Eye Exams for Babies and Nonverbal or Special Needs Patients

This 10-month old baby is so happy after putting on her first pair of glasses! She can’t stop smiling when she sees her parents clearly for the first time 🙂
Babies can’t tell you if there’s something wrong with their vision. That’s why you should have your children’s eyes checked starting at 6 months of age. An optometrist can use handheld instruments to determine how the light focuses in their eyes, so young patients and patients with special needs can be examined without having to read the letter chart. Yearly eye exams are crucial to ensure that development is on the right track!

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Buying Glasses Online Not A Good Idea

Operating online is cheaper, but even Clearly Contacts has opened a few storefronts – they’ve realized how important it is to have your glasses customized to fit your face in order for the prescription to work well!

Also for the glasses to work well, the prescription needs to be filled correctly. A 2011 study evaluating online orders showed nearly half of the prescription glasses purchased online did not meet patients’ “visual or physical needs.” The study showed 28.6 per cent of the glasses contained at least one lens that failed a component of optical analysis (eg. failure to match prescription, failed impact testing, incorrect/added lens treatments, incorrect lens type single vision vs bifocal).
These things get inspected at an optometrist’s office before the glasses are dispensed. They may be sent back to the lab for correction, which is why your delivery gets sometimes takes a bit longer, but it’s worth the wait to ensure quality.

An experienced optometrist or optician will help you choose frames that work with your particular prescription needs, and make recommendations about coatings and lens materials based on your specific prescription. They require measurements to customize the lenses for the frames you choose, and in high prescriptions, even a small error can cause headaches.

Glasses are something that you have to depend on daily, so take the time to get them right!|

See here for an article about buying online from CTV News: Buying glasses online may be cheap, but not necessarily safe, doctors warn

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Tired Eyes At Work

Do your eyes feel tired and uncomfortable after a long day at work or studying? Eye strain is very common if you spend long periods of time staring at a computer screen without taking proper breaks. Even people who have “perfect vision” and don’t normally need glasses can have symptoms with prolonged computer use.

Common symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome:

  • Eye strain
  • Headaches
  • Double vision
  • Red, irritated or dry eyes
  • Blurry vision, difficulty focusing
  • Neck, back, or shoulder pain

What causes Computer Vision Syndrome?

Eyestrain occurs with prolonged periods of high visual demands, especially when you are focusing up close and doing activities such as reading, writing, and using digital devices. This can be very tiring on your eyes if you don’t take the time to relax your focusing mechanism. Even a small uncorrected refractive error (such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism) or eye teaming misalignment can affect how comfortably your eyes focus up close. Depending on your condition, you may be working extra hard to maintain a clear image, which causes strain over time.

Furthermore, staring at a computer screen or at a book all day causes people to blink about half as often as they usually do, which causes dryness because the eyelids are supposed to spread tears across your eyes to keep them moist and healthy. Dryness causes irritation and blurry vision when there isn’t a smooth surface for light to enter the eyes.

It’s hard to avoid digital screens these days, so here are some tips to prevent eye fatigue:

  • Position your screen at about arm’s length away and 20 degrees below eye level
  • Minimize glare on your screen by re-positioning yourself or using anti-glare filters
  • Keep your screen clean and free of dust/smudges
  • Remember to TAKE BREAKS! Use the 20-20-20 Rule: Every 20 minutes, look at something at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds! This is so important for relaxing your eyes
  • Remember to BLINK! Everyone blinks less when staring at something, but try to be intentional about blinking. If your eyes are feeling dry, talk to Dr Lee about eyedrops to relieve discomfort.
  • Make sure your glasses prescription is up to date so that you’re not working extra hard to focus
  • During your eye exam, talk to Dr Lee about your computer usage. You may benefit from glasses to wear at work (even if you don’t need them usually), or if you already have glasses, ask for anti-reflective coatings which reduce glare from screens and overhead lights.

Computers are a big part of life now so it’s important to take the necessary steps to prevent eye problems and keep yourself comfortable at work!

Eye strain can also be a sign of more serious eye conditions. If it persists at any time of day (not just when you’ve been reading or using a computer), or is associated with headaches, double vision, nausea, or changes in your eyesight, please contact Dr. Lee immediately.

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