20/20 vision in 2020

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Senior Airman Troy Dibley, 61st Fighter Squadron F-35A Lightning II avionics journeyman, receives a slit lamp examination June 9, 2020, at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz. Slit lamp examinations are performed to check for ocular health and abnormalities. The Luke AFB optometry clinic treats more than 4,000 patients every year. (Air Force photograph by Airman 1st Class Brooke Moeder)
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Eighty percent of what most individuals perceive comes through sense of sight.

The Optometry Clinic Airmen at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., are professionals that help Airmen maintain eye health and enable mission success.

Two optometrists and two technicians treat more than 4,000 patients annually through routine checkups, glasses deliveries and glasses adjustments.

Approximately 26 active duty, foreign nationals and retired military patients are seen daily for annual routine eye exams. Optometry clinic professionals check the overall health of the eye and issue or update glasses and contact prescriptions.

Lt. Col. Michael Bogaard, 56th Operational Medical Readiness Squadron optometrist (right), adjusts the prescription on a phoropter for a patient May 9, 2020, at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz. The phoropter contains different lenses that are used to measure the patient’s prescription. The Luke AFB optometry clinic treats more than 4,000 patients every year. (Air Force photograph by Airman 1st Class Brooke Moeder)

During the exam, the technician checks for visual acuity on a lens chart with or without glasses. They use various machines to find the prescription pressures of the eye and different tests to find the peripheral strength of the eye, said Airman 1st Class Royal Davis, 56th Operational Medical Readiness Squadron optometry technician.

After the patient visits with the technician, the optometrist performs a slit lamp (microscope with a bright light attached) examination, checking the patient’s eyelids, iris, lens, cornea and more. The optometrist also uses a phoropter, which has different lenses to measure a patient’s prescription.

The optometry clinic provides more than 50 customized and military standard issue glasses to active duty and Luke foreign national members to choose from. Retired and reservist members are provided standard glasses. To receive customized glasses, reservists have to be on active-duty orders for at least 30 days.

“If a pair of glasses is lost or broken, we keep replacement pairs in the back,” said Staff Sgt. Alex Jensen, 56th OMRS optometry noncommissioned officer in charge. “As long as your lenses are fine and you only broke your frame, you can bring in your military issued frames, not civilian frames, and as long as we have the same frame in stock we will swap it out same day.”

Senior Airman Troy Dibley, 61st Fighter Squadron F-35A Lightning II avionics journeyman, scans his eye in a retinal photography instrument while Airman 1st Class Royal Davis, 56th Operational Medical Readiness Squadron optometry technician, administers the test June 9, 2020, at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz. During every appointment, tests are run on the instrument and the results are stored in the patient’s medical record to help track the eyeís history. The Luke AFB optometry clinic treats more than 4,000 patients every year. (Air Force photograph by Airman 1st Class Brooke Moeder)

The customized glasses are issued annually and if they are broken, they will be replaced with a standard issue pair.

The clinic also issues contact prescriptions, although contacts can’t be purchased through the clinic.

“We fit contact lenses and prescribe prescriptions for people who currently wear contacts,” said Jensen. “For someone that has never worn contacts but is interested in it, they’ll have to get that [prescription] off-base. But if you’ve already wore contacts then you can bring in an old prescription or box that shows the brand worn. The doctor can then update that contact lens prescription for you with an exam.”

Paying attention to detail is essential in completing the mission. Luke AFB Airmen can’t do that if they can’t see clearly. The optometry clinic keeps Airmen’s vision up to the standards needed to perform their job.

To book an optometry appointment, call the appointment line at 623-856-2273.

Senior Airman Troy Dibley, 61st Fighter Squadron F-35A Lightning II avionics journeyman, receives a pupil response test from Airman 1st Class Royal Davis, 56th Operational Medical Readiness Squadron optometry technician, June 9, 2020, at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz. Pupil response tests are performed with a small transilluminator to test pupils’ responses to light. The Luke AFB optometry clinic treats more than 4,000 patients every year. (Air Force photograph by Airman 1st Class Brooke Moeder)
Airman 1st Class Royal Davis, 56th Operational Medical Readiness Squadron optometry technician, runs a visual field test on Senior Airman Troy Dibley, 61st Fighter Squadron F-35A Lightning II avionics journeyman, June 9, 2020, at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz. The test assesses the patient’s peripherals while the individual holds a hand over one eye and reports to the technician how well they can see the numbers. The Luke AFB optometry clinic treats more than 4,000 patients every year. (Air Force photograph by Airman 1st Class Brooke Moeder)
Airman 1st Class Royal Davis, 56th Operational Medical Readiness Squadron optometry technician, runs diagnostics on a patient’s glasses June 9, 2020, at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz. The lensometer checks the curvature of the glasses’ lenses and verifies the correct prescription. The Luke AFB optometry clinic treats more than 4,000 patients every year. (Air Force photograph by Airman 1st Class Brooke Moeder)
Senior Airman Troy Dibley, 61st Fighter Squadron F-35A Lightning II avionics journeyman, tries on a pair of prescription glasses June 9, 2020, at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz. The Luke Optometry clinic provides a choice of more than 50 styles of customized and standard frames. The Luke AFB optometry clinic treats more than 4,000 patients every year. (Air Force photograph by Airman 1st Class Brooke Moeder)
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