Emeritus professor, Robert P. Rutstein, OD, MS, FAAO, was named the 21st Springer Award Honoree and presented the annual Springer Lecture on the topic of retinally induced aniseikonia, a binocular vision disorder.

“I am very honored to be the recipient of this prestigious award and am delighted to present my research on this under-diagnosed binocular vision disorder,” Rutstein said.

The purpose of Dr. Rutstein’s lecture was to familiarize present and future eye care practitioners with retinally induced aniseikonia. He chose this topic because he concluded from his research and clinical experience that it is an under-recognized cause of binocular vision symptoms.

 In the journal Optometry and Vision Science published in 2012, Rutstein reported the first case series of patients with retinally induced aniseikonia in the optometric literature. The research studies he performed earlier with his colleagues at UAB that determined the dependability of new devices for diagnosing aniseikonia have yielded multiple publications.

During the lecture, Rutstein emphasized how adults with binocular vision symptoms, likely due to retinally induced aniseikonia, seek care but are dismayed when eye care specialists cannot help them because they are unfamiliar with the condition.

“I strongly believe that optometric practitioners are uniquely trained to integrate the medical conditions with the associated binocular vision disturbances and to understand the optics of the devices used in treating retinally induced aniseikonia,” Rutstein said.

Although he retired from the UAB School of Optometry in 2013, Rutstein still teaches binocular vision to optometry students, interns, and residents. In those lectures, he includes retinally induced aniseikonia and the findings from his research and clinical experiences.

Rutstein hopes that more UAB eye care specialists will gain knowledge about this condition and diagnose and treat it.

About the Spring Lecture

The lecture is supported by the Nathaniel E. Springer Memorial Fund, which was established in 1999 to bring distinguished visual scientists or clinicians to the School of Optometry to share knowledge with faculty and students.

The fund was created by Donald Springer, O.D., who was instrumental in the founding of the School of Optometry and a leader in optometry in Alabama and the U.S. along with other members of the Springer family, in memory of Springer’s father Nathaniel E. Springer. Donald Springer died in 2011.