The Importance of Regular Vision Checkups
Vision Exams for Children
The American Optometric Association recommends that children have their eyes examined starting at six months of age, again at age 2-1/2 years, and then once each year thereafter. Why so young? Because detecting and correcting problems early in a child's development can help prevent a lifetime of learning difficulties and assure a healthier, happier future.
Annual professional testing during a child's school years is vital, as well. Generally speaking, vision checks in primary care doctors' offices and schools are not tests, simply assessments. They are limited to having the child read from a wall chart--hardly the same as determining how well he or she sees and processes in the real-life, real-school environment. Again, vision problems detected and corrected can enhance the young person's learning and living experience significantly. Learning disabilities, behavioral issues, lack of self-esteem: all are often linked to poor vision and visual skills.
At every age, our regular vision exams will test for:
- Eye Health
- Eyesight Clarity (near/farsightedness, astigmatism and presbyopia)
- Near-vision Problems
- Vision Function and Efficiency
"I have two daughters and my father is an optometrist, so my style of vision care is very family-oriented. In a typical week, I may work with a year-old child, individuals in their 80s or 90s, and clients of every decade between. Whatever the age or the issue, it is very exciting for me when we find a solution to someone's vision problem. I know his or her life will be better--often much better--as a result." - Dr. Marcy Rose, Optometrist O.D., F.C.O.V.D.
Vision Exams for Adults
The American Optometric Association recommends a yearly eye exam for adults -- not only to detect and to diagnose vision changes or problems -- but, also to maintain eye health. For example, glaucoma, a disease caused by increased pressure in the eye, commonly goes unnoticed by adults. Regular vision examinations are also important for the prevention of vision problems created or aggravated by today's academic and professional demands.
21st century lifestyles demand more from our vision than ever before. Adults in our technological society constantly use their near vision at work and at home. C.V.S. (Computer Vision Syndrome) is one of the fastest growing health concerns in the workplace today. Environmental stresses on the visual system (including excessive computer use or close work) can sometimes induce headaches and/or visual difficulties which can be effectively treated with corrective lenses and/or Vision Therapy.
Testing for More than 20/20
20/20 just means that the person can clearly see a certain letter on the standard eye chart (equivalent to what a person with normal vision should be able to see at 20 feet). There's so much more to healthy vision than 20/20!
Our comprehensive vision exam goes beyond 20/20 to evaluate many important visual skills, such as:
- Visual Acuity at Near: Is vision clear and single at close distances? Clear sight at short distances is critical to reading, writing, close work, computer use, etc.
- Eye Teaming Skills : Do the two eyes aim, move, and work as a coordinated team? Weaknesses in binocular (two-eyed) vision and eye teaming skills can cause numerous difficulties, including convergence insufficiency and poor depth perception.
- Eye Focusing Skills : Do the eyes maintain clear vision at varying distances? Rapid, automatic eye focus adjustment is critical to learning, reading, writing, sports, etc. Deficiencies can cause visual fatigue, reduced reading comprehension, and/or avoidance of close work or other activities.
- Eye Movement Skills : Do eye movements show adequate muscle control, tracking, fixation, etc.? In the classroom, normal eye movements allow rapid and accurate shifting of the eyes along a line of print or from book to desk to board, etc. In sports, efficient eye movements contribute to eye-hand coordination, visual reaction time, and accurate tracking.
- Reversal Frequency : Is confusion or reversal of letters or words (b, d; p, q; saw, was; etc.) within the normal ranges for a given age? Past the age of seven, frequent visual and written reversals might indicate a visual perceptual dysfunction.
Above are just a few of the many visual skills evaluated during our comprehensive vision exam. In addition, the health of your eyes, inside and out, is carefully evaluated for such problems as cataracts, glaucoma, hypertension, diabetes, etc.