Lakecity optometrist elected to provincial board

Optometrist Dr. Daniel Derksen was elected secretary-treasurer for the B.C. Association of Optometrists (BCAO) in February.

Optometrist Dr. Daniel Derksen of Williams Lake was elected secretary-treasurer for the  B.C. Association of Optometrists (BCAO) in February.

“I was on the board previously as one of 10 directors,” Derksen said.

The main purpose of the board is to direct the association to advance the profession, he explained.

Derksen said the association plans to do some public education regarding the importance of eye health and educate people on how best to take care of their eyes and vision.

“As we’re living longer there are more things that can go wrong as we age so there’s more of an awareness around the degenerative conditions of the eye like glaucoma, cataracts or macular degeneration,” Derksen said.

With the advance of using computers in the 21st century, he said there hasn’t been any strong evidence that using computer screens does any damage, but it can definitely cause eye strain, discomfort and blurring, often referred to as computer vision syndrome.

Presently there are around 600 optometrists in B.C. and five of them are in Williams Lake at Cariboo Eye Care Clinic.

Derksen has practiced in the lakecity since 1996 and is originally from the Okanagan.

Along with Derksen the association elected Dr. Sherman Tung of Vancouver as president and Dr. Lloyd Mah of Coquitlam as vice-president.

The election also saw three new directors join the board for two-year terms: Dr. Brenda Horner of New Westminster, Dr. Murray Hurlbert of Maple Ridge and Dr. Michael Kellam, who practices in Nanaimo and Lady Smith.

The association’s board also includes Dr. Surjinder Sahota of Abbotsford, who is past president, Dr. Paul Geneau of Nanaimo who is B.C.’s representative to the Canadian Association of Optometrists, and two other directors who are serving the remainder of their two-year terms: Dr. Michelle Elliott of Surrey and Dr. Trevor Miranda of Chemainus and Cobble Hill.