Prevention and early detection are the two most important reasons why adults and children should have annual eye exams.

“Children are constantly growing, so like the rest of their body, their eyes will also undergo several changes from birth until adulthood. Annual comprehensive eye exams are important to assess not only their vision, but their eye coordination, focusing ability, and eye health. These areas play an important role in their learning and development,” educates Dr. Naghmeh Thompson, Practice Owner/Optometrist at Midhurst Family Eye Care in Midhurst.

Doug Archer, Optician/Owner of Archer’s Eyewear in Barrie says, “Children often suppress symptoms, so annual eye examinations may uncover ocular abnormalities, eye diseases, and visual acuity challenges.”
Sometimes children are reluctant to wear glasses, but you can overcome that by involving them in the process to help them embrace their new look.

“I’d recommend explaining the need for glasses, and how they’ll help. Have your child be involved in the selection process. There are so many different styles and colours, so have them pick something fun they’ll love to wear,” says Dr. Thompson.

Also, don’t make wearing glasses a big deal. Keep kids busy as soon as they begin wearing them. If their mind is occupied, they don’t have time to think about what’s on their face.

“Encouraging children to wear their glasses can be difficult for parents. Don’t make a big fuss about the glasses, especially with those age three and under.  Ask the grandparents, babysitter, or older sibling not to make comments about them and draw attention to the glasses.  If the child isn’t thinking about them being on their face, there’s no need to draw attention,” advises Archer.

Archer highly recommends kids wear sunglasses outdoors, but less often when in a vehicle. Some eyecare professionals feel if young children wear sunglasses too much, they’ll become more light-sensitive as they get older.

“Children’s eyes are more susceptible to ultraviolet rays due to their crystalline lens not being fully mature, and it’s less capable of filtering out these rays.  UV damage can affect the skin around the eyes, eye surface, and internal structures. It’s estimated that children have 80% of their lifetime UV exposure by the age of 18. Sunglasses should have impact resistant lenses, UV 400 coating, or block 100% of UVA and UVB rays,” explains Dr. Thompson.

Have fun picking out styles of eyewear. Archer says classic oversized metals from the 1980s with black and gold are popular, as well as transparent and translucent pale plastics.

“European frame designers are the innovators and trend setters in the optical industry. Denmark, France, and Germany host several design houses that influence style, design, and creativity,” enlightens Archer. “Kids love colour, and so do several adults, so our speciality is funky, unique, colour eyewear.”

Elective eye surgery procedures are also an option for adults. It can reduce their dependency on glasses and allow them to enjoy the lifestyle they want.

“Since most diseases occur without signs, it’s important to see your optometrist for routine and preventative care,” says Dr. Thompson.

Midhurst Family Eye Care,

Archer’s Eyewear,

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