Over the years we’ve shared a number of articles on the blog about children’s eyes and eyecare. This month we’re sharing a roundup of those posts to help you keep your children’s vision top of mind.
If you’ve needed help with your distance vision in the past and you’re over the age of 40, you’ll notice at some point that you also need help with reading material close up. In the past, this meant either juggling distance and reading glasses, or choosing “bifocals” or “trifocals”.
Progressive lenses have made the need for “bifocals” or “trifocals” more appealing. With no visible line dividing the lenses, progressives do away with a significant visual distraction (and help to achieve a more youthful appearance!). Progressives also mean you can rely on just one pair of glasses.
What’s it like?
Although a transition period is definitely needed, the success rate in adapting is very high. From our extensive experience, we can say that 97 to 98% of people adapt comfortably and quickly to their progressives.
It’s important to be aware of the symptoms that can be experienced during the initial period of adaptation:
- Nausea / dizziness, including ‘swimmy’ or ‘swaying’ sensation in vision
- Depth perception (e.g. feeling uncertain about how far away some objects are from you)
- Uncertainty around stairs, changes in level
- Changes in peripheral vision can make the main field of vision feel narrow
Most issues will be particularly noticeable in the first few minutes of wear, and symptoms can persist for 2 to 4 weeks. However, in most cases, the adaptation period is just days.
What can I do?
The flexibility and benefits to be gained from switching to progressives is very much worth it for most people. There are a number of things you can do to help make the change progress more quickly.
Preparing for progressives
- Be prepared to tell your optometrist about your main activities (work, hobbies, home tasks, etc.) so that you can have the right lenses customized to your lifestyle.
- Choose frames that are extremely comfortable and well adjusted to your face.
Once you have them
- Spend time getting used to the new areas in your lenses: near, intermediate, and far. Learning these zones and using them properly will make a huge difference.
- The most critical thing you can do is to commit to wearing your new progressives exclusively. Taking the change slowly by alternating with your previous lenses will only make the change harder and draw it out.
Personalizing your lenses
Step one that we talked about above is really important. We all live differently, and it’s important for your optometrist to know if you spend much more time outdoors and focusing more on intermediate and distant objects, or if you typically spend more time working in an office setting, studio, or kitchen where you’re switching your eyes between more things in close proximity.
A good understanding of how you live will help your optometrist to fit your lenses to your lifestyle and increase your comfort with the whole process.
We’re delighted to share this story of a patient in our Almonte office who went out of their way to help a young boy they met while on a holiday in Cuba.
Our patient took photos and arranged for the boy’s prescription from his eye doctor in Cuba to be sent to us, and we were able to make a pair of glasses that were delivered to the boy on a return trip to Cuba.
Amazingly, the glasses fit the boy quite well. Our patient prefers to remain anonymous, but we really want to recognize this lovely act of generosity.
The world is a big place, and sometimes simply helping one person can make all the difference.
Glasses for children
There are a few possible indicators that your child may need glasses and we covered these in our previous blog post, Why Eye Exams Really Matter for Your Child.
When choosing their first pair of glasses, start by ensuring that your child likes the style and colour of the frames that are being selected. A child will be likely to wear their glasses every day when they are happy with their appearance.
For a child to keep their new glasses on, the frames do need to provide a comfortable fit. For this reason the frame sizing and selection needs careful attention by an experienced fitter. Children often have small, flat bridges of their nose and since much of the weight of the frame is carried at that point, certain types of frames, often with adjustable nose pads, will be recommended. Children’s skin can be sensitive and large areas of frame contact should be avoided particularly if they have metal sensitivities.
Lens safety, frame durability, and fashionable design are all important features. We stock a large selection of quality frames that will also support active use.
All lenses should be provided with a very good quality scratch resistant coating and in some cases anti-reflection coatings, although the latter will require frequent cleaning to ensure the maximum benefit and are more of a necessity as the child gets older or the prescription increases. Another consideration is transition lenses, which provide UV protection and darken when your child is outdoors. These lenses are beneficial for children who are prescribed glasses for full-time wear.
For children under 15 years, we offer an Essilor Junior Package that provides a second set of lenses at no charge for a period of 15 months from the date of purchase. There is no extra charge for this program. Please ask us for details.
Trying on a new pair of glasses is an exciting time for your child. Our team will work with your child to make sure they fit well. They should not slip out of position with head movements and there should not be noticeable red marks on the nose or behind the ears after a few hours of wear. Your child will be excited to receive them so use this time to impress upon them the doctor’s wearing instructions. Also, build good care habits such as showing them how to use both hands to remove them and how to set them down properly, lens-side up.
Many coatings have specific cleaning instructions or products and we’ll make sure you know what these are. You may allow your child to personalize their eyeglass case.
For children in junior kindergarten, the Ontario Association of Optometrists’ Eye See…Eye Learn® program offers one complimentary pair of glasses to children who need them, following their annual OHIP-covered eye exam. Both of our clinics participate in this program; find out more on our Kids page.
There is usually a period of getting used to any new pair of glasses. Initially, your child may resist wearing the glasses as he or she may feel that their vision is not clear or things look a little funny. With continued wear of the glasses these symptoms should resolve. However, any problems that persist beyond two weeks should be reported to us. To encourage your child to wear his or her glasses, make it a part of their daily routine. Also, remember to make your child’s teacher aware of this new routine.
Article outline provided by the Ontario Association of Optometrists
Pumpkin spice lattes are back…perhaps it’s time to update your look for the fall too.
The fall is a great time to make sure that you’re wearing the most current prescription to support your vision and that your eyes are in good health. It’s also a great time to consider new frames and a new look if you’re ready for a change. Our team is here to help you choose from our wide selection of eyewear options.
Our eyewear dispensaries offer a large selection of high quality frames and sunglasses, in a variety of styles with options to accommodate all ages.
For a complete list of services, visit our Eyecare Services page.