Performance Eyecare conducts stress-free eye exams

Performance EyeCare STL Eye Examination

We understand the word “exam” can add some unnecessary stress to your life, so we wanted to share with you what a routine comprehensive eye exam usually consists of:

As noted by Gary Heiting, OD, and Jennifer Palombi, OD, the following is what makes up a routine eye exam:

Visual Acuity Test

This measures the sharpness of your vision and it’s usually performed with a projected eye chart to measure the distance visual acuity. It also consists of a small, handheld acuity chart to measure your near vision as well.

Color Blindness Test

This test can check your color vision as well as alert your eye doctor to any possible eye health problems that may affect your color vision.

Cover Test

During this test, your eye doctor will have you focus on a small object across the room and will then cover each of your eyes alternately while you stare at the target. The doctor then assesses whether the uncovered eye must move to pick up the fixation target, which could indicate strabismus or a more subtle binocular vision problem that could cause eye strain or amblyopia, known as “lazy eye.”

Retinoscopy

Your eye doctor may perform this test early in the eye exam to obtain an approximation of your eyeglass prescription.

In retinoscopy, the room lights will be dimmed and you will be given a large target (usually the big “E” on the chart) to fixate on. As you stare at the “E,” your eye doctor will shine a light at your eye and flip lenses in a machine in front of your eyes.

Refraction

During a refraction, the doctor puts the instrument called a phoropter in front of your eyes and shows you a series of lens choices. He or she will then ask you which of the two lenses in each choice looks clearer.

Based on your answers, your eye doctor will continue to fine-tune the lens power until reaching a final eyeglass prescription.

Autorefractors and Aberrometers

An autorefractor, like a manual refraction, determines the lens power required to accurately focus light on your retina. Autorefractors are especially useful in certain cases such as evaluating young children who may not sit still, pay attention or interact with the eye doctor adequately for an accurate manual refraction.

Slit-Lamp Examination

The slit lamp, also called a biomicroscope, allows your eye doctor to get a highly magnified view of the structures of your eye to thoroughly evaluate your eye health and detect any signs of infection or disease.

During this test, your doctor will have you place your chin on the chin rest of the slit lamp and will then shine the lamp’s light at your eye. The doctor looks through a set of oculars (much like a microscope in a science lab) and examines each part of your eye in turn.

He or she will first examine the structures of the front of your eye (lids, cornea, conjunctiva, iris, etc.). Then, with the help of a special high-powered lens, your doctor will view the inside of your eye (retina, optic nerve, macula and more).

The Glaucoma Test

A common glaucoma test is the “puff-of-air” test, technically known as non-contact tonometry, or NCT. (This test was immortalized on the hit TV show Friends, when Rachel couldn’t sit still for it.)

For NCT, the test begins with you putting your chin on the machine’s chin rest. While you look at a light inside the machine, the doctor or a trained assistant will puff a small burst of air at your open eye. It is completely painless, and the tonometer does not touch your eye.

At Performance Eyecare, we do not use the air puff. Instead, our doctors instills an eye drop and determines your eye pressure while looking with the microscope. There is no pain and this method is much more accurate than blowing air into your eye.

Pupil Dilation

To obtain a better view of the eye’s internal structures, your eye doctor instills dilating drops to enlarge your pupils. Dilating drops usually take about 20 to 30 minutes to start working. When your pupils are dilated, you will be sensitive to light (because more light is getting into your eye) and you may notice difficulty focusing on objects up close. These effects can last for up to several hours, depending on the strength of the drop used.

Once the drops have taken effect, your eye doctor will use various instruments to look inside your eyes. You should bring sunglasses with you to your eye exam, to minimize glare and light sensitivity on the way home. If you forget to bring sunglasses, the staff usually will give you a disposable pair.

Visual Field Test

In some cases, your eye doctor may want to check for the possible presence of blind spots (scotomas) in your peripheral or “side” vision by performing a visual field test. These types of blind spots can originate from eye diseases such as glaucoma.

Analysis of blind spots also may help identify specific areas of brain damage caused by a stroke or tumor.

Glasses to Aid Kids’ computer vision

Prevent Computer Vision Syndrome

Did you know October is considered Computer Learning Month? We’re not here to teach you how to use the computer better, but to inform you of computer vision syndrome, especially for children who are likely to use the computer more often.

Take a look at these facts and figures from Gary Heiting, OD and Larry K. Wan, OD:

  • 94 percent of American families with children have a computer in the home with access to the Internet.*
  • The amount of time children ages 8 to 18 devote to entertainment media (including computer and video games) each day has increased from 6.19 hours in 1999 to 7.38 hours in 2009.**
  • In 2009, 29 percent of American children ages 8 to 18 had their own laptop computer, and kids in grades 7 through 12 reported spending an average of more than 90 minutes a day sending or receiving texts on their cell phones.**

Sitting in front of the computer screen stresses a child’s eyes because it forces them to focus and strain a lot more than any other task. This can put them at an even greater risk than adults for developing symptoms of computer vision syndrome.

According to the American Optometric Association (AOA), parents should consider these factors affecting children and computer use:

  • Children may not be aware of how much time they are spending at a computer. They may perform a task on the computer for hours with few breaks. This prolonged activity can cause eye focusing and eye strain problems.
  • Children are very adaptable. They assume that what they see and how they see is normal — even if their vision is problematic. That’s why it is important for parents to monitor the time a child spends working at a computer and make sure they have regular eye exams as directed by their optometrist or ophthalmologist.
  • Children are smaller than adults. Since computer workstations often are arranged for adult use, this can change the viewing angle for young children. Computer users should view the screen slightly downward, at a 15-degree angle. Also, if a child has difficulty reaching the keyboard or placing their feet comfortably on the floor, he or she may experience neck, shoulder and/or back pain.

Here are tips to reduce the risk of computer vision syndrome in children, according to the AOA:

  1. Have your child’s vision checked. Before starting school, every child should have a comprehensive eye exam, including near-point (computer and reading) and distance testing.
  2. Limit the amount of time your child spends at the computer without a break. Encourage kids to take 20-second breaks from the computer every 20 minutes to minimize the development of eye focusing problems and eye irritation. (Some eye doctors call this the “20-20 rule.”)
  3. Check the ergonomics of the workstation. For young and small children, make sure the computer workstation is adjusted to their body size. The recommended distance between the monitor and the eye for children is 18 to 28 inches. Viewing the computer screen closer than 18 inches can strain the eyes.
  4. Check the lighting. To reduce glare, windows and other light sources should not be directly visible when sitting in front of the monitor. Reduce the amount of lighting in the room to match the computer screen.

Be sure to check out our large selection of high quality and designer eyeglasses!

What to Know About Children’s Eyecare

Children's eyecare, Performance Eyecare Alton, Performance Eyecare STL, Children Eye exams

Your children are one of the most precious things to you, and making sure their eyes are healthy is a top priority for parents and caregivers. Some parents don’t know that both young children and babies should have comprehensive eye exams to make sure their eyes are working properly and don’t need correction.

Since infants and young children may have vision problems you can’t see, an eye exam by a certified optometrist is the best option. Children respond better to treatment and correction during these developing years as their brain is learning how to use their eyes to see.

What to Know About Children’s Eyecare

Children’s Eyecare & First Eye Exam. A baby should receive their first eye exam between the ages of 6-12 months according to the American Optometric Association (AOA). During this examination an optometrist will check for excessive nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. The optometrist will also make sure the eyes move in a coordinated way to rule out Amblyopia, commonly called “lazy eye”. They will also make sure your baby’s eyes aren’t overly sensitive to light, can follow an object’s movements and don’t have other health issues.

A Screening Is Not The Same As An Eye Exam. As your child grows, it’s important that they continue getting eye exams each year or at least at ages 3 and 5 and every year after that. Many preschools give vision screenings that may give parents a false sense of security that their child’s vision is fine. Unfortunately these screenings only assess one or two areas of vision and are really meant to indicate if further testing is necessary. A comprehensive vision exam by an optometrist is the only way to ensure proper diagnosis and care for your child’s eyes.

You Can Help Your Child’s Eyes Develop. As a parent or caregiver there are many things you can do to help your child’s eyes develop properly. The AOA recommends that you use a nightlight in their room as a baby, talk to them as you walk around the room, give them plenty of time to explore on the floor, play patty-cake and hide and seek games with them, and roll a ball back and forth with them as they get older. There are many other recommendations on their site for what to do as they grow.

Infant and Child Glasses Options Are Fun! Glasses have come a long way and recent innovations make them more user friendly and fashionable than ever. Many frames are made of flexible materials that fit children well and come in catchy colors and styles to fit any little face. Several styles also come with a band that goes around your baby or child’s head to keep the glasses on and in place.

At Performance Eyecare we take your child’s vision seriously. We work with you to make sure your infant or child gets the best care possible in a friendly, welcoming environment. Contact us for more information about how we can serve you and your children in the St. Louis, MO, Alton, IL or Swansea, IL areas.

Vision Therapy for Children and Adolescents

Many children have vision problems other than simple refractive errors such as nearsightedness or farsightedness. These “other” vision problems include amblyopia (“lazy eye”), eye alignment problems, focusing problems, and visual perceptual disorders. Left untreated, these non-refractive vision problems can cause eyestrain, fatigue, headaches, and learning problems.

What is vision therapy?

Vision therapy (also called orthoptics or vision training) is an individualized program of eye exercises and other methods to treat non-refractive vision problems. The therapy is usually performed in an optometrist’s office, but most treatment plans also include daily visual tasks and eye exercises to be performed at home.

Can vision therapy eliminate the need for glasses?

Vision therapy is NOT the same as self-help programs that claim to reduce refractive errors and the need for glasses. There is no scientific evidence that these “throw away your glasses” programs work. In fact, most eye care specialists agree they are a hoax!

In contrast, vision therapy is approved by the American Optometric Association (AOA) for the treatment of non-refractive vision problems. There are many studies that demonstrate its effectiveness.

The degree of success achieved with vision therapy, however, depends on a number of factors. Factors include the type and severity of the vision problem, the patient’s age, and whether the patient performs all eye exercises and visual tasks as directed. Not every vision problem can be resolved with vision therapy.

Vision therapy is customized and specific

The activities and eye exercises prescribed as part of a vision therapy program are tailored to the specific vision problem a child has. For example, if a child has amblyopia, the therapy usually includes patching the strong eye, coupled with visual tasks or other stimulation techniques to develop better visual acuity in the weak eye. Once visual acuity is improved in the amblyopic eye, the treatment plan may then include eye teaming exercises to foster the development of clear, comfortable binocular vision to improve depth perception and reading comfort.

Vision therapy and learning disabilities

Vision therapy does not correct learning disabilities. However, children with learning disabilities often have vision problems as well. Vision therapy can correct underlying vision problems that may be contributing to a child’s learning problems.

Be sure to tell us if your child has been diagnosed as having a learning disability. If we find vision problems that may be contributing to learning problems, we can communicate with teachers and specialists to explain our findings. Often, vision therapy can be a helpful component of a multidisciplinary approach to remediating learning problems.

Schedule a comprehensive eye exam

If you suspect your child has a vision problem that may be affecting their performance in school, the first step is to schedule a comprehensive eye exam so we can determine if such a problem exists. If learning-related vision problems are discovered, we can then discuss with you whether a program of vision therapy would be helpful.

Find The Best In Style And Eye Protection With Etnia Sunglasses

Most prescription sunglasses are the only way to get the much-needed protection the eyes need. With prescription lenses, you get polarized lenses to provide the best vision and performance, as well as protection from the sun. Prescription lenses provide UV protection to prevent damage to the eyes. In addition, polarized lenses reduce glare to provide crystal clear vision. You can opt for the pinnacle of style found only in Etnia Barcelona Sunglasses. Etnia Barcelona combines the best styles and colors to provide the most fashionable options available. The color schemes are chosen based on each season’s trends in the fashion and art world. The styles of the frames are inspired by many of the most fashionable people throughout the history of fashion trends. This allows anyone to find the perfect style to complement their personality and fashion sense.

Once the right lenses are chosen to suit any personal needs or lifestyle, you need to find the right frames. Etnia Barcelona Sunglasses are always a great option. Our eye care specialists can assist in providing the best lenses for your sunglasses possible based on your personal lifestyle. Depending on the type of activities you enjoy, our eye care specialists can find the right lenses to not only protect the eyes, but also provide the best lenses to allow for top performance and vision during their use. To find the best sunglasses for your personal fashion statement, as well as the best protection for your specific lifestyle, contact us today or schedule an appointment at any of our locations!

Eye Safety Month Encouraging Parents to Protect Their Children’s Sight

Children’s Eye Health & Safety Month

PerformanceEyecare-ChildrenEyeHealth-Astigmatism-Nearsightedness-PreventBlindness-Eyecare-AltonIllinois

With the new school year right around the corner, parents are busily preparing their children to head back to school. In between all the enrollment forms, doctor checkups, and back-to-school shopping, you might not even think to schedule an eye exam for your children. But now is the perfect time! Not only can a child’s academic performance suffer due to untreated vision problems. Serious eye problems can also lead to health complications or even blindness.

Why Does My Child Need Regular Exams?

Because most eye problems are invisible or produce vague symptoms, it’s important that children receive an annual eye exam. Your child’s pediatrician can examine their eyes during regularly scheduled appointments. However, regular vision testing should be conducted starting when a child is about three years old. Regular eye exams can not only catch physiological eye problems that show outward signs. They can also help catch refractive vision errors (nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism) while they are still easily corrected.  If your child is diagnosed with an eye problem, their pediatrician can refer you to an eye health professional who can provide them with the appropriate treatment.

When it comes to your child’s vision health, you shouldn’t only worry about physiological disorders. According to Prevent Blindness, 125,000 eye injuries are caused by common household products every year, and a sports-related eye injury is treated in an emergency room every 13 minutes.  Because these injuries can result in permanent blindness, it’s important to ensure your children’s eyes are protected.  Around the house, secure hazardous objects and chemicals which can cause serious harm if children were to get into them. If your children are active in sports or other outdoor activities, make sure they wear the appropriate protective eye-wear to guard against injury.

Before sending your kids off on the school bus this year, remember that August is Children’s Eye & Safety Month. This is a great time to schedule an appointment to have their eyes checked!  At Performance Eyecare, our highly trained optometry staff is able to assist you and your child with everything from vision exams to glasses and contact lenses.  For more information, or to schedule an appointment, contact us today.

Now Available: Online Appointment Scheduling

Time for an Eye Exam?

Man using laptop

Performance Eyecare now offers online appointment scheduling. Scheduling eye exams for yourself or your family has never been easier, or more convenient!

Your days are busy – we get that! Between work and family, it seems like you’re always on the go, and finding the time to call and schedule doctors’ appointments sometimes seems impossible. Or maybe you remember that you need to schedule an appointment, and it’s after hours. Now you can make an appointment with your eye doctor when it’s convenient for you, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

To schedule your appointment online, visit our website. There you will find the heading “Schedule an Appointment” with links to each of our locations. Select your preferred location, and the link will take you to a page where you can select your preferred provider, the type of appointment you would like to make (routine eye exams or medical visits) and then the day and time that works best for you. You will need to enter your contact information, any symptoms or problems, and your insurance provider (if applicable). Click “Request Appointment” and you’re done! One of our receptionists will be in touch to confirm your appointment.

Performance Eyecare is a full-service eye care practice, serving the needs of adults and children requiring routine vision care, specialized medical eye care, and an optical boutique. Our friendly staff and caring doctors look forward to seeing you soon!

For more information please contact us. PS – Did you know you can order your contacts online now too?

Schedule an Eye Appointment at one of our multiple conveninent locations!

Missing Summer Already?

We have a sale worth seeing!

If you are already dreading the cold, snowy winter days ahead of us; and instead are dreaming of the sun-kissed afternoons that summer brought, you are in luck! We have a special going on that is sure to brighten even the coldest of winter days. Now, through December 31st all of the sunglasses at Performance Eyecare are on sale! The good news is we have several hundreds of sunglass frames to choose from in both our Swansea & St. Louis locations. Not only do we have a selection like you wouldn’t believe, we also carry top of the line name brands such as Callaway, Oakley, Maui Jim, Kate Spade, Wiley X, Nike & Tom Ford.

Performance Eye Care, Sunglasses

Keep in mind that the health of your eyes shouldn’t take a back seat because the cold months can be just as dangerous as the summer ones. Sunglasses not only help protect your eyes from the reflective rays off of the snow..but also:

  1. Decrease Dry-Eye Problems
  2. Reduce Glare
  3. Less Eyestrain From Squinting
  4. Protective Layer From Debris
  5. Visual Appeal

That being said, make an appointment today with Dr. Dirk, or Dr. Cuff and stuff your stocking with the unexpected – vision and stylish sunglasses to go with it!

Customized Eye Prescriptions

Did you know that Performance Eyecare is one of the only eye centers that customizes Eye prescriptions in Scuba Diving Masks in our St. Louis, MO & Swansea, IL area? We provide affordable pricing on specialty lenses made to custom fit into your scuba mask to help you see at distance and also up close to see your gauges and watch.

Or, that we make eyeglasses in the office with our state-of-the-art edging instruments? And that we have a custom selection-process to fit your optical needs and we pick frames according to your face shape, skin tone and brow structure? Our staff and selection makes us the premiere eyecare center in St. Louis.

Learning How to Care and Wear Your Contacts

When you first get contact lenses, it can be very difficult to take them in and out and keep them clean. You are putting a foreign object on your eye, so it is expected that some people may struggle more that others. Below are instructions and videos that will help ease the nervousness and stress about caring and wearing your new contact lenses.IFrame

  • First, wash your hands, and when you’re done, make sure they’re clean and dry.
  • Using the hand you write with, hold the lens on the tip of your pointer finger.
  • With your middle finger on the same hand, pull your lower eyelid down. At the same time, use your pointer finger on your other hand to pull your top lid up.
  • Look up.
  • Gently place the lens on the lower white part of your eye.
  • Remove your pointer finger, and let go of your eyelid.
  • Close your eyes for a second. The lens will center on your eye.
  • Repeat these steps for the other lens.
  • First, wash your hands, and when you’re done, make sure they’re clean and dry.
  • Look up and pull your lower eyelid down with the middle finger of the hand you write with.
  • Put your index finger on the lower part of the lens.
  • Slide the lens down into the white part of your eye.
  • Squeeze the lens gently between your pointer finger and thumb and carefully remove it.
  • Repeat these steps for the other lens.

Original article from: http://www.bausch.com/eye-concerns/wearing-contact-lenses/wearing-and-caring-for-contact-lenses/

 

 

Signs of an Eye Infection

We all get things in our eye, watery eyes and even a little eye pain or discomfort. Do you know how to tell when an eye symptom is serious or just annoying? People tend to believe that eye infections are only common among children. Anyone can get an eye infection and leaving one untreated is very dangerous. Below we will go over the different symptoms and signs that could indicate an eye infection.  If you experience any of these you should immediately contact your doctor.

Signs of an eye infection may include:

  • Pain in the eye.
  • A feeling that something is in the eye (foreign body sensation).
  • Increased sensitivity to light (photophobia).
  • Yellow, green, bloody, or watery discharge from the eye.
  • Increasing redness of the eye or eyelids.
  • A gray or white sore on the colored part of the eye (iris).
  • Fever with no other cause.
  • Blurred or decreased vision.

Your eyes may often water or tear. You may notice a small amount of white or creamy drainage at times. If you have no pain or other symptoms, home treatment is usually all that is needed. More serious infections affect the entire eye area (periorbital cellulitis) or the lacrimal sacs (dacryocystitis). Any signs of infection along with a change in your vision or other symptoms need to be evaluated by a doctor.

Infection can develop in the eye from irritation, such as getting a small amount of a chemical in the eye. Infection can also occur after a minor eye injury or a small scratch on the cornea. If untreated, some types of eye infections can damage the eye very quickly.

Infections can be more severe in people who wear contact lenses. If you think you may have an eye infection, remove your contacts and wear your glasses.

If you do have an eye infection and you are a contact wearer, throw your contacts out and use a new pair once the infection is gone. Do not wear contacts while you have the infection. Make sure to thoroughly clean out your contact lenses case or get a new one.

Herpes zoster ophthalmicus (shingles) affects the nerves of the eye and can cause symptoms, such as swelling, pain, and drainage, similar to an eye infection.

If the eye has been injured-scratched, cut, punctured, or burned-a current tetanus shot is recommended.

http://www.webmd.com/eye-health/signs-of-an-eye-infection

Performance Eyecare Voted Best Eye Care Provider in Southwest Illinois

As featured in the Belleville News Democrat

Performance Eyecare Voted Best Eye Care Center in Southwest Illinois!

First Place Eye Care Provider

Dr. Dirk Massie specializes in contact lenses and sports vision. He is specially certified to fit the most complex contact lenses, including those for patients with astigmatism, eye disorders & diseases, bifocals – even vision shaping contact lenses that provide non-surgical vision correction.

His practice also includes a full range of eye care services, from LASIK surgery care to prescribing medications for the treatment of glaucoma, dry eyes, allergies, and more.

Dr. Massie is the owner of Performance Eyecare, with locations in both Swansea, IL and St. Louis, MO. The Swansea location recently celebrated its 10th anniversary.

He is one of five doctors serving patients at Performance Eyecare. Others on staff include a retina specialist and a cataract surgeon/ophthalmologist.

Dr. Massie and Performance Eyecare work to keep customers happy with a huge eyeglass frame selection and a “world-class” guarantee on all eyeglasses sold there.

The vision center has approximately 900 different eyeglass frame styles, including custom-made and European Design options, available in all price ranges.

The free eyeglass warranty covers all breakage, regardless of cause.