Seeing Better, Or Seeing The Best That You Can

This past November I had the privilege of spending time with Sir Anthony Garrett. Sir Tony, as we affectionately call him, is the CEO of the Association of British Dispensing Opticians(ABDO). I first met Sir Tony at National meetings in Calgary a number of years ago. At that time, he kept us intrigued with his stories about Opticianry from around the world.

During his most recent visit, which was also to National meetings in Calgary, we had the pleasure of discussing our profession as it stands today.During a conversation one evening in Calgary, after our meetings, Sir Tony made a statement that has stuck in my mind since then. He said that opticians had a duty to “Not just help people see better, but help them see the best they can”. This statement really resonated with me as I ponder the state of our profession.

The eye care consuming public is bombarded on a daily basis with advertising for glasses ranging from $7.95 on some Internet sites, to high end frames and lenses costing in excess of $1,000. Is there a difference? Of course there is. Almost every day I witness patients putting on state of the art, personalized, “Digital” lenses and marveling at the quality of their vision.

Do patients see better when they put on basic lenses? Of course they do.
Are they seeing the best they can? Maybe not.

 

For years now we have been presented with new lens designs and coatings that, without a doubt, give better vision. But is the goal of eye care professionals to enable patients to see the 20/20 line on an eye chart?
Or is it to give them the best binocular clear vision possible. It seems that the latter is rising to the top of the list of goals eye care professionals have for their patients. We are seeing optometrists specializing in binocular vision, specialty prescriptions for brain injury patients, myopia control, dry eyes, etcOpticians are also focusing on specialty contacts, myopia control, digital personalized lenses, anti-fatigue lenses, filters, etc. Taking our patient’s vision to a higher level is what will keep opticians relevant and the obvious alternative to impersonal Internet eye wear sales.The OOA strives to bring Ontario opticians a variety of presentation topics that are relevant to always raising the educational bar. This year’s line-up of presentations and workshops continue this tradition. Specialty prescriptions for brain injuries and behavioral problems, filters, frame manufacturing, and more will be the order of the day. This coming fall we will continue with great presentations that will include binocular vision and refracting. Specialty Symposium will also include a refraction workshop.At all three educational events this year we are confident that you will come away with new found knowledge that will “Not just help people see better, but help them see the best they can”

See you on Sunday April 29.

Lorne, Kashin RO
Ontario Opticians Association Executive Director

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