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Here are a few of Dr. Eger's successful corrective treatment cases.

  The Phoenix Gazette                         **                                                         Saturday, January 19, 1991 
Eye Contact
Mickelson now views feats from afar

 By Doug McConnell
 
THE PHOENIX GAZETTE

    Phil Mickelson had a new tool in his golf game for his victory in the Northern Telecom Tucson Open.
    Sight.
    Mickelson was fitted for contact lenses a week before Christmas by Jeff Eger, part-time golfer, full-time optometrist.
    "I hadn't been able to see anything larger than an L-wedge land for the last few years." said Mickelson, who will play in next week's Phoenix Open.
    "That's what made me excited; being able to see my drive land."
    Arizona State golf coach Steve Loy said, "We've known for some time that Phil's eyesight wasn't up to par, and he had an opportunity over the Christmas break to adjust to contact lenses."
    "There was hardly any period of adjustment." Mickelson, an ASU junior said, "It was amazing to be able to read street signs."
    "Phil is the best nearsighted athlete I ever saw." Eger said.
    Mickelson was hitting everything from a pitching wedge to a driver out of his sight when he won the 1990 U.S. Amateur Championships, the 1989 & '90 NCAA championships, six other college championships with 26 top-10 finishes in 2½ years.
    "I was almost afraid to give him a full correction." Eger said.
   "Dr. Eger wanted to make a gradual correction." Mickelson said. "He wanted to start with one set and replace them with a stronger set and work up, but I was impatient and didn't want to go through all of that."
    "It took a little adjusting. I'm nearsighted and the ball was a little blurry at first, but not now. I guess I've adjusted."
    Mickelson dragged his feet in seeing an eye doctor.  "Maybe I was a little scared." he said.  "I was afraid it might change my depth perception a little bit playing golf."
    "When I first went to him, he told me to read the eye chart as far down as I could.  All I could read was the big E.  I have that memorized."
    Mickelson isn't the first golfer Eger has helped.  Gil Morgan, one of Eger's classmates at the Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, Tenn. barely made the cut in last years Phoenix Open.
    Eger noticed Morgan was 4 and 5 foot putts. The golfer saw a blurred golf ball. 
    Eger prescribed a contact lens to correct the vision in Morgan's non-dominate eye at a 3½ foot distance.  His vision in his dominate eye which he used for distance was perfect.
    "He said he'd try it the next week." Eger said. "I said: "You barely made the cut. You're not gonna collect much of a check.  What have you got to lose?  Try it now."
    Morgan did.  He shot a final-round 3-under-par 71.  Four weeks later he was second in the Los Angeles Open.  He won the Kemper Open and pocketed $702,629 for the year.
    Eger spoke to the ASU golf team last month.
    "I had a one-hour presentation, but they kept me for another hour with questions." Eger said.
    "If you want to lower your golf score, you go to two schools." Eger said.
    "You go to a school of swing mechanics taught by a golf professional and a school of vision mechanics taught by a sports optometrist."
    "I call it sports vision enhancement. I talked about the seven parts of vision, and I gave them drills to enhance these skills."
    "Once you have all these skills you will see easy, feel easy and play easy."
    "I learned alot." Loy said, "How to better skill my eyes. The team benefited from it and it helped Phil tremendously."
    Eger has improved the unaided vision of three of his patients, bringing one from near blindness, to where they are now commercial airline pilots.
    One patient said he could barely see the big E on the top of the eye chart with his good eye (about 20/400) and described his other as "only    light."
    Using an accomatrac vision trainer  over an eight-month period, Eger helped him improve to 20/40 in his good eye and 20/70 in the other.
   "Nearsightedness, Eger said, is often brought about from heavy reading or work with computers overworking the cliary muscle that does the focusing."
    "If you overwork it and it spasms from fatigue," Eger said, "it won't let go and you can't see the wall."
    With the accomatrac vision trainer, a piece of equipment endorsed by several professional teams, the patient is taught through biofeedback to relax the cliary muscle and vision improves."

                                                                                                                                  Robert E. Minikel
                                                                                                                                  27 Austin Circle
                                                                                                                                  Russellville, AR   72801
                                                                                                                                  December 22, 1992

Dr. Jeffrey Eger
6475 South Rural
Tempe, AZ 85283

Dear Dr. Eger,
     I am writing you this letter to thank you for the services that were provided to me.  As I have told you before, there are no Orthokeratology survices provided here in Arkansas.
    In addition, my local ophthalmologist determined that I could not be fitted with contact lenses of any kind. My vision was approximately 20/200 left and 20/100 right eye with astigmatism in both eyes.
    After visiting with you, I was immediately fitted with contacts, and within six months, my vision has dramatically improved.  I had a company physical preformed, and my vision, unaided, was 20/40 with very little astigmatism.
    I can not thank you enough for the return of my vision.
                                                                                                        Very Truly Yours,
                                                                                                                  Robert E. Minikel

  The Ahwatukee Weekly News            **                                                               October 7, 1992 

Dr. Eger Has Success With Sports Vision Enhancement Therapy

By Clay Schad

Dr. Jeffrey Eger continues to have success with his sports vision enhancement therapy which combines vision training lenses with biofeedback techniques, and/or a sports contact lens when needed.

John Smith III was the slowest reader in his class before beginning work with Dr. Eger. Now he says he is the fastest. His eyes are stronger due to the near only training glasses and his peripheral vision is enhanced due to the therapy. John wants to play pro basketball and with a height of 6 ft., 5" at 13 years of age, he probably has a good chance to play center, as he desires, now that his distance sight has improved.

Katie Kinder hopes to be a gymnast anf has been training for four years. She had trouble seeing near and after just a few weeks of near point glasses and training, she says she can already tell a big difference. "I can grab the bars better, " she says. Katie would like to get a college scholorship at the University of Utah and compete in the Olympics.

Dr. Eger believes that to be a good athlete the need to train the eyes is just as important as physical workouts. In the last 31/2 years Dr. Eger has worked with three PGA golfers and after 5 weeks to 31/2 months all won championships. Last year 4 out of 5 top ASU golfers were his contact lens patients. He says, "Once the seven parts of vision are practiced correctly and efficiently, and become part of you, you begin playing your game better on auto pilot." He trains patients how to move their eyes, instead of their head. He says that you can move your eyes 40 to 50 times faster than your head and moving your head gets you out of balance.

John's dad, John Smith Jr., a former Harlem Globe Trotter says that his son's grades went from C's to A's and his attention has improved, as well as his vision. His attitude in supporting his son's ambition is, "to be there to support him." Katie's mom said the idea is to, "raise children to have dreams and encourage them to follow their dreams. The sport is not just a sport, it's a disapline. They learn to set goals and work towards those goals, and to accept failures." Dr. Eger adds, "With optimum vision there can be optimum performance in athletics as well as learning in school.."

  The Phoenix Gazette                         **    Health Plus                               Saturday, January 19, 1991 

Some pupils aided by vision therapy

By Paulette Bolyard
Gazette Correspondent

TEMPE - When 11-year old Jacob Sparks grades began to fall, instead of sending him to his room to study, his mother sent him to a vision therapist.
    The idea was to help the youngster coordinate his eye movement with his body movement to increase "eye-teaming skills."
    The eyes are supposed to work as a team.  They should be moving as one.  Poor eye-teaming skills result
in reduced depth-perception and inaccurate hand-eye-body coordination." explains Dr. Jeff Eger, and optometrist who has added  vision therapy to his Tempe and Mesa practices.
    Eger says reduced eye-teaming is often associated with delays in learning.
    "When a mismatch is created between vision and touch, vision becomes unreliable.  The patient learns not to trust what he sees,"  Eger says.
    Eger called Jacob's vision condition "wired."
    "He had poorly developed eye movements.  This caused him to skip lines while he was reading and reverse words." Eger said.
    Eger also worked with Jacob's older sister, Sara, 13.  He describes her problem as amblyopia, or "lazy eye."
    He treated the children by putting them through twice-a-week therapy sessions that included physical activities such as walking a balance beam, jumping on a trampoline and working word puzzles and drawing.
    The trampoline exercises, he explains, help develop rhythm, sense of direction, verbalization of movements and integration of eye movements.
    The children practiced jumping on the trampoline while looking at a chalkboard and calling out directions of arrows on the board and pointing their hands in the direction.  Under the doctor's direction, the youngsters bounced and answered questions about the arrows on the board.
    "Smooth and accurate eye movements are important to reading. Our eyes must move smoothly along a line of print and precisely on to the next line. When the child isn't doing this, when the eyes are jumping, reading becomes a chore and a task they want to avoid," he said.
     The balance beam was used to strengthen eye and body coordination and develop focusing or "eye-teaming."
    Eger explains, "Focusing is the change our eyes make to maintain clarity as we shift our gaze. This is important when a child copies something from the chalkboard in the classroom. If it (focusing) is slow or inaccurate, the child's schoolwork suffers. Paying attention in class also becomes a problem."
    For visualization, the ability to create a mental picture of an object already seen, Eger had Sara and Jacob copy a drawing.  He says this test and exercise can help him discover if the patient favors one eye over another.  It also, he says, helps the student learn to follow directions and think abstractly.
     "Good visualization helps us remember what we've read and studied," he adds.
    Susan Sparks, Jacob's and Sara's mother, says she's pleased with the children's progress because of vision therapy.
    "Sara's lazy eye was so bad, she was going blind. The eye test they give in school don't pick up the kind of problems a vision therapist can detect.  And Jacob's grades have improved," Sparks said.
    She recommends parents consider vision therapy as an alternative to help children who are doing poorly in school. But there is one drawback, she says.
     It can be expensive. And you don't know how long it's going to take to help them. "Some insurances will cover it, though," she said.
    Eger said vision therapy isn't a new practice, but it is more popular back East. He also does vision training with golfers, bowlers, and other sports enthusiasts who want to improve their games.
    The Sparks' children attended vision therapy for approximately four months. Besides office sessions, they were given exercises to do at home. Eger said Sara's condition also improved when he fitted her with a contact lens.

 

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