Stirling Eyecare April May 2019

APRIL 2019

Optometry Exams Have Improved Haven’t ‘Seen’ Us in a While?

Dr. Gonzalez has a confession: Anytime someone or something gets close to her eyes, she gets a bit squeamish. In fact, she used to get nervous when she had her eyes examined! That might seem like a strange fear for an optometrist of more than 25 years, but it hasn’t hindered her ability to diagnose, treat, and aid her patients. She works to help her patients see better and thoroughly enjoys finding solutions to vision and eye health problems. In optometry school, when students were guinea pigs for one another and were practicing exam techniques, no one wanted Dr. Gonzalez as a patient (including her husband, Dr. Higgins). She already had small pupils, and her jumpy reactions to the eye tests made perfecting the skills even more difficult for her peers. (Though, it was great practice.) Luckily for patients like Dr. Gonzalez, technology has made going to the eye doctor a breeze. Dr. Gonzalez comments, “We’ve seen a significant improvement in patient care since we began our careers due to better technology. So, this is for everyone who hasn’t been to the eye doctor in a while or is nervous about their first exam: It’s gotten better. “For starters, we no longer have to blow a puff of air into your eye to check for glaucoma. This has been replaced with an instrument that is fast and painless. Furthermore, we have new technology that can take a photo of your retina, giving us better access to your overall eye health without intrusive testing. “Additionally, we’ve done away with the big pair of glasses in front of your face and tirelessly asking you if Lens 1 or 2 looked better. Not only does the exam no longer rely on your anxiety-induced judgment, it utilizes actual eye measurements to formulate an individualized glasses prescription. This also helps us when we have a young child who can’t quite speak yet or someone with a disability who makes communicating difficult.

“For parents who have always been calm about the eye doctor, subduing a child who loathes the visit can be a difficult task. We often explain to children that this appointment will be easier than the regular doctor and there are no shots or vaccines to worry about. We explain and show them what we have to do, and most learn there’s nothing to be afraid of. “Our job is to check the health of your eyes and that of your family’s, but our new instruments and technology can do so much more than that. Through your eye exam, we can spot signs of multiple sclerosis, diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol, and other health conditions. Going to the eye doctor after years away from any kind of medical check-in is a great first step toward improving your wellness, and it can ease you into healthier habits. “So, if it’s been a while since you had your eyes checked, come see how we’ve improved and how we can help you move toward better health. Take it from an optometrist who had a fear of getting her eyes examined: It’s worth it.”

–Dr. Claudia Gonzalez and Dr. Michael Higgins • 1

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