Mind•Eye Media:

Testing Eye-Ear Connections Can Have Major Health Impact 

Mind-Eye Institute Founder Addresses Leading Scientists at N20 Summit

Early diagnosis of problems in eye-ear coordination can have a major impact on quality of life and lead to quicker intervention for learning disorders and lingering symptoms from brain injuries.  Having eyes and ears synchronized also can benefit people with mood disorders, because an eye-ear mismatch increases overall stress.

That is what Chicago area optometrist Deborah Zelinsky, OD concluded in her presentation to top scientists participating in the N20 (Neuroscience20) World Brain Mapping & Therapeutic Scientific Summit, held virtually in November.  Dr. Zelinsky is founder and executive research director of the Northbrook, Ill.-based Mind-Eye Institute.

The N20 Summit was launched in 2014 as a project of the Society for Brain Mapping and Therapeutics.  It brings together some of the world’s leading scientists in biologics, neurology, neuro-optometry, neuroradiology, neurosurgery, oncology, orthopedics, and psychiatry.  

Dr. Zelinsky was invited to address the N20 Summit because of her globally recognized studies of the retina and her understanding of how changes in the way light disperses across the retina impacts brain function.  The Mind-Eye Institute has achieved significant clinical successes in using therapeutic eyeglasses, lenses or other optometric interventions — Brainwear® — to help patients redevelop visual skills during recovery from debilitating symptoms of brain injuries and other neurological disorders, and develop new skills in those who have been labeled on the autism spectrum and those who have dyslexia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). 

“Research and clinical experience have demonstrated that variations in the amount, intensity and angle of light on the eye changes interpretation of sound location,” Dr. Zelinsky said. “Eyeglasses do much more than help people see.”

She told N20 participants that “when a person has a brain injury, or a neuro-degenerative condition, the interaction between eyes and ears often is disrupted.  Each system still functions, and might pass testing, but what is lacking is an appropriate eye-ear screening.  There is no such assessment in widespread use.”

Despite the technological advances and demands of 21st century society, standard eyesight acuity testing is still where it was more than 150 years ago, Dr. Zelinsky said.  “Eye health assessments have tremendously improved, but peripheral eyesight function has not, and it is the peripheral retina that influences posture, mood regulation, sleep patterns, and other physiological systems.”

Early diagnosis of problems in eye-ear coordination can have a major, positive impact on quality of life, she said.  “Eye-ear coordination develops in a similar way to eye-hand coordination. But, if eye-ear integration fails to develop fully or properly, then a person might struggle with learning-related problems,” she said.

Children have eyes and ears tested separately, and then they are placed in classrooms under the assumption that, if eyes and ears individually function, the child is able to use them together.  However, 22 percent of children with learning disabilities have visual processing problems, including eye-ear disconnects, said Dr. Zelinsky. 

“That is why early screening for eye-ear issues is so critical,” she continued.  “The trajectory of many children’s lives can be changed, while the amount of money allocated for special education is reduced.”

In Illinois alone, approximately $8,000 in special-education funds is spent per child annually.  “If we could identify eye-ear integration problems in 100 children by third grade, the state would save approximately $4 million during those children’s remaining years in elementary school and junior high,” Dr. Zelinsky said. “Five hundred children not requiring special education would save $20 million.”

She is calling for expansion of the current eye testing required by governments and schools to include eye-ear integration and, in the United States, the establishment of a new medical billing (CPT) code to allow insurance reimbursement for brief eye-ear screenings.  A first step would be to allow optometrists to receive reimbursements through current occupational therapy codes for providing more thorough assessments of sensory integration.

Eye screenings have varied little since1839 when Ulysses S. Grant entered West Point, Dr. Zelinsky emphasized in her presentation.  

“The 20/20 standard eye evaluation was developed in 1862 and still involves simply sharpening central eyesight using a non-moving, high-contrast target, namely letters on a chart located across a darkened room.  We must update that paradigm to include evaluation of visual processing of moving targets and eye-ear interactions,” she said.  “Such screening is necessary for early detection of sensory processing issues in order to mitigate problems and enhance brain function.  Brainwear® glasses can help optometrists have a positive impact on perceptual impairments and people’s lives.”

Results of the participating scientists’ N20 discussions on topics, including the brain, spinal cord, neurodegenerative diseases, and mental health, are to be presented to global political leaders who attended the November 2020 G20 Summit.  The goal is to make world leaders aware of the necessity to change global health policies.

Take The 60 Second Mind•Eye Brain Quiz

Mind-Eye Featured in the News Media

Newspapers and television stations throughout the country have been reporting on the work of the Mind-Eye Institute and its mission to “Leave 20/20 in the 20th Century.” To learn more about what the Mind-Eye Institute is doing to pioneer these changes in optometric evaluations , click here:

Simple Contact Lens Change Gets Bill on Road to ‘Normal’

Success Stories: Simple Contact Lens Change Gets Bill on Road to ‘Normal’ ‘Disappointing’ Diagnosis Causes a Later Head-Turning ‘Wow’ A physical education teacher, struggling “to regain my former self” following a head injury several years earlier, left his first...

Visualization Skills Can Get You Through Life’s Heavy Traffic

Mind•Eye Media: Visualization Skills Can Get You Through Life’s Heavy Traffic What happens when you are stuck in traffic on a Chicago expressway?  You consider travel options, of course.  In my case, choices ranged from inching along behind the semi-truck directly in...

From Struggling Student to Adjunct Professor in Five Years?

Success Stories:From Struggling Student to Adjunct Professor in Five Years? Brain-Injured Patient Says Mind-Eye Glasses Helped Make It Happen A pair of therapeutic – “magic?” -- eyeglasses takes a struggling, brain-injured master’s degree student from a New York...

‘Brain Glasses' Help Bring Back His Normal

Success Stories: 'Brain Glasses' Help Bring Back His Normal“I feel more normal than I have in years,” Mark Leonard affirms, after just a few weeks wearing a pair of prescription eyeglasses from the Mind-Eye Institute in Northbrook, Ill. “In fact, by the second full...

Her 20 Years of Struggles End at Door of Mind-Eye Institute

Success Stories: Her 20 Years of Struggles End at Door of Mind-Eye Institute Head-Injured Air Force Veteran Grateful for Help in ‘Becoming Me Again’ It took 20 years of searching following a 30-plus-foot fall from a cliff before U.S. Air Force Veteran Bich Thuy...

Eyes Serve as ‘Point of Entry’ for Assessing Brain Function

Mind•Eye Media: Eyes Serve as ‘Point of Entry’ for Assessing Brain Function Mind-Eye Founder Explains Critical Role of Retina at Scientific Conference “The eye can be used as point of entry for assessment of brain function,” Deborah Zelinsky, OD, founder of the...

Vacation, TV Interview Reminders of How Light, Sleep Linked

Mind•Eye Media: Vacation, TV Interview Reminders of How Light, Sleep Linked I completed several days of much needed vacation in July, and that was followed recently by a WGN-TV interview on glaucoma.  Glaucoma is one of the leading sources of blindness in this...

Webinar Registration

Live Webinar: Autoimmune Disorders and Associated Symptoms: How a Mind-Eye Assessment Might Help When: August 12, 2021 at 7:00pm CST Presented by: Deborah Zelinsky, OD, FNORA, FCOVD   Case Study...

From Darkness to Light, Brain Glasses Help Him Find His Way

Success Stories: From Darkness to Light, Brain Glasses Help Him Find His Way Call to Mind-Eye Institute Proves to Be ‘Best Decision I Ever Made’ Murphy Monroe of Evanston, Ill. used to hide from the light, always wearing protective sunglasses and a hat, limiting his...

Protected: How to Cut and Stick Filters

Password Protected

To view this protected post, enter the password below:

Clinic Business Hours:

Monday - Saturday

8:00 AM - 6:45 PM


Sunday - Closed

Contact Us:


During Business Hours:




Northbrook Clinic Address

1414 Techny Rd,
Northbrook, IL 60062, USA

St Charles Visual Rehabilitation Center Address

2435 Dean Suite C
St Charles, IL 60175, USA