When Dr. Elizabeth Atkinson first donned a pair of glasses at the age of 8, her life was forever changed. Suddenly, she could see the board in school for the first time in her life, and her grades improved. She instantly knew that she wanted to be an optometrist when she grew up, with the help of her eye doctor’s advice and a part-time job in high school.
Dr. Atkinson graduated from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign with a B.S. in psychology in 1988, then went on to receive her O.D. at the Illinois College of Optometry in 1992. She has been practicing optometry ever since graduating, and opened Atkinson Eye Care with her husband, Dr. William Atkinson, in 1994.
Dr. Atkinson specializes in primary care, meaning that she enjoys seeing patients of all ages and needs. She cares for them through the prescription of medications for infections, disease, and injuries, as well as correcting their vision with contacts and glasses. However, her favorite has always been pediatrics. Professional interests include multifocal contact lenses, the retina, and how patient nutrition affects their eyesight.
When asked to recount her most memorable patient experience, Dr. Atkinson recalls:
“A few years ago, I saw a young patient who I had seen in previous years. She was experiencing blurry vision and headaches. During her exam, I discovered that she had changes in her optic nerve, which indicated a brain tumor. After referring her to a neurologist, she underwent successful surgery and is doing very well. I continue to enjoy her eye care visits today. It’s not often that an optometrist diagnoses something so serious, but I’m happy that I could provide my expertise at such an important time for this family.”
Outside of work, Dr. Atkinson can usually be found outdoors, gardening in a newly planted vegetable bed. When travelling, she opts to go to the mountains for hiking. She also plays tennis and likes to bicycle. In addition, she in involved in the life of Springbrook Community Church, where she leads a small group bible study. Other hobbies that Dr. Atkinson enjoys are cooking and trying new recipes. She learns new cuisines through trial and error, as well as attending cooking classes.
Dr. Atkinson and her husband have three children: Carolyn, 19; Jamie, 22; and David, 24. They are on the verge of becoming empty-nesters.
Dr. Elizabeth Atkinson has acquired many years of experience, and continues to have a passion for optometry. She appreciates the opportunity develop a relationship with a variety of patients and their families, and looks forward to her practice continuing evolve with new technologies.