Prepare for School with a Yearly Eye Examination Envisioning the Best School Year Yet!
These days, glasses are a fashion statement. There are options in every style and for every look, and designers have entire lines and concepts devoted to glasses! Society has made tremendous strides in embracing glasses and opening up whole new worlds for those who actually need their vision corrected.
For parents who still carry the emotional scars of being called “four eyes,” keep in mind that your children’s options for vision correction have greatly improved in
It’s amazing progress, but not every kid had this luxury back in the day. (We’re looking at you, Generation X babies.)
When Dr. Gonzalez was prescribed her first pair of glasses, the frames were big, bulky, and plastic — not the kind of look she was going for at age 12. She desperately needed them, however. In fact, when she first tried on glasses, she realized the leaves on the trees weren’t green blobs; they actually had unique edges and points. This isn’t that uncommon for kids. Because children have always seen the same way their entire lives, they assume everyone sees exactly what they see. Sometimes, it isn’t until a parent notices their children squinting or missing something obvious that they begin to become concerned about their children’s vision. We suggest children visit the eye doctor starting at age 3. Continuing these regular appointments can be especially vital right before a child heads off to kindergarten, as their vision can influence their comprehension, reading, and math skills. Whether their vision changes are positive or negative can vary from year to year, but their growth and development depend on their eyes. The back-to-school season is the perfect time to get your children into the eye doctor so you can start the year knowing the condition of their eye health. We often tell parents that the stages of their child’s growth spurts are also a common time for their eyes to develop and change. In addition, even children who appear to see just fine may need vision correction. Our brains are very skilled at relying on other senses for support, so your child may be relying on one good eye for vision, while the second eye is struggling.
the decades since your childhood. Kids can get frames with their favorite TV show characters on them, frames in
their favorite color, and frame shapes that display their personality. Furthermore, contacts have become easier and more kid-friendly. In fact, we tell parents that children ages 9–11 can start using daily disposable contacts. We can teach them all about how to safely take care of their lenses and practice good lens hygiene. Dr. Gonzalez graduated from her bulky frames to contacts during her freshman year of college. She instantly felt “cooler,” even though her eyes were so small that she struggled to get the lenses into her eyes. Eventually, she caught on, and she continues to avidly wear her contacts. But since the revival of glasses in the fashion scene, she regularly wears her glasses, too. As parents ourselves, we know you only want what is best for your children. Set them up with the proper vision correction this school year with an annual eye appointment, and rest easy knowing vision care for children has greatly improved.
–Dr. Claudia Gonzalez and Dr. Michael Higgins
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A Total Focus on YOU!
Our five senses help us interact with the world around us, and children are especially aware of their world through touch, taste, sound, smell, and sight. To ensure kids can learn from their surroundings, it’s important to take them for an annual eye exam. August is Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month, and if your kids haven’t had an eye exam, now is the perfect time. A Child’s First Eye Examination According to All About Vision, a child’s first eye examination should take place at about 6 months old. When the child turns 3, eye exams should become more frequent to ensure their eyes are healthy and that they have no vision impairments. Similar to doctor or dental visits, taking a child to a trusted children’s eye doctor will detect vision problems such as astigmatism, nearsightedness, and farsightedness. If any problems are found, they can prescribe lenses to correct their vision and keep their eyes healthy. Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month August:
Protecting a Child’s Eyes Keeping up with eye exams will ensure a child’s eyes are healthy, but safety is also important. If a child is outside, make sure they wear sunglasses to protect their eyes from harmful UV rays or provide shade if they are in a stroller. With the new school year starting up, kids will be joining sports teams and engaging in classroom activities. Students should wear safety glasses when participating in chemistry projects and the proper gear for their athletic activities. Get Your Kids Involved You can observe the holiday by teaching your kids the importance of eye safety and health. The National Eye Institute has useful information and activities for your kids to enjoy. They provide videos such as “Ask a Scientist” where they explore and explain colorblindness, nearsightedness, farsightedness, eye-related myths, and much more. You can visit their website at Nei.nih.gov/kids.
Our Patients Say It Best
“I absolutely love everything about this office. The staff are very friendly, and the doctors know you by name, not by a patient number. They are caring and considerate about your certain circumstance and truly seem to love what they do. I’ve been going there for five years and have never had a problem.” –Lisa B.
“I have been going here for over 10 years, and my opinion has never once wavered. The staff is kind, courteous, and friendly. Dr. Higgins has not only been great for me and my wife but also understanding of the needs of our son as well over the years. It is very hard to find an optometrist who gives this level of care not only to their patients but also their staff as well.” –Epicnoob Dean
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Meet Our Office Manager, Heather Lapusnak 20+ Years of Dedication
More than 21 years ago, Heather Lapusnak joined the Stirling Eyecare team as a part-time employee so she could still care for her family. Today, she continues to care for that family she and her husband, Garrick, created in their 25-year marriage and the family she has established with Stirling Eyecare. “We’re more than a team,” Heather says. “We’re truly a work family. We share the joys of life. Everybody has different strengths, but they work together to make an awesome whole.” When Heather first joined our team, she was one of three employees. She was an optometric assistant for more than a decade, and over nine years ago, Heather became our office manager. Today, she leads
a team of employees and works with our three doctors, Dr. Higgins, Dr. Gonzalez, and Dr. Frye, to ensure the clinic runs smoothly.
But Heather says she wouldn’t be able to do it without the help of her team. “[We’re] truly blessed to have a team that’s reliable and compassionate,” Heather says. “They go above and beyond to be helpful to each other. They really put the patients first.” After two decades with Stirling Eyecare, Heather says she has developed a close relationship with Dr. Gonzalez and Dr. Higgins. “When I started here, they were only in practice for five years, so we grew together,” Heather says. “They didn’t have children; I didn’t have children. We shared all these life experiences together … They are caring. They go above and beyond to take a vested interest in our lives and be a friend to you.” Outside the office, Heather and her family are close. Many of Heather’s “free days” are spent cheering on her kids, Alyssa, age 19, and Garrick Jr., age 14, at their various soccer, baseball, and traveling club team events. The family has traveled along the east coast for sporting events and family vacations, Heather says, including a recent family adventure to Destin, Florida. Heather also assists her husband with his photography business. At Stirling Eyecare, we would be lost without Heather. She has been a constant in our office, and her dedication is second to none. Thank you for all your hard work, Heather! Roasted Corn Salsa Corn is plentiful during the summer months, and this easy-to-make salsa is sure to be a hit at your next get- together. Inspired by Bon Appétit magazine
Have a Laugh
2 medium ears of corn, shucked 1 jalapeño or Fresno chile, seeded and thinly sliced
1 large tomato, cored, seeded, and finely chopped 1/4 bunch cilantro leaves, sliced
1/2 red onion, diced
Juice of 1 lime
Kosher salt, to taste
Directions: 1. Heat a cast-iron skillet to high. Char corn, turning occasionally, for 10–14 minutes until kernels begin to blacken in spots. 2. Using a sharp knife, remove corn kernels from cobs and transfer to a large mixing bowl. 3. With a wooden spoon or potato masher, gently crush corn to release starch and juices. 4. Add jalapeño, onion, tomato, and cilantro. Mix to combine.
5. Top with lime juice and season with salt. 6. Serve alongside your favorite tortilla chips.
www.StirlingEyeCenter.com • 1
A Total Focus on YOU!
166 Point Plaza Butler, PA 16001 (724) 285-2618 www.StirlingEyeCenter.com
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Inside This Issue 1
Get Your Kids Ready for School at the Eye Doctor
August: Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month What Some of Our Patients Are Saying
Heather Lapusnak Devotes 20+ Years to Stirling Eyecare
Roasted Corn Salsa
The Art of Stargazing
HELPING HUMANS SLOW DOWN AND LOOK UP The Art of Stargazing
3. Utilize Assets Put your phone to good use by downloading apps like Stellarium, Starwalk, and Google Sky Map. Each of these apps offers a unique
Modern humans are stuck in a routine of expected and constant industriousness. But with all this rushing, people often drag themselves home at night with no energy left to enjoy the most splendid show nature has to offer: the wondrous night sky. Most people go through life looking straight ahead, but if they would stop and peer skyward, they’d bear witness to a massive, unexplored frontier made up of the moon in all its phases, burning stars sailing through the sky, constellations with epic origin stories, and meteor showers bright enough to warrant sunglasses. If you’re looking for a hobby to help you slow down and appreciate the world around you, stargazing is a great option. Here are some tips to get you started. 1. The Higher, the Better If you’re a city dweller, meander a little way out of town or try to find a tall building to keep the light pollution to a minimum. 2. Extra Set of Eyes While novice stargazers often want to immediately throw their money at a new telescope, astronomy experts recommend starting with binoculars instead. You’ll need to identify several anchor planets or constellations to help you navigate the sky before using a telescope.
benefit for aspiring stargazers. For example, Starwalk lets you point your phone at the sky to see stars, constellations, and planets in real time based on your location.
4. Mark Your Calendar In 1972, beloved singer-songwriter John Denver wrote about a meteor shower he witnessed during a camping trip in Colorado. He describes the scene by singing, “I’ve seen it raining fire in the sky.” The “fire” he recounted was actually the Perseids meteor shower, the most recognized shower on Earth. This astrological wonder takes place every year from July 17 to Aug. 24. During this time, viewers should be able to see shooting stars associated with the Perseids, but the shower reaches its maximum rate of activity on Aug. 12–13 this year. Grab some friends and family, and head outdoors to put your newfound stargazing knowledge to work.
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