Overview of Clinical Services

Developing Confident and Compassionate Doctors of Optometry

With a goal of developing clinically confident and compassionate Doctors of Optometry, the UIW Rosenberg School of Optometry (UIWRSO) ensures students are exposed to a broad scope of clinical services. Given the complex nature of the patient populations we serve across an extensive range of services our students are well prepared to provide quality patient care.

Provides primary eye and vision services to the adult population age 18 and older. Our Adult Care Services engage a large volume of complicated, high medical acuity patients providing the interns with a vast array of clinical presentations. The Adult Care Services also incorporates basic contact lens services, optical service, and the diagnosis, treatment, and management of acute ocular disease.

Engages specialized contact lens fitting for patients where contact lenses are either the only or best optical corrections. This includes patients suffering from corneal damage secondary to trauma, corneal diseases, dystrophies, severe dry eye and degenerations resulting in an irregular ocular surface. The Cornea and Contact Lens Service employs all forms of contact lenses in patient management including gas-permeable rigid lenses, scleral lenses, bi-toric lenses, soft toric lenses, and bifocal contact lenses. Additionally, this clinical site offers corneal refractive therapy and employs contact lenses to slow the progression of myopia.

Provides care to all patients suffering from dry eye and anterior surface diseases of any etiology. The service provides care to patients who do or do not wear contact lenses. The Dry Eye Service has all state-of-the-art equipment such as imaging equipment for meibography, slit lamp photography, non-invasive tear break-up time, Matrix Metalloproteinase-9 testing and ocular surface staining. The Dry Eye Service offers medical management of dry eyes as well as eyelid margin cleaning/debridement procedures and eyelid warming procedures. The service specifically treats and manages tear-deficient dry eyes as well as Meibomian gland dysfunction (evaporative dry eyes).

Provides routine and specialized care to patients from newborns up to age 17 years. Fourth-year interns are provided with instruction and perform direct patient care for the pediatric patient population. Interns are exposed to a variety of equipment, techniques, and testing procedures in order to be able to evaluate children of any age and to obtain meaningful clinical data for diagnosis and treatment.

Provides direct patient care, evaluations, and therapy for patients who have poor eye focusing, eye teaming, and eye movement skills. The patients undergo a structured and supervised in-house therapy program for the correction and remediation of various binocular vision problems. The Vision Therapy and Binocular Vision Service contains all state-of-the-art technology for therapy. This service provides testing and remediation of visual-perceptual disorders frequently found as the root cause of learning disabilities and poor academic performance. Vision therapy and binocular vision diagnostic and treatment techniques have been found to be extremely effective in helping patients with mild symptoms up to more severe situations such as Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).

Provides care to patients with visual deficits resulting from traumatic brain injury and other neurological defects. The visual system is highly integrated throughout the brain. Therefore, brain injuries, ranging from mild concussions to traumatic motor vehicle accidents often cause visual symptoms. Vision assessment by Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation optometrists can assist with determining a visual diagnosis which can lead to an appropriate treatment to resolve day-to-day symptoms and improve our patients quality of life. Treatment often includes lenses, prisms, filters, and neuro-optometric rehabilitative therapy. The Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Service has traditional as well as state-of-the art equipment and instrumentation including eye tracking systems, vergence training computer systems, and various perimetry instruments.

The Sports and Vision Enhancement Service Clinic focuses on strengthening the visual needs of athletes by identifying visual demands specific to various sports and positions within those sports. Training is provided by interns and optometrists to incorporate standard vision therapy skills in a dynamic environment as well as utilizes innovative equipment specifically designed for sports training.

Currently, the University of the Incarnate Word is the only Division I athletic program to have a sports vision training facility owned and operated by an optometry school. The clinic offers customized visual training to enhance the athlete’s performance in depth perception, contrast sensitivity, hand-eye-body coordination, reaction time, central-peripheral awareness, eye tracking skills, accommodative and eye-teaming techniques, anticipatory/timing skills, and perceptual training.

The Ocular Disease and Retina Health clinics provide care to all ages at the UIWRSO Bowden Eye and Health Institute. This service manages patients with diabetes, hypertension, glaucoma, advanced cataracts, inflammatory conditions and other systemic/ocular diseases. With an on-site Ophthalmology Service, Retina Service, and Glaucoma Center, UIWRSO offers interns and residents an opportunity to work with two faculty ophthalmologists and several faculty optometrists in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of diseases and injuries of the eye and related structures. The Ocular Disease and Retina Health Service has all state-of-the-art diagnostic and therapeutic instruments including various types of therapeutic lasers.

Assists patients with an eye condition that they were born with or have acquired that makes it difficult to see or complete simple tasks. The team of residency trained doctors are dedicated to Low Vision, having a combined 50 years of experience in helping people maintain or gain independence. The Low Vision exam focuses on the problems that patients experience on a daily basis due to vision loss that cannot be corrected with regular glasses, contact lenses, surgery, or medications. With care and compassion, clinical staff prescribes a vision rehabilitation plan unique to each individual patient's needs. Through a collaborative effort, clinicians work to find devices, aids, and resources and teach independent skills to help achieve personal goals. Additional collaboration can occur with your ophthalmologist and primary care optometrist to provide a team-based approach. At the Bowden Eye and Health Institute, we are also no offering genetic testing and in person counseling services.

The Visual Neurophysiology Service (VNS) utilizes visual electro-diagnostic testing in accord with international standards (www.iscev.org) to diagnose and monitor common and rare diseases of the retina, optic nerve, and visual pathway. Testing includes flash, pattern and multifocal electroretinograms (ERGs), electro-oculograms (EOGs), multiple visual evoked potentials (VEPs; standard, sweep, color), dark adaptometry, contrast sensitivity, and multiple tests of color vision. Additional services include evaluation for drug-induced ocular toxicity (e.g., Plaquenil), occupational color vision testing, assessment of non-verbal patients, cortical visual impairment, amblyopia and aniseikonia.

With a focus on the future, the UIW Rosenberg School of Optometry is proud to include peri-operative experiences as part of the 4th academic year rotation. Students will provide pre- and post-op surgical care for glaucoma, LASIK eye surgery, and cataract surgery San Antonio patients in addition to observing the surgical procedures. One major benefit of this rotation is having students watch the surgical procedures in 3D. These experiences are offered through a partnership with Parkhurst NuVision Laser Surgery Center, a leader in refractive surgery. 

Additionally, UIWRSO offers a rotation experience through clinical sites in the state of Louisiana, where performing minor surgical procedures is included in the scope of practice for optometrists. Students participating in these rotations will gain hands-on experiences in various surgical procedures.