the eye > Eye Exams
Eye Information - The following is some general information on your eyes.
EYES OVER 40
CHILDREN & VISION
Once we are in our 40s, the lenses within our eyes begin to harden and lose their elasticity making it difficult to focus on objects close up.
This is a natural condition called presbyopia. Whether you've worn glasses before or not, you'll start noticing the need for them now. First to help you read, and eventually for distances a bit further away.
What can I do about it?
Age: Birth to four months
At birth, a baby can see light and patterns, but any object beyond eight inches is blurred. Even at five days old, infants prefer looking at faces over anything else. Vision gradually becomes clearer and the eyes start working together. Eye-hand coordination begins to develop as the infant begins tracking moving objects with the eyes and starts reaching for objects, first by chance and later more accurately. By eight weeks, they begin to focus their eyes on the eyes of a parent or other person near them. From a gray world at birth, two-month-olds can distinguish some reds and blues from white. By four months, color vision is similar to an adult's.
Things To Do
Age: Four to six months
Control of eye movements and eye-body coordination skills continue to develop. The baby may become shy of strangers, miss a parent who leaves the room too quickly or be uneasy in strange surroundings.
Things To Do
Age: Six to eight months
Eyes should focus equally. Most babies start crawling, which helps further develop eye-hand-foot-body coordination.
Things To Do
Age: Eight to 12 months
Babies can now judge distances fairly well and throw things with precision.
Things To Do
Age: One to two years
A child's eye-hand coordination and depth perception should be well-developed. Now is the time for parents to help the child refine and further develop vision skills through use.
Things To Do
Age: Two years old
Children this age are highly interested in exploring their environment and in looking and listening.
Things To Do
Source: American Optometric Association
Children playing sports may be exposed to a number of potential eye-related injuries. Among 5- to 14-year olds, baseball injuries are frequent. Eye injuries can be caused by a high-speed ball, aggressive body contact, or a swinging bat. Many young players do not have sufficiently fast reflexes, coordination, strength, or experience to avoid a baseball or other dangerous object coming at their eyes. Other moderate- to high-risk sports for children include tennis, ice hockey, and football.
You can protect your athletic child's vision without pulling him or her out of the lineup. Because physical fitness usually requires visual fitness, the first step is to have your child's eyes examined. Vision testing may help athletic performance as well as lessen the chance for injuries. And given the high degree of eye-hand-body coordination required by most sports, every child should have an eye examination once a year.
Parents should also talk with an eye care professional about what type of protection is best for what sport. Experts recommend lenses made of impact-resistant polycarbonate fitted with elastic headbands, since oftentimes glass and ordinary plastic lenses do not provide enough protection for children involved in active sports.
In addition, parents should also remember that some outdoor sports may require sunglasses to protect against ultraviolet rays. In encouraging children to wear protective eyewear, be sure to remind them that many professional athletes wear sports eyewear prominently.
Source: Better Vision Institute.
Nearsightedness is the only refractive condition that increases significantly in prevalence throughout the school years. It significantly affects about three percent of five- to nine-year-olds; eight percent of those age 10 to 12; and about 16 percent of teenagers.
The cause of nearsightedness is not known for certain. More than one factor may be involved, but the two major theories indicate that nearsightedness is often inherited or caused by visual stress.
One optometric study of 200 families in one community found that 45 percent of the nearsighted children had parents who were both nearsighted, and 40 percent had one nearsighted parent. There also appeared to be a stronger link between nearsighted mothers and daughters than myopic fathers and sons. Generally, the children had higher degrees of nearsightedness than their parents.
The fact that the prevalence of nearsightedness increases with age lends weight to the theory that nearsightedness is caused by the undue stress children place on their vision. Human eyes were intended for sharp, clear seeing at a distance. They were not designed to focus on books or other close work for hours, to read computers, to peer through microscopes, or to do any of the near vision tasks required of them today.
Prescription lenses can improve visual acuity, but periodic lens changes are usually needed because nearsightedness is a progressive vision problem. Today, however, optometrists use lenses and sometimes contact lenses to try to prevent, slow, or stop the progression of nearsightedness. The condition itself tends to stabilize about age 25.
Early warning signs of nearsightedness include:
A professional eye examination at an early age is crucial for eye health because early detection and treatment of eye problems can prevent permanent damage to a child's eyes. Following the examination, it is equally important that children who need vision correction wear their eyeglasses or contact lenses whether at school or playing in the sun.
Many of the same eye problems that affect adults are common in children. However, many childhood vision disorders can affect learning and lead to problems with self-esteem and classroom behavior. Often, children need glasses or contact lenses to improve their vision, prevent "lazy eye," and to help control focusing. In some cases, a child may be nearsighted, farsighted, or have an astigmatism.
It is important to make the eye examination a positive experience for children. The initial exam sets the tone for how a child will feel about maintaining good vision and wearing eyewear. Making the appointment early in the day can make the experience more comfortable because the child is less likely to be tired. The exam should be talked about naturally, so that the child doesn't perceive it as a frightening experience, and questions about the exam should be encouraged.
Many child experts believe that comparing instruments used during the eye exam to familiar objects at home can make the exam less frightening for the child. Parents can compare the eye chart to a puzzle, and eye instruments to a flashlight, kaleidoscope and binoculars.
Choosing an eye care professional is also important. Parents should choose an eye care professional who frequently works with children to make sure that the experience is a pleasant one for the child.
The following behaviors may signal vision problems. If a child exhibits any of these signs, consult a pediatric eye specialist.
Driving at night can be a visual challenge. Here are some tips to help you improve your ability to see:
Having trouble seeing things up close OR far away? Single vision lenses can help you see better.
Need help seeing things up close AND far away? Then you need multifocal lenses.
Are you a computer user, musician, artist, or hobbyist? Find out about special computer lenses that help improve vision up to seven feet away.
Do you spend time outdoors? Prescription sunlenses offer great protection from the sun and harmful ultraviolet rays