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Category: Vision


Old Enough for Contacts?

August is approaching and if you have a pre-teen or teenager who wears glasses, there’s a chance they’re talking to you about contacts before school starts. Plenty of people wear contacts, but if you’re a parent, you rightfully asking yourself, “Is my child old enough to wear contact lenses?”

There isn’t an exact age children are allowed to start wearing contacts. However, parents need to consider how responsible their child is when considering contacts.

Contact Care

When your child began wearing glasses, you presumably had a talk with them about taking care of them. You talked about cleaning glasses, placing them safely in a case when playing, taking them off while they swim, etc. Contacts require care as well.

Cleaning

It’s quite easy to clean glasses. All you need is glasses cleaning spray or drops and a microfiber cloth. Contacts, on the other hand, must be kept in a small case of solution when they’re not being worn or risk drying up. It’s also important to replace the solution after every use.

Washing Your Hands

You MUST wash your hands before putting on contacts or risk germs and dirt touching your eyes. If you decide to dry your hands with a cloth or towel, there’s a chance the fibers on your fingers will irritate your eyes when putting on or taking off your contacts.

When to Take Them Off

Contacts CANNOT be worn while you sleep. They’ll stick to your eyes and be very difficult to take off later. It’s also recommended that they aren’t worn in the shower as fresh water can contain bacteria. Swimming in contacts can result in eye infections and irritation.

Nails and Makeup

Something even adults don’t consider when they begin wearing contacts is how difficult it is to take them off with long nails, which can scratch your eyes. It’s also recommended that you put on contacts BEFORE putting on or taking off makeup.

Replacing Them

Unlike glasses, contacts need to be replaced regularly. Wearing worn-out, old contacts can irritate your eyes.

Is your child having vision issues? Request a checkup at Pediatrix.

Posted in Vision on July 23rd, 2018

Children’s Eye Exams

For many children, their first vision screening happens at their elementary school. Studies show that these screenings are crucial for adolescents, but research is also finds that they’re not enough.

School Vision Screening Pros

Optometry students are encouraged to set up school vision screenings in their community. This is because the fourth most prevalent class of disability are vision problems, and 80% of what children learn comes through visual processing. Even though more than a third of American children between the ages of 12 and 17 are nearsighted, only 40% undergo vision screenings.

School vision screenings are a critical first step.

School Vision Screening Cons

Many optometrists stand behind school vision screenings, but they want parents to understand there’s only so much these screenings can do.

The Kirkwood Eye Institute finds that school vision screenings do not test for double vision, focus, tracking, perception, or dyslexia. VSP finds they also don’t test for farsightedness or color blindness. School vision screenings are sometimes facilitated by untrained staff, volunteers, or school nurses with inadequate equipment.

Professional Eye Exams

It is highly recommended that, after a school vision screening, your child undergoes a comprehensive eye and vision exam. At school, your child will receive a basic 20/20 vision test (how far can they see from 20 feet away). Here’s what an exam at an optometrist’s office includes:

  • Patient and family health history
  • Visual acuity measurement
  • Preliminary tests of visual function and eye health, including depth perception, color vision, peripheral (side) vision, and response of the pupils to light
  • Assessment of refractive status to determine the presence of nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism
  • Evaluation of eye focusing, eye teaming, and eye movement abilities
  • Eye health examination
  • Additional tests as needed

Schools should continue with vision screenings, but parents cannot rely on them solely. Whether your children attend a school with vision screenings or are home-schooled, yearly eye exams are necessary for your family.

Posted in Blog, Vision on April 6th, 2018