3D Media Can Usher in New Patients
Practice pulse TIPS, TRENDS & NEWS YOU CAN USE
3D Media Can Usher in New Patients
3D MOVIES, TVS, TV SHOWS AND VIDEO GAMES CAN GROW YOUR PRACTICE
■ Because 3D media has become
both extremely popular and an unintentional
screening tool for binocular
vision (BV) disorders, such as convergence
insufficiency, it has the potential
to garner you several new
Here, your colleagues provide
you with four tips on how you can
attract 3D vision complication
1. Ask 3D viewing questions
"Our field has done a great job
creating public awareness about the
signs and symptoms of convergence
insufficiency. The first step to creating
this awareness was a symptom
survey for patients," explains optometrist
Leonard J. Press, chair of
the American Optometric Association's
(AOA) Pediatrics and BV
Committee. "We should use a similar
strategy for 3D vision complications,
as most consumers have no
idea that their dizziness, for instance,
while viewing a 3D movie is related
to a binocular vision disorder."
Specifically, Dr. Press suggests you
include the following 3D viewingrelated
questions in your patient history
1. Do you experience discomfort or eyestrain during or after watching 3D media?
2. Do you experience dizziness or headaches during or after watching 3D media?
3. Are you unable to see 3D differently when looking with one eye compared with both eyes?
The American Optometric Association (AOA) recently took this
same approach to educate the general
public about 3D vision complications
through a press release that
includes a set of "red flag" questions
the consumer should ask himself.
Optometrist Barry M. Tannen,
who specializes in vision therapy
(VT) in Hamilton Square, N.J., adds
that you should include all these
questions in letters to current patients,
in practice newsletters and in
a press release to the local media as a
means of attracting these unaware
"If you ask the right questions,
you'll discover several patients who
have undiagnosed binocular vision
disorders," says optometrist Dominick Maino, a professor of Pediatrics/BV at the Illinois College of
Optometry's Illinois Eye Institute.
(See "Identify Binocular Vision Disorders,"
OM December 2009 at
2. Provide related literature/resources
If you have an office newsletter,
include an article about 3D vision
complications, says Dr. Press. Also,
refer your patients to the AOA website
(www.aoa.org), as it contains an
educational video about 3D vision
"In addition, refer patients to the
College of Optometrists in Vision
Development (COVD) website
http://covd.org/home/inthenewsarchives/tabid/186/Default.aspx," he says.
"This section of the website contains
numerous stories about 3D vision
Dr. Maino advises your practice
website include a 3D vision complication
section that contains links to
all the AOA materials on this topic.
Further, he suggests you check out
his blog (www.mainosmemos.blogspot), and type "3D" in the search
box. This will reveal a slew of 3D
vision complication links you can
provide for your patients on your
"Also, place a poster of one of the
recent 3D movies in your reception
room with a sign next to it that says
something like: ‘The 3Ds of the 3D
viewing experience: If you experience
Discomfort, Dizziness or lack of
Depth while viewing this or other 3D movies, you may have a binocular
vision disorder.’" This will
prompt patients who experience
these symptoms to seek your help, he
3. Include a 3D test in the exam
female patient recently
me with complaints
of headaches, double
vision, eye strain and
dizziness while viewing
Avatar in 3D. She
said she suspected her symptoms
were due to her vision because she'd
been having "reading problems"
since the 5th grade, explains Dr.
Maino. "When I asked her to have
her doctor send me any information
that related to binocular vision problems
from her last exam, the doctor
told her he hadn't conducted any
binocular vision testing."
This patient experience reveals
the importance of including 3D testing
as part of the comprehensive
exam, says Dr. Maino. Doing so not
only educates patients about 3D vision
complications, but also about
the fact that we have the skills to diagnose
and treat these problems.
"The Random Dot E test is a
quick and simple way to screen for
the presence or absence of a binocular
vision disorder," says Dr. Press.
4. Brush up on BV disorders
"I just received an invitation to
attend a meeting at the University of
Southern California, in which vision
scientists and experts are going to
examine and discuss the health-related
issues associated with 3D viewing,"
says Dr. Press. "This, to me, is
an indication that the 3D industry is
starting to realize it needs to take
these issues into consideration."
He adds that he believes the 3D industry will likely create a disclaimer
that will appear prior to a movie
or telecast that reads: "If you experience
dizziness, discomfort or depth
perception problems, seek an eyecare
If you want to be this eyecare
practitioner, you need to brush up on
BV disorders and the latest VT techniques,
Dr. Press says.
"Get busy with educational opportunities
through the American
Academy of Optometry, the AOA,
College of Optometrists in Vision
Development and the Optometric
Extension Program Foundation," he
This month, Toy Story 3 makes
its 3D movie debut, providing you
with the perfect opportunity to
gauge whether your patients have
3D vision complications.
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Lessons From Montefiore Medical Center
Bob Levoy, Roslyn, N.Y.
Is there anything about your practice that possibly irritates patients and about which you and your staff are completely unaware? Hard to believe? Consider this recently discovered problem at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City.
It started when the hospital surveyed patients who were discharged. The survey asked about a range of topics from doctors to food to housekeeping. Of all things, the patients' number one complaint was the high level of noise in the hospital.
What had been completely overlooked (or underestimated) by management was the cacophony of seemingly unavoidable noises: beeping monitors, ringing telephones, squeaky medication and meal carts, blaring intercoms, loud TVs, and late-night conversations among staff in the halls.
A noise reduction program was subsequently initiated on the fifth floor of Montefiore by Elodia Mercier, R.N., the administrative nurse manager of the floor. As a result, overall decibel levels have fallen significantly. On Mercier's unit, noise levels had been as high as 90 decibels, which is comparable to that of a busy street. Today, the floor maintains decibel levels of about 65, on a par with a typical library. The effects have been remarkable, says Ms. Mercier. "Within two weeks, patients said they were sleeping better, and the staff told us they were less stressed."
Lesson Learned: In the day-to-day rush of seeing patients, staying on schedule, dealing with assorted emergencies and returning phone calls, it's easy to lose track of the "little things." Periodic feedback is essential. Brief patient surveys, follow-up phone calls of selected patients and focus groups are among the ways you can assess patient satisfaction. In the case of Montefiore Medical Center, "noise" as a major complaint, let alone the number one complaint, was the furthest thing from anyone's mind.
Reality Check: Consider whether there may be comparable complaints in your practice that could be solved with a simple change of work habits or the physical surroundings.
ABO To Select Quality Assurance Team
GATHERING INPUT FROM THE PROFESSION
■ The American Board of Optometry
(ABO) plans to appoint a
quality assurance team that will assist
in reviewing promotional and
educational materials and ensure the
new organization continues to gather
input from the profession.
"We want to actively engage
practicing optometrists to work with
the ABO to provide a board certification
process that is credible, attainable
and defensible," says optometrist
David Cockrell, ABO chairman of the board.
Dr. Cockrell says the board wants
to select a team that has a "wide
range of opinions and as broad a
base of experience as possible." The
board plans to select team members
in the coming weeks.
One of the team's first assignments
will be to review existing and
proposed promotional materials to
ensure they aren't only clear, but also
reflect the profession's intent. Since
the ABO recently began accepting applications for board certification
at its website (www.americanboardofoptometry.org), some have expressed
concern that the site contained
promotional statements that
could be misconstrued as divisive or
confusing to the profession.
To become an active candidate for
ABO board certification, complete
an online application at the board's
website. The site contains additional
information regarding the certification
■ Gatifloxacin Ophthalmic Solution 0.5% (Zymaxid, Allergan, Inc.) has received FDA approval for the treatment of bacterial conjunctivitis caused by susceptible strains of Haemophilus influenzae, Staphylococcus aureaus, S. epidermis, Streptococcus mitis group, Streptococcus oralis and Streptococcus pneumonia. It is expected to be available this month.
■ The Crystalens AO intraocular lens, from Bausch + Lomb, has received FDA approval to be marketed in quarter diopter steps. Quarter diopters will be available for the models AT50AO and AT52AO in the ranges of 18 to 22. The company says it expects to have a wider dioptric range available by the end of the year.
◻ Brett Craig has resigned from his position
as president of, Transitions Optical. CEO
Richard C. Elias will serve as the company's
◻ The American Optometric Association Foundation appointed Howard Purcell, O.D., vice president of Customer Development, Essilor of America, as a member of the Optometry's Fund for Disaster Relief committee. The foundation also appointed two board members: T. Joel Byars, O.D., of Morrow, Ga. and Kerry L. Beebe, O.D., of Brainerd, Minn., each of whom will serve three-year terms.
◻ Optometrists Joseph and Claire Pizzimenti have formed Optometry Board Certified to help optometrists meet the requirements of board certification and maintenance of certification. For information, visit optometryboardcertified.com.
◻ Reichert Technologies has named Deon Miller as vice president of sales — Americas. Mr. Miller has more than 15 years experience in the medical products field.
◻ A recent study of 431 rosacea patients showed that 84% of the participants reduced the frequency of symptom flare-ups by avoiding sources of heat, such as fireplaces, saunas and high-intensity lamps. For more information, visit www.rosacea.org.
◻ Larry Rodriguez has been named senior vice president of Global Sales & Marketing for PixelOptics, a designer of ophthalmic lenses. Visit www.pixeloptics.com for more information about the company.
◻ Carl Zeiss Vision has partnered with Eyemaginations to offer customized Eyemaginations LUMA software for Carl Zeiss Vision practices across the United States.
◻ Early bird registration will end on July 31 for the 13th International Cornea & Contact Lens Congress, scheduled for Sydney, Australia, October 9 to 11. Visit www.cclsa.org.au/ for information.
◻ VSP Vision Care launched "VSP Eye on Diabetes," a campaign focused on increasing awareness and understanding of the connection between eyecare and a person's general health. The campaign will highlight the important role eye doctors play in the detection and treatment of diabetes. The campaign launched in Little Rock, Ark. and continues to Topeka, Kan.; Austin, Texas; Denver, Colo. and Indianapolis, Ind.
◻ Art Epstein, O.D., has resigned from the American Optometric Society to focus his efforts on the American Board of Clinical Optometry, of which he is president and executive director.
Optometric Management, Issue: June 2010