Rye Eye Associates

Posts from 2013-08

Why an Eye Exam Should Be on Your Back-to-School List

Kids with undiagnosed vision problems can be mistaken for having learning disabilities. Make sure your back-to-school list includes an annual eye exam.

Now’s the time when parents start making lists of what has to be done before their children go back to school. Along with notebooks, binders, pencils, and pens, I hope you won't forget one of the most important things that will help your child perform at his or her best in class: an annual eye exam.

In the United States, some 10 million children suffer from undetected vision problems that may cause them to struggle in school. In addition, 60 percent of children labeled as “problem” learners actually have undiagnosed vision problems. It's very common for a vision problem to be mistaken for a learning disability. Undetected vision conditions can lead to frustrated students, poor grades, and behavioral issues.

Most parents are unaware that American Academy of Ophthamology recommendations call for infants at high risk for eye disease to have a comprehensive examination by an ophthalmologist as soon as medically feasible. All children should have an assessment for eye problems in the newborn period and then at all subsequent routine health supervision visits. School-age children should be evaluated regularly for visual acuity and ocular alignment (approximately every 1 to 2 years).

Since children’s eyes develop so rapidly, and they continue to develop until about the age of seven, early detection is essential to correcting potentially permanent vision issues. I'd also like to point out that if a child waits too long to have an eye exam, a correctable visual problem may become permanent.

Furthermore, many in-school screenings are limited in scope, while comprehensive eye exams in an ophthalmologist's office test for visual acuity, color vision, eye alignment, eye health, and chronic diseases.

Please call our office to schedule your child's back-to-school eye exam and help ensure that vision impairment will not adversely affect his or her schoolwork.

Dr. Ameet Goyal, M.D. General Ophthalmologist and Oculoplastic Surgeon

Seven Tips to Protect Your Eyes from the Sun This Summer

Most people think of shading their eyes during the summer months. But it's important to protect your eyes from the sun's harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays year round. These rays can burn the skin around your eyes and damage your corneas. Prolonged exposure to the sun also plays a major role in the development of cataracts and macular degeneration. Following are some tips to keep your eyes safe this summer and for the rest of the year:

1. Apply your sunscreen around the eye area (make sure it's waterproof so it doesn't drip into your eyes). An SPF of 30 will block out about 97 percent of UV rays.

2. Wear a baseball cap, or even better, a wide-brimmed hat with a two- to three- inch brim. They are very helpful in blocking harmful rays from reaching your eyes.

3. Make sure your sunglasses have 100 percent UV protection. You want to prevent ultraviolet light from reaching the retina. The best filters against these rays are in the amber-orange-brown range.

4. Choose sunglasses that fit close to your face and, if possible, wrap all the way around the temples as you should protect your eyes from all angles.

5. Even if you have contact lenses that offer UV protection, you should still wear sunglasses. Sunglasses help to prevent the drying effect caused by warm wind that most contact lens-wearers experience.

6. Wear sunglasses whenever you're outside, even on cloudy days – and not just in summer. Wear sunglasses anytime you are in high glare areas, around snow or water.

7. Don't forget the kids! Opt for sunglasses with UV protection for your children, and remember that the eyes of small infants should always be shaded from direct exposure to the sun. Dr. Ameet Goyal, M.D.
General Ophthalmologist and Oculoplastic Surgeon