Many of us adults have had a routine eye exam with our optometrist. All great, but there’s so much more to great eye health so lately I’ve been researching and learning more about the Canadian Ophthalmological Society (COS) and the benefits that come from medical expert consultations with an ophthalmologist.
If your optometrist refers you to meet with an ophthalmologist, you’ll be getting an even deeper look into your eye health than experienced in your routine exam. I had no idea that they are the only eye care professionals who are also medical doctors, able to perform complex eye surgeries, prescribe medications and perform eye exams! They can find and locate potential eye disease and perform surgery on your eyes to correct any illnesses or problems – cool right??
I recently had the opportunity to meet with Dr. Steve Schendel, an ophthalmologist and COS member, at his office in Vancouver, BC and learned some really neat things that opened my eyes (pun intended!) to things I hadn’t really thought about before. Ophthalmologists are eye physicians and also surgeons. I learned that within one day Dr. Schendel could see up to 78 patients, other ophthalmologists may see more or less depending on their sub-speciality, patient population, and region they serve. That’s a really high number and even crazier to think that so many people are affected by so many different issues with their eyes and how extremely important it is to have ophthalmologists in our areas.
They screen your vision with a series of special tools and lasers. They also specialize in cataract surgery, AMD, vision services, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy, among other things. When they examine a patient they are looking for any signs of eye diseases and any macular break down of the retina (which is mostly likely due to age). For an ophthalmologist, it doesn’t just stop at the initial eye exam – if required, they then perform surgeries, make follow-up visits, do paperwork, group meetings with their team and in some cases, like Dr. Schendel’s, they also teach classes at their local medical school in addition to teaching interns within his own office. I’d say that’s a lot more than most of us handle in one week!
Dr. Schendel not only scans eyes, but he gets to help tons of patients restore their vision and has improved the eyesight of so many. Ophthalmologists don’t get enough credit for their day to day, our sight is precious and we sometimes might take it for granted. Dr. Schendel takes great care with his patients and makes sure he does the best job he possibly can for every case!
We’re so lucky in Canada to have access to such wonderful specialists who collaborate with other eye care and medical professionals and government to provide us with this care. Also, did you know that there is always an on-call ophthalmologist at your local hospital? This is because they are the primary eye care professionals that can provide the best care in an emergency.
As I get older, it becomes a little more of an eye opener for myself that health care needs to come first. Taking care of myself comes first! The older I get the more information I want to learn about health care and the different kinds of providers available to me. What we have at our fingertips for medical treatments and care is beyond amazing and we are very lucky and fortunate for ophthalmologists. I will always be more open minded when it comes to eye health and making sure I take the right steps for my family as well.
To learn more visit https://www.seethepossibilities.ca – here, you will find some really helpful articles and inspirational stories on patients who have gone through required surgery to restore their vision. I couldn’t imagine having to go through what some of these brave patients had to go through – take a look for yourself (while your vision is still in good health!).
Learn More Here See The Possibilities
Photography | Posie & Pine
Keisha Lynne, xx