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As an optometrist, I thoroughly enjoy solving health problems, eliminating suffering and disabilities that hold people back from achieving their goals and enjoying their lives. My own medical past has opened me to not only standard optometric practices but exciting and proven alternative methods of treatment.

During my childhood years, I never wore glasses and had perfect 20/15 vision. However, I suffered from a common binocular (eye teaming) condition that was not diagnosed and cured until my mid-twenties. I suffered poor reading comprehension and speed, pain around the eyes, and would often fall asleep when reading.

Despite excelling on intelligence tests, I succeeded in school only by reading study materials over and over again. This, of course, could only be accomplished by foregoing most social or recreational pursuits. I could not for the life of me understand how other "gifted" students had time for extracurricular activities.

Vision Therapy in later years cured me of all these symptoms – and finally allowed me time to work those social muscles! Had this condition been diagnosed and treated earlier, I might have graduated first in my high school class of 800, instead of ninth. Needless to say, I am always on the lookout for children – and adults – who are being held back by undiagnosed eye or vision conditions that can interfere with learning, interests and activities. I know personally how a child’s eyes can help or hinder their future.

Early in life I also battled asthma, allergies, undiagnosed fibromyalgia and other ailments which likewise interfered with my interests and passions. Over the years I researched and discovered treatments that relieved my symptoms and restored me to good health. For example, I practiced and taught yoga and was treated successfully with acupuncture and homeopathy. I consequently have a profound respect for various treatment modalities beyond traditional western medicine.

More recently, I was cured of longstanding chronic whiplash pain through Prolotherapy.1 My youngest son was cured of chronic back and neck pain through Active Release Technique (A.R.T.)2 only after many medical doctors and physical therapists had failed to help him. These are examples of alternative solutions found through dogged research and sometimes through luckIt is that experience I bring to the table with every patient I see.

Quite a few of us suffer from painful, nagging dry eyes, and the one almost universal ailment we face is presbyopia, the decline of near focus after the age of 40. I am no fan of this scourge! I wear and prescribe progressive spectacle lenses and I find the new designs work very well. 

Fortunately, we are in the midst of a new paradigm in how we treat bothersome and sometimes debilitating conditions such as dry eye, meibomian gland dysfunction, and blepharitis. The new treatments rely less on pharmaceuticals and costly lubricants and more on preventative care such as lid hygiene, lifestyle, and proper blinking. I’m always on the lookout for the next cutting edge technology and quick to try out these advancements. For instance, we are getting very impressive improvement in dry eye with a new blink exercise routine and microexfoliation of the lid margins.

In May, 2015, the FDA approved a promising new treatment for presbyopia called the KAMRA inlay treatment. Fortunately for our patients, a local renowned surgeon, Dr. Tom Tooma of NVision, is one of the first surgeons in the U.S. to offer the KAMRA treatment. Dr. Tooma was a principal investigator for the U.S. clinical trials and he has extensive experience with the KAMRA inlay treatment. I believe this new surgical option will truly revolutionize the treatment of presbyopia.

Helping people find the right practitioner3 or treatment modality for their particular problem is an absolute passion for me. I see my intolerance for suffering as a boon for my patients. I will always take your complaints seriously, and aggressively seek to better your vision and eye health, including their impact on your overall well-being and quality of life.

REFERENCES

  1. From the late Dr. Mark Lazarra, D.O
  2. By Dr. Sebastian Gonzales, D.C.,
  3. Updated Provider List