Deerfield vision practice eyes difficult cases with success
Dr. S. Barry Eiden (right) of North Suburban Vision Consultants examines client Honey Bronson of Highland Park on Friday, Jan. 18, 2013, at the business in Deerfield. | Buzz Orr~Sun-Times Media
North Suburban Vision Consultants
360 S. Waukegan Road in Deerfield
Updated: March 2, 2013 6:42AM
DEERFIELD — North Suburban Vision Consultants focuses on eye care, but helps patients with more than sight problems.
Dr. S. Barry Eiden, a Deerfield resident, founded the business that has locations at 360 S. Waukegan Road in Deerfield, and 303 N. Northwest Highway in Park Ridge, almost 23 years ago.
“My major goal was to create a comprehensive eye care environment with the best of care provided by the most talented people in their areas, since one person can’t be everything,” he said.
Eiden specializes in corneal reshaping therapy, refractive surgery and complex contact lens cases.
Dr. Daniel Press, a Park Ridge resident who runs the practice’s Park Ridge office, is the director of pediatrics and vision therapy.
Dr. Carol L. Barron specializes in low vision services; Dr. Shana Brafman in specialized contact lens; and Dr. Stuart P. Sondheimer in eye surgery and laser vision corrections.
“We have a very large number of patients who have either heredity cornea diseases, or injuries, or post surgical complications,” Eiden said. “We are able with special contact lenses to help them regain their vision. For those patients, we make amazing changes in their lives. People have gone from legally blind to totally functional. And that’s very rewarding.”
All the specialists hope to help their patients, but sometimes they help far more than they could have imagined.
“We’ve also had cases where patients unfortunately have presented life-threatening conditions that showed up in their eyes. We were able to diagnose them during an eye examination, so we’ve been able to save some lives,” he added.
Recently, a doctor was able to detect that a patient was about to suffer a stroke because of the condition of the vascular structures in his eyes. The patient was sent to an internal medicine specialist for follow-up, probably saving his life, Eiden said.
The doctors also have been able to detect brain tumors, which often have an impact on the eyes and the vision system, he added. That allowed an intervention before the tumors become a life and death situation.
Both Eiden and Press noted that other doctors in the area refer their more difficult cases to North Suburban Vision Consultants.
Press also said that his pediatrics specialty keeps him busy, because there aren’t many eye doctors specializing in that area. And vision therapy, his other specialty, which is like physical therapy for the eyes, is probably one of the best-kept secrets in eye care.
“When a person goes to a doctor who has no background in vision therapy or binocular vision, a fancy term for how the two eyes work together, he might say his eyes are 20/20 and healthy,” Press said.
“But there are so many other things that can happen in the visual process to effect learning, we check for these.”
Press noted he had examined the eyes of a nine-year-old girl who had been told her eyes were fine. But she had blurred vision, headaches and couldn’t concentrate when reading. In his basic exam, he found that she had difficulty coordinating both eyes together. Now the girl is undergoing vision therapy once a week, so she doesn’t have as many headaches.
However, Press is careful to tell parents that he does not treat learning problems.
“We treat the visual system to help remove roadblocks, so learning can be easier,” he added.
North Suburban Vision Consultants, which accepts insurance, has not only a web site, but also a blog, and Eiden answers e-mail questions from patients and physicians all over the world.
“We get questions from the Middle East, Asia and Europe requesting information,” Eiden said. “But it’s still hard to answer them without actually seeing the patient.”