Optometrists at the Shiley Eye Institute (SEI) and Viterbi Family Department of Ophthalmology are involved in several areas of eye care. They have clinics for primary eye care, specialty contact lenses, low vision, urgent eye care, neuro-ophthalmic disorders, diabetic eye care, dry eye, pediatrics, and myopia control.
SEI optometrists provide primary care including comprehensive eye exams to determine the need for optical correction with glasses or contact lenses, and to thoroughly evaluate for cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, and other eye conditions. They also fit specialty contact lenses for keratoconus, post-surgical corneas, severe dry eyes, ocular surface disease and aphakia.
The Low Vison Clinic optometrists provide the latest technological advancements for patients whose vision is not correctable with glasses or contact lenses.
The Urgent Eye Care Clinic optometrists see patients with emergent issues such as flashes of light, floaters, sudden vision loss, and pain in or around the eye. They also provide care for neuro-ophthalmic disorders including optic nerve pathologies, double vision, and other eye movement disorders.
In the Diabetic Eye Clinic, optometrists examine patients to detect and manage diabetic retinopathy. Often, photos are taken of the back of the eye or retina to monitor progression.
In the Dry Eye Clinic, patients are given treatments to improve the quality of their tears and make their eyes more comfortable.
At the Ratner Children’s Eye Center, optometrists provide comprehensive eye care for pediatric patients, including infant eye exams, binocular vision evaluations, and contact lens fittings. They also see patients of all ages with double vision for prism evaluations.
In the Myopia Control Clinic patients are provided with treatments to slow the progression of nearsightedness in children.
I just left the Shiley Eye Institute feeling grateful that this top quality group - eye specialists, clinical researchers, and academicians - is in my community. Due to an array of eye problems, I see physicians in many departments and am extremely pleased with the care I’ve received. However, I’d like to share my experience about one physician, in particular, Natalie Afshari, M.D., Chief, Division of Cornea and Refractive Surgery.
Nearly forty years ago, I was diagnosed with Fuch’s Dystrophy. I recognized the symptoms because my mother had Fuch’s and was nearly blind much of her adult life. Although corneal transplantation was relatively new, I decided to undergo the surgeries. Several years later, I developed Shingles (Herpes Zoster) in and above one eye.
When I moved to San Diego 1989, I did my research and chose Shiley for periodic checks and for macular degeneration identified there. In 2012, I learned that the right cornea was rejecting due to a recurrence of Shingles.
But, I was lucky. Among many skills, Dr. Afshari is an expert on Fuch’s and corneal transplantation. She worked diligently to save my cornea, but additional transplants were needed due to Shingles recurrences. After discussions together, we decided to proceed with a relatively new technique, a prosthetic corneal transplant. This amazing gift not only contains donor tissue, but is encased in metal, making it less likely to reject. The surgery saved my eyesight.
The admiration I have for Dr. Afshari grows with each visit. She possesses extraordinary clinical skills, listens intently to concerns, suggests solutions, and assures that all questions have been fully answered. Together we make important decisions. I look forward to visits because I trust her professionally and am uplifted by her energy, caring and friendship. In addition to her research and teaching, Dr. Afshari exhibits both the expertise and the human qualities I believe make her an outstanding physician.
I tell friends I have supernatural powers in the right eye that I now jokingly call “bionic”. Recently Dr. Afshari asked a Shiley Low Vision expert, optometrist Dr. Anne Lam, to see me. Dr. Lam worked diligently and creatively over several months, combining both hard and soft contact lenses. The results of the teamwork enabled me to meet my goal – to pass the DMV vision test and renew my Driver’s License. I feel fortunate that I am truly a Shiley success story.
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