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1515 K Street

Bedford, IN 47421

Woman wearing glasses after taking a vision test Young man having his eyes examined

Ease your concerns about eye care visits. Make an appointment with Dr. Smoot, a specialist in vision therapy and infant eye care services. We'll work to find the right therapy for your binocular disparity. We offer comprehensive eye care services for the entire family.

The American Optometric Association officially recommends 6 months as the appropriate age for an initial eye health exam.

Dr. Smoot specializes in vision therapy with an emphasis on therapy for binocular disparity. Don't lose hope - consider vision therapy for improved sight. Contact us today to set up an appointment.

Vision therapy

Smoot Eye Care LLC emphasizes the importance of infant health care. We're an InfantSEE provider, meaning we believe every infant should receive an initial eye care exam even if the parent is unable to pay for the services.

Infant eye care services

Consider an eye-care specialist with specialized knowledge in vision therapy and infant eye care. Ensure your child gets off to a healthy start with our infant eye care services. As an InfantSEE provider, we believe that all babies age 6-12 months should have access to a FREE eye exam.

We specialize in infant eye care and vision therapy

Book an appointment for infant care or vision therapy

Ease your concerns about eye care visits. Make an appointment with Dr. Smoot, a specialist in vision therapy and infant eye care services. We'll work to find the right therapy for your binocular disparity. We offer comprehensive eye care services for the entire family.

InfantSEE® is the American Optometric Association's public health program designed to ensure that eye and vision care becomes an integral part of infant wellness care to improve a child's quality of life. Under this program, Dr. Smoot will provide a comprehensive infant eye assessment between 6 and 12 months of age as a no-cost public service.

Infants

The presence of eye and vision problems in infants is rare. Most babies begin life with healthy eyes and start to develop the visual abilities they will need throughout life without difficulty. But occasionally, eye health and vision problems can develop. Parents need to look for the following signs that may be indications of eye and vision problems:

• Excessive tearing

• Red or encrusted eye lids

• Constant eye turning

• Extreme sensitivity to light

• Appearance of a white pupil

 

The appearance of any of these signs should require immediate attention by your pediatrician or optometrist.

Preschool Children

Children with uncorrected vision conditions or eye health problems face many barriers in life ... academically ... socially ... and athletically.

 

Vision doesn't just happen. A child's brain learns how to use eyes to see, just like it learns how to use legs to walk or a mouth to form words. The longer a vision problem goes undiagnosed and untreated, the more a child's brain learns to accommodate the vision problem.

 

This is also the time when parents need to be alert for the presence of vision problems like crossed eyes or lazy eye. These conditions often develop before the age of 5. Crossed eyes or strabismus involves one or both eyes turning inward or outward. Amblyopia, commonly known as lazy eye, is a lack of clear vision in one eye, which can't be fully corrected with eyeglasses. This can occur from uncorrected refractive error to crossed eyes.

 

That's why a comprehensive eye examination is so important for children. Early detection and treatment provide the very best opportunity to correct vision problems, so your child can learn to see clearly.  Make sure your child has the best possible tools to learn successfully.

 

Parents should watch for signs that may indicate a vision problem, including:

 

• Sitting close to the TV or holding a book too close

• Squinting

• Tilting their head

• Frequently rubbing their eyes

• Short attention span for the child's age

• Turning of an eye in or out

• Sensitivity to light

• Difficulty with eye-hand-body coordination when playing ball or bike riding

• Avoiding coloring activities, puzzles and other detailed activities

If you notice any of these signs in your preschooler, arrange for a visit to your doctor of optometry.

School Aged Children

As children progress in school, they face increasing demands on their visual abilities. The size of print in schoolbooks becomes smaller and the amount of time spent reading and studying increases significantly. Increased class work and homework place significant demands on the child's eyes.

When certain visual skills have not developed, or are poorly developed, learning is difficult and stressful, and children will typically:

 

 

• Avoid reading and other near visual work as much as possible.

• Attempt to do the work anyway, but with a lowered level of comprehension or efficiency.

• Experience discomfort, fatigue and a short attention span.

Vision is more than just the ability to see clearly. It is also the ability to understand and respond to what is seen. Basic visual skills include the ability to focus the eyes, use both eyes together as a team, and move them effectively. Other visual perceptual skills include:

 

• recognition (the ability to tell the difference between letters like "b" and "d"),

• comprehension (to "picture" in our mind what is happening in a story we are reading), and

• retention (to be able to remember and recall details of what we read).

Every child needs to have the following vision skills for effective reading and learning:

 

• Visual acuity — the ability to see clearly in the distance for viewing the board, at an intermediate distance for the computer, and up close for reading a book.

 

• Eye Focusing — the ability to quickly and accurately maintain clear vision as the distance from objects change, such as when looking from the board to a paper on the desk and back.

 

• Eye tracking — the ability to keep the eyes on target when looking from one object to another, moving the eyes along a printed page, or following a moving object like a thrown ball.

 

• Eye teaming — the ability to coordinate and use both eyes together when moving the eyes along a printed page, and to be able to judge distances and see depth for class work and sports.

 

• Eye-hand coordination — the ability to use visual information to monitor and direct the hands when drawing a picture or trying to hit a ball.

 

• Visual perception — the ability to organize images on a printed page into letters, words and ideas and to understand and remember what is read.

 

If any of these visual skills are lacking or not functioning properly, a child will have to work harder. This can lead to headaches, fatigue and other eyestrain problems. Parents and teachers need to be alert for symptoms that may indicate a child has a vision problem.

Signs that may indicate a child has vision problem include:

 

 

• Frequent eye rubbing or blinking

• Short attention span

• Avoiding reading and other close activities

• Frequent headaches

• Covering one eye

• Tilting the head to one side

• Holding reading materials close to the face

• An eye turning in or out

• Seeing double

• Losing place when reading

• Difficulty remembering what he or she read

Accommodation

Accommodation is the ability to adjust the focus of the eyes as the distance between the individual and the object changes. Children frequently use this vision skill in the classroom as they shift their attention (and focus) between their book, or desk and the board for sustained periods of time. Being able to maintain focus up close for long periods of time is imperative for reading, writing and also taking tests.

Binocular Fusion

Binocular fusion refers to the brain's ability to gather information received from each eye separately and form a single, unified image. When a child's eyes are not properly aligned it causes blurry vision, double vision, or eye strain, which leads to poor comprehension or avoiding reading altogether.

Convergence

Convergence is the ability to turn the two eyes toward each other to look at a close object. This is an essential task when reading, completing homework, and using the computer or smart phone.

Treating reading-related vision problems

The optometrist examines these vision skills and determines how well the child is using them together. When a vision problem is diagnosed, he or she can prescribe glasses, vision therapy or both.

 

Vision therapy has proved very useful in treating reading-related vision problems. It involves an individualized program of training procedures designed to help a child acquire or sharpen vision skills that are necessary for reading.

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