Family Vision Blog

summer vision tips

5 Essential Summer Vision Tips for Kids

Summer is the time of year many kids look forward to most. School is out and there is usually much more time for fun and relaxation.  But summer activities also present the opportunity for a child’s vision to be compromised.  Protect your child’s vision throughout the summer season by following these important tips.

Wear sunglasses

When your child is spending time outdoors (even on cloudy days), they should wear sunscreen and sunglasses.  Exposure to sunlight increases the risk of eye damage from ultraviolet (UV) light.  Unlike adult eyes, children’s eyes are still maturing and cannot filter out the harmful UV rays as effectively. The sunglasses you get for your child do not have to be expensive, but they do need to be effective.  Look for lenses that will block 100 percent of both UVA and UVB rays. This will ensure that your child’s eyes are protected every time they are outdoors.

Wear protective eyewear during summer sports

Summer also tends to be a very active time for youth sports.  Unfortunately, each year in the United States, about 42,000 children suffer from a sports-related eye injury — the leading cause of vision loss for kids in America. This is why it is important that kids wear protective eyewear during sports or recreational activities, whether on an organized team or casually playing with friends in the yard.

Limit digital screen time

When summer rolls around, it is so tempting for kids to spend their days glued to their favorite digital device.  And while that’s fine for a limited amount of time during the day, excessive screen time can cause serious vision issues. Digital eye strain can occur after too much exposure to the digital screens of many different electronics, and can cause headaches, blurry vision, dry or watery eyes, sore or tired eyes and even neck and shoulder pain.  That’s some good incentive to put the phone away and get outside and enjoy the nice weather!

Pool safety

Sunscreen by the pool offers important sun protection in the summer, but it can cause irritation if it gets into a child’s eyes. To avoid this, try to find a PABA free variety which can be much less irritating. When possible, check chlorine levels in your pool, as the chemical can cause red eyes.  And while it is not usually dangerous, it can be uncomfortable.  Swim goggles can be a great solution as they can reduce contact with the chemicals in the pool.  For kids who wear contact lenses, make sure they do not wear them in the pool, as they can trap chemicals which can lead to infections.

Beach safety

Amazing summer memories can be made at the beach, but kids can have problems when playing in the sand. It can happen fast – one minute they are building a sand castle, then they wipe their face and sand gets in their eyes. If this happens, do not allow them to continue rubbing their eyes, as this can cause scratches on the cornea.  The best solution is to try to rinse out the sand by pouring fresh, clean water over the eye. If fresh water is not available, encourage blinking or natural tears to flush things out. If there is no improvement in an hour or two, it’s wise to seek medical attention.

At Family Vision Development Center, your child’s healthy vision is very important to us. Be sure to see us for regular comprehensive vision exams or for any vision concerns.  Contact our Aurora office at 630-862-2020 for information about our practice or to schedule an appointment.


Family Vision Development Center is a full-service vision center offering innovative vision therapy services, post-concussive vision rehabilitation, comprehensive vision exams for eyeglasses and contact lenses, management of ocular diseases including glaucoma, diabetes, macular degeneration and cataracts, and a state-of-the-art optical center offering the latest designs in eyewear.

vision therapy program

4 Signs that a Vision Therapy Program is the Right Solution

A vision therapy program is an individualized type of physical therapy for the eyes and brain, and is used to develop, improve and/or enhance visual function through a series of eye exercises.  The in-office programs may involve the use of specialized equipment such as corrective or therapeutic lenses, prism lenses, balance boards or visual-motor-sensory integration training devices.  Additionally, patients may be given at-home exercises on a weekly basis in order to reinforce the progress made in the office.

A vision therapy program can be extremely successful in treating a variety of visual disorders.  Wondering if it’s the right choice for you?  If you are experiencing any of the following issues, you should definitely explore the possibility.

School struggles

A vision disorder can cause a student to experience many challenges in school.  For example, refractive vision problems can cause blurred vision so a child would have difficulty reading or seeing the front of the classroom. A functional vision problem may cause a child to experience double vision, transposing letters, confusing similar words or difficulty with reading, spelling and math. Finally, 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 memorization, or may skip words or lines when reading. A vision therapy program can address any or all of these vision problems to help a student improve their learning ability and academic performance.

Recent head injury

If you have recently experienced a blow to the head or violent jarring of the upper body, it may have resulted in a concussion. This type of injury can commonly occur as a result of a vehicle accident, sports injury or fall, and should be taken seriously. Concussions can have several potential effects on your vision, including eye focusing, tracking, eye teaming, depth perception issues or loss of peripheral vision.  A post-concussive vision therapy program can greatly improve visual function following a head injury.

Underdeveloped athletic performance

Young sports athletes who want to earn a spot on the best team and play in the most games possible must have highly developed skills in certain areas to outperform those they are competing against. Skills such as eye-hand coordination, visual reaction time and tracking a moving object can all affect an athlete’s ability to excel.  A specialized sports vision therapy program can help improve these skills, along with other important visual skills such as eye focusing, visual acuity, peripheral vision and depth perception.

Your eyes are not working as a team

Eyes should work together as a team for proper binocular vision.  This means they move in the appropriate direction, are aligned properly, and focus correctly at different distances. When the two eyes do not function together appropriately, symptoms of a binocular vision disorder can become very evident.  For example, one or both eyes might turn inward or outward, or you might lose the ability to move one or both eyes in one or more direction(s). Other signs of a binocular vision disorder could include blurry or double vision, eye strain, headaches, light sensitivity, reading difficulties or dizziness.  A vision therapy program can be a very effective solution in rehabilitating these types of vision impairments in order to restore normal visual skills.

At Family Vision Development Center, vision therapy is our specialty.  When you visit us for any of the above issues, we will provide you with a comprehensive neuro-optometric vision evaluation and will create an individualized vision therapy program using the most current and effective equipment and methods.  Contact our office at 630-862-2020 to learn more or to schedule your appointment.


Family Vision Development Center is a full-service vision center offering innovative vision therapy services, post-concussive vision rehabilitation, comprehensive vision exams for eyeglasses and contact lenses, management of ocular diseases including glaucoma, diabetes, macular degeneration and cataracts, and a state-of-the-art optical center offering the latest designs in eyewear.

low vision

15 Low Vision Household Tips for Easier Living

Living with low vision can definitely be a challenge.  As vision diminishes, even everyday tasks that used to be very simple become difficult to accomplish.  Not everyone experiences the same kind of low vision, and some may have more severe symptoms than others. But anyone who is affected can benefit from these strategies to overcome the challenges they will surely face at one time or another.

What Can Cause Low Vision

Low vision is not total blindness.  However, it is a loss of sight that is not completely correctable with glasses or contacts.  Low vision can result in a range of sight loss, including blind spots, loss of peripheral vision, poor night vision or blurred or hazy vision.

There are a number of eye diseases and conditions that can cause someone to experience low vision. The most common include:

  • Macular degeneration
  • Glaucoma
  • Cataracts
  • Diabetic retinopathy
  • Cancer of the eye
  • Retinitis pigmentosa
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Retinal detachment

Make These Changes Around the House

Living with low vision can make everyday tasks more difficult.  But simple changes around the house can help simplify daily life while providing a safer environment.  Consider the following easy tips:

  • Get organized! Keeping essential items in the same place all the time makes it much easier to locate them quickly when needed.
  • Keep clutter to a minimum to avoid accidents
  • Move cords away from walkways
  • Position the television to avoid glare on the screen
  • Replace your flooring if necessary – avoid anything shiny, slippery or materials with busy patterns or stripes
  • Install brighter lighting in important areas like the kitchen and bathroom.
  • Use contrasting colors throughout the house. For example, different color furniture, light switches, accent walls or countertops can help improve visibility and define areas.
  • Add colorful tape strips to the edges of each stair
  • Minimize the possibility of tripping or falling by taping down carpets and using no-slip mats in the shower.
  • Install hand railings on the stairs and grab bars in the shower or bath
  • Keep plenty of low vision magnifying devices around the house in order to more easily read things like food labels, instructions or prescription bottles. Additionally, a magnifying mirror in the bathroom can help during your morning routine.
  • Plug in night lights throughout the house to avoid accidents at night.
  • Use clocks with large numbers. Or alternatively, you can even find clocks that speak the time out loud.
  • Find your favorite magazines in large-print versions.
  • If you find reading to be difficult, try audiobooks. Many websites, along with local libraries, offer free audiobooks in a wide variety of genres.

Get Regular Vision Exams

Modifying your home can make living with low vision easier.  But the most important way to care for a vision disorder is to see your eye doctor regularly. When you visit us at Family Vision Development Center for a comprehensive vision exam on an annual basis, we can detect any changes in vision right away and recommend the appropriate treatment.  Our patients with low vision have unique needs, and as their vision changes, we can discuss and prescribe effective low vision aids.

Family Vision Development Center is a full-service eye care provider and we care for patients of all ages.  We offer a range of vision services such as comprehensive vision exams along with a variety of designer eyeglasses and contact lenses.  Additionally, our specialized vision therapy programs are effective treatment options for post-concussive visual rehabilitation, treatment of binocular visual impairments and refining the visual skills of athletes to improve sports performance.  Contact our office at 630-862-2020 to learn more and to schedule your appointment.



Family Vision Development Center is a full-service vision center offering innovative vision therapy services, post-concussive vision rehabilitation, comprehensive vision exams for eyeglasses and contact lenses, management of ocular diseases including glaucoma, diabetes, macular degeneration and cataracts, and a state-of-the-art optical center offering the latest designs in eyewear.

special needs vision

Unique Vision Concerns Can Challenge Kids With Special Needs

Parents of kids with special needs understand that every day can present a new set of challenges and questions that need answers.  That is especially true when it comes to their child’s vision.  Vision is such an important component of daily life, and those with special needs often have specific vision issues to regularly contend with.  Therefore, it is important for parents to have as much information as possible to ensure the best quality of life for their children.

The term “special needs” can refer to kids who need assistance due to a range of physical, emotional, medical or learning difficulties or impairments. Children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Down syndrome, Fragile X syndrome or cerebral palsy are common examples of special needs that are often accompanied by vision complications.

Vision Exams for Special Needs

Regular vision exams for kids with special needs are very important. These exams can help to diagnose vision problems that when treated, can greatly improve a child’s quality of life. Some issues that can be discovered through a vision exam include:

  • 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

Vision Therapy for Quality of Life 

Vision therapy is an excellent option for treating a wide range of vision issues that kids with special needs are challenged by.  When developmental disabilities affect a child’s visual system, including the eyes, brain and visual pathway, it can lead to even bigger challenges at school, sports or even simple daily tasks.  A customized vision therapy program will use fun, interactive visual activities to help strengthen the eye muscles and improve alignment and focusing issues.  By enhancing a child’s visual skills, they will find greater ease in performing everyday tasks.  This can often improve their overall confidence, social skills, verbal skills and general happiness on a daily basis.

The Family Vision Development Center team has specialized experience in working with kids with special needs. When your child visits, we will examine their vision and create a personalized vision therapy program for their unique abilities and needs.  Contact us at 630-862-2020 to schedule your appointment or to request additional information.


Family Vision Development Center is a full-service vision center offering innovative vision therapy services, post-concussive vision rehabilitation, comprehensive vision exams for eyeglasses and contact lenses, management of ocular diseases including glaucoma, diabetes, macular degeneration and cataracts, and a state-of-the-art optical center offering the latest designs in eyewear.

perfect glasses

3 Simple Tips for Finding the Perfect Glasses

Discovering the perfect glasses is like hitting a jackpot – and you get to enjoy the rewards every day! Besides the obvious benefit of improving your vision, the right glasses can enhance your style, improve your mood and boost your overall self-esteem.  Taking the time to select the best pair can really pay off in the long run, and it’s easy if you pay attention to the following three steps.

Consider the Type of Vision Correction Needed

First and foremost, your perfect glasses will need to be chosen based on what type of vision correction is necessary.  For example, a person who has trouble focusing on words when reading close up would need different lenses than someone who has trouble seeing objects in the distance.  And there are also those that need to correct a combination of vision problems with one pair of glasses.  Some of the most common lens options include:

  • Single vision lenses in which the entire lens has the same prescription power. These work when there is only one vision issue that needs to be addressed, such as nearsightedness or farsightedness.
  • Bifocal lenses which incorporate one prescription on the lower portion of the lens and a different prescription in the upper part of the lens, with a visible line dividing the two. These lenses treat both near and far vision.
  • Trifocal lenses are similar to bifocal lenses, but they add in a middle-distance prescription
  • Progressive lenses incorporate near-, far- and middle-distance correction, but instead of distinct lines separating the prescriptions, they provide a smoother transition as you look from near to far.

Additionally, there are a variety of lens coatings you can add to customize your lenses such as scratch resistant, anti-reflective, anti-fog, blue light blocking or tinted.  Your perfect glasses will be the right combination of vision correction and special features to meet your needs.

Examine Your Face Shape

There is such a wide variety of frame styles and colors available, it might be difficult to know where to begin.  One great way to narrow it down is to first determine the shape of your face.  Different frame styles tend to compliment particular face shapes.  So, to find your perfect glasses consider the following suggestions based on the shape of your face:

  • Round – Choose frames that are rectangular or square, as they tend to make a face look slimmer and longer
  • Square – Oval or round frames will help balance the angular features of this face shape
  • Heart – Frames that are wider at the bottom will offset the wider forehead of this face shape, adding width to the narrower part of the face. Rounded frames can also be flattering here.
  • Oval – Stick with frames that are wider than the broadest part of your face, that are not overly large, to maintain the symmetry of an oval face
  • Diamond – Compliment a narrow forehead and chin by choosing frames that are wider than the cheekbones, such as cat eye or oval styles

Of course, this is just a good place to start.  Sometimes you put on a pair and you just know they are the right choice.  For this reason, it’s a good idea to try on several options to get a feel for which style you feel most comfortable in.

Keep Lifestyle Factors in Mind

Finally, when searching for the perfect glasses, it is important to keep your lifestyle choices and personality in mind. For example, if you are an athletic individual, you might want to consider more durable lenses and frames that can withstand the activities you participate in.  Those who spend a lot of time in front of a computer screen might be interested in lenses with an anti-glare coating.  And those who really want to let their outgoing personality shine through can choose fun, colorful frames.  You’re going to be wearing your perfect glasses every day, so it’s important to make sure they are comfortable and practical for you.

Family Vision Development Center Has the Perfect Glasses for You

Choosing the perfect glasses can be a tough decision, so we are here to help!  At Family Vision Development Center, our professional team can help you explore the many available options in frames and lenses based on your individual needs.  We have a large selection of fashionable, designer frames to suit your style, and we will explain the many possible combinations of features and styles to help you craft the best pair of glasses that you will enjoy wearing every day.

Family Vision Development Center is a full-service eye care provider and neuro-optometric rehabilitation center in Aurora, Il.  We treat patients of all ages with services ranging from comprehensive vision exams to advanced vision care such as post-concussive vision therapy.  Contact us for all your eye care needs by calling 630-862-2020.

concussion facts

5 Crucial Concussion Facts for Parents of Active Kids

A concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury that results from a bump, blow or jolt to the head or the body that is violent enough to cause the brain to hit the skull.  For parents of active kids, they need to understand that this type of head injury can have a serious effect on a young, developing brain, and should be dealt with appropriately. Knowing how to respond to a concussion can make a difference in preventing further, long-term negative effects.

A Concussion Can Happen During Any Sport

Many parents think they only need to worry about their child getting a concussion if they play a very physical sport, like football or hockey.  But the truth is that a concussion can happen at any time while participating in just about any sport or athletic activity.  For instance, soccer, basketball, karate, and even rollerblading or cycling can present the possibility of a head injury.

Always Insist on Head Protection

Kids very often underestimate the need for wearing a helmet.  Parents might suggest wearing one, but give in as kids choose to forgo the head protection.  But it is so important for parents, and coaches, to be firm in their insistence that kids always wear properly-fitting, sport-appropriate headgear at all times.  A head injury can happen in an instant and can have lasting consequences when proper head protection is not being used.

Stop Playing Immediately After a Head Injury

Competitive kids may be inclined to “shake it off” and keep playing, even after being hit in the head.  Unfortunately, parents might agree, especially if their child does not appear to be physically injured or bleeding.  However, this is a very poor decision as a second injury could be even more dangerous, possibly resulting in lasting brain damage or even death.  Any child that has experienced any type of blow to the head, whether by falling down or colliding with another player, should immediately stop participating and have their injury examined by a doctor or sideline trainer.  Additionally, they should not return to physical activities until a doctor has determined that it is safe to do so.

Watch for Telltale Signs of Concussion

Signs and symptoms of a concussion may show up quickly after the injury, but not always.  In fact, it could be hours or even days for symptoms to become obvious.  It can be difficult to determine the severity of an injury right away.  And you must remember that some symptoms may not appear until several days to more than a week after the injury.  So be on the lookout for the following:

  • Headache
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dizziness or balance problems
  • Confusion or forgetfulness
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Sensitivity to light or noise
  • Feeling sluggish, groggy or slowed down
  • Mood or personality changes
  • A general feeling that something is not right
  • Difficulty with sleep

A Concussion Can Affect Vision

Along with the above symptoms, a concussion can also cause changes to your vision (known as post-concussive vision syndrome). Some vision problems that can result from a head injury include:

  • Eye focusing – not being able to quickly and easily see an object clearly (objects look blurry)
  • Eye Movements and Tracking – not able to easily follow a moving object from one spot to another, or switch fixation from one object to another. Sometimes this can be reported by students saying that words are moving on the page.
  • Depth Perception Issues – difficulty with accurately judging the distance between objects.
  • Eye Teaming – not able to get both eyes to work together to focus on an object, often reported as double vision
  • Peripheral Vision Loss – problems with your wide-angle field of vision, or feeling like you’re looking through a narrow tube

Vision therapy is an extremely effective form of treatment for post-concussive vision syndrome that occurs following a head injury.  This type of individualized rehabilitation program helps to retrain the visual system to restore proper communication between the eyes and brain.  Family Vision Development Center is an exceptional concussion center that incorporates vision therapy programs to correct visual disorders that occur as a result of head trauma.  Contact us at 630-862-2020 to learn more or to schedule an appointment in our Aurora office location.

digital eye strain

5 Simple Ways to Find Relief from Digital Eye Strain

The COVID-19 pandemic caused people to go remote in record numbers.  Remote learning in schools and working from home, communicating through the use of digital screens, became the standard way to operate.  While things have slowly started to return to in-person, many people still increasingly rely on their digital devices on a daily basis.  This, unfortunately, has led to more people experiencing the effects of digital eye strain.

Why Digital Eye Strain Occurs

Digital eye strain, also known as Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS), is a group of vision-related problems that are caused by prolonged use of electronics such as computers, tablets, e-readers or smartphones.  Eye discomfort and vision problems seem to increase the longer a person views these screens.  The severity of the vision problems can vary from person to person, and can depend on the specific conditions that are present.  For example, factors such as lighting, distance from the screen, length of time in front of the screen, the amount of glare on the screen, poor posture and underlying vision problems can all affect a person’s overall symptoms.


Digital eye strain can result in any of the following:

  • Headaches
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Dry eyes or watery eyes
  • Neck and shoulder pain
  • Sore or tired eyes
  • Light sensitivity

Prevention and Treatment

Luckily, digital eye strain is not a permanent condition.  In fact, there are a number of ways to lessen the effects, eliminate the symptoms or even avoid it altogether.

  • Take frequent breaks when working on or looking at digital screens. It is good practice to follow the 20-20-20 rule – after 20 minutes on a digital device, look 20 feet into the distance for at least 20 seconds.  You should also give your eyes a full 15-minute rest after each 2-hour period of digital screen use.
  • Adjust seat and screen positions appropriately. The center of the screen should be 4-5 inches (15-20 degrees) below eye level, and 20-28 inches away from your eyes.  Your seat should be positioned so you can sit comfortably with your back straight and your feet resting flat on the floor.
  • Reduce glare on the screen. Adjust the lighting in the room from overhead lights or windows to eliminate as much glare as possible from the screen. If that is not possible, try using a screen glare filter to reduce the amount of light being reflected from the screen.
  • Get underlying vision conditions diagnosed and treated. Prior vision conditions are a main cause of more severe cases of digital eye strain.  Therefore, treating these conditions can help to relieve serious symptoms.  You should also make sure your glasses or contacts are always fitted with current, appropriate prescription lenses.
  • Vision therapy treatment. If symptoms of digital eye strain persist or do not subside with preventative measures, vision therapy can be an effective treatment option. This type of therapy consists of a series of eye exercises that retrain the eyes and brain to work together more effectively. Each program is customized to correct the specific visual deficiencies for each patient.

Get Regular Vision Exams

Symptoms of digital eye strain can get worse if not treated in a timely manner. And while you might not be able to avoid working in a remote environment, you can take the appropriate actions to reduce or avoid the symptoms of digital eye strain.  An important step is to get regular vision exams in order to make sure current prescription lenses are up-to-date, as well as ensure early diagnosis of any new vision issues.  At Family Vision Development Center, we work with patients of all ages to help reduce the effects of digital eye strain and maintain good overall eye health.  Contact our office at 630-862-2020 to schedule an appointment or to learn more.

myopia in kids

Proven Ways to Treat a Child’s Myopia (Nearsightedness)

When an object in the distance appears blurry or out of focus, yet close objects remain in focus, that is a vision disorder called myopia, which is also known as nearsightedness.  It is a very common vision condition in kids, often appearing between the ages of 6-14.  Although myopia affects almost one-third of all adolescents in the U.S., it does not always get diagnosed as early as it should.  Here is some important information parents need to know regarding what to watch for, as well as how to treat it.

Signs of myopia

Kids with myopia can often perform close-up tasks like reading and writing without a problem. So sometimes a parent might not realize that their child is having trouble focusing on objects in the distance.  Any of the following symptoms can indicate that myopia might be present:

  • Holding books or other reading materials close to their face when reading
  • Squinting when watching TV or looking at the chalkboard / whiteboard in school
  • Sitting very close to the TV when watching
  • Always requesting a seat in the front of the classroom
  • Losing interest in playing sports that require good distance vision
  • Frequent headaches
  • Excessive blinking
  • Frequent rubbing of the eyes

Tips to reduce effects

While there is no total cure for myopia, there are several proactive actions you can take that can help to slow the progression of myopia, including:

  • Get outdoors more often, as increased exposure to daylight has been associated with slowing its progression
  • Limit time spent in front of digital screens
  • Take frequent breaks when working at a computer or doing other close-up work
  • Eat healthy foods like fruits and green leafy vegetable that contain vitamins and nutrients that promote eye health
  • Get regular vision exams

Treatments for myopia

There are several options available to help kids regain or improve distance vision, including:

  • Compensatory lenses – this is a very common form of treatment and is what is thought of when people think of eyeglasses for clarity, and can be used for kids of all ages. This treatment can be in the form of prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses.  We can discuss which is the most appropriate choice, based on your child’s age, lifestyle, activity level, etc.
  • Therapeutic lenses – these special lenses are designed to help either reduce the total amount of myopia or help keep the myopia from increasing in severity. These therapeutic lenses can be successful alone but sometimes are used in addition to vision therapy procedures.  They can be single vision lenses, bifocals or no-line bifocals, they may also include small amounts of prism and can also be contact lenses or any combination of the above.
  • Vision Therapy – vision therapy is a kind of physical therapy for the visual system, and is a very effective treatment option for kids whose myopia results from reduced eye focusing skills. A customized vision therapy program uses a series of therapeutic eye exercises to strengthen eye muscles and help patients recover normal visual function.  It can be used as an individual treatment, or in combination with glasses or contacts, to improve myopia in children.

Visit Family Vision Development Center for a Complete Evaluation

The earlier myopia is detected in children, the sooner treatment can begin, which can help reduce the overall progression of the disease.  The most effective way to diagnose a vision issue like myopia is through a comprehensive vision exam.  So if you suspect that your child is struggling with distance vision, have them evaluated as early as possible.  The compassionate staff at Family Vision Development Center is experienced working with patients of all ages and we are dedicated to improving the eye health of kids and adults alike.  Contact us at 630-962-2020 to schedule an appointment for your child’s vision exam or learn more about our practice here

teachers watch for vision problems

Teachers Should Watch for These 4 Vision Problems in the Classroom

Teachers spend so much time interacting with their students on a daily basis, which gives them a great opportunity to notice a student’s possible vision problems.  Classroom activities can reveal that a child is struggling to keep up.  And in many cases, those learning difficulties could be due to an undiagnosed vision issue.  Detecting problems early on can allow for quicker, more efficient treatment.  Therefore, teachers that notice any of the following symptoms in their students should notify a parent or guardian right away.


Amblyopia, also called “lazy eye”, is a common vision condition in children.  This disorder occurs when the eyes and brain do not work together properly. As a result, the brain will choose to use only one eye as its primary source of visual information.  The other eye will “shut off” and will not be used very often, or at all.  Usually this results in one eye not being able to see 20/20.   Sometimes this will cause the eye to drift in or out, but many times it remains perfectly straight. Other than physical appearance, teachers can also look for signs of amblyopia which could include messy handwriting, poor eye-hand coordination, poor depth perception such as excessive tripping or running into doors and difficulty reading.


This is another type of common vision disorder that results from the brain having difficulty using both eyes at the same time. If the stress of using both eyes together becomes too challenging, the brain will often allow one of the eyes to turn out or turn in to remove the problem, since using one is less confusing. This differs from Amblyopia in that both eyes have the ability to see 20/20 but not at the same time. Symptoms for strabismus can also include double vision, headaches, eye strain, eye fatigue, squinting, closing or covering one eye to look at objects, poor depth perception, balance and coordination issues, poor sports performance or difficulty reading or concentrating. As you can see, there is a lot of overlap of symptoms with these types of vision issues. Only a proper binocular vision evaluation can delineate the difference.

Accommodative Disorder

This type of disorder affects a child’s ability to focus their eyes properly.  This happens particularly at near distances or when switching focus from near to far away.  When this vision disorder is present, a child may struggle with blurred vision, eye strain and fatigue, eye discomfort or headaches.  Teachers might notice a child having difficulty with reading, writing or computer work, or focusing on the front of the classroom after working at their desk.  Additionally, they could notice a student rubbing their eyes a lot or excessively blinking their eyes.  Any of these symptoms can indicate an accommodative disorder.

Convergence Insufficiency

This condition is characterized by the inability to move and focus both eyes inward on near objects comfortably.  A child would often notice the symptoms when reading or doing other close work, but sometimes children are unaware that there is an issue.  These symptoms can include double vision, headaches, eye strain, squinting, closing or covering one eye to look up close or difficulty reading or concentrating, homework taking too long, skipping lines or words when reading, losing their place when reading and not performing up to their potential in school.  Since most younger children are unaware that these symptoms are not normal, they will not report any difficulties to their parents or teachers.   Teachers that recognize these symptoms in a student should be aware that convergence insufficiency could be the cause.

Vision Therapy for Treatment

Teachers that suspect a vision problem with a student should know that there is a highly effective form of treatment available known as vision therapy.  These customized programs are like physical therapy training sessions for the visual system, including the eyes and brain.  When started at an early age, vision therapy can be incredibly successful in rehabilitating all types of binocular vision impairments.

At Family Vision Development Center, our doctors have advanced training in many different types of vision therapy techniques, in order to meet the needs of our younger patients and the vision challenges they often face.  We understand that vision disorders can make school especially difficult and we often receive recommendations from teachers who want to see a solution for their struggling students.  Contact us at 630-862-2020 to learn more about common vision problems in school-aged kids, as well as the best treatment options available.

Additional information can be referenced here

dry eyes

8 Ways to Find Much-Needed Relief From Dry Eyes This Winter

Cold weather can have a drying effect on our bodies. When the temperature drops, our hair can feel dryer, our skin can get flaky and our eyes can get extra irritated.  Dry eyes can cause you to experience redness, itchiness, grittiness, blurred vision or a feeling that there is something in your eye.  Or conversely, it may also lead to episodes of excess tearing that follow periods of dryness, discharge or pain in the eye.  There are a number of reasons that you might be experiencing dry eyes, and luckily there are also ways to treat them.

What Is the Condition Known as Dry Eye

Healthy eyes typically produce tears on a continual basis. These tears are made up of a mixture of water, oils, mucus and a large number of proteins.  Tears are necessary to provide moisture and lubrication, protect against infection and keep the eyes comfortable.  Dry eye occurs when the quantity or quality of tears fails to provide enough lubrication to the surface of the eye.

What Causes Dry Eyes

One common cause for dry eyes in winter is the amount of humidity in the air.  In the colder months, the humidity drops outside.  Additionally, turning on the heat at home evaporates the humidity inside.  This leads to extra dry conditions which can have an effect on the eyes.  It should be noted, however, that dry eyes don’t just happen in the winter months.  There are other factors which can also contribute, including the following:

  • Some medications have been known to cause dry eyes including antihistamines, decongestants, antidepressants and high blood pressure medications
  • The natural aging process can cause declines in tear production, especially in people over 50
  • Certain diseases such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, thyroid disorders or Vitamin A deficiencies are associated with dry eyes
  • Women are at a higher risk of developing dry eyes due to hormonal changes during pregnancy or menopause
  • Environmental factors such as wind, smoke, dryness, or seasonal allergies can lead to dry eye

How to Find Relief for Dry Eyes

Now that you understand what causes dry eyes, it’s important to know what to do to find relief.  Try these helpful solutions this winter to ease discomfort or prevent symptoms from worsening:

  • Use a humidifier at home to increase humidity levels
  • Drink a lot of fluids to keep your body (and eyes) hydrated
  • Avoid blowing heat vents directly at your face
  • Wear protective sunglasses to block blowing wind or dry air
  • Use over-the-counter medications such as artificial tears to relieve mild symptoms
  • Use prescription dry eye medications
  • Use of certain products and procedures that can stimulate tear production
  • Surgical options that partially or completely plug the tear ducts to slow the drainage of tears once they collect on the surface of the eye

Treat Your Dry Eyes Before it Gets Worse

At Family Vision Development Center, we understand that dry eyes are very uncomfortable and often painful.  But more than that, we also want you to know that untreated dry eyes can progress to more serious conditions, such as eye infections, inflammation, abrasions, corneal ulcers or vision loss.  Therefore, it is important to get diagnosed as early as possible.  Through a comprehensive vision exam, we can determine the severity of your symptoms, as well as determine the most effective treatments so you don’t have to suffer through it any longer!  Contact us at 630-862-2020 to learn more and to schedule an appointment.