Article Date: 3/1/2004

Wise to the World

Learning About Low Vision

Living with low vision is challenging. Age-related diseases such as glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and diabetic retinopathy can make everyday tasks nearly impossible, stealing away an older adult's much-prized independence. Fortunately, you can help.

Now available from the National Eye Institutes (NEI), "See for Yourself: Vision and Older Adults" is an education program that provides information and tips for dealing with low vision. This program includes a 15-minute VHS video, a presenter's guide and a booklet. Topics include:

You can order a free copy of this program by logging on to the NEI Web site at and clicking on the education button.

Optometry "Secrets" Revealed

"201 Secrets of a High-Performance Optometric Practice," (Butterworth-Heinemann) is an easy-to-read compendium of practical strategies for success and profitability written by management consultant and Optometric Management columnist Bob Levoy.

Check out Levoy's "success files" to learn how some of the top O.D.s across the country ensure patient satisfaction, keep staff motivated and grow their practices. Includes information on long-range planning, finding your niche, effective networking and more. Look for "reality checks" and "hard-learned lessons" to keep your practice growing and your career on track.


Pacifying Angry Patients 

Do you know how to appease an angry patient? You may be a new O.D., but following these tips can show an angry patient that you're wise beyond your years.

1. Avoid spectators. Even if you're not at fault, bystanders who witness an unpleasant encounter may take away a bad impression of you and your practice.

2. Don't interrupt. Wait until it's your turn to talk, then show the patient you're really listening by repeating his main points back to him.

3. Try to make the patient happy. Remember, people are more likely to share negative experiences with others than good ones.

4. Leave your ego at the door. You can make mistakes too, so keep an open mind until you have all the facts.

Edward S. Bennett O.D., M.S.Ed., St. Louis

Relieving Lens Discomfort

Sometimes, patients inadvertently trap small foreign objects like pet hair, lint or skin under their soft contact lenses while applying them, causing discomfort or lens awareness. Instead of immediately removing and reapplying the lens, your patient can try this quick-fix.

Tell your patient to slide the troublesome lens onto the temporal bulbar conjunctiva. ("Slide the lens over to the white part of your eye toward your ear.") After rubbing the lens in a circular motion a few times, he should slide the lens back over the cornea. Most of the time, the lens will feel more comfortable and the lens awareness will be gone.

If the patient's discomfort persists, he should remove his lens, make sure it's not inside out, and then rinse and reapply it.

--Jerry L. Latham, O.D., Bedford, Texas

For more great contact lens fitting tips, go to


Optometric Management, Issue: March 2004