There was a time when, if someone needed to be fit for a pair of glasses, they made an appointment with an optometrist. If they were struggling with any sort of vision problem or had health issues with their eyes, however, they contacted an ophthalmologist. Those days are over, as skilled optometrists are now able to serve patients with a variety of ocular needs.
Dr. Daniel Weinberg, owner of Advanced Vision of Louisville, has witnessed the evolution of optometry as he’s been practicing in the field since 1984. While the job used to involve just dilating eyes to get a better look at the retina, macula and optic nerve, over time optometrists have diagnosed and treated various eye diseases from glaucoma to red eyes, and also performed laser surgery for conditions like cataracts.
“The public should know that optometry is not your mother’s Oldsmobile,” says Weinberg, a nationally recognized optometrist who deals in neuro-optometric rehabilitation. “This means that I work with a population that has acquired brain injuries, perhaps through a motor vehicle accident, a stroke, cerebral palsy or something else.”
In addition, he works with patients who have been diagnosed as autistic or have attention deficit disorder, because these patients can have underlying vision problems associated with their disorders. Perhaps a child has problems with binocular skills where their eyes don’t work together. This means that when the child tries to read, it looks like the words jiggle or move on the page, which is the same problem those with dyslexia face. Other children have eye movement skill deficit, and they lose their place as they read – skipping or rereading lines, or requiring a marker to move along the page. Still others have accommodative problems as they see blurry up close, and when they change focus too far away, images don’t clear fast enough.
It’s not unusual for parents to bring their children in for an exam because they assume their son or daughter has an eyeball condition when, in reality, they have a brain condition called visual processing.
“Did you know that 70% of the brain is actually made up of visual processing components?” Weinberg asks. “That’s why visual processing is an important piece of what we work on here.”
Weinberg, who is certified in vision development, receives patient referrals from all over Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana and Virginia, from optometrists, occupational therapists, physical therapists and ophthalmologists. Advanced Vision of Louisville’s therapists are trained to work on visual skills that need to be improved.
Weinberg feels immense fulfillment in helping his patients with their issues. He was severely myopic as a youngster and went through all the nearsightedness protocols before getting contact lenses at age 16.
“I found it interesting so I decided to study optometry,” Weinberg says.
His son Zachery followed in his dad’s footsteps and became an optometrist as well.
“That makes me very proud, as does the fact that Zachery and I have helped thousands of people regain their visual skills,” Weinberg says.
Advanced Vision of Louisville is 4414 Shelbyville Road, Suite 204 in Louisville, KY. For more information, call 502-894-4434 or visit them online at advancedvisionoflouisville.com.