All posts by Admin

How-Screen-Time-Affects-Vision-in-Children-Children's-Eye-Center-of-Orange-County

How Screen Time Affects Vision in Children

Our world is changing and recommendations for parenting are changing with it. The American Association of Pediatrics used to recommend no screen time for children under the age of two. Now those recommendations have changed, but parents are still worried about how the increased screen time is affecting their children’s vision.

How Screen Time Affects the Eyes

There are three ways that extended screen time affects a person’s eyes, regardless of age.

Eye fatigue. Your eyes are a complicated structure and require six muscles to function. These eye muscles become fatigued after extended use. Children are especially prone to this because they may be using their devices in areas of low light, increasing the strain on their eyes.

Blurry vision. Staring at a screen for extended periods causes the eye to lock up, called accommodation spasm. Studies suggest that work that is done closer to your face can cause myopia. This can include reading or screen time.

Dry eyes. When you’re concentrating on a screen, your eyes tend to blink less often. This leads to dry, itchy eyes. Severe dry eyes can affect overall vision.

What Parents Can Do

There are a number of ways parents can help children from straining their eyes too much, while still balancing a healthy use of screens. Children in school cannot escape screens as computer work is becoming increasingly more common. At home, follow these steps to give your children’s eyes a break.

Monitor screen time. Set up a family media use plan to get your entire family on board.

Get enough sleep. Follow the current recommendations for your child’s age to determine how much sleep they should be getting. The AAP recommends no screen time in the hour before bed.

Exercise. Physical play is both a great teacher and a great boost to overall health.

Take frequent breaks. Breaks are important for your eyes to re-moisturize.

Make annual eye appointments. The sooner a problem is detected, the sooner you can receive help for your child.

Balancing it All

Some parents may feel that it’s impossible to limit screen time with all the demands on their children. Screens are used in school, at home, and even in the doctor’s office. Don’t beat yourself up if some days your children are on screens more than others. Just try to keep the overall screen time to a healthy limit and get back on track the next day. Remember, modeling is the best teacher and that goes for technology as well.

By Admin In Blog
December 20, 2019
Glaucoma-in-Children-A-Rare-Condition-Childrens-Eye-Center-OC

Glaucoma in Children: A Rare Condition

Glaucoma is a condition that typically affects the elderly. Rarely, it can affect children. The condition is characterized by intraocular pressure that occurs when the eye cannot drain the fluid that it produces.

Glaucoma in children can be inherited and can occur due to improper development of the eye’s drainage system, which leads to intraocular pressure that damages the optic nerve. Glaucoma can result in vision loss. About 10 percent of glaucoma cases are inherited. There are also conditions and situations that can contribute to glaucoma or are closely associated with it, such as neurofibromatosis, trauma, and previous eye surgeries.

There are three main types of glaucoma in children:

  • If glaucoma is present at birth, it is called congenital glaucoma. This only occurs in 1 out of every 10,000 births.
  • Infantine glaucoma is diagnosed between one month and two years of age.
  • Juvenile glaucoma is diagnosed after three years of age.

Symptoms 

In some cases of glaucoma, there are no symptoms at all. The condition will be spotted during an eye exam. If your child has noticeable symptoms, they can include tearing, enlarged eyes, sensitivity to light, and cloudy corneas. All concerns should be brought to the attention of your child’s eye doctor. Early treatment is very important in order to prevent vision loss.

Treatment 

Medications, like oral prescriptions and eye drops, can increase the amount of fluid that exits from the eye or decrease the overall fluid production. Both of these approaches seek to lower eye pressure. Surgery may also be utilized to correct glaucoma in children. The methods can include filtering surgery, which creates a drainage canal, or laser surgery, which makes a tiny opening in the eye tissue. Glaucoma treatment cannot restore lost vision, but it can help maintain the vision that remains. Many children need glasses even after glaucoma has been treated.

By Admin In Blog
October 21, 2015
All-About-Drooping-Eyelids-Childrens-Eye-Center-OC

All About Drooping Eyelids

Drooping eyelids, also known as ptosis, can affect one or both eyes. It also varies in severity—it can be slight or cause the eyelid to cover the whole eye and block all vision. Drooping eyelids can be inherited or develop later in life, and can be caused by muscle weakness, loose skin, or nerve damage. If drooping eyelids are present it birth, the condition is referred to as congenital ptosis.

Symptoms 

The main symptom of ptosis is drooping eyelids. Often, that is the only symptom that is present. However, sometimes ptosis can be accompanied by watery eyes and discomfort. Drooping eyelids can be an isolated condition or appear as a secondary condition alongside eyelid tumors, abnormal eye movements, refractive errors, neurological disorders, and muscular diseases. Evaluating the eye and testing for possible underlying conditions will likely be part of the diagnostic process.

Treatment 

The best treatment for drooping eyelids depends on the underlying cause of the condition, its severity, and the child’s age. Without any treatment, vision development can be affected and amblyopia (lazy eye) can occur. A doctor will observe to determine the best treatment plan. In most cases, surgery is needed, which can involve tightening the muscles (levators) that lift the eyelid. However, some conditions that can contribute to eyelid drooping can be corrected with medications.

If drooping eyelids are present at birth, they may need to be surgically corrected right away to allow for normal vision development. If the drooping is minor and vision development is not a concern, the surgery may be delayed until the child is four or five years old, when eyelids and the surrounding tissues are stronger and more developed. The procedure to correct drooping eyelids is usually successful, but the eyelids are not always symmetrical following the surgery.

By Admin In Blog
September 25, 2015
Why-We-Need-Back-to-School-Exams-Childrens-Eye-Center-OC

Why We Need Back to School Exams

Regular eye exams are an important aspect of health, especially because vision changes can happen quickly. They are especially important for school age children. Without proper vision correction, children can become very easily frustrated during school and have a difficult time learning.

In fact, about 25 percent of school age children have vision problems. Fortunately, treating eye issues in childhood is simple as long as the problems are detected early. For this reason, a back to school exam for your child can be very beneficial.

Why are eye exams important?

Your child needs a combination of important eye skills in order to learn properly, such as coordination between both eyes, hand eye coordination, focusing skills, near vision, distance vision, and peripheral vision. If just one of these aspects is not up to par, it can make your child very frustrated and can make school much more challenging. Your child be able to learn much better with proper eyesight and eye health.

Children now are using digital devices more than ever before, so eye exams are even more important than they were in the past due to the strain that television, video games, and tablets are placing on developing eyes.

What can I expect from an eye exam? 

During an eye exam, your child’s doctor will ask a lot of questions about medical history for your child and for the entire family. You will likely be asked about birth history and any birth complications. Your doctor will perform a general health evaluation and test your child’s vision and eye alignment. He or she will also provide a prescription for eyeglasses if any are needed.

You will need to mention to your doctor if there is a family history of nearsightedness, farsightedness, or lazy eyes. You should also mention any concerns you have about delayed development, rubbing eyes, excessive blinking, poor tracking skills, or any trouble that your child has keeping eye contact.

When should I schedule an eye exam?

Your child’s pediatrician may be the first to notice eye troubles and refer you to a specialist. Keep in mind that even school exams are limited, and you should still take your child to an ophthalmologist for thorough testing.

In general, your child will need an eye exam in early childhood and then when starting school for the first time. If your child does not need any vision correction, they should have back to school exams every two years. However, if your child wears contact lenses or eyeglasses, they will need a back to school exam every year to test how their vision has changed.

By Admin In Blog
August 20, 2015
Understanding-Styes-Childrens-Eye-Center-OC

Understanding Styes

A style, also known as a hordeolum, is a bump resembling a pimple on the outside or inside of the eyelid. Styles develop when an oil gland on the edge of the eyelid becomes infectied with staphylococcal bacteria. This bacteria is usually transferred to the eye when you rub your nose and then touch your eye.

What are the symptoms of a stye?

The first symptoms that you notice when a stye is developing are tenderness, swelling, pain, and redness. Soon, the visible bump forms. A stye can be accompanied by light sensitivity and can also cause watering of the eye. Fortunately, styes typically do not affect vision capabilities.

Are styes contagious?

Technically, styes are contagious. Most individuals already have the staphylococcal bacteria located in their body. However, you do not want the bacteria to come into contact with another person’s eye directly. You can avoid this by not sharing things like bed sheets and washcloths, and by washing your hands carefully if you touch your eye.

How are styes treated?

A stye will typically go away on its own in a few days. It will eventually rupture and then drain. It is very important not to pop the stye like you would a pimple, even if it is tempting. You should still seek your eye doctor’s care, because there are other things that can be mistaken for styes, such as chalazions (blocked oil glands).

You can use hot compresses for 10-15 minutes at a time a few times a day to relieve pain until the stye is gone. Try wetting a washcloth with warm water for a simple hot compress.

If the stye does not heal on its own, your eye doctor may need to drain it manually. If you are prone to getting styes frequently, your doctor might prescribe an antibiotic or special eyelid cleaning pads to use daily.

By Admin In Blog
July 16, 2015
5-Tips-for-Healthy-Eyes-Childrens-Eye-Center-OC

5 Tips for Healthy Eyes

Your child’s eyes are important for so much more than just sight—their eyes will help them to learn about the world around them and encourage their development. Eyes are also more vulnerable to diseases and infections—and unfortunately, many parent and children are not aware of all that eye health entails. To keep your child’s eyes healthy and in top shape, follow these simple tips:

1. Provide healthy foods. This can reduce the risk of many different eye diseases and conditions. Focus on a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids (found in fish and nuts) and leafy green vegetables, like spinach.

2. Remind your child to drink plenty of water. Your child needs water in order to produce tears, which keeps the eyes hydrated. Without hydration, dry eyes can be extremely uncomfortable and lead to more problems. Offer water with every meal and in between meals, with snacks.

3. Give your child sunglasses to wear outside, even on cloudy days. When it’s sunny outside, you already carefully apply sunscreen to your child’s skin, and it’s important to protect their sensitive eyes as well. Make sure to choose sunglasses that block ultraviolet rays in order to provide the most protection and keep your child comfortable.

4. Monitor breaks from screen time. Giving your child unlimited time with television, video games, and computer games translates to unnecessary strain on the eyes. For every 30 minutes of screen time, enforce a five minute break. There are many add-ons, apps, and parental control options that can help enforce this rule.

5. Schedule regular eye exams. This is the most important aspect of eye health care. Visiting an eye doctor regularly allows for any potential issues or problems to be spotted early so that they can be treated. Your eye doctor will tell you how often you will need to schedule an appointment, but usually, exams are before school starts every year or two.

By Admin In Blog
June 12, 2015
A-Primer-on-Blepharitis-Childrens-Eye-Center-OC

A Primer on Blepharitis

Blepharitis is inflammation of the eyelids, typically at the spot where the eyelashes grow. This condition develops when the tiny oil glands near the base of the lashes become clogged, leading to redness and irritation. Blepharitis can affect both of the eyelids. It is not contagious, but it is an uncomfortable chronic condition that can be difficult to treat.

The exact causes of blepharitis are unclear, but the condition can be affected by dermatitis, rosacea, allergies, eyelash mites, and bacterial infections.

What are the symptoms of blepharitis?

Symptoms of blepharitis include more frequent blinking, watery and red eyes, itching, loss of lashes, and a burning or stinging sensation. It is also possible to develop a greasy appearance at the site of the inflammation, or a sty. Constant, untreated irritation can lead to cornea damage.

How is blepharitis treated?

It is most important to clean your eyes daily. Try applying a warm, clean washcloth to the area for up to five minutes and then rinsing your eye with warm water. You can also try gently cleaning the area with baby shampoo and a clean cloth.

If the area does not improve with regular cleaning, you may need to see a doctor. A physical examination and swabbing may be utilized for your diagnosis. Your eye doctor might recommend certain medications for inflammation or infection. Treating an underlying condition might also be necessary. For example, if rosacea or dermatitis is contributing to blepharitis, the rosacea or dermatitis will need to be treated first to see results.

A good rule of thumb is to avoid anything that could potentially irritate your eye further, such as contact lenses or eye makeup. Your eye doctor can give you specific tips for treating the inflammation and finding a method of cleaning the area that is best for you.

By Admin In Blog
May 19, 2015
Optometry-vs.-Ophthalmology-Which-Does-Your-Child-Need-Childrens-Eye-Center-OC

Optometry vs. Ophthalmology: Which Does Your Child Need?

When it comes to any aspect of your child’s health, seeing the right professional at the right time is important. Eye care is performed by a range of different types of medical professionals, each with a different amount of training and expertise.

Optician

An optician is the most limited type of eye care professional. An optician’s duties involve filling prescriptions, repairing and adjusting lenses and frames, and taking measurements. Your child will not receive a diagnosis or treatment for eye disease or condition from an optician.

Optometrist

An optometrist provides primary vision care, conducts regular eye exams, and asses vision changes. This type of doctor can test and correct your child’s vision and diagnose and treat conditions such as astigmatism, nearsightedness, and farsightedness. Additionally, an optometrist can prescribe medications for some diseases. An optometrist completes four years of optometry school and can undergo additional, specialized training.

Ophthalmologist

An ophthalmologist provides the full scope of eye and vision care, including more complex conditions. In addition to prescribing and fitting glasses and lenses, an ophthalmologist can also diagnose and treat eye diseases and even perform plastic surgery for things like drooping eyelids. This type of doctor does everything an optometrist can do, but with special ability to perform surgery and practice medicine. An ophthalmologist completes eight additional years of training, and many of these types of doctors have additional specialties that require separate training and are typically involved in scientific research for eye diseases and disorders.

When choosing the right kind of eye professional for your child, it is important to choose the right one for the issues your child is experiencing. If there are any noticeable problems or conditions, an ophthalmologist may be best. Keep in mind that all types of eye and vision professionals can work together to provide care, and you might be referred back to a different professional once a condition is controlled.

By Admin In Blog
April 23, 2015
Children-and-Allergic-Eye-Disease-Childrens-Eye-Center-OC

Children and Allergic Eye Disease

Individuals of all ages have to deal with eye sensitivity and allergic eye disease. Unfortunately, children are not immune to suffering through allergic eye disease, whether it is a seasonal issue or one that lasts all year long. Understanding how allergic eye disease is triggered and how it can be avoided and soothed can help you to keep your child comfortable.

What are the symptoms of allergic eye disease?

There is a wide range of symptoms and reactions that can occur with allergic eye disease. Some of the most common are:

  • Watering
  • Itching
  • Redness
  • Burning
  • Puffy eyelids

Different triggers can cause different reactions. Some triggers of allergic eye disease are known as irritants, and include things like diesel exhaust, cigarette smoke, and perfume. Others are allergens that come from indoors (dust, mold, pet dander) and outdoors (weeds, trees, and grass).

How is allergic eye disease diagnosed?

Allergic eye disease symptoms are similar to symptoms of other eye problems, making diagnosis difficult at times. To diagnose allergic eye disease, your child’s doctor might do an examination with a microscope or test cells found on the inner eyelid.

How is allergic eye disease managed?

The most basic aspect of managing and treating allergic eye disease is to avoid allergens that trigger the symptoms. A pediatric ophthalmologist can help pinpoint the things that should be avoided. Some of the most common triggers that are avoided by patients include outdoor allergens and pollen. You can avoid these triggers by keeping windows closed and giving your child sunglasses to wear outside. Avoid indoor triggers by making sure your child washes his or her hands after petting an animal and using a dehumidifier or air purifier to control triggers that might be in the air of your home.

However, sometimes avoiding all possible triggers is not reasonable. In this case, eye drops known as antihistamines can help reduce irritation in the eye. These medications come in various strengths—you can some in pharmacies or at grocery stores, or your pediatric ophthalmologist may write a prescription for a stronger version. Antihistamines can also come in an oral version.

Other medications that might be used as treatment include decongestant drops, allergy shots, and corticosteroids.

By Admin In Blog
March 30, 2015
6-Celebrity-Kids-Who-Wear-Glasses-Childrens-Eye-Center-OC

6 Celebrity Kids Who Wear Glasses

Glasses are no longer something that kids are ashamed to wear. While part of this is due to the fact that there are tons of fashionable frames and styles available, it is also due to the fact that there are a lot of celebrity kids who wear their glasses with pride. Not being afraid to be spotted out and about with their glasses means that these little role models are encouraging other children to pick out attractive frames for themselves.

Some of the celebrity kids who wear glasses are:

1. Violet Affleck – The daughter of celebrity power couple Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner, Violet is not the least bit shy about wearing her glasses. She often wears colorful frames as a way of showing off her fun personality. While bright and colorful, her glasses are often very casual and otherwise not very flashy, much like the rest of her classic style.

2. Monroe Cannon – The adorable daughter of Nick Cannon and Mariah Carey, Monroe has been wearing glasses for a few years. However, her cute glasses never outshine her adorable personality.

3. Romeo Beckham – Son of David and Victoria Beckham, Romeo is often photographed while wearing glasses, even wire rimmed frames when he is not on the red carpet.

4 & 5. Trey Smith and Jaden Pinkett-Smith – These two brothers are often photographed wearing frames. Although it’s not clear whether they are for style or function, they are definitely making a bold statement and both look sharp. Jaden seems to favor rectangular frames, while Trey likes to wear square frames.

6. Kingston Rossdale – The young son of Gavin Rossdale and Gwen Stefani, Kingston is often photographed wearing glasses. He usually sports something non-traditional, such as a bowline style or rectangular frames. No matter what he wears, he and his outfits always stand out in the crowd.

All of these celebrity kids (and more!) look fashionable in their glasses, proving that glasses can be a cool and trendy accessory instead of merely a necessity.

 

Please note: By clicking on the celebrity kid’s name, you will be directed to the source of our information.

By Admin In Blog
February 27, 2015