There is so much more to vision than simply seeing clearly. While developing, our eyes need to not only see clearly but also function together in an efficient manner to enable proper perception of the visual world. Vision and learning are directly connected! Often, vision problems in children are painless and exist since birth, so parents can be unaware that their child is affected. Failure to detect these conditions can delay perceptual skills, reading abilities, create attention deficits and lead to difficulties performing in school. Fortunately, most of these conditions are easily treatable.
Mistakenly, most parents think that the vision screenings our children have in school will detect these issues. At North Shore Eye Health and Wellness, we recommend that children receive their first eye exam between 6-12mos of age, then again at 2-3 years of age, and receive annual eye examinations while going to school. The earlier a problem is detected the better the overall prognosis. Our Doctors are here to help! Together, we can prevent vision loss and decrease the negative impact that vision loss can have on our children for the rest of their lives.
Concerned your child may need an eye examination? Check out this symptoms checklist for a quick reference:
EYE SYMPTOMS CHECKLIST
Do they consistently turn their head to one side?
Do they consistently turn their head to one side when picking something up?
Do they seem startled if you approach from one side vs. the other?
Do they seem to consistently miss seeing something of interest?
Were there any complications during or immediately after birth?
Do their pupils look the same?
Does an eye seem to wander or not be aimed in the same direction as the other?
Do they have a family history of visual problems?
Do they sit close to the TV because they say they cannot see it?
Do they complain of headaches?
Do they tilt their head to one shoulder or to one side consistently when watching TV or reading?
Do they have a shorter attention span than usual when doing near tasks?
Were they slower than expected in hitting their milestones?
Do they have attention issues?
Do they say they have headaches?
Do they complain of double vision or blurred vision at distance or near?
Do they have trouble seeing the board?
Have their reading comprehension scores started to drop?
Do they lose their place on the page or use their fingers to keep track of where they are on the page (after 2nd grade)?
We offer Pediatric eye examinations, starting at 6 months of age! Dr. Kyle Ross is a proud member of the InfantSEE program, a federally sponsored initiative to provide FREE eye health evaluation to infants between 6-12 months of age.
Even if no eye or vision problems are apparent, Dr. Kyle Ross and the American Optometric Association recommend scheduling your baby's first eye assessment at 6-12 months of age. This key piece to your baby's wellness and future development will help to determine if there are any excessive or unequal amounts of nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism will make sure that your baby's eyes are aligned with no "eye turn" or difficulties with eye movement, and will rule out the presence of any eye health problems. While these problems are uncommon, vision development and eye health problems are easier to correct and significant vision loss can be prevented with early detection and treatment. All of Dr. Ross' findings will then be communicated directly to your pediatrician. This fantastic public health service is offered free of charge!
Call us or go to www.infantsee.org and check out the "Parents Section" for more information!
We also are proud to offer the Miraflex and ZooBug frame line for the little kiddos who are in need of glasses. It can be very hard to find the right fit for those little noses and faces and keeping glasses on a toddler can be a challenge!
We offer an excellent and safe solution to these potential pitfalls and your toddler will look great in the bright colors and soft, flexible frames.
For more information, feel free to call or make an appointment. Also, please check out these great online resources to learn more:
Today's Visual world is changing! Our eyes are challenged more than ever by the frequent use of electronic devices. These devices cause our eyes to work harder and expose us to High Energy Visible Light, which impacts our blink rate, may lead to potentially damaging build up effects in our human lens and retina, and even impacts our sleep pattern! Given this environment, our children need to have highly efficient and accurate visual systems, or they will be left behind.
Unfortunately, vision problems are common among school-aged children. According to Prevent Blindness America, nearly 1 in 4 children have vision problems that, if left untreated, can impact their learning ability, personality, and adjustment in school. What's even scarier is that often children are unable to recognize that they are having a problem and most school vision screenings are unable to detect visual problems beyond nearsightedness (myopia).
An estimated 70-90% of all classroom learning comes through the visual system. Remember, there is more to vision that just seeing 20/20! Annual, comprehensive eye health and vision examinations are one of the most important investments a parent can make to help maximize their child's education and overall health and well-being. Here are some rules to live by:
Detect – Make sure all school-aged children receive a back to school, comprehensive eye health, and vision evaluation to identify potential pitfalls regarding vision and learning.
Protect – Utilize anti-reflective lenses that reduce exposure to high energy visible light and encourage the use of sun protection when outside and safety eyewear for sports.
Prevent – Limit digital eye strain by following the 20-20-20 rule -- For every 20 minutes of near work, take a 20-second break and view an item 20 feet away and promote frequent periods of outside play.
At North Shore Eye Health and Wellness, we look forward to helping your child succeed in school and develop to their full potential!