Jacqueline Theis, OD, FAAO is an optometrist with residency training in neuro-optometry, pediatrics and vision therapy, who treats patients of all ages with visual complaints and double vision due to development, brain injury and neurological disease.  She is internationally recognized as a leader in her field for diagnosis and management of oculomotor dysfunction in concussion, as well as prismatic correction of acquired and developmental double vision.  Dr. Theis's mission is to provide a comprehensive neuro-optometric eye examination to help patient's understand their visual system and provide functional, evidence-based optometric treatment options to enhance a patient's quality of life so they can get back to seeing and enjoying the things they love to do.  In addition to patient care, Dr. Theis also lectures internationally to optometrists and non-optometric healthcare providers in the field of neuro-optometry, concussion and oculomotor dysfunction, as well as consults healthcare and government systems on diagnosis and management of visual sequelae from brain injury and neurologic disease.

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This is a headshot picture of Dr Jacqueline Theis

Personal Experience

What made Dr Theis decide to become a neuro-optometrist? For her, it is personal.  After suffering multiple concussions as a teenager playing competitive soccer and snowboarding she was unable to read for longer than 15 minutes without triggering a migraine.  She saw numerous providers who told her to just "wait it out" and after 6 years, she continued to be unable to read.  It was only when she was in college, following different specialties to see what type of doctor she wanted to become that she came upon an optometrist who diagnosed her convergence insufficiency causing her reading problems.  In college at the time and unable to pursue vision therapy, the optometrist prescribed her prism glasses to compensate and immediately Dr Theis went from reading for 15 minutes to reading for 1-2 hours before getting headaches.  The following summer she finished vision therapy and was able to read without headaches indefinitely.  She was astounded at how much improvement she saw with her symptoms, and she asked herself - why didn't anyone refer her to an optometrist previously?  She decided then to pursue a career in neuro-optometry to specifically treat patients with oculomotor (eye movement) dysfunction due to brain injury, advocate for her patients, and ultimately dream to increase awareness of the profession. 

Education

Dr. Theis graduated Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania with her Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry and Cellular Biology. She then moved across the country and completed her Doctorate in Optometry at the UC Berkeley School of Optometry.  Dr Theis completed ocular health and brain injury training during her internship at the San Francisco VA and Alameda County Medical Center in Oakland, CA, and completed a pediatric internship at Bascolm Palmer in Miami, FL.  After optometry school, Dr Theis pursued residency training in Neuro-optometry, Binocular Vision (double vision/strabismus), Children's Vision and Vision Therapy/Rehabilitation at the UC Berkeley School of Optometry. 

Clinical Experience

During her residency, Dr. Theis focused her training on evaluating and treating patients with visual problems due to traumatic brain injury, stroke, and other neurological diseases including multiple sclerosis, myasthenia gravis, and Parkinson's disease as well as treating children with refractive and strabismic amblyopia.  Additionally, she led clinical research with the UC Berkeley Sports Medicine department evaluating the effects of concussion on the oculomotor system in Division 1 intercollegiate varsity athletes.  After her residency, she continued her research and became an Assistant Clinical Professor at the UC Berkeley School of Optometry, as well as the founding Chief of the UC Berkeley Sports Vision and Concussion Clinic- which provides clinical research and patient care in sports vision performance and optometric post-concussion management.

Once the UC Berkeley Sports Vision Clinic was operational and self-sustaining, Dr. Theis continued her career by transitioning her services to Kaiser Permanente.  For the next five years, Dr Theis worked assiduously to improve quality of care for patients with post-concussion oculomotor dysfunction, double vision, and atypical visual complaints.  Using her previous experience she was able to integrate home-based concussion vision therapy and rehab in a fast-paced outpatient hospital setting.  She worked efficiently and cooperatively with a team of physicians to pioneer post-concussive, multi-disciplinary active rehabilitation treatment in inpatient and outpatient settings for patients across Northern California. 

 

In addition to her work in research and clinical care, Dr Theis also enjoys lecturing nationally, providing continuing education for optometrists, physicians, and other healthcare professionals in the areas of post-concussion vision rehabilitation, neurological visual field loss, and double vision.  For her dedication and work in neuro-optometry, Dr. Theis received the California Optometric Association's Young Optometrist of the Year Award in 2019.

Current Practice

Dr. Theis started Virginia Neuro-Optometry in March of 2020 within the disciplinary brain injury setting at at the Concussion Care Centre of Virginia, LTD.   She sees patients in private practice through both telemedicine and in-person office visits and offers remote/home-based vision rehabilitation.  Dr Theis also currently performs research in oculomotor dysfunction in adults with traumatic brain injury in association with the New Jersey Institute of Technology, is an active member of multiple professional organizations, and serves as a subject matter expert in visual dysfunction in brain injury.

Hobbies and Interests

Weather permitting, you can usually find Dr. Theis doing something active outside - snowboarding, surfing, trail running, or hiking with her dogs.  She also enjoys frequenting museums, yoga, trying new restaurants, painting, traveling, and reading a good book.

Professional Affiliations

  • American Academy of Optometry, Fellow

  • American Optometric Association

  • Virginia Optometric Association

  • California Optometric Association

  • Richmond Optometric Society

  • Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Association (NORA)

  • Vestibular Disorders Association (VEDA)

  • Brain Injury Association of Virginia (BIAV)

Selected Publications

  • Theis J. Differential diagnosis and theories of pathophysiology of post-traumatic photophobia: A review. NeuroRehabilitation. 2022 Mar 16. doi: 10.3233/NRE-228014. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35311726.

  • Kaae C, Cadigan K, Lai K, Theis J. Vestibulo-ocular dysfunction in mTBI: Utility of the VOMS for evaluation and management. A review. NeuroRehabilitation. 2022 Mar 16. doi: 10.3233/NRE-228012. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35311725.

  • Theis J. Visual disturbances in acquired brain injury. NeuroRehabilitation. 2022 Mar 15. doi: 10.3233/NRE-228010. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35311723.

  • Pinkston W. "The Eyes, The Window of the Soul and a Light on our Cognitive Health." AOA Focus Nov/Dec 2021.

  • Theis J. "Pattern Recognition in Diabetic Retinopathy Diagnostic Screenings." Optometry Connection. 2021

  • Miller S, Morgenstern A, Urbanski C, Greenspan L, McAllister B, McKeown S, Newman C, Sharma M, Singh S, Spors F, Theis J. “American Optometric Association: Evidence-Based Myopia Management Clinical Report.” June 2021

  • Van Meter E, Tran J, Green Z, Sheehy C, Theis J, Rossi E, Reecher H, Zhang M, Bolch C, Putnam N. Comparing fixational stability of D1 baseball players as measured by Tracking Scanning Laser Ophthalmoscopy to healthy controls. Investigative Ophthalmology & Vision Science. Annual ARVO Meeting Abstract. June 2021

  • Theis J. Consulting Patients with Hemianopic Visual Field Cuts. Modern Optometry. April 2021

  • Theis J. Retinal Artery Occlusion: A Sign of Stroke. Modern Optometry. November/December 2020

  • Theis J. A Lesson on Neurological Visual Field LossModern Optometry. September 2020

  • Theis J. The Real-World Cataract Evaluation. Continuing Education Article. Rev Optometry. June 2019

  • Sheehy CK, Beaudry-Richard A, Bensinger E, Theis J, Green AJ. Methods to assess ocular motor dysfunction in multiple sclerosis.  J Neuro-Ophthalmol. 2018:38:488-493

  • Theis J. “Sports Vision – Lens Tints.” Rosenfield M, Goodwin D, Lee EM. Clinical Cases in Eye Care. 2019.  23-26. Wolters Kluwer. Philadelphia

  • Theis J. Concussion in Kids, Different from Adults. Advanced Ocular Care. Sept 2016. 25-27.

  • Grimaldo S, Yuen D, Theis J, Ng M, Ecoiffier T, Chen L. MicroRNA-184 regulates corneal lymphangiogenesis.  Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2015: 56:7209-7213.

  • Theis J, Hoenig P., Lee Chen D. “Iatrogenic Aniseikonia from Surgical Emmetropization of a Pre-Operative Anisometrope.” UC Berkeley Optometry. 2014  SECO Conference, Multimedia Poster.

  • Theis J, Hoenig P. “Superior Oblique Palsy of Compound Etiology” UC Berkeley Optometry. 2013 AAO Conference Seattle, Poster #9

  • Theis J.  “Sports Vision Therapy: How to optometrically treat athletes, from one OD to another.” California Optometry. July/August 2013. 40(4):42-43

  • Grimaldo S, Theis J, Chen L. “MicroRNA-184 Regulates Corneal Lymphangiogenesis”. UC Berkeley Optometry. 2011 ARVO Conference, Poster #D856

Selected Presentations and Lectures

For a list of lectures given to optometrists and other healthcare providers, please review Dr. Theis's CV!  If you are interested in having Dr. Theis lecture for your providers/practice/conference, please contact info@virginianeurooptometry.com

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