Vision is not static

 

 

Of all our senses-Smell, Hearing, Sight, Taste and Touch,

sight-vision  is our most developed.  It is our dominant sense and the means by which the average person receives the vast majority of their information and education. 

It has been shown that nearly 85% of all of the information that we gather in a lifetime is taken into our minds through our eyes.

The quality of our vision, how well and truly we are seeing, to a great extent determines the quality of our personal reality which shapes how we live our lives.

 

The information that we take in our eyes is the raw material from which we create our own sense of reality.  The context that is based upon past experiences determines our behavior in present circumstances.  Perhaps even more importantly, our eyes are the only organs of our bodies that are actually outgrowths of our brain.

 The eye’s retina is in reality, a specialized form of brain tissue.  This makes the interconnection and interrelationship between our eyes and our brain the most profound organic relationship on our body in our being. 

 The information taken in by the eyes is processed by the brain more deeply and completely, than the information that we receive through all our other senses.

 Eyes & Brain are a team

As we exchange our perceptions of what we can and cannot see, we can become more open to viewing the world as a whole new adventure.

We ride our bike down a country road watching for pot holes, frogs or sticks.  We end up maneuvering around these objects and adjust our speed, while visually monitoring our position.

 

Moments later we might get into our car, drive to the grocery store past fields with turkeys, ducks and geese always judging where we are relative to other vehicles and the flow of traffic. We arrive at our destination having made numerous conscious and subconscious judgments with varying degrees.  Whether it is shopping for groceries, watching a ball game or reading the news paper our vision plays an essential role in each of these activities through the collaboration of eyes and brain.

Vision occurs neither in the eyes nor in the brain, but emerges from the collaboration of the eyes, the visual pathway and the brain. Vision is a pervasive aspect of our existence which permeates all of our activities. Vision develops and, due to neural plasticity, can be enhanced. Optometry is the discipline dedicated to the care of all aspects of the visual process.

                                         Eyes are ruled by the brain

Seeing takes place in the our brain, not in our eyes.

Being able to understand esophoric and exophoric behavior opens up a window into how we experience our world. What one sees, how we perceive, interpret and react is all a result of our individual inner world.

Esophoria (Eso)- (clinical condition) a tendency of the eyes to want to turn more inward than necessary when an individual is viewing an object at near or at distance, which may cause the individual to experience eyestrain and other symptoms.

The esophoric child uses many references to him/herself with I’s and me’s.  He/she asks of every test, “How did I do? Did I do it well?  Did I do it right?”

Esophores tend to:

  • Be introverted.
  • Look closer and judge space incorrectly.
  • Receives information better from the printed (seeing) word than from the spoken (auditory) word.

 

 

  •  Dislike being corrected.
  • Make careless mistakes.
  • Read word for word.

 Symptoms:

  • Headaches.
  • Blurred vision.
  • Eyestrain.
  • Intermittent double vision.

 Exophoria (Exo)- (clinical condition) a tendency of the eyes to want to turn more outward than necessary when an individual is viewing an object at near or at distance, which may cause the individual to experience eyestrain and other symptoms. 

  The Exophoric Child tends to relate his/her space world as a complete totality with him/herself as part of it in his alignment which is an outwardizing movement. His/her performance should be complimented rather than him/her as an individual.

 

 Exophores tend to:

  • Not center in.
  • Not sustain near point attention, but tend to look away.
  • Daydream.

 

 

  • Have lower identification skills.
  • See where something is and not what it is. 
  • Miss detail.
  • Jump from field to field to take in information.

 Symptoms:

  • Eyestrain.
  • Headaches.
  • Blurred vision distance and near.
  • Double vision at far and near.
  • Sleepiness.
  • Difficulty concentration on reading material.
  • Decreasing comprehension over time
  • Pulling sensation around the eyes.
  • Print appears to move.

Super Bowl Star Larry Fitzgerald Gives Parents Advice on Vision Therapy



AURORA, OH–(Marketwire – July 24, 2009) – Arizona Cardinals 2008 NFC West Champions’ wide-receiver, Larry Fitzgerald, is helping eye doctors spread the word to parents that vision problems can interfere with a child’s ability to pay attention, read and learn. “Even if you have been told your child has perfect vision or 20/20 vision, your child could still be at-risk of having a learning-related vision problem,” warns Fitzgerald.
  

Do you have a child who takes forever to do homework? Or hates to read? Learning-related vision problems directly affect how we learn, read, or do close work.

  The College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD) launched their annual campaign, August is National Children’s Vision & Learning month, to educate the public on the steps they can take to ensure their children aren’t struggling with reading and learning because of undiagnosed vision problems.

“Parents don’t realize that you need over 15 visual skills to succeed in reading, learning, sports, and in life. Seeing ’20/20′ is just one of those visual skills,” says Fitzgerald.

 

 During the many pre- and post-Super Bowl press interviews, Fitzgerald explained that one of the keys to his success was having vision therapy as a child. He had a vision problem that was making it difficult to pay attention in school and his grandfather, Dr. Robert Johnson, a developmental optometrist in Chicago, Illinois, diagnosed the vision problem and the appropriate treatment.

 Fitzgerald went through vision therapy under his aunt’s guidance, Dr. Stephanie Johnson-Brown, who is currently the executive director of the Plano Child Development Center, a not-for-profit vision care service corporation which was co-founded by her father, Dr. Johnson, in 1959, which specializes in vision education and the identification and remediation of vision development problems in children and adults.

 According to a report from the New Jersey Commission on Business Efficiency of the Public School, “Undiagnosed and untreated vision related learning problems are significant contributors to early reading difficulties and ultimately to special education classification.”

 Fitzgerald is joining COVD this year to help spread the word that 20/20 is NOT perfect vision and that if your children are struggling with reading you need to take them to see a developmental optometrist. You can visit COVD’s website to find a developmental optometrist near you.

 “Vision problems can have a serious impact on a child’s education. Don’t wait to see if this next school year will be better, take action today!” Fitzgerald encourages parents.

 Convergence insufficiency, one of the most common vision disorders that interferes with reading, was recently the focus of a national study funded by the National Institutes of Health and the National Eye Institute. This is a vision problem where the two eyes don’t work together in unison the way they are supposed to when one is reading. The result can make reading very difficult.

 While at least one out of every 20 school-age children is impacted by convergence insufficiency, there are other visual abnormalities to be considered. It is estimated that over 60% of problem learners have undiagnosed vision problems contributing to their difficulties.

 The good news is the majority of these vision problems can be treated with a program of optometric vision therapy. The study by the NEI found that in-office vision therapy was the best treatment for convergence insufficiency.

 The five most common signs that a vision problem may be interfering with your child’s ability to read and learn are:

1.  Skips lines, rereads lines
2.  Poor reading comprehension
3.  Takes much longer doing homework than it should take
4.  Reverses letters like b's into d's when reading
5.  Has a short attention span with reading and schoolwork
Any one of these symptoms is a sign of a possible vision problem.  

Not all eye doctors test for learning-related vision problems, so it is important for parents to ask the right questions. Call your eye doctor’s office and ask the following two questions:

1.  Do you test for learning-related vision problems?
2.  Do you provide an in-office vision therapy program when indicated, or
     will you refer me to someone who does?

Not Autistic or Hyperactive. Just Seeing Double at Times



Not Autistic or Hyperactive. Just Seeing Double at Times

 

By LAURA NOVAK

Published: September 11, 2007


Correction Appended

As an infant, Raea Gragg was withdrawn and could not make eye contact. By preschool she needed to smell and squeeze every object she saw.

 

 

Thor Swift for
The New York Times

 

Raea Gragg, 9, needed therapy to help her eyes work together.

“She touched faces and would bring everything to mouth,” said her mother, Kara Gragg, of Lafayette, Calif. “She would go up to people, sniff them and touch their cheeks.”

Specialists conducted a battery of tests. The possible diagnoses mounted: autism spectrum disorder, neurofibromatosis, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety disorder.

A behavioral pediatrician prescribed three drugs for attention deficit and depression. The only constant was that Raea, now 9, did anything she could to avoid reading and writing.

Though she had already had two eye exams, finding her vision was 20/20, this year a school reading specialist suggested another. And this time the optometrist did what no one else had: he put his finger on Raea’s nose and moved it in and out. Her eyes jumped all over the place.

Within minutes he had the diagnosis: convergence insufficiency, in which the patient sees double because the eyes cannot work together at close range.

Experts estimate that 5 percent of school-age children have convergence insufficiency. They can suffer headaches, dizziness and nausea, which can lead to irritability, low self-esteem and inability to concentrate.

Doctors and teachers often attribute the behavior to attention disorders or seek other medical explanations. Mrs. Gragg said her pediatrician had never heard of convergence insufficiency.

Dr. David Granet, a professor of ophthalmology and pediatrics at the University of California, San Diego, said: “Everyone is familiar with A.D.H.D. and A.D.D., but not with eye problems, especially not with convergence insufficiency. But we don’t want to send kids for remedial reading and education efforts if they have an eye problem. This should be part of the protocol for eye doctors.”

In 2005, Dr. Granet studied 266 patients with convergence insufficiency. Nearly 10 percent also had diagnoses of attention deficit or hyperactivity — three times that of the general population. The reverse also proved true: examining the hospital records of 1,700 children with A.D.H.D., Dr. Granet and colleagues found that 16 percent also had convergence insufficiency, three times the normal rate.

“When five of the symptoms of A.D.H.D. overlap with C.I.,” he said, “how can you not step back and say, Wait a minute?”

Dr. Eric Borsting, an optometrist and professor at the Southern California College of Optometry who has also studied the links between vision and attention problems, agreed. “We know that kids with C.I. are more likely to have problems like loss of concentration when reading and trouble remembering what they read,” he said. “Doctors should look at it when there’s a history of poor school performance.”

Dr. Stuart Dankner, a pediatric ophthalmologist in Baltimore and an assistant clinical professor at Johns Hopkins, said that children should be tested for convergence difficulty, but cautioned that it was not the cause of most attention and reading problems.

Dr. Dankner recommended an overall assessment by a psychologist or education specialist. “An eye exam should be done as an adjunct,” he said, “because even if the child has convergence difficulty, they will usually also have other problems that need to be addressed.”

Doctors recommend a dilated eye exam and a check of eye teaming and focusing skills. Testing includes using a pen or finger to test for the “near point of convergence,” as well as a phoropter, which uses lenses and prisms to test the eyes’ ability to work together.

There is no consensus on how to treat convergence insufficiency. Next spring, the National Eye Institute will announce the results of a $6 million randomized clinical trial measuring the benefits of vision therapy in a doctor’s office versus home-based therapy.

For Raea Gragg, the treatment was relatively simple. For nine months she wore special glasses that use prisms to help the eyes converge inward. She then had three months of vision therapy. She has just entered fourth grade and is reading at grade level.

“Raea didn’t know how to describe it because that’s all she’s ever known,” her mother said. “She felt like she had been telling us all along that she couldn’t see, but nobody listened.”

Correction: October 4, 2007

 

An article in Science Times on Sept. 11 about convergence insufficiency, in which a patient sees double because the eyes cannot work together at close range, misidentified the specialty of the doctor who diagnosed and treated the problem in Raea Gragg. The doctor, Carl Hirsch, who was not identified in the article, is an optometrist, not an ophthalmologist.

3D Movies May Cause or Reveal Vision Issues

 

EmaxHealth

Submitted by Denise Reynolds RD on 2010-07-14

The technology for 3D movies has come a long way since the first American color feature Bwana Devil in 1952. However, one issue hasn’t changed over the years – eye-related health issues can be a problem for some viewers.

Stephen Glasser, a Washington optometrist, says that more people may discover eye problems as 3D movies become more mainstream. According to the National Association of Theatre Owners, almost 10% of US movie screens are now capable of projecting in 3D, up from 1.5% in 2007. There are approximately 20 3D movies set to release in 2010.

Television is also going 3D. ESPN has launched a 3D channel, which broadcast 18 of the World Cup soccer matches, and Discovery plans their own channel in early 2011.

To generate a three-dimensional effect, a special projector displays two identical images on the screen, but from slightly different angles making one appear close and the other to appear far away. Special polarized glasses are worn that force one of the images to enter the left eye and the other to enter the right. The two images travel to the visual cortex, the area of the brain primarily responsible for processing vision. This creates the illusion of three dimensions.

Early 3D movies used color to set the images apart, and viewers wore paper glasses with one lens colored red and the other colored blue. These tended to give viewers headaches, eyestrain, and nausea.

Today’s 3D with digital technology gives crisper, clearer images and fewer problems, however there is still a risk of visual fatigue and “simulator sickness”, a type of nausea that also plagues users of flight simulators, head-mounted virtual reality displays and other 3D applications.

In Italy, the ministry of health has other concerns about 3D movies – specifically the cleanliness of the borrowed glasses. They confiscated 7000 pairs of 3D glasses from cinemas, stating that they were not properly disinfected between screenings and lacked tags that proved that they do not cause vision problems. When seeing a 3D movie here in the States, it is best to carry an antibacterial spray or wipe – just in case.

3D can have some advantages – some patients actually discover health problems because they are unable to see the images clearly. About 2 to 3 percent of people have an eye condition where only one of the eyes turns inward to track a close object. The condition is called vergence accommodation conflict. Other conditions that cause 3D movies to fall flat include lazy eye (amblyopia), strabismus, keratoconus, or poor vision in one eye due to cataracts, glaucoma or retinal problems.

Treatments for eye conditions that cause 3D vision viewing include surgery for cataracts or glasses/contacts to correct poor vision in one eye. There is also vision therapy for those with convergence insufficiency, where the patient spends an hour once a week doing eye-strengthening exercises



Early intervention for CI

Early intervention critically important in children’s vision problems

September 7, 2010 by D Fortenbacher, O.D.,FCOVD

When is it OK to “wait and see” if the problem goes away on it’s own?

What if your 6 year old child has been diagnosed with a binocular vision problem that appears to be interfering with her learning to read? You are seeing behaviors that look like she can’t concentrate on books. Her teacher is spotting some signs of trouble but can’t be sure that it is “her eyes”. You take her to an eye doctor who makes the diagnosis of a binocular vision problem called convergence insufficiency but dismisses treatment “for now” and opts for monitoring the problem. But, is it really ok to just wait and see?

As strange as it may sound, an outdated approach often recommended by many eye doctors when faced with a young patient (often 4-7 years old) diagnosed with certain forms of eye coordination problems, such as convergence insufficiency, is to simply monitor the condition and see if it goes away it’s own. In other words, no treatment is recommended.

In response to this and other vision problems in children, the University of Oregon Brain Development Lab has just produced this video on vision and the developing brain. See what the neuroscientists and the research is showing about the importance of early intervention.

Then check out the story of a mom (below) who wouldn’t accept ”NO” for an answer when told that her 6 year old daughter (with convergence insufficiency) was too young to be treated.

Find out how a persistent mom dealt with this problem with her own 6 year old daughter. Read the heartwarming and inspirational story from Paige Melendres in Albuquerque, who was not comfortable with the “wait and see” recommendation by her first doctor.  Her story can be found by clicking on  CI:The Private Eye Goes Public -Part 1 and scroll down to comment #8. Her story has a happy ending and good advice for parents who may have a child who is struggling.

Mayo Clinic MN says best treatment for CI is

Mayo Clinic researchers, as part of a nine-site study, helped discover the best of three currently-used treatments for convergence insufficiency in children. Convergence refers to the natural ability of the eyes to focus and align while viewing objects up close. Children with convergence insufficiency tend to have blurred or double vision or headaches and corresponding issues in reading and concentrating, which ultimately impact learning. The findings, published today in the journal Archives of Ophthalmology, show children improve faster with structured therapy sessions in a doctor’s office, with reinforcement eye exercises at home.

www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/125351.php