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NEWS | May 3, 2013

Optometry ensures eyes on target

By Staff Sgt. Antoinette Gibson 633rd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Perfect vision, clear focus, and keeping beneficiaries' visual health in the most optimal shape is what the Langley Air Force Base, Va., Optometry Clinic strives for daily.

The 633rd Medical Group's optometry clinic's mission is to provide primary vision care, support wartime readiness and sustain visual combat capability in support of the aerospace mission. This is done through timely high-quality, comprehensive and cost-effective optometric care to all beneficiaries.

"Our main focus is to ensure good eye health," said Master Sgt. Michele Glaspie, 633rd MDG optometry and audiology flight chief. "The clinic services everyone in the Langley community."

Continuity in this profession is vital to the overall success of the organization. With professionals highlighted amongst the Air Force for their skills and professionalism, the award-winning optometry clinic prides itself in taking care of people.

"When I arrived to the Langley clinic today for my annual eye exam, I was very impressed with the excellent customer service," said Petty Officer 1st Class Sei Foster, Reactor Mechanical Division mechanist mate. "The staff was very professional and the service I received here truly has surpassed any other eye care services I have received in the past."

According to Glaspie, her section provides advanced care in diabetic issues, acute-eye issues, routine eye exams, follow-up service on emergency care, glaucoma, cornea and retina concerns.

The optometry clinic offers service to approximately 40 to 50 patients daily, and conducts approximately 250 eye exams weekly. A standard eye exam usually consists of a visual acuity check, used to determine a change in vision and other procedures to ensure the patient's eyes are healthy and free of disease. The Langley clinic staff suggests that an annual eye exam should be accomplished by everyone to ensure any problems are caught at an early stage.

"We provide frames of choice, glasses, gas mask inserts, ballistic eyewear, contact lens services and standard issue glasses to complete the eye exam," said Ebony Fowlkes, 633rd MDG optometry technician. "The goal of the clinic is to ensure that all Airmen are deployment ready."

In addition to routine eye exams, the clinic offers single, bi-focal, tri-focal, spectacle and contact lens prescriptions to all active-duty personnel.

Elena Loewellyn, 633rd MDG optometrist, said there are many small things people can do to help care for their eyes, including giving eyes a break while at work for about ten minutes per hour. People can also reduce the brightness of their computer screens and wear sunglasses that block ultraviolet rays while outside, she said. 

Loewellyn also said people should never wear contact lenses while asleep. This preserves eye sight and aids in overall optimal eye health.

Improving Service members' overall eye health is a priority the clinic takes personally, said Loewellyn.

"We maintain stability with all of our patients that come into Langley," said Loewellyn. "We see patients, get to know them and follow what is going on, truly building a strong continuity of care."

To see the optometry clinic, call your primary care manager to setup an appointment, or call the appointment line at (866)-645-4584.