I Just Flew In From Birmingham, England And Boy Are My Eyes Tired
I have just returned from the 7th International Congress of Behavioural Optometry in Birmingham, England, sponsored by the Optometric Extension Program Foundation (OEPF) and others. The congress was attended by behavioral optometrists from 26 countries and featured 45 presenters on a variety of topics. Among the presenters was Dr. Susan Barry, dubbed Stereo Sue by Dr. Oliver Sacks. Dr. Barry is a professor of neurobiology at Mount Holyoke College and author of the incredible book Fixing My Gaze: A Scientist’s Journey into Seeing in Three Dimensions.
Dr. Susan Barry discussing vision therapy for strabismus
I am also proud to announce that OEPF will be publishing my new book, A Parent Guide to Strabismus, Eye Muscle Surgery and Vision Therapy, due out in the very near future. I’m even more excited after having met Dr. Barry who had this to say about my upcoming book:
We think of standard medical care as constantly moving forward, providing more effective treatments from year to year. Yet, standard ophthalmological treatment for crossed eyes (strabismus) or lazy eye (amblyopia) has hardly changed in the last century even though these treatments, patching and surgery, do not address the fundamental problems and rarely lead to stereovision. In A Parent Guide to Strabismus, Eye Muscle Surgery and Vision Therapy, Dr. Steve Gallop describes, in a clear and straightforward manner, a dramatically different, less invasive, and more effective approach to the treatment of strabismus and amblyopia involving lenses and vision therapy. This book is a must-read for anyone who suffers from a crossed or lazy eye and for the parents of a child with these conditions.
Dr. Barry and Dr. Gallop
I also had to opportunity to hear Dr. Jan Richard Bruenech, director of the Biomedical Research Unit and professor in ocular anatomy at Buskerud University College in Norway. Dr. Bruenech’s most recent research on the structure and neurology of eye muscles makes it clear that operating on previously intact eye muscles should be scrutinized much more closely and possibly modified drastically. According to Breunech’s research over the past decades - as described in my book - eye muscle surgery causes irreparable damage to vital structures at the site of the incision.
These structures are vital for informing the brain of the precise angle of the eye and are permanently damaged in every eye muscle surgery. This is likely a major reason so many eye muscle surgeries do not result in permanent optimal alignment of the eyes, which in turn causes surgeons to recommend further surgery. Behavioral optometry has been treating these same conditions non-surgically, and with much better results, since the 1930s. Eye muscles treated surgically because they are not pointing along with their companion eye are rarely damaged prior to surgery. It is most often an issue of brain and neurological development and these issues are routinely improved with vision therapy and therapeutic lenses, interventions that most eye surgeons oppose.
I suggest you keep your eyes open (no pun intended) for my new book if the issues of strabismus and eye muscle surgery are of interest to you. For now you can check out an early draft of the introduction to the book right here.