NOV 2012

EyeWorld is the official news magazine of the American Society of Cataract & Refractive Surgery.

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24 EW NEWS & OPINION Providing continued from page 23 "There's no one-size-fits-all when it comes to patient education," Ms. Osborne said. During an ophthalmology con- sultation, it's especially important that any printed material you use be easy to read. Use a larger, darker font with few visual distractions, Dr. Resnick suggested. Depression and dementia Although ophthalmologists do not treat depression, they may be part of the group of people that can alert other specialists to signs of depres- sion in their patients, Dr. Beaver said. "As people get older and lose function, they are more likely to get depressed," she said. Dr. Beaver will ask older patients if they feel sad or depressed. If she feels patients might be at risk for de- pression, she will ask if they have talked to their primary care physi- cian or if they would like additional help. Ophthalmologists can also serve as the referral source for dementia. One common scenario is a patient brought in by a spouse or family member. The patient may have a decent visual acuity of 20/25 and can see letters on the page but can- not get to the end of a sentence. In these cases, Dr. Beaver will refer to a neurologist or neuropsychologist to test for dementia. Dementia can affect a patient's ability to remember to take medica- tions, said Brian Yochim, Ph.D., VA Palo Alto Health Care System, and Stanford University, Palo Alto, Calif. It could also lead to patients not remembering if they took their med- ications—and then inadvertently taking two doses in a short time period, he added. Although ophthalmologists will Fe Fechtner E X X- P R ESS SS Marker echtner EX-PRESS ES ® M a r er K3-8977 r r r r r arking p perimeter urate nserti on fted for gle for visibility Alcon® Watch it! Elder abuse Elder abuse is "one issue doctors don't always talk about," Dr. Beaver said. The signs are not as obvious as they might be with child abuse, Dr. Lee added. A disheveled appearance or ocular trauma can be signs of elder abuse, Dr. Lee said. A patient who regularly misses appointments may be experiencing neglect, Dr. Beaver said. Although ophthalmologists would not treat abuse, they can help get social workers involved when necessary, Dr. Beaver recommended. EW Editors' note: The sources have no financial interests related to this article. Contact information Altman: journals@royaltman.com Beaver: 713-441-8843, nrdeleon@tmhs.org Lee: 713-441-8823, aglee@tmhs.org Osborne: 508-653-1199, Helen@healthliteracy.com Resnick: 410-706-5178, barbresnick@gmail.com Yochim: 650-493-5000, Brian.Yochim@va.gov want to refer questionable patients for formal testing, they still can do some initial screening for dementia problems. "A quick way to infor- mally screen for cognitive deficits in patients is to ask them to say today's date and to discuss current events, such as a recent natural disaster, an election, or current military conflicts," Dr. Yochim said. Dr. Yochim is working to develop a more effective testing measure for dementia and mild cog- nitive impairment that can be used for patients with visual impairment. November 2012 ® 973-989-1600ÊUÊ U ÊÊ800-225-1195 U www.katena.com

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