For someone who has resigned themselves to a life of ever-worsening, limited vision, the ability to suddenly read easily, drive and clearly see the faces of their loved ones is life-changing.
He recalls a patient at his Valley View Optometry practice who was experiencing Keratoconus – a progressive condition where the cornea thins and bulges into a cone shape. The result was the ability to see only about one-tenth of what a person with 20/20 vision would, with limited options to improve vision through glasses or traditional contact lenses.
In identifying the condition, Dr. Golemba was able to refer his patient for a procedure to prevent further steepening of the cornea, then here at home, use his practice’s state-of-the-art equipment to image the cornea. The result was specially fitted scleral lenses that float over the misshapen cornea, while the outside of the lenses sit beyond the irises, on the whites of the eyes, Dr. Golemba explains.
For the patient, the results have allowed him to see three lines better on the eye chart than what is required to get a driver’s license in BC. “It’s totally changed his life.”
Providing specialty treatment close to home
After earning his optometry degree in Ontario, Dr. Golemba undertook several specialty rotations before beginning his practice in Victoria. In 2005, he was excited to purchase Dr. Stickle’s longstanding Port Alberni practice, and move to the Valley where he and his family enjoy a variety of outdoor pursuits.
“We found ourselves coming up and going to the west coast often once we were in Victoria, so now we get to be here all the time,” he says with a smile.
He’s also thrilled to provide his patients with care close to home that they might otherwise have to travel for.
“I’ve acquired a lot of knowledge and to be able to use that to help people is so rewarding,” he says.
“I enjoy the extra challenge and the opportunity to provide such a welcome improvement for my patients. With some of these rarer conditions, it’s not always easy to solve the problem, and many patients don’t realize there’s a solution for them,” he says.
At the same time, Valley Vision Optometry is also a primary care practice, he emphasizes, and recently welcomed Dr. Jasmine Dhesi, who will be practicing as an Associate Optometrist.