Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Teacher, teacher! I'm squinting and I still can't see the blackboard...

Dear students (and their parents),

Where, oh where, did the summertime go?

As the summer comes to an end, it approaches the time of year where kids are both nervous and excited to head back to school. Children reconnect with classmates they may not have seen over the summer, as well as meet new teachers and other new students. Parents are busy making sure their kids are well-prepared, having the clothes, backpack, rulers, pencils, calculators and packed lunches all lined up and ready to go.

August is typically a busy month at an eye doctor's office. Teenagers and young adults make sure they get their eyes checked out to get their updated contact lens supply before heading off to college. Kids get new frames to replace the ones battered over the summer during soccer games, or to replace the ones lost during the family vacation.

The first couple of weeks in September is typically slow at an eye doctor's office. Parent's are so relieved that they survived the summer, they just need to chill for a bit. Students are still re-learning how an alarm clock works and trying to get to their bus stop on time, as well as adjusting to their school environment. Getting the eyes checked are the last thing on the list, especially since those two weeks include the Labor Day weekend--a last chance at a mini-vacation before things really start picking up.

However, when the kids finally start getting over the lazy hangover of summer and make an attempt to read the blackboard (or the whiteboard), some children realize that it's a little more difficulty to read what the teacher is writing...and it's not the messy handwriting, either.

A child's vision is dynamic. As a child grows, the vision usually changes as well. There is a time, usually in the late teens, when the vision changes tend to stabilize somewhat. However, until that point in time, the vision can worsen with in a year, in as little as 6 months...and maybe even 3 months, the length of a summer vacation.

It's important for parents, teachers and the student themselves to recognize when the vision begins to get worse. Squinting, frontal headaches and eyestrain are signs that the vision may not be optimal, and that a visit to the eye doctor may be what's needed to get back to seeing 20/20.

Even if these changes aren't noticed immediately, school vision screenings usually administered by school nurses can help identify students who may not "pass" the Snellen eye chart at distance or near. If a student's vision is suspect, that child is usually given a form from the school nurse to give to the student's parents to have the child's eyes checked by an eye doctor sooner than later.

Having a child see perfectly at distance and near allows for better school performance. If a student can't see what's written on the board or in a book, learning and comprehension can be compromised. Also, homework may take longer than it's supposed to if a child can't see the problems they're supposed to solve. Seeing more clearly also helps with sports vision performance as well.

So students (and their parents), make sure to get your vision and your ocular health checked out at the start of the school year, to make sure that your eyes aren't straining more than they should (they shouldn't strain at all) and that you're eyes are in tip-top shape. If you wait, that's okay too. But make sure you can tell a "T" from an "F" on those True-False tests...

Dr. Weaver

Monday, August 15, 2011

Announcing New Hours and Additional Practice Locations!

The following is Weaver Eye Care Associates new office hours in Bernville:

Monday 9:00am-7:00pm
Tuesday 8:00am-12:00pm
Wednesday 9:00am-7:00pm
Thursday 9:00am-7:00pm
Saturday 8:00am-12:00pm (1st & 3rd Saturday of the month)

If you need to reach Dr. Weaver on Fridays or Saturdays when he is not in his Bernville office, please contact him at the following locations:

Eye Consultants of Pennsylvania (Pottsville Office)
100 Schuylkill Medical Plaza
Suite 100
Pottsville, PA 17901
(570) 621-5690

Pearle Vision
Coventry Mall
351 W Schuylkill Rd Suite H-1
Pottstown, PA 
(610) 327-2620

Thank you,
Dr. Weaver

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Your time is important...what is your longest wait time at a doctor's office?


Many, many times have I visited a doctor or specialist and many, many times have I waited at each office of varying times. A busy office can lead to longer wait times if the check-in process and flow of examinations don't run smoothly. This can also hold true with larger practices for a variety of reasons. Unfortunately, at many offices, you spend minutes (and maybe hours!) waiting to be called.

When you hear your name, you feel relieved. "Whew! I made it!" you may say. You finally make it back to the examination room, and then...you're left waiting, again! Then you may say, "At least they had magazines out in the waiting room. Can I wait back out there? Darn!"

Well, a new article by The New York Times talks about waiting times at offices. They find that Optometrists (yup, that's me) have the shortest wait times, 17 minutes on average. The average wait time to see a doctor is 23 minutes. Are you spending more than 23 minutes waiting for the doctor? Is he/she worth your valuable time? Hmmmm...

I bring this up because many people don't enjoy going to the doctor. Add this to long wait times to see that doctor and that equals some unhappy patients.

As a new practice, one thing that I can offer my patients is minimal to NO wait times. I'm the only doctor in the office, I set aside an hour for each comprehensive patient exam and I make an effort to NOT double book examination times. The amount of time that I set aside gives me enough time to perform a thorough eye examination, as well as some time to get to know the patient, which is how I enjoy practicing optometry and why I opened up my own business.

So, I hope that your eyes are getting the care and attention that you need, without having to wait to long. If not, I know of a good place that you may want to check out.

Dr. Weaver