7 Things You Should Know About Eyelid Twitches

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Eyelid Twitches : 7 Things You Should Know About Them

 

You may have experienced this before. Out of nowhere, your eyelid starts twitching uncontrollably. While this can be a cause of aggravation, eyelid twitches, spasms or tics are actually quite common. Here are 7 things you should know about this eye condition:

  1. Eye twitches are generally caused by a repetitive, involuntary spasm in your eyelid muscles and are known in medical terms as a blepharospasm.
  2. Almost all sudden-onset eye twitching is not considered to be a serious medical condition, though it can be hard to treat without knowing the underlying cause.
  3. Eyelid twitches can occur sporadically, though some people have been known to feel them for a few consecutive days or weeks
  4. Stress, tiredness, eyestrain, caffeine alcohol or tobacco usage, dry eyes, allergies or nutritional imbalances are factors that can trigger or exacerbate eye twitches. The body produces endogenous cortisol (a steroid) when stressed, which may cause biological warning signs to the body to de-stress.
  5. If reducing stress does not alleviate the twitches, your eye doctor can perform a refraction (vision test) and comprehensive eye health exam to see if eye treatment can resolve the problem. Sometimes the solution is relieving eyestrain by updating your glasses.
  6. Rarely, a twitch will continue despite these efforts to alleviate triggers. In that case, they can be treated with Botox injections to help stop the muscles in your eyelid from contracting.
  7. Eyelid spasms are only considered a medical emergency when the twitch is accompanied by red or swollen eyes, unusual discharge, a drooping eyelid or twitching in other parts of the face. These may be symptoms of a more serious neurological disorder.

If you are experiencing eye twitches and are overdue for an eye exam give us a call today and make an appointment!

 

Eyecare Associates of Lees Summit 816-524-8900

Facts About Our Amazing Eyes

Posted by & filed under General Vision.

 

 

 

We don’t often give our AMAZING eyes as much thought as we should, that is until something goes wrong and our vision is affected. But when you learn more about eyes, you realize just how amazing they are. Here are a few facts you may enjoy:

 

1. Eyes began to develop 550 million years ago. The simplest eyes were patches of photoreceptor protein in single-celled animals.

2. Your eyes start to develop two weeks after you are conceived.

  1. The entire length of all the eyelashes shed by a human in their life is over 98 feet with each eye lash having a life span of about 5 months.
  2. To protect our eyes they are positioned in a hollowed eye socket, while eyebrows prevent sweat dripping into your eyes and eyelashes keep dirt out of your eyes.
  3. Your eyeballs stay the same size from birth to death, while your nose and ears continue to grow.
  4. An eye is composed of more than 2 million working parts.
  5. Only 1/6 of the human eyeball is exposed.
  6. Corneas are the only tissues that don’t have blood.
  7. The human eye weights approximately just under an ounce and is about an inch across.
  8. An eye cannot be transplanted. More than 1 million nerve fibers connect each eye to the brain and currently we’re not able to reconstruct those connections.
  9. 80% of our memories are determined by what we see.
  10. Eyes heal quickly. With proper care, it takes only about 48 hours to repair a minor corneal scratch.
  11. There are about 39 million people that are blind around the world.
  12. 80% of vision problems worldwide are avoidable or even curable.
  13. Humans and dogs are the only species known to seek visual cues from another individual’s eyes, and dogs only do this when interacting with humans.
  14. A fingerprint has 40 unique characteristics, but an iris has 256, a reason retina scans are increasingly being used for security purposes.
  15. People who are blind can see their dreams if they weren’t born blind.
  16. “Red eye” occurs in photos because light from the flash bounces off the back of the eye. The choroid is located behind the retina and is rich in blood vessels, which make it appear red on film.
  17. 80% of what we learn is through our eyes.
  18. Eyes are the second most complex organ after the brain.

Keep those amazing eyes healthy. Come see us for regular checkups and make sure those amazing eyes of yours last you a lifetime. To make an appointment call 816-524-8900.

 

Serving Lees Summit for 30 years. Conveniently located right off Chipman Ave at 221 NW McNary Ct. Call 186-524-8900 today for an appointment.

 

Eye injections help vision loss in diabetes.

Posted by & filed under Eye Health.

 

 

Eye injections help vision loss in diabetes.

For the past 20 years, Julio has taken medication daily to treat his diabetes, but it was still a shock when he suffered a hemorrhage in his right eye more than a year ago.

“I could see blood,” said the 46-year-old from Kendall, who did not want his full name used. “It started with minor bleeding and I couldn’t see from my right eye.”

He was diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy, a common complication of diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The condition is characterized by progressive damage to the blood vessels of the retina, the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye that is necessary for good vision. Often, the vessels swell and leak fluid or even close off completely.

If left untreated, diabetic retinopathy can cause significant vision loss. Symptoms include blurred vision, distortion and a change in vision. It is not curable but treatable.

 

Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness among U.S. adults ages 20-74, according to the CDC. Early diagnosis and timely treatment are critical, as 50 percent of patients are diagnosed too late for treatment to be effective, the CDC said.

For those who receive timely treatment, intravitreal injection has changed the course of the disease, said Dr. Andrew Schimel, retina specialist at the Center for Excellence in Eye Care at Baptist Health South Florida. Medicine is injected inside the eye, near the retina, which counteracts the damage to the blood vessels.

Intravitreal injection has become the most common ophthalmic procedure performed in the United States, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Other treatments for diabetic retinopathy include laser surgery and pars plana vitrectomy, said Dr. Harry Flynn, retina specialist at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

Laser surgery shrinks abnormal new vessels and reduces swelling. The procedure fixes leakage or hemorrhaging as a result of diabetic retinopathy, Flynn said.

Pars plana vitrectomy is a mechanical approach to eye surgery, removing blood and scar tissue from the eye, Flynn said. This procedure is only used for advanced and complex cases of diabetic retinopathy, such as when patients have lost the ability to drive or navigate independently.

Not every patient with diabetic retinopathy requires treatment, said Dr. Mark Herriott, a board certified optometrist with Eyecare Associates of Lees Summit. Patients with mild cases of the disease can receive counseling on how to monitor and control their glucose levels. Moderate to severe cases are referred to retina specialists.

In Julio’s case, he underwent outpatient surgery to reattach his retina and then received an intravitreal injection to optimize his vision. He has regained complete vision in his right eye but has light cataracts in both eyes.

Cataracts cloud the natural lens in the eye; symptoms include blurred vision, increased difficulty seeing at night and sensitivity to the glare from lights. Most cataracts develop in people 55 and older, but they occasionally occur in infants and young children, according to the American Optometric Association. Diabetic patients have irregularities in their blood, including increased sugar and cortisone levels, which lead to the early onset of cataracts.

To try to prevent cataracts, diabetic patients should monitor their blood sugar levels and keep them steady through medications, diet and exercise. Also, diabetic patients should have their eyes examined yearly.

As for Julio, he is happy to have regained his full vision.

“I feel good,” Julio said. “Before surgery, I couldn’t see in my right eye.”

Dr. Herriott notes that November is National Diabetes Awareness Month. He reminds all diabetics that they should be seeing their eye doctor at least once a year to make sure no treatable diabetic eye damage is occurring.

 

 

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Eyecare Associates of Lees Summit, 221 NW McNary Ct. Call 816-524-8900 today to make an appointment.

 

 

 

 

 

Zika Virus

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Zika Virus

 

Zika Virus, also known as ZIKV, is the latest infectious disease threat to capture the attention of the American public. With its origin in Brazil, the host country of this year’s Summer Olympics, and its association with potentially severe birth defects, Zika understandably has many people concerned.

 

In the continental United States, there have recently been confirmed cases of Zika infection transmitted by mosquitoes in one Miami, Florida neighborhood. At least for now, however, there is very little risk of a person becoming infected with Zika from mosquitoes here in the Midwest. At this time there are NO locally transmitted cases of Zika Virus in the greater Kansas City area.

 

The most common symptoms of Zika virus disease are fever, rash, joint pain, and red eyes. Other symptoms include muscle pain and headache. Many people infected with Zika won’t have symptoms or will have mild symptoms, which last less than a week. However, Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause a serious birth defect called microcephaly and other severe brain defects.

 

The most common way of becoming infected with Zika Virus is to be bitten by an Aedes species

mosquito that has bitten another person infected with the virus. It can also be transmitted by an infected pregnant woman to her baby, or by a person having unprotected sex with an infected partner.

 

Because there is currently no vaccine or treatment for ZIKV, the best approach to the virus is PREVENTION OF MOSQUITO BITES and reduction of potential mosquito breeding places where we work, play and live.

Here’s how:

 Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants

 Stay in places with air conditioning and window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside

 Take steps to control mosquitoes inside and outside your home

 Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – registered insect repellents, following the product label instructions.

 

Eliminating standing water in and around homes and businesses will make it more difficult for mosquitoes to breed. This can be done by dumping and draining items that hold water, such as tires, buckets, planters, toys, pools, birdbaths, flowerpots, or trash containers; and tightly covering water storage containers. To keep mosquitoes out of your homes and businesses use screens on windows and doors, repair holes in screens, and use air conditioning when available.

 

Mosquito breeding may be addressed in public areas such as parks by using chemical applications to kill mosquito eggs/larvae.

 

For more information on this rapidly changing public health issue, visit http://www.cdc.gov/zika or www.jacohd.org or http://www.cdc.gov/zika/prevention/prevent-mosquito-bites.html .

 

Caution: Pregnant women should not travel to any area with Zika, which currently includes 2 counties in the Miami, Florida Area.

 

Our guest author Ellen Dorshow-Gordon, MPH, MT(ASCP) is an epidemiologist with the Jackson County Health Department. She is a guest author for the Lee’s Summit Health Education Advisory Board.

 

 

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Eyecare Associates of Lees Summit, 221 NW McNary Court, . 816-524-8900

About 9.6 million Americans are severely nearsighted

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Severe nearsightedness affects many Americans.

 

About 9.6 million Americans are severely nearsighted, a new study finds.

Rates of nearsightedness — also known as myopia — in the United States rose from 25 percent in the early 1970s to 40 percent around 2000, the study authors said.

Most cases of nearsightedness can be corrected with eyewear or surgery. However, severe nearsightedness can cause complications that threaten vision.

The new study is based on federal data, plus an analysis of an American Academy of Ophthalmology database. The researchers estimate that nearly 820,000 Americans have a degenerative form of myopia called progressive high myopia, which can cause weakening of the retina.

More than 40,000 of these individuals may also develop an even more serious condition called myopic choroidal neovascularization.

This is “a severe complication of myopia with abnormal fragile blood vessels growing underneath the retina that can bleed — leading to severe visual loss,” explained Dr. Mark Fromer. He is an ophthalmologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

“This is the first study of its kind to determine the prevalence of this debilitating disease in the United States,” said Fromer, who reviewed the new findings.

Rates of progressive high myopia are higher among women than men — 0.42 percent versus 0.25 percent — and about 527,000 women have the condition, compared with 292,000 men, according to the study published online June 21 in the journal Ophthalmology.

“The findings emphasize the growing issue of nearsightedness and the burden it creates in terms of medical complications that cannot be fixed with just glasses or contacts,” study lead author Dr. Jeffrey Willis, a retina fellow at the University of California, Davis Eye Center, said in a journal news release.

Dr Laura Nennig with Eyecare Associates of Lees Summit recommends annual eye exams for persons who have severe levels of nearsightedness.  “Regular and periodic eye exams can often detect more serious problems with severe nearsightedness when they remain treatable” according to Dr. Nennig.

 

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Eyecare Associates of Lees Summit, 221 NW McNary Court. 816-524-8900

Survey shows awareness of blue light remains low

Posted by & filed under Childrens Vision, Eye Health.

 

Survey shows awareness of blue light remains low

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According to surveys parents underestimate the amount of time their children spend of computer devices that emit blue light.

Results of a survey conducted by VSP Vision showed that the majority of parents are not aware of the impact of blue light from digital devices on vision.

VSP Vision surveyed more than 1,000 parents on their digital device usage and awareness of blue light, according to a VSP press release.

The parents reported that they spent about 61 hours per week looking at screens. Nearly two-thirds of those surveyed reported that they felt their family spends too much time on digital devices. Specifically, 44% felt that their children were addicted to digital devices.

Fifty-eight percent of the parents surveyed were slightly or not at all aware of blue light in correlation to digital devices or its potential impact on vision, but 10% reported that they had taken steps to reduce their family’s blue light exposure.

Additional findings from the survey showed that 49% percent of the parents currently mandate or used to mandate limitations on children’s daily device usage but also said those rules are not enforced. Sixty-three percent said they think it is important to unplug from technology. However, only 13% ranked their family’s vision as their leading concern regarding digital device usage.

“Whether we’re at home, in a classroom, or at the office, our eyes are exposed to more and more blue light in today’s device-driven world,” Gary Morgan, OD, VSP optometrist, said in the release. “Technology continues to change the way we live and allows us to be more efficient and connected, but even with its benefits, we must be mindful of the impact of increased blue light exposure on our eyes. While medical research continues to study the possible long-term health impacts of blue light, both parents and their children can take practical steps now to reduce their exposure, ease digital eye strain and maintain good vision.

Dr Laura Nennig from Eyecare Associates of Lees Summit in a related blog goes in to more detail on blue light and how it affect us.  See her recent blog for more information.

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Dr. Laura Nennig works for Eyecare Associates of Lee’s Summit near Kansas City; her special interests include nutrition and preventive vision care as well as advanced contact lens technology used to treat ocular disease. She has no financial interest in any products mentioned in this article.

 

Blue Light

Posted by & filed under Childrens Vision, Eye Exams.

 

 

 

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Life hack for better sleep:  Reduce Blue Light exposure at night

We all know UV light (ultra-violet) is harmful to our eyes, but did you know that blue-violet light (emitted with from artificial sources or the sun) can also cause health issues? With our kids all using Chromebooks or other tablets for school work in and out of class, they are being exposed to a lot more screen time than they were even 5 years ago. In a Harvard article Blue Light has a Dark Side, their research shows a strong link between evening blue light exposure and poor sleep. We’re finding that our kids are more susceptible to this effect than adults, so much so that the American Medical Association deems this a public health issue.

 

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Until 1879, when the light bulb was invented, human beings have had very limited amounts of light to use at night and most of us would be limited to being awake when the sun was up and asleep at night when the sun was down. You’ve likely heard of circadian rhythms, aka your body’s clock, and that they regulate our sleep-wake cycle, but it turns out that the circadian system is more like a fancy a blue light detector. Using the eyes, the body is looking for blue skies to know when to wake up.  The circadian system uses the brightness of sky to stimulate alertness and wake us up long before we had alarm clocks. Before the light bulb, we only had fire to help light the night. Flames from hearths or candles emit light along the red side of the spectrum (hence why they look red or orange to us). These interfere very little with the brain’s ability to regulate the sleep hormone melatonin.

The down side of blue & violet colored light (380-450µm), even at low intensity, is that it significantly suppresses melatonin production, the chemical that helps you feel ready to sleep. This effect continues a full hour after we stop exposing ourselves to the blue light source.  This means if we use computers, tablets or smart phone until we want to sleep, our bodies will have a hard time falling asleep and getting restful sleep. We also tend to stay awake longer due to the increased alertness from the light’s stimulating effect on the brain. These wavelengths stimulate your brain to stay alert better than caffeine!

Camping with limited access to devices and electric lights is great way to demonstrate the power of this effect. Even if you’re normally a night owl, you’d find it easier to wake up earlier; after about 2 weeks you’ll wake with the sun feeling refreshed, having successfully reset your body’s clock.

Importance of sleep is to make ‘wake’ worthwhile. The body is looking for a very bright signal during the day and a very low signal at night, but when we spend a lot of time indoors, and use devices at night, we are exposed to a consistent signal all the time, which is neither bright nor dim but lies in the middle somewhere. This stimulation will extend the day and reduce or halt the production of melatonin. Without this hormone, you won’t feel like you are sleepy or ready to go to bed.  The good and bad side to the blue side of the spectrum is that we can use it to make us feel more alert during the day, but it also doesn’t allow us to wind down at night.

So what can we do to improve our sleep? Remove all LEDs and LCD screens (smart phones, TVs, computers) from our lives? I certainly am not ready to give up mine. Remove the blue light from our devices giving our screens a permanent state of yellowy-orange hue? Also a bad idea, as the bright white of the screen is helping me be alert while I write this blog at 9 am. A balance is key to any successful change.

The very same technology that is causing the sleep problems can be used to help you catch those all-important Z’s. The simplest solution, besides discontinuing screen time an hour before bed, is using a selective filter program. My favorite program (F.Lux) will automatically monitor the time and select how much blue light should be emitted. So if I’m writing at 9 am there is no filter and my screen looks bright white; at 9 pm my screen is tinted very orange. I’ve been using this for a while and feels calming to look at in the evening. There are variations for android called twilight, but it doesn’t work quite as well as the one I have on my PC (F.Lux works on Apple devices too, but requires some simple modification).  . See what colors of light your specific device gives off here.
If you are unable to modify your devices (due to a school or work limitation), I recommend wearing glasses that filter out some or all of the blue-violet light. If you find that you must use a device for the hours preceding sleep, then a pair of glasses that block more of those rays can be helpful.  This pair of glasses is designed specifically for nighttime device usage. Although you could wear them all the time, these lenses have a yellow tint, like BluTech or Gunnar lenses for example.

During the day, I recommend wearing your normal glasses with a special coating to block some of the blue-violet light all the time. My patients find it more comfortable to work at the computer all day with 25% blocked when compared to normal glasses without the coating. Their glasses are still clear and only block the specific wavelengths that are over stimulating the circadian system.

The benefit of reducing this spectrum is beyond just melatonin effects, it also reduces scatter from the light emitted from the computer monitor. The shorter the wavelength, the more light will scatter inside the eye, and blue-violet colors are much shorter than orange-red colors. Reducing scatter has the effect of sharpening the image quality on the retina inside the eye. Clearer images lead to less eye strain, which makes many people more comfortable while using a device. Because of this reduction in eye strain, I recommend this type of lens to be worn all day for those using devices 3+ hours/day. 67% of millennials use devices 5+ hours/day and those younger, including our kids, are not much behind them; this leads to a lot of eye strain, in fact 73% of those under 30 experience digital eye strain symptoms.

If you think your child is having a hard time in school, it may just be too much time spent on electronics before bed.  The AMA report (linked above) shows that reducing screen time before bed improves quality of sleep (defined as more time spent in REM sleep) as well as helps the students focus better in school the next day. It recommends that if you or your kids are unable to reduce time spent with devices, that you consider glasses that block a greater percentage of blue light for the 2-3 hours before bedtime. With our school district issuing Chromebooks to all our students, I want to ensure our students have the best possible chance to be successful and quality sleep is a good place to start. **

 

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**Although this article focuses on how blue light affects our kids, reducing screen time before bed is also advantageous for adults. Mostly though improving sleep cycles, we see reduced risk of cancer (especially breast cancer), lower risk of developing macular degeneration and improving sleep quality. More general information is found at AllAboutVision.com/cvs/blue-light.htm.

 

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Dr. Laura Nennig works for Eyecare Associates of Lee’s Summit near Kansas City; her special interests include nutrition and preventive vision care as well as advanced contact lens technology used to treat ocular disease. She has no financial interest in any products mentioned in this article.

The Value of an Eye Exam at Eyecare Associates of Lees Summit

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The Value of an Eye Exam at Eyecare Associates of Lees Summit

 

Eye Exam in Manhattan BeachHave you been putting off that eye exam? Here are three reasons you should consider getting your eyes checked sooner rather than later, courtesy of Eyecare Associates of Lees Summit:

Changes in your visual acuity – Do you find yourself straining to read fine print or view distant objects that have never posed a problem before? The eye changes over time in a variety of ways. Changes in the shape of the eye may produce astigmatism, nearsightedness or farsightedness, while age-related changes in the lens muscles may make it harder for you to adjust from one field of vision to another. Vision screening and other tests can help us find out what is causing your trouble so we can correct it.

Fatigue or discomfort – Eyestrain, headaches, and other forms of discomfort can occur as a byproduct of the same focusing difficulties mentioned above, even if you are not aware of any actual changes in your vision. Constant or recurring eyestrain can make everyday life challenging and reading or writing all but impossible. If you are having more discomfort than usual lately, a visit to our optometrist can tell whether or not you need prescription lenses or other corrective care.

Preventative wellness care – Diseases of the eye such as glaucoma, cataracts and macular degeneration can lurk silently for years before they start to affect your vision — and by that point they may have reached an advanced stage that makes successful treatment much more difficult. A comprehensive eye exam at our clinic can reveal even the earliest signs of such problems, giving us the best possible chance to treat them.

Schedule Your Eye Exam at Eyecare Associates of Lees Summit Today

Now that you have three sound reasons to schedule a comprehensive eye exam with one of the highly qualified eye doctors at Eyecare Associates of Lees Summit, make that appointment while those reasons are still fresh in your mind. Our skilled team can help you see more clearly for life! Call 816-524-8900 today for your eye exam.

 

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Serving Lees Summit since 1987. Located off Chipman at 221 NW McNary Road.

 

More Computer Time May Be Causing Nearsightedness in U.S. Kids

Posted by & filed under Childrens Vision, Eye Exams.

More Computer Time May Be Causing Nearsightedness in U.S. Kids

 Eye experts suggest boosting outdoor time to get young eyes focusing on distant objects

nearsightedness kids eye doctor

More Computer Time May Be Causing Nearsightedness in U.S. Kids.

 

Children who spend lots of time indoors and on computers and other electronic devices may be raising their risk for nearsightedness, a panel of U.S. ophthalmology experts suggests.

The prevalence of Americans with nearsightedness — also known as myopia — has nearly doubled over the last 50 years, the ophthalmologists noted.

The eye doctors suspect the increase is due to “near work” — focusing on something close to your eyes — and the decreased amount of time spent outdoors in natural light.

“Kids are spending much more time doing indoor activities with their cellphones, iPads, computers, and so on,” said Dr. Rohit Varma, director of the University of Southern California Eye Institute in Los Angeles.

“Especially when children are young, when they play these games indoors where they’re seeing things very close to them and doing it in low-light level — that combination of doing near activities in low light is what contributes to these children becoming very nearsighted,” Varma said.

A panel of 10 ophthalmology experts discussed the global increase of childhood myopia at the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s (AAO) recent annual meeting in Las Vegas. Information presented at meetings is usually viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Anyone can be nearsighted, but it’s more common in people whose parents are nearsighted, said Dr. K. David Epley, a spokesman for the AAO. The condition is also much more prevalent in industrialized and urban areas than in rural areas, he added.

Children of East Asian descent are genetically predisposed to nearsightedness, but children’s habits in those regions may be increasing the rates of myopia even more. The current rate of myopia in young people in China is 90 percent compared to about 10 to 20 percent 60 years ago, the experts said. That compares to a rate of 42 percent for Americans between the ages of 12 and 54, according to previous research.

The ophthalmologists noted the difference in Chinese and American work habits. Children in China spend up to 12 hours a day doing near work, compared to their U.S. peers, who spend about nine hours a day on near work, the eye experts said.

Dr. David Hunter, chief of ophthalmology at Boston Children’s Hospital, explained that nearsightedness is when your eyes are capable of focusing up close but not far away. It generally happens when the eye grows too long, and the best focus point no longer aligns well with the area at the back of the eye called the retina. Hunter likened the retina to the film of a camera.

If the lens isn’t focusing the light on the film, then the image is going to be blurry, Hunter said. In the case of myopia, the retina is too far away from the focal point until objects are closer.

While myopia is not reversible its progression can be slowed, the eye experts said.

Prevent computer nearsightedness.

 

“We want to encourage our kids to read, but it’s not a great thing to read for hours straight without looking up from the page,” Epley said. “Encourage kids to take breaks. Every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break. Get your eyes off the page with something that’s farther away.”

Although there are no conclusive studies that say dim light is harmful, Epley said, it does require more accommodation and focus, which can lead to a strain on the eyes. So always make sure your kids are reading in bright light.

There’s no specific number of hours shown to be too much time spent on near work, Varma said. But having kids spend more time playing outdoors is an important way to help prevent myopia, he noted, adding that playing outside may benefit every aspect of a child’s growth, including their eyes.

“When you’re outdoors there’s more stuff that’s far away, and when you’re indoors the furthest thing away is still probably about 20 feet away,” Hunter pointed out.

Another benefit to kids spending time outdoors is the exposure to natural light. If kids do need to stay indoors, having large, glass windows in the home is helpful so kids can still get the benefit of seeing objects at a distance, and get exposure to bright light, Varma said.

The doctors at Eyecare Associates of Lees Summit are experts in the care of pediatric patients.  We are evaluating some of the new technology and scientific research from Australia and China that is working on ways to stop the progression of myopia in children.  Talk to our doctors about it the next time you schedule an exam.  Call us today at 816-524-8900.

 

Lees Summit Eye Doctor

Eyecare Associates of Lees Summit, 221 NW McNary Court. 816-524-8900. Providing pediatric and adult vision care for 30 years.

Childrens Eye Exams. Here’s Why Oldest Children Are More Likely to Be Nearsighted

Posted by & filed under Childrens Vision, Eye Exams.

 

Childrens Eye Exams. Here’s Why Oldest Children Are More Likely to Be Nearsighted

 

 

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If your child needs glasses Eyecare Associates is your premier provider of pediatric eye exams in Lees Summit.

 

It could have to do with new parents investing more in their education according according to a recent Time Magazine article we want to share with you.

If you’re an oldest child, stereotypes suggest you’re probably organized, an overachiever, perhaps a tad bossy.

And now, science suggests you’re probably also more nearsighted than your younger siblings, too.

A study published Thursday in JAMA Ophthalmology used data from the British Biobank longitudinal survey to get information from nearly 90,000 adults between the ages of 40 and 69. They combined demographic data with behavioral information—one question asked how much time people spent outdoors, for instance—along with a detailed educational history and their ophthalmological past.

Jeremy Guggenheim, a professor of optometry and vision sciences at Cardiff University’s Eye Clinic and lead author of the paper, found that firstborns were 10% more likely to develop nearsightedness and 20% more likely to show signs of severe nearsightedness, even after Guggenheim and his colleagues adjusted for other factors. Younger siblings, on the other hand, were less likely on average to be myopic, and when they were, they had lower degrees of nearsightedness.

Myopia—the scientific term for nearsightedness—is a growing concern in fast-developing countries like India and China, where rates of childhood nearsightedness have skyrocketed in the past couple of generations.

The study authors suggest the reason for the nearsightedness has to do with a child’s education. Previous research has shown that parents are likely to invest heavily in the educational attainment of their first born, which can lead to more years of schooling among firstborns. The reasoning goes like this: When a couple has a first child, the instinct to provide the best for them kicks in. That, in combination with the cultural preference for firstborns in some parts of the world can lead new parents to invest in the education of their firstborn. In a school setting, that child has access to books, iPads, toys, and chalkboards, all of which involve straining the eyes. This, as well as genetic factors, can contribute to nearsightedness.

“My assumption is that individuals who go on to spend more years in full-time education spend relatively less time outdoors and relatively more time in tasks such as reading during their childhood,” Guggenheim told TIME via email. A recent study using Chinese schoolchildren suggested nearsightedness rates fell when children spend just 40 minutes more outdoors daily.

Guggenheim and his team at first did not think the connection between birth order and myopia was related to educational investment: “Our original hypothesis was that it would be related to the tendency for first-born children to be a little lighter at birth than average.” But a 2013 study Guggenheim worked on found no evidence of this working theory, which made educational investment an increasingly viable explanation.

“To be honest, the relationship with birth order interested us because it seemed a little quirky,” Guggenheim says. “Scientists are always very careful not to presume causality when they see a correlation, but then again, if a correlation keeps appearing then it must have a cause, even if the cause is indirect.”

According to Dr. Miriam Anderson with Eyecare Associates of Lees Summit the rate of nearsightedness has doubled in the United States since 1975.  “While this new study shows the first born may have a higher risk parents need to remember that there is an increased risk for all children. For that reason annual eye exams are encouraged and recommended for children during their school years.”

Since 1987 Eyecare Associates of Lees Summit has been your number one stop for childrens eye exams and glasses.  We carry some of the most durable and high quality frames and lenses for children.  Our doctors welcome children of all ages and our staff is kid friendly. If you don’t have current exams for your children call today for an appointment. Many medical insurances help cover the cost of annual eye exams for children and we accept most vision plans.  Check with our knowledgeable staff about your insurance coverage and our reasonable fees for excellent, comprehensive eye exams.

 

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Eyecare Assoicates are located at 221 NW McNary Court.