Optometry Faculty Members Receive Grant to Study Effects of New Therapy

Faculty members within Pacific University's College of Optometry have received a $6,000 grant from the College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD) to study the effects of a new therapy for children with a binocular vision disorder.

Pacific University's College of Optometry research arm, the Vision Performance Institute, will conduct the study.

Professor Hannu Laukkanen, principal investigator for the study, said the grant will test the hypothesis of whether the binocular vision of children who have reading problems can be helped with "flicker glasses” that helps the eyes “team” together better.

"The long-term goal is to explain the relationship between binocular vision control, or lack thereof, and the behavioral and learning consequences for children," Laukkanen said.

Recent studies encouraging rapid switching between the eyes using "flicker” eyeglasses as a treatment, have shown clear improvement of binocular vision.

Laukkanen, along with colleagues Jim Sheedy and Shun-Nan Yang, are looking for 60 area children age 7-13 to take part in individual screening sessions consisting of reading and eye tracking exercises beginning later this month and continuing through the middle of next spring.

Data collected will then be analyzed with the team's findings to be presented in the summer.

The COVD is a non-profit, international membership association of eye care professionals including optometrists, optometry students, and vision therapists.  Established in 1971, COVD provides board certification for eye doctors and vision therapists who are prepared to offer state-of-the-art services in behavioral and developmental vision care, vision therapy and visual rehabilitation.

For more information, please contact Laukkanen at 503-352-2751 or laukkanh@pacificu.edu

Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015