As parents, it seems we’re always worried about something. One of those areas is their eyesight. Children can experience some rather dramatic vision changes as they develop. Most of these are normal, but some need to be watched.
For these two late fall blogs let’s address changes in vision for both children and adults and what is normal and what is a concern.
Age-related vision changes
Just as their bodies change, so do a child’s eyes. Along with these changes can be changes in the quality of their vision.
If your child is nearsighted, nearsightedness can worsen as he or she gets older. Nearsightedness often develops as early as age 6. It usually worsens the most around age 11 to 13, but it can continue to worsen all the way through the teenage years.
If the problem is farsightedness, your child’s vision could actually improve as he or she grows. Farsightedness often occurs in early childhood and improves around age 9. At this point the eyes have grown and have learned to adjust.
Although this can be a pain in the pocketbook, from elementary to high school your child could need a new eyeglass prescription every year or even more often. That’s why it is important to have the team at Wilkinson Eye Center perform yearly eye exams during this period with your child. That way we can accommodate the changing focusing power of their eyes.
During this time, it’s a good idea to monitor your child’s vision throughout the year. If your child complains that he or she has trouble seeing the board at school or if they frequently are rubbing their eyes or having headaches, these are signs their prescription has changed. The same is true with struggling with reading.
Adult eyeglass or contact prescriptions are usually stable after the early 20s. If you have 20/200 vision, it’s likely going to stay that way. The same is true if you’re 20/20.
But change is a-comin’, usually when we have our 40th birthday. This is when presbyopia really begins to take hold. Presbyopia is the result of the lenses in our eyes beginning to harden and lose the ability to flex. This makes us farsighted, meaning we have trouble getting our eyes to focus on up close objects. Presbyopia is the reason older people have pairs of readers strategically situated throughout their lives to help with reading and other near vision needs.
In November’s second Wilkinson Eye Center blog, we’ll get into other vision changes and whether they merit concern or not. In the meantime, is it time for your child’s annual eye exam? Call us at (248) 334-4931 to schedule an appointment.