Editor’s note: This is the first in a new promoted series called CultureMap Rx, in which you can get to know Dallas’ top healthcare experts. First up: Drs. Anita and Olivia Carleo from Vision Veritas.
Q: What inspired you to become an optometrist?
Anita Carleo: I was pre-med in college, studying to be a doctor. Over Christmas break one year, my older sister, Olivia, brought equipment home from optometry school. She taught me how to look in the back of the eye. It was when I saw my mom’s optic nerve for the first time that I knew this was the field of healthcare I wanted to pursue. I’ve never looked back.
Q: What are the most common mistakes you see people making when it come to eye health?
Olivia Carleo: The most common mistake is that people think they don’t need annual eye exams because they don’t have problems with their vision. People with perfect vision still need annual check-ups to look for freckles or melanomas on the retina, holes or tears that could cause a retinal detachment, or signs of glaucoma or macular degeneration. All of these conditions are oftentimes asymptomatic in the early stages, and only become evident to the patient when it has progressed to the point of irreversible damage. A big part of eye care is prevention.
Q: How often should people go to the optometrist, and what should they expect from their initial visit?
OC: Yearly eye exams are recommended. The doctor will determine if a glasses prescription is needed and will also check the health of the front and back of the eye. Patients will be dilated to give the doctor the best view of the inside of their eye, and the dilation may blur the patient’s near vision for a couple of hours. A patient should expect to be at the doctor’s office for about an hour.
Q: Can you tell us about one of your memorable patient experiences?
AC: It’s always wonderful when a child gets a pair of glasses and sees clearly for the first time. In many cases, parents don’t know their child isn’t seeing clearly, and the child doesn’t know to voice their problems because they don’t know it’s not normal. Getting them in a pair of glasses is like opening their eyes to the world for the first time. It really is quite rewarding to change a life so substantially by just prescribing a pair of glasses.
Q: What frame styles are trending right now?
OC: Right now people are choosing frames that make a statement. The “geek chic” look, in which frames are thicker and bigger, has been in for more than a year now. This season, round frames are making a comeback. All the lines we carry are coming out with round shapes, some big and some small, both in regular prescription glasses and sunglasses.