Keeping a Sharp Eye Out for Disease

OIG member Rebecca Weiss practices using an ophthalmoscope while fellow OIG member Russell Levine looks on
OIG member Rebecca Weiss practices using an ophthalmoscope while fellow OIG member Russell Levine looks on

Einstein students recently helped a dozen local seniors take one of the most important steps to prevent vision loss from glaucoma.

Members of Bronx House Senior Center were examined for early signs of glaucoma at a screening on Sunday, February 10, organized by the student-run Ophthalmology Interest Group (OIG) with help from Dr. Joseph Zelefsky, assistant professor of ophthalmology.

The seniors were tested to measure their visual acuity and intraocular pressure, and their optic nerves were visualized in search of early indications of the disease. Assisting Dr. Scott Ketner, an ophthalmology resident at Bronx Lebanon Hospital Center, were the interest group's coordinators, second-year students Matthew Nicholas and Rebecca Weiss, along with third-year student Jimmy Yan Hu and first-year student, Julian Rothschild.

Early detection of glaucoma is essential, especially for seniors, since the eye disease is one of the leading causes of blindness and has no cure.  At February's screening, no signs of glaucoma were found. And seniors wishing to protect their eye health will have another chance, since the OIG offers screenings regularly.

"The people we examined were all very appreciative of us taking the time to do the screening, and happy to hear they did not have signs of glaucoma," said Mr. Nicholas. "Several of them also commented on being happy to see young people out helping in the community."

Besides detecting signs of glaucoma, OIG members hope the screenings will raise awareness of the disease. "Ideally, people will tell their friends and family," added Ms. Weiss. "People should be screened annually, especially seniors, because glaucoma is much more common among that age group."

 

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