This infographic is from The Vision Council, a group comprised of representatives from the optical industry. It is part of their splendid 2016 Digital Eye Strain Report. Given the governance of The Vision Council, it isn’t entirely surprising that their recommendations in the report centered on ophthalmic lenses, visual hygiene, and environmental modifications. Isn’t it about time that the The Vision Council worked optometric vision therapy into the conversation?
A website that The Vision Council is aligned with, thinkaboutyoureyes.com, aims a little bit closer to the mark. Under the heading “Vision Problems Can Spell Other Problems for Kids” they note: “Too often, a child who can’t see well is misdiagnosed with a totally unrelated behavioral problem like ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). This misdiagnosis can then start a frustrating chain of events for parents and kids alike, from unnecessary doctors visits and special classes to medications. When, in reality, the true solution might be right before their eyes: a simple pair of glasses!” Again, excellent information, but nary a word about optometric vision therapy on the site.
How can we take the 2016 Digital Eye Strain Report and turn it from splendid into magnificent? Take a look at the CI Symptom Questionnaire and consider how many of the items relate to eye strain.
A significant subset of the population that the 2016 Digital Eye Strain report encompasses has convergence insufficiency (CI). That’s not a stretch, that’s just basic epidemiology. And for that subset, office-based optometric vision therapy is the hands-down treatment of choice for their symptoms.
In fact, that’s old news already! The CITT group is on to the next frontier, recruiting patients for their CITT-ART study.
I’m going to suggest, therefore, that if there’s a 2017 Digital Eye Strain Report by The Vision Council, it works office-based optometric vision therapy into the conversation by taking a more global approach. This is precisely what was done last year in Point de Vue, the International Review of Ophthalmic Optics. In an encompassing article entitled The challenges of digital vision in a multi-screen world, Elizabeth Casillas, O.D., from the Department of Optometry at the Autonomous University of Aguascalientes, Mexico nails it regarding the three basic approaches:
“The first involves optical correction, with hightech lenses offering optimal vision quality and protection. The second approach involves training, consisting of various exercises designed to improve visual capabilities. The third approach involves education in visual hygiene (posture, breaks, a good work environment, etc.).”
Authors of this article include colleagues from Australia, Germany, India, Singapore, Spain, and two others from Mexico well-known to behavioral optometrists, José de Jesús Espinosa Galaviz and Berenice Velázquez.
If anyone from The Vision Council is reading this, my compliments again on a splendid report. But take a page out of Points de Vue and make it even better by working VT into the conversation.