Throughout the Save Eye Care campaign, many patients have come forward to express support for their local optometrists, and share stories of the care they received. In some of these cases, their visit to the optometrist was a life-changing one.
OAO member, Dr. Kathleen Hill, saw patient Jackie Nelson on an emergency basis after Jackie started experiencing sudden changes in his vision, coupled with dizziness. At the appointment, Dr. Hill identified an enlarged blood vessel behind one of his eyes.
“By Saturday morning, I was on an operating table … all because I went to an optometrist,” Jackie says. “I don’t know what would have happened if I hadn’t gone.”
Dr. Hill was also the first to diagnose Jackie’s high blood pressure and high cholesterol, all from routine eye examinations.
Sarah Slingsby went to visit her optometrist, Dr. Joe Chan, for a routine eye exam when she was eight years old. As Dr. Chan examined her, he noticed a large mass at the back of the eye – a cancerous tumour on her retina. Today, Sarah is cancer free, and credits Dr. Chan for the eye exam that saved her life.
These stories remind us how precious our health is – and how you may never know when your life may change. As primary health care providers, optometrists are an accessible first line of defense in many important diagnoses – from diabetes, to tumours to problems within the eye, like retinal detachment.
Optometrists take pride in helping protect the overall health and wellness of their patients – but today, they need the help of patients like you.
Thirty-plus years of neglect and underfunding by the Ontario Government have left optometrists with no choice. As of September 1, 2021, access to eye care for millions of Ontarians will end – unless the government agrees to meet with optometrists to find a sustainable solution to eye care
Visit www.saveeyecare.ca to send a letter to your local MPP, asking them to help protect eye care in Ontario so that patients like Jackie and Sarah can continue to get the care they need. .