My lifelong fascination and dedication to the practice of optometry began when I was in the 9th grade. I thought I wanted to be an aeronautical engineer, but watching my uncle practice optometry soon convinced me that my future was in the optometric profession.
For over four decades - I've been a practicing optometrist, and I started Family Vision Care Associates (a general optometry practice) in 1960.
Vision therapy was taught back in my optometry school days - and I was an early believer in the very positive results that vision therapy can provide for people with vision problems other than those for which glasses can compensate.
Over the years I've watched the vision therapy field grow and become increasingly more sophisticated and effective.
I was delighted when my son Paul (Dr. Paul Bernstein) became an optometrist, and even more so when we able to practice optometry together - with a particular emphasis on vision development, visually-related behavior, and optometric vision therapy. This led to the Bernstein Center for Visual Performance having been created (2000).
As "Dr. Ira", I have conducted thousands of vision therapy evaluations and treatment programs. Even with my tremendous experience, I find each new patient a unique and exciting challenge.
I often meet young people who (because of their vision problems) have low self esteem or self confidence. They can't read (or catch a ball) like other kids. They don't know what's wrong - but they know something is...
When their vision gradually begins to improve through VT, I get to see their self esteem and confidence begin to grow - and then soar.
Even after many years of optometry practice, this is still the most rewarding part of my chosen profession.