A Behavioral Perspective: Myopia & The Physiology of Becoming Myopic
with dr Paul Harris
Myopia is a worldwide public health concern. This presentation will explain what causes myopia and the physiological changes which occur and will share functional approaches to stabilizing and reversing myopia in some instances.
- Understand how and why myopia occurs and what triggers it to progress over time.
- Understand the underlying physiology and how it changes over time to produce a longer eyeball with optical powers that are too strong for the size of the eye.
- Understand that traditional explanations which used accommodation and accommodative demands and lags of accommodation fail to explain how and why myopia progresses.
- Understand how animal studies involving occlusion, both full and sector, have helped us understand how the eye can change its shape.
- Understand how nearly all of the response to peripheral defocus is sensed and processed in the eye itself, meaning the changes are under local control, not higher brain control.
- Understand the clinical signs of patients at risk to first develop and later to progress in their levels of myopia.
- Understand the relative roles of prescribing plus lenses for near, vision therapy and contact lenses to manage myopia.
Short Bio: Paul A. Harris
Dr. Paul Alan Harris is a 1979 Graduate of the State University of New York, State College of Optometry and, since September of 2010 is a Professor at Southern College of Optometry. Didactically he teaches Amblyopia and Strabismus and an elective which addresses Sports Vision and working with patients with ABI and TBI. Clinically he is involved in Vision Therapy, Vision Rehabilitation and Hospital Based Care for ABI/TBI, Pediatrics and Electrodiagnostics. He is also actively involved in research working on new ways to measure visual performance with innovative measures of visual acuity, contrast sensitivity, glare disability, visual fields, the effect of color on patients with TBI/ABI, migraine and seizure disorders, and with a team working on an objective measure of the degree of concussion.
His accreditations include Fellowships in the College of Optometrists in Vision Development (1984), the Australasian College of Behavioral Optometry (1993), the American Academy of Optometry (1999) and the National Academies of Practice (2013). He is a past President of the Optometric Extension Program Foundation (OEPF).
In 1991, Dr. Harris founded the Baltimore Academy for Behavioral Optometry (BABO) to help expand the quantity and quality of behavioral optometric care available to the public. These courses are now part of the OEPF’s educational base and are known as the Clinical Curriculum, which provides hands-on small-group post-graduate clinical education in the field of behavioral vision care. Over 1500 optometrists and vision therapists in the US and abroad have taken part in one or more of these courses.