Dr. Nancy Friessen’s experience with eyesight issues drives her to excel in field – Think Local

Dr. Nancy Friessen’s experience with eyesight issues drives her to excel in field – Think Local

Photo: contributed

It is not difficult to see that Dr. Nancy Friessen’s passion for optometry stems from personal experience.

The newest addition to Visionfirst Optometry in Kelowna and West Kelowna knows what she’s doing in her role as an optometrist because there’s a good chance she’s been through it herself.

It all started in kindergarten when Dr. Friessen’s family was new to Canada and they spoke no English. Her kindergarten teacher in the small Ontario town was smart enough to notice that young Nancy’s eyesight was not all right.

“I got glasses when I was five, and my prescription was quite unusual, but I loved wearing glasses,” says Dr. eat. “I thought that was so cool because they cost money and my family didn’t have a lot of money.”

From then on she wore contact lenses as a teenager and underwent LASIK surgery when she was 20. dr Friessen’s only option was to wear hard contact lenses as a teenager, which today drives her to find the most comfortable options for her patients.

“My job is to show the patient options,” says Dr. Friessen, “and then the patient can decide where he wants to go.”

dr Friessen offers primary care optometry, which includes complete eye exams, contact lens fitting, myopia management, refractive surgery such as LASIK, pre-operative and post-operative management, and eye disease management.

dr Friessen also learned about vision therapy in her late teens when she was told she would definitely have benefited from the treatment when she was younger. So it’s no wonder that vision therapy has become her passion. She now offers vision therapy treatment in Summerland along with primary eye care.

Vision therapy is essentially physical therapy for eyes with alignment inefficiencies that include, for example, problems with convergence and divergence. If your child is complaining of tired eyes, having trouble reading, or having to trace a finger on the page, vision therapy should be explored.

dr Friessen underwent vision therapy as an adult, which is another aspect of the treatment that she can explain to patients from her own experience. She also has a Bachelor of Education, so she is very interested in how the visual system is involved in learning.

The most common vision therapy patients are young people and athletes suffering from concussions.

dr Friessen is also a member of the BC Doctors of Optometry, who recently produced a video for parents and teachers to help them raise awareness of potential vision problems in children. The BCDO Eye Health Library can be found here and an excerpt of the video is available below.

More information about dr. Friessen can be found on their website here.


This article was written by or on behalf of the sponsoring client and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *