Clinical Trials & Studies

Our faculty actively recruits patients with specific conditions to take part in clinical trials. The following list provides details of our current clinical trials and research projects:


Children's Vision

Intermittent Exotropia Study 5 (IXT5): A Randomized Clinical Trial of Overminus Spectacle Therapy for Intermittent Exotropia

Investigators:  Drs. Angela Chen, Susan Cotter, Raymond Chu, Silvia Han, Catherine Heyman, Kristine Huang, Reena Patel, Dashaini Retnasothie, Desireh Akhamzadeh, Heather Mironas

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 long-term 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 long-term effectiveness of over-minus lens treatment while wearing overminus spectacles and after the overminus spectacles are discontinued. Three hundred eighty four children aged 3 to <11 years with intermittent exotropia will be randomly assigned to overminus spectacles or regular spectacles. The length of the study is 18 months.

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: NCT02807350
 

Children's Vision

Amblyopia Treatment Study 20 (ATS20): A Binocular Dig Rush Game Treatment for Amblyopia

Investigators:  Drs. Angela Chen, Susan Cotter, Raymond Chu, Silvia Han, Catherine Heyman, Kristine Huang, Reena Patel, Dashaini Retnasothie, Desireh Akhamzadeh, Heather Mironas

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. This happens because the brain is favoring one eye over the other. It is one of the most common causes of decreased vision in children and affects approximately two or three 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.

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 overly interfere with the vision of the fellow eye.

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

Description: This study is a multicenter randomized clinical trial designed to evaluate the effectiveness of 1 hour per day, 5 days per week of binocular game play on an iPad with spectacles alone in 200 children 4 to <13 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: NCT02983552

Children's Vision

Treatment Response in Accommodative Insufficiency (TRAIn) Study

Principal Investigator: Dr. Reena Patel

Why This Study Is 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 one 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

Repeatability of Accommodation in Children with Amblyopia

Investigators: Drs. Angela Chen, Kristine Huang

Doctor examines girl who is using an eye testing machine.
Why This Study Is 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.

Description: The University Eye Center at Ketchum Health 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 or 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

CITT-ART logo
CITT-ART study photo showing male subject looking at a screen.
Why This Study Is 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.

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 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

 

Children's Vision

Visual Discomfort and an Objective Measure of Static Accommodation in Children

Investigators: Drs. Angela Chen and Eric Borsting

Why This Study Is 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: ACTIVELY ENROLLING

Study Contact: Drs. Angela Chen: 714.449.7432 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or Eric Borsting: 714.449.7436 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Contact Lenses

Complications Encountered During Replacement of Soft Contact Lenses in “Asymptomatic” Soft lens Wearers

Principal Investigators:  Drs. Barry Weissman and Justin Kwan
Co-Investigators:  Drs. Annie Chang, Elaine Chen, Britney Kitamata-Wong, Dawn Lam, Grace Liao, Eunice Myung Lee, Tim Edrington, Jerry R. Paugh and the MBKU/SCCO CL Service

CLAY logo
Why This Study Is Important: Although the vast majority of contact lens users are happy and successful, contact lens complications have received considerable clinical and academic attention over the last several decades. Most of these complications are minor and may be asymptomatic, at least in their early stages. Rarely, corneal infection or neovascularization in particular can threaten vision. To help protect our patients, this study aims to document and quantify the asymptomatic complications encountered when disposable (monthly, bimonthly, daily) soft contact lenses are dispensed in-office to veteran wearers. These complications would be unseen (and therefore undiagnosed and untreated) if these replacement contact lens(es) had been provided to these asymptomatic patients without professional evaluation.

Description: Asymptomatic patients presenting for routine care and replacement soft lenses will be enrolled. As part of a comprehensive vision and health examination, all complications will be recorded, both ocular (e.g., glaucoma, neovascularization, infiltrative keratitis, lens design or manufacturing issues, course correction of contact lens care, etc.) and systemic (e.g., diabetes, hypertension). The purpose of this particular study is to quantify and document complications encountered when disposable (monthly, bimonthly, daily) soft contact lenses are dispensed in-office instead of without professional evaluation. These complications would be unseen (and therefore undiagnosed and untreated) by the eye care practitioner if the contact lens(es) had been provided to patients without professional evaluation.

Status: Enrolling

Study Contacts:Drs. Barry Weissman (.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)), Justin Kwan (.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)), or Jerry Paugh (.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)).

 

Contact Lenses

CLAY - Soft Contacts Observation of Risk and Education

Principal Investigator:  Dr. Dawn Lam
Co-Investigators:  Dr. Caren Oquindo, Dr. Edeline Lu, Dr. Justin Kwan

CLAY logo
Why This Study Is Important: 15 to 25 year olds were found to be at two times greater risk for all SCL-related complications and have a significantly higher risk for infiltrative events when compared to younger wearers (8 to 14 years) or older wearers (26 to 33 years). The CLAY research team hypothesized that this difference might relate to wear and care behaviors, and the transition from living with a parent/guardian to independence. The CLAY Study group is interested in investigating how pediatric and young adult wearers utilize contact lenses with the long-term goal of identifying and disseminating "best practices" to promote safe and healthy SCL wear across all ages.

Description: This study will enroll contact lens wearers who present with a symptomatic red eye. Patients will be asked to complete an online questionnaire at the time of enrollment, at the 1 month time point and at the 6 month time point. Subjects will receive a grading system on their level of compliance.

Status: Enrolling January 2017

Study Contact: Study Coordinators, Ms. Sue Parker: 714.992.7817 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), or Ms. Judith Wu: 714.449.7416 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

 

Contact Lenses

Contact Lens Dropout in Daily Wearers

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

Woman rubbing her eye due to lens discomfort
Why This Study Is 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.

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: 714.449.7416 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

 Female Dr examines male adult for Tear Exchange with Scleral Lenses

Hand holding dropper and phial.
Why This Study Is 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. Larger lenses are often fit on patients with corneal compromise, such as dry eye or keratoconus, making their physiological behavior especially important to characterize.

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 bweissman@ketchum.edu or Dr. Jerry Paugh: 714.449.7487 or jpaugh@ketchum.edu.

 

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 This Study Is Important: There is limited data available on adults with convergence insufficiency, divergence insufficiency, or small angle hypertropia, the most common 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.

Description: This prospective adult strabismus observational study will follow adults with convergence insufficiency, divergence insufficiency or hypertropia who are being treated with prism, vision therapy, surgery, or Botox for one year. Data 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

A Clinical Study of Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

Investigators: Drs. William Ridder, Pat Yoshinaga, Caren Oquindo, George Comer

Why This Study Is Important: The purpose of this study is to develop a vision test that detects age-related macular degeneration (AMD) at a very early stage (i.e., before acuity loss).

Description: Several visual functions will be monitored over a two-year period. This will allow for the determination of the most sensitive test for AMD and may also predict which patients develop late AMD the quickest. Thirty-five subjects will be chosen for this project. Fifteen of the subjects will be normal controls and 20 will have mild to moderate AMD.

Status: ACTIVELY ENROLLING

Study Contact: Dr. William Ridder:  714.449.7494 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 This Study Is 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).

 

Adult Vision

Contrast Sensitivity in Age-Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD)

Investigators: Drs. William Ridder, Patrick Yoshinaga, and George Comer

Contrast Sensitivity in Age-Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD) Study photo
Why This Study Is Important: Several studies have indicated that age-related macular degeneration 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 patients diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration. 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)

.

 

Adult Vision

Using Accommodative Lag to Diagnose Accommodative (Mis-Focus) Disorders

Investigators: Drs. Eric Borsting, Lawrence Stark; Dr. Christopher Chase at Western University of Health Sciences

Why This Study Is 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: Dr. Eric Borsting: 714.449.7436 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).
 

Color Vision

The Concordance (Agreement) and Evaluation of Color Vision Tests

Principal Investigators: Drs. Jason Ng, James Bailey

The Concordance (Agreement) and Evaluation of Color Vision Tests Study photo
Why This Study Is 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.

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).

 

MS in Vision Sciences Projects

Binocular Vision: Do Prisms Improve Reading Rate and Accuracy in Children with CI? (MS Thesis)

Investigators: Dr. Eric Borsting, Ms. Ashley Greenawalt

Why This Study Is 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 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


MS in Vision Science Project

Binocular Vision: Objective Measurement of Changes in Accommodative Dynamics Throughout Facility Treatment (MS Thesis)

Investigators: Dr. Eric Borsting, Ms. Amanda Beaudry

Why This Study Is 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 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).
 

MS in Vision Science Project

Surround Propinquity and Tonic Accommodation (MS Thesis) 

Investigators: Dr. Lawrence Stark, Tammy Nguyen

Why This Study Is 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

Study Contact: Dr. Lawrence Stark: 714.449.7427 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

 

MS in Vision Science Project

Dry Eye: The Sensitivity and Specificity of Diagnostic Tests for Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MS Thesis)

Investigators: Dr. Jerry R. Paugh, Ms. Tiffany Nguyen

Meibomian gland in close-up

Meibomian gland image with arrows indicating noteworthy areas
Why This Study Is 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 or MGD). Of these, the oily deficiency type of dry eye is by far the most common, accounting for up to 60% 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 tests in MGD, including eyelid signs, gland secretion and gland dropout or atrophy, to determine which test or battery of tests might best identify the MGD dry eye subtype.

Description: Adults over age 18 will be enrolled who are normal (i.e. do not have dry eye) as well as those who 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).


MS in Vision Science 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, William Ridder III

Meibomian glands photo
Why This Study Is 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.

The reports 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.

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).


MS in Vision Science Project

The Association Between Macular Pigment and Color Discrimination (MS Thesis)

Principal Investigator:  Dr. Jason Ng
Co-investigator: Ms. Roya Garakani

Doctors discussing test images on screen with patient listening
Why This Study Is 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 and/or 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.

 

Status: DATA COLLECTION COMPLETED

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


MS in Vision Science Project

Anisometropia and Accommodation: Patterns of Accommodation in Conflicting Stimuli (MS Thesis)

Principal Investigator/Advisor: Dr Lawrence Stark
Co-Investigator: Ms. Apoorva Karsolia

Why This Study Is 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 20 individuals without anisometropia as they view through special lenses to simulate anisometropia. Similarly, eye focusing will be studied in 20 individuals with real anisometropia.

Status: DATA COLLECTION COMPLETED 

Study 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; Ms. Shelley Tasaka; Ms. Ashley Luke

Why This Study Is 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

Study Contact: Dr. Lawrence Stark: 714.449.7427 or .(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 This Study Is 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

Study Contact:  Dr. Lawrence Stark: 714.449.7427 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


Optometric Education

The Effect of Multiple Presentations and Equivalent Legibility on the Repeatability of Visual Acuity Testing

Investigators: Dr. Lawrence Stark, Mr. Scot Class

Why This Study Is 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: ACTIVELY RECRUITING

Study Contact: Dr. Lawrence Stark: 714.449.7427 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


Ocular Disease

The Association of Retinal Neural and Vascular Function in Patients with Diabetes

Principal Investigator: Dr. Jason Ng
Co-Investigator: Dr. Melissa Vydelingum Contreras

The Association of Retinal Neural and Vascular Function in Patients with Diabetes Study photo
Why This Study Is 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.

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).


Revised: February 28, 2017