Saturday, July 3, 2010

How does this happen? explain this one to me. I was in my Harwood Heights office (Northwest Optometric Associates) and I saw this soon to be High School freshman. He came in with minimal complaints...but with unaided visual acuities of 20/100-20/200. He wore glasses in 5th grade...then they were broken, dog ate 'em, etc. He has been going around legally blind since then.

I do the examination and he is a 2 diopter myope! Mom kind of shrugs her shoulders and says that he's been doing "OK".....passed school screenings....

Well, of course he is not doing OK... Tell me again why ophthalmology still fights us on getting comprehensive eye examinations mandated for children?

Bottom line...have your children's eyes examined once a year while they are in school!! DM

MainosMemos in the Top 11 Blogs in Pediatrics!

MainosMemos has been listed as one of the top eleven blogs in Pediatrics by Networked Blogs. They have given this blog ***** .. that's FIVE STARS (out of 5)!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Looking you in the mouth: abnormal gaze in autism resulting from impaired top-down modulation of visual attention

...People with autism are impaired in their social behavior, including their eye contact with others, but the processes that underlie this impairment remain elusive. We combined high-resolution eye tracking with computational modeling in a group of
10 high-functioning individuals with autism to address this issue. The group fixated the location of the mouth in facial expressions more than did matched controls, even when the mouth was not shown, even in faces that were inverted and most noticeably
at latencies of 200–400 ms. Comparisons with a computational model of visual saliency argue that the abnormal bias for fixating the mouth in autism is not driven by an exaggerated sensitivity to the bottom-up saliency of the features, but rather by an abnormal top-down strategy for allocating visual attention....

Comments: Full article available by clicking the title. DM

Wii Fit And Brain Damage Rehab

...Wii Fit, combined with sophisticated new software, is giving people their lives back, not just brain-injured soldiers but also thousands of others who suffer brain injuries in car, motorcycle and other accidents....

Comments: I won't even try to be unbiased on this one. My friend, Rod Bortel of Home Therapy Solutions, developed and markets this unique combination of software and hard ware to help those with brain injury. Go to to find out more...

FYI I have no financial interest in any of the programs produced by Rod. DM

Illinois College of Optometry Students score High on NBEO

Congratulations to the ICO class of 2011. You have performed very well on the NBEO ABS exam. The ICO class of 2011 pass rate was 97.2%. This compares with the national average for first time takers of 92.1% and all takers of the exam at 85.1%. You have done ICO proud.

We not only graduate the best clinicians....but some of the greatest scholars!

(OK, OK so I'm a bit biased!!)

How to solve the Board Certification Problem: Ophthalmology

Illinois College of Optometry July 25-26 Continuing Education

Illinois College of Optometry July 25-26 Continuing Education

Sunday, July 25, 2010
7:00-8:00 A.M. – Continental Breakfast

8:00-10:00 A.M.
Anterior Segment Disease Grand Rounds (2 TQ)
Gary Oliver, OD

10:00-11:00 A.M.
Current Concepts in Management of Dry Eye and Ocular Surface Disease
Ron Carr, OD
11:00 A.M. – 12:00 P.M.

Current Treatment Strategies for Ocular Pain Management
Gary Oliver, OD

12:00-1:15 P.M. -- Lunch

1:15 – 2:15 P.M.
Nutraceuticals, Supplements and Vitamins in Eye Care
Gary Oliver, OD

2:15-3:15 P.M.
Glaucoma Diagnosis Made Simple
Eric Conley, OD

3:15-5:15 P.M.
Glaucoma Grand Rounds (2 TQ)
Gary Oliver, OD

Monday, July 26, 2010
7:00-8:00 A.M. – Continental Breakfast

8:00-10:00 A.M.
Common Oral Meds in Eye Care (2 TQ)
Stephanie Klemencic, OD

10:00 A.M.-12:00 P.M.
Spectacle Rxs for the Pediatric Patient: How to Make Confident Prescribing Decisions (2 TQ)
Valerie Kattouf, OD

12:00-1:00 P.M. -- Lunch

1:00-3:00 P.M.
Red Eye Revelations: Case Based Diagnosis and Management (2 TQ)
David Castells, OD

3:00-4:00 P.M.
How to Make Staff Members Income Producers
Richard Kattouf, OD

4:00-5:00 P.M.
Practice Separation
Richard Kattouf, OD

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Long-term Changes in Refractive Error in Patients with Accommodative Esotropia

....Patients with accommodative esotropia showed a continuous decrease in Spherical Equivalent refractive error over time. Changes in refractive error in patients with accommodative esotropia may be influenced by both spectacle wearing and amblyopia....

Comments: I often tell my patients that as we treat various binocular vision disorders not to be surprised if their prescriptions change...this is true for those with ET as well. DM

Do bifocals reduce accommodative amplitude in convergence excess esotropia?

....In several patients, excessive convergence is secondary to the extra accommodative effort required due to the presence of a primitive Near Point of Accommodation deficit. In these subjects, the prognosis can be made on the basis of NPA measurement, and treatment with bifocal lenses will always be required to compensate. Furthermore, the parents of these small patients should be informed, even before the prescription of bifocals, that prospective surgery of medial rectus muscles will not eliminate the need for bifocals....

Comments; This article in
Graefe's Archive for Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology tells OMDs to use bifocals and that surgery would eliminate the need for this multi-focal prescription. Before the OMDs take credit for should be noted that optometrists have been using bifocals for decades to treat this disorder. It's good to see my OMDs are catching up with the innovative thinking of optometrists! Now I can't wait for them to discover optometric vision therapy! DM

Schools Still Failing To Promote Positive Attitudes Toward Disabled People

..."Some of the reasons for the lack of positive promotion of disability in primary schools are; uncertainty about how to fit disability equality into the curriculum or a reluctance to talk about disability for fear of highlighting 'difference' " says the study....

Comments: The easiest way to teach another about individuals with disability is thru interaction. You know longer fear what you know....DM

Babies Receive Drugs And Medicines Through Breast Milk

...The breast milk of smoking mothers contains between 2 and 240 nanograms of nicotine per millilitre, which means their babies receive a dose equivalent to 0.3 to 36 micrograms/kg/day. These infants tend to suffer more from colic and are more prone to respiratory infections. ...
Caffeine - found in coffee, tea, cola drinks and medicines - can cause irritability and insomnia. Although the level of caffeine absorption varies greatly from one person to another, this substance has a lengthy half-life in newborns. For this reason, it is recommended to reduce consumption during breastfeeding to a maximum of 300 mg/day, equivalent to around three cups of coffee per day. ...For alcohol, the exact risk is still ill-defined, and no studies have been carried out to correlate the dose, although some research suggests it can harm the infant's motor development, as well as causing changes to their sleep patterns, reduce the amount they eat, and increase the risk of hypoglycaemia....

Some Blinding Diseases May Be Prevented By Ingredient In Red Wine

...Resveratrol - found in red wine, grapes, blueberries, peanuts and other plants - stops out-of-control blood vessel growth in the eye, according to vision researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis....

Comments: Love that red wine! DM

Is Scientific American Right About Autism?

...A Scientific American article asks, "What if Vitamin D Deficiency is a Cause of Autism?" (1) How could vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy cause autism, a genetic disease? Indeed, five researchers at Harvard, led by Dr. Dennis Kinney, recently endorsed and then modified the vitamin D theory of autism.(2)...

3 D Vision Syndrome Patient #2

More comments from patients with 3 D Vision Syndrome:

I am 41 years of age.. not only did I not understand why I never saw anything in 3D, I never understood why I could not see a baseball coming at me, why I could not see anything in a telescope or microscope, and why I could not see a volley ball come at me. I just avoided these things.. Come to find out, I have been legally blind my whole life, and living off a small area in my left eye. I have never heard of anyone with my story. I am sure there are other people like me out there that exist. How can no one notice in my life that I can't see. I would never know differently... crazy stuff! Nice to know I am not the only one that went through life not seeing 3D.. sounds like others are in that boat with me. Thanks for this post! Always nice to know you are somewhat not alone... I am having a hard time getting a diagnosis after slipping through the cracks my whole life. Is my story that "unbelievable?"

Comments: Unfortunately your story is all too believable! You need a doc who can diagnose and treat this condition. Go to to find one right now! Even those of us who are somewhat chronologically enhanced can be helped! Go to the search box on the upper left and thype in "optometric vision theapy".....and you will see that treatment is possible. DM

3 D Vision Syndrome

Comments: One of my readers left this message:

The last time i watched a 3d movie i just about passed out. The guy
sitting next to me had to grab my arm before i hit the floor. I wear
glasses already and i can't see with out them. If i take them off for
the 3d glasses i can't see anything. if i where the 3d glasses over my
glasses then i get severe headaches and tend to pass out. To make a
long story short i hate 3d movies. They should give the moviegoer

Comments2: You do not have to suffer. Go to to find a doc who can help. I'm in the final therapy stages with a patient who was VERY adversely affected by 3 D movies....she just went ot Shrek 3D...and loved problems!

Memory problems not the only predictor of later mild cognitive impairment

...Researchers at Rush University Medical Center have found that lower, though not necessarily impaired, performance on tests measuring story learning or retention and processing speed in motor tasks dependent on visual control, as well as symptoms of depression, predicted subsequent cognitive decline in a normal population....

Study Finds Signs of Schizophrenia in Babies' Brains

...The scientists used ultrasound and MRI to examine brain development in 26 babies born to mothers with schizophrenia. Having a first-degree relative with the disease raises a person’s risk of schizophrenia to one in 10. Among boys, the high-risk babies had larger brains and larger lateral ventricles — fluid-filled spaces in the brain — than babies of mothers with no psychiatric illness. The researchers found no difference in brain size among girls in the study. This fits the overall pattern of schizophrenia, which is more common, and often more severe, in males....

Handwashing, masks, may limit transmission of pandemic flu

...Nonpharmaceutical interventions are measures other than vaccines and antiviral treatments that can reduce the harm and spread of disease, including frequent handwashing with soap and water, using alcohol-based hand sanitizers, covering sneezes and coughs, wearing face masks, closing schools, working from home and restricting public gatherings....

Comments: Although more research is needed in this area....wash your hands.....wash your hands....wash your hands. It's amazing how often patients comment how wonderful it is to see their doc was his hands before he does anything. BTW I went to my doc today...and guess what...he washed his hands before he started working on me! DM

Ocular axial length and corneal refraction in children with mucopolysaccharidosis (MPS I-Hurler)

... Reduced axial length together with reduced corneal refraction is suggested to be causative to the hyperopia in patients with MPS I-Hurler. Detection of refractive errors and prescription of eye glasses are important to avoid amblyopia....

Concussion significantly affects quality of life in young athletes

...Young athletes who sustain concussions are likely to suffer deficits in health-related quality of life, but most experience significant improvement within 30 days...

Comments: As far as I know this study did not ask any vision related questions. Sad since many of the problems encountered after most have been addressed are visual in nature. DM

Monday, June 28, 2010

Dr. & Mrs. Dominick M. Maino Visiting Professor, Dr. Mitch Scheiman

The Dr. & Mrs. Dominick M. Maino Visiting Professor, Dr. Mitch Scheiman spent the better part of the past week participating in clinic and laboratories; presenting to faculty, students and residents and providing several hours of continuing eduction for area optometrist. A program description is below. More photographs to follow.

This program shall be used to bring to the ICO campus nationally recognized experts in the fields of pediatric optometry/ophthalmology, special education, occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech and language therapy, binocular vision, vision and learning, and/or special populations (primarily in the area of developmental disabilities). The Visiting Professor makes presentations to faculty and students and may also be available for ICO’s Continuing Education Program as well. Visiting Professors are chosen by the Dean/VP of Academic Affairs of the Illinois College of Optometry upon recommendations made by the faculty of the Illinois Eye Institute Pediatric/Binocular Vision Service.

From 3D Vision to Acquired Brain Injury: New Issue of Optometric Journal Shares Insights for All

AURORA, Ohio, June 28 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD) has posted its current issue of Optometry & Vision Development online and invites all to read the full-text articles free of charge.

Well known and respected researcher, Dr. WC Maples, in his article Frequency and Types of Pediatric Symptoms in a Clinical Population, notes that children seen in a large optometric clinic tended to express that their most serious symptoms were related to problems in vision perception (vision information processing), binocularity (eye coordination) and accommodation (focusing). This is particularly significant since these areas readily define those who often have learning related vision disorders that can adversely affect school performance.

Clinician, Dr. Kauser Sharieff, in her article, From Braille to Quilting: A Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Case Report, takes the reader into the life of a patient who suffered an acquired brain injury and then recovered much of her quality of life with the help of optometric vision therapy.

Under the practice management section Dr. Nathan Bonilla-Warford writes in his article, Social Digital Media – A New and Powerful Way to Educate Your Patients about Optometric Vision Therapy, writes that, "Patients with visual problems continue struggling with undiagnosed and untreated vision dysfunction. This happens despite our best efforts at educating patients, community involvement and by using increasingly expensive traditional marketing tools, such as the phone book, print advertising and television/radio marketing." He goes on to inform the reader that Social Digital Media can be a major force in informing the public about the eye problems they have and how COVD members can treat these problems. Other articles by practice management experts discuss Staff Problems: Proficiency or Attitude (by Mark R. Wright, OD, FCOVD), and Doctor-Staff Relations: Don't Underestimate the Power of "Hello", (by Toni Bristol).

The editorial section features two editorials. In the first editorial, DMM Scope of Practice Data Series: Ophthalmology, Dr. Dominick M. Maino, OVD editor, offers a satirical look at the American Medical Association's Scope of Practice Series. Dr. Maino takes a serious but sardonic view and turns the tables on the AMA. Read this editorial and then express your concerns to the AMA and the doctors they serve that perhaps cooperation with other professions best serve the patient's interest.

In the second editorial, Optometric Vision Therapy: More Than Meets the Eye, Susan Barry, Ph.D., writes about her and other's journeys in gaining binocular vision (learning to see in 3D). "Changing the whole way you see the world can bring with it great joy but can also be overwhelming, confusing, and frightening," states Barry. She also writes, "We needed a place where we could express our anger against all our old doctors who had told us that our vision could not improve or that our compromised vision was 'good enough.'" If you or someone you know has difficulty watching the new 3D movies, be sure to read this editorial. It may help you understand why.

Dr. John Streff was an optometric pioneer in the area of functional and behavioral optometry. OVD celebrates and honors his lifetime of achievements.

Finally, Volume 41, Number 2 also has literature and book reviews, and the NewsMakers column to further educate and entice readers.

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.

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, optometric 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, optometric vision therapy, and COVD please visit or call 888.268.3770.

Scientists Discover an Amazing and Simple Way to Improve Your Vision…

.........New research shows that eyesight markedly improves when people are experimentally induced to believe that they can see especially well. Their expectations actually enhanced visual clarity, rather than simply increasing alertness....The findings add to the evidence that visual perception depends not just on relaying information from your eyes to your brain, but also on experience-based assumptions about what you can see. Those expectations can lead people to ignore unusual objects and events....

Comments: We see what we expect to see. We do not notice what we do not expect to see. DM