Q&A for the Eye Care of Babies and Kids
often should babies and kids have eye examination?
Can vision screening or
a pediatrician exam substitute for a comprehensive eye examination?
What is amblyopia and how it is treated?
Why does my kid become
Should my nearsighted
kid wear glasses?
How to control the
progression of nearsightedness?
Ortho-K /CRT a choice for correction of myopia (nearsightedness)?
Children’s TV watching is
linked to nearsightedness, attention deficiency and autism?
Toys, Games and Your Child’s Vision
How often should babies and kids have eye
eye care is an extremely important part of your child's health
care. For instance, the prevalence of amblyopia in US is 2% (2.4-4.8
million). Most of amblyopia could be easily avoided if the child's
eyes are checked and corrected before the critical age of seven.
It is recommended by The American Optometric Guideline, for developmentally
normal kids, that the first eye exam should be done at 6 months
of age, the 2nd exam should be 3 years of age. Routine exams starting
from 3 years old should then be conducted every one or two years.
2. Can vision screening or a pediatrician exam
substitute for a comprehensive eye examination?
think that passing the school vision screening means their child
has perfect vision. This is not always correct. The American Optometry
Association believes that an eye/vision screening in the public
or private schools does not substitute for a professional eye
examination. Vision screening is only intended to find severe
visual disturbances and does not substitute for a thorough professional
exam which corrects and prevents problems with your child's eyes.
rely on pediatricians, assuming the pediatrician does a thorough
vision analysis. But actually pediatricians just check visual acuity
(how well the child sees at a distance). It takes a complete eye
exam by an eye care professional to get an accurate picture of
the child's eye health and vision status.
What is amblyopia and how it is treated?
(lazy eye) is the loss or lack of the full development of vision
in one eye that is not fully correctable with lenses and is not
the result of any identifiable eye health problem.
children, the key to prevent or treat amblyopia is early
detection by routine eye examination. About 2% of the American
population, namely, around 40 million people, have amblyopia. In
fact, if they had been treated before 8 years old, they would
have been mostly properly corrected. The causes of amblyopia are
uncorrected high myopia
(nearsightedness), high hyperopia (farsightedness), or
uncorrected large difference of refractive error between two
eyes. If found in time (before 8 years old), these problems can
be corrected by wearing corrective lenses or by other treatment. At
about 8 years old,
the vision system has been fully developed. It is still
possible, though much harder, to correct amblyopia after 8 years
children, patching the good eye may help the amblyopic eye to
improve. In addition, vision therapy techniques may be used to
help improve vision functions. Eyeglasses or contact lenses may
be also prescribed to correct any refractive errors.
4. Why does my kid become myopia (nearsighted)?
two possible reasons:
reason: myopia is genetic. If one of the parents is myopia, then
the probability of the child having myopia is extremely high.
If both parents are myopia, then it's almost guaranteed that the
child will have myopia.
2). Use and
abuse theory: most of the changes in myopia is due to axial length
elongation. For instance, the use of computer and reading cause
greater near stimulus, which leads to greater "accommodation".
When "accommodation" lags behind the forvea, then there
is a stimulus for axial length to elongation, which causes myopia.
This phenomenon occurs in children at a faster rate that for adults.
Should nearsighted kids wear glasses?
children need to wear glasses. Proper correction with eye glasses
or contact lens can prevent amblyopia, eye strain and headache.
It is OK for low myopia children to take off glasses to read and
do computer work.
How to control the progression of myopia (nearsightedness)?
two ways to slow down myopia progression:
glasses: Use lower power of minus lens at the bottom of your glasses
can relax accommodation and control the stimulus of accommodation,
so you can control axial length elongation, which will slow down
the myopia progression.
lens: Full time wearing of RGP (hard contact lens) can greatly
slow down the myopia progression. In the myopia control study
by Shapiro et al., about 73.4% of contact lens wearers did not
change in myopia, and 10% of spectacle wearers (glasses) did not
change in myopia. If you intervene with myopia progression earlier,
you might be able to decrease it or slow it down by more than
2.00D or 3.00D. The contact lens to some degree has the effect
of slowing down axial length elongation.
Is Ortho-K /CRT a choice for correction of myopia (nearsightedness)?
a corneal reshaping therapy which shapes and molds the front of
the cornea, and improves your vision while you sleep at night.
This procedure is safe and effective and any age group will benefit.
This is especially true for people who enjoy sports. There is
no healing and no recovery because there is no invasive surgery.
This procedure has the added advantage that it is reversible.
If you wants to discontinue the process, you only have to quit
wearing the lenses. The cornea will then return to its shape in
only a few days.
Dr. Gan is a
(FDA approved) specialist. Please call or
e-mail to schedule an appointment for free consultation exam to
see if you or your child is a good candidate for this procedure.
Click here for more
information on CRT and Ortho-K.
Children’s TV watching is linked to nearsightedness, attention
deficiency and autism?
Sigman, an associate fellow of the British Psychological Society
and author of Remotely Controlled: How Television Is Damaging
Our Lives, recently studied the link between long hours of
television viewing and nearsightedness, attention deficiency,
autism, and other brain damages among children. The following
points, from his and other similar research results, are
summarized here to your attention.
Nearsightness in Children: Nearsightness was once associated
with genetics now is being strongly linked to excessive TV
viewing, according to recent study.
reported that overexposure to television and computer screens
were to blame for the increase in childhood myopia because both
activities require long periods of visual fixation.
SPAN: LONG periods of TV viewing may affect what are called the
"neuronal mechanisms" behind attention and impulse control. This
means damaging brain-cell development and the person's ability
to concentrate on non-TV subjects. For children this could mean
learning difficulties and attention disorders.
EARLY childhood television viewing may be an important factor in
autism, which currently affects one in every 166 children. Dr
Sigman quotes Cornell University, which last year published
research suggesting television may be a trigger in young
children with a tendency to the condition.
also showed that the average child by age 6 will have spent 1
year in front of a television. Computer use and television
viewing are common activities for older children, too. In light
of the study, consider discussing these findings with parents
andsuggesting they limit television and computer use to 1 hour a
day for children over 3 and to 1 ˝ hours a day for teenagers.
Games and Your Child’s Vision
moment of birth, your child is learning to see. He or she
progresses from the newborn’s blurry world of light and dark to
school-age child’s sophisticated ability t handle complex vision
Here is a
list of toys and activities that can help your child develop or
improve various vision skills.
Sturdy crib mobiles and gyms, bright large rattles and
rubber squeak toys.
Activities: Peek-a-boo, patty cake
through 8 months
through 12 months
Sturdy cardboard books, take-apart toys, snap-lock beads,
blocks, stacking/nesting toys
Activities: Throwing a ball
Bright balls, blocks, rocking horse, riding toys pushed with
Activities: Throwing a ball
Pencils, markers, crayons, bean bag/ring toss games, peg
hammering toys, sorting games, puzzles, blocks
Activities: Read to child, outdoor play, catch
3 to 6 years
Building toys with large snap-together pieces, stringing
beads, puzzles, pegboard crayons, finger paints, chalk,
large balls, modeling clay, simple sewing cards, tricycle,
follow-the-dot games, sticker books
Activities: Climbing, running, using a balance beam
years and older
Bicycle; jump ropes, pogo sticks; roller skates; different
size and shape balls; target games; remote controlled toys;
Activities: Active sports; cycling.
buying toys, remember to select those that are well-made and age
appropriate. Provide proper eye safety equipment for older
children and be certain that they wear protective eyewear when
participating in eye hazardous sports and, when using chemistry
sets, shop tools, BB guns or other such items. Inexpensive
homemade toys can be just as effective in helping children
develop and improve their vision skills as expensive store