Behind the Frame, Beyond the Eyes
Optometrists. They still make you wear those ridiculous, awkward glasses while you guess the numbers that are projected on the opposite wall. They make you rest your chin on a plastic strap, lean your forehead against a curved arch and ask you to stare, unblinking, at the colored image at the end of a little tunnel, that recedes and expands, focuses and blurs. And you’re never sure if you did it right.
Optical tests might not have changed much in the last twenty years, but the world has evolved and today our vision is facing new demands. While thirty years ago, people held newspapers at arms’ length, or watched television a few feet away, today our lives are ruled by compact hand-held devices and, paradoxically, increasingly gargantuan TV screens. Naomi London, specialist optometrist and owner of Naomi Vision Boutique, has witnessed the change in how we use our eyes and firmly believes that no technological advancement (or online refracting app) can ever replace the human component in eye and optical health.
In 1986, a young Naomi made Aliya with her family to Jerusalem, and always envisioned herself working with people and making a real difference in their lives. “After searching for a profession for almost a year, I decided to pursue optometry. It might sound like a dreary job, but optometry is much more than just getting the numbers right. It’s direct interaction with people and helping them to maintain the gift of sight!”
Naomi Vision Boutique sits on a quaint alley in Jerusalem’s city center and has been designed to make you feel at home. As you walk in, the layout and ingenious coffee and jellybean corner make you feel welcome and at ease (clearly this is not a dentist’s office). Naomi has made sure that the human touch is reflected even in the ambience of the place.
Insights from the Inside
Naomi specializes in various eye care services including vision therapy and treatment for an increasing number of eye syndromes.
One of the hot topics in the field over the past few years is Dry Eye Disease, or DED, which manifests in symptoms that include itchy or burning eyes, fluctuating vision, foreign body sensation, redness or lid inflammation. There has been an explosion in the number of patients suffering from various stages and symptoms of the disease. And while doctors usually prescribe classic eye drops—artificial tears—Naomi has joined the academic and research community to try and understand the causes and progression of the disease, and provide comprehensive treatment and rehabilitation solutions. Individual tailoring of treatment is essential for maximum efficacy and success. Here too, the same objective data collected from two different people will result in a unique solution for each.
“We’re starting to understand the irreversible damage that can result if DED is misdiagnosed, ignored, underestimated or handled with palliative solutions only,” says Naomi. “Blinking is a protective mechanism for our eyes, but about 30% of my patients have an ‘incomplete blink.’ It might sound obvious, but when you blink, make sure both lids touch. Just a fraction of a second of a complete blink is enough to benefit from all a blink can offer!”
Fashion or Vision?
Glasses are a popular accessory and Naomi wants her clients to look good behind their frames. But her main objective is to understand each client and their individual needs. “The prescription is just one piece of the puzzle. We guide clients in choosing a frame that sits properly on their nose and ears and is the right size for their face. We evaluate a client’s individual lifestyle when we choose the lens, material and coating. We even need to consider a client’s natural head posture and cut the lenses accordingly. We train clients how to utilize their lenses to full capacity which helps the brain adjust as quickly as possible. And we follow up to fine tune and adjust if needed.”
“If you think about human sight and the mechanics of vision, it’s truly mind-blowing,” Naomi’s eyes light up, “But more than simply healing the body, my job is to treat people. To look beyond the eyes and see the person behind the frame. That’s my vision.”
Naomi graduated from the Optometry College at Bar Ilan University in 1998. She performs eye examinations for all ages and offers services for glasses, contact lenses, vision therapy and dry eye therapy.