Saturday, April 10, 2010

3D Eye Problems Featured on I Want My AOA TV!

The American Optometric Association has taken on the task of informing its membership and the patients we serve about the binocular vision problems that can spoil the 3D movie cinematic experience.

If your focusing, eye teaming and eye movement systems are not functioning appropriately you may experience eye strain, double vision, nausea and many other symptoms. The good news is that your family optometrists can diagnose and treat these vision problems with optometric vision therapy.

The AOA was kind enough to use me as a vehicle to get the word about these binocular vision problems...they even suggested that you not only consult the AOA website but that you also use the MainosMemos blog as a resource for the latest in vision care research information.

I want to thank all of my AOA colleagues. I deeply appreciate what you do for the profession, our patients and for the trust you have placed in me to help you tell this very important story!

I would also like to suggest that those have problems with 3D movies and television also consult the College of Optometrists in Vision Development website at, the Illinois Eye Institute, and the doctors and staff of Northwest Optometric Associates. DM

The Lies Women Tell Their Doctors

..."I don't smoke." "I exercise regularly." "Yeah, I floss." If you've ever looked into your doctor's eyes and told her a half-truth — or even an outright falsehood — join the club. But those little health fibs can have serious consequences: Your dishonesty may keep your doctor from preventing heart attacks, pregnancy complications, even cancer. Read on to learn why it's worth it to come clean....

Comments: I keep reminding my students that your patients are no more honest than you are when you are a patient and your doctor is asking you case history questions. Our job is not to catch our patients in a lie...but rather to make it easier for them to tell us the truth! DM

Exploratory Behavior In Toddlers Activated By Fathers

...As part of the investigations, kids aged 12 to 18 months (accompanied by a parent) were placed in three different risky situations: social risk (a strange adult entered his or her environment), physical risk (toys were placed at the top of a stairway), and a forbidden activity (parents were forbidden to climb the stairs after the child succeeded the first time).

"We found fathers are more inclined than mothers to activate exploratory behavior by being less protective," says Paquette. "The less the parent is protective, the more activated is the exploratory behavior in the child. Children who were optimally stimulated, meaning they were exploratory yet respective of the rules, were 71 percent boys. Meanwhile, 70 percent of children who were risk averse were girls." ...

Children Use Space To Think About Time

...Space and time are intertwined in our thoughts, as they are in the physical world. For centuries, philosophers have debated exactly how these dimensions are related in the human mind. According to a paper to appear in the April, 2010 issue of Cognitive Science, children's ability to understand time is inseparable from their understanding of space....

Magnets Can Alter Moral Judgement By Changing Brain Activity

...US scientists have discovered that appyling a magnetic field to a particular place on the scalp can alter people's moral judgement by interfering with activity in the right temporo-parietal junction (TPJ) of the brain. They said their finding helps us better understand how the brain constructs morality....

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder linked to high prevalence of epilepsy

...Researchers examined the histories of 425 individuals between the ages of two and 49 years from two FASD clinics. They compared risk factors such as the level of exposure to alcohol or other drugs, type of birth, and trauma with the co-occurrence of epilepsy or a history of seizures in participants with confirmed FASD diagnoses. The report builds on a growing body of evidence that maternal drinking during pregnancy may put a child at greater risk for an even wider variety of neurologic and behavioral health problems than thought before....

Friday, April 9, 2010

Eye Fatigue While Watching 3-D Movies May Signal Need For Eye Exam

From AOA First Look:

Eye Fatigue While Watching 3-D Movies May Signal Need For Eye Exam, Optometrist Says.

HealthDay (4/8, Gardner) reported, "An estimated 30 percent of moviegoers have enough eye coordination to see 3-D, but only with a struggle. These are the ones more likely to get headaches and eye fatigue while watching 3-D on the big screen, said" optometrist Jeffrey Anshel, OD. While "die-hard movie fans might benefit from dramamine [dimenhydrinate] or other motion-sickness medications," they "could take it as a clue that" their "eyes need a full exam, Anshel said."

Blog comments...

Nabeen....left this comment on the blog:

Dr. Maino,
It sounds very interesting.. and the job you are doing over here seems
very good. We wish to hear more updates regarding the conference and
may be you can send us the Audio Visual materials if possible. That
would be really great..So that we can present here to the optometry
students over here.

Nabeen....I'm not sure what country you are in, but I thank you for your kind comments about my blogs concerning the conference...all of you who want to know more about the ICBO/NORA 2010 2010 Conference please visit http:.//, DM

ICBO/NORA 2010 Continues: Updates from Thursday

<<<<< Important Update: I just talked to the powers that be, and as I suspected they did edit my review (see below). As an author, I am now still looking to produce that "perfect" article" an editor the phrase "I told you so" comes to mind....because the couple of words they changed did IMPROVE what I wrote! My thanks to the ICBO powers that be!>>>

One of the ICBO/NORA innovations for this meeting has been the introduction of a conference newsleter. Today's issue (Friday) gives a few highlights about yesterday's events (It discusses VS Ramachandran's excellent presentation: The Human Brain--Molecules to Metaphor")and informed the reader that Robert Williams (Exec Director OEP) is to receive the Doctor of Humane Letters degree at SCO's graduation ceremonies). The editors of the newsletter asked a few attendees to write up their perceptions of the presentations for publication. I was asked to write about a very special presentation for publication in tomorrows newsletter edition...
I informed the powers that be that since I am not only an accomplished writer and editor that I was sure my review would be absolutely perfect as written and would need little to no editing on their part...(please note tongue placed firmly in cheek). I was informed that what I wrote might need some editing after all, I am publishing for your reading pleasure the full, unedited and unabridged review.

If you like it....tell the powers that be I was right....if you don't like it...tell me, I want to know who you are!!! (;-)>

A Distant Memory: Near to the Heart
Dominick M. Maino, OD, MEd, FAAO, FCOVD-A

The J Field Foundation website ( notes that: "A near-fatal car accident left Jennifer Field with a traumatic brain injury at the age of 17. Through the autobiographical one-woman show “A Distant Memory” Jennifer shares her journey of hope and recovery." Her performance of “A Distant Memory” at the International Congress of Behavioral Optometry and the Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Association joint meeting confirmed attendees already strongly held opinion that we must continue to learn about and help those with TBI.

She came on stage with a halting walk. She sat stiffly on a stool. Back straight, eyes straight. She began to speak. She said, “I am not an alcoholic, drug addict, or mentally impaired.” Her speech was slightly hesitant with a “ouw” sounding tone integrated in to her speech that you might associate with any of those noted in her opening commentary.

She used video to show her skills as an accomplished equestrian. Then you hear the sound of a car crash. And she told her story of the accident…the sounds, lights, and the cessation of breathing…

I was sitting right in front and when she played music during her presentation our eyes met briefly and she smiled… The smile was asymmetrical….it was obvious that she had worked very hard to retrieve that smile from a different time

Videos of Jennifer’s mom were used extensively. Optometrists work with moms just like hers all the time. We understood this mom, her love and concern. She went on to describe the acute care scene and her early care as a non-responsive patient. The family was asked to bring in familiar objects to interact with her….even horse manure. (Remember she was crazy in love with horses!)

Finally she was able to open an eye. Finally she could say her name…in a gentle whisper….and her true rehabilitation journey began…. After transferring to the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, she worked hard and eventually went home. She tried to ride again, but couldn’t handle the horse the way she had in the past. Her boy friend drifted away. She learned that roller-blading was not a good idea. She learned that relationships can still hurt. She learned she didn’t “need” to be taken care of…but it would be OK if a “strong, sensitive, handsome genius” wanted to take care of her.

Jennifer discussed the many therapies she had utilized….including yoked prisms and contact lenses prescribed Dr. William Padulla. Her distorted world was less distorted. Her gait improved and her diplopia was eliminated. Life was better.
Jennifer graduated Magna Cum from Wheaton College and is an accomplished painter, poet, and actress… and now her story continues.

Unlike many doctors, researchers and others in health care, behavioral optometrists do not need to be reminded why we do what we do every day. We do it for all the Jennifer’s and all the moms. We do it so that Jennifer’s story is not a solo…but a chorus singing of their many successes in living a life of consequence. We do it not because this is our job, but our profession.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Are 3D movies, TV bad for your eyes?

It appears entertainment can be bad for our health. A UC Berkeley vision scientist is calling attention to what he calls "3D fatigue." His research shows if 3D movies or television is done badly, it strains the viewer's eyes.

A film can certainly be enhanced by 3D. It is a whole new sensory experience and that is a good and bad thing. Because the film is inconsistent with real life, it can lead to feeling tired. ...

In the real world, a person's eyes converge when they look at nearby objects and diverge when they look into the distance. At the same time, a person's eyes have to focus....

Banks says 3D violates the normal rules of perception. ...

Many kids who struggle in school have undetected sight problems

...When Ben Miller started kindergarten last fall, the 5-year-old at Willard Elementary was struggling to learn....He could barely write his name and had trouble recognizing all the letters of the alphabet. Whenever his teacher wrote words on the board, the little boy didn’t engage in class discussion. Each time she showed illustrations from a book, Ben couldn’t talk about the details....Up to 25 percent of school-age children may have vision problems that can affect learning, but only 14 percent receive a comprehensive eye exam before starting school, according to 2004 statistics from the College of Optometrists in Vision Development....The organization also estimates that nearly 10 million kids have undetected vision problems....

Goto;=D|160748|S|0|x|833830124 for the full story. DM

Ken Ciuffreda & Dan Barry

The International Congress of Behavorial Optometry/Neuro-Optometry Rehabilitation Association 2010 meeting continues to be a huge success. Great speakers such as Ken Ciuffreda, PhD, OD and Dan Barry, MD, PhD spoke. Dr. Cuiffreda discussed egocentric localization while Dr. Barry discussed the "eyes in space" including how being an astronaut affected your vision (you become presbyopic because of a hyperopic shift), eyes (you can cry) and vision information processing (if your eyes are closed you have no idea where you hand is!). If you are not here, you are missing an incredible meeting. DM

International Congress of Behavorial Optometry/Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Association 2010

I just spent this morning with more than 500 colleagues from around the world listening to VS Ramachandran, MD, PhD discuss neuroscience and neuro-rehabilitation. He is a remarkable individual with a great lecture style....and presents the most interesting information that is that supports what behavioral optometry has been doing for decades. The ICBO/NORA 2010 has already met all my expectations....and we are not done until Sunday! DM

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

High Number of Infants With Untreated Eye and Vision Problems

...During the 2009 InfantSEE® Weeks, more than 1,000 comprehensive eye and vision assessments were conducted in eight states. Data from the assessments showed that one-in-six infants exhibited an overall cause for concern requiring follow-up care from an eye care professional. ...

Metabolic Screening Uncommon in Kids on Antipsychotics

..Most children on antipsychotic medication do not get recommended metabolic tests even though they have an increased risk of glucose and lipid abnormalities, an analysis of a Medicaid claims database showed. About 30% of these youngsters had glucose assessments and 13% had lipid evaluations, although they were twice as likely to have glucose or lipid abnormalities as a control group of children taking asthma medication...

The development of myopia among children with intermittent exotropia.

...In this population-based study of children with intermittent exotropia, myopia was calculated to occur in more than 90% of patients by 20 years of age. Observation versus surgical correction did not alter the refractive outcome...

Comments: I wonder what would have happened if optometric vision therapy was used to treat these patients? Since myopia development appears to be linked to retinal defocus, blur, accommodation and the would be a great project to see what would happen if OVT treated these areas and its affects on myopia development. DM

Prevalence of and early-life influences on childhood strabismus: findings from the Millennium Cohort Study.

...Three hundred forty-three children had strabismus (of whom 20 [5.8%] had neurodevelopmental/neurologic disorders), giving a total weighted prevalence of 2.1% (95% confidence interval, 1.8%-2.4%). In multivariable analysis, the risk of isolated strabismus was reduced in children of nonwhite maternal ethnicity and was increased in those born after an assisted or cesarean delivery and in those who were of low birth weight and preterm (in particular, late preterm). An increased risk of neurodevelopmental strabismus was independently associated with maternal smoking into later pregnancy, maternal illnesses in pregnancy, and decreasing birth weight for gestational age and sex. Socioeconomic status was associated with isolated (inverse relationship) and neurodevelopmental (U-shaped relationship) strabismus.....

Visual function, ocular motility and ocular characteristics in patients with mitochondrial complex I deficiency.

...Visual impairment, ocular motility problems and OA are common in children and young adults with complex I deficiency and should prompt the paediatric ophthalmologist to consider mitochondrial disorders....

Unvaccinated Boys at Risk of Mumps-Linked Testicular Problem

A new study reports a significant increase in the number of young males with a mumps-related testicle condition called mumps orchitis, which causes one or both testicles to swell and can lead to fertility problems.

Comments: Vaccination can save lives, pain, and problems later in life. DM

ICO on Facebook

The Illinois College of Optometry has an official Facebook Fan Page. Click on the title above to become a Fan today!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Announcing Keynote Getman Memorial [email protected] ICBO Conference

V.S. Ramachandran is Director of the Center for Brain and Cognition and Professor with the Psychology Department and Neurosciences Program at the University of California, San Diego, and Adjunct Professor of Biology at the Salk Institute. Ramachandran’s early work was on visual perception but he is best known for his experiments in behavioral neurology which, despite their apparent simplicity, have had a profound impact on the way we think about the brain.

Ramachandran has published over 180 papers in scientific journals. He is author of the acclaimed book “Phantoms in the Brain” NEWSWEEK magazine has named him a member of “The Century Club” - one of the “hundred most prominent people to watch in the next century.”

Traumatic Brain Injury Keynote Speaker at ICBO-NORA Joint Meeting

Jennifer Field was 17 when a car accident left her comatose and severely brain injured. Few expected her to survive. But she did. Fewer expected any kind of recovery. Now, she travels the country, performing a one-woman show, re-living her story so that others who’ve suffered traumatic brain injuries never lose hope.

Comments: Jennifer is one of the Keynote speakers at this year's International Congress of Behavioral Optometry and Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Association join meeting this week in California. Hope to see you there! DM

A Gun Shot to the Head: Oculo-Visual & Perceptual Anomalies

This poster will be presented at the International Congress of Behavioral Optometry this April 2010.

Maino D, Schlange D, Donati , Bakouris C, Nikoniuk M. A Gun Shot to the Head: Oculo-Visual & Perceptual Anomalies. Peer reviewed poster presented at the International Congress of Behavioral Optometry. Ontario, CA 04/2010

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) results from mild, moderate or severe trauma to the head. The use of firearms, motor vehicles and falls causing the most deaths from TBI with firearms being the leading cause of death among persons aged 20 to 74 years. The CDC estimates that 5.3 million Americans (2% of the US population) have suffered a TBI. More than 1.4 million people a year sustain a TBI with 50,000 of these individuals dying and 235,000 being hospitalized.

CASE REPORT: A 25 y/o H M with a history of a gunshot to the right side of the head presented with left side spasticity, hemianopsia, diplopia, problems tracking a moving object and reading difficulty. AO had completed a post TBI rehabilitation program (OT, PT, Speech/Lang), but still has PT 2X a week. His current medications include Phenytoin, Sertraline, Kepra and Baclofen. AO had no known allergies. He had a small amount of myopia and astigmatism. An exotropia with left hyper was noted at far/near. Other functional vision and vision information processing problems were noted as well. The fundus was remarkable for temporal ON pallor. His final diagnosis was exotropia, hypertropia, diplopia, suppression, oculomotor dysfunction, accommodative instability, dry eye, optic nerve pallor, left emianopsia, visual attention disorder nd multiple vision information processing anomalies. A multifocal prescription was given with both ground in and Fresnel prisms. Artificial tears and Omega-3s with appropriate hydration were suggested for the dry eye. In/out of office optometric vision therapy program was started. He showed many of the oculo-visual anomalies associated with Post Trauma Vision Syndrome. We have decreased his dry eye symptoms, eliminated his diplopia and significantly improved his oculomotor abilities. Because of this, his reading and quality of life has already improved. Unfortunately after several visits he decided not to continue therapy primarily because of transportation issues and possible non-acceptance of his limitations. All individuals with TBI should be assessed and treated by an optometrist who may be able to provide additional rehabilitative services beyond those routinely offered by the medical community.

Janet Sees 3D Movie

The mom (blogger, foundation president, wonderful person) who practically single handedly saved the vision of Illinois' children wrote a great review of the movie How to Train Your Dragon 3D. Janet Hughes writes on her blog:

Amazing. Incredible. Out-of-this-world!

Advocating for healthy eyes and good vision took a new turn… into 3D!

“How to Train Your Dragon” earns FIVE STARS from me. If you haven’t seen a 3D movie yet, THIS is one movie not to be missed!

Unfortunately, nine to eighteen million Americans will NOT enjoy a 3D movie due to undetected vision problems.

Amblyopia (lazy eye), strabismus (eye turns), and binocular vision disorders (such as CI or convergence insufficiency) will hinder the visual experience of a 3D movie.....

Comments: Read her full blog report and commentary. Just click the title above. DM