San Diego County Optometric Society
The San Diego View
Inside this Issue:
- President’s Message
- SDCOS Announcements
- Retina Corner
- Eye See
- CE Corner
- Volunteer Corner
August marks the beginning of a new school year, and it only makes sense for us to dub it the National Eye Exam Month! I know, you heard it many times already, but it’s never enough to bring awareness even among us, the eyecare professionals, of the importance of the eye exam especially in the school-age population. As back-to-school season gets underway, now is the time to get parents to schedule their child’s comprehensive eye exam. It is a fact well known that children with uncorrected vision conditions or eye health problems face many barriers in life, developmentally, academically, and socially. And what’s becoming even more worrisome now is the effect of the pandemic on children’s eyes as remote learning and increased screen time was ‘the norm’ since 2020. Researchers around the world are closely watching for a potential ripple effect of the COVID-19 pandemic as un uptick in vision problems in children. Myopia is one of those concerning conditions. In a Jama Ophthalmology article in January 2021, it was noted that “home confinement during the COVID-19 pandemic appeared to be associated with a myopic shift for children aged 6-8 years…increasing myopia prevalence up to 3 times” (Jama Ophtalmol. “Progression of myopia in school-aged children after Covid-19 home confinement”, January 14, 2021).
This statistic alone compelled me more than ever this year to promote children’s eye comprehensive examination as the new school year starts! And I hope you will do the same! The American Optometric Association has many resources helping us to educate the community on this topic. Check out their website here Children’s Vision | AOA to see how you can make it really easy to incorporate it into your practices without even speaking a word, but just with digital and/or printed content that can easily be displayed in your waiting rooms. Let’s be the best eyecare professionals out there and prevent unnecessary blindness!
On another note, I am not sure how many of you know, but COA together with AOA launched this summer, more exactly on July 1st, a membership pilot program that will test flat dues for new incoming members. After some surveys performed by COA, it was learned that the cost was the main barrier to membership, and they want to test if this is really true. Hence the pilot program. It will run from July 1st to December 31st, 2022. The COA’s pilot marketing campaign is “We’re Stronger Together”, and the main goal is to increase CA’s market share! It will also track indicators in the areas of recruitment, retention, engagement, and satisfaction. Marketing materials went out already to non-members, and there are some benefits for current members that attract new members under this pilot program! If you want more information about this, don’t hesitate to write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Please note that our next LIVE event is Sunday, August 21st, for our first 5-hr CE in over two years! You can still register here SDCOS 5-Hour IN-PERSON August 21, 2022 – Diego County Optometric Society. The Sponsors are also eager to reconnect with the optometric community, so I hope I see lots of you on Sunday the 21st!
Enjoy the rest of the summer season!
Welcome, new members!!
- Krystal Vanichsarn
Please update your information on www.eyehelp.org
PLEASE BE ADVISED:
Taken from the DEA website:
The Drug Enforcement Administration is warning the public of a widespread fraud scheme in which telephone scammers impersonate DEA agents in an attempt to extort money or steal personal identifiable information. DEA personnel will never contact members of the public or medical practitioners by telephone to demand money or any other form of payment, will never request personal or sensitive information over the phone, and will only notify people of a legitimate investigation or legal action in person or by official letter. In fact, no legitimate federal law enforcement officer will demand cash or gift cards from a member of the public. You should only give money, gift cards, personally identifiable information, including bank account information, to someone you know.
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!
What’s The Big Deal with Myopia?
By Michael J. Ammar, MD
Retina Consultants San Diego
Dear SDCOS friends,
For this month’s Retina Corner I wanted to discuss a condition that is visually threatening on a global level. This condition continues to increase in prevalence each year and is becoming the focus of numerous international clinical trials. It affects people of all ages. I am referring to myopia.
Now you might hear the term myopia and think of something relatively benign. After all, for most people myopia only has refractive ramifications. Our optical capabilities have come a long way and our technology continues to improve. Can’t we just correct patients with glasses or contacts? What’s the big deal?
As refractive error increases, patients can develop high myopia and a number of associated conditions such as retinal holes, tears, detachments, pathologic myopia, macular staphyloma, myopic degeneration, choroidal neovascularization, retinal hemorrhage, and atrophy. Many of these can lead to permanent and significant vision loss or blindness. It’s predicted than by 2050 up to 25% of the population in the U.S. may be myopic and this number is higher for some countries in particular Asian countries.
Many techniques have been tried to slow the progression of myopia including: increased time spent outdoors, undercorrection of refractive error, bifocal glasses, limited near work, orthokeratology, and atropine. Atropine was found to be effective but had several side effects including light sensitivity and blurred vision. Low dose atropine has been shown to have the same benefits without the side effects. Trials such as the Atropine in the Treatment of Myopia studies (ATOM1 and ATOM2) have continued to support the use of atropine. Traditional ways of slowing myopic progression such as orthokeratology and soft contact lenses are often poorly tolerated and eye drops may offer a more effective solution.
The U.S. has lagged a little behind other countries in adopting widespread use of atropine eye drops for the prevention of myopia. Many people argue this is because the clinical trials with the best evidence were not done in a population representative of the U.S. demographic. Larger clinical trials with more diverse patient populations are underway to try and address these concerns. Additionally, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved atropine for the treatment of myopia so it would be considered off-label use. Off-label use can be scary to patients and families.
The most common agreed upon dose is 0.01% and the treatment regimen requires patients or parents to administer 1 drop daily. There has been some evidence that stopping the drops results in rebound rapid myopic progression but at lower doses such as 0.01% this is less common. It may take 6 months to 1 year of treatment to see a difference. Pupil dilation is also minimal and found to be a 1-2mm difference. Systemic complications from atropine are a concern for many parents. While tachycardia, altered mental status, dry mouth, urinary retention, constipation, and flushed skin have all been reported with higher doses of atropine, none have been reported in any of the children in studies using low-dose atropine.
Will atropine be the solution? We don’t know. Hopefully as we gather more data and complete more trials we will have a better understanding.
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
Technology Revolutionizing my Practice and the Customer Experience
Dr. Gregory O’Connor, owner of Malibu Eye Center Optometry and Malibu In Sight Optometry, shares valued and experienced insight (pun intended) into growing and cultivating an exceptional patient experience that serves multiple locations in his community. Not only do both locations serve customers with high-quality eyewear, state-of-the-art technology, and convenient locations, but the driving strength of their practice is deeply rooted in their technicians.
Serving Clients with Timely & Convenient Care
Along with understanding client needs and concerns, O’Connor acknowledges that today’s savvy patients value the most advanced ophthalmic technology in diagnostic, screening, and refraction. These instruments and devices support better vision care, enable practitioners and technicians to expand the scope of wellness and medical eye care, and save patients time and money while providing them with quality and comfort. “The amount of time saved is significant to my clients,” O’Connor said.
Expanding the Vision of Eyecare Technicians
Dr. O’Connor shared that he believes in the value of “redefining the role of technicians to rethink the patient experience.” Investing in the latest technology is critical to providing the best in patient care, which is why he believes in investing in his team of professionals so that his technicians are viewed as “specialists” in his practice. By empowering his technicians to expand and refine their roles in customer care, they can “own the customer experience, utilize technology to provide customers with a comprehensive exam, and access data confidently.” Your staff is the first impression your patients receive, and sometimes their last. Their professionalism is critical to your reputation and worth the investment.
Growing my Practice with Advanced Technology
The Eye Refract and VX 40 combination provide accurate, seamless, and a breadth of data. The VX 40 wavefront lens analysis is achieved with a button and integrates into the Eye Refract and my EHR. Accurate lensometry is critical for a comfortable final prescription, and the VX 40 combined with Eye Refract ensures this can be achieved no matter who is running the devices. Most importantly, my patients love their refraction experience.
In addition to the Eye Refract and VX 40, I have a VX 120+Dry Eye. The VX 120+Dry Eye has an anterior segment color camera that performs several tests, including Tear Break-up Time, Tear Meniscus Height, and full-color imaging with clinical grading scales in addition to Placido Ring Corneal Topography, Shack-Hartmann Wavefront Aberrometry, Scheimpflug Imaging, and many others. All data is sent to my EHR, and I can visually show my patients the “why” behind my recommendations.
Educating my Patients Visually is Impactful
In addition to the data from the Eye Refract, VX 40 and VX 120+Dry Eye support many initiatives. My patients are happy because their time spent with the technician was minimal, and their time spent with me was personalized. They can visually see changes in their prescription, why multiple pairs of glasses are essential, and why additional medical procedures and treatments may be necessary.
Meet Gregory O’Connor, OD
Dr. O’Connor owns Malibu Eye Center Optometry and Malibu In Sight, both located in Malibu, California. Dr. O’Connor prides himself on providing his patients with the most technologically advanced eye care and exceptional patient experience. With over 35 years of experience in his field, he is a Beta Sigma Kappa honors graduate from the University of Michigan and the Illinois College of Optometry. He has also served as the director of the eye clinic of the Naval Regional Medical Center – California Branch Clinic. He is a member of the American Optometric Association, the California Optometric Association, the Los Angeles County Optometric Society, and the American Diabetes Association.
written by Dr. Byron Y. Newman
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!
August 21st, 2022: 5 Hour IN-PERSON
Hilton San Diego Mission Valley
901 Camino Del Rio S.
San Diego CA 92108
Registration: 7:30 AM
THE LAST DAY TO REGISTER IS AUGUST 15TH
SPEAKER: Dr. Pinakin Davey
- 1 hour: Accurate Detection of Glaucoma: Screening, OCT, and Visual Field Correlations
- 2 hours: Advances and Innovations in Management of Ocular Diseases
- 1 hour: A Course on Diabetic Eye Disease
- 1 hour: Digital Eye Strain: Causes, Consequences, and Clinical Care
Featured Annual Sponsors
Featured Annual Sponsors
September 22nd: 2-hour CE
Location: Hilton San Diego Mission Valley 901 Camino Del Rio S. San Diego CA 92108.
Speaker: Dr. David Sendrowski
Topics: Retinal Quiz for the OD – Update on HS Keratitis
SDCOS Members: FREE
COA/AOA Members: $35
SDCOS Board Members: FREE
In search of a portable autorefractor to borrow for an upcoming mission trip to Kenya. Please contact Andrew at email@example.com if you can help (09/22).
Optometrist needed for Vacation Relief: Private practice off 805 in Chula Vista needs any or all of the following days: Saturday, Aug 6th, 9:00-1:00 pm, Tuesday, Aug 9th, 9:00-6:00 pm, Wednesday, Aug 10th, 9:00-6:00 pm, Friday, Aug 12th, 9:00-6:00 pm. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or text 858-260-9208 for more details (08/22).
Build Ownership in a Growing Optometry Practice, Even as a New Grad. 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 email@example.com (08/22).
For Sale: I have a Topcon chair and stand, a visual acuity monitor from Lombart, and an LED slit lamp for sale. Ideal for a second exam room. Make offer. All in good condition. Please call 858 245 9143 and leave a message. I will return the call thereafter. (08/22).
Poway Costco seeking permanent part-time for Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Weekday hours 10-6 with 1 hr lunch and Saturdays 9:30-4:30 with 30 min lunch. Base with production bonus. If interested please email firstname.lastname@example.org (08/22).
Optometrist needed for Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays, at the Mission Valley Costco. If interested please contact email@example.com or text 619.977.7703 (09/22).
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 firstname.lastname@example.org (08/22).
Private practice in National City is seeking FT or PT Optometrist. The office has modern, integrated equipment, and staff complete full pre-test workups. Competitive pay includes a production-based incentive. Benefits include 401K with matching, PTO, and medical insurance. Please call A.K. at 619-279-4055 for more information. (08/22).
Former Optometrist office space built out in Carmel Valley for lease- 1755 sq feet available immediately in Trader Joe’s anchored center. Prior tenant merged practices and space is in “Move-In” condition. For Information please contact Reg Kobzi at 858-546-4604 email@example.com (08/22).
Associate Optometrist for Saturdays Urban Optiks Optometry is currently interviewing for an outgoing and energetic optometrist to join our professional team for one day per week on Saturdays. This would be an excellent opportunity for an optometrist who has full-time employment and is looking to supplement their schedule with an additional day. Our digital, tech-centric practice & upscale optical boutique showcases one of the finest collections of luxury eyewear in San Diego. With a reputation for providing exemplary personalized customer service, along with the finest products and latest lens technology, Urban Optiks provides an unparalleled optical experience. Learn more about us at www.uoosd.com Qualities that make the ideal candidate stand out: •Experience in a high-end independent practice with a focus on providing quality, individualized routine eye care. • Strong communication skills with an ability to build patient trust and confidence in order to facilitate premium lens sales. • Excellent refractive & diagnostic skills. • Proficiency with contact lenses. • Familiarity with OfficeMate/ExamWriter EHR, Topcon CV5000 refraction system, Topcon CA-800 corneal analyzer, and Topcon Maestro 2 retinal imaging device. If you are a motivated individual with a passion for delivering a superb patient experience in an unhurried boutique environment, please email your cover letter and resume to firstname.lastname@example.org (09/22).
Please contact Dr. Dave Sherman, Society Optometrist Relations Liaison at email@example.com 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
Next Screening: October 3rd 900-2:15
Exams: October 24-25th 900-200: still need one OD for the 24th
VSP Mobile Clinic Event
In partnership with the San Diego County Department of Education (JCCS), VSP Mobile Clinic will be offering free eye exams to those in need. Two volunteer doctors are needed for each of the following dates/locations:
North County Regional Education Center
San Marcos, CA
Hours: 9 am to 4:00 pm
East Region Community School of Greater La Mesa
La Mesa, CA
Hours: 9 am to 4:00 pm
Lindsay Community School
San Diego, CA
Hours: 9 am to 4:00 pm
South County Regional Education Center
National City, CA
Hours: 9 am to 4:00 pm
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
Phone: 619 663 8439
Fax: 800 643 8301