The time is now to embrace the advantages of true integrated eye care. The number of practicing ophthalmologists is estimated to remain flat over the next 15 years. The population of individuals age 55 years and older is growing exponentially, and the need for eye care is growing with it. Who will take care of this aging population? It is obvious that optometry is going to be called on to assist. Because ophthalmologists will be overwhelmed attending to the surgical needs of patients, optometrists will play a greater role in surgical comanagement and in addressing the general vision and medical needs of this population.
This supplement addresses several issues at the heart of integrated eye care. You will read about a new model for educating your patients on refractive procedures from Sondra Black, OD. Patients' experience is of vital importance in this new age of social media and Google; Chris Freeman, OD, addresses this. J. James Timmons, OD, writes about the role of optometry in integrated eye care and how our specialty can excel in this area. Walter Whitely, OD, MBA, presents ideas for integrating the latest technology into the care of patients. An overview of contact lens use is offered by Susan Gromacki, OD. Finally, Marc Bloomenstein, OD, covers one of the most commonly observed problems in our practices, ocular allergy.
I hope you enjoy reading these articles and are stimulated to enhance your knowledge and practice in these areas.