Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

How to Keep Your Eyes Safe This Summer

July 16th, 2015 by Steve Schottman

Couple wearing sunglassesThe moment we have all waited for is finally here… summer! The weather is warm, spirits are lifted, and we are all very eager to be out and about. This makes it all too easy to forget about protecting our eyes from harmful UV rays. Awareness to protect our skin has come a long way, but protecting our eyes is just as important! By not protecting our eyes we are putting them at a greater risk for eye diseases like cataracts, glaucoma, cancer, and more. At all times of the year we should be protecting our eyes.

Wear Sunglasses

Almost every one owns a pair of sunglasses, but do they offer the proper protection that your eyes need? Sunglasses have become more of a fashion statement than eye protection! To ensure that you are actually protecting your eyes from harmful UV rays, make sure that your sunglasses offer 99-100% protection from UVA and UVB lights. Consider polarized lens as they protect your eyes from harsh glares, but remember that they do not offer additional UV protection. Exposure to glares can strain your eyes and cause headaches, especially after driving or spending time at the beach for a long period of time. The size of the sunglasses also plays a significant role on protection; the bigger the sunglasses, the more protection.

Wear a Hat

The importance of wearing a hat is that sunglasses cannot prevent the sun from peaking in from above. This is an ideal addition to sunglasses, especially when you intend to spend long periods of time under the sun.  A wide brimmed hat prevents the sun from peaking through from all angles and also protects other areas of your face from UV exposure.

Stay Out of Sun as Often as Possible

Did you know that between 10 AM and 4 PM the sun is at its strongest? During these times, water and sand can reflect harsh rays and put our eyes at a greater risk. Enjoying some time in the shade every once in a while throughout your day will give you and your eyes a much needed break from the sun.

Don’t Look Up!

Whenever you look directly at the sun there is temporary damage done to your eye instantly.

Stay Hydrated

It’s very easy to forget to stay hydrated during the summer months. If you’re not drinking enough water you are putting your eyes more at risk for reduced tear production, which can be uncomfortable and irritating and unsafe. Drink at least 2 litres of water to keep you and your eyes hydrated.

Show us that you are practising sun protection by sharing photos of you wearing your stylish shades and wide brimmed on our Facebook page!

Why You Might Need Vision Therapy

June 26th, 2015 by Steve Schottman

Couple looking at phoneYour eyes relay information about the world around you to your brain. The way your eyes send this information to your brain determines how you see things. It’s actually why everyone sees things differently from one another. Sometimes, the way your eyes relay this information is inefficient for a variety of reasons. In children, an example of this is amblyopia, or what’s more commonly known as lazy eye.

In fact, how your eyes function determine how well people interact with the world around them. There are often more complex vision complications than just not being able to see near or far. These are harder to catch and with children, can lead to learning troubles. With a comprehensive vision exam, you can determine whether your eyes are working efficiently.

So what happens when you’ve determined that your eyes are not working efficiently? At Stars In Your Eyes, we offer Vision Therapy.

What is Vision Therapy?

Vision Therapy is a treatment done to help improve the efficiency of your eyes. This could potentially help correct your vision or other issues that are caused by inefficient vision. This treatment method uses a combination of at home and in office exercises that train your eyes to work more efficiently.

Stars In Your Eyes offers Vision Therapy for both adults and children to correct vision issues.

How Do I Know If I Need Vision Therapy?

A comprehensive eye exam can help determine if you have any conditions that would benefit from treatment through Vision Therapy. Otherwise, you could always bring up your concerns with your optometrist to see if they would recommend Vision Therapy.

Vision Therapy can help treat vision conditions such as lazy eye, eyestrain, and depth perception. It can also help with conditions you may have not realized are caused by your vision. Here are some concerns you should bring up to your optometrist if you experience them.

Headaches

There are different kinds of headaches, but some may be caused by inefficiencies in your vision. Headaches can even be caused by a change in your prescription, so you might just need glasses. If not, your optometrist may be able to recommend Vision Therapy.

Motion Sickness

Have you ever wondered why you experience motion sickness when your friends and family do not? One possible reason could be your vision. In fact, motion sickness and your vision are intrinsically linked, which is why people often give you tips such as to keep your eye on the horizon. With Vision Therapy, you could correct the way your eyes react to motion and possibly cure your motion sickness!

Learning Delays

Is your child having difficulty focusing in the classroom? Did you know that this could be a result of their vision functioning in a way that impedes their learning? Even if they have 20/20 vision, they may have a hard time focusing on the blackboard, focusing on the sheet in front of them, or adjusting to glare. With a comprehensive eye exam, your child’s optometrist may be able to determine if Vision Therapy could get them back on track to learning!

Trauma

If you have undergone an injury or medical issue such as a stroke, your vision may have changed. Vision Therapy can help your eyes readjust.

Sports and Coordination Issues

If you or your child have a difficult time catching a ball or coordinating your actions, a reason could be your vision. If your vision does not work effectively, hand-eye coordination may become compromised and affect your performance in sports, games, or even simple activities like using scissors.

How Long Will Vision Therapy Take?

Vision Therapy is a process – it will not correct your vision overnight, but it might help you see clearer over time. Depending on your condition and your doctor’s recommendation, it may take a few weeks, a few months, or a lifetime. In any case, we hope it’s effective in getting your eyes working to benefit you.

What’s the Next Step?

If you think you have a condition that could be treated by Vision Therapy, the next step is to set up a FREE consultation (before August, 31, 2015) at Dr. Schottman’s specialty Vision Training Clinic.

Why Vision Therapy Might Be Right for You

May 28th, 2015 by Steve Schottman

Did you know that there are some vision issues that can’t be solved by glasses or contacts? For both children and adults, Vision Therapy can be a fantastic pathway to both better sight and an improved quality of life. Even if you have 20/20 vision, you might still find yourself struggling with certain aspects of your eyesight, meaning that you could be a perfect candidate for Vision Therapy.

What is Vision Therapy?

Think about a time that you’ve injured yourself while playing sports. Did you have to go to physiotherapy? In the same way that a physiotherapist may have helped retrain your injured leg or shoulder to get it back to operating at its full potential, Vision Therapy can train your eyes (and your brain, by extension) and help give you relief from a wide range of different visual and neurological issues.

Vision Therapy treatment plans can vary greatly based on your individual needs, but always work to improve the relationship between your eyes and your brain to make great vision as effortless as possible.

How Does Vision Therapy Work?

Vision Therapy works by helping your brain communicate more effectively with your eyes, giving you more refined vision with a greater level of comfort. Using a combination of different visual activities and games, Vision Therapy can help train your eyes to see the world a little differently! These exercises help train your mind and eyes to work together and cooperate to give you better eyesight with fewer issues.

Whether you’re having trouble in the classroom, at work, or on the soccer field, your vision is important in guaranteeing your success. Vision Therapy might be just the solution that you’re looking for to help alleviate some of your most frustrating visual issues.

How Can Vision Therapy Help Me?

There are many common issues that can potentially be resolved through Vision Therapy for you or your child, including:

  • Eyestrain: Do your eyes feel tired out after using your computer or smartphone all day? Experiencing blurred vision, exhausted eyes, and difficulty focusing after prolonged screen time is an all-too-common problem nowadays. If practicing the 20-20-20 rule (looking 20 feet away from your screen, every 20 minutes, for 20 seconds) doesn’t seem to be enough to help you out, then you should definitely think about how Vision Therapy could give you some relief.
  • Headaches: Do you suffer from frequent headaches for no apparent reason? Although we can’t always pinpoint exactly what is causing our headaches, if you suspect that your pain may be caused by your eyesight, then Vision Therapy might be a good option for you. Sometimes a communication breakdown between our eyes and brain can result in your head feeling a little overworked – and understandably so! Vision Therapy will help your eyes work smarter, not harder.
  • Reading Difficulty: Do you or your child have problems while reading? Sometimes difficulty reading can be caused due to the eyes not being able to properly relay information to your brain. With proper training, the complex connections between your brain and eyes can be improved to allow for a free flow of data, resulting in better reading skills.
  • Lazy Eye: Do you or your child have a lazy eye? Sometimes, great results can be achieved for lazy eyes through Vision Therapy instead of having to resort to surgery.
  • Learning Delays, ADHD, and Dyslexia: The ability of our eyes to cooperate properly with our brain has a massive impact on the skills that are critical to effective learning like reading and writing. In certain cases, vision problems can actually be mistaken for the symptoms of ADHD and Dyslexia. With proper vision therapy and a thorough visual examination, you can better understand whether you’re experiencing one of these disorders or suffering from pronounced vision issues.
  • Hand/Eye Coordination: Do you or your child have difficulty playing sports? Lots of physical activities heavily rely on great eyesight. Without proper visual coordination, your performance can suffer and make some really great sports unenjoyable or unplayable.

Do you think that Vision Therapy might be the solution that you’ve been looking for? Book a consultation with one of our talented Optometrists today.

How to Choose the Perfect Pair of Glasses

April 22nd, 2015 by Steve Schottman

Looking for a new pair of glasses? You want to find a pair that helps you look your best, but picking the right pair for your face isn’t always easy. Thankfully, there are some quick and easy ways to figure out exactly which frames are perfect for you! We’ve put together a comprehensive guide to discovering which kind of glasses best suit your face and how to rock them like never before!

Do You Know Your Face Shape?

Your face – you’ve probably seen it in the mirror before, or maybe when flipping through your tagged photos on Facebook, but do you know what shape it is? Generally, there are seven different types of face shapes that your face probably fits into: circle, square, heart, oval, pyramid, upside-down pyramid, and diamond.

The quickest way to find out which of these categories you fall under is by taking a photo of yourself (much like one of the aforementioned tagged Facebook photos) and tracing out your face shape. Got it? Okay, now does that shape look like a circle, square, heart, oval, pyramid, upside-down pyramid, or diamond?

Circle

This type of face shape is known as circle or ‘round’, referring to a face with near equal length and width. If your face has full cheeks, a rounded jaw line, and softer features, then you probably fit into this category. The best type of glasses to pair with a rounder face shape is usually rectangular frames. The hard lines of a strong-angled pair of glasses will perfectly offset your face’s natural curves and bring a sense of balance that really lets your eyes and smile shine through.

Square

A square face shape usually means that your features have stronger angles and a distinctive symmetry with high cheekbones and an equally wide forehead and jaw. The best style of frames for this face shape are usually rounder glasses. Much like the circle face type, you want to compliment your natural features instead of overpowering them.

Choose a pair of thin-framed glasses with circular or cat-eye frames to smooth out your angles and slim out your bone structure. Square face types have a hardness to their features, so you want to do your best to find a pair of glasses that add an element of softness to your face.

Heart

If you have a wider forehead with high cheekbones and a narrow jawline, then you probably have a heart-shaped face. The most important thing with a heart face is choosing glasses that balance out the many different widths of your face. The actual shape of the frames isn’t as important for this type, but instead thicker, stronger glasses can really bring a sense of symmetry to your look.

Oval

An oval face shape is usually distinguished by higher cheekbones, a narrow jawline, and an overall sense of balance to the angles of the face. Your forehead might be a bit wider than your jaw, but it should be generally about the same size. With an oval face type, there are actually a wide selection of different frames that can really work. Since oval’s boast a very balanced set of facial angles, they can pull off most types of glasses.

Pyramid

A pyramid face shape usually has a strong jawline with a narrower forehead and a wider set of cheeks. The most important thing to keep in mind for this face shape is choosing a pair of glasses that widen your features where they narrow out in the upper part of your face. Really loud, vibrant glasses or ones with strong angles like cat-eye lenses can help compliment your face’s natural structure.

Upside-Down Pyramid

Contrary to the pyramid face shape, the upside-down pyramid means that your face starts off wide at the forehead and progressively gets narrower. Try to choose a lighter pair of glasses with very soft angles to ease your face’s transition from wider to narrower. You’ll really want to choose a pair of glasses that blend in – nothing too loud, thick or colorful.

Diamond

The strongest feature of a diamond face shape is usually very high or wide cheekbones with a narrow jaw and forehead. Since the middle of the face is widest with this face type, you’ll want to choose glasses that either blend in with your natural brow line or are very light and minimalist. The key is to choose frames that don’t emphasize your powerful cheek structure, but instead soften it and draw it inward.

Need help picking out your next pair of glasses? Take a look at our selection!

For a fun and effective frame selection, contact our trained Opticians.

CH-CH-CH-CHANGES, PART II

March 5th, 2015 by Dr. Emily Schottman

Good thing we have a “snow” day today in Austin, TX (AISD’s perception might not match reality, see previous post!)…so we can rest up for Daylight Savings lose an hour this weekend, 3/8/15. This time change impacts our ability to sleep, make smart buying decisions and concentrate in school. But, really what is happening is that we are impacted by our visual perception of light.

Less light can create depression & anxiety symptoms because of such things as lowered Vitamin D and increased melatonin. And “lighter later” evenings cheer us with thoughts of walks around Austin’s Lady Bird Lake and outdoor fun after work.

Austin TX cityscape

SEEING THE LIGHT…

Our eyes use light to generate electrical impulses in the brain for vision, sleep and wake cycles and moods. Yet everyone reacts to light differently!

In cities with more “winter” then we get in Austin, mental health researchers spend a lot of time researching Seasonal Affective Disorder (oddly enough, SAD). When our eyes do not get sufficient light, we can suffer from holiday blues to full blown depression. Check out my friend, Amy Arndt’s hilarious article on this.

Some researchers who do NOT understand the uniqueness of vision and its impact on dopamine pathways suggest standing in light or even buying “happy lights” to put at your desk. This is similar thinking as less blue light before bed improves insomnia.

THE WRONG LIGHT WILL MAKE IT WORSE!

I get excited but also nervous by these happenstance recommendations. I think good visual hygiene before bed is important, however, I also know that the wrong visual wavelength can be more harmful than helpful! From board certified neuro optometrist (our own Dr. Jen Idoni), our patients receive Syntonic therapy to straighten eyes, recover from traumatic brain injury and calm anxiety. But only after assessing how individuals react to different wavelengths of light in different ways. Here’s a great link to the benefits and cautions of Syntonics.

For more about our Vision Therapy , Call 512-419-1212 for a FREE (no obligation, our gift to you!) Visual Discovery with Dr. Idoni, for children and adults.

CH-CH-CH-CHANGES!

March 5th, 2015 by Dr. Emily Schottman

Happy man and woman in cafe wearing glassesAs an Optometrist and Psychotherapist Intern, I see change all the time. My husband says, “For someone who doesn’t like change, you sure create a lot of it.” He can dole it out and only sometimes I think he might be repeating my own words back to me. One of the reasons I love what I do is that I get to help others find eye-opening truths about themselves, too.

It really does not matter if we are picking between clearer lenses, “which is better, one or two?” or selecting a life partner, change can be stressful and anxiety-provoking. It does not help that we are often in a darkly lit room and depending on another to show us the way (now I’m talking about being an eye doctor, what were you thinking??). How we see the world impacts our happiness.

BUT WHY DOES OUR VISION TRICK US?
It is no wonder that we react strongly to realizing that others might see the world differently than we do. Without drudging up the dreaded dress” controversy (some see white/gold but others blue/black in the dress here) and resulting color blindness pandemonium, it made sense to me that people want to know that their perceptions match reality.

When your perception matches reality, you see clearly…get compliments on your newly selected glasses (they don’t have to know that our expert opticians picked them out) …fall in love. When our perceptions are inaccurate, you miss our highway exit…misread your partner’s facial expressions…get royally messed up by the time change (THIS weekend (3/8/15)!  Click here for FREE Daylight savings tips!

HOW CAN I KNOW MY VISION IS GOOD?

Change can overwhelm our brains and temporarily drown out our other senses. Think about your first pair of glasses or how the optician tells you it will take a week or two to adapt to your new Rx but you just can’t “hear” it while your new vision is snapping and popping into place through new lenses…same thing if you are a new parent or simply sleep-deprived. Reminding yourself (through your sense of vision or mental wellness) that you have weathered change before and sharing your vision with others are the other ways we adapt and thrive.

Here’s my vision of Dresses worth staring at!

If you are concerned about YOUR color vision (or loved one),  Call for an eye exam today!