Tips4EyeDocs Daily – 12/20/2011 – No 6 – The Power of a Smile + more


It was cold in Sacramento. The wind was whistled ever so gently and small whirlwinds gently stirred the loose leaves beneath me. I got to wonder what the average person does on a cold day like this.

There are people walking to and from their cars. There are the same few who pace back and forth with a mobile telephone or Bluetooth stuck to their ears. And of course, there are those people who work outdoors who direct cars to their proper stalls and greet each with wave and a hello.

People who work outdoors don’t relish being cold in a windy day like this one. But I could see the smile that the attendants that fostered other smiles. To me, that is the secret within each of us. It is our ability to lighten up another’s day, no matter how much we say or how little we contribute. Often it is that smile and hand wave that signifies recognition of someone else.

As we enthrall ourselves in our own thoughts, concerns and worries, the power and ability to bring a smile to another is one that will go a long way in sealing a simple “Hello, I’m Doctor…” as a potential everlasting, loyal patient.


  1. I cannot tell you how many people have had their tweets land them their 15 seconds of fame on television or in their internet due to their inattention or by design of accidentally releasing personal information or beliefs on the internet via Twitter. Let’s think carefully before we send any communication whether it is an email, a comment on a blog, Facebook or Twitter. Spotted on Twitter “5 well known mistakes via @jkcallas: Think Before You Tweet! The Top 5 Mis-tweets of 2011”
  2. The EyeTrackShop has an eye movement analyzer that can track what a user sees on a web page. In the experiment explained in a Facebook Page, the software literally detects what most people will spend the most time on a profile. Here is a photo image from a story by Sarah Kessler (“Here’s How People Look at Your Facebook Profile-Literally. Available online at


Olson JH, Louwagie CR, Diehl NN, Mohney BG.Congenital Esotropia and the Risk of Mental Illness by Early Adulthood.Ophthalmology. 2011 Oct 8. [Epub ahead of print]PMID: 21986557 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]



The purpose of this study is to investigate whether children with congenital esotropia (CET) are more likely than controls to develop mental illness by early adulthood.


Retrospective, population-based cohort.


Children (aged <19 years) diagnosed with CET while residing in Olmsted County, Minnesota, from January 1, 1965, to December 31, 1994, and their 1-to-1 non-strabismic birth- and gender-matched controls.


The medical records of patients with esotropia and their controls were retrospectively reviewed for the subsequent development of psychiatric disease.


The development of mental illness and associated comorbidities among patients with CET and their controls.


A mental health disorder was diagnosed in 42 (33%) of the 127 patients with CET followed to a mean age of 20.4 years compared with 16% of controls (P = 0.002). Congenital esotropia increased the odds of developing a psychiatric illness 2.6 times (confidence interval, 1.5-4.8) compared with controls. The number of mental health diagnoses (P = 0.019) and the use of psychotropic medications (P = 0.015) were significantly more common among esotropic patients compared with non-strabismic controls.


Congenital esotropia, similar to those with intermittent exotropia or convergence insufficiency, increases the odds of developing mental illness by early adulthood 2.6 times compared with controls. The cause of this association does not seem to be associated with premature birth.

Use this url as a reference

About Richard Hom OD, MPA

Dr. Hom holds Doctor of Optometry and Masters in Public Administration degrees and practices family eye care and consults on public policy, health information technology and program evaluation.
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