Do Babies with Astigmatism Need Glasses?
Children with a vision defect undergo one of the most challenging times in their life. At an age when they should enjoy their life with full freedom and explore the wonderful world around them, is unfortunately distorted by an eye abnormality. Sadly, they are forced to get adjusted to an accessory, which is a constant botheration to their playful days.
A vision screening may not be necessary until the child is three years old. However, don't be hesitant to discuss with your pediatrician about your child's eyes during routine visits. And, if you suspect an issue with your child's eyes, follow your intuition and consult an ophthalmologist.
This article explains more about your child’s eye problem and how to resolve it.
- -What is Astigmatism?
- -How to Detect Astigmatism?
- -When Should I Worry About My Child’s Eyesight?
- -Is it Safe to Give Kids Glasses?
- -How Often Should Children Wear Glasses?
- -How to Treat Astigmatism with Eyewear?
- -Are Astigmatism Glasses Different From Other Glasses?
What is Astigmatism?
It is an eye disorder that affects how light is "refracted," or deflected, onto the retina. Most times, it coexists with other refractive abnormalities, like nearsightedness (myopia) or farsightedness (hyperopia). If left untreated, it can lead to lazy eye (amblyopia).
It occurs when the cornea or the lens (the lens within the eye) is curved or shaped abnormally. Normal human eyes are round-shaped like a baseball, but some have a more oblong shape. The light that is projected onto the retina alters the light, resulting in a distorted vision for the patient. This happens if the cornea is oblong shaped.
According to a study in JAMA Ophthalmology, nearly 175,000 preschoolers had vision problems in 2015, in Miami, Florida. So, it is not a rare occurrence to have eye problems at such a tender age. However, genetic and environmental factors also play a critical role in such abnormalities.
Early detection of this abnormality can help your child with corrective measures to avoid vision loss. Sophisticated vision screening instruments, like the photo screener, can detect the abnormality and the ophthalmologist can prescribe the power of the lens required to correct a child’s vision.
When Should I Worry About My Child's Eyesight?
It is particularly found in infants between the ages of 6 months to 48 months. Depending on the age of the baby and the severity of astigmatism, it is the leading cause of vision loss in children.
The symptoms of astigmatism are:
- -Double vision in one or both eyes
- -Sensitivity to light
- -Blurred or distorted vision
- -Poor night vision
- -Frequent Headaches
As a parent, you should be on the lookout for an indication that your kid is having difficulty seeing. If your infant child is showing any of the above symptoms, it is very important to examine the eye immediately.
We see it in many studies that by the time children are 5 to 6 years old; most of them recover from this disorder, but only with proper and timely treatment.
Is it Safe to Give Kids Glasses?
According to Jane Edmond, M.D., a pediatric neuro-ophthalmologist at Texas Children's Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine and clinical spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology, "A baby may need glasses if she seems visually inattentive compared to other babies her age or if she holds a toy abnormally close to her face."
If your child's astigmatism is severe or is accompanied by another refractive condition, he or she will require glasses, says Charles Allen, O.D., in Princeton, New Jersey. However, if the abnormality is minimal, she may avoid wearing glasses.
Mostly, astigmatism in babies resolves on its own, but it can persist until adulthood.
How Often Should Children Wear Their Glasses?
If the child is older, say over 7 or 8, and has astigmatism, you may not need to wear glasses all the time. They may put them on only when needed to see clearly, like reading. Some children dislike transitioning into and out of prescription glasses.
When these people put their astigmatism glasses on or take them off, they may feel as though they are seeing through a fishbowl. If so, you might not want to take them off all that frequently.
To be sure that the glasses are not being used to cure a problem other than astigmatism, you can ask your eye doctor whether it's alright to not wear them all the time.
How to Treat Astigmatism with Eyewear?
Prescription lenses can correct refractive defects in the cornea and lens of the eye. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, it should be correctable to 20/20, but sometimes it may be too severe to restore vision to normal.
Although contact lenses may not be ideal for babies, adult patients with astigmatism may have multiple options in this eyewear. You get Toric contact lenses specially meant for such abnormality, for reshaping the cornea. It is proven to correct distorted vision at every angle.
Gas-permeable contact lenses are uniformly shaped hard lenses that serve as a substitute for the cornea's refraction effect. When compared to their softer toric equivalents, they frequently offer better vision. Although initially less comfortable than toric lenses, these lenses eventually offer superior vision correction and ease.
Hybrid lenses provide a rigid center for improved clarity and a softer edge for increased comfort. When using contact lenses to treat this disorder, they usually offer the best of all worlds.
Are Astigmatism Glasses Different From Other Glasses?
Yes, it differs from other glasses. The additional lens power specification makes it distinct from other types of eyewear. On a vision prescription, the cylinder (CYL) indicates if a lens needs more power to correct the abnormality. An AXIS specification, which specifies the rotation of the astigmatism correction, will also be included for a person with such eye disorder.
A CYL or AXIS specification won't exist with someone without this abnormality. To overcome eyestrain, headaches, or night vision problems because of this eye abnormality, consider the lenses that have blue light blocking, AR coating, and UV protection.
Although there is no accurate approach for preventing astigmatism, it has long been thought to be very curable, just like other refractive abnormalities. With the aid of glasses or contact lenses, most persons with astigmatism lead regular lives.