Eye Exam

Do Children Need Annual Eye Exams?

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When it comes to keeping children healthy and ensuring proper childhood development, annual visits to pediatricians are important. But what most parents don’t realize is that annual eye exams are equally as important.  Eye Exams for children are critical to their development and eye health. It is estimated that 25 percent of school age children have some type of vision problem, much of which goes unidentified due to lack of regular eye exams. Identifying issues with children’s vision is important because children can respond better to treatment when problems are diagnosed early. 

Learn More:  Pediatric Eye Care

With so much going on in your kid’s life it can be difficult to keep up, but it’s important to make sure they can see the world in front of them as clearly as possible.  So you might ask, when would be the right time to have your child seen for their first eye exam?  You might even be shocked by answer. 6 months old is the ideal age for a child's first eye exam. That may seem a bit young to you, but an eye exam from an optometrist at age 6 months is important for more than just checking for vision issues alone.

As we all know, the vision of a child during early life is constantly changing. By the time that a child reaches 6 months, their visual acuity has already dramatically improved. Hence, it is very important that your child is examined by an optometrist to check their vision.  Delaying such an exam might even cause a child to suffer from undetected vision issues.

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After the first exam, the next eye exam should be done once a child reaches 3 years old. By this time, the eyes of your child are already developing and growing. It is very important to have your child's eyes examined by an optometrist before they enter preschool. Although many schools offer vision screening, these screens are not comprehensive eye exams and the results can be very inaccurate. If you notice your child is having trouble with their vision (squinting, rubbing eyes, trouble reading) schedule an appointment with iCare Family Vision today and we can help address the issue and get your child seeing clearly again. With most vision conditions, early detection can make the corrections much easier to treat than allowing the problem develop into something worse.

Learn More:  Why Eye Exam Are Important For Everyone

Some of the vision issues that can be found through a comprehensive eye exam include astigmatism, nearsightedness, farsightedness, and other conditions that can be easily addressed by making use of prescription glasses. There are other eye issues in children which can easily be spotted by an optometrist including amblyopia or commonly known as a "lazy eye". Hence, it is best advised for parents to make the first steps in taking responsibility for their kids' overall eye health by scheduling regular annual eye exams starting at age 3.

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Just like the usual trip to the hospital or to a doctor, children might feel scared about it going to the optometrist. The good news is that Dr. Johnson at iCare Family Vision is super friendly and wonderful with kids of all ages.  She makes your child's eye exam feel like a fun game.

Learn More: The 21st Century Eye Exam

Ultimately, do not fall into the trap of assuming that everything is perfect with your child’s vision just because they are not complaining about or having particular symptoms.  Please make it a top priority as a parent to ensure that you have your kids checked by iCare Family Vision on an annual basis.

9 Foods That are Good For Your Eyes

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When it comes to having healthy eyes, you need to have a healthy lifestyle. Your eyes are always exposed to the elements, which is why they need proper care at all times. Exercise, good diet, regular visits to an eye doctor, and wearing prescription sunglasses are all good ways to protect your eyes.

When it comes to foods that are good for your eyesight it takes more eating more than just carrots. There are lots of foods that are nutrient-rich and will give your eyes the right support. While your parents were right when they insisted you eat those carrots (which are rich in beta-carotene, a good source of vitamin A which is beneficial to your eyes) there are other foods that will help help as well

1.  Green Leafy Vegetables

Leafy green vegetables like kale are high in  lutein which will help contribute to healthy eyes. Read more about the Benefits of Regular Eye Exams.  Lutien is known to lower the risk of developing various age-related eye conditions including cataracts and macular degeneration. In a study, women who are known to have lutein in their diet were proven to be 23% less likely to develop cataracts compared to women who consumed less of the nutrient. Other dark leafy vegetables including romaine lettuce, spinach, turnip greens, collards, and arugula are great choices that contain lutein.

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2.  Citrus and Berries

Citrus (oranges, grapefruits, lemons…) as well as, berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries …)  are great sources of vitamin C. Vitamin C is crucial in boosting your immunity and reducing your chances of developing cataracts. Vitamin C is also important in regenerating other nutrients in the eyes like Vitamin E.

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3.  Carrots

Carrots are an excellent source of vitamin A—one serving provides double the recommended daily amount. This essential vitamin is used by the eyes to maintain good vision. The beta-carotene in the vegetable is converted to vitamin A in the liver and then goes on to combine with a protein called opsin to form rhodopsin. This substance is needed for night and color vision. Regular consumption of carrots may also help to protect the eyes from age-related vision problems such as macular degeneration and cataracts.  Learn more about how Blue Light Can Contribute to Macular Degeneration.

4.  Almonds

Vitamin C and Vitamin E works together to keep tissue healthy. However, you may not get enough vitamin E from the food that you consume. To boost your vitamin E reserves, eat a handful of almonds every day. They're filled with vitamin E, which slows macular degeneration, research has shown. One handful (an ounce) provides about half of your daily dose of E.

5.  Eggs

Rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, eggs are a fantastic source of zinc which is a excellent nutrient that can help reduce macular degeneration. It is considered one of the healthiest breakfast foods to help you start your day. Eggs are a good source of protein and will provide other nutrients like omega 3s and vitamin E. Load up on eggs for protein and healthy eyes.

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6.  Fish

Fish like salmon, sardines, tuna, trout, and mackerel are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids DHA. This nutrient is concentrated in your eye’s retina and provides structural support to the cell membranes which achieve healthy eyes, as well as, protect retinal function. Research suggests that eating fish can reduce macular degeneration. In fact, those who consume large amounts of these animal-based omega 3 fats have a 60% lower risk of developing advanced macular degeneration in comparison to those who consume less.  Some studies have found that fish oil can help reverse dry eye.  Even if you don't like to eat fish, Dr. Johnson recommends a high quality fish oil supplement rich in omega-3 fatty acids.  Learn more about Dr. Johnson's Modern Approach to Eye Exams.

7.  Sweet Potatos

Sweet potatoes are rich in vitamin A, beta-carotene, potassium, and fiber, just like carrots, so they're also good for your eye health. The sweet flavor makes sweet potatoes a hit at mealtime, so it's easy to get all that good nutrition into your diet, even if you're a picky eater.

Serve baked sweet potatoes with olive oil, or a touch of a sweet glaze or top with baked beans, onions, cooked spinach or nuts. Take a break from regular French fries and make sweet potato fries instead, with a little bit of molasses drizzled on the top.

8.  Black-Eyed Peas and Other Legumes

All kinds of legumes like black-eyed peas, lima beans, kidney beans, and peanuts contain zinc, an essential trace mineral found in the eyes. Zinc can help provide protection from the damaging effects of light in your eyes. Other food that is high in zinc include lean red meat, oysters, poultry, and cereals.

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9.  Whole Grains

It turns out whole grains are not only good for your waistline; they contain vitamin E, niacin and zinc, which provide many benefits for the eyes. Not only do they reduce the risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration, but they also reduce the likelihood of blood sugar spikes that could damage the retina over time. The zinc in whole grains also protects eye tissue from light and inflammation.

A diet which contains low glycemic index (GI) can help in reducing your risk for age-related macular degeneration. You can swap refined carbohydrates for brown rice, quinoa, whole oats, and whole wheat breads.

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There are plenty of other great food choices that will help keep your eyes healthy. It is important that you keep a good diet because bad health choices can easily affect your eyes and vision.  Also, remember to always have annual eye exams to check the health of your eyes.

Is Blue Light Harmful to our Eyes?

Taking care of our skin from harmful light has always been a prime concern for people especially the over exposure to the harmful UV rays of the sun which can lead to sunburn and even skin cancer.  Protecting our eyes from harmful light is also very important since apart from the UV rays that can wreak havoc on us, there is another light that we need to be aware of, blue light.

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So what is the blue light and how does it affect our eyes?

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Blue light comes from the sun as well as LED lights and digital device screens. Blue light is the part of the visible light spectrum which is known to produce a highest levels of energy. Blue light is the kind of light is characterized by a higher form of energy and thus it can affect deeper into our eyes when we least expect it.  We must understand that our eyes are easily affected by this kind of light.  Blue light suppresses our body's release of melatonin, which can affect our sleep cycles and can cause insomnia. Some studies have shown that when our eyes are overexposed to the blue light, it can have a negative effect on the eye’s retina that could lead to a vision disorder that usually shows up as we age. One of the vision disorders thought to be caused by blue light is called  macular degeneration.

Although more research is needed to determine how much natural and man-made blue light is harmful to the retina, many eye care providers are concerned that the added blue light exposure from computer screens, smartphones and other digital devices might increase a person's risk of macular degeneration later in life.

Can Blue Light Be Harmful?

Two of the most obvious and harmful effects of blue lights to our eyes are macular degeneration as well as digital eye strain. As we have mentioned earlier, the blue light is known to reach deeper into the eyes. Such instance badly affects the retina’s sensitive cells which later on leads to macular degeneration when we get older.

It is an unfortunate fact, as well that the sources of blue light are some of the things that we love to use and we have been using for almost every day. Some of these include flat screen TVs, computers, mobile phones, and other digital devices like iPads and tablets.

Another thing which makes the blue light a problem for our eyes is that digital eye strain is very common nowadays in a generation of so many digital devices such as mobile phones and tablets. What the blue light is known to emit is a scattered energy instead of a focused energy. And our eyes are more susceptible to the scattered light which leads to digital eye strain.

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What can be done to reduce exposure to blue light?

Optometrists highly suggest that in order to combat the degenerative effects of the blue light the easiest solution is getting blue filtering or yellow tinted lenses. These lenses can be very helpful since it can reduce the amount of discomfort that can be derived from prolonged staring exsposure to blue light. These are also helpful in limiting the exposure of our eyes to a safer level of these lights.

Other options to help reduce the amount of blue light exposure include digital device filters, and computer eye glasses with blue blocking lenses by BluTech.

Make sure to schedule an eye exam appointment today with Dr. Johnson at iCare Family Vision to discuss Blue Light and lenses that can help reduce the effect of this light.

 

The 21st Century Eye Exam

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The Phoropter is a common name for an ophthalmic testing device, also called a refractor. It is has been commonly used by eye care professionals during an eye examination, and contains different lenses used for refraction of the eye during sight testing, to measure an individual's refractive error and determine his or her eyeglass prescription.  The term Phoropter was trademarked by Henry DeZeng in 1921, who is also credited for one of the first eye examination devices.

The model of phoropter as pictured above has been used by many eye doctors for decades and many patients remember their first eye exam on this type of manual traditional phoropter.

Welcome to the 21st Century Eye Exam

Today, digital technology has completely transformed the way we live our lives. Digital technology has also transformed the traditional eye exam. At iCare Family Vision, we don't settle for anything less than the best digital technology, especially when it comes to something as important as your vision!

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From the moment you sit down for your eye exam at iCare Family Vision, you’ll see how far we’ve come. No more old-fashioned knobs and hand-turned lenses. Instead, Dr. Johnson uses use an advanced digital eye exam system.  Dr. Johnson’s state-of-the-art eye exam uses the latest digital technology to ensure an accurate and comfortable prescription. Digital technology is incorporated into the comprehensive evaluation in order to enhance the analysis of your overall eye health.

A common concerns we hear from patients is having a hard time “choosing between 1 or 2” because it isn’t always easy to tell which is better and they are not comfortable guessing.  No need to guess anymore!  One of the benefits of digital eye exam is that we begin with a precise digital prescription measurement that we determined during your pre-testing on our digital autorefractor.  The autorefractor determines the lens power required by your eye to accurately focus light on your retina, giving Dr. Johnson a baseline prescription in an accurate & time-saving manner in the eye exam, which reduces the number of comparisons needed to finalize the customized prescription.

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At iCare Family Vision we believe that an eye doctor having strong family values leads to the best service possible. Our eye doctor strives to provide an exceptional, personalized eye care each and every one of our patients.  In order to provide exceptional eye care, our eye doctor uses cutting-edge technology which enhances your eye care experience. Our eye doctor's goal is to provide you and your family with the most comprehensive eye care possible.

St Louis Park Optometrist to Open New Practice

Opening day on March 20

St. Louis Park, MN — March 20, 2017iCare Family Vision, a full scope optometric practice, will open this month on 5103 Minnetonka Blvd. and will be independently owned and operated by Dr. Elizabeth Johnson.

Dr. Johnson has been working as an optometrist in the area for six years in the employ of Calhoun Vision Center and The Spectacle Shoppe, and has a reputation in the community for her gentle style and excellent clinical skills. She obtained her Doctorate of Optometry from Indiana School of Optometry, is a member of the American Optometric Association, the College of Optometrists in Vision Development and the Minnesota Optometric Association.

Better Patient Experience

Dr. Johnson’s plans for iCare Family Vision include use of the latest technology, personalized care for each patient, and a unique assortment of eyewear in a comfortable, well-appointed optical gallery for discriminating buyers. She has partnered with several local eyewear vendors in addition to offering well-known brands of eyewear, and is committed to helping all of her patients see more clearly.

 “After serving the Twin Cities community for the better part of a decade, I realized the need for a clinic that focuses more on the patient experience” said Dr. Johnson.  “At iCare Family Vision, our mission is to change the way you think about eye care by providing exceptional eye care and only the highest quality eyewear.”

Dr. Johnson will begin seeing patients at iCare Family Vision on March 20, 2017.  iCare Family Vision is an in network provider for patients with VSP, and also most major medical plans.

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