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New Online Features Translate Vision Science to Everyday Life

From National Eye Institute Press Release – May 18, 2009

National Eye Institute Celebrates Healthy Vision Month

Nearly 14 million Americans experience vision problems, ranging from the need for glasses to blindness. The National Eye Institute (NEI), part of the National Institutes of Health, supports vision research that leads to sight-saving treatments for these conditions. During Healthy Vision Month this May, NEI unveils three online resources for the public to get an inside look at the research process and its impact on public health.

Online Newsmagazinewww.nei.nih.gov/EYEonNEI

Eye on NEI will feature in-depth stories, interviews with researchers, vision science images, and answers to eye health questions. The first biweekly edition includes a profile of Erik Weihenmayer, the only blind man to reach the summit of Mount Everest. Weihenmayer recounts his experiences with testing a breakthrough vision device known as BrainPort. The device, developed with NEI support, allows visually impaired people to “see” objects and words by relaying electrical signals from the tongue to the brain.

Multimedia Timelinewww.nei.nih.gov/lca/nei_timeline

This interactive timeline details the research path toward gene therapy treatment for Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA), a blinding genetic condition that affects the eye’s retinal tissue. In a recent NEI-supported study, three young adults with LCA experienced improvements in day and night vision after undergoing gene therapy. The timeline incorporates video interviews with researchers, scientists, and medical experts to trace the scientific process from the laboratory bench to the patient’s bedside.

Vodcast and Podcastwww.nei.nih.gov/healthyeyes

Many vision problems can go undetected without regular, comprehensive dilated eye exams. In vodcast and podcast interviews for the new Healthy Eyes Web page, NEI’s Dr. Janine Austin Clayton explains that nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, and presbyopia are common vision problems that are easily corrected once diagnosed. Visitors can also use the Web page to send free e-cards to encourage family and friends to get their vision checked.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) — The Nation’s Medical Research Agency — includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is the primary federal agency for conducting and supporting basic, clinical and translational medical research, and it investigates the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.

Full Press Release can be found here.

Dr. Nate

Nathan Bonilla-Warford, OD
Bright Eyes Family Vision Care
Located in the Westchase area of Tampa.

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NPR story about Amblyopia: Learning To See In Stereo

As an eye doctor who provides vision therapy to treat amblyopia and an avid NPR fan, I was heartened to hear this story in the shower this morning:

www.npr.org – Learning To See In Stereo

There has indeed been much progress in the visual sciences and specifically in the area of amblyopia. Rigorous, well-controlled clinical studies done at institutions such as UC Berkeley have shown us that amblyopia can be treated in ways that are less burdensome, can be treated at later ages than previously thought, and with far-reaching quality of life benefits.

Certainly it will take more effort for someone like Joe or Sue to see these benefits than it would for a 4 year old who has tremendous neuroplasticity.

One element that this story gets exactly right is that vision problems like amblyopia truly are issues of neurophysiology not ocular physiology. When we when treat a patient who has amblyopia, we really are changing how their brain functions.

I am so excited to get the word out on the science behind vision therapy!

Be Well!
Dr. Nate

Nathan Bonilla-Warford, OD
Bright Eyes Family Vision Care
Located in the Westchase area of Tampa.

Dr Nate Google PlusBright Eyes Tampa on Google PlacesBright Eyes Tampa on FacebookBright Eyes Tampa on TwitterBright Eyes Tampa on YelpBright Eyes Tampa on foursquareWestchase Patch

The Scientific Basis for and Efficacy of Optometric Vision Therapy in Nonstrabismic Accommodative and Vergence Disorders

While it is not exactly light reading, this article is one of the best at concretely summarizing some of the foundations of why we offer vision therapy. It covers not only the research about how effective vision therapy is for certain visual conditions, but how the visual system works.

I encourage everyone to at least check it out.

Be Well!

Dr. Nate

Nathan Bonilla-Warford, OD
Bright Eyes Family Vision Care
Located in the Westchase area of Tampa.

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