Meet Our Keratoconus Specialist in Kelowna, British Columbia
I graduated with distinction from Pacific University, College of Optometry (located just outside of Portland, OR) after completing a Bachelor of Science degree in Life Sciences and a Master of Science degree in therapeutics, drug development, and human toxicology at Queen’s University (Kingston, ON). During my externship year I routinely managed glaucoma, diabetes, macular degeneration, pre- and post-operative cataract/corneal procedures and several other ocular health conditions at the Mann-Grandstaff Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Spokane, WA and a Medical Eye Care center in Mesa, AZ.
I was raised in Kelowna and you can often find me enjoying the complete Okanagan lifestyle skiing, hiking, at the beach or dining at one of our excellent restaurants. Community is important to me and I am grateful to be back home.
As a Therapeutic Qualified registrant with the College of Optometrists of BC, I practice full scope Optometry with an interest in ocular disease and contact lenses. I welcome new patients and their families and look forward to meeting you so that I can best serve your visual and ocular health needs.
I was born and raised in Kelowna, BC, and attended the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan Campus. During my undergraduate studies I completed a dissertation related to transcranial magnetic stimulation at the University of Birmingham, UK. I received a bachelor’s degree from UBCO in Human Kinetics in 2014.
This spring, I graduated from the University of Waterloo School of Optometry with honors. My training extended also to Nicaragua on an outreach trip, and to Texas where I completed a clerkship at Houston Eye Associates. I am now very excited to be back home to practice Optometry. I am eager to work in all scopes of Optometry and with all ages. Some of my specific clinical interests include pediatric exams & myopia control, specialty contact lens fits, laser refractive surgery co- management, ocular disease and acute care.
I look forward to working with you as part of the Health Care community in the Okanagan!
Dr. Brian Sklapsky completed his undergraduate degree in Psychology at Princeton University with also playing varsity hockey. He played one year of hockey professionally in Europe before completing his Doctor of Optometry from Michigan College of Optometry. He enjoys Primary Care Optometry with an interest in scleral lenses and sports vision.
After graduating top in her Kinesiology program at Wilfrid Laurier University, she completed her Doctor of Optometry Degree from University of Waterloo, graduating with honours. She was the recipient of the Eschenbach Low Vision Award in recognition for her aptitude and passion towards helping patients with visual impairments.
After completing his Medical Degree at the University of Buenos Aires, he further continued his education through specializing in Ophthalmology at Churruca Visca Hospital.
For eighteen years, Dr. Darren Hatchard has practiced full scope Optometry with treatment and management of ocular disease in the Cayman Islands prior to the legislation to do so in Canada. Dr. Hatchard is a member of the British Columbia Association of Optometry (BCAO).
Our Doctor Can Diagnosis and Treat Keratoconus
Your cornea is the transparent, outer lens of your eye, and it typically has a smooth dome shape. Keratoconus describes a condition in which the corneal structure isn’t strong enough to maintain a healthy ball shape.
Meet with our Keratoconus Specialist in Kelowna, British Columbia to define your eye's condition and ways for treatment.
As a result, the cornea bulges outward into more of a cone. Our professional optometric team at our eye care clinic is knowledgeable about how to diagnose and treat keratoconus.
Keratoconus is rare, with an estimated one person out of every 2,000 having the condition. It generally appears in the teenage years and can progress slowly or rapidly.
Keratoconus also runs in families, so if you or your children are at risk, it’s advised to contact us for a thorough eye exam.
Causes of Keratoconus
Your cornea is held in place by very small collagen fibers. When they are weakened and too fragile, they aren’t able to preserve the round shape of your cornea.
A reduction in the protective antioxidants of your cornea, which act to destroy damaging by-products made naturally by corneal cells, is what causes keratoconus.
In addition to genetics, some types of eye injuries may increase your chance of being diagnosed with keratoconus.
Specific ocular diseases, such as retinitis pigmentosa, vernal keratoconjunctivitis and retinopathy of prematurity, as well as some systemic conditions (Down syndrome, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, Leber's congenital amaurosis and osteogenesis imperfecta) are also associated with this corneal abnormality.
Our Keratoconus Specialist in Kelowna, British Columbia has years of experience identifying the various levels of keratoconus and other corneal conditions.
Symptoms of Keratoconus
When the shape of your cornea begins to bulge, it alters your eyesight in two different ways. As the cone shape forms, your normally smooth corneal surface becomes wavy, called irregular astigmatism. Additionally, as your cornea expands, vision becomes increasingly nearsighted. Focusing becomes impossible without eyeglasses or contact lenses. Usually, the problems begin in one eye and develop later in the other eye too.
Typically, patient’s eyeglass prescription will change often as the vision becomes worse and contact lenses will be difficult to wear due to discomfort and improper fit.
When keratoconus become more severe (which usually takes a long time however on occasion can happen rather quickly), the cornea can begin to swell and form scar tissue. This scar tissue can result in even further visual distortion and blurred vision.
Altogether, these changes can create the following symptoms:
- Blurred vision
- Streaking of lights
- Halos around bright lights at night; glare
- Sudden change of vision in only one eye
- Objects appear distorted, both near and distant
- Double vision from just one eye
- Triple ghost images
How We Diagnose Keratoconus
Our eye doctors will inspect carefully for the signs of keratoconus during your comprehensive eye exam. It’s critical to inform us of any symptoms that you’ve been experiencing. To diagnose the condition, we’ll measure the shape of your cornea. Computerized Corneal Topography is used for this procedure, which takes a picture of your cornea and analyzes it instantly.