Monday, December 23, 2013

Sunday, December 22, 2013

A scientific guide to saying “no”: How to avoid temptation and distraction

A scientific guide to saying “no”: How to avoid temptation and distraction

I am a perpetual "YES" man. No I don't mean I never disagree with you, but rather any time you ask me if I want to do something like lecture, write an article, join a committee...I tend to say yes. 

Then comes the "hit your forehead with the palm of our hand moment" when you realize that you couldn't possibly do one more thing with your current commitments!

This article will help me say "no" more often..........maybe. DM

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Autism Screening App

Can an App Screen for Autism?


Can an App Screen for Autism? I don't know but you may want to look at this one.

Don't forget that your optometrist can also help you determine if there is a developmental problem as well. See: The Role of Optometry in Early Identification of  Autism Spectrum Disorders

Saturday, December 14, 2013

WELCOME TO MRS. GAM’S READING CORNER!

One of my friends, even though now retired, is still serving her students well. Check this out!

WELCOME TO MRS. GAM’S READING CORNER!!!!!!!!"

 "Sheila McNulty is a retired Chicago Public School teacher with a Masters in Reading. The one thing Sheila has missed is reading to her students. So, Shiela decided to create an internet reading program. The format will include fun poems, fiction and non-fiction, chapter books, and ending the hour with riddles. From time to time, there will be special guests dropping by. Anyone who has a book request may contact the station at MrsGam@slaminternetradio.com and Sheila will be happy to read them. 

Goto:  http://www.slaminternetradio.com/shows/mrsgam

Do you have tired eyes?

My Canadian colleagues did a wonderful job with this, eh!


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Importance of Relative Standards in ADHD Diagnoses: Evidence Based on Exact Birth Dates


The Importance of Relative Standards in ADHD Diagnoses: Evidence Based on Exact Birth Dates

.....This paper presents evidence that diagnoses of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are driven largely by subjective comparisons across children in the same grade in school. Roughly 8.4 percent of children born in the month prior to their state’s cutoff date for kindergarten eligibility – who typically become the youngest and most developmentally immature children within a grade – are diagnosed with ADHD, compared to 5.1 percent of children born in the month immediately afterward. A child’s birth date relative to the eligibility cutoff also strongly influences teachers’ assessments of whether the child exhibits ADHD symptoms but is only weakly associated with similarly measured parental assessments, suggesting that many diagnoses may be driven by teachers’ perceptions of poor behavior among the youngest children in a classroom. These perceptions have long-lasting consequences: the youngest children in fifth and eighth grades are nearly twice as likely as their older classmates to regularly use stimulants prescribed to treat ADHD.....

Comments: Another reason to be suspicious of patients with a diagnosis of ADHD! No where does this article state that binocular vision problems can create ADHD-like symptoms. All children diagnosed with ADHD should have a full comprehensive eye and functional vision examination. All should have an objective assessment of behavior using tools like the TOVA (Test of Variables Attention). DM

Monday, December 9, 2013

What Is Amblyopia (Lazy Eye): Diagnosis and Treatment



What Is Amblyopia (Lazy Eye): Diagnosis and Treatment

.....Amblyopia, sometimes called “lazy eye,” is reduced vision in an eye that did not develop normal sight during early childhood. A person with amblyopia may have poor depth perception or blurred vision in one or both eyes. With between 2 percent and 4 percent of the population diagnosed with amblyopia, it is the most frequent cause of visual impairment in children......

Comments: Remember...amblyopia can be treated at any age.  For more information about amblyopia click here. DM

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Eye Facts


Your Brain on Music!

I have been involved in music for as long as I can remember. My dad played clarinet and trumpet. He played with Jimmy & Tommy Dorsey. He used to put together 100 piece orchestra's for special events in the Italian neighborhood he grew up in. I played trumpet (started in 3rd grade) and sing tenor. I've sung with 90 voice choirs and 4 voice quartets and everything inbetween. I've sung in musicals and as back up to opera singers from the NY Met and Chicago Lyric. I sing in my church choir.

So what does this have to do with optometry, vision therapy and all the other things I am interested in to help children and adults  function better....read this infographic and you will see! Click here to learn more.DM


Monday, December 2, 2013

What is Lazy Eye?

Many may be confused as to just what lazy eye (amblyopia) is and how it can be treated. This presentation will help you understand lazy eye and hopefully its treatment.



Sunday, December 1, 2013

Protect your eyes from the sun: Even in Winter!


Final Call: ICBO Papers/Posters

CALL FOR PAPERS

International Conference of Behavioral Optometry
September 11-14, 2014 Birmingham, UK

The International Conference of Behavioral Optometry is soliciting abstracts for papers and posters to be presented at the 2014 Meeting. Any person wishing to make a presentation is invited to submit a proposal as outlined below.

 Proposals may include research results, case studies, or new and innovative diagnostic procedures or treatment techniques. Abstracts will be accepted as oral or poster presentations. Presenting authors must be registered participants and attend the meeting.

Submission of an abstract acknowledges your acceptance for the abstract to be published in all printed material of the Meeting Abstracts will be published in Optometry & Visual Performance.

Abstracts must be original and must not have been published or presented at any other meeting prior to the ICBO 2014 Meeting.
Abstracts must be submitted in English
All studies must have been approved by institutional committees on ethics of experimental and human investigations

Abstract title - limited to 20 words
Abstract text – limited to 350 words, including acknowledgements.

Abstracts of research projects should clearly state:
Background and aims
Methods
Results
Conclusions

Abstracts of case reports should clearly state:
patient’s symptoms, findings, diagnosis, treatments outcomes

Abstracts of diagnostic or therapeutic techniques should clearly describe:
the procedure, its applications, its unique or innovative characteristics.

Use only standard abbreviations; place special or unusual abbreviations in parentheses after the full word appears the first time. Use generic names of drugs. Express numbers as numerals.

Conflicts of Interest / Disclosure: Work submitted for presentation must include an acknowledgement of funding sources of commercial nature and/or consulting or holding of significant equity in a company that could be affected by the results of the study

THEME OF THE MEETING: Vision is the brain’s way of touching.
To maximize consideration for inclusion in the meeting you may choose to align your topic to the above stated theme or the tenets of behavioral vision care which follow:
The primary purpose of the visual process is the direction of action.
Most movement is visually guided.
Most visual problems are problems of omission, not commission.

SELECTION CRITERIA Each abstract will be reviewed for the following elements: (1) scientific and clinical quality; (2) broad appeal to the interests of the meeting attendees; (3) multidisciplinary nature; (4) timeliness of the topic.

Each complete submission received by December 1, 2013 will be independently peer-reviewed and rated on a blind evaluation basis.

First authors will be notified of acceptance or rejection by March 1, 2014.

AVOIDANCE OF COMMERCIALISM
All presentations must avoid commercialism. Presentations that constitute promotion and advertising will be prohibited. This specifically includes pervasive and inappropriate use of logos. No advertising matter of any description may be distributed. No material may be displayed that in any way directly promotes the commercial interest of any particular company or enterprise, or of the author(s)/presenter(s).

If the cost of presentation has been underwritten to any extent, a clear acknowledgment stating support and identifying the particular source should be included (e.g., "The support of [name of corporation/institute] for this project is gratefully acknowledged.")

ALL accepted presenters/authors/speakers are required to register for the conference, and are fully responsible for all of their expenses related to the conference (e.g., registration, airfare, hotel, meals).

Deadline for submission of abstracts: December 1, 2013 Submit electronically to: Paul.HarrisOD@gmail.com

 
Call for Posters

RULES FOR SUBMISSION

Please follow the instructions listed in this website step-by-step

o Abstracts will be accepted as oral or poster presentations
o Abstracts submitted by fax will not be accepted
o Presenting authors must be registered participants and attend the meeting
o Submission of an abstract acknowledges your acceptance for the abstract to be published in all printed material of the Meeting o Abstracts will be published in The Journal of Behavioral Optometry.
o Abstracts must be original and must not have been published or presented at any other meeting prior to the ICBO 2014 Meeting
o Abstracts must be submitted in English
o Conflicts of Interest / Disclosure: Work submitted for presentation must include an acknowledgement of funding sources of commercial nature and/or consulting or holding of significant equity in a company that could be affected by the results of the study
o All studies must have been approved by institutional committees on ethics of experimental and human investigations

ABSTRACT PREPARATION
Before you begin, please prepare the following information:
o Presenting author's contact details
o Email address
o Full postal address
o Daytime and evening phone number
o Author and co-authors' details o Full first and family name(s).
o Authors’ names must be in upper and lower case (J.J.C. Smith).
o Affiliation details: department, institution / hospital, city, state (if relevant), country

o Abstract title - limited to 20 words
o Abstract text – limited to 350 words, including acknowledgements.
  o Abstracts of research projects should clearly state:
o Background and aims
o Methods
o Results
o Conclusions

o Abstracts of case reports should clearly state:
o patient’s symptoms
o findings, diagnosis
o treatments o outcomes

o Abstracts of diagnostic or therapeutic techniques should clearly describe:
o the procedure o its applications
o its unique or innovative characteristics.
o Use only standard abbreviation; place special or unusual abbreviations in parentheses after the full word appears the first time.
o Use generic names of drugs. Express numbers as numerals.

THEME OF THE MEETING: Vision is the brain’s way of touching.
To maximize consideration for inclusion in the meeting you may choose to align your topic to the above stated theme or the tenets of behavioral vision care which follow:
o The primary purpose of the visual process is the direction of action.
o Most movement is visually guided.
o Most visual problems are problems of omission, not commission.

ABSTRACT SELECTION AND PRESENTATION
o Each abstract will be reviewed for the following elements:
 (1) scientific and clinical quality;
 (2) broad appeal to the interests of the membership;
(3) multidisciplinary nature;
 (4) timeliness of the topic.

Each complete submission received by December 1, 2013 will be independently peer-reviewed and rated on a blind evaluation basis.

Submit electronically to: mtaub@sco.edu

All abstracts will be reviewed by the Scientific Program Committee.
Presenting authors will be notified by March 1, 2014 regarding the status of their abstract

Thursday, November 28, 2013

ADHD diagnoses and treatment with medication continues to increase among US children

ADHD diagnoses and treatment with medication continues to increase among US children

...... One million more U.S. children were taking medication for ADHD between 2003-04 and 2011-12. According to the study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
  • 6.4 million children in the U.S. (11 percent of 4-17 year olds) were reported by their parents to have received an ADHD diagnosis from a healthcare provider, a 42 percent increase from 2003-04 to 2011-12.
  • Over 3.5 million children in the U.S. (6 percent of 4-17 year olds) were reported by their parents to be taking medication for ADHD, a 28 percent increase from 2007-08 to 2011-12.
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common neurobehavioral disorders of childhood. It often persists into adulthood. .....
Comments: It has been shown that there are those diagnosed with ADHD that have binocular vision problems like convergence insufficiency....and if you have binocular vision problems you often have issues with attention as well. Optometric vision therapy can help. I recommend a comprehensive eye and vision examination, a visual efficiency evaluation, an assessment of learning related vision problems (vision information processing) and when necessary special computerized testing such as the Visagraph (reading eye movement assessment) and the TOVA (Test of Variables Attention).
If your eye doctor is not trained to do this type of assessment and you live in the Chicago-land area see the good folks at Lyons Family Eye Care. Also for a doctor in your area go to http://www.covd.org or http://www.oepf.org.  For up to date information "LIKE" Vision Therapy at Lyons Family Eye Care !




Vision Therapy at Lyons Family Eye Care

Vision Therapy at Lyons Family Eye Care Facebook Page

Lyons Family Eye Care has offered optometric vision therapy to our patients since we first opened our doors to those seeking outstanding eye and vision care. Vision therapy is unique to the profession of optometry and is specifically designed to improve, enhance or remediate anomalies of vision function and learning related vision problems. We use scientifically based principles of neuroplasticity to improve the abilities of children and adults. This therapy has been show to be effective for a wide range of individuals with binocular vision dysfunction, vision information processing problems, brain injury, vision induced attention deficits and learning related vision anomalies.

I've had the pleasure of working with the fine team at Lyons Family Eye Care for almost two years. Every day I am at LFEC, I see patients who, after a program of vision therapy has been completed, no longer have headaches, double vision, or any other symptoms. Even though we do not teach any school subjects, our patients often show improved academic abilities as well.

Please take a moment to go to the Vision Therapy at Lyons Family Eye Care and "LIKE" us on Facebook. DM

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

3D in Sx, Dx, and Tx:

3D in Sx, Dx, and Tx


My friend and colleague, 3D Education expert, Mr. Len Scrogan, recently reviewed a symposium I moderated. Here is his review:

3D Vision Health - This report comes first hand from annual meeting of the  College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD), being held in comfortably warm Orlando. COVD is the certifying body for doctors in the optometric specialty called Behavioral/ Developmental/ Rehabilitative Optometry. This group is interested in all things 3D because these medical experts see the role of 3D in Sx (symptoms), Dx (diagnosis), and Tx (treatment) of vision disorders.
Mr Len Scrogan @ COVD
At the 2013 COVD Annual Meeting, I participated as a featured speaker in a full-day educational program entitled “Simulated 3D Vision: Research, Education and In Your Office,” with over 600 medical and educational professionals in attendance. Although some of the topics covered at COVD 2013 deserve a deep dive—I will cover those topics in future Display Central articles—below are some quick summaries of information our Display Central readers will find useful or informative.
Opening Remarks
Dr. Maino @ COVD
Dr. Dominick M. Maino (OD, MEd, FAAO, FCOVD) led off the full-day session. Dr. Maino is a Professor of Pediatrics/Binocular Vision at the Illinois College of Optometry/Illinois Eye Institute, a Distinguished Practitioner, with the National Academies of Practice, and a Leonardo da Vinci Award of Excellence in Medicine recipient.  Dr. Maino highlighted the cultural importance of 3D in contemporary society, since sometimes medical experts and researchers are not fully attentive to current cultural memes.  Maino warned that “simulated 3D is not dead,” as some would think, “but that use of simulated 3D will continue in all its forms… but you still need binocular vision to fully immerse yourself into the experience.”  He identified the struggles many adults have with viewing 3D as the “3D Vision Syndrome” and made the case for medical and educational professionals to tap into the power and influence of the 3D meme to promote vision health and better public policy decisions..........
Comments: To read the complete review go to http://www.display-central.com/free-news/display-daily/3d-sx-dx-tx-covd-annual-meeting/?utm_source=Insight+Media+Subscribers&utm_campaign=606e69eb93-DD_2012_06_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_8e331e0181-606e69eb93-10850625 or click the title above. To learn more about all the cool stuff going on in 3D education go to Len's blog. To see photographs from the COVD meeting go here http://www.flickr.com/photos/92160342@N07/sets/72157636475672515/






Eye Injury Facts, Myths and Prevention


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Outcome of conventional treatment for adult amblyopia.

Outcome of conventional treatment for adult amblyopia.


....Conventional treatment [glasses and patching]... improve the visual acuity of amblyopic eyes even in adult patients....

Comments: This study only had a few subjects and did not follow any current recommendations for patching. It also did not employ vision therapy AND they still saw improvement in visual acuity! Amazing! (He said with a touch of sarcasm!) The investigators assess binocularity...which is strange since amblyopia is a BINOCULAR VISION problem! DM

Contact Lens InfoGraphic #2


Monday, November 25, 2013

Treating patients with brain injuries

Treating patients with brain injuries

Optometry Times has a very nice write up on traumatic brain injury that starts out.....Approximately 2.6 million people suffer a traumatic (TBI) or acquired brain injury 

(ABI) annually;1 this is a staggering number. Optometrists, in many cases, are part of the 

treatment team, or they may be the first point of contact. Patients with brain injury will 



inevitably walk into your office, and you must be prepared to step up to the plate to 

ensure  your patient’s visual and systemic well-being. .......

Comments: To read the full article click the title above. Also see


Oculo-Visual Evaluation of the Patient with Traumatic Brain Injury








Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Discovering Vision Therapy Blog Shows How Media Manipulates the Truth about Vision Therapy!



The Discovering Vision Therapy Blog Shows How Media Manipulates the Truth about Vision Therapy!

Applause goes out to the vision therapy community – optometrists, parents, patients – for rallying against the naysayers.  Or in this case, one naysayer, who published an article recently in The Chronicle of Social Change that was long on bias, and short on facts.  Fortunately, there were plenty in our camp to refute the article, and send a message that this type of irresponsible journalism will definitely be met with a response....

Comments: Here is my response to this very poor attemtp at journalism:

David…
I don’t know why you choose to be in the hip pocket of ophthalmology…but obviously you have swallowed their unsubstantiated reasons for stating vision therapy does not work…when obviously it works quite well. A REAL journalist would seek out the true story and not become a mouthpiece for the MDs. You need to rethink your journalistic ethics…..
As a Professor of Pediatrics and Binocular Vision I would be happy to educate you concerning the science pertaining to optometric vision therapy….
But First read the paper below:
American Academy of Optometry Binocular Vision, Perception, and Pediatric Optometry
Position Paper on Optometric Care of the Struggling Student For parents, educators, and other professionals
August 2013
http://www.aaopt.org/Media/Default/Newsletters/Revised%20Oct%2018_BVPPO_Position_paper%20AAO%20website%20formatFINAL.pdf

Read the whole blog post by clicking the title above. DM

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Ethnic Differences in Undercorrected Refractive Error in Asians

Ethnic Differences in Undercorrected Refractive Error in Asians


....The overall prevalence of undercorrected refractive error was highest in Indians (25.1%), followed by Malays (22.2%) and Chinese (19.7%). .... increasing age, Indian race, lower education level or poorer housing, having refractive errors, and not wearing optical corrections were significantly associated with increasing undercorrected refractive error...

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Contact Lenses InfoGraphic!

It was all started by an Italian of course!

Apollo Chorus: Presents the Messiah!

Handel’s Messiah

The Apollo Chorus has been performing this glorious masterpiece for Chicago since 1879, a track record unmatched in the city of Chicago. The Chicago Tribune hailed last year's performance as a "venerable holiday tradition" performed with "an exultant spirit that came from the heart."  This year the chorus will be returning to the festive stage of Orchestra Hall as well as performing in the elegant Harris Theater for Music & Dance. Don't miss the opportunity to experience the power and passion of Messiah as you've never heard it before with Apollo's definitive performances.
Saturday, December 7, at 3:00 pm
Orchestra Hall at Symphony Center
220 S. Michigan Ave, Chicago
Saturday, December 21, at 3:00 pm
Harris Theater for Music & Dance
205 E. Randolph Drive, Chicago

https://www.apollochorus.org/index.cfm?pid=4&pageTitle=Individual-Tickets 

New Orleans songbird@ Filament Theatre!




The Filament Theatre Ensemble is presenting a one-night-only concert appearance by renowned New Orleans songbird Ingrid Lucia on Sunday, November 24 starting at 7pm at the Filament Theatre space. Admission is free of charge, with a $10 suggested donation welcome. The performance story of Ingrid Lucia begins with her father David Pearlman, aka “Poppa Neutrino”. A compadre and contemporary of Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, et. al, he was one of the greatest manifestations of Kerouac’s “On The Road” ideal; an artist, adventurer, tinkerer, and all-around personality of unmatched wanderlust. The subject of a book (The Happiest Man In The World, Random House, 2007) and a 2005 article in The New Yorker, Pearlman formed a family band in the early ’80s with his wife and five children called the Flying Neutrinos. During much of this time their home life was spent traveling on a series of rafts built out of recycled junk, and performing for whoever would have them, before eventually settling, semi-permanently, in New Orleans. It was from this decidedly unusual environment that Ingrid Lucia’s musical career sprang forth. Though she started as a dancer, music quickly took over. She went to New York, bounced between record deals, came back to New Orleans, and re-immersed herself in the city’s music ... 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Visual Aids of the Past


Using 3D entertainment as a diagnosis tool

Using 3D entertainment as a diagnosis tool


...Lately 3D seems to be taking over our entertainment industries. And why wouldn’t it? There’s a great sense of wonder when viewing our favorite movies, television shows and video games in 3D.
Some jobs require the appreciation of 3D, and even classrooms are incorporating it into their daily work. Unfortunately, some people aren’t able to perceive depth in 3D, or three-dimensional, entertainment.....
Comment: Read all about it by clicking the title above. DM

Saturday, November 16, 2013

American Academy of Optometry Binocular Vision, Perception, and Pediatric Optometry Position Paper on Optometric Care of the Struggling Student For parents, educators, and other professionals

This position paper is important. Evidence based research clearly shows that vision problems can and do interfere with learning. This is science fact, not fiction. Now someone tell those who believe otherwise to review the science and to give up their biased, false and incredibly inappropriate views on this topic. Let's help our patients and our struggling students now. DM




August 2013

Recent studies have provided new insights into disorders of eye focusing (accommodation) and eye teaming (vergence) that reinforce the need for comprehensive eye examinations and follow-up care for students who are struggling in school. 1-11 These disorders may occur even when individuals have 20/20 eyesight, and can impact students when reading and studying. The typical student with an eye focusing or eye teaming disorder will often experience fatigue, loss of place when reading, and difficulty completing assignments.1-4 Other common symptoms include skipping small words, rereading sentences, inserting words that do not exist in the text, and experiencing decreasing comprehension the longer that he or she reads.1,2,5 (See Box 1 for an example). Teachers and parents are often at a loss to explain the source of a student’s problems. The difficulties that they observe may not fit exclusively into the currently accepted categories of problems that adversely impact a student’s school performance such as a specific learning disability, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), or language-based dyslexia. Parents, teachers and other professionals often have several common questions when seeking information about disorders of eye focusing and eye teaming.

How common are eye focusing and eye teaming problems?

Recent studies suggest that 5-10% of school-aged children have an eye teaming or eye-focusing problem.6,7,12 Some children report significant symptoms while others experience minimal symptoms. Vision testing that emphasizes a child’s ability to read letters on a distance eye chart does not test for eye focusing or eye teaming problems. Even if a child is able to see the 20/20 letters, he or she may have a problem with eye focusing or eye teaming. Additionally, studies have shown that a significant number of students who pass a vision screening for eyesight (ability to see 20/20) have a disorder of eye focusing or eye teaming.7,12

When should a student have an eye examination?

The American Optometric Association recommends that school-aged children who have no symptoms have a comprehensive eye examination performed by an eye care professional every two years, while children who have symptoms or are at additional risk for vision problems be examined annually or as recommended.13 This examination should assess visual acuity (ability to see clearly), refractive status (the need for glasses or contact lenses to see clearly), health of the eyes, as well as eye focusing and eye teaming skills.

Will all eye examinations identify problems with eye focusing or eye teaming skills?

Eye care providers, like other health care professionals, typically use a problem-based approach, yet some may not provide an expanded assessment of eye focusing or eye teaming, especially in cases where the patient does not report specific symptoms. When the parent or student tells the eye doctor that there are difficulties with school performance and requests a comprehensive vision assessment, it is important that the eye doctor perform a thorough evaluation of eye focusing and eye teaming or refer the patient to another doctor who provides this form of care.

What will I observe if my child has eye focusing or eye teaming problems?

Students will often complain of eyestrain, fatigue, blur, words moving, headaches, or loss of place when reading and studying.1,2,5,7 Parents and teachers may observe behavioral problems affecting school performance such as inattention, avoiding reading and studying, making careless mistakes, and difficulty finishing assignments.4,8 Visually-related complaints reported by students and their parents are more common in children with eye focusing or eye teaming problems than in those with normal visual skills.2,4 However the absence of symptoms may be due to avoidance, or lack of awareness on the part of a child as to what it feels like when there is visual stress. Some children who experience symptoms may not complain, because they assume that this is normal.

How are the problems in eye focusing and teaming treated?

Numerous studies have indicated that specific treatment of eye focusing and teaming problems results in a reduction of symptoms and improvement in visual function.6,9,10,14 In fact, a recent study showed functional neurological changes following treatment with vision therapy for a common eye teaming problem.15 Treatment can include lenses, prisms, or vision therapy. If a student’s problems with eye focusing or eye teaming are found during the eye examination, the intervention program should include a follow-up evaluation to monitor the student’s vision status and to ensure that the intervention is successful. Three recent randomized clinical trials have investigated treatments for a common eye teaming problem called convergence insufficiency.21,22 These studies have shown that office-based treatment with vision therapy is significantly more effective than home-based treatment and that improvement is maintained for at least one year.9,11,16,23 Some studies have suggested that treatments for eye teaming problems can result in improvements in academic performance such as, reading comprehension, fluency and speed, and attention.17-20 Parents should discuss treatment options with the eye care provider and understand the advantages and disadvantages of different treatment modalities.

Do all children with vision problems have a learning disability, attention deficit disorder, or dyslexia?

Vision problems can affect students with learning disabilities, language-based dyslexia, or ADHD as well as students without these conditions. Students with learning, reading, or attention problems typically have several factors that impact school performance. Vision problems may be one of these factors and should be treated in these students. Treatment of the vision condition is not intended to cure the learning disability, ADHD, or dyslexia. Instead, the treatment is designed to remove obstacles to efficient learning. For example, if a nearsighted (difficulty seeing far away) student with learning problems had difficulty copying from the board and wearing glasses eliminated this difficulty, it would be clear that the glasses did not “cure” the learning problem; instead, the glasses eliminated a visual obstacle to learning. Similarly, if a student with a reading problem experienced difficulty concentrating on the text due to an eye teaming problem, and concentration improved through glasses, prism, or vision therapy, the treatment did not “cure” the reading disability. Rather, the student was able to sustain concentration comfortably and efficiently thereby benefitting more fully from educational remediation.

SUMMARY

In summary, recent research has clearly shown that problems in eye focusing and eye teaming are common in students and should be evaluated, especially in children who are struggling in school. If a problem is found, then effective treatment should be prescribed. Timely identification and treatment of eye focusing and teaming problems can remove a potential obstacle that may restrict a child from performing at his or her full potential.
Box 1 An example of a student with an eye teaming problem with 20/20 eyesight who did not need glasses or contact lenses.

[Zach is a nine-year old child who was struggling in the first few months of third grade. His teacher noticed him rubbing his eyes during classroom work and he was often the last child to finish his work. He regularly asked to go to the school nurse because of headaches. His teacher also noticed that his oral reading was choppy, although he seemed to be able to decode words and was a good speller. His teacher asked the school nurse to do a vision screening. The school nurse reported that Zach had 20/20 eyesight in each eye, but she recommended that he have an eye exam because of his headaches. His parents took him to an eye doctor recommended by their pediatrician who reported that Zach's eyes were healthy and that he didn’t need glasses. Another health care provider suspected that allergies were the cause of Zach’s headaches and suggested allergy testing. As the year progressed, Zach’s classroom performance continued to deteriorate. His parents and teacher were concerned about his low reading comprehension score on the mid-year standardized test. Homework was becoming very difficult and Zach became very reluctant to read at home. After his teacher advocated for a second opinion, his parents took Zach to an optometrist who diagnosed him with an eye teaming problem called convergence insufficiency and prescribed optometric vision therapy. Zach received four months of office-based vision therapy supplemented with assigned home therapy, and his parents and teacher noticed significant changes. Of note, he completed his classroom work and homework much faster, no longer rubbed his eyes, read willingly at home and enjoyed it, and his headaches were gone. Nothing had changed in his curriculum or his overall health, but Zach was a more engaged and successful student after the visual problem was resolved.]

References

1. Barnhardt C, Cotter SA, Mitchell GL, Scheiman M, Kulp MT, Group CS. Symptoms in children with convergence insufficiency: Before and after treatment. Optom Vis Sci 2012; 89:1512-20.
2. Borsting E, Rouse M, Mitchell G, et al. Validity and reliability of the revised convergence insufficiency symptom survey in children ages 9-18 years. Optom Vis Sci 2003;80:832-8.
3. Chase C, Tosha C, Borsting E, Ridder W. Visual discomfort and objective measures of static accommodation in college students. Optom Vis Sci 2009;86:883-89.
4. Rouse M, Borsting E, Mitchell GL, et al. Academic behaviors in children with convergence insufficiency with and without parent-reported ADHD. Opt Vis Sci 2009;86:1169-77.
5. Sterner B, Gellerstedt M, Sjostrom A. Accommodation and the relationship to subjective symptoms with near work for young school children. Ophthalmic Physiol Opt 2006;26:148-55.
6. Abdi S, Rydberg A. Asthenopia in schoolchildren, Orthoptic and ophthalmological findings and treatment. Doc Ophthalmol 2005;111:65-72.
7. Borsting E, Rouse MW, Deland PN, et al. Association of symptoms and convergence and accommodative insufficiency in school-age children. Optometry 2003;74:25-34.
8. Borsting E, Rouse M, Chu R. Measuring ADHD behaviors in children with symptomatic accommodative dysfunction or convergence insufficiency: A preliminary study. Optometry 2005;76:588-92.
9. Convergence Insufficiency Treatment Trial (CITT) Study Group. Randomized clinical trial of treatments for symptomatic convergence insufficiency in children. Arch Ophthalmol 2008;126:1336-49.
10. Scheiman M, Cotter S, Kulp MT, et al. Treatment of accommodative dysfunction in children: Results from a randomized clinical trial. Optom Vis Sci 2011;88:1343-52.
11. Scheiman M, Mitchell L, Cotter S, et al. A randomized clinical trial of treatments for convergence insufficiency in children. Arch Ophthalmol 2005;123:14-24.
12. Rouse M, Borsting E, Hyman L, et al. Frequency of convergence insufficiency among fifth and sixth graders. Optom Vis Sci 1999;76:643-9.
13. The American Optometric Association Consensus Panel on Pediatric Eye and Vision Examination. Pediatric Eye and Vision Examination. 2nd ed. St Louis, MO: American Optometric Association; 2002.
14. Sterner B, Abrahamsson M, Sjostrom A. The effects of accommodative facility training on a group of children with impaired relative accommodation--a comparison between dioptric treatment and sham treatment. Ophthalmic Physiol Opt 2001;21:470-6.
15. Alvarez TL, Vicci VR, Alkan Y, et al. Vision therapy in adults with convergence insufficiency: clinical and functional magnetic resonance imaging measures. Optom Vis Sci 2010;87:E985-1002.
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Friday, November 15, 2013

Members Honored at College of Optometrists in Vision Development 43rd Annual Meeting

Members Honored at College of Optometrists in Vision Development 43rd Annual Meeting

 Seven individuals received awards for their contributions to developmental optometry during the Awards Luncheon held at the 43rd Annual Meeting of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD), October 11, 2013, in Orlando, Florida. Receiving recognition were Drs. Kelly Frantz, Ron Bateman, W. C. Maples, Paul Abplanalp, Richard T. Hull; Dr. Robert and Mrs. Linda Sanet, COVT; and Certified Optometric Vision Therapist, Robert Nurisio.

Dr Kelly Frantz: Skeffington Award
The 2013 A.M. Skeffington Award for outstanding contributions to the optometric literature in the areas of behavioral vision care and vision therapy was given to Kelly Frantz, OD, FCOVD. Dr. Frantz is an optometrist on faculty at the Illinois College of Optometry in Chicago, Illinois. She has contributed scores of articles to the literature on strabismus and amblyopia.

Dr Bateman Getz Award



Ron Bateman, OD, FCOVD, of Fort Collins, Colorado, received the 2013 G.N. Getman Award in recognition of his contributions to optometry and optometric education, including his advancement of knowledge in the use of vision therapy to treat strabismus, his contribution to the testing and advanced diagnosis of visual information processing disorders, and his service to COVD on the IECB and to the profession on the National Board of Examiners in Optometry.



Dr. Maples President's Award

The President's Award was presented to W. C. Maples, OD, FCOVD, for his tireless work promoting developmental optometry across the world, his leadership in the substantial improvements to the fellowship and therapist certification processes, and his decades of exceptional service to COVD.






The Sanets!
The Distinguished Service Award was presented to Dr. Robert and Mrs. Linda Sanet for their continued support of COVD and the SAFE (Students Are Our Future Endowment) Fund. Their support helps make it possible for COVD student members to be awarded travel grants to attend the COVD Annual Meeting. In 2013, in memory of Dr. Donald J. Getz, the Sanets agreed to donate $1,400 annually to COVD to help VT Residents attend the COVD Annual Meeting.



Dr. Abplanalp

The Optometry & Vision Development Award for best published article during 2012 was given to First Author, Paul Abplanalp, PhD, OD for the article, "Considerations of Informed Consent by Proxy in Pediatric Optometry" (OVD 43-2 pg 60-66). Second author was Richard T. Hull, PhD. 



The award was presented by Dr. Dominick Maino, immediate past editor of Optometry & Vision Development.








Roberto Nurisio


The 2013 Certified Optometric Vision Therapist of the Year Award was given to Robert Nurisio for his outstanding dedication to behavioral optometry and patient care. Mr. Nurisio works at the Austin Eye Gym in Cedar Park, Texas with COVD Fellow, Dr. Mary McMains.











These awards are given annually at the COVD Annual Meeting Awards Luncheon. Nominations for the awards are reviewed by selection committees compiled of past award recipients and members of the Board of Directors and Journal Review Board.

In addition, five travel scholarships and 24 travel grants were presented to optometry students and residents to help defer expenses for their attendance at the COVD meeting. COVD received donations from COVD members to help fund these grants and scholarships. Special thanks to Drs. Richard Laudon and Jack Richman for the NECO travel grant and Dr. Robert and Mrs. Linda Sanet for the four SUNY VT Resident travel grants.

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 www.covd.org or call 888.268.3770.

A series of public service announcements (PSAs) are available at covd.org to help raise awareness that vision problems can not only interfere with learning, but sports performance, and other activities of daily living. These PSAs also address vision problems that impact individuals who have autism spectrum disorders or those who have suffered a head injury.

CONTACT:
Pamela R. Happ, CAE
COVD Executive Director
888.268.3770 tel
Email: phapp@covd.org
Website: www.covd.org