Children with uncorrected vision conditions or eye health problems face many barriers in life … academically … socially … and athletically. High-quality eye care can break down these barriers and help enable your children to reach their highest potential.

Vision doesn't just happen. A child's brain learns how to use eyes to see, just like it learns how to use legs to walk or a mouth to form words. The longer a vision problem goes undiagnosed and untreated, the more a child's brain learns to accommodate the vision problem.

That's why a comprehensive eye examination from Kaster Eye Clinic of Green is so important for children. Early detection and treatment provide the very best opportunity to correct vision problems, so your child can learn to see clearly.

Eighty percent of all learning is performed through vision. Make sure your child has the best possible tools to learn successfully.

More Info: – Children’s Vision

read more

Infant’s Vision

On August 25th, 2010, posted in: Children's Vision by

Your baby has a whole lifetime to see and learn. But did you know your baby also has to learn to see? As a parent, there are many things that you can do to help your baby's vision develop. First, proper prenatal care and nutrition can help your baby's eyes develop even before birth. At birth, your baby's eyes should be examined for signs of congenital eye problems. These are rare, but early diagnosis and treatment are important to your child's development.

At about age 6 months, you should take your baby to your doctor of optometry at Kaster Eye Clinic of Green for his or her first thorough eye examination. Things that the optometrist will test for include excessive or unequal amounts of nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism and eye movement ability as well as eye health problems. These problems are not common, but it is important to identify children who have them at this stage. Vision development and eye health problems can be more easily corrected if treatment is begun early.

Unless you notice a need, or your doctor of optometry advises you otherwise, your child's next examination should be around age 3, and then again before he or she enters school.

Between birth and age 3, when many of your baby's vision skills will develop, there are ways that you can help.

During the first 4 months of life, your baby should begin to follow moving objects with the eyes and reach for things, first by chance and later more accurately, as hand-eye coordination and depth perception begin to develop.

To help, use a nightlight or other dim lamp in your baby's room; change the crib's position frequently and your child's position in it; keep reach-and-touch toys within your baby's focus, about eight to twelve inches; talk to your baby as you walk around the room; alternate right and left sides with each feeding; and hang a mobile above and outside the crib.

Between 4 and 8 months, your baby should begin to turn from side to side and use his or her arms and legs. Eye movement and eye/body coordination skills should develop further and both eyes should focus equally.

You should enable your baby to explore different shapes and textures with his or her fingers; give your baby the freedom to crawl and explore; hang objects across the crib; and play "patty cake"and "peek-a-boo" with your baby.

From 8 to 12 months, your baby should be mobile now, crawling and pulling himself or herself up. He or she will begin to use both eyes together and judge distances and grasp and throw objects with greater precision. To support development don't encourage early walking – crawling is important in developing eye-hand-foot-body coordination; give your baby stacking and take-apart toys; and provide objects your baby can touch, hold and see at the same time.

From 1 to 2 years, your child's eye-hand coordination and depth perception will continue to develop and he or she will begin to understand abstract terms. Things you can do are encourage walking; provide building blocks, simple puzzles and balls; and provide opportunities to climb and explore indoors and out.

There are many other affectionate and loving ways in which you can aid your baby's vision development. Use your creativity and imagination. Ask your optometrist at Kaster Eye Clinic of Green to suggest other specific activities.

read more

School-Age Children

On August 25th, 2010, posted in: Children's Vision by

A good education for your child means good schools, good teachers and good vision. Your child's eyes are constantly in use in the classroom and at play. So when his or her vision is not functioning properly, learning and participation in recreational activities will suffer.

The basic vision skills needed for school use are:

  • Near vision. The ability to see clearly and comfortably at 10-13 inches.
  • Distance vision. The ability to see clearly and comfortably beyond arm's reach.
  • Binocular coordination. The ability to use both eyes together.
  • Eye movement skills. The ability to aim the eyes accurately, move them smoothly across a page and shift them quickly and accurately from one object to another.
  • Focusing skills. The ability to keep both eyes accurately focused at the proper distance to see clearly and to change focus quickly.
  • Peripheral awareness. The ability to be aware of things located to the side while looking straight ahead.
  • Eye/hand coordination. The ability to use the eyes and hands together.

If any of these or other vision skills are lacking or not functioning properly, your child will have to work harder. This can lead to headaches, fatigue and other eyestrain problems. As a parent, be alert for symptoms that may indicate your child has a vision or visual processing problem. Be sure to tell your optometrist at Kaster Eye Clinic of Green if your child frequently:

  • Loses their place while reading;
  • Avoids close work;
  • Holds reading material closer than normal;
  • Tends to rub his or her eyes;
  • Has headaches;
  • Turns or tilts head to use one eye only;
  • Makes frequent reversals when reading or writing;
  • Uses finger to maintain place when reading;
  • Omits or confuses small words when reading;
  • Consistently performs below potential.

Because vision changes can occur without you or your child noticing them, your child should visit the optometrist at least every two years, or more frequently, if specific problems or risk factors exist. If needed, the doctor can prescribe treatment including eyeglasses, contact lenses or vision therapy.

Remember, a school vision or pediatrician's screening is not a substitute for a thorough eye examination.

read more


Developing vision at playtime

There are some children’s games that call for blindfolds or “not peeking until…” or hiding from sight.

However, most of the time your child is at play his or her eyes are a part of the action.

You can find a lot of ways to use playtime activities, games and toys to help your child, regardless of age, to learn or sharpen many different vision skills. And it can be done without interfering with the carefree fun and joy of playtime.

How toys and games can help

From the moment of birth, you child is learning to see. He or she progresses from the newborn‘s blurry world of light and dark to the school-age child‘s sophisticated ability to handle complex vision tasks. Toys, games and playtime activities help by stimulating this process of vision development. Sometimes, though, despite all your efforts, your child may still miss a step in vision development.

That is why comprehensive optometric care from Kaster Eye Clinic of Green beginning as early as 6 months of age is so important. Your doctor of optometry can identify vision skill areas in need of attention and diagnose vision problems in their early stages, before they have a chance to interfere with your child’s total development or learning ability.

He or she may prescribe glasses or vision therapy or suggest specific activities or toys you can use at home to help with your child’s problems.

Toy-buying tips

Inexpensive homemade toys and simple childhood games can be just as effective as purchased toys in helping children develop and improve their vision skills.

When buying toys, select those that are well-made and appropriate to the child’s age and level of maturity. Manufacturers often give suggested ages for a toy, but, keep the individual child in mind because children develop at different rates.

Buy the proper safety equipment for older children and be certain they wear it when participating in eye hazardous sports and when using chemistry sets, shop tools, BB guns, sleds or other items with potential to cause eye injuries. Most eye injuries suffered by children occur during play or sports activities and can be prevented.

Consider this list

Here is a list of toys and activities that can help your child develop or improve various vision skills.

Those suggested for birth through 5 months of age will help stimulate your baby’s sense of sight.

Those suggested for older age groups will help develop or sharpen your child’s general eye movement skills; eye-hand coordination skills necessary for writing and sports; shape and size discrimination skills needed for reading; and visualization and visual memory skills needed for comprehension and for the ability to visualize abstract things.

Birth Through 5 Months

Sturdy crib mobiles and gyms; bright large rattles and rubber squeak toys.

Peek-a-boo; patty-cake.

6 Months Through 8 Months

Stuffed animals; floating bath toys.

Hide-and-Seek with toys; read to child.

9 Months Through 12 Months

Sturdy cardboard books; take-apart toys; snap-lock beads; blocks; stacking/nesting toys.

Roll a ball back-and-forth; read to child.

One-Year Olds

Bright balls; blocks; zippers; rocking horse; riding toys pushed with the feet.

Throwing a ball; read to child.

Two-Year Olds

Pencils, markers, crayons; bean bag/ring toss games; peg hammering toys; sorting shapes/sizes toys; puzzles; blocks.

Read to child; outdoor play; catch.

3 to 6 Years

Building toys with large snap-together components; stringing beads; puzzles; pegboards; crayons; finger paint; chalk; modeling clay; simple sewing cards; large balls; match-up-shape toys; tricycle; connect-the-dot games; sticker boots/games.

Climbing, running; using balance beam; playground equipment.

7 Years and Older

Bicycle; jump ropes; pogo sticks; roller skates; different size and shape balls; target games; more sophisticated building toys; puzzles; remote-controlled toys; timed shape/size sorting games; plastic disks for tossing between players.

Active sports; cycling.

This list of toys and activities is not complete. There are many other ways you can aid your child’s vision development and teach him or her good eye safety and vision care habits. Use your creativity and imagination. Computer learning programs and games can be very useful, if available. Also, ask your optometrist at Kaster Eye Clinic of Green to suggest other specific toys and activities.

read more

When first introduced, computers were almost exclusively used by adults.  Today, children increasingly use these devices both for education and recreation.  Millions of children use computers on a daily basis at school and at home.

Children can experience many of the same symptoms related to computer use as adults.  Extensive viewing of the computer screen can lead to eye discomfort, fatigue, blurred vision and headaches.  However, some unique aspects of how children use computers may make them more susceptible than adults to the development of these problems.

The potential impact of computer use on children’s vision involves the following factors:

  • Children often have a limited degree of self-awareness.  Many children keep performing an enjoyable task with great concentration until near exhaustion (e.g., playing video games for hours with little, if any, breaks).  Prolonged activity without a significant break can cause eye focusing (accommodative) problems and eye irritation.

    Accommodative problems may occur as a result of the eyes’ focusing system “locking in” to a particular target and viewing distance.  In some cases, this may cause the eyes to be unable to smoothly and easily focus on a particular object, even long after the original work is completed.

  • Children are very adaptable.  Although there are many positive aspects to their adaptability, children frequently ignore problems that would be addressed by adults.  A child who is viewing a computer screen with a large amount of glare often will not think about changing the computer arrangement or the surroundings to achieve more comfortable viewing.  This can result in excessive eye strain.  Discomfort can also result from eye dryness due to infrequent blinking.  Also, children often accept blurred vision caused by nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), or astigmatism because they think everyone sees the way they do.  Uncorrected farsightedness can cause eye strain, even when clear vision can be maintained.
  • Children are not the same size as adults.  Most computer workstations are arranged for adult use.  Therefore, a child using a computer on a typical office desk often must look up higher than an adult.  Since the most efficient viewing angle is slightly downward about 15 degrees, problems using the eyes together can occur.  In addition, children may have difficulty reaching the keyboard or placing their feet on the floor, causing arm, neck or back discomfort.

Steps to Visually-Friendly Computer Use

Here are some things to consider for children using a computer:

  • Have the child’s vision checked at Kaster Eye Clinic of Green.  A comprehensive eye examination will ensure that the child can see clearly and comfortably and detect any hidden conditions that may contribute to eye strain.  When necessary, glasses, contact lenses or vision therapy can provide clear, comfortable vision for computer use.
  • Build in break times. A brief break every hour will minimize the development of eye focusing problems and eye irritation.
  • Carefully check the height and position of the computer.  The child’s size should determine where the monitor and keyboard are placed.  In many situations, the computer monitor will be too high in the child’s field of view.  A good solution to many of these problems is an adjustable chair that can be raised for the child’s comfort.  A foot stool may be helpful in supporting the child’s feet.
  • Carefully check for glare and reflections on the computer screen.  Position the monitor to minimize glare.  Windows or other light sources should not be directly visible when sitting in front of the monitor.  When this occurs, the desk or computer may be turned to prevent glare on the screen.  Sometimes glare is less obvious. 
  • Adjust the amount of lighting in the room for sustained comfort.

read more