Tag Archive: Dr Gregory

What is a Lazy Eye?

One of the most common questions I am routinely asked is, “What is a lazy eye”.  This is a commonly used term and people use it interchangeably for two different conditions.  The actual terminology is either amblyopia or strabismus.


Lazy Eye Strabismus AmblyopiaStrabismus, or a crossed eye, is a condition where both eye are not looking in the same direction at the same time.  Most commonly just one eye will be turned in or out, but sometimes the eyes will alternate between the right eye and the left eye turning in or out.  This is typically caused by either poor muscle control or a high amount of hyperopia, also known as farsightedness.

Our brains do not tolerate double vision very well so if the two eyes are seeing two different images at the same time it creates confusion and the brain will learn to ignore the images being transmitted by one of the eyes.  Unfortunately this may cause a permanent reduction of  vision in that eye.  It will also cause a reduction of depth perception or 3D vision.  Because we are not born knowing how to see  we must learn this skill. This process begins at birth and continues thru approximately 5 or 6 years old.  I’m sure you can understand how important it is that we learn to see the correct way!   Many times we can determine that a problem exists before a child reaches one year of age.

If a problem is detected, treatment options may include either glasses or vision therapy.  Occasionally surgical intervention is required, although this is a last resort and more often needed for a very young child.  If the eye turning becomes constant and is not treated, it can lead to permanent reduction of vision in one eye, a condition called amblyopia.  This leads us to the second condition that is often called lazy eye.


Amblyopia is a condition where the brain learns to ignore the image and information from one eye.  This may occur because of strabismus and the brain actively ignores the double image, or it may occur because of another stress on the visual system.  Most commonly this condition develops because there is unequal vision between the two eyes. This could be caused by the existence of a high amount of farsightedness in one eye or  there could be something blocking the vision, like a cataract.

Essentially, if the work and demand of using two eyes to see is too high, then the brain will find an easier route.  Often this route is to favor the “easier” eye and ignore the problematic eye.  This will take place in the early years as vision is developing.  Unfortunately, when the brain is ignoring the images transmitted by one  eye, you will not always see that eye turn.  In fact, many times parents will not notice any problem at all!  The child uses one eye to see planes in the sky and small things in the carpet and it is assumed they are using both eyes.  The child doesn’t know a problem exists because they have no reference for what “normal” vision looks like.

Amblyopia is a condition that is preventable with early eye examinations. It is possible to determine if existing conditions  make the development of amblyopia a possibility as early as one year of age.  Certainly,  having an eye examination by the time a child is three years old will pick up on any problems. This is still early enough to treat the condition using glasses to balance out vision between the two eyes, making it easier for the brain to process images from both eyes.  Prevention is key with amblyopia!

Get Your Eyes Checked Today

If you have questions or concerns about “Lazy Eye” please contact our office at 763-271-2020 or via our Contact Form. If you’d like to schedule an appointment, we have an Online Appointment Request Form available as well.

Dr. Mary Gregory
Uptown Eye Care
560 Cedar Street
Monticello, MN 55362

This Uptown Eye Care Reviews email came in the other day from one of our patients. It was so sweet that we had to post it and share with all of you. We love hearing feedback like this from our patients!


Dear Uptown Eye Care,

I wanted to write you a note to say thank you very much for your service. I was in need of an eye appointment and a friend recommended Uptown Eye Care. I live in Shakopee, MN, so it was quite a long drive up to Monticello, and I was unsure about whether or not it would be worth it compared to many of the local eye clinics. I am very pleased to say it was worth the drive and more!

The Uptown Eye Care Difference

The park-like atmosphere at Uptown Eye Care in Monticello, MN

The staff was very welcoming and the waiting area was awesome; I really appreciated the free wifi in the beautiful park setting! Karen was the technician for my appointment and she was so helpful. She talked me through each test she was doing and also went through the results. I have been to many different eye doctors before, but have never actually learned anything about my eyes until this appointment.

Dr. Gregory was great as well! She was also helpful in explaining what she was doing and she taught me a lot about my eyes. I was under the impression that I needed to be wearing my glasses all the time and because of that I was interested in getting contact lenses. I had tried them once before and they irritated my eyes so I was concerned about trying them again. After Dr. Gregory checked my vision she said that I did not need to be wearing my glasses all the time and therefore it would be more work for my eyes to have contacts in all day. She told me that my eyes were fairly dry and that was the reason contacts irritated me before. She gave me a sample of eye drops and some recommendations on how to keep my eyes healthy.

I have never had an experience like this and I am happy to say I will be returning in the future!




To hear what others are saying about us checkout our Uptown Eye Care Reviews Page.

Pre-K Eye Exam Day

The doctors and staff here at Uptown Eye Care are very excited to be a part of the Minnesota Optometric Association. The mission of the profession of optometry is to fulfill the vision and eyecare needs of the public through clinical care, research, and education, all of which enhance the quality of life. The Minnesota Optometric Association supports those in the optometric profession by working to advance and improve the primary eyecare that patients receive throughout Minnesota.

The MOA sponsored a bill that was signed into law this year. It is now a law in the state of MN that schools must notify parents that vision screenings are not a substitute for eye exams.

A vision screening is not a substitute for a comprehensive eye exam because vision screenings generally test for distance acuity, or what a child can see at a distance of 20 feet. It does not test for eye function disorders and may miss astigmatism or blurred vision. A child who receives a 20/20 vision test result can not necessarily see clearly to read.

Pre-K Eye Exam DayThe MOA Children’s Vision Committee, with the help of a federal (HEHP) grant, are supporting an effort to educate families about children’s eye health. To kick off  Children’s Vision and Learning month, which is August, and as part of the MOA’s Good Sight For Kindergarten, August 1st is Pre-K Eye Exam Day.

The goal of Pre-K Eye Exam Day is to let families know that good vision is essential to learning, and every child needs to have a comprehensive eye exam before entering school. At least 25% of all school-age children have vision problems that impair their performance in school. This could be as high as 60% because vision problems can be confused with other disorders, and students may unnecessarily receive special education or even be diagnosed with ADD/ADHD.

We are proud to be participating in this event. On August 1st Dr. Mary Gregory will be offering no cost eye exams to 4 and 5 year olds that will be entering kindergarten this fall. This is a great opportunity to make sure your children are ready for learning with good sight.

Spaces are limited, so please call our office at 763-271-2020 to schedule your child’s Pre-K eye exam today.

The Vision and Learning Link Workshop

The Vision and Learning Link Workshop – July 24

Vision WorkshopsStudents spend more than 75 percent of school time doing intense, visual work less than a foot from their eyes, but not all students’ vision can handle that intense workload. Thus, vision is an often overlooked component of learning and reading problems. Here is a fun workshop that will give you practical tools to help children who are having trouble with learning.

You are invited to attend a special workshop for parents, educators and professionals.

You will learn:

  • How to identify children whose vision restricts learning
  • How the way children “see” the world affect their behavior
  • How to build school performance by enhancing vision
  • How to perform assessments and tests of vision skills
  • How and why vision development therapy works

Workshop Details

Date: July 24
Time: 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Location: Omni Vision & Learning Center, 9766 Fallon Ave., Ste. 105, Monticello, MN 55362
Presenter: Dr. Mary Gregory

This event is free but space is limited, please RSVP.
Contact Kim Kampa: 763.314.0664

A Reading Problem Checklist:

Takes “hours to do a few minutes of homework
Skips words or lines while reading. Often overlooks or mis-reads short words
Rubs eyes, red eyes or gets headaches in the afternoon
Poor concentration when reading
Cannot comprehend material that has just been read. Must re-read to obtain meaning.
Falls asleep or gets tired when reading
Slow-hesitant reading even when re-reading material
Attention span shortens when doing intense close up work
Must use finger or marker to hold place

The Vision and Learning Link Workshop – July 24, 2012 at Omni Vision & Learning Center.

According to the American Public Health Association, 25% of students in grades K-6 have visual problems that are serious enough to hinder learning.

How can you tell if your child’s ability to learn is being affected by a vision problem? If you check off several items on the following checklist, consider taking your child for a thorough vision examination.

  • Turns or tilts head to see
  • Head is frequently tilted to one side or one shoulder is noticeably higher
  • Squinting or closing of one eye or excessive blinking
  • Poor visual/motor skills (often called hand-eye coordination) or frequently bumps into things or drops things
  • Becomes easily confused when in motion
  • Frequently loses things
  • Has been diagnosed with ADD/ADHD or dyslexia

While reading or doing close work your child:

  • Holds the reading material or object too close
  • Closes one eye or covers eye with hand or twists or tilts head
  • Frequently loses place and/or skips or repeats lines
  • Fatigues easily and/or becomes drowsy
  • Uses finger to read
  • Rubs eyes during or after periods of reading
  • Reports that words move or run together
  • Exhibits avoidance behaviors

Child reports:

  • Headaches or eyestrain
  • Nausea or dizziness
  • Motion sickness or car sickness
  • Double Vision

If your child reports seeing double, please take your child for a binocular vision evaluation immediately.

Early detection of problems greatly increases the chances of successful rehabilitation. Testing of binocular teaming skills should be a part of every child’s comprehensive eye examination.

Contact Us today to setup an comprehensive eye examination for your child.


How Vision Problems Can Interfere With Learning by Dr. Mary Gregory

Uptown Eye Care’s Dr. Mary Gregory will be speaking on vision related issues at local Minnesota schools in the coming months. Below are her scheduled dates thus far.


  • January 16:  Vision & Learning workshop presented to Community Christian School (http://www NULL.ccspease NULL.com) in Pease, MN
  • January 18, 20, 27:  Education on Eyes presentation to the 3rd grade class at Pinewood Elementary School (http://www NULL.pwes NULL.monticello NULL.schoolfusion NULL.us/) in Monticello, MN


If you would like to schedule Dr. Mary Gregory to speak at your school please CONTACT US.

Dr. Mary Gregory at Healthy Eyes Event

This past Saturday, November 12, Dr. Mary Gregory joined several other volunteer eye doctors at the Children’s Healthy Eyes event, hosted by the Minnesota Optometric Association (MOA) and the Science Museum of Minnesota.

Attendees learned about human eye development, common eye disorders, and healthy vision for infants and children. There were also fun interactive exhibits created by the Science Museum with the MOA, optical puzzles and videos, and more!

Uptown Eye Care has a permanent display in infant vision development at the Science Museum of Minnesota.

Dr. Mary Gregory Children's Healthy Eyes Event

Dr. Mary Gregory at the MOA Children's Healthy Eyes Event

Dr. Mary Gregory - Minnesota Optometric Association (MOA)

Dr. Mary Gregory and the volunteer eye doctors of the Minnesota Optometric Association (MOA)

Dr. Mary Gregory Children's Healthy Eyes Event

Dr. Mary Gregory at the Children's Healthy Eyes Event

Dr. Mary Gregory she will be at the Monticello High School Career Day November 22nd starting at 7:30 am in the school auditorium.  There will be short presentations by local business people followed by one-on-one meetings with the students to answer their questions.

Come out and join Dr. Gregory!

Dr. Gregory of Utown Eye Care will be speaking at the Monticello Rotary Club meeting on November 21st at the Best Western Chelsea Inn and Suites in Monticello. Dr Gregory’s topic will be Vision & Learning.

More information on the Monticallo Rotary Club (http://www NULL.clubrunner NULL.ca/Portal/Home NULL.aspx?cid=4185).

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