If a child is having trouble reading, itâ€™s only logical for parents to bring them in for a vision check. And if the child shows 20/20 vision, itâ€™s logical to conclude the problem might originate somewhere besides the eyes. But that may not be the case, according to a recent study of Canadian children published in the Journal of Optometry.
Dr. Lisa Christian from the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada, and colleagues performed a retrospective review of these children who had all had complete eye exams. These children also had Individual Education Plans (IEP) specifically directed at improving their reading abilities.
The authors found that while most of the children had good eyesight, a substantial proportion had binocular vision that was below the normal limits on testing, so the children may have experienced blurred images, poor depth perception, or double vision among other problems when they read.
Such problems can result from a variety of conditions, such as misaligned eyes, or poor functioning of the oculomotor muscles. A person with such problems will typically have difficulty reading â€” they may lose their place easily and develop eyestrain.
So when there is an issue with a child’s learning to read, it could be important to determine whether eye problems other than myopia are the cause.
The biggest eye hazard most of face is staring at the computer screens for hours while binging on â€śFortnite.â€ť People who have real jobs have more intense eye safety needs. Workers in auto repair, construction, manufacturing, plumbing welding are among the most vulnerable to eye injuries.
Government regulations specify what types of eye protection should be worn, including shields and other safety measures. Not all businesses comply or enforce these standards.
SUBHEAD: Know your patientâ€™s eye safety needs
If youâ€™re not already, you might intervene with a few pointed questions about their occupation. Red flags to watch for:
Anyone working in an area that has particles or flying dust must wear safety glasses with side shields.
Patients who work with radiation (welding, lasers or fiber optics) must use special-purpose safety glasses, goggles, face shields or helmets designed for those tasks.
Working around chemicals also requires wearing goggles.
Work with employers on eye safety practices
Your patients should know the requirements for their work environment. For example, side shields placed on your conventional glasses do not meet the OSHA requirement for most workplaces.
As an ophthalmologist or optometrist, you may also assist employers to assist in evaluating potential eye hazards in your workplace and be determining what type of eye protection may be needed.
This is serious business for patients and companies. OSHA estimates that there are 20,000 eye injuries a year. Together, they rack up a $300 million price tag for medical care, losses in productivity, legal and workers compensation.
Eye Safety Resources
Eye Safety from The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
A doctorâ€™s ability to empathize with patients has always been a lynchpin of patient care. And, for some, the focus has been on the business benefits on the quality of the patient-doctor relationships: higher cash flow and reimbursement, and practice growth.
A new study shows that empathy also has a profound affect on patient outcomes. The analysis of care given to patients with health conditions such as diabetes and hypertension showed that more attentive care via empathy improved the patients overall health and well being.
Empathy leads to better compliance
Patients need to know that doctors understand their concerns and apprehensions. The more comfortable a patient is with their healthcare provider; theyâ€™re more likely to ask more questions about their health. This leads to patients asking more questions about their care and becoming more compliant with treatment instructions.
Carving out those extra minutes for patients is tough. That makes fast, automated and accurate diagnostic equipment critical. Other studies show that empathy in doctors declines after medical school. No sleep, stress and caring for patients the first time can do that for you.
Fortunately, empathy is a skill you can learn, relearn, or enhance.
Help is available, too. Massachusetts General Hospital, for example is using Empathetics, to help providers tune into the emotional states of patients.
Practice empathy, and it will make patients happier and healthier and help you enjoy a plumper bottom line.