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Latest Vision News

May is Healthy Vision Month

May is Healthy Vision Month

What does that mean for you? It means that now is the time to schedule a comprehensive eye  exam. 

While these are one of the exams we may often let fall by the wayside, they are extremely important to maintain our eye health. Comprehensive eye exams serve several purposes. During these exams, pupils, the circular black area in the center of the eye where light enters, are widened with eye drops or viewed without dilation through a special camera. This allows your Eye Doctor to check for vision problems and eye diseases, verify what stage of diseases your eyes may be in, and helps determine if you need glasses, contacts or other treatments. 

Comprehensive eye exams are crucial for all ages, here’s why: 

Pediatric exams test for visual acuity, lazy eye, color vision, ocular health, and more. These are extremely important to test for the school years ahead. 

For older children and teenagers, myopia (nearsightedness) is one of the biggest concerns that comprehensive eye exams detect. Myopia affects the eye’s ability to see distant images clearly. It is important to identify and treat early with glasses or contacts as children and teens begin to learn in larger spaces, play sports, and drive. 

Adult exams are recommended at least every two years, or as recommended by your eye care specialist. Exams for adults are necessary to catch eye conditions that can cause vision loss and even lead to blindness. Some of these conditions are cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration. 

There are several other conditions that comprehensive eye exams can expose that may not be found without a visit to your optometrist. 

Outside of eye exams, here are 5 ways you can help protect your vision: 

  1. Healthy eating. You know this! Healthy eating helps every part of your body. For your eyes, make sure to add dark, leafy greens and seafood that is high in omega-3 fatty acids to your plate. A great excuse to treat yourself to sushi! We’re adding a spicy sake maki roll to our cart… for delivery.
  2. Protective eyewear. Whether you’re chopping wood for the bonfire pit, mowing the lawn, painting your bedroom walls, or riding your motorcycle around town, protective eyewear is key. Blue-light protection glasses should also be considered to protect your eyes from all the time spent in front of computer screens.
  3. Sunglasses. Much like protective eyewear, sunglasses help protect your eyes from ultraviolet radiation delivered by sun. Not all sunglasses provide the same level of protection. Let us help you pick the best pair!
  4. Clean hands. Wash your hands before putting your contacts in and before taking your contacts out, simply to avoid infection.
  5. Stop smoking. Smoking is known to cause several diseases, but it can also lead to vision loss. It can increase the risk of age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, and more. Mark your calendar for your comprehensive eye exam and mark it as the day to stop smoking. 

Happy healthy vision month! Get your appointment in the books with us today. 

 

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Did you know that early intervention in children's vision is the key to success?

  • 80% of learning comes through vision.
  • In the first year of life, then by at least age 3 or 4, the child needs a comprehensive eye exam.
  • 6 months old is not too early.

Even though a school vision screening, nurse evaluation or Pediatrician screening is important, it doesn't take the place of a comprehensive eye exam by an eyecare professional. Some symptoms of an undetected vision problem include: Decreased performance in school, aversion to reading, excessive blinking, rubbing eyes, headache or inability to see 3-D movies.

This could indicate conditions such as amblyopia (lazy eye), nearsightedness (myopia), astigmatism, or farsightedness (hyperopia) that can be corrected with glasses.

More serious conditions may need surgery such as Esotropia, where the eye turns in, or Exotropia where the eye turns out.

Although school screenings, nurses, and pediatricians are extremely valuable, they don't take the place of a comprehensive eye exam by an Optometrist or Ophthalmologist.

In fact, school screenings can give a false sense of security. There are visual skills necessary for reading beyond just reading an eye chart. If kids frequently lose their place while reading, they may benefit from glasses or vision exercises or therapy.

Vision Therapy is training of the eyes that help problems glasses alone do not.

A comprehensive exam can also reveal more serous threats to vision and health in children. A more rare but life threatening condition is a fast growing eye tumor called retinoblastoma. It is life threatening because the proximity of the eye is so close to the brain that fast intervention is critical. This is a condition that parents might notice by looking at pictures of the eyes and noticing a "white pupil."

Parents also need to also be aware of social issue, Shaken Baby Syndrome that is on the rise. It causes brain and retinal hemorrhage, as well as detachment and even death. Children up to age 3 do not have strong enough neck muscles to protect the vital organs from damage.

It is fine to bounce a baby on your knee in a playful manner, but Shaken Baby Syndrome happens when a forceful angry shaking occurs by an adult.

Resources to find out more information on children's vision can be found through your local eye care provider or websites such as American Optometric Association .

Also look for the InfantSEE program. It is a no cost public health program for early detection in the first year of life.

Don't Shake is the National center on Shaken Baby Syndrome

And American Academy of Pediatrics

 

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