Update Sheel window

I have been porting our user intierface product to use the SDK and have things pretty much working.  One thing I noticed is  that the Sheel window with comes up during eglInitialize is only updated when I call eglSwapBuffers.  In my implementation we don’t swap the buffers unless something visible changes.  Is there another way to update the shell window or should I be using X expose events in a thread to catch this?