San Diego County Optometric Society
The San Diego View
Inside this Issue:
- President’s Message
- Retina Corner
- Eye See
- CE Corner
- Volunteer Corner
- SDCOS Announcements
By Simona Grosu
February is usually the month when California Optometric Association (COA) holds the House of Delegates (HOD) meeting. COA represents more than 2,500 optometrists in the state, plus more than 1,000 students of optometry. The association is governed by its members — doctors of optometry like you — who are elected to leadership on the board of trustees, and who are appointed to statewide committees. Local society members convene annually at the COA House of Delegates meeting to represent their society membership and to conduct association business.
I would like to share my personal story how I first became a delegate, and how that later got me involved with the SDCOS board and finally became its President.
I have been practicing optometry since 2004, and I have been a member of AOA and of local societies at state levels since then in NY, NJ, and finally CA. But I have never been involved more than paying my dues. If I’m honest, I think I even lapsed in paying dues on time a couple of times! I did not have the time nor the desire to get more involved. But I just knew, for whatever reason, that I do have to be part of organized optometry, even in a passive way.
Then 2019 came. It was January, we were at the Handlery Hotel for the two-hour CE night, and I remember Dr. Grazian, the President at that time, making an announcement that he has a few more spots open for the House of Delegates, and if anyone wishes to join the list, to let him know. I raised my hand. Next thing I knew I was in San Francisco holding a name tag with my name that had attached to it a beautiful red ribbon saying “delegate”.
Why all of a sudden, I was interested to get more involved in organized optometry? Well, for one, I had more time on my hands. After a few years of struggling health issues, and finally a diagnosis of an autoimmune disease that was ravaging my body, I had to give up practicing optometry, at first, full time, then, part-time, then, the occasional fill-in until I started to feel disconnected from the profession. And that’s when I decided to re-connect with it in a different way. First, I raised my hand to become a Delegate which, in turn, made me join the Board for SDCOS as a trustee, and shortly after, join the Executive Board. I turned an adversity into an opportunity.
Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “delegate” as “a person acting for another; a person who is chosen or elected to vote or act for others”. I took my role very seriously. I was representing SDCOS! I was voting on behalf of the other 200+ members of SDCOS! That’s when I also learned that our association was one of the largest in the state, and therefore having a large number of delegates representing it. And that is an important fact because that means we, SDCOS, have weight when it comes to vote for the COA trustees to further become executive officers that will shape the future of optometry in California. And so, it dawned on me that we have a loud voice in the governance of COA!
So, I challenge you to raise your hand! Join the board, learn how and why organized optometry is important, have a voice. Turn your adversity into opportunity. You’ll be surprised at what you might discover.
Will Space Travel Make Us Blind?
By Michael J. Ammar, MD
Retina Consultants San Diego
Space once captivated the world. NASA was at the front of every paper, topic of every conversation, dominated every news segment. People watched in wonder as astronauts achieved the impossible. The moon landing is considered one of mankind’s greatest achievements. The space race was a battle of the world’s strongest powers and brightest minds. Then things changed. For a long-time people didn’t talk much about space exploration outside of science fiction. However, with successful space missions from Virgin Galactic, SpaceX, and Blue Origin, eyes again are looking to the stars. Additionally, NASA is as ambitious as ever trying to figure out how to go further into space than ever before. In this continued quest to explore the universe, they’ve run into a problem they never anticipated. The limiting factor to space travel might involve our eyes.
Spaceflight-associated neuro-ocular syndrome (SANS), as described by NASA, develops in astronauts during long-duration missions (>1 month of spaceflight). Symptoms can include blurred vision, blind spots, and headaches. Exam findings of astronauts who have flown on long-duration missions aboard the International Space Station include unilateral and bilateral optic disc edema, optic nerve sheath distention, globe flattening, choroidal and retinal folds, hyperopic refractive error shifts, and nerve fiber layer infarcts (i.e., cotton wool spots). While many of these findings improved or resolved upon returning to earth, some persisted. The issues are thought to be due to the decreased gravity experienced during space travel. Differences in gravity can impact the body in many ways including loss of bone density, muscle atrophy, and cardiovascular deconditioning.
Lee at al. described these findings in an article in JAMA Ophthalmology. The paper discussed an earlier study looking at 7 astronauts who underwent complete eye examinations before and after their International Space Station mission, including cycloplegic refractions, fundus photography, optical coherence tomography (OCT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and lumbar puncture (LP). Approximately 7% of short-duration shuttle crewmembers reported on-orbit decreased distant visual acuity and 23% reported decreased near visual acuity, whereas 12% of long-duration International Space Station crewmembers reported on-orbit decreased distant visual acuity and 48% reported decreased near visual acuity. All astronauts had vision correctable to 20/20 though some refractive errors persisted for several years. In light of these findings, the International Space Station has been outfitted with ophthalmic equipment to collect more data and better understand the impact of time in space on our eyes.
We may be able to buy a ticket to space in the not-too-distant future on one of several privately funded spaceflight programs. Additionally, the NASA Artemis program is planning to put a man and woman on the moon by 2025. This would be the first step in a program to reach Mars by the 2030s. NASA currently is predicting a roundtrip to Mars to take an estimated 2 years. The idea of forming a Mars colony has often been the subject of science fiction but NASA hopes to make it reality. However, none of these things will be possible if people begin to lose their vision or go blind. It’s important to learn as much as we can about spaceflight-associated neuro-ocular syndrome now so we can treat it appropriately or hopefully prevent it altogether.
I hope you enjoyed this month’s edition of Retina Corner! If you have any questions or if there is ever anything I can help with, please feel free to contact me at any time.
Best wishes, and until next time,
Michael Ammar, MD
Retina Consultants San Diego
written by Dr. Byron Y. Newman
EMBARRASSING MEDICAL CONDITIONS
I once had a female patient refuse ophthalmoscopy on grounds that was too embarrassing to have me look inside her eye.
There have been few others, such as sex related eye infections.
But a few years back in American Family Physician there was an item that asked “What are the top ten medical conditions that are too embarrassing to discuss with their doctors?
According to the poll, the most embarrassing health issues were ranked as: (10) Menopause (9) sex, especially by teenagers. (8) Alcohol and drug use. (7) Eating disorders (6) Emotional problems such as depression (5) Incontinence of the bladder or bowels. (4) Prostate problems. (3) Physical and sexual abuse. (2) Sexually transmitted diseases and (1) the most embarrassing condition: Impotence.
Some people are reluctant to disclose whether they smoke as well as use alcohol or drugs. I suppose some are reluctant to say whether they’ve been vaccinated or not.
But, I’ve noticed that teenagers and young women are not reluctant to tell that they use birth control pills.
Check out Dr. Newman’s website, www.thehumorfactory.com!!!
We are committed to helping you fulfill your CE requirements through our local virtual meetings with the support of our sponsors!
2-hour Virtual CE Thursday, April 21, 2022
Speaker: Dr. Melissa Barnett
Topic: Presbyopia Treatment
SDCOS Members: FREE
COA/AOA Members: FREE
Sponsors: FREE Non-Members: $50
Practice for sale: Long-time established practice for sale in La Mesa–seller wishes to retire–Seller has set a very low purchase price to facilitate an immediate sale—don’t miss out on this great opportunity to own your own practice. Contact Dr. Levy at 619-743-1442 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org (02/22).
PRACTICE FOR SALE: Owner retiring from North County practice of 34 years. Remodeled office located in a professional building near Tri-City Hospital. Perfect opportunity to own your own optometric practice or have that second office location. Priced to sell! Contact Dr. Sherman at email@example.com or cell 760-208-3456. (03/22).
Exceptional Eye Care San Diego, CA At OUR OPTOMETRY OFFICE, we are a diverse staff with unique specializations. We are looking for a caring & qualified optometrist to join our team. OD & CA optometry license required. We are looking for an OD with EXCELLENT communication skills. We are offering competitive salaries, modern medical equipment in a private practice setting. Please send current resume and availability to Valerie Vasquez by email at firstname.lastname@example.org (03/22).
Optometrist Practice For Sale 2021 gross revenue of $505K with $158K net cash flow. The practice has modern equipment in 2 lanes, including an Optos Daytona, Topography w/Meibography, 1 Automated Lane, and iCare tonometry. The current gross is on 37 doctor hours during the week and no weekend hours. The office & optical has modern design aesthetics and is located in a growing area of Southwest Riverside County. The current doctor is looking to move out of state to be closer to family. Please contact email@example.com for more information. (02/22).
Optometrist Wanted for Equity Ownership in Practice. Growing Practice at the Heart of San Diego with a 25+ Year Veteran of the Optometry Profession, with a successful history of growing multiple practices, is seeking a motivated, self-starter, entrepreneurial optometrist to join a growing optometry practice in City Heights. Practice is in a custom modern office setting, with great visibility, with a proven track record of success for medical practices. Working knowledge of Spanish is preferred. Opportunity to get involved (even as a New Grad) in a growing eye care practice from the ground up, earning equity toward part or full ownership. Please email your resume to firstname.lastname@example.org (02/22).
Optical Lab Equipment For Sale Optronics 6ES Edger, BPI 9 tray tint tub with gradient lens tint machine, Blocker, Hand edger, Edge Polisher Trays, 200+ uncut single vision lenses. All in good working order. Contact Chris Wright at 760-352-4361 or email@example.com (02/22).
Practice for sale at 50% of current market value (priced at less than the replacement cost of the equipment & inventory). Doctor is retiring from long-established practice in Solana Beach. High-end dispensary, up to 3 exam lanes, and finishing lab. Great location with a strong returning patient base. Doctor is willing to stay part-time for patient retention. Strong gross and net on part-time hours with lots of room for expansion. Contact Michael Foyle at 858 353 0600, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org (03/22).
Part-Time OD needed in Oceanside. Looking for 1-3 days a week at LensCrafters Oceanside. Paper charts. Competitive pay and production bonus. Dedicated pre-testing staff provides workup for each exam. Please Email AdamTayman@gmail.com for more information. (02/22).
Part-time Associate Optometrist– Busy optometry practice located off 805 freeway in Chula Vista looking for an associate optometrist to see patients 1-2 days per week. Work with modern computers, EHR, automated phoropter, Optos, etc. The staff is well trained and helpful. Please send your CV to Angie@VillaOptometry.com or call cell 858-260-9208 if interested. (02/22).
Castillejos Eye Institute is looking for a full-time optometrist, starting in January. We are a fast-paced OMD/OD practice. Hours are M-F 8-5. For the first 2-3 months the position would be mostly in the optical department prescribing glasses and contacts and performing comprehensive examinations while our optical OD is out on maternity leave, with the intent of moving to the medical side, working with the OMDs to manage ocular disease (most of our patients have advanced diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, macular degeneration, etc.). We are located in Chula Vista, so speaking Spanish is preferred, but you will always have a scribe to translate for you. Pay is negotiable. Please contact Alex Scovill (email@example.com) with any questions or our office manager Olga Ramirez (firstname.lastname@example.org) to apply! (02/22).
Looking for an optometrist for Mondays, Fridays, and Saturdays at a busy optometry office in Poway. 450 based with a production bonus. Weekday hours are 10-6 pm with 1 hr lunch and weekend hours are 9:30-4:30 pm with 30 min lunch. If interested please forward your resume for consideration. Additional days can be available in the future. Please email email@example.com (02/22)
Optometrist needed Saturdays inside the Mission Valley Costco. Hours are 9:30 am to 5:00 pm with a 1-hour lunch. The base pay is $450. Please email resume to firstname.lastname@example.org (03/22)
Equipment: One set of front surface folding mirrors for a 10-foot room. Wall mount bar with Reliance arm to hold microscope, phoropter, or otherwise. Ancient AO Airpuff Tonometer for a museum? Best offer email@example.com (03/22).
Please contact Dr. Dave Sherman, Society Optometrist Relations Liaison at firstname.lastname@example.org or 760-208-3456 to be put on an official list for the following:
- fill-in/part-time work
- full-time work
- purchase/partner in/sell a practice
This service is offered free of charge to SDCOS members.
Monarch School Screening
The semi-annual Monarch School for the homeless vision screening took place in early February with the help of several volunteers from the SDCOS. Drs. Dick Skay, Simona Grosu, John Pack, and Beverly Bianes joined Dr. Bob Meisel, project coordinator to test Monarch students from K-12 for retinoscopy, stereo, and several visual-motor skills.
They were once again joined by three volunteers from the UCSD optometry club, who performed visual acuity measurements.
After a full day of testing, there were 33 students referred for a complete examination in March, when the VSP Mobile Clinic from Sacramento will arrive on site. It has a fully equipped eye lane, as well as a pretesting area, frame inventory, and a fabrication unit on board. Most Rxs will be ready for students within 30 minutes of the exam, making those students extremely grateful.
Please contact Dr. Meisel at email@example.com if interested in volunteering for the exams on the 15th and 16th of March or for the next vision screening in the fall semester.
Lion’s Optometric Vision Clinic
VOLUNTEER DOCTORS needed for flexible shifts throughout the year. 9-1:00 pm. Monday -Friday 1805 Upas St San Diego, CA 92103. Can’t volunteer at the clinic? See patients in your office. Call 619-298-5273.
The LOVC has Reopened!!
Please call or email the clinic if you are interested in volunteering:
Alterations to the schedule to accommodate social distancing are in place and PPE will be provided for all volunteers/staff/patients.
New flooring was installed with the donation from the SDCOS 2019 golf tournament and a special thanks to Dr. Phil Smith!
Please think of the LOVC for your end of year charitable giving, visit our website: lionsvisionclinic.org
Please contact the society office at 619-663-8439.
SDCOS keeps a list of all doctors willing to speak in front of groups about various topics, do home visits for patients, and assist in student mentoring. ODs interested in the Speakers Bureau, Home Visits, Student mentoring, and Low Vision OD’s, please contact the society office at 619-663-8439 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For updated information and resources regarding COVID in San Diego, please register using this link. This will sign you up to receive weekly emails from the San Diego Health and Human Services Agency, including weekly tele-briefings on everything COVID.
- Click here for most recent SDCOS Board Meeting Minutes
- Click here for the 2022 CE schedule!
- Click here for COA membership benefits!
Welcome, new members!!
- Justin Nguyen
- Jocelyn Ou
- Justine Bailey
Please update your information on www.eyehelp.org
Phone: 619 663 8439
Fax: 800 643 8301