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12 Tips for Optimal Eye Health

Expert Eye Care| Optometrist in Brampton | Brampton Family Eye Care

Good Eye Care Habits & Hygiene

By practicing good eye care habits and hygiene, you can prevent many vision problems from occurring. Eye problems and the risks associated with vision loss only grow as you age. By neglecting eye care, you place yourself at a higher risk of suffering from cataracts, macular degeneration, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and low vision.

So make sure you maintain great eye health by following these 12 tips for optimal eye health.

1. Avoid rubbing your eyes

Itchy eyes can be a hallmark symptom of allergies, and though rubbing may bring temporary relief, it ultimately increases swelling and worsens the itch. If you wear contact lenses, rubbing your eyes can also dislodge or even break a lens, causing the lens to get lost or scratch the cornea. Plus, eye rubbing can lead to eye infections, since our hands are typically covered with a host of germs.

2. Regularly wash your hands

Conjunctivitis (pink eye) is often caused by germs and bacteria carried to your eyes by unclean hands. Frequently washing your hands with soap and warm water helps keep bacteria away and prevents eye contamination. Prior to inserting or removing contact lenses, make sure to wash your hands with mild soap and dry them using a lint-free towel.

3. Beware of UV rays

By exposing yourself to sunlight and UV rays, you increase the risk of developing macular degeneration and corneal sunburn. Beyond just adding some style and zest to your look, sunglasses should protect your eyes from dangerous UV rays. Speak to your optometrist about the different options available for people who wear prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses too, to keep your eyes safe in the sun.

4. Stay hydrated

Staying hydrated is crucial for your body’s overall health and wellbeing — and that includes your eyes. Among other complications, if you don’t have enough fluid in your body, it impacts tear production and can cause dry eyes and irritation. Drink up!

5. Don’t smoke cigarettes

Need some extra motivation to quit smoking?

Smokers are more prone to developing age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, and other eye conditions. Cigarette smoking can also destroy optic nerves, which can adversely affect your vision over time. So think twice before you light up, and speak to your doctor about getting help to quit.

6. Eat a healthy diet

Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables to ensure that your diet is rich in antioxidants, such as Vitamins A and C. These can be found in leafy greens (your mom was right about spinach!), orange vegetables (think, carrots and sweet potato) and citrus fruit. Furthermore, fatty fish like salmon contain essential omega-3 fatty acids which also promote excellent eye health.

7. Keep a healthy distance from screens

Nip digital eye strain in the bud by positioning your computer monitor about an arm’s length away from the eyes and 20 degrees below eye level. Ideally, work in a room with enough diffused lighting to reduce stress on your eyes from the computer light.

8. Remember the 20-20-20 rule

Speaking of computers, have you heard of the 20-20-20 rule? When using digital devices, rest your eyes every 20 minutes by looking 20 feet away for 20 continuous seconds.

Once you’re at it, blink 20 times in succession to prevent dry eyes, and make it a habit to rise from your seat and take 20 steps to promote good posture and blood circulation, which helps your vision too.

9. Be careful with eye make-up

Make sure that your eye shadow, mascara, and eyeliner don’t cause your eyes an allergic reaction. Get in the habit of removing your make-up before going to sleep in order to avoid bacterial build-up from residual make-up left in the eye area. And, from time to time, clean your make-up brushes, especially those used to apply cosmetics around the eye area.

10. Sleep is golden

Just as with the rest of your body, your eyes need a break. So make sure that you get sufficient shut-eye (8 hours) each night to keep your eyes revitalized and healthy.

11. Wear protective eyewear

Whatever you do, make sure your eyes are well-protected. If you’re swimming, wear goggles to prevent chlorine from entering your eyes. If you’re gardening or engaged in a DIY project at home, wear safety glasses to keep dust particles and bacteria at bay and prevent eye injuries. Ask your local eye doctor about protective eyewear for sports and other activities.

12. Regularly visit your eye doctor

Don’t underestimate the importance of getting a routine eye exam, whether you need an updated prescription or not. Even if you can see well today, a comprehensive eye exam can pick up early signs of eye diseases and conditions before symptoms become noticeable, such as glaucoma, diabetes, retinal holes which could lead to retinal detachment, and cancers like melanoma. Early detection and management can prevent further complications and serious vision loss down the line.

Only an eye doctor has the required knowledge, experience, tools and techniques to determine whether you have these or other eye conditions.

It is recommended that everyone gets a comprehensive eye exam once a year (or at least every two years). Children, whose eyes are rapidly developing, and people at higher risk for developing eye problems such as diabetics and older people, need to undergo eye exams even more frequently: at the minimum, yearly.

During the evaluation, the eye doctor will check for things like:

  • Farsightedness, nearsightedness, astigmatism and/or presbyopia
  • Eye coordination
  • Optic nerve and eye pressure tests to spot glaucoma

It’s also important to be on the look-out for any changes in your vision. If you experience hazy or double vision, worsening eyesight, red eyes, eye pain, swelling or floaters, contact Dr. Basra.

Incorporate these tips and habits into your lifestyle to maintain healthy eyes and a high quality of life. Brampton Family Eye Care offers comprehensive eye exams in Brampton, Ontario, and will be happy to answer any questions you may have about ways to maintain healthy vision.

Brampton LASIK – Does LASIK eye surgery hurt?

Your eyes are extremely sensitive – the smallest particle of sand or thinnest eyelash stuck in your eye can lead to intense pain. With this in mind, you may be wondering how do people tolerate LASIK eye surgery? The concept of a laser eye specialist cutting your corneal tissue sounds unbearable. However, on the other hand – the thought of seeing clearly without the nuisance of eyeglasses or contact lenses! sounds like a dream. So – what’s the bottom line? Is the process of laser eye surgery and LASIK healing something you can handle?

Our Brampton eye doctors can answer that question with an emphatic YES – you can! LASIK is virtually painless. Need more reassurance? Read on to understand the full experience of having this popular procedure in our LASIK surgery clinic.

What is LASIK?

LASIK refractive surgery is an advanced and contemporary way to decrease or eliminate your need for eyeglasses and contact lenses! During this laser procedure, your eye surgeon will direct the cool light of an excimer laser to reshape your cornea in order to correct any refractive error. LASIK can thereby resolve your nearsightedness – leaving you with sharp vision without eyewear. In general, the results are outstanding and many of our Brampton, Ontario, patients enjoy crisp and clear vision after the surgery.

Is the process of laser eye surgery and LASIK healing something you can handle?

Our Brampton eye doctors can answer that question with an emphatic YES – you can! LASIK is virtually painless. Need more reassurance? Read on to understand the full experience of having this popular procedure in our LASIK surgery clinic.

What is LASIK Co-Management?

LASIK co-management is a helpful and essential service that our Brampton Family Eye Care optometrists provide before and after your LASIK surgery. We will work together with your eye surgeon to make sure that you receive comprehensive instructions and information about LASIK, as well as first-rate eye care when you need it.

    • Part 1: The Consultation. We’ll tell you all about the procedure, including the benefits and risks. Bring your questions and we’ll answer them! Dr. Basra will perform a thorough eye exam to determine your candidacy for LASIK, checking your vision prescription, corneal curvature and thickness, eyelid structure and tear film. If the results indicate that your eyes are suitable for LASIK, we will refer you to a top eye surgeon in the Brampton area.
    • Part 2: Pre-operative Care. We will assist you to set up your LASIK surgery with an experienced eye surgeon and Dr. Basra will handle your preoperative check-up. He will dilate your eyes and take detailed measurements. We will also provide you with all the information and instructions you need for the day of your surgery, as well as what to expect during the healing process.
    • Part 3: Post-operative Care. Typically, you will visit Dr. Basra on the day after your LASIK surgery so he can ensure that your eyes are healing smoothly. Afterward, you will return at regular intervals throughout the next weeks and months for follow-up eye exams and care.

    Benefits of LASIK Co-management

    You will receive compassionate pre-op and post-op care from an accessible eye doctor who knows you personally and LASIK surgery from a top-notch eye surgeon in Brampton, Ontario. When it comes to first-rate eye care and patient satisfaction, this is a win-win combination.

    What is the LASIK healing experience?

    About 20 – 30 minutes after eye drops are applied, the numbing effects will wear off. At that point, you may feel some mild discomfort, itching, or dryness. Although you may feel tempted to rub your eyes, it is critical to hold back – as your cornea will still be healing. To counter these sensations, the laser eye specialist will supply you with special postoperative eye drops that facilitate LASIK healing.

    Now that you know what to expect, we invite you to schedule a consultation with an eye doctor at our Fort Worth LASIK surgery clinic to discuss your candidacy for this painless procedure. Call today – it is the perfect time to free yourself from your bothersome eyeglasses or contact lenses!

    Now that you know what to expect, we invite you to schedule a consultation with an eye doctor at our Brampton eye clinic to discuss your candidacy for this painless procedure.

    Call today on 905-497-1422 – it is the perfect time to free yourself from your bothersome eyeglasses or contact lenses!

    Alternatively book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

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    Just in case you missed them, here are some of our previous blog posts :

    Tips to Relax Your Eyes

    Summer Heat Wave and Your Eyes

    How Smoking Impacts Vision

    Trouble Seeing at Night? All About Night Blindness

    Eye Care for Kids in Brampton

    Personalized & precise pediatric eye exams!

    Kids do not have the same visual needs as adults, and they need specialized eye care from an eye doctor who knows about pediatric vision issues. At Brampton Family Eye Care, we welcome children of all ages to experience our friendly, professional eye care services in Brampton.

    Eye exams check more than just kids’ vision

    When our eye doctor, Dr. Basra, checks your child’s eyes, we will inspect for much more than 20/20 vision. Many common and uncommon vision conditions are not detected by routine vision screening, only a comprehensive eye exam will reveal the signs. That’s why it’s essential to bring your child for regular eye exams with a qualified eye doctor, even if he or she passed a school vision test with top marks!

    Your child’s eye exam will be quick and pain-free. We will evaluate refraction to detect nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism, as well as screen all functional vision skills. Dr. Basra is an expert at diagnosing childhood eye conditions, such as lazy eye (amblyopia), misaligned eyes (strabismus), and trouble with focusing (accommodation). Our Brampton optometrist will also inspect pediatric eye health by using high-power magnification to view retinal tissues and the optic nerve. If necessary, we may apply dilating eye drops to get a better view.

    When left undetected or untreated, many of the eye conditions that are common in children can seriously affect their ability to learn and perform in school, on the sports field, and when socializing. Don’t wait until there’s a problem, contact our experienced kids’ eye doctor to book an eye exam in Brampton today!

    Every eye exam for children is individualized to address the child’s unique needs, based on age and stage of development. Kids of all ages, from babies to teens, are welcome, and we use age-appropriate diagnostics and a gentle bedside manner to perform every pediatric eye exam.

    Parents beware: the warning signs of a pediatric vision problem

    Now that you understand the importance of bringing your child for regular eye exams, it’s also important to be aware of warning signs that indicate your child needs an immediate eye exam. Many common kids’ eye problems present symptoms that should be evaluated by an eye doctor. These signs include:

    • Squinting, or closing one eye to see
    • Head tilting or turning
    • Excessive blinking
    • Inability to hold a steady gaze
    • Frequent eye rubbing
    • Poor tracking skills
    • Wandering eye, or crossed eyes
    • Droopy eyelid

    Vision correction – out-of-sight optical collection for kids!

    If your child requires vision correction, we have a stylish optical for kids in Brampton. Our staff will show you the best eyeglasses options to support your child’s vision prescription and match his or her personal fashion. Kids can be extremely picky about their glasses, and if their frames don’t match their favorite “look”, they won’t keep the glasses on their face. We feature a diverse display of designs and colors for kids’ eyeglasses and sunglasses in our Brampton vision center; stop by anytime with your child to see what we have to offer!

    Contacts lenses for kids with hard-to-fit eyes

    Many kids prefer to wear contacts, either because they are more convenient and comfortable when playing sports, or simply because they are self-conscious about the way they appear in glasses. Whatever the reason, kids need to have their contact lenses fit perfectly by a qualified eye doctor. Our Brampton optometrist is experienced in fitting contacts for all pediatric vision conditions, even the most complex, hard-to-fit prescriptions.

    Vision therapy

    If prescription eyewear cannot correct your child’s vision condition, then we will often recommend vision therapy as an effective treatment. Vision therapy consists of a series of custom-designed exercises to strengthen visual skills and reinforce the connection between the eyes and the brain.

    Myopia control for kids

    Myopia (nearsightedness) has reached epidemic proportions worldwide. Why is this so scary? Because myopia is linked to many more eye problems than just needing to wear glasses. Research has shown a strong association between high myopia and sight-threatening ocular diseases later in life. That’s why myopia control has become such a hot topic in recent years.

    Myopia control reduces the progression of nearsightedness in kids. There are several methods for doing this, such as soft multifocal contacts, or CRT (corneal refractive therapy), and atropine eye drops. To find out if your child is a good candidate, contact us to book a consultation about myopia control in Brampton.

    Your child’s eye care starts with you – the parent

    Call us to schedule a pediatric eye exam at Brampton Family Eye Care, in Brampton.

    905-497-1422

    Exercise and Your Eye Health

    Regular exercise is an essential component of overall health and wellness. It is proven that exercise reduces sickness and disease; it increases strength, immunity, and mental health; and it also helps regulate bodily functions and maintain a healthy weight. Research shows that exercise can lower our risk of chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, diabetic retinopathy and diabetic macular edema, as well as other eye diseases such as glaucoma, cataracts and wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

    Whereas, a sedentary lifestyle increases the risk of these diseases and of vision loss, studies show that even moderate exercise at least three times a week can improve the prognosis of the above-mentioned chronic illnesses and reduce the risks of developing vision threatening eye diseases. 

    Inactivity is an even higher risk factor if you have other co-factors for developing eye diseases, including: a family history, previous eye injury or surgery, diabetes, high blood pressure or very high myopia. A combination of healthy lifestyle habits which include regular exercise and a nutritious diet and tending to your mental and emotional well-being can reduce these risks significantly.

    Tips for Incorporating Physical Activity Into Your Day

    1. Make it a priority. Schedule your exercise time into your day as if it is a non-negotiable appointment. Find the time of day that works best – for some that is early morning and for others late at night. Work your way up to a half hour at least three times a week. 
    2. Be realistic. You don’t need to become a fitness expert to experience the benefits of exercise. Walking, yoga, swimming, even dancing around the house are all options for staying fit. Find a type of exercise that you love so you will enjoy working this habit into your life.
    3. Just move. Find ways to move your body throughout your day. Park your car a little further away from the mall entrance, take the stairs instead of the elevator or walk or bike to work. Remember, every little bit of movement helps.
    4. Find something you enjoy. Often finding the right exercise is a good stress reliever, and reducing stress will also reduce risk of many chronic diseases.
    5. It’s never too late. Exercise for the elderly can be a challenge especially during the cold winter months, when many seniors can’t get out of the house due to the weather. Even walking up and down the stairs in the house or following an exercise video can be helpful to keep from being sedentary.

    Protection & Prevention

    If you are exercising outdoors or playing contact sports, make sure to protect your eyes with sunglasses or sports safety glasses to ensure your eye health and safety. 

    Regular exercise can significantly decrease your risks of certain eye conditions but you still have to ensure that you visit your eye doctor for regular exams. Schedule a comprehensive eye exam every year to ensure your vision and your eyes are healthy and to catch any possible problems as early as possible.

    Eye health and disease prevention are just two of the many health and wellness benefits you gift yourself when you make exercise a regular part of your lifestyle. Speak to your doctor if you have any health issues that need to be considered. At any age or level of physical fitness, you can find some form of exercise that works for you. 

     

    Pink, Stinging Eyes?

    Conjunctivitis, also called pink eye, is one of the most frequently seen eye diseases, especially in kids. It can be caused by viruses, bacteria or even allergies to pollen, chlorine in swimming pools, and ingredients in cosmetics, or other irritants, which touch the eyes. Some forms of conjunctivitis might be quite transmittable and quickly spread in school and at the office.

    Conjunctivitis is seen when the conjunctiva, or thin transparent layer of tissue covering the white part of the eye, becomes inflamed. You can identify conjunctivitis if you notice eye redness, discharge, itching or swollen eyelids and a crusty discharge surrounding the eyes early in the day. Pink eye infections can be divided into three main types: viral, allergic and bacterial conjunctivitis.

    The viral type is usually a result of a similar virus to that which produces the recognizable red, watery eyes, sore throat and runny nose of the common cold. The red, itchy, watery eyes caused by viral pink eye are likely to last from a week to two and then will clear up on their own. You may however, be able to reduce some of the discomfort by using soothing drops or compresses. Viral pink eye is transmittable until it is completely cleared up, so in the meantime maintain excellent hygiene, remove eye discharge and try to avoid using communal pillowcases or towels. If your son or daughter has viral conjunctivitis, he or she will have to be kept home from school for three days to a week until symptoms disappear.

    A bacterial infection such as Staphylococcus or Streptococcus is usually treated with antibiotic eye drops or cream. One should notice an improvement within just a few days of antibiotic drops, but be sure to adhere to the full prescription dosage to prevent pink eye from recurring.

    Allergic pink eye is not contagious. It is usually a result of a known allergy such as hay fever or pet allergies that sets off an allergic reaction in their eyes. First of all, to treat allergic pink eye, you should eliminate the irritant. Use cool compresses and artificial tears to relieve discomfort in mild cases. When the infection is more severe, your eye doctor might prescribe a medication such as an anti-inflammatory or antihistamine. In cases of chronic allergic pink eye, topical steroid eye drops could be used.

    Pink eye should always be diagnosed by a qualified eye doctor in order to identify the type and best course of treatment. Never treat yourself! Keep in mind the sooner you begin treatment, the lower chance you have of giving pink eye to loved ones or prolonging your discomfort.

     

    Welcome to our New Website

    We invite you to take a look around our new site to get to know our practice and learn about eye and vision health. You will find a wealth of information about our optometrists, our staff and our services, as well as facts and advice about how to take care of your eyes and protect your vision.

    Learn about our Practice specialties including comprehensive eye exams, contact lens fittings and the treatment of eye diseases. Our website also offers you a convenient way to find our hours, address and map, schedule an appointment online, order contact lenses or contact us to ask us any questions you have about eye care and our Practice.

    Have a look around our online office and schedule a visit to meet us in person. We are here to partner with you and your family for a lifetime of healthy eyes and vision. We look forward to seeing you!

    Progressive Myopia: When Your Child’s Vision Keeps Getting Worse

    What Is Progressive Myopia?

    Nearsightedness or myopia is one of the most prevalent eye disorders worldwide and its incidence is increasing. In fact by 2050, myopia is projected to affect half of the world’s population!

    Many children diagnosed with nearsightedness (myopia) experience a consistent worsening of their vision as they grow into adolescence. This condition can be so aggressive that for some, each time they take their child to the eye doctor for a vision checkup, their prescription gets higher. 

    This is called progressive myopia and can be a serious condition for many children now and in the future. Not only is there a financial burden and inconvenience associated with having to replace eyeglasses on a regular basis, but high myopia is a risk factor for many eye diseases later in life such as retinal detachment, early onset cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration. 

    What Causes Progressive Myopia?

    Myopia is a refractive error that happens when the eye focuses incoming light in front of the retina, rather than directly on it, resulting in blurred distance vision. While an exact cause of progressive myopia is not known, most research indicates that a combination of environmental and genetic factors trigger the condition. 

    First of all, there is evidence that a family history of nearsightedness is a contributing factor. Additionally, spending a lot of time indoors may play a role in myopia development, as studies show that children who spend more time outside have less incidence of myopia. Lastly, near point stress, which can be caused from looking at a near object for an extended period of time, can prompt the eye to grow longer and result in myopia. Several eye doctors recommend following the 20-20-20 rule when using digital devices (stopping every 20 minutes to look 20 feet away for 20 seconds) to reduce near point stress caused by computer use. 

    What Can Be Done To Prevent or Treat Myopia?

    There are several treatments that have been shown to slow the progression of myopia.

    Orthokeratology (ortho-k):

    Also known as corneal reshaping, this treatment uses rigid gas permeable contact lenses that are worn while the patient sleeps to reshape the cornea, which is the clear, front part of the eye. During the day, the patient is usually able to see clearly, glasses-free. In addition to allowing glasses-free vision during the day, this treatment has been shown to reduce the progression of myopia in many children. 

    Distance Center Multifocal Contact Lenses:

    This treatment uses distance center (which means the area for seeing at a distance is in the center of the lens) multifocal soft contact lenses to provide clear vision and slow the progression of myopia. The lenses are worn as normal contact lenses during the day.

    Atropine Drops:

    Atropine drops are a daily-use prescription eye drop that has been shown to reduce myopia progression. It can be used alone or in combination with ortho-k or multifocal contact lenses. 

    Additional Myopia Treatments:

    While these treatments are available in all of North America, some countries offer additional options that are approved for myopia control. For example, in Canada, ZeissTM MyoVision glasses that have an innovative lens curvature design are available to help reduce the rate of myopia progression. Additionally some doctors in Canada offer Coopervision MiSight® lenses, which are 1-day contact lenses that are worn during the daytime. These contacts have a multifocal lens design with distance centre and near surround that is specifically designed for children. 

    Myopia & Your Child

    If your child’s vision keeps getting worse, it’s more than an annoyance – it can be a serious risk factor for their eye health and vision in the future. The best strategy for myopia control depends on the child and the severity of the case, and requires consultation with an experienced eye doctor in order to determine the best solution. If your child wears glasses, make his or her vision a priority; schedule an eye exam to ensure stable vision and healthy eyes. 

     

    The Dangers of An Online Eye Test

    An online eye test may seem like a convenient way to check your vision or get an eyeglass prescription but beware, these tests aren’t all they are chocked up to be. In fact, they may even be dangerous. 

    What is an online eye test really testing? 

    An online eye test is actually not an eye test at all but just a vision or sight test – and a partial test at that.  It is designed to measure your visual acuity and refractive error (nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism) and to determine an eyeglass prescription – which is the lens power needed to correct the refractive error in your vision. 

    Given that there is no one with medical training actually performing or checking the accuracy of the test, it is questionable how well the exam does even this. In fact, when an eye doctor does a refraction for glasses or contact lenses it also involves some judgement on the doctor’s part.  The eye doctor will often adjust the prescription slightly based on the patient’s age, occupation or hobbies.  The doctor may prescribe a prism in the lenses to help with binocularity and to prevent double vision in those who have deviations of the eye. There is no way an online exam can do any of this. 

    Further, a refraction is only one very small part of an eye exam and if it takes the place of a regular comprehensive eye exam by an eye doctor, you put your eyes and vision at serious risk. 

    A Comprehensive Eye Exam – Where Online Tests Fail

    Even if the eyes see clearly and you have 20/20 vision, there may still be vision problems or eye disease present even without pain, blurred vision or other symptoms.  What the online eye test fails to measure is your complete visual health and capacity (beyond just visual acuity), the curvature of the eye (which is needed for accurate lens prescriptions- especially for contact lenses) and an assessment of the health of the eye itself. 

    Just as we need regular medical and dental checkups as a part of preventative health care to prevent disease and maintain our health, we also need regular eye exams. A vision test  does not suffice. A comprehensive eye exam will examine much more than just how well you see. It will also check for visual processing, color vision, depth perception and proper eye movement.  It will measure your eye pressure, examine the back of your eye and look for early signs of eye disease or conditions such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, diabetes, tumors and high blood pressure – many of which threaten your eyes and vision if not caught early. 

    If you do have some vision loss, the doctor will be able to determine if there is any serious underlying problem that is causing the disturbance in your vision. If you don’t have symptoms that doesn’t mean there isn’t a problem. Many serious eye conditions develop gradually without any symptoms. Some eye diseases do not affect the macula, and therefore you may still have good vision even though there is a problem (such as glaucoma, early dry macular degeneration, early cataract, diabetes, blood pressure and even tumors). Many of these conditions threaten the eyes and even general health if not caught early and when undetected they can cause permanent and irreversible damage to your vision 

    Eye exams are the best way to detect these early and treat them before they develop into serious eye problems. 

    Whether online vision tests are inaccurate, misleading or simply insufficient, they can fail to provide essential information and can delay or prevent vision saving treatments. Additionally, you could be walking around with the wrong vision prescription which can cause unnecessary eye strain, headaches and difficulty.  

    Will an Online Eye Test Really Save you Money?

    No. Besides the fact that most eye exams are covered by insurance, the eye exam you are getting from an eye doctor is much more thorough and comprehensive than an online eye test, so you are not comparing apples to apples.  The eye doctor’s exam uses real equipment and performs a complete and professional evaluation of your vision and eye health. There is simply no comparing this to a self administered test on a computer screen. 

    An online eye test may be touted as a time and money saving convenience however, that is hardly the case. An eye exam is a medical procedure that requires training, precision, and proper equipment.  Anything less can put your eyes and vision at serious risk. 

     

    Signs That Your Child Has a Vision Problem

    Healthy eyes and good vision are essential for your child’s growth and development. In fact, learning is 80% visual, which means a child’s success in school, athletics and many other aspects of life can be impacted by poor vision. Good vision goes beyond how far you can see, and also includes a number of other skills such as visual processing and eye movement abilities. 

    Often times vision deficiencies are at the root of learning problems and behavioral issues and may unfortunately go unchecked and misdiagnosed. Remember, if your child is having trouble in school, an eye exam and a pair of prescription glasses is a much easier solution than treating a learning disorder or ADHD; yet many people fail to check that first. 

    It is common for children to think that their vision deficiency is normal and therefore they often won’t report it to parents or teachers. That is why it is even more important to know what to look for. Here are some signs that your child may have a vision problem:

    Vision Signs

    • Squinting or blinking often
    • Eye rubbing
    • Tilting the head to the side
    • Covering one eye
    • One eye that turns out or in
    • Reporting double vision
    • Holding books or reading materials very close to the face

     

    Behavioral Signs

    • Complaining of headaches or eye fatigue
    • Short attention span
    • Difficulty reading
    • Losing their place frequently when reading
    • Avoiding reading or any activity that requires close work
    • Problems with reading comprehension or recall
    • Behavioral issues that stem from frustration and/or boredom
    • Poor performance and achievement in school or athletics
    • Working twice as hard to achieve minimal performance in school

    Another issue is that many parents and teachers think that a school vision screening is sufficient to assess a child’s vision, so if that test comes back okay, they believe there is no vision problem. This however, is far from the case. A school vision test usually only assesses visual acuity for distance vision or how far a child can see. Even a child with 20/20 vision can have significant vision problems that prevent them from seeing, reading and processing visual information. 

    Every child of school age should have comprehensive eye and vision exams on a regular, yearly basis to assess their eye and vision health, and ensure that any issues are addressed as soon as possible. It’s also important to have an exam prior to entering kindergarten, as undetected lazy eye may be more complicated to treat past seven years of age. 

    Some of the issues the eye doctor may look for, in addition to good visual acuity, are the ability to focus, eye teaming and tracking, visual perception, hand-eye coordination, depth perception and peripheral vision. They will also assess the health of the eye and look for any underlying conditions that may be impairing vision. Depending on the problem the eye doctor may prescribe eyeglasses, contact lenses or vision therapy to correct the issue. 

    During the school years a child’s eyes and vision continue to develop and change so it is important to continually check in on your child’s vision. If you have a family history of vision problems, follow-ups are even more important. Progressive conditions like progressive myopia, strabismus (crossed eyes), amblyopia (lazy eye) or astigmatism can be treated and monitored for changes with early treatment so it’s important to seek a doctor’s diagnosis as soon as signs or symptoms are present. 

    Make sure that your child has the best possible chances for success in school and add a comprehensive eye exam to your back to school to-do list.