His love of science early on and a desire to work in the medical field guided Jacob Nordhues, OD, to becoming an optometrist. While attending the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, he wanted to choose a medical path that included a high level of patient interaction. He was fascinated by the eyes and decided to do some shadowing to get a better understanding of that field of medicine. It sparked his interest so much that after graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Bio-Chemistry he went on to pursue his Medical degree at Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, TN.
“The thing I find most fulfilling about being an optometrist is being able to help people see the best they can,” says Dr. Nordhues. “Our eyes help us so much in our day-to-day lives. They help us learn and interact with the world.” Dr. Nordhues sees patients of all ages, adult to pediatric, and patients with conditions ranging from nearsightedness and farsightedness to astigmatism. He also addresses common ocular issues with children, such as eye coordination and focusing. During his externships, Dr. Nordhues received specialized training in the management of cataract evaluation, pre- and post-operation of cataracts and LASIK, retinal issues, macular degeneration, glaucoma, and dry eye.
Dr. Nordhues really enjoys interacting with his patients, hearing their stories, and learning about their lives and families. He’s especially passionate about working with children and addressing common ocular issues involving near work. He also understands the importance of ensuring patients are receiving more than just a “routine” eye exam. One of his most interesting cases was a male patient in his early 40s who was being seen for a routine eye exam. This patient had a previous history of some diabetic eye complications in the past, but came in thinking his eyes were fine since he saw 20/20. Dr. Nordhues discovered that he had really severe diabetic retinopathy, or severe bleeding in the back of the eyes. “You see it in text books but to actually see it in your chair is unusual, especially in someone so young,” says Dr. Nordhues. “I referred him to an ophthalmologist for further treatment because if this goes untreated, a person can lose his or her eye sight.”
Working at the Fremont clinic has been a wonderful experience for Dr. Nordhues. He is excited to come to work every day because the people he works with and the patients he sees make it an enjoyable experience. The range of ages and types of patients is also something he appreciates and attributes that diversity to Dr. Jacobsen and his work at the Fremont clinic.
Dr. Nordhues believes that EyeCare Specialties plays an important role in the Fremont area by setting a high standard of quality eye care and for being involved in and giving back to the community, something that he is familiar with doing himself. During his medical training in Tennessee, Dr. Nordhues participated in weekly vision screenings at elementary schools utilizing chair skills and retinoscopy, as well as volunteering for a Remote Area Medical (RAM) trip where doctors and students provided free vision and ocular health examinations to underserved and uninsured patients. He also was a member of Student Volunteers in Optometric Service to Humanity (SVOSH) providing exams and services to patients in Merida, Mexico.
Being back in Nebraska has given Dr. Nordhues the opportunity to spend time with his family and friends. He grew up in Grand Island and is married; his wife is from Omaha. They have two children: a 2 1/2-year-old daughter, and a seven-month old son. When he’s not seeing patients, he enjoys playing softball, racquetball, tennis, or just about any sport that involves a racquet. He and his wife also like to travel and go on adventures when they can.
From his own personal experience, Dr. Nordhues is on a mission to educate parents on the importance of scheduling eye exams for their children given that his first eye exam wasn’t until he was in optometry school. “Consider how much of each person’s day is spent looking at things up close, especially technology, and how our children are doing more and more of that today,” adds Dr. Nordhues. “I think it’s important that optometrists continue to address these issues that people don’t realize are occurring, and help them learn what they can do to relieve eye strain or eye fatigue.”
Dr. Jacob Nordhues works at the Fremont EyeCare Specialties clinic located at 3220 Elk Lane in Fremont, NE. To schedule an appointment, call 402-727-9220.