The best part of our job is that we get to meet some really great people every day. Our blog “Friend Request” is a chance for you to get to know them as well. On today’s blog we talk to eye extraordinaire and amazing person Jovan Alavanja of Crown Point Eye Care.
LOCAL 219: Hey Jovan! How’s it going?
JOVAN ALAVANJA: Good! How are you doing?
L219: Good! So what do you do?
JA: I am an optometrist and partner/owner of Crown Point Eye Care.
L219: What made you want to help people see?
JA: I wanted to do something in the medical field, but wasn’t really sure which direction to take it. I volunteered at a hospital pharmacy, and had an opportunity to speak with all sorts of healthcare providers, and nothing really caught my attention. I had my annual eye exam with my optometrist, shadowed him the next day and fell in love with it.
L219: So did you take a test online to become an optometrist? Or did you go to school?
JA: Definitely had to go to school. [laughs] It was four years of undergrad at Purdue [Go Boilers] and then four years of optometry school at IU [Go Hoosiers].
L219: So you went to both? Can you be a fan of both schools?
JA: Only when they’re not playing each other. [laughs] Otherwise you can. [laughs]
L219: [laughs] What’s one thing about this profession that most people would have no idea about?
JA: It’s about more than just glasses and contacts. We treat and manage eye diseases and eye emergencies. And when we dilate a patient, we can tell if they have uncontrolled systemic issues like hypertension and diabetes.
L219: What type of machine do you use to look at the back of their eyes?
JA: We have “fundus photography” which gives us a 2d picture of the eye, and then we have an OCT machine that gives us a 3d image of the back of the eye. So if there’s any swelling or any leakages in the back of the eye, we can image it, which is kinda cool.
L219: How often should someone come in for an eye exam?
JA: Definitely yearly. It’s the best way to make sure those eyes stay as healthy as possible. Just think of it as a physical for the eyes.
L219: Awesome. Guess I’m overdue for an eye exam. Do you have any hidden talents that people may not know about?
JA: I guess that comes down to who you talk to. [laughs] I try to pretend that I’m still athletic, but I like to golf (even though I’m not too good at it), and I like to still dabble in basketball (even though those days have definitely passed), but I enjoy my sports whether I’m playing them or watching them.
L219: You’re from the area. Which part of the Region are you from?
JA: I grew up in Dyer and Schererville and went through the Lake Central School Corporation.
L219: What would you change about the Region if you could?
JA: Wow. [thinks] That’s a tough question.
L219: That is tough, and super broad.
JA: Honestly, not too much. We kinda have a little bit of everything here and the community is really great. We have beaches, we have the city 30 minutes away, and if you go south we have another beautiful city in Indy to visit. It’s kinda the perfect place to be.
L219: Thanks for meeting with me today and doing this interview.
JA: Cool, man. Appreciate you stopping in.
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