1) When should I first have my child’s eyes examined, and is the school eye check enough to ensure that my child’s eyes are ok?
ANSWER: I always tell parents that there is really no specific time to start children’s eye exams, and that I will see them at ANY age if the parent notices anything suspicious, such as:
-red or swollen eyes or eyelids,
-an eye that turns inward or outward
-excessive eye rubbing or squinting
-discharge from the eye
Fortunately, eye problems in infants and toddlers and pre-schoolers are not that common, so I highly suggest that the child’s first eye exam (barring any of the above-mentioned conditions) be at around age 5, and certainly no later than age 7, when reading and writing skills come into play.
As to the second part of the question concerning school eye screenings, there is really no comparison to a full eye examination. A vision evaluation in my office always includes tests for eye alignment, color vision perception, depth perception, eye movement control, precise visual acuity at both distance
and reading, and eye health assessment. Thorough consultation with the parent concerning recommendations and treatment protocols is also a vital part of the examination.
The schools certainly do not have the time or professional expertise to do all of these testing protocols, so you should make sure that your child receives a professional eye exam no later than age 7.
2. Are contact lenses safe, and at what age should I consider contact lenses as an option for my child?
ANSWER: Today’s contact lens technology indeed insures that properly fitted contact lenses are a safe option for vision correction. Professional contact lens fitting
– complete eye-health evaluation
– complete medical and ocular history
– thorough refraction of the eyes
– precise measurement of the eye’s curvature
– trial in-office fitting to show the patient the comfort and vision to be expected
To be more specific, you should be professionally fitted and monitored by an experienced practitioner who is willing to spent the necessary amount of time with you. It is your eye doctor’s clinical skills that will assure you that your eye health is not compromised, and the contact lenses are providing maximum visual acuity without any undo discomfort. I personally prefer to wait until the child (patient) is in middle school before considering contact lenses (at least age 12).
It is not too early to be thinking about preparation for back to school time. Make sure to include your child’s vision examination as part of the process.
HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE
Nearly 1 in 3 adults has high blood pressure or hypertension reports the American Heart Association. To understand the relation of hypertension and our eyes: Every heartbeat causes blood to put pressure on the arteries and capillaries that carry it. High blood pressure is when your heartbeat exerts too much pressure on the vessels. Hypertension that goes on for an extended time can damage the vessels which in turn will cause harm to the organs they supply.
…including the eyes.
High blood pressure can even hamper your vision by causing swelling in the optic nerve. It also causes small hemorrhages and narrowing of the eyes’ blood vessels. Other eye related issues related to high blood pressure are: optic neuropathy (damage of the optic nerve caused by a blockage of its blood supply), choroidopathy(fluid build up under the retina), and hypertensive retinopathy (retinal vascular damage).
2) Symptoms of eye damage caused by high blood pressure can vary…such as impaired vision, double vision, headaches, blind spots, burst blood vessels. Often these symptoms do not manifest till much damage has already occurred.
3) Risk Factors include
-high blood pressure over a long period
-hardening of the arteries
The main therapy is to keep high blood pressure under control through medications and life style changes.Taking steps to reduce the above risk factors is vital.
High blood pressure can damage your eyes as well as other organs of your body. Let your health care practitioners, including your optometrist, know of any family history of high blood pressure, stroke, cardiac disease. Have your pressure checked on a regular basis and follow guidelines for healthy living.
4 TIPS FOR BACK TO SCHOOL EYE HEALTH
Does it seem like summer is flying as quickly as usual? It is time to start planning for the fall and back to school eye exams are high on the agenda for families.
1) EYE EXAM SAVVY
—Know the difference between vision screenings and a comprehensive eye exam.
—Often schools will perform periodic visual screenings. While many children have been helped by these beneficial screenings, some vision difficulties can go completely unnoticed. Vision conditions which are imperceptible during a screening can interfere with the child’s academic achievement and athletics participation.
A complete eye exam evaluates such areas as
-visual function such as depth perception,
peripheral vision and color vision
-eye focusing and movement ability
-family eye health history
All are vision aspects vital for a child’s development. A vision screening is no substitute for an eye health exam.
2) SCREEN HYGIENE
We are all spending a larger part of our day staring at screens. The Huffington Post reports that more leisure time is now spent on digital devices than watching television. With visual systems still developing, vision coordination/organization demands on children are even more exacting than upon adults. Some rules of thumb to follow:
-20/20/20 rule- every 20 minutes focus on an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds
–consider computer glasses for more accurate acuity and for protection from blue light damage to the eyes
–Encourage and enforce “screen vacations..”
a day or afternoon without any screen time.
3) HYGIENE- Protect from illness
Your eyes are not only the window to your soul but also a portal to illness. Specific eye diseases such as conjunctivitis (pink eye), viruses like the flu or a common cold, can invade your body via your eyes.
-don’t share personal items-makeup, towels
-never share “costume” or any other contact lenses
-avoid touching or rubbing your eyes
4) SPORTS VISION PROTECTION
Between the ages of 11-14 most children’s eye injuries occur when playing sports without the appropriate protection.
–The National Eye Institute reports nearly 35,000 eye accidents a year. Articles by The Vision
Council state that eye injuries are the leading cause of blindness in children.
– Options for protective eyewear include: general sport goggles, helmet goggles, and swimming goggles. Our office carries Rec-Specs which can be ordered with or without prescriptions and tints.
Before your children pack school supplies in their backpacks and get on the school bus, make sure that their eyes are ready for a great school year in the classroom and on the playing fields.
8 EYE SYMPTOMS NOT TO IGNORE
Regular eye exams are a vital component of vision health, but can also impact a person’s general health.Symptoms that are potentially serious can go undetected without a comprehensive eye exam. Eye exams are not only about getting glasses or contactsbut also about attending to any emerging conditions dealing with vision loss.
A study published in the American Academy of Optometry journal Optometry and Vision Science indicates that over 100 million people in the world have correctable vision deficits. It is estimated that only half of the 61 million people who are at high risk for vision loss had an eye exam in the last year.
1) Sudden eyelid droop
A sudden droop in one of your eyes could point to an aneurysm or a bulging weak area in an artery in your brain. They aren’t always dangerous but when they rupture, they can cause brain damage or death.If pupils are unequal in size, the indication for an aneurysm is even stronger.
Anyone experiencing these symptoms should immediately go to an emergency room.
2) Eyeball pain
Sudden pain in your eye, without any apparent injury, could be due to glaucoma with building eye pressure.Other possible reasons include eye inflammation or dry eyes.
Glaucoma is a disease involving optic nerve damage. Eye pressure plays a role in damaging the delicate nerves. When a large number of nerve fibers are impaired, blind spots occur. Eye pain could be an early sign of glaucoma.
If you experience severe pain, make an emergency visit to your eye doctor within 24 hours.
3) Hazy, blurred vision in your visual field
This symptom could be related to a clot that is that is obstructing circulation in the brain, optic nerve, or retina.It could indicate that the person is having a stroke or be at risk for an imminent stroke. Retinal detachment is another possible cause of this symptom.
Go to an emergency room, even if the symptom is transient.
4) Sudden increase in floaters or flashing lights
Floaters are very common for many people…spots that drift and are even more pronounce is certain lighting. Infrequent floaters are not dangerous, but a sudden increase of floaters or flashing lights can mean a retinal tear or detachment requiring immediate surgery. A tear or detachment occurs when the the vitreous pulls away from the retina. Anyone can experience a retinal tear or detachment, but risk factors include age, near sightedness, recent cataract surgery, and trauma.
See your eye doctor immediately within 24 hours.
5) Eye redness
Everyone occasionally has redness in their eyes.Common causes are allergy or acute injury or pink eye. With pink eye, over the counter drops can actually make the condition worse. Early detection and treatment help to halt the contagion.
Infrequent redness in the eyes is not necessarily a concern.However if it occurs more often and is
present with swelling, itching, and soreness, the patient should make an appointment to see the
eye doctor immediately.
6) Foreign object in eye
Foreign objects in the eyes can cause different degrees of pain from scratchy and annoying to
excruciatingly painful. If you are unable to flush out the object with clean water or saline, get
medical assistance promptly. Do not rub or try to remove the object yourself.
7) Discharge from the eye/crusty eye
If you notice a change in the color or consistency of your eye discharge, it could suggest that you have an eye infection. With pink eye, there is usually a thick green or yellow discharge.
8) Blurry vision, especially in one eye
You might chalk up blurry vision to fatigue or even illness, but this can actually be a sign of a variety of serious eye problems, from glaucoma to torn retina to AMD. If you’re experiencing blurry vision, get it checked out. And if the blurred vision is only in one eye, have it checked immediately.
Blurry vision can be a sign of serious eye conditions including a torn retina, Age-Related Macular Degeneration, and glaucoma. Have your eyes checked, and if the blurriness is in only one eye, have it immediately checked as a potential emergency.
You only have one pair of eyes…it is important to take good care of them. Better to be overly cautious with a minor issue than insufficiently attentive to a serious condition. Do not ever hesitate to call your eye doctor with concerns about your eye health. And schedule your regular eye exam as recommended by your doctor.
8 EYEWEAR TRENDS FOR SPRING:
Fun and Fashion
Spring is right around the corner…daylight
savings time began on March 13. It’s not too early to think about choosing spring eyewear,
Some CURRENT TRENDS for this season are:
- Pastels in frame colors
- Combination colored frames
- Vibrant hues in frame colors, especially blues and reds
- Big, big sunglasses
- Bling…glitter accent
- Geek chic frames
- Grooved rimless and rimless frames
- Cat’s eye shape
Our office has approximately 1,000 frames ranging from economy lines to current designer fashion eyewear.
Our Banana Republic frames have been especially popular. The design is classic, yet trendy.
Other popular designers available at our office are:
With an eye on spring…come in and take a look at this season’s most flattering frames.
Mon Wed Thur Fri
8:30 am-5:00 pm….(closed 12-1)
8:30 am-7:00 pm….(closed 1-3)
6 THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT :
Internet shopping is great for convenience and ease. One click of the mouse and your product is delivered in a few days. This usually works out well for items like office supplies, electronics, and often, clothes. However, buying prescription glasses online is not always such a simple, satisfying experience.
Quality is remembered long after the price is forgotten.
Quality issues are a clear and present danger
– Out of every 200 glasses ordered, only 154 pairs were received
– 44.8% had incorrect prescriptions or safety issues , including cracked or shattered lenses
– 29% had at least one lens that failed to match the ordered prescription
– 19% of adult lenses failed impact resistance testing – 25% of Children’s lenses failed impact resistance testing
Looking good is the best revenge.
Eyeglasses are a custom-made item….a person’s particular head shape/size and eyes can vary widely. Anyone who has ever picked out a pair of frames will tell you that they look different on your face than on the display.
Life is like a multiple choice test …sometimes the choices confuse you not the question itself.
Consumer Reports states, “There are so many choices for lenses and coatings, it’s easy to be confused about what’s worth buying” in regard to online prescription glasses. Once the eye exam is done and you are selecting frames, the choices (and befuddlement) start.
Frame and lens selection can be the most complicated part of the whole process. This is where the expert advice and the personal service of an optician working individually with you are valuable. There are many options for frames and lenses, including multifocal and progressive lenses, computer, reading and occupational glasses.
…And this also includes choices for different lens materials and coatings. Making the right selection can improve your visual comfort, support good eye health, and save you money on options you don’t need.
The devil is in the detail
Precise customization of your lenses involves different lens measurements: the optical center of your lenses is the area that gives you the truest vision and it is located directly in front of your pupils. Measuring your own pupil distance can be like trying to cut your own hair.
In particular, multi focal lenses present an even bigger challenge. Lenses combining different distances such as reading, distance, computer, special considerations for your occupation are very difficult to self measure.
Accurate measurements make all the difference in how successfully you will wear your glasses. Incorrect lenses can also be dangerous for driving, machine operation, walking up and down stairs.
Take note: higher prescription glasses especially require precise measurements and custom fit.
5) AT YOUR SERVICE
Customers don’t expect you to be perfect. They do expect you to fix things when they go
When there is an issue with the fit of the frame, the prescription, or the way the glasses look once you are wearing them, many online customers find the convenience of ordering glasses in their home quickly fades. Consumers who ordered online for the convenience find they need to make the trip to their local optician anyway for adjustments, troubleshooting, and repairs. Since the glasses were purchased online, there is generally a charge for these services. When the fit feels wrong or the lenses are causing headaches, it is a chore to find someone who will make the problem go away.
6) EYE HEALTH AND BEYOND
All the money in the world can’t buy you back good health.
Wherever you buy your glasses , regular eye exams and contact lens checkups are one of the most important investments you can make for your health. The temptation to skip this part and click a new pair of glasses into your online shopping bag may be an unintended consequence of quick-fix web shopping.
Besides ruling out vision problems, and eye diseases like cataracts, macular degeneration, glaucoma , other conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetic retinopathy can be detected in a professional eye exam.
WHEN A DEAL IS NOT A DEAL
A bargain is something you can’t use at a price you can’t resist. Franklin P. Jones
Sometimes one pays most for the things one gets for nothing. Albert Einstein
At first thought, ordering glasses online seems to be convenient. However living with your new prescription can be another matter.
If you choose to order prescription glasses on the web, be sure to proceed cautiously and keep in mind “buyer beware.” The professional and custom care that an optometrist and optician’s office provides is worth a trip for glasses that you will be living with for many months to come.
21st CENTURY REVOLUTION IN VISION
“No object is mysterious. The mystery is your eye.”
– Elizabeth Bowen
We have all had the experience. Outdoor scenes showing individual leaves, textured grass, and vivid, eye-catching colors. After the first time you see an HD TV, whether at a friend’s house or in a store….you will never opt to buy an analog model again.
Visualize having the same experience with glasses….the new revolution in eyeglasses is the high def lens…also know by the terms free form and digital lenses. This is the latest advance in lens technology and patients are discovering the difference.
What are HD Lenses?
HD lenses are more highly customized than conventional lenses…surfaced in a precise and individualized manner. Choosing these lenses is like buying a personally tailored suit or dress as opposed to an off the rack model.
The difference starts with the manufacturing process in which lens designers are not limited to using the traditional semi-finished lens blanks. The designer has more options and freedom to personalize the lens to the precise prescription needs of the patient.
Perhaps the patient previously had restrictions on the size and shape of the frame they could choose due to their prescription…but because of the new advances nearly any frame can be fit to his or her particular measurements. This gives you a wider choice of frame styles.
Where these lenses truly prove themselves is as progressive lenses: multifocal lenses without the bifocal lines. Conventional progressives have distortions in the peripheral or side vision. Due to the refined manufacturing process, the HD progressives have a wider field of vision with reduced distortion.
– sharper overall quality of vision and better contrast.
– faster and easier adaption to progressive lenses without the learning curve (and dizziness) of the conventional lens adjustment period.
– improved night vision with less glare.
– more versatility in choice of frames.
– enhanced peripheral or side vision – for example, not as much need to turn your head to see your car mirrors.
– bigger reading area with progressive lenses (or non-line bifocals).
Our office can provide you with the personalized and professional care that you need to ensure success with your HD lenses.
The first step is to schedule an eye health and vision exam with our doctors. A personal consultation with our opticians to select frames and do measurements for HD lenses would follow.
You and your prescription needs are unique! Why not select your glasses with that in mind?
Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.
True terror is to wake up one morning and discover that your high school class is running the country.
There is an abundance of commentary and advice about aging well. As we get older we are more at risk for eye diseases but it doesn’t mean that serious reduction or loss of sight are unavoidable. Taking care of your vision is an important tool in your bag of tricks.
Vision Risks with age:
- -difficulty reading, especially in low light
- -dry, itchy eyes, particularly for women past menopause
- -visual effects of systemic conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes; medication side effects
- -age related macular degeneration
***An estimated 40-50% of all age related blindness can be avoided or treated with early detection***
Safeguarding your eyes:
- -regular eye exams are the cornerstone of visual health-make your eye doctor aware of any diseases that run in your family
- – wear sunglasses and a hat for extra protection
- – stop smoking and avoid second hand smoke
- – establish an exercise regimen for overall health
- – Eat a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables, nuts, and fish. Researchers have found that eating a high amount of olive oil and green leafy vegetables can actually help to decrease the development of age related macular degeneration.
Larry Cusma OD, Glenville, NY