A colleague sent along this video tonight and though I’d seen it before, and we’ve been using the VEP unit in our office for several years, I had forgotten how much I enjoyed the clip. You may recognize the name of the pediatric ophthalmologist in the video, Dr. David Granet, from his well-known paper on the association between convergence insufficiency and ADHD reviewed on visionhelp.com.
Brock String Used in Vision TherapyImage via Wikipedia
Dr. Granet makes some nice statements on this segment of The Doctors
TV Show. In describing the relevance of screening a young child for
amblyopia, he states: “The eye is just a camera, and then you have
to get it back to the CPU, the central processor. The brain waves tell
us what she can see or can’t see. Amblyopia is when the brain isn’t
using one eye.”
That’s a pretty profound statement, which says that poor vision in
one eye, or what is called “lazy eye” in the vernacular, really isn’t a
lazy eye at all. In fact, it’s more appropriate to call the condition
“lazy brain”. But if we called it that, we’d really be casting
aspersions on the person with the condition. So the concept that Dr.
Granet is supporting is that vision occurs in the brain, not in the
This is also a crucial concept to grasp because the American Academy
of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Ophthalmology have an absurd
Policy Statement used to discredit vision therapy which states: “Although
the eyes are obviously necessary for vision, the brain interprets
visual symbols. Therefore, correcting subtle visual defects cannot
alter the brain’s processing of visual stimuli.“
Huh? Wait a minute. If correcting visual defects cannot alter the
brain’s processing of visual stimuli, how do we improve amblyopia?
Aren’t we treating the connections between eye and brain? Optometry
understands this, of course. Vision is a collaboration of the eyes and brain, and this serves as the basis for success in vision therapy for amblyopia as well as many other conditions.
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It's a very interesting discussion between opthamologists and optometrists about how their respective disciplines look at treating amblyopia and convergence insufficiency.