By Heather Pilkington, Register Staff Writer
Gainesville Daily Register
Whether you need eye care for your 6-month-old baby or for your aging grandparent, York Eye Associates has optometrists to treat them all.
York Eye Associates began in Muenster as a part-time small practice in 1992, but now 70 percent of Dr. Margie York’s patients came from the Gainesville area.
After being in business for a few years, York’s clientele was backed up two to three months, so she eventually expanded her practice to four days a week. In 1997, York added Dr. Cynthia Fleitman to the practice. York Eye Associates made its new home at 2020 West Hwy. 82 in Gainesville in 2001. Dr. Loan Lao joined the practice in 2010.
York specializes in primary eye care including surgical co-management of cataracts, eyelid repair, refractive surgery such as Lasik and contact lens.
Dr. York and her staff are also a top eye care providers for those who are partially sighted — a condition known as “low vision.”
York is particularly well-known for her work in the area of low vision. She said she examines patients with partial vision loss that cannot be corrected though surgery.
“A person with low vision has severely reduced visual acuity or contrast to sensitivity, a significantly obstructed field of view — or all three,” she said.
York said eye care physicians from in and around the Metroplex area send their low vision patients to her.
Oftentimes, Fleitman said patients are shocked to find out they cannot visit an optometrist in the Metroplex, and in some case, their current optometrist tells them that for “low vision” work York is the best.
The Metroplex isn’t the furthest place from which patients come to York Eye Associates. Fleitman said she has a patient who flies from Montana for her annual appointments.
Fleitman specializes in pediatric pathology, primary care and contact lens.
According to information provided by the center, Fleitman gives free eye exams to infants 6 month to 1-year-old.
The brochure states that “healthy eyes and good vision play a critical role in how infants and children learn to see, eye and vision problems in infants can cause developmental delays. It is important to detect any problems early to ensure babies have the opportunity to develop the visual abilities they need to grow and learn.”
As for Dr. Lao, she completed her externship at the Veterans Affairs Hospital and The Texas Diabetes Institute in San Antonio, which is according to a York Eye Associates brochure, “the largest and most comprehensive center completely dedicated to diabetes.”
With that experience, Lao’s specialty is diabetic eye care, pathology and surgical co-management.
“Here at York Eye Associates we try and stand out,” York said. “We have a reputation for correctly diagnosing and referring for proper treatment and completing comprehensive eye exams. Patients usually leave my office saying ‘Wow, I have never had an eye exam like that before.’”
The office has state-of-the-art equipment to provide a 200-degree picture of the eye’s retina. York said a normal exam can only capture about 15 to 20 degrees of the retina. She added she can capture the image without having to perform a dilation of the eye.
“It is our goal here to give the best visual aid we can, by treating every case with a fine-tooth comb,” she said.