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Atlas of Ophthalmology
Edited by Richard K. Parrish II

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The University of Miami Bascom Palmer Eye Institute Atlas of Ophthalmology

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The University of Miami Bascom Palmer Eye Institute Atlas of Ophthalmology
Edited by Richard K. Parrish II
Butterworth Heinemann, (1999)
ISBN: 0-7506-7075-4
Genre: Reference, Eye Health - Ophthalmology

Reviewed by Rochelle Caviness - July 1, 2001

Being diagnosed with a vision problem can be devastating. In many cased this sense of devastation can be easily mitigated by simply learning all you can about your condition. It is an old saying that knowledge is power. Although this quote may be old, it is as true today as it was when it was first coined. For many people, all they need or desire is a basic understanding of their condition. Once they know the fundamentals, and what to expect, they are satisfied. However, there are also individuals who are not satisfied until they know almost as much as their eye doctor. No matter what group you fall within, you will find the Atlas of Ophthalmology to be an invaluable resource.

This full-color atlas covers a wide range of topics related to eye health and vision in general, including diagnostic tests. The text is divided into eleven sections that concentrate upon thematic topics such as oculoplastic surgery, neuro-ophthalmology, vitreoretinal diseases, glaucoma, corneal diseases, and pediatric ophthalmology. Each section is divided into chapters, each of which delves into a specific topic in considerable detail. For example, the section on intraocular inflammation is further divided into sections dealing with the signs and symptoms of intraocular inflammation, posterior uveitis, panuveitis, retinal vasculitis, and the infectious forms of uveitis. Each chapter in this atlas includes a professional discourse on a specific topic, pictures that illustrate the condition or procedure under discussion, and a detailed list of references. Many chapters also include charts and tables that embellish the text.

Although the text is informative, most lay readers will most likely find that the illustrations are the most meaningful part of this atlas. The illustrations in the atlas include pictures of diagnostic machines and anatomical drawings. However, the largest allotment of pictures is devoted to pictures of actual 'eyes' suffering from the conditions being discussed. There are also very graphical pictures and diagrams that illustrate how various operations are preformed, such as how cataracts are extracted. These pictures will be unsettling to some, but they offer a 'virtual' first hand glimpse at how many procedure are done.

This book is geared to eye care professionals, and much of the text might be a bit abstruse for many lay readers. However, this being said, even if you skip the parts that you don't yet understand, this book offers "I want to know everything" patients a phenomenal source of information. It will also be of use to individuals wanting to better understand how specific procedures are preformed. It is also a 'must have' resource for visual science students, and for anyone who desires to garner a basic understanding of ophthalmology. "The Atlas of Ophthalmology" is, by far, the best single resource that I've come across for people wanting to obtain a visual understanding of various eye diseases and conditions.

Unfortunately, this atlas is on the costly side. Consequently, it will not be a practical addition to most home libraries. However, you may be able to view a copy at your optometrist or ophthalmologist's office, or at many libraries. Many hospitals now have medical libraries that are open to the public. Call your local hospital to see if they have such a library. If they do not currently have this atlas on their shelves, they may be able to borrow a copy from a member of the hospital's staff or via the interlibrary loan program.

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