Are School Vision Screenings Good Enough?

30 12 2013

I often get asked by parents of children I am prescribing glasses for, “How come they passed the vision screening at school but still need glasses?”

While school nurses provide a valuable service that sometimes detect serious problems with children’s vision, school vision screenings are an incomplete check of a child’s visual status.

For one, a screening is just that – a screening.  Screenings are looking for a big problem in a large amount of people in a short period of time.  It might catch the big things but it leaves alot of little things hidden.   Kids are masters of manipulation too.  Some can fool the nurse that they can see well while some kids can fail that don’t need glasses.

Secondly, the criteria of what defines reduced vision is generally 20/30 vision or worse looking off into the distance.   For some kids, that is too blurry for their needs.  That is the minimum to get a Texas driver’s license and be able to see road signs adequately.  Most of the time, the near vision of school children is not even tested in a school vision screening.  But that is where they use their vision the most!

The biggest group I find need glasses that have passed a screening are farsighted.  Farsighted children generally can see at all places.  Often they can force their eyes to focus to make their eyes see 20/20 at distance and near.  They generally have headaches or eye strain, are slow readers and do poorly with reading comprehension, don’t do well with their grades, labeled incorrectly “dyslexic”, and get in trouble for not paying attention.

Also, the degree of focusing power or accommodation is not tested as well as eye coordination or how the eyes work as a team either.   The vision system of the eyes is very complex.  You are using two eyes that each have to have clear sight, keep things focused in and work in tandem as they move around.  Can you imagine holding two video cameras steady in each hand and trying to video something moving around and try to make a movie that takes both video feeds, in focus, and produces one single picture on the TV?

Lastly, the health of the child’s eye is not examined.  True, there are not a lot of eye diseases at young ages but they do happen.  Diabetes, blood disorders, genetic problems and most importantly tumors in the eye or brain are some things I have come across without much or any symptoms.

I have occasionally had a nurse that went the extra mile and did more than what the school district recommends and I commend them for that.  They perform a vital role that helps find the big problems sometimes.  But don’t rely on  just a school vision screening.  The future of your child depends so much on how well they do in school.  Why would you not want to ensure your child has a normal vision system and healthy eyes?   They can’t be replaced like teeth.  Don’t skimp on this critical need in your child’s development.  Have your children’s eyes tested by a reputable private practice optometrist and please don’t take them to them a mall doc or Bigmart type place.  There generally is a reason those eyedocs work in those type settings.  You don’t get your teeth or mammogram at Bigmart do you?  At any rate, don’t take any chances with your kids.  Make a point to have your children’s eyes regularly, every year,  in a professional setting.

Courtesy of Dumas Vision Source, PLLC and Dr Tory W. Moore, Optometric Glaucoma Specialist and Diplomate of the American Board of Optometry.    Serving the Dumas, Texas,  Moore County and upper Texas Panhandle area for 23 years.   Call (806) 935-2020 for appointment or visit our optical gallery without an appointment.  Visit our website www.visionsource-dumas.com for more information.  Like our Facebook business page:  Dumas Vision Source  and you can also connect on Twitter @eyedocdumas

Tory Moore, OD  – “A Hometown Eye Doctor You Know and Can Trust!”





When the Moon Hits Your Eye – part two

17 12 2013

Wow, another beautiful, huge, full moon coming up tonight.  So we know from my last post, “When the Moon Hits Your Eye,” why the moon looks so big sometimes coming up over the horizon due to the “Moon Illusion.”

So why does it look different colors, like in a “Blood Moon?”

 It’s the same reason our sky looks blue.   The Earth’s atmosphere diffracts or scatters light in different wavelengths.  You remember from science how white light is made up of all the colors and how a prism can scatter white light into the visible color spectrum?  Like looking at a rainbow made up of all the colors?  

So when white light hits the Earth’s atmosphere, it is bent so light rays separate into all of the visible light spectrum.  Blue light is the most easily scattered so it normally doesn’t make it through to the moon’s surface.  The red wavelengths more easily pass through the Earth’s atmosphere though.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When the earth is positioned just right, as in  one point of a lunar eclipse, the red light reflects off the moon’s surface giving it that “Blood” red appearance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

So now you know what makes the moon a different color sometimes.  

On a side note, if you study Jewish history or Old Testament Christianity, the question that many are asking in certain religious circles if you haven’t heard, is one of “is there any significance to the  tetrad or series of four “Blood Moons” coming in the next two years, as they all fall on Jewish festivals?”  In the past when this happened there were significant events in Jewish history and of Israel.  Hmmm, interesting.  

After all, the prophet Joel said, “The sun will be turned to darkness  and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.  (Joel 2:31)

The skeptic in me envisions sidewalk prophets with sandwich boards saying “The End is Near!” but Jesus did say there would be signs in the Heavens before that day.  (Matthew 24:29-31)   Jesus said no one will know the exact time of His return, not even Him, only God the Father.  But He also said to watch and be ready.   Just like in pregnancy, there will be birth pains before.

I’m ready.  Are you?   If so, then you have nothing to fear.  If not, consider clicking on this link to find out more why you need a relationship, not religion.   www.needhim.org  





Snowblind

5 12 2013

 If you live in an area that receives snowfall, you may remember someone in school coming back from a ski trip that didn’t wear sunglasses or goggles on the slopes and ended up with a case of severe snow-blindness or sunburn to their eyes.  Their eyes hurt so bad and were so blurry they couldn’t go back to school for a couple of days.  

We all know how UV light can cause a sunburn to skin.  Well, snow and water are great reflectors of UV light, so that it bounces right up into the face and eyes.    There is more exposure to UV as well at a higher altitude on the mountain.   Without protection, the cornea can develop a “photokeratitis” or corneal inflammation that is extremely painful.  It feels like there are rocks or sand in the eyes.  The cornea becomes covered with lots of micro-blisters that pop open and your eyelid scrapes across those when blinking, causing the foreign body sensation.  Between those and the corneal swelling, the vision can be very blurry.  Depending on various factors, the process of photokeratitis can begin in as quick as 3.5 minutes of UV exposure. (1)   The symptoms are usually delayed, with an average of onset of pain, light sensitivity and tearing after 6-12 hours.

Treatment includes cold, damp compresses or ice packs, non-steroidal and steroid eye drops to reduce the inflammation and pain and possibly antibiotic creams, therapeutic bandage soft contacts or eye patches and oral pain relievers if severe enough.  Typically it will be healed after a few days since the corneal tissue is one of the most fastest growing parts of the body.  Usually, there is no long term damage.  Repeated exposure to UV over your life time can however  lead to early cataracts and possibly macular degeneration.

Prevention is key and very simple.  Wear eye protection in the snow or when on the water!   Polarized sunglasses are ideal to block UV light and improve the vision from the glaring polarized light coming off the snow or water.  There are clear UV blockers in regular eyeglasses too that can block light, much like sunscreen ends up clear on your skin after application.

If you happen to stay too long out on the slopes without eye protection, you CAN come crying to me.   🙂   (But just don’t say I didn’t tell you!)

Courtesy of Dumas Vision Source, PLLC and Dr Tory W. Moore, Optometric Glaucoma Specialist and Diplomate of the American Board of Optometry.    Serving the Dumas, Texas,  Moore County and upper Texas Panhandle area for 23 years.   Call (806) 935-2020 for appointment or visit our optical gallery without an appointment.  Visit our website www.visionsource-dumas.com for more information.  Like our Facebook business page:  Dumas Vision Source  and you can also connect on Twitter @eyedocdumas

Tory Moore, OD  – “A Hometown Eye Doctor You Know and Can Trust!”