Music, Physics, A Sailboat and Dentistry

Profile: Dr. David Matthews

Practice: David R. Matthews Dental Group, LLC

Location: Eugene, Oregon

Music, Physics, A Sailboat and Dentistry

A music teacher with a penchant for physics, Dr. Dave Matthews changed careers after ten years of teaching music to become a dentist. A graduate of the University of Oregon in 1970, Dr. Matthews taught music in Dallas, Oregon until 1980 when a compelling desire to practice dentistry took him to Oregon Health and Science University’s Dental School. After graduating in 1984, he started his second professional career, this time as a dentist.

For the next 12 years, he practiced what he felt was excellent general dentistry. But he hit a production plateau that he couldn’t break free from. As part of this, Dr. Matthews had problems effectively managing his employees and his new patients had dropped precipitously to an average of four per month. He didn’t know why. As he was untrained in practice management, including how to best hire, train and deal with employees and market for new patients, he was at a bit of a loss as to what to do.

“We weren’t productive, we had no office procedures and I had no skill in confronting people positively,” said Dr. Matthews. At the time, he was producing about $200,000 per year.

His wife Carol was still a schoolteacher when he begged her to train as an office manager at his practice. She commented that, “At that time the staff said that he didn’t talk to them. That sure didn’t help matters!”

It was at that point when Dr. Matthews turned to hiring practice management consultants in an attempt to reverse what he considered to be a very negative downward slope.

And it reversed in a big, big way.

Last year, his practice produced over $1.3 million and averaged 44 new patients per month. So, over the past 9 years of receiving practice management consulting, Dr. Matthews increased his production 650 percent and his new patients by over 1000 percent!

Carol Matthews said, “He has become a much happier person and an extremely better manager of people and all the other business aspects of running a practice.”

Dr. Matthews said, “I’ve always been interested in helping people in some way. Practicing dentistry allows me to do that, not only with my patients, but also with my staff. I love helping my staff grow in competence, not only as employees, but also as people. The ones who ‘get it’ and apply it are great to see.”

“We continue to use the consultants who helped us achieve this growth, because it makes life easier, more enjoyable and I gain more skills to create a better practice,” Dr. Matthew explained.

His success in dentistry has afforded him a rich life. He and Carol met in high school and have been married for over 37 years with two grown children. “Sailing is a big hobby. I own a 42-foot sailboat and get out whenever I can,” he said.

He didn’t leave music entirely however. He still plays the saxophone and performed in a big band in Eugene, Oregon for 15 years.

Dr. Matthews said, “I’m a much happier person and am truly getting what I want out of life. What more could you ask?”

Music, Physics, A Sailboat and Dentistry

Profile: Dr. David Matthews

Practice: David R. Matthews Dental Group, LLC

Location: Eugene, Oregon

Music, Physics, A Sailboat and Dentistry

A music teacher with a penchant for physics, Dr. Dave Matthews changed careers after ten years of teaching music to become a dentist. A graduate of the University of Oregon in 1970, Dr. Matthews taught music in Dallas, Oregon until 1980 when a compelling desire to practice dentistry took him to Oregon Health and Science University’s Dental School. After graduating in 1984, he started his second professional career, this time as a dentist.

For the next 12 years, he practiced what he felt was excellent general dentistry. But he hit a production plateau that he couldn’t break free from. As part of this, Dr. Matthews had problems effectively managing his employees and his new patients had dropped precipitously to an average of four per month. He didn’t know why. As he was untrained in practice management, including how to best hire, train and deal with employees and market for new patients, he was at a bit of a loss as to what to do.

“We weren’t productive, we had no office procedures and I had no skill in confronting people positively,” said Dr. Matthews. At the time, he was producing about $200,000 per year.

His wife Carol was still a schoolteacher when he begged her to train as an office manager at his practice. She commented that, “At that time the staff said that he didn’t talk to them. That sure didn’t help matters!”

It was at that point when Dr. Matthews turned to hiring practice management consultants in an attempt to reverse what he considered to be a very negative downward slope.

And it reversed in a big, big way.

Last year, his practice produced over $1.3 million and averaged 44 new patients per month. So, over the past 9 years of receiving practice management consulting, Dr. Matthews increased his production 650 percent and his new patients by over 1000 percent!

Carol Matthews said, “He has become a much happier person and an extremely better manager of people and all the other business aspects of running a practice.”

Dr. Matthews said, “I’ve always been interested in helping people in some way. Practicing dentistry allows me to do that, not only with my patients, but also with my staff. I love helping my staff grow in competence, not only as employees, but also as people. The ones who ‘get it’ and apply it are great to see.”

“We continue to use the consultants who helped us achieve this growth, because it makes life easier, more enjoyable and I gain more skills to create a better practice,” Dr. Matthew explained.

His success in dentistry has afforded him a rich life. He and Carol met in high school and have been married for over 37 years with two grown children. “Sailing is a big hobby. I own a 42-foot sailboat and get out whenever I can,” he said.

He didn’t leave music entirely however. He still plays the saxophone and performed in a big band in Eugene, Oregon for 15 years.

Dr. Matthews said, “I’m a much happier person and am truly getting what I want out of life. What more could you ask?”

Dental Center Takes a 900-Mile Detour for Disaster Relief

American Dental Association and Henry Schein Send ‘Tomorrow’s Dental Office – Today!’ to Help Mississippi Gulf Coast Residents;

State-of-the-Art Dental Treatment Center Takes a 900-Mile Detour for Disaster Relief

Answering the request of the Mississippi Department of Health, the American Dental Association (ADA) and Henry Schein Inc. (NASDAQ: HSIC), a distributor of healthcare products and services to office-based practitioners in the combined North American and European markets, dispatched “Tomorrow’s Dental Office – Today!” (TDOT) to Waveland, Mississippi to help treat Gulf Coast residents in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. The mobile exhibit, which is a fully-functional, technology-driven dental office of the future, traveled to this devastated town of 7,100 and was set up at the Kmart that became Waveland’s new community hub.

“All of us within the dental community are proud to work together with the Mississippi Department of Health to help care for the state’s citizens in this time of need,” said Stanley M. Bergman, Chairman and CEO of Henry Schein. “‘Tomorrow’s Dental Office – Today!’ is a remarkable dental resource that incorporates state-of-the-art technology in every aspect of a dental practice. It has been used in community outreach before, typically in conjunction with major dental meetings where we can demonstrate to dentists the value of this technology to their practices. In these extraordinary circumstances, we are happy to see the capabilities of TDOT put to such worthwhile use.”

“As you can imagine, a facility of this type is in high demand,” said Dr. James Bramson, Executive Director of the ADA. “It was scheduled to leave from the Ohio Dental Association Annual Session in Columbus for the ADA’s Annual Session in Philadelphia, when the call came from Mississippi.

“We conferred with Henry Schein and together instructed the TDOT staff to make a 900-mile detour to the Gulf Coast to arrive as soon as possible,” continued Dr. Bramson. “Our members would agree that Waveland and other affected communities are where dental resources are most needed at this time.”

After Hurricane Katrina hit the area on August 29, Henry Schein and the ADA immediately offered to send resources to the affected states. Because the Mississippi Department of Health was the first to follow up on that offer, Waveland was selected as the destination for TDOT. It is supplementing ongoing relief efforts at Caroline 1, the North Carolina State Medical Assistance Team base in Waveland, under the direction of Dr. Nicholas Mosca, State Dental Director of the Mississippi Department of Health. Dr. Mosca had dental practitioners in place screening and prioritizing patients for care in anticipation of TDOT’s arrival.

“We are extremely grateful to the ADA and Henry Schein for providing this remarkable resource to the people of Mississippi and the hard-hit community of Waveland,” said Dr. Mosca. “Caroline 1 is now seeing more than 300 critical care and emergency patients each day, and many of them are in urgent need of dental care. The TDOT facility will enable our dental teams to provide patients with the highest quality of care even though most of the town’s infrastructure has been erased.”

Henry Schein is supporting the “Tomorrow’s Dental Office – Today!” program through its U.S Dental division, Sullivan-Schein, and its Dentrix Dental Systems division. The ADA’s state-of-the-art research facilities develop and test dental products and materials that have advanced the practice of dentistry and made the patient experience more positive.

From: BUSINESS WIRE

Veterinary Foundation Offers Grants To Cover Costs

Veterinary Foundation Offers Grants To Cover Costs Of Care After Hurricanes

The American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF) is urging veterinarians to apply for grants of up to $2,000 to cover costs incurred by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Eligible applicants are licensed veterinarians, although requests from licensed veterinary technicians and others providing medical care for animals will be considered. Applicants need not come from storm-ravaged areas, but may include those from otherwise unaffected areas who are incurring out-of-pocket expenses from providing veterinary medical treatment, care and supplies to animal victims of the storms.

In addition, the AVMF will consider partial funding for storm-damaged structures and equipment used to provide veterinary care of animals.

“Veterinarians across the country have volunteered their time, expertise and resources to treat animals injured and displaced by these terrible storms,” said Dr. Tracy Rhodes, DVM, chairperson of the AVMF. “These grants will help to reimburse veterinarians for the costs associated with this care.”

Funding for the awards is provided through the AVMF Animal Disaster Relief and Response Fund. Established shortly after Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf coast, the fund was developed with the goal of raising $1 million for disaster relief efforts in the areas ravaged by the storms. The American Veterinary Medical Association Executive Board allocated $500,000 in matching funds to help meet this goal.

A grant application form is available online at www.avmf.org/html/GrantGuide.asp. Forms are to be submitted to the applicant’s state veterinary medical association, which may not be the location where the expenses were incurred. State associations will then submit the forms to the AVMF for review and consideration.

The AVMF advances the care and value of animals in society by raising and distributing funds in support of animal disaster relief and animal health studies. Established by the American Veterinary Medical Association in 1963, the AVMF is based in northwest suburban Chicago. For more information about the AVMF, visit www.avmf.org or call (847) 925-8070, ext. 6689.

The AVMA, founded in 1863, is one of the oldest and largest veterinary medical organizations in the world. More than 72,000 member veterinarians are engaged in a wide variety of professional activities. AVMA members are dedicated to advancing the science and art of veterinary medicine including its relationship to public health and agriculture.

From: American Veterinary Medical Foundation website

From a Hyundai to the AVMA

Dr. Wendy Emerson

Practice: Putnam Veterinary Clinic

Location: Topsfield, MA

From a Hyundai to the AVMA

Dr. Wendy Emerson is a very dedicated veterinarian, both to her practice and to the profession as a whole. After graduating from Tufts University’s School of Veterinary Medicine (now known as the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine) in 1985, she spent eight years as an associate at a private practice before launching her mobile practice.

“When I first started my practice, it consisted of an answering machine and a Hyundai,” Dr. Emerson said wryly.

She maintained her mobile practice for the next few years when she finally obtained office space and eventually hired her first practice management consultant in 1997. “My first two consultants didn’t really accomplish what I wanted but I finally found my current consultants in 1999 and I’ve been with them ever since,” she said.

Her practice income was around $220,000 a year in 1999. Since then she has grown exponentially and currently brings in about $850,000 a year. As part of this incredible growth she was able to open a new 2200 square foot facility in 2001.

Dr. Emerson explained, “I’ve had my consultants for a long time. I’ve found that as a practice grows, there are different tiers of organization needed. My consultants have been excellent at guiding me through these periods of transition. There are always new challenges that occur when a practice grows and that’s why I keep using a consultant.”

Involvement in professional organizations is seen as a vital part of Dr. Emerson’s regular activities. In 1999, Tufts University presented Dr. Emerson with the Most Outstanding Alumnus Award. This was the same year she started serving as president of the Massachusetts Veterinary Medical Association (MVMA) which resulted in her having the longest term of any president of the MVMA prior to her.

She currently maintains her professional associations by belonging to the Convention Management and Program Committee for the American Veterinary Medical Association. “My committee is responsible for planning the agenda for the annual AVMA conventions,” she said.

Given her responsibilities, it may seem like Dr. Emerson doesn’t have time for herself. But her number one passion, after practicing veterinary medicine, is riding her Harley-Davidson as much as she possibly can. “Any opportunity I can get!” she exclaimed. She also enjoys going camping in the summer and attending Boston’s professional team’s games, specifically the New England Patriots and the Boston Red Sox. Dr. Emerson said, “My husband proposed to me at the Super Bowl in Houston when the Patriots won, so it holds a very special place in my heart.” Dr. Emerson recently married in September of 2005 and has an 8-year old stepdaughter.

As you can tell, she is very happy with her practice and how it enhances her life. This is something she always wanted, but never really expected to achieve until she started with her latest practice management consultant. As part of her success she now has a board certified veterinary surgeon who practices at the clinic one day a week. And, although not a specialist, she treats a tremendous number of avian and exotic animals. Her practice handles approximately 35% avian and exotic which is quite high compared to many other practices. She considers she has one of the best staffs in the business and that her clients often comment on their warmth and care.

And, you know what? She still makes house-calls – the roots of where she started from. “Once a week. I still have my mobile clinic,” she said very proudly.

Optometrists Committed to Ensuring No Child is Left Behind

32 Percent of Vision Conditions in Preschoolers Missed

As nearly one-third of America’s preschoolers fall through the cracks of vision screenings, the American Optometric Association (AOA) says that change is essential. Calling for a policy of “zero tolerance,” the AOA today responded to alarming results from Phase 2 of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Vision in Preschoolers (VIP) study, meant to identify whether vision screenings can accurately identify preschool-aged children who would benefit from a comprehensive vision exam.

According to the NIH research, neither trained nurses nor trained lay people in the study using the best screening tests possible were able to identify nearly one-third of even the most prevalent vision disorders in children. Disorders such as amblyopia (lazy eye), strabismus (eye misalignment), and refractive errors (poor vision that can be corrected with glasses or contact lenses) were missed during the study’s screening process.

“These results are staggering and deeply concerning,” said Dr. Richard Wallingford, O.D., president of the AOA. “Optometry is committed to ensuring that no child is left behind due to vision problems.”

Overall, the NIH findings are consistent with earlier NIH research (April 2004) that identified comprehensive eye exams administered by optometrists and ophthalmologists as the “Gold Standard Eye Examination” for school-aged children.

“AOA leadership and doctors of optometry have long realized the need for comprehensive eye exams especially for young children,” said Wallingford. “We need teachers, parents, educational institutions and lawmakers to join with us in showing that we have zero tolerance for failing to identify vision problems in our kids that can be readily diagnosed and treated by an optometrist. I commend the NIH for commissioning this critically important research into children’s vision which continues to show that comprehensive eye exams are the most effective way to ensure that vision problems do not prevent children from learning.”

According to the AOA, vision screenings are not diagnostic nor do they typically lead to treatment, rather, screenings serve as an indication for a potential need to receive further eye care. Many screening facilities also often lack equipment to screen young children. In this particular study, the most advanced screening instrument used, the Retinomax Autorefractor, missed 32 percent of the vision conditions being specifically tested for in participating children. The second most advanced instrument, the SureSight Vision Screener, missed 36 percent of the children’s vision disorders. Other testing instruments had failure rates as high as 50 percent.

”Approximately 25 percent of all school-aged children have vision problems,” said Wallingford. “Clearly the prevalence of vision disorders present in children and the limitations of vision screenings support the need for and value of early detection through a comprehensive eye and vision exam by an eye doctor. One child missed is one too many. We need to work collaboratively toward zero tolerance.”

The American Optometric Association represents more than 34,000 doctors of optometry, optometry students and paraoptometric assistants and technicians.

From: I-Newswire

Natural Treatments Offer Best Hope For Cats With Feline AIDS

A new book offers hope for cats diagnosed with Feline AIDS, a disease once thought to be untreatable. Feline AIDS: A Pet Owner’s Guide by Thomas Hapka explains the Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) and outlines effective treatment strategies. Often confused with HIV or the human AIDS virus, Feline AIDS is NOT transferable to humans.

Each year, thousands of cats are diagnosed with Feline AIDS, also known as the Feline Immunodeficiency Virus or FIV. Well-meaning veterinarians often tell pet owners this disease is untreatable, but hope and help are now available.

Feline AIDS: A Pet Owner’s Guide by Thomas Hapka outlines simple, affordable treatment plans, which often require little more than a trip to your local health food store. The book is meant to address an important need.

“When my own cat was diagnosed, I was shocked to learn there were no books or useful articles available on this subject,” Hapka said. “By publishing this book, I hope to provide pet owners the information they need to assure prompt, effective treatment for their FIV+ cats.”

According to Lita Radford, professional homeopath and owner-operator of pets4homeopathy.com, “…Thomas Hapka has written this book in such a way that in one hour or less you will have enough information to get your cat on the road to recovery. Briefly, but ever so thoroughly, you will have sound knowledge of this disease, and better still, be equipped with the tools you need to do something about it.”

FIV is a virus that attacks the infected cat’s immune system, leaving the animal vulnerable to a broad range of infections. Although the disease behaves similarly to HIV, it cannot be transmitted to humans.

“Many people panic when they hear the word AIDS,” Hapka said. “I recently received a heartbreaking email from a woman in Australia who euthanized her beloved family cat, mistakenly believing the animal could give AIDS to her grandchildren. Cases like this are especially tragic because Feline AIDS is exclusively a feline disease. It is NOT possible for humans to catch AIDS from a cat.”

Another misconception is that a diagnosis of FIV is an automatic death sentence. Hapka, however, contends that cats receiving natural therapies and proper medical care can live for extended periods with few or no symptoms.

“By using the treatment strategies in this book, pet owners can strengthen their cats’ immune systems, helping to protect these animals from common infections that can otherwise prove life threatening for FIV+ cats,” says Hapka.

Feline AIDS: A Pet Owner’s Guide explains how to:

• recognize the early symptoms of FIV
• choose appropriate conventional treatments
• use natural treatment strategies
• find useful resources, including holistic practitioners and supplement companies

Thomas Hapka is a freelance writer and graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. He learned of FIV in 1995 when his cat, Jac, was diagnosed. Since then, he has consulted with hundreds of pet owners. His clients have spanned nine countries and included two American zoos. Hapka has been featured in the magazine Australian National Cat, and his web site has received more than 80,000 visitors.

Feline AIDS: A Pet Owner’s Guide, published by Kitter House Press, is now available through amazon.com and felineaids.org.

From: I-Newswire

ADEA & AADR Launch Innovative Faculty Recruitment Program

American Dental Education Association, American Association of Dental Research Launch Innovative Faculty Recruitment Program

With the dental school faculty shortage expected to grow in the future, the American Dental Education Association (ADEA) and the American Association of Dental Research (AADR) have joined forces to launch an innovative faculty recruitment program that will encourage and prepare students to enter academic dentistry.

Designed to reach students attending all U.S. and Canadian dental schools, the new Academic Dental Careers Fellowship Program is being established with $100,000 in support from the American Dental Association Foundation (ADAF), the charitable arm of the American Dental Association.

“Ensuring the future faculty workforce is critical to the future of dentistry and to ensuring the oral health of the public,” said Dr. Eric J. Hovland, ADEA President and Dean, School of Dentistry, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center. “We are grateful to the ADAF for making it possible for ADEA and the AADR to launch this national effort to interest more of our students in becoming faculty members. This is an important step forward in easing the faculty shortage problem.”

“This program can really make a difference,” said Dr. Christopher S. Arena, ADEA Vice President for Students and a postgraduate student at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, New Jersey Dental School. “Students with a passing interest in exploring academic careers often don’t know where they can learn more. Others may have a serious interest but need guidance in preparing themselves to become faculty members. This program will rapidly become a valued resource for students.”

The Academic Dental Careers Fellowship Program will consist of two complementary efforts. In one, informational seminars will be presented to the more than 800 dental students attending the ADEA and AADR Annual Sessions. Designed to attract and identify students interested in academic careers, these four or five seminars will focus on such topics as the roles of full-time, part-time, clinical, and research faculty; loan repayment programs; and the importance of dental education to the continued health of organized dentistry.

The other part of the program will provide a year-long learning and networking experience to ten students during their third-year equivalency. Under the guidance of faculty mentors, these students will teach in a pre-clinical course, work in a research lab, or provide lectures and will conduct structured interviews with faculty and administrators at their home institutions. Fellows will work together on group activities via a web-based network through which they will discuss clinical issues, online and reading assignments, problem-based learning exercises, and case presentations. During the year, fellows will receive a $2,000 stipend. At the end of the year, the fellows will share what they’ve learned in presentations at the ADEA and AADR Annual Sessions. A fellows alumni association will provide ongoing mentorship and guidance for fellows as they work toward faculty positions.
ADEA and AADR will initiate the Academic Dental Careers Fellowship Program at their 2006 Annual Sessions in Orlando, Florida. Applications for the first class of fellows will be due June 30, 2006. A call for applications, with detailed requirements, will be issued in spring 2006.

The American Dental Education Association is the leading national organization for dental education. Its members include all U.S. and Canadian dental schools, advanced dental education programs, allied dental education programs, corporations, faculty, and students.

ADEA’s activities encompass a wide range of research, advocacy, faculty development, meetings, and communications, as well as the dental school admissions services AADSAS and PASS and the Journal of Dental Education.

From: AScribe Newswire

73 Percent of Americans Lack Awareness about Vision Problem

Survey: 73 Percent of Americans Lack Awareness about Vision Problem Affecting Millions; Optometrists Concerned about Effects of Untreated Vision Impairment

A new survey shows that many Americans have little, if any, knowledge of low vision, a term that describes vision loss that cannot be restored with conventional eye glasses, contact lenses, drug therapy or eye surgery and affects 16.5 million people.

Based on the survey commissioned by the American Optometric Association (AOA) of U.S. adults, 73 percent of Americans do not know what low vision is. Only 21 percent of African-American respondents, a high-risk group for acquiring low vision, know what low vision is.

The findings will be presented at the American Optometric Association’s annual Optometry’s Meeting in Grapevine, Texas.

“This is of serious concern for optometrists who work every day to preserve the overall eye health and vision potential of the American public,” said R. Tracy Williams, O.D., chair-elect of the AOA Low Vision Rehabilitation Section. “Being affected by low vision can greatly impact an individual’s quality of life and opportunities to achieve educational, employment and independent living goals with dignity. Low vision interferes with ordinary activities such as writing, watching television, driving and reading.”

When traditional treatments such as corrective eyewear, medicine or surgery cannot cure eye disorders, low vision rehabilitation is a viable treatment that can favorably maximize sight and improve quality of life.

“Losing the ability to drive safely or see a computer screen due to low vision can leave many feeling like they are losing their independence,” says Dr. Williams. “In addition, not being able to cure vision loss can make patients lose hope. But the good news is there is hope for treating the condition supported by science in the form of low vision rehabilitation.”

Low Vision Rehabilitation is Treatment for Visual Impairment According to the AOA, the first line of defense is having an annual, comprehensive eye examination. If vision loss is determined, the second step is to see a doctor of optometry who specializes in the examination, treatment and management of patients with low vision and other visual impairments. The low vision rehabilitation doctor develops the individual rehabilitation plan, provides supervision and offers referrals for teaching, counseling, adaptive technology, safe travel and other activities associated with daily living.

Low vision has a variety of causes, including eye injury, eye disease and heredity, and can affect all age groups. Common symptoms of low vision include loss of central vision, loss of peripheral (side) vision, blurred vision, generalized haze (sensation of film/glare), extreme light sensitivity and night blindness.
“Any person who cannot meet their functional daily needs with conventional methods of eye correction should be considered for low vision rehabilitation, and early intervention is the key,” says Dr. Williams. “There are exciting prescriptive devices and adaptive technology that can help children become competitive in the classroom, adults gain or retain employment, and seniors enjoy their golden years.”

According to the National Eye Health Education Program, the vast majority of people age 65 and older with low vision are unaware of services and devices that could help them improve the quality of their lives. They say the need for information will increase as the number of Americans who are at greatest risk, those ages 65 and older, doubles over the next 30 years.

In addition to the low vision results, the survey commissioned by the AOA also revealed the following:

  • Adults surveyed believe that on average, reading vision begins to deteriorate at age 39. In reality, the AOA reports that reading vision typically starts deteriorating in the mid-forties and early-fifties. Presbyopia is the name for the common eye condition that causes middle-aged people to be reliant upon reading glasses. On average, presbyopia develops by the time a person is 50.

The survey also revealed regional, age and social disparities in eye health awareness levels. For example:

  • Higher income households (those with incomes of $75K or more), which generally tend to be more educated, answered more questions incorrectly than some of the lowest income households surveyed.
  • Adults in the North Central region were the least familiar with the appropriate time when a person should receive their first eye exam than those living elsewhere. More than 81 percent of respondents in the North Central region answered this question incorrectly.

The vast majority of 35- to 44-year-olds responded incorrectly as to what low vision is.

  • Only 19 percent of 35-44 year-olds (an age group quickly approaching vision deterioration) are aware of the age at which reading vision begins to deteriorate.

Harris Interactive conducted the telephone survey for the American Optometric Association between May 12 and 15, 2005, among a nationwide cross selection of 1,018 U.S. adults ages 18 and over. Figures for age, sex, race and region were weighted where necessary to align them with their actual proportions in the population. In theory, with a probability sample of this size, one can say with 95 percent certainty that the results for the overall sample have a sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points. Sampling error for the sub-samples of men (505), women (513), adults with household incomes of $75,000 or more (216), and adults who live in the North Central region (233) and Northeast region (202) or the U.S. is higher and varies.

From: U.S. Newswire

Laser Eye Surgery and Baseball

Laser Eye Surgery Does Not Improve Major League Baseball Performance

University Researchers Find No Improvement in Offensive Performance

There has been great public interest in laser refractive eye surgery (e.g. LASIK) with many prominent sports figures advocating its benefits. Two university researchers studied the offensive performance of a dozen Major League hitters who had undergone these procedures.

The study concluded that there was no offensive benefit to undergoing the refractive surgical procedure in these players. In addition, due to the well-established risks of these elective surgical procedures, the authors conclude that players may be best served by waiting until the end of their baseball career before performing the procedure. Players at all levels may wish to reconsider their plans to undergo a refractive surgical procedure based on these findings.

Drs. Kirschen and Laby have evaluated several thousand players at the Major League and minor league levels. They have applied a rigorous scientific approach to their testing, evaluation and intervention and have gained the respect of the baseball community at large, as evidenced by frequent lectures during the Major League Baseball winter meetings. Drs. Laby and Kirschen were the first to critically describe the elite visual function of professional baseball players and have developed a “visual profile” of the typical Major League player.

Daniel M. Laby, MD, an Assistant Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology at Harvard University, and David G. Kirschen, OD, PhD, Professor of Optometry at the Southern California College of Optometry and director of the binocular vision section of the Jules Stein Eye Institute/UCLA Medical Center, have each over 14 years’ experience working with Major League Baseball teams and players in both the American and National Leagues.

From: PR Newswire