Thursday, January 28, 2010

Strabismus: Signs and Symptoms

When someone discovers strabismus it occurs in one of three ways:
(1) a person starts to have double vision
(2) no apparent double vision or eye turn but the patient experiences asthenopia (eye strain)
(3) poor vision which may or may not be associated with strabismus

Young children rarely complain of double vision. Rather parents can look for telltale behaviors that may be due to strabismus. Some of the signs that parents might see is their child turning their head, tilting or tipping it, or winking one eye excessively. Older children are more likely to complain of double vision.

Strabismus is treatable. Surgery can often help the eyes align but often vision therapy is needed to help both eyes work together in an efficient fashion.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Strabismus comes in various shapes and sizes

Strabismus or eye turn affects about 4% of children under 6. It can have cosmetic consequences and be the source of vision problems such as double vision and amblyopia (reduced vision). It typically caused by a muscle imbalance. It can come in a few varieties. It can be constant or intermittent, turned in or turned out.

The best treatment for strabismus depends on they type and degree of strabismus. Large, constant strabismus can be treated initially with surgery. Surgery can do a good job of repairing the cosmetic appearance but it may not completely solve the problems associated with it. Often, vision therapy is a necessary compliment to strabismus surgery.

Vision therapy can often address issues of double vision and stereopsis. It can train the eye muscles to align better and with better range.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Technorati code

I'm adding this code so I can be listed on the technorati website. YG9HWUJUJR5W

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Diabetes is bad news for the eyes

On the front page of its Science Times section, the New York Times (6/16, D1, Rabin) reports, "Study after study suggests that alcohol in moderation may promote heart health and even ward off diabetes and dementia." In fact, the "evidence is so plentiful that some experts consider moderate drinking...a central component of a healthy lifestyle." But skepticism abounds because apparently no one has "ever proved a causal relationship between moderate drinking and lower risk of death -- only that the two often go together. It may be that moderate drinking is just something healthy people tend to do, not something that makes people healthy." There are also concerns about "the financial relationships that have sprung up between the alcoholic beverage industry and many academic centers, which have accepted industry money to pay for research, train students, and promote their findings." In light of these things, some are calling for "a large, long-term randomized controlled clinical trial, like the ones for new drugs." (courtesy AOA)

Friday, January 15, 2010

Ever had a 3D headache?

Watching 3D movies is an expanding market. Movies like Avatar are designed to take full advantage of our stereopsis (our ability to sense depth by the difference in image angle between the two eyes). There have, however, been some reports of side effects. Enter the 3D headache.

Slight muscle imbalances such as phorias can cause eye strain when watching a 3D movie. These muscle imbalances make it harder for the brain to process the stereo images. The images are calibrated differently in the real world and in 3D movies making it harder for people who's eyes are balanced differently.

People with amblyopia (an eye that cannot see 20/20) or strabismus (eye turn). May not be able to see 3D at all. Fortunately, in the real world there are many cues to depth that goes beyond stereopsis. These clues include overlap like one arm crossed over the other, atmospheric clues, our familiarity with the normal size of objects and others. These people may not be able to experience fish jumping out of the screen but they can still drive safely because of the many other cues to depth that exist.

Now, if you do get a headache watching 3D movies what can you do? Vision therapy is an option. Eye exercises designed to help your eyes work better together. Check out our website to learn more about vision therapy and happy movie watching.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Slowing myopia with bifocals

A recent study indicates that fitting myopic children with bifocals may slow the progression of the myopia. The National Eye Institute reported recently that the incidence of myopia is increasing. They found that in certain demographics that myopia increased 66%.

The study followed 135 children who had progressive myopia. The children were assigned to single vision, bifocals or bifocals with prism. What they found after two years was that the prismatic bifocal group were the slowest to progress.

This is a new promising development to the issue of progressive myopia. High myopia is related to increased risk of retinal detachment, glaucoma and cataracts. This not to mention the problem associated with being legally blind without correction.

The article does not mention the option of orthokeratology in treating myopic progression. There are numerous studies and increased evidence that ortho-k can slow myopic progression. The advantage of ortho-k over bifocals is the cosmetic advantage of  no correction during the day.

These developments are significant. Early treatment through ortho-k can prevent myopic progression to the point of severe dependence on correction.