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Eyecare Deluxe: Getting to know the expert behind the best eye care clinic in Davao City

This article is originally published in SunStar Davao :

DABAWENYOS can soon experience the ultimate eye care with complete world-class facilities right in their midst with the opening of Eyecare Deluxe, an elite eye clinic, in Abreeza Ayala Malls. Eyecare Deluxe, founded by topnotch Optometrist Dr. Lareen Dawn Baluso-Tan, pediatric eye care, vision therapy and orthokeratology expert and 2015 Optometry Board Exam topnotcher, is an offshoot of the Global Eyecare Center which has already been in the eye care industry for more than two decades. However, as the brand suggests, Eyecare Deluxe does not only offer bandage solutions to eye problems like eyeglasses, contact lenses or even Lasik. Eyecare Deluxe has a wide array of state-of-the-art equipment and world-class facilities that are handled by eye experts led by Dr. Tan herself to provide the patients with utmost eye care services. To get to know how someone will be taken care of at Eyecare Deluxe, let's get to know its founder first. Dr. Dawn was born into a family of optometrists and even into the optical industry but she did not have any inclination towards the profession at first. Like most people, she thought that optometry was all about measuring eye grades and giving eyeglasses which were not very fulfilling in her opinion. "My mom used to be the dean of the College of Optometry here in Davao City but she enrolled me in the six-year Doctor of Optometry Program at Centro Escolar University (CEU), Manila. The optometry curriculum in CEU was the best one in the Philippines if not in the whole of Asia. It is patterned from the optometry practice in the US, Canada, and Europe,” Dr. Tan recalled. CEU Manila changed the young Dr. Tan’s perception of optometry. “CEU Manila’s six-year curriculum provides in-depth study and understanding of the anatomy and physiology of the eye, ocular diseases, ocular pharmacology, optometry medicine, binocular vision, orthoptics and pediatrics, low vision, neuro-optometry, ocular prosthesis, as well as occupational, industrial, and public health optometry," Dr. Dawn narrated. In CEU, they were encouraged to work alongside ophthalmologists and other allied health practitioners since their professors consist of progressive-thinking ophthalmologists, medical doctors, and other allied health practitioners. "That explains why my alma mater is the undisputed home of optometry board topnotchers. In CEU, I learned that optometry was not limited to giving eyeglasses only. I learned that there are so many non-surgical eye treatments like vision therapy, orthokeratology, low vision rehabilitation, RGP and scleral lenses that optometrists can specialize in. Sadly only very few optometrists specialize, that's why there's very limited awareness about the life-changing eye care specialties that we offer," she said. This is also the reason why Dr. Tan was firm in her decision to establish the Eyecare Deluxe; to educate the people that there are more ways to correct eye problems than just eyeglasses and Eyecare Deluxe offers not just the solution to eye problems but also the prevention and the proper care. "After I took my oath, I went back to Davao City with the sole intention of bringing to my hometown everything I learned from CEU, all the international advancements in the eye care practice, world-class eye care services, and state-of-the-art ophthalmic facilities. Even if my colleagues tell me that the Davao market is not ready, I believe that Davaoenos deserve to experience the best eye care experience," she recalled. Dr. Tan finds fulfillment in helping patients with complex vision problems that cannot be corrected with standard eyeglasses or surgery. She uses specialty eye care services like vision therapy, orthokeratology, RGP, Scleral, low vision rehabilitation, color vision correction, and other non-surgical methods for managing eye and vision problems for both adult and pediatric patients. She said that although she's not the only optometrist in Davao City who came from CEU, she's the only one who graduated under the institution's six-year Doctor of Optometry Program as the others only finished the four-year program. This is why her clinical practice is very much advanced than other local doctors. While still working at Global Eyecare, Dr. Tan underwent international post-graduate training from the Ortho-K Vision Academy, Russia, and the Australian Council of Behavioral Optometry. “I am still undergoing further training with the Optometric Extension Program, USA. When I started practicing vision therapy, orthokeratology, low vision rehabilitation, RGP, and scleral lenses, I had patients who needed to undergo advanced ophthalmic tests and I really wanted to be able to do those tests immediately for my patients so I can help solve their eye problems right away," she said. "That's when I decided to focus my resources on acquiring advanced state-of-the-art ophthalmic facilities that are not readily available in most opticals, eye clinics, and even eye centers because I wanted my patients to have immediate access to all the ophthalmic facilities they need. As a matter of fact, the amount of investment that I put in acquiring the facilities of Eyecare Deluxe can already open four mall-based opticals, but my goal is not commercialization and expansion, my goal is to provide the best eye care services with the best ophthalmic facilities for Dabawenyos," she added. Soon with Eyecare Deluxe, Dabawenyos need not go to Manila or abroad; they can have access to specialty eye care services and be monitored by their doctor right here in Davao City. Eyecare Deluxe provides very thorough eye exams and their consultations usually last from 30-90 minutes for each patient. It can even be longer than 90 minutes for more complex eye problems. This is why they discourage walk-in consultations. They advise interested patients to book an appointment prior to their visit. For inquiries and reservations, you may contact the following numbers: landline (082)225-9538, globe 09954632319, smart 09292279908.

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