My appointment at the Mind Eye Institute -1 month after wearing my first therapeutic glasses -review
Updated: Nov 20
(Or listen to my podcast).
Because of Covid, I had to wait so long before I was able to fly all the way from Amsterdam to Chicago to visit The Mind Eye Institute. I already paid for my appointment so from the moment the borders opened again in the beginning of November, I was able to go there and schedule my appointment on November 24th, 2021. I was so excited!
Download my free eBook to learn 7 things that have helped me to reduce my symptoms: click here.
Table of contents:
Finally! There I went, on my way to the airport to fly to Chicago. I was so happy that I could finally visit Dr. Deborah Zelinsky at The Mind Eye Institute. I had already heard so many amazing stories from people who had gone to see her. Because my eyes are the biggest problem as a result of my concussion at the moment, it felt like this was the best step for me to take.
Because I didn’t want to be away for a long period from home, I just booked 3 nights at The Sheraton Hotel in Northbrook. They have special prices for people who are visiting The Mind Eye Institute and a free shuttle which will take you to the clinic (just a 5 minute ride).
What is The Mind- Eye Institute?
Let me copy this from their website:
“The Mind-Eye Institute is an optometry practice with an emphasis on neuro-optometric rehabilitation that provides world-class care by measuring the eye as well as how the brain processes its visual inputs. Each person’s unique reactions and responses to lens changes are measured with state-of-the-art therapeutic lenses. Through groundbreaking research and innovative treatments, Dr. Zelinsky and her team have been creating life-changing experiences for nearly 30 years.”
You can find more information at their website: https://mindeye.com/
What are my symptoms? What have I done so far in The Netherlands?
My accident was 4,5 years ago and my eyes have always been an issue since that moment. In the beginning, I didn’t know much about it and I only focussed on the cognitive stuff. I went to Cognitive FX in Utah which helped a lot.
Read my blog: My experience at Cognitive FX
Eyes and concussion
But after going there I even noticed that my eyes were a big problem. I have difficulty focusing and reading, and screens are the worst. They suggested that I visit an optometrist in The Netherlands. So I went to Hans de Bruijn (as a recommendation from them) in Haarlem. He did a lot of concussion eye tests and I started with light therapy in 2019 and this took a few months. After light therapy, I started with eye training, which means I had to visit him once a week to do all kinds of exercises and I had to continue them at home every day. I did this for almost 9 months until I reached a point where I didn’t feel any improvements from that anymore.
Yoked Prism Glasses
After the light therapy and eye training, he prescribed yoked prism glasses for my fixation disparity and my midline shift which came out of a test after all the therapy (don’t ask me why they didn’t mention this earlier). The prism glasses helped a bit but they made me so nauseous all the time and after wearing them for 3 months I decided to stop. The thing I noticed was that my sound sensitivity improved after wearing the glasses.
Why did I choose to go to The Mind Eye Institute?
I discussed with my optometrist in The Netherlands about the treatment at The Mind Eye Institute. He recommended this place as my therapy here (The Netherlands) had come to an end after more than a year. It felt like there were no options left for me here in The Netherlands. I tried everything that was available here and still had issues with my eyes after sustaining my concussion. I had already gone to Cognitive FX in Utah in 2019 which helped me a lot and this (The Mind Eye Institute) was another treatment option in the United States. So I trusted that this had more to offer than what was available in The Netherlands.
The appointment day at The Mind Eye Institute - General concussion eye tests
There was just one long appointment scheduled so I only needed to visit the clinic only one time. That appointment took around 3-4 hours with lots of breaks in between. You have the option to book your appointment with Dr. Deborah Zelinsky or with someone else. Well, because I flew all the way from Amsterdam to Chicago, I wanted to see Deborah Zalinsky herself. (You will pay more for that).
The first tests were some general concussion eye tests done by her colleagues. These were some reading tests, the right eye test, cognitive tests, memory tests and some tests on their computer. This took around 1,5 hours. They told me I ran through them quickly so I had to wait/take a break for 1 hour before I would see Dr. Zelinsky. I went outside for a walk and waited until I could see her.
The appointment with Dr. Deborah Zelinsky
After that break, I finally had my appointment with Dr. Deborah Zelinsky. I had heard so many things about her and her treatment that I was surprised how normal she was! Haha!
She is such a caring person and is really passionate about what she is doing. She really wanted to find the problem by doing all kinds of tests.
The outcome of the general concussion eye tests
She first checked my story, the outcome of the general tests I did in the morning and explained to me how some things worked. I made a photo of what my biggest problem is:
I took this photo at her office.
She told me that these things (awareness and focus) were not working together for me. When I focus I don’t see all things around me and when I try to focus on the things around me I miss the object. That explains why I usually get nauseous in a car—everything is just passing so fast because I try to focus on the road before me.
In a general test, I had to read a small story, remember the story and make a drawing about that story. I made that drawing perfectly with all the details (trees, hill, people etc) but totally missed the most important point (that a person was carrying a body). She said that’s because I zoomed in on the focus part which erases my awareness of the bigger picture. So interesting!
The reason why my eyes are always tired is because it costs so much energy to switch between these two things all the time. It’s like a camera that is focusing all the time on objects to make a clear view. That’s exactly how it felt.
Testing done by Deborah Zelinsky
After discussing these things she started to do some tests herself.
I had different glasses with different colours. For example, I had to wear a green one and she was holding something. Then I had to close my eyes and needed to touch the thing she was holding. I had to try this with more colours so she could measure which one was off.
Same for the test with the bell. I had to wear the different colour glasses and instead of holding an object, she was ringing the bell. I had to close my eyes and needed to touch the bell.
I remember there was one colour where I was totally off but also another colour where I was able to touch it every time we tried again. First I thought it was just a coincidence, but after doing this many times I was amazed by how this worked.
In this way, she knew what colours I need in my glasses where my brain is not functioning well and have to pick it up again. For the bell test another colour was off. She had to test how I reacted to use both of these colours in the glasses and in the end she made her choice. So there are prisms in the glasses but also colours (which you don’t notice).
The testing and explanation from her made me feel like I made the right choice to book that appointment directly with her. I think the others are amazing as well but this felt right for me to do so.
Start with syntonics for 3 weeks
After my appointment with Dr. Deborah Zelinsky, I had my last appointment with the optometrist who would discuss my glasses. I brought my own frame and he did some small measurements. He explained everything. I had to wear them for 6 months and build it up slowly.
The first 3 weeks I needed to start with syntonics. These are colour glasses and you wear them for a short period of time. I had to use these glasses for the coming week in the following way:
Morning: The yellow colour for just 2 seconds followed by the green and blue one together for 5 seconds.
Evening: Only the green and blue one together for 5 seconds.
I thought this couldn’t do much for just a few seconds but I was wrong. My eyes really needed to adjust to them and to be honest it bothered me a bit. I did this for 3 weeks only and not I’m not sure if I feel a difference but I really wanted to follow her advice. Maybe it has more of a long-term function.
Receiving my glasses - 2 weeks after the appointment - Adjusting
After the appointment, I flew back home to Amsterdam. They told me that I had to wait for 3-4 hours but after 2 weeks my glasses arrived! I was so excited and could not wait to start wearing them. They included a letter about how I needed to use my glasses:
I needed to build it up slowly and the final goal is to wear them the full day until you don’t need the glasses anymore so your eyes will learn how to do this themselves.
I was really motivated and thought that it would be easy to wear them. But I was wrong. The first day I could wear them for 5 minutes and really needed to take them off after that.
The next day I tried it for 10 minutes and that was easy. I was wondering what would happen if I could wear them longer but I was also a bit scared that it would cause some sort of setback. So I only did it for 10 minutes that day.
The third day I wore them for 1 hour, on the fourth day for 2 hours and the fifth for 3 hours. These steps where a bit too big so I felt really bad in the evening of the fifth day. As they mentioned in the instructions: “Don’t rush you rehabilitative process”. I just wanted to move forward more quickly but if there is one thing I learned in my journey, it is that rushing things never helps.
So I started to slow down a bit and I would wear them for 1 hour a day in the second week. This went well and I started to wear them for 1,5 hours in the third week. I increased to 2 hours in the 4th week (where I am now).
How do I feel after 1 month wearing the glasses?
Right now I have my glasses for 1 month. As I already mentioned, these are not quick magic glasses that will heal you in a month. It’s a whole process of more glasses and can take up to 2 years. So I guess it’s a bit too early to say if this is helping or not, but I just wanted to share my experience / review so far.
What I feel now after having them for a month is that it does something and my eyes are adjusting to them. It feels different because I feel another pressure behind my eyes, different from the one I usually feel. It feels like they will be “forced” to get back into balance. Which is not always easy and not the best feeling ever, but I know what I am doing so I will keep building it up every week when I am able to. I have faith that this will work.
At the end of January (2 months after my actual appointment) I will have a follow up with The Mind Eye Institute to discuss how it’s going so far.
I will keep you updated and write another blog when I am further in this process. Any questions? Always happy to help!
Download my free e-book and learn 7 things that have helped me to reduce my symptoms.
In this e-book, you will learn how to reduce your headache and fatigue, increase your energy, improve your sleep, feel less stressed, and return to exercising.
Receive it right away in your inbox: