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Accidental Corneal Tear From Hugging A Baby

So on Sunday night, I finished singing BSparl her bedtime song and leaned in to tuck her into her crib.  But because she was giggling and reaching for me, I leaned in to give her an extra hug.

NEVER GO IN FOR THE EXTRA HUG.

Or at least that’s what someone should have whispered in my ear.

Because when I leaned it, she happened to reach up at the same time and her thumb met my eye with such force that it knocked me to my knees.  Apparently, her thumb nail scraped off a section of my cornea (or, as my eye doctor said, “You know when you eat string cheese and you pull a section of the cheese off?”  Thanks, Dr. S.  I will never, ever eat string cheese again.  Ever.) and severely damaged my eye. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Six Until Me.*

Diabetes: When Being “No Worse” Means Progress

“Everything looks good.  No progress is good, actually.  Means your eyes haven’t deteriorated any further in the last five months.”  Dr S, my eye doctor at the Joslin Clinic, ran her fingers across the keyboard, typing notes into my online file.

“So it’s the same as back in November?  When I moved from mild to moderate retinopathy?”

“Right.  Still non-proliferative, but the same.  Not worse, by any stretch.  We’re working with a few spots, a very small bit of leakage, but nothing I’d recommend treatment for, other than watching it closely.”

I let out the breath I didn’t realize I was holding.  The fluorescent bulbs in the room were bright and ricocheting off the white walls, making me feel like I was in an avalanche of light. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Six Until Me.*

Vision Development: The Impact Of 3-D Video Games On Kids’ Eyes

nintendo3ds Nintendo Warns on 3 D Games for ChildrenLast week, Nintendo became the latest consumer electronics maker to warn that kids shouldn’t use their three-dimensional image-based gaming devices because they may have a negative impact on development of the human visual system.

The warning came just a month before the company’s much anticipated release of the 3DS, which is just such a device that features a 3.5-inch screen which can create 3-D images without the need for special glasses. The 3DS is Nintendo’s most anticipated new product since it released the iconic Wii gaming device in 2006.

Sony’s PlayStation3, a similar product that requires glasses to create the 3-D effect, already carries a similar warning, as do 3-D TV sets made by Sony, Samsung, and Panasonic.

Nintendo’s warning applies to kids that are six years old or younger. The Japanese company advised parents to block access to the game machine’s 3-D mode for these kids, while adding that it was okay for them to use the 3DS in 2-D mode. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Pizaazz*

Glaucoma Testing Through The Eyelid

f34gdfg.jpgIntraocular pressure is usually measured by applying a force on the cornea using a tonometer. Although sufficiently accurate, tonometers are only used in ophthalmologist offices and so don’t measure intra-day pressures. They also fail with people post cataract surgery that have a thicker cornea. Researchers at University of Arizona have developed a new device that measures intraocular pressure through the eyelid.

From the University of Arizona College of Engineering:

The self-test instrument has been designed in Eniko Enikov’s lab at the UA College of Engineering. Gone are the eye drops and need for a sterilized sensor. In their place is an easy-to-use probe that gently rubs the eyelid and can be used at home.

“You simply close your eye and rub the eyelid like you might casually rub your eye,” said Enikov, a professor of aerospace and mechanical engineering. “The instrument detects the stiffness and, therefore, infers the intraocular pressure.” Enikov also heads the Advanced Micro and Nanosystems Laboratory.

While the probe is simple to use, the technology behind it is complex, involving a system of micro-force sensors, specially designed microchips, and math-based procedures programmed into its memory.

Link: New Glaucoma Test Allows Earlier, More Accurate Detection…

*This blog post was originally published at Medgadget*

New Tool May Help Visually Impaired Learn Braille

Braille BuddyYanko Design blog is profiling the Braille Buddy project that aims to develop a simple-to-use tool to help people who’ve lost eyesight to learn Braille.

Braille Buddy has little retractable bumps that code for different letters, a keyboard, and a voice synthesizer that guides patients through different lessons. The voice will read out letters that a patient has to type back in Braille, and the tactile screen will display letters to read and identify.

Yanko Design: My Best Buddy Braille…

*This blog post was originally published at Medgadget*

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors…

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How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

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Latest Book Reviews

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

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The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

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Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

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