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Free Vision Screening for Children 5 to 18 Years of Age

Saturday, January 23, 2021

9 am to Noon

1 in 5 children struggle with vision concerns, and a vision screening will identify any challenges that may be impacting your child’s quality of life and success in school. Through a vision screening, our team of medical professionals can make recommendations to meet your child’s visual needs.

Schedule your child’s free vision screening by calling our office at (518) 374-8001

Beware of Blue Light

The world of school is rapidly changing before our eyes. Thanks to COVID-19 many children are spending from six to nine hours each day on computers. This change has increased blue light exposure, leading to a whole range of vision concerns, including eye strain, headaches, sleep issues, and attention problems.

What We Know

One in four children is not equipped to handle extended periods of time doing close work, either on paper or on a computer. They may adapt or they may struggle. Those that adapt may develop myopia (nearsightedness). These children sacrifice distance vision in order to be more comfortable doing desk work. Others may push through, but with reduced comfort and performance. Signs and symptoms here include headaches, getting very close to the screen, covering or rubbing an eye, or headaches. Lastly, many children who experience discomfort may just resist doing any close work and fight with their parents rather than do their school work.

Blue Light’s Negative Impact

Much has been written about the harmful effects of blue light from computer screens. One thing we definitely know is that this blue light affects sleep habits. On recent study showed that people who were on computers in the evening became more alert and went to bed later even though they still woke up at the normal time, resulting in fewer hours of sleep. Other studies suggest that blue light may accelerate age-related changes in the tissues of the eye

What Can We Do?

Well, limiting screen time is not easy, but you can try to set a time of day by which your child is done on the computer. This should be about two hours prior to bedtime. In addition, you want to have the best protective equipment for time on a computer. Just like you want the best fitting sneakers for running, you need the lenses that maximize vision and comfort at near. A large majority of students benefit from low-powered lenses for near work which serves to reduce eye strain. Amazon and similar retailers offer inexpensive, non-prescription blue light glasses. In addition, a blue-blocker tint can be applied to these lenses to insure that sleep cycles remain normal. A full developmental eye examination can determine if your child would benefit from computer, near-point lenses. Contact us to schedule your comprehensive eye exam today!

Distance Learning and Increased Nearsightedness

Nearsightedness, or myopia, is an ever-growing problem. It is estimated that about 40% of US children over the age of 12 need some sort of vision correction to help them see clearly and that number is only expected to increase drastically with time.

Risk factors for increasing nearsightedness include…

  • the number of parents that are also nearsighted,
  • decreased exposure to outdoor natural light,
  • and increased near work.

Given the current distance learning situation for so many students, screen time from very young children to high schoolers has increased severely.

Even prior to the pandemic, one study revealed that on average, a child ages 8-18 spends 7+ hours on their digital devices, not including time for academic uses (source). Given the large increase in time spent inside on digital devices, optometrists are expecting surges in nearsightedness.

An increase in myopia, or nearsightedness, can not only lead to bigger and heavier glasses but can also lead to several other ocular pathologies.

Increased nearsightedness increases one’s risk for retinal holes, tears, and detachments and also increases one’s risk for glaucoma, cataracts, low vision, and in extreme cases, blindness.

Here are some tips to keep in mind while your child is learning virtually:

  • Taking visual breaks and remember the 20-20-20 Rule.
  • Have a proper work station set up at home to encourage good posture.
  • Be mindful of your child’s working distance, which should be over 14 inches away from their paper and/or computer screens.
  • Ensure your child has good light when reading to help reduce strain.

Classic methods of correcting vision like glasses and contact lenses only fulfill the ever-increasing prescription and do nothing to help slow down the surges.

New options such as an eyedrop called Atropine, multifocal contact lenses, and bifocal glasses have been shown to help slow down the prescription increases and get to the root of the problem.

These new alternative methods to slow the increase in nearsightedness are now being offered at Fox Vision Development Center. Contact our office today to learn more about these methods and schedule an appointment to find the solutions that work best for your child.

5 Tips to Protect Your Eyes While Learning and Working from Home

Students and parents alike will most likely spend increased hours on computers and digital devices this coming fall. Increased screen time has been shown to exacerbate eyestrain, discomfort, and dry eyes.

Here are five visual hygiene tips to decrease symptoms related to increased use of computers and digital devices:

 

1. 20/20/20 Rule

Look at something 20 feet away from your computer screen and near work every 20 minutes for 20 seconds.

2. Blinking and Use of Artificial Tears

Screen time has been shown to drastically decrease our blink rate. Remember to blink and use artificial tears as needed throughout the day to help decrease dry eye symptoms, such as burning, stinging, and grittiness.

3. Proper Posture

Ensure proper posture while using the computer or any digital device. Take breaks to stretch and straighten your posture to promote proper breathing and peripheral awareness. When possible, use a slant board to complete any desk work to help aid proper working distance from the page and to encourage good posture.

4. Proper Workspace

A computer should be kept about an arms distance away from you, ideally about four inches below eye level. When possible, reduce glare and reflections on your screen.

5. Digital Devices, Like Smartphones and Handheld Games

Avoid using digital devices within one hour of bedtime because they can disrupt your natural and healthy sleep cycle.

Vision & Learning Workshop

When: January 23rd, 2020 @ 6:30 pm

Where: Fox Vision Development Center – 1202 Troy Schenectady Rd. Bldg 2 Latham, NY 12201

Space is limited – Call today to attend – 518-374-8011

3 Reasons Why You Should Kickstart the New Year With Vision Therapy

holidays mug blog imageIt’s that time of year again when we sit down with a pumpkin spice latte in hand and think of a resolution we can take upon ourselves for the new year. Here at Fox Vision Development Center, we believe that the best resolutions are the ones that positively impact other areas of our lives and enhance our overall quality of life. Vision therapy offers just that! This therapy is made up of a series of customized visual exercises designed to develop or regain visual processing skills.

Vision Therapy is highly effective in treating:

  • Amblyopia, (or “lazy eye”)
  • Strabismus, (or “eye-turn”)
  • Eye movement disorders
  • Focusing disorders
  • Binocular vision problems
  • Vision, balance, and memory problems associated with brain injury

Even those with 20/20 eyesight can benefit from vision therapy because perfect eyesight doesn’t mean perfect vision. Below are the ways in which vision therapy will help you kick-off the new year.

Improve Existing Vision Skills

You’re good at what you do, be it at work, school or sports. But can you do better? By training the eyes and brain to work in unison, you increase your potential for greater performance. Not only will you be more efficient, but performing tasks will become more enjoyable. This especially applies to school-aged children, as their brains are still in rapid development. Vision therapy effectively enables the brain to correctly process information for optimal academic success.

Learn New Skills With Ease

Many people make it their resolution to learn a new skill in the upcoming year but an underlying vision problem can interfere with that. Since learning is 80% visual, vision therapy offers an excellent opportunity to gear up for success! Undiagnosed or untreated vision problems related to convergence and focus can cause memory and reading problems and hinder learning. our optometrists will use an array of tools, such as prisms, specialized lenses, filters, balance beams, and computerized visual activities to train the eye-brain connection and help you learn more efficiently in almost any area that requires vision.

Gain The Confidence You Crave

Whether you’re a pro-athlete or a 4th grader struggling to read, improved vision skills will boost your confidence. This confidence will surely trickle into other areas of your life leading to increased self-esteem.

Start 2020 by empowering yourself or your child with vision therapy. Call Fox Vision Development Center to book your appointment today.

Fox Vision Development Center serves patients in Latham, Albany, Glens Falls, and Troy, and throughout New York.

Request A Functional Visual Exam
Find Out How We Can Help You! 518-374-8001

Vision Therapist Appreciation Week -Karen Boyark

Karen Vision TherapistLast week we highlighted our vision therapists as part of Vision Therapist Appreciation Week. However, in our office, everyone is part of the vision therapy team. Karen Boyark is our Patient Care Coordinator. As part of her duties, she runs the front office, is in charge of scheduling, and answers the phones. As the first contact point for new patients, Karen knows how to put everyone at ease. She is the often the first glimpse of hope for a parent of a struggling child. Karen is also an expert at navigating a difficult system for our patients with vision issues secondary to a brain injury. Best of all, her humor keeps us all on our toes and we are so thankful for her huge heart!

Lyme Disease and Vision Workshop

Lyme Disease and Vision WorkshopNovember 5th, 2019 7pm-9pm

There is a lot in the news these days about Lyme disease. You may be aware of some signs to look for. However, what you may not know is that a person with Lyme disease can have symptoms related to many different systems in the body including digestive, respiratory, cognitive, neurological and more. Included in this list are symptoms related to vision.

Please join us as Dr. Robert Fox, OD, FCOVD, Jennifer Goldstock BSN, MSN, ANP-BC and Natasha Ruiz, BSN, MSN, FNP-C present an informative free workshop on spotting Lyme disease, how it affects vision and lifestyle, and what can be done to treat it.

Dr. Fox is a Doctor of Optometry specializing in developmental and rehabilitative optometry. People with chronic illness, particularly children suffering conditions such as Lyme disease, require highly specialized optometric skills. Dr. Fox will explain how chronic illness influences vision, and the therapies he employs to help correct problems.

Jennifer is on the board of Lyme Action Network and has over 15 years of clinical experience as a nurse before I became a Nurse Practitioner. She holds a Master of Science and Board-Certified Nursing Adult Nurse Practitioner. is a member of International Lyme and Associated Disease Society and Institute of Functional Medicine.

Natasha Ruiz, BSN, MSN, FNP-C, is a Family Nurse Practitioner, holding her bachelors and Masters degrees from the SUNY Polytechnic Institute, in addition to board certifications through the American Association of Nurse Practitioners and the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society.

To RSVP and secure a spot, please sign up via our signupgenius link or give us a call. 518-374-8001

Optometric Vision Therapist Appreciation Week – Debbie Biaisini

Debbie Vision TherapistToday we are highlighting Debbie Biaisini! Debbie has experiences that have made her a wonderful addition to our staff. A retired special education teacher, she has a skill set that helps her deal with even the most challenging of therapy patients, especially those with reading struggles. In addition, her son, Aaron, was a therapy patient when he was in elementary school. Debbie has an infectious laugh and loves to bake, too. We are so thankful for all that Debbie brings to our team and want everyone to know what an asset she is! Thank you, Debbie!

Optometric Vision Therapist Appreciation Week – Emma Barrell

EB 300×225Emma Barrell is the Chief Therapist at Fox Vision Development Center. In addition to her duties as a therapist, Emma is also responsible for visual processing testing, therapy scheduling, and therapist training. Emma was our office’s first ever Certified Optometric Vision Therapist! Her experience as a COVT has paved the way for other therapists here to also earn their certifications through the College of Optometrists in Vision Development.

The definition of a team player, Emma has a knack for making sure that projects get completed at Fox Vision Development. She can do anything she puts her mind to and is always the first to jump in!