Photo Information

MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. - Lt. David T. Brown (right), an optometrist with the Camp Lejeune Naval Hospital, examines Petty Officer 2nd Class Kristin M. Pennington's eyes here June 8. Pennington is a corpsman with the Hadnot Point Medical Clinic. Marines and sailors are encouraged to have at least one eye exam every two years to check if they need glasses or to up date prescriptions on glasses and to check the overall health of the eye. (Official U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Brandon R. Holgersen)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Brandon R. Holgersen

Regular eye exams help operational readiness

17 Jun 2005 | Lance Cpl. Brandon R. Holgersen

Marines have the tools to conquer almost any task, no matter how big or how small. One of their most basic tools are their eyes. A way Marines can take care of their tools and be operationally ready is by having regular eye examinations.

Marines and sailors are encouraged to have at least one eye exam every two years to check if they need to get glasses, update prescriptions and check the overall health of the eye, according to Catherine R. McCrimmon, a civilian employee with the refractive eye surgery clinic, Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune.

Eye exams are also beneficial for operational readiness, according to McCrimmon. The eye clinics can provide Marines and sailors with prescription gas mask inserts along with extra pairs of glasses for deployments.

“We don’t want to send anyone out to the desert with contact lens,” McCrimmon said. “Service members should have the adequate eyewear for where they are being deployed.”

Each Marine is responsible for their operational readiness, and part of that operation readiness is having the correct eyewear, according to Lt. Cmdr. Steve K. Davis, an optometrist with the Hadnot Point Clinic.

Not having the correct eyewear can impair Marines doing their job, according to Davis. This is especially true for Marines who may be deployed.

Marines and sailors can go to their unit corpsman for eye screenings and to check their vision by using a simple wall chart. It is important for Marines and sailors to get their eyes examined if they are experiencing any vision difficulties.

Routine eye exams can also uncover many other health issues, according to McCrimmon.

“The eyes are an amazing thing. You can see if someone is diabetic and diagnose different heart diseases,” McCrimmon said. “It’s a way of looking at the whole health of the body.”

Another way Marines and sailors can keep their eyes healthy is by not wearing their
contact lens overnight. If people wear their contacts too much, their eyes can’t breath, according to McCrimmon. This can lead to inflammation of the eye and scarring. This applies for extended wear contacts also.

“You need to give your eyes a break,” McCrimmon said. “Even if you have extended wear contacts, you should at least take your contacts out for the weekend.”

It is also important for Marines and sailors to wear the correct safety equipment if they are handling chemicals or other hazardous material, according to McCrimmon.

There is also a refractive eye surgery clinic at the Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune to correct different eye disorders. To be referred for refractive eye surgery, a Marine must be recommended through their chain of command and then put on a list at the hospital based on priority.

Marines and sailors who are stationed at Camp Lejeune, Marine Corps Air Station New River, Camp Johnson and Camp Geiger can make eye exam appointments at the Hadnot Point Medical clinic by calling 450-3230.