Tag Archives: prevention

NIH Study Commissioned to Examine Prevention of Nearsightedness with Soft Bifocal Contact Lenses

Bifocal Lenses in Nearsighted Kids (BLINK) Study Begins

The National Institutes of Health awarded the University of Houston College of Optometry and the Ohio State University College of Optometry $7.5 million to study the use of soft bifocal contact lenses in the prevention of nearsightedness (myopia) in children. The Bifocal Lenses in Nearsighted Kids (BLINK) Study will follow 300 children, ages 7 to 11 years of age over a period of 3 years. The Ohio State University College of Optometry previously published the Corneal Reshaping and Myopia Study in a 2009 issue of the British Journal of Ophthalmology where it found that orthokeratology lenses were effective in preventing the lengthening of the eyeball in children which in turn slowed the progression of nearsightedness.

Myopia Regulation Treatment at Total Eye Care

Do you have a family history of nearsightedness? Are your kids nearsighted? Would you like to prevent the progression of myopia in your kids? Summer is a great time start Myopia Regulation Treatment. If you would like more details you can set up a free consult with Dr. Driscoll.

More information about orthokeratology can be found at the OrthoKDoctor.com website.

Computer Glasses – What Are They, How Will They Help, Are They Worth it?

Computer glasses are an under used component of a comfortable office environment. As a person approaches their 50’s it becomes more difficult to see things not only at near but at an intermediate range as well. Normal progressive lenses let you see objects clearly at this distance but only by lifting your head up to look through the intermediate portion of the glasses. Using regular glasses while working at the computer leads to neck pain, back pain and eye strain. This is where computer glasses come in.

Progressive lenses allow a person over 40 to view objects clearly at all distances, even computer distance. Progressive lenses let us view intermediate objects by looking half way down the lens. With computer glasses; however, you can view an intermediate object by looking straight ahead (most computer monitors are at eye level), and the bottom of the computer lens lets you focus an object at normal reading distance. Computer glasses allow for a natural eye position so you can comfortably view your computer.

If your computer monitor is at eye level, you are in your late forties or older, and spend more than 30 minutes at the computer a day then computer glasses are definitely a worthwhile investment.

Computer glasses are an important part of making your workstation a comfortable place to work. See this article on visual ergonomics for more information on setting up your workstation.

Rub and Rinse Contact Lens Cleaning Method Shown to be More Effective Than No Rub Technique

A study out of Australia has confirmed what eye doctors have long suspected. Rubbing your contact lenses and briefly rinsing them prior to overnight storage and disinfection is more effective at removing bacteria from the lens surface than merely placing the contacts in the case (no rub technique). Numerous multipurpose no rub contact lens solutions have been approved by the FDA  and shown to be an effective method of disinfecting contact lenses however this study shows that applying a few drops of the multipurpose solution, rubbing and then rinsing the lenses is much more effect at removing bacteria from the lens surface.

This study was done “in-vitro” meaning that it was a lab study where patients did not actually wear these lenses but the lenses were seeded with bacteria and then after the lenses were cleaned and disinfected the lenses were then testing to see how much bacteria was removed.

So the moral of the story is after removing your soft contact lenses add a few drops of the multipurpose contact lens solution, rub both sides of the lens then rinse the lens and place it in the case to disinfect overnight.

Reference Data: Zhu H, Bandara MB, Vijay AK, Masoudi S, Wu D, Willcox MD. Importance of rub and rinse in use of multipurpose contact lens solution. Optom Vis Sci. 2011 Aug;88(8):967-72.

Dr. Driscoll Attends International Orthokeratology Academy Meeting

April 28-May 1, 2011: Orlando, FL —Richard A Driscoll, O.D. attended the Orthokeratology Academy of America Educational Conference. In keeping with Total Eye Care’s philosophy of providing a complete solution to their patients visual needs Dr. Driscoll has furthered his knowledge in the area of Orthokeratology a procedure where patients wear a vision retainer at night, remove the lens during the day and experience good vision all day long. Says Dr. Driscoll, “some patients simply are not surgical candidates for LASIK or PRK and want a safer alternative to refractive surgery, Orthokeratology provides that safe, effective surgical alternative.”

Current research also shows that the same vision retainers used in Ortho-K can slow myopic progression in children. Said Dr. Driscoll “parents often ask if there is anything they can do to prevent their child from becoming more nearsighted. We can now tell them that studies show Orthokeratology vision retainers significantly slow the progression of nearsightedness in children. New lens designs were also discussed at the meeting and we expect they will be shown to be even more effective. Early reports on these new lens designs will likely be presented next year.”

The keynote address, Myopia as a Public Health Concern, was given by Melbourne Hovell, Ph.D., M.P.H. The international faculty of presenters covered topics including myopia control (including soft lens technology), corneal reshaping research, safety of corneal reshaping, progressive/hyperopic Ortho-K lens designs, new corneal reshaping technologies, post LASIK lenses, Keratoconus / Ortho-K lenses, lens designs for corneal rehabilitation, corneal cross-linking and Ortho-K in China. “This is by far the most widely attended meeting on Orthokeratology and myopia control in the world. There were doctors in attendance from every continent except Antarctica” said Dr. Richard Driscoll, “controlling the progression of myopia was a central theme to the meeting.”

President Dr. Cary Herzberg had the pleasure of announcing the inception of the new International Academy of Orthokeratology(IAO). The IAO brings together Ortho-K organizations from the United States (OAA) as well as Europe and Asia. This international organization will support, promote and advance corneal reshaping worldwide through quality education and research presentations at meetings held around the world.

About Dr. Driscoll and Total Eye Care

Total Eye Care - Colleyvile Contact Info QR Code - SmallDr. Richard Driscoll is a Therapeutic Optometrist and Optometric Glaucoma Specialist. Dr. Driscoll has been taking care of patients in Colleyville and Keller, Texas since 1995. Dr. Driscoll sees a wide variety of patients however his clinical interests include myopia control / orthokeratology, connective tissue disease, keratoconus, post refractive surgery and anterior segment disease.

More information on Ortho-K and Total Eye Care is available at
www.OrthoKDoctor.com
www.TotalEyeCare.com
OrthoKeratology posts on The Eye Doc Blog

Contact Lens Cases – An Often Overlooked Source of Eye Infections

When was the last time you replaced your contact lens case? Next to dirty hands contact lens cases are probably the most common source of bacteria that will contaminate your contact lenses.  The best time to replace your contact lens case is when you get a new bottle of contact lens solution, or better yet make the move to daily disposable contact lenses and skip the contact lens case and solutions altogether.

Contact lens casesTo prevent the contamination of your contact lens case the eye doctors at Total Eye Care recommend that you thoroughly rinse the entire empty contact lens case, including the lid or caps with tap water. Next air dry your case by placing it upside down on the counter.

FDA Study Cites Contact Lenses as Leading Cause of Medical Device Related Emergency Room Visits

During a 24 month study of 100 hospitals contact lenses accounted for 23% of
medical device related emergency room visits involving children.

In a study published online this week in the journal Pediatrics entitled “Emergency Department Visits for Medical Device-Associated Adverse Events Among Children” it was found that 23% of the medical device related emergency room visits involving  children from birth to 21 years of age were contact lens related, this is in contrast to the next closest category,  injuries due to a puncture by a hypodermic needle, which placed a distant second at 8%.   An additional noteworthy finding was that an another 6% of the ER visits  involved lacerations caused by eyeglasses.

The study did not outline how the children were using their contact lenses.  Were they caring for and cleaning them properly?  Did they discard the lenses according to the replacement interval prescribed by their doctor and what type of contact lenses were involved in the study?  The injuries incurred while wearing eyeglasses did not specify the type of activity the child was participating in when the incident occurred.

Contact lenses are medical devices and as such require a prescription from an eye doctor with professional fitting and followup. In clinical practice we have found that patients that follow the guidelines below rarely experience contact lens related complications.

Injuries due to eyeglass lenses and frames was also a significant source of injuries in the study. We must therefore, not forget to provide our children with protective eyewear when they participate in sports.  Sports eyewear has come a long way since the days when Kareem Abdul-Jabbar captured his trademark look.  Sports eyewear has now become fashionable and safe.

More information on contact lenses.

Announcing a New Website OrthoKDoctor.com

Total Eye Care unveiled OrthoKDoctor.com a new website designed to answer patient questions about Orthokeratology, a safe and effective alternative to refractive surgery

Orthokeratology is known by numerous terms, the most common of which are Gentle Vision Shaping System, OrthoK, Corneal Refractive Therapy and Overnight Vision Correction. Total Eye Care introduces the new website OrthoKDoctor.com to inform patients about this exciting technology.

“Orthokeratology is a safe and gentle method where contact lenses temporarily reshape the cornea while a patient sleeps. The beauty of OrthoK is that it is temporary.  As long as a patient wears a retainer lens the effect remains, much like wearing a retainer after orthodontic braces are removed” says Dr. Richard Driscoll, clinical director at Total Eye Care. 

Study Says: Myopia Increasing Rapidly in The US Population

The rate of nearsightedness in the US  has increased by over 66% in the past 30 years says a study published in the December 2009 issue of Archives of Ophthalmology

Thick GlassesA 66% increase in myopia is a huge change over a 30 year period. The new study tried to simulate the testing methods of the original 1972 study on nearsightedness in the US population.  The 1971-1972 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey found that 25% of the US population between the ages of 12 and 54 were nearsighted vs the 1994-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey’s finding of 41.6%.  Increased nearsightedness was noted regardless of age, sex, race or education.

The authors concluded that it would be beneficial to identify behavioral risk factors that cause increased myopia.  If risk factors for increasing myopia are identified we may be able to slow the progression.

The big question is “what caused this increased nearsightedness in the US population”?  As eye doctors we are often asked what causes nearsightedness and the usual answer is that that we believe nearsightedness is a combination of genetics and environmental influences.  In the last 30 years our society has become much more near centric.  People spend hours glued to their computer monitors at work and home. Kids spend more time at near now then ever before with computer games, hand held games etc.

Numerous recent studies have shown that orthokeratology contact lenses can greatly slow the progression of nearsightedness

Finding ways to slow or halt the progression of myopia has been a longstanding subject of study in eyecare.  The process of using special contact lenses to reshape the front part of a patient’s eye to prevent the progression of nearsightedness and to allow the patient to see without glasses is called orthokeratology.  There are a number of different names for orthokeratology, orthoK, corneal molding, corneal reshaping and corneal refractive therapy are some of the most common names.

Almost a year ago the study, Controlling Astigmatism & Nearsightedness in Developing Youth (CANDY) showed that orthokeratology contact lenses reduced the progression of nearsightedness in kids between 9 and 16.  The authors of the CANDY study found that the amount myopia in children that did not wear the overnight Corneal Refractive Therapy lenses increased at a rate of .37D per year while those children wearing  the lenses progressed at only .03 diopters per year.

Another study, Corneal Reshaping and Myopia Progression published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology, conducted at the Ohio State University College of Optometry found that the eyes of the children wearing overnight orthokeratology lenses increased in length at a markedly slower rate than the studies’ non ortho-K lens wearers.

Lastly, the study Stabilization of Myopia by Accelerated Reshaping Technique (SMART) is in the first  of its five years and this past summer released preliminary results showing that again, orthokeratology lenses appear to markedly slowing the progession of nearsightedness in children.

While the rate of nearsightedness in the US population has increased significantly in the last 30 years it is comforting to know that there are safe and effective methods of slowing the progression of myopia.  Download a PDF of the study Increased Prevalence of Myopia in the United States Between 1971-1972 and 1999-2004

Image courtesy of Flickr member Foxtongue.

Preventing Vision Problems in Children Must Become a Priority in The US

That is the opinion of The National Commission on Vision & Health, in a new report entitled “Building a Comprehensive Vision Care System“, found that 25% of school age children have undiagnosed vision problems and that correcting this must become a national health care priority.

91837233_f94352da20_mSome of the vision problems cited in the literature review included undiagnosed nearsightedness, farsightedness, amblyopia, retinoblastoma, congenital defects, and strabismus.  The report went on to state that a vision screening was not a substitute for an eye exam and that eye exams from an optometrist or ophthalmologist were a very effective way to detect vision problems in children.

In 2004 The Vision council of America estimated that the rate of undetected vision problems in children to be 25%.  The 2010 National Health Objective 28-4 to reduce blindness and visual impairment in children and adolescents has experienced little progress in it’s goal to reduce childhood blindness.

In 2002 the American Public Health Association (APHA) issued a statement supporting regular eye exams in children to improve the detection rate of vision problems instead of regular screenings.  APHA recommended eye exams at age 6 mos, 2 years and 4 years.  A failure of the current screening program is the lack of follow through for children when problems are detected.  “Most forms of vision loss in children are preventable.  Improving the access to eye care for children should be as important as are our current childhood vaccination programs” said Dr. Richard Driscoll.

Sixteen states do not require any vision assessment prior to a child entering school.  The remaining states require some for of vision assessment prior to a child entering school, however only five states require a follow up examination to the screening.  Screenings are clearly not effective if the results are not acted upon.  Only three states, Illinois, Kentucky and Missouri have legislated mandatory eye exams prior to a child entering school.

Cost was found to be an issue with getting visual assessments for children.  Uninsured children did not receive a well child visit 54% of the time.  Often a well child visit includes a visual assessment.

The recommendations of the study to improve access to eye care for children  included funding national campaigns to educate the public regarding the need to seek care for their child, setting up national standards to be adopted by all states, assure adequate vision coverage by all public and private insurers.

For more articles written on The Eye Doc Blog on vision problems in children see

New Video on the Importance of Yearly Eye Exams

I came across this video from the American Optometric Association about the importance of yearly eye exams.  We also filmed our own video about the importance of yearly eye exams at the new Colleyville office .  With back to school eye exams being an important part summer it is important for us to safeguard our children’s vision.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NMPuBlMRau0]