Who is Sona Vaghela?
Updated: Dec 27, 2022
The Answer: The One with all the Questions
While seeking a unique and enriching clinical experience for my gap year, I made a phone call to the VCDC during my last semester at Rhodes College all the way from Memphis, TN.
VCDC was the perfect fit for me. Getting to know people on a weekly basis and helping them navigate how they see and interact with the world has only furthered my interest in behavioral science, while also enhancing my background as a pre-optometry neuroscience major.
Starting as a vision therapy trainee, I worked on obtaining certifications and applying to optometry school. While making a new life with a small work family in the big city, I found my favorite pizza spots (find me on Instagram @za_grrl), walking trails, and music venues.
During my city girl era, I’ve witnessed the interrelatedness of my hobbies and professional career. It has been fulfilling to utilize my meditational practices in the therapy aspect of visual care. I have always been interested in art and optical illusions as well as playing musical instruments, and I learned that vision therapy can enhance my artistic skills. Working on controlling my eye movement and manipulating images in my head has helped me see stereoscopic art and make my own! Learning about all the activities for eye-hand coordination inspires me to integrate these skills into viola and guitar practice.
When I was younger, I struggled with dry eye syndrome and spent a lot of time at my eye doctor’s office. The patience and warmth the staff exhibited in response to the painful experience I received inspired me to spend my life doing the same for other people who struggle with vision. When I arrived at VCDC, I learned that I had convergence insufficiency, just like many of the patients I help treat today. The doctors and therapists at the office helped me read quicker and for longer, and I am working on using vision therapy to help me better visualize pictures in my mind.
After a year of discovery, I will return to Memphis to attend the Southern College of Optometry. Emboldened by the spirit of VCDC, I hope to connect with all my future patients through holistic care and focus my efforts on advocating for research in the color system and developing visual skills.