– Words by Sean McIntyre Photographs by Don Denton
Although knowing that this day would come, I was still not fully prepared.
Not that long ago, an optometrist told me I had a year or two left before I needed reading glasses.
Yeah, that’s right, I laughed. Of course, my eyesight had never been perfect, but I had done well, thank you very much. My denial was unwavering, but there was a confidence in his voice that sealed the inevitable.
Three years later, I had learned a convoluted repertoire of facial contortions to decipher the fine print on everything from ingredient lists to medicine bottles. Then, as if a change had happened overnight, it was just scribbles; there was no way I could distinguish an address printed in lowercase letters without first taking a picture of it with my phone and zooming in on the image.
I am not alone, according to Drs Trevor Miranda and Anita Voisin, two owners and doctors of optometry at Cowichan Eyecare. Presbyopia is a condition that commonly begins in people in their early 40s. As the eye ages, the lens of the eye becomes less flexible and it becomes more difficult for it to focus on items located closer, such as printed words.
Dr Miranda and Dr Voisin agree that the pair of inexpensive readers that I bought from a nearby drugstore won’t hurt me.
“Readers won’t hurt you, but it’s not the optimal situation,” says Dr Miranda. “For patients who need different ranges of clarity and have a difference in prescriptions between the two eyes, there are lenses that are better and more comfortable. “
Many patients like me who opt for drugstore readers needlessly live with lenses that provide substandard comfort and clarity. The difference between my entry-level glasses and the professionally supplied glasses is as noticeable as the difference between high-definition television and regular television in many cases, he adds.
The Canadian Association of Optometrists recommends that adults between the ages of 19 and 64 see their optometrist every two years. Children and people over 65 are invited to make annual visits. Not only do regular visits to the ophthalmologist give patients the information they need to invest in the lenses they need to see properly, but they also allow the optometrist to detect and treat a wide range of eye problems before they go. it is not too late. As with other healthcare professionals, an optometrist’s ability to spot specific problems early on greatly improves a patient’s chances of receiving effective treatment and long-term recovery.
“We take high definition photographs and specialized analysis to serve as a benchmark that will help us over the years to detect disease,” says Dr. Voisin. “You can actually have excellent vision while having an underlying disease that can damage your vision without you actually realizing it. Glaucoma, for example, can get quite advanced before people notice a change in their vision because it is painless and progresses very slowly. Unfortunately, once the nerve damage is over, we cannot restore what is lost; we can only prevent further damage from occurring.
In addition to routine eye exams with state-of-the-art diagnostic tools, Cowichan Eyecare’s services include vision therapy, myopia management, dry eye therapy, and contact lens exams and adjustments. One of the unique advantages of the company is that Cowichan Eyecare employs a team of optometrists, each with specialties that allow them to manage internal referrals to address specific patient concerns.
“I always hope that I can educate each patient on some aspect of improving their vision and protecting their future eye health,” says Dr. Voisin.
Dr Miranda opened Cowichan Eyecare’s original location in Mill Bay in the early 1990s. Dr Voisin joined as an associate shortly thereafter, and the company’s reputation has helped him build. quickly develop a team of optometrists who now work in branches in Chemainus, Lake Cowichan, Duncan and Mill Bay. The company will open its most recent location in Langford this fall.
Demand for optometric services has never been higher, and the team at Cowichan Eyecare have made the company a trusted name in the healthcare industry for Vancouver Islanders everywhere. ages through attentive customer service, rigorous professional standards and an unwavering commitment to the community, says Dr. Miranda.
In an increasingly online world for services and retail, he adds, the company has moved with market trends to manage ‘bricks and clicks’, while staying true to this. which he calls “friendly neighborhood optometrists”.
The company is also a dedicated corporate citizen, sponsoring community organizations such as the Chemainus Theater, the Rotary Clubs of South Cowichan and Chemainus, the Third World Eye Care Society, as well as youth leadership initiatives and sports programs. schools in the Cowichan Valley.
According to Dr. Miranda, studies have shown that people find a visit to the optometrist almost as stressful as buying a home. I understand. Although buying a home is often considered one of the great stages in life, a visit to the optometrist invites the patient to face an inevitable part of the aging process, even if it is too easily. postponed or neglected.
The alternative to not appealing to my readers, Dr Miranda points out, is an increasingly weak ability to see what is going on in front of me as well as the associated symptoms of fatigue, stress and headaches. With a solution so close, it seems silly and irresponsible to me that it took so long to walk through the door to discuss my options.
In the very space of our short interview, Drs. Miranda and Voisin told me about a complete line of lenses designed to prevent the harmful blue light emitted by electronic devices from damaging the eye. Then there are EnChroma lenses, which can offer people with color blindness a chance to see a wider spectrum of tints. As someone who has lived my entire life with a subtle form of color blindness, the news of a possible solution struck me as an eye-opener. I haven’t continued with the treatment yet, but I’m curious about what the world looks like in all of its color gamut.
While my new pair of cheapo players may be enough for now, it’s clear that there’s a whole world of health, comfort, and style out there that I haven’t been able to see.
You can find Cowichan Eyecare online here.
Article courtesy of Boulevard Magazine, a Black Press Media publication
Like Boulevard Magazine on Facebook and follow them on Instagram