As an independent, private practitioner, Dr. Tom follows his passion to find the best solution for his patients’ vision challenges using the latest technology, innovative eye care products, and talented staff.
His special interest in vision therapy attracts patients from hours away. He experiences great satisfaction in being part of a team that helps students who struggle with learning related vision problems, works with patients with vision challenges due to stroke, or trains athletes to maximize their visual skills for their sport. Dr. Tom also enjoys the challenge of managing patients who have complex dry eye disease. By utilizing advanced technology to discover the underlying causes of dry eye disease, he finds successful outcomes that improve quality of life and limit potential damage to the eyes. Similarly, Dr. Tom has developed protocols to minimize the risk of macular degeneration, a major cause of vision loss. Since there is no current treatment to recover vision loss due to macular degeneration, he strives to educate his patients and proactively limit their potential loss of vision.
Dr. Tom graduated from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, in 1984 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. In 1988, he received his doctorate in Optometry from the University of Missouri-St. Louis College of Optometry where he met his future wife Dr. Alice Unger. Together they established Unger Eye Care in Dr. Tom’s hometown of Troy, Illinois in 1991. Outside the office, he enjoys any activities that involve his family. From a simple dinner conversation to a spontaneous trip across town to a local event, Dr. Tom enjoys his time with Alice and their three boys Grant, Drew and his wife Taylor, and Kurt and his wife Caitlin. He also looks forward to exploring architecture and history, the Missouri Botanical Garden, good healthy food, and specialty pour over coffee.
Currently, Dr. Tom is a member of the American Optometric Association, the Illinois Optometric Association, the Southwestern Illinois Optometric Association, the College of Optometrists in Vision Development, Vision Source, IDOC, COVD, and Edwardsville Chamber of Commerce. He is also currently an elder at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church. Over the years he has served on the St. Paul’s Lutheran School board, has been secretary for the Goshen Rotary, and has been president of the Troy Chamber of Commerce. Dr. Tom continues to be a supporting member of the Missouri Botanical Garden.