Back to School Eye Exams are Critical to a Child’s Classroom Success
As we prepare to send our children off to school we remember to schedule our immunizations, replace the clothes they’ve outgrown and run through the list school supplies; however, it’s easy to overlook our children’s vision. A back to school eye exam is essential to a child’s success. Afterall, over 80% of what a child learns is through what they see yet over 86% of children have never had an eye exam.
The link between learning and eyesight is compelling. Eye exams that include a thorough assessment of a child’s vision and ocular health are crucial for children of all ages. Set your child up for a successful school year. Start a great tradition with a back to school eye exam. Poor eyesight can adversely affect a child’s educational performance and social development.
Important facts to consider;
- The American Optometric Association states that 60% of children identified as having learning difficulties have undetected visual problems.
- Uncorrected or insufficiently corrected vision leads to an accelerated rate of progression in a child’s nearsightedness.
- Vision problems affect one out of twenty preschool age children. Untreated visual problems can worsen leading to other more serious behavioral and learning problems.
A Back To School Eye Exam Is More Important Than Ever
As adults, we spend hours a day looking at our small digital devices; however, our children spend even more time on their digital devices. Time spent on cell phones and tablets have a significant impact a child’s vision, by creating an environment conducive to increasing nearsightedness and an increased exposure to blue light. New technology in contact lenses has made it possible to prevent the progression of nearsightedness in children. Advances in ophthalmic lens coatings now making it possible to block certain harmful wavelengths of light emitted from digital devices and computer screens.
Back To School Eye Exam Experts
The eye doctors at Total Eye Care are experts in determining which of these technologies are best for you and your family. Call Today or schedule your appointment online.
The study of myopia control (nearsightedness) is a hot field of study, particularly in China where the High Myopia – Partial Reduction Orthokeratology (HM-PRO) study was conducted. This study is the latest in an effort to find an effective means to slow or even stop the progression of nearsightedness in children. The HM-PRO study is unique in that it treated 18 highly myopic children (Rx over -5.75 D) between the ages of 8 and 11 with a combination of OrthoK lenses and glasses, and followed them for two years. The study participants were matched with a control group of 18 children, the same age and also with prescriptions over -5.75D.
In the HM-PRO study 18 participants and 18 control patients were followed for 2 years. 15 of the treatment patients and 13 control patients completed the study. After two years the treated patient’s nearsightedness increased by – 0.13D and the untreated (control) patients increased their nearsightedness by -1.00D.
Myopic progression is also measured by how much the eye grows in length (called the axial length). In this case the treated patients showed a significant reduction in progression with their axial length increasing by 0.19 mm whereas the control group’s axial length increased by 0.51 mm.
The study authors concluded that orthokeratology lenses slowed axial length elongation by 63% and reduced the prescription change by 87%. It has yet to be shown that orthokeratology lenses stop the myopic progression clearly this study, like numerous other before it, show that orthokeratology is effective in markedly slowing the progression of nearsightedness in children. At Total Eye Care we have been using reverse curve orthokeratology lenses to control myopia since 1999 and have fit hundreds of kids and adults.
Posted in children, contact lens, orthokeratology, Refractive issues
Tagged accelerated ortho-k, children, contact lenses, corneal refractive therapy, CRT, myopia, nearsightedness, ortho-K, orthokeratology
During a 24 month study of 100 hospitals contact lenses accounted for 23% of
medical device related emergency room visits involving children.
In a study published online this week in the journal Pediatrics entitled “Emergency Department Visits for Medical Device-Associated Adverse Events Among Children” it was found that 23% of the medical device related emergency room visits involving children from birth to 21 years of age were contact lens related, this is in contrast to the next closest category, injuries due to a puncture by a hypodermic needle, which placed a distant second at 8%. An additional noteworthy finding was that an another 6% of the ER visits involved lacerations caused by eyeglasses.
The study did not outline how the children were using their contact lenses. Were they caring for and cleaning them properly? Did they discard the lenses according to the replacement interval prescribed by their doctor and what type of contact lenses were involved in the study? The injuries incurred while wearing eyeglasses did not specify the type of activity the child was participating in when the incident occurred.
Contact lenses are medical devices and as such require a prescription from an eye doctor with professional fitting and followup. In clinical practice we have found that patients that follow the guidelines below rarely experience contact lens related complications.
Injuries due to eyeglass lenses and frames was also a significant source of injuries in the study. We must therefore, not forget to provide our children with protective eyewear when they participate in sports. Sports eyewear has come a long way since the days when Kareem Abdul-Jabbar captured his trademark look. Sports eyewear has now become fashionable and safe.
More information on contact lenses.
Posted in children, contact lens, emergency, optometrist
Tagged children, complication, contact lens, contact lenses, eyeglasses, prevention, safety eyewear, sport glasses
From July through September, Total Eye Care is partnering with Bausch + Lomb to raise awareness about the benefits of daily disposable contact lenses for children.
As parents prepare to send their children back to school, it’s important to make sure that our children are getting proper vision care for optimal performance in and out of the classroom.
“Daily disposable contact lenses are easily the safest and most convenient contact lens option. Now through our partnership with Bausch + Lomb, we hope that more children and adults will experience the convenience and safety of daily disposable contact lenses” says Dr. Richard Driscoll of Total Eye Care in Colleyville.
Through our partnership we will be able to offer a 90 pack of daily disposable contact lenses for only $35.
As parents we often think that our son or daughter has good vision and therefore does not need an eye exam. Common misperceptions of why eye exams in children are not important include, my son doesn’t complain of blurry vision, my child’s grades are good, or the parents have good vision therefore the kids probably do too.
School screening don’t qualify as an eye exam. While an essential part of protecting the visual and physical health of our children, school screenings were never intended to replace a professional eye exam. School screenings prevent children from “falling between the cracks” and are best used to supplement regular eye care. Read more about safeguarding our children’s vision.
That is the opinion of The National Commission on Vision & Health, in a new report entitled “Building a Comprehensive Vision Care System“, found that 25% of school age children have undiagnosed vision problems and that correcting this must become a national health care priority.
Some of the vision problems cited in the literature review included undiagnosed nearsightedness, farsightedness, amblyopia, retinoblastoma, congenital defects, and strabismus. The report went on to state that a vision screening was not a substitute for an eye exam and that eye exams from an optometrist or ophthalmologist were a very effective way to detect vision problems in children.
In 2004 The Vision council of America estimated that the rate of undetected vision problems in children to be 25%. The 2010 National Health Objective 28-4 to reduce blindness and visual impairment in children and adolescents has experienced little progress in it’s goal to reduce childhood blindness.
In 2002 the American Public Health Association (APHA) issued a statement supporting regular eye exams in children to improve the detection rate of vision problems instead of regular screenings. APHA recommended eye exams at age 6 mos, 2 years and 4 years. A failure of the current screening program is the lack of follow through for children when problems are detected. “Most forms of vision loss in children are preventable. Improving the access to eye care for children should be as important as are our current childhood vaccination programs” said Dr. Richard Driscoll.
Sixteen states do not require any vision assessment prior to a child entering school. The remaining states require some for of vision assessment prior to a child entering school, however only five states require a follow up examination to the screening. Screenings are clearly not effective if the results are not acted upon. Only three states, Illinois, Kentucky and Missouri have legislated mandatory eye exams prior to a child entering school.
Cost was found to be an issue with getting visual assessments for children. Uninsured children did not receive a well child visit 54% of the time. Often a well child visit includes a visual assessment.
The recommendations of the study to improve access to eye care for children included funding national campaigns to educate the public regarding the need to seek care for their child, setting up national standards to be adopted by all states, assure adequate vision coverage by all public and private insurers.
For more articles written on The Eye Doc Blog on vision problems in children see
Assessing the visual needs of your child with an eye exam is the first step in protecting your child’s vision. It is equally important to select lenses that will not only make them see well but also protect their eyes.
Polycarbonate or Trivex lenses are the only lens types that have the potential to reduce—not increase—the risk of serious eye injury. Polycarbonate and Lexan are used in bullet-proof windshields, safety glasses, helicopter canopies and many other hi performance applications. Other lens types, including glass and regular plastic (CR-39) will break into pieces upon impact. Often the impact from an object does less damage to the victim than the broken eyeglass lenses.
Both polycarbonate and Trivex are thin, lightweight and highly impact resistant. Kids can do crazy things and accidents can happen, therefore polycarbonate and Trivex are not just recommended for sports but should be used to protect their eyes everyday.
Trivex is highly scratch resistant making it the best option for children. Polycarbonate is much softer and therefore less scratch resistant, however it is slightly less expensive. Both lens materials naturally block 100% of UV light without any additional coatings. The optical qualities of Trivex are much better than those of polycarbonate, therefore there is less distortion and reflection from an ophthalmic lens made of Trivex. Both lens materials are available in Transitions (get darker outside, lighter inside) and accept an antireflective coating, which prevents reflections, making the lenses look transparent.
Technorati Tags: eye, children, amblyopia
The first year of the Stabilization of Myopia by Accelerated Reshaping Technique (SMART) Study has produced some encouraging results in a recent announcement. According to Dr. Robert L. Davis, co principal investigator of the SMART trial, “The net effect of this contact lens fitting philosophy is to change the cornea shape for the sole purpose of reducing the amount of myopia as measured by change in refraction” . “The results of the SMART Study so far are very exciting,” said Dr. Davis. “The outcomes of this study may revolutionize how we manage young nearsighted patients from this point forward”.
The SMART Trial involves 300 patients between the ages of 8 and 14. The goal of the study is to see if having patients where overnight orthokeratology or corneal molding lenses will stop or slow the progression of nearsightedness. The SMART Trial is the largest of its kind. Other studies have also shown that preventing nearsightedness with ortho-K contact lenses is possible, such the CANDY Study. A study from Ohio State Unversity suggested that wearing Ortho-K lenses overnight actually prevented the eye from becoming longer. The SMART Trial has just completed the first year of the five year study. We will continue to keep an eye on this potientially ground breaking study.
Is it too early to think about what we need to do to get our kids ready for school? One of the most important “school supplies” is your child’s annual eye exam. Over 80% of what a child learns is through their eyes, therefore it is important for our kids to see their very best.
Kids often don’t complain when they don’t see well and we can not rely on them to tell us when their vision is blurry. Blurry vision rarely happens quickly, it happens slowly over time and children and adults alike don’t realize what they have lost because it happens so slowly. On the Total Eye Care website we have more information on the components of a complete eye exam, school screenings and more information on children and vision. So carve out some time this busy summer and enhance your child’s learning with an eye exam.