The Gift of Sight for a Lifetime
By Cynthia Payne, O.D.
Children’s eyes should be monitored by an eye doctor from birth. It is important to have annual, routine eye exams for your child as they develop and grow so that any problems can be corrected early and visual development can progress normally.
Recognizing, diagnosis and treatment of vision problems early in children is important for proper development of visual learning skills and to help prevent permanent vision loss in your child. As a parent or teacher, some of the symptoms to watch for include squinting, tilting the head when trying to focus, wanting to be closer to an object to see it, or holding books closer to the eyes when reading or writing. Sometime vision problems can manifest as behavior problems such as short attention span or disinterest in learning skills or problems in sports such as difficulty in hitting a ball or even bike riding. Other symptoms to watch for include eye turn in or out, up or down, lid drooping or a pupil that looks white.
Ways to help with vision development include playing games such as peek-a-boo, floating bath toys, seek-and-find, puzzles, rolling/tossing/hitting a ball, blocks, connect the dots, tracing and coloring, stickers, balance beams, riding a bike and age appropriate video games as well as reading to and with your child.
Good depth perception, side vision (peripheral) awareness, good eye/hand coordination and clear distance vision are necessary for success with sports. Any activity that helps improve balance, tracking an object or moving the eyes from point to point will improve these skills.
Sport specific eye protection while playing sports is critical as well. Thousands of eye injuries each year results from sports and could have been prevented if sports glasses had been worn. It is important that the sports glasses fit well and provide UV protection for outdoor sports. Trendsetter Eyewear carries ZLeader, Oakley, Bolle and Wiley X eyewear for sports. All of these brands and swim goggles can be made with prescription if needed.
All children should wear sunglasses anytime they are out in the sun (even babies). Like with the skin, UV damage is cumulative to the eyes as we age. Wearing UV protection from the earliest age will help prevent or delay cataract formation, pinguecula and pterygium formation on the white part of the eye, and age related macular degeneration. Trendsetter Eyewear has sunglasses to fit children from Ray Ban, Bolle, Oakley and Menizzi. Julbo has some great sunglasses for very young children.
Dry Eye is an emerging problem for children. Dehydration can play a role but currently it is thought that diet is a main factor. Symptoms include burning, sandy/gritty sensation, excessive tearing, or increased light sensitivity. Have your child examined by an eye doctor if they experience any of these symptoms.
Trendsetter Eyewear also has a fashionable collection of eyeglasses for children or teens such as Ray Ban, Menizzi, Lafont, Bebe, Oakley, Tom Ford, and Kate Spade. Spring hinges, flexible metals or zyls, and adjustable ear pieces (temples) are important considerations for younger children’s eyewear. Anyone under the age of 18 is prescribed polycarbonate lenses. Polycarbonate lenses are thinner, lighter, stronger, and provide UV blocking. These lenses are more protective and safer to wear. Transition lenses are also a great choice for children’s eyewear. Not only do they provide additional UV protection but can also function as sunglasses and help protect the eye structures from harmful short wavelength light from the sun.
Cynthia S. Payne, O.D.
1225 S. Ft. Apache Road, Ste. 145 • Las Vegas, NV 89117
702.479.5222 • trendsettereyewear.com