Original Research

Practitioners’ opinions on the presentation of ocular pathology and ametropia in patients wearing ready-made reading spectacles

K. C. Phillips, P. C. Clarke-Farr
African Vision and Eye Health | South African Optometrist: Vol 67, No 3 | a191 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/aveh.v67i3.191 | © 2008 K. C. Phillips, P. C. Clarke-Farr | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 17 December 2008 | Published: 17 December 2008

About the author(s)

K. C. Phillips, MCOptom (UK), Part-time Lecturer in Department of Ophthalmic Sciences, Faculty of Health and Wellness Sciences, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, South Africa
P. C. Clarke-Farr, PhD (UFS), Head: Department of Ophthalmic Sciences, Faculty of Health and Wellness Sciences, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, South Africa

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Abstract

This paper presents the findings of a study to determine optometrists’ opinions on the presentation of ocular pathology and ametropia in patients wearing ready-made reading spectacles. Ninety-seven optometrists completed a questionnaire pertaining to ametropia and ocular diseases among these patients. The questionnaire contained information regarding patient demographics, ocular pathology, ocular ametropia and the regulatory and public health aspects of ready-made readers.Ninety-five percent of respondents stated that they had seen patients with ready-made readers in their practice and 62% of these stated that they had found the presence of ocular pathology in these patients. The pathologies most commonly reported as seen by practitioners were dry eye (86% of practitioners), cataracts (80%) and diabetic retinopathy (54%). In addition, 39% of practitioners reported seeing patients with anisometropia. The majority of practitioners (71%) stated that they sold ready-made readers in their practice. Sixty-three percentof practitioners indicated that they would be prepared to offer a service whereby a reduced consultation fee and a pair of ready-made readers could be incorporated into an indigent “package”. An overwhelming 88% of the practitioners felt that the sale of ready-made readers should be more regulated and 74% of practitioners felt that the Professional Board for Optometry and Dispensing Opticians
should be responsible for monitoring their sale. The research suggests that wearers of ready-made readers should be screened for ocular pathology, reduced visual acuity and amblyopia. Current
regulations should be tightened and a public awareness education campaign should be initiated. The use of ready-made reading spectacles, in deference to an eye examination by an optometrist, appears to be largely as a result of the perceived costs of pri-
vate practice combined with ignorance and apathy


Keywords

Ametropia; anisometropia; cataract; diabetic retinopathy; glaucoma; hypertensive retinopathy; ocular pathology; presbyopia; ready-made readers.

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