Thursday, December 30, 2010

Convergence Insufficiency in Patients Visiting Eye OPD with Headache

Forty-nine percent of the patients aged 20-49 years in this study who were evaluated presented with convergence insufficiency. Other studies have found that roughly 3 in 5 (60.4%) of young adult patients complaining of blurring of vision at near work and headache suffered from convergence insufficiency (Dragomir M, Trus L, Chirila D, Stinger C. Orthoptic treatment efficiency in convergence insufficiency treatment.Oftalmologia 2001, 53(3): 66-69.). This is not news since  Kratka found that 25% of a sample of 500 patients had exam findings indicative of convergence insufficiency way back in 1956 (Kratka, Z and Kratka, W. H; Convergence insufficiency: its frequency and importance. Am Orthoptic J 1956; 6: 72 – 73).

It certainly my hope that my OD and OMD colleagues start evaluating all who have headaches for the presence of binocular vision dysfunction....Headaches caused by vision problems are NOT rare if you look for them. The full text of this article is available by clicking on the title above. DM

ASCO Announces New Future Faculty Program

From ASCO News:

ASCO Announces New Future Faculty Program

ASCO is pleased to announce its new Future Faculty Program, funded by a generous grant from Walmart. The program’s goal is to provide graduate students with an opportunity to gain the knowledge and skills to enhance their success in an optometric academic environment as career-long, productive faculty. This represents a major initiative by ASCO to address its strategic priority for faculty promotion and development.

This highly competitive program will be offered to 15 graduate students in its first year, with plans to expand the following year. Applicants must be enrolled in a full-time graduate program at an ASCO member institution and demonstrate a strong interest in pursuing a career in academic optometry.

As co-chairs, Shilpa Register, OD, MS, FAAO, and David Troilo, PhD, FAAO, will develop and implement the program. It will be centered on the unique and important issues that graduate students face as they embark on a career in optometric education. Participants will be aided in this process by the program leadership and assigned mentors.

The Future Faculty Program will be held in conjunction with ASCO’s highly successful Summer Institute for Faculty Development, July 16-17, 2011 at the Eric P. Newman Center of the University of Washington Medical Center in St. Louis, MO. Applications will be available to the schools and colleges of optometry in January 2011.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Latest Research Featured in Optometry & Vision Development

 AURORA, Ohio, Dec. 28, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The latest edition of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development journal, Optometry & Vision Development, features the latest in eye and vision care research that was presented at its annual meeting in San Juan, Puerto Rico this fall.
During this meeting, John Shelley-Tremblay, PhD, an associate professor of Psychology at the University of South Alabama, noted that positive gains in oral reading fluency were obtained when using the Perception Attention Therapy for Harmony (PATH) program for children exhibiting a reading disability and that brain function (Visual Evoked Potentials) were altered as well. Vision researchers at the SUNY College of Optometry led by Dr. Barry Tannen, conducted a retrospective study using objective measures of reading speed and efficiency noting significant improvements in all measurement parameters and a reduction in symptoms in 93% of their subjects after a program of optometric vision therapy was conducted. Several papers presented also supported the role vision plays in learning noting that reading rate slows when subjects were asked to exert extra visual effort to maintain single vision when reading, vision therapy in schools improved symptoms and reading fluency, and that high school students in an inner-city Milwaukee school demonstrated a significant number of learning-related vision problems that could benefit from optometric vision therapy.
Optometry & Vision Development also features a paper by Dr. Michael Gallaway of the Pennsylvania College of Optometry at Salus University, on the use of the VERA vision screening system in a community setting. He notes that there is a need for a better school vision screening program and that the VERA system may meet this need.
Dr. Dominick Maino, the editor of Optometry & Vision Development, has commented on several studies in his blog, MainosMemos, that note research concerning school vision screening programs is so poor that we do not even know if they are effective or not. There is currently little in the way of evidence-based research to support the use of school screenings and yet school districts still use these programs. "What Dr. Gallaway has done," says Dr. Maino, "is to show a possible school vision screening methodology that has the potential to not only make appropriate determinations on who needs eye and vision care, but to also have the possibility of improving the quality of life of students who struggle academically due to learning-related vision problems." Dr. Gallaway has also published a companion article in Optometry, the journal of the American Optometric Association on this topic as well.
Other articles in Optometry & Vision Development include information on optometric vision therapy for sensory fusion disruption syndrome; the pediatric, vision therapy and rehabilitation programs at the Southern College of Optometry; and a review of current eye and vision science literature.

About Optometry & Vision Development
Optometry & Vision Development (OVD) is a peer-reviewed open access journal indexed in the online Directory of Open Access Journals ( The full text of these articles is available free from OVD is an official publication of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development. Any questions may be addressed to the editor, Dominick M. Maino, OD, MEd, FAAO, FCOVD-A at or 312-949-7282 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              312-949-7282      end_of_the_skype_highlighting.

About COVD
The College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD) is an international, non-profit optometric membership organization that provides education, evaluation and board certification programs in behavioral and developmental vision care, vision therapy and visual rehabilitation. The organization is comprised of doctors of optometry, vision therapists and other vision specialists. For more information on learning-related vision problems, vision therapy and COVD, please visit or call 888.268.3770 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              888.268.3770      end_of_the_skype_highlighting.

Available Topic Expert(s): For information on the listed expert(s), click appropriate link.
Dr. Dominick Maino
CONTACT:  Pamela R. Happ, CAE

COVD Executive Director
Phone: 888.268.3770 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              888.268.3770      end_of_the_skype_highlighting


Monday, December 27, 2010

Learning Related Vision Problems

....A vision screening test using an eye chart revealed that Andrew had 20/20 eyesight, and a private evaluation confirmed Andrew had no other academic or learning difficulties. But Licks remained convinced that her son's eyesight needed a more thorough investigation, and so she sought the help of an eye doctor who specializes in children's vision, known as a developmental optometrist .... Turns out, ...Andrew had a (correctable) eye coordination problem which was at the root of his reading struggles.....In fact, the American Optometric Association reports that 60 percent of students identified as "problem learners" have undetected vision problems. Many of these children have passed traditional school screenings because the results are based solely on the ability to read the all-familiar eye chart.....

Comments: When in doubt have your child evaluated by an optometrist who performs all the tests necessary to rule out learning related vision problems as a contributing factor to the child's school problems. To find such a doctor go to and search for a doctor in your area. DM

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Optometry & Vision Development (OVD) vol 41 #4 Now Available

Optometry & Vision Development (OVD) is the official journal of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development.

The latest issue of OVD is available online now.

by Dominick M. Maino, OD, MEd, FAAO, FCOVD-A, Editor

by Marc B. Taub OD, MS, FAAO, FCOVD

by John Tassinari, OD, FCOVD, FAAO

by Marc B. Taub, OD, MS, FAAO, FCOVD; Glen Steele, OD, FAAO, FCOVD

by Michael Gallaway, OD, FAAO, FCOVD
Review by David A. Goss, OD, PhD, FAAO, FCOVD-A
Review by Janice M. McMahon, OD
by Thomas Lecoq, Amee Lecoq
COVD 40th Annual Meeting
Papers and Posters
by Bradley E. Habermehl, OD, FCOVD

by Bradley E. Habermehl, OD, FCOVD

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Optometric Vision Therapy and Traumatic Brain Injury

Last year, Carlie Teague hit her head so hard so got a concussion. The symptoms were life altering. "I had a lot of headaches and nausea and light headedness and double vision."./....After seeing numerous doctors, most of which told her to wait a year and see what happens, she ended up at Meier Eye and Vision in Reno. "When you get a head injury your eyes don't point at the same place in space. So one eye is looking at one point and the other eye is looking at another point and you have difficulty using them both together," says Dr. Richard Meier.......And now, Carlie says she's nearly 100%. She's looking forward to a future as a physical therapist thanks to vision therapy. 

Comments: Optometric vision therapy can improve the lives of those who have had a traumatic or acquired brain injury. Click on the title above to see the TV news segment on this topic. DM

Viewing breaks from 3-D TV necessary

....The Korean Communications Commission conducted a clinical study on 115 people between the ages of 18 and 55, examining their conditions after they watched 3-D TV for various periods. ...Based on the study, the KCC advises people to take a 5- to 15-minute break after watching 3-D TV for an hour, saying that a majority of people experienced vision discomfort just 15 minutes after beginning to watch it....

Comments: A friend of mine who is involved in the industry just sent this to me. I have not seen this study. If anyone has please let me know how to get a copy. I'm curious what binocular vision tests they performed. For additional info click on the title above and go to . I will be discussing this topic at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this January. DM

Sleep Makes Your Memories Stronger... Helps Your Creativity

This study found that sleep helps to bring together memories and then fixes them in the brain so they can be retrieved at a later date. Sleep also appears to reorganizes memories, sorting out emotional details then reconfiguring those memories to help produce new and more creative ideas. DM

Children With Autism May Lack Certain Visual Skills.

From AOA First Look

Children with autism are neither systematic nor optimal foragers: This study notes that "the ability to search for objects in a large-scale environment is less efficient and less systematic in children with autism compared to typical children." .... "the children with autism took longer to recognize patterns...that would help them choose where to search" for certain items, such as produce items in a supermarket, for example. ...

Brain Imaging Predicts Reading Gains in Dyslexia

The study evaluated 25 children diagnosed with dyslexia and 20 controls. It showed that functional MRI (fMRI) and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) could predict gains in reading in those with dyslexia after a 2.5 year of follow-up. This article (pdf) is online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Click on the title above to view a copy of the pdf. DM

Patients & Providers Share The Pain

Treating patients with chronic pain can be painful for the healthcare provider as well. DM

Child Development and Refractive Errors in Preschool Children

Published electronically ahead of print date.This is a free article. Click on the title above and then scroll down and click on pdf to read full article DM.

 Ibironke, Josephine O.; Friedman, David S.; Repka, Michael X.; Katz, Joanne; Giordano, Lydia; Hawse, Patricia; Tielsch, James M. Child Development and Refractive Errors in Preschool Children Optometry & Vision Science., POST AUTHOR CORRECTIONS, 9 December 2010 doi: 10.1097/OPX.0b013e318204509b

Parental concerns about general developmental problems were associated with ... astigmatism  and anisometropia children aged 6 to 71 months. Parental concerns were also more likely in children older than 36 months ....... children whose parents have expressed concerns regarding development should be referred for an eye examination rule out significant refractive errors....

Parenting on the Peninsula article: "Is Your Child Ready to Experience the Magic of 3D at Home this Holiday Season?

This is an article written by my colleague, Dr. Carol Hong for Parenting on the Peninsula magazine. To read it in full click on the title above and go to page 11. DM

MAIA™ ‐ Macular Integrity Assessment

...MAIA is a non‐mydriatic, near infrared, line scanning laser ophthalmoscope which incorporates a
high frequency eye tracker and an automated macular perimeter to determine threshold sensitivity
and fixation characteristics. The MAIA software, with its normative database and statistical analysis
module, is designed to identify the normal, age‐related, decrease in sensitivity and differentiate it
from the pathological changes associated with macular degenerations and other retinal diseases.....
Comments: Although this device is primarily designed to assess macular function and pathology, at least one of my colleagues thought this would be appropriate to determine fixational qualities in our patients with various oculomotor anomalies or eccentric fixation. Has anyone used this device for functional vision problems? Click the title above for a pdf for additional infor or go to . (I have no financial interest in this device....only a scientific interest!) DM

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

What We’re Not Looking After: Our Eyes

A good story in the New York Times notes that....Sadly, the nationwide survey (conducted Sept. 8 through 12 by Harris Interactive) showed that only a small minority of those most at risk get the yearly eye exams that could detect a vision problem and prevent, delay or even reverse its progression. Fully 86 percent of those who already have an eye disease do not get routine exams, the telephone survey of 1,004 adults revealed. ....

Comments: Children should have their first vision evaluation at age 6 months (Check out the InfantSee program)....then again at age 2 and every year while in school. Adults should be seen at least every 2 years (although once a year makes more sense to see the dentist every six months....and if you loose a tooth you can replace cannot replace your eyes!). At age 40, you definitely should be seen once a year...once again! Schedule your next eye appointment today! DM

Visually guided navigation: Head-mounted eye-tracking of natural locomotion in children and adults

This study showed that foveation of obstacles is not required for rapid and adaptive navigation. The children and adults who participated in this study spontaneously walked, jumped, and ran through the room..... stepping up, down, and over obstacles placed in their way. The researchers discuss several possibilities as to why obstacle navigation shifts from foveal to peripheral control. DM

Sleep complaints affecting school performance at different educational levels

...The clear association between reports of sleep disturbance and poor school performance has been documented for sleepy adolescents. This study extends that research to students outside the adolescent age grouping in an associated school setting (98 middle school students, 67 high school students, and 64 college students). Reported restless legs and periodic limb movements are significantly associated with lower GPA’s in junior high students. Consistent with previous studies, daytime sleepiness was the sleep variable most likely to negatively affects high school students. Sleep onset and maintenance insomnia were the reported sleep variables significantly correlated with poorer school performance in college students. This study indicates that different sleep disorder variables negatively affect performance at different age and educational levels....

Comments: Full PDF is available by clicking on the title above. DM

New Journal ini PubMed

FYI...The following new journal from Frontiers Research Foundation has been added to PubMed Central.
Frontiers in Neurology  ISSN: 1664-2295 (electronic)


Archive includes v. 1 (2010) to the present. There is no embargo delay for this journal. DM

Optometric Vision Therapy for those with Brain Injury

The Brain Injury Association of American has published an article by Dr. Dana Haba on the role of optometric vision therapy for those with brain injury. Click on the title above and then note the link to the Fall issue of The Challenge (towards the bottom of the page). Open up the magazine and go to page 16 for the full story. DM

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Not Just the Newest Toys Hold Risks for Kids

....Danger lurks among tricycles as well as battery- and magnet-loaded gadgets, experts warn....
The injury statistics serve as a reminder that choosing the right toy is just a start and that there's still the need for parents to be ever vigilant when their children are at play, said Dr. Pete Kehoe, an Illinois optometrist and spokesman for Prevent Blindness America...."It's that one time you turn your head that you're going to have a problem," Kehoe said.....Even video games have their problems. Too much play can create eyestrain, Kehoe said. "If you do anything too much, it's not good for you," he said. "Children should not spend more than 20 to 30 minutes playing a video game without taking a visual break."....

Friday, December 17, 2010

Human brain has more switches than all computers on Earth

....The human brain is truly awesome. A typical, healthy one houses some 200 billion nerve cells, which are connected to one another via hundreds of trillions of synapses. Each synapse functions like a microprocessor, and tens of thousands of them can connect a single neuron to other nerve cells. In the cerebral cortex alone, there are roughly 125 trillion synapses, which is about how many stars fill 1,500 Milky Way galaxies.....

Brain's Visual Circuits Do Error Correction On The Fly vision model is called predictive coding....the neurons at each level form and send context-sensitive predictions about what an image might be to the next lower neuron level. The predictions are compared with the incoming sensory data. Any mismatches, or prediction errors, between what the neurons expected to see and what they observe are sent up the neuron ladder. Each neuron layer then adjusts its perceptions of an image in order to eliminate prediction error at the next lower layer. ....

Fewer Synapses More Efficient Learning

....both the formation and the elimination of synapses are essential for learning and memory ....

Widening Our Perceptions Of Reading And Writing Difficulties

Of the 2 studies mentioned the second one ....provided the first systematic description of a type of reading disorder called "attentional dyslexia" in which children identify letters correctly, but the letters jump between words on the page, e.g., "kind wing" is read as "wind king". Teachers and neuropsychologists often notice that children substitute letters when reading, but in this type of dyslexia the substitutions are not caused by inability to identify letters or convert them to sounds; they result from migrations of letters between words....

Comments: Very strange. Developmental optometrists have been helping children with these kind of problems for decades. When children skip words while reading, lose their place while reading....and mix up words while reading...this is often a sign that an oculomotor dysfunction is present. See:

Fischer B, Hartnegg K. Instability of fixation in dyslexia: development – deficits – training. Optom Vis Dev 2009;40(4):221-228.

Fischer B, Hartnegg K. Saccade control in dyslexia: Development, deficits, training and transfer to reading. Optom Vis Dev 2008:39(4):181-190.

Okumura T., Laukkanen H., Tamai H. Computerized Saccadic Eye Movement Therapy to Improve Oculomotor Control during Reading and Reading Rate in Adult Japanese Readers. Opt Vis Dev 2008: 39(4):191-197

Study Shows Way To Block Neurodegeneration In Adult Form Of Fragile X Syndrome

....Fragile X Tremor Ataxia Syndrome (FXTAS) is usually found in older adults, who often have grandchildren afflicted with Fragile X. Those affected with the adult form of the syndrome have slow gait, tremors, dementia and balance problems. The symptoms are caused by overproduction of a toxic mRNA in the brain that causes neurodegeneration....

Benzonatate can cause serious side effects or death in children under 10 years

...Accidental ingestion of the cough-suppressant benzonatate (Tessalon, Forest Pharmaceuticals) can result in serious side effects or death in children under 10 years, the FDA announced ...

Optometric Vision Therapy in the Schools

Take a look at this television report on optometric vision therapy in the schools. DM

Emotional Intelligence Peaks as We Enter Our 60s

...Older people have a hard time keeping a lid on their feelings, especially when viewing heartbreaking or disgusting scenes in movies and reality shows, psychologists have found. But they're better than their younger counterparts at seeing the positive side of a stressful situation and empathizing with the less fortunate....

Comments: really isn't that I'm a grumpy old guy.....I'm grumpy BECAUSE I am an old guy!! BTW...I prefer the term "chronologically enhanced" to "old"! DM

ICO CE Program

Sunday, January 9, 2011 6 Hours of COPE Approved, Tested CE Credit

Speaker: Jill Autry, O.D., R.Ph.

Optometric Physician/Partner −Eye Center of Texas, Houston

Dr Autry received her pharmacy degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She practiced in critical care before returning for her optometry degree at the University of Houston. Following graduation, she performed a residency in ocular disease at the Eye Center of Texas ophthalmology center where she is a partner today. Although in private practice, Dr. Autry is the program director for both residents and student interns at her practice. She lectures nationally and internationally on a variety of pharmaceutical and ocular disease topics and has authored numerous articles for both optometric and pharmaceutical journals.


Writing Oral Prescriptions

Neuro 101

Ocular Inflammation: The Enemy Within

Time: 8:00 A.M. – 9:00 A.M. – Sign-In/Refreshments

9:00 A.M. – 4:00 P.M. – Lecture

Location: ICO Lecture Center

Cost: $180 (non-tested), $210 (tested)

Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation CE

Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation: Integrating a Neuro-Visual-Postural Model of Service for Neurologically Affected Persons

Presented by
William V. Padula, OD & Raquel Munitz, MS, COVT
Padula Institute of Vision Rehabilitation

Saturday & Sunday, February 26 & 27, 2011
8:00 am – 4:00 pm each day

12 CE Credits*
$300.00 includes Continental Breakfast and lunch, both days

Western University Campus, Pomona, CA
For additional information and to pre-register go to

*COPE Approval Pending

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Researchers Find That Medicaid-funded ADHD Treatment For Children Is Failing

Please read this one all the way to the end....

....The researchers found:

-- The clinical severity of ADHD did not differ among children in primary care or specialty mental health care.

-- There was little cross-over of children between the two sectors. If a child began treatment only in primary care, he or she had no contact with specialty mental health; the same pattern held true for children who were initially receiving care in specialty mental health. This prevented the two specialty areas from coordinating care.

-- In primary care, most children with ADHD were appropriately prescribed stimulant medication to help their symptoms (the standard of care) but averaged only one to two follow-up visits a year with their doctor.

-- In specialty mental health clinics, less than one-third of children received any stimulant medication, but they received psychosocial interventions, such as therapy and/or case management, averaging five or more visits per month.

-- Overall, in both primary and specialty mental health care, about one-third of children with ADHD and impairment dropped out of care. Over time, the drop-out rate for children served in primary care clinics reached 50 percent.-- In both primary and specialty care, more than one-third of children prescribed stimulant medication failed to continue taking medication.

-- Most tellingly, clinical outcomes such, as ADHD symptoms, functioning, academic achievement, parent distress, perceived benefit of treatment, and improved family functioning, were similar among children who remained in care and children who received no care at all.

Comments: Not once did the researchers ask the question, "Do vision problems cause some of the ADHD behaviors? This is sad since research has shown that ADHD children have vision problems and that many ADHD behaviors can have their origins in a poorly working vision system.

See: Granet DB, Gomi CF, Ventura R, Miller-Scholte A. The relationship between convergence insufficiency and ADHD.Strabismus. 2005 Dec;13(4):163-8.

They reported a three-fold greater incidence of ADHD among patients with Convergence Insufficiency and a three-fold greater incidence of CI in the ADHD population
Knowing this why don't the powers that be have all of these children evaluated by a functional/developmental/behavioral optometrist?

Computer-based Program May Help Relieve Some ADHD Symptoms In Children

....The software includes a set of 25 exercises that students had to complete within 5 to 6 weeks. Each session is 30 to 40 minutes long. The exercises are in a computer-game format and are designed to help students improve their working memory. For example, in one exercise a robot will speak numbers in a certain order, and the student has to click on the numbers the robot spoke, on the computer screen, in the opposite order.....

Scientists Link Relationship Among ADHD, Reading, Math

...researchers found that ADHD behaviors, reading achievement, and math achievement were all influenced by the same genetic influences; ... some psychological scientists think that all three might be linked through the working memory system.... the exciting aspect of this work was that that ADHD behaviors, reading achievement, and math achievement are also associated by common environmental influences....

How is reading like catching flies?

Something You Should Know: Vision and Reading

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Is My Newborn Normal?

From WebMD: To help prepare you for those first hours, days, and weeks of life, here's a head-to-toe guide to newborn health....

Tour de Optometry

From ICO Insider:

ICO-COVD is welcoming COVD National President Dr. Brad Habermehl to campus on Friday, Jan. 7, for a presentation on optometric vision therapy and other optometry topics. His visit is part of the "Tour de Optometry," in which COVD-national sends a speaker to each optometry school to talk about the profession. Dr. Habermehl will address students at 5 p.m. in Room 1200.

Chicago Public Schools Getting Help from ICO Students

News fro the ICO Insider:

The Chicago Board of Education gave its OK to adding an Illinois Eye Institute clinic to the Chicago Public Schools. The CPS project - part of ICO's Chicago Vision Outreach - will have a permanent home at Princeton Elementary School, 51st and Princeton (Dan Ryan and 51st Street). This site is just minutes from ICO and will be dedicated solely as an eye clinic providing comprehensive eye care services to children of all ages who lack the ability to pay for it.
CPS dedicated one of its more modern buildings to the clinic, so ICO students working there will have access to some wireless access, a lounge area, parking, security cameras and upgraded electrical and computer cabling in every room. The clinic will be open for patients Wednesday, January 5, 2011. For more information, contact Dr. Sandy Block.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Autism Holidays eBook for Parents Released for Free by My Autism Network

....My Autism Network today announced that it is giving away complimentary copies of a new ebook called Autism & the Holidays: A Parent’s Preparation Guide. The downloadable book will be available for a limited time only through the company’s Facebook page.....

Computer-Based Program May Help Relieve Some ADHD Symptoms in Children involved 52 students, aged 7 to 17, who attended a private school in Columbus that serves children with learning disabilities, many of whom also have an ADHD diagnoses. All the children used the software in their homes, under the supervision of their parents and the researchers....The software includes a set of 25 exercises ..... Each session is 30 to 40 minutes long. The exercises ,,, are designed to help students improve their working memory. ....

Friday, December 10, 2010

Monocular and binocular reading performance in children with microstrabismic amblyopia

....In this study, the average binocular maximum reading speed of children with microstrabismic amblyopia was significantly reduced when compared to normal sighted, age matched controls  indicating a functionally relevant reading impairment. ......  reading speed is known to be closely related to visual function....Also in children with unilateral microstrabismic amblyopia, functional discrepancies in reading performance could be reliably elucidated between the amblyopic eyes and the normal sighted fellow eyes. Even relatively mild forms of microstrabismic amblyopia with no persistent acuity deficit lead to an impairment of monocular reading ability.....reading impairment may be significantly influenced by ....abnormal contour interaction, ....; abnormal eye  movements,...and positional uncertainty.....Nevertheless, binocular confusion, deficits in quality of binocular coordination of saccades, or the presence of suppression scotomata centred around the fixation point of the squinting eye may explain the significantly impaired binocular MRS of the amblyopic group..... The binocular visual acuity and reading acuity of the amblyopic group were
both comparable with the control group. However, the binocular MRS was significantly reduced in the amblyopic group, indicating functional reading impairment in comparison with normal sighted controls....

Comments: Full article available by clicking on the title above. DM

Letter-recognition and reading speed in peripheral vision benefit from perceptual learning

....We found that the visual-span profiles can be expanded (bits of information transmitted increased by 6 bits) through training with a letter-recognition task, and that there is an accompanying increase (41%) in the  maximum reading speed. These improvements transferred, ... from the trained to an untrained retinal location, and were retained, ..., for at least three months following training. Our results are consistent with the view that the visual span is a bottleneck on reading speed, but a bottleneck that can be increased with practice....

Comments: OK so let me get this straight...the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Ophthalmology say vision has nothing to do with reading.....but wait! From the research I've been certainly looks like there is a vision and reading link doesn't it! BTW developmental optometrists have been doing just this kind of "perceptual learning" therapy...aka optometric vision therapy...for decades. DM

Reading impairment and visual processing deficits in schizophrenia

....The degree of deficit correlated significantly with independent measures of magnocellular dysfunction.
Reading impairment in schizophrenia reaches the level of dyslexia and is associated with
compromised magnocellular processing as hypothesized....

Comments: The full article is available by clicking on the title above. DM

Early Attention Problems and Children’s Reading Achievement: A Longitudinal Investigation

....Attention problems predicted reading achievement even after controlling for prior reading
achievement, IQ, and other behavioral difficulties. Inattentive first graders with normal reading
scores after kindergarten were at risk for poor reading outcomes....

Comments: Full article is available by clicking the title above. DM

The case for the visual span as a sensory bottleneck in reading

.....The visual span for reading is the number of letters, arranged horizontally as in text, that can be
recognized reliably without moving the eyes. The visual-span hypothesis states that the size of the
visual span is an important factor that limits reading speed. ....We found that the size of the visual span and reading speed showed the same qualitative dependence on character size and contrast, reached maximum values at the same critical points, and exhibited high correlations at the level of individual subjects..... Our results confirm the visual-span hypothesis and provide a theoretical framework for understanding the impact of stimulus attributes, such as contrast and character size, on reading speed. Evidence for the visual span as a determinant of reading speed implies the existence of a bottom–up, sensory limitation on reading, distinct from attentional, motor, or linguistic influences.....

Comments: You can read the whole paper online by clicking the title above....well, I guess someone sholdtell some of our medical and education colleagues that vision does have something to do with reading afterall! DM

Most Low Birth Weight Babies Become Productive Adults

....Most survivors of extremely low birth weight grow up to become productive adults ....Extremely low birth weight is defined as less than about 2.2 pounds. About one in 200 babies is born at that size.....while these survivors were somewhat less productive as adults, on average, than normal-weight subjects, the productivity deficits were not very large. ...."Our findings suggest that the long-term economic impact of being born at extremely low birth weight is pretty modest for typical survivors," .....

How The Brain's Architecture Makes Our View Of The World Unique

...environment depends on the size of the visual part of our brain. ...the primary visual cortex - the area at the back of the brain responsible for processing what we see in the world around us - is known to differ in size by up to three times from one individual to the next....

Taking An Active Role In Learning Enhances Memory

....Having active control over a learning situation is very powerful and we're beginning to understand why," said University of Illinois psychology and Beckman Institute professor Neal Cohen, who led the study with postdoctoral researcher Joel Voss. "Whole swaths of the brain not only turn on, but also get functionally connected when you're actively exploring the world." ....

Comments: This was published in Nature Neuroscience. DM

Major Step Toward First Biological Test For Autism

...Researchers at Harvard-affiliated McLean Hospital and the University of Utah have developed the best biologically based test for autism to date. The test was able to detect the disorder in individuals with high-functioning autism with 94 percent accuracy. The study was published online in Autism Research....

Medicaid-funded ADHD Treatment For Children Misses The Mark

...."Findings from this study identify several areas for quality improvement for ADHD care within the managed care Medicaid program studied. These areas are alignment of the child's clinical severity with provider type, frequency of follow-up visits, stimulant medication use in specialty mental health, agency data infrastructure to document delivery of evidence-based psychosocial treatments, and stimulant medication refill prescription persistence. The enduring symptoms, impairment, and poor academic achievement of the children who remain in care and those untreated underscores the public health significance of improving the quality of care for publicly insured children with ADHD."....

Comments: I haven't read the full article just yet....but what do you want to bet few to none of these children had a comprehensive developmental/behavioural/functional examination or vision information processing assessment by an optometrist. DM

Capturing Children and Young People's Perspectives to Identify the Content for a Novel Vision-Related Quality of Life Instrument

...a child-centered approach to identifying the content for a self-report vision-related QoL questionnaire is feasible. ... approach is critical to accurately capturing children and young peoples' subjective perspectives on the impact of living with impaired vision....

Your Brain : How It Learns New Stuff!

...Medical researchers have found a so-called "missing link" that explains the interaction between brain state and the neural triggers responsible for learning. ...

Research Support for MFBF Amblyopia Optometric Vision Therapy/

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Vision Revision For ADHD Diagnosis

...It may be common, but the stats are still staggering. Last year, 4.5 million U.S. kids were diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD. That’s more than seven percent of all children in the U.S. But a new study shows more than one million of those kids may be misdiagnosed....

Exercises help 3D syndrome

....In a presentation at this year's American Academy of Optometry meeting in San Francisco last week, Dr Dominick Maino of Chicago described how convergence and accommodation exercises had alleviated some of the symptoms of nausea, headache and blur experienced by susceptible patients. ...

Comments: It's always nice to get noticed.... I wish folks would use the term "therapy" instead of "exercises".... when we help folks with 3 D Vision Syndrome we re-educate the brain so that the eyes can do what they need to do to enjoy the 3D experience....exercise is what I need to do more of....but often do not! DM

Vision therapy for ADHD

...Children with undetected vision problems can exhibit symptoms similar to ADD.  Studies show that approximately 20% of school-aged children suffer from eye teaming or focusing deficits, which make remaining on task for long periods of time difficult.  Like those with ADD, children with vision-based learning problems are highly distractible, have short attention spans, make careless errors, fail to complete assignments, and are often fidgety and off task.  However, their inability to remain on task is caused by the discomfort of using their eyes for long periods of time at close ranges, not true deficits in attention.  Unfortunately, parents and teachers are not trained to recognize the difference and these children are often misdiagnosed.....

Validity of the VERA visual skills screening.

....VERA has fairly good sensitivity and very good specificity in detecting visual skills problems. Given that the majority of visual skill deficits currently go undetected, VERA can be considered a reasonably effective method of in-school visual skills screening.....

Comments: Watch for a companion article to this by Dr. Gallaway in the next issue of Optometry & Vision Development. DM

Contact lenses vs spectacles in myopes: is there any difference in accommodative and binocular function?

...The results found ... poorer accommodative and vergence function with the use of contact lenses in comparison to glasses. ....The higher accommodative lags found in this study with SCL could indicate that prolonged use of SCL in near tasks may provoke a continuous hyperopic retinal defocus, a risk factor for the onset and progression of myopia, as indicated in numerous studies...

Comments: I could never understand why anyone would want to stick a piece of plastic in their eye anyway! My apologies to all my doc friends who fit CLs!! DM (;-}>

Association between assisted reproductive technology and advanced retinopathy of prematurity

.....ART is associated with severe ROP requiring treatment in this cohort. This is the first report that demonstrates a statistically significant association between ART and severe ROP requiring treatment in infants in the US.....

Comments: Get access to this article free by clicking the title above. DM

Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Continuing Education

Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Continuing Education

Integrating a Neuro-Visual-Postural Model of Service for Neurologically Affected Persons

Presented by William V. Padula, OD & Raquel Munitz, MS, COVT
Padula Institute of Vision Rehabilitation

Saturday & Sunday, February 26 & 27, 2011  8:00 am – 4:00 pm each day

12 CE Credits*    $300.00 includes Continental Breakfast and lunch, both days

Western University Campus, Pomona, CA
For additional information and to pre-register go to

Me & Mommy TECH at CES

As I mentioned earlier, I am going to be speaking at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this January. If you click the title above you will see who else is speaking during the MommyTech track. DM

Indiana Journal of Optometry

Read these articles in IJO



Clincal Diagnosis and Management of Streff Syndrome: A Case Report

Abstract: Streff syndrome is a controversial clinical entity associated with multiple thoughts on treatment and  etiology. Some authors suggest that this could be a common clinical presentation that is often misdiagnosed or ignored. Patients with these symptoms may undergo unnecessary medical or psychological testing. Presenting symptoms may include blurred vision, headaches, difficulty with reading, tunnel vision, and trouble judging distances. Because the symptoms can be significant and greatly affect activities of daily living, eye care providers should be familiar with the signs and symptoms of Streff syndrome and know how to initiate treatment or referral. A typical case of Streff syndrome with treatment and background of the syndrome is presented here.

Comments:  Read full pape by clicking on the title above. DM

Assessing the Vision Readiness of Indiana School Children – An Analysis of P.L. 140-1986


Background. Vision screening of school children is a widely accepted procedure to detect vision problems that can interfere with learning. The Indiana Department of Education requires the annual vision screening with the Modified Clinical Technique (MCT) of all children upon their enrollment in either kindergarten or the first grade.
Methods. Indiana University School of Optometry conducted an analysis of the Indiana State Department of Health’s statewide school screening data on 36,967 Grade 1 children from 139 of the 294 Indiana school corporations that submitted data for the 2000-2001 school year to examine differences in referral rate by screening method, the socioeconomic status of children(SES) screened, and academic performance.
Results. Significant differences were seen when comparing the mean referral rates of school corporations that conduct the MCT compared to those school corporations that do not conduct the MCT (p = 0.001) and in the rate of referral by median family income of the children screened (p = 0.050). A median family income of $46,500 was identified as the level at which the income-specific difference in referral rates ceased to be significant (p = 0.074). A weak non-significant trend (p= 0.116) was seen comparing the percentage of Grade 1 children referred in 2000-2001 to their percentages of passing both the English/Language Arts and Mathematics components of the 2002-2003 ISTEP+ exam by SES.
Discussion/Conclusion. Schools using the highly sensitive and specific MCT identified more visually at-risk children than schools using alternative, less sensitive vision charts techniques, and the percentage of Grade 1 children referred to an eye care provider was higher for school corporations with lower median family incomes. Although statistically insignificant, the results trend support that students who fail the vision screening in Grade 1 tend to be more at-risk for poorer academic performance on standardized testing in Grade 3.

Comments: Read the full text of the article by clicking on the title above. I do not believe that "Vision screening of school children is a widely accepted procedure to detect vision problems that can interfere with learning". Put "vision screening" in the upper left search box and you will see why this is so. DM

Monday, December 6, 2010

Relationship between Binocular Vision, Visual Acuity, and Fine Motor Skills.

....Both sensory and motor fusion and good VA in both eyes are of benefit in the performance of fine motor skills tasks, with the presence of some binocular vision being beneficial compared with no fusion on certain sensorimotor tasks. This evidence supports the need to maximize fusion and VA outcomes.....

Comments: Vision screenings do not test for sensory and motor fusion....only full eye exams can do this. Stop the madness...only full comprehensive eye exams are appropriate for our children. DM

Evidence-based medicine: the value of vision screening.

This paper answers a couple of questions about the value of vision screening. The questions were:

(1) Is vision valuable (an inherent good)?; 
(1) yes

(2) Is screening effective (finding amblyopia)?; 
(2) based on literature, not definitively so;

(3) What are the costs of screening?; 
(3) relatively inexpensive

(4) Is treatment effective?; and 
(4) yes, for compliant care

(5) Is amblyopia detection beneficial?
(5) economic productive values are likely very high, with returns of investment on the order of 10:1, while human value returns need further elucidation. 

Comments: Again and again we learn that based on the literature there is not enough supportive data for vision screening to be continued. It is a looser!! Stop this nonsense. Vision screening is a waste of time and money. Every child deserves a full comprehensive eye examination! DM

Assessment of a modification of Brückner's test as a screening modality for anisometropia and strabismus

Click on title for pdf of article. DMpdf

The perception of strabismus by children and adults

.....Adults and children rated a squinting right eye as worse compared to a left one. Children perceived esotropia as more disturbing than exotropia. Neither age, nor gender, nor the fact that the respondents have friends or family members with a squint, had an impact on this ranking. Almost all adults would correct all forms of strabismus, and think that surgery should be covered by compulsory health insurance....

Comments: Surgery? What about optometric vision therapy? Full text available. DM

Refractive Status and Prevalence of Refractive Errors in Suburban School-age Children

....The distribution of refractive status changes gradually from positively-skewed to negatively-skewed distributions as age increases, with 9-year-old being the critical age for the changes. Environmental factors and study intensity influence the occurrence and development of myopia.....

Change in vision disorders among Hong Kong preschoolers in ten years

....A significant increase in myopia has been noted in Hong Kong preschoolers. Visual screening programs may need to be tailored to correspond to the local population and be adjusted accordingly from time to time....

UIW receives $11.5 million gift for School of Optometry

.... The University of the Incarnate Word has received a major gift of $11.5 million from Sandra and Stanley Rosenberg. The generous gift is significant as it is one of the largest gifts in the country ever given by a Jewish family to a Catholic institution of higher learning. 
To mark this auspicious occasion, the university has named the Sandra and Stanley Rosenberg School of Optometry in their honor. The naming of this professional school will make it the only named school of optometry in the United States.....

Best Careers 2011: Optometrist

....Money: .... the top earners make more than $166,400. The annual median wage in 2009 was $96,140 . ...

Comment: Optometry is a great career. Check out the Illinois College of Optometry for more info. DM

Optometrists Song

Scientists May Have Discovered How To Help Stem Cells In The Brain Regenerate Myelin

From AOA FirstLook:

The Financial Times (12/6, Bolger) reports that, according to a paper in Nature Neuroscience, scientists in the UK have made a breakthrough which could eventually help patients with multiple sclerosis repair damaged nerve fibers. The UK's Daily Mail (12/6, Borland) explains that the "incurable disease...causes loss of mobility, sight problems, tiredness, and excruciating pain." It's "caused by damage to myelin, the substance that surrounds all nerves in the brain and spinal cord. This impairs the way messages are transmitted from the brain to the rest of the body."

At present, "treatments involve suppressing the immune system to stop it damaging the myelin and the myelin-forming cells," the UK's Guardian (12/6, Jha) reports. "But they don't regenerate damaged myelin." The authors of the current study, however, "found a way to activate the 'RXR pathway,' a crucial cell development route that turns brain and spinal cord stem cells into myelin-making cells, in rats and mice."

The "scientists believe this will help in identifying drugs to encourage myelin repair in MS patients," BBC News (12/6) reports. "However, much more work is needed -- both to test if the mechanism works in people with MS and to see what drugs might be needed to promote the effect." Still, "Simon Gillespie, chief executive of the MS Society, which part-funded the research, said: 'For people with MS this is one of the most exciting developments in recent years.'" Gillespie added, "It's hard to put into words how revolutionary this discovery could be and how critical it is to continue research into MS." The UK's Press Association (12/6) and the UK's Independent (12/6, Laurance) also cover the breakthrough.

Eye Movement Problems Common Cause of Reading Difficulties in Stroke Patients

...Visual problems can affect up to two thirds of stroke patients, but can sometimes go undetected if patients do not recognise them as an after-effect of the condition or if they are unable to communicate the problem to their medical team or families....damage to the nerve supply that controls eye movement is also a common problem after a stroke. Impaired eye movement can impact on the ability to follow a moving object or read words on a page....

Comments: So let me see if I understand this correctly....eye movement problems can cause reading dysfunction in adult stroke patients but according to many of my ophthalmogical colleagues (and some other researchers) this couldn't possibly happen in children with reading problems but not a stroke. DM

Smoking May Thin the Brain

....Many brain imaging studies have reported that tobacco smoking is associated with large-scale and wide-spread structural brain abnormalities.....

Children with Autism have Mitochondrial Dysfunction

...Children with autism are much more likely to have deficits in their ability to produce cellular energy than typically developing children. ... cumulative damage and oxidative stress in mitochondria, the energy producer of the cell, could influence the onset and severity of autism,....

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Ametropia, Preschoolers’ Cognitive Abilities, and Effects of Spectacle Correction

...Preschoolers with uncorrected ametropia had significant reduction in visual-motor function. Wearing spectacles for 6 weeks improved Beery-Buktenica Developmental Test of Visual-Motor Integration scores to emmetropic levels.... DM

Comments: Bottom line....have your children's eyes examined early by a developmental optometrist. We pay attention to not only your refractive error but also your visual development as well.

Double Vision Discussed on The Doctors TV Show

Do you have double vision? Check out what the Doctors interview with Dr. Elise Brisco, an optometric colleague and Fellow of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development.

Friday, December 3, 2010

This would be funny...if it wasn't so sadly true.

An ophthalmologist explains the medical point of view about vision and learning by Dr. Dan Lack. See for more information.

Click here to see photos from the 2010 COVD Meeting

Research supported by COVD and the Schools and Colleges of Optometry

One of my colleagues on ODWire said that the schools and colleges of optometry, COVD and other organizations do not support research in optometric vision therapy....well, of course this poor fellow was mistaken. Duriig the recent College of Optometrists in Vision Development 2010 meeting the following papers, posters and presentations were made....note that not only did the NIH support one of these papers with a grant, but that many schools/colleges of optometry supported this research as well, as the AOA, private companies, private practitioners and more!

Research, case reports, papers and poster presentations at the annual 2010 COVD meeting were presented by optometrists from around the world. Many of these were supported by COVD, the Schools and Colleges of Optometry, AOA, NIH and other organizations. The research is there if you look.

Watch for the publication of Optometry & Vision Development vol 41 #4 for the complete abstracts at


OBJECTIVE MEASUREMENTS OF READING SPEED AND EFFICIENCY IMPROVE IN CHILDREN FOLLOWING VISION THERAPY: A RETROSPECTIVE ANALYSIS Barry Tannen, OD, FCOVD – SUNY/State College of Optometry: Noah Tannen – Pre-Optometry Student, Lafayette College:Kenneth J Ciuffreda, OD, PhD, FCOVD-A –Distinguished Professor, SUNY/State College of Optometry

VERGENCE STRESS SIGNIFICANTLY AFFECTS READING RATE Maureen Powers PhD, FCOVD-A, FAAO; Gary Miner and Yoshie Morita, MA – Gemstone Foundation


WOLD COPY TEST PERFORMANCE USING THREE DIFFERENT ADMINISTRATION PROTOCOLS Hannu Laukkanen,OD; Suzanne Tsang, OD; John R Hayes, PhD – Pacific University College of Optometry

VISUAL SKILLS AND READING:SYMPTOMS AND FLUENCY Yoshie Morita, MA; Robert Hoffman, EdD; Maureen Powers, PhD, FCOVD-A, FAAO; – Gemstone Foundation

CASE REPORT: VISUAL BIOFEEDBACK IN THE TREATMENT OF CONGENITAL NYSTAGMUS Ira Strenger, OD; Barry Tannen, OD, FCOVD – Associate Clinical Professor, SUNY/State College of Optometry


CRITICAL FLICKER FREQUENCY IS REDUCED IN PATIENTS WITH SELF REPORTED READING DISABILITY Barry Tannen, OD, FCOVD; Kenneth J Ciuffreda, OD, PhD, FCOVD-A – Distinguished Teaching Professor, SUNY/State College of Optometry

INTERACTION OF DYNAMIC ACCOMMODATION AND SUSTAINED VISUAL ATTENTION. Dmitri V. Poltavski, PhD; David H. Biberdorf, OD, FCOVD – Valley Vision Clinic; Dr. Thomas V. Petros, PhD – University of North Dakota

OBJECTIVE MEASURES OF DYNAMIC ACCOMMODATION IN A CHILD WITH ACCOMMODATIVE INSUFFICIENCY – A CASE STUDY Tomohito Okumura, MSOptom, MEd, FAAP, FCOVD-I – Osaka Medical College LD Center; Eiji Wakamiya MD, PhD – Osaka Medical College, Department of Pediatrics, Aino University, Faculty of Nursing and Rehabilitations; Hannu Laukkanen, OD, MEd, FAAO – Pacific University, College of Optometry; Hiroshi Tamai MD PhD – Osaka Medical College, LD Center & Department of Pediatrics






THE EFFECT OF LOW PLUS LENSES ON AN ASPERGER’S PATIENT WITH MILD GAZE AVOIDANCE Janette D. Dumas, OD – Assistant Professor, Southern College of Optometry



COMPARISON OF SYMPTOMS AND OBJECTIVE READING DATA AFTER TREATMENT BY TINTED LENSES Dustin Dixon, MS; Third Year Optometry Student, W.C. Maples, OD, FCOVD – Professor of Optometry, SCO; Richard Hoenes, MS –Statistician, Northeastern State University; Marc Taub, OD, FCOVD – Professor of Optometry, SCO

PRISM AND VISION REHABILITATION TO TREAT POST-OPERATIVE EPILEPTIC PATIENT Melissa A Zarn, OD; Hannu Laukkanen, OD –Pacific University College of Optometry


OPTOMETRIC VISION THERAPY AS A TREAMENT FOR ACQUIRED NONCOMITANT DEVIATIONS Ann M. Nolan, OD; Debbie Luk, OD; M.H. Esther Han, OD; Allen Cohen, OD; Steven Shaby, OD – SUNY State College of Optometry

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Acupuncture Changes Brain's Perception And Processing Of Pain

.....Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), researchers have captured pictures of the brain while patients experienced a pain stimulus with and without acupuncture to determine acupuncture's effect on how the brain processes pain. Results of the study, which the researchers say suggest the effectiveness of acupuncture,...

Optometrists and Neuro-scientists Express Support for Vision Therapy

This article in the St. Louis Beacon is entiled , "Ophthalmologists express skepticism about vision therapy" but could have just as easily been titled: "Optometrists and Neuro-scientists Express Support for Vision Therapy". I guess negative titles generate more interest.

Overall it is pretty even handed....and it noted that "to most ophthalmologists, the eye is a camera and the brain is a computer. To developmental optometrists and the neurobiologists described here, the eyes and the brain are a system." The eye, brain, and body all have to work together to get the job done. OMDs see the eye as a single structure....developmental optometrists knows that we use our vision as a united system that must function appropriately to be successful.....and we recognize that the brain can be altered to do this using optometric vision therapy (BTW the research in neuroplasticity supports this as well.)

It's interesting to note that no ophthalmologist has training in vision therapy and yet many feel qualified to comment on its effectiveness...sad really. It's like asking your MD to diagnose and fix your automobile. Your MD says one thing about what needs to be done....and your mechanic says something else...who are you going to believe?

If you type in "strabismus surgery outcomes" in the search box to the upper will see that our ophthalmologist colleagues should not throw stones when they live in glass surgical suites! DM

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

ABO Board Certification Examination Overview

ABO Board Certification Examination Overview Published Today!

General Practice (160 items)

The core of the examination is based in the following ten areas of general practice.

1. Ametropia/OphthalmicOptics(16%)

2. Pediatrics/BinocularVision/VisionTherapy(8%)

3. ContactLenses(13%)

4. Anterior Segment(15%)

5. Pre-and Post-operativecare(7%)

6. PosteriorSegment(12%)

7. OpticNerve/Glaucoma(12%)

8. Neuro-OphthalmicDisorders(5%)

9. VisionRehabilitation(5%)

10.Systemic Health (7%)

Areas of Emphasis (80 items)

In addition to the core examination, each candidate will select two of the following areas of emphasis, each of which will consist of an additional 40 items.

1. AdditionalGeneralPractice

2. ContactLenses

3. Pediatrics/BinocularVision/VisionTherapy

4. OcularDiseaseAnterior

5. Ocular Disease Posterior

6. VisionRehabilitation/LowVision/Neuro-OphthalmicRehabilitation

The computer based examination will be administered at Prometric Test Centers worldwide.

Monday, November 29, 2010

IPads and Autism

Comments: More IPad programs for children with autism. Click on the title above to hear one mom's story. DM

Study finds binocular vision anomalies common among elderly

...A retrospective study of 500 patient files showed that binocular vision anomalies had a prevalence of at least 42% in patients 60 and older.....

Comments: I had a chance to briefly talk gto the researchers about their findings at the American Academy of Optometry meeting....we both agreed...that it was about time we started paying attention to binocular vision function in those of us who are chronologically enhanced! Can't wait to see this one published. DM

10 Examples of Human Laterality

Information on handedness, footedness (is this a word?), ocular dominance, facial asymmetry, aural asymmetry, and more! Click on the title above for additional information. DM

ICO in the News

Those with a connection to the Illinois College of Optometry have been in the news lately.

In Women in Optometry:
64% of our entering class are women
Dr. Sandra Bury and her associates Drs.  Narbone and Luty on getting into practice
Dr. Amy Abbott about making connections
Dr. Marylin Brenne-Heinke honored by the Wisconsin state association

In New OD:
Dr. Mary Lou French on fitting kids with contact lenses
Dr. Neil Gailmard interviewed about technology

In Review of Optometry & Optometric Management:
Dr. Richard Kattouf on practice management
Dr. Renee Reeder and Valerie Kattouf on fitting children with contact lenses.

Beloit College Magazine:
Dr. Dominick Maino regarding his photographic exhibition at Casa Italia.

Optometry: Still Recognized as a Great Profession

Money Magazine noted that Optometry was a great profession....yet again!

Optometry ranks in the 20th highest paying jobs with a median income of $108,000, has a projected 10 year growth rate of 30% and is ranked 10th in the least stressful jobs category.

Did I pick a wonderful profession or what!?

If you want to become an optometrist go  for more info!  DM

Changing Brains: Attention

Changing Brains: Motor

Changing Brains: Vision

Visual Tracking and Academic Performance – Part 1

I may have already posted this once....but this is a good even if I did post it once and you read it...well, just do it again and enjoy it even more the second time around! DM

Spatial Localization in Esotropia: Does Extraretinal Eye Position Information Change?

... the pointing responses to the central target shifted in the direction of the nonsquinting eye when deviations were manifest. ....

Docs Organize to Promote Unproven Therapies They Believe In

...(Medical) Doctors have always provided treatments that did not have a track record in randomized, controlled trials. Often they've provided such treatments without any serious intent of obtaining scientific validation...

Comments: One more example where medicine does not expect of themselves that it expects from others. DM

American Academy of Pediatrics report on Learning Disabilities, Dyslexia and Vision: Hypocrisy, Duplicity & Double Standards

Joseph Manley, MD a physician and medical-legal expert witness states that , “The conclusions (particularly the failure to recommend optometric vision therapy for children likely to benefit from it) of the American Academy of Pediatrics report on Learning Disabilities, Dyslexia and Vision are based on exclusion of the most relevant data and inconsistent application of the Academy’s stated criteria for selecting evidence. They fail to acknowledge abundant published and anecdotal evidence supporting the use of vision therapy. This overlooked evidence includes controlled trials, observational studies, case reports and consensus of experts - the same kinds of data that underpin the daily practice of medical professionals.”

ICO at Medfest

Many ICO faculty, students, administrators, staff and alumni participated in the Medfest event held at the United Center in Chicago this fall. Kudos to Dr. Melissa Sigler for putting all this together. The task is now to answer the question: "Where's Maino". I had to say "Where's Maino" because the fellow who took most of these pictures is named Waldo....and since he is behind the camera, finding him would be most difficult. DM

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Vision Revision For ADHD Diagnosis

.....It may be common, but the stats are still staggering. Last year, 4.5 million U.S. kids were diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD. That’s more than seven percent of all children in the U.S.  But a new study shows more than one million of those kids may be misdiagnosed....."One of the questions we ask parents is to decide whether it's an organic attention problem or maybe more related to a vision problem," Daniel Press, O.D., a developmental optometrist at Family Eyecare Associates, explained. ....Exams found Katy's eyes didn't work well together, the words moved and turned blurry. She decided to kick-off eight months of vision therapy. Vision Therapy consists of a workout using computer gaming, training the brain to use both eyes together.....

When seeing is believing: Advocates of vision therapy

.....After eight weekly sessions of vision therapy exercises, and daily practice of those exercises at home, Nicky's eye strength had increased from the 5th percentile to the 50th. After another eight weeks, he was in the 90th percentile, and he stopped office visits. He continued to do the exercises at home, and began to read enthusiastically -- once he discovered Harry Potter.
Today, four years later, Nicky is a straight A student taking advanced coursework. His mother says vision therapy was "the turning point" for him.......

Friday, November 26, 2010

Vaccines, Thimerosal and Autism

Vaccines and Thimerosal

Related Research

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Recommendations regarding the use of vaccines that contain thimerosal as a preservative. MMWR 1999:48(43);996-998.
McMahon AW, Iskander JK, Haber P, Braun MM, Ball R. Inactivated influenza vaccine (IIV) in children < 2 years of age: Examination of selected adverse events reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) after thimerosal-free or thimerosal-containing vaccine.External Web Site Icon Vaccine 2008;26(3):427–429.
Thompson WW, Price C, Goodson B, Shay DK, Benson P, Hinrichsen VL, Lewis E, Eriksen E, Ray P, Marcy SM, Dunn J, Jackson LA, Lieu TA, Black S, Stewart G, Weintraub ES, Davis RL, DeStefano F; Vaccine Safety Datalink Team. Early thimerosal exposure and neuropsychological outcomes at 7 to 10 years.External Web Site Icon New England Journal of Medicine 2007;357(13):1281–1292.

QuickStats: Injury and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)-Related Death Rates, by Age Group --- United States, 2006*

.....In 2006, nearly one third of all injury deaths involved TBI. Overall injury and TBI-related death rates vary across age groups. Peak injury and TBI-related mortality rates occurred among persons aged 20--24 years (76.9 per 100,000 and 24.1 per 100,000, respectively) and among persons aged ≥75 years (173.2 per 100,000 and 58.4 per 100,000, respectively).....

A good place to start learning about Traumatic Brain Injury

...Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a serious public health problem in the United States.  Each year, traumatic brain injuries contribute to a substantial number of deaths and cases of permanent disability. Recent data shows that, on average, approximately 1.7 million people sustain a traumatic brain injury annually....

Learning Disability: Who Has LD?

...Among youths aged 5--17 years, during 2006--2009, boys were twice as likely as girls (18.2% versus 9.2%) to have been diagnosed with either a learning disability or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Approximately 5.7% of boys had a learning disability without ADHD, compared with 3.9% of girls, 7.0% of boys had ADHD without a learning disability compared with 2.8% of girls, and 5.5% of boys had both a learning disability and ADHD compared with 2.5% of girls....