Tag Archives: Lazy Eye

Eye Charts for Children

Allen Picture Eye Chart

Allen Picture Eye Chart

Around 10 million school children in America have vision conditions that can negatively affect learning. This can be prevented by taking kids to get their first formal eye exam with an Eye Dr in an Eye Clinic BEFORE they enter school.  A child’s first eye test with an Eye Doctor should be done between ages 3 and 4.  At Visionary Eyecare in Pembroke Pines, Sunrise (Next to Lenscrafters) and Davie (Next to Pearle Vision) – our Optometrists, Dr Bearden, Dr Tenn and Dr McCulloh,  begin to see children at age 4.
Allen Picture Cards

Allen Picture Cards

A child does NOT need to be able to verbalize or know their alphabet for the examiner to perform a comprehensive eye examination.
There are numerous eye charts for children!!
Lea Flip Chart

Lea Flip Chart

Allen and Lea charts have pictures or shapes on them that youngsters can identify.   The Broken wheel chart allows the child to tell the examiner which wheel on the car is “broken” .  The Tumbling E chart (also known as the illiterate chart) allows a child to just POINT in the direction that the “legs of the E” are pointing in.

Allen Picture Eye Chart

Allen Picture Eye Chart

Often our children can not express to us when they are having problems with their vision.  They may not even realize that they are experiencing vision problems.   Sometimes children will try to compensate for vision issues by closing one eye, rubbing their eyes excessively, squinting, skipping over words or loose their place  when they are reading.

Kids may start having difficulty in school due to an “unknown” reason.  A recent study indicated that up to 60 percent of youngsters that have been identified as “problem learners” or “learning disorder” actually suffer from an undetected visual condition.

Tumbling E   Eye Chart

Tumbling E Eye Chart

A vision problem is not suspected in many children because they were able to pass the school vision screening or the pediatrician vision screening.  These children may still have visual issues but, they were not detected on the screening.  Only a comprehensive eye exam, done by an Eye Doctor (Optometrist or Ophthalmologist) will be able to detect subtle vision problems.

Broken Wheel Eye Test

Broken Wheel Eye Test

Vision issues need to be detected and corrected before age 7 to prevent lifelong problems such as lazy eye (amblyopia), eye turn (strabismus), learning disabilities and behavior problems.

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A Child’s FIRST Eye Exam …… Featured Patient: Jacob

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Jacob in the Eye Exam Room

Jacob in the Eye Exam Room

Jacob is 5 years old. He came in today for his VERY FIRST eye examination.

Last year he saw his Pediatrician for a vision screening but, he was not too cooperative when it was time to read the eye chart so they really did not have any idea about the clarity of his right eye. This year he went to Kindergarten and had a vision screening. That day mom got a note back that he failed and needed to see an eye doctor.

Jake Having Fun at Visionary Eyecare

Jake Having Fun at Visionary Eyecare

He came into Visionary Eyecare ( the Independent Doctors of Optometry Next to Pearle Vision in Davie) for his first eye exam. During his vision test we noticed that Jake could see fairly well with his left eye but, he was only able to see 20/80 (eight lines WORSE than 20/20) with his right eye. During the eye exam, Dr Bearden found that Jake has a high prescription in his right eye and was using only his left eye to see with. His right eye is a lazy eye (amblyopia) and is not able to be corrected to 20/20 – even WITH a glasses prescription.

But the good news is that a child’s visual system is not completely developed until around age 7. So he can still adapt to changes in the clarity of his vision – he is more likely to have great success with his new glasses and possible vision therapy to strengthen that vision in his right eye!

Jake Give Us the Thumbs UP!!!

Jake Give Us the Thumbs UP!!!

So, Jake’s eyes are still growing and developing and with the proper glasses and visual therapy – hopefully, he will be able to get the vision in his right eye to be a lot better than 20/80….maybe even as good as 20/20.

The key learning for parents is to have your child’s eyes examined with a comprehensive eye examination as early as possible – by an Eye Doctor.

Jacob Gets Measured for His New Glasses

Jacob Gets Measured for His New Glasses

Jake Plays Star Wars

Jake Plays Star Wars

Jake Models His Frame Choice
Jake Models His Frame Choice

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Jake Returns to Pick up his new glasses….just in time for Thanksgiving!!

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Back to School Eye Exams

Here is some GREAT information about the Importance of Back To School Eye Exams…taken from an email sent by Luxottica Corporate Headquarters to all of the Doctors affiliated with Pearle Vision and Lenscrafters

Alabama’s Clanton Advertiser (8/12) reported, “As parents send their children back to school, one of the most important things they can do to help ensure their child’s ability to learn is to take them for an eye exam.

The American Optometric Association (AOA) recommends comprehensive eye exams especially for children entering preschool and kindergarten.” In particular, “children entering preschool or kindergarten benefit the most from comprehensive eye exams,” although “they rarely receive them early enough”.

Currently, only 14 percent of children under age six have received a comprehensive EYE EXAM, according to the U.S. Center for Health Statistics.” During an eye exam, an optometrist can detect “common vision problems, such as nearsightedness and farsightedness, as well as more serious conditions such as amblyopia (lazy eye).”

In an opinion piece in Tennessee’s Chattanoogan (8/12), Jenny Pomeroy, CEO of Prevent Blindness Georgia, wrote, “Since about 80 percent of learning in a child’s first 12 years comes through the eyes, it is very important to ensure that…school-aged children can see properly.”

Across the U.S., “five percent of preschool children have significant visual impairment,” Pomeroy noted, adding that “many of these children will develop amblyopia, or ‘lazy eye’ blindness, if their eye conditions are not diagnosed and treated early.”

Studies have shown that “sight can be saved in 98 percent of children if treatment is begun by age four. At age six, only 20 percent of children’s sight can be saved, and if treatment is delayed until age ten, these children may be blind in one eye for a lifetime,” Pomeroy pointed out.

Therefore, it is very important for parents to make sure that their children receive EYE EXAMS (not just vision screenings at school or at the Pediatrician’s office) at an early age and yearly throughout their lifetime.

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When Should Your Child Have His or Her First Eye Exam??

This is a question that we get a lot!!

A common misconception parents have is that a vision screening at their child’s school and/or a vision check at the Pediatrician’s office is the same as an eye exam.   Vision Screenings are not the same as an Eye Exam because Vision Screenings are vision tests that are designed to ONLY check to see if a child is able to read the eye chart…they do not check for visual development problems or eye health issues.

Many children may have eye health or vision problems and still be able to pass a school vision screening or Pediatrician vision screening. Some eye health or vision problems may go undetected with a vision screening….many of these vision problems need to be detected long before age 7 to prevent permenant lifelong vision problems such as lazy eye (amblyopia) or eye turn (strabismus).

Your child should have an eye exam at ANY age if a problem is suspected.  Believe it or not, an eye examination can be performed on an infant, as young as one day old.  A pediatric eye doctor (Optometrist or Opthalmologist) can determine if a infant or very young child has any vision or eye health problems by using computerized testing – there is no need for the child to be able to communicate verbally during the exam.

At Visionary Eyecare we like to begin seeing children at age 4. Visionary Eyecare has 2 South Florida eye clinic locations in Broward County for your convenience – Pembroke Pines (Next to Lenscrafters), and Sunrise (Next to Lenscrafters – INSIDE the Sawgrass Mills Mall).   If you think your child has a vision or eye health problem BEFORE age 4 – please give us a call at any of our locations and we will be happy to refer you to a pediatric optometrist or ophthalmologist that can perform an exam on your child.

When scheduling an eye exam for your child – it is important to ask if the doctor’s office is set up to deliver vision tests to examine children.  Not all eye doctors are equipped or feel comfortable performing eye exams on young children.

It is essential that your child has an eye exam by an EYE DOCTOR at least by age 4 or 5 – before entering kindergarten.  Many forms of blindness or lazy eye (amblyopia) can be prevented if detected early AND corrected.

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