The Importance Of Epidemiology In Optometry
AbstractEpidemiology is the study of the distribution and determinants of health-related states or events in specified populations, and the application of this study to the control of health problems. Epidemiology aims to describe the distribution and magnitude of health and disease problems, identify etiological factors in the pathogenesis of disease, and provide the data essential to the planning, implementation and evaluation of services for the prevention, control and treatment of disease and to the settingupof priorities amongthose services.Optometrists are the primary healthcare practitioners of the eye and visual system who provide comprehensive eye and vision care, which includes refraction and dispensing, the detection/diagnosis and management of disease in the eye, and rehabilitation of conditions of the visual system. Refractive error is amongst the most common causes of blindness and visual impairment; it is also the easiest to “cure”. Refractive error can be simply diagnosed, measured and corrected, and the provision of spectacles is an extremely cost-effective intervention, providing immediate correction of the problem. Refractive care provides excellent access to the population for screening of more serious eye problems, such as cataracts and diabetes. Preventable blindness is one of our most tragic and wasteful global problems. Optometry is an essential part of the team that will eliminate this tragedy, by understanding global eye care needs and delivering effective and sustainable vision care to people in need, thereby ensuring their fundamental right to sight.
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