Alamo Optometry Blog

September 4, 2009

Adult Vision Ages 19-40

Filed under: Educational — Tags: , — admin @ 11:35 pm

Adult Vision Ages 19-40

(As appeared in Alamo Today, September 2009, pg. 29)

In this installment of our series, we will tackle what to expect from your eyes and how to take care of them from after high school until age 40. For most adults, this is the time of healthy eyes and good correctable vision. The two main issues for this age group are visual stress from heavy computer use, fatigue, poor lighting, etc., and injuries from sports and work. For a majority of patients, simple vision issues like near-sightedness, far-sightedness, and astigmatism can be well-corrected with glasses and contact lenses without having to deal with presbyopia or other eye diseases which will be discussed in later articles.
As you start out in the world after school, your eyes and vision are integral to your success. Whether you need them for long hours studying pursuing a college or post-graduate degree, beginning your career in your chosen field, or enjoy sports, your vision will be paramount in your endeavors.
The first thing to remember is that healthy eyes and good vision go together; if you don’t take good care of your eyes, they will not help you in your daily life. A healthy diet consisting of fruits and vegetables will only help your overall health, including the eyes. Supplemental vitamins are also recommended if your diet is lacking in some of these areas. In addition, hydration is very important. Dryness is a big problem with heavy computer use, and staying hydrated can help alleviate some end-of-day redness and discomfort. Exercise helps improve blood circulation throughout the body and helps remove toxins in the bloodstream away from the eyes. Smoking cessation can be extremely beneficial to your overall health. Besides the heart, lung, and other systemic diseases that smoking can lead to, the risk for macular degeneration later in life in increased about 4-6 fold. As always, routine eye care in conjunction with the above suggestions will help maintain your overall vision and ocular health.
Now that we have addressed the health issues with the eye, we need to discuss how to deal with the visual stress that is present in our daily world. The most common causes are computer use and long hours reading documents and contracts. Even though computer use has become a major part of society, most people compound the problem by not having the correct eyeglass prescription, having improper lighting and incorrect viewing angles and working distances. As the day progresses, eyestrain and visual fatigue manifest themselves as tired eyes, red eyes, dry, stinging, burning, and focusing difficulties. Making some adjustments like keeping your eyes above the level of the computer monitor, taking a break from the monitor every 30 minutes and let your eyes rest, blinking, staying properly hydrated, and reducing a lot of artificial light and glare can go a long way in relieving visual fatigue and stress.
In addition to taking care of your eyes at work and college, the eyes need the proper care for sports and at-home activities. Sports such as basketball, football, baseball, and racquetball require the safety from protective eyewear or goggles that regular eyeglasses and contact lenses do not provide. Frames and goggles for adults and kids at our office made by Liberty provide both a fashionable and functional option for vision and eye protection. The lenses can be made in most prescriptions and made out of polycarbonate, which offers both UV protection and shatter-resistance.
At home, some of the everyday activities that we do can pose a danger to the eyes. Things such as mowing the lawn, woodworking, and using strong household chemicals require safety goggles. Non-prescription safety goggles can be found in some hardware stores and depending on the type of glasses, prescription lenses can be put into them.
Even though a majority of patients in this age range are healthy and have good correctable vision, there are always issues and pitfalls are present at work and home that can lead to vision loss. Staying healthy with routine medical care in conjunction with coordinated eye care will help you optimize your vision and eye health.

Dr. K. at Alamo Optometry is your hometown eye doctor for outstanding service, vision care, and designer eyewear. He can be reached at 925-820-6622 or visit his office at 3201 Danville Blvd., Suite 165 in Alamo. Visit our website at: ww.alamooptometry.com.

August 11, 2009

School-Aged Vision

Filed under: Vision Care Tips — Tags: , — admin @ 11:34 pm

School-Aged Vision

(As appeared in Alamo Today, August 2009, pg. 30)

In our second installment of vision and eye health throughout our lifetime, this month we will discuss the needs of a school-aged child. In contrast to preschool kids, school-age children are required to use their eyes and vision not only learning, but for comprehension, extended times of visual attention, and sports. From learning to read in the early years to taking notes and transitioning quickly between the board to your paperwork in junior high and high school the visual demands placed on a student are many and varied.
To be able to succeed in school, good vision is paramount. According to the American Optometric Association, it has been estimated that nearly 80% of learning occurs through the eyes. However, about 20% of school-aged children struggle to read. Some of these children suffer from learning disabilities that inhibit their ability to read. And some children are labeled as having Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), because an undetected vision problem can have the same signs and symptoms as ADHD. Obviously these children will have problems with learning, but sadly a large portion of children have vision difficulties that are interfering with reading.
The major thing to know as parents is that vision is more than just seeing 20/20. Obviously that is important, but you also need the ability to understand and respond to what is seen. Every child needs to have the following skills to effective read and learn: visual acuity, eye focusing, eye tracking, eye teaming, eye-hand coordination, and visual perception. If any or all of these necessary skills are lacking, your child will have to work harder to compensate. This can lead to headaches, fatigue, and inattention to detail.
As children progress in school, they face increasing demands on their visual abilities. The size of print in schoolbooks becomes smaller and the amount of time spent reading and studying increases significantly. When the visual abilities of the child are unable to keep up, learning becomes difficult and frustrating. When this occurs, children will start to avoid reading and other near work or attempt to do the work with lower efficiency, and experience discomfort, fatigue, and a short attention span.
Keep in mind that a child might not always tell their parents that they have a vision problem because they assume that is the way everyone sees or struggles to see. Some signs to look for that your child might have a vision problem include: frequent eye rubbing or blinking, avoiding reading, headaches, covering or favoring one eye, tilting the head to read, seeing double, consistently losing place when reading, and lower reading comprehension.
In addition to the vision requirements for school and learning, sports and recreation activities also come with their own vision issues. Besides good vision, depth perception, wide peripheral vision, and effective eye-hand coordination are essential for success in any sport. If appropriate, contact lenses offer an effective means of correcting any vision issues while allowing for the freedom of running and exercising without the hassle of glasses. For those who are not interested in contacts, sports goggles are also a great option. These are becoming more fashion-forward and are impact resistant. The lenses should be made in polycarbonate, which are shatter-proof. In addition, they can be tinted for day games, or have transitions lenses (which turn from clear to dark) for more versatility. Regardless of the type of glasses or sunglasses, your child should have UV protection. Children receive about 75% of their entire UV exposure for their lifetime by the time they are 18. More children should be wearing UV-blocking sunglasses and have UV protection in their everyday glasses.
Vision changes can occur without your child or you noticing them. We recommend a comprehensive eye exam at the latest before entering Kindergarten, and then every 1-2 years thereafter, unless otherwise directed. Keep in mind, the earlier a problem is found and treated, the higher the success rate and improvement in your child’s education and well-being.

Dr. K. at Alamo Optometry is your hometown eye doctor for outstanding service, vision care, and designer eyewear. He can be reached at 925-820-6622 or visit his office at 3201 Danville Blvd., Suite 165 in Alamo. Visit our website at: ww.alamooptometry.com.

Copyright 2008 | All Rights Reserved | Alamo Optometry
Maintained with CompactCMS.nl
 Designed and Hosted by Striking Web