Pediatric Eye Exams
According to experts, 80% of learning is visual, which means that if your child is having difficulty seeing clearly, his or her learning can be affected.
This also goes for infants who develop and learn about the world around them through their sense of sight. To ensure that your children have the visual resources they need to grow and develop normally, their eyes and vision should be checked by an eye doctor at certain stages of their development.
According to the American Optometric Association (AOA) children should have their eyes examined by an eye doctor at 6 months, 3 years, at the start of school, and then at least every 2 years following. If there are any signs that there may be a vision problem or if the child has certain risk factors (such as developmental delays, premature birth, crossed or lazy eyes, family history or previous injuries) more frequent exams are recommended. A child that wears eyeglasses or contact lenses should have his or her eyes examined yearly. Children's eyes can change rapidly as they grow.
Eye Exams in School-Aged Children: Ages 6-18
Undetected or uncorrected vision problems can cause children and teens to suffer academically, socially, athletically and personally. If your child is having trouble in school or afterschool activities there could be an underlying vision problem. Proper learning, motor development, reading, and many other skills are dependent not only on good vision, but also the ability of your eyes to work together. Children that have problems with focusing, reading, teaming their eyes or hand-eye coordination will often experience frustration and may exhibit behavioral problems as well. Often they don’t know that the vision they are experiencing is abnormal, so they aren’t able to express that they need help.
In addition to the symptoms written above, signs of vision problems in older children include:
- Short attention span
- Frequent blinking
- Avoiding reading
- Tilting the head to one side
- Losing their place often while reading
- Double vision
- Poor reading comprehension
The Eye Exam
In addition to basic visual acuity (distance and near vision) an eye exam may assess the following visual skills that are required for learning and mobility:
- Binocular vision: how the eyes work together as a team
- Peripheral Vision
- Color Vision
- Hand-eye Coordination
The doctor will also examine the area around the eye and inside the eye to check for any eye diseases or health conditions. You should tell the doctor any relevant personal history of your children such as premature birth, developmental delays, family history of eye problems, eye injuries or medications the child is taking. This would also be the time to address any concerns or issues your child has that might indicate a vision problem.
If the eye doctor does determine that your child has a vision problem, they may discuss a number of therapeutic options such as eyeglasses or contact lenses, an eye patch, vision therapy or Ortho-k, depending on the condition and the doctor’s specialty. Since some conditions are much easier to treat when they are caught early while the eyes are still developing, it is important to diagnose any eye and vision issues as early as possible.
Following the guidelines for children’s eye exams and staying alert to any signs of vision problems can help your child to reach his or her potential.
Durable, comfortable, stylish, and well-made glasses for children.
Choosing Eyeglass Frames For Children
According to statistics, approximately one out of five children need to wear glasses to see accurately. Unfortunately, it can be hard to get children to wear glasses for one of several reasons. Children can find glasses uncomfortable, “uncool” and unstylish, or too fragile for an active life.
Fortunately, there are strong, comfortable, stylish frames now made for children. These glasses not only improve vision, but they look great. These are some of the things you should look for when buying eyeglass frames for your child:
The Right Fit for Your Child's Eyeglasses
A Comfortable Correct Fit is Essential for Kids
The frames should not be too big or too small, too close to the cheekbone and not higher than the eyebrow. The frames should fit the face well, and not be wider than the face itself. In general, the smaller the frames the easier it is for a child to forget about them, and not mind wearing them.
However, they need to be large enough so that your child can see easily in all directions. An eye specialist needs to help fit the glasses, because the middle of the glasses needs to be adjusted to directly correspond to the middle of the pupils of the eye.
Even small fitting errors can lead to much less effective vision correction. Parents should resist any urge to buy glasses that are a bit large for their children to grow into.
Glasses Must Fit Properly on the Bridge of the Nose
Children have small noses and bridges, so the nose support of the glasses needs to fit very well, and be comfortable, with padding. If the glasses sit on pressure points, they will be very uncomfortable, and it's unlikely your child will wear them.
A new feature is gel-padding, that makes the nose bridge extra comfortable. With these features the glasses will be more comfortable to wear. Pay attention to the way the frames fit at the temples. They should fit comfortably, without pressure, and without being too loose.
Spring hinges are very strong, and will ensure the frames have a long lifetime of wear. Eyeglasses fitted with sport temples are also an option. These temples are flexible, and are fitted for a child's ear.
Children's frames must have these three things:
Children's frames must be extremely strong, break resistant and light. The ideal frame will be made out of a flexible material that can be bent about without breaking.
For this reason eyeglass frames made of titanium are a good choice, as this material is light and strong.
As for the lenses, polycarbonate lenses are more impact-resistant than other lenses, and are a good choice for children's glasses.
Special sports glasses for children are available, that are made entirely out of plastic, with temples that don't include hinges, and include an elastic strap for the head that helps make sure the glasses stay in place.
The most important part of choosing eyeglasses, is choosing them with your child. Include your child in the choice of glasses, among styles that are suitable. If your child likes the way the glasses look and feel, there is a much better chance that your child will actually wear them. When children wear their glasses they are more successful at everything that they do, both casual activities like sports and games, and learning activities at school.