Sometimes (Often) glasses run in the family…
When I contacted Shelly Clark about photographing her family for the latest “Glasses of Binyon” blog she responded- “Could we meet at Whatcom Falls Park? We kind of live right in the park.” I thought that might mean on the road leading into the park but as Kevin works for the Department of Fishery for Washington State- they literally live in the park. It was a joy to watch the family in their backyard and picture the kids growing up in one of Bellingham’s most beautiful parks. Kevin, Shelly, Chester and June have been patients of Dr. McEathron’s for many years and they each have unique and interesting stories about their journey with their glasses.
Let’s start with Chester.
Shelly tells me he’s worn glasses for as long as she can remember. His first eye exam was when he was four years old- with concerns of family history of nearsightedness. Shelly remembers this appointment vividly- that Dr. McEathron kindly recommended they try again the following year when Chester knew more letters. He received his first pair of glasses the next year and Shelly comments that he’s always taken very good care of his glasses- probably because he’s “blind as a bat” without them. His high astigmatism doesn’t make him a great candidate for contact lenses- but he wears glasses well and appreciates the help from the opticians to find him a great fitting pair that is stylish.
Shelly was also proactive with an early eye exam for daughter, June.
When she was 5 she sat in Mom’s lap for her first eye exam. The next few years she came in for regular checks- but Dr. McEathron found no need for glasses. As 3rd grade rolled around, some reading struggles were noted. We made some reading glasses, but Dr. McEathron also recommended a consultation for vision therapy. June now sees Dr. Bearden at Optometric Physicians Northwest to help with excessive convergence. She wears her reading glasses for close work but with the improvement she’s seeing in vision therapy, she might not need them for much longer.
Shelly recalls Kevin coming home with his first pair of glasses in 2012 and being amazed…
at what he had been missing out on because he couldn’t see! He spends a lot of time outdoors- so he tried Transitions darkening lenses but didn’t like the amount of time it took for them to change back to clear- so he invested in his first prescription sunglasses made by Maui Jim. He describes those as the ultimate treat- and necessary for his work around bodies of water to be able to see clearly through the glare.
I saved my favorite story for last!
Shelly was very nearsighted and had Lasik performed in 2010 and was glasses free for 4 years after wearing them since she was a little girl. She remembers the news that she would need glasses again as being disappointing – “It’s because I’m getting older right?” she asked Dr. McEathron. “Well, it’s because you keep having birthdays,” explained Dr. M. Shelly loves how he took her negative and turned it into a positive. She says she’s fine wearing them now and even likes them! When she lost her glasses she got the same frame in another color. This was smart because she found the lost glasses again and now has two very cute similar but different color frames!
It was a fun adventure to get to know this family better in their beautiful back yard and hear about their unique glasses experiences. A special thank you to Shelly, Kevin, Chester and June for sharing their glasses stories and to Katheryn Moran of Katheryn Moran Photography for taking this awesome family’s pictures!
Just two weeks ago, a patient walked in the office for her yearly eye exam. Nothing strange going on- just wanted to see if she needed to update her glasses. She didn’t expect to be going into emergency surgery for a retinal detachment later that afternoon.
Despite a lack of symptoms, this patient was fortunate enough to be caught before the eye damage was irreversible. This was a good reminder for us to bring to light a few visual phenomenons that should alert you to contact us immediately.
- Spots – small cloudy specks that become noticeable when they fall in the line of sight
- Floaters – a dark or grey or spot or speck that passes across your field of vision and moves as you move your eye.
- Flashes of light- appears as lightning bolts, flickering lights or random sparks in the field of vision.
These three signs can be normal visual occurrences and some- especially floaters- increase gradually with the more birthdays we have. However- if one of these symptoms suddenly expresses itself, a patient must seen immediately. Because retinal detachment causes no pain – it’s important to know about these signs.
When a retina detaches the tissue on the back of your eye becomes separated from the supporting tissue. When separated it cannot function and process the information that creates visual images in your brain. If a retina does not get reattached surgically, the vision loss can be permanent.
Please get spots, floaters, and flashes checked out if they suddenly appear in great frequency.Also – remember to stay up to date with yearly visits to the optometrist!
We have the unique opportunity to be present for an awesome “WOW!” moment in many peoples’ lives… the moment the world becomes clear! Inspired by the adorable viral video last year of a baby seeing her mom for the first time (see here) the Binyon team would like to present our first edition of patient talk…
The Things Patients Say
“Everything is so sharp – I haven’t taken them off!” – – C, who thought she just needed her glasses for driving and wouldn’t wear them often
“I can see the points on the stars!” – – O (10 years old) about the star stickers on the ceiling of his bedroom
“I can see raindrops on the cars!” – – K, after putting on her contacts for the first time
<< QUIET … then big smile >> – – 10 month old C who was crying crying crying as Christie put her first pair of glasses on and she looked at her mom
“The roof has lines on it.” – – J, first time contact lens wearer talking about the shingles
“I can’t believe how trees look- I can see the leaves when before it was a big blob of green.” – – R, 11 years old, first time glasses wearer
“Dr. McEathron – you saved my marriage – you showed my husband how the world looks when I don’t have my glasses on and he’s so much more understanding now.” – – L, 63 years old, very nearsighted
“I can see the mole on your face Mommy!” – – L, 8 years old when asked what she could see with her new glasses
“OH! Where did all those wrinkles come from!” – – C, 52 years old, putting on her first progressive lenses
A new world appears with clear vision – are you seeing to your full potential? Come on in! We’d love to share a WOW moment with you, and add your patient talk to this list!
The First Exam of the Year Should be an Eye Exam!
As you’re preparing for the upcoming school year, it’s important to make sure a comprehensive eye examination is on the family’s to-do list. Kid’s vision can change dramatically from one year to the next and 80% of learning is experienced through vision. Therefore, a thorough eye exam is a necessary step to making sure your child is ready for the school year!
The Affordable Health Care Act designates Kid’s Vision as one of the ten essential health benefits. What does that mean to you?
Qualified health plans must include benefits for an annual comprehensive eye exam and vision materials (glasses or contact lenses) for members 18 years old and younger.
Please give us a call today with your insurance information and we can check on the details of your plan!
We want to help you get ready for back to school!
During the month of September…
- Come visit Dr. McEathron or Dr. Hoekstra for your annual eye exam
- Order one complete set of glasses or an annual supply of contacts (may be covered by insurance- call us and we can check!)
- PICK YOUR SAVINGS! Either:
- The lenses for your back-up glasses will be discounted 50%
- Receive complementary Transitions® lenses! ($100 value)
Have you considered what it would be like to lose your sight?
A recent article in US News and World Report discusses a nationwide survey showing vision loss to be equal to or worse than losing hearing, memory, speech or a limb. How about you? Is age-related vision changes and loss a concern? Have you considered what it would be like to lose your sight? Are you taking steps today that could reduce risks of vision loss or blindness tomorrow?
See clearly – check yearly!
How often do you take your car to be serviced or head to the dentist? How often do you update the anti-virus software on your PC to protect your hard drive?
A routine eye check-up can monitor your eye health – catch problems before they start and keep your eyes in top working condition. There is a lot more to a comprehensive eye exam than “which is better one or two”?
“I don’t need my eyes checked – I can see just fine!”
A patient came to see us for his first routine eye exam at the age of 55. He had just started to wear over the counter readers but never had any vision problems. During the visual fields test, Dr. McEathron discovered a field loss in his vision. The glaucoma pressure test and assessment of the optic nerve confirmed a likely diagnosis of glaucoma. The patient immediately began treatment for moderately severe glaucoma. The 10 degrees of near vision field loss seen will never be recovered – the daily prescriptions drops the patient takes will slow progress of the disease, but as of now there is no cure. Another important note to mention- the patient had no family history of glaucoma.
Fit an eye exam into your schedule
Eye exams are recommended every year. The affordable health care act has deemed pediatric vision one of ten essential health benefits. Many insurance plans include coverage for a routine eye exam yearly. For more information on what your insurance plan covers, call our office and we can provide you with details.
In the beginning of the year- your birthday month – as soon as school’s out for summer or before the year is out – pick a time to schedule your yearly eye check up/regular preventative maintenance and stick to it! Your future self will thank you!