The Crowding Effect: Importance in reading readiness and its assessment

The Crowding Effect: Importance in reading readiness and its assessment

What is the crowding effect? People with amblyopia experience the crowding effect, which is described as difficulty reading a letter when it is surrounded by other letters or contours. For this reason, when testing visual acuity in amblyopes, you may measure a better visual acuity using isolated letters than if you use a single line or the entire chart. When reading a row of letters, amblyopes can usually also read the first and last letters more easily than the middle letters. The crowding effect is more pronounced in strabismic amblyopes than anisometropic amblyopes.…Read more …
Delayed Visual Development: Development of Vision and Visual Delays

Delayed Visual Development: Development of Vision and Visual Delays

The ophthalmology community doesn't have the best track record in treating strabismus or visual delays but if one of their sources come up with useful and undogmatic diagnostic information, I gladly share it. This is such an instance. https://www.aao.org/pediatric-center-detail/delayed-visual-development-development-of-vision-v   I summarized some useful insights from this article on early visual milestones I summarized here: "1. (birth) Delay in eye contact: Delays in visual communication can be noticed as failing eye contact in newborn infants. Delay in development of eye contact is usually caused by weak or no accommodation or high hyperopia (FARSIGHTEDNESS), which…Read more …
FAQ: Figuring out a prognosis for functional strabismus recovery

FAQ: Figuring out a prognosis for functional strabismus recovery

Having read the strabismus chapter of "Applied Concepts in VT", I've found many encouraging but also discouraging quotes. Keep in mind that I mostly read this chapter with my own case in mind. This means that factors pertaining to my own case stand out more to me. Factors that might be immensely important to other patients' cases and mentioned in the chapter are not necessarily mentioned in my list. This table of probability allows one to calculate the odds of functional recovery of a strabismic based on his or her specific characteristics. It's…Read more …

FAQ: Example of a Comprehensive Visual Processing Evaluation intake report (PDF)

Below you will find the intake report of a 58 yo female patient suffering from Convergence Insufficiency and various other visual deficiencies. This report was compiled based on two separate one hour testing sessions. The two sessions were done on two different days in order not to have fatigue skew the results.  Page 1 gives a statistical overview of how the patient did in terms of population percentile or age equivalent and whether or not this performance was adequate for healthy every day visual function. Page 2 to 5 explain what the various…Read more …
Developmental timelines of Amblyopia

Developmental timelines of Amblyopia

This table is taken and completed with information from the book "Applied Concepts in Vision Therapy" by Leonard Press.   "Critical period: birth to 6 months aggressive treatment required: critical to provide child with clear visual input lack of treatment results in legal blindness and nystagmus untreated infantile cataract is an extreme model of consequences of deprivation during early visual development. They exhibit dense, irreversible amblyopia with nystagmus infantile cataract is most treatable amblyogenic factor at this age other amblyogenic factors are maximally influential at this age Sensitive period: 6 months to age…Read more …
Redefining Amblyopia as disorder of vision development

Redefining Amblyopia as disorder of vision development

I am studying various chapters from the book "Applied Concepts in Vision Therapy" by Leonard Press. In this blog post I have compiled some of the most relevant and poignant quotes from chapter 7 called "Amblyopia: A Microcosm of Visual Disorders". "Various tacks of amblyopia research:  Conclusions of the Hubel and Wiesel research: form deprivation results in profound alterations of the total visual system. Practicioners should monitor amblyogenic factors (!) such as strabismus, uncompensated anisometriopia, high uncompensated isometropic defocus, organic defocus as a result of disease (cataract, glaucoma, ...), or iatrogenic defocus such…Read more …

FAQ: What ocular and neurologic diseases can be masquerading as functional vision disorders?

This incomplete list was compiled using the 6th chapter of 'Applied Concepts in Vision Therapy' by Leonard Press. Use Google at your discretion.  Ocular and neurological diseases sometimes misdiagnosed as amblyopia: - craniopharyngioma - Coats' disease - optic nerve disease - optic nerve hypoplasia - glaucoma - retinoblastoma - toxo-retinochoroiditis Diseases sometimes misdiagnosed as bilateral amblyopia: - foveal schisis / foveal detachment / macular holes - retinitis pigmentosa / cone-rod dystrophy - Stargardt's macular degeneration - keratoconus Occult neurologic disease masquerading as a binocular dysfunction: - pituitary adenoma - multiple sclerosis (MS)Read more …

“The Scarcity Trap: Why We Keep Digging When We’re Stuck In A Hole”

Here's an interesting NPR podcast about the psychological "scarcity trap": http://www.npr.org/2017/03/20/520587241/the-scarcity-trap-why-we-keep-digging-when-were-stuck-in-a-hole. When you're in need of something, your mind is enveloped by a kind of "tunnel vision" prompting you to solve short term problems in ways that are detrimental to long term success. This can apply to food, money, social contact, time, ... I personally have most experience with this issue in terms of functional vision skills scarcity. My underdeveloped binocular vision makes it harder to accomplish certain tasks so historically I used to double down on my cumbersome strabismic vision habits in order to solve…Read more …

“Development of Vision and Visual Delays”

I read a very relevant developmental vision related article on the website of the American Acadamy of Ophthalmology. From ophthalmology quarters archaic, overly pro-surgery sounds are often heard when it comes to strabismus and developmental vision issues. Nonetheless, sometimes they pleasantly surprise you. The article shows awareness of the need to monitor visual milestones in infants and visual function in older children to maximize potential and quality of life. It also touches on the need to correct farsightedness or hyperopia as quickly as possible to avoid later problems. On the research level some…Read more …

“Our senses can’t learn under stress”

Having compromised sensory abilities can be very stressful and that in turn can impede rehabilitation or further development. Creating a climate of understanding conducive to sensory learning is thus of paramount importance. Read the entire article at: http://neurosciencenews.com/stress-learning-senses-5942/ "Stress is part of our everyday lives – while some thrive on it, it makes others sick. But what does stress do to our senses? When we train them, we can sharpen our senses thereby improve our perceptual performance. The stress hormone cortisol completely blocks this important ability. In the current issue of “Psychoneuroendocrinology” neuroscientists of…Read more …