Monday, October 3, 2011

Weird and wonderful facts about your children’s eyes!

Weird and wonderful facts about your children’s eyes!
by TimHarwood
Before I dive into some facts and fictions about children’s eyes, I would first like to start by explaining to parents the importance of getting your child’s eyes tested regularly and at a young age. This applies regardless of whether or not you think your child has any visual problems. Below the age of 5 years old a child is very unlikely to tell you if they have a visual problem and they are even less likely to know themselves! They have only known this vision after all, so they don’t really know what to expect! Ideally you should get your child’s eyes tested from about the age of 3 years old and this can be sooner if you notice a ‘turn’ in your child’s eyes. Don’t worry that your child won’t be able to respond to the Optometrist as there are lots of tests that can be done without needing your child’s input. If you child has a lazy eye the earlier your child has been seen by an Optometrist the better the chance of being able to successfully treat it.
Now with this lecture out of the way, I can continue on with some of the interesting facts (and also myths) about your children’s eyes!:

·         Eating carrots will improve their eye sight: Admittedly this is a great way of encouraging your child to eat carrots and you should continue telling them if it’s the only way you can get them to eat them but it is in fact a myth! There is a lot of Vitamin E in carrots which is important for the function of the eye but it does not impact on the development of their vision.
·         New born babies can’t see in colour: Or more accurately they are unable to distinguish between different colours. This ability develops over the first year of your child’s life.
·         Your boy has an 8% chance of being colour blind: It is true that colour blindness affects around 8% of boys but it does not affect girls. Colour blindness does not exactly mean what it sounds like, as affected people are still able to see in colour. Generally speaking people with colour blindness can still see colours, although they have difficulty in differentiating between them. Colour blindness never changes throughout your life and it is the same the day you die as it is the day you are born! And there is unfortunately no treatment.
·         Most children are born with blue eyes: Even if your child has brown eyes now, there is a good chance that when they were born they had blue eyes. And for the same reason, if you have currently have a new born baby with blue eyes they may end up having brown eyes! The reason for this is that the pigment which causes the eyes to go brown (Melanin) doesn’t deposit in your babies iris until they are older.
·         Children blink less: Kids typically blink around 2 times per minute whereas adults blink around 12 times per minute!
·         Eyes are one of first things to develop: Once conceived, your child’s eyes will start to develop after only 3 weeks. They are effectively an extension of the brain and are directly connected to the visual cortex which aids the recognition of objects you are looking at.
·         Children can’t wear contact lenses: This is in fact a myth. Providing your child is fitted by an experienced Optometrist there is no reason that a young child cannot wear contact lenses. If they are under the age of 11 years old then the parent will probably have to insert/remove them.
·         Children can’t have laser eye surgery: This is true as children’s eyes are generally known to still be growing up until the age of 18 years old. This means that the earliest the prescription can be stable is 18 years old and this is therefore the youngest age for laser eye surgery.
·         New born babies can’t see in 3D: Over the first 3 years of their lives, a child’s stereopsis develops which is the ability to judge depth and see things in 3D.

I hope this article has brought to your attention the complexities of the human eye and inspired you to book your child in for an eye test no matter what their age. Treat your child’s eye health with the same importance as their general health, as their vision is crucial to all aspects of their development

This article was provided by Tim a guest writer and Optometrist from the United Kingdom. As an Optometrist I regularly examine children’s eyes. Should any problem be detected, if the child has been brought in when they are young, there is a good chance they can be treated successfully. Tim also writes for his website which covers topics ranging from Botox prices to laser eye surgery.



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