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 CHILDRENS EYES 

AND SPECTACLES


Special range for the young






















PROBLEMS TO LOOK OUT FOR IN CHILDREN'S EYES

IN INFANTS
 Eyes turning in or out (a Squint)
 One eye bigger than the other
 Frequent rubbing of the eyes
 Discomfort in bright light
 Watery eyes
 A red spot in one eye

IN TODDLERS AND YOUNG CHILDREN
 Sitting too close to the television
 Holding books very close
 Clumsiness
 Sore-looking eyes or eyelids
 Trouble seeing colours
 Blinking rapidly or screwing up the eyes

IN OLDER CHILDREN
 Headaches or eyestrain
 Blurred or double vision
 Words moving about during reading

 BABIES EYES

At birth a baby will be slightly longsighted with a prescription of about +2.00 dioptres (D) which reduces to about 0.50D by the age of 4 years. New-born babies have a high degree of astigmatism (approx 3D minus cylinder vertically positioned) which, like the longsightedness, reduces to negligible proportions by the age of 4 years. Special computer vision charts with Lea symbols can be used on children which when unrecognised appear to be in the shape of a ball or circle. The Lea symbols are shown above to the right. According to latest research childrens sight is still developing and improving up to age 9 years (line acuity).

 WHAT ARE THE COMMONEST SERIOUS EYE PROBLEMS

Children's eyes can be affected by problems at birth such as damage to the retina in premature babies and infections from meningitis which can affect the blood vessels in the brain leading to damage to the optic nerve. Children can inherit conditions such as retinitis pigmentosa which predominantly affects the side vision, macular dystrophies which prevent central detailed vision and Leiber's optic atrophy which affects the whole of the visual area. Children can also suffer from glaucoma, retinal detachments, congenital cataracts and older children can lose vision from diabetes.

 SHOULD YOU PROTECT YOUR CHILDREN'S EYES FROM THE SUN IN BRITAIN?

This is a question few parents ever consider as they may well assume that children seem to manage without difficulty. However, children are more at risk than adults from the harmful ultra-violet and blue light because children's eyes have not fully developed their protective mechanism. A child reaching the age of 18 may have received over half of their lifetime amount of dangerous radiation and may be more likely to suffer serious eye problems later in life than a child who wears sunglasses.

 IS YOUR CHILD DYSLEXIC?

DOES YOUR CHILD:

 Seem bright but struggle with reading?
 Become easily frustrated and tired when reading?
 Reverse words, letters or numbers?
 Have difficulty spelling?
 Frequently lose the place, skip words or whole lines when reading?
 Have poor reading comprehension?

If so your child may be dyslexic.

  WHAT IS DYSLEXIA?

Dyslexia, from a Greek word meaning difficulty with words. Dyslexia is a broad term defining a learning disability that impairs a person's fluency or comprehension accuracy in being able to read, and spell, and which can manifest itself as a difficulty with, auditory short-term memory, and/or rapid naming. Dyslexics usually have a larger right hemisphere in their brain and may be better at skills controlled by that side of the brain, such as musical ability, intuitive personal skills, problem solvers, visualisation skills or athletic ability.Dyspraxia, or clumsy child syndrome, may be linked to dyslexia.

  VISUAL FACTORS IN DYSLEXIA

The ability to focus (accommodation) is likely to be below normal and binocular instability more commonly found in a poor reader than a good reader. Difficulty using the two eyes together (binocular instability) can be detected using special equipment, such as an instrument called th Mallett OXO unit, where the patient is asked if the lines are aligned or if they move and measuring the eyes ability to keep objects looking single (fusional reserves).

  MEARES-IRLEN SYNDROME or VISUAL STRESS

The term Meares-Irlen Syndrome or Visual Stress refers to symptoms and signs of visual fatigue when reading that are reduced when colour is used as therapy. Other terms are Irlen syndrome or Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome The most common Meares-Irlen syndrome (from Olive Meares and Helen Irlen) symptoms are the appearance of text moving or blurring (visual perception distortions), sore eyes, tired eyes, visual discomfort and headaches. The Meares-Irlen syndrome is present when a childs' reading ability is improved by the use of coloured filters which need to be those with smooth transition curves to minimise the effect of external lighting conditions. People with Meares-Irlen syndrome symptoms still require a full eye examination to rule out the possibility of other ocular causes.



THERE IS A GREAT RANGE OF SPECTACLE FRAMES FOR CHILDREN



LEA SYMBOLS

  WHEN SHOULD CHILDREN'S EYES BE EXAMINED?

Children's eyes can be examined at any age. If an infant or toddler has an eye problem the sooner it is detected the better it will be in the long term. Important defects that need to be looked out for are cataract (cloudiness inside the eye), squint (an eye that turns in) or hypermetropia (severe long-sightedness). It is normal for babies to be born with longsightedness (hypermetropia of +2.00D) which increases to its largest amount at three to six months and large amounts of eye irregularity (against the rule astigmatism - minus axis vertical) up to the age of three. Eye-drops may need to be used on a child if there is a suspicion of an eye turning in (esotropia) or a lazy eye (amblyopia), where the standard of vision is below normal or if the eyes are not being used to perceive depth of vision (poor stereopsis).

 SPECIAL FOR CHILDREN

Children of all ages love cartoon characters. The
computer-generated vision chart includes a range of them and colourful images to interest the young person. There are different sized pictures of well-known items such as a duck, an aeroplane, a teapot and many others which an infant should recognise. The chart also includes a brightly coloured clown's face which changes expressions and has a nose which changes colours.

  SPECTACLE FRAMES FOR CHILDREN

If it is found that your child will benefit from spectacles, the good news is that there is an exciting array of specially designed frames to choose from and many young people think spectacles are cool to wear.

  NHS HELP

For all children under 16 years old, the NHS pay for the eye examination and contribute towards the cost of any spectacles and even contact lenses. There is a special up-to-date range of spectacles which D & J Brower Opticians have made available at no charge at all to your child. There has never been a better time to ensure your child's eyes are developing normally.

  WHAT DO THESE PEOPLE HAVE IN COMMON?

Beethoven, Mozart, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Sir Steve Redgrave, and Sir Richard Branson.

Apart from being composers or Knights of the Realm the one element which links them all is dyslexia.

  CONTACT LENSES FOR CHILDREN

There are no fitting reasons why children should not wear contact lenses —however it may take a little longer for a child to learn successfully the handling techniques. For very young children parents should be able to insert and remove the child's lenses and be aware of the hygiene requirements. Short-sighted children (myopes) do better in contact lenses but those with long-sightedness (hyperopes) are better with spectacles due to the magnified affect of them. The average age a child is first fitted with contact lenses in the UK is around 13 years of age and statistically there is no greater risk of getting a serious infection (microbial keratitis). It is a common misconception that the eye doesn't change size through life but actually an infant's cornea (front surface of the eye) is on average about 7.1 mm in radius compared to 7.8 mm in an adult. Similarly an infant horizontal visible iris diameter (the size of the coloured part of the eye) is only 10 mm across and in an adult 11.7 mm.