Saturday, March 22, 2008

Best Careers for 2008----Optometry of Course!

The March 24th 2008 issue of US News and World Report evaluated 1000's of jobs and careers...and picked the best 31 for 2008. Among the chosen was Optometry....we are in the top ten when it comes to income (almost $100,000 median), job satisfaction, prestige, and job market outlook.

A brief description about being an optometrist is also given on their web edition. They also note that the Smart Specialty in the profession is:

Pediatric Optometry. The eye problems of children are generally among the most remediable. And the American Optometric Association projects high growth in this niche.

The Illinois College of Optometry is one of the oldest and largest schools/colleges of optometry in the country....and as an alumnus and faculty member (so you know how biased I am), I can highly recommend this institution to you if you are interested in a career in optometry!

As an optometrist in private practice, I can also recommend this profession to you....

Optometry is a wonderful career....with great job satisfaction and a good income. What's not to like?!!


Friday, March 21, 2008

Vision Discomfort Associated With Computer Vision Syndrome

Improper Arrangement of Computers and Prolonged Use May Strain Eyesight; Video From American Optometric Association Offers Health Tips

The American Optometric Association (AOA) today advised that Americans who use computers daily at work or at home could suffer from computer vision syndrome, which leaves them vulnerable to problems like dry eye, eyestrain, neck and/or backache, light sensitivity and fatigue. These symptoms can result from individual visual problems, poor work station configuration and improper work habits....

.."Working at a computer requires a great deal of eye movement and eye focusing," said Dr. Kent Daum, AOA optometrist and Vice President and Dean for Academic Affairs at the Illinois College of Optometry in Chicago. "The constant re-focusing effort stresses the eye muscle, leading to computer-related vision problems. It can have a great impact on individuals' comfort and productivity, whether they are at work, school or home."...

Comment: We use computers need outstanding visual skills to handle the demand on your eyes....have a comprehensive visual efficiency eye examination today. Go to and to find doctors willing to help! DM

InfantSee Featured in Mom's Blogs

Moms Chat About InfantSEE® in the “Blogosphere”

Word of mouth continues to be a powerful marketing tool for InfantSEE®, and moms are “talking” about the program online. Moms who share their experiences of motherhood on blogs (web logs) are including their children’s InfantSEE® assessments in their discussions and encouraging other moms to schedule their babies’ assessments.

Here is a sampling of the kind of attention InfantSEE® is receiving in the “blogosphere:”

Comment: The American Optometric Association's InfantSee program continues to be a huge success. If we exam every infant in the US we could stamp out amblyopia/lazy eye in my lifetime!! Bring you child into your InfantSee optometrists office today! DM

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Optometric Vision Therapy Videos

Split Vectogram

Compute Vergence Paddle Ball progam

Vision, Learning and Dyslexia

............Learning is accomplished through complex and interrelated processes, one of which is vision. Determining the relationships between vision and learning involves more than evaluating eye health and visual acuity (clarity of sight). Problems in identifying and treating people with learning-related vision problems arise when such a limited definition of vision is employed....

Universal health care or universal nightmare?

When compared to health care systems of other wealthy economies, the American one comes out as the most expensive, the most unfair, and the worst in relevant health indices ( While in other countries most health care costs are financed by individuals contributing to a system that guarantees everybody some amount of medical care, in the United States most individuals purchase a commodity in a market, a liability insurance policy (White 1995). This article explains key differences between the two systems, each based on two types of insurance, and the implications of choosing either type for achieving universal coverage.

Comment: If health care in the US is so awful....why do people from all over the world come here for their care? DM

Myopia and Personality: The Genes in Myopia (GEM) Personality Study

This is the first multivariate study to assess links between personality and myopia using the IPIP. The long-held view that myopic persons are introverted and conscientious may reflect intelligence-related stereotypes rather than real correlations. Furthermore, the predictive characteristic of intellect, subsumed in Openness, appeared to be representative of a previously reported link between intellective abilities (IQ) and myopia rather than personality and myopia.

Comment: Since I am myopic, I KNOW I'm just smarter than most folks!!! (;-}> DM

Vision Discomfort Associated With Computer Vision Syndrome

"Working at a computer requires a great deal of eye movement and eye focusing," said Dr. Kent Daum, AOA optometrist and Vice President and Dean for Academic Affairs at the Illinois College of Optometry in Chicago. "The constant re-focusing effort stresses the eye muscle, leading to computer-related vision problems. It can have a great impact on individuals' comfort and productivity, whether they are at work, school or home."

More Questions About Vaccines and Autism

Questions and comments regarding Mercury in Vaccines and Autism - The Burden of Proof May Shift.

Brain Fitness

All Brain Fitness all the time!

Personal trainer for the brain

Pick a puzzle and start training; some studies are showing that regular workouts can improve adults' brainpower.

New Brain Fitness Training Promotes Health and Independence

Researchers will unveil a new brain fitness training program today that has been shown in numerous published studies to help people maintain health-related quality of life and improve the performance of daily living tasks essential to independence. The research team from Posit Science(R) Corporation, a San Francisco-based neuroscience company, will introduce the new program, named InSight(TM), at the annual International Long Term Care Insurance Conference in Jacksonville, Florida.

InSight is comprised of a suite of five exercises designed to enhance the performance of the brain's visual processing system. As people age, there is a decline in the speed, accuracy and strength with which they record visual information. In addition, while the eyes may continue to take in a full scene, with each passing decade the brain is only able to process a smaller and smaller central "spotlight" of visual information -- a focal area that scientists call "useful field of view."

Comment: Functional optometrists have been improving patients brains for decades with optometric vision's about time others caught up to us!! DM

Computer Vision Syndrome

Data indicate prevalence of computer vision syndrome may be growing.
Michigan NBC affiliate WDIV-TV (3/18) reported "Spending too much time focusing on a computer screen" may "put you at risk for an increasingly common vision problem," which is "called computer vision syndrome or CVS." Estimates indicate that "90 percent of the people who just stare at a computer all day long will have some part of it," according to Kathleen Digre, M.D. Some common symptoms of the condition "include headaches, double or blurry vision, burning or tired eyes, and neck or shoulder pain." Eye experts have suggested that "people with dry eyes are more vulnerable to computer vision syndrome, but moisturizing the eyes with artificial tears can help."

Comment: Northwest Optometric Associates doctors diagnose and treat Computer Vision Syndrome. DM

Optometrist discusses importance of children's eye exams.

In the Health Matters column in New Hampshire's Nashua Telegraph (3/19), Hattie Bernstein writes that "[u]ndiagnosed eye problems in babies and young children can affect early learning as well as physical and emotional development." Therefore, the American Optometric Association "recommend[s] that children receive their first eye screening at six months, and their first formal eye exam at the age of 3-1/2." According to Merrimack, N.H. optometrist Kevin Chauvette, O.D., "eye screening for children can identify eye problems that, left untreated, can lead to amblyopia, or lazy eye, learning disabilities, behavior problems, and other consequences." While examining a child's eyes, Dr. Chauvette "said he looks for symptoms such as a crossed eye or an eye that drifts outward, conditions that can be treated and corrected using a patch, eyeglasses, or vision therapy." He explained, "Children's eyes change rapidly, and studies show that 80 percent of what is learned in the classroom is through the sense of vision." Hence, "experts recommend annual eye exams for children after they start school."

Comment: Northwest Optometric Associates and the Illinois Eye Institute both are participants in the InfantSee program. DM

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Experimental treatment technique may preserve eyes, sight of some children with retinoblastoma.

Reuters (3/18, Steenhuysen) reports that "[a]n experimental technique for a rare eye cancer has saved some children from losing their eyes, and even restored vision in a few cases," according to a study presented at the Society of Interventional Radiology's annual meeting. Researchers at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York "were able to save three-fourths of the eyes in 22 patients they treated, and preserved vision in half of them."
To treat retinoblastoma, which "usually strikes children under two, and can lead to blindness,"
WebMD (3/17, Zwillich) reported. Pierre Gobin, M.D., and colleagues, inserted "a catheter into an artery in the groin, and then carefully [pushed] it up through the neck to the ophthalmic artery to reach the retinoblastoma tumor." Next, they "use[d] it to inject tiny amounts of the drug melphalan, a chemotherapy agent." Approximately "250 children are diagnosed with retinoblastoma each year, according to the American Cancer Society." This new technique "could help avoid the need for eye removal (enucleation)" for some of these children.

Sequential or simultaneous visual processing deficit in developmental dyslexia?

The ability of dyslexic children ... to process simultaneous and sequential visual information was assessed using two tasks ... The two groups were found to exhibit a simultaneous visual processing deficit but preserved serial processing skills....the impairment in simultaneous processing was larger in the dyslexic group with no phonological disorder. ..., simultaneous processing alone significantly contributed to reading speed and accuracy. These findings suggest that a simultaneous processing disorder might contribute to developmental dyslexia.

Botox for newborns

Using a common cosmetic drug to treat hypersalivation at the Montreal Children's Hospital of the MUHC

Botulinum toxin, also called Botox, is best known as one of the most commonly used molecules to reduce wrinkles. It is also known as one of the most poisonous naturally occurring substances.
Now, thanks to Dr. Sam Daniel, Associate Director of Research of the Otorhinolaryngology Division at the Montreal Children’s Hospital of the McGill University Health Centre, this protein has become an effective method to save newborns suffering from CHARGE Syndrome from having to undergo devastating tracheotomies. Dr. Daniel describes the case of the first infant patient treated with the toxin in an article from the Archives of Otolaryngology dated March 17th.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Are Political Brains Wired Differently?

Comment: Brains? DM

Researchers look at associations between political identities and neurocognitive differences. Psychologists have noticed consistent cognitive and decision-making differences between liberals and conservatives. ... liberalism was associated with greater accuracy and with significantly greater ERN activity than was conservatism. The authors suggest that liberalism is associated with sensitivity to cognitive conflict.
Comment: Some might conclude from this study that conservatives don’t change their responses when they need to. However, the authors also note that in some tasks, it may be beneficial to persist in a response. Readers must reflect on a large caveat: Very few subjects rated themselves as conservative and none as highly conservative (compared with 5 subjects who rated themselves as very liberal); this is unsurprising considering the strongly liberal populations in the study’s locations, New York University and UCLA. It is more accurate to characterize the groups as more-vs.-less-liberal than as liberal-vs.-conservative. Would the findings be replicated with a more conservative subject group from a "red state"? Are these changes learned or inherited? Are they malleable? — Jonathan Silver, MD Published in Journal Watch Psychiatry November 5, 2007 Citation: Amodio DM et al. Neurocognitive correlates of liberalism and conservatism. Nat Neurosci 2007 Oct; 10:1246.

Stabat Mater: A Concert for Lent

Comment: I know that I usually post information regarding eye and vision care research on this blog, but as a member of St. Bartholomew Choir and being intimately involved in these concerts, I just thought I'd pass along the information that portions of this concert are now available online. DM


STABAT MATER: A Concert for Lent
and Photography Exhibition

Featuring Pergolesi’s STABAT MATER
Julia Davids, soprano; Nina Heebink, mezzo-soprano; Eric Budzynski, organ & Jill Kaeting, cello

Also performing: The Romanian Madrigal Consort; Julia Davids, guest-conductor

In a program of music reflections for Lent by Palestrina, Byrd, Tallis, Purcell and Durufle

Photography Exhibition Featuring the Photography of
Mark Southard
Dominick M. Maino
Garry Mosebach

Luciano Laurentiu, Music Director
Fr. Jason Malave, Pastor
St. Bartholomew Choir, Hosts
Northwest Optometric Associates, Sponsor
Dominick M. Maino, Videographer


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

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Botox: Respiratory Compromise & Death

FYI....Botox is now used for the treatment of strabismus..

Botox And Botox Cosmetic (Botulinum toxin Type A) And Myobloc (Botulinum toxin Type B)- Reports of Respiratory Compromise And Death

FDA issued an early communication about an ongoing safety review regarding Botox and Botox Cosmetic. FDA has received reports of systemic adverse reactions including respiratory compromise and death following the use of botulinum toxins types A and B for both FDA-approved and unapproved uses. The reactions reported are suggestive of botulism, which occurs when botulinum toxin spreads in the body beyond the site where it was injected. The most serious cases had outcomes that included hospitalization and death, and occurred mostly in children treated for cerebral palsy-associated limb spasticity.. Use of botulinum toxins for treatment of limb spasticity (severe arm and leg muscle spasms) in children or adults is not an approved use in the U.S. See the FDA's "Early Communication about an Ongoing Safety Review" for Agency recommendations and additional information for healthcare professionals.