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Back-To-School: Why [Eye_Exams] Are More Important Than Ever

Since the onset of COVID-19, many children have been learning remotely through distance learning programs. While parents are concerned about their children falling behind academically, eye doctors are concerned that undiagnosed vision problems may impact the child’s school performance.

Undetected vision problems may hinder a child’s ability to learn. That’s why eye doctors strongly recommend that children undergo a thorough eye exam before the new school year begins.

While it’s tempting to rely on vision screenings provided by schools, these superficial visual acuity tests can identify only a limited number of eyesight problems. Only a comprehensive eye exam conducted by an eye doctor can accurately diagnose and address a wide range of problems related to vision and eye health. 

Why Are Eye Exams Important?

Up to 80% of children’s learning is visual, so even the slightest vision problem can have a negative impact on their academic achievement. Taking a child in for an eye exam once a year will allow your eye doctor to detect and correct refractive errors like myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) and astigmatism, and check their visual skills, such as convergence insufficiency, binocular vision, focusing and more.

Comprehensive eye exams are the best way to detect mild and serious eye health conditions. Routine eye exams are especially important for children with a family history of eye health problems.  

How Is Vision Affected By Online Learning?

The amount of time children spend looking at digital screens was already a concern in the pre-pandemic era—but the COVID pandemic has only exacerbated the issue. According to the Indian Journal of Ophthalmology, children spent twice as much time on screens during COVID-related closures than they did prior to the pandemic.

For one thing, spending prolonged periods of time on digital devices forces the eyes to work harder, making children (and adults) more susceptible to digital eye strain, one of the hallmark symptoms of computer vision syndrome. People who spend 2 or more consecutive hours staring at a screen are at higher risk of developing this condition. 

Some computer vision syndrome symptoms include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Dry eyes
  • Eye fatigue
  • Eye pain
  • Headaches
  • Neck and shoulder pain

These symptoms can be caused by a combination of the following factors:

  • Glare and reflections from the screen
  • Excessive time looking at a screen
  • Poor lighting
  • Poor posture
  • Screen brightness
  • Undetected vision problems 

In addition to digital eye strain, several studies have found that children who spend many hours indoors doing “near work” — writing, reading and looking at computers and other digital devices — have a higher rate of myopia progression. 

A study published in the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s professional journal, Ophthalmology, found that first-graders who spent at least 11 hours per week playing outside in the sunshine experienced slower myopia progression. Some researchers think that exposure to sunlight and looking at distant objects while playing outdoors might help decrease myopia progression.   

While regular eye exams are essential for every member of the family, they’re especially important for those who spend a good portion of their day in front of a screen. 

Don’t put off your child’s annual eye exam. Schedule an appointment with Switalski Eye Care in Plano today!

 

Q&A

1. At what age should a child have an eye exam?

According to the American and Canadian Optometric Associations, it’s recommended for a child to have their first eye exam between 6-12 months of age.

Before a child starts school, they should undergo an eye exam, and every one to two years after that, based on their eye doctor‘s recommendation.

2. Does my child need an eye exam if they passed the school vision screening?

Yes! School vision screenings are superficial eye evaluations designed to diagnose a limited number of vision problems like myopia. They do not check for visual skills and other problems that may hinder your child’s academic success.

Your eye doctor will evaluate your child’s vision and eye health, along with visual abilities, including depth perception and eye tracking, to let you know whether your child’s eyes are “school-ready.”

 

Does Your Child Really Have Vision Issues?

Pediatric Eye Exam in Plano

Pediatric Eye Exam in Plano

Most kids don’t suspect that something is wrong with their eyesight and are thus unlikely to seek help with their vision. If you witness your child tilting his or her head too often, frequently squinting, or holding books or other objects unusually close or far away from his or her eyes, it may be time for an eye exam.

Book an appointment with Dr. Switalski at Switalski Eye Care today. We will provide a comprehensive eye exam that will detect whether your child has any vision aberrations.

It’s up to parents to recognize the signs of compromised eyesight and to take the necessary precautions against it. Read on to learn the basics of keeping your children’s vision sharp and healthy.

Why Are Vision Screenings Not Enough?

School or pediatric vision screenings often offer superficial eye exams that cannot detect underlying vision issues that get in the way of your child’s success in school and life. In fact, it is estimated that up to 10 million kids suffer from vision issues, despite having passed a school vision screening. Therefore, it is critical to have your child’s eyes examined by an eye doctor in order to assess their overall eye health. The earlier they do it, the better.

Does Your Child Really Hate to Read?

If your child dislikes or avoids reading, it might indicate a vision problem.

Does your child…

  • Use a finger or pencil to guide the eyes while reading?
  • Incessantly rub his or her eyes?
  • Cover one eye while reading?
  • Frequently tilt his or her head?

Reading with undiagnosed vision problems can result in headaches, fatigue and eye strain, which could explain why your child shies away from engaging in this activity.

Should your child need glasses for vision correction, Switalski Eye Care has a wide variety of age-appropriate options, made of comfortable, durable, and kid-friendly materials.

Should Eye Exams be on the Back-to-School To-Do List?

By the age of 6, every child should have undergone three eye exams. Make sure to prioritize eye exams by adding it to the back-to-school to-do list. No matter how wonderful the pencils and markers are, if the vision isn’t there, your child will struggle through school, sports, and in life.

Is it Clumsiness or a Vision Problem?

If your child frequently bumps into desks, knocks things over, and trips, it may not be just clumsiness. Contact Switalski Eye Care for an eye exam today.

Spending Too Much Time on Computer/Digital Screens?

Too Much Screen Time is Linked To Myopia

The use of digital devices is on the rise, and so is myopia (nearsightedness).

Research has shown that prolonged use of computers and digital devices among children can result in myopia. Focusing on images or words on the screen for extended periods of time can result in eye strain, and over time, can even change the shape of a child’s eye. As a parent, we recommend you limit your child’s computer or phone screen time and incorporate the 20/20/20 rule (every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds).

Blue Light Blocking Glasses or Lenses for Digital Screens

Another problem with using digital devices has to do with the blue light these devices emit. Smartphones expose us to the most blue light, since we hold them very close to our eyes. Long hours of blue light exposure can harm the eyes and disrupt sleep quality.

However, the harm caused by blue light can be reduced by wearing special Blue Light lenses.

At Switalski Eye Care, we offer blue light filters for lenses, which block blue light from reaching one’s eyes and protect your vision when using digital devices. Ask us about adding blue-light filters to your or your child’s glasses, or about getting a full pair of blue light eyeglasses.

Why Opt for Polycarbonate Lenses?

When it comes to kids, the lenses you pick a matter. Switalski Eye Care recommends opting for polycarbonate lenses when buying glasses. They are more lightweight, impact-resistant and scratch-resistant than traditional plastic lenses. Furthermore, the UV protection can protect your child’s eyes from the sun’s harmful rays.

If you want your kids to ace their classes this year, remember to prioritize a visit to the eye doctor as part of your back-to-school checklist.

Prepare for Back to School with Blue Light Glasses | Switalski Eye Care

Comprehensive Pediatric Eye Exams

At Switalski Eye Care, we offer comprehensive pediatric eye exams, as well as a wide array of glasses and lenses for our young patients. Switalski Eye Care serves patients from in and around Plano in the state of Texas.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: My child saw 20/20 at their school physical. That’s perfect vision for back to school, right?

  • A: Maybe! 20/20 only tells us what size letter can be seen 20 feet away. People with significant farsightedness or eye muscle imbalances may see 20/20, but experience enough visual strain to make reading difficult. Vision controls eighty percent of learning so include a thorough eye exam in your child’s Back-to-School list.

Q: My child passed the screening test at school, isn’t that enough?

  • A: Distance and reading are two different things. Someone with perfect distance vision can still have focusing problems up close. Doctors need to check for both, many children have undiagnosed accommodative (focusing) problems because no one ever looked for it before. We always check the distance and near vision on all ages because it is so important. Other areas that need to be checked is eye muscle alignment, color vision, depth perception, and overall health of the eyes.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses. Visit Switalski Eye Care for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.


What To Do If You Think Your Child Has A Concussion

An estimated 1-2 million children sustain concussions each year in North America, but many of these head injuries aren’t treated in a health care setting. That’s why it’s important for parents to be aware of the signs of a concussion, and what to do if they suspect their child has one.

One clue a child has a concussion: visual symptoms.

Vision problems following a concussion are very common, which should come as no surprise considering that about 70% of the brain is used for visual processing. If you think your child has sustained a concussion, or complains about their vision following a head injury, contact Switalski Eye Care in Plano for a prompt evaluation.

What is a Concussion?

A concussion is a type of brain injury that occurs when the soft brain tissue hits the inside of the skull. This happens due to a bump or blow to the head, falling, accidents or sports injuries.

Concussions can damage neurons and reduce brain function, especially when it comes to the visual system. Some symptoms of a concussion in babies and children include:

  • Excessive crying and irritability
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Bumps and bruises on the head
  • Headache
  • Sleep or behavioral changes
  • Balance problems
  • Double vision
  • sensitivity to light and noise
  • Difficulty concentrating or remembering
  • Drowsiness

Symptoms can appear hours or days after a concussion, making it crucial to keep a close eye on a child after a traumatic head injury.

What To Do If Your Child Is Showing Signs of a Concussion

  • Go to the nearest emergency room if your child displays any of the following signs after head trauma:
    • Loss of consciousness
    • Difficulty walking
    • Confusion
    • Slurred speech
  • Contact your doctor about your child’s condition and ask what to do next.
  • Keep a close eye on your child for the next several days to notice any changes in behavioral patterns.
  • Schedule a functional visual evaluation with your optometrist to identify and treat any visual problems caused by the concussion.

Our friendly and experienced eye doctors in Calgary will be happy to assist you with any questions or concerns you may have about your child’s visual health. To schedule an eye exam or learn more about what we offer, call Switalski Eye Care in Plano today!

At Switalski Eye Care, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 972-424-2019 or book an appointment online to see one of our Plano eye doctors.

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Childhood Myopia Is in Crisis Mode on a Global Scale

When it comes to the prevalence of myopia (nearsightedness), the statistics are staggering. By 2050, nearly half of the world’s population—about 5 billion people—will be myopic. Below are a few useful tips to help you prevent your child from being part of that statistic.

What Is Myopia?

Myopia occurs when the eye elongates, causing light rays to focus in front of the light-sensitive retina rather than directly on it, while looking at something far away. So, people with nearsightedness perceive distant objects as blurred while close-up objects can remain clear.

Myopia tends to develop during childhood, when the eyeballs rapidly grow (along with the rest of the body), mainly between the ages of 8-18. It can worsen slowly or quickly, but it is not simply an inconvenience. People with progressive myopia are more likely to develop serious eye diseases like cataracts, retinal detachment, macular degeneration and glaucoma later in life—conditions which may lead to permanent loss of vision and even blindness.

How To Know Whether Your Child Is Myopic

Below are some telltale signs to watch for:

  • Blurred distance vision – Objects in the distance are blurred; kids may complain that they can’t see the board
  • Headaches – When myopia isn’t corrected, it can cause eye strain and headaches.
  • Head tilting or squinting – If your child squints or tilts his or her head while watching TV, for example, it may be a symptom of myopia.
  • Looking at objects too closely – If you notice your child moving closer to the TV or squinting as they try to see the writing on the board, it may indicate myopia.

What Parents Can Do to Slow Their Child’s Myopia Progression

  • Encourage your child to go outdoors for at least 90 minutes a day, preferably in the sunshine. Studies show that playing outdoors reduces the risk of developing myopia and slows its progression.
  • Limit the amount of time your child spends staring at a screen, reading and doing close work such as homework.
  • When your child uses a digital screen, make sure that it isn’t too close to the face.
  • Teach the 20-20-20 rule: During screen time, take a break every 20 minutes to look at an object across the room or out the window about 20 feet away, for at least 20 seconds.
Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Brian Switalski

Q: How is myopia diagnosed?

  • A: Your child’s eye doctor will perform a thorough pediatric eye exam to diagnose myopia, which often includes a visual acuity test, where the eye doctor will use an eye chart made up of letters of varied sizes. If the test results indicate myopia, then the optometrist may shine a light into their eyes and evaluate the reflection off the retina to determine the degree of refractive error for their prescription.

Q: Can myopia lead to blindness?

  • A: High myopia may increase your child’s risk of developing more serious eye conditions later in life, such as cataracts, retinal detachment and glaucoma. Left untreated, high myopia complications can sometimes lead to blindness—which is why routine eye exams are critical.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses In McKinney, Texas. Visit Switalski Eye Care for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.

6 Common Pediatric Eye Emergencies

The tissues and structures that comprise the eye are some of the most delicate parts of a child’s growing body. So it comes as no surprise that thousands of children sustain eye injuries each year due to infection, sports-related accidents and other recreational activities.

Here are the most common types of pediatric eye emergencies and tips on how to best manage them.

  1. Acute Conjunctivitis

Formally called pediatric acute bacterial conjunctivitis, this severe type of pink eye affects about 1 in 8 children every year. Acute bacterial conjunctivitis typically affects babies, toddlers, and pre-school children.

A child with this infection may experience eye redness, discharge, and itchiness, usually in both eyes. About 39% of children will also have a severe ear infection along with the eye symptoms.

Treatment involves either topical or oral antibiotic medication, or both in severe cases. Contact Switalski Eye Care for prompt treatment if your child shows any signs of acute conjunctivitis.

  1. Cuts or Scrapes In the Eye

Particles of sand, dust, wood shavings and other tiny objects can make their way into a child’s eye and cause a corneal abrasion (a scratch on the surface of the eye). Corneal abrasions may cause vision problems, stinging, burning, light sensitivity, red eyes, swollen eyes, grittiness, and watery eyes.

If you suspect that your child has a corneal abrasion, bring them to an eye doctor. Treatment typically includes eye drops, ointment, and sometimes pain relief.

Until you can visit the eye doctor, rinse the child’s affected eye with saline solution or clean tap water. You can also instruct your child to blink several times to try and flush out whatever is scratching the eye. Your child should not rub the eye, as rubbing can make almost any eye condition worse.

  1. Blunt Eye Trauma

This can happen during sports or rough play. Blunt eye trauma can cause internal bleeding within the eye called hyphema. In severe causes, the extra blood within the eye can cause elevated inner eye pressure and lead to permanent vision loss.

Seek prompt medical care if your child has any of these symptoms after being struck in the eye: redness and swelling, eye drainage, eye pain that won’t go away, vision changes, visible abnormalities of the affected eye, or visible bleeding in the white of the eye (sclera).

  1. Foreign Objects Stuck in the Eye

If your child is complaining that something is stuck in their eye, the first plan of action is to instruct them not to rub it. Visually inspect their eye and see if you find anything. If a foreign object is on the sclera, try flushing the eye with clean water or saline solution.

If it looks like something is lodged in the eye or penetrated through the eyeball, do not try and remove it. Seek immediate medical care.

  1. Chemical Exposure To the Eye

Most households contain a multitude of products that can be damaging to a child’s eyes. Be sure to keep these items out of a child’s reach to prevent accidents. If chemical exposure does occur, check the product’s label for a phone number to call in case of emergency.

Hold your child’s eye open while you flush the eye area with clean water or eye irrigation fluid for about 20 minutes. If both eyes have been exposed, you can put the child in the shower and tell them to face the water so it flows into their eyes.

If you aren’t sure what chemical your child was exposed to, flush the eye before seeking medical treatment.

Above all, when it comes to pediatric eye emergencies, remaining calm is key. Maintaining your composure can help you provide the best care for your child and may help them to stay calm as well.

At Switalski Eye Care, we understand that accidents happen — and we’re here for you. For eye emergencies and other eye care services, call Switalski Eye Care in Switalski Eye Care today.

At Switalski Eye Care, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 972-424-2019 or book an appointment online to see one of our Plano eye doctors.

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Are Contact Lenses Safe For Young Children?

Here’s a question we often get at our practice: ‘Is my child too young for contact lenses?’ This is an important question, and the answer may surprise you.

For children with myopia (nearsightedness), contact lenses can be a convenient method of vision correction. It allows kids to go about their day without having to worry about breaking or misplacing their glasses, and enables them to freely participate in sports and other physical activities.

Some children and young teens may ask their parents for contact lenses because they feel self-conscious wearing glasses. Contact lenses may even provide children with the confidence boost they need to come out of their shell. Moreover, these days, it is very popular for children to wear single-use one-day disposable soft contacts, since there is no cleaning or maintenance involved.

Some parents may deny their child’s request for contacts due to concerns about eye health and safety. There’s no reason to worry: contact lenses are just as safe for children as they are for anyone else.

At Switalski Eye Care, we provide children, teens, and patients of all ages with a wide variety of contact lenses. If you’re concerned about the safety of contacts for your child, we’ll be happy to explain and explore ways to ensure maximum safety, optimal eye health and comfort. To learn more or to schedule a pediatric eye exam for contact lenses, contact us today.

What Are the Risks of Having My Child Wear Contact Lenses?

A study published in the January 2021 issue of The Journal of Ophthalmic & Physiological Optics found that kids aren’t at a higher risk of experiencing contact lens complications.

The study followed nearly 1000 children aged 8-16 over the course of 1.5-3 years to determine how contact lenses affected their eye health.

The results indicate that age doesn’t have an effect on contact lens safety. In fact, the researchers found that the risk of developing infections or other adverse reactions was less than 1% per year of wear — which is comparable to contact lens wearers of other ages.

But before you decide that contact lenses are right for your child, you may want to consider whether your child is ready to wear them. During his or her eye doctor’s appointment, the optometrist may ask about your child’s level of maturity, responsibility, and personal hygiene. Since many children are highly motivated to wear contacts, they tend to display real maturity in caring for their lenses. That said, in the initial stages, parents may need to play an active role, as their child gets used to inserting and removing the new contact lenses.

It’s important to note that just as with any other medical device, contact lenses are not risk-free. Anyone who wears contact lenses has a chance of developing eye infections or other complications with contact lenses. However, when worn and cared for according to your eye doctor’s instructions, contact lenses are low-risk and perfectly safe for children and teenagers.

So, go ahead and bring your child in for a contact lens consultation! We’ll help determine if your child is ready for contacts and answer any questions you or your child may have. To schedule your child’s contact lens fitting or eye exam, contact Switalski Eye Care in Plano today.

How Sugar Affects Your Eyes Health

Eye exam near me

It’s well known that eating a lot of high-sugar foods can have harmful effects on the body. But did you know that consuming too much sugar can also potentially affect your eyesight? If your blood sugar (blood glucose) levels become too high for your body to break down, it can leave your eyes prone to a sight-threatening condition called diabetic retinopathy.

People with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes are at risk of developing diabetic retinopathy.

Diabetes is a disease in which your blood glucose, or blood sugar, levels are too high. Glucose comes from the foods you eat. Insulin is a hormone that helps the glucose be absorbed into your cells to supply them with the energy they require to function.

How Does Diabetes Affect Eyesight?

When you consume high-sugar foods like soda, candy, mangoes, and even pineapples, your body will do one of two things: either it will burn the sugar and use it for energy, or it will convert the sugar and store it as fat.

Ordinarily, when a person consumes sugar, the body releases insulin to regulate blood sugar levels. In people with Type 1 diabetes, the body doesn’t produce insulin. In Type 2 diabetes, the body produces insufficient insulin or the cells resist the effects of insulin, causing blood sugar levels to spike.

How Sugar Affects People with Diabetes

Diabetic retinopathy affects up to 80 percent of people who have had diabetes for 20 years or more. Over time, high blood sugar levels damage the tiny blood vessels of the retina at the back of the eye, causing them to swell and leak. Left untreated, this damage can lead to vision loss and eventually blindness.

Since diabetic eye disease typically shows no symptoms until it has reached more advanced stages, it’s critical to have a comprehensive eye evaluation every year, allowing an optometrist to detect these signs early enough to prevent or halt vision loss.

Importance of Eye Exams

Your eye doctor can detect diabetic retinopathy during a dilated eye exam. The doctor will dilate your pupils with eye drops and then examine your eyes through a device called an ophthalmoscope that uses a bright light to examine your optic nerve, the blood vessels in and around the retina, and the back of the eye.

Your doctor might also use various specialized digital equipment, such as a fundus camera and an OCT device, to capture detailed color images of the retina that warrant further investigation.

Although an optometrist can use certain tests to detect signs of diabetes, without a comprehensive eye exam, the early warning signs that point to diabetes can be missed. To maintain your health, schedule regular eye exams and share any health changes that have occurred since your last appointment.

Treatments for Diabetic Retinopathy

There are a variety of treatment options for diabetic retinopathy that may either prevent vision loss. Sometimes they can even improve your vision, even if your eyesight is already blurred. One treatment option entails medication that is injected into the eye to quickly reduce retinal swelling. Another option is laser surgery, which can be used to shrink and seal off swollen and leaking blood vessels in the retina.

If you have diabetes, it’s important to:

  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle
  • Stick to a steady diet and exercise regimen
  • Control blood sugar and blood pressure to prevent damage to the fine blood vessels within the retina over the long term

Preventing and managing diabetic retinopathy is possible and requires a team, including your eye doctor and other medical professionals.

Your eye doctor will perform a comprehensive eye exam to determine whether you have diabetic retinopathy, assess its severity, and discuss preventative strategies as well as the latest treatment options.

Keep your eyes healthy and schedule an appointment with Switalski Eye Care and learn more about what you can do to protect your vision and general health.

Dangerous Halloween Makeup Mistakes & How To Avoid Them

Eye Care at Switalski Eye Care

Eye Care at Switalski Eye Care

Using face paints and eye makeup can be a fun and creative way to dress up this Halloween. But since costume makeup is often applied more heavily than day-to-day makeup, it involves greater risk of eye infection and irritation. Here are our recommendations for keeping your eyes safe and happy while rocking your Halloween makeup look.

  1. Only use products that are intended for use around the sensitive eye area, such as the eyeshadow and eyeliner you use all year long. Many face paints and other products sold before Halloween are not eye-friendly. Be sure to read a product’s instructions before applying it.
  2. Try to use hypoallergenic products to lower the risk of an allergic reaction.
  3. Avoid applying costume makeup directly on your eyes, even if the product’s packaging depicts an image of an eye with closely applied makeup. A good rule to follow is keeping the makeup above the eyebrow.
  4. If you plan to use a new product, test it out on a small area of skin a few days before Halloween to ensure that it won’t irritate your skin.
  5. There is no luminescent or fluorescent cosmetic product that is FDA-approved for use around the eye area. Don’t apply makeup containing these ingredients.
  6. To prevent irritation, promptly remove your eye and face makeup after trick-or-treating or attending a Halloween party.
  7. Follow the removal instructions that are written on the product’s label.
  8. Always replace Halloween makeup from year to year. Using last year’s cosmetics significantly raises your risk of introducing harmful microbes into your eyes.
  9. Never share eye makeup with another person.

Some signs of irritation include eye redness, itchiness, inflammation, pain, sensitivity, or watery eyes. If you experience any uncomfortable symptoms due to eye makeup or anything else, contact Switalski Eye Care for a prompt eye examination. We wish all of our patients a safe and happy Halloween!

Nearsightedness – A Common Condition in Children

Visit our eye doctor to find out if your child has myopia

Nearsightedness, also known as myopia, is the most common vision condition in kids. Put simply, it means that when your child looks at objects in the distance, they appear blurred. When nearsightedness begins, most kids won’t complain. However, parents and school teachers may notice them squinting all the time. This is a bright red warning that it’s time for an eye exam!

A thorough assessment of your child’s vision is the only dependable way to detect or rule out nearsightedness or any other vision condition. Our eye doctor in Plano, Texas, is experienced in performing pediatric eye exams; contact Switalski Eye Care to book an appointment – we’re open after school hours and on Saturdays.

What causes nearsightedness?

Usually, nearsightedness is inherited. It is caused by having an elongated eyeball, which affects the path of light when it enters the eye. Instead of focusing directly on the retina, which is needed for clear vision, light bends incorrectly and focuses in front of the retina, making things that are far away look blurry.

Myopia tends to worsen throughout childhood, with the progression coming to a halt by about 20 years old, in most patients. By that point, kids and young adults may need very strong prescription lenses in order to see clearly.

What’s the treatment for nearsightedness?

The frontline, classic treatments recommended by eye doctors for nearsightedness are eyeglasses or contact lenses. After we check your child’s visual acuity in our Plano optometry practice, we’ll issue a precise vision prescription. Then, you can shop our optical collection for glasses. When kids prefer contact lenses, we’ll perform a specialized eye exam to ensure they are good candidates and a fitting to determine the best type of contacts.

Is there a way to slow the deterioration of nearsightedness?

Yes. Called myopia control or myopia management, treatment to slow the progression of nearsightedness is becoming a popular method recommended for kids.

Many children with nearsightedness find their vision worsens over time, and each year, they need a new, more powerful vision prescription. Not only might this require thicker, less attractive eyeglass lenses, but it’s also associated with an increased risk of developing ocular disease in the future. Myopia control has shown tremendous promise as a way to help kids avoid these problems. Two typical types of myopia management include orthokeratology, better known as ortho-k, and dual-focus contact lenses. To find out if myopia control is suitable for your child, consult with our Plano eye doctor.

Sharp vision is necessary for all kids to develop their potential and perform at their best in school, on the sports field, when socializing and for all parts of life. Book an eye exam to ensure that your child isn’t suffering from undetected nearsightedness.

At Switalski Eye Care, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 972-424-2019 or book an appointment online to see one of our Plano eye doctors.

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Signs & Symptoms of Pink Eye in Kids

Pink eye – or what your eye doctor may call conjunctivitis – is common in young children. It’s typically contagious, and it can spread rapidly through playgrounds and preschools. While pink eye is often diagnosed in kids, it can also affect teenagers and adults. At our Plano, Texas, eye care center, we diagnose and treat eye infections in patients of all ages.

What is pink eye?

This pesky infection is an inflammation of the conjunctiva (the thin membrane that covers the eye surface and inner eyelids) and the sclera (white part) of the eye. While it can look bad, it is usually a minor infection that’s not serious. But whenever you notice the signs of an eye infection in your child, it’s important to bring them to the eye doctor because many types of conjunctivitis require treatment to heal.

What are the different types of pink eye?

Our eye doctor in Plano, Texas, will perform an eye exam to diagnose the specific type of pink eye, such as:

  • Infectious pinkeye, which is contagious, can be caused by bacteria or viruses. In fact, the same kinds of bacteria and viruses that lead to colds, sore throats, and ear and sinus infections can cause pink eye. Bacterial pink eye is treated with antibiotic drops or ointment, whereas viral pink eye will gradually clear up on its own.
  • Allergic conjunctivitis, which can be triggered by pollen, grass, dust mites, animal dander, and other airborne allergens can lead to pink, itchy eyes.
  • Irritant conjunctivitis, which can be caused by any irritants – such as chlorine or cigarette smoke, may result in similar symptoms.

What are the signs and symptoms of pink eye?

As the name states, a pink or red color in your kid’s eye is the most common sign. In addition, watch out for:

  • Discomfort; many kids complain of a feeling that sand or something is stuck in their eye.
  • Oozy discharge that forms a crust on the eyelids while sleeping; it can be yellow, green or white
  • Swelling of the conjunctiva – you may notice swollen eyelids
  • Sensitivity to bright light
  • Itchiness and watery eyes – especially when it is allergic conjunctivitis

How can pink eye be prevented in children?

Touching an infected person or something the person has made contact with, such as a towel or toy, is the most direct way for kids to catch an eye infection. It can also spread through coughing and sneezing. With that in mind, keeping distance from other kids and their personal items is a good way to help prevent the spread of pink eye. They shouldn’t ever share tissues, eye makeup, eye drops, towels or pillowcases. Teaching kids to wash their hands thoroughly, using soap and warm water, is also important.

When should I bring my child to the eye doctor?

If you notice the signs and symptoms of pink eye in your child and they do not show improvement within 2 -3 days, call your eye doctor. Or, if you’ve already visited our eye doctor and received treatment that hasn’t appeared to help within a few days, contact our Plano optometry office.

At Switalski Eye Care, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 972-424-2019 or book an appointment online to see one of our Plano eye doctors.

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