Dr. Brent Morrison is a familiar face at the Victoria - Shelbourne FYidoctors clinic on southern Vancouver Island. Eight years ago, he discovered an abnormality on his patient Barb Fraser’s optomap ultra-widefield retinal imaging test results. After being referred to a neurologist, it turned out Fraser had a brain tumour. Further medical investigations found it to be a benign meningioma on the surface of the front-right side of her brain. You can read more about how his dedication to optometry saved this patient’s life on our blog, here. Today, we sit down with Dr. Morrison to get his perspective on why eye exams are integral to maintaining optimal eye health, and learn a little more about him, too.
What’s your current role at FYidoctors?
I’m the lead Optometrist at the FYidoctors Victoria -Shelbourne and Westshore clinics on southern Vancouver Island.
What made you want to work in eye care?
I come from a strong science and medical family. My father was a biology professor at the University of Waterloo, my mother was a psychiatric nurse, one brother is a psychiatrist, and another is a family physician. I knew I wanted to do something in the healthcare field but different from what my other family members were already doing. Optometry fits me to a tee since it allows me to practice in a profession that combines the things I love; biology, physics, mathematics, and people. Vision is our most important sense. As a result, the improvements that we can make in the quality of our patients’ lives can often be fast and dramatic. Optometry is a wonderful profession to be part of!
What do you love most about your job?
I love the excitement that comes from helping people see better; watching the face of a youngster putting on their first pair of glasses and realizing there are individual leaves on the trees, giving a patient the freedom from glasses that contact lenses provide, discovering and treating sight-threatening disease early, helping preserve a senior’s eyesight into their golden years.
What’s one of the most challenging parts of your job?
It can be frustrating to discover a significant need for corrective eyewear, only to have the patient decide they want to remain in a fog. Why wouldn’t someone want to see better? It’s baffling sometimes!
What’s your personal eyewear style?
Most of the time I prefer wearing one-day disposable contact lenses. Contact lenses these days are so advanced; you forget you are wearing them at times. I also have office lenses in a Hugo Boss frame for computer/reading, photochromic Adidas golfing glasses, and prescription Maui Jim progressive sunglasses for driving and outdoor activities.
What’s one of your favourite moments from working at the clinic?
Catching Barb Fraser’s brain tumour early has to be one of my most favourite moments.
Where do you see the future of eye care going?
I see more customization of lens implants following cataract surgeries. I see new instruments allowing us to see even more specifically about a person’s health. I see contact lenses becoming even more comfortable and used for treating eye disease. I think eyeglass frames and lens technology will continue to evolve. I see FYidoctors having a significant impact on enhancing the quality of eyecare in North America.
What’s your preferred eye-friendly snack?
Broccoli is probably my favourite snack that is good for the eyes. In addition to vitamin C, it contains lutein and zeaxanthin which can help reduce the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration. Other favourite snacks include nuts (high in omega 3s) and chocolate (which just tastes good!).
Where would we find you when you’re not at FYidoctors?
Favourite past times include golfing, cycling, reading, financial planning, and spending time on Lake Cowichan and Arizona with Christie, my wife of 38 years.
What advice can you give to your patients about maintaining healthy eyes?
Make sure you have regular eye exams. See your optometrist yearly even if you have no symptoms. Many diseases, such as brain tumours can begin with no symptoms but, when caught early, can increase your chances of a good outcome.