Protect their eyes from the sun!
Why is sun protection so important for our children’s eyes?
● Children spend more time outside than adults do, some experts estimate that half of a person’s lifetime UV (ultraviolet) exposure may occur before 18 years of age.
● UV light transmission through our lens decreases significantly as we age:
○In a 10 year old greater than 75% of UV light is getting to the retina.
○In a 25 year old that transmission drops to 10%, the damage is already done!
● As much as 80% of all of the damage patients experience may well happen before age 18.
● UV radiation damage is cumulative.
If the eye is so susceptible to UV damage at a young age what can be done to protect it?
● While putting on sunscreen always remember the sunglasses as well
● Find sunglasses that fit, that block 100% UVA and UVB radiation
● Find sunglasses that your child will like, if they like them they are more likely to wear them
● The best style for blocking UV wrap around the side of their head to help block the UV entering from the all angles.
● Hats can also help reduce the overall amount of UV getting to the eyes
For more information about the damage that can be caused to your children’s eyes from UV exposure see our section on Eye diseases.
Bring them in for an exam!
When should your children have a comprehensive eye exam?
● According to the American Optometric Association (AOA), infants should have their first comprehensive eye exam at 6 months of age. Children then should receive additional eye exams at 3 years of age, and just before they enter kindergarten or the first grade at about age 5 or 6.
● If you are not sure, call us and ask or just Schedule an Appointment. Dr. Wisniewski would be happy to see your children.
Why does your child need a comprehensive eye exam?
● Pediatrician and school screenings do not take the place of a comprehensive eye exam. They are intended to pick up only the most basic of vision issues.
● Vision problems affect learning – 25% of children have a vision problem that can cause difficulty in learning and / or behavior. Most children learn visually and numerous eye or vision issues can cause difficulty while trying to learn.
● 80% of learning is visual but only 14% of children get eye exams.
● While some children with a “lazy eye” (also known as amblyopia) are easy to spot, most are not. A common cause of amblyopia is a difference in the prescription between their eyes which many times goes undetected but can cause permanent reduced vision and visual function.
● There is a lot more to a child’s vision than just seeing clearly. Their eyes need to:
○ Work together comfortably (binocular vision) or (eye teaming)
○ Focus properly
○ Track properly and accurately (eye movement skills)
○ Perceive depth, color and a full field of peripheral vision
○ Be healthy – we will dilate their pupils to examine all parts of their eyes
○ Coordinate properly with their hands
What are some signs there might already be a problem?
● Declining performance in school
● Avoiding or not liking reading
● Short attention span
● Difficulty throwing or catching a ball, copying from a chalkboard or tying their shoes
● Pulling a book in close to their face, or sitting too close to a TV
● Lots of blinking or eye rubbing
● Guiding their eyes with a finger, pencil or straight edge while reading
Take action, your child has no understanding of what it means to see properly. Don’t leave their eye health up to them; make sure they get a quality eye exam. Help ensure that your child does their very best in school and in life – Schedule their exam today!