July has been a busy month! Dr Lee was away for a bit to get caught up on the latest research for treating eye turns (strabismus) and lazy eye (amblyopia). Patching is old news – it helps turn the brain “on” to use the non-dominant eye, but it doesn’t teach the brain how to use both eyes together. New research shows that binocular training (vision therapy to train the use of both eyes together) can improve visual function beyond what was achieved with just patching alone! Developmental optometrists have been treating strabismus and amblyopia this way for a long time, but the results are just now becoming more well-known among neuroscientists as well. Very exciting progress! Improvements are possible even if you’ve tried patching in the past. Ask Dr. Lee for more information
This 10-month old baby is so happy after putting on her first pair of glasses! She can’t stop smiling when she sees her parents clearly for the first time 🙂
Babies can’t tell you if there’s something wrong with their vision. That’s why you should have your children’s eyes checked starting at 6 months of age. An optometrist can use handheld instruments to determine how the light focuses in their eyes, so young patients and patients with special needs can be examined without having to read the letter chart. Yearly eye exams are crucial to ensure that development is on the right track!
Screen Addiction is Taking a Toll on Children
I see lots of kids in the exam room being handed a parent’s cellphone to entertain themselves when they should be observing the world around them, interacting with caregivers, and learning how to behave in public. Parents are just grateful to keep them calm, but are unaware of the potential harm from so much time spent in the virtual world.
Before age 2, children should not be exposed to any electronic media. Young children learn best by interacting with people, not screens. Older children and teenagers should spend no more than 1-2 hours per day with entertainment media, and should spend more free time playing outdoors, reading, doing hobbies, and using their imagination in free play. (Recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics)
“[Kids] need time to daydream, deal with anxieties, process their thoughts and share them with parents, who can provide reassurance” – Dr. Steiner-Adair. “We’re [..] giving them distractions rather than teaching them how to self-soothe, to calm themselves down”
Read more on the NY Times blog: