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STEPS FOR TODAY AND TOMORROW

During the pandemic, take action for both short- and long-term results

A recurring theme in this issue of Optometric Management is taking action. In articles such as “Eye Care During the COVID-19 Pandemic” (p.36), where leading optometrists share their insights, the action steps focus on providing more immediate results. That said, many of the steps can continue to provide benefits beyond the pandemic. This long-term perspective is critical, and communicating it can help reassure patients and staff during a time of crisis. As Dr. Gina Wesley lets her staff know (p.38), “We are here for them for the long-run, and our team will come together once again.”

In addition, such a long-term vision can help inspire us all as we move forward — a valuable commodity during difficult times.

PLANNING FOR THE LONG TERM

This issue of OM also addresses long-term action plans, particularly in the “Practice Medical Optometry” (PMO) section devoted to AMD. Elizabeth A. Steele, O.D., F.A.A.O., makes a straightforward case for managing AMD: “Optometrists possess the knowledge and skill set to provide essential care for the millions of Americans who suffer from AMD,” she notes in her introduction (“Go After AMD,” p.15).

In “Add Contrast Sensitivity Testing for AMD” (p.18), Mark W. Roark, O.D., F.A.A.O., explains the how and why of CS testing for AMD. Traditional VA measurements are important, “but simply not enough when assessing visual performance in AMD patients,” he writes. Dr. Roark’s article also includes an “AMD Diagnostic Device Toolkit” sidebar.

Diet and nutritional supplements can reduce the risk of AMD progression, but which supplement should be prescribed? The answer lies in an understanding of the research and your patients. “Our duty is to educate ourselves and stay abreast of the latest in literature and critical opinions to best serve our individual patients’ needs,” writes Aaron McNulty, O.D., F.A.A.O., in “Prescribing Supplements for AMD” (p.24).

In “AMD: Prepare Patients for the Referral” (p.30), Rob Pate, O.D., asserts that educating the patient on what to expect from a referral is one of the steps to providing exceptional care. In addition to explaining how to educate the patient on the retina specialist referral, Dr. Pate’s article includes a section on low vision, an area where O.D.s “have no excuse not to be staunch advocates and prescribers.” OM