Said the Optometrist

Meet Said Aghabozorg, Ophthalmic Director at Specsavers Opticians Edgware Road and Queensway.

1Can you explain your role in one sentence?As an optometrist, I look after people’s eye health, by not only checking if there have been any changes to their vision, but also looking for signs of other medical conditions, such as high blood pressure and diabetes.

2How long have you been doing this job?I have been working for Specsavers for almost 20 years but have been practicing as a qualified optometrist for over 12 years.

3Did you find yourself in this role by accident or by design?I guess you can say it was designed by accident. I was studying for my master’s in molecular genetics at Imperial College when I stumbled across my local Specsavers store, which happened to be advertising a vacancy for part-time weekend work. To cut a long story short, after I attained my post-graduate degree I decided to go back to university and study optometry, the rest is history and I’ve now been with Specsavers coming up to 20 years.

4What is the best part about your job?The daily interaction with people of all ages and all walks of life makes my job highly rewarding. One minute, I’m referring an 80-year-old customer for cataract surgery, the next I am seeing a five-year-old child for their first eye exam.

5You and the team at Specsavers Edgware Road have played a role in supporting patients and the NHS during the pandemic, can you tell us about that?As part of the key worker cohort, we have continued to provide care to the local community, especially for key workers and to help support our partners in the NHS to provide critical care where it is most needed. During the pandemic, many customers have come to us with eye and ear elated issues, while many have been referred to us either through 111, their GPs, or eye hospitals. I am very proud of the team and the fact we have been able to keep looking after people’s eye health and hearing needs.

6What do you enjoy doing when you are not at work?Playing Lego and piano with the kids.

7What do you like about this area?A diverse mix of cultures, tourists and great local residents make Edgware Road one of the most vibrant and colourful roads in London.

8Where is your favourite place to go for lunch in the local area?I don’t really have time for lunch these days, but there’s nothing quite like sitting along the canal at Paddington Basin with a cheese & pickle sandwich from Waitrose.

9Who is your hero and what is it about them that inspires you?My one-year-old son and four-year-old daughter are my heroes and heroines. They have been thrown a huge curve ball so early on in their life with lockdown, however, they carry on remaining perpetually happy (I can learn so much from them). I hope that soon enough all ‘generation Covid’ children will get to experience the joys and excitements of what we called ‘normal life’.

10If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would it be?I’ve been fortunate enough to tick most of the places I’ve wanted to visit off my bucket list, but we had planned to go whale watching around Vancouver Island before the pandemic.