As a way to highlight our new partnership with the Canadian Ophthalmological Society, we asked Montreal glaucoma specialist Dr. Hady Saheb to answer a few questions about COS, ophthalmology, and eye health.
What is the Canadian Ophthalmological Society (COS), who are its members, and what is its mandate?
COS is a non-profit specialty association that serves as Canada’s main authority on eye and vision care. Its purpose is threefold: to ensure optimal eye care for all Canadians, to promote excellence in ophthalmology, and to support its members – over 900 ophthalmologists and 200 ophthalmology residents. COS advocates for eye and vision health policy in Canada in collaboration with the government, various national and provincial specialty associations, other eye care professionals, and patient groups.
What’s an ophthalmologist, and who can benefit from their services?
Ophthalmologists are medical doctors who specialize in eye health, and are the primary point of care for eye emergencies or injuries, there is always an ophthalmologist on call in hospitals. Think of them as medical “quarterbacks” of the eye health team. They work collaboratively with the other eye O’s (opticians and optometrists) and other medical specialists to ensure optimal patient treatment and care. They can perform eye exams, determine diagnoses, prescribe treatment in the form of medication or corrective lenses, and conduct surgery. A consultation with an ophthalmologist most often occurs upon referral from an optometrist following a routine eye exam wherein concerns for the patient’s eye health are raised.
What is glaucoma, can it be prevented and how can it be treated?
Glaucoma is a disease that causes damage to the optic nerve, which can lead to loss of peripheral vision, and sometimes even complete vision loss. Prevention and early detection are essential when it comes to glaucoma in order to avoid irreversible harm, and the best way to prevent it is by undergoing regular eye exams. Treatment for glaucoma varies from drops to laser treatment or surgery.
How should one care for their eye health?
The best way to maintain eye health is to keep up with regular eye exams and to inform your eye care professional of any eye conditions in your family history. Sun protection, proper contact lens hygiene, and eye protection during risky activities are also effective ways to keep your eyes and vision safe.
You can learn more about eye health at www.seethepossibilities.ca. Stay safe!