Four Glasses and a STAPLE
I can't believe it's August already and that finals are only weeks away. It feels like the Second Years just returned to campus for their mini-term and now we're all wrapping up the semester. I'm definitely learning a ton! My experiences in Adult Primary Care (APC) in the clinic continue to be varied and challenging. In addition, I've been able to work with over a half dozen staff doctors in the past month in APC. Because each one approaches patient care slightly differently, each one offers approaches that I can add to my optometric toolbox. Perfect.
Outside of exams, I've been in the optical for the past month on a weekly basis. I love helping people find that perfect frame. You know what I'm talking about. There's also the challenges. Last week I helped a lady that really tested my optical understanding. The first thing she did after sitting down was pull out 2 boxes of European cookies. What!?! She told us how grateful she was for us and for all the work we were about to do. That's when it got interesting. After the cookies, she pulled out 4 pairs of glasses, 3 of which had been purchased within the last year. Yikes! 1 pair was over 7 years old and she couldn't see well out of it anymore, but didn't give her headaches. The other 3 pairs gave her headaches. She saw the best out of the pair we made for her, but it gave her headaches too! We'd already remade the lenses once and they were still giving her trouble. Hmm.
Our next step to find out the parameters on every pair of glasses that she'd brought with her to see if we could find a trend. We looked at the quality, strength, distance, shape, material, and progressive design of each set of lenses. We even re-checked her prescription. We put all those factors together and ordered her a new set of lenses that will hopefully optimize her glasses to a level she's never experienced before. And when it works, we're going to make sure most of those parameters never change again.
In addition to all the work I've done with glasses lately, I also got to attend a contact lens workshop for people with astigmatism. Ya know that thing your doctor is always trying to describe to you about a football and 2 points of focus in the eye? Yeah, that's astigmatism. The workshop is called Soft Toric and Presbyopic Lens Education Program or STAPLE for short. It was a great opportunity for me to fit a person that really needed toric contact lenses (that correct astigmatism) in a relaxed environment. We were split up into teams of 3 and assigned a patient to work with. We had to decide what lenses they needed, put them in, and then decide if that was the lens the patient really needed. For the workshop Alcon, Bauch + Lomb, CooperVision, and VISTAKON were kind enough to supply the lenses for us to use. That means that I was able to try 4 different brands of contact lenses and get 4 fitting experiences all in 2 hours. I also got to hear great tips on fitting toric lenses from the doctor that was working with me and immediately put those tips into action. Awesome! A big thanks to Dr. Jackson, Dr. Gerstner, and the STAPLE team for a great night!
Posted by Amy Dunbar