Expansion for Virden Eyecare Centre

Two opportunities aligned at the right time

Optometrist Dr. David Cochrane runs a busy practice in Virden and with recent expansion of both the office space for his Nelson Street practice and a new optometrist, the eye care centre is set to accommodate the growing area.   

Dr. Julie Paradine, from Binscarth, is a newly graduated optometrist who has recently joined Virden Eyecare Centre. Dr. Paradine graduated in 2016 from Pacific University in Portland, Oregon. “I’ve been living here actually, for the past year, but I took a few locum positions.”

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She spent several months helping out at other practices, including working at her sister’s practice in Alberta, while her sister was on maternity leave. This summer, she lived in northern BC and worked at a FYidoctors clinic.

Dr. Cochrane explained the timing was right for some changes. He said, “We’ve wanted to expand for a while. The space was available next door and when Dr. Paradine became available here for us, it was the perfect opportunity to expand.”

The renovations began in March and are very nearly completed.

“I’m typically booked up a number of weeks in advance so it really helps to have Dr. Paradine here to help with that. People will be able to be seen sooner if they need to.”

Virden Eyecare also serves a broad geographic area and that will be well supported with the expansion.

“We serve a very large area.... We see people right down to the American border, from eastern Saskatchewan and towards the Russell area to the north, so it’s a big area.”

The new optometrist is no stranger to Virden. Paradine graduated Major Pratt School in Russell, and from Grade 6 through high school she played club volleyball with Steve Densmore as coach.

Schools of Optometry are few, and Paradine was following her sister’s lead in going to the Oregon school.

New in optometry

On a guided tour of the new, well equipped office, Dr. Cochrane explains, “The change in optometry has really been in imagery and scanning, being able to see in greater detail inside the eye, to determine when changes are happening inside the eye,” he says, pointing to a machine that has a picture of the human eye, looking rather like a full moon.

Paradine adds, “Not only is it helpful for me to keep a good record of the patient’s eye health, it is to educate the patient too, so they understand [the service] is more than a good pair of glasses. I’m looking at the optic nerve, checking for glaucoma, looking at the arteries and veins, making sure they look nice and healthy.”

“We’re monitoring ocular symptoms inside the eye,” says Cochrane. Diabetes is one of the common diseases that shows up in the eye. “We are monitoring for retinopathies inside their eyes.”

Another change that Dr. Cochrane explains comes with the digital crafting of lenses for glasses wearers.

This has resulted in more accuracy of the prescription in the periphery of the lens. The people who stand to benefit most are those with a higher prescription, astigmatism and progressive lenses.

“They will have a wider field of view with these new lenses than they would have had in the past. That’s the biggest change in lenses in the last few years,” he says.

Dr. Paradine explains the many kinds of glasses that are sold through the office include safety glasses, as well as a good collection of sunglasses. Safety glasses feature shatter-proof lenses and durable frames.

Advances in glasses lenses also include coatings for those who constantly use computer screens.

Contact lens technology has brought some refinement to provide materials that can retain the moisture necessary for comfort in the eye.”

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