KIDS EYE CARE

Argus Opticians is a family practice, and all our staff have young children of their own, so we know how important it is that kids are made to feel immediately at ease, in what can sometimes be an intimidating environment for them. This is the reason why we view kids as our most important patients. Our children’s testing equipment is specialised to help make the test as fun as possible for them.

The test itself involves checking your child’s visual performance, eye muscle function, colour vision, stereoscopic (3D) vision and their eye health. For younger children this will often involve the instillation of eye drops to assist us in getting the most accurate results, and again we have a wealth of experience in making this as pleasant an experience as possible.

When the test is finished, we will take time to relate our findings to the child and parent before handing them over to our dispensing team to give guidance when choosing glasses if they have been deemed necessary.

Our range of children’s frames have been specially chosen with an emphasis on quality, durability, and functionality rather than on having lots of “branded” children’s frames, which we sometimes find lacking in some of the attributes we desire. However, we do carry some superb designer brand kids frames such as Ray-Ban and William Morris. We also cater for children who may require more specialised fitting such as infants and children with Down’s syndrome.

It is estimated that 5-10% of preschool children and 25% of school going children have visual problems. It is extremely important that any such problems are identified and managed early as, if left undetected they could impair your child’s visual, social and educational development. 

Your child will normally have been tested at infancy by the paediatrician, but at Argus Opticians Donegal Town and Bundoran we recommend they should attend for a preschool assessment at around 3 years of age, earlier if there is a family history of eyesight problems, or if you have any concerns about their eyes. They should then attend every twelve months while they are in full time education. 

School vision screenings are very rudimentary and brief exams, designed to detect gross visual problems in children who can then be referred for treatment. Argus Opticians eye exam is more comprehensive and can detect very early problems with eyesight as well as checking the health of the eye and eye muscle function. 

WHAT ARE THE SIGNS YOUR CHILD MAY HAVE POOR VISION?

MYOPIA MANAGEMENT

Argus Opticians have been at the forefront of the Myopia Management movement since 2018 and are one of the leading myopia management practitioners in the country. We are the only practice in Donegal providing the full suite of myopia management options including the Stellest glasses lens, Misight daily contact lens and EyeDream Ortho-k lens.

Since 2018 we also had several of our patients enrol in studies in DCU to allow better understanding of the mechanisms of myopia management so future kids may benefit from improved management strategies.

WHAT IS MYOPIA?

Myopia (shortsightedness) is where the eyeball is too long or the power too strong, resulting in blurred distance vision. As a rule, myopia tends to worsen over time, particularly during the growing years between the ages of 6 and 16. Higher levels of myopia have been shown to increase the risks of eye conditions such as glaucoma, retinal detachments, macular changes and cataracts later in life.

How Can We MANAGE Myopia Progression?

Is it important that myopia is detected in its earliest stages to offer the best chance of managing its progression. Argus Opticians recommend that an AT RISK, normally sighted child should be monitored every 6 months. If myopia is detected active treatment can be commenced using one of 3 management strategies. The Stellest glasses lens, the Misight daily disposable contact lens and the EyeDream orthokeratology contact lens have all been shown to slow myopia progression by as much as 70%.

Once active treatment is commenced, we will monitor every child every 6 months for any changes in their myopia and to ensure that the selected management strategy is still the best choice for that child. 

Eyeplan customers will be covered for all eye exams and axial length assessments throughout the year. Ask in-store about Argus Eyeplan and Contact Lens Eyeplan.

WHAT CHILDREN ARE AT RISK OF MYOPIA?

The kids most at risk from developing myopia are those with a family history of the condition. For example, a child where neither parent is myopic is at low risk, a child where one parent is myopic is at three times greater risk of developing myopia, and a child where both parents are myopic is at six times greater risk of developing myopia. In all cases the younger a child develops myopia, the faster it is likely to progress. It is important therefore to attend for regular eye exams from the age of 3 and up, or earlier if you suspect there are any issues with your child’s eyesight.

Other risk factors include limited time spent outdoors, excessive leisure screen time and certain weaknesses in the binocular vision system.

If you are concerned your child may be myopic or wish to discuss any aspect of myopia or myopia management, please don’t hesitate to contact Argus Opticians Donegal Town or Bundoran for further advice.