I have Dr. Bryce Appelbaum joining me for a two-part series to get into the misdiagnoses and missed opportunities of vision and explain why healthcare has it all wrong about the eyes. Today we dive into vision therapy, why nearsightedness is increasing alarmingly quickly, and how ADD, ADHD, and dyslexia relate to vision. We also discuss the controversy surrounding eye-patching, and Dr. Applebaum shares many helpful tips along the way.
Listen to the Episode
Vision therapy is essentially physical therapy for the brain through the eyes.
– Dr. Bryce Applebaum
The two main components of nearsightedness:
If we’re presented with stress from our environment, and we don’t have the tools in place to meet those demands, we either adapt, or we avoid. Nearsightedness has two main components- genetics and environment. You can’t do much about genetics. You can’t control who your parents are, but environment-wise, if you’re presented with these challenges, and you don’t have the vision development to support that, then we usually adapt.
– Dr. Bryce Applebaum
About Dr. Bryce Applebaum
Dr. Bryce Appelbaum is a pioneer in neuro-optometry passionate about unlocking life’s potential through vision.
His expertise includes reorganizing the visual brain post-concussion to return to learn and return to life, remediating visual developmental delays interfering with reading and learning, and enhancing visual skills to elevate sports performance.
Dr. Appelbaum has been featured on the front page of USA Today, in the New York Times Magazine, Bethesda Magazine, and as the cover story of OT Advance.
Dr. Appelbaum has worked with hundreds of professional athletes, numerous professional and collegiate sports teams, and countless amateur athletes to transform raw talent into honed performance through vision.
He also helps teams consider who to draft or sign as free agents based on assessing a player’s visual potential and identifying how far off they may be from operating at that ceiling.
He is the owner and managing doctor at Appelbaum Vision, PC, a private practice specializing in Vision Therapy and Rehabilitation with offices in Bethesda and Annapolis Maryland.
Dr. Appelbaum is a board-certified Fellow of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development and an Adjunct Clinical Professor at the Southern College of Optometry.
Dr. Bryce Appelbaum is on a mission to change the way the world views vision. He believes there is more to vision than just 20/20 eyesight and has developed programs to retrain the brain to revise the eyes. He is here with us today to discuss The Misdiagnoses and Missed Opportunities of Vision: why healthcare has it all wrong about the eyes?
Convergence insufficiency- by the language, you’d think it means that somebody can’t cross their eyes. But essentially, it is a special mismatch in that the outside muscles are not coordinating well to keep both eyes pointing and focused on a near target.
– Dr. Bryce Applebaum
In This Episode
- What vision therapy is. [3:15]
- Why nearsightedness is increasing at an alarming rate. [5:31]
- How people end up always needing glasses. [6:38]
- How far should you sit from a screen? [7:55]
- How hidden vision problems could relate to ADD and ADHD. [10:26]
- What convergence insufficiency is and how to test kids for it. [11:05]
- How eyesight differs from vision. [12:53]
- How hidden vision problems relate to dyslexia. [13:57]
- Why you should never use Visine eye drops. [18:31]
- How omega 3 fatty acids benefit dry eyes. [20:19]
- What causes amblyopia (lazy eye]? [27:00]
Links & Resources
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Dr. Bryce Applebaum 0:05
Vision therapy is essentially a physical therapy for the brain through the rewiring the software in the brain to change how somebody uses their visual system.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 0:16
Welcome to the your longevity blueprint podcast. I'm your host, Dr. Stephanie gray. My number one goal with the show is to help you discover your personalized plan to build your dream health and live a longer, happier, truly healthier life. You're about to hear from Dr. Bryce Applebaum. Today, he will share the misdiagnosis and missed opportunities of vision. Why healthcare has it all wrong about the eyes. This is part one of a two part series. Today we'll dive into what vision therapy is why nearsightedness is increasing at an alarming rate. How ATD ADHD and dyslexia are related to vision and talk about controversy over AI patching. He's full of tips along the way. Let's get started.
Welcome to another episode of The your longevity blueprint Podcast. Today my guest is Dr. Bryce Applebaum who's a pioneer in neuro optometry passionate about Unlocking Life's potential through vision. His expertise includes reorganizing the visual brain post concussion, to return to learn and return to life remediating visual developmental delays interfering with reading and learning and enhancing visual skills to elevate sports performance. Dr. Applebaum has been featured on the front page of USA Today and the New York Times Magazine Bethesda magazine and as the cover story of OT advanced, Dr. Applebaum has worked with hundreds of professional athletes numerous professional and collegiate sports teams and countless amateur athletes to transform raw talent into honed performance through vision. He also helps teams consider who to draft or sign as free agents based on assessing a player's visual potential and identifying how far off they may be from operating at that ceiling. He's the owner and managing doctor at Applebaum vision PC, the private practice specializing in vision therapy and rehabilitation with offices in Bethesda in Annapolis, Maryland. Dr. Applebaum is a board certified fellow of the College of optometrist and vision development and an adjunct Clinical Professor at the Southern College of Optometry. Dr. Applebaum is on mission to change the way the world views vision he believes there's more division than did just 2020 eyesight and has developed programs to retrain the brain to revise the eyes. He's here with us today to discuss the misdiagnosis and missed opportunities of vision. Why healthcare has it all wrong about the eyes? Welcome to the show. Dr. Applebaum.
Dr. Bryce Applebaum 2:24
Thank you so much for having me, doctor. Great pleasure to be here.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 2:27
That's quite the bio kind of hard on my eyes. Just
Dr. Bryce Applebaum 2:30
kidding. Well, I want to give you a workout to begin.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 2:34
So I do want to echo what I read in your bio, I want listeners to know why healthcare has it all wrong about the eyes. But first, what got you so interested in this unique specialty?
Dr. Bryce Applebaum 2:44
Great question. So when I was a child, I had very substantial visual developmental delays that contributed to a really high abnormally high prescription at early age, and reduced eyesight, I had depth perception problems, I had sensory integration challenges, motor delays, couldn't catch a ball, I was a mess. And luckily, my father was a an eye doctor. And he was getting into this field and basically created this specialty for me, where I attribute all of my success in life, athletically, academically, a lot of even what I've learned interpersonally. So what I learned with vision therapy, obviously, we'll talk about what's involved there. But I deeply know what it feels like to struggle with reading and learning with feeling different, you know, not being cast out by your peers, and even more so how unbelievably life changing it can be to turn a weakness into a strength. And so now I'm very passionate about helping people and not letting them be on the path I was on.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 3:40
I love hearing and a progressive one at that, because that was years ago. So let's dive into what vision therapy is. So I'm assuming that's what you use to help you right? So what is vision therapy? And why have so many people not heard of this?
Dr. Bryce Applebaum 3:53
Great question. So vision therapy is essentially physical therapy for the brain through the rewiring the software in the brain that change how somebody uses their visual system. So many people have not heard about this. And that's that is a mission I'm on is to raise awareness, because we are all taught in school, how to look at eyesight and eye health and how to intervene when there's disease and how to deal with structure, but so little on function, and you have to do a separate residency and fellowship and all of that. And there's just very few people in this space. We don't have to be board certified to offer vision therapy, but I would argue the level of of care is dramatically different when you are and so that's just a process that's elective, but it helps you really know what you know, and what you don't know and learn what you don't know.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 4:38
Like so how rare is this? Because we were talking before we started recording there might be just one person near us that has even some of this minimal training, but like how, how rare are we talking like py doctors per state?
Dr. Bryce Applebaum 4:50
Definitely a handful per state, depending on the state as well. I mean, in Maryland, right outside Washington, DC, and in DC and Maryland. There are are eight doctors board certified and have like six or 7000. And those eight comprise five different practices. So there's a lot more people doing vision therapy. I know a lot of physical therapists have adopted some of these techniques. A lot of OTS a lot of speech therapists just based off of the awareness being chiropractors, too. I mean, are there some chiropractors will actually have somebody come in wearing their glasses and do manipulations and look at different balancing procedures through the lenses to see like, is this prescription right is it off, and it's a little bit out there, but work on vision and the visual brain can be considered vision therapy, I guess, depending on the lens you're seeing it through. I've already decided
Dr. Stephanie Gray 5:39
I needed it. But we'll get to that later. So let's talk about nearsightedness. So I think that's increasing at an alarming rate with children. And so part of me wants to think is that from screens and our screens bad for our eyes, can we go there talk nearsightedness and you know, danger of screens,
Dr. Bryce Applebaum 5:54
all visual skills are learned skills. And whenever a child is born, we don't have to track or focus or converge or use our eyes. And it's something that through our life experiences, we develop the ability to use our eyes together. So that's something to learn, well not learn as well as it could be. And that sense of intervention is needed. More so than ever, and I know you have a young child, kids are being introduced to technology at earlier and earlier ages than ever, kids are reading in kindergarten when most are not usually ready for reading and kindergarten. And to really simplify it if we're presented with stress from our environment, and we don't have the tools in place to meet those demands. We either adapt or we avoid. nearsightedness has two main components, genetics and environment can't do much about genetics Can't Control Your parents are. But environment wise, you know, if you're presented with these challenges, and you don't have the vision development to support that, and we usually adapt, and usually that occurs with near issues. So then far away, blur becomes the symptom of the near problem. And our profession treats the symptom and says, Well, you can't see the letters on the letter chart, here's some glasses. And absolutely, that makes far way clearer. But then very often, that becomes your new normal, you adapt to that you need something stronger for the same clarity, then you're on this cycle, where you're in glasses for the rest of your life that are always changing,
Dr. Stephanie Gray 7:09
Are you saying screens are actually more bad at a younger age than.
Dr. Bryce Applebaum 7:13
1,000% screens are more bad at a younger age, more bad. guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics that say no child under any message says no child should be on a screen for more than two hours. I usually say like if you're under 18 months, limit screen time to just never, ever, but FaceTime with a loved one, especially over COVID, where you're not seeing somebody but that's it. And then as you get older, you know, that should go up to like 30 minutes, if you're under two, maybe an hour if you're under five. And then really everything in moderation, you know, taking as many breaks as you can.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 7:50
So obviously an iPad in front of your faces, I would think worse than TV across the room. So is distance very important. I think you had a social media post about this. They'd be with your kids having them scooch back.
Dr. Bryce Applebaum 8:02
So yeah, so rule of thumb larger the screen, the farther away, the better. It gives all your listeners an excuse to go by the biggest TV they can find and put it as far away as they can. Because what happens when it's up close is it's significantly different demands on the visual system. So the outside muscles have to converge, the eyes inside muscles have to focus the eyes. And that synergy between those two systems is really the root cause of most functional visual developmental delays and the problems that occur.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 8:31
Very interesting. I want to go back to genetics because you said one component of nearsightedness is genetics, because my eye doctor always says that, but I kind of feel like we always just blame everything on genetics. So that's true. But the variable we can change is this the environment like you're saying distance is on your side.
Dr. Bryce Applebaum 8:47
So genetics wise, based off of the alarming increase in nearsightedness, that is dramatically increased, I think there's an estimation that by 2050, about half of the population will be nearsighted. If both parents are nearsighted, the child has a one in two chance of becoming nearsighted. If one parent is it's one in three. And if zero parents are, I think it's one in four. And that's just our environment. This wasn't an issue 50 years ago, you know, before there were all these tablets and phones. And obviously, there's a time and a place for tablets for young kids. But I'm sure you've seen many parents who use a screen as a babysitter and then you know that they're stuck at that distance forever.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 9:27
And I never thought I would be that parent. But there have been times where I'm like just watched.
Dr. Bryce Applebaum 9:32
We all are there, right? But I think a good way to think about it is like if you were to squeeze your hands as hard as you can, you can do it for maybe 510 seconds and your hands gonna start to kind of get sore and get tired. But if you were to do this open and closed, you could do it for a very long time and still maintain that stamina. Our muscles that control focus in our eyes are sphincter they're circular. So when you look close, the muscle constricts. When you look for relaxes, you're stuck on us range, you're stuck with it constricted. And there's not a whole lot you can do without looking away and taking breaks. And, you know, balancing that type of setup. Sure makes sense.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 10:12
What about ATD? ADHD? So could those behaviors be due to hidden vision problems?
Dr. Bryce Applebaum 10:17
So we have a 30 question predictive checklists of the most common symptoms associated with treatable visual developmental delays. More than half of those symptoms are the exact same symptoms on the DSM four classification for a DD or ADHD. Most diagnoses of attention problems are based off of behavior, and observation and sometimes testing but there's not really a way to measure a biochemical balance in the brain to know whether somebody needs more of a certain neurotransmitter or doesn't. From a vision standpoint, there's two particular diagnoses but the most common one is something called convergence insufficiency. convergence insufficiency means by the language, you think it means that somebody can't cross their eyes. But essentially what it is, is a spatial mismatch, and that the outside muscles are not coordinating well to keep both eyes pointing and focused on a near target. So a simple way to test this is take a an expensive piece of equipment, take a pen or pencil, have to have your child or yourself look at that. And you're going to bring it close along your midline all the way up to your nose until you can't make it single or clear anymore. It should be pretty effortless to our nose. But for so many kids that near point of convergence is reduced. And so they say they can't make it one there becomes this competition between which I looks at it and then they look away or you see an eye drift. convergence insufficiency is so unbelievably common in kids. Some studies say as high as 20% of kids have this. But if you're diagnosed with that, you're way more likely to be mislabeled as having a problem with attention. Because think about a child in a classroom setting or being asked to read or write, you're having to converge your eyes to be up close. This only happens in the year. And if you can't maintain the stamina or keep your eyes pointing and focus at that place, the words move, you lose your place, you have to look away and disengage. And so often kids in the classroom are not paying attention, or it seems like that but they're really relying on auditory rather than vision because vision is not providing them the feedback that that they want or deserve.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 12:23
Yeah, before you medicate your children. Yeah, listen to the episode where we talk about diet, reducing inflammatory foods and also get vision check. But not I don't even say get your vision check because parents aren't getting their children's vision checked. So
Dr. Bryce Applebaum 12:33
Here's a great way to look at it. Think of eyesight envision as separate entities eyesight. So well, we see that's letters on a letter chart and an eye exam, a street sign when you're driving the board and the classroom. Vision is entirely brain and how the brain tells the eyes what to do and how we drive meaning direct action. So even just asking a doc any eye doctor should know how to test for convergence insufficiency. So you can ask for that then NASA they may not I think the word it means what it implies. And the treatment is going to be all over the place. But there's lots of great resources online that give tons of information on convergence insufficiency and treatable vision problems. One great one is vision help.com V is IO n h elp. It's a complete advocacy group I'm a part of with a goal of just raising awareness. Sure, and there's videos, research a lot on there on convergence insufficiency and a ton of other stuff as well.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 13:30
For the listeners, I'll post that link in the show notes too. Great information. Okay, what about dyslexia,
Dr. Bryce Applebaum 13:35
So along similar lines, dyslexia, by definition means difficulty reading words. I'm biased, of course, but I would say 95% of people I work with have difficulty reading words, but because of a vision problem that was hidden previously, so often tracking our eyes and keeping them pointing on the word across the page and focusing our eyes and making the words clear and converging our eyes to see a single clear image. If those are not operating or functioning where they should, it's going to be a lot harder to read those words to decode to then comprehend that information to think about that information. And so very often kind of like a DD or ADHD. Dyslexia is a diagnosis that describes behavior. There's more testing that's standardized to kind of assign that label. But it's it's very often the visual centers and language centers are not communicating with each other. And there's lots of different treatments out there that can help improve reading, especially for those with that label of dyslexia. Because oftentimes, it's not accurate and when it is accurate, and there's problems with phonological awareness and kind of getting the sounds with the letters and the words and being able to filter all that and make sense of it. You know, that that's something that can be improved with the right type of learning to take place.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 14:50
What would you say some of your misperception not your misperceptions? What are some of probably the listeners misperceptions about vision?
Dr. Bryce Applebaum 14:57
I could go in so many directions here. So Um, I would say one of the biggest is your prescription shouldn't really change every year. And that's kind of an explosion in many people's minds. You know, if we're adapting to the lens we're in and we're needing something stronger to maintain the same clarity, we're kind of going down a path. But if we think about a functional root cause of that is maybe the focusing system can't hold focus and can't sustain it, or there's not flexibility there, or we're on screens too much, or we're not able to meet the demands of life, you treat the symptom, it gets far away has to get clear with a stronger lens. But if you treat the problem, the underlying functional coordination problem, then the symptom goes away,
Dr. Stephanie Gray 15:41
Which makes me so angry because I feel like that was me year after year after year, granted, I was obviously on my computer or in books studying, right? So through my early 20s, and even into my 30s. And my doctor kept saying, Oh, your vision will normalize it'll, it'll, it'll quit declining, because I was thinking at that time, I wanted to get Lasik eye surgery. And every year I'd go back and I and I kept thinking, Well, certainly this is, you know, this deterioration, it's gonna level off and I can eventually qualify for lasix. And my vision just kept getting worse. And it kept wanting to up my prescription. And I finally said, No, I don't want it up anymore. I feel like because I had someone in one of my classes who was from another country and she said, No, no, when we go to see our eye doctor, like we want we ask for less power, not more power, because we want to you know, work our eyes and not just be kind of dependent on that. But I feel like I got robbed I feel like I kind of got screwed because
Dr. Bryce Applebaum 16:28
I'm so much of the world is robbed. We're all taught to have everybody see the smallest letters crystal clear HD all day long. Not everybody has to see the same. You have to have vision not interfere and be able to see clear enough to be successful in life. But I mean, you're absolutely right. And I think there's a joke in our profession, that it's rare to find a an attorney or a doctor, somebody who's been through a lot of reading and studying and schooling who doesn't have a prescription. I mean, we adapt to near if we adapt to everything in life, we either avoid or adapt. So if we're adapting, the more near there is more near visual demands, the more likely that you know far away is going to be compromised. Evolutionarily, were meant to be scanning the horizon and looking for things in the distance. We're now making these scanning eye movements on screens with really small font and graphics all day long in many cases, and you know, these problems were much rarer many, many years ago.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 17:24
Okay, so that's one misperception out a few more.
Dr. Bryce Applebaum 17:27
Yes. And one of the big ones that I get asked about all the time is the rate drops for our eyes. Yeah, and I want to if we your listeners can leave with one take home. Well to take homes one's going to be that vision therapy can change your life number two, don't use vising and vaginas AI dropped that constricts the blood vessels so that the eyes don't appear as red but the second thing drug wears off there's a rebound effect that's twice as high and the red for a reason the red blood vessels are ready to bring in more oxygen because of some underlying cause. And if you figure out I mean there's plenty of drops that are great like artificial tears that are non preservative or the supplements you can take that can help with that but I think in most cases the red the redness is because of some sort of dryness or irritation or virus or bacteria. Vaizey makes it worse so please don't use that
Dr. Stephanie Gray 18:25
you have a good video on that on your Instagram as well which that caught my eye haha but I but I previously had Claudia you know Claudia on the show her episode hasn't aired yet but it'll likely air before yours will actually we talked a little bit about just dry eyes in general. And she does recommend resting your eyes right cupping your eyes and like blinking the to help with with dry whatnot. But one of my questions I had for her which same question for you of course is what are the best eyedrops you're saying non preservative so that the single use like the single use I do use those because I have pretty bad dry unfortunately. But I think those are housed in plastic and because I'm have a hormone clinic right? And I'm so worried about endocrine disrupting chemicals. I can't help but wonder, you know, if those eyedrops get shipped from Amazon, they're in my mailbox sitting in 100 degrees in Iowa, whether is that plastic leaching into the
Dr. Bryce Applebaum 19:13
And to be honest, we don't really know there's not enough has been done there. But I can give you a solution that avoids all of that. But one hack for your health omega three fatty acids in which I take no thank you. Yes, yeah, they're amazing. But from the tear film standpoint, there's three layers to our to your film, the outer layers, a layer called the mucin layer. Omega three is in the right consistency and the right quality. I usually recommend 1000 milligrams twice a day produces that layer of the tear film and a more viscous thicker fashion so your tears don't evaporate as quickly. There's a protective barrier and it's rare for somebody with mild dryness who takes omega three fatty acids to not see a huge improvement in terms of symptoms and then you're avoiding plastic and bottles if it's good sourced fish oil and landed in the right place.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 20:01
Absolutely. And I do notice my husband complained about my dry eyes. And then he says, Well, how much fish oil are you taking? Because I do notice when I take two grams versus one gram, I do notice a difference, because I've taken one gram, like almost my entire life, even as a kid. But when I jump it up, I do notice a difference. I feel like with the two grams,
Dr. Bryce Applebaum 20:18
Add one quick thing. So I would say ideally, for the first two weeks, take one gram at separate intervals. So one in the morning, one at night, divided divided grade absorb it more easily.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 20:29
And I thank you, I would agree with that. So Claudia had recommended the I think that from Switzerland, similar San or something like that, have you heard of those more homeopathic? Well, what do you think? What are your thoughts? I did order them? I haven't used them yet.
Dr. Bryce Applebaum 20:41
But they can be very helpful. They're a little more natural and holistic. And there's some really good drops like cysteine, or soothe that are, I would say, equally is good, and in many cases more effective. Sure. But you know, as long as there's no preservatives, and as long as you're trusting what's in there, then that's great. I think drinking a ton of water can be helpful. But I think in general that that's a fine one, but it's
Dr. Stephanie Gray 21:09
any other misperceptions?
Dr. Bryce Applebaum 21:12
Yes. misperceptions about eye problems being brain problems. All eye problems are brain problems for the most part. So any problem with tracking or focusing or converging or eye teaming or depth perception are all problems that initiate in the brain and can be treated through the brain. And if you're addressing it on the eye basis, it makes it much harder to be able to see any changes in terms of the problems that are occurring. There is neuroplasticity at every age.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 21:44
Let's talk about that define neuroplasticity, let's go there.
Dr. Bryce Applebaum 21:47
So neuroplasticity is our brain's ability to learn new things. And to create new synaptic connections or new wiring that supports what is being learned any brain at any age can be taught new tricks. One of the biggest misperceptions in the vision world from doctors is that most are taught in school and I was taught in school and I graduated optometry school in 2009, that there's a critical period for vision development, and that after age eight, you blow out the candles, and then all of a sudden, the visual centers of the brain can no longer be taught and what you see is what you get, and you're stuck with where everything is. As silly as that sounds, that's still preached by the majority of ophthalmology and a lot of doctors again, are trained on intervention of a disease and structure and not on function. I currently have a 98 year old 92 year old and 89 year old all envision therapy, developing depth perception for the first time, I will say as we get older malleability decreases. And there's you know, as you can attest to When infants kids have, brains are like sponges, and you can learn things so much more easily. But with the right arrangement of conditions and the right situation where you're, you're appropriately being taught from the right sequence of learning and from the right foundation, any brain at any age can be retaught. Depth perception can be developed at any age, as long as there's two eyes, you know, we can tap into to that wiring,
Dr. Stephanie Gray 23:18
Very encouraging. Any other misperceptions that did we cover?
Dr. Bryce Applebaum 23:23
How long do we have here? There's a lot about patching and about, it's gone there. Yeah. So let's first kind of clarify two different terms that often get confused. strabismus, and amblyopia. strabismus is an eye turn. amblyopia is a lazy eye. Both of these have huge misperceptions. So, start with strabismus which is an eye turn. Most eye turns our brain problems manifesting through the eyes, meaning there's no concern with eye muscle strength or length. It's the same with all the six eye muscles that that surround each eye externally. It's more coordination. So if we didn't go go back to what we talked about earlier about vision is learned that child who skips over crawling or who walks too early and doesn't have the bilateral integration and the motor Foundation to support the vision learning that comes and all of a sudden, everything's static, and then they start moving and are unstable, and then they're teaming their visual system is all unstable very often and I turn stems from walking before we're ready to be walking fast forward then to later in light later in life, I turns are developed. If we're talking about the convergence insufficiency, which is fragile, it may get nearer if we're then because of a rivalry or competition over sensory input, meaning the brain can't understand how to filter both eyes at the same time. It picks one that ignores the other and throws it in or out or up or down so that it doesn't have to be involved with vision learning. Most eye turns are treated from a medical community standpoint with eye muscle surgery.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 24:58
Okay, that was thinking about First thing in the patch was coming in, but yeah, okay, yeah, so
Dr. Bryce Applebaum 25:02
With eye muscle surgery, it's very, very rare to have a functional cure. Best case scenario is a cosmetic cure, meaning the eyes look like they're straight. But for them to act like they're straight and for them to act like they're working together, the visual centers of the brain we're talking about need to then learn how to use that both eyes together and filter and processed input at the same time to develop 3d vision or depth perception amblyopia, which is the lazy I mean, one I'm not seeing as well as the other stems from three different one of three different things, either the prescriptions really high or different in one eye, and the rain rather than using bonuses, I want to use the eye that's easier to see clearly with I'm gonna just ignore the other. It happens from an eye turn meaning if one eye is out the other eyes straight vision, learning, Vision development doesn't happen with that outside eye. And so the brain just learns how to see with the eye that straight the other eye gets ignored. What happens if there's some sort of structural problem early on, like somebody's born with a cataract in their eye or, you know, has, for whatever reason, some sort of blockage from that brain using that I then amblyopia which is the ability to see the small letters, the inability to see the small letters, that's what that's what comes out. Old school treatment is patching, so to look at it as a good eye and a bad eye. So let's cover up the good eyes. So the bad eye has to work. We now have the research to support what my profession is known forever. In that amblyopia is a two eyed problem just showing up on one side. And unless it's addressed on a two eyed basis, it doesn't really get better. So a lot of kids who go through patching, you know, not even considering the emotional toll that takes walking around with a patch on and feeling different from their peers and not being able to see out of that eye. But from a functional standpoint, you know, it's teaching the bad guy to be to engage in the presence of the good guy. And so the advanced treatments are literally learning how to pick out that as input when the other eye is there. So that's done with virtual reality, or augmented reality, or different filters or lenses or prism all the tools that we have, with optometric vision therapy, to be able to equalize the skills with each eye. So both eyes are open. Neither one takes over, because there's not a difference between each eyes information.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 27:18
Yes, super interesting. But now I want to go off on a tangent, another tangent about eye patching because my brother had a retinal detachment in his mid 30s. And on he I felt I feel bad because he told me I'm losing my vision. And I said, go to the doctor, but I should have said Go now. Not wait. So I kind of feel bad. Like I could have pressured him to go earlier. He's very lucky. He didn't lose vision. And I mean, they said he was one and I don't know 100,000. I mean, he's a it is a very rare case. Because he had no other risk factors. There was no trauma and nothing but basically he had surgery and then he wore a patch for almost a year. And I think he was disservice and I because I'm hearing about things like vision therapy right now. And I'm just wondering what he maybe wasn't offered that he should have been but he finally got the patch off. And I as I mean his vision is so it's terrible than that I and I
Dr. Bryce Applebaum 28:02
I will correct something I did say if the discrepancy is very, very large between each eye meaning like when I can see the small letters, the other one came until when the lights are on, or just the Big E then patching can be effective but really active learning with the patch on is what's needed. Not just go through life covering that I it's more, let's do like discriminatory tasks. So picking up straws, coming up in little pieces and taking a stick and scooping them up or for a child stringing Froot Loops or Cheerios on a string. This kind of visually guided motor control work then allows the brain to put together the input from the tactile senses and auditory senses with the visual senses to be able to then understand more effectively where that is and how to engage with it.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 28:50
I think he needs to see you this two part series is super interesting to me as I feel like my whole family could benefit from vision therapy. For now. I'm glad he reminded me that distance is on our side. We need to back our kids away from their screens and I know I need to take more of my fish oil. Stay tuned for next week's episode where we'll talk about how vision impacts sports performance. Discuss concussions how COVID can impact vision talk motion sickness and supplements for the eyes. Dr. Applebaum said vision therapy can change your life and I believe it if you'd like to connect with Dr. Applebaum use code Dr. Gray 10 That's Dr. G R AY 10. To receive 10% off his recently released screen Fit program their premier Doctor created an online vision training program designed to transform your tired strained and blurry computer eyes into HD clear vision link will be posted in the show notes. Be sure to check out my book your longevity blueprint. And if you aren't much of a reader, you're in luck. You can now take my course online where I walk you through each chapter in the book. Plus for a limited time the course is 50% off. Check this offer out at your longevity blueprint.com and click the Course tab. One of the biggest things you can do to support the show and help us reach more Our listeners is to subscribe to the show. Leave us a rating and review on Apple podcasts or wherever you listen. I do read all the reviews and would truly love to hear your suggestions for show topics guests and for how you're applying what you learn on the show to create your own longevity blueprint. This podcast is produced by Team podcast. Thank you so much for listening and remember, wellness is waiting
The information provided in this podcast is educational. No information provided should be considered to be or used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with your personal medical authority.
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