NEXTGEN: ECPS CAN BE LIFESAVERS A new Ontario optometrist has already witnessed firsthand that trusting your gut and your patient could help to save a life. For 30-year-old Dr. Saed Issac, this happened in October, only two months after becoming a practicing optometrist, when a patient came into his office after waking up with double vision. “His medical history included DMT2 and hypertension. His blood pressure was normal in the office and he repeat- edly denied a spike in his blood sugar,” says Dr. Isaac. “I diagnosed him with isolated right CN6 palsy. My gut told me something was off here, so I gave him an eye patch to help with diplopia, but more importantly, told him to get an MRI/ CT scan done ASAP. He ended up go- 30 OPTICAL PRISM | March 2019 ing the next day, where a new symptom of numbness in his left leg appeared. The scan results showed a hemorrhagic stroke in the middle of the brain. I may not have saved his life, but his life was at risk.” Dr. Isaac has been a practicing optometrist since August 2018. He graduated with a Doctorate of Optom- etry, Dean’s Honours List, from the University of Waterloo, but says his career path towards optometry began in high school. “I used to sit in the front row of the class because I could not see anything and I would sometimes take notes by listening only. I eventually got glass- es, but still did not know much about optometry, aside from the glasses part,” he says. “It wasn’t until I was studying for the MCAT (medical college admission test) that I learned what optometry was all about. I was studying 12 to 14 hours a day and kept getting headaches and eyestrain. I went to a local OD where a student examined me and educated me about optometry. He made it sound like an interesting profession and convinced me to look into it.” Dr. Isaac is now an associate optom- etrist at Dr. Moussa Professional Optometry Corp. in Windsor, Ont., and Eye Smile Vision in Amherst- burg, Ont. He says it is important to him to know his patients on a personal level and to keep building long-lasting relationships.