RESEARCH


Current Research Projects at SCCO

Studies Actively Recruiting: 

CHILDREN’S VISION: Childhood Esotropia / Accommodative Esotropia Partial Plus Study 1
Investigators: Drs. Angela Chen, Kristine Huang, Reena Patel

Why It’s Important: Accommodative esotropia (eye crossing in) is the most common form of childhood strabismus. Management typically consists of corrective glasses, along with professional monitoring of alignment, visual acuity, and refractive error. However, the amount of hyperopic correction necessary to achieve optimum outcomes is not known.
 
  Childhood Esotropia / Accommodative Esotropia Partial Plus Study photo

Description: This study is a multicenter randomized trial to compare the effectiveness of partial hyperopic (farsightedness) correction with full hyperopic correction in reducing the size of esotropia. Children ages 1 to 7 years with esotropia onset after 6 months of age will be randomized to receive partial hyperopic correction versus full hyperopic correction. Their alignment, visual acuity, and depth perception will be monitored in the study.

Status:  ACTIVELY ENROLLING

Study Contact: Study Coordinator, Ms. Sue Parker: 714.992.7817 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
 

CHILDREN’S VISION:  Treatment Response in Accommodative Insufficiency (TRAIn) Study

Principal Investigator:  Reena Patel, OD

Why It’s Important:  There is a high incidence of poor focusing skills (ie accommodative dysfunction) in the pediatric and adult population. The frequency and severity of symptoms in patients with accommodative dysfunction can vary. Currently, there are many objective tests done to evaluate the focusing skills, however, there is not a standardized way to measure symptoms associated with poor focusing skills. We are doing a study to assess the validity and reliability of a questionnaire for differentiating symptomatic patients with accommodative dysfunction from those who have normal binocular vision.

Description:  The study is recruiting 160 subjects between the ages of 9 to 30 years old from across the country to participate in this study. Subjects should have either accommodative dysfunction or normal binocular vision. The study visit will consist of testing vision, evaluating eye teaming and eye focusing skills and administrating questionnaires and will take approximately 1 hour. One week after the initial visit, subjects with accommodative dysfunction will be asked to complete a questionnaire online.

Status:  ACTIVELY ENROLLING

Study Contact:  Study Coordinator, Ms. Sue Parker: 714.992.7817 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address),


CHILDREN’S VISION: Controlling Myopia Progression Through Optical Interventions
Principal Investigator:
  Dr. Justin Kwan
Co-Investigators:  Dr. Reena Patel

Why It’s Important:  Myopia or nearsightedness is an important public health problem, especially in Asian countries, where the prevalence of myopia is over 95% in certain groups. It is the fifth most common cause of vision impairment in developed countries. In addition to impacting a person’s quality of life, high amounts of myopia lead to greater risk of serious eye problems such as retinal detachment. Recent research has suggested that peripheral hyperopic defocus contributes to axial length increase, thus increasing myopic progression. Conversely, addressing hyperopic defocus using optical correction appears to slow the progression of myopia. This randomized, multi-center trial aims to test the hypothesis that optical correction with center-distance multi-focal soft lenses might slow the progression of myopia in children.

Description:  The study is recruiting nearsighted children between the ages of 7 to less than 12 years old. If they qualify, they will be randomized to either standard, full spectacle correction, or a specially-designed soft contact lens. They will be followed for a three year time frame, to assess the ocular parameters of axial length and refractive error.

Status:  ENROLLMENT COMPLETED
  Controlling Myopia Progression Through Optical Interventions Study photo

Study Contact:  Study Coordinators, Ms. Sue Parker: 714.992.7817 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), or Ms. Judith Wu:  714.992.7816 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).
 

CONTACT LENS:  Contact Lens Dropout in Daily Wearers

Principal Investigator:  Dr. Justin Kwan
OtherParticipating Institutions:  The Ohio State University, The University of Waterloo, University of Jena, University of Houston

Why It’s Important: Contact lens discomfort is the leading cause of discontinuation of contact lens wear. The causative factors are varied, but the innate ocular surface (e.g., corneal sensitivity, tear film stability and composition, ocular anatomy) all likely play a role. However, there is still much to be learned concerning which factors may be most impactful to successful contact lens wear.
 
  Contact Lens Dropout in Daily Wearers Study photo

Description:  The objective of this study is to determine what biological, non-contact lens factors contribute to contact lens comfort and successful wear time. If you are a former soft contact lens wearer and have stopped wearing them due to discomfort 6 months to 5 years ago, we would be very interested in having you as a participant. You must be between age 18 and 45.

Status:  ENROLLING WINTER 2015/2016

Study Contact:  Study Coordinators, Ms. Sue Parker: 714.992.7817 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), or Ms. Judith Wu: 714.992.7816 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


CHILDREN’S VISION: Repeatability of Accommodation in Children with Amblyopia
Investigators:  Drs. Angela Chen, Kristine Huang

Why It’s Important:  Little is known about how consistently children with various eye conditions such as amblyopia (lazy eye) and farsightedness can use their eye focusing ability, an ability called “accommodation”. The information from this study will help practitioners provide better care for children relative to their ability to effectively use their eyes.   Repeatability of Accommodation in Children with Amblyopia Study photo

Description:  The University Eye Center is conducting a research study in children to learn more about how children with different eye conditions use their focusing system. A simple test designed for children will be used to determine how well they are able to focus their eyes. The test involves having the child watch a cartoon while measuring his/her eye focusing. Measurements will be taken three times over a span of 60-90 minutes at two separate study visits.

Status:  ACTIVELY ENROLLING
Study Contacts:  Study Coordinator, Ms. Sue Parker:  714.992.7817 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address); Dr. Angela Chen:  714-449-7432 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address); Dr. Kristine Huang:  714-449-7435 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


CHILDREN’S VISION: Convergence Insufficiency Attention & Reading Trial (CITT-ART)
CITT-ART website:
citt-art.com
Investigators:  Drs. Susan Cotter, Carmen Barnhardt, Eric Borsting, Angela Chen, Raymond Chu, Kristine Huang, Dashaini Retnasothie

Why It’s Important: Convergence insufficiency (CI) is a common childhood eye-teaming problem where the eyes would like to drift outward when reading or doing close work. When eyes drift out, double vision can happen. To prevent double vision one must use extra effort to keep the eyes from going out. This extra effort can cause symptoms that can interfere with reading and working comfortably at near. These symptoms often include eyestrain, blurred vision, headaches, double vision, decreased comprehension, and loss of place when reading or performing tasks at near. In a prior study we found that therapy improves these symptoms. In this study we are looking at whether the therapy improves reading and attention.

Children with CI have more symptoms and show worse attention when reading than children without CI. Research has shown that treatment using office-based accommodative-vergence vision therapy improves symptoms in children affected with CI. Some studies have suggested that this treatment also results in improvements in reading and attention. However, to know for sure whether this treatment has a positive effect on reading and attention, we need to study this question using a randomized clinical trial design in a large group of children.
  CITT-ART logo
CITT-ART study photo
 

Description: The CITT-ART is a multicenter randomized clinical trial study of 324 children ages 9 to 14 years with symptomatic convergence insufficiency (CI). The purpose of this study is to see if office-based vision therapy for convergence insufficiency (CI) improves reading ability and attention.

Status:  ACTIVELY ENROLLING
Study Contact:  Study Coordinator, Ms. Sue Parker: 714.992.7817 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Funding and Additional Information:  National Institutes of Health / National Eye Institute: EY022595; Registered at: ClinicalTrials.gov - Identifier: NCT02207517
 

BINOCULAR VISION:  A Prospective Observational Study of Adult Strabismus

Investigators: Drs. Susan Cotter, Angela Chen, Silvia Han, Reena Patel, Kristine Huang, Maureen Plaumann, Carlee Young, Dashaini Retnasothie

Why it’s Important:  There are limited data available on adults with convergence insufficiency, divergence insufficiency, or small angle hypertropia, the commonest causes of non-paralytic adult strabismus.  This study will determine how common these types of strabismus are in adult patients seen by Pediatric Eye Disease Investigator Group (PEDIG) investigators.  .

Description: This prospective adult strabismus observational study will follow adults with convergence insufficiency (CI), divergence insufficiency (DI) or hypertropia (HT) who are being treated with prism, vision therapy, surgery, or botox for one year.  Data on the clinical characteristics and outcomes of the prescribed treatments will be used to generate hypotheses for possible future studies, including randomized clinical trials.  Adults ≥ 18 years of age with visual acuity of 20/50 or better and no prior strabismus surgery may be eligible.  Data collected will include angle of deviation, diplopia severity, treatment type, and treatment outcome 

Status:  ACTIVELY ENROLLING

Study Contact:  Study Coordinator, Ms. Sue Parker: 714.992.7817 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


ADULT VISION: The Effects of D-Serine in Adult Amblyopia Treatment.
Investigators:
 Drs. William Ridder and Reena Patel

Why It’s Important:Amblyopia is characterized by a reduction in visual acuity, contrast sensitivity, and binocular visual functions. The two main causes of amblyopia are anisometropia and strabismus which alter the synaptic connections between neurons along the visual pathway. D-serine is an agonist of the NMDA receptor (which may play a role in neural plasticity) and may improve neurotransmission at this site. The purpose of this study is to determine if the administration of D-serine improves the visual performance in adult anisometropic amblyopes.

Description:  The study will enroll 30 adult anisometropic amblyopes with acuity in the amblyopic eye between 20/40 to 20/400. It will involve 12 weeks of amblyopia therapy followed by a 12 week follow up. Visual acuity, contrast sensitivity, sweep visual evoked potential, and blood serum serine levels will be measured.

Status:  ACTIVELY ENROLLING
Study Contact:  Dr. William Ridder:  714.449.7494 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


CONTACT LENSES: Tear Exchange with Scleral Lenses
Investigators:  Drs. Heidi Miller, Tiffany Gates, Elaine Chen, Colton Heinrich, Barry Weissman, Tim Edrington, Jerry Paugh

Why It’s Important:  Tear exchange during contact lens wear is important to prevent lens-wearing complications. While significant information is available concerning tear exchange with soft and conventional rigid contact lenses, very little quantitative data are available relative to scleral, or larger diameter gas-permeable lenses. These large lenses are enjoying a renaissance of acceptance since they are helpful in solving a number of lens-fitting needs not amenable to correction with conventional lenses. As well, these larger lenses are often fit on patients with corneal compromise, such as dry eye or keratoconus, making their physiological behavior especially important to characterize.    Tear Exchange with Scleral Lenses photo 1
Description:  The study will enroll 10 normal, soft-lens wearing subjects and 10 well-fit scleral lens wearing subjects to assess tear exchange using a scanning fluorometer. The data will represent an objective estimate of tear exchange beneath scleral lenses.

Status:  ACTIVELY ENROLLING
Study Contacts:  Dr. Barry Weissman. 714.449.7431 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or Dr. Jerry Paugh. 714.449.7487 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).
   Tear Exchange with Scleral Lenses photo 2


CHILDREN’S VISION: Intermittent Exotropia Study 3 (IXT3): A Pilot Randomized Clinical Trial of Overminus Spectacle Therapy for Intermittent Exotropia
Investigators: 
Drs. Angela Chen, Susan Cotter, Carmen Barnhardt, Raymond Chu, Silvia Han, Kristine Huang, Reena Patel, Amy Aldrich, Leila Shirazi

Why It’s Important:  Intermittent exotropia (IXT - eye turn outward) is the most common form of childhood-onset exotropia, which can cause double vision, eyestrain, sensitivity to bright lights, or cosmetically apparent misalignment (wandering outward) of the eyes. Although over-minus lens treatment is commonly used, there have been no randomized clinical trials evaluating its effectiveness. Understanding the effectiveness of over-minus lens treatment for IXT has important public health implications because successful treatment may reduce the number of children undergoing surgery.

Description: This study is a multicenter randomized clinical trial designed to evaluate the initial effectiveness of over-minus lens treatment. Fifty-four children aged 3 to <7 years with intermittent exotropia will be randomly assigned to over-minus lens treatment or no treatment for 8 weeks. The results of this study will help determine whether to proceed to a full-scale, longer-term randomized trial.

Status:  ENROLLMENT COMPLETED
Study Contact:  Study Coordinator, Ms. Sue Parker: 714.992.7817 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Funding and Additional Information:  National Institutes of Health / National Eye Institute: U10 EY11751; Registered at: ClinicalTrials.gov - Identifier: NCT02223650


Other Current Studies: 

ADULT VISION: Contrast Sensitivity in Age-Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD).
Investigators:  Drs. William Ridder, Patrick Yoshinaga, and George Comer

Why It’s Important:  Several studies have indicated that ARMD affects contrast sensitivity in humans. The purpose of this study is to determine the relationship between peripheral contrast sensitivity, reading ability, and AMD.

Description:  The study will enroll 10 normal and 10 ARMD patients. The ARMD patients must have acuity better than 20/60. The subjects will have peripheral contrast sensitivity and reading ability measured.

Status:  ACTIVELY ENROLLING
Study Contact:   Dr. William Ridder:  714.449.7494 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

 

  Contrast Sensitivity in Age-Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD) Study photo
   


COLOR VISION: The Concordance (Agreement) and Evaluation of Color Vision Tests
Principal Investigators:
  Drs. Jason Ng and James Bailey

Why It’s Important:  Color vision defects overwhelmingly affect males, at a rate of approximately 8% of the US male population. Color vision testing and management is frequently neglected, yet is critical to the success of individuals with regard to the education system and future fields of occupation. The goals of the study are to better understand how test results from a given color vision test transfer to other tests, evaluate new color vision tests, and determine blur tolerances as they relate to the concordance of tests.   The Concordance (Agreement) and Evaluation of Color Vision Tests Study photo

Description:  The study is evaluating the relationship between several color vision tests as well as evaluating new color vision tests. Patients between 3 and 100 years of age, with or without known color vision problems are being recruited. Collaborations have been developed with California State University, Fullerton; University of Washington; and University of Nevada, Reno to conduct some parts of the studies.

Status:  ACTIVELY ENROLLING
Study Contact:  Dr. Jason Ng:  714.992.7880 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


CHILDREN’S VISION: Binocular Activities Treatment for Amblyopia (ATS18)
Investigators:  : Drs. Susan Cotter, Carmen Barnhardt, Angela Chen, Raymond Chu, Silvia Han, Kristine Huang, Reena Patel, Amy Aldrich, Leila Shirazi, Dashaini Retnasothie, Carlee Young, Maureen Plaumann

Why It’s Important:  Amblyopia is the medical term used when the vision in one eye is reduced because the eye is not being used properly since the brain is favoring the other eye. It is one of the most common causes of decreased vision in children and affects approximately 2 or 3 out of every 100 children. Randomized clinical trials and prospective observational studies have shown improvement in visual acuity with spectacle correction (when there is uncorrected refractive error) followed by treatment with part-time patching or atropine eye drops.  Although these treatments are effective, not all children reach 20/20 visual acuity; in fact, residual amblyopia (20/32 or worse) remains in many treated children.   Binocular Activities Treatment for Amblyopia Study photo

Based on the prevalence of residual amblyopia that remains with current part-time patching treatment and the challenges of compliance with patching, new treatments for amblyopia are needed, particularly those that can be visually unobtrusive and that do not overtly interfere with the vision of the fellow eye.

A new treatment for amblyopia is binocular anti-suppression game therapy. This involves playing a special game on an iPad while wearing red/green glasses. Recently, some studies found this new treatment works very well in a number of children and adults with amblyopia.  The present study is being done to compare this new binocular game treatment with part-time patching.

Description: This study is a multicenter randomized clinical trial comparing the effectiveness of 1 hour/day of binocular game play on an iPad with 2 hours/day of patching in 512 children 13 to <17 years of age with amblyopia in one eye.

Status:  ACTIVELY ENROLLING
Study Contact:  Study Coordinator, Ms. Sue Parker: 714.992.7817 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Funding and Additional Information:  National Institutes of Health / National Eye Institute: U10 EY11751; Registered at: ClinicalTrials.gov - Identifier: NCT02200211


MASTERS PROJECT – BINOCULAR VISION: Do Prisms Improve Reading Rate and Accuracy in Children with CI? (MS Thesis)
Investigators:
 Dr. Eric Borsting, Ms. Ashley Greenawalt

Why It’s Important:  Although prism correction is a commonly administered treatment for Convergence Insufficiency (CI), there is little evidence for the short and long-term benefit of a prism correction on reading performance. Children with CI typically complain of problems with reading, including poor comprehension, slow reading, and loss of place when reading. There is evidence that prism improves reading rate and accuracy but these studies were not controlled.

Description:  We are conducting a study to investigate reading rate and accuracy with and without prism correction in a group of school-aged children from 9-15 years of age with CI.  Children will read aloud and silently with a prism correction or a placebo correction.  We will compare reading rate and accuracy during oral and silent reading to see if prism correction is beneficial in the short-term.

Status:  ENROLLMENT COMPLETED, ANALYZING DATA
Study Contact:  Dr. Eric Borsting, 714-449-7436, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


MASTERS PROJECT – BINOCULAR VISION: Objective Measurement of Changes in Accommodative Dynamics Throughout Facility Treatment (MS Thesis).
Investigators:
  Dr. Eric Borsting, Ms. Amanda Beaudry

Why It’s Important:  Several studies have shown that vision therapy techniques that stimulate the accommodative system result in improvements in both the gain and latency of the response. Despite these positive results no studies have looked at objective change in accommodative response during a training regimen to develop a dose-response relationship between treatment time and improvements in accommodative function. 

Description:  Accommodative dynamics will be recorded while the subject performs an accommodative facility test monocularly (right eye) with a +/- 2.00D flipper at 40 cm.  while the accommodative response in the left eye was recorded using the PlusOptix (Nuremberg) Power Refractor. After the baseline assessment, monocular accommodative training will be conducted in-office for 15-minute sessions twice per week. The subject’s dynamic accommodative responses were recorded before and after each of the 6 therapy sessions.  This will lead to the development of a dose-response relationship for accommodative therapy.

Status:  ENROLLMENT COMPLETED, ANALYZING DATA
Study Contact:  Dr. Eric Borsting, 714-449-7436, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
 

MASTERS PROJECT – VISION SCIENCE: Surround Propinquity and Tonic Accommodation (MS Thesis) 
Investigators:  Dr. Lawrence Stark; Tammy Nguyen

Why It’s Important:  Tonic accommodation is recognized as a component of the normal accommodation response. However, some authors have questioned whether it is possible to obtain a valid measure of tonic accommodation, uncontaminated by the individual’s knowledge of the nearness of objects (propinquity). Therefore, this study will quantify the effect of surround propinquity on dark focus of accommodation.

Description:  Ocular accommodation will be measured with an infrared autorefractor while subjects are seated in a completely dark room. Twenty-nine young adults will be recruited for the study.

Status: ENROLLMENT COMPLETED; ANALYZING DATA
Contact:  Dr. Lawrence Stark:  714.449.7427; .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

MASTERS’ PROJECT – DRY EYE: The Sensitivity and Specificity of Diagnostic Tests for Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MS Thesis)
Investigators: 
Dr. Jerry R. Paugh, Ms. Tiffany Nguyen

Why It’s Important:  Dry eye is a common ophthalmic condition, affecting approximately 8% of adults over age 40. There are two major types of dry eye, watery tear deficiency (called aqueous tear deficiency) and oil gland insufficiency (called Meibomian Gland Dysfunction, MGD). Of these, the oily deficiency type of dry eye is by far the most common, accounting for up to 60 percent of all dry eye sufferers. Despite the high prevalence of MGD, the relative usefulness of the several clinical tests for diagnosis remain unclear. The purpose of this investigation is to examine the diagnostic efficacy of several test in MGD, including eyelid signs, gland secretion and gland dropout or atrophy, to determine which test of battery of test might best identify the MGD dry eye subtype.
  The Sensitivity and Specificity of Diagnostic Tests for Meibomian Gland Dysfunction Study photo 1

Description:  Adults over age 18 will be enrolled who are normal (i.e., do not have dry eye), and have either the watery tear deficiency or the oily tear deficiency. Subjects will undergo an in-depth dry eye examination similar to a normal dry eye evaluation. Data will be analyzed to determine which tests are most diagnostic for MGD.

Status:  ACTIVELY ENROLLING
Study Contact:  Dr. Jerry Paugh:  714.449-7487 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
  The Sensitivity and Specificity of Diagnostic Tests for Meibomian Gland Dysfunction Study photo 2


MASTERS’ PROJECT – DRY EYE:  The Effect of Swim Goggle Use on Meibomian Glands (MS Thesis)
Investigators:  Dr. Jerry R. Paugh, Ms. Melinda Thomas DeJesus, Drs. Corina van de Pol, Alan Sasai and William Ridder III

Why It’s Important:  The eyelid meibomian glands provide the lipid (oily) layer of the tear film that in turn inhibits tear film evaporation and promotes tear film stability. There are several reports indicating that mechanical forces near the eye may induce meibomian gland atrophy or dropout. These include contact lens wear, eyeliner tattooing, ocular prostheses and glaucoma filtering blebs. Given these associations, it is important to determine whether goggle use, in young competitive swimmers, may induce potentially greater gland compromise compared to recreational swimmers.   The Effect of Swim Goggle Use on Meibomian Glands photo

Description:  Three groups of subjects will be recruited for this study, between the ages of 16 and 26 years. These will include competitive swimmers, competitive divers, and normal controls with limited goggle exposure. These individuals will undergo a dry eye workup and meibography, to determine the extent of meibomian gland dropout, if any.

Status:  ACTIVELY ENROLLING
Study Contact:  Dr. Jerry Paugh:  714.449-7487 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


MASTERS’ PROJECT – VISION SCIENCE: The Association Between Macular Pigment and Color Discrimination (MS Thesis)
Principal Investigator:
  Dr. Jason Ng
Co-investigator: Ms. Roya Garakani

Why It’s Important:  Controversy exists in the literature with regard to the association between macular pigment and color discrimination. While higher levels of macular pigment may be protective against retinal damage/age-related macular degeneration, they may also cause subtle, but important effects on color discrimination.

Description:  The study is evaluating the relationship between macular pigment and color vision (specifically hue) discrimination. Patients between 18 and 30 without known color vision problems are will be recruited.
  The Association Between Macular Pigment and Color Discrimination Study photo

Status:  DATA COLLECTION COMPLETED
Study Contact:  Dr. Jason Ng:  714.992.7880 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


MASTERS PROJECT – VISION SCIENCE:  Anisometropia and Accommodation: Patterns of Accommodation in Conflicting Stimuli (MS Thesis)
Principal Investigator/Advisor: 
Dr Lawrence Stark
Co-Investigator:  Ms. Apoorva Karsolia, BS Optometry

Why It’s Important:  Anisometropia is a condition of the eyes where the two eyes have different powers. About 15% of adults have noticeable anisometropia, while about 4% have significant anisometropia. A person with uncorrected anisometropia cannot see clearly with both eyes at the same time. For example they could focus with the left eye, but the right eye view would be blurry. In young children this can lead to poor vision in one eye, a condition called amblyopia. Thus, it is important to understand what strategies people use to focus when they have uncorrected anisometropia.

Description:  Eye focusing (accommodation) will be studied in twenty individuals without anisometropia as they view through special lenses to simulate anisometropia. Similarly, eye focusing will be studied in twenty individual with real anisometropia.

Status:  DATA COLLECTION COMPLETED
Contact:  Dr. Lawrence Stark:  714.449.7427 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


OPTOMETRIC EDUCATION: Communicating Educational Objectives in an Optometry Course
Investigators:
 Dr. Lawrence Stark; Shelley Tasaka; Ashley Luke.

Why It’s Important:  This study is about how to communicate written course objectives effectively within an optometry course. It will focus on the use of behavioral objectives to inform students about what they should learn. These investigations are designed to improve local teaching practice by enhancing knowledge of how students use and understand objectives, and by determining whether objectives assist students to discover what they should learn. This study will also be of value to a wide audience of educators by contributing knowledge of how students use objectives, and how they interpret cognitive verbs used in behavioral objectives.

Description:  This action-research project, funded by the Association of Schools and Colleges in Optometry and Vistakon’s Vision Care Institute will involve formal reviews of the course handbook and student exercises, followed by a class survey, two experiments, and a student discussion group.

Status: DATA COLLECTION COMPLETED; ANALYZING DATA
Contact:  Dr. Lawrence Stark:  714.449.7427; .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

OPTOMETRIC EDUCATION: Course Evaluation: Using Behavioral Objectives and Test Results to Improve Future Teaching and Learning
Investigators:
  Dr. Lawrence Stark; Angela Lin.

Why It’s Important:  This study’s focus is to determine whether student learning outcomes, in the form of test results on specific behavioral objectives, can be used to inform course evaluation. Importantly, the study will use a pre–post design, over two years, to determine whether course revisions can improve learning. The results will benefit educators by providing a useful tool to appraise the outcomes of instruction, to make student learning a focus of course revision, to provide new data for teaching effectiveness and departmental program review, and to improve future student learning.

Description:  This action-research project, funded by the American Optometric Foundation and Johnson & Johnson’s Vision Care Institute will involve collation of student test results, refinement of collation methodology, a student survey and discussion group, formal course reviews, and a post-intervention analysis.

Status: Data collection continues, and enrollment remains open.
Contact:  Dr. Lawrence Stark:  714.449.7427; .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


STUDENT RESEARCH ELECTIVE: VISION SCIENCE: The Effect of Multiple Presentations and Equivalent Legibility on the Repeatability of Visual Acuity Testing
Investigators:
  Dr. Lawrence Stark; Scot Class

Why It’s Important:  Although visual acuity by standard letter chart is a widely used test of visual performance, its repeatability is not optimal. If repeatability could be improved then it would be possible to detect earlier genuine reductions in vision, and to detect earlier the genuine improvements due to therapies for vision. In this study, the simple approach of avering two visual acuity readings is investigated to find it it could improve the repeatability of visual acuity. In addition, it is known that some letters are more difficult to see correctly than others. We investigate the use of a novel chart that contains a consistent set of letters on each line, to determine if it can improve measurement repeatability.

Description:  Visual acuity will be measured in 130 young individuals under standard conditions during one session.

Status: Recruiting.
Contact:  Dr. Lawrence Stark: 714.449.7427; .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


PHYSIOLOGICAL OPTICS: The Association of Retinal Neural and Vascular Function in Patients with Diabetes
Principal Investigator:
  Dr. Jason Ng
Co-Investigator:  Dr. Melissa Vydelingum Contreras

Why It’s Important:Diabetes has become an epidemic in the United States. About 8% of the US population has diabetes (~26 million; of these ~1/3 are undiagnosed), and another 80 million pre-diabetic. Diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness among adults aged 20-74 years, due to the fact that of those with diabetes, roughly 30% have some form of diabetic retinopathy (e.g., retinal changes such as hemorrhages). The goals of the study are to further investigate markers of retinal health that can be used to identify patients at high-risk for developing further diabetic eye disease or used as markers to monitor patient health during the evaluation of new treatments for diabetic retinopathy.   The Association of Retinal Neural and Vascular Function in Patients with Diabetes Study photo

Description:  The study is primarily evaluating the association between retinal nerve function and retinal lesions in diabetic retinopathy. Patients with or without diabetes, between 20 and 70 years of age, will be enrolled and various vision functions are measured (e.g., visual acuity, electroretinograms, macular pigment density) in addition to taking retinal photographs.

Status:  DATA ANALYSIS
Study Contacts:  Dr. Jason Ng:  714.992.7880 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


Using Accommodative Lag to Diagnose Accommodative (Mis-Focus) Disorders
Investigators:
  Drs. Eric Borsting and Lawrence Stark; and Dr. Christopher Chase at Western University of Health Sciences

Why It’s Important:  This is a National Institute of Health funded project. This is the second phase of a long-term collaboration between Dr. Eric Borsting and Dr. Christopher Chase.  The first phase of the project was funded by the National Institute of Health while Dr. Chase was a professor at Claremont McKenna College.
This project studies accommodative function, the ability to focus while doing near work. Visual discomfort symptoms, such as headaches, sore eyes, and blurred vision are commonly associated with prolonged reading or other near work. Researchers have long suspected accommodative dysfunction was involved but most clinical studies have failed to establish a relationship between weak accommodation and symptoms or reading impairments. Recent research, however, has found that clinical measures overestimate accommodative function and encourage the use of objective, autorefraction methods to measure and study accommodative weakness.

Description:  This project will accomplish three goals. First, using autorefraction, objective and reliable procedures will be developed for measuring accommodative lag, the difference between the target location and where the eye is focused. Second, experiments will measure in real-time the impact of accommodative lag on reading fluency and visual discomfort. Third, studies will explore the role of the slow adaptive component in accommodative weakness. This work will lead to better methods for diagnosing and treating accommodative disorders.

Status:  Data Analysis and Manuscript Production
Study Contact:  For SCCO contact Dr. Eric Borsting:  714.449.7436; .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
 

CHILDREN’S VISION:  Visual Discomfort and an Objective Measure of Static Accommodation in Children
Investigators:
Drs. Angela Chen and Eric Borsting

Why It’s Important: Accommodative dysfunction (focusing difficulties) is relatively common in school-age children. Previous research suggests association between accommodative dysfunction and visual discomfort complaints in adult population.

Description: The goal of this study is to objectively evaluate sustained accommodation in children, both with and without visual discomfort. Subjects between age 8 and 17 years with or without visual discomfort complaints using the Convergence Insufficiency Symptom Survey (CISS) will be enrolled. Each subject’s accommodation will be measured objectively using an autorefractor and also with clinical testing.

Status: Data collection continues, and enrollment remains open
Study Contact: Drs. Angela Chen: 714.449.7432; .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or Eric Borsting: 714.449.7436; .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

 


Opportunities to Make a Difference in Research at SCCO

It is difficult to procure some of the big ticket items required to maintain the College of Optometry at MBKU at the forefront of eye research from normal operating funds. Several opportunities exist to support key equipment that would greatly further research at the College. The list and supporting rationale for each can be found by clicking on the following link:  Opportunities for Giving, Research.


Revised:  March 31, 2016