New Information on Vitamins that can benefit Diabetic Retinopathy and also prevent Diabetic Retinopathy


Blood vessel damage in diabetes is mediated by four distinct biochemical pathways driven by mitochondrial production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). These pathways can lead to oxidative stress, which attacks blood vessels in the retina:

  • Hexosamine flux
  • Protein Kinase C
  • Advanced glycation end products
  • Polyol pathway

In addition, the following are contributing factors to blood vessel damage, such as found in diabetic retinopathy:

  • Growth factors
  • Hypertension
  • Dyslipidemia
  • Horomones
  • Apoptosis
  • Inflammation

Research is confirming that the following nutritional ingredients affect blood vessel health:

  • Alpha Lipoic Acid
  • Grapeseed extract and resveratrol
  • CoQ10
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin C & E
  • Green Tea Leaf
  • Benfotiamine
  • Pycnogenol
  • Curcumin
  • Fish Oil (DHA & EPA)
  • Zeaxanthin
  • Lutein
  • Zinc

Diet and exercise have shown to be 10 times more effective in preventing and controlling diabetes than metformin (one of the leading medications for Type II diabetes). This information is valuable for those that are interested in preventing diabetes (family history of Type II diabetes greatly increases ones risk) and for those that would like to have better control of their diabetic glucose levels. If you have any questions please ask the doctors at our clinic about these new vitamins and how they can benefit not only your eye health but also your overall health.

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Why Luci Johnson, daughter of the former President Lyndon Johnson, nearly dropped out of school

Due to undetected vision problems, Luci Johnson, daughter of the former President Lyndon Johnson, nearly dropped out of school while her father was in the White House.

After taking nearly every test imaginable, Luci was told she was bright but not living up to her potential. She became so frustrated that she began blacking out during her tests.

It was only after visiting a local developmental optometrist and taking a comprehensive vision related learning exam that Lucy was able to regain her confidence and stay in school. The doctor found that she had tracking and focusing problems that distorted everything she tried to read or write.

Once Lucy completed a course of vision therapy in the doctor's office, her grades went from C's and D's to A's and B's and she went on to become an honor student. She went on to become the head of an organization called Volunteers for Vision and helped screen several thousand children for the kinds of visual problems she experienced.

As she noted in one of her speeches, "if the key to a better society is education, then the key to a better education is better vision. If you don't have that key, you can't open the door to a better life".


The Eyes have it: A Reflection on the Workings of the Vision Therapy Program

Vision is not just the ability to see clearly. It is the entire process of organizing and integrating light and sensory input, understanding and recognizing what is seen, and responding in an exact and precise manner. When there are problems in the visual system, adaptations are created to account for a lack of normal/optimal visual development. These adaptations can happen in many forms including Amblyopia, Strabismus and sometimes Nystagmus. Symptoms include (but are not limited to) accommodative excess, convergence insufficiencies and binocular dysfunctions. The Vision Therapy program facilitates an opportunity for the individual to develop vision through necessary and meaningful experiences. Patients are categorized into one of three levels based on their symptoms, under the careful direction of a qualified Optometrist. Activities used in the duration of the program are implemented for the unique needs of each patient. The goal of a vision therapist is to facilitate the ability for a patient to attain the unmet visual needs through learning, whether this is indicated in optometric data or not. Vision Therapy is not restricted to patients with visual dysfunctions, but is also implemented for management and improvement of symptoms seen in patients with Traumatic Brain Injury, ADHD and even Autism.

Sumaira Mumtaz
Supervisors: Dr. G. Ullal & Dr. P. Fink

Ophthalmology finally agrees that vision therapy is a better option than patching

It is very encouraging to see that the ophthalmology community is finally acknowledging that vision therapy is the best option for amblyopia...not patching or surgical correction. Optometry has been doing vision therapy for over 50 will be interesting to see if referrals will be made to optometry from ophthalmology or if they will need to reinvent it to call it their own.

Dr. Patricia Fink

Please click the links below for relevant articles:

Prime Time for Integrative Neurology

Great read from Leonard J. Press, O.D., FAAO, FCOVD

Biochemistry of the mind-gut connection.  The Enteric Nervous System (ENS).  The micro biome.  The lymphatic system and gut repair.  Nervous system tissue in the gut along with gut bacteria produces 95% of the serotonin in your body, and just as much dopamine as the brain produces.  90% of the signals from the ENS are … … Continue reading →

Letter to My Patients

Dear Patient(s):  

I would like to inform you that I am not only reducing my hours after 21 years of practice but also moving towards Vision Therapy only assessment appointments.  I will no longer be doing routine eyecare.  Currently I am doing primary care one day per week but it will mainly be for children (strabismus, learning related vision problems, basic binocular dysfunctions, nystagmus, autism, developmental delays) and for patients that have had a TBI/concussion.

With my specialty interest in VT, my continuing education is also dedicated to this and not towards ocular disease, contact lenses, therapeutics etc.  You are far better served for this type of routine care and ocular disease care by the doctors in my practice that specialize in this area.

I have hired additional doctors to provide more evening and Saturday hours.  Let me introduce the wonderful team of doctors that have all the information from your past exams on file to do a full and thorough continued job of caring for your visual health and function.

Dr. Chavoustie has an ocular disease residency under his belt (so an extra year on top of his optometry degree in ocular disease treatment and care).  Dr. Chavoustie also graduated from the same optometry school as I did (The New England College of Optometry) and I consult with him on many ocular disease cases.  He has been in practice for 7 years and has been at my office since 2011.

Dr. Kristyn Pozzer also graduated in 2009 from the University of Waterloo.  We are so excited that she is returning to the practice after her maternity leave.  Her beautiful daughter, Harlow, was well worth the time off and I know Dr. Pozzer’s patients have been missing her. She will be back seeing patients Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday with occasional Saturdays.

Dr. Shirley Ha is also going to be moving towards  vision therapy only bookings.  She currently has primary care appointments available on Thursdays.  Dr. Ha has been in practice for 26 years and we are totally honoured to have her at this office.  She is the past president of the Ontario Association of Optometrists, is the head of the Eye See Eye Learn program, has received numerous awards and is also a contributing editor for the Envision:  Seeing Beyond (contact lens journal).

Dr. Anjali Pathak comes to our practice as a graduate from the New England College of Optometry 2009.  She also has an interest and experience in ocular disease and contact lenses.  She has relocated from a practice in Hamilton and we welcome all her patients that are following her to this practice.  Her professional and approachable demeanor endears her to patients of all ages, particularly the children.

Dr. Sayda Salazar is a graduate from the University of Columbia La Salle 1996.  She received her Canadian licence in 2012 and has been practising in multiple locations around the GTA.  She is also having patients from her previous Hamilton location following her and we welcome them.  Dr. Salazar has an interest in dry eye, children, family eye care and thoroughly enjoys working with seniors.  Dr. Salazar is so kind and caring and completely dedicated to optometry and her patients.  Her language skills will be a huge help in our growing Spanish speaking population.

Dr. Doris Chow comes to our practice from the University of Waterloo 2016.  Her unique background as a nurse adds additional insight and care to our patients with systemic disease conditions.  Dr. Chow was specifically chosen for her specialty contact lens skills as well as ocular disease.  If you haven’t met Dr. Chow, you must.  Her enthusiasm and kind, soft demeanor are wonderful and the staff and I have totally enjoyed having her at the office this past month.


Patricia S. Fink, B.Sc., OD, FCOVD