Harman Eye Center adds optometrist to its staff

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By John Barnhart

    Harman Eye Center’s newest addition is Dr. Tracy Scheibe.

    A native of Knoxville, Tenn., Dr. Scheibe has lived in Beford County for six years, five of them in the Five Forks area. She earned her doctor of optometry degree from Illinois College of Optometry in 1999.
    She’s a baseball fan.
    “I like the Cubs, the Chicago Cubs,” she said.
    That choice was not influenced by the fact that Illinois College of Optometry is located in Chicago.
    “I’ve been a Cubs fan since I was a little girl,” she said.
    She loves the Bedford area, which she said is much like East Tennessee where she grew up. The area has mountains, a similar climate and very welcoming people.
    She and her husband like to travel and garden.
    “We have 10 acres here so my husband gets to play on his tractor,” she commented.
    Her childhood experiences influenced her career decision. Dr. Scheibe said that she has worn glasses since elementary school and was impressed with optometrists. She became convinced that this was the right thing when, right after completing her undergraduate work, she worked briefly in an optometrist’s office which provided the opportunity to get a feel for what an optometrist’s day is like.
    Dr. Scheibe has been with Harman for five years but began doing work at Harman’s Bedford office in July. Her time is split between Harman’s Lynchburg office and Bedford. She said that the Bedford office is relatively new — only two years old and is still building up.
    She said that the Bedford office is a multi-disciplinary office with an ophthalmologist, a medical doctor who specializes in eyes, on the staff.
    “I can get you right to the MD when you need it,” she said, explaining the advantage that this provides. A further advantage is that they know each other professionally.
    Dr. Scheibe said that she does a lot of work with contact lenses.
    “Sometimes fitting contacts require a lot of patience on both my side and the patient’s side,” she commented.
    She said that contacts have come a long way.
    “They’ve made a lot of advances in bifocal contacts,” she said.
    There are also soft contacts that correct astigmatism, something that only hard contacts could do in the past. There are also contacts that allow more oxygen to reach the eye.
    Another major job is educating patients about proper contact lens hygiene.
    “I have to bring out the book and show pictures,” she said. “This could happen to you.”
    According to Dr. Scheibe, contacts have advantages over glasses. They are better for scuba diving and sports — she said that coaches encourage their athletes, who need corrective lenses, to wear them. They also give the wearer better peripheral vision.
    Dr. Scheibe currently works in the Bedford office on Wednesdays.