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Meet the Optometrist

moniqueDr. Nguyen is an optometrist in Ladera Ranch providing complete eye care services for the surrounding communities.

The life of a refugee as a teenager opened up a whole new world to Dr. Monique Nguyen, a world in which people were always ready to offer a helping hand and to make a difference, no matter how small. And making a difference in other people’s lives was her primary goal when she considered her career options. To her, it was unquestionably health care. And there is no greater joy than protecting, enhancing, and optimizing the most important sense – vision. Thus, she decided to become an optometrist, the primary care taker of vision.

As an optometry student at the Southern California College of Optometry (SCCO), also called Marshall B Ketchum University, Dr. Nguyen was diagnosed with convergence insufficiency, a condition in which the two eyes do not work efficiently together when doing near work. This explained why words often swam and became double when she performed near activities such as reading. An avid reader, she had refused to give up her love for reading in spite of the visual discomfort. When she was successfully treated with vision therapy, one of the disciplines within optometry, she could finally appreciate vision the way it should be – clear, single, comfortable, and effortless. She also realized what a difference she could make in the lives of all those children and adults with binocular vision disorders, in which one or both eyes do not work efficiently in spite of 20/20 eyesight, if she specialized in this discipline.

Combined with her love and respect for children, Dr. Nguyen decided to pursue residency training in Pediatric Optometry and Vision Therapy after obtaining her degree of Doctor of Optometry. She received extensive training in diagnosing and treating visual disorders in patients of all ages, including strabismus (e.g., crossed eyes), amblyopia (lazy eye), sports vision, computer visual syndromes and vision-related learning disorders.

Wishing to make a difference to the best of her ability, Dr. Nguyen accepted the offer to remain at SCCO to teach the future doctors of optometry. She has also lectured to local optometrists on pediatric optometry and vision therapy. She coordinates and supervises the vision clinic at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Garden Grove, where children from underserved communities are provided with vision exams and glasses if necessary at no or low cost.

In addition to her love for teaching and taking care of patients, especially pediatric patients, Dr. Nguyen has always dreamed of being an independent optometrist with her own private practice, serving the local communities. She fulfills that dream with her practice in Ladera Ranch, where she provides vision care for all patients, including infants and preschoolers. She is one of very few optometrists in Southern California fully trained and equipped to provide vision therapy services at her office. Today, this Assistant Professor, coordinator of a vision clinic, private optometrist, and mother of two is grateful for the opportunities to give back and to make a difference in her students’ and patients’ lives.

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