#MYFOL Page 1 ISSUE 13
2 ISSUE 13 #MYFOL
#MYFOL Page 4 ISSUE 13
Though it may seem as there may
be no end to the current climate,
every effort counts towards the
fight against Covid-19.
Here are a few key things to note:
Stay AT HOME
We are not stuck at home; we are safe at home.
As much as possible, limit going outdoors. When
leaving home, do follow proper safety protocol
such as wearing a mask and limiting the number
of persons from your household.
Wear A MASK
Wearing masks should become part of our normal
routine and is essential to saving lives. To be
effective, one must not overlook the appropriate
use, storage and cleaning or disposal of masks.
Here are the basics of how to wear a mask outlined
by the World Health Organisation (WHO):
• Clean your hands before you put your mask on, as
well as before and after you take it off, and after you
touch it at any time.
• Make sure it covers your nose, mouth and chin.
• When you take off a mask, store it in a clean plastic
bag, and every day either wash it if it’s a fabric mask,
or dispose of a medical mask in a trash bin.
• Don’t use masks with valves.
As the world continues to learn and evolve during
the COVID-19 pandemic, we face the challenge
of possible information overload. Unfortunately,
not all information is accurate, and some may be
potentially harmful. Always ensure any information
received is verified facts and advice from credible
sources, such as our local health authority or the
WHO. Stopping the spread of false information
starts with us. If you see content online that you
believe to be false or misleading, you can report it
to the hosting social media platform.
At any time, if you develop a fever, cough or difficulty
breathing, seek medical attention immediately.
Knowing your status earlier helps prevent a wider
spread. Let us not forget that the pandemic will come
to an end one day and that we all play a critical role in
seeing it come to fruition.
“Nothing in life is to be feared; it is only to be understood.
Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear
less.” — Marie Curie
#MYFOL Page 7 ISSUE 13
w i t h
How would you describe
First born of four to primary
school teachers, mother of an
amazing daughter, a loyal friend,
occasionally stubborn but willing
to heed advice.
What drove you to become
Good parental guidance, research
and the desire to serve.
How long have you
Over 30 years, 28 years at Ferreira
optometry for 30 + years,
what would say has been
the highlight of your
Having the opportunity to make a
difference in so many persons’ lives
by helping them to see clearly is
Congratulations on your
presidency of the Trinidad
and Tobago Optometric
Association (TTOA). What
do you hope to accomplish
in your new role?
To make the TTOA the source of
relevant and accurate information
about your eyes. To encourage
persons to take the COVID-19
vaccine by posting photos of TTOA
members receiving the vaccine.
What are some of the key
responsibilities of the
The TTOA represents the
Optometrists on the Trinidad and
Tobago Opticians Registration
Council (the governing body),
ensuring that the Optician’s
(Registration) Act is updated to
allow Optometrists to practice to
their highest standards. Providing
internationally approved continuing
education programs and hosting
annual trade shows to keep
Optometrists abreast of world
What milestones you would
say have helped shape you
During my gap year I taught
(with my parents) at Curepe
Presbyterian School. Following
their example, I planned and
prepared the lessons for my
students in a way they would
learn and understand. Mandatory
attendance at weekly Q&A sessions
with Consultant Ophthalmologists,
Residents, house officers, nurses
and techs. during my Pre-
Registration year at the Kent County
Aural and Ophthalmic Hospital in
England. It taught me to always
be well prepared and on top of my
game. I also learned how important
it is to contribute and listen to the
perspective of other team players.
What does Lauren do on
her off-days or down time?
Any special hobbies or
interests you practice?
important it is
and listen to
of other team
word games like Scrabble. My
daughter, Sarah is my pride and joy
and many of my interests involve
her e.g. cricket matches at the Oval,
choir concerts and live musicals.
What keeps you driven
God’s word - I can make a
difference in Trinidad and Tobago.
Love for my profession makes it
extremely easy to get up every day
to go to work. I have never woken
up and felt like not going to work.
My responsibility to Sarah to help
her become all she can be as a
responsible, respectable person.
What was your greatest
lesson in life?
Perseverance, dedication, hard
work, education, and treating
everyone with the same respect
regardless of their station in life.
What advice would you
give to persons interested
in the optical field?
Cooking! From chicken tikka masala
to walnut cranberry bread. I am a
local board member of the Curepe
Presbyterian Church where I am
also a choir member and have
oversight of COVID-19 protocols.
My me time is when I work out
whether it is weight training, Tabata,
army fit or just reading and playing
Optometry is a profession where
the patient is engaged at all stages
of the process. Love of people is
a must. Be humble, respectful and
patient, have a positive attitude,
actively listen, use choice words, be
knowledgeable by keeping updated
with peer reviewed, evidence based
8 ISSUE 13 #MYFOL
Take steps to prevent
Eyes that are healthy can see well
with or without glasses and are free
from eye disease. To know if your
eyes are healthy you should have a
comprehensive eye examination with
an Optometrist or eye care professional.
Many eye diseases such as age related
macular degeneration (ARMD), cataract,
glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy can
cause visual impairment or blindness.
The risk factors for many of these eye
diseases are things we sometimes
cannot control such as age and family
history. However, there are factors that
can be controlled, such as lifestyle
choices. Persons are advised to take
charge of their eye health and preserve
their sight by following these tips:
Tips for Good
Have a nutrient dense diet
Oxidation may be one of the underlying causes of certain
age related eye diseases. There is evidence to support
the theory that dietary antioxidants may help reduce the
risk of certain age related eye diseases. Some of these
dietary antioxidants include vitamin C found in oranges,
strawberries, broccoli and vitamin E found in almonds,
peanuts and sunflower seeds. B-Carotene found in
carrots and zinc found in oysters and beef are also among
the group of nutrients that support good eye health.
Nutrients like omega 3 fatty acids found in salmon,
lutein and zeaxanthin found in green leafy vegetables,
such as kale and spinach are also important to the
health of the macula in particular. These nutrients keep
the macula healthy and potentially lower your chances
of developing ARMD. Many of the supplements found
on shelves in pharmacies are packed with these exact
nutrients found in the food groups mentioned. Therefore,
it is only necessary to take extra supplements if you
have been diagnosed with ARMD and they have been
recommended by an eye specialist.
Conditions such as diabetes and hypertension can have
a major impact on the eyes. Persons with diabetes are
more likely to develop cataracts than people without it,
and some evidence suggests that they are also more
likely to develop glaucoma. Persons living with diabetes
for a long time are also at risk of developing diabetic
retinopathy, especially if their blood sugar is uncontrolled.
Hypertension and high cholesterol also pose a threat to
your eyesight if not managed. They may cause a blood
vessel at the back of the eye to bleed or become blocked.
These two conditions also increase your risks of a stroke,
which means a vessel in your brain bleeds or becomes
blocked. If this occurs in a part of the brain that is used
for seeing, it can result in blind spots in your vision.
Factors that can reduce the chances of your developing
these systemic conditions include; maintaining a healthy
weight, having a healthy diet, exercising , maintaining low
stress levels, and not smoking.
Tobacco smoke has many active compounds which are
toxic and potentially damaging to the eyes. Those who
smoke are up to four times more likely to develop ARMD
than non-smokers. Smoking also increases your chances
of developing cataract.
Protect your eyes from the
sun’s harmful rays
Persons exposed to high levels of ultraviolet (UV) light
over long periods of time have a higher chance of
developing cataract, as well as increased chances
of ARMD. Extended periods of exposure can also
lead to increased risks of developing raised spots on
the white surface of the eyes called pinguecula and
pterygium. While these are not sight threatening, they
can contribute to dry eyes. Therefore, if you spend a
lot of time outdoors or live in a climate that has high UV
levels such as the Caribbean, always protect your eyes
by wearing proper sunglasses, preferably wrap around
sunglasses. Wearing a brimmed hat can also help block
out extra UV rays that can slip through the sides of your
glasses and sunglasses. If you are a contact lens wearer
opt for UV-blocking contact lenses.
Victoria Devaux – B.Sc. Optom, MCOptom
Wear protective eyewear
for work and sports
Wearing safety glasses and protective goggles when
you play certain sports or work with hazardous materials
lowers your risk for eye injury, vision damage or complete
loss of vision. Seek the advice of your Optometrist
Therefore while having regular eye examinations is
important in the prevention or early detection of eye
diseases it is equally important that we make good
lifestyle choices from an early age. Always remember
that “Healthy body, healthy eyes”.
And most importantly, during these times with the high
spread of COVID, remember to wash your hands
thoroughly before touching your face and eyes.
If you would like a question answered, send us an email
10 ISSUE 13 #MYFOL
the next room. She picked up her crying daughter and
began comforting her in her arms. At that moment,
Veronica began, again, to think about all of the things she
would provide for her daughter. She was committed to
making the kind of sacrifices for her daughter that her
parents made for her.
Our parents want the best for us. The
sacrifices they make for us help to expand
our opportunity for a successful life. Take
some time to reflect on all your parents have
provided for you. If you’re not aware of what
sacrifices were made, it can be worthwhile to
find out. You may be surprised to learn what
they went through. Through learning about
their experiences, you will see how deep their
love runs. Cherish the time you have with your
parents and take all the good they put into you
and pass it onto your children.
To learn more >>
Affirmation: I pave the way for the future.
Veronica looked down at her sleeping newborn in her
eggshell white crib. “Such a precious sight,” she thought
to herself. She could not believe what a perfect little thing
she had created. She marveled at her daughter for quite
some time that afternoon. She kissed her sleeping baby
and quietly slipped away, closing the door ever so quietly.
She joined her mother in the living room. As they sat
and chatted over some tea, Veronica began telling her
mother about all the things she wanted to provide for
her baby that weren’t available to her. Her mom grew
quiet and Veronica immediately apologized because she
realized that her comments may have come across as
a bit insensitive. Her mother grew up poor and lived in
a modest home. There were many things that Veronica
asked for when she was an adolescent that her parents
simply weren’t able to provide.
Her mother was a housekeeper and her dad picked up
odd jobs around the neighborhood to provide for the
family. Veronica’s mother broke the silence with a hearty
smile absolving her daughter of any guilt. She was smiling
because she knew her daughter meant no offense by the
statement. Her mother felt proud of how her daughter
climbed out of poverty. She took solace in knowing that
although they were poor they made sure to provide for
Veronica’s mom got up and walked over to a picture of
Veronica on her graduation day. Her mother, who was
unable to receive a formal education, made a promise
to herself that when she had children, they would have
access to a proper education. Veronica smiled because
her mother’s promise was actualized. Not only did she
have a master’s degree in finance but her younger sister
Rayanna was an engineer.
Veronica thought about what she was able to accomplish
because of her parents’ sacrifice. The extra shifts they
picked up to pay for their children’s way through grad
school. The funds they pooled to help them purchase
their first car. Their dad drove them anywhere they
needed to go. When her sister was in the library late at
night studying, her father would always be the one to get
up at whatever hour—1 am, 2 am, it did not matter—
to retrieve her. It was the same when her sister had late
shifts at work.
Veronica recognized that she would not be half the person
she was without her parents’ sacrifice. She remembered
that when the coursework was becoming impossible and
the anxiety had become stifling, her mother was always
there to keep her motivated. Veronica recalled how proud
she felt when she was finally able to chip in more at home.
Equipped with a master’s degree, she was eventually able
to get a high-paying job to not only start building her own
life but assisting her parents with the bills.
Walking down memory lane with her mother, Veronica
accidentally bumped a book off the countertop table.
Cries from the other room could be heard echoing from
Daniel Francis, Author
A millennial helping other millennials.
He is an author, coach, and entrepreneur. Over the past 3
years, he has served as a Personal Development Coach
whose work targets Millennials and helps them tap into
their full potential.
Daniel’s extensive work with young people inspired him
to write a book entitled, “The Millennial Mind: Success
Secrets For Unlocking Your Full Potential”, which helps
guide millennials into becoming the best version of
themselves. The book focuses on Millennial challenges
and shows how to overcome these challenges in a
relatable and practical way. With his second book
entitled, The Millennial Experience: 30 Stories of Hope,
Growth and Success” he plans to motivate and empower
even more Millennials to reach for greatness. Outside of
his entrepreneurial activities Daniel is a pinned member
of his local Rotaract Club (Rotaract Club of Port of Spain
West) and continues to give back to his community.
To read more >>
#MYFOL Page 12 ISSUE 13