MyEyeDr. is committed to helping patients live their best lives by providing patients with a personalized eye care experience by trusted local optometrists. With expert care and a focus on eye health, patients can see well and live their best lives.

Every MyEyeDr. practice is staffed with compassionate, knowledgeable optometrists and eyewear consultants and stocked with a wide selection of quality eyewear, and the MyEyeDr. location in Plano is no exception.

In this Q&A, Dr. Bilal Ismail, one of the optometrists at the MyEyeDr. Plano location provides insight into his eye care philosophy and experience with MyEyeDr.

Why did you choose to pursue a career in eye health?

Dr. Ismail: Growing up, my family didn’t have much money. Prioritizing eye vision wasn’t feasible, and I struggled with significant vision impairment, which began impacting my academic performance and self-esteem. It was around age 12 when I acquired my first pair of glasses. I didn’t enjoy wearing them, but I believed they were my only option at that time. It wasn’t until later in life that I was introduced to contact lenses which was a game changer for me.

I started becoming more confident, I was able to participate in certain sports, and was able to live my life normally at that point. That was a transformative experience, which led me to choose optometry as my career. I'm driven by that desire to ensure that no child or any adult goes through that same struggle, and MyEyeDr. helps with that, where they offer a wide range of options to accommodate any budget, whether it's glasses or contact lenses.

Why did you choose to work at MyEyeDr.?

Dr. Ismail: I explored many, many practices before making MyEyeDr. my home. I quickly realized that with their cutting-edge technology, I was able to ensure that my patients had the most comprehensive care and solutions available.

Why is eye health so important?

Dr. Ismail: Taking care of your eyes is just as important as taking care of the rest of your body, and clear vision is pivotal for enhancing overall wellbeing. Neglecting eye care may not only lead to vision problems or blindness but it helps with identifying early warning signs of chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and autoimmune diseases.

What are the essential steps to ensuring healthy vision at every age?

Dr. Ismail: Early detection is super important for any eye care issues. Many vision problems can begin as early as six months of age, so it’s essential that parents start their children’s vision care journey as early as possible. In addition to caring for your eyes, it's essential to recognize that healthy vision significantly influences overall health and wellness. Hence, we encourage people to follow a diet low in fat, rich in vegetables, followed by regular exercise.

What are the signs and risk factors of eye disease and how can you prevent them?

Dr. Ismail: Greatest risk factor of eye disease is age. As we get older, our vision changes. Other risk factors include smoking, family history, diabetes, high blood pressure, glaucoma, astigmatism and even excessive computer usage. I always tell my patients about this 20-20-20 rule, because when you're on the computer, your eyes are like converging in. When you step back and look out into the 20 feet, your eyes are now parallel, so you're not straining with just one convergence. It also helps promote blinking. I also often tell my patients about blue light blocking glasses to make sure you are blocking those short wavelengths.

With the summer months upon us, we often remember to protect our skin but not our eyes. What are your tips for how to protect our eyes from sun damage?

Dr. Ismail: Wearing sunglasses all year round is key. In the winter or early spring the sun may not feel as strong, but that doesn't mean there aren’t UV rays that could hurt your eyes. Sunglasses are super important. We recommend at least 99% to 100% UVA and UVB blocking protection to help prevent damage.

Sunglasses also reduce the chances of early cataracts and UV-related macular damage and protect the very sensitive skin around our eyes, reducing the chance of skin cancer. At MyEyeDr., we have the capability of creating prescription sunglasses, even putting transition lenses on any type of normal glasses.

Tell me about the MyEyeDr. difference.

Dr. Ismail: We’re different from the other practices out there. We’re a one-stop shop with all the technologies that we would need to give you a full comprehensive eye exam, including providing customized solutions to fit your eye solution needs. We have a really good team and I noticed whenever we have MyEyeDr. meetings, you kind of look at the talent that's around you and see very smart, dedicated individuals, with vast experience at diagnosing and managing eye care. It makes me proud to work side by side with such talent. We also accept any kind of insurance, and very affordable options for those that don’t have insurance so they can still get the proper care that they need. I invite everybody to come out and see us at 2313 West Parker Road, and experience MyEyeDr. for yourself.

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The above story was produced by Senior Multi Platform Journalist Summer El-Shahawy with Community Impact's Storytelling team with information solely provided by the local business as part of its "sponsored content" purchase through our advertising team.