When you think about quality of life, what comes to mind? Success? Time with family? Supportive relationships? While these all contribute greatly to quality of life, there is much we take for granted and don’t think about. One of those is our vision. If we were to lose it tomorrow, how would it affect our lives?
Dr. Caroline Wells has dedicated her career to saving and maintaining vision as a way to improve quality of life. As the owner and optometrist at Today’s Vision in Katy, Caroline makes it her mission to provide the kind of patient service that transcends a typical eye exam.
Her passion derives from a personal connection. Caroline’s grandmother went blind in her 60’s from glaucoma, an eye disease that would have been manageable with the right care. Although her grandmother was aware that seeing her doctor could save her vision, she refused healthcare out of fear. As a result, her quality of life has drastically declined since losing her vision. Since that time, Caroline has focused on preventing this unnecessary loss for others.
Caroline attended HBU for her undergraduate studies, where she double majored in biology and Christianity. She then worked at Baylor College of Medicine as a research coordinator for two years prior to applying to optometry school. After graduating optometry school in 2013, Caroline was approached by Today’s Vision. At that time Dr. Blair, the previous owner of Today’s Vision Katy, had passed away and his widow needed an optometrist to keep the office running. Seven months later, Caroline purchased the practice and now runs a staff of seven, along with her husband Charles, who manages the office.
Her services are extensive: comprehensive eye exams, medical eye exams, glaucoma management, dry eye syndrome treatments, diabetic eye exams, fitting contact lenses, specialty lenses such as hard contacts and scleral contact lenses, and in-office procedures such as foreign body removal, punctual plugs, and amniotic membrane corneal treatment. She also offer products such as contact lenses, glasses and sunglasses at her in-office eyewear gallery.
It’s a priority to Caroline to make sure her patients are comfortable and to eliminate or reduce the anxiety associated with going to the doctor. She doesn’t wear a white coat, introduces herself by her first name, and goes out of her way to be approachable and open to questions.
“I am looking for a long-term relationship with patients who understand the importance of good vision,” Caroline explained. “Eighty percent of our lives comes through our vision – our memories. What we do now impacts our future. I have seen 30- to 40-year-old patients who have come in for a simple vision screening where we have detected diabetes or cancer.”
One such patient came in for his annual eye exam with no particular complaints. All the elements of the exam were within normal limits with the exception of some very minor bleeding in the retina. Caroline referred the patient to a primary care doctor to run specific blood work which identified Stage 1 Leukemia. Because of the early detection and subsequent treatments, the patient made a full recovery.
As a Christian business owner, Caroline tries to give back to the community by serving as a healthcare provider for the Lions Club. Through her involvement, her practice offers discounted services and eyewear to those who couldn’t otherwise afford them.
As Caroline says, “It all comes back to patient care. It’s how we put our knowledge together and weave it into the future benefit of our patients that sets us apart from others.”
Today’s Vision Katy is located at 1350 Fry Road on North Fry Rd and I-10, Houston. For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit todaysvision.com/location/katy/23.
Rebecca Deurlein is the author of Teenagers 101: What a top teacher wishes you knew about helping your kid succeed, and CEO of Teenager Success 101, a one-on-one tutoring and path to success company. She blogs and writes internationally, speaks to parents across the nation, and loves every minute of living in Sugar Land, TX. Find her on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Huffington Post, or through her own blog A Teacher’s Guide to Understanding Teenagers. All can be accessed at www.rebeccadeurlein.com.