Category: Sight + Sound Blog

On Monday, January 10, Eye & Ear Foundation webinar attendees got a tour of the University of Pittsburgh Skull Base Surgery Center from the comfort of their homes and offices. Doctors Carl Snyderman (Professor of Otolaryngology, Otolaryngology Co-Director of the Center for Cranial Base Surgery) and Paul Gardner (Peter J. Jannetta Endowed Chair in Neurosurgery, Neurosurgical Co-Director of the Center for Cranial Base Surgery) said their goal was to share what the team was doing in the hopes that viewers would gain more insight into the efforts and resources required for their research. The UPMC Center for Cranial Base Surgery

Tagged with: , , , , , ,

Functional Vision Loss

According to the World Health Organization, 2.2 billion people worldwide have a visual impairment. William Smith, DO, Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, projects that all these individuals have some level of functional vision loss. The prevalence is expected to double over the next 30 years due to an aging population. Definition of Functional Vision Loss What is functional vision loss, anyway? Functional vision is how the individual is utilizing their vision as related to real-world activities. Functional vision is separate from visual function, which is what is measured and tested during an eye

Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

Improving Eye Care Delivery

Focusing on patient education, patient preferences, and system-based changes to broaden eye care delivery is Dr. Andrew Williams’ passion. The Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Pittsburgh talked about “Patient and Community Engagement to Improve Eyecare Delivery in Glaucoma and Other Chronic Eye Diseases” in The Eye & Ear Foundation’s December 17th webinar. Basic Information About Glaucoma Dr. Williams started with the basics. What is glaucoma? The technical definition is that it is a disease of the optic nerve characterized by cupping with corresponding visual field loss. People can lose a good amount of vision from glaucoma and

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Understanding and Treating Swallowing Disorders


So much of our society is centered around food and drink. But swallowing issues can prevent some people from participating and enjoying this important life activity. In The Eye & Ear Foundation’s December 1 webinar, “The Why and the How Behind Treating Swallowing Disorders,” Tamara Wasserman-Wincko, MS, CCC-SLP, discussed the causes of dysphagia, or difficulty swallowing, along with the evaluation process, impact, and treatment. Dr. Jonas Johnson, Chair of the Otolaryngology Department at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, introduced Wasserman-Wincko as an expert on swallowing. As Director, Speech-Language Pathology Division, she specializes in the evaluation and treatment of

Tagged with: , , , ,

Imaging for Retinal Diseases

You know how people say, “You had to be there?” That is the case with The Eye & Ear Foundation’s November 19 webinar, “Imaging for Retinal Diseases.” It is one thing to describe the different imaging modalities. It is far more effective, however, to do this by showing what each detects. The good news is if you missed this presentation the first time around, the webinar has been uploaded to our site. In the meantime, here is a summary. Imaging Modalities and Techniques After an introduction by the Department of Ophthalmology Chair Dr. José-Alain Sahel, Kunal Dansingani, MBBS, MA, Associate

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,

Removing Salivary Stones

Think of it like a kidney stone, but in your mouth. When material builds up over time, the salt in the saliva glands calcify and form a stone in the glands of the mouth called a salivary stone. Or, if you want to be fancy, the medical term is sialolith. When it blocks the salivary glands, it is called sialolithiasis. Salivary endoscopy for salivary stones was the November 3rd webinar topic hosted by The Eye & Ear Foundation with presenter Dr. Barry Schaitkin, Professor, Department of Otolaryngology, Emeritus Program Director, Otolaryngology Residency Program at the University of Pittsburgh Dept of

Tagged with: , , , , , ,

CNN: These goggles helped a blind man see after 40 years

CNN Business

Dr. Jose-Alain Sahel’s optogenetics breakthrough has been featured on CNN. This new kind of gene therapy has allowed a 58-year-old man with retinitis pigmentosa to see objects after 40 years of total blindness. The CNN segment will air at 11 AM EST on Saturday, November 6, and at 3 PM EST on Sunday, November 7. The link is also provided below. View video on CNN Business Read CNN’s article, “Blind man has sight partially restored after 40 years” Learn more in our Sight + Sound article, “An Amazing Breakthrough for Retinitis Pigmentosa and Big First Step” Visit to support our

Vision Care Joins Mission of Mercy

For three years, Mission of Mercy Pittsburgh has hosted a two-day clinic providing free dental care to the underserved members of the community. This year, free vision care was also offered, courtesy of the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Pittsburgh. “It was a tremendous, tremendous success,” said Lawton Snyder, CEO of The Eye & Ear Foundation of Pittsburgh (EEF), which helped organize the vision clinic on October 22-23, 2021. It came about when Dr. Jose-Alain Sahel and Snyder were approached by Michael Zamagias, Chairman and CEO of TeleTracking and a founding sponsor of the Mission of Mercy (MOM)

Tagged with: , , , , , ,

Contact Lens Safety

If you’re one of 140 million worldwide contact lens wearers, you likely know how dangerous water can be when handling contact lenses. But do you know why? In The Eye & Ear Foundation’s October 20, 2021, webinar, Contact Lens Safety: Benefits of New Technology, Ellen Butts, OD, Clinical Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology, Department of Ophthalmology, University of Pittsburgh and Scott Drexler, OD, Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology, Contact Lens and Vision Enhancement Service, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine shared the answer and provided other contact lens safety tips. It is essential to take care of your contact lenses and practice

Tagged with: , , , , ,

Novel Gene Therapy Platform Speeds Search for Ways to Cure Blindness

Leah Byrne, Ph.D.

A novel computational platform developed by researchers from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine identifies top-performing viral vectors that could deliver gene therapies to the retina with maximum efficiency and precision. The technology, described in a paper published today in the journal eLife, streamlines development of gene therapy approaches for the treatment of genetic blinding disorders. The approach saves precious time and resources by speeding up identification of suitable gene-carrying candidates able to deliver therapy to an affected part of the retina with astounding accuracy. “Vision loss has a huge impact on quality of life. It has long been