Vision and school performance

Vision and school performance

Posted on January 6, 2016 by in See Well Omaha with no comments

As our kids head back to school for the last half of the school year, now might be a good time to reflect on their performance during the first half of the year.  What struggles did they need to overcome and what complaints do they still have?  Perhaps it was mastering multiplication, adapting to a new teaching style, or finishing that science project.  Or, was it something like comprehending reading tasks, completing assignments, or paying attention in class?  These latter concerns are ones we look for every day in our exam rooms, as many times they can be correlated to an underlying vision problem.

Many children receive some sort of vision screening during summer or at the beginning of the school year that assesses their vision, but look at how much they have changed in those 6 months since!  It’s very possible their vision has changed too, which might be contributing to some of these problems.  It’s also possible they have an undiagnosed binocular vision or visual perception problem.  Binocular vision problems occur when both eyes are not working together and the brain does not receive a clear and single image of what is in front of your child.  Similarly, visual perception disorders occur when the brain cannot correctly interpret what your child is seeing.  He or she may be able to see letters and words clearly, but can their brain interpret that image?  If not, your child may be easily distracted from reading tasks, may have poor school performance, and might show little interest in school.

If you have noticed your child’s school performance declining or are just simply curious as to how their visual function is, then contact your optometrist and set up a comprehensive eye exam.  The tests needed to uncover many of these problems are quick and painless and can help put your child on the path to academic success!

Eye insurance benefits

Posted on December 17, 2015 by in See Well Omaha with no comments

It’s that time of year again.  The holidays are upon us, the weather is turning colder, family will be arriving soon, and you have only 2 weeks to use your insurance benefits!  The last two weeks in December are historically two of the busiest all year for many doctors, including optometrists, as many of use try to maximize our insurance benefits for the year.  Many vision care plans stretch from January 1st to December 31st, which means you’ve paid for the benefit all year and any unused contributions by your plan cannot be rolled over into the next year.  If you have questions regarding your vision plan, there are several ways you can educate yourself.  You might try to contact your HR department for details, or you can access your vision provider’s website to print details.  Finally, you can call one of our offices and we can walk you through your plan.  Remember, all offices will have shortened hours around the Christmas holiday so plan accordingly if you need to have an exam!  Happy Holidays from the doctors at Pearle Vision and we’ll see you soon!

Visual comfort and computers

Posted on December 3, 2015 by in See Well Omaha with no comments

Computer use has become standard in today’s society. Whether we are at home or work, it seems we can’t rid ourselves of some sort of electronic device. We, as optometrists, are frequently asked how this effects our eyes, and what can be done to protect ourselves from the dangers of prolonged screen time. As it turns out, our affinity for electronics is effecting both our ocular comfort as well as how well we see.

When using an electronic device (computer, phone, tablet, etc.), our blink rate not only decreases, but those blinks we do make are incomplete1. This leads to increased dry eye symptoms of grittiness, redness and blurred vision. As these symptoms increase, we may become irritable, tired, and less productive since it has then become uncomfortable to continue working. Children who are experiencing this may fail to complete assignments or exhibit poor attention to near tasks because of this extreme discomfort. To add insult to injury, these symptoms may be greatly magnified in those who wear contact lenses which can lead to unsatisfactory contact lens wear.

Clinically, we are commonly presented with complaints of blurred distance vision. At first glance this may (and many times does) indicate a need for corrective lenses to be worn for distance tasks. However, this is sometimes not the case, and during the exam we find that one’s distance vision complaints actually stem from a reading vision problem. Prolonged computer use can lead to the eye’s focusing muscle to become “locked” in position for that computer distance, which makes seeing long distances problematic. Eventually, the muscle will refocus, but usually with much effort and frustration

What can be done about this? The first step in solving computer strain is to assess the visual system for any areas of deficiency, which can be accomplished with a comprehensive eye exam. Not only should you be checked for glasses, but also for any focusing problems or eye-teaming deficiencies. The second step is practicing good visual hygiene, which we call the 20-20-20 rule. It means that every 20 minutes you should take a 20 second break and look at something 20 feet away. This encourages the muscles in your eyes to relax and reminds you to blink, which will greatly reduce dryness symptoms. You may also consider using artificial tears or enlarging your font on the screen. With these practices in place, you should be able to continue working more comfortably and efficiently, and leave your computer without strain, headaches, or fatigue!

1. Optom Vis Sci. 2013 May;90(5):482-7

Welcome to our vision care blog

Posted on October 8, 2015 by in See Well Omaha with no comments

Welcome to our blog!

See Well Omaha is a group of five optometrists who practice together in four Pearle Vision offices in Bellevue and Omaha. We all have websites for those offices, but we’re a bit limited as to what we can post there and on our social media.

As a result, we created this website to be able to offer enhanced information to our clients and the public. We do so much more than eye exams. An important part of our profession is watching for signs of other health conditions.

For example, we can see signs of diabetes and high blood pressure during exams, and we’ve caught these conditions before our patients were even aware of them. We were able to direct them to their physicians for testing and treatment. And we work with their physicians to make sure their vision stays healthy while they’re managing their condition.

We’ll be updating this blog frequently with news, tips for caring for contact lenses, and other information important to your health. More detailed information will be found in our Vision Care Center.

If there’s a topic you’d like us to talk about here, please give your suggestions to our optometrists or office staff. We’d be happy to take a look.

In the meantime, please take a look around our new website and get to know us better.