Friday, October 30, 2009

Overnight contacts may help slow eyesight deterioration in children.

Our office is pleased to offer CRT (Corneal Refractive Therapy) lenses as mentioned in the followoing article from the UK's Daily Mail. (10/20 Hodgekiss). After fitting the lenses myself for the last 5 years, it has been my experience that there is very little increase in a child's prescription. It is most encouraging to be able to fit children with a contact lens that will halt or slow the progression of myopia!

Contact lenses worn at night could slow down or even halt sight deterioration in children.
The vast majority of children with sight problems are short-sighted — they have difficulty seeing things far away. This is caused by a misshapen eyeball.
The new contact lenses work in a similar way to a dental brace, gently pressing on the eye to restore it to the shape of someone with normal vision.
New research has found that after a year of use, children had far less sight deterioration than those who’d worn regular contact lenses.
In normal sight, the light rays pass into the eye through the cornea. They then hit the retina at the back of the eye where they are transformed into image-forming signals, which are then sent to the brain.
With short-sight, the cornea is either too curved or the eyeball too long. This means the light rays from distant objects focus in front of the retina, rather than directly on it, making the objects appear fuzzy.
The overnight lenses, which have been available for several years to help adults, work by gently pressing on the cornea, reducing its curvature and thereby refocusing the light directly on to the retina. It also, in effect, shortens the eyeball.
The reshaping in adults is temporary because the cornea will gradually spring back to its original shape, so the lenses must be worn every night. (The lenses themselves are slightly harder than the softer lenses people commonly use for daytime wear.)
However, a few years ago scientists noticed that children who wore this type of contact lens had a slower deterioration of their eyesight, — the reshaping seemed to be more permanent.
On this observation, a controlled clinical trial of the lenses was set up in the U.S. two years ago. Around 300 children aged eight to 14 are taking part in the five-year study, known as SMART.
Half of the subjects have been given the overnight lenses, while the others are using normal contact lenses every day. At the end of the first year, both groups stopped wearing their lenses for one month to see if their prescription had changed.
Sight loss is measured in diopters. In children who are short-sighted it is estimated that sight deteriorates by 0.25 to 1.2 diopters a year (as a guide, most adults have a prescription that is no worse than minus 5).
The results showed that, after the first year, the children in the overnight lens group had no prescription change; in the control group the average increase was 0.4 diopters.
Because shortsightedness is usually picked up by the early teenage years, it is hoped overnight lenses could at least prevent further sight deterioration.
The reason why children seem to benefit more than adults is because their eyes are still growing — this makes it easier to change their shape, just as it’s easier to fix misaligned teeth in children rather than adults.
Michael Ward, a 13-year- old from Watford, has been wearing the overnight lenses for two years.
Before then, the keen sportsman had to either wear his glasses when playing sport or not wear them at all.
‘It’s made a huge difference because I can see everything now,’ he says. The rate of his sight deterioration has also slowed. ‘I went river rafting one weekend and didn’t wear them for two nights — my sight only started to get worse on the third day.’
Parwez Hossain, a consultant in ophthalmology at Southampton General Hospital and member of the scientific committee of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists, says these lenses could potentially be a cure for short-sightedness, although ‘we won’t know this for another few years’.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Are you having trouble reading this? Maybe you have CVS.

From the San Francisco Chronicle. Doc Gurley:

How about if you are (or were) reading it on an iPhone or Blackberry? There is no doubt that intensive staring at computer screens, let alone tiny screens like those on the iPhone or Blacberry, is not exactly good for your eyes. But what to do about it? I got a very interesting email from a reader who is pretty serious about this topic. And the advice is very good, so I am going ahead and passing it on to you.
iPhones, Blackberries and other small screen gadgets like the Kindle may be giving you Computer Vision Syndrome (or CVS)! Anyone who spends two or more uninterrupted hours per day in front of a computer screen – regardless of size – is prone to CVS. And with the hours most of us log on these gadgets tapping out emails and surfing the web, 175 million Americans are reportedly feeling the pain!
The American Optometric Association defines CVS as “the complex of eye and vision problems related to near work, which are experienced during or related to computer use.” In simple terms, the human vision system was not designed for long hours of computer viewing. Unlike typical print, PDA screens are made up of electronically generated characters called pixels - tiny dots of light that are hard for our eyes to focus on because it causes the brightness in the font to vary. As a result, more and more Americans are suffering from CVS symptoms that range from neck aches and headaches, to dry, irritated eyes, and blurred or double vision.
“While these small and highly productive devices may make us more efficient work-wise, they are causing unprecedented levels of CVS symptoms in patients of all ages — we’ve seen a dramatic increase in the number of patients we see monthly for CVS,” said Dr. Harvey Moscot, a renowned Optometrist in New York City and a CVS specialist who is presently conducting a CVS study to evaluate the effectiveness of specialized lenses for the reduction of CVS symptoms.
So can you live without your PDA? Probably not! But there is hope — Dr. Moscot prescribes a few simple measures to help those of you who are tethered to your iPhones and Blackberries see a little easier:
·If the PDA screen makes you squint, don’t bring it closer to your eyes. Sharpen the image with antiglare films or increase the font. Reducing glare or increasing font can make the overall reading experience much easier on your eyes.
·The Omega 3’s in flaxseed and fish oil supplements are excellent for achieving long-term lubrication for your eyes. Add them to your must-take supplement list. Dr. Moscot recommends a pharmaceutical grade fish oil supplement and at least 1,000mgs every day, it’s specially formulated to relieve dry eye symptoms.
·Get a CVS-specific eye examination that enables doctors to accurately diagnose CVS by duplicating the pixels of a computer screen, allowing doctors to determine a more accurate prescription based on exam results and the way you use your PDA each day. After the test, doctors are able to prescribe eyewear with special computer lenses that eliminate the need for you to constantly refocus your eyes, which reduces eyestrain. After all, when you go running you bring your running shoes. When you sit in front of the computer you should have your computer glasses.
·Follow the 20/20/20 rule: every 20 minutes take a break and with each eye look at something about 20 feet away from you for 20 seconds.
·Lighting is key! If you have a choice in the matter, make sure outside windows are neither directly behind nor ahead of you. Ambient overhead light is best.
·Remember to blink. People blink 5 times less while looking at the computer, blinking helps rewet the eyes and prevent dryness and irritation.
·Clean your screen. While this may sound obvious, cutting out the veiling glare caused by fingerprints, smearing, dust and other particles obstruct your view will help alleviate symptoms.

Posted By: Doc Gurley (Email) October 19 2009 at 11:17

Friday, October 16, 2009

H1N1 Flu help

Hi everyone,

With flu season about to begin, I thought I would just provide a great Canadian link to help ensure that everyone gets the facts regarding the H1N1 virus. The best ways, of course to help prevent the spread of this nasty flu is to cough into your arm, wash hands frequently or use hand sanitizers and stay home if you are sick.

Visit for more information.


Dr. Toby Mandelman, Optometrist

Friday, October 9, 2009

Research indicates most babies born this century in rich countries may live to 100.

The AP (10/2, Cheng) reports, "Most babies born in rich countries this century will eventually make it to their 100th birthday," according to research published in The Lancet. Researchers say "that since the 20th century, people in developed countries are living about three decades longer than in the past," and that "trend shows little sign of slowing down." For the study, researchers "examined studies published globally in 2004-2005 on numerous issues related to aging."
The study showed that "without any further improvement in longevity, three-quarters of babies will mark their 75th birthdays," Bloomberg News (10/2, Hallam) reports. The researchers noted that "better healthcare for the elderly, particularly in the US, has extended lives by making illnesses...manageable over time and allowing earlier detection and intervention."
WebMD (10/1, Hitti) reported that the researchers speculated that "societies will stop looking at life as consisting of three phases -- childhood, adulthood, and old age -- and start dividing 'old age' into a 'third age (young old)' and a 'fourth age (oldest old).'" They added, however, that "it remains to be seen if obesity, which has also been rising, will put the brakes on rising life expectancies."