This week’s Meet a Mom Monday is Dr. Katie Brogan, Advanced Eyecare of Connecticut. A new mom of a beautiful little girl who also loves being a working mom at her state-of-the-art eye care facility, Advanced EyeCare of Connecticut. She loves living here in Fairfield with her cute little family! Learn more below!
Where are you originally from and how long have you been in Fairfield?
I grew up in South Salem, NY and I’ve been in Fairfield since 2019.
Tell us about your Family!
My husband and I just had our first child- a baby girl born in March. We also have two cats, who are less than thrilled with their new noisy roommate.
One thing people would be surprised to know about you?
I wanted to be a marine biologist and spent a brief stint as a dolphin training intern in college (yes, I got to swim with the dolphins regularly).
One thing you wish someone would have told you about motherhood?
No one can prepare you for how obsessive you can become over your child’s sleep habits and trying to figure out how to improve them!
What’s your favorite thing about raising a family in Fairfield?
The family events. Our kiddo is a little young for many of the programs but knowing we can bring her to Sand Jam or the Christmas Tree Lighting in the near future is so exciting. The sense of community is a big reason why we chose to settle in Fairfield- plus the beaches!
Best mom hack that makes your life easier?
A ceiling fan. My babe loves staring at it, which can be really helpful when she’s particularly fussy or I need 2 minutes to get something done.
Tell us about your business and when & why you decided to create this business!
We’re a full-service optometry office (Advanced Eyecare of CT) offering routine eye care as well as medical eye care, glasses, and contact lens services. We wanted to provide exceptional eye care to the community we live in.
Where are you located and how long have you been at this location?
We’re at 55 Walls Drive, Suite 205, and we’ve been there since the summer of 2021.
What types of services do you handle?
We provide routine eye exams as well as contact lens exams, dry eye treatments, diabetic eye exams, glaucoma management, and the detection and management of a host of other diseases.
Tell us about your background in this industry.
I first realized I wanted to work in eye care after working for a veterinary ophthalmologist after I graduated from college. I decided I wanted to pursue optometry instead of veterinary medicine (human patients tend to bite less). I graduated from the SUNY College of Optometry in 2018. I then did a residency in Ocular Disease and Low Vision/TBI at the West Haven VA. This was where I really got my feet wet in the world of medical eye care and disease management. I’ve been in private practice since 2019 where I’ve been able to continue to expand my skills and provide more contact lens services as well as specialized dry eye treatments.
What is your most memorable moment in this field?
One of my VA patients had come in concerned that he couldn’t see anything on his left. After a quick exam we realized he likely had a stroke so we sent him right to the ER for a stroke work up. The team there was able to find where the stroke had occurred and monitor him closely to prevent any additional strokes from occurring. This was such a memorable example of how the eyes can help detect other issues going on in the rest of the body. The eyes really are the window to our overall health!
When and why would someone be going to see you?
There are so many reasons to obtain eye care. Some of these include:
– if you’re struggling with your current glasses or contact lenses or having difficulty seeing at night;
– if you’re experiencing blurry vision or a headache after using a computer for a long time;
– if your child is struggling with reading or math, or if they fail a vision screening;
– if your eyes are red or itchy or you have a new stye;
– if you’re seeing new flashes or floaters;
– if you’re a diabetic or if you’re on certain medications that can affect the eyes (like Plaquenil);
– if you have a family history of glaucoma;
– if you’re seeing double;
– if you’re experiencing dry eyes;
– if you just want a check up!
If you have good eyes should you still make an appointment to see you?
Absolutely! While vision is an important part of eye health, it’s not the whole exam. Sometimes patients think their eyesight is good but they don’t realize the headaches they always get at the end of the work day could be solved with a glasses prescription; or they don’t realize the vision in just one eye isn’t great because the other eye is compensating. We also want to make sure the eye itself is healthy. There are many times when we catch diabetes or hypertension during a routine eye exam and the patient had no idea they had these diseases. Other eye diseases can be caught during a dilated exam that don’t often come with symptoms.
Best advice for moms who experience the inevitable MOM GUILT handling a career and raising a family?
Try not to feel so guilty- your kids won’t remember things in the same light as you think they might. I’m the child of two working parents and I don’t ever remember crying when I was dropped at daycare or thinking another trip to McDonald’s was because my parents were too tired to cook. I remember Take Your Child to Work days and my mom showing up to my second-grade play. Even when you feel like you can’t juggle it all, your kids are just happy you showed up (and always leave the dishes for tomorrow!).
Who has most influenced you to be the mom that you are today?
My mom! She was also a working mom and a wonderful role model. I’m sure there were days that she felt it was a struggle to have both a career in the city and raise two kids but I never noticed it. It would be an honor to be even half as good of a mom as she is.
What advice would you share with a new mom or other moms?
Find other moms! Our pediatrician’s office has a moms group and it was invaluable when I was just starting my journey into motherhood. If you have a question about something pertaining to taking care of your baby, I can guarantee someone else has that same question. Being a mom is tough and can be lonely, finding a support system helps so much.
We love supporting local businesses – favorite places in Fairfield to…
Have Dinner with Family: Chip’s (I’m a big breakfast-for-dinner lover)
Grab a Drink with Friends: Malibu Taco
Have a Date Night: The Chelsea or Bodega
Spend time together as a Family: Fairfield Farmers Market (and when she’s old enough we plan on taking our daughter to the Sacred Heart Community Theater a lot!)
Outside Activities: Penfield Beach or Sasco sunsets
Grab coffee: Shearwater