Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Autism Big News in NewsWeek 3/24/08

NewsWeek has several stories about Autism in the March 24th and other edition. Most were fairly well written.

Mysteries and Complications

McCain puts his $.02 into the debate.

Vaccines

Pundit questions wisdom of socialized medicine.

In a letter to the editor of the Washington Post (3/25, A14) Michael Tanner, director of Health and Welfare Studies at the Cato Institute, writes in response to a Mar. 23 op-ed, "One wonders what there is about the performance of our current government-run healthcare programs that justifies Jacob S. Hacker's faith in 'socialized medicine." Tanner says that "studies have repeatedly shown that the quality of care provided [by Medicare] is wildly uneven, and pretty much mediocre overall. Other government healthcare programs are even worse." In addition, "Medicaid is threatening to bankrupt state governments, yet it notoriously under-reimburses doctors, driving them out of the program, and sending patients to emergency rooms for care." Tanner concludes, "This is not a track record that inspires confidence."


Comment: "Hello, I'm from the government and I'm here to help you." DM

Monday, March 24, 2008

Dublin Institute of Technology

Off to Ireland!

I will soon be on my way to Ireland....an emerald colored (or coloured) land filled with Leprechauns Jameson Irish Wiskey and Guinness. I will start my trip in Shannon, go round the south end of the island up to Newry and then to Dublin. This is not all play....I plan on taking plenty of photographs and to give a lecture at the Dublin Institute of Technology Department of Optometry on the diagnosis and treatment of binocular vision dysfunction to about 60 Irish optometry students...and several Irish optometrists. I want to thank Ms. Eva Doyle, Head of the Optometry program at DIT for making this all possible.

While I'm away I may not have access to my blog....so you may not receive updates until I return. DM

Anisometropic amblyopia treated with spectacle correction alone:

....With spectacle correction alone, 3- to 7-year-old children with previously untreated anisometropic amblyopia achieved approximately four-line improvement [in visual acuity]...

Treatment of strabismic amblyopia with refractive correction.

...These results support the suggestion from a prior study that strabismic amblyopia can improve and even resolve with spectacle correction alone....

Comments: Those of you who are my patients, now know why I typically always recommend wearing glasses before doing just about anything else to improve your child's vision. DM

Treatment of strabismic amblyopia with refractive correction.

...These results support the suggestion from a prior study that strabismic amblyopia can improve and even resolve with spectacle correction alone....

Comments: Those of you who are my patients, now know why I typically always recommend wearing glasses before doing just about anything else to improve your child's vision. DM

Treatment of bilateral refractive amblyopia in children three to less than 10 years of age.

..........Treatment of bilateral refractive amblyopia with spectacle correction improves binocular visual acuity in children three to less than 10 years of age, with most improving to 20/25 or better within one year.........

Comment: Once again as in past studies, this shows the importance of having your children's eyes examined....and when there is refractive error present...the importance of wearing glasses. I always find it amazing how we take our glasses for granted....and yet these wonders are incredible therapeutic devices! DM

Changes in visual function following optical treatment of astigmatism-related amblyopia.

....Measurements made at baseline (eyeglasses dispensed for astigmats), 6weeks, and 1year showed greater improvement in astigmatic than non-astigmatic children for all measures....

Comment: Have your children with astigmatism wear their glasses! DM

Children with high amounts of farsightedness need glasses!

Visual acuity outcome in children with high hypermetropia is ...good regardless of age at initial optical correction or presence of strabismus.

Comment: Bring your child in for an examination immediately if he/she has never had a comprehensive vision evaluation. We can help them at any age to develop good visual abilities. DM

Mandartory Eye Examination Law in Illinois

PARENTS: MAKE SURE AN EYE EXAM IS ON YOUR CHILD’S ‘TO-DO LIST’

FOR THE SUMMER

A NEW LAW IN ILLINOIS REQUIRES IT

Is your child one of the 10 million children suffering from vision problems? A new state law aimed at cutting down on the number of children who unnecessarily suffer from eye and vision disorders took effect on January 1, 2008. All children beginning kindergarten or first grade for the first time are required to have an eye examination. Although parents have until October 15 to provide proof of an eye exam, doctors of optometry are asking parents to make appointments now for their children to avoid long wait times and to reduce the instances of eye and vision problems going undiagnosed and untreated in children.

The Illinois Parent-Teacher Association, the Illinois Federation of Teachers, the Illinois Optometric Association and the Vision First Foundation joined forces to support this effort and to make sure that important improvements in children’s eye health care were enacted. Thanks to this leadership, Illinois now leads the nation with the best eye health care requirements for children.

QUICK FACTS:

· Nearly 25 percent of school-age children have vision problems.

· Nationally, about 86 percent of children entering first grade do not receive an eye exam.

· About 60 percent of students identified as problem learners have undetected vision problems.

· Illinois joins Kentucky and Missouri as the third state in the nation requiring eye exams for children entering public schools.

WARNING SIGNS:

Simple changes in behavior could indicate that your child needs further evaluation by an eye doctor.

Keep an eye out for these warning signs:

· Red eyes or eye lids

· Frequent eye rubbing

· Frequent headaches

· Turning or tilting of the head to use one eye only

· Avoiding detailed activities like coloring, puzzles or eye-hand coordinated tasks.

Eye exams for children entering school are critical for the early intervention needed to treat diseases and disorders that can lead to poor school performance and can ultimately affect a child’s quality of life. Many vision problems are preventable or treatable if caught early on. A comprehensive eye examination from your local optometrist is a good way to make sure that your child is adequately prepared to learn with clear and comfortable vision.

To find a nearby optometrist, please visit www.aoadrlocator.com. In the Chicagoland area you may also wish to go to http://www.nw.opometry.net for complete pediatric eye and vision care. DM