Are Sunglasses Important for Kids?
Children may not be as interested as adults are in the fashion aspect of sunglasses. However, they need sun protection just as much as adults do and sometimes even more, since they are spending more time playing outdoors and in direct sunlight. Transitions Lenses are great options if your child requires glasses as well. Otherwise, Ocean Eye carries a large selection of sunglasses for kids that are both stylish and protective.
What are signs that I should look for if my child has problems with their vision?
Your child's vision is the most important tool he has to succeed in school. When his vision suffers, chances are his schoolwork does, too. In fact, up to 25 percent of schoolchildren may have vision problems that can affect their ability to learn, according to the College of Optometrists in Vision Development.
School-age children also spend a lot of time in recreational activities that require good vision. After-school team sports or playing in the backyard aren't as fun if you can't see well!
Refractive errors (poor visual acuity or the presence of astigmatism) are our main concern for school-age children. Parents, as well as teachers, should keep a watchful eye out for these 13 signals that a child's vision needs correction:
- Consistently sitting too close to the TV or holding a book too close
- Losing his place while reading
- Using a finger to follow along while reading
- Tilting the head to see better
- Frequent eye rubbing
- Sensitivity to light
- Excessive tearing
- Closing one eye to read, watch TV or see better
- Avoiding activities which require near vision, such as reading or homework, or distance vision, such as participating in sports or other recreational activities
- Complaining of headaches or tired eyes
- Avoiding using a computer, because it "hurts his eyes"
- Receiving lower grades than usual
When should children receive eye exams?
As a parent or caretaker, you may wonder whether your pre-schooler has a vision problem or when it may be appropriate to schedule your child's first eye exam.
You should be aware that eye exams for children are extremely important, because 5 to 10 percent of pre-schoolers and 25 percent of school-aged children have vision problems. Early identification of a child's vision problem can be crucial because children often are more responsive to treatment when they are diagnosed early.
According to the American Optometric Association (AOA), infants should have their first comprehensive eye exam at six months of age. Children then should receive additional eye exams at three years of age, and just before they enter kindergarten or the first grade at about age five or six. They should then receive yearly exams while in school.
What are congenital cataracts?
If you are told that your newborn baby has a congenital cataract, this means that the eye's natural lens is cloudy instead of clear. Vision could be hampered to the extent that cataract surgery may be required for removal of your child's natural lens (that is, the cataract).
In about 0.4 percent of all births, congenital cataracts are found or soon develop. Not all congenital cataracts require surgical removal, but many do. Cataracts that cloud only the peripheral portion of the lens may not need removal, because central vision remains unimpeded. Very small cataracts, too, may be considered too insignificant to require surgery. Our pediatric exams evaluate for the presence of these types of cataracts.