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Ten years of progress

By Staff | Feb 19, 2020

PHOTO PROVIDED Surrounded by photos of the patients they have helped over the last decade, the staff at the Vision and Learning Center in Muncy are (l-r) Suzanne Lenio, Shelley Minotti, Dr. Marcus Myers, Anne Lesher, Janet Patterson, and Karen Heckman. The business observed their tenth year of serving the community by providing a day of free visual skills screenings last month, while a free workshop is scheduled for Feb. 26.

MUNCY – Dr. Marcus Myers, along with his staff of five, has worked to help patients of all ages with vision and learning problems in school, double vision, and losing their place in reading through physical therapy to create “amazing changes” to their lives for the last 10 years.

“As a student in optometry school, I saw a number of kids who were struggling in school who were then diagnosed with vision problems. Later, school was different for those kids when vision was no longer in the way,” Myers said. “We, at the center, are an eye doctor and group of reading teachers that helps kids with vision problems that interfere with school work. We also work with adults, especially those with concussion, dealing with double vision or balance issues, after hitting their heads.”

Today, the office continues to make changes by using new equipment to help patients after strokes and other head traumas, something a typical eye doctor’s office cannot do.

“We have a large, partially-rounded television screen with special glasses and software that makes large three-dimensional images,” Myers said. “Doing eye exercises like crossing and uncrossing eyes, we can make symptoms go away-by working on eye coordination with tools like this. Treatment involves a form of physical therapy for the eyes and brain.”

The center evaluates patients by looking at eye tracking, binocularity, amblyopia, concussions, other head trauma and convergence insufficiency, according to Suzanne Lenio MS. Ed., vision therapist. Eye rubbing, leaning close to books, skipping words or lines, or headaches when reading can indicate a vision problem. Convergence insufficiency and trouble with eye tracking can hinder schoolwork, sometimes making homework take far longer than it should. This type of vision problem involves use of the eyes as a team to track from word to word on the page, Dr. Myers said.

Some of Myers’ patients travel to the center from as far as two hours away, according to Shelley Minotti, office manager and therapy coordinator, who has worked at the center since it opened. “It goes beyond the need for glasses and 20/20 vision,” Minotti said.

As the success of the last 10 years continues to grow at the center, Minotti added that she hopes the business expands. “I hope to help more children and adults in our community with vision problems that impact their daily living and education,” she said.

The center works to give patients the opportunity to experience their own success story, Minotti said. At the end of the patient’s treatment, they get a chance to write their success story down and

share it with the community.

“We get to know our patients really well, we are like family,” Minotti said, while Lenio remarked, “I really enjoy my job because it’s so rewarding. “Both parents and children are so grateful. People who have seen double no longer see double. People who have headaches no longer have headaches, and teachers and parents report how much better their children are doing in school after completing vision therapy,” Lenio said.

Miranda Morningstar, of Middleburg, shared her daughter’s progress in vision therapy when Madison was diagnosed with convergence insufficiency. She was referred to the Vision & Learning Center by their local optometrist. “Prior to vision therapy, Madison was a great student, but we were told that if we didn’t rectify the issue now, it would cause her issues in the future. Madison is reading more fluently, and at a faster pace as she is not losing her place when reading. Madison also reported not getting headaches as she was prior to therapy,” Miranda said.

The center will host a free, one-hour workshop at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 26 at the 112 South Main Street office in Muncy. Registration is required by calling (570) 546-4885.

More information about vision problems is available at www.pavisionlearningcenter.com, and includes information for adults and those with TBI/Concussion.