POLARIZED sports sunglasses reduce glare so athletes can see the ball or other players better. Anti-reflective (AR) coating is another glare reducer that works even at night, if you’re playing under bright lights.
Photochromic lenses are another way to control light. These lenses are clear indoors and change automatically to a medium or dark sunglass shade outdoors, depending on the intensity of sunlight.
The largest manufacturer of plastic photochromic lenses is Transitions Optical. Therefore, plastic photochromic lenses often are commonly referred to as “Transitions lenses.” Transitions lenses also are available in polycarbonate, which is lighter and more impact-resistant than plastic, making it the most popular lens material for sports eyewear.
Photochromic lenses are terrific for golf, where you move frequently from bright sunlight to shade during the course of a round. But they also work great for any outdoor sport on days when it’s partly sunny, partly cloudy. For the ultimate light-control lenses, many opticians recommend adding anti-reflective coating to photochromic lenses to eliminate glare from the “bounce-back” of light from the back surface of the lenses.
Sport goggles must be properly fit to the individual wearer. This is particularly important with children, because the normal temptation is to purchase a larger goggle than is needed today so the youngster has “room to grow.” Some growing room is acceptable, and sports goggles are made to be somewhat flexible in their width adjustment. But if the frames are too large and don’t fit properly, the amount of protection they provide will be compromised, increasing the risk of eye injury. It’s a risk not worth taking.
By the same token, permitting a youngster to continue wearing goggles that he or she has outgrown can be just as dangerous. First, the frames will be uncomfortable, tempting the child to leave them off. Secondly, the frames can obstruct peripheral vision, leading to poor performance and a greater risk of being hit by a ball or other unseen object from one side or the other.
Review the fit of your child’s sport goggles each year to ensure that they are still providing proper protection. Make sure the padding inside the sides of the goggle rests flush with the face and the eyes are centered both horizontally and vertically in the lens area.
A large part of learning is done visually. Reading, spelling, writing, chalkboard work and, in many schools, computers, are among the tasks students tackle all day long, day after day. Each involves the visual abilities of seeing quickly and understanding visual information frequently less than arm’s length from the eyes. Many students’ visual abilities just aren’t up to the level of the demands of these types of learning situations in the classroom.
Clear eyesight isn’t all that’s required for these close vision tasks. Youngsters must have a variety of scanning, focusing and visual coordination skills for learning and for getting meaning from reading. If these visual skills have not been developed, or are poorly developed, learning is difficult and stressful, and youngsters typically react in one or a combination of ways:
They avoid near visual work entirely, or as much as possible.
They attempt to do the work anyway, but with lowered understanding.
They often experience discomfort, fatigue and short attention span.
They adapt by becoming nearsighted, or by suppressing the vision of one eye.
Visual stress reactions can help explain the discomfort, fatigue, changes in behavior, altered eyesight and declining academic performance that often indicate a learning-related vision problem. (Vision problems do not “cause” learning disabilities. However, poor visual skills, by interfering with the process, can impede remedial efforts. It’s like trying to build a house on sand. Good vision skills, on the other hand, can provide a solid foundation for learning.)
Vision problems in school-age children very frequently lead to learning problems.
—80% of what a child learns in the classroom depends on the efficiency of the visual system.
—It is estimated that over 10 million children suffer from undetected vision problems due to the lack of appropriate evaluation.
There may be good reason to schedule and vision evaluation if you notice a child:
1. Holding a book very close (only 7 or 8 inches away).
2. Holding their head at an extreme angle to the book when reading.
3. Covering one eye when reading.
4. Squinting when doing near vision work.
5. Exhibiting poor posture when working close.
6. Moving his or her head back and forth while reading instead of moving only eyes.
7. Has poor attention span, drowsiness after prolonged work less than arm’s length away
8. Struggling with their homework and reading takes longer than it should.
9. Reports seeing blurring or double while reading or writing.
If you need a vision evaluation for your child, feel free to contact:
Dr. Lori Landrio
2126 Merrick Mall
Optometrists find that many children with learning-related vision problems have 20/20 distance eyesight, but have great difficulty doing vision tasks less than arm’s length away. Most school screenings test just the sharpness of distance eyesight, so many vision problems that affect learning go undetected. But parents and teachers can learn to spot learning-related visual problems. Some of these signs are on the CHECKLIST to be posted tomorrow. If a child is continually exhibiting any of these signs, it’s time to arrange for a vision evaluation.