About Dr. Lea


Lea Hyvärinen, MD, Phd, FAAP

I am a Finnish pediatric ophthalmologist who, after my thesis on experimental fluorescein angiography in Finland, worked from1967 to 1969 as Dr. A. Edward Maumenee’s Fellow at the Wilmer Institute, Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, MD, USA, starting the first clinical fluorescein angiographic laboratory, which was an important area in diabetic retinopathy, retinitis pigmentosa and histoplasmosis at that time. At Wilmer Institute I became interested in vision rehabilitation and have worked in vision rehabilitation and development of assessment techniques since the 1970s when I was in charge of the first Vision Rehabilitation Centre in Helsinki, Finland. I have trained rehabilitation teams starting in 1984 in Madrid and have given courses in more than 30 countries on all five continents. I worked seven years as the lecturer in ophthalmology at the Nordic Staff Training Centre for Deaf-Blind Services and spent a sabbatical year at the Smith-Kettlewell Institute in San Francisco to study communication during assessment of deaf-blind patients.


I work now as the Honorary Professor in Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Dortmund in Germany, and as a Senior Lecturer in Developmental Neuropsychology at the University of Helsinki in Finland.

The development of the LEA Vision Test System started in 1976 with the LEA Symbols tests for assessment and screening of vision in children; later with the LEA Numbers tests for international comparative studies in occupational medicine while working at the Institute of Occupational Health in Helsinki. The LEA Test System now contains 40+ tests for numerous clinical test situations and vision screening and for the assessment of children and adults with different communication needs.

2 responses to “About Dr. Lea

  1. Kay Nottingham Chaplin

    Congrats on the Blog! It is most informative and I look forward to more posts!

  2. karinikanada

    Hej Lea!
    I’m not sure whether you understand Swedish or not, so I’ll wright (mainly) in English to be on the safe side. :)
    I have known about the “Lea-tavlor” for a couple of years now, but today I found out about you as a person and was happily surprised of your work and that you are so open about yourself on the Internet, shearing your CV, experiences, lectures and material. So I just had to “wright you back” :) I hope you don’t mind.
    I graduated from Karolinska Institutets “optikerutbildning” last spring and are now attending their “Magisterutbildning i klinisk optometri”. During my second year of “optikerutbildningen” I went as an exchange student to University of Waterloo and read the courses with their second year students of the optometry programme. Last year we did our “kandidat-examensarbete”, mine had the English title “Going to the optometrist, experienced by the deaf community ” and in Swedish “Dövas erfarenhet av optikerbesök”. Before I started to study optometry, I worked in a preschool for deaf children. I have seen that you’ve worked with deaf patients, if you are interested I’d be happy to send you my thesis via e-mail, I have it as a pdf, ready to send. It is written in Swedish with a summary in English.
    Now I’m about to do my “magister-examensarbete” about visual perception tests together with a fellow student. We were asked to make a reference data-base with normally developed Swedish children. That is so our mentor and teacher Alba-Lucia Törnquist, can compare her findings of visual perception in Stem Cell Transplanted Children. It is suggested that Swedish children might perform differently from the reference groups from USA, as we have a different environment for the children to grow up in (mainly referring to the different school systems). Have you any knowledge of similar studies in Sweden, Finland or some other Nordic country? We have decided to use a test-battery consist of: TVSP-R (and TVPS-R upper level), VMI, DEM and a Piage-like test of Visual Laterality. (I think I remembered them all.)
    I wish you all the best in your work, teaching and gardening (even though it’s winter here now).
    Med vänliga hälsningar
    Karin Green Jonsson

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