The challenges of eyecare in minority communities
One of the biggest challenges posing minority communities when it comes to eyecare is education.
Many communities lack a clear understanding of what health is in general. Minority communities have demonstrated a higher risk for diabetes, high blood pressure, glaucoma, and oftentimes, they are not aware of that.
Another major issue is access to care. Without proper access to care, how can members of these communities understand or be aware of health issues they may have?
Like many systemic health problems, many patients, whether members of a minority community or not, think because they are seeing well, that there's nothing wrong with their eyes. Unfortunately, many of them might be in the late stages of disease. Many of these situations could be avoided if there was simply more access to comprehensive eye examinations.
How optometrists can help lower-income communities
There are many things ODs can do even on a small scale level to help minority communities have access to better care.
We enjoy the benefits of having a small profession. This makes it very attainable to gather and partner up with colleagues in order to conduct vision screenings. This is a great way to reach out to these communities.
Participating in efforts like this has many benefits. First and foremost, it benefits these patients and can really make a major difference for members of these communities.
Secondly, it is a great way to provide exposure to your practice.
Finally, it is a fantastic way to advocate for the profession and generate interest in what we do on a daily basis and what kinds of services we provide.