Meet a Specialist: Kevin E. Houston, O.D., M.Sc.
As an optometrist and vision rehabilitation specialist in Mass. Eye and Ear’s Vision Rehabilitation Service, Dr. Houston brings a personal perspective to his work with patients who have impaired vision. As a child, Dr. Houston underwent multiple eye surgeries. “Despite the best possible treatment,” he notes, “my vision is not perfect, and it has always limited my reading speed and depth perception.”
Passionate about helping patients overcome their visual limitations, Dr. Houston provides assistive devices and therapies to patients to improve their vision.
“Typically patients come to me because there is not a surgery or medication that can restore their vision to normal. It is my job to maximize my patients’ remaining vision.”
First, he helps his patients understand what is happening with their vision. Next, he maximizes their vision with special lenses, refraction techniques, or digital technology. Then, once vision is maximized, he and his team teach patients how to use their residual vision most effectively.
“Providing patients with adaptive visual aids and training can help them participate in life more fully, and that is something I feel great about,” he says.
Dr. Houston cares for patients with a wide range of ocular conditions including, but not limited to, age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy. He also sees patients with impaired vision caused by stroke or traumatic brain injury, which includes strabismus (misalignment of the eyes), hemianopia (loss of half of each eye’s visual field), and hemi-neglect (inability to properly attend to the vision or other sensory stimuli on one side of the body or environment).
Dr. Houston explains, “Prism glasses can be used in many cases of neurological disease or injury to eliminate double vision in strabismus, expand the visual field in hemianopia, and reduce symptoms of hemi-neglect”.
In addition to seeing patients and providing vision rehabilitation services, Dr. Houston is an investigator at Mass Eye and Ear’s Schepens Eye Research Institute where he has been conducting research on hemianopia, hemi-neglect, and devices for visual field expansion. Other projects include development of devices for patients with eyelid paralysis and development of smartphone apps for the visually impaired.
Prior to joining Mass. Eye and Ear, Dr. Houston served on the faculty of the Indiana University School of Optometry and Ophthalmology, teaching vision rehabilitation to optometry students and ophthalmology residents. He received his O.D. degree from the Indiana University School of Optometry in 2003, and completed his research training in 2015 through the Harvard Vision Clinical Scientist Development Program at Mass Eye and Ear, while concurrently earning a Master’s of Visual Science from the New England College of Optometry.
Contact Dr. Houston’s office at 617-573-4177.
View Dr. Houston’s online bio for more information.
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