Tag Archives: children

New Education about Eye Care for Children

31 Jan

Sharon Kleyne, host of the Sharon Kleyne Hour Power of Water syndicated radio talk show, recently interviewed Marguerite McDonald, MD about pediatric eye care and what every parent should know about preventing low vision and blindness in children.

Sharon noted that according to the World Health Organization, there are 1.4 million blind children in the world, and many more with low vision. Three-fourths of blind children live in the poorest regions of Africa and Asia, where 80% of blindness is preventable or correctable.

Major causes of childhood blindness in wealthy countries include genetic disorders, and lesions of the optic nerve and higher vision centers. In poor countries, blindness may be caused by measles (preventable), Vitamin A deficiency (preventable), harmful folk remedies (preventable), cataracts (curable), retinopathy of prematurity (curable), glaucoma (treatable), retinoblastoma (the eye usually can’t be saved but the life can) and infections such as conjunctivitis (curable). Causes of low vision include amblyopia (curable), strobismus (curable), nearsightedness (correctable) and developmental problems.

Sharon Kleyne, Marguerite McDonald and the World Health Organization agree that education is the key to preventing low vision and blindness in children. Frequent eye exams and the availability of medical care are most effective when parents are educated about the need for eye screenings and exams, and about what to look for in a child’s visual development.

Dr. McDonald believes that eyes are the most important organ in relating to the outside world. And yet there is much less education available on eye care than with most other health areas. Sharon Kleyne agreed. According to studies by the American Academy of Ophthalmology, sponsor of the “EyeSmart” campaign, Americans know virtually nothing about eye care.

Marguerite McDonald noted that the better hospitals routinely test infant vision. If there are no problems, they probably won’t mention it. All babies should have a pediatric eye exam because with conditions such as lazy eye, pediatric cataract (present in one birth in 50) or glaucoma, the earlier they are caught, the easier they are to correct. These conditions all cause the eye to send incorrect messages to the brain. When the brain begins ignoring messages from the bad eye, correction becomes far more difficult

Sharon asked about eye and brain communication. According to Dr. McDonald, the retina is actually part of the brain. Eye-to-brain pathways begin developing immediately after birth and it is critical that the baby’s eyes send correct messages. She notes that vision is, in large part, learned behavior (the ability to interpret what you see and to fill in the blanks), and poor vision in childhood can lead to learning and behavior problems.

Dr. McDonald notes that most schools have vision screening programs and are able to detect poor vision because they need only a simple eye chart. Diseases such as dry eye or glaucoma are much harder to detect and a doctor is required. However, an educated and observant parent is always the first line of defense.

© 2012 Bio-Logic Aqua Research

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What is the Eye? Newsletter Issue #1

8 Aug

Everyone has an eye. Heck, some people even have two! We want to educate everyone about the importance of taking care of their eye(s). Why? Because that is how we see the world- through our eyes.

From our sister site, http://oneeyeatatime.tumblr.com. Take a peek!

USDA Food Pyramid Is Now “My Plate”

Healthy Eyes in Children – What to watch for and what to do.

Watery Eyes a Symptom of Dry Eyes

Computer Vision Syndrome and Computer Eye Strain

Baby Steps Towards Eye Care

30 Sep

Eye care is an extremely important aspect of your health, and yet it seems that many people do not take precautions to preserve their sight until it is too late. This article is for parents, to encourage them to take their children to the eye doctor soon and often.

According to VSP, “eye care experts say children should have their first eye exam when they are only 6 months old.” However a recent study found that nearly 85% of pre-schoolers in the United States have not received one by age five.

For some suggestions, VSP spoke with Dr. Nick Brattis, a veteran optometrist from Casper, Wyo. “He echoes other vision experts with a suggested timeline for early childhood eye exams:

  • At 6 months. It’s best to find a specialist in treating young children. This exam mostly checks basic working order and structure of the eyes – to make sure they’re developing properly. The doctor will also check that the eyes are working well together. And, that they’re free of rare but serious problems — such as cataracts and tumors — that could hinder vision.
  • Between 2 and 3 years. The doctor will check for signs of developmental eye problems, like “lazy eye,” crossed eyes (strabismus), nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. If the doctor finds a problem, helpful therapy can usually start right away. This is important, so kids may avoid wearing corrective items, such as an eye patch, when they go to school.
  • Pre-K. Just before kindergarten, the doctor will check for visual acuity and prescribe glasses if needed.”

For more information, view the source article Baby Steps: Make Sure Some of Them are to the Eye Doctorat VPS

“In general, children should have an eye exam if:

  • There is red eye, with or without discharge.
  • They squint their eyes to read or see small things.
  • They complain of blurry distant vision.
  • They blink excessively.
  • They have headaches or double vision.”

Source: VSP