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How the Eye Works

The Eye

Crash course on the EYE.

  • The eye is the only organ of the body that you can see into without having to cut it open or stick a tube into!
  • Approximately 80 percent of everything we learn comes through our eyes.
  • The eye contains over two million working parts and is considered the second most complex organ in the body— the most complex is the brain.
  • The optic nerve is critical to your vision. It’s an extension of your central nervous system, which includes your brain and spine. The optic nerve transmits electrical impulses from your eyes to your brain.

The eye works much like a camera.

  • Both have a lens or lens system.
  • Both provide a way to collect incoming light.
  • Both provide an image that must be interpreted by the brain.

Our brain works together with our eyes to process the information we see and transform it into recognizable images. The clear disc-like part of the eye called the lens helps to focus light on the retina. The ciliary muscle adjusts the shape of the lens, helping it to focus on objects at different distances. This automatic focusing is a reflex response and is not controlled by the brain.

Once the image is clearly focused on the sensitive part of the retina, the energy in the light that makes up that image creates an electrical signal. Nerve impulses can then carry information about that image to the brain through the optic nerve, which is a collection of more than a million nerve fibers. As the cornea bends light when it enters the eye, the brain receives images that are upside down, so it turns them the right way up when it processes the information.

We can “see”!  Yes, vision is a great deal more complex than this, but you get the point.

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Lazy Eye – Amblyopia

Before we start, I just want to share some cool information. The eye is an extension of the brain, and contains nerve tissue in the light sensitive layer, the retina. Compared to the brain, the retina of the eye offers the distinct advantage of being accessible to high resolution imaging using advanced light and optical technology. Pretty Cool.

Amblyopia (also called lazy eye) is a type of decreased vision that usually happens in just one eye, but less commonly in both eyes. It develops when there’s a breakdown in how the brain and the eye work together, and the brain can’t recognize the sight from one eye. This affects between 2% -4% of children.

With amblyopia, the brain gets a blurry picture from one or both eyes and so it does not learn to see well. Amblyopia can often be fixed in childhood, but if not treated, it can cause permanent vision loss.  It is the main reason that kids lose vision. (

Amblyopia can be tricky for parents or caregivers to spot because children don’t usually complain about blurry vision. They will use the eye that sees better and won’t notice that anything is wrong. Also, the weaker eye may look normal.  Many times, a problem will only be found during a vision test. Vision Screening, recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), helps to catch amblyopia early when it can still be treated.
There are three defined types of Amblyopia:

Refractive amblyopia – This is the most common type. It happens when a child needs glasses.

Strabismic amblyopia– This is caused by eye movement problems. One eye may turn in, out, up, or down. When this happens, the brain begins to ignore, or “turns off” the wandering eye and does not learn to see well.

Deprivational amblyopia – Rarely, problems like ptosis (a droopy eyelid), cataract (cloudy spot in the lens/focusing part of the eye) or cornea scar (cloudy spot in the clear front part of the eye) can stop a child from seeing. If not treated very early, these children never learn to see very well and can have very poor vision.

The treatment depends on the type of amblyopia that the child has. 
Glasses help some children with amblyopia, especially those with refractive amblyopia and strabismus that gets better with glasses (such as accommodative esotropia). 
For many children, glasses may not be enough to help the amblyopia. Some children need treatment with eye patching or eye drops in the stronger eye to make it weak and to force the brain to use the weaker eye more. Children with a droopy eyelid, cataract, scar or eye movement problem may need surgery to help the amblyopia.

Finally! Eye Patches.
This is where we come in!
We are the makers of the MYI Occlusion Eye Patch and the CoverClude Occlusion Eye Patch.
An eye patch is used to cover or occlude the “good” eye to make the “bad” eye work and
force the brain to use the weaker eye more to make the vision better. 

MYI Occlusion Eye Patches and the CoverClude Occlusion Eye Patch are adhesive patches that adhere to the skin around the eye to stop any “peeking. Cloth patches and pirate patches can be moved to allow the child to see around the patch – not good.

  • Our patches are made in America – Minnesota to be exact – very good.
  • Other patches are made in Europe or China. Please support small US business.
  • We developed the black occlusion layer to eliminate light reaching the eye. Cool.
  • Our adhesive is a medical grade adhesive, again American made. Wow!

You pick what designs you and your child want in your pack – this increases compliance when your child has an involvement in the decisions. – Power to the child.

3M Fresnel Optics – Fresnel Prism and Lens (

Lazy eye (amblyopia) – Symptoms & causes – Mayo Clinic


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What about Low Vision Patients, TBI Patients, Stroke Patients?

3M Press-On™ Optics: Prisms and Plus Power Aspheric lenses are the tools needed to help the patient.

After a stroke, a patient may experience vision problems, which may improve over time. Instead of waiting for the vision to stabilize, using the 3M Press-On™ prism may allow the patient to have a quality of life doing familiar things while they recover. With the cost of a ground-in prism being prohibitive to change often as the patient recovers, using an array of Press-On™ prisms may expedite the recovery. Therapy will be more successful when the patient is able to engage.

With TBI patients, it has been questioned how a patient can re-learn particular skills if they are unable to see correctly. With resulting double vision or eye misalignment, a patient is not able to re-learn to walk safely or will experience severe headaches as the brain is trying to heal. Using a Press-On™ prism may assist when the headaches are due to the visual stress of the eye/brain attempting to correct the alignment.

Low vision is a vision problem that makes it hard to do everyday activities. It can’t be cured with glasses, contact lenses, or other standard treatments like medicine or surgery, but it can be treated to provide the best vision possible. Press-On™ Aspheric lenses may be used to magnify by placing on the lower portion of each lens. This is a lightweight solution that may allow the patient to manage day-to-day activities without the use of a high-plus reading loupe.

Discover the Power of 3M™ Press-On™ Optics – Fresnel Prism and Lens (

technical-information.pdf (

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Why Prescribe a Press-On™?

A 3M Press-On™ is a simple, therapeutic, inexpensive way to correct various visual disorders.

  • Strabismus – early onset
  • Mild Amblyopia
  • Nystagmus
  • Inoperable Strabismus
  • Incomitant Strabismus
  • Diplopia
  • Phorias

A 3M Press-On™ provides immediate correction. Happy patient.

Press-On™ Optics adds no noticeable weight or thickness to the patient’s spectacle lens. 

The patient is looking good!

Improve the quality of life for your patient simply, inexpensively, and fast! Patient will love you!

Hint: It is best to maintain an inventory of a few of the prisms you use the most to provide corrective action and have the patient walk out of the office better than they walked in. We receive phone calls from patients asking if they can purchase a prism from us – the answer is yes; we want them to have the doctor who has prescribed the prism apply it correctly. 

We require they provide us with a copy of the current prescription before selling them a prism. Now, the problem arises as the patient (who has vision problems) is supposed to apply the prism correctly. These are frustrated and scared patients looking to their eye care provider for the solution to their problem. 

3M Fresnel Optics – Fresnel Prism and Lens (

why prescribe press on fresnel lens – Search Images (

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The magic of a Fresnel lens

Ever see a lighthouse beam and wonder how it shines so brightly across vast distances? Or perhaps you’ve used a thin plastic magnifier to enlarge tiny text. You may thank a Fresnel prism lens for this magic.

A prism is a wedge-shaped piece of transparent material cut with precise angles and plane faces. The path of light entering through a prism will be affected / changed as it passes through the prism and then exits the prism. How much change will be dependent upon the prism material and the prism angles and the angle the light first enters the prism surface. Fresnel prisms are made from a thin transparent plastic sheet consisting of multiple angular grooves on one side. These prisms are much lighter than the regularly used prisms of the same power.  It can be thought of as a series of tiny plastic prisms placed on a plastic platform that is thin and adjacent to each other in a format that the base of one is attached to the apex of the next prism. The magnification effect seen with conventional prisms is minimal with Fresnel prisms.

After 1960, the Fresnel principle, which existed for more than 150 years, was used for the first time to manage strabismus. In 1970, the Optical Scientific Group from San Rafael, California designed a combination of a series of Fresnel press on prisms. These prisms are made up of plastic membranes with powers ranging from 0.5-30 prism diopters. The Fresnel prism is derived from the concept of hand-ground lenses prepared by the physics and French specialist Augustine Fresnel in 1921.

Initially, Fresnel prisms were intended for use in lighthouse beacons. Prisms have been used extensively in the field of ophthalmology, especially related to neuro-ophthalmology and strabismus. Prisms are used extensively to increase the binocular field, relieve diplopia, or expand the field of vision. Fresnel prisms are thin transparent plastic membranes with multiple tiny prisms attached from base to base. Augustin Fresnel articulated the optics of Fresnel prisms.

The angle of refraction of a prism depends upon the angle of the surface and the refractive index of the material of which the prism is made. The angle of refraction is independent of the thickness of the prism. A Fresnel prism offers the advantage of being lightweight and easy to handle. The most common use is to temporarily relieve the diplopia in cases like nerve palsies secondary to trauma, blowout fractures, decompensated phoria, divergence insufficiency, or convergence insufficiency.

Fresnel prisms are most commonly used as temporary prisms. Traditionally, prisms have also been used in patients with stroke and homonymous hemianopia. The aim is to shift the peripheral image towards the central retinal meridian.

How Does it Stay on the Lens?

The 3M Press-On™ prism is applied to the inside of the carrier lens with just water.

The 3M Press-On™ prism is attached to a border which identifies the base, if the border is discarded the base may identified easily by running a finger across the prisms, it will slide smoothly towards the base and jagged away from the base.

The smooth side of the prism is attached to the lens.

Fitting a 3M Press-On™ Prism

  • Holding the prism in place against the inside of the lens with the base oriented as required.
  • Draw on the rough side of the prism around the shape of the lens with a non-permanent marker. It is best if the lens can be removed from the from frame to ensure the prism alignment is correct.
  • Cut the prism using a small pair of scissors or Exacto knife.
  • Cut the prism a bit smaller than the lens so no portion will overlap the frame and be pulled off.
  • Ensure the carrier lens is clean a free of dust and oil. Do not use cleaner with alcohol as this will damage the prism. There are dish soaps that contain alcohol.

Applying a 3M Press-On™ Prism

  • Put a few drops of water on the inside of the lens where the Fresnel prism is to be placed. Push the smooth side of the Press-On™ prism down on the water.
  • Using your thumb squeeze out any excess water and air bubbles and gently pat dry.
    The prism may appear cloudy or hazy for the first 24 hours until all the water has dissipated – it may be easy to slide during this time, so care is encouraged.
  • After it has dried the prism will no longer move. To remove the prism for the carrier lens, use the edge of your fingernail to carefully pull away.

The Fresnel Press-On™ prism can be cleaned using a non-alcohol lens cleaner and a soft micro-fiber cloth. Pull the cloth in the direction of the prisms vs against.

What Powers are Available?

The 3M Press-On™ Prisms are available in 17 Diopter Powers: IMAGES MISSING, may be on site
I found a few I put in folder.

Fresnel Prism to the Rescue (

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Who is The Fresnel Prism and Lens Company?

Who is The Fresnel Prism and Lens Company?

The Fresnel Prism and Lens Company has been around since 1987. The Press-On™ Prism, patented by Arthur Jampolsky, MD, has been a staple in the eyecare professional’s toolbox since 1971. The Press-On™ Optics is based on the 1822 Fresnel Principle of a Fresnel Prism, which you will see in a few of the remaining old lighthouses. Many have asked us about the name Fresnel . . . the S is silent. 😊  

The Fresnel Principal was developed by French engineer Augustin Fresnel in 1822. It states: A prism’s angle of refraction depends only upon the angle of the surfaces and the index of refraction of the material of which the prism is made. The angle of refraction is independent of the prism’s thickness.  
Our main business will always be the 3M Press-On™ Optics. As 3M’s largest US distributor of Press-On™ Optics, we will always have a warehouse full of prisms to be shipped to you the same day.

We will always answer the phone with a smile – we pride ourselves in our over-the-top customer service.

We are still a Mom-and-Pop operation, plus two wonderful folks who take the orders, pack them, and ship them. Folks think we are a large operation, but nope, we are just super-efficient!

3M Fresnel Optics – Fresnel Prism and Lens (