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Aging Eyes and Driving Safety 

Who we’re looking for:

As a Receptionist/Optometric Assistant, you will be the first point of contact for our patients! We are looking for a friendly, warm face to welcome patients and offer administrative support across the practice.

This is a full time Receptionist/Optometric Assistant position. Experience in the optical or eye care industry is not required but would be an asset. Training will be provided to the successful candidate to ensure a smooth and successful start with our practice. Our office is open Monday – Friday from 9am – 5pm, closed on weekends and all statutory holidays.

Your day-to-day will include:

  • Greeting and attending patients in person and via the phone
  • Professionally assisting doctors, staff, visitors and patients
  • Answering all phone calls in a professional and courteous manner
  • Scheduling appointments between Optometrist and patients/Opticians and patients
  • Liaison between departments, specialist/ophthalmologist offices, and pharmacies with discretion and professionalism
  • Telephone triage of eye care emergencies
  • Complete accurate documentation of patient visits, maintaining patient records (electronic and paper), updating patient demographic information
  • Ensuring that stock levels are adequate and orders are timely
  • Communicate medical information and results to patients (under clinical supervision)
  • General accounting, billing to patients, billing to insurance companies
  • Ensuring the reception area is tidy
  • Receiving, sorting and distributing daily e-mails, mail and deliveries
  • Maintaining business inventory such as office supplies, eye drops, and contact lenses
  • Scheduling maintenance and repair of office equipment
  • Updating calendars and scheduling meetings
  • Performing all duties within HIPPA regulations, maintaining confidentiality of all doctor, staff and patient information

Requirements:

  • High School Diploma or GED Required
  • 1 year + reception/customer service experience is ideal
  • Experience in the optical or eye care industry is not required but would be an asset
  • Great communication and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to adapt to a fast-paced and often-changing work environment
  • Familiarity with computers and an ability to adapt to and learn new technology and software

A little bit about us:

Spectrum Eyecare & Eyewear was founded in 1976 by Dr. Peter McGuigan and we have been helping High River and surrounding area SEE for over 40 years! The practice has had locations in downtown High River before moving to its present home on 3RD Ave in January of 2019.

Dr. Tannis Shakya joined the practice as an associate in January of 2004, and became a partner in February 2006. Dr. Shakya maintains custody of Dr. McGuigan’s patient files following his retirement in April of 2022. Dr. Karlie Tweed joined the practice full-time in August 2023.

We offer a full range of eye health services to clients of all ages – from comprehensive eye health assessments, ocular disease diagnosis and treatment, post-operative care, contact lens evaluation and more – all with personalized attention and a smile.

Please forward us your resume (office@spectrumeyecare.ca) or drop by in person if you are interested in joining our team!

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Even if you don’t have any eye or vision problems, the natural process of aging affects your ability to see and react to visual stimuli. It’s important to know the impact the aging can have on your eyes and vision so you can take the necessary precautions to stay safe and protect your eyes.

Driving is one activity that can pose a high risk as safe driving requires not only good vision, but also intact cognition and motor response. As we age, reflexes, reaction time and vision begin to deteriorate, which can impair one’s ability to drive safely, particularly under conditions such as bad weather, twilight glare, or nighttime darkness. Here are some ways that your ability to drive can be impaired as you age and some safety tips to help you to stay safe on the roads. 

The Aging Eye

As we age, the eye and vision naturally begin to experience a decline. The pupils in the eye, which allow light to enter, begin to shrink and dilate less, allowing less light to enter the retina. This causes reduced night vision. Additionally, some of our peripheral vision diminishes along with our ability to see moving objects. 

Due to deterioration of the cornea and clouding of the lens of the eye, glare becomes more disruptive and contrast sensitivity is reduced, making it harder to perceive images clearly. General imperfections in vision called higher-order aberrations cause a general decline in vision that can’t be corrected with glasses or contact lenses. Additionally, our reaction times slow, adding motor complications to the visual ones. Dry eyes also becomes a bigger problem with age as the lacrimal glands don’t produce as many tears to keep the eyes moist. Many of these symptoms may be present without the individual even noticing a decline and can all contribute to increased risk - for the driver, and others on the road.

If you add in any other vision problems such as cataracts, glaucoma or macular degeneration which are age-related diseases that gradually reduce vision, you can have a serious danger on your hands. 

Avoid Distractions

The biggest driving distraction in our day and age is cell phone usage. While many states and provinces have created laws which forbid driving and texting or holding a phone, it is not universal, and this still causes countless accidents and deaths that could be easily avoided. Even hands-free options distract you from the road and put you at risk. If you must use your phone to speak, dial or text, pull over first.

Plan Ahead

If you can avoid driving at night or on hazardous roads with sharp turns, inadequate lighting or that are unfamiliar to you, you will be better off. Plan to make first time trips during the day when you can clearly see street signs and landmarks or take a practice trip with a loved one. 

Purchase Night Vision Glasses

There are glasses available that can help to reduce the glare at night and enable better night time vision. Speak to your optometrist about whether this is a good option for you.

Turn Vents Down

Car vents can also cause discomfort, eye irritation and create greater vision hazard, as the air blowing at the eyes can impair vision or cause watering, especially when the eye are already dry. 

Maintain Good Eye Health

Make sure that you get your eyes checked on a regular basis and that any eye conditions you have are being treated and monitored. Good nutrition, exercise and overall healthy habits will help to protect and heal your eyes as well. Further, listen to your instincts, if you feel unsafe driving or if your doctor (or family members) tell you it’s time to hand in the keys, think about utilizing other means of transportation to get around. 

Many times people are able to pass their vision test at the driver’s license bureau which gives them a false sense of security, but in reality they are not seeing well, especially at night or in bad weather. In many areas there are courses available for senior citizens to test out driving skills with instructors who do an evaluation and give feedback on their real abilities. It’s critical for seniors to speak to their eye doctors about their true vision level and any restrictions that they recommend. 

The key to eye health and safety is awareness. You can’t stop your eyes from aging but you can take the necessary precautions to ensure that you are protecting your eyes, yourself and those around you by knowing how your eyes and vision are affected.