How to tell if Your Child Needs Glasses

Keeping your children happy and healthy is a parent’s number one concern. It is easy to tell when your child feels ill and needs to see a doctor, but how do you know if your child is having difficulties seeing?

There are common signs that your child is having difficulty seeing. If your child is showing one or more of the below signs, you should contact your eye doctor for an examination.

Avoiding activities?

The first way to tell if your child has a vision problem is when they won’t take part in fun activities such as coloring, reading or making things with their hands. Although every child has certain activities they dislike due to personal preferences – a child who decides to sit out while their friends play with bricks, coloring books and games may be suffering from poor vision.

Tired eyes?

Being a child can be exhausting; all that running around in the yard, playing with friends and making hideouts out of bedding would cause anyone to be tired. But there is a line between when your child should be rubbing their eyes due to tiredness (around naptime or bedtime) and when they may be feeling discomfort in their eyes. A child who rubs their eyes, or has watery or red eyes on more than one occasion, may also be struggling to see.

Sitting too close to TV and games consoles?

Another warning sign – and usually the most obvious one – is when your child turns on the TV and sits too close to the screen. In the average living room the TV may be approximately 5 meters away from your couch; an acceptable distance. If you see your child sitting very close to the screen, you may have a problem.

Headaches and frowning?

It’s normal for the occasional bump and bruise as your child explores their world and is active in the classroom. But if your child walks around rubbing her head regularly, complaining of a headache or squinting around bright lights – she may have a vision problem. When we have poor eyesight we find it hard to focus on objects either close up or at a distance. If you need a visual aid but don’t use one, your eyes work overtime to try and focus on that object. This causes  muscles in the back of the eye to tense up, resulting in headaches over the eyes.

Lack of concentration?

Another way to tell if your child has a vision problem is their inability to focus on the task in hand. Those same muscles are working overtime to focus, which can cause your child to feel restless and uncomfortable. The result is them not paying attention for long periods of time at school or at home.

What to do: 

If you feel your child may have a vision problem, and she exhibits one or more of the signs mentioned above, it is really important that you take them to an optometrist as soon as possible. Speak to your child about your concerns and explain that an eye test is not painful. If it turns out that your child does need glasses, gently tell them that this is the case and remember that wearing glasses is not a bad thing. There are many glasses styles available for kids, so not only will they look fashionable and cool – they will also be more comfortable in the classroom and participating in activities.

Glasses to Aid Kids’ computer vision

Prevent Computer Vision Syndrome

Did you know October is considered Computer Learning Month? We’re not here to teach you how to use the computer better, but to inform you of computer vision syndrome, especially for children who are likely to use the computer more often.

Take a look at these facts and figures from Gary Heiting, OD and Larry K. Wan, OD:

  • 94 percent of American families with children have a computer in the home with access to the Internet.*
  • The amount of time children ages 8 to 18 devote to entertainment media (including computer and video games) each day has increased from 6.19 hours in 1999 to 7.38 hours in 2009.**
  • In 2009, 29 percent of American children ages 8 to 18 had their own laptop computer, and kids in grades 7 through 12 reported spending an average of more than 90 minutes a day sending or receiving texts on their cell phones.**

Sitting in front of the computer screen stresses a child’s eyes because it forces them to focus and strain a lot more than any other task. This can put them at an even greater risk than adults for developing symptoms of computer vision syndrome.

According to the American Optometric Association (AOA), parents should consider these factors affecting children and computer use:

  • Children may not be aware of how much time they are spending at a computer. They may perform a task on the computer for hours with few breaks. This prolonged activity can cause eye focusing and eye strain problems.
  • Children are very adaptable. They assume that what they see and how they see is normal — even if their vision is problematic. That’s why it is important for parents to monitor the time a child spends working at a computer and make sure they have regular eye exams as directed by their optometrist or ophthalmologist.
  • Children are smaller than adults. Since computer workstations often are arranged for adult use, this can change the viewing angle for young children. Computer users should view the screen slightly downward, at a 15-degree angle. Also, if a child has difficulty reaching the keyboard or placing their feet comfortably on the floor, he or she may experience neck, shoulder and/or back pain.

Here are tips to reduce the risk of computer vision syndrome in children, according to the AOA:

  1. Have your child’s vision checked. Before starting school, every child should have a comprehensive eye exam, including near-point (computer and reading) and distance testing.
  2. Limit the amount of time your child spends at the computer without a break. Encourage kids to take 20-second breaks from the computer every 20 minutes to minimize the development of eye focusing problems and eye irritation. (Some eye doctors call this the “20-20 rule.”)
  3. Check the ergonomics of the workstation. For young and small children, make sure the computer workstation is adjusted to their body size. The recommended distance between the monitor and the eye for children is 18 to 28 inches. Viewing the computer screen closer than 18 inches can strain the eyes.
  4. Check the lighting. To reduce glare, windows and other light sources should not be directly visible when sitting in front of the monitor. Reduce the amount of lighting in the room to match the computer screen.

Be sure to check out our large selection of high quality and designer eyeglasses!

Visual Freedom Starts Here

Non-Surgical Vision Correction

If you are looking for a safe, non-invasive option to better eyesight, you may want to consider our alternate, non-surgical visual correction surgery which is also known as the vision retainer shaping system. This is the process of utilizing retainer contact lens that corrects your overall vision while you are asleep!

You may be asking yourself, “what is the difference between lasik eye surgery, and non-surgical vision correction?” And the answer is this:

  1. Vision Retainer Shaping System is less than half the cost of a laser vision eye surgery.
  2. Good news! The non-surgical method involves zero post pain.
  3. You will not experience any hazy or blurred vision once complete.
  4. Both of your eyes can be corrected in the same visit!
  5. No use, or need for steroid or other drugs as there are with laser surgery patients.
  6. We saved the best for last! This retainer contact lens is reversible, whereas surgical correction is not!

Our team can help you determine if you are a candidate. We also offer a free consultation! It is important to keep in mind that VRSS is not suitable for everyone, and needs to be performed by a qualified & licensed eye care expert, like Dr. Massie. This non-surgical vision repair is safe for all ages, including children and older adults. To see a list of the eye health insurance plans we accept, call our nearby office today! The road to visual freedom is only an appointment away!

Need Glasses? Find the Perfect Frame for Your Face Shape!

Did you know that it takes only three seconds for someone to make a first impression of you? That’s right – your hair, clothing, height, and the way you carry yourself is all analyzed within that short amount of time by those who encounter you.

Many times a certain type of frame can really attract a lot of positive compliments! But what type of frame is right for you? The endless options of eyewear can be very overwhelming, especially if you’re unsure of what will work with your face shape.

That’s where we come in!

If you don’t know your face shape, pull back your hair and look at yourself in the mirror. What kind of shape do you see when you examine your hairline, cheeks, chin, and jawline? If need be, take a dry erase marker and draw the shape of your face in the mirror.

Most eyewear will fall into one of four face-shape categories: square, round, oval, and heart. Choose the category that best describes your face shape, and see which frames you should shoot for to help you look your best!

If you have a SQUARE face…

You probably have a face that is proportional in width and length. You also might have a broad forehead, strong jawline, and a squared chin. You will want to create the illusion of length to help soften your jawbone, so round or oval frames with upward curves would be great for you! Frames with pops of color of flourishes in the corner can also help soften your sharp features. Try on semi-rimless, oval, and cat-eye frames to see which one you feel flatters your face the most.

If you have a ROUND face…

Your face is probably proportional in length and width but instead of sharp features, you have soft curves, a rounded jawline, and very few angles. Unlike those with square faces, you will want to stay far away from small rounded frames. Instead, try on high or mid-height temple frames, which will help give you a longer, slimmer face. Geometric and angular frames will also provide your face balance. Give squared frames with straight top lines and bold colors a shot – you’ll probably love them!

If you have an OVAL face…

Then celebrate! Your face shape is one of the easiest to dress up! Your face is probably longer than it is wide, has balanced features, and a chin that’s slightly narrower than your forehead. Your jawline is probably rounded, too. Wider frames with strong top lines will probably complement your face the best. But because your face is suited for nearly any frame, you don’t have to feel confined to a single look! Experiment with geometric shapes, square frames, and everything in between.

If you have a HEART face…

Your face is probably shaped like an inverted triangle in that your forehead is wider, your cheekbones are higher, and your jawline is narrow. Stay away from frames that exaggerate the widest parts of your face. Add width to your eye line by choosing round or oval frames that curve upward. Low temples and 70’s styled frames would all look fabulous on you!

If you’re ready for some new glasses, come on in to Performance Eyecare. We have several styles of frames for you to choose from. We want to help you look AND see great!

How to Get Your Child to Wear Glasses?

Everyone remembers how difficult it was to be a child, especially when you had something that made you stand out and others made fun of. So what do you do if your child needs glasses and they are not excited to wear them? You cannot tape them to their head or force them to wear the glasses when you are not around. So what can you do to encourage your child to wear their glasses?

Luckily, glasses have become trendy in the last few years and they make very stylish frames.  Hopefully your child will love their glasses and be excited to wear them. However, if your child is more hesitant, try some of these tips:

  • Let the teacher know your child needs glass and ask their help to ensure your child wears them.
  • Show your child pictures of celebrities and athletes wearing glasses and have them identify their favorite singer, actress, athlete or role model who wears glasses too.
  • Encourage your child to practice in front of the mirror with their glasses on. It will feel strange at first, but will eventually become second nature.
  • Encourage your child to take the glasses off throughout the day if they are uncomfortable. If the glasses are really uncomfortable, take your child back to get the frames adjusted.
  • If your child is old enough for contacts, see if they would prefer those instead.

Eye Exams for Children

As a parent, you may wonder whether your pre-schooler has a vision problem or when a first eye exam should be scheduled.

Eye exams for children are extremely important. Experts say 5 to 10% of pre-schoolers and 25% of school-aged children have vision problems. Early identification of a child’s vision problem is crucial because, if left untreated, some childhood vision problems can cause permanent vision loss.

When should kids have their eyes examined?

According to the American Optometric Association (AOA), infants should have their first eye exam at 6 months of age. They should go back to the eye doctor around age 3, then again at about age 5 or 6.

For school-aged children, the AOA recommends an eye exam every two years if no vision correction is required. Children who need eyeglasses or contact lenses should be examined annually.

Early eye exams also are important because children need the following basic visual skills for learning:

  • Near vision
  • Distance vision
  • Eye teaming (binocularity) skills
  • Eye movement skills
  • Focusing skills
  • Peripheral awareness
  • Eye/hand coordination

Scheduling your child’s eye exam

Your family doctor or pediatrician likely will be the first medical professional to examine your child’s eyes. If eye problems are suspected during routine physical examinations, they may refer an optometrist for further evaluation. Eye doctors have specific equipment and training to help them detect and diagnose vision problems.

When scheduling an eye exam, choose a time when your child is usually alert and happy. Specifics of how eye exams are conducted depend on your child’s age, but an exam generally will involve a case history, vision testing, determination of whether eyeglasses are needed, testing of eye alignment, an eye health examination and a consultation with you regarding the findings.

After you’ve made the appointment, you’ll fill out a form all about your child’s health. The health history form will ask about your child’s birth history (also called perinatal history), such as birth weight and whether or not the child was full-term. Your eye doctor also may ask whether complications occurred during the pregnancy or delivery. The form will also inquire about current medications and past or present allergies.

Be sure to tell your eye doctor if your child has a history of prematurity, has delayed motor development, engages in frequent eye rubbing, blinks excessively, fails to maintain eye contact, cannot seem to maintain a gaze while looking at objects, has poor eye tracking skills or has failed a pediatrician or pre-school vision screening.

Your eye doctor will also want to know about your child’s previous ocular diagnoses and treatments like surgeries and glasses or contact lens wear. Be sure you inform your eye doctor if there is a family history of eye problems requiring vision correction, such as nearsightedness or farsightedness, misaligned eyes (strabismus) or amblyopia (“lazy eye”).

Eye testing for infants

It takes some time for a baby’s vision skills to develop. To assess whether your infant’s eyes are developing normally, your eye doctor may use one or more of the following tests:

  • Tests of pupil responses evaluate whether the eye’s pupil opens and closes properly in the presence or absence of light.
  • “Fixate and follow” testing determines whether your baby can fixate on an object (such as a light) and follow it as it moves. Infants should be able to perform this task quite well by the time they are 3 months old.
  • Preferential looking involves using cards that are blank on one side with stripes on the other side to attract the gaze of an infant to the stripes. In this way, vision capabilities can be assessed.

Eye testing for pre-school children

Pre-school children can have their eyes thoroughly tested even if they don’t yet know the alphabet or are too shy to answer the doctor’s questions. Some common eye tests used specifically for young children include:

  • LEA Symbols for young children are similar to regular eye tests using charts with letters, except that special symbols in these tests include an apple, house, square and circle.
  • Retinoscopy is a test that involves shining a light into the eye to observing how it reflects from the retina (the light-sensitive inner lining of the back of the eye). This test helps eye doctors determine the child’s eyeglass prescription.
  • Random Dot Stereopsis uses dot patterns to determine how well the two eyes work as a team.

Eye and vision problems that affect children

Besides looking for nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism (refractive errors), your eye doctor will be examining your child’s eyes for signs of these eye and vision problems commonly found in young children:

  • Amblyopia. Also commonly called “lazy eye,” this is decreased vision in one or both eyes despite the absence of any eye health problem or damage. Common causes of amblyopia include strabismus (see below) and a significant difference in the refractive errors of the two eyes. Treatment of amblyopia may include patching the dominant eye to strengthen the weaker eye.
  • Strabismus. This is misalignment of the eyes, often caused by a congenital defect in the positioning or strength of muscles that are attached to the eye and which control eye positioning and movement. Left untreated, strabismus can cause amblyopia in the misaligned eye. Depending on its cause and severity, surgery may be required to treat strabismus.
  • Convergence insufficiency. This is the inability to keep the eye comfortably aligned for reading and other near tasks. Convergence insufficiency can often be successfully treated with vision therapy, a specific program of eye exercises.
  • Focusing problems. Children with focusing problems (also called accommodation problems) may have trouble changing focus from distance to near and back again (accommodative infacility) or have problems maintaining adequate focus for reading (accommodative insufficiency). These problems often can be successfully treated with vision therapy.
  • Eye teaming problems. Many eye teaming (binocularity) problems are more subtle than strabismus. Deficiencies in eye teaming skills can cause problems with depth perception and coordination.

Vision and learning

Experts say that 80% of what your child learns in school is presented visually. Undetected vision problems can put them at a significant disadvantage. Be sure to schedule a complete eye exam for your child prior to the start of school.

What to Know About Children’s Eyecare

Children's eyecare, Performance Eyecare Alton, Performance Eyecare STL, Children Eye exams

Your children are one of the most precious things to you, and making sure their eyes are healthy is a top priority for parents and caregivers. Some parents don’t know that both young children and babies should have comprehensive eye exams to make sure their eyes are working properly and don’t need correction.

Since infants and young children may have vision problems you can’t see, an eye exam by a certified optometrist is the best option. Children respond better to treatment and correction during these developing years as their brain is learning how to use their eyes to see.

What to Know About Children’s Eyecare

Children’s Eyecare & First Eye Exam. A baby should receive their first eye exam between the ages of 6-12 months according to the American Optometric Association (AOA). During this examination an optometrist will check for excessive nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. The optometrist will also make sure the eyes move in a coordinated way to rule out Amblyopia, commonly called “lazy eye”. They will also make sure your baby’s eyes aren’t overly sensitive to light, can follow an object’s movements and don’t have other health issues.

A Screening Is Not The Same As An Eye Exam. As your child grows, it’s important that they continue getting eye exams each year or at least at ages 3 and 5 and every year after that. Many preschools give vision screenings that may give parents a false sense of security that their child’s vision is fine. Unfortunately these screenings only assess one or two areas of vision and are really meant to indicate if further testing is necessary. A comprehensive vision exam by an optometrist is the only way to ensure proper diagnosis and care for your child’s eyes.

You Can Help Your Child’s Eyes Develop. As a parent or caregiver there are many things you can do to help your child’s eyes develop properly. The AOA recommends that you use a nightlight in their room as a baby, talk to them as you walk around the room, give them plenty of time to explore on the floor, play patty-cake and hide and seek games with them, and roll a ball back and forth with them as they get older. There are many other recommendations on their site for what to do as they grow.

Infant and Child Glasses Options Are Fun! Glasses have come a long way and recent innovations make them more user friendly and fashionable than ever. Many frames are made of flexible materials that fit children well and come in catchy colors and styles to fit any little face. Several styles also come with a band that goes around your baby or child’s head to keep the glasses on and in place.

At Performance Eyecare we take your child’s vision seriously. We work with you to make sure your infant or child gets the best care possible in a friendly, welcoming environment. Contact us for more information about how we can serve you and your children in the St. Louis, MO, Alton, IL or Swansea, IL areas.

Toy Related Eye Injuries

Each year, children are emitted into the hospital due to eye injuries due to toy relations. Nearly half of these injuries are to the head and face, and many are eye injuries. Toy related injuries are often sustained by children 5 years of age and under.

Online surveys conducted by All About Vision revealed that 41% of parents either hardly or rarely considered eye safety when shopping & selecting toys for their kids. Keep in mind that when these same parents were asked if they thought the toys their kids currently had at home could potentially cause eye damage, 54% of them answered definitely, and 22% said possibly. Injuries to the eyes due to toy mishaps may include scratches to the surface, also known as corneal abrasion; or a more serious injury can occur such as bleeding inside of the eye, traumatic cataracts or corneal ulcers.

As you prepare for Christmas this year, keep in mind these 6 toys that pose a higher risk for eye injury than others, especially is these toys are used without adult supervision and/or assistance

Performance Eyecare, Maryland Heights eye doctor

Silly String, also known as Aerosol String – If this string enters the eye it can cause an irritation or possibly even lead to pink eye due to the chemical in the product.

Toys That Can Cause Harm To The Eye, Performance Eyecare St. Louis, Performance Eyecare Maryland Heights
Children’s Fishing Poles– These can be especially dangerous to other nearby children. These should always be used with adult supervision. Example toys may include Catch of the Day.

Girl in bubble bath, foam
Party foam – This chemical can cause a burn to the eyes that can result in red eyes, blurred vision and eye infection.

 

 

ADHD & Vision Problems

Children Diagnosed with ADHD May Actually Have Vision Problems

ADHD, Performance Eyecare, Illinois Doctos, Missouri Doctors

Have you ever considered whether your child’s attention issues are directly related to their vision? Most people would probably answer no to this question, but the American Optometric Association discusses just that in this article; they state that children with the following symptoms may not actually have attention issues or ADHD, but problems with their visual skills:

  • Avoid reading and other near visual work as much as possible.
  • Attempt to do the work anyway, but with a lowered level of comprehension or efficiency.
  • Experience discomfort, fatigue and a short attention span.

What Signs Should I Look For?

The Center for Disease Control, the CDC, has a checklist dedicated to ADHD and the symptoms that may show in a child who has ADHD. Here are a few of the symptoms. A full list can be found here:

  • Often does not give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, work, or other activities.
  • Is often forgetful in daily activities.
  • Often avoids, dislikes, or doesn’t want to do things that take a lot of mental effort for a long period of time (such as schoolwork or homework).

As you can see, the signs of vision problems can mimic the signs of ADHD. Ruling out a potential vision issue may help your child succeed in school because they can get the medical or therapeutic help that they need. On the other hand, if what they need is glasses, we can help with that.

If your child is experiencing any of the above struggles, it’s time to get them in for an eye exam to rule out potential vision problems. Undiagnosed vision issues can lead to your child under-performing in school because they cannot see well enough to complete their work in order to succeed. Because your child’s eye needs can change over time, it’s possible that you are seeing these issues arise for the first time. Catching the problem as early as possible is vital. Children’s eyecare starts with regular examinations to catch potential issues before they hamper a child’s ability to succeed in school.

Performance Eyecare Can Help

At Performance Eyecare, we regularly treat a variety of eye conditions in children. We have offices all around the St. Louis region for your conveinence. Our experienced optometrists can complete your child’s eye exam, diagnose any issues with their vision, and then we can create a pair of custom glasses for your child in our in-office eyeglass laboratory.

Please contact us to schedule an appointment. Our experienced optometrists will be happy to answer any questions that you may have regarding children’s eye exams or vision problems and school performance, as well as what makes our eyeglass facility stand out in terms of quality and price. We look forward to hearing from you.

Eye Protection This Halloween

As noted by Kristina Tarczy-Hornoch, M.D., there are several tips parents should be aware of before letting your child roam around for candy.

  1. Don’t wear decorative (non-prescription) contact lenses

This addition to costumes is on the rise, especially amongst teenagers, but it’s causing a major concern for eye doctors.

It’s against the federal law to sell contact lenses in unlicensed outlets such as costume and party stores, but it’s sometimes loosely followed. These decorative lenses may be made from inferior plastic or contain toxic dyes.

Eye infections can become a major concern for those who improperly wear and handle contact lenses. It can rapidly develop into corneal ulcers and possible blindness.

If blurred vision, redness, discomfort, swelling or discharge occurs, discontinue use of the contact lens immediately. Schedule a visit with a physician sooner rather than later to address any remaining damage.

  1. Only use make-up approved by the FDA on the face and around the eyes

If your child plans on wearing face paint and make-up, please use a hypo-allergenic brand and pay close attention to the label.

When applying make-up near or around the eye, stay away from the lid margin (lash line). If you decide to use make-up close to your eyes, please use only products approved for use in that area such as eye-liner or eye shadow.

Remove the make-up with cold cream instead of soap and water. Rinse your eye with water if make-up gets into it. See an eye care professional as soon as possible if redness or irritation persists.

  1. Avoid swords and other pointed objects on kids’ costumes

We all hear from our kids how they need a sword, knife, spear or wand to complete their costume. It may be tempting, but a serious eye injury can occur if one of those pointed objects hits someone.

If your pirate needs a sword, find a belt carrier where it can stay safely nestled while he or she roams the neighborhood. You should buy or construct only accessories made of soft or flexible materials.

If your child does get poked in the eye, you should inspect it for signs of redness, decreased vision or pain. Eye injuries may be more serious than they appear. You should take your child to the doctor if he or she reports pain or blurred vision or if the eye is discolored or bloodshot.

If you notice irritation in your child’s eyes after Halloween, reach out to our team and we will be happy to help!