Eye Information – The following is some general information on your eyes.
EYES OVER 40
CHILDREN & VISION
EYES OVER 40
Once we are in our 40s, the lenses within our eyes begin to harden and lose their elasticity making it difficult to focus on objects close up.
This is a natural condition called presbyopia. Whether you’ve worn glasses before or not, you’ll start noticing the need for them now. First to help you read, and eventually for distances a bit further away.
What can I do about it?
I like the idea of having progressive lenses that correct for all viewing distances without bifocal segment lines. Are there different types?
Yes. JCPenney Optical currently offers several progressive lenses to fit your needs.
When will it happen to me?
It can begin as early as your late 30s, it will affect a majority of people in their 40s, and it affects nearly everyone by age 55.
How will I know when I have it?
Some signs to look for are:
- You experience headaches when reading
- Letters look fuzzy when reading up close
- You have difficulty reading in low-light situations
Will presbyopia threaten my sight?
No, but it is a progressive condition that should be properly diagnosed and treated by an eye care professional.
If you’re in your 40’s and are having a hard time reading or seeing things up close, there are several ways to correct your vision. Click on a type (left hand column) for a description.
Early eye development
Age: Birth to four months
At birth, a baby can see light and patterns, but any object beyond eight inches is blurred. Even at five days old, infants prefer looking at faces over anything else. Vision gradually becomes clearer and the eyes start working together. Eye-hand coordination begins to develop as the infant begins tracking moving objects with the eyes and starts reaching for objects, first by chance and later more accurately. By eight weeks, they begin to focus their eyes on the eyes of a parent or other person near them. From a gray world at birth, two-month-olds can distinguish some reds and blues from white. By four months, color vision is similar to an adult’s.
Things To Do
- At night, use a night light in the baby’s room so he or she will have something to look at upon awakening.
- Change the crib’s position (and the baby’s position in it) frequently so the child can respond to light from different directions.
- During the first two months, hang a bright, colorful mobile outside the crib for variety and movement. At about eight weeks old, move the mobile over the crib.
Keep reach-and-touch objects, large enough so they can’t be swallowed, within baby’s focus (about eight to twelve inches).
- Talk as you walk around the room so the baby can associate hearing and seeing.
- Provide things for the baby to look at but don’t go overboard. Printed sheets combined with an abundance of toys hanging above and on the side of the crib can overwhelm an infant and actually slow visual development.
- Place the baby on his or her stomach for five or ten minutes at a time. After a few weeks, increase the frequency so the baby learns to raise his or her head up and look around.
- Dangle a toy or rattle a few inches above the baby and slowly move it up and down or around to encourage the development of eye tracking skills.
Age: Four to six months
Control of eye movements and eye-body coordination skills continue to develop. The baby may become shy of strangers, miss a parent who leaves the room too quickly or be uneasy in strange surroundings.
Things To Do
- Hang a sturdy mobile, crib gym or various objects across the crib for the baby to grab, pull and kick.
Give the baby plenty of “floor time” in rooms where other family members are active. Avoid using a playpen or crib for hours on end.
- Encourage the baby to help hold the bottle as it approaches the mouth.
- Play patty cake, moving the baby’s hands through the motions while saying the words aloud.
Age: Six to eight months
Eyes should focus equally. Most babies start crawling, which helps further develop eye-hand-foot-body coordination.
Things To Do
- Provide freedom and a safe environment that the baby can safely explore.
- Play hide-and-seek games with toys or your face to help the baby develop visual memory.
- Pick up toys your baby drops from the highchair and permit him or her to repeat the process. This allows him or her to develop the skills needed to release and throw things.
Age: Eight to 12 months
Babies can now judge distances fairly well and throw things with precision.
Things To Do
- Name objects when talking to encourage the baby’s word association and vocabulary development skills.
- Let the baby manipulate the pages of sturdy cardboard books.
- Provide small objects for your baby to handle, but not so small that he or she can swallow them.
Age: One to two years
A child’s eye-hand coordination and depth perception should be well-developed. Now is the time for parents to help the child refine and further develop vision skills through use.
Things To Do
- Roll a ball back and forth to help the child track objects with the eyes.
- Give the child building blocks, balls of all shapes and sizes, even a zipper. Playing with small objects boosts coordination of fine motor skills and small muscle development.
- Let the child ride a rocking horse or four-wheeled toys and wagons that can be straddled and pushed with the feet to strengthen eye-hand-foot coordination.
Age: Two years old
Children this age are highly interested in exploring their environment and in looking and listening.
Things To Do
- Read or tell the child stories. This stimulates the child’s ability to visualize and paves the way for learning reading skills.
- Give the child drawing and writing materials to develop visually-directed hand movements.
- Allow plenty of time for active outdoor activities.
- Provide the child with bean bag or ring toss games, toys requiring hammering of pegs, toys requiring
- sorting of shapes and sizes, puzzles and building blocks to further hone hand-eye coordination skills.
Source: American Optometric Association
CHILDREN & VISION
Sports & Eye Safety
Children playing sports may be exposed to a number of potential eye-related injuries. Among 5- to 14-year olds, baseball injuries are frequent. Eye injuries can be caused by a high-speed ball, aggressive body contact, or a swinging bat. Many young players do not have sufficiently fast reflexes, coordination, strength, or experience to avoid a baseball or other dangerous object coming at their eyes. Other moderate- to high-risk sports for children include tennis, ice hockey, and football.
You can protect your athletic child’s vision without pulling him or her out of the lineup. Because physical fitness usually requires visual fitness, the first step is to have your child’s eyes examined. Vision testing may help athletic performance as well as lessen the chance for injuries. And given the high degree of eye-hand-body coordination required by most sports, every child should have an eye examination once a year.
Parents should also talk with an eye care professional about what type of protection is best for what sport. Experts recommend lenses made of impact-resistant polycarbonate fitted with elastic headbands, since oftentimes glass and ordinary plastic lenses do not provide enough protection for children involved in active sports.
In addition, parents should also remember that some outdoor sports may require sunglasses to protect against ultraviolet rays. In encouraging children to wear protective eyewear, be sure to remind them that many professional athletes wear sports eyewear prominently.
Source: Better Vision Institute.
Nearsightedness is the only refractive condition that increases significantly in prevalence throughout the school years. It significantly affects about three percent of five- to nine-year-olds; eight percent of those age 10 to 12; and about 16 percent of teenagers.
The cause of nearsightedness is not known for certain. More than one factor may be involved, but the two major theories indicate that nearsightedness is often inherited or caused by visual stress.
One optometric study of 200 families in one community found that 45 percent of the nearsighted children had parents who were both nearsighted, and 40 percent had one nearsighted parent. There also appeared to be a stronger link between nearsighted mothers and daughters than myopic fathers and sons. Generally, the children had higher degrees of nearsightedness than their parents.
The fact that the prevalence of nearsightedness increases with age lends weight to the theory that nearsightedness is caused by the undue stress children place on their vision. Human eyes were intended for sharp, clear seeing at a distance. They were not designed to focus on books or other close work for hours, to read computers, to peer through microscopes, or to do any of the near vision tasks required of them today.
Prescription lenses can improve visual acuity, but periodic lens changes are usually needed because nearsightedness is a progressive vision problem. Today, however, optometrists use lenses and sometimes contact lenses to try to prevent, slow, or stop the progression of nearsightedness. The condition itself tends to stabilize about age 25.
Early warning signs of nearsightedness include:
- Complaints of a momentary blur when looking from a book to a distant object, such as a chalkboard
- Less clear distance vision at night
- Squinting when looking at distant objects
- Constant sitting close to the television set
A professional eye examination at an early age is crucial for eye health because early detection and treatment of eye problems can prevent permanent damage to a child’s eyes. Following the examination, it is equally important that children who need vision correction wear their eyeglasses or contact lenses whether at school or playing in the sun.
Many of the same eye problems that affect adults are common in children. However, many childhood vision disorders can affect learning and lead to problems with self-esteem and classroom behavior. Often, children need glasses or contact lenses to improve their vision, prevent “lazy eye,” and to help control focusing. In some cases, a child may be nearsighted, farsighted, or have an astigmatism.
It is important to make the eye examination a positive experience for children. The initial exam sets the tone for how a child will feel about maintaining good vision and wearing eyewear. Making the appointment early in the day can make the experience more comfortable because the child is less likely to be tired. The exam should be talked about naturally, so that the child doesn’t perceive it as a frightening experience, and questions about the exam should be encouraged.
Many child experts believe that comparing instruments used during the eye exam to familiar objects at home can make the exam less frightening for the child. Parents can compare the eye chart to a puzzle, and eye instruments to a flashlight, kaleidoscope and binoculars.
Choosing an eye care professional is also important. Parents should choose an eye care professional who frequently works with children to make sure that the experience is a pleasant one for the child.
The following behaviors may signal vision problems. If a child exhibits any of these signs, consult a pediatric eye specialist.
- Avoidance of close work.
- Short attention span, frequent daydreaming.
- Tilting head to use only one eye or closing one eye.
- Placing head close to book or written work.
- Excessive blinking or rubbing of eyes.
- Using finger to mark place when reading.
- Unfinished written assignments.
- Problems with reading comprehension.
- Omitting, repeating, or confusing words.
- Poor eye-hand coordination when copying from a chalkboard, playing ball, or manipulating buttons.
- Headaches, dizziness, and nausea.
- Burning, itching eyes or blurred, double vision.
8 Ways to improve night vision
Driving at night can be a visual challenge. Here are some tips to help you improve your ability to see:
- Have an anti-reflective coating applied to your lenses to reduce glare from lights at night.
- Wear sunglasses during long periods in bright light. This assists in regaining normal vision at night.
- Allow your eyes to adjust to the darkness before driving at night.
- Do not wear sunglasses or tinted glasses while driving at night.
- Stay on well-lit roads and use high beams whenever possible.
- Drive more slowly at night.
- Do not smoke in the car.
- Keep your eyeglasses, mirrors, windshields, headlights, and taillights clean.
Having trouble seeing things up close OR far away? Single vision lenses can help you see better.
Need help seeing things up close AND far away? Then you need multifocal lenses.
Are you a computer user, musician, artist, or hobbyist? Find out about special computer lenses that help improve vision up to seven feet away.
Do you spend time outdoors? Prescription sunlenses offer great protection from the sun and harmful ultraviolet rays