Monday, September 17, 2012

Learning Related Vision Problems

Vision and Learning(Info provided by

Many parents indicate to us that their child's eyes are fine.  They have passed the pediatrician's vision screening or one at their school.  How could there possibly be a vision problem contributing to difficulties in learning and school?  The answer is complex but we often find subtle problems that are not detected in screenings.  Academic success requires 17 different visual skills and seeing 20/20 is just one of these skills.  Screenings do not check for all of these skills.

Symptoms of a learning related vision problem include:
---Struggles with schoolwork
---Short attention span with reading
---Poor reading comprehension
---Homework overwhelm

Contact us if your child has any of these symptoms.

James B. Mayer, OD, FCOVD
   Agape Learning & Optometry Center
   Thousand Oaks, CA   91360

Friday, September 14, 2012

Sports Vision Tinted Contact Lenses

Tinted Contact Lenses for Sports

Many professional and amateur athletes wear sport tint contact lenses to enhance their visual performance.  The use of sport tint lenses is growing - especially baseball (football & soccer) players, golfers, runners and tennis players.  CBS Evening News recently had a feature on tinted contacts for sports.

Baseball/Football/Soccer:  An amber lens blocks out blue light which is called "visual noise" by vision experts while the red colors, such as a baseball's seams, are accentuated.   They block high amounts of blue light to heighten contrast and visual acuity.   They are particularly useful to improve contrast on grass and against blue skies. Professional baseball players Chipper Jones (Atlanta Braves) and Mark McGuire (Cardinals - retired) are big proponents of these sport lenses.  Professional football players Marques Colston (Saints), Charles Tillman (Bears), Jason Hill (Broncos) and Brandon Jones (Ravens) and also very happy wearers.
Amber "Pupil Only" Sports Vision Tint

Available in Full Iris tint and Pupil Only tint.

Golf:  The gray-green lenses allow golfers to better differentiate distance on a golf course.  They heighten contrast (mildly) while preserving color balance and reduces brightness.  Professional golfer Justin Leonard has commented that with the gray-green lenses he is able to separate out every blade of grass.
Gray-Green Sports Vision Tint
Runners:  The Sun Tac lens reduces overall brightness while preserving 100 percent normal color recognition.  These are great on bright days in order to avoid dripping sweat on sunglasses.
Sun Tac Sports Vision Tint
Tennis:  The Bolle Blue lens blocks blue light to heighten contrast and visual acuity.  The tennis ball is much easier to see with this lens.
Bolle Blue "Pupil Only" Sports Vision Tint

--James B. Mayer, OD, FCOVD
     Agape Learning & Optometry Center
     Thousand Oaks, CA

Monday, September 10, 2012

Brain Aneurysm

Life Saving Eye Exams

Olivia Rodriquez, a 22 year old Anaheim resident, complained about headaches, blackouts, nausea & dizziness for the last year.  She was told to reduce her stress levels by doctors.

Over time, she also developed double vision.  This was because her eye would turn in.  The result: impaired driving.  Her optic nerves were discovered to be swollen with a visit to her optometrist, Dr. Carlos Green.  She had a plum sized brain aneurysm.  Brain surgery corrected the problem and she is living a normal life again.

Our tests can reveal a multitude of systemic disease such as high blood pressure and cholesterol, diabetes, thyroid dysfunction and brain tumors.  This is a shock to many people but something we see weekly.

James B. Mayer, OD, FCOVD
   Agape Learning & Optometry Center
   Thousand Oaks, CA

Friday, September 7, 2012

REVERSALS - Letter & Number

(a white paper from the College of Optometrists in Vision Development -

Problems of letter and number reversals in children have concerned parents and educators for many years.  Some have considered reversals as a symptom of dyslexia.  More commonly reversals reflect a lag in spatial development.

Most research has shown there is no structural or medical basis for these reversals.  Although reversals are common and expected in five to six year old children, they may persist through childhood.  Some adults may even continue to manifest these problems.

For many years, scientists have studied children with reversal problems, particularly regarding orientation to right and left as related to their own bodies (laterality), and to objects around them (directionality).

At three, or even younger, the child should have grasped the concept of top and bottom, and right side up or upside down (even though still looking at books upside down).

The four year old is grappling with front and back, and may still put a shirt on backward.  Many four year olds show reversals as they put on shoes by themselves.  Some four to five year olds may start printing numbers and letters from right to left. At these ages, this is a normal stage of developing orientation in children.

Although most children master this concept of directionality by age seven, this confusion in orientation may continue, in some people, all their life. Reversals are a manifestation of a developmental lag in the process of orientation. They are indicative of an underlying problem in the integration of the vestibular and visual systems in the brain.

Rote repetition of learning to write letters and numbers correctly or rotely learning right and left hands may help us pass a test, but it does not solve the problem of the underlying causative factor of delayed orientation development.

The development of orientation starts in the prenatal period with the attitudinal reflexes which help the fetus orient in utero. This development continues through varied learned experiences in our lives. Interferences in movement activities involving vision and neuromotor relationships limit the development of orientation.

According to the neuroscientist J.D. French, orientation contributes in an important way to the highest mental processes--the focusing of attention, and the ability to think, to learn, and to act.

Specific vision therapy, including the unique application of lenses and prisms during visual-neuromotor activities (movement with awareness and feedback), provides learning experiences to improve the development of laterality, directionality and orientation, and the related problems of reversals.

When a child learns to orient easily, the evidence points to a well integrated and effectively operating person.

--James B. Mayer, OD, FCOVD
     Agape Learning & Optometry Center
     Thousand Oaks, CA

Monday, September 3, 2012

Protective Sports Eyewear

“Suit Up” The Eyes For Sports Safety

Shin guards for soccer.  Shoulder pads for football. Batting helmets for baseball and softball.  Almost every sport has its own unique safety equipment.  Most participants in sports, however, forget to protect one of the most important parts of the body: the eyes.

Sports are the leading cause of eye injuries in children under 16.  Most of these could be avoided by wearing proper eye protection.

Protective sports eyewear can help prevent injuries such as fracture of the eye socket, scratched corneas, swollen retinas and even cataracts caused by trauma to the eye.

Parents of children who participate in sports should insist that their children wear protective eyewear and encourage schools and athletic clubs to adopt a policy requiring it.

September is Sports Eye Safety Awareness Month.  We encourage anyone who participates in sports – children and adults alike – to remember to outfit the eyes for safety.  Today’s protective eyewear is lightweight, comfortable and available with or without vision correction.