Expert Eye Doctors in Raleigh - Durham NC Metro Area

Expert Eye Doctors in Raleigh - Durham NC Metro Area

Neuro-Developmental, Pediatric, and Rehabilitation Optometrists


Dr. Susan Licata Durham FCOVD

Dr. Pooja J. Patel FAAO

Dr. Susan L. Durham, FCOVD

Dr. Susan Durham is a Developmental Neuro Optometrist who is a board certified Fellow in the College of Optometrists in Vision Development (FCOVD) and a member of the Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Association (NORA). Dr. Durham is an expert eye doctor who has decades of experience in providing specialty care, such as Vision Therapy, Neuro Rehabilitation, Visual Rehabilitative Therapy, Sensory Processing Therapy, Low Vision Services, etc.

Dr. Durham attended Ithaca College in Ithaca, NY and graduated cum laude with a BA in Biology and a minor in German Language. During her senior year at Ithaca, she studied abroad at the Institute of European Studies in Vienna, Austria. In 1989, she received her Doctor of Optometry degree and Bachelor of Science in Visual Sciences from the Pennsylvania College of Optometry in Philadelphia where she graduated in the top 10% of her class. In addition, she received awards for Clinical Excellence and Outstanding Scholarship. She is a member of the Gold Key International Optometric Honor Society and Beta Sigma Kappa International Optometric Honor Fraternity. In 1995, Dr. Durham was selected by Rotary International to be a member of a four-person group study exchange team for a one-month assignment in the Tuscany and Emilia-Romagna regions of Italy.

Originally from Medford, NY, Dr. Durham practices full scope primary care optometry with special interests in developmental vision and rehabilitative optometry. She has been in private practice in North Carolina since 1989. Dr. Durham has also worked in close association with the Eastern North Carolina School for the Deaf and welcomes hearing impaired patients.

In October 1998, Dr. Durham completed all of the requirements to earn her Fellowship in the College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD). Members of COVD are optometrists who specialize in working with patients experiencing difficulties in the areas of binocular vision, focusing, eye tracking, strabismus, amblyopia and visual processing skills.

Dr. Durham is an active member of the Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitative Association (NORA). Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation is an individualized treatment regimen for patients with visual deficits as a direct result of physical disabilities, traumatic brain injury and other neurological insults. Dr. Durham provides treatment for patients with visual field loss, double vision, visual balance disorders, visual midline shift syndrome, post trauma vision syndrome, cranial nerve paresis, photophobia, and reading disorders.

Dr. Durham is a member of the American Optometric Association, NC State Optometric Society, College of Optometrists in Vision Development, Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Association, and the Sports Vision Section of the American Optometric Association. She and her husband, Jeff, reside in Raleigh with their son Zachary and two daughters, Jenna and Karli. Dr. Durham is a sports enthusiast who enjoys running, biking, aerobics and Carolina Hurricanes Hockey.

Dr. Pooja Patel, FAAO

Dr. Pooja Patel obtained training in the fields of pediatric eye care, vision therapy, neuro-optometry, traumatic brain injury, emergency eye care, and primary eye care.

Dr. Pooja J. Patel graduated from the University of Tampa in 2009 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology. In 2013 she graduated from Nova Southeastern University with a Bachelor’s in Vision Sciences and Doctor of Optometry degree. She completed her clinical training at The Eye Institute in Fort Lauderdale, The Eye Institute at North Miami Beach, Kids in Distress clinic in Wilton Manors, W.G. Hefner VA Medical Center in Salisbury, St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia, and a private pediatric behavioral Optometry practice in St. Petersburg.

Under the supervision of nationally recognized specialists, she obtained training in the fields of pediatric eye care, vision therapy, neuro-optometry, traumatic brain injury evaluations, emergency eye care, and primary eye care. In addition to completing the above internships, Dr. Patel completed additional training through a one year residency program in Pediatrics and Binocular Vision Services at Salus University in Philadelphia. During her residency training in Philadelphia, Dr. Patel rotated through Bryn Mawr Rehab Center allowing her to gain experience in managing and treating visual problems related to traumatic brain injury and concussions.

Dr. Patel has lived in Florida for most of her life and moved North Carolina in August 2014 with her husband, Viran Patel. During her free time, Dr. Patel enjoys cooking and traveling to new places with her family. She is both a nature and adventure enthusiast. Dr. Patel speaks fluent Gujarati, Hindi, and some Urdu. She is excited to be seeing patients at Brier Creek Vision Care and is currently ACCEPTING NEW PATIENTS.

Dr. Esther Nakagawara, FAAO

Dr. Nakagawara graduated from the University of Tulsa in Tulsa, OK with a BS in Biochemistry and minor in mathematics in 2006. In 2010, she graduated from the University of California Berkeley School of Optometry. During this time, she was a member of Beta Sigma Kappa International Optometric Honor Society and received awards for clinical honors, contact lenses, patient education, and leadership. She completed her clinical externships at the OMNI Eye Services in Atlanta, GA; Mayo Clinic Arizona in Scottsdale, AZ; Raymond G. Murphy VA Medical Center in Albuquerque, NM; and Southern Arizona VA Health Care System in Case Grande, AZ. In 2011, she completed her primary care residency at the William G. Hefner VA Medical Center, which included clinics in primary care, ocular disease, specialty contact lens, and low vision. After completing her educational training, Dr. Nakagawara has worked in primary care in the Raleigh/Cary area. She earned her fellowship from the American Academy of Optometry, and has assisted as a mentor for other candidates for fellowship. She also serves as a co-coordinator for the North Carolina Optometric Society Young ODs events. Dr. Nakagawara was born in Hawaii, raised in Oklahoma, and moved to North Carolina after graduating optometry school. She often attends optometric conferences with her father, a retired optometrist. Her parents reside in Hawaii while her sister and two nieces live in Florida. In her spare time, Dr. Nakagawara enjoys reading, movies, cooking, traveling, boxing, traveling, playing trivia, going to concerts, and visiting local restaurants.

Serving Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Cary, Joys Grove, Bethesda, Bells, Holly Springs, Carpenter, Morrisville, Braggtown, Wake county, NC, North Carolina

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