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, Jul 1 2019 02:00PM

I scheduled my first eye exam at the EyeCare Centers of Aitkin and McGregor: What should I expect?

You scheduled an appointment. But now you’re wondering, what happens next? Here’s a basic rundown of what to expect:


Prepare: An eye exam is an important part of your overall health. Bring a list of all your prescription medications, over-the-counter medications, and any vitamins or supplements you may be taking. Know your medical and vision history. Know your family medical and vision history. Bring along any glasses, sunglasses, reading glasses, and contact lenses you wear. Bring along all insurance cards.


When you arrive: Our receptionist will greet you as you enter the front door. There will be some basic paperwork to fill out to ensure we have accurate information. You will be asked to sign a form authorizing us to exam you and that you understand our privacy policies. After this brief paperwork is complete, the receptionist will let the optometric assistant know you are ready to begin the exam.


Preliminary testing: An optometric assistant will escort you to an examination room to review and document your eye and medical history as well as your family history. We will perform a series of tests to determine how clearly you can see. The preliminary tests may also include measuring your eye pressure (don’t worry, we do not use the old-fashioned “air puff” test), color vision, depth perception, and your peripheral vision. Once all the preliminary testing is completed there will be a short wait while the assistant discusses your history and preliminary test results with your doctor.


Examination: Your doctor will perform tests of your vision that include refraction. Typically you will be given a series of choices to determine the power that provides the clearest and most comfortable prescription. Other testing may include various eye alignment and eye coordination tests. Eye health examination may include dilation of your pupils. Dilation provides the best view of your retina, but does make your eyes more light sensitive and more difficult to focus for several hours. If dilation is not practical the day of your examination, we can reschedule that portion of the exam for another time.


Review: After completing the comprehensive vision and eye health examination, your doctor will discuss the results and outline a plan to maximize your vision and keep your eyes healthy. We strive to educate patients about their eyes and vision and encourage your questions.

So, there are the basics of an exam at our clinic. We look forward to seeing you soon and showing you in person what a high quality eye exam in a caring, professional, friendly environment looks like!



By aitkineyeca32139567, Jun 25 2019 06:08PM

Traumatic Brain Injuries & Vision

It’s not uncommon for someone who experiences a traumatic brain injury (TBI) to develop visual problems. A TBI can be caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the normal function of the brain. TBIs can range in severity from mild to severe—in fact, the CDC says that most TBIs that occur in the United States are mild and more commonly known as concussions.


Each year, TBIs contribute to a substantial number of disability cases. A short- or long-term loss in vision quality is just one of the many symptoms an individual may experience. A TBI can also impact attention and memory, coordination and balance, hearing, perception, and touch. Personality changes, aggressive behavior, poor impulse control, and mood disorders, such as depression and anxiety, can also appear after a TBI.


In addition to cognitive, physical, or other sensory impairments, here are some common visual problems that can result from a brain injury:

• Blurred vision

• Sensitivity to light and glare

• Reading difficulties

• Headaches associated with visual tasks

• Frequent bumping into objects, especially with one side of your body

• Double vision

• Aching eyes

• Reduction or loss of visual field

• Difficulty with eye movements

• Unable to maintain eye contact

• Dizziness/vertigo

• Dry eyes

• Visual hallucinations


Treatments are available… so do not suffer needlessly from these symptoms. Schedule a comprehensive eye examination to learn about your options.



By aitkineyeca32139567, Jun 17 2019 07:12PM

Some tips for people who wear contact lenses:


Replace your lenses on schedule.


You should replace your lenses as often as suggested, even if you don’t wear them every day. Wearing lenses beyond their recommended use is a common reason for eye irritation, and it also increases your risk of developing serious eye infections.


Clean your lenses well.


There are several different systems for keeping your lenses clean. Many people use a multipurpose solution for cleaning, rinsing, disinfecting, and storing their contact lenses each day. While some solutions are marketed as “no-rub” solutions, we still find that rubbing your contacts thoroughly during the cleaning process increases comfort and better removes any film or debris. Always wash your hands before removing or inserting your contacts. If you use a lotion or moisturizer, wait until after you’re done handling your contacts, as residue from the lotion can stick to the contacts.


Don’t use water.


If you run out of contact lens solution, it’s tempting to use water as a backup for cleaning and storage. Don’t do it! Not only will it increase your discomfort, water often has microbes that can introduce infections and further irritate your eyes.


No saliva, either!


Like water, it’s tempting to use your own saliva when you don’t have solution with you to rinse and clean your contacts. But using saliva will also increase your risk of irritation and infection.


When they are really uncomfortable…


If your contact lenses are really uncomfortable, there may be some dust or other debris clinging to your contacts and irritating your eyes. Remove your contacts and clean them thoroughly, letting your eyes rest before placing the lenses back in your eyes. Always be sure your contacts aren’t “inside out,” as they won’t feel good if they’re not inserted the right way. If they still don’t feel good, try giving your eyes more of a break by wearing glasses instead of contacts for a while. Allow your contacts to soak, or throw them out and start with a fresh pair.


Get your eyes checked every year.


A comprehensive eye examination can detect problems with wearing contact lenses, even before you notice any change in vision or any discomfort. Your optometrist can see signs of health problems on your cornea and recommend changes that can prevent problems form developing.


By aitkineyeca32139567, Jun 11 2019 03:09AM

Is Eye Twitching Serious?


If you’ve ever been short on sleep or greatly-stressed, you might have also experienced repetitive, uncontrollable eye spasms known as blepharospasm, or eye twitching.


While it can be annoying, eye twitching is usually fairly painless and harmless, indicating nothing more than increased fatigue, stress, or caffeine intake. Once these issues are resolved, the eye twitching usually disappears.


In rarer cases, eye twitching will become chronic, affecting the individual’s quality of life or progressing to the point of severe vision impairment.

If an eye twitch doesn’t resolve itself within a few days, or your eye twitch is strong enough to close the entire eye or affect other areas of your face, you should make an appointment to be seen at our office to determine the underlying cause and begin any possible treatments.



By aitkineyeca32139567, Jun 3 2019 03:05PM

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

• Holding things excessively close while reading

• Getting distracted or frustrated while reading

• Avoiding reading or other schoolwork

It is important to realize that young children may not report symptoms of vision problems. They do not know what “normal” vision is like. They may think that an inability to see clearly or comfortably is normal. That is why we can’t rely on symptoms to detect vision problems in young children.

Recommended eye examination schedule for children:

6-12 months old: InfantSEE (a FREE assessment of vision and eyes)

3-4 years old: SeeTo Learn (a FREE assessment for pre-school children)

5-18 years old: annual exam (vision problems are becoming more common and changes are happening more quickly)



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