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

For your eyesight and your quality of life

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By aitkineyeca32139567, Jul 22 2019 02:00PM

Students’ Success Begins With Healthy Vision

As parents we do everything we can to help our children succeed in school. We purchase all the necessary school supplies. We make sure they do their homework and read every night. We even bring them in for an annual physical. But there is one more critical thing we should do… take our children for an annual vision and eye health examination.

80% of a child’s learning happens through vision, so it’s easy to understand how an undiagnosed vision problem could impact learning and performance, grades, self-esteem, and more. That’s why annual eye exams are so important for your child. Sometimes, undetected vision problems are mistaken for a learning disability, such as dyslexia or attention deficit disorders.

Below are some of the warning signs that your child is suffering from vision problems.

• Sitting too close to the TV or other electronic device, or holding a book too close

• Using their finger as a guide and/or frequently losing their place while reading

• Closing one eye or tilting their head to see better

• Frequent eye rubbing or sensitivity to light

• Complaints of headaches or tired eyes

If your child complains of any of these issues, it’s time to make an appointment with your optometrist. Your child deserves the best when it comes to education, and success in the classroom begins with healthy vision!

By aitkineyeca32139567, Jul 15 2019 07:00AM

Why Do I Have To Get My Eyes Dilated?

It’s true that having your eyes dilated during your routine eye exam can be a bit inconvenient. Not only does it take time, but once it’s over, you have to wear a pair of sunglasses in order to avoid light sensitivity, and you may even have to organize transportation from a friend or family member. But dilating your eyes is one of the most important aspects of your eye exam, and worth the inconvenience.

By using special eye drops to dilate your eyes, your optometrist has the ability to see not only the outer surface of the eye, but also through the pupil, to the retina, and all the way to the back of the eye. This makes for a much more thorough look at your overall health. Through this process, your optometrist can examine your optic nerve and blood vessels and discover issues such as retinal thinning, tears, or holes that can lead to retinal detachment or blindness.

In addition to eye-related diseases such as glaucoma, cataracts, and macular degeneration, dilation also enables your optometrist to detect the early warning signs of more general health issues, including high blood pressure, diabetes, and even some forms of cancer can show signs in the eyes.

Despite the inconvenience, having your eyes dilated on a regular basis is an important part of preventive health, for both your eyes and your whole body. Never skip out on having your eyes dilated—reserve the time, take your sunglasses, and schedule a ride home, and rest assured knowing you’re staying on top of preventative health measures that could make all the difference in your eye health and general health.

By aitkineyeca32139567, Jul 8 2019 02:00PM

Smoking . . . It’s Damaging Your Eyes

Study after study has proven smoking is bad for your health, especially your lungs and heart, but there are some detrimental effects smoking has on your vision, too. Smoking has been linked to two of the leading causes of vision loss, cataracts and macular degeneration, as well as a number of other eye health problems.

Cataracts occur when the lens in your eye becomes cloudy, causing blurred vision, faded color perception, glare, poor night vision, and even double vision. So what’s the link to smoking? The more you smoke, the greater the risk of developing cataracts. Smoking contributes to cataracts by altering the cells of the lens through oxidation. .

Macular degeneration involves the deterioration of the macula, the central part of the retina that allows us to perceive fine details. As the macula wears out, people experience blurriness, distortions, or blind spots in their central vision. And how does this connect to smoking? Smoking promotes macular degeneration by interfering with blood flow to the retina and increases the harmful effects of oxidation on the cells of the macula.

So the best is to never start smoking at all. But if you are a smoker, quit. Ex-smokers still have an increased risk of vision loss from cataracts or macular degeneration when compared with people who have never lit up a cigarette, but stopping smoking now reduces your risk. Quitting smoking can be difficult, but it is worth the effort, for your health and for your eyes!

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.

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