Family Vision Blog

motion sickness

Motion Sickness Could be Due to a Vision Problem

Motion sickness is an unpleasant condition that can affect both adults and children. From traveling, to reading in the car, to watching movies or playing video games, often times motion sickness is triggered at the most inopportune times. For some people who suffer from motion sickness symptoms, an underlying vision issue may be to blame.

Neuro-Ocular Vestibular Dysfunction (See-Sick Syndrome)

Neuro-Ocular Vestibular Dysfunction (NOVD), also known as “See-Sick Syndrome (SSS)” occurs when our vision and balance (vestibular) systems in our body do not communicate correctly. See-Sick Syndrome causes a person to be super sensitive to light, as well as experience motion sickness with visual motion and eye movement.

 

Symptoms

See-Sick Syndrome causes many symptoms that can affect a person’s ability to perform everyday tasks like driving and reading. Some patients have reported being unable to shop in large stores with bright lights, developing tunnel vision that prohibits them from driving safely, and suffering from bruising due to running into objects and stumbling or falling. Severe SSS can be debilitating at times. SSS symptoms include:

  • Photophobia, also known as light sensitivity
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of balance/coordination
  • Nausea
  • Fear of heights
  • Depression and more

 

Treatment

 If your motion sickness or sensitivity to light is determined to be caused by a vision issue, vision therapy treatment may help. By working to reconnect the brain and the eye, vision therapy exercises can significantly improve vision and coordination skills. In addition, you may benefit from corrective lenses or syntonics, a special color light therapy.

If you suffer from motion sickness and suspect a vision issue, contact Family Vision Development Center right away to set up a comprehensive eye exam. Our highly qualified doctors will determine if you have any underlying vision issues, and we will customize a program to meet your individual needs. Visit us online or call 630-862-2020 to schedule an appointment.

 

Additional information referenced here and here.

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women vision loss

Women at Greater Risk for Vision Loss Than Men

According to a report from the Prevent Blindness organization, “Of the more than 4.4 million Americans age 40 and older who are visually impaired or blind, 2.7 million are women.” Not only do women outnumber men in this area, but the report also predicts that these numbers will continue to grow in the future. Women are at a greater risk than men for specific diseases as well, including cataracts, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration. It is critical that women of all ages make their eye care a priority and take steps now to prevent disease and permanent vision loss.

Healthy Lifestyle

Leading a healthy lifestyle can have a very positive impact on vision and eye health. Not only can certain foods help enhance and protect your vision, but making smart choices like wearing UV protection when outdoors will also help. Additional preemptive actions include not smoking, exercising regularly, and limiting your time in front of electronics that cause eye strain.

Knowledge

Educating themselves is another great way that women can practice good visual self-care. Taking time to research family history is important, as some eye diseases are hereditary. In addition, read up on the safest ways to use contacts and cosmetics. Also ask your doctor about any medications you are taking that may affect your vision.

Regular Eye Exams

While women are at a higher risk for eye disease, many conditions can be managed with early detection and proper treatment. It’s imperative that women receive regular eye exams, yet Prevent Blindness conducted an online survey that found one in four women had not had an eye exam in the past two years, due primarily to cost factors. Family Vision Development Center recommends that women get an annual eye exam, which may or may not include dilatation when needed. These exams can detect issues early-on, which could make the difference in whether or not you lose your vison.

Family Vision Development Center in Aurora provides comprehensive eye exams among our many other services. Let us help you protect one of your most precious gifts – the gift of sight! Call us at 630-862-2020 to schedule an appointment or use our convenient online appointment request form.

 

Additional information referenced here and here.

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vision therapy adults

Vision Therapy is Not Just for Children: Adults Can Benefit Too!

As Vision Therapy continues to gain in popularity, more and more children are receiving treatment to correct eye conditions as early as possible. However, Vision Therapy is not just for little ones- adults can benefit too! In the past, the old school of thought was that certain eye conditions could not be corrected after childhood. Today, we know this is simply not true. Studies show that adults suffering from eye conditions such as lazy eye or crossed eyes can greatly benefit from Vision Therapy.

 

Double Vision (Diplopia)

Double vision, or diplopia, can occur due to a number of contributing factors. Adults with this condition often have trouble in one or both eyes, which can cause one image or object to appear as two. Vision Therapists utilize techniques that help adults with diplopia regain visual control which can improve their balance and movement. In this aspect, Vision Therapy can help adult patients improve their quality of life as well as their vison.

 

Crossed Eyes or Wandering Eye (Strabismus)

Strabismus is known by many other names such as cross-eyed, wandering eye, squint, wall eye, and more. This condition occurs when a patient’s eye/eyes are not aligning properly, and one may “turn” instead of focusing on a target that both eyes are pointed at. In order to help a patient retrain their brain and eyes to coordinate, Vision Therapists can use tools such as eye patches and focus shifting exercises. Improvement with this condition can not only help adults feel more confident, but can also increase their ability to read, write and work more effectively.

 

Lazy Eye (Amblyopia)

Amblyopia is a condition where one eye is dominate over the other, and therefore the two do not work together as they should. The non-dominate eye suffers from reduced vision. Through a series of eye exercises that both improve vision in the lazy eye and help with eye/brain communication, Vision Therapy can be very effective in correcting Amblyopia.

 

If you are an adult suffering from any of the above eye conditions, contact Family Vision Development Center right away to set up a comprehensive eye exam. Our specialty is neuro-optometric rehabilitation and vision therapy, and we will customize a program to meet your individual needs. Visit us online or call 630-862-2020 to schedule an appointment at our Aurora location at 452 N. Eola Rd.

 

Additional information referenced here and here.

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medications vision

Your Medications May Be Hurting Your Eyesight!

In today’s busy world there are many things that can take a toll on your vision: from stress, to environmental issues, to your own bad habits. But did you know that certain medications can also negatively impact your eyesight? Side effects can range from minor issues like dryness, to permanent damage including loss of vision.

Watch Out For These Drugs

While this is not an all-inclusive list of medications to watch out for, these are a few more commonly used prescription drugs that have been linked to vision issues:

  • Corticosteroids
  • Diuretics (water pills)
  • Antihistamines
  • Osteoporosis drugs
  • Antidepressants
  • Cholesterol medication
  • Alpha and Beta-blockers
  • Ulcer medication
  • Birth control pills
  • Acne medication
  • Erectile dysfunction medications
  • And more

If you have glaucoma or diabetes, you should be especially careful to monitor your medication’s side effects.  Elderly patients and those who take medications for longer periods of time can also be more at risk for vision issues depending on the drug taken and the dosage amount.

Read the Labels Carefully

Your vision is a precious gift and it’s important that you protect it. Get in the habit of reading the warning labels on your medications carefully – including anything you purchase over-the-counter. Even herbal supplements and vitamins can have an effect on your vision. Knowledge is a key element of practicing good vision self-care.

Talk to Your Doctor

If you suspect that your eye problems are related to your medication, talk to your prescribing doctor immediately but do NOT stop taking the medication until instructed to do so.

In addition, always see your eye doctor if you notice vision changes, regardless of what you suspect the cause may be. Be sure to let your eye doctor know what medications you are taking- including prescriptions, over-the-counter, and herbals- and the dosage amount of each.

At the Family Vision Development Center, our philosophy is of “whole body wellness” that extends beyond the eyes. Reach out to us if you are concerned about your vision and side-effects of your medications. We provide comprehensive services in our family-friendly office with an exceptionally dedicated and well-trained staff. Call us at 630-862-2020 to schedule an appointment for your eye exam or use our convenient online appointment request form.

 

Additional information referenced here and here.

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vision therapy

Could Vision Therapy Help? Watch for These Telltale Signs of a Problem

Vision therapy, which is also known as vision training or visual training, is an individualized treatment program that is like physical therapy for the eyes and brain.  Through customized eye exercises, patients can develop or recover normal visual skills that may have been impaired due to a wide range of vision disorders.

While individuals of all ages can benefit from vision therapy, it can be especially helpful for young children with learning disabilities or those suffering from lazy eye, crossed eyes or focusing issues. Vision deficits can cause eyestrain, blurred or double vision, and headaches that make it difficult to stay focused while reading, maintaining attention in the classroom or focusing on close work. Vision therapy can help correct these visual deficits. With vision therapy, children are better positioned to achieve their full potential, both in and out of the classroom.

Could your child benefit from vision therapy? These common signs can indicate that there is an underlying vision problem.

  • Your child has poor hand-eye coordination, which may be evident in poor handwriting, motor coordination, athletic performance, etc.
  • Your child has problems walking or running, and frequently drops objects or bumps into things
  • Your child holds a book or object unusually close
  • Your child closes one eye or covers the eye with his/her hand
  • Your child omits or confuses small words when reading
  • Your child reverses words when reading (e.g., “no” for “on”) or transposes numbers (e.g., “21” for “12”)
  • Your child complains frequently of headaches, eyestrain, nausea, dizziness and/or motion sickness
  • Your child frequently avoids or objects to doing homework
  • Your child exhibits behavior problems in school

Regular eye exams can detect vision problems that standard screenings do not

Even though your child may receive vision screenings at school, these tests do not diagnose the many vision conditions that a comprehensive eye exam does.  It is important to be diligent when it comes to your child’s vision – especially if you notice any of the above signs of a problem.  Vision therapy can be an excellent form of treatment, and a successful outcome is even greater when issues are diagnosed early on.  At Family Vision Development Center, vision therapy is our specialty.  Dr. Martin is specially trained to treat a variety of vision related conditions using complete vision therapy services designed to restore and improve visual efficiency.  Contact us today at 630-862-2020 or visit us online to schedule your appointment.

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new contacts

Practical Advice for Getting Used to New Contacts

Contacts are a smart choice for individuals who are active and dislike the feeling of wearing glasses. However, the process of caring for and getting used to new contacts can take a week or two.  Navigate the transition with ease by learning how to properly care for contacts and becoming familiar with common symptoms that occur when you first wear them.

What to Expect When First Wearing Contacts

As with any new eye prescription, it may take a few days for your eyes and brain to adjust to the changes.  New prescriptions may cause mild headaches or slight dizziness.  If this persists after the first week, it may be a sign that your prescription needs to be adjusted.

New contacts can also sometimes cause mild eye irritation during the first few days of use as you get used to the new sensation.  You may feel uncomfortable that there is something in your eye or notice when your lenses begin to dry out. After a day or two, these symptoms typically go away.  Remember that these minor issues are normal, and all a part of getting used to something new.  However, if you continue to experience eye irritation after a week, or have any concerns at all, contact us for recommendations.

Practice, Practice, Practice!

Getting comfortable putting in your new contacts can take some time.  It can be a strange feeling touching your eye like that and you may wonder if you are doing it correctly.  We will give you specific instructions during your appointment, but the more you practice, the easier it will become.  Soon it will become a very natural part of your daily routine.

Caring for Your New Contacts

One of the most common causes of eye irritation is improper care for contact lenses.  There are certain things you should always remember when caring for your new contacts:

  • Always wash your hands before and after touching your eyes to avoid spreading bacteria. Also, be certain that all soap residue is thoroughly rinsed before touching the lenses.
  • Remember that tap water is not appropriate to clean your contact lenses. Only use the contact lens solution provided by your eye doctor to avoid damaging the lenses and to ensure they are disinfected properly.
  • Storing your new contacts properly is another very important task. Always use fresh solution to store your contacts overnight.  Reusing contact solution may cause eye irritation or infection.

 Proper Follow-Up Care

Remember that caring for your new contacts also includes getting regular eye exams to make sure that problems do not go undetected.  Serious infections can occur if lenses are not cared for properly, so visiting us on a regular basis can help ensure proper use and address any prescription issues.  Contact us at 630-862-2020 to make your appointment for your new contacts this year!  We have a wide variety of choices available in the latest lens technology, and can find the right lenses for your specific lifestyle.

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binocular vision

Two Eyes are Better Than One! Why Binocular Vision is Important

The human visual system is a complex network including the eye, ocular nerves, and key brain areas that process visual information. Under most circumstances, we use information from both eyes to create a single visual image. This ability to converge information from both eyes is called binocular vision. However, in some cases, the eyes fail to seamlessly meld visual information into a coherent image.  This leads to binocular vision impairments which can cause problems seeing things correctly.

 

How Does Binocular Vision Work?

Unlike some other animals, human eyes are both set on the front of the face, permitting binocular vision.  Each eye has a field of view, which is the area that you can see when you close one eye.  The center of the eyes’ fields of view overlap with one another, although visual information in the periphery can only be detected by one eye.  This information is transmitted to an area of the brain which synthesizes the overlapping visual information to make a single coordinated image.

 

Examples Of Binocular Vision Problems

When the eyes are not working together properly, it can cause full or partial impairments to vision and depth perception.  This can result in conditions like Amblyopia (“lazy eye”), strabismus (cross-eye), convergence insufficiency, double vision or eye tracking problems.  A child or adult that has one of these conditions can experience difficulty reading or completing homework, playing sports, driving or even tying a shoe.

 

Binocular vision impairments are not always obvious.  For example, a child may suffer from Amblyopia but may not have an obvious turning of one eye.  This is why early detection is so important!  Often times, these conditions can only be accurately detected in a comprehensive eye exam.  School screenings are not enough, so be sure to bring your kids in to Family Vision Development Center on a regular basis to detect any problems while they are still easily treatable.

 

Vision Therapy Can Help Correct Binocular Vision Impairment

Some binocular vision disorders can be treated with eyeglasses, but often times the best choice of treatment is a vision therapy program.  Family Vision offers highly specialized programs in our office that are customized for each patient.  This treatment, known as physical therapy for the visual system, uses special eye exercises to develop or regain normal visual skills.  As a treatment for binocular vision issues, it is much more effective than surgery or glasses alone.

 

Contact us at 630-862-2020 to schedule an appointment or learn more about Family Vision Development Center at https://www.fvdcpc.com/.

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stress impacts vision

Surprising Ways Stress can Impact Vision – Watch for the Signs!

We’ve all been cautioned to reduce our stress levels as much as possible.  Stress can have numerous negative effects on the body such as headaches, anxiety, fatigue, depression or trouble sleeping.  But a lesser-known effect is how it can impact your vision.

Why Stress Affects Vision

When you get stressed, your body produces adrenaline, which speeds up your heart rate.  This means more blood flows to essential functions like your internal organs, and less blood gets to your extremities, like your eyes.  High levels of adrenaline can cause pressure on the eyes, while prolonged surges of cortisol (another hormone released when stress occurs) can lead to glaucoma or optic neuropathy.

Which Vision Problems Can be Caused by Stress

Some signs that stress may be reason behind your vision problems can include:

  • Eye twitching
  • Eye strain
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Very wet or very dry eyes
  • Tunnel vision (loss of some peripheral vision)
  • Blurry vision
  • Eye floaters (tiny spots that swim across your vision)

Not only does stress have the capability to produce these new vision issues, but some studies conclude that it can actually worsen already-existing problems from diseases such as glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy or age-related macular degeneration.

Tips to Alleviate Some Stress

If you suspect that your eye problems are related to stress, there are some tactics you can employ to try to relieve some of your symptoms.  Try to relax through deep breathing or meditation, get some extra rest and do your best to eat as healthy as possible while increasing your exercise.  Remember to take breaks often to give your mind a chance to rest!

Certainly, believing that you have a serious vision condition developing can add to your stress levels.  Which can lead to worsening of your symptoms.  And so on.  The best way to determine the cause of your vision problems is through a comprehensive eye exam here at Family Vision Development Center.  Once we have thoroughly examined your eyes and diagnosed any conditions, we can start to develop a plan to correct any issues.  Contact us at 630-862-2020 or visit us online to learn more.

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vision problems learning ability

Vision Problems Can Have a Shocking Effect on Learning Ability

When a child has vision problems, it can affect many areas of their daily life, including their learning ability.  And it may not be as evident as blurred vision – a child could have perfectly clear eyesight, but still have vision issues that can prevent them from achieving success in school.

 

Types of Vision Problems

There are several types of vision problems, all of which can affect your child’s ability to read, write and succeed in the classroom in different ways. The following are some common vision problems in children that may interfere with learning ability.

 

  • Refractive Errors

Children with a refractive error have an irregularly shaped cornea that does not bend light properly.  This can cause blurred vision, difficulty reading things up close or a crossing of the eyes.  If your child holds a book very close to their eyes or squints when trying to read or see the front of the classroom, they may be suffering from a refractive vision problem.

 

  • Functional Vision Problems

These refer to problems affecting the way that the eyes and brain work together. This can lead to problems in eye teaming (binocularity), accommodation (i.e., the ability of the eye to focus on an object at different distances), hand-eye coordination, peripheral vision or fine eye movements.  A child with a functional vision problem may experience double vision, transposing letters, confusing similar words, difficulty with reading, spelling and math, and poor performance in sports.

 

  • Perceptual Vision Problems

Perceptual vision problems are characterized by difficulty understanding and identifying what one sees.   A child with poor visual perception may have 20/20 vision, but might have trouble distinguishing between two similar letters (such as u and n), putting a puzzle together or finding a pair of matching socks in a drawer.  Other signs of a visual perception disorder could include skipping words or lines when reading, memorization trouble, or understanding a map.

 

While parents may be quick to assume that their child’s learning ability is determined by their study habits, or even genetics, they may not even think to look at their vision.  A comprehensive eye exam at Family Vision Development Center can uncover any vision conditions or disorders that can lead to poor performance in school.  Vision therapy programs are a very effective way to treat these types of vision conditions, and early detection often provides more opportunity for treatment options.  Contact us today at 630-862-2020 or visit us online to schedule an appointment.

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blue light

The Surprising Effects of Blue Light Exposure

Blue light is produced naturally by the sun and is also generated by computer monitors, smartphone screens and other digital devices.  Although the light has some beneficial effects, exposure can increase your eyestrain risk and even affect your central vision.

 

What Is Blue Light?

The rays of the sun may appear to be colorless, but they’re actually made up of red, blue, orange, yellow, green and violet hues.  Blue rays emit higher amounts of energy, and therefore they’re more likely to affect your eyes.

Much of your exposure to blue light comes from the sun, but you can’t avoid exposure simply by staying indoors.  In addition to computer monitors and smartphones, it is produced by tablets, LED and fluorescent lights, LED light from TVs and compact fluorescent light bulbs.  Blue light plays an important role in maintaining the sleep/wake cycle, regulating your mood and keeping your memory sharp – but too much of it can keep you awake at night and can be harmful to your eyes.

 

Too Much Exposure Can Cause Eyestrain

If you have ever experienced blurred vision, headaches or burning, itching eyes after spending hours in front of a digital screen, it could be the result of prolonged exposure to blue light.  Staring at electronic devices for extended periods of time can result in digital eye strain.  This occurs when your eyes continually try to focus on a screen, which pulls at the eye muscles until they become fatigued.

 

Central Vision May Be Affected by Blue Light

Blue light penetrates all the way to the retina (the inner lining of the back of the eye) and can cause damage to the light-sensitive cells in the retina.  Long-term exposure may increase your risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which occurs when the retina deteriorates and results in vision loss in the center field of vision.

Blue light exposure can also pose a higher risk to those who have recently had cataract surgery. A cataract serves as a natural protective lens for the eye, so when the cataract is removed, your exposure increases and precautions should be taken to filter out blue light when possible.

 

Protecting Your Eyes From Blue Light

Some blue light is good, and necessary, as it can boost alertness, help with memory and cognitive function and elevate mood.  However, too much is not good and the following precautions can help protect your eyes from excessive harmful blue light exposure.

  • Buy a Filter – Adding a blue light filter to your screens can improve contrast and lower the amount of blue light that your eyes absorb.
  • Take Breaks – Taking frequent breaks from your computer, tablet or phone helps lower your exposure and also gives your eyes a chance to rest. Breaks don’t have to be long. If your day is hectic, simply looking away from your computer for a minute or two every 20 minutes can be helpful.
  • Try New Glasses – If you spend much of your day working on a computer, you may want to consider buying a pair of prescription computer glasses. The glasses block blue light, improve contrast and help reduce eyestrain.
  • Consider Blue Light-Blocking Lenses After Cataract Surgery – Special lenses that reduce blue light transmission can be used in place of clear lenses after your cataract surgery.

Family Vision Development Center in Aurora assists in providing important information regarding the safety of your eyes, as well as providing crucial services such as comprehensive eye exams that indicate vision conditions like AMD, vision therapy services to treat certain disorders and a wide selection of prescription glasses to effectively correct your vision.  Contact us at 630-862-2020 to schedule your appointment or learn more about our practice here: https://www.fvdcpc.com/about/

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