"I see patients from a wide range of ages, from babies right through to the elderly. My name is Jenna Owen and I’m an Optometrist and I work in Port Macquarie.
I played a lot of sport, never had any trouble seeing the ball, or so I thought, and when I went into the RTA to do my Ps test, I couldn’t read the eye chart. So I met my Optometrist and it just opened up a whole new world for me, and I started applying for scholarships, and I was lucky enough to receive a residential scholarship at the University of New South Wales.
During an eye test, I will measure your vision, what you can see, and I can do eye health checks, so I make sure that the front of your eye is healthy and look through the pupil to the back of the eye.
If I find that you have an eye problem, then I’ll suggest the best solution. So if it is just visual-related and I can fix it with glasses, then we prescribe a pair of glasses. If it’s contact lenses then you need several fittings. If it’s an eye disease problem that needs further management, then I refer them to a specialist.
If it’s eye infections that can be treated with antibiotic eye drops or so on, then I can prescribe that for people with sore eyes.
I think that Aboriginal people feel more comfortable seeing me about their health problems, and they’re not as embarrassed about asking me questions on things that they don’t know. Because I’ve been in that situation where I had to ask questions about things that I don’t know, and it’s not about feeling silly, it’s about asking the questions and learning so that you can look after yourself better in the future.
When I was younger I didn’t feel as though I had the skills and the opportunities to do what every other kid could do, but I just didn’t give up. Using the support systems that are put in place to help you is really important. Try not to do it all on your own."
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