NAVAL AIR STATION PENSACOLA, Fla. (NNS) -- A clear path to vision care is available at Naval Branch Health Clinic Naval Air Station Pensacola's (NBHC NASP) Optometry Clinic for TRICARE Prime beneficiaries.
The Optometry Clinic provides services to patients that include comprehensive and acute eye care examinations, non-surgical management of ocular health conditions including removal of non-penetrating ocular foreign objects and prescriptions for eye glasses and contact lenses to established wearers.
Refractive eye surgery, Lasik and photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) are also available to eligible patients that can replace the need for glasses or contact lenses. The clinic does not actually perform these procedures, but will provide referrals to NHP's Ophthalmology Department.
"What I love most about being a Navy optometrist is interacting with my patients," said Lt. Cmdr. Paul Mayo, department head of the Optometry Clinic at NBHC NASP. "And being able to help them achieve optimum visual performance for their jobs."
Patients who are able to utilize the services offered at the clinic include any active-duty service member and all TRICARE Prime beneficiaries. Although the clinic does not treat TRICARE for Life beneficiaries, retirees over the age of 65 are still able to bring their most recent civilian eyeglass prescription to the clinic and obtain eyeglasses at no cost without an appointment. Patients enrolled to NHP can choose to use either the Optometry Clinic at NHP or the one at NBHC NASP depending on appointment availability.
The clinic also educates patients on maintaining vision health and wellness. According to the Centers for Disease Control, some tips to keeping eyes healthy include getting regular eye exams, knowing your family's eye health history, wearing protective eye wear, eating foods that promote eye health such as leafy green vegetables that contain beta-carotene and cleaning contacts regularly. Mayo also added to avoid tobacco products as they are known to contribute to vision loss from age-related macular degeneration.
"[Our patients range from] the active duty warfighter who protects us to the spouse who supports the Navy's mission to the child who needs to see the board more clearly at school," said Mayo. "It is very rewarding when my patients leave the exam room better equipped for their activities of daily living than when they first came to see me."
The Optometry Clinic at NBHC NASP is open from 7 a.m. - noon and 1 - 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, and appointments can be made by calling (850) 452-5237. The Optometry Department at NHP can be reached at (850) 505-6254.
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