Saturday, July 17, 2010

KTLA TV Video on 3 D Movies and Eye Problems


This video discusses 3D Vision Syndrome and what you can do to improve your 3D viewing experience. DM

Behavioral optometry

The Daily Astorian says: Three-D may be the "next big thing" in TV, as it's already revolutionizing movies (witness "Avatar") - presuming we all see in stereo. For some people, enjoying a 3-D movie is just a dream, and not just a dream but a headache. Literally....Fortunately for many, 3-D vision can be restored through vision therapy from behavioral or developmental optometrists.

A local champion of vision therapy is Hannu Laukkanen, of Pacific University's College of Optometry in Forest Grove. ...."Vision therapy is an optometric treatment gaining scientific acceptance in the medical community," Laukkanen says, pointing to a recent placebo-controlled, randomized study published in "Archives of Ophthalmology," a high-profile medical journal. Sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, the study clearly demonstrated the value of vision therapy for "convergence insufficiency," faulty binocular vision that causes eye strain, headaches, blurred vision, double vision, sleepiness, difficulty concentrating, movement of print while reading and loss of comprehension after short periods of reading or close activity work.

"Hundreds of previous studies have shown the value of vision therapy.... This most recent multi-center study by ophthalmology and optometry researchers was published in the professional journal for ophthalmologists - one that had been skeptical of vision therapy. That's an important indicator of acceptance by the medical community of the scientific evidence supporting vision therapy. Optometrists have long known its value. .... anyone with vision ... problems can be helped by vision therapy, at any age."

Hazel Dawkins, principal author of "The Suddenly Successful Student and Friends," heartily agrees. ...Susan R. Barry, professor of neurobiology at Mount Holyoke College, also had successful vision therapy as an adult. ..."Fixing My Gaze - A Scientist's Journey into Seeing in Three Dimensions" tells of Barry's remarkable recovery of full stereo vision. Her poignant and pithy op-ed in the LA Times is required reading for any adult considering vision therapy.

Comments: Friend and colleague, Dr. Hannu Laukkanen is an incredible clinician, educator and researcher, who helps his patients with vision therapy. This article nicely describes optometric vision therapy and how it can help children and adults. Please click on the title above to read it in full. DM

Teen Eye Chart Screening Misses Some Problems

...Traditional school-based vision screening tests with an eye chart can accurately detect nearsightedness but not other types of refractive errors in adolescents, ...However, no cutoff could reliably indicate clinically significant farsightedness or astigmatism, .... visual acuity screening appeared unreliable for detecting farsightedness is a bigger concern,....Missing clinically significant hyperopia can have significant implications for these children based on prior research showing lower educational attainment and less reading among them, ....."This implies that accommodative effort may be maintained for the brief duration of visual acuity testing but cannot be sustained for longer-term tasks such as reading books," ...

Comments: Well, well, well. In an earlier post I had mentioned how inappropriate vision screening was for our children....and now maybe our ophthalmology colleagues will start to agree with optometry that full eye examinations for our children are necessary and that screenings are inadequate. Perhaps all eye doctors will start to assess a child's functional vision system to make sure they are ready for all they must do (reading, writing, studying, sports, play). If your eye doctor does not provide functional vision might want to go to to find one who will. DM

Ocular Findings in Pediatric Patients With Partial Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum

...Non-syndromic corpus callosum agenesis may be associated with several ocular defects. Poor visual acuity, refractive errors, and strabismus predominate and need to be appropriately addressed to optimize visual function in these children. Global developmental delay (62%) and epilepsy (46%) were the most common neurological associations in this series...

Visual field defects after stroke - a practical guide for GPs

.......Optical therapy, eye movement therapy and visual field restitution are the rehabilitation therapies currently available. Rehabilitation needs to cater to each patient’s specific needs. Any patient recognised as having a visual field defect after stroke needs prompt referral for further assessment and consideration for visual rehabilitation........

Comments: PDF of article available by clicking on the title.DM

Alzheimer's management
 from diagnosis to late stage

This article notes that:
* Maintaining a relationship with caregivers is crucial in the ongoing care of patients with Alzheimer's disease.
* When prescribing medications, it is important to assess the patient's ability to adhere to the regimen.
* Integrate medical care with education that connects patients and caregivers to support organizations.
* Address major legal and financial decisions early in the course of the disease while the patient is still capable.

Comments: For the full text click on the title above. DM

Motor neurone disease: clinical features, diagnosis, diagnostic pitfalls and prognostic markers

....Motor neurone disease (MND) is a rapidly progressive adult-onset neurodegenerative disorder. In recent years, there has been an increased understanding regarding the epidemiology and clinical features of the different variants of MND. In addition, new diagnostic criteria have been proposed to increase the sensitivity of the diagnosis. This review highlights these new concepts and discusses the differential diagnoses of MND, highlighting the common pitfalls and misdiagnoses. It also discusses the prognostic markers for MND and a possible change in the natural history of the disease course....

Comments: This is a CME paper. PDF is available by clicking on the title above. DM

Longitudinal follow-up of hypermetropic children identified during preschool vision screening

...In this case series we found a high prevalence of amblyopia and strabismus. The results support the importance of early preschool vision screening and spectacle correction of moderate to high hypermetropia (>+3.50 D) to reduce the risk of amblyopia, although more research is needed....

Comments: This is sad. Ophthalmology's own research supports the need for comprehensive eye examinations for all children and yet they continue to say that the only thing our children require is "vision screening" when we know vision screenings are inadequate.

Pediatricians do well-baby exams where they seldom find anything wrong...and yet medicine supports this...Annual examinations and evaluations of adults to assess the possibility of cancer, heart disease and other diseases are routinely done...and yet, we cannot manage to have the vision system of our children evaluated in a timely manner.

If you are a parent, do not wait for medicine to give the "OK" to have your little one evaluated. Do not depend upon school screenings (which often miss serious problems) to assess how well your child is seeing.

If you have a child 6-12 months of age go to to find an American Optometric Association doctor who will look at you child at no cost to you. If your child is older...invest in his or her ability to see and function in school...while playing sports...or when using the computer. It is worth the time and the money.

It has been noted that: "Population based preschool vision screening programmes cannot be sufficiently assessed by the literature currently available." ... which means that vision screenings are so horrible that the research cannot tell us if they are worth doing or not! Read article by clicking here.

To find an optometrist near you go to or today and use their Doctor Locator tab. DM

Mental Decline Thwarted In Aging Rats

...Scientists have discovered a compound that restores the memory and learning capability of aging rats....The compound works by improving the survival of newborn neurons in the hippocampus, the brain's memory hub. These clues to a neuroprotective mechanism could eventually lead to a treatment for Alzheimer's disease....

New Gene May Boost Memory And Learning

...Resveratrol, found in wine, has been touted as a life-span enhancer because it activates a group of enzymes known as sirtuins, famous for their ability to slow the aging process. Now researchers report that Sirtuin1— a protein that in humans is encoded by the SIRT1 gene — also promotes memory and brain flexibility. The work may lead to new drugs for Alzheimer's disease and other debilitating neurological diseases...."We have now found that SIRT1 activity also promotes plasticity and memory," said Tsai. "This result demonstrates a multi-faceted role of SIRT1 in the brain, further highlighting its potential as a target for the treatment of neurodegeneration and conditions with impaired cognition, with implications for a wider range of central nervous system disorders."...

International Journal of Ayurveda Research

New online open access journal:

International Journal of Ayurveda Research
ISSN 0974-7788 (print); 0974-925X E-ISSN (electronic)

Archive includes volume 1 (2010) to current.
Note: There is no embargo delay for this journal.

New online Ophthalmology journal

Oman Journal of Ophthalmology
ISSN 0974-620X (print); E-ISSN 0974-7842 (electronic)

One in Five Tots Exceed TV Recs

Nearly a fifth of two-year-old children in Oregon spend at least two hours per day watching television....and those who had a TV in their bedroom were significantly more likely to spend time in front of the tube....The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children watch no more than two hours of television per day because excessive viewing has been linked to impaired development and obesity....

Comments: Get those kids outside....running, playing and learning. DM

Melanopsin-Expressing Retinal Ganglion-Cell Photoreceptors: Cellular Diversity and Role in Pattern Vision

Blind Mice Can 'See' Thanks to Special Retinal Cells

Mice without rods and cones function can still see -- and not just light, but also patterns and images -- thanks to a third kind of photosensitive cell in the retina, according to new research. ...The conventional wisdom: rods and cones. The human retina contains about 120 million rods, which detect light and darkness, shape and movement, and about 7 million cones, which in addition detect color. Without them, or so we are taught, our eyesight simply would not exist.But that might not be true, according to a study -- published July 15 in the journal Neuron -- that provides new hope to people who have severe vision impairments or who are blind....

Comments: Blindsight has been noted for many decades...but without an adequate explanation as to why this occurs. Could this be the answer? Click on the title for the pdf of the article. Also see Alesterlund L, Maino D. That the blind may see: A review: Blindsight and its implications for optometrists. J Optom Vis Dev 1999;30(2):86-93. DM

Friday, July 16, 2010

ICO Faculty/Graduates Publish in the Latest Issue of Optometric Education

ICO faculty and graduates, Drs. Maino, Goodfellow, Gengelbach, and Matchinski have articles in the latest issue of Optometric Education.

Click on the title above to read:

1. Maino DM, Goodfellow GW. ASCOTech: Yoda and Mr. Clean on TV and in a Digital Universe. J Optom Ed 2010 Summer;35(3):92-95. (there are live links within this article)

2.Gengelbach L. Clinical Ethics: Patient Care: Management beyond the textbooks, ASCO Student Award in Clinical Ethics. J Optom Ed 2010 Summer;35(3):96-97.

3.Kammer RL, Jamara RJ, Kollbaum E, Matchinski T, Flom R. The development of entry level low vision rehabilitation competencies in optometric education. J Optom Ed 2010 Summer;35(3):98-107.

Dr. Goodfellow is an associate professor and Dr. Maino is a professor at the Illinois College of Optometry. They invite your feedback about this and all ASCOTech columns and your suggestions for future columns. Are you a media content expert? Tell us what you are doing. We want to hear about it. E-mail [email protected] or [email protected]

Dr Matchinski is the Low Vision Class Coordinator and Chief of the Low Vision Rehabilitation Service at the Illinois College of Optometry.

Dr. Gengelbach, a 2010 graduate of Illinois College of Optometry, is the winner of the ASCO 2010 Student Award in Clinical Ethics. The award, funded by Ciba Vision, was begun by ASCO’s Ethics Educators Special Interest Group to develop greater interest in ethics among optometry students.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Photophobia in migraine

....The study shows the lack of habituation and/or cortical hyperexcitability to light in migraineurs. Moreover, the activation by light of several visual cortex areas (including the primary visual cortex) was potentiated by trigeminal pain, demonstrating multisensory integration in these areas. ....

Ketamine versus propofol for strabismus surgery in children

...The infusion of ketamine is more advantageous than the infusion of propofol in children for use in strabismus surgery....

Comment: Full article available by clicking on title. DM

Medications found to cause long term cognitive impairment of aging brain

...These drugs, called anticholinergics, block acetylcholine, a nervous system neurotransmitter, and are widely-used medical therapies. They are sold over the counter under various brand names such as Benadryl®, Dramamine®, Excedrin PM®, Nytol®, Sominex®, Tylenol PM®, and Unisom®. Other anticholinergic drugs, such as Paxil®, Detrol®, Demerol® and Elavil® are available only by prescription. Older adults most commonly use drugs with anticholinergic effects as sleep aids and to relieve bladder leakage problems....

Vitamin D Boost For Mental Longevity

...[Those] who were deficient in vitamin D were 60 per cent more likely to experience substantial general cognitive decline, and 31 per cent more likely to experience new problems with mental flexibility. ...

Vitamin D Boost For Mental Longevity

...[Those] who were deficient in vitamin D were 60 per cent more likely to experience substantial general cognitive decline, and 31 per cent more likely to experience new problems with mental flexibility. ...

How your cell phone can help you get healthier

...What if my blood sugar's too high today? Is it time for my blood pressure pill? With nagging text messages or more customized two-way interactions, researchers are trying to harness the power of cell phones to help fight chronic diseases....

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Dr. Al Rosenbloom Honored

....Citing his extraordinary contributions to the profession, Dr. Alfred A. Rosenbloom, one of the founders of The Chicago Lighthouse Low Vision Rehabilitation Service, was recently inducted into the prestigious National Optometry Hall of Fame.... Since its inception in 1998, the Hall of Fame has inducted 53 individuals who have made a significant and long-lasting impact on the profession. Inductees are chosen by representatives from the American Academy of Optometry; the American Optometric Association; the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry; the College of Optometrists in Vision Development; and the National Optometric Association. ...

International Optometry Podcast

Episode 39 - Interview with Dr. Shelley Cutler

In this episode, we talk to Dr. Shelley Cutler about nursing home optometric care.

Download this episode via iTunes or

Past episodes available at:

Vitamin E May Reduce Dementia Risk

...Eating more foods rich in vitamin E appears to be associated with a slightly lower long-term risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease....The study, which followed more than 5,000 adults ages 55 and older for almost 10 years, found those who consumed the most vitamin E were 25% less likely to develop dementia compared with those who consumed the least ....

The Twins Who Test Better

...Female twins who shared the womb with a brother are better at visualizing shapes being rotated than those who shared the womb with a sister.... Sex differences in mental rotation tasks—in which participants try matching rotated versions of 3-D block figures—have been linked to testosterone levels, with males outperforming females from an early age...

Monday, July 12, 2010

Over 6 million Brits can't see 3D

The Eyecare Trust reports that:

...Are the latest 3-D blockbusters like Avatar and Alice in Wonderland an amazing cinematic experience or just one big headache?

If you’ve experienced visual discomfort or headaches whilst watching a 3-D movie then you’re not alone. You could be one of six million people in the UK who suffer from poor binocular vision.

3-D technology relies on our eyes’ ability to work together as a co-ordinated team to achieve an accurate perception of depth.

However, more than one in ten of us (12%) has a visual impairment that means our brains are unable to correctly process the individual images that are transmitted to it via our left and right eyes....

A Survey of visual function in an Austrian population of school-age children with reading and writing difficulties

...This study highlights the high proportions of visual function anomalies in a group of children with reading difficulties in an Austrian population. It confirms the importance of a full assessment of binocular visual status in order to detect and remedy these deficits in order to prevent the visual problems continuing to impact upon educational development....

Comments: Full text/PDF of this article is available by clicking on the titel. DM

Vision Therapy, Part 1

"...My son has a medical issue with his eyes. He has Eye Tracking Binocular Vision and a Convergence Insufficiency. He goes to vision therapy once a week and wears prism glasses. All because he ran before he walked, so to speak. ..."

Comments: Check out this Mom's blog (Pink and Orange Coffee)and her experience with optometric vision therapy. Dm

Convergence Insufficiency - Often Misdiagnosed as ADD/ADHD

...Many bright children struggle with reading and learning
due to a common, yet correctable binocular vision disorder called Convergence Insufficiency (CI)....

3-D effects uncover common vision problems

...When Shannon Wyatt, 28, went to see “Avatar” in 3-D last winter, everyone around her marveled that they felt as if they were swimming with jellyfish-like creatures on the planet Pandora. Wyatt only felt dizzy and got a headache.

“I got really sick in it,” says Wyatt, who lives outside Chicago. “I thought it was partially animated and partially not.” She chalked up her reaction to exhaustion.

But soon after seeing “Avatar,” Wyatt got a chance e-mail from an optometrist acquaintance warning of something he called “3-D vision syndrome.” She decided to check it out and discovered she had a vision problem — only one of her eyes turns inward to track an object close to her face — that makes 3-D effects a letdown at best and painful at worst. She now thinks that her convergence insufficiency, as it is called, helps explain years of problems focusing on objects up close.....

Physical features of autism spectrum disorder (ASD)

...Social and language issues dominate most of the discussion about the features of autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

A neglected area of study are the physical feature characteristics that have been known to be associated with ASD. Unlike some of the diagnostic physical changes in disorders such as Down Syndrome, physical features found in ASD are often subtle and missed by most clinicians....

Spina Bifida Rate Falling

...Spina bifida prevalence among American children is on the decline, according to the first broad population-based study.

Prevalence among children from birth to 11 years of age declined by 1.4% annually from 1991 to 2002 with a consistent reduction each year (P<0.0001), based on pooled data from the 10 regions studied, Mikyong Shin, RN, MPH, DrPH, of the CDC National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities in Atlanta, and colleagues found....

Bifocals in Down Syndrome Study (BiDS): design and baseline visual function.

...This study confirms previous findings of a high prevalence of reduced accommodation and shows that near VA is reduced compared to distance VA. The present results indicate that all subjects might benefit from bifocals....

Comments:There is a preponderance of evidence that suggests those with Down Syndrome function better while wearing bifocals/mulit-focal lenses. It is rare that a patient with Down Syndrome leaves my office without an bifocal Rx. If you are not prescrbing multi-focals for your patients with Down Syndrome, you should. DM

Retinal haemorrhages in infants, abusive head trauma and the ophthalmologist

Editorial in Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology

...The diagnosis of child abuse remains a vexed area of
medical practice. This is because it has enormous implications
for the child and the family. For the child, the recognition
of abuse is potentially life-saving. If abuse is proven
in court, it may result in a gaol term for the perpetrator. The
ophthalmologist will often be called upon in suspected
cases to determine whether or not there are eye signs to
support a diagnosis of abuse. If there has been direct ocular
trauma from an assault, the ophthalmic signs of abuse are
obvious and include bruising of the eyelids, eyelid laceration,
corneal abrasion, hyphaema, traumatic iritis, traumatic
cataract, optic atrophy, orbital fractures and cranial
nerve palsies. .....

Comments: Read the full text of the article/PDF by clicking on the title. DM

A novel pathway regulates memory and plasticity via SIRT1 and miR-134

...The same molecular mechanism that increases life span through calorie restriction may help boost memory and brainpower, researchers at MIT's Picower Institute for Learning and Memory report in the July 11 issue of Nature.

Resveratrol, found in wine, has been touted as a life-span enhancer because it activates a group of enzymes known as sirtuins, which have gained fame in recent years for their ability to slow the aging process. Now MIT researchers report that Sirtuin1 — a protein that in humans is encoded by the SIRT1 gene — also promotes memory and brain flexibility....

COVD 40th Annual Meeting Preliminary Schedule

COVD 40th Annual Meeting Preliminary Schedule

Applied Concepts Courses October 12-13, 2010

Dr. Carl Hillier - Visual Information Processing
Dr. Robert Sanet - Visual Information Acquisition
Dr. W. C. Maples - COVD Fellowship/COVT Process
Dr. Nancy Torgerson - Learning Related Vision Problems
Dr. Jesus Espinosa-Galaviz - Conceptos Aplicados en Terapia de Visión (Spanish Language Course)

VT101 October 12-13, 2010Linda Sanet, COVT

COVD General Education Speakers October 13-16, 2010

Susan R. Barry, PhD - Neuroplasticity and Vision Therapy
Eric Borsting, OD, FCOVD - Correlation between Accommodation and Symptoms when Accommodation is Measured Objectively
Michael Earley, OD, PhD - Brain Mechanisms in Vision Attention
Graham Erickson, OD, FCOVD - Sports Vision
Paul Lederer, OD, FCOVD - Confusion Inside Panum's Area - Binocular Dysfunction, Assessment, Intervention

Panel Discussion

Clinical Pearls in Correlating Ocular Motor Test Results, Signs, and Symptoms
Panelists: Kara Heying, OD, FCOVD; Sue Lowe, OD, FCOVD; Eric Borsing, OD, FCOVD; Paul Lederer, OD, FCOVD;
Moderator: Leonard Press, OD, FCOVD

COVD/OEP Joint Practice Management Session

Nathan Bonilla-Warford, OD, Ruth Villeneuve, Toni Bristol
Moderator: Bradley Habermehl, OD, FCOVD
Join the Conversation, Multiply the Message, Gain More Patients!
Social media can be successfully employed to market a busy optometric practice. This is especially true for the vision therapy practice. This program will explain what social media is, how its use can benefit optometrists, and will present guidelines, principles, and techniques to be successful.

Vision Therapist Education Session

Curtis Baxstrom, MA, OD, FCOVD, FNORA, FAAO; Judy Russell
Vision Therapy: A Potpourri of Educational Considerations
The goal of the presentation is to look at why vision therapy works, including foundational work and subitization/numerosity, spelling, reading and handwriting and how they can be integrated into the vision therapy session. During therapy you may add these activities to your current procedures and help your patient to improve both in visual skills and educationally.

Clinical Discussion Forum

Kellye Knueppel, OD, FCOVD
Brenda Heinke Montecalvo, OD, FCOVD, FAAO
Using Lenses to Improve Visual Attention when Reading
Attendees will participate in an interactive workshop/forum with demonstrations using Retinoscopy, bi-Nasal occluders, therapy lenses and prisms to influence reading and attention. Attendees of this workshop/forum should bring the following materials in order to participate in the activities. Spot retinoscope, Streff wedge, low power plus lenses and small amounts of prism.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Performance on a visual analysis and visual motor integration task is significantly related to academic performance

Relationship between visual motor integration skill and academic performance in kindergarten through third grade.... The objective of this study was to examine the relationship between visual motor integration skill and academic performance in kindergarten through third grade....One hundred ninety-one (N = 191) children in kindergarten through third grade from an upper-middle class, suburban, primarily Caucasian, elementary school ...Visual analysis and visual motor integration skill were assessed with the Beery Developmental Test of Visual Motor Integration (VMI) ... The relationship between performance on the VMI and teachers' ratings of academic achievement was analyzed because teachers' grades are a primary means of assessing school performance..... Performance on the VMI was found to be significantly related to teachers' ratings of the children's reading, math, writing and spelling ability. ... performance on the VMI was significantly correlated with reading achievement ratings with math and writing achievement.... and with spelling achievement ratings .... VMI scores were also significantly related to performance on the Stanford Reading test in the first graders and to performance on the OLSAT in the ...verbal score, nonverbal score and total score. .... CONCLUSION: Performance on a visual analysis and visual motor integration task is significantly related to academic performance in 7-, 8- and 9-year-olds.

Comments: Yes, learning related vision functions do have an affect on academic achievement! OMDs, Pediatricians, PhDs listen up! DM