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NEWS | Feb. 7, 2012

Optometrists help clear JB Charleston’s vision

By Senior Airman Anthony J. Hyatt 628th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

"Please cover your left eye and read the lowest line you can see," is a common phrase heard at any optometry clinic. Joint Base Charleston currently has three different clinics: the JB Charleston Air Base Optometry Clinic, the Naval Health Clinic Charleston Optometry Clinic and the Department of Defense/Veteran Affairs Joint Optometry Clinic, both on JB Charleston - Weapons Station.

Each clinic offers virtually the same services including eye examinations, which include visual acuity checks, repairing glasses, color vision testing and comprehensive exams.

These clinics also service corneal refractive surgery patients and conduct contact lens update appointments, according to Capt. Syreeta Lawrence, 628th Medical Group Optometry flight commander.

The Air Base and Weapons Station Optometry Clinics provide eye care primarily to active duty service members, Reservists on special orders and special populations, like diabetics, but the DoD/VA Joint Optometry Clinic can see active duty dependants, eligible retirees and their dependants enrolled in Tricare Prime as well as eligible veterans, according to Johnny Knight, NHCC Optometry Clinic manager.

The Air Base Optometry Clinic sees an estimate of 200 to 300 patients per month and is normally booked out two to four weeks, said Lawrence.

"We see a tremendous amount of patients each month (at the Air Base Optometry Clinic), probably one patient every 20 minutes," said Jason Hale, 628th MDG optometry technician.

A three-person staff currently operates the Air Base Optometry Clinic, while the NHCC Optometry Clinic is run by a four-person staff, and The DoD/VA Joint Optometry Clinic has a five-person staff.

Whether you're due for a routine eye exam or looking for more details on refractive surgery, any one of the three optometry clinics is more than capable of assisting you.

"You're eyes are more than vision, so you want to make sure they're healthy," said Lawrence.

For more information or to set-up an appointment, call the Air Base Optometry Clinic at 963-6880, the Naval Health Clinic Charleston Optometry Clinic at 794-6221/6880 or the DoD/VA Joint Optometry Clinic at 794-6221 or 577-5011 ext. 3190.