847.501.2020

Mind•Eye Media:

Mind-Eye Response to Article in Indianapolis Star

Dear Editor:

The December 2 article by Shari Rudavsky concerning nearsightedness in children misses two critical points. First, eyeglasses are not primarily appliances for achieving 20/20 clarity, even though many eye professionals continue to perpetuate that concept by using 160-year-old eye testing and evaluation methods. Secondly, a failure to test how well eyesight and listening ability are coordinated – not simply myopia — is what’s causing many children to struggle in the classroom.

To the first point: only about six percent of our visual awareness comes from conscious focus on specific objects. Most environmental signals passing through our retinas emanate from peripheral space – the space all around us. Unfortunately, society continues relying on a testing system developed in 1862 when much of the nation remained unsettled, overland travel was by horseback or horse-drawn wagons, and prairies and mountains dominated individuals’ peripheral sight. This 20/20 system addresses central eyesight by having the patient consciously look at non-moving letters on a screen across a darkened room, but ignores peripheral retinal processing, which comprises 94 percent of a person’s visual field.

To my second point: most states have laws mandating evaluation of a child’s eyesight and hearing before they enroll in school, but such testing usually is performed separately. Testing does not determine how well the two — hearing and eyesight — work together. Did you know that many children now labelled as learning-challenged and placed in special education classes could return to the regular classroom if only their visual and auditory signals were coordinated?

Our sensory systems are like musicians in an orchestra. Each musician may be highly skilled in a specific instrument, but without a conductor synchronizing what they are playing, the result is simply noise – not music.

In the school setting, a student must be able to maintain awareness of a teacher’s facial expressions, body posture and movements while looking at information presented on a classroom screen or board and simultaneously listening and comprehending what the teacher is saying. At the same time, shifting gaze – and attention — from teacher to desktop has to be automated. Meanwhile, all these tasks must be synchronized and accomplished by “tuning out” distractions, such as the whispering of nearby students, sounds of others shuffling papers, even the changing light coming through classroom windows as the sun goes in and out of the clouds.

The retina is made of brain tissue and sends signals to more than simply an eyesight center. Retinal signals combine (partially beneath a conscious level of awareness) with other sensory signals – from hearing, smell, taste and touch. The hypothalamus, brain stem and other brain structures receive these signals and synthesize the information. Such brain-processing activity, in combination with other internal sensory signals, then determines how a person will react and respond to his or her environment.

When intact, retinal processing enables people to understand and interact appropriately with the world around them. If brain circuitry is out of sync because it has been disrupted — or, in the case, of younger children, perhaps under-developed — people can become confused about their surrounding environment and exhibit inappropriate reactions and responses to sensory changes.

Children act on the basis of their level of attention and the expansiveness of their awareness. The broader a child’s awareness, the easier for distractions to shift the child’s attention – and focus — away from the work at hand. Too frequently, a child who struggles to learn is diagnosed as having a problem, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and is transferred into a special-education program, when what the child actually requires is testing to determine how well his or her eyes, ears and other sensory systems are integrated. This is an issue not simply resolved by correcting nearsightedness. If nearsightedness were the only problem with learning problems, why are the majority of children with learning problems seeing 20/20 and told they don’t need glasses?

Even people who do not need glasses for seeing clearly can benefit, because therapeutic eyeglasses – “brain” glasses — can be prescribed for comfort – not clarity – by stimulating the edges of the eye in addition to the eye’s center. Advances in science are helping us better understand how variations in the way light disperses across the retina can affect the brain’s reaction to the environment.

We are in the 21st century, understanding much more about brain plasticity and the role of the retina as a two-way portal into the mind and body. Those are concepts not adequately addressed by 1862 testing standards to determine whether a person is nearsighted – or farsighted. It’s truly time to leave 20/20 eyesight evaluation where it belongs – back in the 20th century.

 

Deborah Zelinsky, O.D.

Executive Research Director

Mind-Eye Institute

Take The 60 Second Mind•Eye Brain Quiz

Mind-Eye Featured in the News Media

Newspapers and television stations throughout the country have been reporting on the work of the Mind-Eye Institute and its mission to “Leave 20/20 in the 20th Century.” To learn more about what the Mind-Eye Institute is doing to pioneer these changes in optometric evaluations , click here:

‘Brain’ Glasses Give Daughters Similar Academic Benefits Mother Received 20 Years Ago

Success Stories: ‘Brain’ Glasses Give Daughters Similar Academic Benefits Mother Received 20 Years Ago Mom’s Memories Prompt Return to Mind-Eye for Help with DaughtersFor the Eisenberg family of Highland Park, Ill., wearing “brain” glasses has become, well, a family...

10 Seconds Per Day Helps Alleviate 33 Years of Headaches

Success Stories: 10 Seconds Per Day Help Alleviate 33 Years of Headaches Mind-Eye Institute Returns Quality to Life of Chicago Area ResidentNot all stories have great endings, but Patricia Kavanaugh’s does. It simply required her to wear a pair of color-filtered,...

Mother’s Stress, Anxiety Impact Fetal Brain Development

Mind•Eye Media: Mother’s Stress, Anxiety Impact Fetal Brain Development Study Supports Clinical Observations, Patient Experience at Mind-EyeNewly published research that uses MRI scans to show how overproduction of stress chemicals in a pregnant mother can affect the...

2020 Holiday Message From Mind-Eye President, Zemen Abebe

Mind•Eye Media: 2020 Holiday Message From Mind-Eye President:Zemen Abebe Reflecting on the Year 2020 As this year’s holiday season approaches, we are reminded that this is a time like no other as the pandemic continues to inflict uncertainty, stress, and great loss in...

Study of Eye-Ear Coordination Underscores Work at Mind-Eye

Mind•Eye Media: Study of Eye-Ear Coordination Underscores Work at Mind-EyeRecent research findings that “optimal [sensory] performance depends on the spatial alignment” of eyes and ears are no surprise to the Northbrook, Ill.-based Mind-Eye Institute...

‘My Brain No Longer Wonders Where My Body Is in Space,’ Patient Says

Success Stories: ‘My Brain No Longer Wonders Where My Body Is in Space,’ Patient Says She Thanks Book, Mind-Eye Science for Her Symptom Relief An unremarkable car crash, which initially caused only some neck pain, eventually led to a cascade of symptoms that “ripped...

Testing Eye-Ear Connections Can Have Major Health Impact

Mind•Eye Media: Testing Eye-Ear Connections Can Have Major Health Impact  Mind-Eye Institute Founder Addresses Leading Scientists at N20 SummitEarly diagnosis of problems in eye-ear coordination can have a major impact on quality of life and lead to quicker...

Can a Pair of Eyeglasses Help Someone Hear Better?

Success Stories: Can a Pair of Eyeglasses Help Someone Hear Better? ‘You Bet,’ Says Mother of Autistic Child; She Thanks the Mind-Eye Institute“I love my glasses because they help me hear better.” Those words – from first-grader Elijah (Eli) – usually elicit a “huh?”...

Daughter’s Anxiety Gone After Receiving ‘Brain’ Glasses

Success Stories: Daughter’s Anxiety Gone After Receiving ‘Brain’ Glasses Mom Learns About Mind-Eye Institute; Calls Practice ‘Godsend’ Within the first week of wearing her new therapeutic eyeglasses from the Mind-Eye Institute, 17-year-old Victoria realized the...

Fatigue, Vision Problems Slow Her ‘Hustle-Bustle’

Success Stories: Fatigue, Vision Problems Slow Her ‘Hustle-Bustle’ Patient Turns to Mind-Eye for Symptom Relief Following Brain Surgery​As an operations support specialist for a busy dental practice with 15 clinics in the Richmond, Virginia area, Sandrea Painter has...

Clinic Business Hours:

Monday - Saturday

8:00 AM - 6:45 PM

 

Sunday - Closed

Contact Us:

Call

During Business Hours:

847.501.2020

EMail

info@mindeye.com

Northbrook Clinic Address

1414 Techny Rd,
Northbrook, IL 60062, USA

St Charles Visual Rehabilitation Center Address

2435 Dean Suite C
St Charles, IL 60175, USA

FAX

847.501.2021