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Optometrist joins practice of Dr. Harder in Manteca
Hahn Judy Nguyen, a new optometry associate at Harder Optometry in Manteca, stands next to some of the equipment used to perform eye exams. - photo by JASON CAMPBELL

Hahn Judy Nguyen has always been fascinated by eyes.

The optometrist – who just recently joined the practice of Dr. Mark Harder as an associate in May after graduating from the Southern College of Optometry in Memphis – realized that her love for physics parlayed itself into the vision field.

And as she delved deeper into the world of sight she quickly realized that there was much more than meets the eye in terms of medical scenarios – something that as a doctor intrigued her even more.

“I realized that through optometry you were able to treat things that you didn’t even realize you could detect like diabetes and high blood pressure,” she said. “It made me look at the body in a whole different way.”

Nguyen, a San Jose native, did her undergraduate work as a pre-med student at UC Davis and began to realize in her second year that the vision field was something that she felt she could definitely pursue as a career.

She dedicated herself to her studies and began to realize what her chosen field could provide to those that she served.

“I definitely wanted to help people, and I think that sometimes people take vision for granted,” Nguyen said. “I’ve had patients come in, like children, and when they’ve gotten their glasses or contacts they’ve been able to see the leaves on the trees for the first time.

“That’s something that’s reassuring, and that’s why I chose to do this.”

A good portion of what Nguyen does during her day-to-day includes performing eye examinations to determine the quality of vision of her patients and determine whether or not they need corrective lenses or contacts.

But there’s more to the job than just outfitting people with glasses.

There’s the early detection of eye diseases and problems like glaucoma, macular denegation and cataracts that optometrists can provide. And with a portion of her studies dedicated to working with one of the nation’s top LASIK performing ophthalmologists, Nguyen is capable of referring suitable candidates that might want the corrective surgery.

And there’s also the diagnosis and treatment of other local problems like dry eyes – a byproduct of the dust and high heat that are commonplace in the San Joaquin Valley during the summer months.

“I have a full-scope practice so there’s all kinds of things that we see,” she said. “I’m glad to be a part of this group here and this community, and I look forward to meeting new people and patients as they come in.”

Harder Optometry and Wesson Hearing Center is located at 1079 Eucalyptus Street. For additional information visit