By LISA SHIN
Dear Friends: As you gather today with loved ones, friends, and family, I wanted to wish you a joyful and blessed Easter! It was so wonderful to see the kids at the Elks Easter Egg Hunt yesterday morning at Ashley Pond! It has been 3 years since the last event, and I am relieved that we are returning to normal life.
I am amazed that we were able to keep the business going and take care of so many eye care needs following the NM Public Health Order. Other small businesses did not survive the lockdowns and restrictions. A nationwide problem, we have also experienced a shortage of staffing and supply chains, so I am thankful for your support, patience, and understanding.
Being able to breathe and socialize freely again is like a fog lifted and has given me the confidence to invest in necessary upgrades. I am thrilled to announce that we have upgraded our OCT (Optical Coherence Tomography) and our retinal camera. Optical Coherence Tomography Angiography (OCTA) is non-invasive imaging technology that gives ultra-high resolution, 3D, cross-sectional imaging of your eye’s blood vessels, optic nerve, cornea, and retina. We are able to diagnose and treat eye diseases before they show up on clinically and before they impact your vision. If you are at risk for or have diabetes, high blood pressure, glaucoma, macular degeneration, keratoconus, or other serious eye diseases, we strongly recommend an OCTA scan.
Recently, I saw a diabetic patient who looked normal on all my standard tests. However, OCTA showed an enlarged foveal avascular zone (FAZ) and capillary loss. Diabetes had started to affect the blood vessels. We discussed better diabetes management and I sent the primary care physician a summary of my findings.
I am also excited about my new retinal imaging device, AFC 330. It is so much easier to use and faster than my previous camera. It gives high quality views of your retina and structures most important for central vision.
Lately, more patients are asking for their MPOD (macular pigment optical density) measurements. A low MPOD score is a key risk factor for age-related eye health complications and problems with glare and night driving. What is your risk for macular degeneration? How well are you eating? Are you at risk for blue light damage due to excessive digital device and computer use? MPOD is an important biomarker for eye and body health!
Twenty five years ago, I never imagined that my small optometric practice would have access to such advanced technology! I am especially proud to offer these additional tests for a low and affordable fee. Your eyes are worth the extra cost.
Lastly, I wanted to share that an unexpected result of COVID mandates is a return to the Presbyterian Church of America (PCA). As a new optometry school graduate, this local congregation prayed that I would pass my NM optometry boards, encouraged me to move to Los Alamos, and celebrated the grand opening of my practice. I am forever grateful for life-changing relationships. Easter reminds us of the mystery and truth of the Resurrection. Death does not have the final word because of Christ’s glorious triumph over the grave. Amen!