Research Areas

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Binocular Vision, Amblyopia, and Strabismus
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Good binocular vision requires both eyes to work together. Normally, both eyes look in the same direction, and then the brain combines what the two eyes see to give clear, single vision with good depth perception. Vision must develop normally during infancy and early childhood in order for good binocular vision to occur. If development is not normal, then a person may be unable to see clearly with one eye, even with the best possible glasses prescription, which is a condition called amblyopia (or “lazy eye”). Another problem is if one eye looks in a different direction from the other, which is called strabismus (or “eye turn”). Researchers at the College have funding from the National Institutes of Health and other programs to study these binocular vision problems in children and adults.

Current studies:

Past Studies:

 

For more information, contact the Clinical Vision Research Center.

Computer Vision Syndrome
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Nowadays, almost everybody is using computers, electronic book readers, smartphones and other electronic devices either in the workplace, at home or in the case of portable equipment, in any location. Some screen sizes may require very small text which the observer often positions at a closer viewing distance than would be used for printed materials. These modern visual demands may give rise to a variety of symptoms which have been termed computer vision syndrome (CVS). Up to 90% of computer users experience visual symptoms including eyestrain, headaches, ocular discomfort, dry eye, double vision and blurred vision either at near or when looking into the distance after using the devices. Research in our laboratory is evaluating both the causes of and potential treatments for this highly prevalent condition. An inability to meet the visual requirements will present significant lifestyle difficulties for patients.

Current studies:

  • Effect of dry eye therapies on computer vision syndrome.
  • Effect of colored overlays on computer vision syndrome.
  • Objective measurements of computer vision syndrome.

 

For more information, contact the Clinical Vision Research Center.

Contact lenses and lens care products
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Over 18 million people in the United State wear contact lenses to correct their vision. Faculty at the SUNY College of Optometry work with private, public and industry sponsors to conduct pre- and post-market research in a variety of contact lens and lens care products. Our contact lens research spans everything from studies examining patient preference and satisfaction to clinical trials designed to test novel materials or optical designs.

Current studies:

Past studies:

For more information, contact the Clinical Vision Research Center.

Dry Eye
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Dry eye occurs either when your eyes don’t make enough tears or the quality of the tears is poor. It can occur in up to 30% of the population but is more common in females, people over 40 years of age, computer users, contact lens wearers and individuals who have had eye surgery.  Additionally, some medications have been shown to cause dry eye.

The most common symptoms of dry eye are burning, itching, tearing or foreign body sensation.  These can make contact lens wear more difficult. Common treatments range from over-the-counter rewetting drops to prescription medications. Dry eye research is aimed at understanding the underlying mechanisms, as well as developing long-term, effective treatments for this highly prevalent condition.

For more information, contact the Clinical Vision Research Center.

Glaucoma
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Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in the U.S., yet remains one of the least understood visual conditions. It most often affects people over age 40. People who have a family history of glaucoma, African Americans and those who are very near-sighted and/or diabetic are at a higher risk of developing the disease.
At this point, glaucoma cannot be prevented. If detected and treated early, it can be controlled using eye drops or medications. Our goal is to continue researching the best treatments to save the vision of those affected.

For more information, contact the Clinical Vision Research Center.

Low Vision
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When a person has reduced vision that cannot be made sharp again with ordinary eyeglasses or contact lenses, that person is said to have low vision. Low vision may occur as a result of birth defects, injury, or as a complication of disease (like diabetes or macular degeneration). Both children and adults can have low vision and find difficulty doing everyday tasks. Low vision research aims to find out which interventions are most effective and develop new techniques to improve clinical care and rehabilitation for the sight impaired population.

For more information, contact the Clinical Vision Research Center.

Myopia
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Myopia, or nearsightedness, is an eye condition in which objects up close are seen clearly, but objects far away are difficult to see. It happens because the eye grows too long to be able to focus light correctly on the retina (back of the eye). Children who have parents with myopia are more likely to become nearsighted, but there are other causes of myopia that aren’t fully understood yet.

There are various treatments being studied for myopia, including medications, new glasses or contact lens designs, or orthokeratology. Researchers at SUNY College of Optometry are working to figure out what available treatments are the most effective and to discover new treatments.

Current Studies:

Past Studies:

For more information, contact the Clinical Vision Research Center.

Ocular Disease
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Eye diseases can affect people of different ages, backgrounds and environmental conditions. Diseases like ocular hypertensionglaucomadiabetic retinopathy, and macular degeneration can cause serious eye and vision problems. There are a lot of medications available to treat eye conditions but some only minimize the progression or manage the symptoms. Our researchers are working to develop better ways to diagnose, treat or even prevent disease from happening.

Some eye diseases are inherited and run in families such as retinitis pigmentosa and Stargardt’s disease. Our researchers are looking at novel ways of diagnosing hereditary eye diseases earlier since new medical treatments on the horizon will be targeted to the prevention, protection and/or regeneration of retinal tissue affected by these diseases.

For more information, contact the Clinical Vision Research Center.

Optics
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Optics is the study of light and the way that light interacts with the things around us to describe the distance, shape, color and material of objects. Bending of light by optics of the eye forms a small picture of the world inside the eye. Optical instruments use lasers, sensors, lenses and mirrors to view living cells inside the eye, and improve vision by removing optical flaws like myopia.

For more information, contact the Clinical Vision Research Center.

Pediatric Studies
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Pediatric Clinical Research

A child with untreated hyperopia (farsightedness) requires more effort to see clearly and a child with uncorrected myopia (nearsightedness) may not be able to see the board from the back of the classroom. Amblyopia, or “lazy eye”, can be associated with reduced focusing, depth perception, and contrast sensitivity as well as other problems.  Poor use of both eyes as a team (binocular vision problem) can lead to eye fatigue, double vision, avoidance of near work, covering one eye, and other symptoms while trying to read.  These and other vision issues can often go undiagnosed in children since kids don’t know whether they have “normal vision”.

The CVRC researchers are working to develop new and better treatment choices for a variety of pediatric eye conditions. Our goal is to give every child the same opportunities in school and in play through the knowledge we gain from clinical vision research.

Current studies:

Past studies:

 

For more information, contact the Clinical Vision Research Center.

Presbyopia
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Presbyopia is a vision condition in which the lens inside your eye becomes less flexible as you get older. This makes it more difficult for you to focus on objects up close after the age of 40. Presbyopia is a normal part of the aging process and cannot yet be prevented. Researchers at the college are studying new methods to correct presbyopia.

For more information, contact the Clinical Vision Research Center.

Sports Vision
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Many vision skills are required for optimal athletic performance. These include accurate and rapid eye movement, seeing clearly during movement, eye-hand coordination, depth perception, vision reaction time and binocular eye coordination. Sports vision research will help us better understand how to maximize vision performance for a variety of sports.

For more information, contact the Clinical Vision Research Center.

Traumatic Brain Injury
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Strokes, motor vehicle accidents, falls, physical assaults, pedestrian accidents or brain surgery can disrupt the visual process and interfere with information flow and processing in the brain. Symptoms commonly reported by individuals with traumatic brain injury include: reading difficulties, balance problems or dizziness, aching eyes, visually-induced headaches, difficulty with attention/concentration, light sensitivity, loss of visual field, double vision, and/or comprehension difficulty. These problems can sometimes be overlooked during initial treatment of the injury or may only become apparent later. These patients’ vision function  may be enhanced through rehabilitation to improve performance of daily activities and quality of life.

Our research is aimed to help people with vision affected by traumatic brain injury to recover or learn how to optimize vision in spite of injury.

For more information, contact the Clinical Vision Research Center.

Vision Rehabilitation
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Vision is more than the limited concept of sight measured in terms of reading letters on an eye chart. Vision is the process of deriving meaning from what is seen. It involves a complex network of factors including fixation and eye movement abilities, accommodation (eye focusing), convergence (eye aiming), binocularity (eye teaming), visual perception (interpreting what is seen) and visual-motor integration. Problems in any one of these areas can be debilitating.

Visual dysfunctions commonly seen in vision rehabilitation include:  amblyopia (lazy-eye), strabismus (crossed or wandering eye), binocular disorders, accommodative disorders, oculomotor (eye movement) dysfunction, and/or visual-perceptual dysfunction.

Vision rehabilitation research is aimed at finding better options to diagnose and treat patients with visual dysfunction.

Past studies:

For more information, contact the Clinical Vision Research Center.