Healio: Lifetime vision plans tailored to treat patients’ personal and future needs
By Michela Cimberle
Like any other part and function of the body, the eye and vision change over time. In the last two decades, advanced solutions have been developed to meet the needs of individuals at each stage of this process, allowing them to maintain healthy eyesight and enhance quality of life through spectacle-free vision. With such a wide spectrum of options available, it makes sense now to overcome fragmentation and give patients what they need at different stages of ocular maturity within the framework of a lifetime plan for vision.
Lifetime plan begins in the nursery
A lifetime plan for vision begins with the first examination in the nursery, according to OSN Pediatrics/Strabismus Board Member Erin D. Stahl, MD.
The red reflex is assessed shortly after birth to detect early cataract or other obscuration of the visual axis. As children grow, vision screening becomes part of their regular checkup during infancy, preschool and school years.
“Screening devices and careful exams allow primary care physicians to identify eye problems and to refer the child to a specialist when needed. Early diagnosis of strabismus, amblyopia and refractive error has helped us in setting up effective treatment programs to prevent vision impairment,” Stahl said.
Treating children requires looking ahead and seeing the continuum over their lifetime. This far-reaching perspective is part of the patient-centered model adopted at Children’s Mercy in Kansas City, Missouri, where Stahl is head of ophthalmology.
Adopting a collaborative eye care model is key in the success of a practice that takes care of vision over a lifetime. Monitoring patients with annual eye exams allows for a smooth transition from stage to stage, in which changes are seen in the process and needs are detected promptly.
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Learn more about Ophthalmology and Optometry at Children's Mercy