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Home » What's New » Olathe, KS Vision Exams: Exploring the Vision Exam

Olathe, KS Vision Exams: Exploring the Vision Exam


We all know why we need to wear sunglasses and sunscreen in the summer. Winter, however, can be deceiving. It's an illusion to assume that we are safe from sunburns during the colder season.

Snow acts as a powerful mirror for sunlight and magnifies the effects of UV rays which would otherwise be absorbed by the ground. As a result, the eyes are exposed to both the UV radiation bouncing back from the snowy carpet and the rays shining down directly from the sun.

If your family is skiing or snowboarding up in the mountains, you need to be even more careful! UV rays are more powerful at higher altitudes. Another important factor to remember is that ultraviolet radiation penetrates through clouds, so even if the sun is hidden behind them, it can still damage your eyes.

Prevent overexposure to sunlight by wearing sunglasses that absorb at least 95% of ultraviolet radiation when you go outside, no matter what time of year it is. Even though you want to look great in your shades, the most important part of choosing sunglasses is making sure they provide adequate protection against UV. Make sure the lenses are 100% UV blocking by looking for an indication that they block all light up to 400 nanometers - UV400. The good news is you don't necessarily have to pay more for full coverage for your eyes. Dozens of reasonably priced options exist that still provide total ultraviolet protection.

Another important factor in selecting sun wear is the size of the lenses. You want to make sure your glasses cover as much of the area around your eyes as possible. The more coverage you have, the less harmful radiation will be able to penetrate. Lenses that wrap around the temples will also prevent UV waves from entering from the sides.

If you like to ski or frolic in the snowy hills, you should be aware that the sun's rays are stronger at higher elevations, so you need to be especially careful to keep your eyes shaded on the slopes. In addition to sunglasses, it's a good idea to put on a wide brimmed hat that covers your eyes.

Make a point to be knowledgeable about proper eye protection throughout the year. Don't forget to wear your sunglasses.


Ever ask why 20/20 is the benchmark for ''perfect'' eyesight and what it really represents? 20/20 vision is a phrase used to express normal visual acuity or clarity of vision. In other words someone with such visual acuity can clearly see an object from 20 feet away which is regarded as normal to see at that distance.

In cases of individuals that cannot see an object clearly at 20/20, the number is designated according to where they begin to see clearly compared to what is normally expected. As an example, 20/100 vision indicates that at 20 feet you can only see what someone with normal vision can see from 100 feet distance.

An individual with 20/200 vision is considered blind, legally but can often see normally by using glasses or contact lenses or by having laser eye surgery if they qualify.

Most optometrists employ some form of the Snellen eye chart, which was created by Dutch eye doctor, Herman Snellen in the 1860's, to conduct an eye exam. While today there are many versions, the chart typically has 11 rows of capital letters which get smaller in size as one looks downward. The top of the chart usually shows the uppercase letter - ''E'' with the addition of more letters on the lines as they get smaller. During the vision test, the optometrist will examine which is the line with the smallest lettering you can read. Every row is assigned a distance, with the 20/20 row typically being ascribed the eighth row. In cases where the patient can't read, such as small children or disabled individuals, a different version of the chart is used called the ''Tumbling E''. Similar to the regular Snellen chart, this version shows only the uppercase E in different rotations. The patient uses their hand to point to the right, left, top or bottom to show which direction the E is pointing. Both charts should be placed 20 feet away from the patient's eyes.

Despite what many think, 20/20 eyesight does not mean someone sees perfectly but rather that they are able to see normally at a distance. There are a number of other necessary abilities needed that contribute to your overall vision such as peripheral vision, perception of depth, focus for near vision, color vision and eye coordination to name a few.

It's important to remember that even though a vision screening using a Snellen chart can establish if you require a visual aid to see far away it doesn't give the eye doctor a complete understanding of your complete eye health. Make sure you still book an annual comprehensive eye exam to screen for vision-threatening diseases. Contact us today to schedule a Olathe, KS eye exam.