How to Protect Your Child’s Vision

Eyesight must be cared for along with other areas of the body. Vision problems can start at a very young age. As a parent, there are many things you can do to protect your child’s vision so they may enjoy a lifetime of good eyesight.

Teach Good Habits

Teach your child to have good habits surrounding their eyesight. Show them the proper distance to hold a book, which is 15 to 25 inches, according to experts. Of course, your child’s arm’s are shorter but don’t allow your child to hold books close up to their faces.

Look For Indicators of Poor Vision

Your young child may not be able to communicate that they have trouble seeing. They may also assume their vision is the same as other kids.’ Always be on the lookout for indicators of challenging vision. These include:

  • your child drops a lot of items
  • behavioral issues (stemming from frustration)
  • excessive tripping/falling
  • often complains that their head hurts
  • poor grades
  • excessive dislike of school

Install Adequate Lighting

Poor lighting causes eye strain. Although a child’s decorative lamps are cute, they may not be bright enough for bedtime reading. Opt for a minimum of 40 watts next to the bed. If your child enjoys reading or looking at picture books elsewhere, place reading lamps where needed.

Get Professional Screenings

Don’t wait until your child’s school has a vision screening day. By then it may be too late to correct problems. Arrange to have your child’s vision screened in a professional doctor’s office. Even if your child can’t yet read, their vision can be tested in other ways that are age-appropriate. The earlier any issues are detected, the better the prognosis.

Use Protective Sports Eyewear

If your child engages in any contact sports, make sure they wear protective eyewear. Contact injuries are common in childhood when motor skills are still developing. Eye trauma can permanently damage vision, yet it’s easily preventable with protective eyewear.

You can help protect your child’s vision until they’re old enough to do so themselves. Use these tips to give your child the best odds of a lifetime of good vision.

Back to School! Is Your Child’s Vision Ready?

Good vision is important at every stage in life, but it is especially important that your child see well in school. Vision problems can adversely affect your child’s achievement in school, during sports and play, and even in social situations. Clear vision also helps your child stay safe. Children need certain vision skills to get the most out of school, and a vision screening can help ensure that your child has good vision.

About 20 percent of children have refractive errors, a type of eye problem that causes blurry vision because the eye does not focus light correctly. Nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism are common refractive errors. Nearsightedness means your child cannot clearly see faraway objects, while farsightedness means your child cannot see close up items, such as words on a page. Astigmatism causes blurry vision close up and far away so your child has trouble seeing at all distances.

Poor Vision Causes Problems In and Out of the Classroom

These conditions can prevent your child from seeing the chalkboard or computer screens well, which can prevent your child from learning all he or she can during class. Poor vision can cause poor eye-hand coordination and interfere with playground and sports activities – it is hard to catch a blurry ball or jump over a hurdle you cannot see! Even simple tasks, such as learning how to tie shoes or match socks, are more difficult with vision problems.

Vision problems can also affect a child’s social life. Poor vision can cause a child to miss visual cues, such as the facial expressions of others, during conversations. Inability to focus or see clearly can cause a child to squint, tilt his or her head to the side, or even invade another child’s personal space. These behaviors, in addition to poor performance in the classroom and during play, can lead to teasing, bullying, or being picked last for team activities. Having both poor vision and social problems at school can lead to low self-esteem, withdrawal and behavioral issues.

Poor vision can also lead to problems at home during the school year. Untreated vision problems can contribute to stress throughout the household because homework can take longer than it should and parents can become frustrated when the child “acts out” or lags behind.

Because vision problems often cause subtle symptoms, many parents do not realize their child has trouble seeing. The best way to make sure your child’s vision is ready for school, make an appointment with Lifetime Vision Center. Our team of skilled professionals aims to give every child we see the healthy vision they need for success in and out of the classroom.

Importance of Pediatric Eye Exams – Why Your Child Needs Them

Recently, our own Dr. Jeff Yunker was interviewed by KNOX Radio 1310. He discussed the importance of pediatric eye exams and why your child needs them. Here are some highlights of the show.

Staggering Statistics of Child Vision Needs

“Vision is an instrumental process in how a child develops,” said Dr. Yunker. “About one in five kids age 12 to 17 have difficulty seeing across the room.” This statistic is increasing with the proliferation of devices and the amount of time kids spend staring at screens. This actually increases nearsightedness, making it harder to see across the classroom. “Two thirds of kids under age six have never had an eye checkup or eye exam,” continued Dr. Yunker. “And 3 to 5% of kids have an undiagnosed lazy eye.”

What is a Lazy Eye?

Basically, a lazy eye is a condition where the two eyes aren’t working together. It creates a kind of monocular function that affects the occipital cortex of the brain. Left untreated, this condition becomes permanent, and there’s nothing anyone can do to change it. It can be compared to pouring concrete, says, Dr. Yunker. “Concrete hardens up and you’re not going to change the shape and what happens by age seven is, developmentally the brain that transduces an electrical impulse that’s sent to the back of your eyes so your brain can interpret what you’re seeing, those cells are like poured concrete.”

Why Your Child Needs Professional Eye Exams

School eyesight screenings help, but they can miss up to 75% of learning related vision problems. It’s so important to get kids in as soon as they start school to have a professional eye exam. Doing so can help avoid falling grades and even subsequent behavioral problems. “75% of juvenile offenders had undiagnosed vision problems,” Dr. Yunker said. If those kids hadn’t experienced vision problems in school and had failing grades, maybe they wouldn’t have turned to negative behaviors.

If you have a school-aged child, please book an appointment now. Chances are your insurance will pay for preventative eye appointments. For help with your appointment or payment options, please contact us today.

 

treatment-for-droopy-eyes

Is There Treatment for Droopy Eyelids?

It happens to the best of us. One day, we’re looking in the mirror, and we notice sagging skin on the upper eyelid that’s drooping down toward the eye. It’s just one of the exciting skin changes we can look forward to with aging, yet it may become more of a problem to some people based on your skin and facial structure. If you notice this problem and are concerned about it, let’s talk about your options.

Treatment for Droopy Eyelids

If your eyelids have been drooping or you have bags under your eyes, there is a treatment available to you. Your eye doctor is able to use a cutting-edge device that is normally used for glaucoma, known as a Humphrey 850 visual field, to check whether your drooping eyelids are a problem. This machine can measure how much the eyelid is in the way of your field of vision. If your vision is compromised, a plastic surgeon can fix the drooping eyelid, giving great results for both the way you see the world and the way you see yourself in the mirror. This is a safe, reliable technique performed by qualified medical professionals. The main potential risk is that the doctor could remove too much skin, preventing the eyes from closing fully, but that is a very low risk.

Does Insurance Cover This Treatment?

While you have to pay for most treatments that improve your looks with your own money, this one can be covered by insurance in many cases. That’s because the drooping eyelid skin can interfere with your line of sight. An eye doctor is able to test whether your vision is restricted and whether pulling the lid away would improve the visual field. If so, medical insurance should cover the procedure to the extent indicated by your plan. If by chance you’re not covered by medical insurance and want to have the procedure done for cosmetic purposes, it would cost you about $3,000 to $4,000 for the upper lids. You also have the option to improve your look by having the doctor fix undereye bags, which costs about the same as fixing the drooping eyelids.

If your drooping eyelids are bothering you, ask your eye doctor to test whether they’re blocking your field of vision during your next routine eye exam.

woman reading book

Why getting regular eye exams is so important

Your eyes are your window to the world, so you want to do everything you can to protect them, right? One of the most important things you can do is to schedule and keep that yearly eye exam. Consider four reasons annual eye exams matter.

1. Eye exams help you succeed in the world.

An annual eye exam is the only way to ensure you are seeing everything clearly. Those numbers at work can melt together when your eyes are not focusing right and that leads to mistakes, for example. If you are wondering why your eyes get tired or you get headaches each day, maybe your vision is to blame.

man with glasses trying to read

2. Glaucoma

Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness in the U.S, and there are over 60 million people in the world that have it. It is also a silent disease, so about half of those people don’t know until it’s too late.

An annual eye exam is the only way to determine if you have glaucoma. The test is a staple part of having your eyes checked, and, like all eye diseases, the sooner you know you have it, the sooner you can start treating it.

3. An annual eye exam can be the first sign you have of other health concerns, too.

Often conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol are first suspected by the eye doctor. Not only are your eyes your window to the world, but they are also the window to your health.

4. Because it’s painless.

This isn’t like that trip to the dentist you’ve been putting off. Going the to the eye doctor is a painless, fast and the most stress-free annual checkup on your todo list. The tests take just minutes. You can expect tests such as:

  • Glaucoma test
  • Eye muscle test
  • Visual acuity test
  • Retinal exam

Each one tells an important story about how your eyes are functioning and whether they are healthy. When the testing is done, your prescription can be fine-tuned if necessary.

There are few things worst then squinting your eyes as you struggle to see what’s right in front of you. With an annual eye exam, squinting can be a thing of the past.

Remember What Your Eye Doctor Says

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