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Woodbury, Connecticut           Call Us Today!
(203) 263-3391
Woodbury, Connecticut           Call Us Today!
(203) 263-3391

Services

Optometric Services

  • General optometry and treatment of ocular diseases:
    • Complete eye exams
    • Emergency services
    • Computer info
    • Accredited Dry Eye Center
    • Electrophsiological Testing (ERG / VEP)
  • Eyeglasses Boutique - Fast Reliable Service
  • Vision therapy (preventative and rehabilitative)
    • Vision, learning and dyslexia
    • Syntonic light therapy
  • Neuro-optometric rehabilitation
  • Low vision (sub normal vision)
  • Nutritional alternatives for ocular conditions (e.g. cataracts and macular degeneration)
  • Sports vision (specific visual training for individual sports)
  • Custom contact lens designs—bifocal, astigmatic, P.C.M. (precision corneal molding for reduction of nearsightedness)
    • E.Z.M. (eccentric zero molding). This new and proven procedure uses a contact lens to remold the shape of the cornea to reduce or correct myopia (nearsightedness) and astigmatism. It is a safe procedure, completely reversable and involves no surgery. For a more detailed description, check out our special PCM information section.
  • Refractive surgery - Comanagement with TLC

Nutrition and Eyecare

There is a growing body of information on the role of nutrition in managing ocular conditions. Our office has looked at an array of products over the past fifteen years including food form multivitamin—mineral formulas which counteract the destructive effects of free radicals on eye tissue. In addition, we have investigated the effects of glycoproteins, which regulate cellular communication in all cells, enzymes, dioscorea, the functional component of aloe and phytochemicals. We utilize metabolic profiling, hair analysis and blood tests to assist us in determining individual needs. Conditions which may respond as a result of building the body's immune system are cataracts, macular degeneration, dry eye, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and over exposure to ultraviolet rays. We also address the issue of absorption since older patients especially have difficulty absorbing many nutrients. There are some sophisticated supplements which will greatly enhance absorption. We will keep you updated on all new developments.

Vision Therapy

Vision therapy, also referred to as visual training, is the art and science of developing visual abilities to achieve optimal visual performance and comfort. In essence, it is a program of arranged conditions to permit a patient the opportunity to:

  1. Help prevent the development of some vision problems
  2. Aid in the proper development of visual functions
  3. Enhance the efficiency and comfort of visual functioning
  4. Help remediate (and/or correct) existing vision problems.

Eye exercise is a lay term often applied to visual training. However, it is a misnomer in that the eyes do not need exercise in the same sense that we exercise for general muscle development in the body. Visual training is not used to strengthen eye muscles but rather to improve the coordination, efficiency and functioning of the visual system.

Orthoptics is another term often used in reference to visual training. Actually, orthoptics is one part of a specific visual functioning in individuals who have crossed eyes. In some instances this may also include treatment for lazy eye (amblyopia). In addition, optometric visual training should not be confused with educational visual-perceptual-motor training programs provided by some school systems or with "Bates type" eye exercise programs. Optometric visual training is based on comprehensive analysis and diagnosis of the functioning of the vision system. The use of lenses, prisms, and specialized testing and training procedures can only be provided by licensed optometric vision care professionals. They are an integral part of the successful treatment of any vision problem. As a result, optometric visual training is an individualized regimen geared toward the remediation or enhancement of specifically diagnosed vision conditions.

Many vision problems cannot be adequately remediated by the use of glasses or contact lenses alone. Glasses or contact lenses generally compensate for existing vision problems such as nearsightedness. Visual training is directed at remediating or correcting the underlying cause of the vision problem, rather than just compensating for an adaptation that may have developed as a result of the vision dysfunction.

Visual training brings about improvement in the speed, efficiency, comfort and accuracy of visual functioning through feedback provided by the trainee, the trainer and/or the task itself. In the controlled visual environment utilized in a visual training program, the use of lenses, prisms, 3-dimensional tasks and other optometric training techniques provide the doctor with a means to break down vision into its "parts" and re-educate or reinforce specific visual abilities and combine them into a more effectively functioning vision system.

To understand how and why visual training works, it is necessary to understand vision and how it develops. Good vision is learned. It is not something we are born with. Although most of us are born with healthy eyes, it is through experience and learning that we develop the visual abilities that we will need throughout life. Not everyone develops the same level of visual efficiency.

Some individuals may skip steps in their visual development or don't receive the necessary visual experiences or learning opportunities to adequately develop good visual abilities. Even those who do may find that some of their abilities may break down under the stress of school work, or job or sport activities. Those important visual abilities include visual acuity (clearness of sight), fixation ability (eye movement), accommodation (eye focusing), convergence (eye aiming), binocular fusion (eye teaming), eye-hand coordination and visual form perception.

Visual training is not a program just for children. Many adults can and do benefit from it. While a child may have a visual problem that interferes with his ability to learn in school, an adult may have a visual problem that interferes with his ability to earn a living. Individuals who experience blurred vision, headaches, eye fatigue or reduced efficiency after a day at the office, or after reading at home may benefit from visual training, as may the amateur or professional athlete whose game just doesn't seem to be improving in spite of continual practice.

The length of time required for completion of a visual training program varies depending on the type of vision problem present, how long the condition has lasted, the motivation of the patient and the level of improvement desired. Visual training is not something done to people, but rather something they do to themselves under the guidance of an optometrist. Hence, the success is dependent upon the motivation of the patient. Frequently a visual training program for an uncomplicated case will consist of up to six months of in-office sessions, one to three sessions per week supplemented by out-of-office sessions (home) training. Cases with multiple diagnosis or severe dysfunction may require a longer term of therapy.

Visual training as described above is provided by our office. Most of the research relating to vision development, binocular dysfunctions and learning related visual problems has occurred through the efforts of individual practicing optometrists or through studies at schools and colleges of optometry.

Frequently, optometrists who specialize in this area of vision care, in addition to being members of the American Optometric Association, are also members of the (Fellow or Associate) College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD) and/or the Optometric Extension Program Foundation (OEPF). COVD provides doctors with continuing postgraduate education in the areas of developmental optometry and vision therapy and conducts a certification program for optometrists skilled in this specialty area.

Vision, Learning and Dyslexia

Vision, Learning, and Dyslexia: A Joint Organizational Policy Statement

American Academy of Optometry American Optometric Association College of Optometrists in Vision Development

Vision and Learning

Many children and adults continue to struggle with learning in the classroom and the workplace. Advances in information technology, its expanding necessity and accessibility are placing greater demands on people for efficient learning and information processing.

Learning is accomplished through complex and interrelated processes, one of which is vision. Determining the relationships between vision and learning involves more than evaluating eye health and visual acuity (clarity of sight). Problems in identifying and treating people with learning-related problems arise when such a limited definition of vision is employed.

This position statement addresses these issues, which are important to individuals who have learning-related vision problems, their families, their teachers, the educational system, and society.

Policy Statement

People at risk for learning-related vision problems should receive a comprehensive optometric evaluation. This evaluation should be conducted as part of a multi-disciplinary approach in which all appropriate areas of function are evaluated and managed.

The role of the optometrist when evaluating people for learning-related vision problems is to conduct a thorough assessment of eye health and visual functions, and communicated the results and recommendations. The management plan may include treatment, guidance, and appropriate referral.

The expected outcome of optometric intervention is an improvement in visual function with the alleviation of associated signs and symptoms. Optometric intervention for people with learning-related vision problems consists of lenses, prisms, and vision therapy. Vision therapy does not directly treat learning disabilities or dyslexia.

Vision therapy is a treatment to improve visual efficiency and visual processing, thereby allowing the individual to be more responsive to educational instruction. It does not preclude any other form of treatment and should be part of a multidisciplinary approach to learning disabilities.

Pertinent Issues

Vision is a fundamental factor in the learning process. The three interrelated areas of visual function are:

  1. Visual pathway integrity including eye health, visual acuity, and refractive status;
  2. Visual efficiency including accommodation (focusing), binocular vision (eye teaming), and eye movements;
  3. Visual information processing including identification and discrimination, spatial awareness, memory, and integration with other senses.

To identify learning-related vision problems, each of these interrelated areas must be fully evaluated.

Educational, neuropsychological, and medical research has suggested distinct subtypes of learning difficulties. Current research indicates that some people with reading difficulties have coexisting visual and language processing deficits. For this reason, no single treatment, profession, or discipline can be expected to adequately address all of their needs.

Unresolved visual deficits can impair the ability to respond fully to educational instruction. Management may require optical correction, vision therapy, or a combination of both. Vision therapy, the art and science of developing and enhancing visual abilities and remediating vision dysfunctions, has a firm foundation in vision science, and both its application and efficacy have been established in the scientific literature. Some sources have erroneously associated optometric vision therapy with controversial and unfounded therapies, and equate eye defects with visual dysfunctions.

The eyes, visual pathways, and brain comprise the visual system. Therefore, to understand the complexities of visual function, one must look at the total visual system. Recent research has demonstrated that some people with reading disabilities have deficits in the transmission of information to the brain through a defective visual pathway. This creates confusion and disrupts the normal visual timing functions in reading.

Visual defects such as a restriction in the visual field of view can have a substantial impact on reading performance. Eye strain and double vision resulting from convergence insufficiency can also be a significant handicap to learning. There are more subtle visual defects that influence learning, affecting different people to different degrees. Vision is a multifaceted process and its relationships to reading and learning are complex. Each area of visual function must be considered in the evaluation of people who are experiencing reading or other learning problems. Likewise, treatment programs for learning-related vision problems must be redesigned individually to meet each person's unique needs.

Summary
  1. Vision problems can and often do interfere with learning.
  2. People at risk for learning-related vision problems should be evaluated by an optometrist who provides diagnostic and management services in this area.
  3. The goal of optometric intervention is to improve visual function and alleviate associated signs and symptoms.
  4. Prompt remediation of learning-related vision problems enhances the ability of children and adults to perform to their full potential.
  5. People with learning problems require help from many disciplines to meet the learning challenges they face. Optometric involvement constitutes one aspect of the multi-disciplinary management approach required to prepare the individual for lifelong learning.

This policy statement was formulated by a task force representing the College of Optometrists in Vision Development, the American Optometric Association, and the American Academy of Optometry. The following individuals are acknowledged for their contributions.

Ronald Bateman, O.D.
Eric Borsting, O.D., M.S.
Susan Cotter, O.D.
Kelly Frantz, O.D.
Ralph Garzia, O.D.
Louis Hoffman, O.D., M.S.
Stephen Miller, O.D.
Leonard Press, O.D.
Michael Rouse, O.D., M.S. Ed.
Julie Ryan, O.D.
Glen Steele, O.D.
Gary Williams, O.D.

Approved by:
College of Optometrists in Vision Development
      October 1996
American Academy of Optometry
      January 1997
American Foundation for Vision Awareness
      February 1997
American Optometric Association
      March 1997

Syntonic Light Therapy

Syntonic Light Therapy

The use of light in healing both the mind and body has many traditions with sources of knowledge from all the major advanced cultures. Western science is now beginning to explain how and why. Some of the results we see in our office regularly will give you a sense of what a powerful force light can be in improving visual performance despite a variety of obstacles.

Eye Turns

Most eye turns straighten much faster, often in a few weeks, when syntonics is added to a traditional eye exercise program. Surgery should NEVER be the first treatment for an eye turn, except in rare cases.

Lazy Eye

Also called amblyopia, when normal vision has not developed in one or both eyes, patching an eye is not the best treatment. A combination of developmentally stimulating activities with light stimulation is extremely effective treatment. Improvements are seen not only in acuity, but also in eye movement, peripheral awareness, and focusing ability even in adult patients.

Visually Related Learning Problems:
We believe that complex learning problems demand a coordinated team approach. As part of the Learning Disabilities Associates team, we know that among the interrelated problems of the learning disabled child, the ability to extract meaning from or express it through VISUAL SYMBOLS is often the critical missing link. One of the failings of our educational system is the failure to identify children with significant visual impairment of learning readiness. The underachiever who is held back by visual skills usually passes the school vision screening with 20/20 acuity, but probably has depressed peripheral awareness causing clumsiness or loss of place in reading. There may by poor focusing resulting in low VISUAL attention span and drop in performance with time on the task, or the need to get painfully close to the paper. The sooner visual and other readiness factors are in place, the fewer psychological and social problems will complicate treatment. More than 80% of students failing reading have been found to have depressed peripheral vision. Several hours of controlled stimulation has been shown to increase this severely depressed function by several thousand percent. A multidisciplinary approach may never be too late since results with juvenile delinquents have been so good in a federally funded program that the re-arrest rate has dropped almost to nil.

Eye Disease

Improvement in visual functions such as acuity, focusing, peripheral vision, and eye movement are seen even in many individuals with concurrent eye diseases, such as cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, multiple sclerosis, and others. While syntonics is not a treatment for these conditions, it is a safe and often effective way to improve certain visual functions which can interfere with one's comfort and performance. In most cases, appropriate diet, nutritional supplementation and medical care when medical treatment exists, are necessary to maintain the gains in vision achieved through syntonics.

http://www.syntonicphototherapy.com

Contact Information
Dr. Kenneth Burke O.D.
175 Main St S
Woodbury, CT 06798
Phone: (203) 263-3391

Office Hours
Mon: 01:00 PM - 08:30 PM
Tue - Wed: 08:30 AM - 05:30 PM
Thu: 08:30 AM - 05:30 PM