Date of Award

5-2007

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Vision Science

Committee Chair

Hannu Laukkanen

Abstract

Background: Early work by Helmholtz2 in 1909 and later by Fincham3 in 1951 led to the idea that ocular longitudinal ·chromatic aberration (LCA) creates subtle color fringes on the eye depending on where the focus is. Essentially, under-accommodation (focus behind the retina like hyperopia) will produce a red fringe while over-accommodation (focus in front of the retina like myopia) will produce a blue fringe. These chromatic effects help to stimulate the accommodative system. The E.Y.E. device is a vision therapy-training instrument created by Dr. Jacob Liberman, and presumably makes use of this principle. The E.Y.E. device consists of a plastic thirty-six inch long plastic rod with 12 alternating red and blue led lights spaced at three and three quarter inch intervals. The aim of this investigation was to use this instrument with a sample of academically at-risk high school students and to compare their performance before and after training to a similar group of control subjects who did no training.

Methods: Twenty-nine subjects were randomly selected from a high school for academically atrisk youth. Two-thirds (n=19) of the students were chosen to undergo 4-week training session using the E. Y .E. (Exercise Your Eyes) visual training system 1 while the remaining students served as a control group (n=lO). The pre and posttest tests consisted of comprehensive battery visual skills that included acuities, refractive error, binocular function; as well as eye movement, language-processing, reading ability, and comprehension. Data were analyzed to see whether or not training with the E.Y.E. device yielded significant changes in the visual characteristics tested. In addition, an extended ADD/ADHD and medication history was also gathered for each participating subject.

Results: The only statistically significant differences noted in this study for experimental subjects following intervention were: refractive error OD (p=0.0011), refractive error OS (p=0.0002), and near phoria (p=0.01). History revealed that twenty (69%) of the participants had a prior diagnosis of ADD/ADHD, and 24 (83%), were on some form of medication during the study.

Conclusions: While an earlier prospective crossover study with the E. Y. E. device demonstrated significant improvement in a number of visual categories10 , our results were not in agreement with that earlier study. We suspect that the differences between the earlier study and our results are related to differences in methodology and subject sample. We experienced a number of challenges in working with this population, and noted problems with the training compliance of our experimental subjects. Although this may have influenced our results, likely confounders in our sample included a high rate of ADD/ ADHD, dyslexia, and very poor reading skills. It is unlikely that a limited 4-week training program with the E.Y.E. instrument, designed primarily for enhancing primarily accommodative/vergence and eye movement skills, would outweigh visual information processing performance impediments resulting from the before mentioned neurological complications.

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