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Pediatric Vision Care

Pediatric specialistDr. Jeffrey Hunter is East Texas’ only fellowship-trained Pediatric specialist. Dr. Hunter provides unmatched eye care for children in the East Texas area. His compassion and dedication to children and their specific vision needs are well known throughout Texas.

“Nothing is more important than making sure our children have the best possible vision. It is our job to make sure that the correct diagnosis is made, and that we give the highest quality care. The work we do can make the difference between good vision and lifelong vision loss.”

Dr. Jeffrey S. Hunter, M.D.
Children's Injuries


Accidental injuries cause vision loss in far too many cases and more than half of the victims of eye injuries are children. The answer? Prevention, but when there has been an accidental injury, the right kind of first aid or emergency care is the essential first step. Hospital emergency rooms or trauma centers are usually able to provide emergency medical care for eye injuries, but referral to an ophthalmologist should be made to rule out any other complications. Remember that the seriousness of the eye injury may not be immediately obvious. 


Home

Many common household items can cause eye damage when they are used improperly. Therefore, you must take care to:

  • Make sure children are properly supervised when playing. Teach children the correct way to handle items like pencils, scissors and knives. Even such common items as paper clips, hangers, rubber bands and fish hooks can cause eye damage in children when improperly used.
  • Pay attention to age and the responsibility level of a child when selecting toys and games. Avoid projectile toys such as darts, pellet guns, etc.
  • Keep chemicals and sprays out of reach of all children.
  • Make sure your child stays well away from lawnmowers and other lawn equipment. Rocks and stones can become dangerous projectiles.
  • Never allow children to ignite fireworks, and make sure your children stand well away from anyone who is lighting them.

Sports

Sports-related eye injuries are increasing each year. Remember to require that your children wear protective safety glasses and specially designed safety helmets.

Wear a helmet with a polycarbonate eye shield for:

  •     Baseball
  •     Hockey
  •     Lacrosse

Wear sports goggles with polycarbonate lenses and side shields for:

  •     Basketball
  •     Racquetball
  •     Tennis
  •     Soccer
  •     Physical Defects

Eyeglasses for Children

Children wear eyeglasses for the same reason that adults do – to improve vision. But they may also wear glasses to prevent and treat amblyopia, or "lazy eye," and other eye muscle problems.

The most common vision problems treated with eyeglasses are:

  • Myopia
  • Hyperopia
  • Astigmatism

Myopia, or nearsightedness, is inherited and often discovered in children when they are eight to twelve years old. A myopic eye is longer than normal, and causes light rays to focus in front of the retina. This causes close objects to look clear, but distant objects to appear blurred.

Hyperopia, or farsightedness, is caused by light entering the eye and focusing behind the retina. A hyperopic eye is shorter than normal. Older people who are farsighted can see far away objects better than those close at hand. Most children are normally a little farsighted but have no problems seeing objects up close or at a distance. Hyperopia needs to be corrected in young people if it causes decreased vision or is associated with crossed eyes.

Astigmatism occurs when light rays enter the eyes and focus at different places on the retina. In a normal eye, the cornea (front surface of the eye) is round, like a basketball. If you have astigmatism, the cornea is shaped more like a football.
 


Can babies wear eyeglasses?

Of course! Babies’ eyes can be tested even before they can give a verbal response. The ophthalmologist will dialate the baby’s eyes and look inside with special instruments that determine the proper eyeglass prescription.
 

Which glasses are best for children?

We recommend plastic lenses and plastic frames – especially those frames designed with active children in mind. Children may also need additional pads or straps to keep the glasses properly positioned.

One other recommendation – children who have good vision in only one eye should wear safety glasses for protection at all times, even if they do not need glasses otherwise. Eye care for children generally addresses two categories: injuries or physical defects.