Prism Power – Local doctors treat patients worldwide to correct rare eye condition
Published in The Detroit Jewish News, Auguest 30, 2012. By Marielle Temkin, JN Intern. Link to original article on The Detroit Jewish News
Local doctors treat patients worldwide to correct rare eye condition Drs. Debby and Paul Feinberg have treated more than 7,000 patients suffering from vertical heterophoria. (Photos by Brett Mountain) “My chiropractor thought there might be a problem with my eyes,” said Marcy Forta of Oak Park. “Something was wrong with my neck, and his adjustments weren’t working as they should have. He referred me to Dr. Debby Feinberg, who he had heard of through another patient of his.” Feinberg diagnosed Forta with an eye condition known as vertical heterophoria (VH).
Forta, who suffered from horrible neck and shoulder pain for years, never imagined it came from an eye problem. VH causes one eye to see images at a different level than the other, making the eyes fight for alignment. This causes a whole host of issues ranging from blurred and double vision, headaches, dizziness, head tilt, nausea, motion sickness, unsteadiness when walking — the list goes on and on.
“I used to get regular massages in addition to going to the chiropractor, and I took a lot of Motrin,” Forta said, “but a lot of my neck and shoulder pain was alleviated when I started wearing the glasses Dr. Feinberg made. Not all of the pain was gone, but it was enough that I felt significant relief.”
Feinberg, 55, along with her father, Dr. Paul Feinberg, 86, and their colleague Dr. Morrie Dubin treat patients from across the country and the world. This is because they run the only optometry practice in the country that treats vertical heterophoria, which affects about 5 percent of the total population. “We’ve found only one other doctor in Germany who also treats this,” Paul Feinberg said.
The Beginning: Debby Feinberg’s journey with VH started in 1985 with her brother-in-law, Dr. Arthur Rosner, an ear, nose and throat (ENT) doctor.
“I was with him one day when he pulled out a wedge prism to read with,” she said. “He explained that a doctor from medical school gave it to him to help with eye strain he had when reading.”
When she asked him if the prism helped, he responded negatively.