Q&A For Children’s Eye Care
Q: We hear a lot about “seeing your eye doctor regularly.” In school aged children, ages 5 through 17, what does regularly mean?
This is an interesting question, we are trying to get it annually but most parents thing it is 2-3 years. We being the AOA.
Q: What about pre-schoolers? Are there signs parents should look for that would indicate a trip the optometrist is necessary?
What I tell parents is look for signs of having to move close to the TV for distance… and for near when coloring of learning to read look for head turn, eye rubbing, eye watering or they just can’t see the image.
Q: Because many children may be too young to read, how is an eye exam conducted if they cannot read a Snelling Chart?
We use an auto refractor that gives us a starting point and then we have different screens like animals, symbols or tumbling E’s.
Q: One of the greatest tasks of a school-aged child is learning to read and in older children, the amount of reading required. What should parents be on the lookout for concerning their child’s reading and potential vision problems?
Eye watering, head turns, red eyes when reading, eye rubbing, headaches or they just can’t see the letters.
Q: We often discuss vision problems as they relate to sitting in a classroom, but what about the playground or vision acuity’s effect on socialization and play?
The parents need to look for eye turns or distance blurr–look for squinting, blinking a lot which can indicate distant problems.
Q: Today it seems that many children are very quickly diagnosed as learning disabled or dyslexic. How does vision play into the problems and what are the differences?
I feel a lot of time doctors are quick to label children when a lot of times it can be visual problems. I always recommend starting with an eye exam first before going on.
Q: We have many choices today to correct our vision. What do you recommend as the earliest age for contact lenses?
There are always glasses, with the advent of dailies and comfortable soft contacts we are going earlier 7-8 on. I talk to the parents and ask if “Johnny” is mature enough to handle this. By putting it on the parents does make it easier to determine earliest age to start.
Q: Kids can be hard on glasses. Are there effective glasses for children today that last?
The polycarbonate with no glare has veryhardened coating with 2 year unlimited scratch coating as do the frames too.
Q: Vision Therapy appears to be making a comeback and is being utilized by some students to address their vision problems. Can you talk about vision therapy and when it is right for your child?
There are doctors who specialize in VT. There are different exams to determine if VT is right for the child. Everything is dependent on the signs and symptoms of the child which can be determined with a exam exam.