School Prep: 3 Conditions Your Child’s Optomotrist Will Check For

With school underway, now is the time to have your child’s eyes checked. Even if you do not suspect a problem, it is still best to have your child examined by an optometrist to ensure that their eyes are in good health so they do not encounter any headaches or eye pain during the school year. The following are some things the optometrist will check for during your child’s eye exam: Astigmatism Astigmatism is a refractive error. This affects how the eyes focus on light. Those with astigmatism are not able to process light correctly with the retina. The eye instead has many different points that it focuses on in front of or behind the retina. If your child squints a lot when they are attempting to focus on something, especially when reading, mention this to the eye doctor at the appointment. Complaints of headaches can also indicate this problem. Your child will likely need glasses to correct this issue. Amblyopia Amblyopia, also commonly known as lazy eye, is when the vision of one or both eyes is decreased. This is seen often in children when they are very young. You can treat this a number of ways. If you catch it early, you can treat it using an eye patch. This is optimal if the problem is with one eye only. Your optometrist will give you an eye patch to cover the stronger eye with the lazy eye left as the only one the child uses. This will force that eye to work harder. Just like a muscle, it will become stronger the more it is used. You can also have your child fitted for glasses to help correct his or her vision. One lens will be stronger than the other, but that is not typically an issue. Farsightedness and Nearsightedness Scientifically known as hyperopia, farsightedness is a very common problem for a large percentage of the U.S. population. This condition prevents strong vision when focusing on close objects while being able to see distant objects clearly. Farsightedness can cause eyestrain, headaches, squinting, and fatigue. This is very easy to fix with prescription glasses. Nearsightedness, also known as myopia, is the opposite of farsightedness. It is also very common amongst many people. Nearsightedness allows you to see close objects very clearly, while it can be more difficult to see things far away. This is particularly problematic for children who need to be able to see the blackboard in a classroom. This will also require glasses to fix. A child’s eye health is very important when they go to school. Always take the time at the beginning of school each year to ensure your child’s eyes are healthy and to update prescriptions if necessary. For more information, contact an eye doctor at an office such as Coastal Eye...

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How Young Is Too Young for Lasik Surgery?

If your child has suffered from vision problems throughout his or her life, you may be tired of the expense and hassle associated with glasses and contact lenses but assume that laser vision correction (lasik) isn’t yet an option. While some physicians won’t perform this surgery on anyone under the age of 18 because of the vision changes that can continue through the teen years and into adulthood, there may be some factors that can work in your child’s favor when it comes to obtaining this treatment at a younger age. Read on to learn more about this procedure and what you’ll want to consider when presenting it as an option for your visually impaired child. When is a child too young for lasik? There’s no strict minimum age for this surgery; however, most physicians will refuse to perform laser vision correction on younger children and teens because their vision will often continue to change. On the other hand, if your child has had the same prescription for several years and hasn’t complained of any changes in vision, he or she may be a good candidate for this surgery. During a lasik treatment, the ophthalmologist will carefully direct a concentrated beam of light into your child’s lens, reshaping it to correct the nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism he or she experiences. This process may be uncomfortable but shouldn’t cause any pain. After a brief recuperation period during which he or she will need to avoid light and eye strain, your child should enjoy close to perfect vision without any corrective lenses.    What should you consider before pursuing this treatment for your child? There are a few factors you’ll want to take into account before going too far down the lasik path. The first is your child’s general demeanor, especially how he or she handles medical procedures. If dental visits tend to be a nightmare because your child has trouble sitting still or is reluctant to open his or her mouth for an examination, undergoing laser vision correction (which will require your child to lie still until the procedure is completed, then avoid natural light for about a day until the eyes have healed) may not be the best idea. You’ll also want to ensure that your child’s vision won’t continue to change. Even if he or she has had a static prescription for the last couple of years, it’s possible that future vision changes may still occur (especially if he or she hasn’t yet hit puberty). In this case, it can be much more cost effective to wait and avoid having to have a later follow-up surgery to tweak the original vision correction. Your child’s ophthalmologist should be able to give you a good idea of whether your child’s vision is likely to change in the future....

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