (AOA) is offering free online continuing education to members through a program supported by an educational grant from CIBA Vision.

The AOA Ethics & Values Committee developed the course, "Ethical Issues in Contact Lens Practice," to help optometrists better understand the ethical principles and standards of conduct that should guide optometric professionals.

COPE has approved this CE course for one credit hour in the category of Ethics/Jurisprudence. For more information, visit

Optometric Management, Issue: October 2008