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Different Color Eye Day

Today is certainly not one of the biggest holidays you will celebrate all summer, but in the eye care community, today is Different Color Eye Day. People like Mila Kunis, Kate Bosworth, Benedict Cumberbatch, Robert Downey Jr, and Christopher Walken are known for having noticeably different colored eyes.

The technical term for having different colored eyes are heterochromia iridis or heterochromia iridum. Hetero mean “different”, chromia means “colors”, and iridis or more technically iridium refers to the iris of the eye, or the thin colored circular structure that surrounds the iris and contains the melanin that gives our eyes our distinctive color.

border-collie-heterochromia

Heterochromia is usually benign or without any disease and does not affect your vision. It is generally considered very exotic. Heterochromia also occurs in animals, such as angora cats, Siberian huskies, or border collies.

In some cases Heterochromia is a symptom of another condition such as Horner’s syndrome. If your eyes have recently changed colors, schedule an appointment and let us give you a thorough eye exam.

The Shapes of Summer

Summer is a time we think about shape. We use summer to get in shape. We also look at those who are in better shape by the pool or at the park. The right shape is important to us at Iconic Eye Care. That includes the shape you put on your face. Getting the prescription for your eyewear is what Dr. Yen does so well. However, everyone at Eye Luv Lucy wants you to not only see good but look good too. That is why they take so much time with each and every customer to find the right pair or two of eyeglasses, not only for your prescription but your facial shape too. The folks at bidz put together this infographic sharing what frame shape looks best with what face shape. Let us share our expertise and help you find that perfect pair of eyeglasses or sunglasses today.

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May Is Cataract Awareness Month

Every May we pay special attention to cataracts. Cataracts are one of the leading causes of blindness in the United States. If not treated through a change in eyeglass prescription or surgery, cataracts can lead to blindness. In addition, the longer cataracts are left untreated, the more difficult it can be to successfully remove the cataract and restore vision.

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A “cataract” is a cloudy or opaque area in the lens of the eye. If any of the following signs are present, it may be an indication that a cataract is forming and that an eye exam should be scheduled: hazy, fuzzy, or blurred vision; the need for frequent changes in eyeglass prescriptions; the feeling of having a film over the eyes; changes in the color of the pupil, which is ordinarily black; experiencing problems with light, such as difficulty with night driving due to the cloudy part of the lens scattering the light of oncoming headlights; or, “second sight,” which is the temporary improvement in reading vision experienced when cataracts reach a certain stage of development.During Cataract Awareness Month in May, Dr Lucy and the staff of Eye Luv Lucy reminds the public that early detection and treatment of cataracts is critical to preserving sight. Schedule an eye exam today and let us make sure your vision stays the best it can be.

There Is No Pink

19391518_s1[1]Here is a fun fact we bet you didn’t know. You remember that pink blouse or shirt you own? Or perhaps the pink flamingos you see in a neighbor’s yard? Or the pink flowers you get every year for St Valentine’s Day? Pink is a great color, isn’t it? The problem is, pink doesn’t really exist. Pink as a singer is pretty darn good though. The primary colors we all see (ok…some of us are colorblind) is red, green, and blue. Every color we see is a combination of those three light colors.

In the design world we talk of additive colors and subtractive colors. In the additive world, when we add every color of light together, we get white. When we subtract every color, we get night, or black. If you think back hard enough, you probably remember some of your science classes back in high school or college in which you recreated Newton’s experiments of splitting light into colors with a prism. If you going to try it again, you will notice that the spectrum goes from red on one side, turning to yellow, then green, then blue, then violet….but no pink. Pink does not exist as a wavelength, but is instead a combination of red and blue, which are at opposite ends of the spectrum.

So what is pink? The simplest explanation is to call pink another name, minus green. Pink is white light, minus green. So next time you go shopping for a great shirt or blouse, be sure to ask what’s new in the minus green department and share this little bit of trivia with your friends and family.

School-aged Vision: 6-18 years-old

A child needs many abilities to succeed in school. Good vision is a key. It has been estimated that as much as 80% of the learning a child does occurs through his or her eyes. Reading, writing, chalkboard work, and using computers are among the visual tasks students perform daily. A child’s eyes are constantly in use in the classroom and at play. When his or her vision is not functioning properly, education and participation in sports can suffer.

As children progress in school, they face increasing demands on their visual abilities.

As children progress in school, they face increasing demands on their visual abilities.

The school years are a very important time in every child’s life. All parents want to see their children do well in school and most parents do all they can to provide them with the best educational opportunities. But too often one important learning tool may be overlooked – a child’s vision.

As children progress in school, they face increasing demands on their visual abilities. The size of print in schoolbooks becomes smaller and the amount of time spent reading and studying increases significantly. Increased class work and homework place significant demands on the child’s eyes. Unfortunately, the visual abilities of some students aren’t performing up to the task.

When certain visual skills have not developed, or are poorly developed, learning is difficult and stressful, and children will typically:

  • Avoid reading and other near visual work as much as possible.
  • Attempt to do the work anyway, but with a lowered level of comprehension or efficiency.
  • Experience discomfort, fatigue and a short attention span.

Some children with learning difficulties exhibit specific behaviors of hyperactivity and distractibility. These children are often labeled as having “Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder” (ADHD). However, undetected and untreated vision problems can elicit some of the very same signs and symptoms commonly attributed to ADHD. Due to these similarities, some children may be mislabeled as having ADHD when, in fact, they have an undetected vision problem.

Because vision may change frequently during the school years, regular eye and vision care is important. The most common vision problem is nearsightedness or myopia. However, some children have other forms of refractive error like farsightedness and astigmatism. In addition, the existence of eye focusing, eye tracking and eye coordination problems may affect school and sports performance.

Eyeglasses or contact lenses may provide the needed correction for many vision problems. However, a program of vision therapy may also be needed to help develop or enhance vision skills.

Vision Skills Needed For School Success

There are many visual skills beyond seeing clearly that team together to support academic success.

There are many visual skills beyond seeing clearly that team together to support academic success.

Vision is more than just the ability to see clearly, or having 20/20 eyesight. It is also the ability to understand and respond to what is seen. Basic visual skills include the ability to focus the eyes, use both eyes together as a team, and move them effectively. Other visual perceptual skills include:

  • recognition (the ability to tell the difference between letters like “b” and “d”),
  • comprehension (to “picture” in our mind what is happening in a story we are reading), and
  • retention (to be able to remember and recall details of what we read).

Every child needs to have the following vision skills for effective reading and learning:

  • Visual acuity — the ability to see clearly in the distance for viewing the chalkboard, at an intermediate distance for the computer, and up close for reading a book.
  • Eye Focusing — the ability to quickly and accurately maintain clear vision as the distance from objects change, such as when looking from the chalkboard to a paper on the desk and back. Eye focusing allows the child to easily maintain clear vision over time like when reading a book or writing a report.
  • Eye tracking — the ability to keep the eyes on target when looking from one object to another, moving the eyes along a printed page, or following a moving object like a thrown ball.
  • Eye teaming — the ability to coordinate and use both eyes together when moving the eyes along a printed page, and to be able to judge distances and see depth for class work and sports.
  • Eye-hand coordination — the ability to use visual information to monitor and direct the hands when drawing a picture or trying to hit a ball.
  • Visual perception — the ability to organize images on a printed page into letters, words and ideas and to understand and remember what is read.

If any of these visual skills are lacking or not functioning properly, a child will have to work harder. This can lead to headaches, fatigue and other eyestrain problems. Parents and teachers need to be alert for symptoms that may indicate a child has a vision problem.

Signs of Eye and Vision Problems

A child may not tell you that he or she has a vision problem because they may think the way they see is the way everyone sees.

Signs that may indicate a child has vision problem include:

  • Frequent eye rubbing or blinking
  • Short attention span
  • Avoiding reading and other close activities
  • Frequent headaches
  • Covering one eye
  • Tilting the head to one side
  • Holding reading materials close to the face
  • An eye turning in or out
  • Seeing double
  • Losing place when reading
  • Difficulty remembering what he or she read

When is a Vision Exam Needed?

The vision skills needed for successful reading and learning are much more complex than just 20/20 vision.

Your child should receive an eye examination at least once every two years-more frequently if specific problems or risk factors exist, or if recommended by your eye doctor.

Unfortunately, parents and educators often incorrectly assume that if a child passes a school screening, then there is no vision problem. However, many school vision screenings only test for distance visual acuity. A child who can see 20/20 can still have a vision problem. In reality, the vision skills needed for successful reading and learning are much more complex.

Even if a child passes a vision screening, they should receive a comprehensive optometric examination if:

  • They show any of the signs or symptoms of a vision problem listed above.
  • They are not achieving up to their potential.
  • They are minimally able to achieve, but have to use excessive time and effort to do so.

Vision changes can occur without your child or you noticing them. Therefore, your child should receive an eye examination at least once every two years-more frequently if specific problems or risk factors exist, or if recommended by your eye doctor. The earlier a vision problem is detected and treated, the more likely treatment will be successful. When needed, the doctor can prescribe treatment including eyeglasses, contact lenses or vision therapy to correct any vision problems.

 

Sports Vision and Eye Protection

Outdoor games and sports are an enjoyable and important part of most children’s lives. Whether playing catch in the back yard or participating in team sports at school, vision plays an important role in how well a child performs.

Specific visual skills needed for sports include:

  • Clear distance vision
  • Good depth perception
  • Wide field of vision
  • Effective eye-hand coordination

A child who consistently underperforms a certain skill in a sport, such as always hitting the front of the rim in basketball or swinging late at a pitched ball in baseball, may have a vision problem. If visual skills are not adequate, the child may continue to perform poorly. Correction of vision problems with eyeglasses or contact lenses, or a program of eye exercises called vision therapy can correct many vision problems, enhance vision skills, and improve sports vision performance. (Link to Sports Vision)

Eye protection should also be a major concern to all student athletes, especially in certain high-risk sports. Thousands of children suffer sports-related eye injuries each year and nearly all can be prevented by using the proper protective eyewear. That is why it is essential that all children wear appropriate, protective eyewear whenever playing sports. Eye protection should also be worn for other risky activities such as lawn mowing and trimming.

Regular prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses are not a substitute for appropriate, well-fitted protective eyewear. Athletes need to use sports eyewear that is tailored to protect the eyes while playing the specific sport. Your doctor of optometry can recommend specific sports eyewear to provide the level of protection needed.

It is also important for all children to protect their eyes from damage caused by ultraviolet radiation in sunlight. Sunglasses are needed to protect the eyes outdoors and some sport-specific designs may even help improve sports performance.

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