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10% of Children Have Undetected Vision Problems

10% of Children Have Undetected Vision Problems 640×350Almost every classroom has children who struggle more than their peers, whether academically, socially or [behaviorally].

What many parents and teachers don’t realize is that these kids may have a visual skill deficit that’s triggering their struggles.

Experts estimate that 1 in 10 children will go through early childhood with an undiagnosed visual problem that can lead to learning and behavioral problems.

That’s why it’s crucial to have a struggling child evaluated by a developmental optometrist to rule out, identify and treat any visual dysfunction with vision therapy.

At Vision Therapy Center At Professional Vision Care, we believe that educating parents and teachers about the warning signs of visual dysfunction is the first step toward ensuring that every child with a visual deficit is given the treatment they need to thrive.

Why Are Vision Problems So Commonly Overlooked?

Children, especially toddlers and preschoolers, often lack the verbal skills necessary to communicate a visual problem.

And even if they’re able to communicate, most kids may simply assume that their vision is fine, and that they see the world the way everybody else does.

School vision screenings also play a role here.

These basic screenings really only test a child’s eyesight, or visual acuity — how clearly they see distant objects. What the screenings fail to test are the rest of the 16 visual skills necessary for healthy development and learning. Some examples are eye tracking, focusing, convergence and eye teaming.

In other words, a child can pass the school’s vision screening with flying colors and still have a visual skills deficit that can negatively affect learning and behavior.

Telltale Signs of Visual Dysfunction In Children

So, how do you know if your child or student has a visual problem?

While the only way to know for sure is through a functional visual evaluation, there are some signs and symptoms to watch for that may warrant a call to Vision Therapy Center At Professional Vision Care.

A child with visual skills deficits may experience any of the following medical symptoms:

  • Headaches
  • Eyestrain
  • Nausea / vomiting
  • Double vision
  • Dizziness
  • Poor hand-eye coordination or clumsiness
Behavioral/academic problems that can arise due to vision problems include:

  • Hyperactivity
  • Inattentiveness
  • Lack of motivation
  • Refusal or hesitation to do homework
  • Poor reading comprehension
  • Skips lines or words when reading
  • Frequent eye rubbing and head tilting

If a child displays any of the above symptoms, call ​​Vision Therapy Center At Professional Vision Care in Lewis Center to schedule a functional visual evaluation.

How Does Vision Therapy Work

If a visual deficit is detected, we may recommend vision therapy as the best treatment option.

Vision therapy is a customized treatment program that trains the eyes and brain to communicate seamlessly. When the eyes don’t send a unified message to the brain, or the brain has difficulty processing incoming visual information, vision therapy works by correcting those pathways at the source.

During a vision therapy session, your child will be shown and instructed to do several eye exercises to strengthen the visual system. Vision therapy sessions are done in-office, but certain eye exercises should be [practiced] at home, in-between visits.

Vision therapy has been clinically shown to effectively treat eye misalignment disorders, lazy eye (amblyopia), focusing problems, convergence insufficiencies and ocular motor dysfunctions.

Our skilled and friendly optometric team has lots of experience working with children of all ages and helping them feel safe and comfortable during the entire process.

Make sure that your child isn’t part of the 10% of kids with undiagnosed, and therefore untreated, visual skills deficits. To schedule your child’s functional visual evaluation, contact Vision Therapy Center At Professional Vision Care in Lewis Center today!

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Carole Burns

Q: How can visual dysfunction affect learning and development?

  • A: An estimated 80% of classroom learning is dependent on vision. Subpar visual skills can impede learning by making it unnecessarily difficult for a child to see the board from their seat, read, write, play sports and interact confidently with their peers. Ultimately, this can lead to reduced self-esteem. Making sure your child’s vision is healthy will set them up for academic, social and overall success.

Q: How long does vision therapy take?

  • A: The length depends on each patient’s individual condition and needs. A vision therapy program can last anywhere from several weeks to a few months. Speak with your eye doctor about how long your vision therapy program is expected to take.

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When Buying Reading Glasses — Does Price Matter?

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Have you been told that you need reading glasses? If so, welcome to the club! Most people in their 40’s begin to notice their near vision declining, especially while reading and using computer screens and mobile phones.

Age-related farsightedness is a natural—if frustrating—part of the aging process. As you get older, your eyes begin to lose their ability to focus on near objects, a condition called presbyopia. Although presbyopia typically worsens over time, it’s not something to be too concerned about. Your eyes just need a little extra support. And that’s where reading glasses come in.

Are Prescription Reading Glasses Better Than OTC Readers?

Prescription reading glasses are customized to your visual needs, while over-the-counter (OTC) reading glasses are made to be “one size fits all.”’ OTC glasses don’t accurately correct your vision if one of your eyes is more farsighted than the other. OTC readers also don’t correct for any amount of astigmatism, which can result in headaches and eye strain. So at the end of the day, prescription readers are generally the recommended choice.

However, OTC readers can be helpful if you’ll only be wearing them very briefly, for reading labels at the supermarket or for other quick near-vision tasks.

But if you spend a significant amount of time each day reading written reports, working on a computer or scrolling through your phone, prescription reading glasses are the way to go.

Here are some important points to consider:

1. Your Optical Prescription Should Be Precise

Eyeglasses prescribed by your optometrist are personalized to your exact optical prescription, while pre-made OTC reading glasses contain the same prescription in each lens and don’t correct for any amount of astigmatism or other eye condition.

2. The Distance Between Your Eyes Matters

Reading glasses purchased from your eye doctor will take your pupillary distance (PD), the exact distance between your eyes, into account. This ensures that the center of each eyeglass lens is in line with each of your pupils, allowing the lens to accurately redirect light to correct your blurry vision.

Since OTC reading glasses don’t take this measure into account, long periods of reading can lead to eye strain and headaches. Curling up with a good book before bedtime while wearing OTC readers may not seem so appealing anymore.

3. Quality Is Everything

High-quality lenses are checked for distortions to ensure they meet the highest manufacturing standards before they’re dispensed. So, with prescription readers you won’t have to worry about getting dizzy or feeling off balance while reading. That’s not true of OTC readers.

Another benefit of prescription reading glasses: you choose the shape, size and quality of the frames. OTC eyeglasses are made with lower-quality materials, making them less durable and more prone to breakage or losing their shape.

4. Prescribed Reading Glasses Encourage Regular Eye Exams

If you order reading glasses from your eye doctor, you’ll be more likely to schedule regular eye exams, even if you don’t notice any changes in your vision. This is important, because many eye conditions don’t have any obvious symptoms that signal the onset of a serious eye condition. Regular eye exams are the best way to maintain good eye health and detect eye conditions early, before any vision loss has occurred.

Since OTC readers are available in varying strengths, if your vision isn’t as sharp as it used to be you may be tempted to just pick up a new pair with a stronger prescription. But without an eye exam you’re putting your eye health at risk.

When it comes to your vision, we’re here for you. Contact Professional VisionCare in Lewis Center to check out our large selection of reading glasses and other eyewear, or to discuss any concerns you may have about your prescription.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Are reading glasses the same as computer glasses?

  • A: No, they are two different types of glasses.Reading glasses are generally prescribed for people with presbyopia, an age-related condition that causes near objects to appear blurry. Reading glasses from your eye doctor contain an optical prescription specific to your visual needs to give you clear vision for reading.
  • Computer glasses may be recommended if you spend many hours each day in front of a computer screen. These glasses help to reduce eye strain by slightly adjusting your focus so your eyes feel like they’re looking at something farther away. The lenses are also tinted to eliminate glare and filter out blue light radiation.

Q: What’s the difference between presbyopia and hyperopia?

  • A: Presbyopia and hyperopia are both refractive errors that affect near vision clarity, but they’re two very different vision conditions.
    Presbyopia (age-related farsightedness) causes the lens of the eye to stiffen, making it less able to focus on nearby objects, Presbyopia usually starts around the age of 40-45.
    Hyperopia (farsightedness that isn’t related to aging) occurs when light is unable to accurately focus onto the retina at the back of the eye due to the length of the eye or curvature of the cornea. Hyperopia can occur at any age and can cause lazy eye or eye turns if not detected in children.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasse. Visit Professional VisionCare for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.


Here’s How To Choose The Perfect Pair Of Glasses!

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Nowadays, there are so many choices for eyeglass frames, it can make your head spin. Of course, these endless options also come with benefits: there are frames to suit every face, style and fashion trend.

Having all these choices is exciting, but can be overwhelming if you don’t know what you’re looking for.

In order to pick the perfect pair, it’s good to have a basic understanding of the different materials, features and styles out there, so you can make an informed decision.

Try to keep in mind that although you may be looking for that ‘wow’ factor, comfort, durability and quality are key. After all, you’ll likely be wearing your new specs for a good part of your day.

Here are 5 tips to help you find the glasses that most suit you and your lifestyle:

1. Know Your Material Options

Eyeglass frames come in a variety of materials. Your winning pair can be made from metal, plastic or even wood.

Metal

Metal frames can be found in a wide range of styles and are renowned for their strength and durability. But not all metal frames are the same. There’s a range of metals used for eyeglass frames, each with their own advantages:

  • Titanium: Hypoallergenic, strong, durable, lightweight and corrosion-resistant.
  • Beryllium: Strong, lightweight, flexible, corrosion-resistant and less expensive than titanium.
  • Steel: Strong, lightweight (but heavier than titanium), corrosion-resistant and less expensive than most other metal frames.
  • Monel: Flexible and corrosion-resistant, but contains a combination of metals — so not a first choice if you’re hypersensitive to any type of metal.
  • Aluminum: Flexible, strong, corrosion-resistant, but typically more expensive than other metal frames.
  • Flexon: Very flexible, lightweight, hypoallergenic and corrosion-resistant.

Plastic

Plastic frames are available in a dizzying variety of shapes, styles and colors. They offer a bolder look than metal frames and are often less expensive as well. But plastic frames don’t offer the same degree of durability that metal frames do, so if you’re looking for longer-lasting frames, this is something to consider before making your purchase.

Wood

Wooden frames aren’t only trendy; they’re also very lightweight and comfortable. Wooden frames are made of pure, natural wood and are stained using plant-based treatments — making them an eco-friendly option. They’re also a great choice if you’re looking for a hypoallergenic frame.

2. Understand that Size Does Matter

Eyeglass frames come in so many different sizes. You may want to opt for a smaller frame for reading glasses, but for all day-wear consider a larger frame that will give you a larger viewing window and a wider peripheral view.

3. Choose Comfort

Bridge Fit

Your eyeglasses should sit comfortably on the bridge of your nose. If they’re too big, you’ll constantly be pushing them up, and if they’re too small, they’ll sit too high or pinch your nose.

Temple Style

The temples of your eyeglasses are what secure your frames to your face. They connect the front of the frames to the back of the ears, and sometimes wrap around the head. Most frame temples range from 120 to 150 mm in length. To check that your glasses fit properly, move your head from side to side and even bend down at the waist (it’s worth it!) to make sure that the frames you choose won’t easily fall off.

4. Consider Flexibility

If you lead an active lifestyle, have young children, or sometimes fall asleep with your glasses on, you may want to consider spring hinges. Spring hinges give your temples greater flexibility, making them less likely to break if they’re grabbed or bent the wrong way.

5. Try Different Styles

Not sure which shape or color suits you best? Try on as many frames as you’d like until you find a style that you love. You can either pick a frame that matches your face shape and hair color or decide to be a bit more daring and go for a more striking look. Your options are endless.

When it comes to your vision, we’re here for you. Contact Professional VisionCare in Lewis Center to check out our large selection of eyewear. We’ll help you find the perfect pair, with the perfect fit.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Are metal frames strong enough for sports?

  • A: While metal frames can withstand a certain amount of wear and tear, they aren’t recommended for sports. If you play sports on a regular basis, protective eyewear is the way to go. Protective eyewear, like sports goggles and wraparound frames, not only contain high-impact-resistant polycarbonate lenses, but are also lined with rubber padding to protect your eyes from injury.

Q: Is one pair of eyeglasses enough?

  • A: Depending on your lifestyle and visual needs, one pair of eyeglasses may not suffice.Here are some questions to ask yourself when deciding if you need a second pair of glasses:
      • Do you lead an active lifestyle? If so, it’s important to have a back-up pair of glasses, just in case.
      • Do you have two different optical prescriptions? Some people prefer two different pairs of glasses over wearing bifocal or multifocal lenses.
      • Do you worry about breaking or losing your glasses and having to scramble to order another pair?
      • Do you want your frames to match your wardrobe? Then you may want to think about purchasing more than one frame.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses. Visit Professional VisionCare for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.


What Exactly is an Eye Chart?

If there’s one aspect of optometry that everyone recognizes, it’s the traditional eye chart, with its rows of big letters on top, which gradually become smaller the farther down you go. This chart is usually known as the Snellen chart.

Yet how much do you really know about this eye chart? Are all eye charts the same? How are these eye charts used? And when were they invented?

Here’s everything you need to know about eye charts and more!

What is an Eye Chart?

An eye chart is one of the tools your eye doctor uses to assess your eyesight. Based on how well you can see various letters on the chart, your optometrist will determine whether you have myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), presbyopia (age-related farsightedness) or astigmatism, and will measure the prescription that will give you the clearest, most comfortable vision.

Are All Eye Charts The Same?

There are a number of variations to the standard Snellen eye chart. The one an eye doctor uses depends on the personal needs and abilities of the patient. For example, eye doctors will use charts with pictures or patterns for younger children who may not have learned to read or identify letters and numbers.

There are also certain charts that specifically measure distance vision, while others are better for measuring near vision.

History of the Snellen Eye Chart

The Snellen eye chart was developed by Dutch eye doctor Hermann Snellen in the 1860s. Before this standardized eye chart was developed, each eye doctor had their own chart that they preferred to use.

Having so many different eye charts made it impossible to standardize the vision correction available to patients. Eyeglass makers didn’t receive the defined measurements they needed to accurately design, manufacture and measure the optical prescriptions their patients needed.

For the first time, the Snellen eye chart allowed a person to provide a standardized prescription from any eye care provider they chose to any eyeglass maker, and get the same optical lenses to accurately correct their vision.

How The Snellen Chart Is Used in Eye Exams

The standard Snellen chart displays 11 rows of capital letters, with the first row consisting of a single large letter. The farther down the chart you go, the smaller the letters become.

Your Lewis Center eye doctor will ask you to look through a phoropter – an instrument used to test individual lenses on each eye during an eye exam – and look at the Snellen chart placed 20 feet away. Your eye doctor will prescribe the lenses that provide you with the clearest and most comfortable vision.

In many offices, where 20 feet of space may not be available, you’ll be asked to view the chart through a mirror. This provides the same visual experience as if you were standing 20 feet away.

If you have 20/20 vision, it means you can see what an average person can see on an eye chart from a distance of 20 feet. On the other hand, if you have 20/40 vision, it means you can only see clearly from 20 feet away what a person with perfect vision can see clearly from 40 feet away.

If you have 20/200 vision, the legal definition of blindness, this means what a person with perfect vision can see from 200 feet away, you can see from 20 feet away.

Does 20/20 Visual Acuity Mean Perfect Vision?

No. While eye chart tests identify refractive errors, they can’t detect signs of visual skill deficiencies or diseases such as glaucoma, cataracts or macular degeneration. These are diagnosed using advanced equipment as part of a comprehensive eye exam with your local Lewis Center eye doctor. Early diagnosis and treatment of eye conditions are essential to ensuring long-term vision and eye health.

For more information, give us a call at 614-898-9989 or visit us in person at Professional VisionCare, today!

Q&A With Your Local Optometrist

How do you keep your eyes healthy?

You only have one set of eyes – don’t take them for granted!

Make sure to implement the following habits for healthy eyes (and body). These include:

  • Eating a balanced diet rich in fiber, fruits and vegetables
  • Drinking plenty of water to hydrate your body and eyes
  • Not smoking, and avoiding 2nd-hand smoke
  • Wearing sunglasses to protect your eyes from ultraviolet (UV) rays
  • Maintaining normal BMI with regular exercise
  • Regular visits to your eye doctor as recommended

What health conditions can an eye exam detect?

A comprehensive eye exam can often detect certain underlying diseases that can threaten your sight and eye health, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, tumors, autoimmune conditions and thyroid disorders. This is why having your eyes checked regularly is key. The earlier the diagnosis and treatment, the better the outcome and the higher your quality of life.

Protect Your Eyes This Spring by Adopting These 5 Habits

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Spring is in the air! The warm weather, blossoming flowers and smell of freshly cut grass is a welcome relief for anyone who’s ready to put winter behind them. Walks in the park. Barbecues. Playgrounds full of children.

Despite all the spring excitement, it’s important to know that the change in weather can affect your eyes in more ways than one — from prolonged UV exposure and a heightened risk of eye injuries to dry eyes and allergies.

Here are 5 practical ways to protect your eyes this season:

1. Wear Sunglasses with 100% UV Protection

UV protection isn’t only essential for your skin, but also for your eyes.

Prolonged unprotected exposure to the sun’s strong UVA and UVB rays can cause ‘eye sunburn’ (photokeratitis), and UV exposure over months or years can put you at risk of developing sight-threatening eye diseases in the future.

Which is why sunglasses are more than just a fashion accessory. When shopping for sunglasses, look for the label that says ‘100% UV protection.’ This way, you can enjoy the sun without a second thought for your eyes.

And if you believe sunglasses are only meant for sunny days, think again. The sun’s UV rays are so powerful that they penetrate through the clouds and reflect off of water, snow, ice, concrete and many other surfaces.

So before you head out the door, be sure to grab a pair of shades. For even greater protection, also wear a cap or wide-brimmed hat.

2. Drink Plenty of Water

Drinking water — especially on a hot day— is important not only for your overall health, but the health of your eyes. If your body becomes dehydrated your eyes will too, which can lead to symptoms of dry eye and other complications.

Many doctors recommend drinking six 8-ounce glasses of water each day, and more if you’re playing sports or spending lots of time in the sun. So keep a bottle of water close by and drink, drink, drink!

3. Hydrate Your Eyes

Sometimes, drinking water isn’t enough to keep dry eye symptoms at bay.

If your eyes are dry, irritated, itchy or bloodshot, you may have dry eye syndrome. Dry air and wind, air-conditioning and heating systems, certain medications and medical conditions can all cause dry eyes.

Call Professional VisionCare in Lewis Center to schedule a dry eye assessment and learn about your treatment options.

4. Wear Protective Eyewear

The beautiful spring weather calls for outdoor sports, bonfires, barbeques — and in some places, fireworks. Although these activities may be fun, they also pose a risk to your eye health and vision.

To protect your eyes from injury and exposure to extreme heat and smoke, make sure to wear protective eyewear like sports goggles or specialized glasses with polycarbonate lenses.

Most eye injuries can be prevented with the right kind of eye protection.

5. Seek Allergy Relief

Does the mere thought of springtime make your eyes tear and your nose run? You’re not alone. Seasonal allergies are common, and can be frustrating, especially when you’ve been looking forward to spending more time outdoors.

If you suffer from eye allergies, even a morning jog around the block can have you rubbing your eyes for the rest of the day.

Fortunately, there are ways to effectively treat eye allergies and make irritated, itchy eyes a thing of the past.

Contact Professional VisionCare in Lewis Center to learn about the different dry eye and allergy treatments we offer, or to choose eyewear that protects your eyes from sun exposure and injury. We’re here to help you protect your eyes this spring and always.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is Dry Eye syndrome?

A: Dry eye syndrome (DES) is a chronic condition that occurs when your eyes don’t produce enough tears, or there is insufficient oil in your tears.

Some of the most common causes of DES include:

  • Environmental factors – living in a dry, dusty or windy climate
  • Hormonal changes – especially during pregnancy and menopause
  • Certain medications – antihistamines, blood pressure medications and antidepressants, among others
  • Eyelid conditions – like meibomian gland dysfunction and blepharitis
  • Post-LASIK surgery

Symptoms can be mild or severe and cause your eyes to feel dry, sore, itchy, and watery. Treatment for DES varies, depending on the underlying cause, but can range anywhere from medicated eye drops and ointments to in-office procedures.

Q: How are eye allergies treated?

A: The most effective way to treat your eye allergies is to first find out what’s causing them.

Eye allergies can be triggered by:

  • Airborne substances found in nature such as pollen from flowers, grass and trees
  • Indoor allergens such as pet dander, dust and mold
  • Irritants such as cosmetics, chemicals, cigarette smoke and perfume

To alleviate your symptoms, your eye doctor may recommend OTC lubricating eye drops, medicated eye drops that replace the oil in your tears, or eye drops (or oral medications) that contain an antihistamine.

If these eye drops don’t provide enough relief, your eye doctor can discuss a range of in-office treatments or prescribe a stronger medication to provide long-lasting relief for your allergic eyes.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses. Visit Professional VisionCare for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.


The Link Between Dry Eyes and Depression

The Link Between Dry Eyes and DepressionDepression is a serious illness that impacts a person’s mood and emotional well-being. It creeps into all areas of a person’s life, and can become life-threatening if left untreated.

Not only does depression impact mental health; it can manifest as physical symptoms, too, like insomnia, chronic pain and inflammation, weight loss or gain and heart problems, among others. These physical problems can worsen depressive thoughts — sometimes leading to a vicious cycle.

Interestingly, many patients with depression also suffer from severe dry eye symptoms. The question is, how are these two conditions related?

What is Dry Eye Syndrome?

Dry eye syndrome, also known as dry eye disease, is a chronic condition that results from inadequate lubrication of the eyes. Ocular hydration is crucial when it comes to keeping your eyes healthy and your vision clear. Your tears are responsible for maintaining this necessary hydration, and in healthy eyes fulfill their unique mission each time you blink.

Your tear film is made up of three layers, consisting of oil, water and mucus. If any of these layers become compromised, inadequate tear quality or insufficient tear quantity can result and lead to a host of uncomfortable dry eye symptoms.

The most common dry eye symptoms include:

  • Dry eyes
  • Red or irritated eyes
  • Itchy eyes
  • Gritty eyes
  • Light sensitivity
  • Blurry vision

Can Depression Cause Dry Eye (or Vice-Versa)?

This is what researchers are trying to find out.

In a March 2022 study published in JAMA Ophthalmology, researchers examined the link between depression and severe dry eye symptoms. The study followed 535 dry eye patients for an entire year.

After a year, the patients who tested positive for depression had more severe dry eye symptoms than the patients who didn’t have depression. Their symptoms were measured based on the Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI), Brief Ocular Discomfort Index and composite dry eye disease sign score.

Additionally, severe depression was associated with more severe dry eye symptoms at baseline, six months, and one year.

The study concluded that depression was associated with more severe dry eye symptoms, which suggests that among patients with moderate to severe dry eye syndrome, those with depression may be likely to have more severe dry eye symptoms.

The researchers said further research is needed to learn exactly why people with depression have more severe dry eye symptoms than those without depression.

Could the sometimes debilitating symptoms of dry eye syndrome actually cause depression and anxiety?

A 2016 dry eye study published in Nature concluded that chronic discomfort and pain from dry eye symptoms can negatively affect the cognitive processes, sleep, mood and mental health. The researchers urged eye doctors to be aware of the higher incidence of dry eye syndrome in people with depression, whatever the underlying cause.

Can Antidepressants Cause Dry Eye Symptoms?

Yes. Antidepressants have been shown to increase dryness in the body, including the eyes. These medications work by blocking signals between nerve cells, which can result in insufficient tear production and dry eye syndrome.

If you’re taking an antidepressant, be sure to inform your eye doctor during your consultation.

How We Can Help

At Dry Eye Center At Professional Vision Care in Lewis Center, we recognize that some of our patients that come in with dry eye symptoms may be suffering from depression.

We’ll diagnose the cause of your dry eye symptoms and offer the most effective dry eye treatments to give you the relief you’re searching for.

Contact us today to schedule a dry eye assessment and take the first step towards regaining your quality of life.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Carole Burns

Q: Who is affected by dry eye syndrome?

  • A: While dry eye syndrome is most common in adults over 50, it can occur at any age. The following factors can increase your risk of dry eye:
    – Aging
    – Hormonal changes
    – Medical conditions such as Sjogren’s syndrome and rheumatoid arthritis
    – Prolonged screen time
    – Living in a dry, dusty or windy environment
    – Eye allergies
    – Blepharitis or meibomian gland dysfunction
    – Certain medications, such as decongestants, antihistamines, antidepressants, hormone replacement therapy
    – Vitamin A deficiency

Q: How can you reduce your risk of dry eye?

  • A: While some dry eye risk factors can’t be avoided completely, making some lifestyle changes can help. Practice these recommended tips:
    – Use a humidifier to add moisture to the air
    – Wear wraparound sunglasses outdoors to protect your eyes from harsh winds
    – Take frequent screen breaks and blink often while using your digital device.
    – Quit smoking
    – Use lubricating eye drops
    – Consume a healthy diet including omega 3 and drink plenty of water.
    – Have regular eye exams

Book An Appointment
Call Us 614-898-9989

Could Your Sudden Vision Problems Be Related to Stress?

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Everyday life can be stressful. With deadlines, work, social commitments and pandemic concerns — to name a few — we’re constantly being tested and pushed to the limit.

Researchers are trying to determine exactly why stress appears to affect eye health and cause a range of eye and vision problems.

Note: Before assuming that your vision problems are stress-related, schedule a prompt eye exam with your optometrist to rule out an underlying eye condition. If you come out with a clean bill of health, try some of the relaxation tips below to help relieve your symptoms.

How Does Stress Affect the Eyes?

When you’re stressed, your body releases cortisol, the hormone that’s responsible for stimulating your ‘fight-or-flight’ response.

Picture meeting a wild dog on your morning jog or speaking in front of a huge crowd. The mere thought of it can trigger a physical reaction in your body.

When faced with a potentially threatening or frightening situation you may feel your heart beating faster as your blood pressure rises and your breathing becoming more rapid, leaving you feeling breathless.

All of these physiological reactions help to prepare your body to fight your potential threat or run away from the dangerous situation. (It also explains the sweaty palms, dizziness and nausea we’ve all experienced at one time or other during a stressful event.)

Unfortunately, this surge of cortisol can disrupt the healthy blood flow between your eyes and brain, and lead to vision problems.

Moreover, chronic high stress has been linked to elevated intraocular pressure — the pressure inside your eyes — which increases your risk of optic nerve damage and glaucoma.

In a ground-breaking study published in the EPMA Journal in 2018, researchers investigated the link between stress and being diagnosed with a serious eye disease. While prolonged mental stress is clearly a consequence of vision loss, they said, it may also worsen eye conditions ”and be one of the major causes of visual system diseases such as glaucoma and optic neuropathy.”

This creates a “vicious cycle” where initial vision loss creates stress, which further accelerates vision loss, creating even more stress, the researchers concluded.

Symptoms of Stress-Related Eye Problems

  • Blurry vision
  • Headaches
  • Eye strain
  • Eye floaters
  • Dry eye
  • Sensitivity to bright light
  • Eyelid twitch

How to Treat Stress-Related Vision Problems

Your stress-related visual symptoms should fade once your mind and body are relaxed.

Therefore, the best way to treat your visual symptoms is to de-stress.

Managing your stress levels is one of the biggest gifts you can give yourself, so make self-care a priority — your future self will thank you.

Here are some tips to help you unwind and keep stress levels to a minimum:

  • Meditate
  • Practice deep breathing
  • Eat healthy
  • Exercise daily
  • Get outside
  • Journal your thoughts
  • Get enough sleep
  • Join a support group

If your visual symptoms don’t improve, contact Professional VisionCare in Lewis Center for an appointment.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can excessive screen time cause visual stress?

  • A: In recent years, the amount of time people spend in front of the screen has increased dramatically. Prolonged screen time and digital device usage can lead to a condition called ‘digital eye strain’, which typically causes blurry vision, eye strain, headaches, dry eyes, and neck and shoulder pain. Digital eye strain can worsen visual stress, so try to limit your screen time as much as possible.

Q: What can I do to maintain healthy vision?

  • A: Many of the same healthy habits that protect your general health and keep your stress levels to a minimum also promote healthy eyesight:
    • Eat a balanced diet rich in fiber, fruits and vegetables
    • Drink plenty of water to hydrate your body and eyes
    • Avoid smoking
    • Wear ultraviolet (UV) protected sunglasses when outside
    • Take appropriate vitamin supplements

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses. Visit Professional VisionCare for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.


Bloodshot Eyes – Should You Be Concerned?

You wake up in the morning ready to start your day, only to discover that your eyes are bloodshot. That might not be surprising if you stayed up late to finish a project, had too many drinks at a party or spent time in a smoke-filled room.

But bloodshot eyes can also signal an underlying eye problem. If your eyes appear red or bloodshot, make an appointment with an eye doctor for a comprehensive eye exam to determine the cause and to receive effective treatment.

Why Do I Have Bloodshot Eyes?

When blood rushes to the front of the eye, the tiny red blood vessels on the white of the eye dilate and become visible. This makes the eyes appear red and irritated.

So why do these blood vessels dilate, causing your eyes to look bloodshot?

Bloodshot eyes tend to be caused by:

  • Dry eyes
  • Irritants such as smoke, pollen and perfume
  • Lack of sleep
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Spending too much time in front of the computer

Bloodshot eyes due to lifestyle and environmental irritants may disappear on their own, or you can try to relieve them with over-the-counter eye drops or liquid tears. Lifestyle changes, such as getting more sleep, cutting down on alcohol intake and limiting screen time can often be helpful. If allergies are the culprit, oral antihistamines and antihistamine eye drops may relieve symptoms.

At other times, underlying problems requiring prompt medical attention can cause your eye’s blood vessels to dilate. The following are some of these medical conditions:

Conjunctivitis

You’ve probably heard of “pink eye.” It’s another name for infectious conjunctivitis – an infection of the conjunctiva, the thin membrane covering the eyelid and the front surface of the eye.

There are two types of infectious conjunctivitis – bacterial and viral.

If your child has conjunctivitis, they’re not alone. About 12% of kids get bacterial conjunctivitis every year. This highly contagious condition affects children and adults. In addition to reddish eyes, the following symptoms are associated with conjunctivitis:

  • Bacterial conjunctivitis – irritated eyes, swollen eyelids, eye discharge, crusty eyelids and excessive tearing
  • Viral conjunctivitis – cold or flu-like symptoms, runny nose, fever, itchy eyes, excessive tearing

If you or your child are experiencing these symptoms, it’s important to schedule a prompt appointment with an eye doctor, who can diagnose whether the conjunctivitis is viral, bacterial or due to allergies.

Depending on the diagnosis, your eye doctor will prescribe antibiotic eye drops or creams to treat bacterial conjunctivitis. The viral form may run its course after a few days, but cold compresses and non-prescription eye drops may provide relief.

Dry Eye Syndrome

If your eyes are chronically bloodshot you may have dry eye syndrome (DES). Signs of DES include:

  • Dry, irritated eyes
  • Burning or stinging eyes
  • Discharge from the eyes
  • Light sensitivity
  • A feeling you have something stuck in your eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Watery eyes

Dry eye syndrome is most commonly caused by a blockage of the tiny meibomian glands in the eyelids. These glands secrete oil that keeps eye moisture from evaporating too quickly. Without the oil, tears dry fast, leaving your eyes feeling dry, itchy and with a bloodshot appearance.

Too much screen time, aging, certain medications such as antihistamines, and medical conditions such as Sjogren’s syndrome can cause dry eye syndrome.

In addition to any medications or in-office treatments your eye doctor recommends, make sure to get plenty of hydration, take frequent breaks from digital screens and use a humidifier in your home.

Uveitis

In addition to bloodshot eyes, if you also experience blurred vision, see floaters or your eyes feel painful, you may have an eye inflammation called uveitis. The causes of uveitis include:

  • Autoimmune or inflammatory condition
  • Infection
  • Medication side effects
  • Cancer (in rare cases)

Unfortunately, uveitis symptoms can often be mistaken for something less serious. That’s the reason it’s important to get an eye exam if your eyes are bloodshot. Left untreated, uveitis can lead to serious conditions such as retinal scarring, cataracts and vision loss.

Depending on the cause and severity, your eye doctor may treat uveitis with prescription eye drops, steroid pills, injections or eye implants.

Eye Injury

It’s vital that all eye injuries receive immediate eye care from an eye doctor.

Even a minor eye injury can cause a big red blotch to form on the white part of the eye (sclera). The cause is a broken blood vessel or a subconjunctival hemorrhage.

Although the appearance of this blood looks severe, and can make the entire white part of the eye appear bright red, a subconjunctival hemorrhage is usually painless and doesn’t cause vision loss. Any time you notice excessive blood on the eye following an eye injury, schedule an appointment with an eye doctor to assess the health of your eye.

Glaucoma

In rare cases, bloodshot eyes may signal the presence of glaucoma – a leading cause of vision loss and blindness.

While some types of glaucoma don’t show symptoms in the early phases, bloodshot eyes can indicate the type of glaucoma that requires immediate medical care. This disease causes damage to the optic nerve due to excessive pressure within the eye. When this pressure suddenly rises, the eye’s blood vessels become dilated and visible, making the eye appear red.

If you have bloodshot eyes and/or have the following risk factors for glaucoma, immediately schedule an appointment with your eye doctor.

  • Family history of glaucoma
  • Aged 60+
  • African American, Asian or Hispanic
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure

Bloodshot Eyes Won’t Go Away?

Talk to Us Any time you notice bloodshot eyes or blood on the front of the eye, don’t wait. Schedule your eye exam with Dr. Carole Burns at Professional VisionCare in Lewis Center today.

Q&A With Your Local Optometrist

Can I get bloodshot eyes after LASIK surgery?

LASIK surgery is highly effective minimally invasive laser eye surgery that can correct refractive errors, but like all surgical procedures, it can have side effects. Your eyes may be bloodshot or you could see halos from a few days to three weeks after surgery. Additionally, you may experience other dry eye symptoms. Eye drops and liquid tears can alleviate these symptoms, but if you have any concerns about your eyes following LASIK surgery contact your eye surgeon.

What Should I Expect from a Glaucoma Exam?

If you have a family history and/or other risk factors for glaucoma, and if your eyes look bloodshot, consider scheduling a glaucoma exam. Your eye doctor may perform the following tests:

  • Tonometry – eye pressure test
  • Gonioscopy – to see how fluid is draining out of your eye
  • Vision field test – to examine the functioning of the optic nerve
  • Dilated pupil exam – to detect any damage to the optic nerve
  • Retinal photo or OCT – digital examination of the retina and optic nerve health

Are Myopic Parents More Likely to Have Myopic Children?

Myopic Parents 640×350If you have myopia (nearsightedness), can you pass nearsightedness on to your children? Yes, you can. Having myopic parents greatly increases a child’s risk of developing myopia.

Due to heredity and other risk factors, myopia is reaching epidemic proportions – with more than 50% of the population expected to be myopic by 2050. That’s worrying, as having moderate to severe myopia greatly increases the risk of developing sight-threatening eye diseases like glaucoma and macular degeneration later in life.

What Is Myopia?

If you have myopia, distant objects will appear blurred. This happens when your cornea or eye lens is oval-shaped and excessively curved. As a result, the light entering your eye focuses images in front of your retina instead of directly on it, causing blurred vision.

Can Myopia Be Inherited? What the Stats Say

The answer is yes, myopia can be passed on from parents to children. There are 40 genes that influence the eye’s development and shape, and these could be responsible for nearsightedness.

Children with one myopic parent are 1.5x more likely to develop the condition, and the risk is tripled if both parents have myopia. This makes getting a comprehensive eye exam a must for any child of nearsighted parents.

Other risk factors include spending less than two hours a day outdoors and engaging in “near work” activities like reading and spending time on an electronic device, such as a computer or cell phone. Fortunately, there are ways to manage, slow and sometimes halt myopia progression.

What’s Myopia Management?

Myopia management is a systematic approach to preventing the progression of myopia. It includes lifestyle changes and treatments that help keep your child’s myopia from progressing.

​​We use the latest technology to ensure your child’s vision remains stable and healthy for years to come.

Protect Your Child’s Vision With Myopia Management

Let us help your child diminish the risk of developing ocular disease and vision loss with our effective myopia management program. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Carole Burns at Myopia Management Center At Professional Vision Care in Lewis Center. We’ll use the latest technology to ensure your child’s vision remains stable and healthy for years to come.

Our practice serves patients from Lewis Center, Westerville, Johnstown, and Northeast Columbus, Ohio and surrounding communities.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Carole Burns

Q: What are some ways I can reduce my child’s screen time?

  • A: It isn’t easy to change habits, but as a family, you can work together to reduce screen time. Try the following:- Set limits on total amount of screen time per day
    – Create routines around screen use–such as after homework and chores
    – Model healthy screen use for your child
    – Talk to your children about why it is important to limit screen time
    – Engage in physical activity and outdoor sports as a family

Q: When Does Myopia Typically Develop?

  • A: Myopia begins in children as young as 6 and tends to progress until roughly the age of 20. The more it progresses, and the higher the prescription, the greater your child’s risk of developing potentially sight-threatening eye conditions, such as cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration and retinal detachment later in life.

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Does Your Child Have 20/20 Vision Yet Still Struggles In School?

teacher with kids needing vision therapyYour child aced their school’s vision screening test with 20/20 eyesight. That means perfect vision, right?

Actually, no. 20/20 simply means that your child can clearly see things that are 20 feet away. While that’s good news, clear eyesight doesn’t mean a student has strong visual skills.

There are 17 crucial visual skills that can impact your child’s success in school and on the sports field. Fortunately, most children are able to improve their visual skills with vision therapy.

What Are Visual Skills?

A healthy visual system relies not only on healthy vision, but on the eyes’ ability to move correctly, send the correct information to the brain, and the brain’s ability to interpret this information. If any one of these visual skills is sub-par, it can impact a child’s reading, writing and learning. This, in turn, can harm their motivation and self-confidence.

The visual skills needed to succeed in school (and life) include:

  • Eye movement – the ability to accurately control the eye’s movements
  • Eye teaming – the ability of both eyes to work together
  • Focusing – the ability to maintain clear vision at all distances
  • Peripheral vision – seeing objects at the sides of our vision
  • Saccades – the ability for vision to jump between focal points

When 20/20 Vision Doesn’t Measure Up

When a child scores 20/20 on a simple vision test, problems with visual skills often go unnoticed because basic screenings rarely assess beyond eyesight. It’s no wonder that 1 out of 4 schoolchildren has an undiagnosed vision problem! That’s a lot of children struggling unnecessarily, and well into adulthood.

Only a functional eye exam performed by an eye doctor can detect subpar visual skills.

Signs Your Child Has a Visual Problem

Schedule a functional eye exam if your child:

  • Has learning difficulties
  • Reads below grade level
  • Exhibits behavioral problems
  • Has difficulty paying attention
  • Frequently rubs their eyes or blinks frequently
  • Squints or covers one eye when reading
  • Has poor hand-eye coordination

How Do You Improve Visual Skills in Children?

If your child is diagnosed with any visual skills deficits, their eye doctor may recommend vision therapy. This form of therapy involves the use of specialized eye exercises, prisms, therapeutic lenses and even fun computer-based games that recalibrate how the brain and eyes work together. Vision therapy involves a customized program to meet the individual needs of each child. The therapy is performed in-office and at home between office sessions.

Vision therapy is ideal for kids because their brains are still developing and have greater neuroplasticity (meaning, their brains are more adaptable to change through the strengthening of neural connections).

While the vision therapy program can range from a few weeks to several months, the results last a lifetime.

If your child is struggling to keep up in school or when playing sports, don’t delay and schedule an appointment with Dr. Carole Burns at Vision Therapy Center At Professional Vision Care.

Our practice serves patients from Lewis Center, Westerville, Johnstown, and Northeast Columbus, Ohio and surrounding communities.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Carole Burns

Q: What is the success rate of vision therapy?

  • A: Vision therapy is a proven method to boost deficient visual skills and treat the visual system. In a multi-center National Eye Institute-funded study, 75% of patients with convergence insufficiency (problems with eye teaming), experienced normal vision or significantly improved symptoms following office-based vision therapy.

Q: Can vision therapy treat strabismus?

  • A: Yes. Vision therapy is the most effective and non-invasive treatment for strabismus— when the eyes don’t fixate or focus on the same place or visual target simultaneously. Eye exercises that train the brain and the eyes to work together can correct the eye turn and may even result in vision improvements, such as 3D vision and binocular depth perception.

References

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