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Profession to look ‘stronger than ever’ in new optometry documentary

The global eyecare community is poised for the virtual screening premiere of Open Your Eyes, a new documentary highlighting the increasing role of optometrists as frontline detectors of systemic diseases.

With the key message that ‘the optometrist is the new general practitioner’, the film’s inaugural viewing will take place at 8pm EDT 29 April (10am Australian EST Thursday 30 April) on ODwire.org, which will also host an interactive Q&A after the screening.

Image: oye.odwire.org

Open Your Eyes aims to inform the public that optometrists do more than prescribe spectacles and contact lenses. It highlights the importance of optometric eye testing to identify and thwart the rise of 300 systemic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, myopia and Alzheimer’s.

Dr Kerry Gelb, the storyteller and host of the film, said optometrists were the only primary care profession that can see blood vessels non-invasively, placing them at the forefront of preventative medicine.

“The film will make the profession look stronger than ever and enlighten the public to the far-reaching technology optometrists now have in their hands,” he said. “I’m excited that the optometric community will be the first ones to see it.”

As part of the documentary, Vision Monday reports that Gelb travels to Nicoya, Costa Rica to learn about how centenarians have maintained their eye health over the course of their lives. He also meets with Dr Javier Prada Lopez to examine the prevalence of myopia in Costa Rican children. Lopez recently conducted a study showing that 40% of the country’s children in urban areas have myopia, compared with only 10% in rural areas.

Gelb also speaks with Ms Carey Gillam, a journalist and the author of Whitewash, and Mr Jeffery Smith, an activist, to understand how the insecticide DDT and the herbicide glyphosate are impacting the human body.

Further, he discusses the rise of obesity and inflammation due to historical changes in the public perception of fat and sugar with physician Dr Ted Naiman, Fung and more.

The documentary has been created by Emmy Award winning filmmaker Mr Wayne Chester and the ALLDocs Association.

It has been funded by sponsor contributions, as well as the ALLDocs organisation. Main sponsors include CooperVision, Bausch + Lomb, Alcon and Johnson & Johnson. Smaller sponsors include ABB Optical, Essilor and Omni Eye Service, Vision Monday reports.