Help is on the way for Oklahomans suffering with serious vision problems. Northeastern State University opened a new eye clinic at its campus in Broken Arrow. The clinic has a very specific goal, but NSU said it's needed now more than ever.
"This looks like a regular exam room, but everything in here has been scaled for the visually impaired," said Dr. David Lewerenz, Chief of Low Vision Services.
Lewerenz showed off the latest addition to the NSU campus in Broken Arrow, the Lesley L. Walls Vision Center. It's an eye clinic that specializes in helping those who have lost vision in both eyes but it can't be fixed through surgery or glasses.
"We evaluate them, take a careful history, and then try to match them up with strategies that will keep them doing the kinds of things that they need to do and that they enjoy doing," Lewerenz said.
Optometrist, Dr. Denise Roddy, said, "This is hugely important for the northeastern part of Oklahoma."
Roddy said the clinic is the first of its kind in the Tulsa area and the timing couldn't be better.
"We see the rate of macular degeneration exploding in the United States as our population ages," Roddy said.
Roddy said, one in three people over age 80, suffers from macular degeneration.
This clinic helps those patients learn how to live with low vision and lead independent lives. That could mean using new technologies to improve vision, or, in-home therapy, teaching patients how to perform basic household duties.
"I'm very proud of this clinic. I'm very proud of the University for making the commitment to build it. I couldn't be happier to be here doing this right now," Lewerenz said.
This clinic only takes patients by referral, so if you think your vision problem is serious enough to where you need treatment there, Dr. Lewerenz said you need to speak with your eye doctor first.