Weighing up her options as a school leaver, Jenny Ogier chose to study an optometry degree at the University of Auckland because she liked science, helping people and problem solving. It was a career that ticked all those boxes.
After graduating she spent a year in Christchurch before working in practices throughout Auckland.
In 1994 Mrs Ogier started her own business, Greenlane Penrose Optometrist. Being located in a both a commercial and residential area is good for business, she says.
Her typical day is mainly filled up with appointments of about 45 minutes each.
One of the most important parts of the initial consultation is finding out a person’s medical history, the Greenlane resident says.
‘‘I ask people about their vision, general health, family history and any medication they are taking. That sets up what tests the person is going to need.’’
Eye disease tends to affect older people the most but she conducts eye health tests on everyone.
‘‘I’m looking for things that probably aren’t there but you still have to check. Things like glaucoma and macular degeneration, which is an agerelated deterioration to the vision receptors in the back of the eye.’’
Vision tests identify what people can see and how well their eyes work as a team.
Binocular vision problems are caused by eyes not being used together.
It usually comes as a surprise to people who find out they have this issue but there are muscle training exercises they can do which help, she says.
Some of the tests involve looking into a kind of microscope called a slit lamp, reading letters off a visual acuity chart and having a photograph taken of the inside of your eye using a retinal camera.
‘‘If you want to have a visual record of changes to the eye over time, having a picture as a baseline is really useful,’’ Mrs Ogier says.
Finding the solution to vision problems is not always straightforward and varies considerably.
doesn’t work for everybody so you have to keep thinking all the time.
‘‘There is always a different way of doing something which might just work for that individual.’’
There is a lot of variety and you never stop learning, she says.
‘‘You could think of it [eyesight] purely as an optical system but there is a lot more to it.
‘‘We are all perceiving the same world but we all perceive it differently.
‘‘You can’t just assume that everybody sees and thinks in the same way.’’