The annual COVD (College of Optometrists in Vision Development) meeting took place a two weeks ago in Jacksonville, Florida. I am grateful for the chance to go for the second year in a row. It’s a great place to learn new techniques, learn how to expand on what I already know and learn about the new technology that has been developed and integrated into Vision Therapy practices.
One of the classes that stuck out for me was a prism lecture and workshop that I attended. There are many different types of prisms and uses:
Monocular prisms are prisms that you use with one open eye. This is to establish JND’s (just noticeable differences) in a patient’s spatial awareness.
We also use binocular prisms (using two eyes), this is to stimulate the patient’s accommodative vergence range. If we use a base out prism, the patient must converge their eyes to keep the target single. At the same time, they must also be actively relaxing accommodation to keep the target clear. If we use a base in prism, the patient but diverge (relax) their eyes to keep the target single. At the same time, they muse be actively stimulating accommodation to keep the target clear.
Yoked prisms are prisms that are faced the same way in the cardinal directions (base up, base down, base right and base left). These prisms shift the patient’s spatial awareness. For example, if a patient is wearing a base down prism, it shifts everything up. The patient has to adjust spatially to match the new input. Some activities we do while wearing yoked prisms are throwing bean bags into a bucket, poke a stick through a straw and even walking on a rail.
I’m excited to incorporate more of the techniques that I learned during the annual meeting. These were just a few things I took away from this meeting and I’m excited for more opportunities to come. I’ll keep you posted when that happens!