Back to School with Complete Eye Care


GA!: Tell us about the doctors at Complete Eye Care.
Dr. Harald Vaher: I started Complete Eye Care along with my wife Dr. Barbara Marcussen (Vaher) 20 years ago in Belmont. We have two precious daughters, Kristina and Katelin, who are 13 and 7. At our office we provide eye health and vision eye exams, fit contact lenses, treat eye disease, and manage an in-office lab for making glasses. In 2012, Dr. Hilary Gesford joined our practice. Dr. Gesford is a residency trained pediatric vision care specialist, who recently had her first child, Calvin, in January.

GA!: What services do you offer that are different than a typical eye doctor’s office?
Dr. Harald Vaher: We are the only office in Gaston County that provides vision therapy and are one of only a few offices in the entire state of North Carolina that provides GVSS (a wave front form of ortho-keratology). We offer specialty contact lens fittings, as well as treat dry eyes.

GA!: What is vision therapy?
Dr. Hilary Gesford: Vision therapy is an individualized program similar to physical therapy, which retrains the eyes how to work better together and how to work more efficiently with the brain to improve vision. It is used to treat children with learning problems resulting from poor eye teaming, eye tracking, eye focusing, or from difficulty processing and remembering what they see. It is also used to treat children and adults with a “lazy eye” (amblyopia), eye turn (strabismus), and vision deficits caused by traumatic brain injury.

GA!: How do I know if my child needs vision therapy?
Dr. Hilary Gesford: There are a variety of signs that may indicate your child has a vision problem, even if he/she has 20/20 vision. Children may show signs of squinting, rubbing their eyes, tilting their head, or covering one eye. They may complain of headaches, eye discomfort, sensitivity to light, and double or blurred vision.
Signs related to academics include problems with reading (skipping/substituting/rereading words, losing their place, words look like they jump or move, confusing similar-looking words, poor comprehension, or holding the book too closely), poor handwriting, poor spelling, and letter or number reversals. Many children with these type of vision problems are very smart, yet still struggle when it comes to reading and academics.

GA!: What results have children seen after completing your vision therapy program?
Dr. Hilary Gesford: Prior to vision therapy, several of the children had significant issues with reading. After vision therapy, these children are now able to read faster and more efficiently, often improving several levels in reading and performing at a much higher level in all areas of academics. Other children have also seen great improvements in their sports performance due to newly enhanced depth perception. The biggest reward to us and to the parents is seeing these kids have a new sense of confidence and increased self-esteem.

GA!: What is GVSS (The Gentle Vision Shaping System)?
Dr. Barbara Marcussen: GVSS is a wave front form of ortho-keratology. It is a process where someone sleeps in a specially designed contact lens and then removes the contact lens in the morning. The lens re-shapes the cornea at night and when it is removed in the morning, the person sees clearly for the next 24 hours.

GA!: What are the benefits to GVSS?
Dr. Barbara Marcussen: It provides clear, sharp vision all day without glasses or contacts, and no surgery is required. It is great for kids because they are active. They can jump in the pool, do a gymnastic flip, dive for home base, or throw a karate punch without worrying about their glasses or contact lenses and still have great vision. The best part of GVSS is seeing kids who have done this for the past 10 years and their prescriptions have not changed. GVSS is able to slow the progression of nearsightedness and stop the eyes from changing so quickly from year to year. It is similar to a braces retainer for the eyes, and it is a safe and effective treatment for nearsightedness. We have treated people ages 8 to 65 with this procedure. There have been some new advances recently and even greater amounts of nearsightedness have been able to be treated.

GA!: What types of specialty contact lens fittings do you offer?
Dr. Barbara Marcussen: There are many new advances in contact lenses for people who may have dry eyes or need help reading up close, which include more than just the traditional soft contact lenses. As a certified wave designer, we are able to take measurements of 11,000 points on the surface of an eye and design a lens that exactly maps that surface, resulting in a totally customized lens, which will allow for the best possible vision. New advances in scleral contact lenses also allow for better comfort. We have fit patients who previously were unable to wear their contact lenses all day while on the computer without feeling like their eyes were getting dry toward the end of the day.

GA!: Where can people find out more information on the services you offer?
Dr. Harald Vaher: Fox News Charlotte recently came to Complete Eye Care to do a story on GVSS. There is a link to that story on our website, as well as video testimonials. The Gaston Gazette recently published an article written by Dr. Hilary Gesford about vision therapy and how it has helped several kids in our area. There is a link on our website to the full story, in addition to video testimonials.

For more info:

[email protected]
or call 704-825-9002

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