Visit our 2 convenient locations!

5900 Heckert Rd.
P.O. Box 324
Bakerstown, PA 15007
724-443-6767 Phone
724-443-6730 Fax

4001 Freeport Rd.
Natrona Heights, PA 15065
724-226-0444 Phone
724-226-0744 Fax


Back to School Eye Exams

As the 2020–2021 school year begins parents and school districts alike are making decisions on in-person, hybrid, or remote learning.  Regardless of how your children will be learning, this is a great time to schedule your kids’ annual eye exams.

August is Children’s Eye Health and Safety month.  As a good rule of thumb, you should have your children’s eye examined by an eye care professional during their well visits starting around the age of three and also before the start of each school year.  If your children struggle to see, it may inhibit their ability to learn as they head back to school this year.

Pupil dilation is performed to purposefully increase the size of the pupils during an eye exam so that the eye doctors at Bissell Eye Care can fully examine the health of the optic nerve and retina. The exam is critical to preventing and treating eye conditions that could potentially lead to vision loss.

The view to the back of the eye is limited when the pupil is not dilated. When your pupil is small we can see your optic nerve and macula but the view is limited. To see the entire retina, the pupil must be dilated. This is achieved through the use of eye drops.

Comprehensive eye exams look into the back of the eye for overall eye health but are also able to detect things such as:

  • Ptosis (drooping of the eyelid)
  • Color deficiency (color blindness)
  • Amblyopia (lazy eye)
  • Strabismus (cross eyes)

Often children receive a screening at school or through other means that provide parents with a false sense of security.  According to the American Optometric Association, “Parents of children who “pass” a vision screening are often given a false sense that their child’s eyes are healthy, when they may have a serious, undiagnosed eye or vision condition. These screenings provide less than 4% of the information generated during a comprehensive eye exam and they miss up to 75% of children with vision problems. These children are less likely to receive timely treatment for their vision problem, allowing the impairment to become worse and to have a greater impact on their health and development.”

Early detection of vision problems can make a big difference when it comes to your child’s ability to learn.  If they suffer to see, they will more than likely suffer to learn as many people learn by sight.

Keeping your children’s eyes safe is another part of maintaining healthy vision.  Did you know those eye injuries are the leading cause of vision loss in children?  There are a few basic rules that you should follow to help ensure that your child is not one of the 42,000 sports-related eye injuries that occur each year.

  • All children should wear protective eye gear while participating in sports or physical activities.
  • Be sure to purchase age-appropriate toys and avoid those toys which have sharp or pointy edges.

No matter how they are learning this year, give your kids the best chance of success by scheduling a comprehensive eye exam.  Make sure that your children can see clearly.   Protecting their ability to see will help them be successful as they head back to school this year!

About Bissell Eye Care: John D. Bissell, OD owns and operates Bissell Eye Care servicing Northern Pittsburgh and Alle-Kiski Valley regions. With two locations to treat patients, we offer evening and Saturday appointments. Bissell Eye Care provides comprehensive eye examinations for the entire family beginning as early as 6 months, ocular disease detection and treatment, eyeglasses, sunglasses, activewear, contact lenses, and low vision examinations for those with significant vision loss. We accept most types of vision and health insurance plans. For more information, visit or call our Bakerstown Office at 724-443-6767 or Natrona Heights office at 724-226-0444.