Tahlequah Daily Press

Features

August 16, 2013

The eyes have it

TAHLEQUAH — tsnell@tahlequahdailypress.com

Most schools in this area are back in session, and students are establishing routines, completing homework and learning new skills.

Local optometrists agree one of the key components to educational success is a child’s ability to see properly. August is Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month, and area experts urge parents to have regular screenings and eye exams.

“Vision screenings and eye exams are of primary importance,” said Dr. Tom Baker, of Family Eye Care. “No age is too young to have a screening, and parents should have their children examined before they begin school. We cannot do the same types of things with a 2-year-old that we can with a 20-year-old, but valuable information can be gained by screening young children.”

According to the Envision Foundation, proper vision screenings are essential for early detection and intervention of vision problems in children.

More than 80 percent of learning is visual, and Baker said a child often has no frame of reference when it comes to visual impairment.

“It’s different when you deal with children,” said Baker. “Children can’t come home and say to their parents, ‘I have an astigmatism,’ because to them, the way they see is normal.”

Dr. Alissa Proctor, associate professor and chief of the Infant Vision Clinic at Northeastern State University’s College of Optometry, said if kids’ vision issues are not properly diagnosed, it can have a huge impact on their ability to learn.

“We’ve seen many, many cases where children are documented as being diagnosed as having autism or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, when all they really need is glasses,” said Proctor.

Baker agrees.

“My experience is many children who are labeled as having attention disorder problems also have visual problems,” said Baker. “Now, wearing glasses doesn’t necessarily fix a behavioral issue. For instance, a child who is hyperopic - or far-sighted - cannot maintain concentration when told to sit in a chair and read a two-page paper. As soon as the eyes go out of focus, he’s up doing something else.”

Eye exams should be scheduled for babies

Proctor recommends having a child’s eyes examined for the first time when she reaches 6 to 9 months of age.

“There’s also a national program, InfantSEE.org, in which parents can type in their ZIP code, and find a list of doctors that will provide a comprehensive eye exam at no charge.”

Proctor said school-age children who have no documented vision problems should have eye exams every year or two.

“This schedule should be maintained until, well, they reach the age when they need readers. You know, when you have to hold a paper farther away for it to come into focus,” said Proctor, with a laugh.

NSU’s vision clinic takes children from ages birth through 7. They accept SoonerCare and most insurance, and appointments are available on Monday and Tuesday mornings.

“We also have a pediatric vision clinic, in which we see mostly at [Cherokee Nation] Hastings [Hospital],” said Proctor. “Also we do school vision screenings every Friday morning. We screen about 80 kids per morning, and visit all the local elementary and rural schools. It’s important to get them the help they need to be successful in school.”

Baker said, given the vast expanse of electronic devices today, proper vision care is key not only to educational success, but in the workforce.

“Computers, and all the smaller electronic devices, are not going away,” said Baker.

“Every single job requires you to work with one or several of these. If you cannot see  properly, you cannot function. If you cannot function, you cannot perform at your job, and if you can’t do that, you can’t keep your job.”

1
Text Only
Features
  • sg-Paperbacks.jpg Paperbacks still survive in the digital age

    In an era when mobile technology is always at hand, most people can access an electronic book at any time. Such literary luxuries weren’t widely available to previous generations until the dawn of the paperback book.
    Wednesday, July 30, is set as a day to celebrate the low-cost, portable book during National Paperback Book Day.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • rf-skydiver-tomahawk.jpg Former resident tapped for national skydiving award

    A man known locally for putting Tahlequah on the international map by bringing world-class skydiving events to town is being inducted in the National Skydiving Museum Hall of Fame in October.
    Norman Heaton said he’s very honored to be selected for the prestigious award given to people who have made significant contributions to the sport of skydiving.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • 20th-Amendment.jpg Inauguration day changed by 20th Amendment

    Sometimes an amendment is added to the U.S. Constitution that is uncontroversial and virtually unlitigated.
    Such is the 20th Amendment, which moved the seating of the new Congress and the presidential inauguration day to January, and enumerates procedure if a president-elect dies or cannot take office.
    Because the “Lame-Duck Amendment” addresses procedure, it is long.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • rf-School-Fashion.jpg Fashion show to feature local teachers

    A fun fashion event that will provide funds for one lucky area school is coming up next weekend.
    Local teachers and students have until Tuesday, July 22, to sign up for the Teacher and Student Back 2 School Fashion Show at Arrowhead Mall in Muskogee.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • rf-actress.jpg TV’s ‘Mistresses’ has second local tie

    Tahlequah has at least two ties to the TV drama “Mistresses.”
    Local florist Josh Cottrell-Mannon designed the flower arrangements for the show’s season finale, and Arriane Alexander, daughter of local resident Sharilyn Young, is portraying a television news reporter.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • rf-Stark-Sequoyah.jpg Stark enjoys making a difference

    Kristin Stark, Sequoyah Elementary Teacher of Year, loves teaching, and has a desire to make a positive difference in the lives of children.
    “I love making a difference in the lives of children; it is a wonderful feeling to make a positive impact on a child,” said Stark.

    July 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • sr-19thAmendment.jpg Women got the vote with 19th Amendment

    During its first 140 years, the United States Constitution underwent a series of changes intended to extend voting rights to those who were not white or didn’t own property - but as the American experiment entered the 20th Century, half the adult population still had no protection to vote.
    Though they certainly had political opinions, women could not cast a ballot in most states. That changed with passage of the 19th Amendment.

    July 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • renee-storyteller.jpg Cherokee, Tlingit storytellers to share their craft during special NSU event

    Two Native American cultures will be represented during a storytelling workshop featuring Cherokee Gayle Ross and Tlingit and Cherokee dancer and storyteller Gene Tagaban, of Seattle.

    July 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • 1-ts CN opt 1.jpg Cherokees commemorate Act of Union

    Cherokee Nation dignitaries met on the historic courthouse square Tuesday to commemorate the 175th anniversary of the Act of Union following the end of the Trail of Tears Removal.

    July 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • rf-vol-July.jpg Firefighting fills a big role for Kimble

    Community service is both work and volunteering for Cherokee County 911 Coordinator/Director Marty A. Kimble.
    Kimble is also fire chief for Gideon Volunteer Fire and Rescue, president of the Grand View School Board, and northeast regional vice president of OklaNENA (National Emergency Number Association).

    July 8, 2014 1 Photo

Poll

Do you believe school administrators and college presidents in Oklahoma are paid too much?

Strongly agree.
Somewhat agree.
Somewhat disagree.
Strongly disagree.
Undecided.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites
Stocks