Eyeing your way to good health
VISUAL access to the retinal blood vessels reveals the state of the other blood vessels in the human body.
The blood vessels can be viewed through simple and painless instruments that result in the fundus photograph without surgery to identify systemic diseases not restricted to the eye.
The misconception that optometrists merely conduct vision checks that may result in prescribing spectacle lenses is what UCSI University’s School of Optometry, under the Faculty of Medicine, is determined to address with its new Bachelor of Optometry (Hons).
At the helm of this mission is the School of Optometry head, Assoc Prof Dr Michael Emina. Having been in the field of optometry since 1983, Dr Emina has served as both an optometrist and the Head of the Department of Optometry in several universities. He played a key role in establishing the Doctor of Optometry degree in Ghana’s second public university – Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology – in addition to the bachelor programme in UCSI.
His experiences and sterling academic credentials give him the formidable advantage of being in touch with the latest industry updates as well as international standards in research and optometry.
Students of this four-year programme will be trained in every aspect of preventive, visual therapy and rehabilitation for the improvement of the eye and vision.
Additionally, students will be trained in eye and vision examination as well as dispensing spectacles and contact lenses.
The training of patients who cannot read or perform well in sports because of poor coordination of the hands, eyes and the visual system is also an essential aspect.
Clarifying that optometrists are not ophthalmologists and they do not dispense drugs or perform surgery, Dr Emina emphasises that the field of eye care is multi-disciplinary.
To give students as much experience in patient management as possible, the programme incorporates 1,236 hours of contact with real patients and has mapped out other hands-on training opportunities in hospitals that train UCSI medical students.
The School of Optometry has built an optometry retail centre and a clinic within the school and also invested heavily in some of the latest cutting-edge optometry equipment for its students.
This is in line with UCSI’s praxis approach, which advocates the application of theory to practice. The university also has a boutique hotel, fine dining restaurant and interior design consulting service on campus.
Dr Emina explains that like any allied health professional course, optometry students will spend their early years learning about basic human sciences.
Only then will they be able to proceed to learn to use the equipment and examination procedures.
Subsequently, they will be allowed to watch and eventually participate in treatment under the watchful eye of their lecturers and Dr Emina himself.
The school is also set to contribute in reaching out to communities in Malaysia through the field of optometry.
It will begin by focusing on its staff and students, as charity begins at home.
It will embark on a massive project to examine and document the eye health of each of its staff and students to form a database. Those whose eyesight are deteriorating or have problems will be able to make an appointment to work out a treatment plan.
To find out more about UCSI University’s Bachelor of Optometry (Hons) programme, contact 03-9101 8882 or e-mail www.ucsiuniversity.edu. my/onlineenquiry. For enquiries on your eye health, drop by the optometry clinic at the UCSI University KL Campus (South Wing).
Dr Emina examining a patient’s eye, which is also shown on the monitor beside him.