Vision Disorders

Abstract: Age-related eye diseases, such as macular degeneration, cataracts, and glaucoma, are leading causes of vision impairment in the United States. Among all of these diseases, women are affected more then men. Many ocular conditions that disproportionately affect women, such as dry eye syndrome, are underdiagnosed and undertreated. As primary care physicians for women, obstetrician-gynecologists have an opportunity to initially identify conditions that cause vision impairment by asking their patients if they have experienced changes in their vision. Performing a simple screening procedure, such as pinhole examination, can help obstetrician-gynecologists determine whether a decrease in vision is caused by a refractive error or pathology. Women with diabetes mellitus are at increased risk of diabetic retinopathy, and this risk is increased during pregnancy. Obstetrician-gynecologists can ensure that all pregnant patients with diabetes mellitus be screened by an ophthalmologist by the first trimester of pregnancy and inform these patients that they may experience vision changes during pregnancy. Distinguishing between common eye conditions and serious conditions that can jeopardize a patient's vision can help obstetrician-gynecologists determine which conditions they can manage and which conditions necessitate referral.


Russell R. Snyder, MD

Associate Editor
Gretchen M. Lentz, MD

Past Editor
Raul Artal, MD

ISSN 1536-3619
Published 6 times per year