Dr. Nadine Shelton
Back to school and Maintaining Youth Eye Health & COVID-19
We all are settling in to our new routines, however our youth continue to grow and back to school eye exams should be top of mind. Whether in class or more home school, the eyes of our youth continue to change as they grow. With distance learning increasing so does the screen-time, relying on laptops and tablets, it is important to think of the new visual challenges this might introduce to children. With the uncertain return to school plans, it’s important to think of your child’s eye health as we all prepare for an extended new normal. Manitoba youths (under 19 years of age) eye exams at nv are always free.
Steps of an eye exam
My typical youth eye exam starts off with assessing vision by having them read letters or fun easy pictures on a screen across the room and or on a hand held card up close. I have other tests and charts that can be used if a child is too young to name the letters or pictures. Once vision is assessed, I will use a light and hand held lenses and or a Phoroptor, which looks like a large pair of glasses that holds a number of lenses, to measure the length and shape of the eyes. Doing so, results in the expected clear vision a person will have at different distances.
Youth tend to have a small amount of prescription which, is likely to improve over time as they reach adulthood, since kids still have growing ahead of them. A prescription is a recommendation in corrective lenses to reach 20/20 vision. 20/20 vision is what normally can be seen clearly at 20 feet away. When a kid’s vision is weaker than expected, glasses may be prescribed to help improve it. Your child’s eye exam may also take on other tests: testing for eye muscle and focus problems, binocular vision and colour vision.
A Deeper Look
Once the external tests are done, I will move to assessing the general health of the eyes. I begin by using a direct ophthalmoscope (a hand held magnifier with a light) used on smaller kids or I’ll use a larger stand-alone microscope on older kids. All the layers of the eye are examined from front to back to assure nothing is blocking the vision or will cause any problems in the future. You can expect that all these checks along with a thorough discussion of your child’s eye health will be complete within a 20 to 30 minute consult.
Do not worry if your child is known to be fussy, I have my ways with kids to gain their confidence, make it fun and relax them for the short time they are in the chair.
Eyes and screen-time
Use of online learning portals used by teachers for distance learning means more computer and screen time by both adults and children. In order to reduce eye fatigue, it is important to remember to take frequent breaks in order to give the eyes a rest from focusing at the same distance. It is also important to wear glasses if they help make it easier for the eyes to focus and consider adding a blue light filter to the lenses. Some people complain of eye fatigue and sleep issues when working for too long with screens, thus reducing the blue light can reduce these symptoms.
Regular eye exams are important for all ages, especially kids whose eyes and bodies are growing and changing at a faster rate than adults. Kids often do not know how to explain their vision issues and a regular eye exam can catch small issues before they affect their daily life activities.
Jonas Paul Eye Wear is our principle youth frame brand that we’ve partnered with. They are an amazing company that have all the right frame styles, shapes and colours that have their own sense of cute about them without being cartoony for young people and have suited many adults. Jonas Paul frames manage a great “Buy Sight. Give Sight.” program, combined with our own pay-it-forward program, you can trust that a portion of your purchase will go to help those in need here at home and abroad.
Along with getting all those school supplies, don’t forget to take your kids for an eye exam. It may be the middle of summer, but back to school is just over one month away. Book an appointment with Dr. Nadine Shelton at nv eye care & eye wear, 100-698 Corydon Ave., 204-504-6863.
Eye Care at nv during COVID-19
Here at nv eye care & eye wear we are open for all your routine and emergent eye care. We will be limiting one patient/family in the office at a time. It is best to call ahead or email to ensure we are not busy helping someone else. Please have a seat outside on our patio until we are done helping our present patient, if you arrive at our office and the door is locked. Once our patient leaves, we then take the time to properly disinfect all surfaces that were touched by them.
You are directed to call the Misericordia Urgent Eye Care Clinic at 204-774-6581, if you are feeling sick, have traveled outside the province or country in the last 14 days, have been with a person who has or for afterhours care. You must call us to reschedule any appointments you have made with us, if you are feeling sick.
We are here for your eye care needs during these difficult times. Do not hesitate to call or email us at nv eye care & eye wear, if you have any questions. For more answers to your vision health questions, please contact me, Dr. Nadine Shelton at nv eye care eye wear, 204-504-6863.
Eye Care Advice
Call me at nv eye care eye wear for an eye exam, if you have any questions about the information above. Patient visits with eye concerns are always covered for Manitoba residents. For more answers to your vision health questions, please contact me, Dr. Nadine Shelton at nv eye care eye wear, 204-504-6863 or visit our website at nvmyeyes.com
Dr. Nadine Shelton B.Sc, O.D. studied at University of Winnipeg, Canada and Indiana University, USA. She has worked abroad in Guanajuato, Mexico assisting outreach patient eye care with VOSH (Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity). Her university days focused on early child eye care and low vision. Dr. Shelton has been practicing optometry for thirteen years in Winnipeg and has celebrated three years in her own practice with her partner Victor Lopes in the heart of the Corydon Village called nv. nv is a full service optical where eye exams are available and a great selection of unique to the city eye wear can be found. Learn more at nvmyeyes.com, call us at (204) 504-6863 or come see us at 100-698 Corydon Ave in Winnipeg, Canada.