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!
Eye Exam – add this to your Back to School checklist!
Back to school season is upon us, which means your list of to-do’s is <hopefully> getting shorter by the day. Make sure to include scheduling your kid’s eye exam! Researchers say up to 10 percent of preschoolers and up to 25 percent of school-age children have vision disorders that can affect learning. Routine eye exams are essential to making sure kids have the visual skills needed to thrive in the classroom!
Kids are especially visual learners, and they can’t learn what their eyes can’t see! Therefore, healthy vision is key in order for them to learn to their fullest potential.
What to Expect in a Kid’s Eye Exam
There are several things your optometrist will check for when you bring your child in for their eye exam. The first tests are looking for refractive errors including nearsightedness (myopia) and farsightedness. Next is looking for astigmatism: when the shape of the eye causes blurriness, and amblyopia: when one eye is weaker than the other. Amblyopia (also known as “lazy eye”) is the most common cause of vision problems in children, most easily treated when young. The optometrist will check how eyes move, if they line up right and track together, and how they react to changes in light and darkness.
If your younger child doesn’t have confidence in letter recognition, the doctor presents easily recognizable for vision testing.
Doesn’t the school test vision?
School vision screenings are less likely to catch farsightedness or astigmatism- which can have a negative affect on academic performance. Students in Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri and Nebraska are required by law to have comprehensive eye exams by an optometrist or ophthalmologist before kindergarten. In Washington state, any student who fails the vision screening test is required to have a comprehensive eye exam. The child must bring signed proof of the exam to the school nurse. This is a great start- but in our experience we have seen several misleading test results. This makes us a little concerned there are kids out there who need glasses that the vision screening didn’t catch.
A prescription for glasses is the potential output of an eye exam. If your child needs glasses, you are starting them off on the right foot for academic success in the 2018-2019 school year! Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions!
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!