Veronica’s Vision Therapy Success
Congratulations to Veronica! Veronica is 8-years-old and a recent graduate of vision therapy at our Center for Vision Development. We were so pleased to help Veronica improve her focus and do better in school. Her mother, Anne Schutte, a developmental psychologist, shared her story with us. Veronica also filled us in on her experience as well.
Anne Schutte, mother of Vision Therapy graduate Veronica
When our daughter came home from school complaining about her eyes being blurry when she looked from the board to her paper and vice versa, we were skeptical. I thought that she just wanted to have glasses like her friends. When we went to see Dr. Rachel Smith and went through the various evaluations, we found out that there actually was something wrong. Looking back, we realized that there were other signs of vision issues that we had not attributed to her vision. We realized her eyes, rather than her allergies, were causing her nightly headaches. We also learned that her vision problems explained her struggles with learning to read, as well as her “clumsiness,” and balance issues. After less than two months of therapy, her nightly headaches disappeared completely. This alone made therapy worth it. After about 4 and a half months of therapy, her reading improved (she went from reading simple readers to chapter books), and she started to enjoy reading. We no longer had to force her to read! After finishing therapy, she also appeared more coordinated and had fewer bruises!
I am a development psychologist, so I know how important sensory input is for the development of a multitude of systems. A seemingly minor vision issue can have a cascading effect on many areas of development, including cognition and perception, motor control, and even social development. I am incredibly thankful to Dr. Smith and the vision therapists for the work they do. Success depends on the commitment of the therapists, the child, and the parents. It isn’t easy, but it can be successful, and lead to many positive changes.
Vision therapy was a very fun thing. I liked having Ms. Kim as my vision therapist. I liked having it as an experience in my life. Vision therapy helped me to be able to cross and straighten my eyes, and have my eyes work together. Vision therapy helped me when I was in school, because when I looked from the board to the paper it would be blurry sometimes. When I went to the eye doctor I found out I needed vision therapy. Some of the activities were not very fun and some were very fun. One of my favorites was all the games I got to play in between the difficult activities. Vision therapy helped me a lot. It helped me with my ability to focus on things. It helped me in school. Now I can do tests, see the board, and do better in school. Thanks vision therapy!
March is Workplace Eye Wellness Month
Work-related eye injuries are not just limited to jobs that require eye safety gear – an office job can be just as hard on your eyes. One common issue is computer vision syndrome where too much screen time without breaks causes headaches, neck pain, back strain, and can even lead to dry eye disease. Staring at a screen prevents you from blinking enough to keep your eyes lubricated and moistened.
- Adjust your screen away from direct light and use an anti-glare screen.
- Practice 20-20-20! Every 20 minutes, look at an object 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.
- Blink regularly to prevent your eyes from becoming too dry.
- Visit EyeCare Specialties for regular comprehensive eye exams.
When it comes to the health of your eyes in the workplace or anywhere else, EyeCare Specialties has you covered. Our optometrists and staff offer compassionate and innovative optometric care to each and every patient during Workplace Eye Wellness month and beyond. From comprehensive eye health exams to the best selection in eyewear, EyeCare Specialties is committed to providing professional and personalized care to their patients.
The Science of Tears: Do I Have Dry Eye?
Do you experience eye dryness, sensitivity to light, blurred vision, or discomfort in windy or dry conditions? What about difficulty performing visual tasks, difficulty wearing contact lenses, frequent use of eye drops, or amplified symptoms later in the day? These are all signs that you may be experiencing a common condition called keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS), and commonly referred to as Dry Eye Syndrome.
While tears are necessary for your overall eye health, dry eyes can occur when tear production and drainage is not in balance. Without proper treatment, inadequate tears can make daily activities frustrating, affecting your personal and professional life. Everyday tasks like reading, watching TV, driving, or working on the computer can be more difficult when you are experiencing Dry Eye.
The most common form of Dry Eye is Evaporative Dry Eye, which represents 86% of all Dry Eye cases. Evaporative Dry Eye results from a shortage of oil in your tears caused by a blockage in your eyelid (Meibomian) glands, leading to tears that evaporate faster than normal. Dry Eye can be caused by the natural aging process, medications, certain medical conditions like diabetes and thyroid issues, environmental factors, and more.
LipiFlow is a procedure designed to treat the root cause of Evaporative Dry Eye, blocked Meibomian glands. LipiFlow works by applying directed energy to the eyelid near the affected glands — precisely targeted warmth from the back of the eyelid, and slight pressure from the front. The LipiFlow treatment can unblock glands, interrupt physical deterioration and, in most cases, provide symptom relief.
Lipiflow is a drug-free procedure that improves your gland function. Over 86% of patients with a single Lipiflow procedure showed an improvement in meibomian gland function and dry eye symptoms. We use the LipiFlow System to treat patients right in our office with confidence and efficiency.
If you are suffering from dry, red, irritated eyes, talk to your optometrist about what treatment options would work best for you. To find out more about LipiFlow, check out our Videos page or the LipiFlow page.
Eyesight is Acuity and Vision
Your eyesight is comprised of the performance of the all the components involved in your visual system. Acuity and vision are two important elements of your total eyesight, and each can have unique issues and challenges.
Acuity is the clearness of your vision and the most common measurement of your eyesight. Acuity is measured by the ability to identify symbols of varied sizes at a specific distance. You’ve probably had many eye exams to test the acuity of your eyes. The acuity of your eyesight is the smallest size that you can clearly identify. For example, an acuity of 20/20 generally means that from 20 feet away you can see as clearly as a person with normal eyesight would see from 20 feet away. An acuity of 20/40 means that from 20 feet away you can see the same as a person with normal eyesight would see from 40 feet away. The maximum acuity of the human eye is generally thought to be around 20/10, which means you can see with more acuity than is thought to be normal.
Vision, on the other hand, refers to a dynamic thought process that creates your comprehension of what you see using your senses to create perception of the world around you. While your acuity will help you read signs clearly at a distance when driving down the road, vision will help you perceive distances between those signs, judge the speed of the car you are passing, merge safely, and notice a pedestrian in the road suddenly.
Each attribute can have specific issues. For example, problems with your eyesight might be an astigmatism where an irregularly shaped cornea or lens makes it difficult for light to focus properly on the retina and vision becomes blurred at any distance. Myopia, or nearsightedness, is another common problem where you cannot see distant objects as clearly as objects that are near. Problems with your vision may include color blindness or amblyopia, where the vision in one eye suffers because the brain and eye are not working properly together.
At EyeCare Specialties, we have specialists that can help you to see your best no matter what element of your eyesight is challenging to you. From Vision Therapy to corrective lenses, we will help you see with your best eyesight possible.
Sources: National Eye Institute (NEI) and American Optometric Association
Protecting Your Vision
Protecting your vision and prioritizing healthy eyes has wide-reaching health benefits that can help you prevent disease and maintain quality eyesight throughout your life. Following these three tips will help you set yourself up for successful eye health in 2018 and beyond.
Schedule an appointment in 2018!
Schedule an appointment to see us for a comprehensive exam in 2018. Many common eye diseases like glaucoma and macular degeneration can only be revealed through regular exams from your eye doctor. Catching these diseases in their early stages is the best way to protect yourself from vision loss. Even if no disease is detected, an eye exam can reveal common vision problems that many people don’t realize can be improved upon or even prevent further loss with glasses or contact lenses.
Use protective eyewear and sunglasses
Protecting your eyes from the sun’s ultraviolet rays or eye injuries is one of best ways to protect your vision. Fortunately, it has never looked so good on you! Come visit our optical gallery and invest in a pair of sunglasses that block out both UV radiation or quality protective eyewear for sports and other activities.
Manage your health
Eat a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables, maintain a healthy weight, and quit smoking as soon as possible. These three health tips will not only improve your overall health, but each of them can lower your risk of developing health conditions and diseases that lead to vision loss.
Sources: The National Eye Institute (NEI)
Myopia in the Modern Age
Myopia is the technical term for nearsightedness. It means that things at a distance are not clear and easy to see. Once myopia is discovered during a child’s eye exam, it typically increases in children until about the age of 21.
Between the 1970s and the early 2000s, the incidents of myopia in the US almost doubled to 42%. People are losing their distance vision at an alarming rate, and no one really knows why. The cause is debated amongst researchers who have studied everything from the effects of device use to bright sunlight and how eyes focus on far away objects. While the increase in children’s activities surrounding using devices and looking at books indoors might play a role, many studies have shown that spending time outdoors in early childhood reduces the onset of myopia. Some scientists believe it could be related to exposure to sunlight or the opportunity to allow eyes to focus on objects far away.
While the exact cause may not be clear, we can slow down myopia in children by using contact lenses that slow down the progression of nearsightedness so that the child does not develop as high of a degree of myopia. Not only does this mean that the child’s vision will clearer, but the health risks associated with myopia, such as retinal detachment, glaucoma, and cataracts, can also be slowed down to help the child live their life to the fullest.
For more information on correcting myopia, check out our video with Dr. Todd Pfeil.
Sources: National Eyes Institute, Wired Magazine