Skip to main content
614-678-5989
740-200-4244
614-333-0050
614-898-9989
Happy20Couple20Outdoors201280x480_preview1.jpeg
Home »

children eye care

How Can I Tell If My Child Needs Glasses?

Our Eye Doctors Share 6 Warning Signs

Every parent wants their child to make the most of his or her potential – both in and out of school. That doesn’t always mean you need to hire extra tutors and enroll your kid in daily after-school enrichment courses. In fact, one of the most effective ways to help children maximize their abilities is much less time-consuming and less costly. So what’s this secret method for helping kids to excel?… Schedule a pediatric eye exam to see if they need glasses!

Optimal vision is required to develop basic learning and socializing skills, such as reading, writing and forming new friendships. As you make a list of all the essentials your child needs for school, remember to include “eye exam”. Fortunately, it’s easy to cross that task off the list with a visit to our friendly St. Louis and St. Charles eye doctors.

While only a thorough eye exam by our optometrist can diagnose if your child needs (or doesn’tneed) eyeglasses, there are telltale warnings signs for parents to be aware of. The following 6 signs may point to your child’s need to wear prescription eyeglasses:

1. Squinting

This can indicate the presence of a refractive error, which affects the eyes ability to focus on an image. Squinting can temporarily bring objects into focus.

2. Head tilting or covering one eye

By angling his head or covering one eye, your child may be able to enhance the clarity of an object or to eliminate double vision. This trick works best when eyes are misaligned, or when your child has the common condition of a lazy eye (amblyopia).

3. Holding digital devices close to the eyes or sitting close to the screen

If your kid always sits right next to the TV screen or brings handheld devices up to her nose to see them, it may be a sign of nearsightedness.

4. Eye rubbing

Eyestrain or fatigue may lead to excessive eye rubbing. This can be a red flag for a variety of vision conditions, including eye allergies.

5. Headaches and/or eye pain

If your child goes to bed each night complaining about a headache, it could indicate that he spent the day overexerting his eyes to see clearly.

6. Trouble concentrating and/or weak reading comprehension

When learning in a classroom, kids need to constantly adapt their visual focus from near to far and back again. They are always shifting their eyes between the board, computer, notebook and textbook. If their eye teaming or focusing skills (accommodation) aren’t up to par, they won’t be able to maintain the necessary concentration.

Problems in school are often misdiagnosed as ADD or ADHD, when poor vision is really to blame. Think about it- if your child cannot see the board crisp and clear, her mind will likely wander to more interesting things. This will make it very hard for her to keep up in class and very easy to fall behind.

To protect your child from a medical misdiagnosis or being labeled with a behavioral problem, we encourage you to reserve an eye exam in our , and optometry offices. It’s very possible that a precise vision prescription and a pair of designer eyeglasses is all the treatment your child needs!

At Professional VisionCare, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 614-898-9989 or book an appointment online to see one of our Lewis Center eye doctors.

Want to Learn More? Read on!

FOLLOW US:

Fun Home-Based Activities to Strengthen Your Child’s Vision

crayons coloringAlthough 20/20 clarity is important, it’s not enough. You see, the visual system is made up of the eyes and the brain — and it’s how these two parts work together that makes all the difference. When your eyes and brain don’t communicate with each other properly, you may experience decreased reading comprehension, disorientation, lack of focus, and decreased cognitive abilities.

Strong visual skills are essential for learning and performing well in school and in sports. These include:

  • Fixation: The ability to fixate or hold your gaze on a target for an extended period.
  • Pursuit: The ability to follow a moving target as you would follow a tennis ball.
  • Saccade: The ability to rapidly shift focus between targets, such as moving from word to word while reading.
  • Accommodation: The ability to shift focus between distant to near objects (and vice versa), such as looking at the board and then writing notes in your notebook.
  • Binocularity: Using both eyes simultaneously.

If any of the above vision skills are deficient, your child may have difficulty paying attention, experience fatigue, exhibit behavioral problems, rub their eyes while reading, or use their finger to follow each word in a text. Furthermore, your child may appear to be performing well below their potential, and their writing may be messy despite having good fine motor skills. If your child has been diagnosed with reduced visual skills, why not continue to develop these skills at home? There are several activities that parents and caretakers can do during this time to help kids improve their vision.

At-Home Vision Exercises

Below are some ways you can help kids develop healthy vision from the comfort of their home.

Reading, Mazes, Puzzles and Writing — tracking

Visual tracking is made up of two skills: moving your eyes between targets (also called “saccades”), and following moving targets (called “pursuits”). We all make use of these basic skills every time we read, write, draw, drive, or do sports. Problems with tracking are manifested when we frequently lose our place while reading, or skim over words without processing them. Increasing the amount of time your child assembles puzzles, draws, and reads will improve their visual tracking.

Focusing on Static Targets — focus and depth perception

Focusing problems refer to the inability to sustain focus on a single point, or to easily switch between two targets (near and far, for example). One exercise is to hold a crayon or pen in front of your child and have them focus on it. Slowly move the pen closer to their eyes, and then away again. This develops focus and depth perception.

Alphabet Ball — fixation, binocularity, pursuits

With a permanent marker, draw letters, animals or colors on a ball or balloon. As you roll or toss the ball/balloon, ask your child to call out the last thing they noticed before catching it.

Near-Far Tasks — accommodation

Children are often required to alternate between near and far objects, such as when looking at their notebook and then at the blackboard, and back again. Have your child sit at a table and draw the shapes you have sketched on a piece of paper and hung on a nearby wall. The motion of looking from a near point to far point will help improve accommodation skills.

Pencil Movement — fixation

Ask your child to find a colored crayon they plan to use for drawing. But before they begin drawing, slowly move it in figure 8’s — horizontal, vertical, and circular motions in front of them — while having them follow it with their eyes. Doing this 5 minutes a day is an excellent way to improve fixation.

From all of us at Vision Therapy Center At Professional Vision Care, we wish you and your family a safe and healthy few months ahead.

Vision Therapy Center At Professional Vision Care serves patients from Lewis Center, Westerville, Johnstown, Northeast Columbus, and throughout Ohio.

Contact Lenses for Children

Do kids and contact lenses make good partners?

Many parents question whether children are good candidates for wearing contact lenses safely. In general, yes – many kids can successfully and safely wear contacts! However, this depends heavily on the individual child’s personality and maturity level, and not necessarily on their age (as many people believe).

At Professional VisionCare, we perform thorough eye exams for children in our modern eye care offices in Lewis Center, Westerville, Johnstown, and , Ohio. Based on the results from your child’s eye exam and a personalized consultation, we’ll help determine their candidacy for contacts. What issues must be taken into consideration?

When are kids ready to start wearing contact lenses?

Often, children as young as eight years old can wear contacts – but older teens cannot. That’s because readiness has to do with the child’s level of responsibility. To figure out if your kid is responsible enough to take care of contact lenses, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Will he or she follow our eye doctor’s instructions for how to take care of contact lenses?
  • Will he or she remember to remove the contacts before falling asleep each night?
  • Will your child be able to keep track of when to switch to a fresh pair of lenses?
  • Does your child finish chores and homework without constant reminders?

What’s the best type of contact lenses for kids?

Our optometrists in Lewis Center, Westerville, Johnstown, and , Ohio, often recommend daily disposable soft contacts for children of all ages. Caring for these lenses couldn’t be any easier – all your kid needs to do is throw them out each night and insert a fresh pair in the morning. For the health of your child’s eyes, it’s critical to choose high-quality dailies from a premium, brand-name manufacturer. Cheaper versions, such as knock-off labels from online shops, are associated with a much higher incidence of eye injury and infection!

How can kids benefit from contact lenses?

If your child plays sports, this is a simple question to answer! Glasses, even the best polycarbonate frames and lenses, can crack and cause eye injury. Putting on a pair of safety goggles over contact lenses is a much safer solution. As an added bonus, this vision combo gives wider peripheral vision than eyeglasses for seeing the whole field or court.

All kids, athletes and bookworms, get a boost to their self-esteem if they’re insecure about their appearance in glasses. Studies have shown how shy children were able to break free and socialize with more confidence once they switched to contact lenses.

Also, many kids have a habit of taking their glasses on and off, forgetting them in random places. Contact lenses cannot be misplaced as easily!

What’s the most important thing to tell kids who want to wear contact lenses?

When kids visit our optometry practices in Lewis Center, Westerville, Johnstown, and , Ohio, to ask about getting contacts, we make sure to tell them about the risks of being negligent. When contact lenses aren’t cared for properly, they can lead to serious infections that may damage vision. At Professional VisionCare, we’ll take the time to instruct your child on the best ways to handle, disinfect, and store their new contact lenses!

At Professional VisionCare, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 614-898-9989 or book an appointment online to see one of our Lewis Center eye doctors.

Want to Learn More? Read on!

FOLLOW US:

Does My Child Need Vision Therapy?

Signs that indicate your child may need kids eye care with vision therapy

Vision therapy is a non-surgical treatment based on the use of eye exercises, customized optometric devices, and techniques to enhance vision. This type of kids eye care can address and cure many common vision problems that cannot be resolved sufficiently with standard prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses. Without vision therapy, these problems can lead to learning difficulties – including trouble with basic reading and writing.

At Professional VisionCare, we offer custom-designed vision therapy near you, in our conveniently located eye care clinics in Lewis Center, Westerville, Johnstown, and , Ohio.

Signs that your child may need vision therapy

The need for vision therapy isn’t always clear, because changes can occur gradually and your kid doesn’t know his or her eyes should work differently. Often, only a qualified vision therapy professional will detect certain problems. Yet, while diagnosis can be tricky, there are a number of warning signs for parents to watch out for, including:

  • Holding books and reading material very close to the face
  • General avoidance of any tasks done up close
  • Headaches
  • Rubbing eyes frequently
  • Squinting or closing one eye; tilting head to one side
  • Skipping lines while reading
  • Taking an abnormally long time to do homework
  • Poor reading comprehension
  • Reverses letters when reading, such as b’s and d’s
  • Short attention span when it comes to reading and schoolwork
  • Trouble with focusing
  • Difficulty with visual tracking and eye mobility
  • Abnormal mood swings (often due to frustration)

If your child exhibits any of these symptoms, it’s essential to schedule a consultation with a kids eye care specialist near you as soon as possible. By starting vision therapy early, many vision-related problems with learning, socializing, and playing sports can be prevented – so your child doesn’t need to struggle.

Conditions treated by vision therapy

The most common problems that our eye doctors in Lewis Center, Westerville, Johnstown, and , Ohio, treat with vision therapy include:

  • Amblyopia (“lazy eye”)
  • Strabismus (irregular eye alignment)
  • Crossed eyes
  • Convergence insufficiency
  • Double vision
  • Reading and learning difficulties

The vast majority of children with these conditions can be helped by following a program of optometric vision therapy. We will custom-design in-office treatments and daily exercise sessions to be done at home.


Good vision is a cornerstone to learning and to success in life. As a parent, you can help make that happen by scheduling regular eye exams for your child with a kids eye care specialist near you.

At Professional VisionCare, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 614-898-9989 or book an appointment online to see one of our Lewis Center eye doctors.

Want to Learn More? Read on!

FOLLOW US:

How Can I Tell If My Child Needs Glasses?

Our Eye Doctors Share 6 Warning Signs

Every parent wants their child to make the most of his or her potential – both in and out of school. That doesn’t always mean you need to hire extra tutors and enroll your kid in daily after-school enrichment courses. In fact, one of the most effective ways to help children maximize their abilities is much less time-consuming and less costly. So what’s this secret method for helping kids to excel…….?

Schedule a pediatric eye exam to see if they need glasses!

Optimal vision is required to develop basic learning and socializing skills, such as reading, writing and forming new friendships. As you make a list of all the essentials your child needs for school, remember to include “eye exam”.

Fortunately, it’s easy to cross that task off the list with a visit to our friendly St. Louis and St. Charles eye doctors.

While only a thorough eye exam by our optometrist can diagnose if your child needs (or doesn’t need) eyeglasses, there are telltale warnings signs for parents to be aware of. The following 6 signs may point to your child’s need to wear prescription eyeglasses:

1. Squinting

This can indicate the presence of a refractive error, which affects the eyes ability to focus on an image. Squinting can temporarily bring objects into focus.

2. Head tilting or covering one eye

By angling his head or covering one eye, your child may be able to enhance the clarity of an object or to eliminate double vision. This trick works best when eyes are misaligned, or when your child has the common condition of a lazy eye (amblyopia).

3. Holding digital devices close to the eyes or sitting close to the screen

If your kid always sits right next to the TV screen or brings handheld devices up to her nose to see them, it may be a sign of nearsightedness.

4. Eye rubbing

Eyestrain or fatigue may lead to excessive eye rubbing. This can be a red flag for a variety of vision conditions, including eye allergies.

5. Headaches and/or eye pain

If your child goes to bed each night complaining about a headache, it could indicate that he spent the day overexerting his eyes to see clearly.

6. Trouble concentrating and/or weak reading comprehension

When learning in a classroom, kids need to constantly adapt their visual focus from near to far and back again. They are always shifting their eyes between the board, computer, notebook and textbook. If their eye teaming or focusing skills (accommodation) aren’t up to par, they won’t be able to maintain the necessary concentration.

Problems in school are often misdiagnosed as ADD or ADHD, when poor vision is really to blame. Think about it- if your child cannot see the board crisp and clear, her mind will likely wander to more interesting things. This will make it very hard for her to keep up in class and very easy to fall behind.

To protect your child from a medical misdiagnosis or being labeled with a behavioral problem, we encourage you to reserve an eye exam in our Lewis Center, Westerville and Johnstown optometry offices. It’s very possible that a precise vision prescription and a pair of designer eyeglasses is all the treatment your child needs!


At Professional VisionCare, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 614-898-9989 or book an appointment online to see one of our Lewis Center eye doctors.

Want to Learn More? Read on!

FOLLOW US:

How much digital screen time is OK for kids?

Tips for avoiding computer vision syndrome

Kids and their smartphones go hand in hand, rarely to be separated nowadays. It’s typical to find children of all ages hiding under their covers at night with Alto’s Adventure, or texting instead of studying for tomorrow’s test. Ever wonder what all this digital screen time is doing to their vision? While totally banishing all screen time from your child’s day is unrealistic, eye care professionals recommend setting limits to keep eyes healthy. How much screen time is advised?

Our kids’ eye care specialists in Lewis Center, Ohio, explain about the hazards of spending too many minutes each day gazing at a digital screen, and how it can lead to computer vision syndrome.

Why is it unhealthy to look at digital screens?

Blue light is emitted by the digital screens of computers and all mobile devices. Over time, this type of shorter-wavelength, higher-energy visible light may be dangerous for your retina. Blue light has been linked to the development of certain eye diseases in the future, such as cataracts and macular degeneration.

Blue light is also emitted by the sun and is integral for regulating your body’s sleep-wake cycle. However, by adding hours of daily blue light exposure from digital tech (especially at the wrong times of day – such as late at night), it can disrupt a person’s normal rhythms. For kids, the resulting daytime drowsiness can lead to poor school performance, and an unregulated sleep schedule can lead to weight gain and health problems associated with obesity. Also, research has shown that people who don’t have a healthy pattern of activity and sleep are more likely to suffer from depression, lower levels of happiness, feelings of loneliness, and overall mood disorders.

Teens who spend excessive amounts of time using digital screens have also been found to be at a higher risk of developing symptoms of ADHD, according to a scientific study conducted in Los Angeles high schools.

How much time does your child spend using digital screens?

According to statistics compiled by Common Sense Media (a nonprofit dedicated to promoting safe technology and media for kids), the average young child in the U.S. spends the following amount of time using digital gadgets each day:

  • Children under 2 years old: 42 minutes
  • Children between 2 to 4 years old: 2.5 hours
  • Children between 5 to 8 years old: almost 3 hours

What problems can be caused by too much digital screen time?

These daily amounts are associated with a rise in kids experiencing the painful symptoms of computer vision syndrome. According to the Vision Council, 30% of parents attest that their kids suffer from the following symptoms:

  • Neck/shoulder pain
  • Headaches,
  • Dry or irritated eyes
  • Reduced attention span
  • Behavioral problems
  • Irritability

In addition to the discomfort of the above symptoms, all of them can also have a significant effect on your child’s social interactions and academic development.

Additionally, the progression of nearsightedness (myopia) has also been associated with computer vision syndrome and overexposure to electronic screens. Unbelievably, approximately half of all young adults are now nearsighted, in contrast to only 25% in the 1970s!

What’s the best way to prevent computer vision syndrome?

Limiting digital screen time for kids is an effective way to minimize blue light exposure, the risks of computer vision syndrome, and our child’s chances of developing eye health problems in the future. Institute a “no-screens” rule in your home that begins about an hour or two before bedtime. Or enforce a time limit on your child’s phone use; many time management apps are available to help with this mission.

If your kid wears prescription glasses, another effective way to block blue light is by purchasing eyeglasses with blue-light protection from our Lewis Center, Ohio, kids’ eye care collection. Several lens manufacturers produce lenses for glasses that filter out blue light. An anti-reflective blue light-blocking coating can also be applied to lenses.

If your child doesn’t need prescription eyewear, then we recommend investing in a protective blue light filter to apply to the surface of all digital screens. Many options are available, in addition to various blue-light filtering apps that you can download.

Book annual kids’ eye exams to keep watch on eye health and vision

Regular kids’ eye exams are the most dependable way to monitor your child’s ocular condition for any signs of a problem. During your appointment at Professional VisionCare, be sure to ask us for more information about the many ways to keep your child’s eyes safe from blue light.


At Professional VisionCare, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 614-898-9989 or book an appointment online to see one of our Lewis Center eye doctors.

Want to Learn More? Read on!

FOLLOW US:

Is My Child Too Young for Vision Therapy?

Preschool Children Vision TherapyThe first years of a child’s life are crucial in ensuring the healthy and normal development of various body parts, especially the visual system. As a child’s body grows, so do the eyes. This can cause changes in vision. Keeping a close eye on, well, your child’s eyes, can help ensure that they are developing in a healthy way.

It’s important for parents and teachers to be on the lookout for problems with visual processing, as they can interfere with a child’s academics, social life, and extracurricular endeavors. This is especially evident during the school years when reading, writing, homework, and after-school activities become a part of their normal daily routine.

Even if a child has no refractive errors (such as nearsightedness or farsightedness) and has 20/20 vision, he or she may still have difficulties with visual processing or focus. These types of visual complications are often more difficult to detect, but may still impact various aspects of a child’s development.

When a child’s visual difficulties hinder their learning or social interactions, it may be time to try vision therapy.

What is Vision Therapy?

Vision therapy is a personalized regimen of exercises that can improve and strengthen visual functions. Each patient has unique needs and different degrees of visual health, which is why Dr. Carole Burns and the team at Vision Therapy Center At Professional Vision Care create a customized vision therapy program to get the best results for your child.

Vision therapy is compared to physical therapy, only for the eyes instead of the entire body. The techniques and exercises can teach the eyes to improve specific areas of vision, such as focus, eye teaming, hand-eye coordination, and visual tracking, among other skills. The doctor may include prisms or special eyeglasses to boost the therapy program.

Most children’s vision therapy takes place in our office and usually once a week. You’ll be instructed to continue some of the exercises at home for 15-20 minutes daily, which will support the in-office treatment.

At What Age Can Children Begin Vision Therapy?

Vision therapy is offered to children as young as 6 years of age. Kids can develop problems with visual perception and clarity that aren’t always detected with a standard vision exam or school screening. Of course, every child is different, and the best way to know if they’re ready for vision therapy is to schedule a consultation with Dr. Carole Burns.

Does Vision Therapy Really Work?

Vision therapy has been proven to improve visual skills and functions in both children and adults. It is an approved treatment by recognized organizations in the medical community, such as the American Optometric Association and the Canadian Association of Optometrists.

Keep in mind that it can take several months to notice significant improvement. Consistency is key. Young children, especially in the toddler years, need a steady routine to achieve the best possible results.

It’s important to note that vision therapy does not fix your child’s learning abilities or correct any refractive errors. The goal is to improve their visual function so that their skills in reading, writing, schoolwork, and social activities are strengthened for a better quality of life.

Contact Dr. Carole Burns and the knowledgeable staff at Vision Therapy Center At Professional Vision Care to schedule a consultation and see whether vision therapy is right for your child.

Dr. Carole Burns serves patients in Lewis Center, Westerville, Johnstown, and Northeast Columbus, and throughout Ohio.

 

Why Does My Child Need a Routine Pediatric Eye Exam?

Brother and Sister Outdoors

Our Children’s Eye Doctor Explains

You may be surprised to learn that vision problems in children are extremely common. In fact, up to one quarter of school-age kids have a vision disorder, and many of these disorders can have significant effects on learning. When undetected or left untreated, many pediatric vision conditions can lead to educational, developmental, and behavioral problems.

Now, you may be thinking – my child isn’t complaining about any visual trouble, so everything must be OK. Unfortunately, that’s a common misconception. Many vision conditions in kids don’t present obvious signs, and they are not detected during standard vision testing by a school nurse. Also, kids tend to adapt to what they see – so they aren’t even aware that they may not be seeing their world clearly. Therefore, the only reliable way to know if your child’s visual system is functioning optimally is to have a pediatric eye exam performed by a qualified children’s eye doctor.

Common Conditions Diagnosed by a Pediatric Eye Exam

During your child’s eye test at our Lewis Center office, our Ohio eye doctor will check for a range of conditions, all of which can interfere with learning and development. Depending upon the patient’s age, we will use different diagnostic technologies and techniques. Here are some of the conditions that we look out for:

  • Refractive conditions: nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), and astigmatism
  • Amblyopia: also known as “lazy eye,” kid can suffer from reduced vision in either one or both eyes
  • Strabismus: misaligned eyes (such as “crossed eyes”), due to a weakness or improper positioning of the eye muscles; when untreated, strabismus can cause permanent visual disabilities
  • Binocularity problems: a deficiency in eye-teaming, which can affect depth perception and coordination; generally, binocularity problems are subtler than strabismus
  • Convergence insufficiency: difficulty keeping eyes aligned for reading or other tasks done with near vision
  • Accommodation problems: trouble focusing, especially when switching between near and far

Sharp Vision is a Basis for Sharp Performance

Simply stated, if your child can’t see clearly – he or she can’t perform at their best. Sharp vision is an essential foundation for learning in the classroom, socializing with confidence, and playing well on the sports field. By bringing your children (of any age) for a yearly pediatric eye exam at Professional VisionCare Lewis Center, you are helping them reach their full potential and succeed in life. Also, the longer a pediatric vision condition remains untreated, the more your child’s brain learns to adapt to the problem – and the harder it can be to treat! So don’t delay, book regular appointments with your children’s eye doctor.

Vision for Teens and Tweens

During the tween and teen years, a diagnosis that requires prescription eyewear for treatment can be life-changing. At this stage of life, the concept of wearing eyeglasses can be devastating for many kids. What can you do if your tween or teen would rather see a blurry world than put on a pair of frames? Our children’s eye doctor has two helpful tips –

  1. Bring your child to look through our fabulous optical collection of trendy, designer frames. Nowadays, glasses are considered to be a popular fashion accessory, and we stock a diverse selection of colors and shapes. Encourage your teen to find their favorite celebrity style and ask us to show you the most suitable options to match. We have eyeglasses for every wardrobe and every mood.
  2. Consider contact lenses. Contacts, especially daily disposable contact lenses, can be a great solution for many tweens and teens who don’t want to deal with eyeglasses. Contacts can also be more comfortable for playing sports. (No glasses slipping down a sweaty nose!) Depending upon your teen’s lifestyle and eye test results, he or she may be a good candidate for contact lenses; ask our children’s eye doctor to recommend the most appropriate type.

Professional VisionCare has three convenient locations so a pediatric eye exam is always close by! Choose from Lewis Center, Westerville or Johnstown and book your exam, today.

Is Too Much Screen Time Dangerous For Your Kids?

Screen Time Pros and Cons

Whether it is homework, email, gaming, chatting with friends, searching the web or watching Youtube, kids these days seem to have an endless number of reasons to be glued to a screen. Many parents out there are wondering how bad this can be for their kids and whether they should be limiting screen time.

There are certainly benefits to allowing your kids to use digital devices, whether it is educational, social or providing a needed break. However, studies show that excessive screen time can have behavioral consequences such as irritability, moodiness, inability to concentrate, poor behavior, and other issues as well. Too much screen time is also linked to dry eyes and meibomian gland disorders (likely due to a decreased blink rate when using devices), as well as eye strain and irritation, headaches, back or neck and shoulder pain, and sleep disturbances. Some of these computer vision syndrome symptoms are attributed to blue light that is emitted from the screens of digital devices.

Blue light is a short wavelength, high-energy visible light that is emitted by digital screens, LED lights and the sun. Studies suggest that exposure to some waves of blue light over extended periods of time may be harmful to the light-sensitive cells of the retina at the back of the eye. When these cells are damaged, vision loss can occur. Research indicates that extreme blue light exposure could lead to macular degeneration or other serious eye diseases that can cause vision loss and blindness. Studies show that blue light also interferes with the regulation of the the body’s circadian rhythm which can have a disruptive impact on the body’s sleep cycle. Lack of quality sleep can lead to serious health consequences as well.

Beyond these studies, the long term effects of blue light exposure from digital devices are not yet known since this is really the first generation in which people are using digital devices to such an extent. While it may take years to fully understand the impact of excessive screen time on our eyes and overall health, it is probably worth limiting it due to these preliminary findings and the risks it may pose. This is especially true for young children and the elderly, who are particularly susceptible to blue light exposure.

How to Protect the Eyes From Blue Light

The first step in proper eye protection is abstaining from excessive exposure by limiting the amount of time spent using a computer, smart phone or tablet – especially at night, to avoid interfering with sleep. Many pediatricians even recommend zero screen time for children under two.

The next step would be to reduce the amount of blue light entering the eyes by using blue light blocking glasses or coatings that deflect the light away from the eyes. There are also apps and screen filters that you can add to your devices to reduce the amount of blue light being projected from the screen. Speak to your eye doctor about steps you can take to reduce blue light exposure from digital devices.

As a side note, the sun is an even greater source of blue light so it is essential to protect your child’s eyes with UV and blue light blocking sunglasses any time your child goes outside – even on overcast days.

The eyes of children under 18 are particularly susceptible to damage from environmental exposure as they have transparent crystalline lenses that are more susceptible to both UV and blue light rays. While the effects (such as increased risk of age-related macular degeneration) may not be seen for decades later, it’s worth it to do what you can now to prevent future damage and risk for vision loss.

 

The Importance of a Child’s Eye Exam

Slide of doctor and child doing icare tonometer exam for glaucoma

Eye exams are important for everyone, but they are crucial for children. Children need to be able to see properly to succeed in school. Our optometrists in Johnstown, Westerville, and Lewis Center are licensed eye doctors who preform comprehensive pediatric eye exams for kids, checking for a wide range of diseases that are often missed with a basic visual screening.

Success at School

Children need to be able to see to be successful in school, as much as 90% of all learning is visual. Without a proper eye exam, they run the risk of slipping through the cracks academically. As a successful student, a child must have an eye exam every 2 years with an optometrist, or annually if they require glasses or contact lenses. Our eye doctors in Johsntown, Westerville, and Lewis Center are ready to help check the eye health of your child.

To be successful, the eyes of a child need to:

  • have a perfect visual sense for all distances
  • correct and comfortable eye movement
  • ability to accurately and comfortably focus

Common problems assessed with a pediatric eye exam :

  • Lazy Eye
  • misalignment of eyes
  • not able to keep alignment with near objects
  • inability to focus
  • incorrect depth perception
  • color vision problems
  • eyelid health
  • Safety Issues

Parents want to protect their children from any danger or future harm. When considering their sight, regular eye exams are essential for their eye safety and vision. If a child cannot see well, they run the risk of accidents that can cause serious harm to them, they are at a disadvantage at school, and they can potentially be increasing their risk of eye diseases later in life without the proper precautions.
Most children do not catch that something is wrong, on their own, with their vision. They become used to the subtle changes, often times not even noticing anything has happened. This makes it even more important to schedule regular eye exams, even if you aren’t sure that the child needs it.

How Often Should My Child Have An Eye Exam?

Infants also need to be screened by an optometrist. At 6 months old, your infant should begin with their first eye exam. The next eye exam should be at 3 years, then another before first grade. School aged children should have regular eye exams every 2 years if they do not need glasses or contacts. If they need corrective measures, they should have an exam every year. If the child has health issues, such as diabetes, they should be seen every year as well.

In conclusion, with the switch to digital learning and using electronics more, the rise in visual abnormalities has risen as well. The written text used before did not tax the eyes as much as the screen light is doing now. This brings a increased need for an eye exam for school aged children because more than ever before our children are facing significant vision issues that need to be addressed as early as possible.

Our eye care clinics in Westerville, Johnstown, and Lewis Center, are the ideal place to schedule your back to school eye exam. Our eye doctors are passionate and kid friendly, and our staff and opticians go above and beyond to make sure that every patient, no matter the age, walks out with a smile on their face.

 

The appointment scheduler is currently under maintenance, you can call or text us today to schedule your appointment at 614-898-9989

interstitial