Woman putting contact lens

3 of the Latest Developments in Optometry

With so many advancements in technology these days, almost every aspect in the society has received their fair share in the modernization of processes and standards. Among them is the field of optometry. As an optometrist for many years, I have seen these technologies evolved, seen how new techniques were discovered and how new tools have been put in place. All of these positive impacts of technology are certainly working towards the best of the people who are, in their own way, need of assistance.

As a doctor, I am personally watching out over these developments. Of course, I would not want to be behind when it comes to providing what I think would work best with my patients. Here are three of the latest developments in the field of optometry that I have seen so far:

Innovation in Contact Lenses

Contact lenses, by far, are considered as among the fastest growing topics in the field of optometry. As a matter of fact, during the last decade, there has been a considerable amount of developments in that particular aspect. Among those are the dominance and the existence of soft lens materials which are far more comfortable compared to the traditionally designed ones. Since the optical designs have significantly improved, optimization on distance vision is enhanced with the use of enhance range of clear focus, aspherics, mutifocals, as well as toric designs which is used for correcting astigmatism. At the same time, the technology of using silicone hydrogel has also increased oxygen permeability on the eye, improving ocular and corneal surface as a result. Plus, even fashion lenses are created to feed people’s desire to exhibit fashion through their eyes.

Eye Tests Can Detect Early Stages of Alzheimer’s

Just recently, it has been discovered that eye tests can now be done in order to detect early stages of Alzheimer’s. This is done by detecting proteins present in the retina and lens that are commonly associated with the disease. The discoveries support a series of tests conducted which would eventually be used in detecting the earliest signs of Alzheimer’s before it can start impairing the cognitive functionalities of the brain. The research conducted primarily focused on the ultimate detection of a protein called beta-amyloid, which may incorrectly fold to Alzheimer’s. This is one of the root causes of the disease.

Human Corneas Can Be Regrown

A team of scientists composed of Harvard affiliated centers have attempted growing corneal tissue from the human eye to a mice through the use of human adult stem cells. This study was conducted in order to provide hope to individuals whose vision has been impaired or lost due to different reasons. This works supporting the concept that the cells making up our cornea are damaged constantly due to exposure to unlikely components of the outside world, and even through blinking. In order to repair this damage, the eyes have the capability to maintain a minimum number of ‘limbar stem cells’, at the cornea edge. This breakthrough is good news in the world of optometry.

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3 Things You Must Remember As A Parent Of A Child With Autism

There is nothing more painful that learning that your beloved child has developed signs of autism. For some, they blame themselves, thinking that it was them, or something they have done that caused the condition of their child. The thing is, autism is a very rampant condition among children these days. The good thing is, it is not a hopeless case. There are many treatments available these days which are s especially designed for parents who are looking after children with autism.

As a parent, all you want is for your child to grow up just like any other child. Therefore, you are willing to do the best that you can to provide your child what he or she needs. Read along to learn the three things that you need to remember as a parent of a child with autism:

1. Know Your Basics

A basic knowledge about autism is necessary for every parent with a special needs child.

One of the many reasons why parents seem hopeless when it comes to dealing with their children’s circumstances is because they have more misconceptions about the conditions rather than the actual facts. First of all, it is not possible to catch autism. Your child cannot get autism from playing around, or from being exposed to other babies with the same condition. There are many several reasons why a child may have autism; one of them is Asperger’s syndrome.

One way to have the right information is by talking to your doctor. Also, you can research online about the condition, and join forums featuring parents who have children with the same condition. In this way, you get to interact and learn from them. If you have doubts, always refer to your doctor for confirmation.

2. Your Kids Need to Face the Real World

With the use of the term ‘normal’, have no condescending purpose of implying that your child is not normal. It is simply a way of saying that your child needs to be there in the real world. Some parents fail to acknowledge this. As a result, some even contain their children in the privacy of their home, only letting them go out during medications and doctor appointments. Kids need to associate with other kids. They need to be given the chance and the opportunity to play around with other children. They need to discover the world the way it is. Most doctors would agree that they need to realize that there are other means of having fun, instead of just playing by themselves. They can only realize this if they see other children around. Scheduling playdates with friends and other children may help as well.

3. Communication within the Family is Key

There is no sense in avoiding the issue. On the other hand, it can even help if you accept the reality that your child needs special attention and assistance. Make sure that as a family, you understand the things that you need to do at home. Acceptance of the matter is one of the first things that should be worked on at home.

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Why Glasses May Be Better For Your Eye Health Than Contact Lenses

As an optometrist, the most frequently asked questions I hear from my patients include asking whether glasses are better lenses. Of course, I cannot give an answer right away. I need to understand the situation first. This is done by checking the patients’ eyes and seeing the actual condition. Then, based on the analysis I gather, I can create a conclusion.

But really, if you will ask me which corrective method I prefer? I still go with the traditional use of glasses over contact lenses. Allow me to explain why:

The Glasses vs. Lenses Debate

It’s tough to call a winner in the debate of Glasses vs. Lenses

For one, contact lenses are quite troublesome. I have observed patients who come to my clinic to request for lenses. Some of them come back, not because of faulty lenses, but because they have done something wrong with their lenses, either forgetting to clean them, to remove them, or do maintenance on them. Some even forget that they have long nails, and they end up scratching their lenses, or worst, hurting their eyes. On the other hand, those who request glasses are more trouble free. They may visit again, for readjusting purposes, and other minor reasons. For this, I prefer glasses over contact lenses.

Contacts Don’t Win on Comfort

Wearing contact lenses can also be quite uncomfortable. For example, you cannot just sleep with your contact lens on. If you sleep with them on, you may end up waking up with stressed eyes, or perhaps not having a good sleep at all. On the contrary, if you are wearing glasses, all you need to do is to take them off, and sleep anytime you want to.

Glasses Are Fragile

Some say that glasses are more fragile that they can just break anytime. Well, this is only applicable if you are engaged with active sports, and you always get hit in your face. Contact lenses, in reality, tears easier, and way too easier compared to glasses. Thus, even the slightest action of cleaning it or removing them with your fingers can already tear them up. Glasses however, depending on the make and durability, can fall, but may still have some strength to survive. They are very easy to remove and put on as well.

Lenses Can’t Be in Your Eye Forever

Also, there is a limited time for you to put your lenses on. If you wear contact lenses for eight hours straight, or even longer, your eyes will eventually feel really dry, and it can even lead on to blindness when uncared for to the extreme. With glasses however, you do not have to constantly check whether your eyes are still okay or not. If you feel like removing it anytime you want, you are free to do so, without having to go through the strenuous process of picking on your eyes constantly.

And who says you can’t look good with glasses on? All you need to make sure is you select the best glass frame that fits your face. Going to an optical shop will allow you to get recommendations on the perfect glass that would look good on you.


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Child Psychologist And Autism: A Personal Perspective

Every parent wants their child to be happy and healthy. When your child is diagnosed with autism, the first reaction from parents can be extreme. They feel devastated and it is hard to accept that you child has autism.


However, then the word spectrum is added to the diagnosis which often changes things, how severe the autism is, how to treat it, etc. Remember that autistic children are not all the same and there is a wide range of problems to deal with.


The first should be an accurate diagnosis and to have your child tested for severity. The most common symptoms to watch for that most children have in common are:

  • avoids eye contact in most situations.
  • will focus on one item for very long periods of time
  • does not smile much
  • a lack of social skills
  • a lack of empathy
  • the inability to read others facial expressions
  • repetitive movements such as twirling or rocking
  • difficult to make and keep friends




There is no cure for Autism but there are treatments that can help and reduce the symptoms and make your child feel better. From a personal perspective, to have two children diagnosed with autism can destroy your world if you let it, but my choice was not to let that happen.


Autism is treatable if you work with a child psychologist and take one step at the time. The treatment will contain role play to get your child used to interacting with people. The psychologist will also help your child express emotions with the child explaining the different facial expressions used by people. Since autistic children have trouble reading expressions its good to give them coping skills to use. There is also exposure therapy that uses items or discussions to walk your child through situations they might encounter and the appropriate responses to make. I found working with an experienced child psychologist to be very rewarding and I saw marked improvement from the first few weeks.


Reward System:


Autistic children can suffer from depression and so a rewards system is set up. If a child with this disorder is rewarded for doing or saying the correct response they are given a small reward. Soon this will show changes in their behavior as they work to earn more rewards. The goal here is not to make them dependent on rewards but to encourage acceptable behavior and modify unacceptable social skills. If children can learn this it will help them to make friends and keep them.




When children are diagnosed be aware that great strides have been made in learning how to treat it. And knowing the facts about autism makes understanding your child easier. They are not acting up in class to annoy people. Sometimes it is better to home school an autistic child and introduce the world of friends gradually. Being in a classroom with 30 or more students and all of the commotion is not the best environment for learning for a child with autism.


Remember that the first step is diagnosis and then if you feel like you are ready for it, find an experienced psychologist to work with your child so that progress can be accomplished. The earlier this treatment begins the better for the child.


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SUV Safety and Autism

Autism can create many changes in your life depending on the level that you are dealing with.  Usually presenting itself within the first three years of life, autism can create new challenges in areas where you would never expect it.  One of those areas is driving because depending on the level of care necessary it might be important to look into a harness that can keep your child safe.  While initially car seats and seat belts may work, we all know that those only last a short time before kids can figure the mechanisms out and become an escape artist.

There are several horror stories about autistic children getting out of their harnesses inside of a vehicle getting out of their car while it is still in motion.  I and my wife have had a couple of close calls with our children also so we have been trying to get new solution.  Our children are both non-verbal and quite severe in nature but they are both capable of getting out of their car seat fairly easily.  We have searched many places for harnesses or car seats that will provide good protection, as well as, keep him seated while driving.  Additionally, we have had an issue with him becoming aggressive with other family members when he gets out of his seat.  He is easily subdued but if done at the wrong time it could lead to people getting injured or worse yet cause an accident with additional injuries.

Investigating the issue, we looked at a new vehicle which would give additional room for everyone because our children appear to get upset if the other vehicle occupants get too close.  That being said we used a great resource to find our new SUV (http://www.suvscout.com).  This site was able to break down the SUV purchase and provided great reviews about different vehicles which made our purchase decision even easier.  The decision was to go with the Subaru Forester because it afforded a great price, fantastic reliability and one of the best safety ratings on the market.  Unfortunately, our process to providing the safest environment for our children did not end there.  We needed a new harness to prevent him from moving around the car while in motion.

Our first step was to do a general search on Google for autistic car seat.  What we received was pretty amazing.  There was a whole market of seats and harnesses for special needs children.  From that point, we researched all the ones that we found.  We looked at the pluses and minuses of each one and tried to read every review.  To be honest, it came down to information overload because there were things that we wanted that certain products had but then had bad reviews.  We finally made the decision to go with a harness which is known to be “Houdini-Proof”.  It provided everything we needed and ensured our children  would be safe.  It does require a little more effort on your part when installing but does pay some big rewards after.

It has been about one year since purchasing our new car and harness for our children.  I cannot begin to tell you how happy I have been with both purchases.  New benefits that we did not even think about when we looked into purchasing the vehicle seem to be popping up.  But the biggest benefit is that we get to see that our children are safe and happy in their new harnesses and we can give a big sigh of relief to the whole issue and not worry about some other horror stories.

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