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Success Stories:

Sound Hurt; Light Hurt; Then She Found the Mind-Eye Institute

Patient Says Her Life Change is a ‘Miracle;’ Plans to Become an Actuary

Sound just plain hurt.

So much so that Diane Field of Lemont, Ill., sometimes lost the ability to speak in the presence of overwhelming noise and required assistance of a service dog trained to “interrupt” what she refers to as “intermittent auditory and visual overload” — even while riding the train to work.

Complicating matters for Diane was what was later diagnosed as convergence insufficiency disorder, in which the eyes lack coordination when used at close range, causing problems with focus and near-visual functions like reading, even when standard eye tests indicate a patient has 20-20 clarity.

“The optometrist prescribes by covering up one eye and then the other, but, in life, you are using both eyes. No one asked me ‘how are they working together,’” Diane relates.

Indeed, Diane struggled with hearing and sight issues and information-processing difficulties for some 10 years, while attending school and then later teaching college-level courses in Chicago’s Loop.

“I would run the gauntlet of sound in the city,” she says. “I would time my walk under the ‘L’ tracks to avoid hearing – and feeling — trains passing overhead. The sound of a bus hurt, the noise from a jackhammer hurt, a taxi horn hurt.”

Eventually, even light began to “hurt” – due to an undiagnosed “dry eye” condition following cataract surgery in August 2018. “I had to wear dark glasses and then later wear a baseball cap to keep out the light, while still walking with a service dog for my neurological sensory problems. People thought I was blind. It was ridiculous.”

And, then “a miracle happened,” Diane said. “I found Dr. Zelinsky’s office.”

Deborah Zelinsky, OD that is, founder and research director of the Mind-Eye Institute in Northbrook, Ill.

“It was Dr. Zelinsky who appropriately diagnosed me,” following a range of tests that included the Mind-Eye Institute’s patented Z-Bell Test℠, Diane says. “For about a year prior, I had been seeing two other optometrists who just prescribed me reading glasses, but I knew I needed more help than that.”

The Z-Bell Test℠ was developed by Dr. Zelinsky as a simple, but revolutionary, method of checking a patient’s overall integration of visual processing with listening. The test has changed the lives of both pediatric and adult patients by allowing the Mind-Eye team to prescribe eyeglasses that normalize the balance between central and peripheral receptors in the retina, while improving the connection between eyes and ears.

The Mind-Eye team then prescribed Diane a set of therapeutic “brain” glasses to synchronize her ears and eyes and address her eye convergence issues. She was also prescribed punctal plugs for her dry eyes.

“Using the proper mix of filters, lenses and/or prisms, we can prescribe eyeglasses – ‘brain’ glasses — that readjust a patient’s visual processing and eye-ear integration,” Dr. Zelinsky explains. “Changes in luminance on the eye affect how the brain interprets and reacts to information about the environment and can impact a person’s spatial awareness, body movement and selective attention to sound.”

Although Diane has been an Institute patient for only a matter of months, wearing the Institute’s therapeutic eyeglasses already has changed her life dramatically  

“Bus noise no longer hurts; construction sounds no longer hurt. And, I don’t have to time my walk under the ‘L’ tracks. I hear the trains, but I don’t feel them,” she says.

Meanwhile, alleviation of symptoms also is allowing Diane to take the necessary examinations to become a professional actuary – something she as aspired to do since graduating school in 2010.

“I could talk through the test, but previously could not write it because of my sight issues,” she says. “Today, I am studying and preparing to pass the necessary examination so that I can finally practice in the profession in which I hold a degree.

“Thank you, Mind-Eye Institute.”

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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. Read the articles below to learn more about what the Mind-Eye Institute is doing to pioneer change in how optometric evaluations are performed in the 21st Century.

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