Eyecare Center of Aitkin Blog | Aitkin, MN

Aitkin Office: 218-927-3213

312 Minnesota Ave N Aitkin, MN 56431

McGregor Office: 218-768-7000

241West Highway 210 McGregor, MN 56431

Eyecare Center of Aitkin - Eyecare and Services | Aitkin, MN

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By aitkineyeca32139567, Nov 11 2019 02:00PM

Behavior Disorder or Vision Problem?

If you are concerned your child may be suffering from ADD/ADHD, make sure he or she is screened for vision disorders first. Undetected vision problems can masquerade as ADD/ADHD because symptoms can be very similar.

For example, children who suffer from hyperopia (far-sightedness), eye focusing disorders, or eye teaming disorders will display many of the same warning signs as children who suffer from ADD or ADHD.

When a child is unable to focus properly or control his or her eye movements, it becomes difficult to focus on print while reading or using a computer. As a child, this type of eyestrain can become extremely frustrating, resulting in an avoidance of these tasks. So when your child is getting out of his or her seat, taking frequent bathroom breaks, or just generally moving around and fidgeting, he or she could actually be taking a “vision break.”

Children may not understand that they are seeing anything unusual because it’s normal to them, which is why they could have difficulty communicating that they are having difficulty reading or seeing correctly. This is why scheduling an eye exam to rule out vision disorders is essential before seeking an ADD/ADHD diagnosis. Glasses or eye exercises can relieve the problem.

If your child is struggling in school and you are concerned that ADD/ADHD may be a problem, schedule an eye exam with us first. It could be that a vision problem is contributing to his or her behavioral struggles.

By aitkineyeca32139567, Nov 4 2019 02:00PM

How Do You Prevent Cataracts?

Cataracts are a common disorder affecting our eyes as we get older. Cataracts are a cloudiness of the lens inside our eye. While age is the main cause of cataract development, there are other risk factors that are entirely preventable which could reduce the likelihood of developing cataracts later in life.

First of all, smoking is a major contributor to cataract formation. Smoking causes changes throughout your body, including your eye. Smoking causes changes to the natural proteins in the lens, making it become cloudy.

Second, nutrition is extremely important to your vision. Many vitamins and anti-oxidants are known to help prevent cataracts.

Finally, make sure you take care to protect your eyes from UV rays. Be sure you are wearing glasses and sunglasses with 100% UV protection.

So, to prevent cataracts or to slow the progression of cataracts if you already have been diagnosed with cataracts… don’t smoke, protect your eyes from UV rays, and get proper nutrition.

By aitkineyeca32139567, Oct 28 2019 01:00PM

Time Outdoors: What’s the Benefit to your Vision?

There has been a recent movement to get kids off the couch and out the door. From child obesity to the effect on the developing brain, video games and TV are being discouraged in favor of outdoor exercise and free play.

But did you know that outdoor play could also be beneficial to children’s vision? Studies show that being outdoors can significantly reduce the likelihood that a child will develop myopia (nearsightedness). Up to 50% less likely, in fact.

So how much time does a child have to spend outside to get these physical benefits? It’s recommended they spend 1.5 hours a day outdoors. Of course, you want to make sure your children as still protected by sunglasses and sunblock (not to mention appropriately supervised).

But beyond the obvious benefits like a lower risk for child obesity and more activity/growth for your child’s brain, it’s interesting to note that being outdoors helps in areas like vision as well.

By aitkineyeca32139567, Oct 16 2019 02:23PM

Signs Your Child Has a Vision Problem

There are many things you can look for if you’re concerned your child may be suffering from a vision problem. Vision problems can be misdiagnosed as both behavioral and learning disorders, which is why getting your children’s vision checked regularly is essential to their success both in and out of the classroom.

Here are some of the common symptoms your children may display if they have an undetected vision problem:

• Squinting, covering one eye, or closing one eye while reading

• Losing place of what line/page they were reading

• Skipping over words and lines while reading

• Angling or turning their heads to see more clearly

• Getting headaches while reading

• Looking at things up close while reading

• Getting distracted or frustrated while reading

• Avoiding reading or other schoolwork

This list is by no means comprehensive, but it’s a good start. If your child is experiencing any of these symptoms, schedule an exam and we can either rule out a vision problem, or determine the issue and work to treat it properly.

By aitkineyeca32139567, Sep 23 2019 12:00PM

See To Learn: a free vision and eye health assessment for 3-4 year olds

Is your child ready to learn? You definitely want your child to do their best in school, so you buy them school supplies, you bring them to the doctor, you buy them new clothes… but do you make sure they can see clearly? 80% of learning involves their eyes so it is critical to be sure they can see their best. That’s where See To Learn can help. By following these 3 steps you can do your part to make sure your child sees well and is ready to See To Learn!

Step 1:

Stay vigilant. As parents, guardians and educators, it’s up to us to recognize the signs of vision problems in the children we care for. See To Learn has the resources to keep you informed about common symptoms, which can crop up at any age.

Step 2:

Get the test. Three and four year olds are given a free vision and eye health assessment from a participating Eye Care Council optometrist. Early detection can be key: Serious conditions like amblyopia (lazy eye) and strabismus (turned eye) require intervention before age 5.

Step 3:

Follow up. Before or during a child’s first year of school, schedule an examination with an optometrist. Every year, 25 percent of starting kindergartners have vision issues affecting their ability to learn, which may not be detected in school-performed screenings.

At the EyeCare Centers of Aitkin and McGregor we are proud to be See To Learn providers. Let us help you make sure your child’s eyes are ready for school.

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