Although many optometrists prefer to not to specialize and instead orient themselves toward family practice, some still incorporate elements of specialization into their practice. A good example is Timothy D. Fries, OD, MBA, who owns and operates three locations in rural areas in Central Ohio. “It’s tough to specialize in that type of market, we do “a little bit of everything,” he explained. “We see patients as young as six months and as old as 104, as well as everyone in between.”

Recently, Dr. Fries took a step toward neuro-optometry when he discovered neurolenses, a uniquely designed prescription lens that adds a contoured prism to bring the eyes into alignment.

“Neurolenses are our first real venture into that type of specialization,” said Dr. Fries, who began prescribing the lenses to patients to relieve their eyestrain, backstrain, neck strain and back pain. “I’ve seen an increase in the number of patients with these symptoms, and patients are finding them more bothersome than ever before.”

After determining that the symptoms were caused by an increase in using digital devices, Dr. Fries fit the patients with neurolenses.

“For someone who doesn’t have a purely neuro-optometric practice, it fit into the daily flow of a regular private practice very well and was easy to implement. I didn’t have to teach my staff a whole new specialty or hire new staff that was only going to do one type of specialty.

“We’ve seen referrals come from primary care doctors and neurologists, not to mention word of mouth referrals, which have just gone through the roof. I see the need for us to incorporate more of these options for our patients,” said Dr. Fries.