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Eye/Vision Info, Practitioners & Services...

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Articles about Problems Seeing in CFS, FM; Vision; Imagery


Johns-Hopkins Wilmer Eye Clinic  (410) 955-0580
Baltimore MD
Member Comment:
"They are excellent and are very willing to work with you. I don't know the name of who I saw, but he was excellent, very supportive of my battles with CFS and other health issues.  I was referred to him by my family doctor after I complained to him about the problems I was having with local ophthalmologists not being very responsive or understanding. If can't go to Johns-Hopkins, try the doctors at Georgetown University hospital.  Teaching hospitals, generally, have the latest technology and greater capability to handle special needs."

David K Chow MD
1830 Town Center Dr. #210, Reston VA  21090      (703) 478-3000
8330 Boon Blvd Blvd Ste 160, Vienna VA 22182  (703) 448-2800 (Tyson's Corner)
eyedrchow AT
Two group members went to him for dry eyes. One received help. Other got the puncta plugs for tear ducts she wanted to try for dry eyes. They didn't help and so were removed. Dr. Chow kind enough to allow her to lie down on floor in another office room in Reston until appointment time without much fuss.

Northern VA Ophtholmolgy Associates (703) 534-3900
Has many eye doctors.
Has pediatric specialists for adults with problems with eyes not aligning, something that can be more frustrating with dysautonomia  (e.g. cross eye, walleye, strabismus).

Connell Trimber MD   retired 2008

More CFS/FMS Eye/Vision Info

Visual Dysfunction in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (Summer 2001 The CFIDS Chronicle)
By Lesley J. Vedelago, O.D.

If you have it, see April 2006 Fibromyalgia Network for a Q&A with Charles Lapp, MD:
Does FMS affect eyesight and if so, what are your recommendations for dealing with this symptom?
Short answer: Yes, the eye muscles get tired just like the rest. Common problems with eyes are described as are several recommendations.

General Ophthalmology Information:

American Academy of Ophthalmology
About Ophthalmology & Eye MDs
Find an Eye MD (not necessarily accepting of CFS/FM:

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Steven Flemke OD   
18 Cranbrook Rd, Cockeysville MD 21030      (410) 666-0610
6330 Daybreak Circle, Clarksville MD 21029  (410) 531-7920
Member comment:
Wonderful! The doctors at Johns Hopkins Wilmer Eye Clinic recommended him years ago. I have severe CFIDS with NMH and POTS, plus a previous traumatic brain injury that affected my visual special cortex. I cannot tell you how much time and care this man has given me.  He is child-friendly. From day one, he listened carefully and tried to understand exactly what he could and couldn't do with me. Together we have tried everything.  In a world of clinicians who tend to approach us with THEIR agendas instead of OURS, I cannot recommend him highly enough."

Robin Rinearson OD  (703) 578-3600
Rock Spring Professional Center
5653 Columbia Pike #101
Bailey's Crossroads, VA  22041
"This is a forward thinking practice and more than one might expect from an optometrist - they deal with a lot of unusual and complex problems.  She takes a very complete medical history.  She's shown a deep appreciation of the multitude of factors that affect vision when a patient has a chronic condition and health is variable.  She's understanding about our concerns, she's responsive, cheerful, and supportive.  She's a straight-talker."

Thomas Azman, OD  410-561-8050
Dry Eye Center of Maryland
2219 York Rd., Suite 101
Timonium, MD 21093
DrTA at
Specializing in Dry Eye Syndrome, contact lenses, and laser vision correction.  (Azman Color Vision Specialists)

Kelly Joedicke, O. D.
Ashburn Eyecare Associates
(703) 830-6380  Chantilly, VA
(703) 726-0005  Ashburn, VA
Member comment: "Willing to prescribe distance and reading glasses if progressives and having to move one's head so much gives neck problems. Willing to forego eye pupil dilation with no fuss if one feels too autonomic nervous system challenged already."

Dennis R. Cantwell, OD, FCOVD
7002B Little River Turnpike, Annandale VA 22003         703-941-3937
44110 Ashburn Village Plaza #134, Ashburn VA 20147  703-723-7333
One group member reports doing well with Dr. Cantwell's Vision Therapy. We had scheduled him to speak to group, but a snowstorm canceled it. From website: Vision Therapy is an individualized, supervised, treatment program designed to correct visual-motor and/or perceptual-cognitive deficiencies. Vision Therapy sessions include procedures designed to enhance the brain's ability to control: eye alignment, eye teaming, eye focusing abilities, eye movements, and/or visual processing. Visual-motor skills and endurance are developed through the use of specialized computer and optical devices, including therapeutic lenses, prisms, and filters. During the final stages of therapy, the patient's newly acquired visual skills are reinforced and made automatic through repetition and by integration with motor and cognitive skills.

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Opticians specialize in the design, fitting, and dispensing of eyeglasses, contact lenses, low vision aids, and prosthetic ocular devices. Using the initial prescription from an Ophthalmologist (medical doctors) or Optometrist (general eye practitioners) they determine the specifications of various ophthalmic devices that will give the necessary correction to a person's eyesight.
With eye glasses prescription in hand, and measuring your own distance between pupils in millimeters using a ruler, one can order very nice eye glasses for low cost! Excellent choices. Glasses come within two weeks. Single vision, bifocals, more.

Eye Street Optical (703) 830-6377
Chantilly, VA
Member comments:
"Wonderful service, repeatedly!"
"Discounts and coupons and fair prices if don't have vision insurance."

Francisco Altamirano,  Optician    (703) 444-8500
CountrySide Optical Boutique
20 Pidgeon Hill Dr #107, Sterling VA 20165
Custom fit eyewear, including home visits or frame selection and fittings at your office. Thin, Lite, anti-reflective lenses for comfort and relief. Pediatric eyewear specialty, too. Plan to have eyewear prescription in hand for your appointment.

Services and Resources for Regarding Eyes and Vision

American Academy of Ophthalmology
Find an Ophthalmologist
Provides referrals for people over age 65 who cannot afford to see an ophthalmologist;
also diabetics,  glaucoma sufferers, and children:

EyeCare America (800) 222-EYES (3937)
655 Beach Street
San Francisco, CA
A public service foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, EyeCare America offers multiple eye care programs for which individuals may qualify. Callers will be asked a series of questions to determine the program that provides the most appropriate eye care services. Eligible seniors who have not seen an ophthalmologist in three or more years may be able to receive a referral for eye care at no out-of-pocket cost for up to one year.
Seniors EyeCare Program:1-800-222-EYES (3937)
Glaucoma EyeCare Program:1-800-391-EYES (3937)
Diabetes EyeCare Program:1-800-272-EYES (3937)
Children’s EyeCare Program:1-877-887-6327

American Optometric Association
Sponsors public programs. Free eye exams for those who qualify.

Vision USA (800) 365-2219
(703) 739-9200. 1505 Prince Street, Suite 300, Alexandria, VA 22314.
(314) 991-4100.  243 N. Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63141.

The program is open to children and adults of all ages who qualify. Here are the general eligibility requirements, although they may vary by state. To receive free services, individuals must:

- Have a job or live in a household where there is one working member;
- Have no vision insurance (this may include Medicare/Medicaid);
- Have income below an established level based on household size; and
- Not have had an eye exam within 2 years.

If an individual or family is eligible, they will be matched with a volunteer doctor of optometry who will provide a comprehensive eye exam at no charge. Doctors are donating services and may be limited in some areas. Eyewear may also be provided at no cost or for a small fee/donation in some states.

A public health program designed to ensure that eye and vision care becomes an integral part of infant wellness care to improve a child's quality of life. Under this program, our member optometrists will provide a comprehensive infant eye assessment within the first year of life as a no cost public health service. Find an InfantSee® Doctor.

Optometry's Fund for Disaster Relief
Assisting optometrists whose lives and practices have been disrupted by hurricanes, floods, disaster.

Disability Related Products/Services Companies 
Includes Reading Aids, low vision product links.

LS&S (800) 468-4789
The Catalog of products for the visually impaired and hard of hearing
Folding Canes, Easy to Read Telephones

The Knights Templar Eye Foundation
(847) 490-3838
1000 East State Parkway, Suite I
Schaumburg, IL 60173-4592
Helps US citizens who cannot afford surgery and are not eligible for government-funded health care. A letter of denial from a social or government agency is necessary for assistance. Provided the Foundation has approved the surgical financial costs, and the doctor has recommended eyeglasses for the patient, eyeglasses would also be approved by the Foundation.  The Foundation does not provide eyeglasses if no surgery was involved.

The Hill-Burton Free & Reduced Cost Health Care Program
(800) 638-0742; Maryland: (800) 492-0359
Participating hospitals and other health care facilities provide medical care for fee or at reduced cost to those who meet eligibility requirements, based on family size and income. Income is calculated based on actual income for the last 12 months or last 3 month's income times 4, whichever is less. You may qualify if your income falls within the poverty guidelines, as published in the Federal Register every year. You may also qualify for free or reduced cost care at some facilities if your income is up to double (or triple for nursing home services) the poverty guidelines.
Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)
5600 Fishers Lane - Room 11-19
Rockville, MD 20857

Lions Club International (
800) 747-4448
Web page for international sight and hearing conservation and services links:

The Virginia Lions Eye Institute (VLEI) Foundation  (703) 876-2710
3299 Woodburn Road, Suite 150
Annandale, VA 22003
The Lions Eye Clinic provides services for indigent individuals only. Indigent patients will be assisted in the investigation of potential financial assistance regardless of residence. This assistance may be through state or federal programs or through funds provided by Fairfax Hospital for the care of indigents.

Donate your Old Eyeglasses to help others: All Lions Eyeglass Recycling Centers

Lions Eyeglass Recycling Center of Northern Virginia (703) 241-7004
212 N. West Street
Falls Church, VA 22046

Note: The Lions also have an Affordable Hearing Aid Project for low-income people.

The Vision Learning Center
Prevent Blindness America
211 West Wacker Drive, Suite 1700
Chicago, Illinois 60606
Financial Assistance and Vision Care Resources
Medicare Benefits and Your Eyes

National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
(888) 657-7323 and ask for the library serving your area

Talking Books inquiry -
Free extensive cassette or disk audio library and free listening device available for the qualifying individual, including books, magazines, and video for the vision impaired. Special listening devices for the hard of hearing. Braille is also available. Talking Book Topics available at the National Library Service home page:
Find a Library near you

VA/MD/DC area:

Alexandria Library-Beatley Central (703) 519-5911; TDD: (703) 519-5918
Talking Book Service
5005 Duke Street
Alexandria, VA 22304-2903
Library Code: VA1B

Talking Book Service (703) 228-6333; TDD: (703) 228-6320
Arlington County Sub-Regional Library
1015 North Quincy Street
Arlington, VA 22201
Library Code: VA1C

Access Services, (703) 324-8380; TDD: (703) 324-8365
Fairfax County Public Library
12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 123
Fairfax, VA 22035-0012

Special Needs Library,
(240) 777-0960, (240) 777-0959 and TDD: (301) 897-2217
Disability Resource Center at the Rockville Library
Montgomery County Department of Libraries
21 Maryland Avenue, Suite 100
Rockville, MD 20850

Maryland State Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
(410) 230-2424
Toll-free (In-state): (800) 964-9209 and TDD: (410) 333-8679

415 Park Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21201-3603
Library Code: MD1A

Adaptive Services Division,
(202) 727-2142 and (202) 727-2270, TDD: (202) 727-2255
DC Public Library
901 G Street NW, Room 215
Washington, DC 20001
Library Code: DC1A

New Eyes for the Needy (
973) 376-4903
549 Millburn Avenue, PO Box 332
Short Hills, NJ 07078-3330
New Eyes for the Needy purchases new prescription eyeglasses for low-income individuals in the US through a voucher program. Who Is Eligible? Applicants must: Be in financial need; Have had a recent eye exam. New Eyes does not pay for eye exams. Click here if you need assistance in locating a source of free or low-cost eye exams; Have no other resources available to them to pay for glasses, including federal or state programs or assistance from local charitable organizations. A New Eyes voucher typically covers only the cost of a basic pair of single or bifocal eyeglasses. New Eyes also provides recycled eyeglasses to ~ 350,000 people in developing nations. How to Donate Glasses.

Sources of Free or Low-Cost Eye Exams: National, New Jersey (NJ), and Selected States

The Shepherd's Table, Inc. (301) 585-6463
8210A Colonial Lane
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Has a vision clinic that provides eye exams to the homeless and the needy.
Their goal is to provide food, clothing, counseling, medical and other support services, effectively and compassionately, to individuals and families seeking assistance in meeting their basic needs and helping them to reach their fullest potential. Serves average of 133 meals daily.

The ARK of Chicago (773) 973-1000, Ext. 214 for Confidential Help
6450 N. California
Chicago, IL 60645
Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago maintains thrift shops, food panty, medical and legal clinics, dental and eye clinics, pharmacy. Crisis intervention, emergency financial aid, home delivered meals, homeless residences, and programs for seniors.

Surgical Eye Expeditions (SEE) International, Inc.
(800) 20-TO-SEE (toll free in US) = 800-208-6733
7200 Hollister Ave. Unit A
Goleta, CA 93117-2807 USA

(805) 963-3303; 001-805-963-3303 (Outside the US)
A referral service for disadvantaged, sight-impaired individuals who have limited or no access to eye care in the U.S. SEE International’s Santa Barbara Vision Care Program (SBVCP) offers free vision care services to low income, uninsured individuals and families.

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Alternative and Complementary Eye Care Resources

NaturalEyeCare™ and Vision Works (845) 255-8222 & (888) 735-8475
Marc Grossman, O.D., Lic Ac., author of
Greater Vision: A Comprehensive Program for Physical, Emotional, and Spiritual Clarity and
Magic Eye Beyond 3D: Improve Your Vision
New Paltz, New York 12561
Vision Works' Mission is to protect and save vision by guiding people along the alternative medicine path with strategies and recommendations based on peer review studies and professional and patient experiences. Health of the eye depends on the well-being of one's entire body. Therefore in healing and preservation of vision we provide lifestyle, diet, prevention and nutritional recommendations. Store.
Find a Practitioner Database
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) Page
The Yoga of Vision

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Updated January 16, 2017