www.whyville.net Feb 20, 2008 Weekly Issue

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Got Glasses?

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Yes, you've noticed the chalkboard is getting smudgier, you can't read overhead projectors, your arms aren't long enough for you to read your Harry Potter book. What's happening? It's called: you need glasses.

First of all, let me tell you about the two kinds of sights that are easily mixed up.

Far-Sighted: When you can see things clearly from far away but have difficulty seeing things up close. (Ex: Reading your textbook, the computer screen is blurry, etc.)

Near-Sighted: When you can see things clearly up close but have trouble seeing things far away. (Ex: Not being able to see the chalkboard, read projectors, see the TV clearly, etc.)

Ways to know you need glasses:

- Again, if things far away or close up seem to blurry to read.
- If you get headaches after reading.
- If you catch yourself squinting to read something.
- If double vision occurs without crossing your eyes.

What to do when you need glasses:

Go straight to your parent/guardian or nurse at school and explain what's been going on. Ask if you could go to the eye doctor (opthamologist) for a check-up.

What happens at the eye doctor?

Several things happen during a normal check-up on checking your vision:

- Visual Acuity Test: A nurse or the doctor will check your vision either on a eye chart with letters standing 20 feet away, letters on a screen (like a PowerPoint presentation . . .), or a little chart that you hold at reading distance to test if you're far-sighted.

- Pinhole Testing: You will be put on a pair of glasses that has pinholes in them. You will be able to see the distance from what ever you are holding very clearly. Why? Pinholes only allow the passage of light perpendicular to the lens!

- Dilation of the Eyes: This is the interesting part. A nurse or the opthamologist will put drops into your eyes. They will make your pupils seem extremely large for at least 3-6 hours. You will also be near-sighted.

Warning: If it is your first time getting your eyes dilated it may take up to a day and a half for the drops to wear off!

Why does the opthamologist dilate your eyes? He/She can get a better look at muscles and blood vessels at the back of your eye!

- Testing your Eye Pressure: This is to test whether you have glaucoma, which builds up pressure in the eye and could cause blindness. If caught early, there is a treatment. The opthamologist or nurse will put two numbing drops in your eye. It may sound very scary but it isn't. Then the nurse or opthamologist will take a round torpedo looking thing (called a tonometer) and tap both of your pupils. Don't worry. You won't feel a thing.

Warning: These numbing drops may make your eyes feel full and heavy and if it is your first time to get your eyes numbed you may feel a little nauseous.

Other Tests: Your opthamologist or nurse will do several other tests. They will test your periphery vision. How your pupils react to light. You might even have to follow your doctor's finger around.

What glasses do you pick?

When your opthamologist is through there usually will be a little store next to your opthamologist where you can pick out your glasses. I would actually recommend Costco because it is cheaper and they have a great selection of glasses even though it may take up to 2 weeks to receive your glasses.

Keep this in mind:

Do you need part time glasses that are only meant for school or do you need them all the time??

Go and pick out glasses that are comfy and that you will want to wear. Use your glasses to express who you are! If you simple and classic get simple glasses. If your funky and weird get some purple framed glasses!

So, what's so bad about glasses? Nothing!

Absolutely nothing!


Author's Note: Sources: http://www.stlukeseye.com/eyeq/Dilation.asp


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