Saturday, September 19, 2009


Although I usually do not post this type of information, it is just too fascinating not to do so. Optometry as a profession was only a few years old.....the profession of medicine was still part snake oil...part healing....and you could get just about any thing you wanted over the counter in terms of drugs...


This will boggle your mind. I know it did mine!
The year is 1909;
One hundred years ago.
What a difference a century makes!
Here are some statistics for the Year 1909:

************ ********* ********* ******

The average life expectancy was 47 years.

Only 14 percent of the homes had a bathtub.

Only 8 percent of the homes had a telephone.

There were only 8,000 cars and only 144 miles of paved roads.

The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph.

The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower

The average wage in 1909 was 22 cents per hour.

The average worker made between $200 and $400 per year .

A competent accountant could expect to earn $2000 per year,
A dentist $2,500 per year, a veterinarian between $1,500 and $4,000 per year, and a mechanical engineer about $5,000 per year.

More than 95 percent of all births took place at HOME.

Ninety percent of all doctors had NO COLLEGE EDUCATION!

Instead, they attended so-called medical schools, many of which

Were condemned in the press AND the government as 'substandard. '

Sugar cost four cents a pound.

Eggs were fourteen cents a dozen.

Coffee was fifteen cents a pound.

Most women only washed their hair once a month, and used Borax or egg yolks for shampoo.

Canada passed a law that prohibited poor people from Entering into their country for any reason.

Five leading causes of death were:

1. Pneumonia and influenza
2. Tuberculosis
3. Diarrhea
4. Heart disease
5. Stroke

The American flag had 45 stars.

The population of Las Vegas, Nevada, was only 30!!!!

Crossword puzzles, canned beer, and ice tea Hadn't been invented yet.

There was no Mother's Day or Father's Day.

Two out of every 10 adults couldn't read or write.

Only 6 percent of all Americans had graduated from high school...

Marijuana, heroin, and morphine were all available over the counter at the local corner drugstores. Back then pharmacists said,'Heroin clears the complexion, gives buoyancy to the mind, regulates the stomach and bowels, and is, in fact, a perfect guardian of health'

Eighteen percent of households had at least

One full-time servant or domestic help.

There were about 230 reported murders in the ENTIRE U.S.A.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Academic Behavior Reduced with Convergence Insufficiency

The authors suggest that children with symptomatic Convergence Insufficiency, and no parent-reported Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), had a higher frequency of inattention, avoiding schoolwork, and difficulty completing school assignments when compared to children with normal binocular vision.

Even Low Levels of Lead Cause Problems in Kids

Blood lead levels below 10 mcg/dL -- the CDC threshold for public health action -- are associated with adverse educational outcomes in children,...

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Flu info from CDC

Following the outbreak of H1N1 influenza earlier this year, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and other health organizations are concerned that the H1N1 virus will reappear this fall, making this year’s flu season more severe than usual. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the CDC recommend taking several simple measures to help protect against flu and to limit the spread of the disease:

· Wash your hands frequently or use alcohol-based hand-sanitizers.
· Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you sneeze or cough.
· Try to avoid contact with sick people.
· If you are sick, stay home from work or school and limit your contact with other people.

If possible, get a flu vaccine. While the seasonal flu vaccine will not protect against H1N1, a separate H1N1 flu vaccine is currently in production and is expected to be available this fall.

You’ll find additional updates and information about the H1N1 flu online at, the CDC ( and the World Health Organization ( is managed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Health Care Reform and Academic Institutions

...In searching for ways to improve health care quality, cost, delivery, and access, the current debate has paid little attention to a group of well-established health care providers whose example might offer a reform solution. Academic health systems (AHSs) — those combining teaching and research activities with clinical delivery — have long provided high-quality care to millions of Americans, including nearly half of the uninsured, and are already located in close proximity to the great majority of the nation’s population....

Comments: As an optometric educator, lecturer, teacher, researcher and clinician, I am also aware of how much academia does to promote, enhance, and improve health care in this country. Any health care reform should recognize this. DM

Illinois College of Optometry Announces Winners of 2009 Alumni Association Awards

Illinois College of Optometry Announces Winners of 2009 Alumni Association Awards

Optometrists, two corporations honored for excellence during Alumni Weekend, September 11-13, 2009

September 17, 2009 (CHICAGO) — The Illinois College of Optometry (ICO, announced the winners of the 2009 Alumni Awards during a class reunion banquet held at the InterContinental Chicago on September 11, 2009. Seven optometrists and two corporations were honored for excellence and leadership in education, philanthropy, research and patient care, as well as for their outstanding contributions to ICO and the optometric profession.

The Lifetime Service Award was presented to Dr. Darrell G. Schlange ‘64 of Chicago, for his accomplished career and commitment to the profession of optometry. For the past 45 years, Dr. Schlange has shared his passion for patient care by teaching and mentoring thousands of optometric students through his role as an ICO faculty member. As an Associate Professor, he currently teaches pediatrics, binocular vision, and ocular motility, in addition to serving as an attending clinician in the Pediatrics and Binocular Vision Service of the Illinois Eye Institute.

Other awards included Alumna and Alumnus of the Year that were given to Drs. Louise Sclafani ’89 of Chicago and Peter Kehoe ’84 of Galesburg, Ill., respectively. Dr. Steve Leon ’80 of Villa Grove, Ill., received the Distinguished Alumnus Award and Dr. Dennis Siemsen ’76 of Rochester, Minn., was awarded the Professional Achievement Award. Drs. Rebecca Zoltoski of Chicago and Joseph Pizzimenti ’89 of Boca Raton, Fla., received Excellence in Education Awards for faculty and non-faculty members.

ICO also recognized Haag-Streit USA with the Distinguished Friend Award for more than 100 years of distinguished service to the profession, as well as for their support of the education and training of future eye care professionals. The Humanitarian Award was presented to The Jenzabar Foundation for their support of humanitarian efforts in the U.S. and around the world. The Foundation recently made an impact on ICO’s Student Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity program, making it possible for more students to participate in restoring or improving vision to people in need in underdeveloped communities around the world.

In addition to the Alumni Awards ceremony, ICO also hosted on Saturday, September 12, the President’s White Coat Welcome Ceremony, a special event where first-year students are presented with a white clinic coat to signify the transition into professional education and to commemorate their commitment to the profession of optometry. ICO also offered professional development events and a continuing education program during the weekend’s festivities.

About the Illinois College of Optometry
The Illinois College of Optometry (ICO) provides excellence in optometric clinical education and is one of the world’s leading urban optometric institutions. Since its founding in 1872 by Dr. Henry Olin, ICO has offered aspiring optometrists the education and experience needed to meet the challenges of a changing health care environment and become leaders who will advocate for patients and the profession alike. Located in Chicago, ICO has a long and distinguished legacy as the oldest continually operating educational facility in the world dedicated solely to the teaching of optometrists. For more information about the Illinois College of Optometry, visit
Jennifer Gaster Sopko
Director of Communications/Public Relations
Illinois College of Optometry

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Key Brain Receptors Linked To Learning And Memory Decrease With Age

...Scientists studying cognitive decline that accompanies aging have been interested in nicotinic receptors, part of a key neural pathway that not only enhances learning and memory skills but reinforces addictions as well. The loss of these receptors has been difficult to study in living subjects, but Yale University researchers using advanced imaging technology have successfully tracked the loss of receptors with age, according to a report in the September issue of the journal Neurobiology of Aging. ...

Advancement Made In Automatic Autism Screen Increases Accuracy To 91%, Scheduled For Release This Month

...LENA Foundation has increased the accuracy of the LENA Autism Screen (LAS) to 91 percent for children 24 to 48 months. LAS - the first automatic and totally objective autism screen is now as accurate or more accurate than other autism screens currently available to parents and clinicians....

Young Children Need Adult Support to Learn from TV

...Just sticking your child in front of an educational TV program and leaving the room doesn't do much for their brain power, according to a new study. Researchers found children under the age of three cannot learn verbs from television programming without an adult present to reinforce concepts....

Effectiveness of Cinnamon for Lowering Hemoglobin A1C in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes: A Randomized, Controlled Trial

...Taking cinnamon could be useful for lowering serum HbA1C in type 2 diabetics with HbA1C >7.0 in addition to usual care. ...

Refractive and Ocular Motility Findings in Children with Epidermolysis Bullosa

...Twenty-one of the 55 patients (38%) had reduced visual acuity (0.3 logMAR or less) in at least one eye, and 13 / 55 (24%) had bilaterally reduced visual acuity.
Twenty-nine percent of patients had refractive errors; 20% hypermetropic, 5% myopic, 16% astigmatism, and 11% anisometropic. Fifteen percent of patients had a constant or intermittent tropia; 9% exotropia and 4% esotropia. Thirteen percent of patients had a significant phoria (> 10); all were exophoric. Sixteen percent had convergence insufficiency. This cohort of EB patients demonstrated a high prevalence of reduced visual acuity, strabismus and refractive errors compared with normal pediatric data from the literature. ...

ICO Faculty Teach in New Zealand

ICO faculty member, Dr. Janice Jurkus completed her 8 day trip to Auckland, N.Z. Her duties on the trip included teaching a significant part of the therapeutics course at the University of Auckland. Her topics included Red Eye, Ocular Allergies, Lids and Lacrimal Disorders, Contact Lens Related complications and a review of cases. She also was part of a foreign body removal workshop and an evaluator of clinical skills.

Congrats to my colleague and friend, Dr. Jurkus!

ICO Dean Publishes Book Chapters

ICO's Dean, Dr. Kent Daum published:

Daum KM. Objectives of the eye and vision examination. In Rosenfield M, Logan N. Optometry: Science, Techniques and Clinical Management, second edition. Butterworth Heinemann Elsevier, Philadelphia, 2009. pp. 407-418.

ICO Students Perform Very Well on National Boards

The results from the NBEO Part III (class of 2009 - April administration) indicated that 100% PASSED. The Illinois College of Optometry's unofficial "ultimate pass rate" (all four exams passed by graduation) is 97.3%. This pass rate may be the highest in the College’s history.

Congratulations to our students, faculty, alumni and all who support ICO.

ICO Faculty Honored

Congratulations to my ICO Colleagues!

ICO Teachers of the Year (chosen by students)
i. First year. Dr. John Baker
ii. Second year. Dr. Gary Lesher
iii. Third year. Dr. Len Messner
iv. Fourth year. Dr. Geoffrey Goodfellow
v. Clinical education. Dr. Keith Tyler
ICO Golden Apple Award
i. Dr. Geoffrey Goodfellow

Alumni Education Award Dr. Rebecca Zoltoski
(Chosen by Alumni Council)

Life Time Service Award Dr. Darrell Schlange
(Chosen by Alumni Council)

Antioxidant Ingredient Proven To Relieve Stress

A dietary ingredient derived from a melon rich in antioxidant superoxide dismutase enzymes has been shown to relieve stress. In a double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled trial, published in BioMed Central's open access Nutrition Journal, researchers found that the supplement decreased the signs and symptoms of perceived stress and fatigue in healthy... volunteers.

Comments: Full text article available by clicking title above. DM

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A Stereoscopic Journey

...Mount Holyoke professor (and neurobiologist) Susan Barry didn't realize she lacked stereo vision until she was in college. When Barry was an infant, her eyes crossed—when she focused on something with either eye, the other turned inward. This led to a series of surgeries to realign her eyes. Both eyes then functioned properly on their own, but the two still did not function together to provide stereo vision; her brain suppressed one of the two images coming from her eyes instead of integrating the two. This problem wasn't really apparent to anyone when Barry was a child in the 1950s—her doctor merely told her parents her depth perception wasn't good....


...Do you get headaches or eyestrain from staring at your computer monitor? At the end of a long day in front of your computer screen, is it difficult to focus on distant objects? You may be suffering from computer vision syndrome (CVS).CVS is a serious problem for the millions of people who spend hours in front of a computer every day. According to the research computer eye problems are common & between 50% and 90% of people who work on computer screen have at least some symptoms of eye trouble.CVS is a condition involving eye strain and fatigue, temporary weak vision, dry, irritated eyes, light sensitivity, and other eyes, vision, and muscular problems that stem from computer use. Researches also term is as Electronic Eye Pain....

Comments: See you optometrist today. DM

Vision Issues May be the Result of Traumatic Brain Injuries in Accident Victims

...Vision problems are one of the often overlooked problems during the initial treatment of a traumatic brain injury. Many times because accident victims may not be aware that there is an issue with their vision. Vision problems are easily passed off as lack of sleep, stress or even allergies.

A person's sense of vision is a very important source of sensory information. The vision process involves the flow and processing of information to the brain. Since there is such a close relationship between the vision process and the brain and trauma to the brain can affect the processing and flow of information to the brain. There are many symptoms to look out for that would indicate vision problems after a brain injury. Some are;
- Blurred vision
- Sensitivity to light, glare sensitivity
- Reading difficulties; words appear to move
- Comprehension difficulty
- Attention and concentration difficulty
- Memory difficulty
- Double vision
- Aching eyes
- Headaches with visual tasks
- Inability to maintain visual contact
- Reduction or loss of visual field...

Comments: Check out Optometry & Vision Development's issue on TBI at . This issue is open access and free to download. DM

Eye Exams Can Help Students Make The Grade

One of the best ways to help children learn at school is to take them for an eye exam.

Millions of students are thought to have a vision problem that may inhibit their ability to learn and that could ultimately affect the rest of their lives.

A new report from the National Commission on Vision and Health reveals that most children start school without this important exam. The report, "Building a Comprehensive Child Vision Care System," finds that the current system of providing school screenings falls short. It offers recommendations to improve children's vision.

"This report finds that vision screenings are not the most effective way to determine vision problems," said Deborah Klein Walker, EdD., principal author of the report. According to research studies, a school vision screening, .... is not a substitute for a comprehensive eye examination.

"Screenings vary in scope and are not designed to detect many visual problems that can significantly impact tasks like reading, where more than clarity of vision is needed," said Edwin C. Marshall, O.D., M.P.H., vice president for diversity, equity and multicultural affairs at Indiana University. "Comprehensive eye exams performed by eye doctors are essential for clear, comfortable and healthy vision."...

Children's vision problems often go unnoticed

...Eye care professionals say that one in four children has a vision problem and doesn't know it. Doctors say when eyes are examined early on in life, problems can often be easily corrected. Seeing children at an early age gives eye doctors an opportunity to correct problems that may go unnoticed later in life. "Parents can be lulled into a sense of security thinking my child is fine because my child doesn't complain," said [optometrist] Dr. Clifford Courtenay.....

PediaVision Calls for Parents to Get Their Children's Vision Screened Before They Can Talk

...A recent national report by the Vision Council ( indicated that:
-- Nine states do not require children to receive a vision assessment
before starting school;
-- Thirty-nine states (including D.C.) require a vision screening for
children entering school; however 32 of these states do not mandate any
follow-up care for children who fail the screening; and
-- Three states require all children to receive a comprehensive eye exam
by an eye care professional before entering elementary school....

Comments: PediaVision is a tool....used for screening. If you've been reading this blog for any length of know screenings are NOT enough. Have your child's eyes examined today, right now, immeidately. Your children are worth it. Dm

10 Things to Do Before You Get Swine Flu

If you do these 10 will feel better....and decrease the chance you will get the flu! DM

Accommodation and Reading

From AOA First Look:

Article explains how focusing problems may cause reading difficulties in some children.

The UK's Daily Mail (9/15, Burne) reports that for some children, reading can "be a pain, quite literally." In the UK, for "perhaps as many as 400,000" children, "the problem lies with the way their eyes work." For example, "if the muscles around the eyes are weak, the eyes won't work as a coordinated pair," thereby making "it difficult to focus clearly on something as small as the printed words on a page." In addition, "this inability to focus the eyes together can lead to headaches. Children who have difficulty reading may also have super-sensitive brain cells, which means they find the actual page unbearably bright." Fortunately, "treatment from an orthoptist, an eye specialist who deals with focusing problems, could improve their vision dramatically." Still, some "experts still disagree over whether the exercises and special glasses work," with the "sternest critics" being ophthalmologists.

Comments: So the "sternest critics" (ophthalmology), who seldom if ever evaluate accommodative function in children, have concerns? You want your children evaluated by those who know how important accommodation/focusing is in its relationship to school performance. See an optometrist. See an optometrist associated with the College of Optometrists in Vision Development. DM