Watch Your Step: How Vision Leads Locomotion

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Using new technologies to track how vision guides foot placement, researchers at The University of Texas at Austin come one step closer in determining what is going on in the brain while we walk, paving the way for better treatment for mobility impairments — strokes, aging and Parkinson’s — and technology development — prosthetics and robots.

Walking on natural terrain takes precise coordination between vision and body movements to efficiently and stably traverse any given path. But until now, both vision and locomotion have been studied separately within controlled lab environments, limiting understanding of how various neural and biological systems work together to navigate the natural world.

“One of the beautiful things about visually guided walking is that it involves every level of our perceptuomotor hierarchy. To really understand it, you need to know how vision works, how planning works, how muscles work, how spines work, how physics work,” said Jonathan Matthis, a postdoctoral researcher in the UT Austin Center for Perceptual Systems.

Matthis’ research, published in Cell this April, combined new motion-capture and eye-tracking technologies to track distinct patterns between the two mechanisms. To do so, researchers jerry-rigged a welding mask around an eye tracker — to shade the infrared eye cameras from sunlight — and developed new methods to calibrate the eye tracker with a motion-tracking suit to record gaze and full-body kinematics as participants navigated through three types of terrain: flat, medium and rough terrain.

“Eye movements are incredibly informative as a window into the cognitive process,” Matthis said. “By tracking eyes, we get a clear picture of the kind of information the central nervous system needs to complete any given task.”

Researchers found that participants displayed distinct walking and gaze patterns in each of the terrains. Subjects walked quickly with longer strides on the flat terrain, looking down only about half of the time to briefly scan the upcoming path for obstacles.

On the medium and rough terrain, steps became shorter, slower and more variable, with participants looking at the ground more than 90 percent of the time to precisely fixate upcoming footholds. In the medium terrain, walkers focused primarily on where their foot would be in two steps. The rough terrain required walkers to split their gaze between their future foot placement in two and three steps to allow for longer-term path planning.

Despite these differences, an unexpected pattern emerged: In all three terrains, participants consistently looked 1.5 seconds ahead of their current location. This finding is similar to lookahead timing seen in research on other motor actions — stair climbing, driving and reaching — suggesting that this timing plays an important role in human movement.

“The constant lookahead time suggests that walkers are maintaining some sort of global locomotor strategy that is being tuned to each specific environment,” Matthis said. “Walkers use gaze to ensure that they always know what will be coming up 1.5 seconds down the path.

“Good action decisions require not only good sensory data, but also a consideration of the costs and benefits of the action,” Matthis said. “Taking this type of research out of the lab and into the real world allows us to observe human behavior in its natural environment. This gives us more opportunity to discover things we didn’t expect, which will help us advance our scientific knowledge to the benefit of improving clinical treatment of gait-related disorders.”

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/04/180423125047.htm

For more information, contact Sugar Land, TX eye doctors and optometrists at Bright Eye Care & Vision Development.

Medical Disclaimer. The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images and information, contained on or available through this website is for general information purposes only.

 

 

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Concussion Duration and Treatment in Sugar Land, TX

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The most common initial symptoms after suffering a concussion are headache, dizziness and fatigue. However, other secondary symptoms often develop afterwards that affect emotional status and cognitive ability. The time course of these symptoms can be debilitating for students. According to a study involving almost 300 students between the ages of 11 to 22 years, one week after injury:

• more than two-thirds still suffered from headache
• a majority still complained about poor concentration, dizziness, fatigue and taking longer to think
• more than 40% still struggled with forgetfulness, light sensitivity and noise sensitivity.

Various studies have shown that eye movements are intimately affected post-concussion. Research also shows that improving eye movements will help improve concussion symptoms. A study involving college athletes even showed that improving eye movements helped reduce the incidence of concussions.

For more information, contact Sugar Land, TX eye doctors and optometrists at Bright Eye Care & Vision Development.

References available upon request.

Medical Disclaimer. The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images and information, contained on or available through this website is for general information purposes only.

More Allergies!

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There are four categories of eye allergies. Treatment is dependent on proper identification. The conjunctiva, which is the white part of the eye and the underside of the eyelid, is a fantastic place to help identify allergies. Eye allergies, according to clinical studies, are under-diagnosed and can affect a person’s ability to engage in various activities including school, work and recreation. Proper and quick treatment can alleviate symptoms and improve quality of life.

For more information, contact Sugar Land, TX eye doctors and optometrists at Bright Eye Care & Vision Development.

References:

Singh K, Axelrod S, Bielory L. The epidemiology of ocular and nasal allergy in the United States, 1988-1994. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2010;126:778-783. Abstract

Kubaisi B, Samra KA, Syeda S, Schmidt A, Foster CS. Ocular allergy: an updated review. J Allergy Immunol. 2017;1:002.

Kay AB. Allergy and allergic diseases. First of two parts. N Engl J Med. 2001;344:30-37. Abstract

Ono SJ, Abelson MB. Allergic conjunctivitis update on pathophysiology and prospects for future treatment. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2005;115:118-122. Abstract

Abelson MB, Welch DL. An evaluation of onset and duration of action of patanol (olopatadine hydrochloride ophthalmic solution 0.1%) compared to Claritin (loratadine 10 mg) tablets in acute allergic conjunctivitis in the conjunctival allergen challenge model. Acta Ophthalmol Scand Suppl. 2000;(230):60-63.

Crampton HJ. Comparison of ketotifen fumarate ophthalmic solution alone, desloratadine alone, and their combination for inhibition of the signs and symptoms of seasonal allergic rhinoconjunctivitis in the conjunctival allergen challenge model: a double-masked, placebo- and active-controlled trial. Clin Ther. 2003;25:1975-1987. Abstract

Ousler GW 3rd, Workman DA, Torkildsen GL. An open-label, investigator-masked, crossover study of the ocular drying effects of two antihistamines, topical epinastine and systemic loratadine, in adult volunteers with seasonal allergic conjunctivitis. Clin Ther. 2007;29:611-616. Abstract

Kari O, Saari KM. Diagnostics and new developments in the treatment of ocular allergies. Curr Allergy Asthma Rep. 2012;12:232-239. Abstract

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Gateway to health communication & social marketing practice. Allergies. Updated September 15, 2017. https://www.cdc.gov/healthcommunication/ToolsTemplates/EntertainmentEd/Tips/Allergies.html Accessed November 14, 2017.

American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology. Allergic rhinitis. http://acaai.org/allergies/types/hay-fever-rhinitis Accessed November 20, 2017.

Friedlaender MH. Conjunctivitis of allergic origin: clinical presentation and differential diagnosis. Surv Ophthalmol. 1993;38(Suppl):105-114. Abstract

Pitt AD, Smith AF, Lindsell L, Voon LW, Rose PW, Bron AJ. Economic and quality-of-life impact of seasonal allergic conjunctivitis in Oxfordshire. Ophthalmic Epidemiol. 2004;11:17-33. Abstract

Medical Disclaimer. The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images and information, contained on or available through this website is for general information purposes only.

Eye Allergies – Scratch, Scratch, Scratch

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40%-80% of allergy sufferers have symptoms involving the eye. In some instances, ocular symptoms are the only indication of allergies. However, only 10% of people who have ocular symptoms seek professional help. The majority of people either just suffer through the symptoms or try oral allergy medications. Randomized clinical trials, however, show that prescription topical medications are superior in relieving symptoms and preventing chronic inflammation due to ocular allergies. In addition, oral medications can adversely affect the eye’s surface thereby making symptoms even worse.

For more information, contact Sugar Land, TX eye doctors and optometrists and Bright Eye Care & Vision Development.

References:

Singh K, Axelrod S, Bielory L. The epidemiology of ocular and nasal allergy in the United States, 1988-1994. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2010;126:778-783. Abstract

Kubaisi B, Samra KA, Syeda S, Schmidt A, Foster CS. Ocular allergy: an updated review. J Allergy Immunol. 2017;1:002.

Kay AB. Allergy and allergic diseases. First of two parts. N Engl J Med. 2001;344:30-37. Abstract

Ono SJ, Abelson MB. Allergic conjunctivitis update on pathophysiology and prospects for future treatment. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2005;115:118-122. Abstract

Abelson MB, Welch DL. An evaluation of onset and duration of action of patanol (olopatadine hydrochloride ophthalmic solution 0.1%) compared to Claritin (loratadine 10 mg) tablets in acute allergic conjunctivitis in the conjunctival allergen challenge model. Acta Ophthalmol Scand Suppl. 2000;(230):60-63.

Crampton HJ. Comparison of ketotifen fumarate ophthalmic solution alone, desloratadine alone, and their combination for inhibition of the signs and symptoms of seasonal allergic rhinoconjunctivitis in the conjunctival allergen challenge model: a double-masked, placebo- and active-controlled trial. Clin Ther. 2003;25:1975-1987. Abstract

Ousler GW 3rd, Workman DA, Torkildsen GL. An open-label, investigator-masked, crossover study of the ocular drying effects of two antihistamines, topical epinastine and systemic loratadine, in adult volunteers with seasonal allergic conjunctivitis. Clin Ther. 2007;29:611-616. Abstract

Kari O, Saari KM. Diagnostics and new developments in the treatment of ocular allergies. Curr Allergy Asthma Rep. 2012;12:232-239. Abstract

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Gateway to health communication & social marketing practice. Allergies. Updated September 15, 2017. https://www.cdc.gov/healthcommunication/ToolsTemplates/EntertainmentEd/Tips/Allergies.html Accessed November 14, 2017.

American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology. Allergic rhinitis. http://acaai.org/allergies/types/hay-fever-rhinitis Accessed November 20, 2017.

Friedlaender MH. Conjunctivitis of allergic origin: clinical presentation and differential diagnosis. Surv Ophthalmol. 1993;38(Suppl):105-114. Abstract

Pitt AD, Smith AF, Lindsell L, Voon LW, Rose PW, Bron AJ. Economic and quality-of-life impact of seasonal allergic conjunctivitis in Oxfordshire. Ophthalmic Epidemiol. 2004;11:17-33. Abstract

Medical Disclaimer. The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images and information, contained on or available through this website is for general information purposes only.

Shining More Light On Nearsightedness

Parents hold baby's hands.  Happy family in park evening

The amount of time spent outdoors in daylight is also a risk factor for developing, and worsening, nearsightedness. Depending on the amount of time spent in daylight, you may be subjecting yourself to low, medium or high risk of myopia.

For more information, please contact Bright Eye Care & Vision Development.

Glaucoma and Myopia

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Another reason to slow down the progression of nearsightedness is the increased risk of glaucoma. Nearsightedness, or myopia, increases the risk of glaucoma by 4x’s. Glaucoma slowly kills the nerves in the eyes, and is a leading cause of blindness. If someone develops glaucoma, he won’t even notice any changes in how he sees until 30%-50% of the nerves have already died.

For more information, please contact Bright Eye Care & Vision Development.

Amblyopia

Amblyopia Glasses Sugar Land Pediatric Eye Doctor

Amblyopia is the most common cause of childhood vision loss.  Proper diagnosis of the type of amblyopia is crucial for prognosis and treatment.  Oftentimes, the first step in treating amblyopia is glasses.  However, some children will not accept the prescription initially because of how their visual system is locked into working.  Appropriate identification and medicinal management of these children to improve their acceptance of the treatment is vital in overcoming amblyopia.

For more information, please contact Bright Eye Care & Vision Development.

Diabetes, Fish and Your Eyes

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Recent research indicates that eating two weekly servings of oily fish may help prevent or delay diabetes in the eyes and lower heart disease risk in people age 55 years and older who have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

For more information, please contact Bright Eye Care & Vision Development.