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Low Vision Co-Management in Kelowna, BC

When patients experience reduced visual ability, occasionally categorized as legally blind, these patients may actually retain some degree of functional eyesight that can be assisted. At , Dr. Hayley Valgardson is our low vision eye doctor, who helps improve the vision of patients who suffer from vision loss due to eye diseases, such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, cataracts, and retinitis pigmentosa. Typically, these patients are elderly who require a low vision aid to improve their vision.

Practitioners co-manage their low vision patients with our office in order to grant their patients independence to achieve basic, daily tasks like reading and watching the television. Aside from the fact, there is no cure or low vision, using eyewear, medication, or even surgery do not provide sufficient low vision assistance. However, the low vision aids at can be tailored to help patients regain functional vision. With a variety of magnifiers and telescopes, we’ve guided patients to see more clearly after years of frustration.

The advantage of co-managing low visions patients in Kelowna, BC at our practice are manyfold:

  • We understand the needs of low vision patients & communicate with them effectively.
  • We carry the technology to adequately diagnose, measure, and craft a working visual solution for low vision patients.
  • We work closely with the referring practitioner to review & plan out the patient’s case of low vision to achieve maximum clarity of vision and eye health.
  • We provide every low vision patient the guidance they’ll need to correctly operate a low vision device.

Legally blind patients from Low Vision in Canada or blindness is still quite rare, less than half a percent of the elderly, yet many patients can benefit from low vision aids before they reach that point. If you want to learn more about supporting your patients with low vision aids, contact our practice today to discuss low vision co-management.

 

Disease Management for Practitioners

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Many practitioners and eye doctors treat a wide range of eye disease in Kelowna, BC but only a few doctors can provide the necessary testing to get a clear, complete picture of each patient. Younger patients will likely need a simple slit lamp to get a thorough checkup, but older patients can benefit from digital photography of their optic nerves, retina health, or tear layers, for example, to prevent damage caused by eye disease.

Eye disease like Glaucoma has been called the “sneak thief of sight” as optometrists historically up to today struggle to find signs of the disease until it’s already progressed. However, with modern digital photography and close examination of the optic nerve, Glaucoma can be diagnosed and treated earlier for longer, healthier vision. An OCT scan is a simple test that’s performed at our office daily, and we’re happy to help bring other practitioners access to this valuable technology.

Diabetic eye disease affects more patient yearly, yet diabetic retinopathy or macular edema don’t have to be the cause of concern. A yearly exam with an eye doctor can provide a safety net against vision loss from diabetes. Although a dilation may be performed at various offices, Vision Support and Dry Eye Centre carries the latest in corneal topography and retinal imaging to capture a wide-range photo of your eye. Co-managing your patients with us can help you detect early signs of leaky blood vessels to lead your patients to the right treatment at the earliest signs.

Macular Degeneration has been challenging for various practitioners, and in some cases, AREDS2 didn’t help their AMD patients vision. Understanding the underlying causes of macular degeneration in your patients is a matter that’s of utmost importance and taken seriously by many professionals. We decided to add to our line of co-management, MaculaRisk, to definitively identify the unique nutritional formula for each individual. This revolutionary test has changed the way we care for our patients. Let us help you better the care for your Macular Degeneration patients, together.

For more information on co-managing your patient’s eye diseases, contact our office today.

Blepharitis and Demodex Mites

testimonial2Blepharitis refers to a dry eye disease caused by inflammation of the eyelids. Blepharitis often displays redness, irritation, itchiness, and dandruff-like scales across the eyelashes. One of the most common causes of blepharitis is Demodex.

What is Demodex? Tiny mites that live in the hair follicle is called Demodex.

Demodex, when unaddressed or poorly treated, can spread across the facial skin wherever sebaceous glands secrete oil, such as the nose, cheek,s and even forehead.

The usage of baby shampoos, special ointments, and even at-home lid scrubs rarely (if at all) kDemodex demodex mites.

As Demodex blepharitis continues and the population of Demodex mites increase, this can result in skin conditions such as rosacea and acne.

Some eye doctors rely on medication or tea tree oil to address demodex blepharitis, but incorporating a Blephex treatment to do a thorough scrub of the eyelids also provides adequate relief and neutralizes the demodex mites.

Patients who may suffer from Demodex Mites:

  • Nearly half of all eye related surgeries (especially refractive surgeries) results in some ocular surface disease
  • History of Dry Eye symptoms
  • Age: Nearly all patients over the age of 70 carry demodex mites.

For more information about providing your patients (or yourself) a solution for Demodex Blepharitis, consult with our practice today about Blephex and other dry eye treatments.

Rigid Gas Permeable Fittings (RGPs) and Scleral Lens Fittings in Kelowna, BC

Woman with Hand Above Eye 1280x853Once in a while, a practitioner or eye doctor will meet a patient whose vision can’t be corrected through prescription eyeglasses are contact lenses. One type of patient is called a hard-to-fit patient. A hard-to-fit patient is either due to irregular eye shape or previous damage to the eye. While a patient with mild astigmatism can wear contact lenses for astigmatism like toric lenses, these lenses only go so far.

When a hard-to-fit patient requires the next level of care, consider co-managing with Vision Support and Dry Eye Centre’s Dr. Sklapsky. We have helped countless hard-to-fit patients achieve amazing vision. Plus, these same continue to see their local optometrist for their annual eye exams.

How Do Hard-to-Fit Patients Get Clear Vision?

To find the right visual solution for a hard-to-fit patient, an eye doctor will need to analyze the eye’s surface. The latest digital imaging technology in eye care helps produce a map of the cornea. Corneal topography, which maps the cornea, can be costly and when you have a hard-to-fit patient, this can mean extra training that is too demanding for a local practice. Dr. Sklapsky at Vision Support and Dry Eye Centre in Kelowna, BC, is an experienced contact lens fitter who has access to the latest corneal topography technology at our facility. This is the first step to helping a hard-to-fit patient find clear vision.

Patients may consider their eye doctor as their prescription eyewear provider. With hard-to-fit contact lens patients, however, they rely on their local optometrist to help them restore their sight. Finding a contact lens fitter can often mean letting go of that patient from your practice. Fortunately, through co-managing a hard-to-fit patient with Vision Support and Dry Eye Centre, we’ll fit them with their custom contact lenses, while you remain as their local optometrist for their eye care needs.

Our eye doctors and staff at Vision Support and Dry Eye Centre educate every hard-to-fit patient between the difference of a regular contact lens and a customized contact lens. Specialty contact lenses like RGPs or scleral lenses are designed to help them see clearly and comfortably. Part of the co-managing process is to explain to the patient about their contact lenses and lead them back their eye care provider. This allows eye doctors the privilege of administering eyecare services for any patient who enters their doo. Much like a family doctor who sends their patient to the pharmacy for medicine, you can send your hard-to-fit contact lens patients for their contact lens fittings.

With your contact lens prescription in hand, we will help the patient through finding the right contact lenses solution for their visual needs. We’ll educate the patient behind the science of rigid gas permeable lenses or scleral lenses and their uses.

Vision Support and Dry Eye Centre carries multiple contact lens options to assist any hard-to-fit patient.

Rigid gas permeable fittings, for example, include spheric, toric, b-toric, and multifocal lenses. Rigid gas permeable lenses or RGP lenses help care for patients with keratoconus, post-graft or corneal transplants, severe or high astigmatism, and other corneal irregularities.

Alternatively, scleral lenses are a specialty lens that has become widely used for many hard-to-fit patients. Scleral lenses are extra-large diameter lenses that vault over the cornea and come to rest on your sclera (white of your eye). The cornea or center of the eye can become extremely sensitive and prevent people from wearing soft contact lenses. However, scleral lenses are fitted on the sclera, which is far less sensitive and can bring about amazing comfort. Contact lens fitters across the world utilize scleral lenses as they treat multiple conditions like severe dry eyes from Post-LASIK, chemical burns, and advanced keratoconus.

For more about RGP and scleral lens fittings, learn about our contact lens co-managing services here.

Co-Manage Dry Eye & LipiFlow with VSDE

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Start treating your chronic dry eye patients, today!

  • Do you solely rely on medicated eye drops as the ideal dry eye solution?
  • Do some of your patients express frustration from never-ending dry symptoms?
  • Have nutritional supplements and fish oil failed to help some of your toughest dry eye patients?

Not every patient can cope with medicated eye drops over the period of months. When basic dry eye solutions only solve some of the problems or even end up as a wasted investment for a patient, this can not only lead to frustration but the loss of business. We all want our patients to receive the best care for their eyes.

How should we talk to our dry eye patients?

Education is key. Inform your patients about the differences between an evaporative dry eye and aqueous dry eye. Give them a brief background behind tear production, the function of meibomian glands, and a short description of the tear film. You’ll help your dry eye patients identify the need for a thorough dry eye assessment rather than a basic slit lamp exam.

Risks and Prevention. Review with your dry eye patients about the potential risks from an unmanaged case of dry eye disease. Although many dry eye patients turn to an optometrist with moderate dry eye symptoms, if you help them understand their case of dry eyes early on, you can treat their symptoms fast and efficiently. They will avoid having to resort to any costly treatments and notice changes sooner than later.

Chronic Dry Eye Patients. In the event a dry eye patient requires a more advanced treatment like Lipiflow, providing them with dry eye information upfront will give them a better sense of what to expect. This can be helpful through physical, printed material or simply a brief write up from you about their case of dry eyes. Plus, setting realistic expectations for immediate, improved comfort with their eyes with LipiFlow can be exciting for people with chronic dry eyes.

While we often recommended dry eye patients to never rub their eyes, stick with eye drops, eat healthier, and wear sunglasses, when we discover their source of itchiness and/or burning through a dry eye assessment, a patient will be far more receptive to your dry eye expertise and other areas of medical care.

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Announcement

We are pleased to announce that we have relocated and merged our practice into our affiliated practice, Glenmore Optometry at 5-538 Yates Road, Kelowna, BC, V1V 2V8 (Sandalwood Plaza, Glenmore, next to Tripke Bakery). We will continue to provide care for our existing and new patients under the name “Glenmore Optometry” effective immediately. At this time, due to Covid-19 restrictions, we are limited to in person essential and urgent care and tele-optometry consultations.

For existing patients: Your patient files have been transferred to our new location and going forward, your regular Optometrist will be continuing your care under the name Glenmore Optometry.