Clinical studies indicate that children with amblyopia suffer from the following:
• Slower reading speed
• Worse fine motor skills
• Lower self-perception
Amblyopia is a condition in which the eyes are physically healthy, but because of an amblyogenic factor – high prescription, unequal prescription, form deprivation or strabismus – the eye never develops 20/20 eyesight. Consequently, amblyopia may hamper a child’s ability to showcase their knowledge, compete in physical activities and/or interact well socially.
If a child sees significantly better in one eye than another, then that child may be at risk for amblyopia. Active therapy is the best route to help the child develop use of both eyes in order to see comfortably and accurately. Patching will not accomplish that goal. We specialize in pediatric vision including amblyopia.
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Approximately ten million students have vision problems that can affect schooling. Most parents rely on vision screenings with the school nurse or pediatrician to check for vision problems. However, vision screenings only screen for distance eyesight, obvious eye-turns and maybe color vision problems. This misses the majority of vision problems that can affect academics. A child can easily pass a vision screening, but still not control their eyes well enough to accurately read a book fluidly for an extended period of time. Eye coordination problems – which can contribute to slow reading, decreased reading comprehension, inattention when doing homework, fatigue when reading, eye soreness when doing homework and more symptoms – does not show up on vision screenings. Farsightedness, which can make seeing things up close significantly more difficult, is missed more than 60% of the time on screenings. There are multiple vision problems that can be missed on a vision screening that can affect a child’s ability to learn. A yearly eye exam is a must to prepare your child for school success. Just like parents would never send their child to school without the proper school books, parents should make sure that their child is visually ready to succeed. If a child is known to have academic problems already, then a specialized learning-related vision exam should be scheduled in addition to the yearly eye exam.
Pink eye is caused by a virus infection. It is different than a red eye caused by a bacterial infection or an allergy. Consequently, antibiotic or allergy drops will not properly treat the condition. Viral infections can cause vision loss or problems with glare in up to 15%-35% of cases. Pink eye is highly contagious and proper steps should be taken to prevent spreading the infection. At least 50% of patients with pink eye have the same virus on their hands according to a clinical study. Proper in-office treatment can reduce the course of the infection significantly. A typical viral infection of the eye, or pink eye, can last between 2 to 4 weeks. In-office treatment can shorten that time to 2 days.
Ortho-K can help slow progression of nearsightedness by up to 50%. This treatment gently reshapes the cornea. As a result, neither glasses or contacts are needed during the day to see well, and myopia progression can be slowed down. The safety and effectiveness of this treatment has been shown in multiple clinical studies involving elementary school children.
Myopia, or nearsightedness, is believed to be caused by multiple factors occurring in one individual. In other words, there are many factors that seem to be associated with myopia development. For example, recent research indicates that first-born children are more likely to have myopia than younger siblings.
20/60 eyesight is the minimum level of visual acuity needed to see the board in a typical classroom. This level of acuity will only allow for basic recognition, but it won’t be easy or sustainable.
20/20 eyesight is the level of visual acuity needed to physically read a typical 8th grade level book.
20/25 eyesight is the level of visual acuity needed to physically read a typical 4th grade level book.
Someone who only has 20/40 eyesight would only comfortably be able to sustain reading print that is the size of newspaper sub-headlines or a typical 1st – 3rd grade book.
There are visual skills other than eyesight that can affect sustainability of reading. Some children, even if they can see 20/20, have a difficult time reading for lengthy periods of time or reading at a proper rate because of poorly developed visual skills. Focusing accuracy, eye coordination, fine eye movements, focusing flexibility and other visual skills will affect school activities like copying from the board, filling out Scantron sheets, reading comprehension and more. Visual acuity and visual skills are both important in daily school activities.
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2. Holladay JT. Proper method for calculating average visual acuity. J Ref Surg 1997; 13:388-391.
1) Holden BA, Mingguang H, et. al. Vision impairment in highly myopic eyes: the ZOC-BHVI high myopia study. Poster session presented at: Leading eye and vision research. ARVO 2014 May 4-8; Orlando, FL.
2) Pickering M, Luciani L, et. al. Prevalence, incidence and characteristics of patients with choroidal neovascularization secondary to pathologic myopia in a representative Canadian cohort. Poster session presented at: Leading eye and vision research. ARVO 2014 May 4-8; Orlando, FL.
3) Ikuno Y, Jo Y, et. al. Ocular risk factors of choroidal neovascularization in pathologic myopia. Invest ophthal vis sci July 2014 51(7):3721-3725.