By David Goldberg
Optometrist Dr. Olga Savitska loves helping children to see the world better.
That’s because she knows what it’s like to be a kid in school who’s not able to see the chalkboard.
“When I was a toddler, I had an eye turn and as a result, a lazy eye,” she said. “My mother would go from doctor to doctor trying to find a solution for my vision problems. Thanks to her diligence and the support of knowledgeable eye care professionals, my vision was corrected through a combination of optometric intervention and vision therapy.”
It was that regular trip to the optometrist’s office that ignited her profound interest in the industry.
Empathy is essential to a good relationship between eye care professionals and their patients.
Perhaps that’s why Savitska is so passionate about what she does.
Four years after graduating optometry school, she’s running her own clinic, Bayview Vision in midtown Toronto.
“Nothing makes me prouder than the expression on young patients’ faces when they put their new glasses on and they see clearly for the first time. I love hearing stories about my patients finally being able to see notes on the board or being able to focus their eyes comfortably on reading.”
According to Savitska, the COVID-19 pandemic has made helping her young patients a little more challenging, but she quickly adapted and has continued helping many students navigate the challenges of online learning.
“A mom came in with her son who was complaining about intolerable headaches and eye strain. I diagnosed him with a binocular vision dysfunction, in particular, accommodative infacility and ocular motor dysfunction. He did so much better after I prescribed reading glasses and vision exercises. His parents and teachers were so delighted that I ended up getting many referrals.”
Since starting her practise four years ago, Savitska has developed a keen interest in binocular vision issues because, as she puts it, there are many aspects of our vision that are not as simple as 20/20.
“I look at all aspects – eye teaming, eye tracking, eye focusing, visual information processing and visual-motor development to diagnose the problem.”
Savitska appears to have it all; a thriving practice and a rewarding career that she truly loves. However, she never forgets the hard work, sacrifice and perseverance required to reach her goal.
She tries to impress those sentiments upon her patients who may be struggling to cope with their vision issues.
“I am running my own business and there is a lot of overhead work to do when you are starting – not to mention handling appointments all day. It has been very rewarding to see that pay off through the success and increased happiness of my patients.”