April 14th, 2012
WHEN IS A CHILD SUITABLE FOR LENSES ?
I often see older kids and teenagers for an eye test and there’s sometimes a question at the end-”when am I suitable for contact lenses?” or “Ben plays a lot of sport and his glasses really get in the way, is there any solution?”.
Does your child or teenager need to wear their glasses all the time? Do they wish that sometimes they didn’t have to? Most people can wear contact lenses these days, and that includes teens and children. Whether your child is mature enough for contacts is probably the most important question. Do they take responsibility for their own possessions or clothes. Do they tidy up after themselves (with prompting?!!)?
WHAT IS THE AGE LIMIT FOR WEARING LENSES ?
There is no age limit at which your eye becomes suitable for contact lenses. In fact babies or young children are often fitted with contact lenses when born with such conditions as cataract or develop strabismus. For most of us, we were told that contact lenses were available when were were 18. But attitudes and contact lenses have changed. How you look after your contacts has changed too. Bottles and bottles of separate cleaning solutions are no longer required.
WHAT DOES THE RESEARCH SHOW ?
These days most people are suitable for daily disposable contact lenses. This type of lens is used once and then thrown away. A study from the College of Optometry from Ohio State University has shown that these lenses are highly recommended for children and teenagers as they’re convenient, hygienic, and easy to handle. They also get used to washing their hands before inserting and removing them. This study showed that children perceive the same benefits from wearing contact lenses as adults do. They like not having to wear glasses all the time, especially if playing sport or during other activities.
MY DAUGHTER BEAMED FROM EAR TO EAR
Having fitted children as young as 8, I see now the benefits. One mum told me that her daughter just beamed from ear to ear wearing her new lenses as she went home from the practice, pointing out everything she could now see. Its lovely to have the freedom from glasses, even if its just temporary!
December 4th, 2011
Colour vision is the ability to see differences in the wavelength of light reflected by different objects.
Some people find it difficult to distinguish between certain colours. This is known as colour deficiency. The most common colours that people mix up are red and green. Approximately 8% of men, and 0.5% of women have colour deficiency. A simple test will determine if your colour vision is normal.
Certain occupations require normal colour vision. These include the army, the guards, electricians, train drivers and pilots.
It’s worth having your child’s colour vision checked. This means that you can steer them towards a different career choice if needed. It’s easier to do that at a younger age, rather than when they’re about to start an apprenticeship or join the guards and are disappointed at the last minute.
November 13th, 2011
Does your child need stronger glasses nearly every time they visit the optician? Do you wish you could help to stop the vision deteriorating?
Time Spent Outdoors
- One of the only things proven to slow myopia progression is the amount of time spent outdoors.
- Regardless of how much reading or computer work is done indoors, time spent outside will help stop vision deteriorating. So it seems it’s ok to allow your child play computer games, once you send them outside afterwards!
- Research done in Australia has shown that 12 hours a week spent outdoors is beneficial for this purpose.
Don’t hold book too close
- Make sure your child doesn’t get in the habit of holding books too close, or sit too near the computer screen.
- After focusing very close up, the eye muscles can cramp there. This means that afterwards, focusing in the distance can prove difficult, and may lead to an increase in short-sightedness over time.
- When they read, encourage children to hold the book a little further away, and to look in the distance often to stop the eye muscles cramping.
October 25th, 2010
A lazy eye means that one eye can’t see as well as the other, even when wearing glasses or contact lenses.
If the cause is not treated before the age of 7 or 8, it is likely that the vision in the bad eye will be permanently impaired. Judging distances may be more difficult, and if anything happens to the good eye, the person may not have legal vision for driving.
Some causes include:
- The eyes not seeing the same image.
This happens if the eyes are looking in different directions, i.e. there is a turn in the eye. This is called strabismus. One eye may look as though it is turned. If both eyes are not looking at the same thing, the brain can’t fuse the two images, and will choose the image from one eye instead of using both eyes.
- One eye receiving a more blurry image than the other.
If one eye needs a stronger prescription than the other, the vision in this eye will be more blurred. The brain will choose the image from the clearer eye. Because the weaker eye is not being used, the visual system in the weaker eye may not develop properly.
Get your child’s eyes checked if you notice the following:
- A turn in the child’s eye, or the eyes seem to be looking in different directions.
- If a young child gets upset when you cover one of their eyes, this might mean that you’ve covered their good eye, and that they can’t see as well with the uncovered eye.
- They’re not performing well in school or their grades drop unexpectedly. This could be due to the fact that they may not be able to see the blackboard clearly.
The child may need to get glasses or sometimes have the eye patched. They’ll thank you for it when they’re older!