Donald Jarnagin, O.D., Interim Dean, Arizona College of Optometry, right, demonstrates a teaching tool for observing the eye.

Submitted photo

Midwestern University’s new state-of-the-art Eye Institute gives the public a glimpse into some of the newest technologies to test the eyesight of young and old patients alike in the hopes of correcting impairment and age-related vision issues.

University officials say they are excited to be able to offer the new clinic, at 59th Avenue and Loop 101 in Glendale, to West Valley residents, particularly because of the number of available comprehensive eye care screenings and treatments.

Midwestern’s Eye Institute opened in October 2010, and though more than 400 patients have been seen at the new facility, university officials hope to attract more of the senior population from the Sun Cities and Surprise, a demographic that is relevant to reach as 90 percent of people age 45 and older begin to experience some type of vision-related issue, officials said.

Besides standard eye exams, patients can visit the 33,000-square-foot facility featuring 61 exam rooms on the south side of the Midwestern University campus and receive care for disease screenings, low vision, prosthetics/rehabilitative vision and sports vision, among others.

“We have someone who can handle anyone from cradle to grave,” said Donald Jarnagin, interim dean of the Arizona College of Optometry at Midwestern University.

Because these clinics are operated by Midwestern University, Jarnagin said patients can expect cutting edge treatment and brand new equipment.

In addition, the Eye Institute also offers patients and the general public an optical retail center, which is one of Arizona’s largest optometric shops, providing glasses and contact lenses.

Jarnagin said a feature to the eyecare facility is that both Midwestern University faculty and optometry students see patients. Students are in observation roles until this summer, when they will begin to provide treatment under faculty supervision.

During screenings for low vision, Jarnagin said doctors conduct testing through use of closed-circuit televisions and other projectors to determine whether patients are experiencing some form of vision loss, even with the best possible prescription for glasses or contact lenses available. Low vision can develop as a result of either congenital disease or the onset of macular degeneration.

“This is an area where we could help a lot of people in the Sun Cities,” said Jarnagin, noting follow-up exams can take place at the Eye Institute or through occupational therapy at patients’ homes.

Visit www.midwestern.edu for more information.

Zach Colick can be reached at 623-876-2522 or zcolick@yourwestvalley.com.

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