Monday, July 30, 2018

Kid’s Back to School Eye Exams

Time for Kid’s Back to School Eye Exams
With back-to-school time around the corner, parents will be scrambling to buy new school supplies and clothes. As they tick off their long list of school to-dos, we are reminding moms and dads not to neglect one of the most important learning tools: their children’s eyes. Good vision and overall eye health are vital to learning. Because children are still growing, being vigilant about eye health is important.

Tips for Kids’ Healthy Eyes & Vision
Get Regular Childhood Vision Screenings - Children’s eyes change rapidly, making regular vision screenings an important step in detecting and correcting eye problems earlyIn addition to screenings for infants, the American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends further vision screening for children when they are:

>Pre-School age, between age 3 and 3 and a half
>Entering School
>Experiencing a Possible Vision Problem 

Know and Share Your Family Eye Health History - Everyone should find out whether eye conditions or diseases run in their family. Parents should share that information with the person performing the screening or eye exam when possible. Examples of common eye conditions include nearsightedness, crossed eye, known as strabismus, and lazy eye, known as amblyopia. If these are not treated in childhood, they can cause permanent vision loss in one eye.   

Watch for Signals of Eye Problems - Parents should be alert to symptoms that could indicate an eye or vision problem, such as complaints of eyestrain, headaches and squinting when reading or performing other common activities. Other symptoms to look for include a white or grayish-white coloring in the pupil, one eye that turns in or out, or eyes that do not track in sync together.

Wear Protective Eyewear When Playing Sports - Eye injuries while playing sports can cause serious damage, whether by getting smacked with an elbow during basketball or hit with a hockey stick. If your child plays racket sports, hockey, field hockey, baseball or basketball, consider having them wear goggles or other certified protective eyewear. 

If you or someone you know has a child that needs to schedule an eye exam please call Alabama Eye & Cataract Center in Birmingham at 205-930-0930, visit Alabama Eye & Cataract Center, Google+ or

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Vision Problems in Preschool Children

Vision problems and visual impairment in preschool children can lead to learning and development problems that impacts long term academic and even social success. Researchers reporting in the journal JAMA Ophthalmology studied the prevalence, demographic and geographic variations of visual impairment in kids and projected what might lie ahead.

In 2015, more than 174 000 children aged 3 to 5 years in the United States were visually impaired. Almost 121 000 of these cases (69%) arose from simple uncorrected refractive error, and 43 000 (25%) from bilateral amblyopia. The number of preschool children with visual impairment is projected to increase by 26% in 2060. Hispanic white children will account for the largest number and proportion of cases, followed by African American children.

This study suggests that the number of preschool children with visual impairment is projected to increase disproportionally, especially among minority populations. Vision screening for refractive error and related eye diseases may prevent a high proportion of preschool children from experiencing unnecessary visual impairment and associated developmental delays.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Smartphones & Dry Eyes in Kids

Symptoms of dry eyes and dry eye disease as well as ocular fatigue are known problems that can result from the excessive use of video display terminals. Kids today spend an awful lot of time texting on smartphones, playing games on smartphones and generally just engaged with various apps on smartphones. Researchers were interested in learning more about any increased risk and progression of pediatric dry eye disease that might be associated with smartphone use. Not unexpected was the conclusion that increased VDT use such as smartphones or computers in children was found to be associated with the occurrence of ocular surface symptoms of dryness and fatigue. Also somewhat expected was the clinical finding that the longer the kids used the smartphones the greater the symptoms and disturbance of the eyes’ surface. The authors then suggested being aware of excessive smartphone use in kids and educating them as to reducing their use of smartphones if they become troubled by eye fatigue or dryness symptoms.
If you have kids that are heavy users of smartphones or iPads or tablets of any type and they complain about dry eyes, grittiness, sandiness or have red burning eyes and even eye fatigue, please be aware that the VDT may be having a negative impact on the child and schedule an appointment so that we be sure there are no other eye problems. Call Alabama Eye & Cataract Center in Birmingham at 205-930-0930, visit Alabama Eye & Cataract Center, Google+ or

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Stroke Warning: Retinal Artery Blockage!

Retinal Artery Blockage May Warn of Impending Stroke
A certain retinal vessel disease may be a warning of an impending stroke! When an artery or vein in the retina becomes blocked or “occluded” it can be a sign of more serious health issues that need to be looked-quickly! A central retinal artery occlusion (CRAO) is a disease of the eye where the flow of blood through the central retinal artery is blocked. Patients suffering from a central artery occlusion experience a sudden, severe, painless loss of vision in one eye. While there can be several different causes of the blockage, most often a central retinal artery occlusion is caused by unhealthy carotid arteries which supply the head and neck with oxygen. Unhealthy carotid arteries are those that have atherosclerosis, are narrowed and filled with a waxy fatty substance that forms plaques that can break off and end up in the retinal circulation. Retinal artery occlusion is a significant warning of a stroke risk and indeed more than 15% of the patients having a central retinal artery occlusion experience a stroke within 4 years after the artery blockage.

A retinal artery occlusion is a medical emergency as the loss of vision is fast an irreversible.  If you or someone you know experiences a quick painless severe loss of vision in one eye, please call us immediately and relay your symptoms to the person taking your phone and request an immediate appointment. Please call Alabama Eye & Cataract Center in Birmingham at 205-930-0930, visit Alabama Eye & Cataract Center, Google+ or