Friday, October 8, 2010

Second Annual Illinois College of Optometry Research Symposium

The Second Annual Illinois College of Optometry Research Symposium will feature more than 40 poster presentations with the authors present.

When: 1:30 to 3:30 pm on Friday Oct 29th

Where: ICO gymnasium
What to expect: ARVO, AOA, AAO, COVD, ICBO and other professional meetings posters will be presented by faculty/residents/students.

Although this is primarily for the ICO community if you have any questions please contact:

Yi Pang, Ph.D., O.D., FAAO
Associate Professor/Assistant Dean for Research
Illinois College of Optometry
3241 S. Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60616
Tel: 312-949-7287 | Fax: 312-949-7363 Email: [email protected]

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Dizziness and Headaches in Kids....maybe they just need a full eye examination and not an MRI!

Once again, Dr. Len Press (a good friend and colleague) has an interesting post on his blog. He says that....."....The IOVS paper and the Pediatric Neurology paper have an author in common, an MD based in the Department of Otorhinolaryngolgy and Ophthalmology at the Robert Debre Hospital in Paris. But enough name dropping - let’s get to the meat of this paper, which is that a significant number of children with seemingly inexplicable complaints of dizziness and headaches would be sent for an MRI when what they really need is a more in-depth vision evaluation. ...."

Comments: Click on the title to read the full blog posting. DM

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Watch This COVD Meeting Video by Clicking Here

From AOA FirstLook!

Injuries From Playing Interactive Video Games Appear To Be On The Rise

HealthDay (10/4, Reinberg) reported, "Sports injuries are commonplace, but injuries from playing interactive video games such as Nintendo Wii are now on the rise," researchers found after examining data collected between 2004 and 2009. "Compared with traditional video games, those playing interactive video games were more likely to injure their shoulder, ankle or foot," whereas the "65 reported seizures, the eight reported cases of eye pain or visual disturbance, and 23 of the 24 cases of neck injuries were all among those playing traditional video games." Investigators also noted that "injuries to bystanders occurred in both traditional and interactive video games, but happened significantly more often with interactive games." BBC News (10/4) also covered the study.

Comments: Click on the title for more info. DM

The effect of visual impairment on quality of life of children aged 3e16 years

...Children with VI had significantly lower quality of life scores than the comparison group .... Consideration of the effects of this reduced QoL must be made. Further studies are needed to establish the benefit to QoL of different habilitation strategies....

Comments: The full article is available by clicking on the title above. DM

Optometrists, Children and Contact Lenses


Study offers practitioners’ insights on appropriate age to introduce a child to soft contact lenses and factors that influence their decision to prescribe contacts for children

ST. LOUIS (October 5, 2010) - More than half of optometrists feel it is appropriate to introduce a child to soft contact lenses between the ages of 10-12, with daily disposable contact lenses being the most frequently prescribed contacts for this age group, according to a new American Optometric Association (AOA) study.

At ages 8-9 (51 percent) and 10-12 (71 percent), optometrists most often fit children in glasses as the primary method of vision correction and prescribe contact lenses as a secondary correction. However, data from the survey of 576 optometrists from across the country shows a gradual shift in optometrist’s approach to vision correction as children get older, with 21 percent noting that they are more likely to fit 10-12 year olds in contact lenses than they were a year ago. One-in-five (20 percent) respondents say they begin prescribing contact lenses as the principal form of vision correction for children ages 10-12; nearly half (49 percent) prescribe contact lenses first for 13-14 year olds, and two-thirds (66 percent) recommend contact lenses as the main form of vision correction for 15-17 year olds.

“Studies in children’s vision correction confirm that contacts provide collateral benefits to children beyond simply correcting their vision, including significantly improving how they feel about their physical appearance, acceptance among friends, and ability to play sports, so it’s no surprise that optometrists and parents are becoming even more comfortable with the decision to recommend contact lenses to children when vision correction is required,” says Christine W. Sindt, OD, FAAO, Associate Professor of Clinical Ophthalmology, Department of Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences, University of Iowa, and Chair of the Contact Lens and Cornea Section of AOA.

The Children & Contact Lenses study was conducted by the AOA Research and Information Center in conjunction with the Sports Vision Section and Contact Lens and Cornea Sections of AOA, with support from VISTAKON®, Division of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc. The study was designed to gauge current trends in prescribing contact lenses to children ages 8-17 and to understand factors that influence optometrists’ decisions to fit a child in contacts. On average, respondents indicated that children up to the age of 17 account for about 41 percent of their total contact lens patient population.

Of doctors who say they are now more likely to fit children in contact lenses, 30 percent attribute their change in fitting behavior to daily disposable lenses; 23 percent cite “improved contact lens materials,” 19 percent say they are more likely to fit childen with contact lenses because of requests from the child and/or parent, and 10 percent say that “recent research/studies” on the subject and children’s participation in activities/sports have influenced their decision.

Nearly all (96 percent) respondents say that a child’s interest and motivation to wear contact lenses is the most important factor to consider in fitting a child with contacts. Also very important to doctors are a child’s maturity level (93 percent), the child’s ability to take care of contact lenses by themselves (89 percent), and the child’s personal hygiene habits (89 percent). While only a very small percentage of doctors say they are less likely to fit contact lenses in children, poor hygiene and maturity levels seen in younger children were most often cited as reasons.

“Studies demonstrate that children who need refractive error correction are capable of wearing and caring for soft contact lenses,” adds. Dr. Sindt. “Optometrists will typically evaluate a child’s maturity and level of parental support in deciding whether a child is ready for contact lenses.”

Other findings from the survey:

• The majority (74 percent) of optometrists surveyed say that gender does not influence their decision to fit a child in contact lenses, while one in four (26 percent) say they are more likely to fit younger children when they are girls.
• One-hundred percent of respondents cite the visual acuity (i.e., clearness of vision) achieved with a contact lens as important, and virtually all respondents rate ease of handling (99 percent), oxygen permeability (99 percent), comfort (98 percent), and replacement schedule (96 percent) as properties that influence their decision to fit a child in contact lenses. Three-fourths (75 percent), say contact lenses that offer ultraviolet protection influence their decision to prescribe contacts for children.
• While daily disposable contact lenses are the most frequently prescribed lenses for children 12 years and under, doctors tend to prescribe reusable contact lenses (i.e., two-week and monthly replacement) more often than daily disposables for children ages 13-14 and 15-17.
• Two out of five (39 percent) optometrists say that parents requesting their child be fitted in contact lenses do so because the child refuses to wear his or her glasses; 36 percent say parents note that the child’s current vision correction interferes with sports and 16 percent say parents want their child in contact lenses because the current form of vision correction interferes with daily activities.
• Seven in ten (71 percent) doctors said overnight wear of contact lenses is not appropriate for children under the age of 18

To view the Executive Summary of the survey, visit

About the American Optometric Association (AOA):
The American Optometric Association represents approximately 36,000 doctors of optometry, optometry students and paraoptometric assistants and technicians. Optometrists serve patients in nearly 6,500 communities across the country, and in 3,500 of those communities are the only eye doctors.

American Optometric Association doctors of optometry are highly qualified, trained doctors on the frontline of eye and vision care who examine, diagnose, treat and manage diseases and disorders of the eye. In addition to providing eye and vision care, optometrists play a major role in a patient’s overall health and well-being by detecting systemic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension.

Prior to optometry school, optometrists typically complete four years of undergraduate study, culminating in a bachelor’s degree. Required undergraduate coursework for pre-optometry students is extensive and covers a wide variety of advanced health, science and mathematics. Optometry school consists of four years of post-graduate, doctoral study concentrating on both the eye and systemic health. In addition to their formal training, doctors of optometry must undergo annual continuing education to stay current on the latest standards of care. For more information, visit

VISTAKON® is a trademark of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc.

COVD & Special Olympics Sign A Memorandum of Understanding


Next week at the College of Optometrists in Vision Development meeting and Special Olympics are signing a memorandum of understanding at this meeting. As part of the arrangement a demonstration program with Special Olympics athletes will be part of this year’s COVD meeting. The Special Olympics population has a high rate of severe functional vision problems and since COVD members are experts with this population it makes sense to work together to help raise the level of care given to Special Olympians.

COVD and Special Olympics need quite volunteer clinicians because we have been asked to assess 75 athletes in a very short period of time. This is much more than a screening program as glasses will actually be prescribed for the athletes who need them. We will provide a high level of care, but need quite a bit of help to do so. If you plan on coming to the COVD meeting....plan on participating in this very unique COVD and Special Olympics joint venture.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Wii Fit And Brain Damage Rehab

..Wii Fit, combined with sophisticated new software, is giving people their lives back, not just brain-injured soldiers but also thousands of others who suffer brain injuries in car, motorcycle and other accidents.....“You don’t even see this damage with an MRI. It’s called diffuse axonal injury,” said Dr. Allen Cohen of the SUNY College of Optometry. “Their world may feel like it’s moving, the floor may feel like it’s tilted. They can’t focus. Visually the words may double, split apart, run together.”.....The idea is to integrate balance, vision, hearing and eye-hand coordination in a way her brain used to without even thinking....“But it has to be done everyday so that we give very, very specific, organized home therapy procedures,” Cohen said....

Comments: By way of complete disclosure, I do not have any financial interest in the product mentioned here...but I do know the good folks at Home Therapy Solutions and Dr. Al Cohen very well. Click on the title above to see a video on the topic.

Eyestrain self-test for adults

Eyestrain self-test for children

Getting the Word Out About 3 D Movies, Television and Video Games

The American Optometric Association, with Dr. Len Press and myself as primary spokespersons, have had a major impact on getting the word out to 3D movie-goers about the importance of single, clear, comfortable, pathology free, two-eyed/binocular vision. Between May and September of 2010 there were a total of 1,682 media hits (500 online, 15 print, 60 television, 1,100 radio and 7 Reuters) for a total of 229,591,440 impressions.

The American Optometric Association has led the way in making sure that the 3D movie-going, television-watching, and video game playing public know what to look for if eye problems exist while participating in 3D activities and that a comprehensive eye and vision examination by an optometrist should be sought if any problems arise.

Optometry is also the only profession to offer National Eye Institute research supported treatments for those with problems with binocular vision function....this treatment is known as optometric vision therapy. For more information contact the American Optometric Association , watch this video, and/or to seek out an optometrist certifed in the diagnossis and treatment of eye problems associated with 3D Vision Syndrome go to the College of Optometrists in Vision Development website.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Vision Dysfunctions Secondary to a Motor Vehicle Accident: A Case Report

Tong D, Zink C. Vision dysfunctions secondary to motor vehicle accident: a case report. Optom Vis Dev 2010;41(3)158-168.

Background: Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a
common consequence of motor vehicle accidents.
One in every five cases of TBI has a motor vehicle
involved in its etiology. Patients with TBI have been
found to have a high prevalence of vision symptoms
and dysfunctions. This case report discusses a patient
who sustained a TBI from a motor vehicle accident
and received neuro-optometric rehabilitation from a
developmental optometrist and Integrative Manual
TherapyTM with a physical therapist.
Case Summary: A 28-year-old Caucasian male
was evaluated. For vision problems that started after
he acquired a TBI during a car accident 11 years
previous. He had numerous symptoms including
reading difficulties, ocular pain, headaches, and
difficulties with depth perception. The evaluation
revealed binocular vision, accommodative, and
oculomotor dysfunctions, as well as reduced
peripheral visual awareness and visualization anomalies.
Treatment included weekly office-based
optometric vision therapy (OVT), home-based
syntonics, primitive reflex integration, and single
vision lenses with base-in prism. He also received
Integrative Manual Therapy which began five months
prior to the initiation of optometric intervention.
At both a 1-month post OVT progress evaluation
and by a telephone follow up 15 months post-OVT,
the patient reported significant improvement in
Conclusion: Patients with TBI secondary to
motor vehicle accidents experience many detrimental
quality of life changing vision symptoms. This case
illustrates that improvement of symptoms and quality
of life of a TBI patient are possible even 11 years after
the initial injury.

Understanding Children Who Struggle in School

My friend and colleague, Dr. Len Press, "just finished reading a marvelous new book by Deborah P. Waber, PhD, a neuropsychologist in the Learning Disabilities Program in the Department of Neurology at Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Waber lifts the rug that has covered many of the dark secrets in the learning disabilities field. The first secret is that despite volumes of work, scholars are still unable to reach consensus about what a learning disability is, how to know if someone has it, and what to do about. This comes as no surprise to the large number of parents who are frustrated with our current educational system.....

Comments: Read all his comments by clicking on the title above. DM