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Ernie Bowling, OD, MS, FAAO
Dr. Ernie Bowling is Chief Optometric Editor of Optometry Times. He received his Doctor of Optometry and Master of Science in Physiological Optics degrees from the UAB School of Optometry. Dr. Bowling is a Diplomate in the Primary Care Section of the American Academy of Optometry. He practices in Gadsden, AL.
Nonpharmacologic care for ocular allergies
Allergic diseases have greatly increased in industrialized countries. About 30 percent of people suffer from allergic symptoms, and from 40 to 80 percent of these have ocular symptoms.1 We all prescribe topical medicines for our patients with ocular allergies; their use has become almost second nature. These medications do a truly remarkable job of helping our patients who suffer from seasonal or perennial ocular allergies. I like to temper these pharmacologic recommendations with some common sense ideas that will complement the pharmacological treatment and greatly alleviate the patient’s symptomatology.
The optometric manpower study
The profession has long awaited the release of the Eye Care Workforce Study. The project was jointly commissioned by the American Optometric Association (AOA) and the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) and was conducted by the Lewin Group. The date of the study is listed on the Executive Summary as April 25, 2014, and the results were made public June 10. Congratulations to the AOA and ASCO for commissioning the study. The last one by Abt was in 1999, so this was quite timely and in fact long overdue.
Visit with Dr. Ernie Bowling at booth 1433
Heading to the American Optometric Association meeting in Philadelphia on June 25-29? Optometry Times Chief Optometric Editor Dr. Ernie Bowling will be at the Optometry Times booth #1433 from 5-6 pm Thursday; 3-4pm Friday; and 10-11am Saturday. Stop by and say hi!
It’s all about the eyewear
Recently, I had a patient return to my office shortly after his yearly exam. This gentleman has advanced glaucoma, and after my initial diagnosis, he has undergone several surgical procedures by the comanaging ophthalmologist that has stabilized his condition. He was back in the office complaining of distance blur through his new spectacles. His exact words: “Thanks for helping me with my glaucoma, doc, but I can’t see a thing outta these new glasses you gave me.”
Turning pro
I'm obsessed with Steven Pressfield's writings. I've mentioned Do The Work before, and now I want to mention the second book in the series: Turning Pro. It spoke to me. In a short 1-sentence summary, the difference between an amateur and a pro: a pro, through hours and years of practice and training, can block out all the clutter and concentrate on the task at hand.
Editorial: One health, one team
Last week I attended the National Academies of Practice annual forum in Alexandria, VA. This year's theme was "One Health. One Team."
Nasal sprays for allergies
Like a lot of folks, I suffer from seasonal allergies. While the red, watery eyes do spring up (no pun intended), this time of year I am much more bothered by the constant, unrelenting runny nose accompanying my seasonal allergy attacks. Which shouldn’t be surprising. —42% of patients suffering from allergic conjunctivitis also experience symptoms of allergic rhinitis (AR).
Business is business
My son, a recent graduate of the University of Alabama’s film school, does freelance video work. It is a cool way to pay his bills, and a fella has to start somewhere. On occasion I get to be his unpaid production assistant, which is to say I stand in the background and hold the microphone.
The shifting sands of vision care plans
Every optometrist proudly echoes the changes in our profession and the increases in our abilities to care for our patients. Yet there have been other changes at work that have not been so great, and in fact I hold to be the greatest challenge to our profession for the future: vision care plans.
The future of eye care?
I recently completed Robin Cook’s new medical thriller, Cell. Cook, best known for his books Coma and Outbreak, is an ophthalmologist by training, and his books often tie his story lines to current events. Not to spoil the book for those who want to read the novel, but the premise of Cell is that a phone app, named iDoc, has been designed to replace the primary-care physician.