We all have defining moments that, like a stones tossed in a pond, send ripples of intention and purpose through the waters of our lives. It is these moments that change our inner navigation, shifting the currents flowing beneath the stories we tell ourselves about who we are in the world and who we can become.
For me, one of those moments occurred in Smith’s grocery store when I was in my early teens. I’d gone to the store alone to pick up a few things we needed, which was nearly a daily chore in a family with seven children. My father was a local ophthalmologist and my mother was plenty busy herself, so as the second oldest, it wasn’t unusual for me to help out.
I was pushing a cart down the cereal aisle when a tall man with a kind face approached me. He extended his big hand in a handshake gesture, and as I reached out to grasp it, he wrapped my fingers in a warm embrace.
I watched the lines next to his eyes grow deeper as his smile spread across his face. “Your father changed my life,” he told me. “He gave me back my vision so I can see again.”
That statement, made beneath the fluorescent lights of our local market, somewhere between the Cheerios and the corn flakes, made a huge impact on me. From that moment on, I wanted to change people’s lives, too.
My appreciation for vision began before I was old enough to realize it. Both my father and grandfather were leading ophthalmologists, and their work was dinner table talk while I was growing up. From my earliest years, I’ve been fascinated by the science behind the human eye, but even more captivating is the beauty of creation behind each one.
Right now, this very minute, there are about 7.5 billion of us human beings on Earth. That means there are about 15 billion eyes, and no two are exactly alike.
From a technical standpoint, our eyes are even more uniquely individual than our fingerprints. But from a human standpoint, wow. How amazing is it that you have two windows to your world so rare that yours are, literally, the only ones like them in the universe?
That awe-inspiring thought is one of the reasons I am passionate about what I do at Brinton Vision. When I look inside a patient’s eyes, I see a beautiful kaleidoscope of shapes, structures, and vibrant colors that I’ve never seen presented quite that way before. Sure, we’ve all got the same basic eye anatomy, but the artwork inside is astounding to me — every single time.
I first discovered refractive procedures in my medical school training, and I was mesmerized by the growing field of laser technology. It was evident to me that the day would soon come when people like my grandparents wouldn’t have to spend their golden years unable to see well enough to drive, enjoy the outdoors, or navigate everyday tasks.
In the early 1990s, LASIK surgery was all the rage, and rightfully so. For the first time, vision problems could be corrected safely and effectively without glasses or contact lenses. But it wasn’t perfect, and it wasn’t for everyone.
Today, not only is LASIK more advanced and effective, but there are now alternatives such as Raindrop, Kamra, Visian ICL, Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) and SMILE that can offer hope to patients who have been told that LASIK won’t work for them.
For those billions of eyes in the world, there is now a wider array of laser-assisted solutions to choose from that change lives every day. Yet many laser eye centers provide only one or two options without telling people there may be better answers.
Upon graduating from Harvard Medical School, I wanted to arm myself with the best education, the best technology, and the best mentors available — not for power or money, but so that I could create positive change in people’s lives. I spent considerable time obtaining advanced fellowship training in refractive surgery. I became involved in research projects to test and perfect the technology and procedures available.
I am proud to say that Brinton Vision is the only practice in the state to specialize solely in providing the seven refractive procedures available in the U.S. What’s more, we have the technology and expertise to solve many unique vision problems, even for people who have been told they are not candidates for LASIK.
Patients often tell me that we are different, and I think that’s true. We care and it shows in everything we do. Our goal is to do everything we can to empower you with the information you need to make an informed decision about one of the most important aspects of your life — your vision.
Nothing has given me more satisfaction than seeing patients smile when they realize they can do everything from jumping into a swimming pool to texting their grandchildren, all with clear, crisp vision. Each day I go to work, I’m fortunate to have the opportunity to realize the dream I set out to attain in the grocery store aisle so many years ago.
I hope that someday my children find defining moments of their own and each set a course that leads them to find the joy and fulfillment that only comes from living a purposeful life.
Brinton Vision is located at 555 N. New Ballas Rd. in Creve Coeur. Visit brintonvision.com or call 314.375.2020.
About Dr. Brinton
If you are considering LASIK or refractive surgery, it’s good to know your eyes are in the best hands. Dr. Jason P. Brinton, MD is an internationally recognized specialist in the field of refractive surgery. He is a graduate of Harvard College, earned his medical doctorate from Harvard Medical School, and is board certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology. He has been inducted to America’s Top Ophthalmologists by the Consumer Research Council of America, Leading Physicians of the World by the International Association of Healthcare Professionals, and Top Doctors in America by Castle Connolly. In 2015, he received global recognition as recipient of the Visian ICL Young Ophthalmologist Award in Barcelona, Spain, and in 2016 was named to Ocular Surgery News’ Premier Surgeon 300 Innovators in Refractive Cataract Surgery. He is a dedicated husband, father of four beautiful children, and is passionate about his life, his work, and service to others.