Groundbreaking Program on 3D Technology at AOA – Part 5 (Final)

In Part 4 I noted that Dr. Sheedy, a driving force behind the AOA S3D program last weekend in Chicago, detailed the clinical and research direction he was taking in the Vision Performance Institute’s 3D Clinic at Pacific University College of Optometry.  Here’s a distance stereo target that Dr. Sheedy and colleagues are using to investigate the speed and flexibility of distance S3D.  While others such as Martin Banks, PhD, at UC Berkeley College of Optometry continue to probe theoretical considerations of S3D visual issues superbly and in depth (pardon the pun), Dr. Sheedy is at the vanguard of clinical tests that I can see us applying to our practices within the next year or two.  He’s also considering the implications of biological motion as related to visually induced motion disturbance.  The visual-vestibular mismatch while watching movies is linked in part to the binocular disorders associated with visual motion hypersensitivity, and to the concept of vection.  In that regard Dr. Sheedy and colleagues at the VPI 3D Clinic are being holistic in looking at the intersection if not integration of a variety of visually-related factors impacting the S3D viewing experience.  Here are a few other highlights from speakers at this groundbreaking program at the AOA meeting.

Dr. Michael Duenas is a graduate of UAB Optometry who worked at the CDC before becoming the Chief Public Health Officer and Associate Director of Health Sciences and Policy at the AOA.  He made a very persuasive argument for the public health concerns related to S3D.  We all know that too many parents rely on the pediatrician or school nurse screening to substitute for a comprehensive eye examination and vision evaluation.  Frankly at times Dr. Duenas sounded like a behavioral optometrist, and I found myself doing a double take!  What a pleasant surprise it has been to see how passionate and forceful Dr. D is regarding S3D from an interventional standpoint.  Here’s the key: Dr. D asked all ODs in the audience to contact him if they wished to be part of a national effort to gather more S3D clinical data.

Chicago’s own Dr. Dominick Maino, Professor of Pediatrics and Binocular Vision at ICO, gave a wonderful presentation about 3D Vision Syndrome.  He was joined by his patient, Shannon, a 27 year-old physical therapist, who spoke  eloquently about her experiences prior to and after completing optometric vision therapy.  Aside from the quantitative changes that Dr. Maino documented, Shannon’s comments resonated for the profound effects of an untreated binocular problem on activities of daily living.  Wrapping her experiences around issues that were brought to the surface by the significant discomfort she experienced with S3D movie viewing made for a poignant presentation.  Take a look at Dr. Maino’s blog about the meeting, and a nice photo of me doing some S3D viewing with Dr. Dan Press.

The final presenter was another UAB grad, Dr. Donna Matthews, who represented our prototypical primary care OD who grasps the significance of S3D.  Practicing in Birmingham, not particularly known as a hotbed of binocular vision, she noted that she was turned on by the book Fixing My Gaze, and the experiences of “Stereo Sue”.  I loved Donna’s opening lines about neuroplasticity during which she said: “You know, those COVD folks seem to have had it right all along!”  Dr. Matthews is progressively identifying herself and her practice as being knowledgeable about S3D issues.  She has devoted a portion of her pubic awareness budget toward getting the word out locally.

Imagine the future.  Imagine every 3D movie or educational product coming with this disclaimer:

“If you have visual difficulty during or after viewing this, please contact your Doctor of Optometry”

Ah, Chicago — My Kind of Town!

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