Back-to-School Checklist – a Trip to the Eye Doctor!

New teachers. New clothes. New notebooks. It’s time for the kiddos to go back-to-school! While this is an exciting time, parents and students might be missing an important task that will ensure learning success – a visit to the eye doctor for a comprehensive eye exam.

Every year, 20 million children go back to school with a vision problem that may interfere with the ability to learn or contribute to discipline problems. According to an American Optometric Association survey of K-12 teachers, 81 percent believe vision and learning are interdependent.

Reading, writing, and computer work are just a few of the tasks students are expected to perform daily that require visual skills.

Below are essential elements an optometrist will check during a comprehensive eye exam to make certain learning is maximized through good vision. (Source: American Optometric Association).

  • Visual acuity is measured at several distances so students can comfortably and efficiently read, work on the computer and see the blackboard.
  • Focusing is an important skill that is tested. Eyes must be able to focus on a specific object and to easily shift focus from one object to another. This allows the child to move visual attention from a book to the blackboard and back.
  • Visual alignment and ocular motility are evaluated. Ideally, the muscles that aim each eye converge so that both eyes are aimed at the same object, refining depth perception.
  • Binocular fusion (eye teaming) skills are assessed. These skills are critical to coordinate and align the eyes precisely so the brain can fuse the pictures it receives from each eye into a single image
  • Eye tracking skills are tested to determine whether the child can track across a page accurately and efficiently while reading, and can copy material quickly and easily from the blackboard or another piece of paper.
  • Testing preschoolers’ color vision is important because a large part of the early educational process involves the use of color identification.
  • Eye-hand-body coordination, critical for handwriting, throwing a ball or playing an instrument, and visual perception, used to interpret and understand visual information like form, size, orientation, texture and color perception, are important visual functions that are reviewed.
  • Overall eye health is determined by examining the structures of the eye.

This year, make your child’s vision a priority. Schedule their eye exam in one of our offices today.

July 30, 2010 at 7:14 pm Leave a comment

July is Eye Injury Prevention Month

Ouch! Anyone that has ever had a sprained ankle, broken arm, and/or bruised ribs are well aware injuries are no fun.

Now did you know eye injuries are extremely common? There are about one million eye injuries in the United States in a given year, and 90 percent of those eye injuries are preventable. To bring awareness to eye safety, the month of July has been nationally designated as Eye Injury Prevention Month.

Where do these eye injuries take place? Anywhere. Household chemicals such as bleach, oven cleaners, and drain cleaners can be extremely hazardous. If these chemicals splash in eyes it can permanently damage the surface of the eyes, which can result in blindness. Lawn mowers, weed trimmers, etc. can throw dust and debris into eyes resulting in injuries.

For those who work on cars – battery acid, sparks, and debris from damaged or improperly jump-started auto batteries can severely damage eyes. An estimated 1,000 eye injuries occur in the workplace alone.

Here’s what you should do to prevent these eye injuries. Safety goggles should be worn when you are working with chemicals, doing outside chores, or at a workshop. Prevention is the first and most important step in protecting eyes from injuries, so wear the proper protective eyewear.

Remember if you do experience an eye injury, seek medical attention immediately.

July 9, 2010 at 6:57 pm Leave a comment

Keep Your Eyes Safe this 4th of July!

Happy Birthday America! The Fourth of July is a fun holiday where many families and friends gather around a BBQ to celebrate the nation’s birth.  The holiday also consists of a very traditional element – fireworks. While fireworks can be beautiful and grand, there are some that are very dangerous.

Because of injuries due to fireworks, approximately 5,000 Americans were sent to the emergency room during the Fourth of July holiday in 2008, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). About 1,000 of those injuries were to the eyes.

Yikes! In addition about 45 percent of fireworks-related injuries occur to children under the age of 14. And every year, 400 Americans lose sight in one or both eyes due to fireworks.

Think about this: a sparkler burns at 1800 degrees Fahrenheit – image what it can do to a child’s eye.

Those are scary facts. So please celebrate safely this 4th of July and leave fireworks in the hands of professionals.

July 2, 2010 at 4:38 pm Leave a comment

Eye Exam – Schedule One Today!

You wouldn’t miss an appointment with a doctor for a yearly exam or decide to forego the six-month dental hygiene visit. However, many people neglect a visit to an eye doctor. Sure we all live extremely busy lives but if you have time to visit your physician and dentist, surely you have time to receive a yearly eye exam.

Think about everything you accomplish through sight – it’s a lot isn’t it? In addition, the eyes are the windows to our bodies. Dilated pupils can reveal undiagnosed problems throughout the whole body.

So who all needs comprehensive eye exams? EVERYONE. Yes, that includes individuals with healthy vision. Adults should have their eyes tested to keep prescriptions current as well as to check for early signs of eye disease. For children, eye exams play a signficant role in ensuring normal vision development.

During an eye exam, your doctor will evaluate your eyes for glasses and contacts. In addition, the eye doctor will check for eye diseases and other problems that could lead to vision loss.

A comprehensive eye exam can take up to an hour – depending on the eye doctor and the number of tests done. Some of the tests could include visual acuity tests, color blindness tests, cover tests, and Retinoscopy.

An hour of your day doesn’t sound like much does it? Especially when you take into account more than 20 million Americans experience severe vision loss. So schedule that eye exam today – remember early detection is key. Happy seeing!

June 28, 2010 at 9:19 pm Leave a comment

Happy Father’s Day!

Vision Source of Greater Tulsa would like to wish each and every Dad out there a very Happy Father’s Day.  Thank you for your strength, honesty, and wisdom.

While everyone wishes to get his or her Father a great gift every Father’s Day, it can be hard to keep thinking of something new. Here’s an idea: how about scheduling an eye exam for your Dad? Think about it – when was the last time your Dad had an eye exam? Sometimes Dads are so busy with work and family that they forget to take care of themselves.

Remember eye diseases and disorders are more common in aging adults. The key is to detect them early. Regular eye exams will help detect vision problems before they become serious.

An eye exam may not a traditional gift but it’s an investment in the health of your Dad. Your Dad looked after you for so many years; it’s time for you to start looking out for him.

June 18, 2010 at 8:20 pm Leave a comment

Feed Your Eyes

Okay, so you know that a healthy diet and exercise is the ultimate recipe for a long, happy life. Well, guess what? Everything that is good for you is also good for your vision. Nutrition is a vital component in eye health.

Research suggests antioxidants will reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration.

Vitamin A protects against blindness and Vitamin C plays a role in preventing or alleviating glaucoma. Fatty acids can help ease the symptoms of dry eye syndrome and guard against macular damage.

Incorporate the following food in your diet:

  • Vitamin A: carrots, spinach, sweet potatoes, buttermilk squash, liver, eggs
  • Vitamin C: oranges, strawberries, cantaloupes
  • Vitamin E: almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, sunflower seeds
  • Fatty acids: cold-water fish (salmon, trout)

In general be sure to eat lots of green, leafy veggies, orange fruits, some nuts, and two servings of fish per week.

So start eating healthy – your eyes will thank you.

June 11, 2010 at 7:43 pm Leave a comment

Shield Your Eyes – How to Pick the Right Sunglasses

Summer is officially here! People are heading out to the lake, the pool and just in general spending more time outside. With all this sun exposure everyone may get their fill of vitamin D but people need to remember to always wear their sunglasses.

Sunglasses aren’t just about fashion, they are essential in protecting your eyes from UV rays. Adults and children must wear sunglasses when outside. Studies have shown that 85 percent of the UV damage done to a person’s eyes occurs before they are 18 years old.

When you are looking for sunglasses pick ones that provide good eye protection, comfort and a style that matches your personality.

UV radiation from the sun can damage not only the skin of your eyelids but also the cornea and conjunctiva. In addition, UV exposure also contributes to the development of certain types of cataracts.

When searching for sunglasses, look for UV protection details on product labels. The FDA recommends you look for sunglasses with lenses that block 99 to 100 percent of UVA and UVB radiation.

When it comes to your sunglass lens tint, choose which ever color you like best. Color does not impact UV protection. For example gray lens tints reduce brightness but do not reduce color. Whereas brown and amber glasses distort colors more than gray tints do.

Sunglasses are widely known as a stylish fashion accessory. There are so many different frames and styles out there, so take the time to try on as many styles as possible. Whether you get designer sunglasses or a cheaper brand, make sure they offer UV protection.

Vision Source of Greater Tulsa makes prescription lenses for just about any sunglass frame. So come on in and we’ll help you find the perfect pair.

June 4, 2010 at 4:22 pm 1 comment

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