Friday, February 15, 2008

Have Your Little Ones Eyes Examined Now

This preschool child had a serious eye on title above to read more....always have even little ones eyes evaluated...

Dee Dee Moss heard the (eye) doctor say tumor and cancer and, while that wasn't his diagnosis, he couldn't rule them out either. She blew through a box of tissue and didn't hear much else on that February day last year.This was her daughter the doctor was talking about, 4-year-old Courtney. She and husband Benny, the men's basketball coach at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, understood Courtney might need glasses to correct nearsightedness but had no idea there was a chance she would never see out of her right eye again.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

International Rising Stars Concert



Katalin Von Walterskirchen, cello (SWITZERLAND)
Yoshihiko Nakano, violin (JAPAN)
Natalia Kogan, piano (UKRAINE)
Matvey Kostakovsky, clarinet (RUSSIA)
Yiming Zhang, piano (CHINA)

In works by
Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Mendelssohn,
Saint-Saens, Rachmaninoff & Paganini

Luciano Laurentiu, Music Director

FRIDAY, February 22nd at 8:00pm

St. Bartholomew Catholic Church
4990 W. Addison (Addison/Lavergne) Chicago, IL 60641

ADMISSION: $12 in advance / $15 at the door
$10 senors/students

To reserve tickets and for more information call (773) 286-7871
or email [email protected]

All proceeds to benefit the Music Ministry at St. Bartholomew Church

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Glasses May Help Preschoolers Learn

Prescription Glasses for Preschoolers With Poor Sight Helps Their Eye-Hand Coordination

...Got a preschool child? If your child needs glasses, it could affect his or her eye-hand coordination test scores. A new study shows that preschoolers with poor vision improve their eye-hand coordination test scores within six weeks of starting to wear glasses. The study included 70 preschool children (average age: 4.6). Eye tests showed that half of the kids had bad vision. Those children scored lower on tests of eye-hand coordination than kids with normal vision, and got prescriptions for glasses....

Roch-Levecq, A. Archives of Ophthalmology, February 2008; vol 126: pp 252-258.

At Northwest Optometric Associates, we examine infants, toddlers, preschool children and folks of all ages. Now more than ever it is important to know that all your family members have single, clear, comfortable, two-eyed (binocular vision) and pathology free vision....

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Some cases of autism may be traced to the immune system of mothers during pregnancy

New research from the UC Davis M.I.N.D. Institute and Center for Children's Environmental Health has found that antibodies in the blood of mothers of children with autism bind to fetal brain cells, potentially interrupting healthy brain development. The study authors also found that the reaction was most common in mothers of children with the regressive form of autism, which occurs when a period of typical development is followed by loss of social and/or language skills. The findings, to be published in the March 2008 issue of Neurotoxicology, raise the possibility that the transfer of maternal antibodies during pregnancy is a risk factor for autism and, at some point, that a prenatal test and treatment could prevent the disorder for some children.

Many Common Drugs Are Confused with Another Drug

Look-Alike/Sound-Alike Drugs Lead to Thousands of Medication Errors Nationwide

Each of the top 10 most prescribed drugs in America commonly confused with at least one other drug

... more than 1,400 commonly used drugs are involved in errors linked to drug names that look alike or sound alike...[with] 1.4% of the errors resulting in patient harm, including seven errors that may have caused or contributed to patient deaths......

Are you sure you are taking the medications your doctor actually prescribed?

The Role of Educational Attainment in Refraction: The Genes in Myopia (GEM) Twin Study

The GEM twin study has shown that educational attainment is strongly influenced by genes, and therefore this risk factor should not solely be considered as an environmental risk factor. The same genetic factors that influence an individual’s educational attainment may also be involved in the development of refractive error.

FDA warns of Botox side effects, deaths

This drug can cause unwanted side effects.....the article notes that "In rare cases, the toxin can spread beyond the injection site to other parts of the body, paralyzing or weakening the muscles used for breathing and swallowing, a potentially fatal side effect, the FDA said."

Botox can be used to treat with all medications, you should know what unwanted adverse affects may appear.

Strabismus Prevalence Increases with Age

Both strabismus and amblyopia are more common in older children than younger children, suggests a study of more than 6,000 children in the Los Angeles area. And, researchers note, many of the children in the study had previously gone undiagnosed

20/20 and Unhappy After Refractive Surgery

Most refractive surgeons have experienced the thrill of having a patient see 20/20 after LASIK, only to have that thrill quickly fade as they realize that the patient is not happy with the outcome...Patients can be 20/unhappy after refractive surgery for a variety of reasons, ranging from unrealistic expectations to dry eye to residual refractive error

IOP, Myopic Progression and Axial Length in a COMET Subgroup

Small but significant ethnic differences were noted in the IOP of myopic children, with Blacks having higher values. IOP was not associated with gender, baseline refractive error, baseline axial length, myopic progression, or change in axial length over the 5-year observation period.

Baseline Exam Is Key to Eye Health

Baseline Exam Is Key to Eye Health Group urges greater screening for early signs of disease during 'Save Your Vision' month

Even people with no signs or risk factors for eye disease can suffer vision loss and need to get baseline eye exams at age ..."Many eye diseases progress without any warning sings," Dr. Stephanie Marioneaux, a clinical correspondent for the AAO, said in a prepared statement. "Gradual changes in vision can affect your ability to function independently and have confidence in your abilities. One of the hardest adjustments a person can make is adapting to life with permanent vision loss. That is why nothing replaces a comprehensive baseline eye exam."

Illinois Law Requires Eye Exams for All Children


Doctors of optometry in Harwood Heights, Il. encourage parents to take children to their eye doctors for eye exams before the just back to school rush in the fall: Waiting could mean harm to children’s’ eyes and longer wait times

Harwood Heights, Il. February 13, 2008 - A new state law requiring eye examinations for children enrolling for the first time in Illinois schools went into effect on January 1. Although parents have until October 15 to provide proof of an eye exam, doctors of optometry are asking parents to make appointments now for their children to avoid long wait times and to reduce the instances of eye and vision problems going undiagnosed and untreated in children.

According to the Illinois Optometric Association, the new state law requires comprehensive eye exams for children entering kindergarten or enrolling for the first time in public, private, or parochial elementary schools in Illinois. Since comprehensive eye exams are the best way to diagnose eye and vision problems in children early, before they interfere with a child’s ability to learn, doctors of optometry agree that the new law is a crucial step in ensuring that Illinois students perform to the best of their ability in the classroom. Optometrists encourage parents to arrange for a comprehensive eye exam now, so that they beat the traditional summer rush and ensure that their child meets the necessary requirements in time for the beginning of the next school year.

“Clear and comfortable vision is essential for learning,” said Dominick M. Maino, OD, MEd, FAAO, FCOVD-A, Harwood Heights optometrist. “This measure will help children read and see chalkboards and books more clearly. All Illinois children deserve the tools they need to fulfill their potential, and our students will benefit from this law.”

Illinois teachers were strong advocates for the law, recognizing the important role eye exams by qualified eye doctors plays in a child’s academic success.

Only licensed optometrists or ophthalmologists are qualified to conduct the exams under the new law. Proof of the required eye examination must be submitted by Oct. 15 of each school year. Additional vision examinations at various grade levels may be required when deemed necessary by school authorities.

“Thanks to this new law, Illinois now leads the nation with the best eye health care requirements for children,” said Dr. Dominick Maino of Northwest Optometric Associates in Harwood Heights, Il. “With nearly 25 percent of school-age children being adversely affected by vision problems, this law is necessary to help detect problems and treat and prevent diseases that can cause vision loss.”

Illinois joins Kentucky and Missouri as the third state in the nation requiring eye exams for children entering public schools. Since the Kentucky law requiring eye exams was enacted eight years ago, 13 percent of Kentucky children have been identified as needing corrective lenses, 3.4 percent diagnosed with amblyopia (“lazy eye”), and 2.3 percent diagnosed with strabismus.

Ten million children suffer from vision disorders, according to the National Parent Teacher Association. Nationally, about 86 percent of children entering first grade do not receive an eye exam.

Comprehensive eye exams for children entering school are critical for the early intervention needed to treat diseases and disorders such as amblyopia, strabismus, learning related vision problems and other serious and potentially blinding problems that can lead to poor school performance and could ultimately affect quality of life.

To schedule an eye examination for your child or for more information and local resources, contact Dr. Dominick M. Maino, Dr. Denice Rice-Kelly, and Dr. Cheryl Adams at Northwest Optometric Associates today.

Changes in visual function following optical treatment of astigmatism-related amblyopia

Erin M. Harvey, Velma Dobson, Joseph M. Miller and Candice E. Clifford-Donaldsona. Changes in visual function following optical treatment of astigmatism-related amblyopia

Effects of optical correction were evaluated in 4- to 13-year-old astigmats and a non-astigmatic children. Measurements made when eyeglasses were dispensed, at 6 weeks, and 1 year showed greater improvement in astigmatic than non-astigmatic children. Treatment effects occurred by 6 weeks. Astigmatic children did not attain normal levels of visual function, however.

Eye-hand coordination in adolescents with cerebral palsy

Julius Verrel, Harold Bekkering and Bert Steenbergen. Eye-hand coordination during manual object transport with the affected and less affected hand in adolescents with hemiparetic cerebral palsy. Experimental Brain Research

Their findings are the first to show that individuals with hemiparetic CP adapt eye-hand coordination to the specific constraints of the moving limb to compensate for sensorimotor deficits.

Learning Disabilities Linked to Progressive Aphasia

CHICAGO, Jan. 11 -- Learning disabilities may be a precursor of later language loss in patients with primary progressive aphasia. Learning disorders were more common among such patients and their family members than among healthy controls or those with other dementias.

Archives of Neurology Rogalski E, et al "Increased frequency of learning disability in patients with primary progressive aphasia and their first-degree relatives"Arch Neurol 2008; 65: 244-248.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Romans Brought Cataract Surgery to Britan

Since I'm Italian and an eye doc, I'm always interested in what my Roman ancestors have done....go to to read how the Romans brought eye surgery to Britan oh so long ago.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Vision and Learning: MDs starting to recognize link

An Opthalmologists Approach to Children with Visual Perception and Learning Differences
American Orthoptic Journal, 12/20/01
Medical science is now moving rapidly into the era of multidisciplinary approaches to disease detection and treatment. This is obvious with the introduction of gene therapy, alternative medicine and robotic surgical techniques. The merger of technology, biologic science and human behavior is fast approaching. The public is most concerned about educational and health care issues in the United States today. The science of learning, including auditory and visual perception, is truly a hybrid of these two disciplines. Although our pediatric, neurology, psychiatry and psychology colleagues have traditionally diagnosed and treated children with learning differences, the fact remains that ophthalmologists are often the physicians initially consulted and we should at least know the "language" of the science of learning. This will be presented in this article

I welcome my ophthalmologist colleagues into the field of vision and learning. And a good place to start may be this article. For too long our eye care colleagues have neglected how vision affects academic performance. [Go to or for more information.]

In the article Dr. Koller notes that: "It is time that ophthalmologists develop an awareness and understanding of the science of learning because the public perceives the ..[ophthalmologist]. as the expert in the field of visual perception and processing and well as visual function and eye disease."

In my opinion, Ophthalmology has never been perceived as an expert in the field of visual perception/processing, nor in vision function. On the other hand the functional/behavioral optometrist has demonstrated expertise in these areas for decades even to the point of being certified by the College of Optometrists in Vision Development. It is wonderful that Dr. Koller notes it is time for OMDs to obtain knowledge in vision and learning and I applaud him for his efforts in getting these colleagues to show an interest in this area (long neglected by ophthalmologists). I believe that if opthalmology and optometry work together, not only will ophthalmology not have to re-invent the wheel in diagnosing and treating learning related vision problems....but that our patients will benefit as well.

I also applaud him for citing the optometric text by Scheiman and Rouse (Scheiman MM, Rouse, MW: Optometric Management of Learning Related Vision Problems, St. Louis, MO; Mosby, Inc.; 1994.) It's great to know that some of our medical colleagues are aware of the optometric literature in this area.

Reading and Vision

Differentiation between dyslexia and reading disorder due to ocular causes Der Ophthalmologe, 07/10/01
Conclusion: Our results underline the importance of the correction of even small refraction and/or motility errors in the presence of reading and writing difficulties

Optometry has recognized the association between reading/writing problems and oculo-visual anomalies for decades. Only recently has the research caught up to the clinician in this area. (See work by Dr. Harold Solan as well).

Focusing and Myopia

Variability of the Accommodation Response in Early Onset Myopia Optometry and Vision Science, 01/09/08
Langaas T et al. - Children with early onset myopia demonstrate greater accommodative variability than emmetropic children, and have similar patterns of response to adult late onset myopes. This increased variability could result in an increase in retinal blur for both near and far targets. The role of accommodative variability in the etiology of myopia is discussed.

A complete assessment of a child's focusing system should be a part of any individual showing signs of newly acquired nearsightedness. Multi-focal lenses (bifocals) may be warranted as a part of the child's program to control myopia progression.

Ocular findings in low birthweight and premature babies

Ocular findings in low birthweight and premature babies in the first year: Do we need to screen?
European Journal of Ophthalmology, 01/22/08
Cosgrave E et al. - The authors recommend screening all babies with ROP at 12 months to identify amblyogenic factors such as squint and refractive error. Parents of infants who do not develop ROP should be advised of the increased risk of visual problems in their children and to have their child examined in the preschool period

Vision and precision reaching in 15-month-old infants

Vision and precision reaching in 15-month-old infants Infant Behavior and Development, 01/28/08
Carrico RL et al. - These kinematic alterations are similar to those seen in adults, suggesting that visual guidance may become more important over the course of development, as infants engage in increasingly higher precision tasks.

Eye movements and binocular function in low birthweight teenagers

Eye movements and binocular function in low birthweight teenagers Acta Ophthalmologica Scandinavica, 01/29/08
Lindqvist S et al. - Premature birth with VLBW affects binocular visual functions negatively in adolescence, whereas birth small for date at term does not appear to be a risk factor for impaired eye movements and binocular function.

Fine motor skills reduced for Amblyopes (Lazy eye)

The Effect of Amblyopia on Fine Motor Skills in Children Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science, 01/31/08
Webber AL et al. - Fine motor skills were reduced in children with amblyopia, particularly those with strabismus, compared with control subjects. The deficits in motor performance were greatest on manual dexterity tasks requiring speed and accuracy.

A comprehensive therapeutic program for amblyopia should include not only improving visual acuity, but also all oculo-motor and fine motor-hand eye skills. This type of program is usually only available during an optometric vision therapy session. Those with amblyopia are also known to have problems in determining spatial relations, accommodation (focusing) and binocularity (eye coordination/depth perception) Contact ,or more information.

CP Children and Sensory & Motor Problems

Frequency and Severity of Visual Sensory and Motor Deficits in Children with Cerebral Palsy
Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science, 02/01/08
Ghasia F et al. - Visual deficits differ in children who have mild versus severe CP. Children with GMFCS level 1 to 2 have sensorimotor deficits resembling those of neurologically normal children with strabismus and amblyopia; children at level 3 to 5 have more severe deficits, not observed in neurologically normal children.

IOP in Children

The Influence of Central Corneal Thickness and Corneal Curvature on Intraocular Pressure Measured by Tono-Pen and Rebound Tonometer in Children Journal of Glaucoma, 02/04/08
Sahin A et al. - Both the Tono-Pen and RBT have a systematic error in IOP readings caused by its dependence on CCT. The CCT measurements should be considered to ensure proper interpretation of IOP measurements in children, like in adults. The corneal radius of curvature had no significant effect on measured IOP with each device.

Gestational Age, Birth Weight, Intrauterine Growth, and the Risk of Epilepsy

Gestational Age, Birth Weight, Intrauterine Growth, and the Risk of Epilepsy American Journal of Epidemiology, 02/07/08
Sun Y et al. - Incidence rate ratios of epilepsy were increased among children identified as growth restricted according to either of the two methods. In conclusion, short gestational age, low birth weight, and intrauterine growth restriction are associated with an increased risk of epilepsy.

Clinicians' perceptions about use of computerized protocols

Clinicians' perceptions about use of computerized protocols International Journal of Medical Informatics, 02/06/08
Phansalkara S et al. - Clinicians’ perceptions play a critical role in determining their intention to use explicit computerized protocols in routine clinical practice. Behavioral theories will help us understand factors predicting clinicians’ intention to use explicit computerized protocols and recognize the implications of these factors in the design and implementation of these protocols.

Down Syndrome Mortality

Prevalence, Neonatal Characteristics, and First-Year Mortality of Down Syndrome
Journal of Pediatrics, 01/14/08
Weijerman ME et al. - The prevalence of DS in the Netherlands exceeds previously reported levels and is influenced by the mother’s age. Neonatal and infant DS mortality have declined, but still exceed those in the reference population

VLBW Children enrolled in Medicaid

Population-Based Assessments of Ophthalmologic and Audiologic Follow-up in Children With Very Low Birth Weight Enrolled in Medicaid Pediatrics, 02/07/08
Wang CJ et al. - There is a shortfall in the provision of critical services for children with very low birth weight. These findings reinforce the Institute of Medicine's concerns regarding inadequate outcome data and health care services for preterm infants and support the importance of enrollment in the Early Intervention Program for children with very low birth weight.

Topomax for Migraines

Cognitive and psychiatric effects of topiramate monotherapy in migraine treatment: an open study
European Journal of Neurology, 01/30/08
Romigi A et al. - A significant reduction of word fluency score (P<0.05) was evident after TPM treatment, both at T1 and T2. No patient developed psychiatric adverse events. TPM induced an impairment of verbal fluency and no psychiatric adverse events, demonstrating selective negative cognitive profile in migraine therapy. Slow titration, low doses, lack of previous psychiatric disorders and/or familial history may explain our data.

Topomax has been known to cause a rapid increase myopia and then in ocular pressure causing angel closure glaucoma. Always have your patients evaluated frequently for problems with IOP (intra-ocular pressure and changes in refractive error). DM

Anti-epilieptic drugs affect eye movements

Saccadic eye movements and anti-epileptic drugs Epilepsy Research, 02/08/08
Lo C et al. - Here we review the neurophysiology of saccades, their classification, their anatomical basis and cortical control, and then published research articles concerned with the influence of anti-epileptic drugs on saccades and their parameters. It seems likely that certain anti-epileptic drugs (especially those acting on ion channels) exert their effect on saccades through ion channels, and this may have relevance to clinical and pharmacogenetic studies.

Antiglaucoma drugs affect Refraction after Surgery

Effects of Antiglaucoma Drugs on Refractive Outcomes in Eyes with Myopic Regression after Laser In Situ Keratomileusis American Journal of Ophthalmology, 02/08/08
Kamiya K et al. - The preliminary data show that antiglaucoma drugs are effective for the reduction of the refractive regression, especially of the spherical errors, after LASIK. It is suggested that backward movement of the cornea may occur, possibly flattening the corneal curvature by lowering the IOP. Reduction of the IOP may contribute to improving regression after keratorefractive surgery.