We met Alex Petty at our LINKT Christmas event – new to Tauranga and busy preparing to open his own optometry business. Full of enthusiasm and incredibly knowledgeable, we guessed he’d make an interesting yarn. We were right!
From complex eye conditions to his work limiting the progression of short-sightedness in children – no day is the same for Alex.
As a therapeutic optometrist, Alex diagnoses and prescribes medicines for eye conditions and specialising in contact lens and ocular disease management.
This month he’s opening his own practice ‘Bay Eye Care’- fulfilling a life long dream of self-employment.
“I have always wanted to open my own practice and be my own boss. Starting a unique specialty practice that offers these services, in a community very receptive to locally owned and operated businesses, is incredibly exciting for me.”
Bay Eye Care will concentrate on specialty optometry care, rather than selling glasses.
This work involves helping all sorts of interesting people and eye problems, such as prescribing customised contact lenses for patients with complex eyes and difficult prescriptions, managing conditions such as dry eye and glaucoma, and using myopia control treatments to limit the progression of short-sightedness in children.
It was his own experience with eye problems from a kid that steered Alex into this specialised industry.
“I’ve had very short-sighted eyes since childhood, and because of my high prescription and long eye length (myopia), I developed retinal detachments, where the tissue at the back of the eye separates.”
For Alex, urgent surgery repaired the damage, but not everyone is as lucky. As a result, he ensures he limits the progression of myopia in his younger patients to prevent such problems happening to them.
Another example of a key part of his work is ‘orthokeratology corneal reshaping’, a modern therapy that involves wearing a customised contact lens only while you sleep.
“The lens remodels the front surface of your eye so that when you remove the lens on waking up you can see well throughout the day without any glasses or daytime contact lenses. Best of all it is safe and completely reversible and can be used to treat a range of ages and prescriptions.”
Last year Alex became one of the first three New Zealand fellows of the International Academy of Orthokeratology – a group of world-wide OrthoK experts.
He also moved to Tauranga with his fiancé Rachel after a stint in Adelaide.
“Both of us love the beach and the outdoors and we have a number of friends and family here so it just made sense. We bought a house in Papamoa and love the Bay lifestyle, especially now that summer is here.”
All going to plan Bay Eye Care opens on 23 January, in the medical rooms of Promed House, the health complex on Tenth Ave.
“Turns out there are an amazing number of things that need to be arranged and sorted before opening an optometry practice – but I can’t wait!”
If we were to ask you…
What attracted you to LINKT?
I’ve always enjoyed mingling with like-minded young professionals. I had heard good things about LINKT from a few friends who are members so for someone starting a new business in town it seemed like a great idea to join up.
Best place to eat in Tauranga?
We had a great meal at this cool Japanese place called Mr Miyagi in the Mount the other day.
Favourite place in the world?
Rachel and I spent three months travelling South America at the start of 2016. The Galapagos Islands (off the coast of Ecuador) were unlike anywhere I had ever been, just extraordinary. If you get a chance try and visit – it is truly once in a lifetime.
Number one professional goal for the next 12 months?
To start building the clientele of Bay Eye Care and get the word out about the services and care we provide.
Best piece of advice you’ve received?
All work and no play makes Alex a dull boy.
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