My child is struggling in school. Should I have his/her eyes examined?
A comprehensive eye examination by an optometrist can often determine if there are visual issues interfering with a child’s ability to perform in school. Many visual symptoms, some obvious, others less so, can contribute to a child’s poor academic achievement. Some of these issues can be alleviated with a good pair of eyeglasses while others may require vision therapy. All the doctors at Eye Vision Associates are trained in the diagnosis of vision-related learning problems.
What are some of the learning difficulties a child may encounter if they have vision issues?
Children may have difficulty reading if their near vision is blurry or the words jump around the page. Older children may have difficulty copying from the board at the front of the class or may struggle with math homework that has multiple questions on the page.
How often should I have my glasses prescription checked?
The American Optometric Association recommends yearly eye-health examinations. As part of a comprehensive eye exam your optometrist will not only check your glasses prescription for changes, but he/she will also evaluate your eye health. Every patient needs to be regularly monitored for glaucoma and other diseases. For adults, it’s important to monitor for cataracts and macular degeneration. And certain medical conditions, like diabetes, require yearly eye-health exams as well to monitor the potential side-effects they can have on the eyes. For children, visual dysfunction conditions like “lazy eye” and “crossed eyes,” can be missed with school vision screenings alone. A regular complete eye examination is an integral part of routine health care.
When should my child have their first eye examination?
Our office actually participates in InfantSee, a free program that allows for screening of infants between 6 to 12 months of age. It is a way of checking for the risk of lazy eye and the internal health of the eye. Obviously at this age, children cannot read an eyechart, but we have methods that allow us to check for any prescription and health issues. After that, it is recommended that children have a comprehensive exam at around age 3. At this age, they are able to respond more interactively and we are able to make sure their vision is developing properly. We can also begin testing for any developmental delays that may be eye or vision related and that may hinder their learning abilities in the future.
Does your office treat any eye related problems that children may have?
Any health concern related to the eye and the surrounding area can be taken care of in our office. Red eyes, allergies, blurred vision etc can all be medically related problems, and we can treat them in our office.
My child had a vision exam at my Pediatrician, why do I need to come to the eye doctor?
Vision screening programs are intended to help identify children or adults who may have undetected vision problems and refer them for further evaluation. However, they can’t be relied on to provide the same results as a comprehensive eye and vision examination. Vision screening programs are intended to help identify children or adults who may have undetected vision problems and refer them for further evaluation. Screenings can take many forms. Often schools provide periodic vision screenings for their students. A pediatrician or other primary care physician may do a vision screening as part of a school physical. When applying for a driver’s license, chances are your vision will be screened. Many times vision screenings are part of local health fairs put on by hospitals, social service agencies or fraternal groups like the Lions and Elks Clubs.
While vision screenings can uncover some individuals with vision problems, they can miss more than they find. This is a major concern about vision screening programs. Current vision screening methods cannot be relied upon to effectively identify individuals in need of vision care. In some cases, vision screening may actually serve as an unnecessary barrier to an early diagnosis of vision problems. They can create a false sense of security for those individuals who “pass” the screening, but who actually have a vision problem, thereby delaying further examination and treatment. Undetected and untreated vision problems can interfere with a child’s ability to learn in school and participation in sports or with an adult’s ability to do their job or to drive safely. The earlier a vision problem is diagnosed and treated, the less it will impact an individual’s quality of life.
We hear a lot about “seeing your eye doctor regularly.” In school-aged children, ages 5 through 17, what does regularly mean?
Annually is recommended. Children change quickly and often do not complain about vision and/or are unaware what ‘normal’ might be.
What about preschoolers? Are there signs parents should look for that would indicate a trip the optometrist is necessary?
The first routine eye exam is recommended by age 4. Parents should bring children in sooner if they have any concerns including if they notice an eye turn, head-turning while gazing, the child bumps into things, whiteness in the pupil, or unusual reflections noticed in photographs.
Why is my vision going bad once I turned 50?
As we age, there is a natural thickening and loss of flexibility of the natural lens inside the eye. This results in difficulty focusing up close and the need to hold things further away while reading or focusing on detail. This is called presbyopia. Presbyopia happens to everyone at some point. The good news is that we have many treatment options available.
When I read a label on food items, I need to move it further away from me. What’s happening?
This is called presbyopia. As we age, the proteins in the lens of the eye begin to change, resulting in a thicker/less flexible natural lens. We lose the ability to change focus from far to close and have to hold things further away to be able to see them. You don’t have to give up things you love like reading or sewing. We can provide multiple options to help you .
Is it normal to need reading glasses as we get older?
Beginning at approximately age 40, most people find themselves holding reading material further from their eyes in order to see the print clearly. This loss of close-up focusing power, known as “presbyopia” (Latin for “old man’s eyes”) is caused by age-related stiffening of the eye lens, which eventually makes reading at a normal distance impossible. At this point, those with no previous need for prescription lenses often resist their need for reading glasses out of vanity, denial, or the mistaken notion that wearing glasses makes eyes weaker. However, the fact is that eyes are going to lose their near focusing ability as we get older whether or not we wear glasses, so we might as well opt for sharper vision. To help you compensate for presbyopia, your eye doctor can prescribe reading glasses, bifocals, trifocals, or contact lenses.
What are the reading glasses?
Reading gets more difficult around age 40. This is called presbyopia. By our late 40’s mid-range gets more difficult also. Reading glasses focus at one spot, give or take or few inches. Let’s say for example 16 -20”. So when you are wearing the reading glasses, you can see clearly at 16 – 20”. Distance and walking would be blurred if you were looking through them, as well as someone’s face 3 feet away. That is why you see people wearing glasses at the end of their nose, so that they can look over them to walk. Sometime people will use one power for reading and a weaker power for computers.
Dry Eye Q&A’s
Are there some every day activities that can cause Dry Eye?
Yes. Generally, those that suffer with allergies, or have systemic inflammatory diseases like arthritis and sjogrens’, or those who use the computer or digital devices often and even contact lens wearers tend to be more susceptible to dry eye symptoms.
Are there any day to day activities that can cause Dry Eye?
Certainly age, gender and medications can be causative factors, but so can work environment (dry offices or factories), weather/seasons, and geographical location.
How do I know if I have Dry Eye?
Dry eye can cause quite a few symptoms, anything from the eyes actually feeling dry to the eyes watering often, or having a burning, itchy, or irritated feeling. One of the most common symptoms is the eyes feeling gritty or like something is in your eye. Most people will often experience blurred vision since the tears, which comprise the outermost surface of the eye, are unstable.
I have a friend whose eyes are frequently overly watery. That isn’t Dry Eye, is it?
Ironically yes, complaints of watery eyes many times can be a symptom of dry eyes. When the basal tear production falters, then the reflex tears are called into play to help out. Unfortunately, the reflex tears, which are meant to help flush out foreign bodies or function in a good “cry”, come in too great a volume for the lids to hold the tears. Thus the reflex tears spill over the eyelids and the patient feels their eyes are watery.
Is it true that Dry Eye symptoms seem to be more severe in the winter than in the warmer spring and summer months?
Unfortunately, the answer to this question isn’t always black and white. Dry Eye Syndrome (DES) is a chronic multi-factorial disease process in which signs and symptoms don’t always correlate with one another. Some patient may be more sensitive in certain seasons than others, depending on the humidity level, wind factor, working environment, and other variables. Therefore, screening for this common and chronic condition is crucial to maintaining a healthy and stable tear film, no matter the season, and should not be based on symptoms alone.
What are some of the symptoms of Dry Eye?
There are numerous symptoms of dry eye disease, but the most common ones include excess tearing, lack of tearing, burning, redness, foreign body sensation, intermittently blurred vision, and an inability to tolerate contact lenses. If you have any of the above symptoms, and want a professional diagnosis, please make an appointment here.
What are some of the warning signs of Dry Eye? How is it best detected?
Warning signs can accumulate quite gradually over many years. Not uncommonly among contact lens wearers, they may incorrectly assume the lenses are old and need to be replaced. Other times the eyes water a bit more, or burn, or itch. Many, many cases are sub-clinical – they can only be diagnosed with the use of microscopic detection and special equipment! We look at tear quality, tear meniscus, and gland structure. Research has pointed towards the testing of tear osmolarity as a reliable indicator of the disease in terms of pre-treatment and post-treatment situations.
Are there any natural treatments available for dry eyes?
Diet is very important for eye health in general. Make sure you eat plenty of green, red and orange vegetables, and fish, especially wild salmon. Most people do not get enough Omega 3 healthy oil in their diet, so we recommend taking an Omega 3 fish oil supplement. Omega 3 has been shown to relieve dry eye symptoms and is also important for heart and general health.
Scleral Lenses Q&A’s
What are Scleral Contact Lenses?
Scleral lenses are custom made lenses that rest on the sclera, or white part, of your eye. The size of the lens offers a great vision that isn’t possible with any other vision solution. These lenses provide a solution for those patients who can’t wear other types of contact lenses due to dry eyes, complications from LASIK surgery, keratoconus, and other eye issues.
How Much Do Scleral Contacts Cost?
Unlike regular contact lenses, scleral lenses are custom fit to the eye. This requires significantly more training on the part of the optometrist, expensive equipment, and multiple visits to achieve the optimal fit. In addition to the fitting process, the patient must also be trained on how to properly care, insert, and remove scleral lenses. This is why professional fees associated with fitting scleral lenses are higher than traditional contact lenses.
Dr. Peters at Peters Family Eyecare will be happy to discuss your specific costs and payment options based on your individual needs.
Does Insurance Cover The Costs Of Scleral Lenses?
Scleral lenses are not automatically covered by vision or medical insurance. Though most insurances will reimburse the costs for scleral lenses when medically necessary, the rates and restrictions tend to vary greatly from one vision insurance provider to the next.
We will be happy to provide assistance in helping you apply insurance benefits to your scleral lenses. However, given that insurance policies vary widely, we cannot guarantee how much coverage you will receive from your provider.
It’s important to note that scleral lenses, which are hard lenses, last far longer than soft contact lenses. While their costs may be higher, their many benefits and lifespan make it a worthwhile investment.
What Happens During a Scleral Lens Fitting?
- Consultation and testing (Digital Imaging)
- Measurement and fitting
- Dispensing of the lens
- Training on how to care, insert and remove the lenses.
- Follow up(s) for micro-adjustments
Are Scleral Lenses Custom Fit?
Designed by Dr. Barbara Marcussen, all scleral lenses are custom-made to match the exact contours of your eyes. A topographer digitally maps out the exact dimensions and shape of your eyes resulting in custom-designed scleral lenses that ensure maximum comfort and acuity. Thanks to our latest technology, we can provide microscopic precision when developing each scleral lens.
Our patients experience enormous relief when they see that they can manage their keratoconus and other corneal conditions successfully without surgery.