It’s August and while summer vacation is winding down, students and parents are preparing for another school year. This year, don’t forget to include on your back-to-school checklist an annual eye exam.
It is important to have your child’s eyes tested, because it can lead to greater success in the classroom since much of a child’s learning occurs visually.
Have you noticed any change in your child’s vision? Here are some signs and behaviors you can watch for that may indicate a child is struggling with his or her vision.
Is Your Child Doing Any of the Following?
- Rubs eyes frequently;
- Closes or covers one eye;
- Tilts head or thrusts head forward;
- Has trouble reading or doing other close-up work, or holds objects close to eyes to see;
- Blinks more than usual or seems cranky when doing close-up work; or
- Squints eyes or frowns.
Does Your Child Say Any of the Following?
- “I can’t see very well”
- After doing close-up work, your child says, “I feel dizzy,” or “I have a headache,”
- “Everything looks blurry,” or “I see double.”
It is recommended that your child have an annual eye exam to screen for any abnormal changes in vision or to confirm that all is well. Let’s start the new school year off with an “A” in vision!
When people think of eye injuries at work, many conjure up the jobs that seem most risky to the eyes, like welder, construction worker, or chemical engineer (handling chlorine, acid and other chemicals). These are the types of jobs with the highest risk of having a foreign object enter the eye.
While those jobs do involve risk to the eyes, this month during Workplace Eye Wellness Month, we take a look at a more recent threat to our vision thanks to technology and convenience.
According to Pew Research Center, 77% of Americans own a smartphone, up from 35% in 2001. For many, this is the primary way they access digital information, via texting, email, engaging in social media platforms and surfing the web. Between smart phones, laptops and digital pads, nearly everyone in the U.S. is online some time during the day or night, and your eyes know it. Not so “smart” says The American Academy of Ophthalmology.
There are some simple ways to get relief from Digital Eye Strain, also known as Computer Vision Syndrome.
- Observe the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break and look at something 20-feet away and rest your eyes for 15 minutes after two hours of continuous computer use.
- Make sure that you’re looking down toward your computer screen, optimally about 4-5 inches below eye level as measured from the center of the screen and 20-28 inches from the eyes. Use an anti-glare screen when possible.
- Lighting is important. Position the computer screen away from the glare of light sources, particularly overhead lighting and windows. Use blinds or drapes on windows and switch to lower wattage bulbs in your desk lamps.
- If you’re using a word processing program, you might be able to raise the % size of your font (as shown below in the upper right of figure A), without affecting your document format.
This visual adjustment is an easy way to work with larger font without reformatting.
- This is a simple one: make an effort to blink frequently, keep eye drops by your side and stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
If you have uncorrected vision problems, it can increase the severity of Digital Eye Strain or Computer Vision Syndrome. Make an appointment with your eye care professional to see if there’s anything that can be done to improve your vision and comfort while using digital devices.
Next time, we’ll explore Personal Protective Equipment for your eyes, or PPE.
At Rand Eye Institute, we’ve been sharing helpful tips on getting your kids ready for back to school by reminding you that they should have their vision checked before the school bell rings.
But here’s a good suggestion: Why not make a dual eye exam appointment? Consider having your vision and your child’s vision checked all in one visit, after all, August is “National Eye Exam Month”.
By scheduling a comprehensive eye exam at Rand Eye Institute, you could be heading off future vision problems now, especially if you have diabetes or have a family history of vision problems.
So with vision on our mind this month, keep good vision in the family. Call or “Click” to schedule a dual eye exam* for you and your son or daughter. From our family at Rand Eye Institute, to yours, have a safe Fall season and a successful jump-start to a successful school year.
Know your Rand Eye-Q: Did you know that ophthalmology care is covered under your medical insurance and not your vision plan, this is a common misconception. Please feel free to call us to see if our specialists are participating with your medical insurance.
*A dual eye exam appointment is considered two separate appointments. Ask our appointment specialist for more information when scheduling your appointments.
At Rand Eye Institute, we know how important it is for you to keep up with your Eye-Q, that is, knowledge about your vision and the understanding of how to keep yours at its brightest and best.
August is “National Eye Exam Month” and healthy vision starts with an eye exam. The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends that you have a baseline eye exam at age 40, the time when the early signs of disease or changes in your vision may occur. A baseline screening can help identify signs of eye disease at an early stage, when treatment can have the greatest impact on preserving your vision.
If you’re 65 or older, it’s recommended that you have your eyes checked every year or two for signs of age-related diseases, like glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.
During a dilated eye exam you’ll be checked for the following:
- Medical/family history
- Pupil reaction
- Side/peripheral vision
- Eye movement, muscle balance and coordination
- Focusing ability along with potential refractive errors (myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism, presbyopia) will be evaluated
- Check prescription of eye glasses against new refraction testing
- Eye pressure
- Front part of your eye
- Retina and optic nerve
One of our experienced ophthalmologists will then be checking on the general health of your eye, tracking any disorder that might impair your vision (cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy).
The doctor may suggest additional testing to further evaluate your vision using specialized testing equipment. These tests can be crucial in diagnosing a disease in its early stages and give the doctor an opportunity to suggest a treatment or cure. We are strong advocates of prevention through early detection.
To schedule a comprehensive eye exam, call us at 954-782-1700 and select the “appointment specialist” prompt, or to fill out our convenient appointment request form Click Here. We look forward to seeing you at the Rand Eye Institute, offering Excellence in Ophthalmology.
The Rand Eye Institute wants to wish you all a blessed Thanksgiving Day filled with love, joy and happiness.
We would like to take this opportunity to Thank You! for choosing the Rand Eye Institute, for all your eye care needs.
Have a Safe and HAPPY THANKSGIVING!
Our eyes age just as the rest of our body does. It is crucial to take care of our eyes with the same persistence that we do with our mind and body.
1. Lutein and Zeaxanthin
These are two types of potent antioxidants that can be beneficial for eye diseases like macular degeneration.
Ward of eye problems by indulging in foods that are rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, such as:
2. Whole Grains and Cereals
Sugars and refined white flours that are commonly found in breads and cereal may increase your risk of age-related eye diseases. Instead opt for 100 percent whole-grain breads and cereals that have lots of fiber, which actually slows down the digestion and absorption of sugars and starches. Fiber also keeps you feeling full, which makes it easier to limit the amount of calories you consume.
3. Avoid Sodium
High sodium intake may add to your risk of cataract formation. Use less salt, and look for sodium content on the labels of canned and packaged foods. Stay below 2,000 mg of sodium each day. Choose fresh over frozen foods whenever possible.
4. Stay Hydrated
This may seem obvious, but it is also extremely crucial in keeping your eyes healthy and working to their best ability. Proper hydration also may reduce irritation from dry eyes. Round out a healthy diet with low-fat dairy products such as skim or 1 percent milk for calcium, and healthy beverages such as 100% vegetable juices, fruit juices, non-caffeinated herbal teas and water. Proper hydration also may reduce irritation from dry eyes.
5. Choose Healthy Fats
The omega-3 essential fatty acids found in fish, flaxseed oil, walnuts and canola oil help prevent dry eyes and even cataracts. Eat fish or seafood twice weekly, or take flax oil everyday.
As like any other part of your body, with time your eyes do get older. It is important to take care of your eyes to keep them young and fresh.
Here are a few simple ways to do just that:
Visit your eye care practitioner – comprehensive eye exams are recommended on a regular basis for adults and those who frequently use computers. For those 65 and older, as well as those with family history of eye disease, it is advised that you visit your eye care practitioner more frequently.
Follow the 20-20-20 rule – if you frequently use computers, be sure to take a 20 second break after every 20 minutes of use. Stare at something approximately 20 feet away – this will allow your eyes to relax.
Stay up to date on the normal aging process for your eyes – continuously monitor your health and be aware of the normal changes to your eyes that occur with age.
Protect your eyes from the sun! Spending too long in the sun without protection can damage your eyes by contributing to cataracts, macular degeneration and cancer.
It is estimated that 80% of education, nowadays, is taught visually. For children with sight problems, this could be a major issue. The inability to see clearly directly affects academic performance as well as a student’s self esteem.
Common signs of vision troubles in children include: frequently rubbing eyes, squinting, tilting or turning head to look at objects, wandering eyes, or squinting eyes.
If your child displays any of these symptoms, schedule an appointment to have their eyes checked. Many of these conditions, if diagnosed early, can be treated and vision can be restored. If the condition is not diagnosed until later in life, treatment will not be as effective.
Talk to your child’s teacher, as they are usually the first to detect these symptoms in the classroom.
The recommended pediatric eye Exam schedule for children are:
- First 12 months – Infants, particularly premature babies, should have an eye exam in the first 12 months.
- Age 2 or 3 years – Preschool is a critical time for learning.
Preschoolers should have an eye exam when they are old enough to understand and respond to the exam.
- Age 5 – Kindergarten is also a critical time for learning.
Kindergartners should have an eye exam before entering school.
- Children without identified vision problems should then have a comprehensive eye exam every two years.
- Children who wear glasses or who have other eye conditions should see the eye doctor at least annually, or more often, as recommended by the doctor.
If you or your child notice a change in their vision, schedule an appointment with your eye doctor as soon as possible.
It is recommended that your child has annual eye exams, to screen for any abnormal changes in vision.
There is a lot you can do to ensure an easy life for seniors who choose to live an independent life. Here are some small changes you can make, that will help your loved one live an easier life.
See an Ophthalmologist
Those with low vision can improve their quality of life through low vision rehabilitation, which teaches people how to use their remaining sight more effectively and can be arranged through an ophthalmologist – a medical doctor specializing in the diagnosis, medical and surgical treatment of eye diseases and conditions.
Make things Bigger
Sit closer to the television or to the stage at performances. Get large books, phone dials and playing cards. Also, carry magnifiers for help with menus, prescription bottles and price tags.
Make things Brighter
Make sure areas are well lit and cover shiny surfaces to reduce glare. For instance, drink coffee from a white mug and always use a felt-tipped pen with black ink.
Many of today’s newer technologies have applications that can help with low vision. For example, e-readers allow users to adjust the font size and contrast. Many smartphones and tablets can be used to magnify print, identify cash bills and provide voice-navigated directions.
Organize and Label
Designate spots for your keys, wallet and frequently used items in your refrigerator. Mark thermostats and dials with high contrast markers from a fabric store; label medications with markers or rubber bands; and safety-pin labels onto similarly colored clothing to tell them apart.
Seniors enjoy their independence just as we do! That’s why regular checkups and screenings are very important, as you age.
An annual eye checkup is a simple, low-stress way to keep tabs on your eye and overall health.
Here are some of the things your doctor will be looking for:
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD)
This is the leading cause of blindness among seniors. But, early detection and treatment can slow its progress significantly. There are a couple different types of AMD. The type determines the treatment – ranging from laser surgery, medication or dietary supplements to slow the disorder.
Glaucoma has been called, “the silent thief of sight” because too often, it goes unnoticed before too much damage is done to save vision. It’s caused by too much pressure in the eyes. When doctors catch it early, they can often manage it effectively and prevent vision loss.
Cataracts are a nearly unavoidable part of aging. Over time, the lens in the eyes can get cloudy and yellow. But, updated eyewear prescriptions can often delay surgery, which is easy and low-risk.
This affects diabetic patients and can rob sight. The tiny blood vessels in the eye that feed the retina become damaged and allow fluids to seep into the eye. Treatment includes changes in diet and exercise, and also surgery.
Vision changes and usually worsens with age. A yearly checkup will help keep vision sharp with updated eyewear prescriptions.