When should my child have his/her first eye exam?
The first dilated eye exam is recommended between 3 and 4 years of age. We also recommend regular exams, so if any problems are forming, they can be detected early on. The most common eye problem seen by an eye doctor is the need for glasses. Your child’s need for glasses can be determined by simply dilating the eyes in order to observe a retinal reflex. This is especially helpful for our youngest patients, who cannot determine the prescription they need.
Why is a regular eye exam important?
We recommend regular eye exams so if any problems are forming they can be detected early on. The most common problem seen by an eye doctor is the need for glasses. Most children can adapt to blurred vision or accommodate (focus) through a considerable amount of nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism without showing any problems. They also do not have the ability to verbally communicate what they are seeing, or not seeing. The eyeglass prescription can change considerably. Just as a child’s body grows rapidly, so does the shape of the eye. With regular visits we are able to monitor these changes.
What is a Lazy Eye?
The term “lazy eye” is a generic term most often used to mean a number of different conditions: crossed eyes (strabismus), poor vision (amblyopia) or a droopy eyelid (ptosis).
Why is dilation important for my child?
The dilation is important for two different reasons. It allows us to obtain the most accurate amount of refractive error (nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism) and to determine if glasses are necessary. It also allows us to view the internal structures of the eye and overall eye health.
Will dilation hurt?
The dilation spray or drops will normally sting slightly. Afterwards, there is light sensitivity and blurred vision at a close range that persists for several hours. There is no pain involved.
How long will the dilation last?
For children, a special dilating drop or spray is used in the office that will cause an enlarged pupil, light sensitivity and blurred vision when focusing at a close range. This normally will last approximately 6 to 8 hours. For adults, a different dilating drop is used that will cause the same effects but should last approximately 2 to 4 hours. Caution should be taken with driving. We provide free disposable sunglasses or dark sunglass inserts. We recommend avoiding driving or operating dangerous machinery immediately afterwards. We recommend that someone accompany you to drive you home if you feel uncomfortable doing so.
When can my child begin wearing Contact Lenses?
When the child is responsibly ready to maintain the proper handling and care of the contact lenses. This is not at any one particular age. We typically will ask the parent or guardian if the child is responsible with daily chores, school, and is motivated for the extra work that contact lenses require.
Can I wear contact lenses if I just need reading glasses?
Most people can still wear contact lenses comfortably even though they only need help focusing on near work. This probably will mean they need a multifocal contact lens or may be a better candidate for mono vision.
What are Multifocal Contact Lenses?
Multifocal Contact Lenses are lenses designed with different focal points within the lens. They help to focus distance, intermediate and near vision. They are soft and disposable and normally very comfortable. They usually help to eliminate or decrease the dependence on reading glasses. They also help to restore depth perception.
Can excessive reading and focusing make my child more nearsighted?
Yes. However, there are a few recommendations that Dr. Piccione and Dr. Lukasko make towards helping to slow down the progression of nearsightedness. They can offer various options based on your child’s age, family history, refractive error and visual demands.
Which types of lenses are recommended for children's glasses?
Polycarbonate material is always recommended for children because of its safety properties. It is shatter and impact resistant and has 100% UV (ultraviolet) protection. It is also very thin and light-weight; therefore more comfortable.
If my child has a blocked tear duct, does he or she need surgery?
Not necessarily. Blocked tear ducts, which are usually present at birth, are manifested by tearing, crusting, and discharge from the affected eye. They normally clear spontaneously by six to eight months of age. If the tear duct does not open, we offer a simple procedure known as a tear duct probe. Performed within minutes using light anesthesia, this innovative treatment is over 90 percent successful.