Children & Myopia Control

Today, Myopia presents itself at an earlier age in more children than in the past. Studies have shown that part of the increase in nearsightedness is because more people are doing work up close; this isn’t just a computer and increased screen time, though–reading for long periods can also impact your eyes. There are four options your eye doctor may use for myopia control in children.

Atropine Eye Drops

Myopia occurs when your eye is too long, or your cornea is too curved. The light that enters your eye has a harder time focusing the way it should, and this results in blurred vision. When you use atropine eye drops, you’re temporarily dilating your pupil, which relaxes your eyes’ focusing ability, making it easier to see. The recommended dosage is .01. At this dosage, side effects typically are not noticeable.

Multifocal Contacts

The primary use of multifocal contacts is to help achieve clear vision at all distances. According to studies, children who wore multifocal contacts had a 50% reduction in the advancement of Myopia compared to children who stuck with traditional soft contacts.

Multifocal Eyeglasses

Like multifocal contacts, multifocal eyeglasses intend to help you gain a clearer vision regardless of the distance. These glasses have two parts, one being the top, which allows you to see objects far away. The second part is on the bottom of your lenses and assists when you read. These glasses slow the progression of Myopia.

Orthokeratology

Orthokeratology is a treatment that uses a gas-permeable contact lens to reshape the corneal surface on your eye temporarily. A patient wears these lenses overnight, reshaping the front surface of the eye so vision is clear upon waking up. This treatment is temporary, and the effects of the overnight treatment will usually last throughout the day.

Do you want to take the next steps in ensuring your child has full potential regarding his/her vision? Contact our office today to ask our staff any questions you have about your child’s next appointment. 

5 Reasons Eye Exams Are Important

Your eyes allow you to interact with the world around you every day and are a vital part of your daily life. By taking care of your eyes today, you are ensuring you will see your best for years to come. Let’s take a closer look at five reasons why routine eye exams are so important.

  1. Eye exams help children succeed in school.
  2. Myopia is becoming more common.
  3. Vision screenings should never substitute a yearly comprehensive eye exam.
  4. Glaucoma does not present symptoms in the early stages.
  5. Annual eye exams can help detect other health issues.

Eye Exams & School

During a child’s schooling, 80% of the information presented for learning requires good vision. By scheduling a yearly comprehensive eye exam, you are ensuring your child sees clearly and comfortably in the classroom. Even more, an eye exam is the only way to know for sure if your child is able to see their best for sports and other activities.

Reducing Myopia Progression

Myopia, or nearsightedness, is being diagnosed more than ever before, and at an earlier age, too. Children who become nearsighted early in life tend to experience a worsening progression of nearsightedness throughout childhood. This progression puts them at a higher risk of developing cataracts, glaucoma, and retinal detachment later in life.

By scheduling a routine eye exam, your doctor can evaluate your risks of developing myopia. When detected early, you and your eye doctor can dramatically slow the progression of myopia and decrease the chances of developing eye problems down the road. 

Vision Screenings Vs. Comprehensive Eye Exams

While commonly provided, a vision screening test is not a replacement for a yearly routine eye exam. Vision screening tests only look to see if a vision problem exists. These tests cannot diagnose the vision problem you have but are able to signify a larger exam is needed. During a comprehensive eye exam, your optometrist will perform tests that evaluate your vision and eye health. 

As you age, your risk of eye problems also increase. Routine eye exams are essential to detecting eye-related issues when merely getting a vision screening would not. 

Reducing Your Risk of Glaucoma

Many people who develop glaucoma often don’t show symptoms at first. These individuals usually develop vision loss before they have learned that something is wrong with their eyes. This type of vision loss is irreversible if caught too late. With a routine exam, your optometrist can detect high eye pressure and other early signs of glaucoma before any serious damage to your vision occurs.

Detecting Issues During Your Annual Eye Exam

An eye exam can detect other health-related issues such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and even cancer. During your exam, your eye doctor will evaluate the health and condition of the blood vessels in your retina, which are predictors of the health of blood vessels throughout your entire body. By scheduling a yearly comprehensive eye exam, you can reduce your risk for diabetes, hypertension, and hypercholesterolemia.

So do you want to take a burden off of your eyes? Contact our office today and ask our staff any questions that you might have about scheduling your eye exam. 

FAQ: Computer Vision Syndrome

What is computer vision syndrome?

Computer vision syndrome, or CVS, is the discomfort or symptoms caused by focusing on a computer or technological device for a long and uninterrupted time.

Common symptoms include:

  • Headaches
  • Loss of Focus
  • Burning Eyes
  • Tired eyes
  • Red Eyes
  • Double Vision
  • Eye Twitching
  • Blurred Vision
  • Neck and Shoulder Pain

Commonly Asked Questions

What causes Computer Vision Syndrome?

Characters, when read on a computer screen, don’t have the same level of contrast and definition as printed materials. This lack of contrast makes it harder for your eyes to focus. When your eyes and brain react differently to the various characters on a computer screen than on a print, you can develop symptoms of eye strain like blurred vision or headaches.

Who is affected?

Anyone working on a computer for extended periods has an increased risk of developing computer vision syndrome. When you stare at a screen, you are forcing your eyes to focus and refocus for long periods. As a result, your eyes are using more muscles, causing fatigue and tired eyes. 

What can I do to reduce symptoms?

It’s easy! Talk to your eye doctor about their recommendations on how you can handle CVS. Your eye doctor may do a few tests to detect vision problems that may worsen your symptoms. Depending on the results, your doctor may recommend computer eyewear to protect your eyes or tips and tricks habits to reduce your symptoms. 

For example, try practicing the 20/20/20 rule when using digital devices for an extended period. Every 20 minutes, look 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This exercise gives your eyes a break from the continued work of focusing on your computer screen.

Finding a Solution

What is Computer Eyewear?

Computer eyewear are prescription glasses specifically designed for work on a computer. Generally speaking, these lenses enable you to focus better on a computer screen, which is usually at about 20in from your eyes. 

Are there Different Types of Computer Lenses?

Yes! When shopping for the right pair of computer eyewear, ask us about the different options. Computer lenses are available in both single vision and progressive lens options to fit your vision needs. 

I don’t have Computer Vision Syndrome now. Should I still look into computer eyeglasses?

Yes. Even though you may not have computer vision syndrome now, you can still develop symptoms down the road. Many individuals experience reduced productivity and accuracy when working behind a screen, even without vision problems.

Do you have more questions about computer vision syndrome and the possible solutions that you can take? Contact our office today and ask us your vision questions!

Are online eye tests any good?

Have you considered getting online eye tests? The idea of being able to get an eyeglass prescription and buy glasses without a trip to the eye doctor may sound appealing. Before ditching the traditional eye exams, there are a few things you need to know!

Online Eye Tests

The most important thing to know about online eye tests is they do not evaluate the health of your eyes. Even if they are called “online eye exams,” these exams only measure your visual acuity and refractive error. Some online eye tests can check for contrast sensitivity and color blindness. However, none of this can tell the health of your eyes.

The only way to know the complete health of your eyes is through eye exams with your doctor. During an eye exam, your doctor can detect vision-threatening conditions such as cataracts, glaucoma, or macular degeneration. Early detection of these conditions can prevent vision loss and blindness.

Know The Risks:

  • Online eye exams cannot detect eye diseases
  • Improper testing can occur due to error or misreading instructions
  • Higher chance of getting incorrect prescription due to self-administered the eye test
  • If you think the prescription is incorrect, your only option is to pay again and retake the test
  • An eyecare professional is not present to answer questions or concerns

Validation of Online Eye Tests

The results of online eye tests have not been guaranteed to be accurate measures of your prescription. Due to this being relatively new technology, there have not been enough studies to determine the reliability and validity of online eye tests.

Additionally, many online eye tests say their technology is suitable only for people between the ages 18 and 40 who are in good health. The limitations of the eye test raise concerns to the overall validity of the test. For these reasons, we do not recommend them as your sole option for your receiving your prescription.

The best way to ensure your eyes are healthy, you receive the correct prescription, and get answers to all your questions is through face-to-face eye exams with your eye doctor. Our staff of trained eyecare professionals will help you through every step of the process. Our office is here to address any questions or concerns you may have.

Why You Need Multiple Pairs

Thanks to our busy lives, multiple hobbies, and all the activities in between, having multiple pairs of eyewear handy is a necessity. Even contact lens wearers should have alternative pairs of eyewear. But some of us still haven’t jumped on that bandwagon. If you’re still on the fence, here are a few reasons why it’s a great idea to have at least two pairs of eyewear:

Misplacement

We’ve all been there, searching for missing glasses just when we need them the most. An additional pair of eyewear can’t guarantee they won’t keep slipping through the cracks, but it will significantly reduce the chances of having to go without. Lost a contact lens and don’t have a replacement? Backup glasses can hold you over until your new contact lenses come in!

Style

Think about it: a night out on the town is going to call for more stylish eyewear than the amber-tinted lenses you wear at your computer desk. Funky frames may better showcase your personality, but a more neutral pair may be needed for professional situations. Having different styles of glasses removes this dilemma by giving you situation-specific options.

Protection

Chances are, your standard glasses aren’t going to adapt and darken in reaction to sunlight (unless you have photochromic lenses), so it only makes sense to invest in a pair of prescription sunglasses to protect your eyes. Polarized lenses are a good option, especially since the tint can be tailored to your specific sport or hobby.

Contact Lens Wearers

Plano sunwear is a must have for all contact lens users. Contact lenses do not protect your eyes from the harmful UV rays of the sun. We recommend plano sunwear that blocks 100% of UV rays for anyone who wears contacts.

Schedule an appointment with our office if you’re interested in investing in a second pair of glasses! We will help you find the best frames and lenses for your lifestyle!

Vision Development and Children

Childhood is a critical time for vision development. Nearly 80% of what a child learns in school is presented visually. Arguably making vision the most important of the five senses. Visual skills start developing during pregnancy and continue to evolve and develop as a child grows. Undetected vision problems can cause developmental and educational delays in children.

Infant Vision Development

Your infant’s vision starts developing during pregnancy. It is crucial that toxins are not consumed during pregnancy as they can cause serious vision problems. At birth, babies only see black, white, and shades of gray. Infants are unable to focus on objects for several months and can only see the outline of objects.

As infants grow, they can distinguish between high contrast colors. By six months your child can see color, has sharper vision, and has begun developing hand-eye coordination skills. Schedule your child’s first eye exam at six months to make sure their eyes are healthy and on the right developmental track. Detection of eye health issues and vision problems at this stage in development can help to ensure your child does not experience setbacks in learning and growth.

When your infant begins to crawl and potentially walk they are learning to coordinate their body movements and their vision. Over time, your child will become better at judging distances. However, this is also a time when your child may grow more injury prone because they are exploring their environment. Bumps, bruises, eye injuries, and other injuries can occur which is why it is so vital to ensure that your infant’s vision is on track to prevent these injuries as much as possible.

Early Childhood Vision Development

During these years your child will be growing, developing, and improving their visual skills. It is recommended to schedule your child eye exam at three years old. Even if you don’t think your child has vision problems, your child is growing and changing. A comprehensive eye exam before your child enters school provides enough time to catch and correct any vision problems.

They are discovering how to integrate their vision and body position to complete new tasks. They learn this through playing games, throwing a ball, and riding a bike. Children are also working on developing their fine motor skills. The primary way preschool age children are learning this is through writing their name and the alphabet.

Between the ages of 3 to 6 is when you, as a parent, may begin to notice signs of a vision problem. If your child complains about headaches or tired eyes, this could potentially be due to a vision problem. Signs of vision problems include squinting, tilting the head, frequently rubbing eyes, and closing one eye to see. Additionally, look for sitting too close to a tv, holding a book too close, or avoiding activities that require near or distance vision. Some of these activities include coloring, reading, playing ball, or tag if you notice these signs in your child schedule an eye exam as soon as possible. Correct their vision before any learning is delayed!

Screen Time and Children

Screen time is the amount of time a person spends staring at digital displays including computers, tablets, smartphones, and TVs. In our modern and technology-focused world children are spending time on digital displays for educational and recreational purposes. Children who spend several hours on digital devices are at risk of developing vision-related problems.

Average Time Children Spend On Digital Devices

According to the Vision Council, 72% of American parents report their children regularly spend more than two hours on screens per day. It is likely that children spend significantly more time on screens than their parents think. Common Sense Media reports that children under age eight spend more than two hours a day with screen media. For 8 to 10-year-olds screen time triples to six hours per day. Kids in middle school and high school spend up to nine hours per day looking at digital displays.

Risks of Screen Time

Too much screen time can be dangerous for anyone’s eyes, children included. Screens emit a broad spectrum of visible light. While most of these light rays are harmless, blue light is a high-energy visible light that can cause damage to your eyes. Blue light has shorter wavelengths and higher energy causing harm to the retina over time. Overexposure to blue light can cause:

  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Headaches
  • Neck/shoulder pain
  • Eye strain
  • Reduced attention span
  • Poor behavior
  • Irritability

Computer Vision Syndrome

Computer vision syndrome is a condition caused by visual stress. Symptoms include tired eyes, dry eyes, headache, and fatigue.

Unhealthy Posture

Your body naturally slouches inwards when on digital devices. Your back and shoulders round, your head tilts back, and your chin justs forward. This reaction to digital devices is called “turtling” and can cause neck, back, and shoulder pain.

How To Protect Your Child’s Eyes

It is clear digital devices will not be going away anytime soon. Therefore it is essential to ensure you are doing everything you can to protect your children’s eyes from digital screens. One way you can do this is by limiting screen time for your children while at home. You can also apply blue light filters or download blue light filtering apps to all digital devices. If your child wears prescription glasses, ask us about add blue light blocking to their lenses during your next appointment.

Nighttime Use

The largest source of blue light is our sun, which tells our brain when to be awake or sleep. The high use of digital devices emitting blue light may disrupt your natural circadian rhythm (sleep cycle) by miscommunicating the time of day and if you should be awake or asleep. Stop digital device time two hours before usual bedtime to ensure your child’s sleep schedule affected by blue light.

Do you have more questions about screen time and blue light? Stop by our office or give our office a call and we would be happy to answer your questions!