You’re likely already tired of allusions to the connection between 2020 and 20/20, but please indulge us this month as we turn our attention to vision care for a special series of features entitled “The Promise of 2020.” It seems like vision care—the bedrock of optometry—sometimes gets sidelined in favor of newer responsibilities in the realm of disease treatment and surgical comanagement.

You can see it everywhere. The keynote lectures at conferences, the prime real estate in exhibit halls, the heated online conversations and the cover stories in magazines like this one and others have all gravitated more toward the medical end of things. That’s justified by the importance and relative newness of those responsibilities, and Review is proud to have been a leading voice for optometric scope expansion since at least the 1930s. This publication has helped move the profession forward with decades of advocacy and education, and will continue working hard to anticipate what comes next.

Still, I keep thinking back to a letter to the editor we received last fall from esteemed low vision expert Richard Shuldiner, OD. He took us to task for not impressing upon readers the importance of low vision. He wrote in part, “As optometrists, we must remember that all of the new technology for diagnosis and management we use, the nutritional and lifestyle changes the patient must make, the office visits, tests and injections into the eye they must endure are all done and suffered through for one reason: they want to see!”

Can’t argue with that. We’ve been steadily bringing vision care topics back into Review and kick off the new year with a five-article series on any number of things that might keep a patient from seeing clearly enough to function well and enjoy life. Myopia control, acuity testing, binocular vision, presbyopia and, yes, low vision all get some well-deserved attention this month. 

In this issue and all that’s ahead for the year, our aim is to help you fulfill two senses of the word promise: as pledge and as potential

First, the pledge of 20/20. Patients rely on you to help them see because sight is utterly vital to life. A patient in the chair enters into an implicit compact with you: “Help me see the world to the best of my abilities, doc.” You pledge to deliver on that every time you greet a patient.

Next, the potential of 2020. So many opportunities are yours for the taking. You can develop a subspecialty or remain a generalist. You can learn new skills, partner with MDs and evolve just as the profession at large is doing. Within the vast world of eye and vision care, you can chart the course that’s right for you. No matter what, you’ll undoubtedly improve the lives of thousands.

A final promise comes from us: to keep making Review of Optometry a trusted source of guidance to you in all your endeavors. We’re humbled by your loyal readership and pledge to earn it, every month and every day, by helping you better understand tried-and-true vision topics, insights from the latest medical literature and everything in between.