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    Finibus Bonorum
    Acount executive I Communication
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Our Values

Ambition
We are creating something worth creating, that will endure the test of time. We do this by relentlessly focusing on the success of our employees and customers. We’re grounded by humility and driven by ambition and expect our employees to be too.
a
Make It Fun
We believe in celebrating our successes, milestones and hard work, through recognition, appreciation and rewards
m
Passion For Learning
We want to be at the forefront of change and growth; there is always something we can learn.
p
Live The Golden Rule
We are empathetic and respectful of each other, customers and the communities we serve. We value, encourage and celebrate the gifts in one another and respect the inherent dignity and worth of every individual.
l
Integrity
We believe in honesty, openness, trust, respect and reliability in all that we do.
i
Focused Teams
Working together on a project is more important than who gets credit. We put trust in our teams and watch the incredible accomplishments happen when ego takes a backseat.
f
You Are Unique
We know it takes people with different ideas, strengths, interests, and cultural backgrounds to help us succeed.
y
Investing In Our Employees
“We train our people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to” (Richard Branson)
i
Transparency
We are honest about the actions we are taking, being upfront and visible.
t

our values

  • a

    Ambition

    We are creating something worth creating, that will endure the test of time. We do this by relentlessly focusing on the success of our employees and customers. We’re grounded by humility and driven by ambition and expect our employees to be too.
  • m

    Make It Fun

    We believe in celebrating our successes, milestones and hard work, through recognition, appreciation and rewards
  • p

    Passion For Learning

    We want to be at the forefront of change and growth; there is always something we can learn.
  • l

    Live The Golden Rule

    We are empathetic and respectful of each other, customers and the communities we serve. We value, encourage and celebrate the gifts in one another and respect the inherent dignity and worth of every individual.
  • i

    Integrity

    We believe in honesty, openness, trust, respect and reliability in all that we do.
  • f

    Focused Teams

    Working together on a project is more important than who gets credit. We put trust in our teams and watch the incredible accomplishments happen when ego takes a backseat.
  • y

    You Are Unique

    We know it takes people with different ideas, strengths, interests, and cultural backgrounds to help us succeed.
  • i

    Investing In Our Employees

    “We train our people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to” (Richard Branson)
  • t

    Transparency

    We are honest about the actions we are taking, being upfront and visible.

Lorem Ipsum

What is Behavioral Optometry?
Behavioral optometry employs an integrated approach to treatment that views the individual as more than a refractive error, a patient, or visual issue. Extending traditional eyecare beyond 20/20 vision.

What is Behavioral Optometry?

We are more than just our eyes. However, some of us may experience vision based problems. When most people think of eye-related errors they think of issues with acuity. Acuity is our ability to see clearly at near and at distance. For some, this is where their visual journey ends and for others, where it begins. For those with an acuity issue, an eye exam with a refraction and they are on their way to better vision. But what about those who don’t have a problem with acuity, yet they still are unable to see? There happens to be an entirely different side of the same visual coin that people tend to overlook or be wholly unaware of.   

The Two Sides of Vision

The visual equation is two fold. First, as we discussed, is our ability to see clearly. Second, and very importantly, is the manner in which our eyes operate together as a team. A deficiency in this area can lead to a myriad of visual, physical, and behavioral problems. Before we dismiss the implications of that last statement let's talk briefly about perception. Let us consider this: about 80-90% of the sensory input that reaches our brain is visual data. With that type of staggering statistic it’s easy to consider this next statement. How we see largely makes up who we are. This isn’t to invalidate other sensory input or pathways but to emphasize how important this one is.  

The Broader Impact of Binocular Dysfunction

If how we see is who we are then what does that mean for someone deficient in the visual system? The answer brings us full circle to the scope of the first question on Behavioral Optometry. The inability to use our binocular system effectively not only presents as an issue in its own right but will tend to cascade into other areas of our development and our lives.  The inability to perceive the world as it really is, whether it is through double vision or a lack of depth perception, will affect psychological and behavioral development. If the mind and body cannot course correct in an effective and healthy manner then, as wonderfully evolved as it is, the mind will develop another means in which to address the crisis. This is everything from shutting down the relay of visual information from the eye to the brain to hyperactivity and the inability to stay attentive when attention is required. This is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg when it comes to the implications of undiagnosed or unaddressed binocular dysfunction.   

Behavioral Optometry

Behavioral Optometry is the field in which the very nature of these issues, from the neurological to the psychological, are addressed. Optometrists who specialize in this field are focused on preventing, diagnosing, and treating these disorders and the compounded issues while improving the overall quality of life for those afflicted. Behavioral Optometrists typically employ an integrated approach to treatment meaning it’s well-rounded with their interdisciplinary point of view. One of the hallmarks of Behavioral Optometry is viewing the individual as more than a refractive error, a patient, or visual issue. The patient is considered, first and foremost, a human being and from that foundational perspective, the effectiveness of treatment has already changed for the better. Along with the humanistic view, the Doctor will also consider biopsychosocial factors when diagnosing and treating patients. Considering all possible causes, affected areas, medical histories, and behavioral adaptations when treating an individual. These traits of Behavioral Optometry are typically what sets it apart from standard practice. 
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The Thatcher Effect Illusion

Does this person look normal to you?

renshaw

How about now?

image The eyes, and the brain, can fall prey to a range of optical illusions, for a variety of reasons. One such illusion is known as the Thatcher Effect. Named for former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, since it was a photo of her that was famously used to illustrate the illusion, shows that the brain cannot properly process a photo of a face which is upside-down. It demonstrates this by modifying upside down faces, flipping the mouth and eyes right side up. Because of this, and how our minds have learned to recognize faces, the brain believes nothing is wrong...until the image is turned right side up. Only at that point does the brain finally realize that yes, something was indeed very wrong with the image. The Thatcher Effect demonstrates the importance of the brain’s processing of visual information, and the fact that recognizing faces is something we learn to do as our vision develops.  
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Amazing Optical Illusions, and How They Work

Optical illusions work by exploiting the disparity between what the eyes see and how the brain perceives that visual input. In doing so, they demonstrate that our visual systems “edit” what we see without us even being aware of it, as it decides what is worth paying attention to.

Even before humans understood the visual system as we do today, they created and were fascinated by optical illusions. Even today, we don’t know enough to explain how some of these fascinating illusions work. Below are a few of these eye-twisting, and brain-fooling, illusions.

Lilac Chaser

[embed]https://youtu.be/a4fw3bmJwDs[/embed] Focus on the crosshairs in the center of the image. After around 10-20 seconds, the lilac colored dots will start fading away to gray, while the dot that had previously been hopping around the lilac chain becomes a green dot, rotating in a circle. This illusion is called Troxler’s fading, or Troxler’s effect, and it was discovered by Swiss polymath Ignaz Paul Troxler in 1804. Troxler’s effect is a result of the ability of our visual neurons to turn off their awareness of things which aren’t changing, and to heighten their perception of things which are. Since, in the animated image, the lilac dots are stationary while the empty spot moves, after a short processing period, our visual system transitions to focusing solely on the moving blank dot. Due to a second illusion at play, the moving blank dot turns green. That is due to the retinas of the eyes becoming oversaturated with the lilac color from the dots we saw moments ago.When the lilac color is removed, what you see is its complementary color (a light green) in its place. Essentially, the green color is the result of white light with the lilac color subtracted.

Gradient Illusion

850ec66d5851678dfba9632c011616fa (1) The bar in the center of the image above appears gradated, changing from light to dark gray in the opposite direction as the background gradient. Have you guessed the illusion yet? Perhaps you have. This is a case of your brain fooling itself. If you cover everything in the image apart from the bar, you’ll confirm that it is actually monochrome. This illusion is caused by the brain interpreting the ends of the bar as being in different lighting, and from that determines what it thinks the bar would look like if evenly lit. Through this process, it decides that the left end of the bar is a light gray object in dim lighting, while the right is a darker gray that is well lit.

Disappearing Dots

[embed]https://youtu.be/KK1hg5-xUm8[/embed] For this illusion, start by staring at the blinking green light in the center of the video for several seconds. You’ll notice that as you continue staring, the yellow dots around the light. One of them might disappear, only to reappear moments later, or first one fades, then the other two, only for all 3 to come back after another few moments. As long as you keep focusing on the blinking light, the yellow dots continually disappear and reappear at random. This illusion is called motion induced blindness, and it was first discovered in 1965, but it wasn’t until 2001, when it was rediscovered and named, that it gained significant attention. While similar to Troxler’s fading, which we touched on above, it is considered a separate phenomenon due to the requirement of a moving background for it to work.  There is still debate regarding the cause of motion induced blindness, with at least 5 theories being proposed.  One recent theory, known as the perceptual scotoma, proposes that this illusion is another attempt by the brain to provide us with clear and accurate perception. Since the 3 dots don’t change as the background spins, the visual system takes them out of our awareness, since they seem to be in contradiction with how the visual system understands things to work in real life. So, it essentially treats those spots like blind spots in the visual field.

The Hering Illusion

(Image credit: Fibonacci | Creative Commons) This mind-bending illusion, first discovered in 1861 by German physiologist Ewald Hering, makes it look like the two straight red lines in fact bow outward. According to Hering, the reason for this illusion is that when we see the red lines crossing over the blue ones that radiate outward, our brains overestimate the angle made at the points where the red lines intersect the radiating ones. Current research hypothesizes that the reason for this miscalculation is that since there is a delay between the time light hits the retina to when the brain perceives it, we evolved to compensate by generating images of what we think will occur one-tenth of a second in the future. So in this case, that predicting leads to the overestimation of the angles, which makes the red lines look bent when they are truly straight. (And if you don’t believe it, cover up the blue lines and take another look at either of the red ones!)

The Checker Shadow Illusion

On this checkerboard, the squares labeled A & B appear to be very different shades of gray, right? However, when we look at the board again, this time with solid gray lines running along both squares, we can see that they were the same shade all along! This illusion, published by Edward H. Adelson, Professor of Vision Science at MIT in 1995, demonstrates how our visual system deals with shadows. When we try to determine the precise color of something, our brain knows that shadows can be misleading, in that they can make a surface look darker than it truly is. So the brain compensates by interpreting the shadowed surfaces as being lighter, even though it’s the exact same color as an unshadowed object which appears, at first glance, to be much darker.

Illusory Motion

(Image credit: Akiyoshi Kitaoka) As hard as it might be to believe, nothing in this image is moving. Unfortunately, there isn’t too much more we can tell you about this mind-boggling illusion. To this day, there is no solid explanation for illusory motion. Some experts think it is linked to something called fixation jitter, involuntary eye movements which present the illusion that objects close to something you’re fixated on are moving. Others believe that as you glance around the image, the motion detectors in your visual cortex get “confused” by dynamical changes in neurons, and thus believe that you are, in fact, seeing movement. Illusions like this one serve to illustrate to us that while we know much, much more about vision than we did in the past, there is always more to learn! These are just a few of the many fascinating optical illusions out there; demonstrations of just how fascinating our visual systems truly are.
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More Eye-Bending Optical Illusions
There are always more fascinating optical illusions for us to puzzle over. Here are several more worth exploring.

The Spinning Dancer

Spinning_Dancer Chances are you’ve seen this one somewhere online. In this illusion, you see the silhouette of a dancer, spinning in place. The illusion involves the direction in which you see it spins. Sometimes it appears to rotate in a clockwise direction, and at other times, in a counterclockwise direction. The director in which the dancer spins can potentially be changed at will by the viewer, or it may appear to change direction on its own. The spinning dancer illusion, created by Nobuyuki Kayahara in 2003, has since become one of the more well known optical illusions. The reason for the illusion is that the lack of visual depth in the animation, and ambiguity regarding the dancer’s anatomy are too ambiguous for our visual systems to process properly, so we can perceive the spinning dancer in differing, even conflicting states.

Rubin’s Vase

face_vase_illusion_resize_md Another optical illusion you are likely to have run into before, the Rubin’s vase illusion, created by Edgar Rubin in 1915, is among the most famous optical illusions in the world. In the image, we see what can alternatively be a vase or two faces in profile, facing each other. This illusion is explained through the concept of figure-ground organization. This lets us perceive objects both as figures and backgrounds. In this illusion, however, what we see alters with a change of perspective. If the black area is seen as the background, the vase becomes the figure. Conversely, when we see the white area as the background, the faces become the figure.

The Müller-Lyer Illusion

M__ller-Lyer_illusion_resize_md Yet another illusion you’re likely to have run into before, this was created by Franz Carl Müller in 1889, and has become extremely recognizable. In this illusion, you see three horizontal lines, each with differently configured arrowheads on the ends of the line. While the lines may look to be all of different lengths, they are, in fact, all equally long. Interestingly, some studies show that Western individuals are more susceptible to this illusion, since they are more used to “carpentered” surroundings, meaning that they live and work in areas where straight lines and right angles are commonplace. One explanation for how this illusion works is that the differently aligned arrows make the lines look to be of different lengths. Inward pointing arrows make an object appear closer, while outward facing arrows appear further away. Since the lines are presented side by side, we perceive the “further away” line as longer.

The Ebbinghaus Illusion

Ebbinghaus_Illusion_resize_md Another illusion which plays with our understanding of perspective, the Ebbinghaus illusion, also known as the Titchener Circles, was discovered by Hermann Ebbinhaus in the 19th century. This illusion challenges your perception of size. In the more common version of the illusion, created by Edward B. Titchener, we see two equally sized circles, one of which is surrounded by larger circles, and another surrounded by a ring of smaller circles. Even though the circles are the same size, the one surrounded by bigger circles appears smaller than the one surrounded by smaller circles. The reason for this is believed to be related to how we perceive size, specifically, on the context involved. With the changed context in which we see the circles, our perception of their size also changes.

Kanizsa’s Triangle

Kanizsa_triangle_resize_md This optical illusion is a famous example of the concept of illusory contours. That refers to our perception of an edge or an outline where there isn’t one. This perception is created by different shapes and edges being presented together and arranged in a way that implies the presence of defined contours or edges. In Kanizsa’s Triangle itself, the three incomplete black circles and open angles generate the illusion of a white triangle. As is usually the case with this type of illusion, the illusory shape appears both closer to the viewer, and brighter. It works because the incomplete circles trigger our depth perception, causing our visual system to believe the dark shapes are further away and darker than the apparent triangle.

The Duck and Rabbit Illusion

Duck-Rabbit_resize_md This illusion was first made in 1892, and has been fascinating people to this day. The image we see can be alternatively viewed as a duck facing left, or a rabbit facing right, and the illusion operates on the concepts of how our visual system perceives ambiguous images, and the process of mid-level vision. Mid-level vision is how our brains organize visual information based on the perceived edges of the image. With ambiguous images, the edges are unclear, and so we can perceive two contradictory versions of the same image depending on how we look at it. There are many more fascinating optical illusions out there which can help us gain a better understanding of our visual system. And, of course, they’re just plain cool to look at.
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Even More Fun Optical Illusions
There’s a seemingly unending number of optical illusions that play on the limitations, and the tendencies, of our visual systems. Let’s explore a few more.

The Expanding Heart

expanding-heart In the above image, the blakc heart looks like it’s constantly expanding! However, it never seems to get bigger, and it’s not a looped gif, so what’s going on? This illusion plays on the fact that our eyes are constantly moving (if you don’t believe us, ask someone to track your eye movements for a bit.) If we simply saw everything in real time, since our eyes constantly move, we’d have a hard time seeing anything comprehensible. To compensate for this, the brain “edits” all this compiled input into an image we can properly see, similar to how a good movie editor can seamlessly edit scenes together. Our brains also rely on the context of an object to effectively determine what it sees. In the illusion here, the lined background is used by the brain as a reference point to orient the heart. Between the lines, and our eyes’ constant movement, the heart thus appears to be expanding.

The Summer Spin

Optical-Illusions-Summer-Spin-Framed-Print- Another image that provides the illusion of movement, the spirals above appear to be slowly spinning by taking advantage of a phenomena known as apparent motion. It takes one tenth of a second for signals from the retina to reach the brain, and if there is more contrast in what the brain is seeing, the faster the transmission. (For example, a higher contrast signal arrives one twentieth of a second faster than a low-contrast one.) So in this illusion, the contrast gradients are arranged in a way that tricks the brain into believing there is motion, as the high contrast parts of the image arrive faster than the rest.

Impossible Shapes

impossible-geometrics-34-jazzberry-blue There are several different images that illustrate this phenomenon, but they all fall into the same general group of impossible shapes. The image depicts an object which, at first glance, appears realistic, but upon closer inspection, its mind twisting nature becomes clear as we realize that this shape could never exist in a real, 3D form. This illusion is related to the Gestalt laws, which describe how we see and interpret the world around us, with everything being parts of a single image. So we see, in complex scenes, objects against a background, and those objects themselves are made of parts, which in turn are made of smaller parts. According to one of these Gestalt laws, when we see ambiguous or complex objects, the brain tries to make them look as simple as it can. That is why our brain tries to ignore the impossibility of this shape, enabling us to process the image, and once we force it to acknowledge the impossibility of the shape, it becomes an eye-twisting anomaly. There is always more to be learned about the visual system, and illusions like these always demonstrate that what we see might not always be what’s actually in front of us.  
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What are Optical Illusions, and How Do They Work?
We’ve all run into optical or visual illusions at some point, especially in the age of the internet. There are many famous ones which we’d recognize on sight, even if we don’t know their names. But how do these eye and mind-bending illusions work? Are our eyes the ones being fooled, or is it more the brain & the broader visual system itself? Here, we’ll look at 3 types of optical illusions
  • Cognitive Illusions
  • Physiological Optical Illusions
  • Literal Optical Illusions

Cognitive Illusions

centre_for_sight_-_optical_illusion_with_grid Cognitive illusions generally show an ambiguous image, and they are caused by a phenomenon known as unconscious inferences, which are made by the brain when looking at ambiguous images. Specifically, with these illusions, the brain infers the presence of an object which doesn’t actually exist. In one well known example of a cognitive illusion, known as Kanizsa’s Triangle, we perceive a white triangle inside the partial black circles. This is due to the positioning of the pac-man shaped black circles. It looks like a triangle fits in there, and the contrast also implies a bright white triangle, so our brain takes the extra step by actually “seeing” it, inferring its presence despite it not truly being there.

Physiological Optical Illusions

centre_for_sight_-_physiological_optical_illusions_with_the_queen_v1 This type of illusion occurs when our eyes take in an excessive amount of visual stimuli for a period of time, and it has an effect on our eyes or brain. Brightness, color, or light flashes can all cause such illusions. We can illustrate this with the image below. Stare at the image for about 15-20 seconds, then look over at the blank white space while blinking. You’ll see an image there now! Since we spent a significant amount of time exposing our eyes to the initial images, the photoreceptor cells in the retinas keep sending neural impulses based on that to the brain even once we’ve stopped looking at the image, resulting in what we see in the blank space, known as an afterimage. You may have experienced something similar if you’ve ever looked at the sun for a moment (try not to do that), or looked at some other very bright light. For a short time afterward, while blinking, you’ll see an object in the shape of that bright light, because your eyes have just been overexposed.

Literal Optical Illusions

centre_for_sight_-_literal_optical_illusions_with_elephant_legs Literal optical illusions are when our eyes perceive an image, and our mind fills in gaps in the image which don’t exist. This leads to the creation of an image different from the objects which make up that image, or it focuses in on certain areas of the image, leading to us perceiving something that isn’t truly there. In the image here, it looks like the elephant has way too many legs. This is because our eyes rely on the edges of objects to distinguish it, and in the example, the shading and especially the lines that make up the elephant confuse our eyes. This phenomenon is also what leads us to “see” faces in everyday objects, since we’ve also learned to recognize faces, so our brains tend to find them even when they might not actually be present. These, and other illusions, demonstrate that our brain plays a major role in vision, as it interprets the input that comes from the eyes based on how it’s learned to understand and organize the world around us. And since this is almost entirely done unconsciously, it is susceptible to being fooled or confused when our conscious examination of something conflicts with the brain’s initial assessment. Unlike some of our senses, vision is very much learned, and studying and experiencing these illusions helps us better understand that process, along with our visual system as a whole.
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Even More Incredible Illusions
pexels-omar-houchaimi-752525 Optical illusions are one of the best reminders that vision is a system made up of more than just the eyes. It’s the brain that organizes the input it receives and determines what we see. Optical illusions take advantage of how our visual system works to create the mind-bending visuals we’ve all run into at some point. Here is a look into another couple optical illusions

The Chubb Illusion

Chubb-illusion This illusion was discovered by Charles Chubb and his colleagues Sperling and Solomon in the late 1980s, during experiments with perceived contrast. In the image here, the gray circle on the simple gray background and the gray circle on the black and white, textured background, are identical, despite appearing to us as different shades of gray. This can be explained through the concept of imperfect transmittance, which is where the brain has to see through ambiguity in order to perceive an object. (More practical examples are when we look at something from a distance or through fog.) When there is minimal light around the object, the brain attempts to determine its color and contrast by making an educated guess based on the background around the object. As is the case here, that interpretation isn’t always correct.

The Poggendorff Illusion

Poggendorff_illusion Take a look at the image here. Does the black line look like it lines up with the blue line? The truth is, the black line lines up with the red one, as the second image reveals. This illusion is named for Johann Poggendorff, the German physicist who first detailed this illusion in 1860. While it is clearly a demonstration of how our minds perceive depth and geometric shapes, there is no universally accepted explanation for it. The most widely accepted theory, however, is that in this illusion our brain is trying to interpret the two dimensional image with three dimensional properties, and in the process it’s distorting the depth between the lines.

Shepard’s Table

Shepards-Tables The Shepard’s Table illusion was first created by American psychologist Robert Shepard in a book he published in 1990, and provides yet more evidence that our visual system is primarily influenced by our lived experiences with the world around us, to the point where it can mess with our view of reality. In the image here, the two tables look to be of very different size and shape. In actuality, they are exactly the same! This animated illustration can prove it to you. This is another illusion caused by the fact that our brain tries to interpret 2D images in the same way it interprets 3D ones. It perceives different sizes because of perspective foreshortening, which means that the closer an object is, the larger it appears on the retina. Optical illusions are endlessly fascinating, both because they’re simply interesting to look at, and because they can teach us a lot about the visual system. Go explore some more optical illusions!
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How Do Optical Illusions Work?
We’ve all encountered optical illusions at one point or another; but the thing you’ve likely wondered is: How do they work? How do they trick us into seeing something different from what is actually in front of us? While nearly all optical illusions take advantage of the way our minds have learned to interpret the world around us, different types of illusions demonstrate different things about our visual system. However, here we’ll just be going a bit deeper into the general idea of how our brain can be fooled by visual input. optical_illusion_brain

The Brain-Eye Connection

As smart as our brain is (and it is smarter than many give it credit for), it cannot see on its own, relying on visual input from the eyes. However, the eyes function more like cameras, and aren’t capable of always effectively conveying complex visuals to the brain. So, at times, the brain gets confused. This confusion can lead the brain to making mistakes like thinking something is moving when it is not, or “seeing” colors or shapes which aren’t actually there. For one example, look at the image below.  file-20191021-56194-ntcpji The two squares marked A and B are the same shade of gray, despite how it may appear. This is due to our brain trying to determine the color by looking at the other squares around them. optical_illusion_eye_brain

Filling in the Blanks

Because of the simple means of communication between the eyes and the brain, sometimes there is information that can’t get accurately communicated, so the brain makes its best guess based on what information it has received from the eyes. Most of the time, it’s correct. But sometimes those guesses are wrong, due to the imperfect communication.

An Ongoing Mystery

Despite a great deal of research by many scientists into exactly how these illusions work, for many, we don’t know how the brain-eye link creates them. We do know now that the path the information from our eyes takes to get to the brain is rather long and complex, so confusion can arise at any stage of that journey. Generally, illusions in which the confusion arises later in that journey, the less we know about exactly why and how it happens. However, more research is being done all the time, so maybe one day someone--perhaps even you!--will finally solve the mystery.
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Using "Bubbles" For Vision Therapy
Here's a fun game to play with children that is also an excellent way to practice several hand-eye coordination skills that are useful for such varied activities as reading, writing, note-taking, and playing sports. It comes courtesy of developmental optometrist, Dr. Julie Steinhaeur of Vision For Life.

How to play the "Bubble Pop" game:

  1. Purchase a bottle of children's play bubbles.
  2. Blow bubbles!
  3. Have the kids poke/pop them with their fingers, or with a thin "pick-up" type stick, which works on even more refined motor skills. This way the game becomes even more fun while simultaneously becoming an even more effective way to work on visual motor activity.
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3.
  5. Come up with your own variations of the game, such as trying to catch the bubbles on a spoon or in a cup, or using different wands to blow a variety of bubble sizes. Bubble size presents different challenges. A tiny bubble poses a greater challenge for little children than an oversized one. Pretend to be mosquitos popping the bubbles. Use your imagination!

The Benefits of Bubble Popping

Popping bubbles is an excellent way to have fun while working on such critical visual-motor skills as:
  • Depth perception skills: This exercise requires depth perception to locate the bubble in space in relation to the child's body.
  • Fine motor control skills: This game requires a child to successfully coordinate small muscles to perform fine, close-up work.
  • Visual tracking skills: It takes refined eye tracking skills to find the bubble as it floats through the air, and then coordinate the visual-motor control to pop it.
  • Social skills: The more the merrier. The game becomes more fun as little children interact and work together to pop the balloons. The benefit of social skills is only one of many critical skills that can be improved with such activities.
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How is Astigmatism Treated?
Astigmatism is an eye condition which causes blurry or distorted vision. Continue reading to learn more about what causes astigmatism, and how it is treated.

What Causes Astigmatism?

Astigmatism is a refractive error in the eye (similar to myopia--nearsightedness, and hyperopia--farsightedness.) Astigmatism is characterized by unequal curvatures in the lens or cornea. This irregular eye shape leads to blurry vision. According to the American Optometric Association (AOA), most people have some amount of astigmatism, though in many cases it is small enough so as not to be noticeable. Astigmatism can be present from birth or develop later on, and the degree of astigmatism in your eyes can both increase or decrease over time.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Astigmatism

In order to receive a proper diagnosis of astigmatism, you must see an eye doctor for a proper eye exam. During this test, the doctor will measure your eyeball and identify places on the lens or cornea that are causing your astigmatism. Once the test is complete, you will receive your diagnosis, and the doctor will help you prepare a treatment plan. As with other refractive errors, you can wear eyeglasses or contact lenses to correct astigmatism. If you do not wish to wear glasses or contact lenses, and your astigmatism isn’t too severe, you can consider the surgical route and look into LASIK.

At-Home Exercises Which Can Help Treat Astigmatism

In addition to wearing your glasses or contacts, there are some exercises you can do anywhere that can help treat the symptoms of astigmatism, and may even improve your vision. One exercise commonly used to relieve eye strain is the “20-20-20 Rule”. This entails taking a break for 20 seconds after every 20 minutes spent reading, writing, or looking at a screen to stare at an object 20 feet away. You can also massage your eye. This is done by placing two fingers on each eyelid, applying gentle pressure, and moving your fingers, slowly, in a circular motion. Alternate between clockwise and counterclockwise.
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Great Games For Improving Kids Vision-Spot It
Spot It is a fun and educational visual game that comes in many forms and can be used in various ways. There is a version of the game that is suitable for players as young as three years old and up. It is played in groups of two to eight players and there are different themes for the kinds of symbols found in each game. For example, there are some versions that come with images, others with numbers or alphabet, etc. There’s approximately six different games you could play with just one package of Spot It. The main game is played by identifying matching symbols in different cards which are each filled with a variety of symbols making it challenging to find matching images.

How does Spot It improve your child's vision?

Spot It can help develop different visual skills, including:
  • Visual memory
  • Visual discrimination
  • Visual figure ground perception (this is when one is able to find the forest from the trees)
  • Other visual analysis skills
This game is a wonderful example of how educational certain visual activities can be as it helps train our brain and eyes to work together as a team in order to sharpen some important visual skills.
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Myths About Keratoconus
Keratoconus is an eye disorder that causes the cornea to become thinner and more cone shaped. The cornea is the clear layer that covers the front of the eye and contributes greatly to how we see. This corneal disorder causes a lot of visual disturbances due to the progressive thinning and change in shape of the cornea. If you’ve been diagnosed with keratoconus, there could be a lot of new information to take in which may be confusing. We’d like to debunk some common myths about keratoconus.

Keratoconus is only diagnosed in young people

Age is not a risk factor and anyone can develop keratoconus at any age. It is most common for people to develop keratoconus in their teens and it often continues progressing into the thirties.

Keratoconus causes blindness

This corneal disorder can cause significant visual impairment, and there are cases where it could lead to blindness. However, that being said, keratoconus does not automatically cause blindness and many people with this condition are able to still see, using various optical corrections such as contact lenses or surgical procedures. If keratoconus progresses to the point where there is excessive corneal scarring and the patient can no longer tolerate contact lenses, then there may be a need for a corneal transplant.

The only treatment for keratoconus is corneal transplant

Corneal transplants are the very last resort for extreme cases when no other methods of treatment are sustainable. There are many other effective methods that are used prior to the last option of a transplant. There are a variety of contact lenses ranging from soft lenses to sclerals which allow people with keratoconus to see more clearly. In addition, there are successful procedures such as cross-linking and conductive keratoplasty.

Cross linking cannot be performed over age 40

Age is not a contraindication for this surgery, and therefore it can be performed on patients over age forty. Each individual patient needs to be checked if they are an eligible candidate for this procedure. Cross linking is a minimally invasive method which uses ultraviolet light and eye drops to strengthen the fibers in the cornea. This surgery is the only method that prevents progressive keratoconus from getting worse, as it stabilizes the cornea and slows down the bulging. It has been reported to have a 95% success rate. If you have any questions about keratoconus, please don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment at our office. Our professional staff will gladly answer all of your questions.
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