Q: When did you first know you wanted to be a Doctor of Optometry?
During my undergrad I made a transition from business to human biology because I realized how fascinated I was with how the body worked. But at that point I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do with the degree. At the time I had a friend who worked for an optometrist and she suggested I shadow her. The rest is history!
Q: What do you enjoy most about the profession?
I love growing relationships with patients and helping them with their eye health needs. The field of optometry is so interesting; it’s so much more than a glasses prescription. Advances in technology help me treat diseases like glaucoma and macular degeneration. I can take a scan of the optic nerve and pair it with a peripheral vision test in order to determine if a person has glaucoma. There is even a genetic test available now that detects a person’s risk of developing advanced macular degeneration. I enjoy discussing with my patients not only the glasses prescription, but also the ocular health findings, and I think that they appreciate it too.
I also think it is a great field for a woman who wants work and family balance. In my early days in the field I shadowed a few female optometrists who really inspired me, and showed me that this is an excellent field for a woman who wants to have children. It’s a great profession.
Q: Speaking of professional women who want to start a family, how is your new baby?
He is awesome! His name is Liam, and he is 15 weeks old. It has been so much fun watching his awesome personality come out. He’s at that age now where he is able to lie on his belly and hold his head up, and when he does it he looks over at me with a huge smile on his face, kind of like he’s saying, “Mommy, look what I can do!” He has just been so much fun.
Q: What are some similarities between being a new mom and a young optometrist?
You have to be a good listener in order to become the best you can. While I am at work I listen to what my patients have to say and continue to grow as an optometrist every day, and the same happens at home. I listen to the difference in Liam’s cries and coos in order to figure out what he needs, what he likes, what he doesn’t like, and I learn as I go becoming a better mom.
Q: What’s one serious eye issue that people don’t take seriously enough?
I would say people often do not take contact lens hygiene and care seriously enough. There are some that are very casual about leaving contacts in too long, sleeping in them, or not replacing their contact solution. This can actually be pretty dangerous, and lead to issues like corneal ulcers.
Q: What’s one eye issue that makes patients especially nervous but is actually a quick fix?
Age related changes in vision. Right around the age of 40 a person’s vision starts to change, which makes a lot of people worry, especially if they have never needed glasses before. Generally the change is a gradual one, and is usually a pretty straight-forward fix with some prescription lenses. I understand that it can be hard though when you’ve never worn glasses before. We are here to help.
Q: What’s your favorite thing about working in the Third Ward?
Definitely the people and the vibe! It’s a great atmosphere. My husband also works in the Third Ward, so we love to go to dinner here and check out different events. And the people in this area are fantastic. I have had some patients who live around here who have been so supportive throughout my pregnancy, giving me advice along the way. It’s an amazing part of the city.
Q: What are you looking forward to most at this year’s Fall Trunk Show?
The new space is going to make the trunk show better than ever. Dr. Jankowski has done an outstanding job with the new space, and the staff does a terrific job of putting the show together.