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The Importance of Contrast Sensitivity In Baseball

The Importance of Contrast Sensitivity in Baseball 640×350Baseball players train hard to develop muscular strength and endurance, but did you know that sharp vision and strong visual skills can be just as crucial to your game?

Winning at baseball requires split-second calculations. When a ball spins toward you at lightning speed, figuring out what kind of pitch is approaching can be the difference between a strike and a home run.

The longer it takes you to identify the pitch, the harder it is to hit it, no matter how well-developed your swinging technique is.

To identify the pitch, baseball players need excellent contrast sensitivity. This is the visual skill that enables you to quickly see the ball’s red seams as the white ball approaches — and decide if it’s a knuckleball, fastball or slider.

What Is Contrast Sensitivity and How Can It Make You a Winner?

Contrast sensitivity is the ability to distinguish between an object and its background. It’s a crucial visual skill, because no matter how strong you swing, or how fast you run, your ability to hit that home run is impacted if you can’t distinguish the ball from a cloudy sky, or the red seams from the white part of a moving baseball.

How Baseball Vision Training Can Be a Game Changer

One way you can go from being a good ball player to an outstanding one is to improve your contrast sensitivity. This means adding sports vision training to your regimen.

At The Sports Vision Center at Advanced Eye Care in South Charleston we’ll custom-design a program to develop your contrast sensitivity. We’ll begin with a functional eye exam to assess your contrast sensitivity and the other visual skills needed to successfully play baseball.

Sports vision training involves eye exercises that teach the eyes and brain to work together more quickly and efficiently. You’ll meet with us for in-clinic sessions and continue training exercises at home.

See the ball more accurately and be ready to hit it out of the park! Talk to us at The Sports Vision Center at Advanced Eye Care and find out how sports vision training can make all the difference in your game.

Our practice serves patients from South Charleston, Davis Creek, Hillsdale, and Institute, West Virginia and surrounding communities.

 

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Rebecca St. Jean

Q: How is contrast sensitivity measured?

A: One way to determine contrast sensitivity is through a Pelli-Robson test, which is like a regular eye chart but one that features rows of dark letters that gradually get lighter. Wave grating is another type of contrast sensitivity test and requires you to identify shapes at different spatial frequencies and levels of contrast.

Q: What other visual skills are important for baseball?

A: In addition to contrast sensitivity, the following visual skills can improve your baseball game:

  • Focusing – keeping your eye on the ball
  • Eye teaming – the eyes’ ability to work together to keep track of movements on the field
  • Peripheral vision –detecting activity, such as a player stealing a base, on the edges of your visual field
  • Visual processing – detecting and interpreting visual information so you can hit or catch the ball

 

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Are Children with IEPs More Likely to Have Vision Problems?

Children with IEPs 640×350Children with IEPs — school-based Individualized Educational Programs — are more likely to experience problems with their eyes, especially their visual skills. Visual skills include the eye’s ability to focus and track and work as a team, but these and many other visual difficulties aren’t detected in traditional vision screenings.

Children with IEPs may pass the standard 20/20 sight test administered in schools. However, the results of these basic screenings aren’t a reliable indication of a child’s ability to perform activities involving close vision, such as reading, writing or solving puzzles.

Even a child with 20/20 vision may have visual deficits that need to be treated, such as lazy eyes or difficulties with visual processing.

While basic school vision screenings assess eyesight, only a comprehensive developmental eye exam can assess visual system deficits or dysfunction that can impede performance in school and while playing sports.

Why is a Comprehensive Eye Exam Crucial for Children with IEPs?

Many children diagnosed with a learning disability may actually have an undiagnosed visual deficit that is causing their reading and learning difficulties—or at least contributing to them.

A 2018 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that 80% of children with reading difficulties had vision problems, compared to children who read at grade level.

In a 2012 Ohio State study, 69% of children with IEPs passed traditional eyesight tests. The reason: basic eyesight tests evaluate a child’s ability to see distant letters and objects, but don’t assess how well they see near objects or letters at reading distance, such as in a workbook.

The researchers recommended that children with IEPs undergo a comprehensive eye exam, which includes an assessment of their visual skills.

What Does a Comprehensive Eye Exam Assess?

A comprehensive eye exam evaluates three main types of visual skills:

  • Binocular vision – the eyes’ ability to work together as a team
  • Oculomotor – the eyes’ ability to track objects and move effectively
  • Accommodation – the eyes’ ability to change focus from near to far

A comprehensive eye exam can detect the following conditions and more:

  • Convergence insufficiency – the eyes’ inability to work together to focus on nearby objects
  • Strabismus/eye turn – each eye points in a different direction due to eye misalignment
  • Amblyopia/lazy eye – one eye is considerably weaker than the other
  • Accommodative dysfunction – an eye-focusing problem

What Does a Comprehensive Eye Exam Involve?

A comprehensive eye exam is designed to measure more than visual acuity and can evaluate overall eye health, diagnose eye conditions and test how your eyes work together. It may include the following:

  • Visual acuity – tests the clarity of sight
  • Cover test – evaluates individual eye functioning
  • Slit lamp – examines the front of the eye
  • Pupil dilation – looks at eye health
  • Retinoscopy – measures refractive errors
  • Refraction – assesses for nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism
  • Visual skills – tests how well the eyes function together

How Vision Therapy Can Help IEP Children with Vision Problems

Vision therapy is a customized program of eye exercises that improves visual skills, strengthens eye muscles as well as the way the eyes and brain communicate and work together. The activities can be integrated into an IEP program to suit a child’s individualized learning program and visual needs.

Vision therapy helps kids improve their vision because it trains their eyes to:

  • Track – fixate on objects visually
  • Team – ensuring the eyes work together
  • Focus – see objects comfortably and clearly all the time

If your child has an IEP, schedule a comprehensive vision exam by contacting The Vision Therapy Center at Advanced Eye Care in South Charleston today.

Our practice serves patients from South Charleston, Davis Creek, Hillsdale, and Institute, West Virginia and surrounding communities.

 

Q&A

How can vision problems affect a student’s educational performance?

If your child struggles to read or keep up with their classmates, they may have an undetected visual problem. Reading fluency and comprehension are dependent on the strength of visual skills— especially focusing, binocular vision, convergence, saccades, and visual fixation. A customized program of vision therapy can help strengthen these lagging skills and improve their academic perfromance.

How do vision problems affect behavior?

Behavioral problems that can arise due to vision problems include hyperactivity, inattentiveness, lack of motivation, refusal or hesitation to do homework, poor reading comprehension, skips lines or words when reading, and frequent eye rubbing and head tilting.

If a child displays any of the above symptoms, call ​​The Vision Therapy Center at Advanced Eye Care in South Charleston to schedule a functional visual evaluation.

 

 

 

 

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Can Cataract Surgery Prevent Dementia?

Cataract surgery is a highly successful procedure that removes cataracts, the cloudy formations on the eye’s lens that impair vision.

Now, researchers are discovering that vision loss may be linked to a higher rate of dementia and suggest that restoring clear vision (through cataract surgery, for example) may reduce the risk of developing dementia.

Is There a Correlation Between Cataracts and Dementia?

More than half of those 80 or older have had at least one cataract. Many people in this age range also have dementia, a decline in cognitive functioning.

But is there a connection between these two seemingly unrelated conditions?

Recent studies suggest that, yes, there could be a link. One 15-year study found that patients with age-related vision problems, including cataracts, had a higher incidence of dementia.

The 2021 study, published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology, followed 12,000 subjects aged 55-73. When compared to patients with healthy vision, cataract patients had an 11% higher incidence of dementia.

Can Cataract Surgery Prevent Dementia?

Can sight-saving cataract surgery reduce your risk of dementia? It certainly looks promising!

A 2022 study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that removing cataracts was “significantly associated with a lower risk of dementia development.” In fact, patients who had undergone cataract surgery had a 29% lower rate of dementia.

In addition, MRI scans have shown greater brain activity following cataract surgery.

How Can Vision Loss Cause Dementia?

Scientists studying the link between vision loss and dementia suspect that vision loss negatively impacts the brain. They theorize that the more visual information we receive, the more active our brains are, and brain activity may be able to fend off dementia.

For this reason, by restoring clear vision, cataract surgery may stimulate the brain and prevent cognitive decline.

There could be an emotional and social dimension to cognitive decline as well. People who suffer from significant vision loss often feel isolated. They may feel discouraged by their inability to recognize faces or perform everyday tasks, and may avoid social interactions. According to the Centers for Disease Control, social isolation raises the risk of developing dementia by 50%.

If you have cataracts and you feel your quality of life is affected, schedule an appointment with Advanced EyeCare Center in South Charleston without delay. We’ll answer your questions about cataract surgery and ensure you receive optimal treatment.

Q&A With Our Optometrist

How is cataract surgery performed?

Cataract surgery is a short 30-40 minute procedure that replaces your cloudy, natural lens with a synthetic intraocular lens (IOL). First, the eye surgeon makes a hole in the cloudy lens and breaks it into tiny pieces. Next, the eye surgeon places the new clear lens onto the eye. You’ll be conscious throughout the surgery. The surgery is safe, effective and painless.

Is cataract surgery always successful?

Cataract surgery is highly successful, with a 99% success rate. Complications from cataract surgery are very rare.

Can We Stop Myopia From Progressing?

boy and a girl with myopiaIf you think more powerful prescription glasses are the right solution to keep your child’s myopia from getting worse, think again. Talk to us about myopia management, which can slow the progression of myopia (nearsightedness) by up to 78%.

How Does Myopia Worsen?

In nearsighted people, the cornea, the clear outer layer of the eye, is more curved than in non-myopes. This elongated eyeball shape refracts incoming light in front of the retina rather than directly on it. The result? Blurred vision.

In other words, the longer the eyeball, the more severe the myopia.

The following can contribute to myopia progression:

  • Eye growth – as children grow, so do the eyeballs. And in certain cases, they become elongated (myopia).
  • Hereditary factors – if one or both parents have myopia, the condition is likely to progress at a rapid pace.
  • Not enough outdoor time –1 to 2 hours a day outdoors is recommended to prevent myopia progression.
  • Excessive screen time – myopia development and progression have been linked to extended screen time.

What Is Myopia Management?

Myopia management is a custom-designed treatment plan that identifies slows or stops myopia progression. Our optometrists provide diagnostic eye exams and create a myopia management program to keep your child’s nearsightedness in check.

Why Is Myopia Management Important?

Myopia doesn’t just affect your child’s ability to see distant objects; it can increase your child’s risk of developing these serious eye problems in adulthood:

  • Glaucoma
  • Cataracts
  • Myopia macular degeneration
  • Retinal detachment

The sooner your child begins myopia management, the better the chances of slowing myopia’s progression and reducing the risk of eye diseases later in life.

Myopia Management Can Preserve Your Child’s Vision

If you’re eager to preserve your child’s eyesight now and in the future, myopia management can help. Book an appointment at The Myopia Control Center at Advanced Eye Care today!

Our practice serves patients from South Charleston, Davis Creek, Hillsdale, and Institute, West Virginia and surrounding communities.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Rebecca St. Jean

Q: Does screen time affect myopia?

  • A: Yes. In a study published in The Lancet Digital Health (October 2021), an international team of researchers found that at least 3 hours of screen time per day can increase the risk of developing myopia by 30%. Other research suggests that reducing your child’s screen time and encouraging more outdoor activities can prevent myopia and keep it from progressing.

Q: When should one start myopia management?

A: As soon as possible! Research shows that the earlier a child becomes myopic, the faster their myopia will progress. Act quickly if you want to have the greatest impact on slowing myopia progression.

 

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June 27 Is National Sunglasses Day!

Monday, Jun 27, 2022 is National Sunglasses Day, so grab your favorite pair of sunnies and celebrate!

Many people think sunglasses are little more than a fashion accessory or a way to minimize glare while driving.

But the truth is that wearing sunglasses is vital if you want to safeguard your eye health and vision.

Why Sunglasses are Important

The number one reason to wear sunglasses is that they prevent ultraviolet (UV) light from entering your eyes.

UV light has been shown to age every part of the eye, from the delicate outer eye tissue to the tiny structures within the eye itself. Chronic UV exposure raises your risk of developing cataracts, age-related macular degeneration and corneal damage.

The skin on your eyelids is the thinnest skin of your body, and UV light exposure can further thin eyelid skin, leading to premature aging and the appearance of dark circles and under-eye bags. Additionally, wearing sunglasses can help prevent wrinkles because you’ll squint less in the sunshine. Who knew sunglasses can be a key player in your anti-aging routine?

Moreover, UV light has been shown to slow the cornea’s ability to heal itself, making sunglasses a medical necessity for people who’ve recently had eye surgery like LASIK, or those who frequently wear contacts (overwearing contacts can irritate the cornea).

Finally, sunglasses are a fun way to show the world your personality and accessorize any outfit.

Activities for National Sunglasses Day

Not sure how to celebrate National Sunglasses Day? Here are a few ideas you may enjoy.

Sport your favorite pair of sunglasses during an outdoor activity, whether it’s a barbecue with friends, a concert at a stadium or time spent in the park.

You can also celebrate National Sunglasses Day by gifting a pair of quality sunglasses to a friend, spouse or child!

No matter how you choose to celebrate National Sunglasses Day, we hope you enjoy and keep your eyes protected.

For all matters related to eye health, ​​Advanced EyeCare Center in South Charleston is here for you. Contact our eye doctor today!

FAQ With Our Optometrist

Should kids wear sunglasses?

Yes, children of all ages should wear sunglasses whenever they’re outdoors. In fact, it’s crucial because a child’s crystalline lens within the eye is much more clear than an adult’s, letting more light through. Contact us to learn more about kids’ eye health or to schedule an eye exam.

Can sunglasses block blue light?

Sunglasses with lenses that have a yellowish tint offer the most amount of blue light protection, from the sun and other sources. If you’re interested in blocking the blue light that’s emitted from your digital devices, speak with us to determine if computer glasses are right for you.

Could Working From Home Be Hurting Your Vision?

Working at home is a great way to ditch your commute and enjoy more flexible hours, but there can be an unexpected consequence—digital eye strain. If you’re like many workers, you probably spend most of your day on a computer or other digital device, and likely experience the headache, blurred vision, sore eyes or achy back so common with digital (computer) eye strain.

In contrast to being in the office, where workers take coffee breaks and socialize, working solo at home often translates into spending more time on the computer without breaks, and often beyond the typical 9 to 5 schedule. This can increase the likelihood of developing digital eye strain.

What Is Digital Eye Strain?

Digital eye strain, also called computer vision syndrome (CVS), affects an estimated 70% of adults, especially those between the ages of 18 and 34.The eye strain results from extended hours focusing on a computer screen, and may be worsened by hours of exposure to blue light, high-energy visible light emitted by digital screens.

Blue light can cause short-term eye strain and discomfort, and scientists are researching whether it could also be linked to serious eye conditions, such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts.

Moreover, staring at a screen, or even a printed book, causes people to blink up to 66% less often. Blinking is essential as it hydrates your eyes and stimulates the release of oil from the tiny glands in your eyelids. This oil also prevents tears from evaporating too quickly, thus drying out the eyes. Dry eyes can cause blurry vision, which further exacerbates eye strain.

What Are the Symptoms of Digital Eye Strain?

The following are common symptoms of digital eye strain:

  • Blurry vision
  • Eye soreness
  • Headaches Dry eyes
  • Light sensitivity
  • Neck, back and shoulder pain

How Can I Prevent Digital Eye Strain?

No need to ditch your job in order to avoid eye strain. There are other, more practical, ways to lessen the negative impact of screen time on our eyes. Below are some helpful tips.

Take Breaks

Even if you aren’t at the office and may not have co-workers to hang out with at the coffee machine or water cooler, make sure to take frequent breaks that don’t require screen time. Perhaps take a walk or reward yourself with a short nap. These breaks not only give your eyes a rest, but can rest your mind for a few minutes so you can work more efficiently.

Consider adopting the 20/20/20 habit. For every 20 minutes you spend in front of a screen, take a 20-second break and look at something 20 feet away. This will prevent you from overstraining your eyes and will encourage you to blink more, providing your eyes with much-needed hydration.

Adjust Screen Brightness

Bright screens can place a significant burden on your eyes. Simply adjusting your screen’s brightness can help rest your eyes.

See Your Eye Doctor

If you spend prolonged periods in front of the screen, it’s important to schedule an eye exam with your eye doctor to discuss whether you would benefit from lubricating eye drops or a pair of computer glasses. These computer glasses (or blue light glasses) allow your eyes to relax and make you feel as if you’re focusing on faraway objects. They also reduce glare and filter out blue light.

Whether you’re suffering from any of the symptoms related to digital eye strain or simply want to prevent it, we invite you to book an appointment with Advanced EyeCare Center in South Charleston. With the right eye care and work habits, you should be able to successfully and quickly reduce and prevent eye strain.

Q&A With Our Optometrist

How long does it take to recover from computer eye strain?

If you don’t have an underlying eye condition, symptoms of digital eye strain can sometimes disappear within a few hours or days. But if you have recurrent eye strain, speak with your eye doctor, as the right eye drops or computer glasses could improve your visual comfort and quality of life.

Can digital eye strain affect my work productivity?

You may think spending hours in front of a computer screen will improve your productivity, when in reality, it may have the opposite effect. According to a study at the University of Alabama/Birmingham School of Optometry, even minor vision problems, such as eye strain, disrupt worker productivity by at least 20%.

So make sure to take steps to control lighting and glare on the device screen and establish proper working distances and posture for screen viewing. To learn more and to alleviate or prevent eye strain, contact Advanced EyeCare Center today.

How Myopia (Nearsightedness) Can Affect Your Child’s Life

child in school unable to work due to myopiaMyopia (also known as nearsightedness) is nothing short of a global epidemic. According to the World Health Organization, 27% of the world’s population has myopia, and that number is expected to rise to 50% by 2050.

Myopia almost always begins in childhood and can progress rapidly until the late teens or early twenties. Children with moderate or severe myopia are at a much greater risk of developing eye conditions that can cause vision loss and even blindness.

Fortunately, there are proven ways to slow and sometimes halt myopia’s progression during childhood, to safeguard your child’s vision for a lifetime.

What Causes Myopia?

Myopia is often inherited, but other risk factors include spending too many hours indoors engaged in ‘near work’ like reading and staring at electronic screens.

Myopia occurs when the eyeball grows longer, which causes light rays to refract incorrectly, focusing images in front of your retina instead of on your retina. This results in blurry vision.

How Myopia Can Impact Your Child

Nearsightedness can affect your child in many ways:

Difficulties at School and While Playing Sports

Sometimes parents don’t realize their child is experiencing myopia-related blurry vision until they notice a recurrence of poor grades on their report cards or tests.

Eyestrain

Trying to focus on faraway objects to see them with more clarity when they appear blurry often results in eyestrain. Yet many parents and teachers don’t realize that a child’s headaches, tired, burning, itchy eyes, blurry vision, neck and shoulder pain may be caused by myopia.

Poor Sports Performance

When you try to catch a ball, aim for a target or locate a goal post, you need to see clearly at a distance. Nearsightedness can interfere with a child’s ability to succeed on the sports field.

How Does Myopia Affect Quality of Life?

Myopia isn’t just about difficulty seeing faraway objects. Rapidly progressing myopia increases a child’s risk of developing serious eye conditions in the future. They include:

  • Glaucoma
  • Retinal detachment
  • Cataracts
  • Myopic maculopathy

What is Myopia Management?

Myopia management is the area of optometry devoted to slowing down and even halting the rapid progression of myopia in childhood. Myopia can be managed thanks to a customized treatment program provided by an eye doctor near you. The sooner a child’s myopia is managed, the lower the risk of myopia-related complications in adulthood.

To find out how myopia management can transform your child’s vision, confidence and success in life, schedule an appointment with Rebecca St. Jean, O.D. and Elicia Miller, O.D. today.

Our practice serves patients from South Charleston, Davis Creek, Hillsdale, and Institute, West Virginia and surrounding communities.
Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Rebecca St. Jean

Q: Can Myopia Be Cured?

  • A: While there’s no cure for myopia, myopia management has been scientifically proven to slow and at times halt myopia’s progression. LASIK and other laser surgeries aren’t an option until a child with myopia reaches adulthood and their eyes have stopped growing (meaning, their eye prescription has stopped changing).

Q: What is High Myopia?

  • A: High myopia is a more severe form of regular myopia, usually above -3.00 dioptres. Children who develop high myopia often have rapidly progressing myopia that begins in early childhood and are at a higher risk of developing serious sight-threatening eye diseases later in life, such as glaucoma, macular degeneration and cataracts. Myopia management can help slow or halt the rapid progression of myopia, offering the child a higher quality of life in the long term.

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    Should You See a Retina Specialist?

    Should You See a Retina Specialist 640×350You go to your optometrist for regular eye exams or if you need a prescription for glasses or contacts lenses. However, your optometrist can also detect the early signs that you may have a problem with your retina, and will manage your condition until it’s necessary for you to see a retina specialist.

    What Does a Retina Specialist Do?

    Retina specialists are medical doctors who have received further training in eye diseases to become ophthalmologists. These doctors have earned an additional degree focused on diagnosing and treating retinal conditions. The treatments that retina specialists perform include laser surgeries and intraocular injections as well as hospital-based surgeries, such as vitrectomy.

    What is the retina?

    The retina is a layer of nerve cells at the back of your eye. These cells detect the light entering the eye and send signals via nerves to the brain so you can see images clearly.

    What Conditions Does A Retina Specialist Treat?

    A retina specialist treats a wide range of retinal problems. These are the most common:

    Macular Degeneration (AMD)

    Age-related macular degeneration is one of the main causes of blindness in people over the age of 60. This disease damages the macula, the part of the retina that’s responsible for your central, detailed vision.

    The retina specialist will choose a treatment based on the type of AMD: Dry AMD, the more common form of macular degeneration or Wet AMD, the much rarer but more severe form.

    Dry AMD is currently best treated with a specific formulation of vitamins and supplements based on the AREDS studies, and clinical trials are underway to check the safety and efficacy of several other proposed treatments.

    Wet AMD can be treated with:

    • Medications and anti-VEGF injections
    • Laser therapy

    Diabetic Retinopathy

    Diabetic retinopathy is a sight-threatening condition caused by high blood sugar levels in diabetics. At early stages of the disease, a retina specialist will provide retina [exams] and suggest ways to slow its progression.

    If the condition worsens, blood vessels in the eye may swell and lead to aneurysms or diabetic macular edema. Your retina specialist will recommend procedures to stop extra blood vessels from growing or leaking, or surgery to remove part of the vitreous humor. Diabetic retinopathy treatments include:

    • Prescription medications
    • Anti-VEGF injections
    • Vitrectomy
    • Laser surgery

    Retinal Tearing or Detachment

    Eye inflammation or injury can cause the vitreous humor to tear slightly or detach completely from the retina. If left untreated, retinal detachment can lead to vision loss and even blindness. A retina specialist treats this condition with laser surgery, cryotherapy (freezing therapy) or surgical repair.

    Macular hole

    With aging or as the result of an injury, the macula may pull away from the retina and leave a hole, or the macula may pucker or wrinkle. To prevent further damage and vision loss, a retina specialist will perform surgery to correct the problem.

    Ocular trauma or Eye Injury

    If an object penetrates your eye, you’ll likely need the immediate care of a retina specialist to preserve your vision. With surgery, the retina specialist can often repair your eye and prevent vision loss.

    Has your optometrist or ophthalmologist recommended that you visit a retina specialist? Don’t delay. Schedule an appointment right away for efficient screening, diagnosis and treatment of your retinal condition. The sooner you visit a retina specialist, the greater the chances of slowing the condition’s progression and maintaining your vision.

    Schedule an appointment at Rebecca St. Jean, O.D. and Elicia Miller, O.D. in Advanced EyeCare Center Our practice serves patients from South Charleston, Davis Creek, Hillsdale, and Institute, West Virginia and surrounding communities. today!

    Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Rebecca St. Jean

    Q: How does a retina specialist diagnose macular degeneration or diabetic retinopathy?

    • A: Your retina specialist may give you any of the following tests:

      – Comprehensive [eye exam] – Visual acuity test
      – Amsler grid
      – Optical coherence tomography (OCT)
      – Fluorescein angiography

    Q: What are Fluorescein angiography and OCT?

    • A: Your retina specialist will give you a dilated [eye exam] so they can see your retina clearly. After applying eye drops, they may do the following tests:

      – Fluorescein angiography – after the retina specialist injects dye into your arm, they’ll take pictures of blood vessels in your eye to detect ruptures or leaks.
      – Optical coherence tomography (OCT) – cross-sectional photographs of the eye show retinal thickness and possible blood vessel leakages.

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    10% of Children Have Undetected Vision Problems

    teacher helping a child with Undetected Vision ProblemsAlmost every classroom has children who struggle more than their peers, whether academically, socially or [behaviorally].

    What many parents and teachers don’t realize is that these kids may have a visual skill deficit that’s triggering their struggles.

    Experts estimate that 1 in 10 children will go through early childhood with an undiagnosed visual problem that can lead to learning and behavioral problems.

    That’s why it’s crucial to have a struggling child evaluated by a developmental optometrist to rule out, identify and treat any visual dysfunction with vision therapy.

    At The Vision Therapy Center at Advanced Eye Care, we believe that educating parents and teachers about the warning signs of visual dysfunction is the first step toward ensuring that every child with a visual deficit is given the treatment they need to thrive.

    Why Are Vision Problems So Commonly Overlooked?

    Children, especially toddlers and preschoolers, often lack the verbal skills necessary to communicate a visual problem.

    And even if they’re able to communicate, most kids may simply assume that their vision is fine, and that they see the world the way everybody else does.

    School vision screenings also play a role here.

    These basic screenings really only test a child’s eyesight, or visual acuity — how clearly they see distant objects. What the screenings fail to test are the rest of the 16 visual skills necessary for healthy development and learning. Some examples are eye tracking, focusing, convergence and eye teaming.

    In other words, a child can pass the school’s vision screening with flying colors and still have a visual skills deficit that can negatively affect learning and behavior.

    Telltale Signs of Visual Dysfunction In Children

    So, how do you know if your child or student has a visual problem?

    While the only way to know for sure is through a functional visual evaluation, there are some signs and symptoms to watch for that may warrant a call to The Vision Therapy Center at Advanced Eye Care.

    A child with visual skills deficits may experience any of the following medical symptoms:

    • Headaches
    • Eyestrain
    • Nausea / vomiting
    • Double vision
    • Dizziness
    • Poor hand-eye coordination or clumsiness
    Behavioral/academic problems that can arise due to vision problems include:

    • Hyperactivity
    • Inattentiveness
    • Lack of motivation
    • Refusal or hesitation to do homework
    • Poor reading comprehension
    • Skips lines or words when reading
    • Frequent eye rubbing and head tilting

    If a child displays any of the above symptoms, call ​​The Vision Therapy Center at Advanced Eye Care in South Charleston to schedule a functional visual evaluation.

    How Does Vision Therapy Work

    If a visual deficit is detected, we may recommend vision therapy as the best treatment option.

    Vision therapy is a customized treatment program that trains the eyes and brain to communicate seamlessly. When the eyes don’t send a unified message to the brain, or the brain has difficulty processing incoming visual information, vision therapy works by correcting those pathways at the source.

    During a vision therapy session, your child will be shown and instructed to do several eye exercises to strengthen the visual system. Vision therapy sessions are done in-office, but certain eye exercises should be [practiced] at home, in-between visits.

    Vision therapy has been clinically shown to effectively treat eye misalignment disorders, lazy eye (amblyopia), focusing problems, convergence insufficiencies and ocular motor dysfunctions.

    Our skilled and friendly optometric team has lots of experience working with children of all ages and helping them feel safe and comfortable during the entire process.

    Make sure that your child isn’t part of the 10% of kids with undiagnosed, and therefore untreated, visual skills deficits. To schedule your child’s functional visual evaluation, contact The Vision Therapy Center at Advanced Eye Care in South Charleston today!

    Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Rebecca St. Jean

    Q: How can visual dysfunction affect learning and development?

    • A: An estimated 80% of classroom learning is dependent on vision. Subpar visual skills can impede learning by making it unnecessarily difficult for a child to see the board from their seat, read, write, play sports and interact confidently with their peers. Ultimately, this can lead to reduced self-esteem. Making sure your child’s vision is healthy will set them up for academic, social and overall success.

    Q: How long does vision therapy take?

    • A: The length depends on each patient’s individual condition and needs. A vision therapy program can last anywhere from several weeks to a few months. Speak with your eye doctor about how long your vision therapy program is expected to take.

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    Call Us 304-244-2443

    Play Soccer? Why You Should Improve Visual Processing Speed and Eye-Body Coordination

    Men Playing SoccerSoccer is a fast-moving sport that requires finely-tuned visual skills and quick reaction time. So when you follow a training regimen, don’t forget to get your vision in shape, too.

    Sports vision training helps athletes of every age and ability hone the visual skills they need to succeed in their favorite sports.

    How to Improve Visual Skills for Soccer

    Soccer success requires not only muscular strength and cardiovascular endurance but sharp visual skills that include:

    • Visual processing speed
    • Eye-body coordination
    • Peripheral vision
    • Depth perception
    • Focus

    Why Is Visual Processing Speed Important for Soccer?

    One reason soccer is such a popular sport worldwide is that it’s exciting and action-packed. Everything in a soccer game happens so fast, that a spectator could literally blink and miss a goal.

    Soccer players need to be constantly aware of what’s happening on the field. The faster your brain can process the information your eyes are sending, the more time you have to react. The difference may be a fraction of a second, but in soccer—every second counts.

    The Role of Eye-Body Coordination in Soccer

    Your body can be in top-notch condition, but without a high level of eye-body coordination that enables your eyes, brain and limbs to communicate at split-second speeds, you won’t be able to block the ball or score a goal. A training regimen that includes building eye-body coordination skills is certain to improve your soccer game.

    What Is Sports Vision Training?

    Sports Vision Training is a customized program that enables athletes of all levels to improve their visual skills through in-office and at-home eye exercises. The beauty of this training program is that it can fit right into your workout and game schedule. The program is designed just for you, so you can focus on the skills you need to develop to become a better soccer player.

    Schedule an appointment at The Sports Vision Center at Advanced Eye Care in South Charleston to get a full visual evaluation. We’ll test your current visual skills, identify any deficits and design a sports vision therapy program tailored to your specific needs and abilities. you with a customized program to improve any lagging visual skills.

    Want to learn more? Contact The Sports Vision Center at Advanced Eye Care today and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have.

    Our practice serves patients from South Charleston, Davis Creek, Hillsdale, and Institute, West Virginia and surrounding communities.

    Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Rebecca St. Jean

    Q: Can sports vision training really improve my soccer performance?

    • A: About 80% of sports performance depends on visual processing and reacting to visual stimuli. After just weeks of sports vision training, many athletes report a marked improvement in their performance. Building visual skills, just like developing muscular strength, plays a crucial role in athletic training.

    Q: Which at-home vision training exercises can improve my soccer game?

    • A: As part of a sports vision training program, our experts will prescribe a program of exercises that you can do at the clinic and at home. Some exercises you can do at home include:- For focus flexibility, focus on a close-up object and then focus on another object directly behind it and farther away.
      – For peripheral vision, stand at an intersection, look straight ahead, and check whether you can see cars using only your side vision.
      – For depth perception, hold a straw with one hand extended at arm’s length and drop a small pebble through it with your other hand. While these exercises will give you a general idea of the visual skills you use every day, nothing can replace a comprehensive exam that assesses your visual skill and sports vision training. Speak to us at The Sports Vision Center at Advanced Eye Care for your custom-designed sports vision training program.

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