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Richmond optometrist gives back to community

Specsavers open first Richmond location in Terra Nova neighbourhood.
McNair alumnus Darshan Singh Matharu has opened his own optometry clinic in Terra Nova.

An optometrist who grew up in Richmond has returned to open his own optometry clinic with the goal of making great vision an option for everyone in the community.

Darshan Singh Matharu, a Matthew McNair alumnus, opened his new optometry clinic, Specsavers, in Terra Nova this month.

Matharu told the Richmond News that eye exams, especially when they involve the latest technology, have become a financial burden for many people, especially the senior population.

“With everything increase in price, lots of (optometry) clinics are charging fees here and there for extra tests and screenings,” he said, adding that extra tests are often needed for those who are aging.

“We believe that quality eye care and eyewear should be affordable to all.”

The new Richmond clinic will have an Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) imaging exam that takes a 3D image of the inside of an eye, explained Matharu.

An OCT scan, he added, can detect diseases such as glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy.

An OCT scan can cost around $120 per exam in Metro Vancouver, but Matharu said an OCT scan is free with a basic eye exam at his clinic.

Eye exams for seniors and children will be covered by the BC Medical Services Plan, up to the maximum allowance, with no extra fees for the OCT scan.

“A greater access to the community starts from locals doing what they can for others.”

Matharu immigrated to Richmond from Glasgow, Scotland with his family in 1995 and said his journey in becoming an optometrist began from Daniel Woodward elementary where they “saw potential” in him and recommended him to attend McNair’s mini school program at the time.

“I was lucky and fortunate enough to get a place there and it was what set me up for what I have become,” he said.

“I think the best part about all this is I get to serve the community that I grew up in.”