Daniel Bintz, an optometric physician, is in a rural western Oklahoma group practice. He graduated from the Oklahoma College of Optometry in 1984. The college’s primary patient base is the Cherokee Nation, where complications of diabetes and high blood pressure were observed daily in the optometry clinics. After graduation he became involved with the American Diabetes Association and the Oklahoma Association of Optometric Physicians. These two organizations together with the Oklahoma Department of Public Health, developed the “Mission For Vision” project to find persons with undiagnosed diabetic eye disease. He has served as both chair and member of the American Optometric Association’s Health Promotions Committee for over fifteen years.
When research being released showed a link between tobacco use and macular degeneration, he immediately saw the benefits of getting this knowledge to both the public and to doctors of optometry and their patient base. A first pilot study was developed to inform doctors about the new research and how to approach cessation discussions with patients. A second pilot study was developed to help recruit optometric staff persons to discuss this link with new contact lens patients during their contact lens training session. Both programs resulted in a brochure being developed to educate patients and their families. Currently a flyer is being developed that specifically addresses persons with diabetes who also use tobacco products.
Dr. Bintz has written journal papers on diabetes and practice management and has lectured nationally in the areas of diabetes, practice management, low vision, and vision therapy. He is co-developer of Acuity Pro, a computer based visual acuity testing system that is used by eye doctors worldwide and is currently being used for research on the International Space Station. The Ocular Health Study was designed to study vision complications some astronauts are experiencing after long term stays in microgravity conditions.