Saturday, November 2, 2013

3 Clinical tools to make determining the affected muscle easy!

Vertical Deviations...3 Clinical tools to make determining the affected muscle easy!

The assessment of the patient with a non-commitant vertical deviation can be very tricky, even for the seasoned clinician. To make the diagnosis easier to sort out I'm going to start this post with 3 Clinical Tools to make determining the affected muscle easy!....

Comment: This is written by my friend and colleague Dr. Dan Fortenbacher in a SOVOTO post. You may need to sign in to SOVOTO before you can read's worth it! DM

Are We in a Medical Education Bubble Market?

Are We in a Medical Education Bubble Market?

Are optometry and other medical professions growth bubbles about to burst just when we need more health care professionals to care for the additional patients brought into health care by the Affordable Health Care Act?

Is the cost of a professional career careening out of control? Is this cost stopping future doctors from becoming care givers?

Is optometry, medicine and law ready for sharp declines in its membership?

When it is no longer cost effective for students to become doctors, they will turn to other trades and patients will suffer.

Optometry is not at the bubble point just yet. We have repeatedly been named one of the top professions by various media sources. The Illinois College of Optometry (where I ply my trade as an optometric educator) has ten times more applicants than positions available for its entering class. And additional schools and colleges of optometry seem to be created on a weekly basis. The current "market" for optometrists seems strong with new grads able to command great starting salaries.

Will this continue? And if it does, for how long?

I love being an optometrist and optometric educator. I help people every day....and I get paid for it! I hope that optometry continues as an important part of the health care team now and in the future. Controlling educational costs will play a large part in our ability to produce optometrists for the future. 

To read the full article on this topic click here  DM

Friday, November 1, 2013

Children's Vision and Learning Conference

This conference is designed as an opportunity for school nurses, educators, administrators, school psychologists, occupational therapists and optometrists to learn about the relationship between vision and learning. It will also provide an opportunity for dialogue to explore ways to collaborate and to make sure that vision conditions don't hinder children's ability to learn.

Technology will be a focus this year, with presentations on using technology to accommodate for vision problems and about 3D Vision Syndrome in the classroom.

Thursday, November 7, 2013
DoubleTree by Hilton Wichita Airport
Wichita, KS
Registration Materials:
If you have any questions or need additional information, please send e-mail or call 1-800-960-EYES.

Comments: I will be lecturing at this conference. If you are in the area, please come and join us! DM

Learning disabilities in young children actually could be vision problem

Learning disabilities in young children actually could be vision problem

If not caught early, children’s vision problems may be mistaken for learning disabilities in the classroom, according to new research from a University of Lethbridge professor.
Noella Piquette, a U of L professor in the faculty of education, and Charles Boulet, a Diamond Valley optometrist, have been studying how young children’s vision affects how they learn. They’ve found that even sight problems that are usually imperceptible to children and their parents can make it much more difficult for the young students to keep up in school. Common eye screening tests – reading aloud shrunken letters of the alphabet – rarely catch these kinds of eye conditions in children, according to the study, recently published in the journal Optometry and Visual Performance.
Fewer than 15 per cent of children have their vision tested when they start school, even though 80 per cent of school learning is visual, Piquette said.....

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Vision Trauma Research Program

  DOD’s  (VTRP) Issues Program Announcement, Up to $14.5 M in Awards
 NAEVR has consolidated all new DOD announcements and past  abstracts into one box of links, posted in the Defense-Related Vision  Research section of the Web site at:
The Department of Defense’s (DOD) Vision Trauma Research Program (VTRP) posted on the Web site its Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 Program Announcements for up to $14.5 million in funding through two mechanisms:
  • Translational Research Award, funded for a period of up to three years. This mechanism expects to fund 12 awards, for a total of $12 million. The maximum for any award is $1 million, with $5 million of the total reserved for Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) visual dysfunction-related research projects.
  • Hypothesis Development Award, funded for a period of two years with a maximum cost of $250,000 each. DOD expects to fund about 10 awards, totaling about $2.5 million. Of that amount, $1.5 million must be reserved for TBI-related projects.
The deadline for pre-proposal submissions for both awards is November 25, 2013. Each mechanism specifies the DOD-identified research gaps for which research should be proposed and states that proposals outside the focus areas should not be submitted. Domestic and international researchers can apply for funding.
DOD has also posted announcements seeking grants for “Neurosensory Research” (does not mention vision, but includes pain management) and “Regenerative Medicine Clinical Trial Award” which includes “Craniomaxillofacial Regeneration.”
Due to NAEVR’s advocacy, Congress funded the VTRP in FY2013 at $10 million−the highest level ever. Although subject to an eight percent sequester cut that reduced its amount to $9.2 million, the final funding amount is $14.5 million due to transfers of funding from other DOD programs, such as TBI research, as a result of the quality and responsiveness of vision researcher submissions. The vision community will have received $85 million in extramural research funding since FY2001 with the addition of these awards, $40 million of which since the VTRP was created by Congress as a distinct budget line in FY2009 DOD appropriations.
NAEVR’s 2012 Value of Defense-Related Vision Research Brochure details the history of the VTRP, presents the DOD-identified vision research gaps, and features summaries of presentations made by previous awardees in Capitol Hill briefings. It also highlights NAEVR’s 2012 Costs of Military Eye Injury study, which estimated total costs from 2000-2010 at $25.1 billion.  To view this document, click into the following link:
To unsubscribe, email 
James F. Jorkasky, Executive Director
National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (NAEVR)/
Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (AEVR)
1801 Rockville Pike, Suite 400, Rockville, Maryland 20852
Direct: 240-221-2905  Cell: 703-909-6975  Fax: 240-221-0370

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

ADHD or Vision Problem or Both?

....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. ....

Read more:

Monday, October 28, 2013

Vision Therapy: Convergence Insufficiency

To find out more go to the College of Optometrists in Vision Development website.

No Two Brains Are the Same

Meet Cavin.  In May 2011, Cavin fell about 20 feet from a rooftop water tower. His injuries were many, including the trauma to his brain.  In fact, his chances of survival were slim.  But Cavin not only survived, he has been fighting his way back and writing about it.
Cavin was interviewed by Robert Nurisio here.  This is one of my favorite quotes from that interview:......
Comments: Read this fascinating COVD Blog post....and watch the video... by clicking here or the title above. DM