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Posts tagged ‘eye care for kids’

Can Your Student See the Blackboard – or Rather, Whiteboard at School?

Vision and LearningRemember when teachers used to write with chalk on blackboards? Today, those blackboards, chalk and erasers have been largely replaced with whiteboards, markers and Power Point presentations.

The question parents and teachers ask their students still remains just about the same:

“Are you having any trouble seeing the blackboard whiteboard at school?”

Parents and teachers know vision plays a vital role in a student’s ability to learn.  In today’s technology driven world, a student’s reliance on clear vision for learning is greater than ever. Research studies show a direct link between vision and a student’s performance in the classroom.

More Information Learned Visually

Various research studies conducted in educational theory show that visual learning is among the very best methods for teaching students of all ages how to learn.

According to the research, students remember information at a much higher rate when that information is presented visually.

Visual Clarity Improves Learning 

Studies also show that visual clarity of the information being studied greatly impacts the ease at which it is learned and the attitude of the student.  Students have a positive approach to the information if they can see it clearly and easily. This has huge implications on learning. A student’s feelings and perceptions about learning determine the student’s level of motivation, comprehension and retention. Crisp and clear vision is critical for optimal academic performance. If a student has a vision problem, they are likely to be frustrated with school and develop a poor attitude towards their education.

Color Vision for Whiteboards and Computer Screens

The increasing use of whiteboards and Power Point presentations in the classroom allow teachers to use a wide variety of colors in their teaching. If a student has an issue with their color vision (color blindness), they may not be able to see or distinguish important parts of the teacher’s presentation. This can have a significant impact on understanding a teaching lesson and learning. Boys are more likely to have issues with color vision than girls.

Importance of Regular Eye Exams

Academic performance is yet another reason why attending regular scheduled eye exams are so important. Talk to your eye doctor about your child’s academic performance and whether they are having trouble seeing the information presented to them in the classroom. It can be surprising how well a student’s grades improve when vision problems are corrected.

Learn more about quality eye care and eye wear from a company and a team of eye care professionals who have been providing a superior level of service for more than 35 years. Please visit While on the website, notice the special eyeglass frames offered just for children. Shawnee Optical’s KidSpecs program provides kids of all ages with hundreds of frames choices. After all, kids want to look good too!

Children Shouldn’t Be Scared of Cycloplegic Refraction

Cycloplegic refraction explained by Shawnee OpticalThe term “cycloplegic refraction” certainly sounds intimidating. Tell this to a child and it can be understandably frightening.  As with many unknowns, a little knowledge and setting expectations can take away unnecessary fears.

What is Cycloplegic Refraction?

Cycloplegic refraction is nothing more than a procedure used by eye doctors to gain an accurate reading of a person’s refractive error to help them see more clearly and comfortably.

Refractive error is the inability of a person’s eye to bend light correctly. If light is not refracted properly as it enters the eye, the result is distorted vision.

During the testing in an eye exam, a patient’s eyes may auto- focus, or accommodate, which leads to inaccurate and inconclusive testing results. When your eyes are auto focusing, your eye doctor cannot decisively determine your true eye prescription.

Cycloplegic refraction temporarily stops the eye’s ability to auto focus allowing your eye doctor to correctly ascertain your prescription and optimize your ability to see clearly and comfortably.

Why is Cycloplegic Refraction Common with Children?     

Cycloplegic refraction is often times used with children. Children have a strong ability to unknowingly accommodate, or auto-focus, their vision which makes eye exams yield inaccurate or incomplete results.

As described above, cycloplegic refraction briefly suspends a child’s ability to auto-focus. This provides the eye doctor with an uninterrupted opportunity to obtain an exact reading on the child’s refractive error and derive a true and accurate prescription.

What to Expect with Cycloplegic Refraction

Cycloplegic eye drops are placed in the patient’s eye to prevent the ciliary muscle of the eye from contracting and relaxing. This muscle is attached to the crystalline lens of the eye and controls the shape of lens.

There are a variety of cycloplegic eye drops which differ in strength and duration.  When these eye drops are applied, it causes the pupils to dilate and vision will become blurred for a few hours. Some patients also experience tearing and redness in the eyes.

Not Just for Children

Cycloplegic refraction is not exclusively for children. Adults sometimes need this procedure performed to gain a more precise eye prescription. If eyeglasses do not provide the level of clarity needed, this procedure may be appropriate to deliver a refined eyeglass prescription.

Learn more about quality eye care and eye wear from a company and a team of eye care professionals who have been providing a superior level of service for more than 30 years. Please visit

Baby Vision from the Womb to Age One

Eighty percent (80%) of our learning comes visually. That’s not the case, however, when a newborn child comes home from the hospital. Just as infants have to learn to use their arms and legs, they have to learn to use their eyes. The process takes months, and sometimes a little knowledge about the process can greatly help calm a parent’s concerns.

Eye Development While in the Mother’s Womb
The roots of healthy vision begin well before birth. Unlike most of the organs, a newborn’s eyes are almost 65% of their future adult size on the day he or she is born. A strong correlation exists between low birth weights and increased vision problems in infants. This is one of the many reasons to closely follow your doctor’s recommendations on nutrition, rest, medications and smoking.
What Does a Newborn Baby See First
A baby’s first visual images will be very blurry and largely in shades of gray. The nerve cells of the retina and brain are still developing. Newborns also lack the ability to change focus from near to far objects. Their focus is locked in at about 8 to 12 inches, which just so happens to be the distance from Mom’s shoulder to her face. How blurry is their vision? They can’t make out Mom’s features, but they recognize the outline and proportions of her head.
Shawnee Optical Tip: Since a newborn recognizes the silhouette of faces, if you want a newborn to recognize you, don’t do anything to change that silhouette. Keep everything consistent including your hair style.  Simply putting on a big floppy hat will cause you to be treated like a stranger.
A Baby’s Eyes at One Month Old
Acuity is improving and baby is starting to experience color vision. Reds, oranges, yellows and greens will come first. Recognition of colors with shorter wavelengths, like blue and violet, will take longer to develop. A baby’s eyes may occasionally cross, or turn slightly. This is not unusual, and as long as it is not consistent, you shouldn’t worry.
Shawnee Optical Tip:  At one (1) month old, a baby’s eyes are very tolerant of light. They are about 50 times less sensitive to light than adults. That means a night light in their room won’t disturb them and if they find themselves awake in their crib at night, at least they can look around a bit.
A Baby’s Eyes at Two and Three Months Old
Acuity continues to sharpen and a baby’s eyes are beginning to work together as a team. This brings a big improvement in depth perception, which improves the ability to reach out and touch things. During this time, a baby’s eyes are becoming more sensitive to light, so it’s time to ease back on the lights at naptime and bedtime.
Shawnee Optical Tip: To help with a baby’s visual development, shake up their world a little bit. Move their crib, add new items to their environment, and if they usually are on their back, put them on their belly to play. The variety enriches their visual experience.
A Baby’s Eyes at Four to Six Months Old
By six months, many infants are nearing what we consider normal adult acuity and color vision. Her improving eye-hand coordination shows, as you marvel at how quickly she can get a toy from her hand to her mouth . Now it’s time for baby’s first eye examination. The American Optometric Association (AOA) recommends an eye exam at 6 months. The eye doctor can do nonverbal checks for near-sightedness, far-sightedness, astigmatism and eye alignment.
Shawnee Optical Tip: If you’d like to have your baby’s eyes examined, but can’t afford it, check into the American Optical Association’s InfantSee program.
A Baby’s Eyes at Seven to Twelve Months Old
A baby’s eyes are now almost fully developed and they are learning how to put their new vision to use. They are crawling and exploring. At this age, a baby’s eyes will often start to darken. Newborns’ eyes are typically blue. Pigments build up in the baby’s iris and many blue eyes transform into to brown, green and gray eyes.
Shawnee Optical Tip: To stimulate eye-hand coordination, encourage a baby to crawl to get their toys. The interaction between eyes, arms and legs is very healthy and very important. Surprisingly, encouraging children to walk early may actually hurt the development of their eye-hand skills.
Signs of Vision Problems in Babies
The American Optical Association gives the following list of warning signs that parents should be aware of. Any of these symptoms should be discussed as soon as possible with your pediatrician or eye doctor.
  • Excessive tearing may signal blocked tear ducts.
  • Red or crusty eye lids are a possible sign of infection.
  • Constant eye turning or crossing can indicate poor muscle control.
  • Extreme sensitivity to light could signal high pressures in the eye.
  • White pupils may be a sign of a serious condition, such as cancer.

To learn more about eyeglasses, eyeglass lenses, proper eye care, eye wear and Shawnee Optical, please visit our website at

The Importance of Eye Care at Every Stage in Your Life

Vision problems are common and affect everyone from infants to senior citizens. Proper eye care and eye wear at every stage in life are very important in order to see clearly and prevent future eye health issues.

A problem with a child’s vision can be the underlying cause of learning difficulties in school. The process of learning is highly visual and is dependent on clear vision. Eye care for children begins at the start of life. A pediatrician should examine a new born infant’s eyes at birth. Eye examinations should also be performed when a child is 6 months old, 2 years old, then at least every two years after that unless more frequent examinations are required.

Teenagers are prone to ultraviolet rays from the sun and the harmful impact ultraviolet rays can have on eyes if protective eye wear such as sunglasses are not used. Research shows 80% of a person’s lifetime exposure to ultraviolet rays occurs by the age of 18. Extra-curricular school activities such as sports often times necessitate protective or corrective eye wear.  Clear vision helps teens participating in these programs perform at their best. Protective eye wear worn during these types of activities prevents eye injuries. Regular eye examinations during the teen years are essential to future eye health.

Corrected vision and healthy eyes are vital to adults. We all live very busy lives and need to take care of all aspects of our health, including eye health, in order to cope with stress and enjoy life to the fullest. While you may not notice any issues with your vision or overall eye health, a regular eye exam is still necessary to detect problems that may be emerging. If your family has a history of eye disease, diabetes and high blood pressure, regular eye exams must be conducted to monitor and identify whether or not these conditions are affecting you.

As we continue to age and reach the advanced stages of life, the risk of eye disease and eye problems increases dramatically.  Annual eye examinations are critical to maintaining vision and staying active during your senior years.

Developing a trusted relationship with an eye care professional is just as important as your relationship with a primary care physician.  At Shawnee Optical, we have been nurturing long-term relationships with patients for over 30 years. We get know our patients, their families and their lifestyles. This helps us understand their eye health history, their susceptibility to specific eye problems, their eye wear needs and enables us to deliver the very best eye care and level of service.  A relationship like this saves our patients both time and money.

To learn more about eye care and Shawnee Optical, please visit our website at

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