Recent Articles

Evolution and impact of eye and vision terms in written English.

Article cited: Leffler CT, Schwartz SG, Stackhouse R, Davenport B, Spetzler K. Evolution and impact of eye and vision terms in written English. JAMA Ophthalmol. 2013 Dec;131(12):1625-31.

With this article, we aimed to trace the evolution and impact of eye-related terms common in written English during the past 2 centuries by studying digital resources. Eye-related words and phrases (n-grams) occurring in English books at a frequency of 0.00001% for at least 25 years between 1790 and 2008 were identified from the Google n-gram database by searching for 254 strings such as eye or ophth. The first known English use of these n-grams was identified from historical articles and from multiple digital resources. Eye color was not commonly described as brown or green before 1840. Many common bigrams, such as bright eyes, suggested light emanating from the eyes, consistent with the extramission theory of vision. Based on word frequency, the impact of the revolutionary 1850 ophthalmoscope exceeded that of the stethoscope for 60 years. Glaucoma was not commonly written until the ophthalmoscope permitted visualization of the characteristic optic neuropathy. Green spectacles gave way during the early 1900s to dark glasses, subsequently renamed sunglasses. Until the mid-1900s, an eye surgeon was more often described as an oculist than an ophthalmologist, and inflamed eyes were said to experience ophthalmia more often than uveitis. Macular degeneration was rarely written about for more than a century after 1850 because it was labeled choroiditis. Of the 135 n-grams in the dictionary, an earlier written instance was identified in 92 cases (68%). Online databases of the written word reveal the origin and impact of many important vision concepts.

Instructions for the Titmus Near Stereo Test

From the Stereo Optical Company, Inc., 1988

Ask the patient: “Look at each of the [circles] / animals and tell me which one seems to come out closer to you–[top, bottom, right, or left.]” For the circles, the instructions state: “Continue until the patient gives up or makes 2 successive mistakes.”

Angle of
at 16 inches…Number….Answer======Row…..Answer
800 seconds……1……..Bottom=====– —
400 seconds……2……..Left======= A……Cat
200 seconds……3……..Bottom===== B……Rabbit
140 seconds……4……..Top======== — —
100 seconds……5……..Top======== C……Monkey
80 seconds…….6……..Left======= — —
60 seconds…….7……..Right====== — —
50 seconds…….8……..Left======= — —
40 seconds…….9……..Right====== — —

Notes on the ophthalmic aspects of John Banister’s Antidotarie of 1589.

By Christopher T. Leffler, MD, MPH. September 1, 2012.

Links: Ophthalmic texts in English from before 1800. Christopher T. Leffler, MD, MPH. [cited: Leffler CT. Notes on the ophthalmic aspects of John Banister’s Antidotarie of 1589. Sep. 7, 2012. John Banister was an English anatomist and surgeon. His Antidotarie Chyrurgicall of 1589 might be of some interest to ophthalmic historians chiefly because of […]

Open access ophthalmology, optometry, and vision journals.

Updated Aug 2, 104: This table is the web’s most complete list of open-access ophthalmology, optometry, and vision science journals. Journals are categorized by language, impact factor,whether they are Medline-indexed, available in PubMedCentral, require author processing fees, and other facts. NEWS AND UPDATES AT BOTTOM OF PAGE.

Christopher T. Leffler, MD, MPH

Resume / Curriculum Vitae.

Offices: Downtown: Virginia Commonwealth University,Medical College Virginia Campus,Department of Ophthalmology P.O. Box 980438, 403 North 11th Street Suite 439, Richmond, Virginia 23298-0438 FAX – (804) 828-1010 At Stony Point Surgery Center: 8700 Stony Point Parkway, Suite 220, Richmond, VA 23235 Email address (remove four “X”‘s added to fool spammers): chrislefXflermXd@gmaXil.cXom. To make an appointment: (804)828-9315. […]

Why Apple 2.0 worked better than Apple 1.0

Moore's law caught up with Steve Jobs' brain.

Why was Apple so much more successful when Steve Jobs returned after a decade-long ouster than before he left? A variety of reasons have been posited. Some have suggested he was more humble the second time around. I cannot discount that. But, I believe that a big reason is that advances in computing power made possible the fulfillment of his product vision, and the technology just wasn’t around to offer his vision with the right performance and form factor (physical size) at the right price point for the market the first time–but it was the second time.

LacriCATH. Instructions for use.

Directions to use the LaciCATH lacrimal duct catheter.

Description: …Markings are placed 10 mm and 15 mm proximal to the beginning of the working portion of the balloon, which indicate when the balloon is placed correctly in the lacrimal system. The overall length of the catheter is approximately 24 cm long with a working length of 40 mm. The catheter is available in […]