Read this interview with your optometrist in Virginia Beach. Get answers to all of your pediatric eye care questions.
1) We hear a lot about “seeing your eye doctor regularly”. In school aged children, ages 5 through 17, what does regularly mean?
"Seeing your eye doctor regularly" we define it as a comprehensive exam once a year. We emphasize that for everyone, but especially children, yearly exams are important. Due to growth spurts which can cause vision changes and essentially hinder school performance, you should be diligent about having your child's eyes examined.
2) What about pre-schoolers? Are there signs parents should look for that would indicate a trip the optometrist is necessary?
Signs parents should look for include constant rubbing of the eyes, squinting , or when one eye will turn either in or outward.
3) Because many children may be too young to read, how is an eye exam conducted if they cannot read a Snelling Chart?
What we do in those cases is; Have the parent make faces at the child ( as a distraction) while looking through a machine and I will determine a close estimate of a prescription if warranted.
4) One of the greatest tasks of a school-aged child is learning to read and in older children, the amount of reading required. What should parents be on the lookout for concerning their child’s reading and potential vision problems?
Parents should be aware of a drop in academic performance as well as a lack of attention/ difficulty with performing homework activities.
5) We often discuss vision problems as they relate to sitting in a classroom, but what about the playground or vision acuity’s effect on socialization and play?
Vision issues can affect socialization and playing too in regards to sports performance. For an example, It can be difficult to hitting a baseball or playing basketball if you suffer from blurred vision. We would suggest sports goggles or contact lenses to help.
6) Today it seems that many children are very quickly diagnosed as learning disabled or dyslexic. How does vision play into the problems and what are the differences?
I believe that vision is critical when it comes to learning. Learning disabilities, dyslexia, or any other obstacle in that matter requires a team effort ( parents, doctors, teachers etc) to perhaps create a suitable non-traditional method for the child to learn. We as a whole should create an environment to position the child to succeed in learning.
7) We have many choices today to correct our vision. What do you recommend as the earliest age for contact lenses?
I don't ever place an age for contact lenses because every client is different and therefore a personalized treatment plan is created to suit both parent and child's concerns.
8) Kids can be hard on glasses. Are there effective glasses for children today that last?
We usually recommend Flexon because they are very durable, lightweight, and flexible !
9) Vision Therapy appears to be making a comeback and is being utilized by some students to address their vision problems. Can you talk about vision therapy and when it is right for your child?
Vision therapy is an option that can help patients in a variety of ways. There are some athletes that want to enhance their visual tracking and there are optometrist that have a niche in their practice to help. You also have optometrist who specialize in treating "lazy eye", so as you can see, it is more specialized and your local optometrist can lead you in the right direction to be serviced.