Local doc offers free eye test for Latinos
A few months ago, Aspen Ophthalmologist David Singer was disturbed by a medical study showing Latinos to be at high risk for a debilitating eye disease. Now, he’s determined to help.
At 9 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 6, Dr. Singer will provide a free glaucoma screening for valley residents of Hispanic origin at his office on the corner of Third and Main Street.
Open-angle glaucoma is a disease of the optic nerve, which is damaged by increased pressure in the eye. Because the most common form of the disease is painless, the disease often goes unnoticed. It is the leading cause of blindness in the United States.
A state-of-the-art test, made available in the last five years, can reliably test for glaucoma. The test is pain-free and takes less than one minute.
If detected early, most cases of the disease can be easily treated through a regimen of drops and pills.
Recent research from the Los Angeles Latino Eye Study has found that glaucoma has a high frequency among the Hispanics. What’s more concerning to Dr. Singer, however, is that two-thirds of the Latino subjects in the study affected with glaucoma were unaware of their disease.
“This is a percentage of our population that typically doesn’t come for eye exams,” Dr. Singer said. “On the whole, they are just not as enfranchised medically. But we are dealing with the issue of blindness and we can prevent it.”
Dr. Singer works at the Eye Care Institute of Aspen, located at 402 W. Main St. in Aspen. The free screening begins at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 6, and runs most of the day.
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Aspen and Pitkin County have the largest black bear population and as such, are hoping for a big portion of a Colorado Parks and Wildlife grant to help educate and enforcement rules around securing trash.