The Canadian Ophthalmological Society encourages Canadians to See The Possibilities during National Vision Health Month

The organization has launched a campaign to educate Canadians on the role
ophthalmologists' play in eye health care

TORONTO, May 9, 2017 /CNW/ - Today, the Canadian Ophthalmological Society (COS) launched their first public awareness campaign, See The Possibilities in honour of National Vision Health Month in May. The goal of the campaign is to help educate Canadians about eye health and the important role ophthalmologists play in eye health care. Through a series of videos and personal patient stories, the COS will show Canadians first-hand the transformative effect ophthalmologists have on the lives of their patients and encourage Canadians to share their own eye health experiences. While other eye health professionals can correct vision, only ophthalmologists can restore it.

"The role of an ophthalmologist is not well understood by the Canadian public," says Dr. Phil Hooper, MD, FRCSC. "For people who have never experienced eye afflictions, the difference between an optometrist, optician and ophthalmologist may not be clear. The See The Possibilities campaign will help Canadians better understand the work we do for our patients in helping to restore vision."

The patients featured in the campaign are all Canadians whose lives have been impacted by an ophthalmologist for various afflictions and have inspiring stories to tell about their sight restoration. For example, Michael Babcock was only one year old when his ophthalmologist saved his life.

"Dr. Roberts saved my son's vision and helped us discover a brain tumour that would have otherwise gone unnoticed," says Amanda Gavin, Michael's mother. "At six months old Michael was referred to an ophthalmologist after learning he had inward-pointing eye issues. A later assessment revealed his optic nerves were swollen, resulting in an emergency MRI and a seven and a half hour surgery that immediately followed. He's now fully cleared and has made a miracle recovery but he may not be with us today if it hadn't been for the involvement and quick response of the ophthalmologist."

Ophthalmologists are medical doctors (eye MDs) who specialize in eye and vision care. As the medical leaders, ophthalmologists are the "quarterback" of the eye health team. Their role is to diagnose and treat all eye diseases, perform surgeries and prescribe and fit eyeglasses and contact lenses to correct vision problems. Ophthalmologists can also diagnose and treat glaucoma, perform cataract surgery and mitigate damage from macular degeneration. Since ophthalmologists are the primary point of care for eye emergencies, one is always on-call 24 hours a day, every day at any Canadian hospital.

"Ophthalmologists are the future of eye care with many actively involved in scientific research on the causes and cures for eye diseases and vision disorders," explains Dr. François Codère from COS and ophthalmologist at the Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital Ophthalmology University Center. "We're very proud to be launching this campaign in honour of National Vision Health Month to highlight the value and unique role ophthalmologists play in correcting, restoring and preserving vision and maintaining good overall eye health."

The See The Possibilities campaign is also encouraging Canadians to share their own personal stories about what they've experienced to have their eyesight restored or improved to help drive further awareness of the important role ophthalmologists play in eye health care.

Cossette Health and The Colony Project developed the campaign in collaboration with the COS. The campaign will feature a video series and website, media relations and influencer engagement. The focus will spotlight stories from patients whose lives have been impacted by an ophthalmologist. The videos will be shared online and on social media.

By visiting www.seethepossibilities.ca people can find remarkable patient stories, along with new and interesting innovations from Canadian ophthalmologists.

About Canadian Ophthalmological Society

The Canadian Ophthalmological Society (COS) is the national, recognized authority on eye and vision care in Canada. As eye physicians and surgeons, we are committed to assuring the provision of optimal medical and surgical eye care for all Canadians by promoting excellence in ophthalmology and by providing services to support our members in practice. Our membership includes over 900 ophthalmologists and 200 ophthalmology residents. We work collaboratively with government, other national and international specialty societies, our academic communities (ACUPO), our provincial partners and affiliates and other eye care professionals and patient groups to advocate for health policy in Canada in the area of eye and vision health. COS is an accredited, award-winning provider of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) through the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) and is an affiliate of the Canadian Medical Association (CMA).

For further information please visit the Canadian Ophthalmological Society at: http://www.cos-sco.ca/

SOURCE The Colony Project

For further information: For media inquiries please contact: Stella Karami, The Colony Project, T: (416) 306-6739, E: stella.karami@colonyproject.com

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