National Eye Exam Month; What Optometry can do for you

  • Published
  • By A1C Jackson N Haddon
  • 97 Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

If you can’t see them, you can’t shoot them; a simple concept and the mission statement of the 97th Medical Operations Squadron Optometry Flight. The truth is, the Air Force is affected by Airmen’s eye health.


“People should get their eyes checked yearly,” said Jesusita Hall, an optometry technician from the 97th MDOS. “Diseases, some unrelated to the eyes, can present themselves without symptoms. We have the potential of seeing those diseases when we look at the back of your eye.”


Taking the time to come in for a yearly eye exam is essential, especially considering some diseases can be fatal.


 “One of the experiences I had was when we had a patient come in who didn’t wear glasses and through her exam the doctor noticed a tumor in the back of her eye,” said Hall. “Because they’d spotted it early, she was able to have it removed. Before the eye exam, she had no idea she had a tumor because she didn’t display any symptoms. Getting an eye exam has to potential to save your life in so many ways.”


The optometry flight at Altus AFB is ready to assist with customer concerns by offering exams, contact lenses, glasses and other eye-related support to military members and their families. The assistance provided extends beyond eye exams. The Airmen at the optometry clinic are also willing to provide tips on keeping your eyes healthy.

“We always recommend eating enough OMEGA 3’s and getting enough vitamin C,” said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Ivonn Denton, an NCO in charge of the 97th MDOS Optometry Flight. “We recommend wearing sunglasses when you’re working outside. If you work with any kind of machinery, woodworking or anything that that can fly into your eye, wear safety glasses. When you’re working on a computer, don’t look at it for longer than 20 minutes at a time. If you’re older than 40, we recommend you start coming by every year because that’s when your eyes really start to age.”


The optometry flight is open from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday for appointments and certain walk-in services, like ordering glasses and contacts.


“Take care of your eyes. You only get two and one is not really a spare; they work together,” said U.S. Air Force Maj. Kyle Hiatt, a flight commander assigned to the 97th MDOS Optometry Flight. “If people think there’s something wrong with their vision or their prescription, please come in and see us; we’ll take care of you. We want to make sure you have the best vision that you can get.”


Keeping Airmen and families healthy is a priority for the Air Force and the Optometry Flight at Altus assists in making that goal a reality. For those who wish to make an appointment to get an eye exam or ask about the other services offered at the base Optometry Flight, please call 481-5239.