Most people know the sun’s rays are bad for our skin. But did you know they’re just as bad for our eyes?
Sunglasses are a great fashion accessory, but their most important job is to protect your eyes from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. Some of the sun’s effects on the eyes include:
When purchasing sunglasses, look for ones that block out 99 to 100% of both UVA and UVB radiation, so you can keep your vision sharp and eyes healthy.
Newborns have all the ocular structures necessary to see, although these are not yet fully developed. At birth, your baby can see blurred patterns of light and dark.
During the first four months, their visual horizon will expand from a few centimetres to many metres. Their vision will become clearer and colour vision will begin to develop. Their two eyes will start working together. By four months of age, an infant’s colour vision is similar to an adult’s, and by the sixth month, your baby will acquire eye movement control and develop eye-hand coordination skills.
For the first six months, an infant’s eyes can appear slightly crossed or out of alignment, but this is usually normal. But if your infant’s eyes appear significantly crossed or remain misaligned after six months of age, contact your Doctor of Optometry right away. Your child may have strabismus, commonly known as crossed eyes, a condition that needs to be treated with eyeglasses, contact lenses, prisms and/or vision therapy and, in some cases, surgery. In time, if not corrected, the ignored eye will become unable to function normally and will become largely unused. This may result in the development of lazy eye.
Lazy eye, or amblyopia, is another condition that becomes apparent within the first six months of your baby’s life. This condition describes weak vision or vision loss in one eye as a result of an uncorrected prescription. If detected or treated before eight years of age, it will often resolve completely. It’s important to treat amblyopia early – with vision therapy, eyeglasses and/or contact lenses, or patching – as treatment becomes very difficult later on. Untreated, amblyopia can lead to blindness in the affected eye.
Visual abilities play a big role in early development. doctors of optometry recommend infants have their first eye exam between six and nine months of age. Children should have at least one eye exam between the ages of two and five, and yearly after starting school. An optometrist can complete an eye exam even if your child doesn’t know their ABCs. A doctor of optometry can use shapes, pictures and other child-friendly ways to evaluate vision and eye health.
Between ages one and two, it’s important for a child to develop good hand-eye coordination and depth perception.
There are activities that can help improve these essential visual skills, such as playing with building blocks or balls of any shape and size.
Children at age two enjoy listening to and telling stories. It helps them develop visualization skills and prepares them for learning to read. At this stage of their development, toddlers also like to paint, draw and colour, sort shapes and sizes, and fit or assemble pieces. These activities are all integral to their visual development.
A preschooler’s eyes are not ready for prolonged or intense concentration at short distances, but they do enjoy TV. To make TV viewing easier on the eyes, the room should be softly lit, the television placed to avoid glare, and the child should sit further away than five times the screen’s width, taking periodic breaks from staring at the screen.
Be alert for symptoms that may indicate your child has a visual problem:
With over 30 years experience licensed optician Joe Bushara and his highly experienced team, bring you the latest trends in frames and technologies in lenses from around the world.