Meet Dr. Levi Zurcher! Learn about how he got into optometry, and the unique work he does.
Dr. Levi Zurcher
Originally from Arizona, Levi received his Bachelor’s of Science in Zoology from Northern Arizona University and his Doctorate in Optometry from Pacific University in Oregon. He is board certified in developmental vision and vision therapy by COVD. He purchased the practice from the Inversos in 2012. He likes spending time with his family (wife and two children,) mountain biking, and undertaking creative projects. He wrote the vision therapy software used by the clinic, retinal camera software, and the computerized eye-chart used for exams.
How She Got into Her Focuses of Pediatric Optometry and Vision Therapy
While working for an optometrist in college (the same one who initially inspired her), the future Dr. McBryar was asked to do developmental vision testing on a child patient. She again quickly fell in love with the ideas of vision therapy and developmental vision care. By the time she started optometry school she already knew with certainty, that these were the areas upon which she would focus. After she graduated, she went directly into practicing pediatric optometry and vision therapy.
Dr. McBryar on What She Does
“The biggest misconception people have is that vision is just 20/20.”
It’s not just about being able to read an eye chart and knowing that in the physical sense, the eyes are healthy.
“What we don’t think about is how our eyes acquire visual information, how our brains process that information, and the impact that this can have on our children’s academic performance.” She describes the different aspects of vision, such as the “hardware and the software” of the visual system. Most optometrists focus on the “hardware,” making sure the eyes are healthy and that, if needed, you have the correct prescription lenses.
The “software,” on the other hand, is what determines whether the eyes can work well together (e.g., focusing in the same direction), that the extraocular muscles work as they should to enable you to see clearly, or they can move properly to point at what one needs to look at (vital for children trying to read). Visual memory (that is, being able to properly process what the eyes see) is also a key component of learning.
If any of these “software” components do not function properly, a child’s academic performance can be significantly impacted.
Dr. McBryar’s goal is, through the use of developmental vision care, and vision therapy, is to catch and correct any issues as early as possible, and to prevent what might initially be a minor difficulty from becoming something more severe that can make a child’s life much more difficult.