How to Help Your Child Adjust to New Glasses

Getting glasses as a child is often a tricky transition. Correcting children’s vision typically involves some dissent or obstinance on the part of the child, but a few adjustments will make all the difference!

Choose and adjust the glasses for optimal fit-Making sure that your child is comfortable with his or her new pair childrens-visionof glasses is critical. Encourage your child to be a part of the selection process to ensure that they choose a style of glasses that they truly like– they will therefore be more enthusiastic to wear them. Fit is even more important than style, and the optometrist’s staff should be able to guarantee that new glasses are perfectly fitted to the child’s face.

Ensure that the child wears the glasses consistently-Sometimes the most difficult part of getting used to new glasses is simply remembering to put them on in the morning. Help your child to integrate glasses into daily routine by verbalizing reminders or directly handing the glasses to the child as necessary until putting on glasses become second nature.

Clean the lenses regularly-Dirty lenses rarely serve as positive aids to children’s vision. Dirt and dust that obscures sight will only make it harder for the child to get used to the new glasses. Regularly clean the lenses with lens cleaner and a scratch-free cloth before the child puts them on in the morning. Eventually, show the child how to clean the glasses without you and encourage them to clean the lenses regularly in order to support independence and responsibility.

Make glasses a positive experience- Getting and wearing glasses should be viewed as a fun experience, rather than a chore. Reward your child after appointments with something that they find enjoyable in order to help them see the process as celebratory. Try showing the child picture books, movie characters, or favored celebrities with glasses to instill the notion that glasses are fashionable and that the child is not alone. Make sure that you continually encourage the belief that glasses are actually fun and cool!

The happiness of children is just as important as children’s vision correction! Book your appointment with your Valley Eyecare Center optometrist. Call us at 602-955-2700 or schedule online today.


When Should Children Get Their First Eye Exam?

If you have a young child, you might be wondering if it’s time to schedule their first eye exam. If your child is at least six months old, the answer is probably yes! Here is what you need to know about children’s eye exams.


Early examinations are incredibly importantEarly eye exams are extremely important for diagnosing problems and ensuring that children are able to see clearly! Only during children’s eye exams are professionals able to identify existing and potential threats to vision and eye health before the children are heavily impacted and perform treatments or continue regular checks as necessary.

When to scheduleThe first medical professional to examine your child’s eyes is usually a pediatrician or a doctor. This initial infant comprehensive eye exam takes place when they are around six months old. The doctor will check your baby’s responsiveness to light and ability to follow objects with his or her eyes. If problems are found, you will likely be referred to an optometrist. If there are no problems, the American Optometric Association recommends the next eye exam to take place when your child is around 3 years old. After that, they recommend that children’s eye exams take place every two years if no vision correction is necessary and every year for children who wear glasses or contact lenses.

What to expectThe doctor will likely inquire into your child’s medical and family history. A children’s eye exam usually involves tests that use symbols to assess the child’s vision and a random dot stereopsis to ensure that the child’s eyes work well together. The most common problems that are diagnosed in young children are nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism. However, there are a few other less frequent conditions found in children: amblyopia (also known as lazy eye), strabismus (crossed eyes), or convergence insufficiency (eyes do not work together properly focusing up close). In the event that any of these conditions are found, appropriate treatments will be prescribed.

Don’t hesitate to schedule your child’s first eye exam! Book your appointment with your Valley Eyecare Center optometrist. Call us at 602-955-2700 or schedule online today.





5 Reasons You Should See Your Eye Doctor Annually 

We all know that going to see the eye doctor is important, but why do we have to go each year? Even if you think your vision is great, you should still go to visit your optometrist at your annual appointment.


Why You Should Make and Keep Your Annual Optometrist Appointments

  1. You may not know that you have a vision problem—A recent study found that 58% of people had a significant change in their vision without knowing it before going to see their eye doctor.
  2. An outdated prescription can cause more problems than just squinting—Even if you just squint to see something far away, this vision problem may lead to eye strain, headache, or dizziness.
  3. Your eyes can reveal several important aspects of your health—Your eyes can show signs of other health problems. For example, small “micro-bleeds” in the vessels in your eyes can be signs of heart trouble, and other changes in your vessels may indicate possible brain problems. Additionally, an eye doctor can tell if you have developed certain eye diseases, such as macular degeneration.
  4. As you age, your eyes change—No matter your age, your eyes change each year. Children’s eyes change significantly faster than adults’ eyes, but everyone’s prescription and vision changes.
  5. You may suffer from eye strain without knowing it—If your eyes are tired after looking at your computer or phone, you may be suffering from eye strain. You could benefit from computer glasses, which are tinted yellow, to block the blue light associated with the screens that are a part of our daily lives.

Don’t wait—make your appointment with your eye doctor now! To learn more about why you need an annual checkup with your optometrist, or to schedule your appointment, call (602) 955-2700, or visit our website.

What is ‘Lazy’ Eye and How Can it be Treated?

lazy-eyeLazy eye, which is also referred to as amblyopia, is a condition in which vision cannot be corrected by glasses or contact lenses. This condition often has nothing to do with any eye disease; instead, the brain simply does not fully acknowledge the images that are seen by the eye. Luckily, this condition is treatable and can be reversed with treatments by an optometrist.

Optometrists Treat Lazy Eye

Most common sufferers are children—According to the Optometrists’ Network, approximately 3% of all children under six years old suffer from some form of lazy eye. This can include loss of depth perception and three-dimensional vision.

Treatment can help at any age—Whether your small child or your teenage son or daughter starts to complain of vision loss, treatments for lazy eye can help. Of course, the earlier the problem is diagnosed and treated, the better the results will be. Since the brain can change at any age, you can rest easy knowing that your child’s vision can and will improve.

Types of treatments—Typically one eye has stronger vision than the other, so a patch can cover the stronger eye, forcing the brain to recognize the eye that has weaker vision. This will naturally improve the eye’s ability to focus. Other treatments include contact lenses to correct the discrepancy between near and farsightedness.

Symptoms of lazy eye—Typically, this condition develops before a child is six years old, and symptoms may not always be obvious. Certain symptoms may include the significant favoring of one eye over the other or poor depth perception.

Early diagnosis of lazy eye can lead to better treatment results. To learn more about lazy eye, or to schedule an appointment with an optometrist at Valley Eyecare Center, call (602) 955-2700, or visit our website.

Glaucoma Treatments and What to Do Next

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with glaucoma, finding out what to do next can be a daunting task. Glaucoma is considered to be a disease that is without a cure.  Eye damage and loss of sight from glaucoma are usually permanent, but there are treatments that can slow down vision loss and save the vision capability that is remaining. If you’re worried about possible vision loss, you should talk to your doctor about setting regular appointments to have your vision checked. Your doctor will tell you how often you need to go in based on your eye health, the shape and size of its inner structures, and any risk factors you may have.

First your doctor will have to confirm that you do, in fact, have glaucoma. Depending on your risk factors (your age, ethnicity, and vision issues), your doctor may want to test your vision. If you experience any vision loss or if your routine eye checks show that your vision may have degraded, your doctor will run a group of eye structure and function tests to see if you may have glaucoma. If your tests show that you do, and it’s found early on in the disease’s progression, your doctor may be able to slow permanent vision loss or protect your remaining visual abilities.

Early glaucoma is usually treated with eye drops or oral medications. The job of the eye drops is to medically lower the eye’s pressure. Glaucoma vision loss happens when eye pressure is too high for the eye and the pressure damages the optic nerve. Once damaged, the vision loss is permanent and the optic nerve can’t be repaired. With high-pressure related glaucoma, vision is lost in the periphery first, and then moves inward. If your eye doctor suspects you may have glaucoma, they’ll use a Tonometer to test to see if your eye pressure is elevated. If it is, they’ll prescribe eye drops to lower your eye’s pressure and keep your optic nerve from being damaged by the increased pressure.

Oral medications for glaucoma often affect the eye’s fluid production or fluid drainage abilities. When the eye is unable to properly drain fluid due to blockage or an incorrect angle of the eye’s structures, the pressure builds and the optic nerve can become damaged from the high pressure. By helping fluid drain better or by causing the eye to produce less fluid altogether, these oral medications are targeting towards working with the drainage issues in the eye to reduce pressure and save the remaining vision in the eye.

If medications are not enough, your doctor might suggest laser trabeculoplasty. This procedure uses a laser to burn tiny, imperceptible holes into your eye’s inner meshwork. These holes stretch the drainage holes in the eye’s meshwork and allow the eye to drain fluid easier. Laser tabeculoplasty is an outpatient procedure administered in the doctor’s office. The effects can eventually wear off, but a successful trabeculoplasty can reduce pressure and save a person’s ability to see.

Another option may be conventional surgery. If medicines, eye drops, and trabeculoplasty are not enough to lower the eye’s internal pressure, your physician might suggest a surgical procedure. Known as trabeculectomy, the surgeon will make a small incision and cut away a piece of tissue so that the eye has a new channel with which to drain fluid that can be building pressure in the eye.

Every person’s experience, success rates, and course of treatment will vary based on their needs, but certain aspects of the disease are the same for everyone. Increased inner eye pressure can be dangerous, and loss of vision around the periphery can lead to permanent loss of central vision as well. Depending on the urgency (if your glaucoma is found in the early stages of the disease or the later stages of the disease), your doctor will implement a treatment plan that is right for you.

Glaucoma, the “sneak theft of sight,” is known for being a disease that can arise before symptoms are obvious. One way to protect your future vision is to see your doctor regularly and have your eyes checked often.


Meredith Rogers

Winter Break: Schedule an Eye Exam

children's-eye-examScheduling children’s eye exams over winter break is always a great idea since your kids are home for the break and do not have school or other activities going on. Make sure to bring in your children for an eye exam before or after the new year!

Children’s Eye Exams for Winter Break

How do you know if your child needs an eye exam? Since your child may not be able to voice directly that he or she needs an eye exam, there are a few signs that you can look for to see if an eye exam is necessary. If your child has complained of headaches, has lost interest in reading, or has underperformed in school, these could all be signs of a visual impairment, so bring your child in for a children’s eye exam may be necessary to get your child back on track academically.

Why is a children’s eye exam important? According to the American Optometric Association, nearly 80% of learning is visual, so if your child isn’t seeing well, this can affect his or her performance in school. Vision can also affect a child’s ability to focus on certain tasks, especially those that require hand-eye coordination in sports or other activities.

Is a vision impairment common in children? Yes, about one out of four kids has a vision impairment. Some kids may grow out of the vision problem, but some kids may not, so it is important to keep coming in for children’s eye exams because as your child grows, his or her vision can change.

While your kids are out of school on break, it is important to make sure that their health and wellbeing is taken care of. To schedule a children’s eye exam with one of our optometrists at Valley Eyecare Center, call (602) 955-2700, or visit our website.

Child Friendly Eye Exam

eye-examAs a parent, there’s nothing more important than your children. Did you know that up to 80% of your what your child learns is obtained visually? In order for your kid to have the best chance to learn, he or she needs to see well, and an eye exam can help to improve your child’s chances of learning.

Eye Exams for Children

Do you know if it’s time for your child’s eye exam? Below, we’ve listed a few indicators that could signify that your child is in need of an appointment at Valley Eyecare Center.

  • If your child has been squinting or rubbing his or her eyes to see better, there is a good chance that your child is having a hard time focusing. And if focusing at home is an issue, your child is probably also having a difficult time focusing at school, so it may be time for an eye exam.
  • Does your child complain about headaches or dizziness? An occasional headache or dizzy spell doesn’t necessarily mean that your child has a vision problem, but if these symptoms have been occurring more frequently than usual, this may be a sign that your child is having trouble seeing properly and should come into our office for an eye exam.
  • If your child typically enjoys reading but has stopped or no longer reads as much as he or she used to, this may also be an indicator that reading is becoming difficult because of a vision problem.

Your child’s vision is important for his or her academic success! At Valley Eyecare Center, our optometrists offer child-friendly eye exams that are tailored to your child’s needs. To learn more about our eye exams, or to schedule an appointment with an optometrist at Valley Eyecare Center, call (602) 955-2700, or visit our website.

Eye Symptoms You Shouldn’t Ignore

Eye_ExamYour eye health is important for your overall health. If you experience any eye symptoms that concern you, you may want to consider coming in for an eye exam at Valley Eyecare Center. Learn more about the eye symptoms you shouldn’t ignore.

Eye Exams Address Concerns about Eye Symptoms

Flashes and floaters—While floaters can be quite normal, and most people experience them, they can cloud your vision and may come with flashes of light. If you experience the flashes of light, you should probably come in for an eye exam at Valley Eyecare Center, as this could mean that you have a retinal detachment.

Dry eyes—Having dry eye every once in a while isn’t a big deal, but if you feel as if you cannot make enough tears, or if you feel as if you constantly have dry eye, schedule an eye exam. This may be caused by looking at a computer screen too long, an eye condition known as blue light syndrome. To improve the moisture in your eyes, you can also use eye drops or use the 20-20-20 rule: for every 20 minutes you look at a blue screen, spend 20 seconds focusing on something that’s 20 feet away.

Eye pain—This one may be obvious, but if your eyes hurt, pay attention to them and come in for an eye exam. This may be a sign of eye injury. Do not put pressure on your eyes—once you come in for an eye exam, the professionals here will take care of you.

Pay attention to any symptoms about your eyes, as these symptoms are key aspects of your eye health and your overall health. To learn more about symptoms you should not ignore about your eyes, or to schedule an eye exam at Valley Eyecare Center, call (602) 955-2700, or visit our website.

Signs Your Child Has a Vision Problem

eye-examBefore school resumes this fall, you may be wondering what you should do to prepare for the school year. At Valley Eyecare Center, we recommend taking your child into the office for an eye exam, especially if you suspect that your child may have trouble seeing.

Children’s Eye Exams

Sometimes it can be difficult to determine if your child has a vision problem. But did you know that, on average, one out of four school-age children has a vision impairment? It’s important to recognize a few warning signs to see if you should bring your child in for an eye exam.

Squinting—If your child is squinting to see things up close or at a distance, this may be a warning sign that he or she cannot see properly. Also closing one eye may be a warning sign too.

Headaches—If your child suffers from headaches, nausea, or dizziness, these all may be signs of a vision problem. Headaches and other symptoms can affect your child’s performance at school, as 80% of your child’s early learning developments are visual.

Rubbing his or her eyes—If your child is rubbing his or her eyes several times per day, this may be a warning sign that your child is having trouble refocusing the eyes.

Avoiding reading—Good vision is required for reading, so if your child has recently reduced the amount of time spent reading or has stopped reading entirely, it may be time for an eye exam.

Children’s eye exams are important for their performance in school. To learn more about the warning signs that your child may need vision assistance, or to schedule an eye exam at Valley Eyecare Center before the school year starts back up again, call (602) 955-2700, or visit our website.

How to Treat a Stye

optometristHave you ever developed a stye on one of your eyelids? These pesky bumps can develop at any time and are most often caused by the buildup of dead skin, oil, or dirt around the eye. Treat a stye by following these simple steps from an optometrist at Valley Eyecare Center!

Advice from an Optometrist on How to Care for a Stye

Use warm water—Wet a washcloth with warm water, and rest this on your eye for about five to ten minutes. Make sure that the water isn’t too hot and that the washcloth has been wrung out so that it doesn’t drip. Some people may also choose to use a warm tea bag to achieve the same effect. The heat and moisture will help the stye to come to a head, but please make sure not to pop the stye as if it is a pimple! The heat and water will allow the stye to open and drain on its own, which will cause it to heal more quickly.

Wash your hands and your eye—Keeping the surfaces clean is crucial in order to make sure that the stye goes away as quickly as possible. At Valley Eyecare Center, our optometrists recommend that you use diluted tear-free baby shampoo to wash your eyelid without getting too much soap in your eye. Make sure to wash your hands before and after touching your eye.

Avoid wearing makeup—Because makeup can get into your eye or make the stye worse, it is important not to wear makeup so that the stye can heal without anything covering it.

Treat styes easily and quickly with these simple tips to ensure proper eye health! To learn more about caring for styes, or to schedule an appointment with an optometrist at Valley Eyecare Center, call (602) 955-2700, or visit our website.