Cataracts are the result of the eye’s natural lens becoming cloudy. When cataracts are present, there are noticeable vision changes that come with it. For example, blurry vision is an extremely common result. Additionally, you may become extra sensitive to light, have trouble seeing at night or experience double vision. While these symptoms can make daily living more difficult, there are some ways to make functioning with cataracts easier.
One of the best ways to slow the progression of cataracts is to make sure your eyes stay protected from the sunlight. Wearing the right sunglasses is essential, and can make a big difference for proper UV and glare protection. You might want to choose sunglasses with special tints or coatings, or anti-glare lenses. Additionally, you can also find select styles of eyeglasses that also provide anti-glare options. Our expert team can help you choose the perfect glasses to fit your lifestyle and needs.
There has been a lot of research that shows that nutrition can play a big role in slowing the progression of cataracts. The results of numerous studies have indicated that increasing your levels of antioxidant vitamins C and E, as well as the nutrients lutein and zeaxanthin, reduced the risk of both the development and progression of cataracts. Vitamin C can be found in many citrus fruits and green vegetables while foods such as nuts and seeds are a good source of vitamin E. To increase your lutein and zeaxanthin, eat more green leafy vegetables, squash, pumpkin or carrots.
Certain eye exercises can help to strengthen your eyes and ease eye strain. And while strengthening your eye muscles cannot actually cure cataracts, it can help to slow the progression. Try gently rolling your eyes in a clockwise circle a few times, then reverse to a counterclockwise motion. You can also try moving your eyes from side to side, or in the shape of a figure 8. Another exercise to try could be changing focus, by focusing on a finger held a few inches from your face, then shifting to an object farther away, then back again.
Making some changes to your daily activities can help make life easier when you have cataracts. For example, magnifying devices and reading lights can help ease eye strain for reading or other activities. Also, it is wise to limit nighttime driving, as cataracts can cause glare around headlight or streetlights, making it difficult to see.
Develop a Plan With Your Eye Doctor
One of the most important ways to manage your cataracts is to see your eye doctor regularly. The professional team at Family Vision Development Center is committed to helping our patients with cataracts live a full and rewarding life. During your comprehensive eye exams, we can closely follow the progression of your cataracts and detect any changes in vision as early as possible. Additionally, we can ensure that you have the most accurate and up-to-date prescription for your eyeglasses. During your visits, we will make sure you have a cataract treatment plan in place and will explain all of your options, including the possibility of surgery if your cataracts start to interfere too much with your quality of life.
Contact our Aurora office at 630-862-2020 to learn more or to schedule your appointment.
As a parent, one of the most important things in life is ensuring the happiness and well-being of your baby. You do your best to make sure they have everything they need, but it can be difficult at times to know if something is wrong, especially when it comes to a vision problem. Because they cannot speak, they can’t come right out and tell you that they are having trouble with their vision. But luckily there are some other ways to discover if there might be a problem with their eyesight.
Common Vision Problems in Infants
Before understanding the signs of a vision problem, it’s important to know some of the most common conditions that affect infants and children.
- Refractive errors – in which light does not focus correctly on the retina. This usually results in blurry vision, causing kids to have difficulty seeing things up close (farsightedness), far away (nearsightedness), or both (astigmatism).
- Lazy eye (Amblyopia) – a disorder that occurs when the eyes and brain do not work together properly, causing the brain to favor one eye. This can cause blurred vision, poor depth perception or one or both eyes to drift in and out.
- Strabismus – a condition in which the eyes are not lined up properly, leading them to point in different directions. This can cause a child to experience double vision, or seeing an object in two different places at the same time.
- Blocked tear duct – which occurs when the eye’s drainage system for tears is obstructed. Tears cannot flow properly, often leading to an irritated or infected eye.
There are, of course, many more conditions that can cause a vision problem in an infant. Disorders such as pediatric glaucoma or pediatric cataracts are more rare, but they can result in difficulty with vision and can even lead to vision loss. These issues and more can be discovered during your child’s eye exam.
Signs to Watch Out For
So the question is, how do you determine if your child is experiencing a vision problem if they can’t tell you? Apart from an eye exam, any of the following symptoms can indicate a possible reason to be concerned:
- Eyes that look like they are crossed or looking in different directions (after the first month or two)
- Unable to follow an object with both eyes
- Excessive watering
- Head tilting or turning to one side
- Extreme sensitivity to light (after the first month or two)
- Frequent crust in either eye
- Drooping eyelids
- Eyes look cloudy
- Eyes that flutter or move back and forth
- Frequent squinting
When to Visit the Eye Doctor
It is important to establish good habits right from the start for regular eye exams for your child. They are extremely valuable for maintaining your child’s healthy vision throughout their life. Of course, if you ever have any concerns at all about a vision problem, visit your eye doctor immediately. But as a rule, the recommended ages for eye exams for children are 6 months, 3 years old and before kindergarten. Following that, they should be performed yearly after age 5.
At Family Vision Development Center, we provide thorough, professional care to all members of the family in our friendly Aurora location. We specialize in vision therapy services for kids of all ages and are here to answer all of your questions regarding your child’s vision. Contact us at 630-862-2020 to learn more or to schedule an appointment.
Additional information can be referenced here
Most parents understand the importance of protecting their child’s vision. After all, success in school, in sports and in life in general are all tied to healthy vision. So when a parent notices that their child is experiencing issues with their vision, they want to know the best options available to treat the problem. Glasses or contacts are possible solutions for some disorders, but not all. Vision therapy is an extremely effective form of treatment for a wide range of vision conditions, and kids can truly benefit from the process. Here is some important information to get you started, so you can discover if vision therapy might be the right choice for your child.
What is Vision Therapy?
Vision therapy is a kind of physical therapy for the visual system, which includes the eyes and the brain. This therapy uses specialized eye exercises to help patients develop or recover normal visual skills. Completing this vision training can help kids (or adults) improve their vision so they are better able to perform daily tasks like reading, writing, driving, athletic participation and much more.
What is Involved in a Vision Therapy Program?
Creating a custom-tailored program for your child starts with a comprehensive vision exam. Once a vision disorder has been appropriately diagnosed, a vision therapy plan is developed to meet the specific needs of your child. A majority of the therapy is completed right in our office, with some at-home exercises designed to support our in-person sessions. Appointments are simple and comfortable for kids, usually lasting 30-45 minutes and involving short activities or games to complete the eye exercises.
What Disorders can Vision Therapy Help Treat?
We have seen remarkable success when using vision therapy as a treatment in the following situations:
- Binocular vision impairments – which occur when the eyes do not work together as a team. This can result in disorders such as amblyopia (lazy eye), strabismus (crossed eyes), esotropia (eye turns inward), exotropia (eye turns outward) or hyperphoria (eye turns upward)
- Focusing issues – keeping objects in focus when looking from one object to another
- Eye tracking issues – inability to smoothly follow an object from one place to another
- Visual processing problems – when the brain does not correctly interpret visual information
- Visual impairments sustained due to post-concussive vision syndrome or a traumatic brain injury
- Visual issues caused by certain genetic conditions present in some special needs individuals
- Computer vision syndrome – caused by excessive digital screen exposure
Vision Therapy is our Specialty
At Family Vision Development Center our specialty is providing custom, personalized vision therapy programs to meet the needs of our patients. Our highly-qualified doctors have completed advanced training so you can feel confident that your child is receiving the best possible care. Dr. Martin is an optometrist & vision rehabilitation specialist with special training in vision therapy and vision development, who is also pursuing a fellowship from the Neuro-Optometric Vision Rehabilitation Association. Dr. Santoyo-Johnson is also an optometrist and vision rehabilitation specialist, and is the only provider in the area who is a Board Certified Fellow in light therapy by the College of Syntonic Optometry.
We look forward to working with your family and providing the best treatment options for your child in order to restore their vision to the fullest extent possible. Contact our office at 630-862-2020 to learn more and to schedule your appointment.
Additional information can be referenced here
It’s that time again! The start of a new year means thinking about all the great ways you can improve your life, in order to be happier and healthier. Interestingly, you might find that some of the common goals such as eating better or quitting smoking can also help you achieve another important goal – improved vision! Here are a few easy ways you can work to protect your eyesight.
Changes in diet are often at the top of new year’s resolutions lists. But besides the obvious health benefits of eating better, a better diet can also have lasting improvements to your vision. Making these easy changes to the food you eat can add important vision-friendly nutrients into your diet.
- Increase your omega-3 fatty acids with fish, nuts or seeds
- Get more vitamin C with citrus fruits and leafy green vegetables
- Eat foods rich in vitamin E like nuts and legumes, seeds, sweet potatoes and eggs
- Vitamin A is also important for vision and can be found in foods like carrots and sweet potatoes (which are also rich in beta carotene)
- Increase your zinc intake with beef, chicken, pork or eggs to help delay macular degeneration
Along with adding the right foods into your diet, there are changes you can make to your everyday lifestyle that can help protect your vision.
- Stop smoking – most people are fully aware of the dangers of smoking. However, many do not realize that smoking can increase the risk of age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy and dry eye syndrome.
- Wear protective lenses – always remember to wear sunglasses that block 100% of UV rays while outside, quality safety glasses while boating or riding a motorcycle, as well as any protective goggles that are issued at your workplace. Lasting damage can be quickly sustained by the sun’s harmful rays or flying debris if your eyes are not properly guarded.
- Wash your hands frequently – hopefully during this time of COVID-19, handwashing has become a standard routine. But in case you need another reason, thoroughly washing your hands before touching your eyes can help prevent dangerous bacterial and viral infections that can cause long-term vision damage.
- Take better care of your contact lenses – make sure you follow proper procedures for care and maintenance of contacts to ensure the safety of your eyes. For example, always wash your hands before touching them, only use fresh, clean solution, store them in a sterilized case and be careful of extended use.
Taking care of your health is very important for many reasons, including maintaining the quality of your vision. Because your overall health can be a big factor in your eye health, be sure to keep current on health maintenance issues such as the following.
- Visit your primary doctor regularly – annual exams with your doctor allow you to monitor important factors like blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar. Abnormalities in any of these can also lead to serious vision issues like diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, blurry vision, or vision loss.
- Get regular vision exams – it is just as important to see your eye doctor for regular eye exams, as many vision conditions are only detectable through a comprehensive evaluation. Early detection can often give you a far better opportunity to fully correct an issue. Regular exams allow your eye doctor to detect any changes in vision right away, and begin treatment faster.
- Share your complete family medical history – when you visit your primary care doctor, as well as you eye doctor, it is important to give a detailed history of any medical issues in your family. Many eye conditions are hereditary so sharing your complete history allows your doctor to monitor for those conditions more closely, and advise the best possible care when appropriate.
At Family Vision Development Center, we look forward to helping you ring in the new year with a renewed commitment to protecting your vision. Our highly qualified team provides eye care for the whole family, including eye exams, glasses and contacts, and advanced vision therapy programs. Call our Aurora location at 630-862-2020 to schedule your appointment or get additional information.
Additional information can be referenced here
Children with special needs such as Down Syndrome, Fragile X Syndrome, autism spectrum disorders, premature birth or other genetic disorders are often faced with many challenges throughout life. One of those challenges that can affect them on a daily basis is the risk of developing a vision disorder.
While the vision disorders that affect kids with special needs can be the same as those of neurotypical kids, they tend to experience them at a higher rate. For this reason, it’s important to keep up on regular eye exams in order to detect the following types of issues.
- Focusing issues – the inability to focus on objects that are either close up or far away
- Tracking issues – eye movements may be slow, inaccurate or jump around
- Poor visual attention – the inability to filter out non-essential visual information when viewing the world
- Poor eye teaming and coordination – problems with both eyes working together in a coordinated way
- Poor hand-eye coordination – difficulty completing a physical task based on the visual information received by the eyes
Watch for These Signs
Even if your child is not able to clearly articulate a vision issue, there are certain signs that you can look for that could indicate a problem:
- Skips or repeats words or lines when reading
- Closes one eye when reading
- Poor reading comprehension
- Trouble concentrating when reading
- Holds books very close when reading
- Messy handwriting
- Unusual neck or body posture
- Trips frequently or knocks things over
- Experiences motion sickness
- One or both eyes turn inward or outward
Vision Therapy for Special Needs
The specially trained optometrists at Family Vision Development Center provide individualized, one-on-one vision therapy programs that can be an extremely effective form of treatment for kids with a vision disorder. Once we have clearly identified the visual issue, this vision therapy serves as a kind of re-training of the eyes and brain to develop or restore proper visual function.
At Family Vision Development Center, we understand the importance of providing the best possible care for kids with special needs. And our caring providers always strive to help every child overcome their challenges and achieve the most healthy vision possible. Contact our Aurora office at 630-862-2020 to learn more or to schedule your appointment.
Additional information can be referenced here
Have you ever been sitting quietly, perhaps watching television, and out of nowhere your eye starts twitching? It may seem to be completely random, but there are many possible reasons for this strange occurrence. In fact, people often experience eye symptoms that are questionable. What do they mean? Do you need to seek treatment? Here are a few common eye symptoms and what may be causing them.
One of the more common eye symptoms is waking up with some crust, or “sleep”, in your eyes, and is perfectly normal as it is simply residue from the eye’s natural protective process. However, while finding crust-like residue in the corners of your eye or on your lashes is fine when waking after sleeping, crusty eyes during waking hours could be caused by a condition known as blepharitis, or inflammation of the eyelids, which you should get medical attention for. In fact, any eye discharge that is more than simple flakes after sleeping could be an indicator of a greater issue, such as dry eye or pink eye (conjunctivitis).
Red eyes are another one of those eye symptoms that is usually harmless, but not in every case. Red eyes occur when the tiny blood vessels on the whites of your eyes expand, making them appear red. In most instances, it is caused by a relatively harmless factor like fatigue, allergies, smoke, chlorine or wearing your contacts too long. However, red eyes that last more than a day or two could indicate a more serious problem such as an eye infection, a corneal ulcer or glaucoma.
Almost every person experiences some form of eyelid twitching in his or her lifetime. Known medically as myokymia, these involuntary spasms of the eyelid muscles can occur every few seconds over the course of several minutes. Typically, eyelid twitching is a harmless annoyance brought on by stress, lack of sleep, caffeine, tobacco use or even exercise. But in some cases, it can result from a more serious issue. An eye twitch that doesn’t go away relatively quickly can be a sign of a brain or nerve disorder such as Bell’s Palsy, Parkinson’s Disease, Tourette Syndrome or Multiple Sclerosis.
Some eye symptoms, like blurred vision, could indicate a serious issue and should be discussed with your eye doctor. Blurred vision can indicate myopia (distant objects are blurry), hyperopia (difficulty focusing on close objects), astigmatism (blurred vision at all distances) or presbyopia (normal age-related vision problem). Each of these conditions can be treated relatively easily with corrective eyeglasses or contact lenses. However, there are more serious conditions that might be present if you are experiencing blurred vision. These could include cataracts, glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy or cardiovascular disease.
A yellow appearance in your eye can be harmless, or serious, so it is important to see your eye doctor for an accurate diagnosis. For example, yellow spots on your eyes can simply be protein, fat or calcium growths that are not a cause for concern unless they are interfering with your vision. In contrast, if the whites of your eyes are instead yellow, that can be a sign of jaundice which could be caused by hepatitis, gallstones or even liver cancer.
You can never be too careful when it comes to taking care of your vision. Even a simple issue could be a sign of a more serious problem if it doesn’t clear up quickly. So it’s important to trust your gut when it comes to any kind of problem that you are experiencing with your eyes.
At Family Vision Development Center we offer full service eye care. This means we can provide all of the vision needs for your whole family. This includes general eye exams, advanced vision therapy services, contact lens fittings and the ability to diagnose and treat ocular disease such as glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration, dry eye and diabetes just to name a few. Contact our office at 630-862-2020 for information or to schedule your appointment.
Additional information can be referenced here and here.
When driving a car, the ability to see the road and surroundings clearly is essential to the safety of everyone in the vehicle. Reflective glare while driving can be a big problem in a number of situations.
For example, the light reflecting off of snow in the winter can be almost blinding to a driver. Additionally, the glare from bright sunlight hitting the street or other cars can cause a driver to squint or even tear up, therefore affecting their ability to operate the car safely. And nighttime driving can be difficult for many people as they get older due to the glaring illumination of other headlights. Fortunately, there are some solutions that can help eliminate glare while driving, providing for a safer driving experience.
Polarized sunglass lenses provide excellent protection from glare while driving. These lenses are made with a special filter that can dramatically reduce the sun’s glare while keeping other objects on the road in sharp focus. Brands like Maui Jim or Nike are great options, as they are known for producing superior anti-glare products. However, there are also less expensive choices that can still provide high levels of protection against glare while driving. As a bonus, wearing high-quality sunglasses consistently during the day can reduce overall eye strain, which can actually help alleviate some of the glare from headlights at night.
Because of advances in lens technology, many options are available for prescription lens wearers who want to reduce glare while driving. Many brands of prescription lenses can be customized with anti-reflective coatings that reduce glare during the day, as well as reduce the effects of headlight glare at night. Additionally, there are some light-responsive lenses available which will automatically adapt to changing light conditions. When you visit us for a comprehensive vision exam, we can determine which lenses are best suited to your lifestyle and specific needs.
Surprisingly, recent improvements in contact lens technology have also provided an option to contact lens wearers for anti-glare protection. Photochromic contact lenses are light-responsive lenses that can filter blue light, improve your vision in bright light outside, as well as reduce problems from headlights at night. Of course, you can always wear sunglasses over your regular contacts, but this is an additional option for those who want an all-in-one solution for protection against glare while driving.
Glare Can Indicate a Serious Vision Issue
Glare is a normal part of life, and can often be eliminated with the right eye protection. However, if excessive glare is affecting your quality of life on a daily basis, it could mean there is a bigger problem with your vision. In fact, it can be a sign of cataracts, macular degeneration or other eye diseases. If it is interfering with your vision, visit us for a comprehensive eye exam to determine if there are more serious issues that need to be treated.
For more information or to schedule an appointment for eyeglasses, contacts or other eye care needs, call our Aurora office at 630-862-2020.
Additional information can be referenced here
Blue light glasses are becoming a growing trend among students these days. And perhaps for good reason. Without a doubt, kids are spending a lot of time in front of digital devices. In particular, remote learning requires kids to be on their computers for hours at a time. And all of the additional time being spent in the house tends to lead to more TV and phone use in order to pass the time. As a result, more and more kids have started turning to blue light glasses in an attempt to counteract the negative effects of blue light exposure.
What Are the Effects of Blue Light?
Sunlight is our biggest source of blue light, which is a color in the visible light spectrum that contains a high concentration of energy and short wavelengths. Other sources of blue light include digital devices like computer screens, phone screens and TV’s, as well as LED and compact fluorescent lights. While some blue light is actually beneficial, overexposure can be harmful. In fact, people who have extensive exposure to blue light often complain of headaches, as well as difficulty falling asleep. Additionally, digital eye strain can cause sore or itchy eyes, light sensitivity and even pain in the neck or shoulders.
Many doctors are concerned that increased levels of blue light could lead to a greater chance of developing macular degeneration later in life. And research has shown that blue light from digital devices can create higher incidences of nearsightedness, or myopia. With all of these possible side effects, it is not surprising that students are giving blue light glasses a try.
How Blue Light Glasses Work
In theory, blue light glasses are designed to block some of the blue light that is being emitted by digital devices with a filtering coating that reflects some of the light away from your eyes. Some styles are designed with clear coating, while others have a more yellowish tint that supposedly provides better light-blocking results.
Unfortunately, there is conflicting research as to the true benefit of blue light glasses. But while they do not work for everyone, many people claim that they make a big difference in reducing the symptoms of their blue light exposure. Every person’s eye care needs are unique, and we will be happy to discuss your specific situation and what type of eye protection might be necessary during a comprehensive eye exam.
Vision Therapy for Computer Vision
With kids spending so much time in front of digital devices these days, blue light glasses might not provide the full protection they need from the harmful effects of digital eye strain. Left untreated, symptoms can become more severe and existing eye disorders such as farsightedness, astigmatism or presbyopia can also worsen. At Family Vision Development Center, our vision therapy options are extremely effective in treating these types of vision disorders as well as many more. In fact, through these series of progressive therapeutic procedures (eye exercises), our patients can develop or recover normal visual skills.
Contact our Aurora office at 630-862-2020 to learn more or to schedule your comprehensive eye exam or consultation.
Additional information can be referenced here
Light therapy may not be the first thing that comes to mind when researching treatment options for your child’s (or your own) vision disorder. In fact, you may never have been aware of this type of vision therapy, as few offices in this area provide this service. But light therapy, also called Syntonics, is an extremely effective way to treat many different kinds of vision conditions – and we are lucky to have Dr. Santoyo-Johnson, the only optometrist in this area who is a Board Certified Fellow in light therapy by the College of Syntonic Optometry.
What is Syntonics Light Therapy?
Syntonics is an advanced form of light therapy in which various colored lights are used to target and correct a variety of vision problems. Research has shown that applying light through the eyes to affect the regions of the brain that are responsible for the body’s hormonal and chemical balance, as well as visual function, can help restore balance in the body and improve vision problems. While it is a complex scientific theory, the actual therapy is provided comfortably in our office and can produce extraordinary results for a wide array of vision conditions and disorders.
What Vision Disorders Can it Treat?
Syntonics light therapy is an effective form of treatment for a variety of vision problems including:
- Strabismus – both eyes do not look in the same place at the same time
- Amblyopia – decreased vision in one or both eyes due to abnormal development
- Visual attention deficit – lack of ability to sustain focus on one thing in a group
- Constricted visual field – narrowing of field of vision or limited peripheral vision
- Convergence issues – blurred or double vision when looking at close objects
Visit Family Vision Development Center for your complete evaluation where we will create your custom vision therapy plan using proven Syntonics light therapy procedures. Our successful treatment programs not only improve patients’ visual abilities, but can lead to lasting improvement in their overall sense of emotional well-being and enjoyment of life. Contact our Aurora office at 630-862-2020 to schedule your appointment.
Additional information can be referenced here
Have you ever considered what your eyes would look like in a different hue? Maybe you want to change things up by adding a pop of purple to your normally brown eyes. Or with Halloween right around the corner, you may be thinking about some fun cat eyes to go along with your costume. Colored contacts can definitely change your appearance, but are they the right choice? Read on for some important information before making your decision.
Are colored contacts prescription lenses?
All colored contacts should be prescribed by an eye doctor, and are available whether you require vision correction or not. In other words, if you have 20/20 vision, or if you need some kind of vision-correcting eyewear, you can still try out a fun new eye color. However, there are a few things you should know regardless of your visual acuity.
- Decorative or special effects lenses are still considered by the FDA to be regulated medical devices and therefore should never be purchased from a random online retailer. In fact, non-prescription decorative lenses are likely to be improperly sized and can cut, scratch or infect your eyes. This can lead to lasting vision problems or even vision loss. We can prescribe these types of contacts with the correct lens measurements and expiration date so you avoid eye damage.
- If you do need vision correction, colored contacts can provide many of the same options as standard contacts. For instance, you can select from daily disposable, weekly or monthly lenses to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism. Plus you’ll get to choose from a variety of tints to enhance, or completely change, your eye color.
What is the proper care for colored contacts?
Caring for colored contacts is the same as caring for standard contacts, and it is very important to care for them properly in order to avoid serious damage to your eyes or vision. Whether you are using colored lenses for vision correction or for decorative use, the following tips can help ensure your overall eye health:
- Never share your lenses with anyone
- Follow your eye doctor’s recommendations as to how often to replace your lenses
- Clean the lenses with disinfecting solution each time you remove them
- Store them in a clean case in fresh disinfecting solution. Change the solution regularly and never use water.
At Family Vision Development Center, we have a great selection of standard and colored contacts to choose from. We are committed to providing the best eye care for your whole family and will work with you to determine which options best meet your needs. Our Aurora location conveniently offers services for comprehensive eye exams, glasses and contacts, and advanced vision therapy treatments. Contact us at 630-862-2020 for more information or to schedule your appointment.
Additional information can be referenced here