The Mind-Eye Connection, USA
Dr. Zelinsky earned her Doctor of Optometry (O.D.) and her Bachelor of Science in Visual Science from the Illinois College of Optometry in Chicago. She is a Fellow in the College of Visual Development (C.O.V.D.) and specializes in neuro-optometric rehabiliation and visual processing. Dr. Zelinsky is honored to be a Charter Member of the Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Association and a Life Member of MENSA. She was twice been the recipient of the "Outstanding Young Women in America" award, and is cited in "Who's Who in International Medicine". Dr. Zelinsky was privileged and honored to study side by side with Dr. Albert Sutton in Miami. This exclusive experience permitted Dr. Zelinsky to understand the Optometric Specialty of Vision Development as one part of an entire person. While in Florida, she was the Staff Optometrist at the Fort Lauderdale Eye Institute and Director of the Clinic for Macular Degeneration. Her numerous papers, workshops and seminars on Visuospatial and Motor Planning Skills are recognized worldwide. She created the Macular Connection Visual Rehabilitation Course for the Blind Service Association. Dr. Zelinsky's current Neuro-Developmental Optometric Research is summarized here. Dr. Zelinsky is currently the regional director for the Optometric Extension program, an organization designed to provide further specialized education to those optometrists with an interest in visual development.
Introduction: Cardiac stress tests are used as an informative method of gathering information regarding cardiovascular tolerance. An analogous test measuring retinal tolerance is beneficial in assessment and treatment of neurological function. An emerging subset of optometrists is prescribing customized eyeglasses to influence biochemical and neurological activity in physiological systems. Viewing the eye as a portal into brain activity, retinal circuitry is used as a conduit into the constant, dynamic interaction involving parallel cortical and subcortical processes. Neuro-optometry modifies direction, intensity, amount or wavelength of light to assess and treat tolerance to retinal changes. Methods: This atypical use of eyeglasses leads to more than simply altering central eyesight. Stimulation of three photoreceptor groups initiates a cascade of signaling in visual and non-visual retinal pathways, resulting in measureable shifts in attention and eye movements. Results: Two patients with positional orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) had frequent symptoms of fainting spells due to autonomic dysregulation. Each was successfully treated by the use of individualized therapeutic eyeglasses. One pair of lenses angled light, reflexively inducing a shift in head and body position; the other pair was tinted to filter the incoming wavelength of light, stimulating the autonomic nervous system. Both patients stopped fainting when wearing the lenses. One patient’s cardiologist no longer needed to install a pacemaker. Conclusions: Results suggest the possibility that patients with POTS, who cannot be stabilized with medications, might wear eyeglasses designed to balance sympathetic and parasympathetic responses. A device to test retinal stress tolerance could provide a clinical indicator in assessment of brain activity.