Haven Opticals Limited

Opening Hours : Mon - Fri - 9am to 6pm | Sat/Holidays 10am to 3pm

Blog

RED FLAGS OF POOR VISION IN CHILDREN

According to John F. Kennedy, “Children are the world’s most valuable resource and its best hope for the future.” Sadly, many children who perform poorly at school are wrongly labeled as learning disabled when indeed it is attributable to poor eye sight. These children are however not aware of how poor their vision is since that has been how they know the world to be. Children with undetected vision difficulties may have been programmed to fail educationally, athletically, socially and emotionally. Therefore, failure to identify and treat a vision problem early in school age children can lead to poor grades, low self-image and a negative school experience.

Oftentimes parents erroneously associate eye examination with eyeglasses or blindness thereby denying their children the benefit of a timely and professional eye examination. From my experience, many children that present to the hospital for eye related problems are mostly those identified by their observant teachers who notice certain abnormal visual habits displayed by these children in school. Quite sadly, they may have developed conditions like crossed eye, amblyopia among others which may not readily respond to routine treatment because of late presentation to the eye doctor.

Parents and guardians should watch out for certain abnormal appearances and visual habits that are red flags of poor vision in children. Below is a list of some of them:

APPEARANCE: On observing the child’s eyes and you notice that lids are crusted, red-rimmed, or swollen; styes (‘’boil”) occur frequently, eyes water or appear bloodshot, eyes are crossed or turned

BEHAVIOR: when a child holds work too close or too far, asks for special seating, seats very close to the television set, thrusts head forward to see distant objects, holds body tense when reading or looking at distant objects, frowns or squints when reading, attempts to brush away a blur, rubs eyes frequently, blinks continually when reading, tilts head or covers one eye.

COMPLAINTS: when a child complains of itchy eyes or sensitivity to light, images appear blurred or doubled, letters and lines run together, words seem to jump and frequent headaches.

PERFORMANCE IN ACADEMICS: when a child exhibits slowness in learning to read, short attention span, poor achievement demonstrated by reduced quality or quantity of work and slow rate of learning.

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY: when a child performs poorly at games, exhibits poor eye-muscle coordination, stumbles or trips over small objects

All these are strong indicators for a child to see an eye doctor. Early detection is key to ensuring good vision, healthy development and better learning experiences for children. A careful observation of children would not only encourage early discovery of those with visual needs, but would ensure they present early to their eye doctor which would increase the chances of improved vision of the children. However, pre-school eye screening and regular eye examination remain the best strategies for eliminating avoidable blindness in children and will guarantee them a visionary future.

Read More

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions that lead to irreversible damage of the optic nerve (nerve of the eye that carries visual information to the brain) resulting to permanent loss of vision in the affected eye(s). In many cases, this damage occurs when eye fluid (aqueous) builds up, raising the eye pressure (intraocular pressure). Normally this fluid flows out of the eye through a mesh-like channel called the anterior chamber angle. An imbalance in the production and drainage of this fluid arising from over production or channel blockage, builds up fluid, causing glaucoma. In other cases, some people may have ‘normal’ or ‘low’ tension glaucoma in which optic nerve damage and vision loss have occurred despite a normal eye pressure . Also, the term ‘ocular hypertension’ is used for cases having constantly raised eye pressure without any associated optic nerve damage and they are referred to as glaucoma suspects. Worldwide, glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness and is sometimes referred to as the “silent thief of sight”.

Two main classification are Open angle and Closed angle glaucoma.

Open angle (chronic) Glaucoma: the commonest type is painless progressing slowly and unnoticed until side vision has drastically reduced as a result of eye pressure build up despite an open drainage channel.

Closed angle (acute) Glaucoma: a sudden and painful build up of eye pressure occurs from blockage of the drainage channel. An ocular emergency, the other eye is often at risk of an attack if one eye is affected. Symptoms may come and go at first, or steadily become worse.

Sometimes glaucoma is present at birth (congenital) while at other times it is due to secondary causes such as agents like corticosteroids, eye diseases such as uveitis, systemic diseases etc.

CAUSES AND RISK FACTORS: Apart from a raised IOP, other predisposing factors include:

1) Heredity/Family history: a higher risk of having glaucoma exists if a member of your family has it. 2) Age: most often occurs in adults over age 40, but it can also occur in young adults, children, and even infants. 3) Race: Africans and African-Americans are at an increased risk compared to Caucasians. 4) Medical conditions: like diabetes and hypothyroidism. A number of studies also suggest a possible correlation between hypertension and the development of glaucoma. 5) Refractive error(s): like shortsightedness (myopia). 6) Prolonged steroid use (steroid-induced glaucoma) especially if eye drops. 7) Other eye conditions: including severe eye (blunt or chemical) injury, retinal detachment, eye tumors, some eye infections and inflammations, certain eye surgeries, conditions that severely restrict blood flow to the eye, such as severe diabetic retinopathy and central retinal vein occlusion (neovascular glaucoma); and uveitis.

SYMPTOMS: include one or more of these including loss of peripheral or side vision, sudden eye pain, headache, decreased/cloudy vision, appearance of rainbow-like halos around lights, redness, feeling of swollen eyes and a fixed, mid-dilated pupil, eye that looks hazy (particularly in infants), nausea or vomiting, and sudden onset of poor vision especially in low light.

TESTS: usually painless and take very little time, includes measurement of the intraocular pressure via tonometry (often the first line of screening for people with glaucoma), fundoscopy (examination of the optic nerve to look for any visible damage), drainage angle examination (gonioscopy), visual field measurement and a whole lot of others.

MANAGEMENT: Glaucoma has no cure. The key is early diagnosis and management to lower eye pressure, prevent/minimize damage to the optic nerve, preserve visual field and enhance the total quality of life for patients. Regular eye examinations with an eye doctor including glaucoma screening can save your sight.

Dr Ukachukwu F.U

Read More

Digital Retinal Examination-2

It is no longer news that the sectors operating on analogue technology have been encouraged to upgrade to digital technology. This is for obvious advantages of greater efficiency and to guarantee best results.

Imagine the marked difference seen between photographs taken by an analogue versus a digital camera! It is most likely the digital one would be preferred.

Eye care has advanced in instrumentation with sophistication in diagnostic tools. One of such advancement is in the novel introduction of digital retinal examination! This simple, painless and non invasive procedure gives a photo documentation of the retina (back of the eye that makes you see) reflecting a wider view of certain landmarks in the interior of the eye that is not possible with conventional methods.

The photo documentation of the retina can be used to screen and diagnose conditions like retinal tear/detachment, or even eye diseases like glaucoma, hypertensive retinopathy, and diabetic retinopathy amongst others. Furthermore, it can be referred to in subsequent examinations to compare, monitor progression of an eye disease and manage your eye health effectively to ensure that no condition goes undetected. Additionally, it aid patients in understanding the condition of the eye when reviewed with their eye doctor and can be made available to a specialist at another location anytime (even electronically) should the need arise.

It is therefore pertinent to note that digital retinal exam is an essential part of your comprehensive eye exam and is recommended for all patients at least once per year.

So when next you make that visit to your eye doctor, request for a digital retinal exam!

DR FAITH UKACHUKWU

OPTOMETRIST

Read More

Computer Vision Syndrome Part 2

Tired looking office worker

Tired looking office worker

In our previous write-up, we discussed the meaning of computer vision syndrome (CVS) and the symptoms that accompany the condition. In this concluding part, we look at practical ways to manage computer vision syndrome.

SIMPLE WAYS TO MANAGE COMPUTER VISION SYNDROME

  • POSITION OF COMPUTER/SMART DEVICE SCREEN: Place monitor directly in front of you, not off to one side. It should be about 20 – 28 inches away from you, placed not too high or blow preferably 15 – 20 degrees below eye level
  • CONTRAST: Adjust contrast between the background and characters on the screen and even brightness
  • REFERENCE MATERIALS: Place materials above the keyboard and below the monitor/screen so you do not move your head to look from document to screen. Get a document holder that is well lit beside the monitor
  • LIGHTING: Use fewer bulbs, fluorescent bulbs or bulbs of lower wattage in addition to window blinds or drapes to reduce glare from overhead lighting or windows
  • ANTIGLARE: Use antiglare screens for monitors that are compatible or special lenses from eye doctor. Sunglasses not ideal!
  • SEATING POSITION: Good seating position with back straight and shoulders back. Right chair height and adjusted so that your arms are parallel to the floor when you type. Feet should also be flat on the floor or on footstool.
  • REST BREAKS: Rest eyes for 15 minutes after 2hours of continuous computer use. Alternatively, for every 20minutes of computer viewing, focus on an object 20feet away for 20seconds (the 20-20-20 rule)
  • BLINKING: Blink regularly to avoid dry eyes
  • Regular visits with an eye doctor for your eye and visual needs: Even if you don’t need glasses or contact lenses for daily activities, you may need them for computer or device use. An eye checkup to get the right prescription can help prevent pain in the neck, shoulders or back that results from contorting your body to see the screen.

In conclusion, aside from the physical discomfort you may experience from the symptoms, computer vision syndrome (CVS) can have a lasting effect on your vision even after stopping work at a computer. The time to act is now!!!!!!!!

Dr Ukachukwu F.U

Optometrist

Read More

Computer Vision Syndrome Part 1

Computer-Vision-SydromeCertain expressions like JET AGE’, ‘INFORMATION COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY (ICT)’, and ‘GLOBAL VILLAGE’ may sound familiar. One thing that is common with these expressions is COMPUTER! Only recently, there has been a high enthusiasm for the use of smart devices such as tablets, I pads and phones howbeit at the expense of our eyes. The use of computers and smart devices are not without consequences.

Computer vision syndrome (CVS) is a group of eye and vision-related problems arising from prolonged and extended period of computer use and by extension smart devices. It has also been dubbed “digital eye strain” in some quarters. According to statistics, 90% of people who spend an average of 3 or more hours on the computer experience computer vision syndrome. Obvious differences exist between reading a book and viewing a computer. In contrast to reading a book, there is glare and reflections, reduced level of contrast, increased viewing distance (and angle), and letters/characters are not precise or sharply defined on the computer screen. All these place additional visual demand on the user of the computer and smart devices.

Symptoms experienced by people with CVS includes one or more of the following: headaches, eyestrain, blurred vision, redness of the eyes, irritation of the eyes, dry eyes, double vision, neck and/or shoulder pain, fatigue, light sensitivity, burning eyes, difficulty refocusing the eyes etc.

Certain eye and environmental/office conditions can contribute to the development or even aggravates CVS. The eye conditions includes uncorrected vision problems like farsightedness and astigmatism, inadequate eye focusing or eye coordination abilities, aging changes of the eyes e.g. presbyopia. Environmental/office conditions include improper viewing distance, improper light conditions (overhead lighting or glare), improper seating posture, air moving past the eyes e.g. from vents or fan etc.

In our next write-up, the management of computer vision syndrome (CVS) will be addressed.

Dr Ukachukwu F. U

Read More

Alternative To Glasses

People who do not see clearly at far, at near or even at both distances may require glasses to help them see.

These errors (refractive errors) of the eye arise from improper focusing of light or images by the eye which affects how well we see.

The type and magnitude of the error however, determines the kind of glasses that is prescribed by the eye doctor.

Often times the glasses may have to be worn constantly and this may prove quite challenging to you for obvious reasons ranging from having to appear on glasses at every occasion or even the unsightly appearance of the lens thickness.

The alternative is that you can still keep your vision without those glasses on your face by switching to contact lenses.

Contact lenses are appropriate alternatives to glasses for those with spectacle wear concerns.

Contact lenses can be worn on the eye and are less noticeable unlike glasses

Contact lenses come in both clear and coloured forms adding variety to your look.

While contact lenses are not a replacement for glasses, they can well serve as good alternative to give you the much needed break from those glasses.

Ukachukwu Faith (O.D)

Optometrist

Read More