Eye care professionals specialize in understanding how the human eye really works, as well as diseases and conditions that affect your vision - many of which do not have obvious symptoms. Eye doctors know how age and risk factors affect vision over time for young and old, and they understand the benefits and features of corrective lenses including eyeglasses and contacts.
Our optometrists take the time to explain the results of your eye exam, describe your options and listen to your eye care needs. Because maintaining good eye health is an ongoing partnership, we encourage you to ask questions and share your health information, which could be vital to monitoring, diagnosing and treating potential vision problems.
Meet our doctors:
Dr. Barbara Marcussen graduated from the Ohio State University College of Optometry. She then completed a residency in Ocular disease at the Columbus VA Hospital. She has an avid interest in improving her patient’s lives by treating dry eyes. She is also one of only a few select optometrists in the state of North Carolina which are certified wave designers in the treatment of myopia. She has been doing the Gentle Vision Shaping System (GVSS) on hundreds of her patients for well over 10 years. She enjoys giving her patients great vision without daytime use of glasses or contacts without refractive surgery.Dr. Marcussen is also the only optometrist in the Charlotte Metro area fitting scleral contacts with the Wave Design System to treat eye conditions such as Keratoconus, post corneal transplant surgery, severe dry eyes and other eye diseases. She is very excited about how well scleral contacts she fits correct astigmatism and how good her patient's vision is with scleral bifocal contacts.
Dr. Barbara Marcussen is the mother of two precious girls Kristina and Katelin. She enjoys running, tennis, and traveling.
She is involved in Gaston County on several local boards and is a member of the American Optometric Association, The Orthokeratology Academy of America and The American Academy of Orthokeratology & Myopia Control.
Dr. Harald Vaher attended the Ohio State University College of Optometry. After graduating he completed a residency at The University of Alabama Birmingham College of Optometry.
Dr. Harald Vaher started Complete Eye Care over 20 years ago and has been delivering high quality vision exams in a friendly manner ever since. His goal is to provide personalized service with high quality products and be a good value to his patients. Dr. Vaher has an avid interest in fitting bifocal contact lenses to treat Presbyopia. He enjoys time with his patients to get them great comfort and vision. Dr. Vaher is known for the kind patient care he provides each patient, taking the time to learn each patient’s individual needs. As an avid golfer, he enjoys sharing with fellow golfers special lenses made just for the sport. These provide the precise vison needed for the golf course environment. Dr. Vaher appreciates the hundreds of referrals his many loyal patients have sent him over the years and the trust they have placed in him.
He also enjoys being an active father to his two daughters. He can be seen regularly at swim meets, volley ball games, dance recitals and piano lessons. He enjoys spending time with his family, traveling and his golf game.
Dr. Laura Ashe attended the Southern College of Optometry where she was awarded the College of Optometrists in Vision Development Vision Therapy Award. After graduating she completed a residency in Pediatrics and Vision Therapy.
Dr Ashe's passion for helping kids achieve their best and improving vision beyond 2020, has driven her to complete of over 100 hours of continuing education in the areas of Vision Therapy and Pediatric Optometry.
"My favorite part about being an optometrist is helping people with their most precious sense: sight. What allows me to do this is appropriately diagnosing, managing, treating and educating my patients, and understanding that patients are not a set of eyes, but real people!"
Prior to joining Complete Eye Care, Dr. Ashe served as a primary care optometrist as well as a Consulting Faculty at Southern College of Optometry in Pediatrics and Vision Therapy Dr. Ashe's goal is to ensure efficient visual development in the pediatric population. She is a member of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD), The American Optometric Association, and the North Carolina Optometric Association.
Originally from Dallas, North Carolina, Dr Ashe has recently moved to Belmont with her husband Justin and their two adorable dogs Scout and Chloe. In her free time Dr. Ashe loves reading, playing with her dogs, and yoga.
Below is an interview with Laura.
1. Very briefly, describe yourself.
I'm Dr. Laura Ashe, originally from Dallas, NC and graduate of North Gaston High School and UNC-Charlotte. I went to optometry school at Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, TN and completed my residency in Pediatrics and Vision Therapy in 2014. I like to read, practice yoga and spend time with my friends and family.
2. How did you become a Vision Therapist?
My interest in Pediatric Optometry and Vision Therapy began in optometry school, when I learned that I had an issue with how my eyes worked together. I always disliked reading growing up, and thought that was normal. After working in vision therapy as a patient, my eyes work better and I actually read for fun.
3. Why do you like to work as a Vision Therapist?
I love helping people learn how to control their visual system through Vision Therapy in order to relieve stress and strain. If their eyes are working more efficiently, work and leisure can be much more enjoyable!
4. How would you describe your work style?
I would describe my work style as compassionate, individualized, and laid back. I want people to understand that I deeply care about how vision therapy can help a person. Everyone is different and has different needs and goals; therefore, the vision therapy needs to be tailored specifically. At the same time, I want people to feel comfortable and as stress- free as possible when enrolled in a vision therapy program.
5. What are the skills required for a vision therapist to success in her work?
The skills required for an optometrist to successfully direct a program of vision therapy would include: passion for vision therapy, good observation skills, and an understanding of what patients need from their visual system, so that the vision therapy program can address those goals.
6. How do you encourage the child to keep going even if they are feeling down?
Sometimes patients, kids, or adults, can become frustrated in their vision therapy program. Some of the reasons for this include other life stressors and fatigue. If a patient is feeling down in vision therapy, I try to understand why. Once I identify why, I typically will change their specific vision therapy program to better accommodate that person. I want vision therapy patients to see that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and it is a bright light when their visual system becomes more efficient through vision therapy.
7. Concluding thoughts on how Vision Therapy can help.
Answered above 🙂
Dr. Barrett graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Meredith College in Raleigh, NC. She went on to receive her Doctorate of Optometry from the Southern College of Optometry with cum laude honors. While in optometry school, she completed internships in the advanced care of ocular disease, vision therapy, and low vision rehabilitation, pediatrics, and specialty contact lenses. She also completed an internship at the W.G. Hefner VA Medical Center in Salisbury, NC.
Dr. Barrett is an outdoor adventurer who enjoys kayaking, hiking, and camping. She has one dog, a Goldendoodle named Obie, who can be found accompanying her on all her backpacking trips. Dr. Barrett is originally from Jacksonville, NC and grew up on the New River, which has resulted in a love for boating and the beach. When she isn’t traveling to the beach or the mountains, she can be found enjoying live music or spending time with friends and family.
Dr. Barrett enjoys seeing people of all ages and hopes to be able to follow her patients from infancy all the way into their golden years. Her favorite part of any examination is taking the time to get to know the individual needs of each patient and what their lives entail. When asked why she decided to become an optometrist, Dr. Barrett said “Because I knew I wanted to spend every day making a positive impact on my community. Vision is something that is precious and crucial to care for, and I love that I get to play a small role in improving people’s everyday lives by being their optometrist.”