ICO Blog

Illinois College of Optometry's Official Blog

Navigation Menu

How To Fit Contact Lenses like a Boss

How To Fit Contact Lenses like a Boss

Posted by on Apr 17, 2014 in Blogs | 0 comments

Kiddos, spring has sprung!

We’re in the final quarter of optometry school, little ones. And as Commencement approaches, it’s time to learn about contact lenses. These are my last credit hours before the wings are clipped and I fall out of the tree.

First, there is an art to the contact lens.

Yes, it may appear to be a small cast-molded or lathe-cut piece of plastic to every John and Jane on the street–but if you look more closely, between those silicone and hydrogel moieties, it really is magic.

Imagine a life where you had to wear your dorky glasses everyday.

How on earth could 75 percent of romantic comedies gain traction if the tragic ugly duckling didn’t dispose of her gawky frames and wear contacts in order to warrant the attention of the loveable, albeit shallow, leading man?

(And you thought optometry was just about helping people see.)

Anyway, that’s neither here nor there.

Let’s get into the thick of things. (Or for the more technical amongst you, the Dk/t of things.) See what I did there? Don’t lie, you laughed.

Below are some tips and tricks I’ve amassed thus far. As always, it’s advisable to take these with a large grain of salt.

Read More

How to Ride a Bicycle

Posted by on Apr 2, 2014 in Blogs | 0 comments

  shoes and equipment

Do you remember learning to ride a bike?

I remember the day vividly. It’s one of the more defining memories of my childhood, one I’ve been thinking about a lot these days. I’m sure my dad and twin brother have different accounts of what actually happened, but since neither of them blog, allow me to tell you the true story.

I was six. We were vacationing in Montana and it was a gorgeous summer day. My brother had already mastered riding his bike (a mere day and a half before, but of course he made it seem like he was practically the bicycle’s inventor). I was determined that today was my day. My bike was shiny and red. It deserved to soar past my gloating brother.

My dad is calm to the core. Even at my most reckless, I have always been able to rely on his steady, factual, collected demeanor to guide me. He assured me that he would hold the back of my bike seat and not let go.

With the steady weight of his hands on the seat, keeping my balance, I peddled. One leg winding around, then the other. I saw my brother in the periphery, eyes widened, watching me. I must have been having so much fun watching Montana’s landscape inch past me that I didn’t notice my dad had let go at first. But then all of a sudden it hit me: The steady guide of my dad’s hands weren’t there anymore. Instead of being excited and reacting like a normal person, I whipped my head backwards, saw my dad shrinking in the distance, screamed bloody murder, and fell.

My brother’s mirthless laughter echoed around me. I threw my bike off the path, and with eyes narrowed to slits announced to my dad that I would not be riding bikes ever ever again.

As a parent, I’m sure my dad had to learn how to let go. But at the same time, whether six or 26, it’s just as hard to learn how to be let go.

Fourth year externships are a constant reminder of my bicycling saga.

Read More

How to Survive This Weather: The Essential List

How to Survive This Weather: The Essential List

Posted by on Feb 13, 2014 in Blogs | 0 comments

So most students at ICO are taking finals right now. (As a fourth year, I’m done with all that.)

I’d commiserate and cry tears of empathy, but I’m not sure I can spare the energy.

As most of you know, Chicago and much of the country is under what may be called a deep freeze.

The great lakes are frozen over. Your legs haven’t seen sunlight in months, you aren’t entirely sure what T-shirts are anymore, and you can pop your head into the freezer for a nice relief of warmth.

from ashland

If a Calgarian is complaining about the cold, you know you’re in trouble.

Here are some tips to help you stay warm in this bitter, bitter cold.

Read More

Hope

Hope

Posted by on Feb 5, 2014 in Blogs | 2 comments

So you know that class in optometry school that you just never understood?

The one that, despite your best and most earnest of efforts, you dramatically bombed?

Well, mine was Vision Rehabilitation (the artist formerly known as Low Vision).

It’s not like I suck at optics, but for some reason, when VAs aren’t recorded in Snellen fractions my blood vessels seize up and I just pass out. For once I’m not exaggerating–I legitimately have an awkward fight or flight reaction that results in me on the floor. Let me summarize a few of the salient points I get confused about:

  • I don’t think I’ll ever know how small 0.4/2M is.
  • I will never understand what distance you move the hand-held magnifier away from your face to get a clear image.
  • And don’t even get me started on Feq and how to calculate it

(A vast majority of you are scoffing because those things are so extremely basic for you. I commend you for being too cool for school. To the select few that share my low vision terror: Rest assured, we stand united.)

Anyway, it’s no surprise I headed to my first shift at Chicago Lighthouse with extreme trepidation. The Lighthouse is an organization that serves blind or visually impaired patients, and it’s home to the oldest low vision clinic in the country.

Read More

How to Survive 72 Hours of Flight Delays

Posted by on Jan 13, 2014 in Blogs | 1 comment

Happy New Year my little ones!

2014 is a big year–This is the year my amazing class, rowdy and rambunctious as we are, gets to cross across the threshold and add a couple of initials to our names.

The New Year is always a good time to aspire for great things. My friends and I were discussing resolutions the other day. I admire people who are determined to achieve something tangible by the end of the twelve months. Learn to play the piano. Read more books. Go to a foreign country. Do an eye exam in Spanish. But I’ve always been drawn to the quieter ones–express more gratitude, for example.

Maybe it’s the eggnog or something, but I felt oddly at peace when I left home to fly back to Chicago on January 4. The snow was gently falling atop the trees and settling onto the mountains. Cheeks were rosy red and the Tim Horton’s coffee was roasted warm.

Everything was still and calm and beautiful.

2014, I thought to myself, you are going to be an amazing year.

And then it hits.

The polar vortex descends and your resolutions go out the door. It is -40 degrees and you want to die. You are consumed by rage and angst and heavy metal music. All the season’s tidings and happy fuzzy feelings are minced.

Oh. Was that too harsh?

I should have known when I saw the screen at the departures check-in counter. I should have known that as soon as the word “cancelled” was flashing next to my flight to Chicago I was in for a long haul. I should have known if one plane is too cold, other planes are too cold. I should have known if my flight today could get cancelled, so could tomorrow’s. And the next day’s.

All in all, I spent 72 hours waiting in Toronto before I flew back to Chiberia.

Below, I’ve compiled some survival tips if you’re ever in a similar situation. (I hope you’re not, by the way. 2014 is a new Siva. A less vindictive one.)

Read More