Wayne Roorda

An Advocate. A Humanitarian. My Friend.

Wayne Roorda Sr. has been a patient of mine for many years. He is one of those rare individuals who I rank as incomparable and unforgettable. Over the years, I’ve come to know quite a few things about Wayne;

He lost his hearing as a young boy growing up in Arizona. He has a passion for aviation. He loves science. Wayne attended Galludet College in Washington, D.C. He’s a genius when it comes to maintaining the U.S. government’s computer systems. He has raised two delightful sons who are both civil engineers working for the State of NJ. He has two grandchildren, with one more on the way. He is married to a lovely lady from Brazil, who was born hearing-impaired.

Several years ago, Wayne became one of the first people to undergo cochlear implantation in an experimental study at Johns Hopkins University Medical School in Baltimore, Maryland. As a result of undergoing this procedure, Wayne can now hear and process almost everything that he had lost as a young boy. Since then, Wayne has assisted innumerable people to have cochlear implants.

He has a passion for helping others less fortunate than himself. Wayne has the biggest heart.

And for this, Wayne has been selected to receive the 2014 Rocky Stone Humanitarian Award at the HLAA Convention in Austin, Texas this June.

Wayne did not solicit this award; it was extended to him to honor the work that he has done to help the hard of hearing. It is an award that is well deserved!

I really get more from Wayne than he gives me, and I am very grateful to call him my friend.

Congratulations, Wayne!

Dr. Michael Cohen, Grandfather
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A Career in Optometry is Pretty Wonderful

Joseph Philip Cohen was born at 2:19 A.M. on Wednesday, December 18, 2013. He is the first-born son of my son, David (Dov) Herschel Cohen and his beautiful bride, Christine. Joseph Philip is the great grandson of my father, Dr. Philip Cohen and my mother, Thelma. While none of my four children chose to follow in the footsteps of my father and me, I am looking forward to the day when my grandson graduates from Pennsylvania College of Optometry (Salus University) and becomes Dr. Joseph Philip Cohen.

It is very hard for me to put into words, what it felt like to become a grandfather for the first time. All of my patients, my brother, Donald Paul Cohen, and my friends who preceded me in this rite of passage told me that it was something very special to become a grandfather. However you really have to experience the birth of a grandchild yourself, to be able to understand what it is that your friends and family are crowing about.

When my children were born, I was so busy trying to build my fledgling optometric practice and provide for them, I missed out on some of the simple things like holding the newborn in my lap and hoping that he would open his eyes and look at me. There just never seemed to be enough time to watch my newborns purse their lips because diapers had to be changed.
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Understanding Glaucoma

Glaucoma: The Sneaky Thief of Vision.

If you put too much air in a balloon, the air pressure will find any weakness in the wall of the balloon and cause it to release itself by exploding.

If there is too much intraocular fluid in a human eye, this causes elevation of the intraocular pressure in the eye which often results in damage to the fragile nerves that populate the retina. Damage to these fragile retinal nerves robs you of your night vision, peripheral vision, black and white vision and motion vision. We call this particular type of visual loss glaucoma. And there are rarely any warning signs of glaucoma.

There are two types of Glaucoma. Open Angle and Narrow Angle Glaucoma.

Open Angle Glaucoma is characterized by excessive production of aqueous humor in an eye, which has an open anterior chamber angle. The drainage system is functioning properly, however, there is a torrential production of fluid in the eye with a functional drainage system which cannot accommodate this elevated level of aqueous production. This type of glaucoma is generally treated with the daily administration of eye drops which reduces the production of aqueous humor to a more normal level.

Narrow Angle Glaucoma is divided into two types: Chronic and Acute. Chronic Narrow Angle Glaucoma is a condition characterized by an eye that is producing a normal amount of aqueous humor; however, the eye’s drainage angle is somewhat narrowed so that the eye is unable to sufficiently carry away enough aqueous humor, causing the buildup of pressure. An Acute Narrow Angle Glaucoma attack is an ocular emergency characterized by a complete closure of the drainage system which results in severe ocular pain, nausea and disorientation. There are no early warning signs in cases of acute narrow angle glaucoma attacks.
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The Drag Racer

The Optometrist and the Drag Racer

It was the end of a rather busy day when one of my favorite and most loyal patients came in for his annual eye examination and a contact lens evaluation. He is one of the most intelligent and engaging people I’ve met in my forty-one years in practice; some appointments, I think I learn more from him than he does from me.

This patient is extremely myopic; i.e. he is very nearsighted. He can be found most weekends racing his dragster at the Atco Drag Strip. He wins far more races than he loses! He drives like he is … smart.

He wears soft contact lenses to enhance his peripheral vision most of the time, especially when he is racing. He is meticulous about scheduling his annual eye exams and contact lens check-ups. He always elects to be my last patient of the day because he loves our give and take at his annual visits to my office. My staff generally brings snacks, anticipating a late night, when they see this patient’s name in my appointment book.

In any event, he came in for his Thursday night appointment, and we got right into it. We talked and talked about anything and everything. Finally, there was only one more thing that needed to be done … a dilated examination of his retinas. He demurred when I informed him that it was time to dilate his pupils, “Let’s skip the dilation this year; I’m hungry and it’s late.”
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