School age children can experience unexpected and sudden changes in vision that may lead to behavioral and attention issues in the classroom. Make a comprehensive eye examination a priority for your child this year.
Some important health and safety tips for your child’s eyes:
One in four children has an undiagnosed vision problem because changes in their eyesight go unrecognized by both the child and their parents. Include an eye exam on your back to school list. It may be the single most important investment you can make in your child’s education and overall health.
An infant’s vision improves significantly during his first 6 months. Basic visual function develops rapidly during the first year.
Newborns focus on objects that are 8-10 inches away and will wince and blink in response to bright light, but only for a brief amount of time. At birth approximate visual acuity is 20/800. Infants will stare intently at high contrast images such as the edges of faces. Newborn eyes may cross or wander for the first 4 months.
By two to three months, babies have an approximate visual acuity of 20/400. At this age, they will track movement as well as smile at objects that are about a foot away. Reaching for objects around 3 months is expected.
At 6 months the vision has improved to at least 20/100. A 6 month old infant will open his mouth to a spoon and will recognize his own face in the mirror. Both eyes should focus equally. Depth perception is developing.
A twelve month old child will have visual acuities of 20/60 and can judge distances fairly well, throw things with precision and pick up small objects with the fingers and thumb.
A comprehensive visual assessment between 9-12 months is recommended, earlier if the infant is at risk for eye or vision disorders. Early intervention is critical to successful vision and treatment.
Sunglasses not only offer style but they offer protection from damaging ultraviolet radiation. Quality sunglasses are more expensive and worth it because of the premium optics, coatings, frames and style.
The optics of your sunglasses determine the clarity and comfort of vision. Polarized lenses like Maui Jim minimize glare and reflections.
Sunglass lens treatments increase visibility and comfort. Backside anti-reflective coatings reduce glare from behind and repel water and dust. A mirror coating further reflects annoying light and glare.
Well-made frames start with quality materials that resist breakage and bending. The weight and balance of the frame is important for comfort as well.
Frames are styled for specific sports or can be highly fashionable. The details may include flexible hinges, variable color combinations and wrap styling.
Don’t skimp on your sunglasses. You deserve the best comfort, protection and style.
A 2016 report by the Vision Council found that 60% of Americans use digital devices for 5 or more hours each day. 70% of Americans use 2 or more devices at a time.
The term Digital Eyestrain has replaced the term Computer Vision Syndrome due to the increase in types of digital devices. Digital Eyestrain is defined as “physical discomfort of one’s eyes after spending periods of time throughout the day in front of a digital device, such as a computer or smartphone.”
It is reported that we blink an average of 10 times a minute normally, when reading, using a smartphone or other device the blink rate drops to 4 times a minute. Blinking is a vital component to ocular surface health and tear stability. More important than how often we blink is how well we blink. An incomplete blink can cause more tear instability than not enough blinks. A complete blink is necessary to stimulate a muscle on the eyelid margin that releases an important component of the tear film.
Treatment for Digital Eyestrain includes wearing the best visual correction for the task. Reducing glare and fatiguing light with coatings is beneficial also. For contact lens wearers the proper correction for the working distance is important. A clean contact lens surface and proper blinking can minimize dry eye symptoms.
Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis or GPC, is typically associated with contact lens wear. Symptoms include, contact lens discomfort and fluctuating vision. There is often mucus discharge from one or both eyes. A particularly annoying symptom of GPC is dislocation and excess movement of the contact lens.
GPC may occur months or even years after you begin contact lens wear. Among the things that may cause GPC are improper cleaning of contact lenses, infrequent contact lens replacement, and wearing contact lenses for too many hours.
There are tiny papilla on the inside of the upper eyelid normally. Allergies can cause the papilla to swell and secrete histamine which causes itchy eyes. In GPC, the papilla greatly enlarge due to interaction with foreign bodies such as debris on the contact lens or the contact lens itself. The large papilla secrete sticky proteins which adhere to the contact lens causing more debris and forcing the lens to move out of place.
Resolution of GPC includes decrease or cessation of contact lens wear, and often treatment with topical cortico-steroids and mast-cell inhibitors eyedrops. Contact lens wear can usually be resumed with modifications in the lens type and care regime.
Contact lens safety depends on the wearer following the prescribed lens wear schedule and cleaning regime.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) emphasizes three key areas to healthy contact lens wear:
1. Healthy contact lens hygiene habits
Always wash your hands with soap and water before inserting and removing the contact lenses
Replace your contact case at least every 3 months.
2. Proper use, care and storage of contact lenses and supplies
Don’t sleep in your contact lenses. Sleeping in contact lenses increases the chance of an eye infection 6 to 8 times.
Replace your contact lenses as prescribed
Rinse out your contact lens case every morning, turn upside down and allow to air dry.
3. Regular visits to the optometrist
Contact lens materials and solutions change as do our eyes. To maintain good vision and healthy eyes have an eye examination every year.
Established contact lens wearers tend to have higher levels of case contamination compared to new contact lens wearers. Poor contact lens habits develop over time, don’t become compliant, remember the details of good contact lens care to ensure your continued successful contact lens use.
Westside Optometry has added a new frame designer to our eyewear collections.
MODO is driven by a passion for finding the optimal balance of form and function. The designers explore materials, manufacturing technologies, and craftsmanship techniques for designs that look and feel perfect.
The collection includes styles for men and women in lightweight materials and amazing colors. We know you’ll appreciate the look and comfort of the MODO frames.
Do you think you will know if you have glaucoma?
The first symptom of the most common type of glaucoma (open angle) is permanent loss of vision. Once vision loss occurs it is downhill, the damage from glaucoma is irreversible and challenging to slow down.
Glaucoma signs include increase intra-ocular pressure (IOP) which is measured during an eye exam. Visual field loss, also measured during an eye examination and loss of retinal nerve fibers and damage to the optic nerve, visible during a dilated eye examination. The best way to determine if you have or are at risk of glaucoma is by having a dilated eye examination.
Glaucoma is a disease of the optic nerve usually caused by increased pressure inside the eye.
Age – greater than 60
Race – African American have higher risk
Glaucoma is treated with drops or surgery and sometimes both.
Don’t wait until you have vision loss to learn that you have glaucoma, schedule an eye exam today.
Protecting our eyes in the winter is essential for preventing short and long term problems.
Eye dryness is very common, especially on cold brisk days. Finding comfort near a warm toasty heater or fireplace can dry the eye surface too. Maintain good eyelid hygiene, stay hydrated and use artificial tears to control mild dry eye symptoms.
Sunglasses are important for preventing keratitis (a burn on the cornea surface) and aging effects such as cataracts, pinguecula and macular degeneration. Snow-blindness or keratitis is a painful corneal condition that can occur when the outermost layers of the cornea are damaged (like a sunburn). Damage can occur in as little as an hour of exposure to ultraviolet radiation, the risk is intensified at higher altitude.
Damage to the eye doesn’t stop on the surface. Cumulative ultraviolet exposure damages the lens of the eye causing cataract formation. Research has also found that UV radiation contributes to macular degeneration.
Wearing good UV blocking sunglasses protects all layers of the eye. The UV radiation reflected off of water and snow is dangerous too.
Don’t hang-up your sunglasses because it is winter, year-round UV protection is a proactive way to promote good eye health and clear vision for adults and children.