Thursday, January 6, 2011

Doctors say 3-D not so bad for young eyes after all

...Nintendo, Sony and Toshiba have all issued warnings telling parents to keep young children from playing 3-D games and watching movies shown in 3-D. But now, an organization representing family eye doctors says 3-D may not be bad for kids after all....


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

Autism-vaccine researcher a "fraud": medical journal

...(Reuters) - Dr. Andrew Wakefield, the-now disgraced British doctor who published studies linking vaccines with autism, committed an "elaborate fraud" by faking data, the British Medical Journal said on Wednesday.

The journal's editors said it was not possible that Wakefield made a mistake but must have falsified the data for his study, which convinced thousands of parents that vaccines are dangerous and which is blamed for ongoing outbreaks of measles and mumps.....

Comments: Read more about this by clicking on the title above. DM

New Hand-Held 3D Gaming Devices May Help Uncover Undiagnosed Vision Problems

New Hand-Held 3D Gaming Devices May Help Uncover Undiagnosed Vision Problems


American Optometric Association Advises Moderation in Use, No Evidence Yet of Harmful Effects

St. Louis, January 5, 2011 -- The American Optometric Association (AOA), representing America’s family eye doctors (optometrists), says 3D in movies, TV and even 3D on Nintendo's 3DS isn't necessarily bad for adults or children. In fact, optometrists, professional health care providers committed to children’s vision and eye health, say 3D viewing may actually help uncover subtle disorders that, left uncorrected, often result in learning difficulties.


In this context, it is not enough to have 20/20 visual acuity. Eye muscles must be coordinated well enough to experience single, clear and comfortable vision by maintaining alignment of both eyes. The brain must also match appropriate accommodative or focusing power with where the eyes are aimed. Often, subtle problems with these vision skills can lead to rapid fatigue of the eyes and loss of 3D viewing, but also loss of place when reading or copying, reduced reading comprehension, poor grades and increased frustration at school. Difficulties with appreciating 3D in movies, TV and Nintendo's 3DS, or discomfort when engaging in these activities may be an important sign of undetected vision disorders. Parents should be aware that current vision screening technologies employed in schools and pediatricians’ offices cannot substitute for comprehensive eye exams that detect and treat these problems.

Nintendo has issued a warning that children under 6 should not use the 3DS in 3D mode. While studies on the effects of prolonged 3D viewing on young children remain to be done, leaning toward the side of caution is advisable in guiding children to use these devices in moderation. Since vision develops from birth, it is crucial to uncover the type of vision disorders that may interfere with Nintendo 3D viewing at an early age. Although success can be attained in treating conditions such as amblyopia (lazy eye) and strabismus (eye turn) beyond age 6, the outcome is always better when children are treated as soon as signs of these problems are detected. Accordingly, children younger than 6 can use the 3DS in 3D mode if their visual system is developing normally.

The AOA and the American Public Health Association (APHA) both encourage a regular comprehensive eye examination schedule so that all children have eye exams performed at approximately age 6-12 months, 2-3 years, and by 5 years of age. 1 Although recommended, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that less than 15% of all preschool children receive a comprehensive eye exam.2 If children experience the “3Ds of 3D viewing”—Discomfort, Dizziness, or lack of Depth—it is crucial to have a comprehensive eye examination by a doctor of optometry.

1 http://www.apha.org/advocacy/policy/policysearch/default.htm?id=240

2 http://www.cdc.gov/visionhealth/publications/vhi_report.htm

About the AOA:
The American Optometric Association represents approximately 36,000 doctors of optometry, optometry students and paraoptometric assistants and technicians. Optometrists serve patients in nearly 6,500 communities across the country, and in 3,500 of those communities are the only eye doctors. Doctors of optometry provide two-thirds of all primary eye care in the United States.

For additional information contact: Susan Thomas at (314) 483-4263 or slthomas@aoa.org

Comments: Another great resource in this area is the College of Optometrists in Vision Development. DM

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The 3 Ds of 3-D Viewing:Doctors of Optometry Urge Consumers to be Aware of Discomfort, Dizziness and Lack of Depth

The 3 Ds of 3-D Viewing: Doctors of Optometry Urge Consumers to be Aware of Discomfort, Dizziness and Lack of Depth

Millions of Americans unable to see in 3-D but help is available in the form of optomric vision therapy

LAS VEGAS, January 6, 2011 ― Is 3-D technology the way of the future? It seems as though it’s being offered to consumers more and more in the form of blockbuster films, 3-D televisions with network programming to boot, and even in some computer games.

Since 3-D technology is all the rage, the MommyTech Conference will be discussing the pros and cons during the Consumer Electronics Show. “3-D Moms” will be one of the agenda topics during the conference on Saturday, January 8, 2011 beginning at 10:15 a.m. in room N260 of the Las Vegas Convention Center. Dr. Dominick Maino is an American Optometric Association 3-D expert and a professor of pediatrics/binocular vision at the Illinois College of Optometry’s Illinois Eye Institute. Dr. Maino will be participating in a panel discussion to talk about 3-D vision syndrome and why some Americans are unable to see in 3-D, as well as what steps can be taken to fix the problem.

“According to the American Optometric Association, anywhere from three to nine million people have problems with binocular vision prohibiting them from watching 3-D TV and movies,” said Dr. Maino. “Children are at higher risk for having undetected binocular vision problems because most only receive a simple vision screening that doesn’t check for problems that interfere with 3-D viewing. Instead, children should visit their local optometrist to receive a comprehensive eye exam.”

Binocular vision is the ability to align both eyes accurately on an object and combine the visual images from each eye into a single, in-depth perception. A problem comes from fatigue that occurs when 3-D technology forces the eyes to make adjustments to focus simultaneously on images that are near and far away.

Symptoms indicating a potential problem viewing images in 3-D can vary, but some common symptoms include headaches, blurred vision, nausea and dizziness.

“The good news for those who experience discomfort associated with 3-D viewing is there’s treatment to help fix the problem,” said Dr. Maino. “As the industry expands its 3-D technology offerings, it’s important that adults and children have their vision checked to ensure they are able to enjoy it as much as possible; and if they have difficulties, they should see their doctor of optometry.”

Studies have shown that optometric vision therapy can help alleviate common problems associated with 3-D viewing and make the experience of using the technology more enjoyable. Optometric vision therapy is a sequence of therapeutic procedures individually prescribed and monitored by an optometrist to develop efficient visual skills and processing. Following a comprehensive eye examination, the optometrist may prescribe vision therapy if the results of the exam indicate a need, and if it is determined an appropriate treatment option for the patient. A vision therapy program is based on the results of standardized tests, the needs of the patient, and the patient's signs and symptoms. Optometric vision therapy re-educates the brain to achieve single, clear, comfortable, two-eyed vision that improves eye coordination, focusing and eye movement, ultimately enhancing the 3-D viewing experience.

The AOA recommends seeing a doctor of optometry for further evaluation if consumers answer yes to any of the following questions:

• Is the 3-D viewing experience not as vivid as it is for others watching the same picture?

• Do you experience eyestrain or headaches during or after viewing?

• Do you feel nauseous or dizzy during or after viewing?

• Are you more comfortable viewing 2-D TV or movies instead of 3-D TV/movies?

• Is it difficult for your eyes to adjust back to normal after watching 3-D TV/movies?

The AOA also recommends visiting a doctor of optometry on an annual basis for comprehensive eye exams to help ensure healthy vision overall.

To find an optometrist in your area, or for additional information please visit the AOA’s Web site at http://www.aoa.org/ or the College of Optometry in Vision Development Web site at http://www.covd.org/.

About the American Optometric Association (AOA):

The American Optometric Association represents approximately 36,000 doctors of optometry, optometry students and paraoptometric assistants and technicians. Optometrists serve patients in nearly 6,500 communities across the country, and in 3,500 of those communities are the only eye doctors. Doctors of optometry provide two-thirds of all primary eye care in the United States.

American Optometric Association doctors of optometry are highly qualified, trained doctors on the frontline of eye and vision care who examine, diagnose, treat and manage diseases and disorders of the eye. In addition to providing eye and vision care, optometrists play a major role in a patient’s overall health and well-being by detecting systemic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension.

Prior to optometry school, optometrists typically complete four years of undergraduate study, culminating in a bachelor’s degree. Required undergraduate coursework for pre-optometry students is extensive and covers a wide variety of advanced health, science and mathematics. Optometry school consists of four years of post-graduate, doctoral study concentrating on both the eye and systemic health. In addition to their formal training, doctors of optometry must undergo annual continuing education to stay current on the latest standards of care. For more information, visit http://www.aoa.org/.

About the College of Optometrists in Vision Development

The College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD) is a non-profit, international membership association of eye care professionals including optometrists, optometry students, and vision therapists. Established in 1971, COVD provides board certification for eye doctors and vision therapists who are prepared to offer state-of-the-art services in:


Behavioral and developmental vision care
Optometric Vision therapy
Visual rehabilitation

These specialized vision care services develop and enhance visual abilities and correct many vision problems in infants, children, and adults.

The COVD International Examination and Certification Board process includes a rigorous evaluation of the eye care professional's knowledge and abilities in providing developmental and behavioral vision care for patients. Optometrists who successfully complete their certification process are Board Certified in Vision Development and Vision Therapy and are designated Fellows of COVD (FCOVD). Vision therapists are certified to work with COVD Fellows as Certified Optometric Vision Therapists (COVT).

Associate members of COVD are practicing optometrists who have not yet completed the Fellowship process. COVD associates are required to participate in professional continuing education to enhance their knowledge and skills in behavioral vision care.

Vision care provided by all COVD members is based on the principle that vision can be developed and changed. For example, we know that infants are not born with fully developed visual abilities and that good vision is developed through a learned process.

For more information go to http://www.covd.org/

About Dr. Dominick M. Maino

Dr. Dominick Maino is a Professor of Pediatrics/Binocular Vision at the Illinois Eye Institute/Illinois College of Optometry and is in private practice. He graduated from the Illinois College of Optometry, received his MEd at the University of Illinois Chicago and Bachelor’s degree from Beloit College. Dr. Maino is the past Director of the Institute for Advanced Competency Post-Graduate Continuing Education Program, an Adjunct Professor of Pediatrics/Binocular Vision at the Centro Boston de Optometria in Madrid Spain, and the Director of the Developmental Disabilities Service at the Neumann Association. He is a Fellow of both the American Academy of Optometry and the College of Optometrists in Vision Development, and holds membership in the American & Illinois Optometric Associations, Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Association, and the Artists of Casa Italia.


Dr. Maino serves as the editor of Optometry and Vision Development, has authored approximately 200 books, chapters, and articles. Has given more than 100 presentations worldwide and is a co-author of the ASCOTech column for Optometric Education (Journal of the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry) and is currently the associate, consulting, and/or contributing editor/manuscript reviewer for numerous publications.

Dr. Maino has received recognition for his work from the Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Association, College of Optometrists in Vision Development, Optometric Editors Association, and the Easter Seal Society of Metropolitan Chicago. He is an internationally recognized expert on oculo-visual problems of children and adults with disabilities. His research interests include special populations, pediatrics, and binocular vision dysfunction. Dr. Maino’s avocations include website design, blogging, music and photography.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

More Info on 3D Vision Syndrome and Nintendo 3DS

Nintendo's 3DS Warning: Children, Avert Thine Eyes
Richard Adhikari  TechNewsWorld         December 29, 2010
http://www.technewsworld.com/story/71549.html?wlc=1293682187


Nintendo Bars Children Under 6 From Viewing 3-D Images on New Game Player
Mariko Yasu and Yoshinori Eki
Bloomberg   December 29, 2010
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-12-30/nintendo-bars-children-under-6-from-viewing-3-d-images-on-new-game-player.html


Nintendo warns: No 3-D gaming for young players
MSNBC.com     December 29, 2010
http://ingame.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2010/12/29/5733901-nintendo-warns-no-3-d-gaming-for-young-players


Nintendo 3DS could be hazardous to children under 6
Nathan Olivarez-Giles
Los Angeles Times    December 29, 2010
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/technology/2010/12/nintendo-3ds-children.html


Nintendo: 3D Games May Damage Kids' Eyes
Catharine Smith
The Huffington Post    December 29, 2010
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/29/nintendo-3d-eye-damage_n_802426.html


Nintendo Warns Children Should Skip 3DS
Esther Shein
InformationWeek   December 29, 2010
http://www.informationweek.com/news/security/client/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=228900185&cid=RSSfeed_IWK_News


Nintendo Encouraging Young Children To Use 3DS's 2D Mode
Brian Warmoth
MTV News   December 28, 2010
http://multiplayerblog.mtv.com/2010/12/28/nintendo-encouraging-young-children-to-use-3dss-2d-mode/


What to watch for in technology in 2011
Hiawatha Bray
Boston Globe   December 29, 2010
http://www.boston.com/business/technology/articles/2010/12/29/things_to_watch_in_technology_for_2011/


Nintendo 3DS is hazardous to the eyes of children
Jeffrey Van Camp
Digital Trends    December 29, 2010
http://www.digitaltrends.com/gaming/nintendo-3ds-is-hazardous-to-kids-eyes/?news=123


3-D Gaming Not For Kids
Javier de la Vega
Nintendo Gal Blog   December 29, 2010
http://www.nintendogal.com/2010/12/29/3-d-gaming-not-for-kids/4878/


Nintendo 3DS To Carry Age and Time Restrictions
Gadgets and Gizmos Blog   December 29, 2010
http://www.gadgetsandgizmos.org/nintendo-3ds-to-carry-age-and-time-restrictions/


Remember that the symptoms of 3D Vision Syndrome often include headaches, blurred vision, eyestrain, double vision, dizziness/nausea and motion sickness after watching a 3D movie, television or playing a 3D video game. If you or any family members have trouble viewing 3D, please go to the American Optometric Association or College of Optometrist in Vision Development websites to find doctors who can help diagnose and treat these problems so you can enjoy the 3D experience. DM



Monday, January 3, 2011

The Latest from the AOA journal, Optometry

The journal of the American Optometric Association, OPTOMETRY, offers a wide variety of high quality articles for the nation's 30,000 + optometrists. Articles in this month's edition are noted below. Click on the title above to learn more. DM.


Editor's Perspective

It’s that time of year…resolutions
Paul B. Freeman


Health Notes Hope for keratoconus
Byron Y. Newman

Medical Abstracts

Clinical implications of contact lens surface deposits
Mile Brujic

A Paraoptometric View
A new option for paraoptometrics
Jill Luebbert

Guidelines for Authors

Iatrogenically induced Stevens-Johnson syndrome after a car accident
Julie K. Hutchinson, Andrew S. Gurwood


Clinical findings and management of conjunctival intraepithelial neoplasia
Kathryn D. Nelson, John J. McSoley

Mantle cell lymphoma of the maxillary sinus invading the orbit
Alissa D. Nagel-Esposito, Brian Kawasaki, Russell Jew, Lane Fujimoto

Public Health
Malpractice payments by optometrists: An analysis of the national practitioner databank over 18 years
Robert S. Duszak, Richard Duszak

Literature Review

A review of hyaluronan and its ophthalmic applications
Marjorie J. Rah

Practice Strategies

Practitioner attitudes on children and contact lenses
Christine W. Sindt, Colleen M. Riley

Electronic health records definitions and acronyms
American Optometric Association

To sign or not to sign: recognizing insurance contracts as business decisions
Charles B. Brownlow

Should you take the plunge into social media?
Nathan Bonilla-Warford

Medicare coding
American Optometric Association

Building a successful practice is a team sport
Gary Gerber

The Economic Value Added (EVA) Resulting from Medical Care of Functional Amblyopia, Strabismus, (Pathologies of Binocular Vision) and Asthma.

...The economic value added by improvements in patient-centered outcomes is very large. Failing to make the necessary investments in research, prevention, detection, prompt treatment and rehabilitation of these diseases, at virtually any conceivable cost, appears economically, medically, morally and ethically deficient and consequently wasteful at very least economically for our society....

Comments: This study suggests that billions of dollars could be saved if we improve our investments in research, prevention, detection, prompt treatment and rehabilitation. This means that what we are doing now is NOT working. This means that our ophthalmology colleagues are wrong when they say vision screening is enough...it is not. The research on vision screening has shown time and again that there is so little quality evidence available that it cannot be determined if vision screenings are effective or not! ( See: Evidence-based medicine: the value of vision screening , Teen Eye Chart Screening Misses Some Problems)

Full comprehensive eye examinations at an early age are neccessary for these savings to be realized. The American Optometric Association's public health program, InfantSee, is dedicated to diagnosing and treating a wide variety of eye problems early....and at no charge. Go to http://www.infantsee.org/ today! You can also find eye doctors who can help at COVD. DM

A comparison of children with ADHD in a natural and built setting

...results suggest that natural areas provide a consistent positive environment for children with ADHD.

....

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

...The results found in this study show a definite trend towards poorer accommodative and vergence function with the use of contact lenses in comparison to glasses.....

Comments. The PDF of this article is available by clicking on the title above. DM

Sunday, January 2, 2011

UK National Health Service Review 2010 Annual Evidence Update on Amblyopia

The 2010 Evidence Update focuses on the clinical and functional outcomes of amblyopia and highlights the:
  • clinical outcomes of treatment - focusing on aspects of visual acuity, stereopsis, and ocular alignment;
  • functional outcomes of treatment - focusing on aspects of quality of life and visual functioning;
  • adverse events of treatment;
  • current uncertainties in the effectiveness of treatments. 
Comments: This is a fairly comprehensive review of the research in the area of amblyopia by our UK colleagues. They tell us about the randomized, placebo controlled clinical trials concerning amblyopia and the clinical and functional outcomes. Unfortunately they limit themselves to these clinical trials and never venture out much beyond them....such a myopic view, although useful to the clinician, offers an approach to patient care that is seldom useful enough for many of our patients. For instance, they do not discuss any of the latest information on neuro-plasticity and the treatment of adults with amblyopia....it is almost as if this information is non-existent to the writers of this review. And I suppose it is...since they only consider clinical trials for the most part. You cannot only trust to clinical trials....you need to use many levels of evidence to support the care you give your patients. This may include case reports, case series, and non-clinical trial research formats. To do otherwise would limit the options open to your patients. Click on the title above to read the review. Let me know what you think. DM

The accuracy of photoscreening at detecting treatable ocular conditions in children with Down syndrome.

...Photoscreening is sensitive but less specific at detecting treatable ocular conditions in children with DS. In specific instances, the use of photoscreening in the DS population has the potential to save time and expense related to routine eye examinations, particularly in children with a normal baseline comprehensive examination....

Comments: Once again they suggest that screening will save time and expense...this is not logical. We know that these children have many eye problems....so why not provide comprehensive eye care for all? Why go thru the extra time and expense to do a screening....especially one not very specific at detecting the problems? DM

Refractive error and visual functions in children with special needs compared with the first grade school students in oman.

...Prevalence of uncorrected refractive error was much higher in children with special needs. Prevalence of strabismus, nystagmus, and reduced contrast sensitivity was also higher in children with special needs. Early vision screening, visual function assessment, correction of refractive error, and frequent follow-up are recommended....

Comment: Why are they recommending vision screening when time and again it has been shown that vision screenings are so poor researcher cannot even decide if there is enough good evidence to make a judgment about screening? This population deserves full comprehensive eye examinations. No screening. Full exams. This goes for all children no matter if they have a disability or not! DM