Red, irritated eyes can be caused by…

Red, irritated eyes can be caused by something that you might not expect!

For more information, contact Bright Eye Care & Vision Development.

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Myopia

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.

Astigmatism Affects School Readiness

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Astigmatism as little as 0.50 diopters negatively affects preschool academic readiness. In a study involving preschool children between the ages of 3 years and 5 years, children with astigmatism consistently performed lower than their peers without astigmatism in Language and Literacy, Physical Health and Development and Communication as measured by the teacher-reported Work Sampling System (WSS) and the parent-reported Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ). The WSS correlates well with the Woodcock-Johnson Psychoeducational Battery Revised.

Children with small amounts of astigmatism are easily missed during vision screenings at school or the pediatrician’s office. An astigmatism magnitude of 1.50 diopters would be needed before a child even meets the 20/40 pass-fail criterion for referrals, but as little as 0.50 affects school readiness. Unfortunately, forty percent of children, even if they fail the screening, do not follow up with an eye doctor. The statistics are even worse for younger children – only 7.5% of children younger than six years of age visit an eye doctor.

There are other visual skills that can affect academics besides the need for a prescription. Refractive error, though, is an important contributor to school readiness. Even small amounts of astigmatism have been shown to affect development. Have your child’s refractive status thoroughly checked to make sure that he/she is as ready to succeed in school as possible.

For more information, please contact Bright Eye Care & Vision Development.

References
1. Orlansky G, Wilmer J, et. al. Astigmatism and early academic readiness in preschool children. Optom Vis Sci, 2015; 92(3): ahead of printing.
2. Moon BY, Kim Sy, et. al. Predicting of astigmatism from decimal visual acuity in spherical equivalent. J Op Sci Kor, 2013; 17(2):219-223.
3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Visual impairment and use of eye-care services and protective eyewear among children – United States, 2002. MMWR 2005; 54:425-429.

Why 20/40 May Not Be Good Enough

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20/40 visual acuity is a common pass-fail mark for vision screenings. Visual acuity testing measures the absolute smallest letter size that a person can see at a specific distance. This testing of eyesight is different than sustainable acuity. Sustainable acuity is the eyesight level at which a person can comfortably and easily read for an extended period of time. A common rule-of-thumb is that a student’s visual acuity should be three times better than the size of the words that are being read in order to read comfortably for an extended period of time. This means in order to read a typical 8th grade book comfortably for an extended period of time, a student should have 20/20 eyesight. In order to read a typical 4th grade book comfortably, a child should have approximately 20/25 acuity. 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. When a child becomes uncomfortable, he/she will often be more easily distracted while reading.

There are other visual skills 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. Visual acuity, though, is a contributor to decreased reading rates. If a child is only seeing 20/40, please schedule an eye exam for him/her.