Optometry Clinic Expands Vision Services

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Siobhan Lynch
  • 90th Medical Operations Squadron
The base optometry clinic now has two providers, which has opened appointment availability to not just military personnel, but also to retirees and families.

Prior to this addition, retirees and families were commonly referred and seen off base. With just over 9,000 people assigned to F. E. Warren, active duty military personnel had priority for appointment slots. 

The second optometrist has been at the base since October 2014, but it seems not everyone knows that there are more appointments available and that more beneficiaries can be seen.  The medical clinic is looking to change that.

"This is a great opportunity for us to expand our services and be able to offer care to more beneficiaries than before," said Lt. Col. Penny Spaid, 90th Medical Operations Squadron commander. "We are looking forward to having more military beneficiaries receive their optometry care on base."

The addition is due to an overflow in the optometry career field and the hope is to ensure everyone eligible can take full advantage of this unexpected windfall.

"Although the clinic is technically only staffed for one optometrist on a regular basis, currently having two optometrists is a wonderful benefit that we want to capitalize on," Spaid said. "That's exactly why we are focusing on getting the word out so our local veterans and their families can take advantage of the benefit."

The optometry clinic provides a variety of services to the Warren community.

"[We] provide routine eye exams that assess vision and ocular health, including prescribing glasses and contact lenses," said Maj. Craig England, 90th MDOS Optometry Clinic OIC. "We can perform annual dilated exams for patients with diabetes, and we can detect and manage glaucoma. We are able to treat eye infections, scratched corneas, eye allergies, dry eyes, and foreign body removals."

Warren's optometry clinic will also help active duty patients who are interested in refractive surgery such as photorefractive keratectomy, or PRK, and laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis, or LASIK.
"We work with the laser eye clinic at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs to coordinate candidates for surgery," England said. "Following surgery, we conduct follow-up care right here at F. E. Warren for patient convenience and to minimize mission impact."

The optometry clinic is open Monday through Friday between 7:30 a.m. through 4:30 p.m. The optometrists can see patients aged 5 and older; referrals are not needed to make an appointment for anyone eligible. To book an appointment, call the appointment line at 773-3461.